Showing posts with label Sponsored Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sponsored Post. Show all posts

How to Help People in Need this Christmas

For most of us Christmas Turkey dinner is something we look forward to and Christmas is a lovely time to spend with friends and families and eat, drink and be merry as they say.

But unfortunately for a lot of people they simply have very little money and just can't afford to eat properly all year never mind afford a full on Christmas dinner. Then there elderly people that maybe living on their own and don't have any family to help them or perhaps they simply aren't well enough to cook for themselves. Sadly there are also many homeless people having to live on the streets. Thankfully myself and most people reading this won't ever know what that's like; it must be unbearable. But here's how we can all help.

Tesco Christmas Turkey

This year Tesco have pledged to donate £1 for every fresh turkey sold, either instore or online, to help people in need this Christmas. Money raised through the purchasing of turkeys at Tesco will be shared between Tesco’s food charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help people in need over the festive period.

The initiative builds on the continued support offered by the retailer to local communities through its annual Food Collection (now in it's 10th year), and its food surplus redistribution scheme, Community Food Connection.

Last year, Tesco became the first retailer to pledge that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from its UK operations, and since 2012, Tesco customers and colleagues have donated the equivalent of over 60 million meals to people in need which I think is absolutely fantastic - Go Tesco!

Tesco Charity Partners

How can we all help?
  • By ordering your turkey from Tesco's Christmas turkeys and Tesco will donate £1 to their food charity partners for every fresh turkey sold.
  • By simply arranging to cook one extra Christmas dinner for a neighbour in need.
  • Donating to a food bank - you can find your local food bank here.
  • Many town centres are places that homeless people tend to go to to try and get some money; so how about taking a thick pair of socks to give to them. I'm sure they'll appreciate it with the weather getting so cold and apparently socks are one of the least donated items.  
  • Buy a hot pasty or sausage roll and give it to a person you see is clearly living on the streets. 

You can find Tesco on Twitter @Tesco #EveryonesWelcome

For more information on FareShare and The Trussell Trust click on the links to take you to their sites.

Disclosure:  I received a Tesco gift card to cover my time writing this post and promoting Tesco's campaign on social media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sponsored Video - Put On the Ritz with New Ritz Crisp & Thin

We all love savoury snacks especially crisps, these days crisps are available in a huge range of flavours, far too many to mention.  Whatever your favourite snack is, I think everyone loves Ritz.  

When I was a child in the 60’s we always went to my nans house for the occasional family get together or party.  But no party was a ‘proper’ party in my opinion, unless Ritz was on the table. 

My uncle George was always in charge of the music played at these parties and he would arrive with his massive collection of records as they were then.  No CD’s or anything fancy in those days, just a record player on which you could stack records to play in order.   


How To Please Your Cat - What Cats Really Want

Just about everyone loves the TV cat called Felix as he’s always up to something mischievous.  Anyone who has a cat or indeed more than will know they can be hilarious.

Our Ellie loves to play with a ball made of screwed up paper and we’re sure she thinks she’s a dog as nine times out of ten she will bring it back to you when you throw it for her - yes seriously!  

We bought fancy nice soft cat beds for our two each costing a bit of money, but our Ellie prefers to sleep on the stairs (which is nice and dangerous for us at night I must say)!  Our other cat named Jim, never, ever gets in his bed since he prefers to be out pretty much all night and during the day he prefers the computer chair.  

I think most cats like Felix would prefer a box is best to sleep in!

One thing is for sure they both know the words ’do you want feeding’?  Yes I’m afraid like most cat or dog owners I find myself talking to them (well I do anyway) and once feeding is mentioned they both appear from wherever they’ve been sleeping.

Cats aren’t at all daft either, they know what they want and they are fussy too.  They know which food they like and don’t like, neither of ours will eat cat food that’s in gravy, only cat food in jelly will do for them.

Do take a look at the fun and amusing video ‘How to Please Your Cat’ from Purina FELIX® I think no matter what you buy them or do for then, this video sums up what cats really, really want!

If you have a cat, what do you find is the best way to please him or her?

Why not subscribe to Purina FELIX® YouTube channel
For more information pop over to the Felix website

This post is sponsored by Purina Felix.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sponsored Video Unrush your World - Yeni Raki

With the busy lives we all lead these days, it’s so hard to find time to cook and eat without rushing, but we really should try to take more time, even if it’s only possible at the weekend.  
The weekend is possibly a time when we can sit down as a family or with friends to eat together and chat over a drink or two; a great way to relax.   

Yeni Raki the world’s leading aniseed spirit brand is the perfect drink to enjoy with good food and they’ve partnered with top London chef, Ollie Dabbous to bring the spirit’s traditional slow dining culture outside of its native Turkey.

Together Yeni Raki and Chef Ollie have created this short video in which he prepares the most beautiful looking BBQ lamb dish to take to his raki table.  Ollie cooks shoulder of Romney Marsh lamb served with violet mustard yogurt on a bed of cracked wheat and pine nuts served covered with vine leaves – now how good does that sound? 

To prepare the lamb dish he covered in salt for 2 hours then it’s rinsed, dried, rubbed with olive oil and then cooked on a BBQ oven for 4 hours until smoky and tender.  Ollie believes food isn’t meant to be rushed and eating isn’t meant to be hurried; and his dish certainly isn’t rushed and definitely the spirit of slow. 

Yeni Raki is hosting a series of slow-dining dinners where top restaurants across the UK capital create their own menus of food that’s paired with the drink to encourage the experience the spirit of slow.

You can find out more about the campaign by following the campaign on #unrushyourworld and @YeniRakiGlobal or pop over to the Yeni Raki Global Website.

This post is sponsored by Yeni Raki.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Sponsored Video - McDonald's Trust

I’m sure we all know someone that thinks they know everything, about everything.  But sometimes that person might 'think' they know, when often it's just their own opinion and they end up convincing everyone else of their thoughts.

The food manufacturing industry is one of many topics of which people have strong opinions and decide for themselves what they think goes into the food we eat.  

So just what is it that makes us decide what we hear is either true, or just gossip?  I say the least we can do is try to look at the proper facts before deciding. 

Do take a look at this short video in which a little girl called Laura thinks that McDonald's burgers are full of additives, fillers and flavour enhancers along with some extra bits; because they wouldn’t use good beef just to make burgers.  Laura believes this because her mum said so, and after all her mum’s friend Carol told her, so it must be true! 

Having read many articles by McDonald's and of course after watching the video, I’ve found that they do use only 100% British and Irish beef from quality assured farms and that the beef is fully traceable from farm to restaurant.  Also nothing else but salt and pepper is added and their burgers do not contain onions or any other kind of flavouring.  I must say I thought their burgers did have flavouring or some sort added but I’m pleased to hear that they don’t.

McDonald's is a huge company and personally I trust what they say is true since there are loads of rules and regulations here in the UK that anyone making an advert has to abide by when making an advert so that we can all be assured nothing but the truth is stated.  

Anyway with all that said, on with the video, I think you'll enjoy it.

This post has been sponsored by McDonald's; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sponsored Video - Knorr Flavour of Home

Recent research carried out by Knorr; found that three quarters of people agree that tasting just one mouthful of their mum’s home cooking brought back happy memories from their childhood.
Sitting down with the family and tucking into a good home cooked meal together is a great time for catching up on each other’s day and of course enjoying the meal.  

We all have our own special memories of a favourite meal that our mum used to cook when we were kids, and for me its cottage pie.  I can never recreate it no matter what I do; it never, ever, tastes the same as my mum’s does!


Sponsored Video by the a2 Milk Company

Do you, or do you know someone, that suffers with indigestion or a bloating feeling after drinking milk?  If you do then it may be caused by the A1 protein that is present in cow’s milk.

I have to admit until now I’d never heard of such a thing, but I’m now wondering if there are a couple of people that I work with that could be suffering from  an intolerance to A1 protein without realising it.  For example, I’ve heard them complain that the bread we‘re supplied with in work for making toast etc. tends to makes them feel bloated so they avoid it, but perhaps the bread isn’t the cause after all and the milk is to blame?    

So what are A1 and A2 Proteins?
A1 and A2 beta-casein are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid. The A1 beta-casein type is the most common type found in cow's milk in Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.  For some reason (something to do with the breeds used for dairy farming) it isn’t present in cows in France.

The a2 Milk Company developed a test which determines whether a cow produces the A2 or A1 type protein in its milk.  Dairy farmers that have this test done on their cows allows the a2 Milk Company to give them a license to prove their cows produce only A2 beta-casein protein in their milk and that  A1 beta-casein protein type isn’t present.

Of course there’s nothing peculiar about a2 milk, it‘s just is pure cow’s milk from British dairy’s and the only difference is that it’s easier to digest because it naturally contains the A2 protein and no A1 protein.  Nothing else has been added or taken away so it’s all okay and is suitable for the whole family to enjoy.
Drinking a2 milk could make a huge difference to millions of people who couldn’t enjoy milk in the past.

Take a look at this amusing video produced by the a2 milk company;


Intolerance of A1 Protein is not to be confused with Lactose Intolerance;
A1 protein in milk has the potential to affect other parts of our body too, causing skin conditions and excess mucus whilst lactose intolerance will only affect the stomach.  Therefore please note that if you have been diagnosed lactose intolerant then a2 milk will not be suitable for you.

A2 milk is currently available in Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Whole Foods Market.
You can find out more over at the a2 Milk FaceBook page.

This post is sponsored by A2 Milk.

Le Méridien Hotels Creates éclairs from Inspired Destinations with Chef Iuzzini

As part of a rebranding campaign, Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts have been working with award-winning chef Johnny Iuzzini.  Their plan is to better define the brand and align it with the culture and cuisine surrounding each of its properties.

Johnny is a pastry chef, author, motorcyclist and world traveler.  Through his partnership with Le Meridien he is unlocking destinations around the world.


How to Make your Kitchen Work Harder

Keeping a family fed and watered is no easy task, so it’s important that your cooking area is up-to-scratch. If you think your kitchen could work harder and you’re keen to improve this part of your property, take a look at the following simple but effective design suggestions.

Create extra storage;
Clutter and chaos are the scourge of any cooking area, so it’s vital that your kitchen benefits from bags of storage. Standard units may not be enough to house all of your items, so you might need to rethink your current storage solutions.
Bear in mind that specialist suppliers like Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets offer a host of products, meaning you won’t struggle to find the perfect solutions for your home.

From full height cabinets to handy corner units that squeeze maximum use out of these awkward areas, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Include plenty of workspace;
Plenty of workspace is a must in any busy kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have help with meal preparation, the last thing you want is to end up fighting for surface space with your fellow cooks. If you’ve got the square footage, an island unit might make a great addition to your kitchen. This is by far the most effective way to increase the available space.

You can also free up extra surface area by reducing the number of items you keep on your worktops. For example, storing things like food mixers and condiments on your shelving or in your cabinets rather than on your surfaces can give you more room to manoeuvre.

Choose the perfect appliances; 
Be savvy in your selection of appliances too. For example, if you don’t already have one, it could be the time to invest in a dishwasher. These useful products can shave hours off your weekly chores, and as long as you fill them up properly before switching them on, they can be more energy efficient than using the sink.

A decent sized oven and a spacious fridge can also help to take some of the stress out of family catering.

Make those all-important finishing touches;
Don’t forget to make those all-important finishing touches either. For example, if you’re replacing your worktops, you might benefit from getting steel hotrods fitted in your new versions. These handy pan stands can stop you from burning your surfaces when you’re cooking up a storm for your household. Meanwhile, utensil hooks can make reaching for tongs, spoons, mashers and a host of other kitchen essentials quicker and easier.

By bearing simple design ideas like these in mind when you’re revamping your kitchen, you should be able to ensure it’s more than up to the task of helping you feed your family.

This is a sponsored post.

Sponsored Video - Perfectly Lazy Do Nothing Days

With the school holidays fast approaching you may be wondering how to entertain the kids for the five or six weeks they’re off.  There’s bound to be a rainy day or two, so instead of them sitting watching TV or playing computer games, just think how good it would be for the whole family to have a break and spend some time together.

One of those lazy do nothing days, pop down to the park and feed the ducks perhaps.  Even going for a walk in the rain can be fun as long as you wrap up and in any case kids just love putting on wellie boots and kicking around in puddles!   When you get back home everyone can have a nice hot shower followed with bubbling cheese on toast and a nice hot cuppa - that’s always a good thing. In the afternoon you could make tiny cakes, bake biscuits or make and design your very own pizzas to have for dinner.

Or how about making crumpets?  If you’ve never made them, then you should.  I had a go a while back and found it quite exciting to watch the little holes appear as the crumpets cook.   All you need is flour, yeast, sugar, milk, salt, bicarbonate of soda and a little oil for cooking.  Once they’re done, just pop them into the toaster till piping hot, and spread with butter, the perfect taste of home.

Although Anchor butter is well known, Anchor also produce a great range of other products including cheese and pastry – oh and don’t forget their squirty cream which is especially loved by kids!   Finish your day off with ice cream sundaes, squirty cream and chocolate chips.

Anchor is holding a competition giving you the chance to win a set of personalised Anchor aprons.  To enter all you need to do is send over four snapshots capturing your lazy nothing day.  Pop over to the Anchor website for full details.

Take a look at this short video showing three families enjoying their own perfectly glorious nothing day.

What’s your ideal perfectly lazy do nothing kind of day? 

Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Anchor but all thoughts are my own.

Range Cookers – Suitable for both Small and Large Kitchens

When you think of a range cooker, your mind might tend to conjure up quite a large sized cooker that’s suitable for only a farmhouse-style kitchen with loads of space.  So if your kitchen is small (like mine) then the chance of actually being able to have a range cooker seems out of the question -surprisingly this isn’t the case.

These days range cookers are available in sizes much smaller than you might imagine and with a huge range of styles to choose from, there’s sure to be one that is just right for you.

What style are you looking for?
Are you after the traditional cosy country kitchen look, or is it a modern contemporary style you want?  Whatever your choice you don’t have to compromise as there are so many styles and price ranges to choose from.  Typical width sizes seem to be between 90cm and 110cm and with colours are too many to mention, from stainless steel, black, white, cream, red, blue, green and more!  

Do you prefer Gas or Electric?
Duel fuel or single fuel and on some models there’s the option to run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) with an adapter kit that's available on request.   With energy efficiency ratings between A and B you might find buying a new range cooker to be more economical to run than your existing oven.  

Are there any particular features you want?
With some, or all of the following features (depending on your chosen oven) this can be a hard decision to make!  
Typically range ovens have 5 or 6 gas burners but induction plates are also an option depending on your chosen oven. Slow cook, defrost function, cook and clean oven linings, conventional or fan oven, gas oven with flame failure device, induction hobs with hot hob indicator, gas burners, separate grill, kitchen timers, a lid and oven light, double or triple glazed door and a warming drawer or warming zone.  
With prices at Homebase from under £400 which will you choose?

This is a sponsored post - all words and opinions are my own.

Sponsored Video How to Make Potato Piglets - Spanish Tapas

I just love these cute Potato Piglets with Cinco Jotas ham (shown in the video below) a mini Master Class video by with Three-starred Michelin Chef Pedro Subijana of the world renowned Akelarre restaurant in San Sebastian.    

They are perfect as part of Spanish tapas and although they might seem a tiny bit time consuming, the video is easy to follow and they can be made at home.   Potato puree is prepared and in a series of drying it out in thin layers, and then by re-hydrating it again to make it pliable the potato is rolled out like pastry, cut into pig shapes and deep fried for a few seconds which produces lovely fat puffed up potato pigs!   

Cooking with the Rayburn from AGA

A while back I saw a TV programme about Rayburn from AGA and I’ve wanted one ever since.  We live just down the road from where they're made in Telford and the program showed how they are ordered and shipped to many parts of the world and are especially popular the United States.  But sadly our kitchen is so very tiny that there wouldn’t be room enough left for so much as a salt and pepper pot never mind the kitchen sink!   

My friend has one and it’s brilliant, and like shes says it's British engineering at it's best and is designed to last a lifetime.  She gave me a demonstration which resulted in me really wishing we could move house so we could get one!   If I could have one, it would have to be the new ice cool white they’ve recently introduced to their range of colours. 

 The oven is cast iron and uses the principle of indirect heat which is kind to food and locks in moisture.  I will say one thing, I used to think that a Rayburn had to be on all of the time but they don’t.
They have a simple on/off switch and the hotplates are good to cook on in just 10 minutes.  In half an hour your oven is also ready to cook.  Another thing I wasn’t aware of is the hot plates can be set at different temperatures so you move your saucepans around to go from fast boil to simmer and back again if needed.

They have a huge amount of oven space which is fantastic for cooking for friends and family.  Because cast iron stores heat so well your oven burns off any bits and bobs stuck to it from cooking meaning the oven is self cleaning too!

If you watch this short video you'll see why I want one so much!

 Choose the right one to keep your house warm and provide your hot water too:
These days with the high costs of electricity and gas, everyone is concerned about how much energy their home uses and we’re all looking for ways to use less fossil fuel. Homeowners are looking at ways to use energy from renewable and sustainable sources.
There are many choices available so it can be really confusing to know how best to run a greener home.  AGA Rayburn, have created a portfolio of products to help you cut your energy usage.  This means you can easily choose the Rayburn that’s right for you.
They also hold demonstrations so you can learn how to use your oven to take full advantage of it.

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


My Dream Kitchen - Electrolux Appliances

 Since I spend most of my life cooking, I'd love a bigger kitchen as ours is so small. Electrolux have a vast range of beautiful, stylish yet practical kitchenware, everything for a dream kitchen.

 Picture from Electrolux website.

If Money didn't Matter!
Sometimes I imagine that if money wasn’t any problem what kind of house and kitchen I’d have.  It would have to be one of those huge, swish, top notch kitchens with everything in its place and I’d have every kitchen gadget going.....Okay, I’m near that part as I do have ‘almost’ every kitchen gadget going, but sadly not the space to put it all in!  

Save Money and Help Charities with My Favourite Voucher Codes

In this day and age money is tight for so many of us so it's always good to be able to actually save some money on the things you need to buy. My Favourite Voucher Codes shows you all the offers from hundreds and hundreds of online retailers allowing you to save money when you shop online with promo codes. 

Everything is covered from the weekly food shop, clothing and footwear,   babies and toddlers to things you might need for your home and garden. 

Keeping Safe in and Around the Kitchen

Keeping safe at all times is of course important, but when cooking in the kitchen you need to take extra care.  One silly mistake can so very easily turn into a disaster.  A recent incident in my kitchen made me realise we should all have some sort of fire blanket and extinguisher to hand.  
Afterwards, looking on the net I came across this really handy to know about site called Pure Safety.

 Let me share with you my very near disaster that happened in my own kitchen:
Anyone that follows me on FaceBook will have heard my story on the day it happened. I know it was really very stupid of me but I needed to melt some butter.  I was brushing sheets of filo pastry with the butter, and as you're probably aware, you have to be quick about it as filo pastry dries out so fast and is ruined. 

Sponsored Video – Blacksticks Blue Cheese

Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses based in Inglewhite, Lancashire have been making a range of hard, blue and soft cheese since 1932.  Their Blacksticks Blue (love the name) has a lovely ‘amber hue’ made its first appearance in 2003 the cheese has a huge following of fans including celebrity chef Simon Rimmer who describes it as “The Daddy of all Blue Cheeses”.

Blacksticks Blue Cheese
Using milk that’s delivered fresh everyday by their tanker driver Dougie who picks up from farmers just a down the road.  When the creamy milk has been lovingly transformed into cheese, it is then matured until it hits its perfect age and,as we all know, a good cheese takes time.   Once the cheese has passed Butlers experienced grader Bill’s stamp of approval, it is then ready to be released for sale across the country.  

Make your Table Sparkle this Christmas with a Chocolate Wreath

At Christmas, the way the dining table looks is almost as important as the festive feast spread out upon it.  Whether you show it with a snowy white tablecloth and the best silver, with scattered pine cones, gold and silver glitter, candles, crackers or all of the above, Christmas dinner is a once a year occasion and deserves to look really special.  Little dishes of treats like sugared almonds, mixed nuts or chocolate ginger add to the effect.

For a combination of the traditional and the original, and for an addition to the table that everyone will welcome, it would be hard to beat a Hotel Chocolat wreath.  Made from solid milk or dark chocolate and studded with goodies, they are both decorative and delicious.

The classic Festive Wreath is made from Hotel Chocolat's 50% milk chocolate, with swirls of sweet caramel.  Its more sophisticated cousin, the Purist Festive Wreath, appeals to the refined palate with its indulgent 70% dark chocolate, made from pure Ecuadorian cocoa grown by a farmers’ cooperative in the unspoiled province of Napo.

Sponsored Video – Method Cleaning Products

After cooking almost any kind of meal you end up with washing up or some sort of cleaning that just has to be done.  Also, we all have to either wash, bath or shower every day.  Keeping our homes (and ourselves) clean makes for a better living environment, and that in turn makes us feel good too. 

First of all, what is Method?  
Method is a brand of non-toxic cleaning products - for people who simply want a better way to clean with ingredients that come from plants.


Method is certified by PETA as a Cruelty-Free and Vegan Company – none of their products are ever tested on animals.

Method products do not contain any hazardous ingredients, making them safe to use around children.


Reaping the Rewards of Buying Local Food

It might be easier to get in the car and pop to the supermarket, but supporting local independent food and drink businesses can make the world of difference according to 


Get Fresh!
Local food tends to be fresher, especially if you buy it from a farm shop or local store where the producer has delivered directly, as opposed to the food traveling many miles to a central distribution depot, which is usually the case with supermarkets.  Caroline Davies, a Reigate farmer who hand makes ice-cream at her St Joan’s Farm Dairy, in Leigh, Surrey, uses only milk and cream from her own cows. “We could easily buy it in, but instead we milk in the morning and turn it into ice-cream by the afternoon,” says Caroline. “Not many ice-cream producers can say that and we feel it makes for a much better product.”
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