Monday, 29 July 2013

Super Saturday BBQ

BBQing is quite a regular occurrence in our family, we all love a BBQ and when the sun is shining we are guaranteed to have at least one at the weekend. These usually happen at my parents house and my Dad has taken on the role of chief BBQer. He will BBQ in all weather conditions though, as there is no guarantee with the British weather and regularly changes mid way through BBQ, which it did this weekend. He has even been known to do a BBQ in the snow!! Nothing stops him!!

This week we had some super tasty taste the difference sausages from Sainsburys and some pork chops. I buy them when they are on offer then cling film them so we can just take out the amount we need.

Fresh egg salad always goes nicely with BBQs

Strawberries and ice-cream for dessert.

We usually just play around the garden bare foot but this week there were so many bees hanging around the grass we didn't dare!

It actually started raining shortly after this photo was taken luckily the sides come down on this gazebo so we were still able to stay outside as the shower passed .

Leon is a keen BBQer and is picking up tips from his grandad!

Toby watching the bees.

The rain comes down and the brollys go up!

Its really easy to have a BBQ for least than £50. Here's some of my top tips:
  • Shop ahead, BBQ meat is often on offer, like the sausages I bought 3 packs for £5.
  • The children are allowed fizzy at the weekend. Aldi do a whole bottle of lemonade for 19p, this easily lasts them 2 BBQs
  • Buy a tub of vanilla ice cream and cones rather than buying ready made ones, its much cheaper and lasts longer, for the adults buy or make something to go with the ice cream, like we had strawberries. You could make cookies and chocolate cake really cheaply.
  • You have GOT the have marshmallows- its the BBQing law. Sainsburys own brand are perfect, don't get the sugar free ones though.
  • Sainsburys finger baps and burger baps are often 2 for £1 but go on the morning of your BBQ because they often sellout on sunny days.
  • Buy salad at Aldi its SO much cheaper, although I don't  think its lasts quite as long but you don't need it to if its just for your BBQ.

This is my entry to the moneysupermarket Charcoal Challenge. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

HELP! I need my competition fix!

We are over half way through the year now and i can't quite believe how quick its gone. I feel like at the moment all I'm blogging is competition entries. I've not had a good win in quite a while and I'm getting twitchy and stroppy about it! So I thought I would write down and reflect on the past 6 months of my comping.

In January I wrote a wishlist of things that I thought I would really like to win. The list consisted of 10 things, I have won 2 things off the wishlist - food shopping vouchers  (£170 of them) and childrens clothes vouchers. I have won a voucher for a free pair of shoes and some PJ's.

My list has changed abit and I no longer want to win a sofa as we gave in and bought one. I don't really want to win DIY or garden vouchers as we have pretty much decorated everywhere now.

So I'm still looking out for 

  • A Mulberry handbag
  • A weekend break
  • A years supply of anything useful (food, toiletries etc)
  • A hamper
I'm not really to fussed about a new TV or laptop, my laptop is still going and I don't need a TV in my bedroom really.

But I would like to add
  • A kitchen aid mixer
  • Some nice shoes for me
  • Toys I can put away for Christmas
Over the past 6 months I have won £2062 worth of prizes which is way more than last year. I've won over £1000 worth of cash which has been a fantastic help financially and the main reason we could afford our new sofa.

I have fits and starts with comping and sometimes I just find myself reading and looking about all the different wins and way over people have won rather than entering myself. Sometimes I feel like I hardly win anything compared to other people. I am going to try and concentrate on winning prizes off my wishlist, starting with the bag! I really need to feel that 'buzz' of winning very soon.
 I feel like an addict waiting for my fix! Do you ever get like that?

Monday, 1 July 2013

What's for dinner tonight?

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here.

Brit Mums have another super competition for bloggers. This time you need to sign up for you Schwartz samples and post a review on how you got on. If you want to join in sign up here and post on your blog before 12th July, you can actually enter without the samples.

Prizes are 4 x £200 John Lewis vouchers.

We were sent two samples:

  • Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping: A blend of herbs and spices for chicken pasta with a cheesy topping
  • Garlic & Thyme Roast Chicken + Crispy Roast Potatoes: Roast chicken seasoning, with garlic and thyme, accompanied by a special seasoning to create perfect Crispy Roast Potatoes


  • 1 sachet Schwartz 2 in 1 Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping Recipe Mixes
  • 1tbs oil
  • 450g (1lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 150ml (5fl oz) water
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200g (7oz) pasta, cooked and drained
  • 75g (3oz) Cheddar cheese, grated - I probably used way more because we love cheese!


  1. Pre-heat grill to a medium heat.
  2. Heat oil and fry meat for 6-7 minutes, until browned.  Add yellow pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes
  3. Mix Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Recipe Mix with water and add to the pan with the tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer then stir in the pasta and heat through for 1-2 mins
  4. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with the Garlic & herb Crumb Topping, then the cheese
  5. Place under the grill for 4-5 minutes until golden - I had in under the grill for a bit longer, probably about 8 minutes.

The pictures are taken at each method. I admit the finished picture (bottom, middle) does look abit burnt but the camera shows it much darker than it was. From a Mums point of view it was really simple to make, quick and tasty. Here's what the children thought when asked "do you like it?"

Leon (age 7) "Mmmmm yeah, really tasty, especially the cheese"
Toby (age 4) "Its alishous (4 year old for delicious incase you didn't know) but can I have more peppers please"
Millie (age 2) " I want sauceeeeeee" (Yes, my two year old is obsessed with ketchup at the moment and feels she needs it with everything, even grapes. Grapes for goodness sake, I caught her dipping in her brothers plate when walked into the kitchen!)

I can't wait to try the Garlic and Thyme roast chicken at the weekend!