Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Pumpkin and Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe Plus Win Tickets For The BBC Good Food Show!

Over the weekend we picked our giant pumpkin that we have been growing since spring. It was such an exciting moment and our Granddaughter was thrilled with how huge it had grown. We will be carving it up for Halloween to make a lantern and we will use the insides of the pumpkin to make a delicious Pumpkin and Pearl Barley risotto. 

This recipe is Tom Kitchen's who will be demonstrating his talents at the BBC Good Food show, which takes place at the SECC Glasgow from 6-8 November 2015. Win a pair of tickets to the show by completing the rafflecopter below or use this code for a 15% discount:
MVS16 (Code expires November 8th 2015.)

Serves 4

  • 250g Pearl barley
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 4 shallots (diced finely)
  • 1 medium pumpkin 
  • 100g of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of chives (chopped finely)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Watercress leaves (deep-fried until crispy)
  • Parmesan shavings for serving


  1. Prep the pumpkin into chunky wedges.  You can also retain and dry, then  roast the pumpkin seeds
  2. Roast the pumpkin wedges in the oven until golden and well caramelised.  Retain some nice pieces to garnish, purée the remaining roasted pumpkin in a blender until smooth. Reserve until later
  3. Put vegetable stock in a pan to heat
  4. Sweat the diced shallot in a little olive oil until completely soft. Then add the pearl barley and 50g of butter and lightly ‘roast’ the grains in the butter,  without adding any colour
  5. When the grains appear translucent on the outside begin adding the heated stock, one ladle at a time, whilst stirring very gently but continuously to avoid the grains sticking to the pan
  6. Continue ladling stock and cooking until the grains are almost cooked through. Then stir in a 50g of butter and some of the pumpkin purée to create a nice orange colour.
  7. When at the right consistency, remove from the heat and serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, the retained pumpkin pieces, chopped chives, crispy watercress leaves , a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan shavings.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Win an ACE Gentle GoodyBag!

Launched 50 years ago in Italy, ACE Gentle is the first choice of stain removal products for many European countries and is now widely available here in the UK with a whole new look and feel. 

ACE has recently launched its new website (www.acecleanuk.co.uk) where you can discover useful tips for getting the most from the product and caring more effectively for your clothing. Currently available from Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, some branches of Asda and Poundland. One litre of ACE Gentle Classic retails at £1.99 and ACE capsules retail at £3.99 for 14. A 700ml bottle of ACE Gentle was launched in Poundland in January and a new ACE Gentle scent, Mediterranean Bouquet, will be shortly be available in one litre bottles, which will retail at £1.99

*Win A Goody Bag!*

I have a fab ACE Gentle goody bag to GIVEAWAY to two lucky readers, each containing:
  • 1 bottle of ACE Gentle
  • 1 ACE Gentle dosing ball
  • 1 4GB USB flash drive
  • 1 5-colour highlighter
  • 1 shopping list notepad + pen
  • 1 Micro keyring fan
  • 1 Keyring waterproof poncho
  • 1 tote green ACE shopping bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 12 October 2015

Win 10 Baby Bibs From Funky Giraffe!

As some of you know we are expecting our second Grandchild, a little girl in February and we couldn't be more excited. I have been looking around online at what baby essentials are trending right now and funky dribble bibs seem to be a popular choice with many new parents. 

I love the bibs on offer at Funky Giraffe, they are so cute and trendy with loads of designs and colors to choose from. We were sent seven to review and we really like them. In their words;

"The Bandana and Cotton bibs are designed to go from birth to well past teething, meaning that you will only ever need to buy one set of bibs. The shape of the bibs fit your child’s neck to ensure they are really comfy and your child is less likely to object to them being there. Carefully designed folds in the fabric mean that the cotton will give a snug fit without being too tight. All of this care an attention means that Funky Giraffe is both practical and funky."

Funky Giraffe bandana bibs are perfect for the fashion-savvy baby and toddler. The 100% cotton front feels soft to the touch, the fleece backing keeps dribble from soaking through, and the double poppers mean you can adjust the fit. They are really lovely quality.

Funky Giraffe are also available in France, Australia and America, so it would be really easy to order gifts for friends and family abroad. 

Win A Pack of 10 Bibs Worth £20!
Open to UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Zapf Creations Mini Chou Chou with Foxes

We are huge fans of the adorable Mini Chou Chou dolls and if you remember a few months back I shared my review of the Mini Chou Chou Birdies and their cuckoo clock. We loved them back then and we love them even more now with the introduction of the Mini Chou Chou with Foxes. How cute are they!

Launched in lovely time for the Autumn, the foxes are the latest additions to the super collectable Mini Chou Chou range. There are eight to collect each with their own mini fox pet and cute fox hat (RRP £7.99). Also part of the new range, there are two magical playsets for your mini CHOU CHOUs to explore. 
  • The mini CHOU CHOU Treehouse comes complete with tables and chairs, a hammock and a special lift. It even has a secret fox den! (RRP £34.99).
  • With a slide, swing, ladder and arch, the new mini CHOU CHOU Playground set is also a perfect way to keep your CHOU CHOUs entertained. (RRP £19.99).
Mini Chou Chou Cuckoo Clock

Mini CHOU CHOUs are suitable for ages three and above and available now at all good toy retailers. A gorgeous Christmas or Birthday gift, one we highly recommend. Big Thumbs up from The Syders!

For more information please visit www.minichouchou.com. For exclusive news and competitions, follow on facebook /zapfcreationUK and twitter @ZapfCreationUK

*We were sent a selection of mini chou chou dolls free of charge for the purpose of this article. Our opinions are entirely our own and unbiased.


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