Demelza *Halloween Competition Time* Win 7 Tickets

Looking for things to do in Half Term?

We have two adult tickets, and five children’s tickets to give away to the Demelza Hospice Care For Children Rochester Pumpkin Hunt on 24th October.

All you have to do is go to our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/mumsinreallife/?ref=bookmarks like and share this post, and tag a friend below who you’d like to take along with you.

Winners will be chosen from all entries at 9pm on Monday 21st October.

To enter you’ll need to:

1. Like & share this post

2. Tag a friend you’d like to take along in the comments below

3. One lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook page and by messenger (tickets will be sent by email)

Go go go! Happy hunting lovely

Salmon And Cod Laksa With Soba Noodles

Originating from maritime South East Asia, Laksa curry is a must for curry fans. It’s fragrant smells will drive you insane!

This is a really simple version that I put together on a week night. But just because it was quick (think 10 minutes) doesn’t mean it lacked in flavour! It packed the punches and hit all the right taste buds. I made up my own version of a Laksa paste, however they are readily available in the shops should this be your preference.

Ingredients for the Laksa paste;

4-6 small dried red chillies

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp paprika

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp turmeric

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1tsp lemongrass paste

3-4 cm piece of ginger, shredded

2 cloves of garlic

1tbsp sesame oil

Ingredients for the Curry;

500g Salmon & Cod fillets, skin off and cut into chunks

200g Coconut milk

1 1/2 pints of Vegetable stock

1tbsp olive pil

1 onion, finely sliced

200g green beans, trimmed and cut into quarters

225g shredded white cabbage

3 tbsp Laksa paste

Handful of frozen sweet corn

2 bundles of dried soba noodles

1 spring onion, sliced diagonally

1 lime, halved

Method for Laksa paste;

Pop everything into a mixer and blitz for a few seconds into a smooth (ish) paste.

Method for Laksa Curry;

Warm up a large saucepan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the onion and cabbage for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the Laksa paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Next up, add the coconut milk, stock and green beans and season well. Bring up to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the fish chunks and gently stir the mixture.

Leave to cook for about 4 – 5 or until the fish is opaque to their centre.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to boil and add in the soba noodles.

Cook for 4 minutes and drain and return to the pan.

Once the fish is cooked, stir in the curry. Serve out into large bowls and garnish with sliced spring onions and halves of limes.

Easy Packed Lunches – Food That The Kids Can Help Out With

The theme this week is packed lunches. What do you put in your kids lunch box? We’ve always stuck to sandwiches, day in and day out for oh, about 7 years now. I’ve decided to change all of that and be a bit more experimental.

These gorgeous little pizzas/patties/pastries with toppings (not quite sure what to call them, if I’m honest) have gone done a storm at lunch time.

They are so easy to make – the kids got stuck in with their favourite toppings – and they cost pennies.

This time around I totally cheated and bought some ready made pastry (it was on offer for 90p – bargain!). We heated and thickened up a tin of chopped tomatoes, adding in some mixed herbs. Once the sauce had thickened, I took it off the heat and placed to one side to cool down.

The kids used scone cutters to cut out the bases, then we set about choosing the toppings. They went for green peppers, left over green pesto sauce (https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/basil-pesto-sauce/),sliced baby bells and Chiritzo.

Once all of the ingredients had been chopped and sliced, we set about spooning a blob of the tomato sauce on top of the pastry bases. We then sprinkled over the ingredients, made them look pretty and popped them into a preheated oven at 180•C for about 12 minutes.

As you can see, they look dreamy. Leave to cool down on a wire rack and enjoy! Bon appetite.

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking for tips and hints. Please do share any favourite Packed lunch ideas with us. Thank you x

Tips For Disneyland

We have just returned from a fantastic family holiday, topped off with a surprise trip to Disneyland Paris for our kids. We decided to keep it a secret as we didn’t want our children to only focus on the Disney element of our holiday. We therefore had a blissful week beforehand, without being constantly asked “is it time for Disney yet?”. It was worth it, their little faces were priceless, they really had no idea what we had planned for them & were blown away with excitement. Cute.

So, post Disney chats with my husband about what we’ll do differently next time we visit (we will, it was great) has prompted me to write this list. Hopefully this will help any Disney first timers out 🤞🏻

1. Download the Disney App and take a good look ahead of your trip. The app has times of performances & parades, queuing times, you can book restaurants (via a phone number), find the play zones, book fast passes etc and is generally really helpful.

2. Take enough water to queue but don’t go overboard and weigh yourself down – there are plenty of water fountains throughout the park where you can top up your bottles.

3. Try not to go at the weekend and preferably if you can, go out of season!! What an earth made us go in August and on a Saturday, I have no idea!! Seemed like a good idea at the time!! The Friday wasn’t too bad & we managed to go on a few rides. Saturday however was a whole different story. We queued for nearly an hour just to pass security and then had to queue again to get entry into the park itself. The queues for every ride were at least 75 minutes long, not so great with little ones in tow when they are hot and bothered. Prepare yourself for the Disney Princesses, the shortest queue we could find was 95 minutes. Fortunately our two weren’t that bothered so we managed to get out of that one this time round.

4. Ahead of the Disney performances & parades, work out the route and get yourself a prime position on the kerb. On our first day, we hung about in Main Street and then danced along behind Minnie & Mickey who were singing “we’re on our way”…we got so caught up in the magical atmosphere (they know how to gather a crowd!) and as a result promptly ended up right at the back.

On the Saturday, we’d learnt our lesson so we parked ourselves right in front of the main stage, 40 minutes before any show was due to start. We had the best experience ever – the show was incredible and our kids were mesmerised.

5. If you’re on a bit of a budget, take a packed lunch & some snacks. We treated our kids to an ice cream and saved our money for a meal at dinner time inside the resort. It’s not cheap, so brace yourself and accept it for what it is. Our meal for 4 people cost over 80€ (which is relatively cheap in there) and to be honest, wasn’t the best but it did fill the void and the kids loved the restaurant.

6. If going to the Disney in Paris, take a Poncho. Our first day was 28•C but with showers forecast. We all discovered that our rain coats were only shower proof. Despite spending considerable time drying our coats in the ladies when the sun came out, we would then get drenched again. Countless times. My kids didn’t care, but with rivets of water streaming down my back, I conceded defeat. A lady I met in a queue told me that to buy their Ponchos in the park they spent 15€ per adult and 11€ each for children. They do have the Disney logo on the back, so a nice souvenir if like that sort of thing.

7. Don’t worry too much about having cash on you. Everywhere accepts cards. EXCEPT the ice cream and cold drink carts. You’ll need cash for these if you want to avoid the long queues at the various cafes/outlets dotted around the resort. There is an ATM in Discovery Land at the Paris resort.

8. Don’t expect the Characters to be milling around all over the park. They won’t be. They each have specific times, they come along with Marshalls who put an umbrella over them and then an orderly queue is formed so you can get a picture & autograph.

9. If you haven’t downloaded the app or don’t want your head stuck in your phone for the entire time, remember to check the super large information boards in every zone. We only saw these on the last day towards the end…doh!

10. Above everything else, relax & enjoy yourselves. We soaked it all up & tried not to focus on the cost of entry vs the number of rides we managed to get on. If you allow it to be, the atmosphere is truly magical & for us that is all that mattered 💕

Do you have any top tips for Disney trips? If so, we’re always happy to hear what you have to say.

Let’s Talk Prosecco

Here at Mums In Real Life we love a good hack, and yesterday we were introduced to this one. How this has escaped us so far, we don’t know!

Have you ever opened a bottle of fizz only for it to go flat once back in the fridge? We have, but no longer!

Simply place a spoon into the neck of the bottle and pop the bottle back into the fridge. The bubbles will remain! Voila!

Do you have any handy hacks you can share? Please do let us know, we always love hearing from you X

Cod And Crispy Pancetta

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re all about ease & lifestyle balance. During the week especially, with a busy household to keep in shape it’s often unrealistic to spend hours cooking. That’s what makes this dish so perfect. This light but warming recipe is ideal for summer evenings & is incredibly easy to make. It’s also very budget friendly, and tastes delicious. I found it on the Good Food website and have made a few tweaks.

Here’s the link for the original recipe:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cod-olives-crispy-pancetta

I will definitely be making it again as it was so yummy! Here goes:

Ingredients (for two people):

2 Cod fillets sliced into large strips

400g Tin chopped Tomatoes

2tbsp green or black pitted Olives

1tbsp sun dried tomatoes

3 pieces of Pancetta

Freshly chopped Parsley to garnish

Salt & Pepper

Method:

Start by preheating the oven to 200•C/180•C fan/gas mark 6.

Place the tomatoes, olives and sun dried tomatoes into a bowl and season well. Give it all a good mix.

Transfer into an oven proof dish (I used 2 small oven proof dishes so we could eat straight from them) and lay the cod fillets on top.

Drizzle over some olive oil and place into the oven for 20 minutes. Just before they are due to come out, heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pan and crisp up the pancetta. Remove your cod bakes from the oven and top with Pancetta and freshly topped parsley.

Serve with Rice and enjoy!

Cx

Wrap Platter For A Hungry Gathering Of Mini Eaters

This platter of mini wraps is the perfect solution when you have lots of mouths to feed at lunch time, it always receives a cheer of approval from the kids! Based on their favourite sandwich fillings, ingredients included:

To feed 5 children:

*3 Wholemeal and 5 white Wraps

*Tuna & cucumber

*Ham

*Cheese

*Baby Tomatoes

*Rocket to dress

Simply spread your ingredients onto flat wraps, roll and cut into equal portions. Place onto serving dish and decorate with rocket, baby tomatoes and some cucumber.

This lunch platter will be making an appearance again over the weekend, that’s for sure!

Bring Morocco To Your Kitchen

Whilst travelling around parts of Morocco, I totally fell in love with the cuisine. It’s not hard to do. Vendors, nestled amongst Artisans, sell the most aromatic and visually tantalising displays of herbs and spices, every spirally turn you take through the labyrinths of the Souks.

We tasted many a memorable dish, the best of them being cooked and served straight out of a families home in Marrakesh. We dined in their living room on the tastiest of mez dishes and the triumph of the night was their roasted chicken, served piled high with Cous Cous. Unforgettable.

This is a nod to my time travelling and I can guarantee it’ll leave your kitchen smelling divine. Your taste buds will be begging for more! The heady smells of the herbs and spices take me directly back to my wonderful days wandering the world. I hope it takes you there too !

The most amazing thing is, it is so easy to cook! Let’s go!

Ingredients:

Medium to Large Chicken

1tsp Paprika

1tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Ground Coriander

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Onion, quartered

4 – 6 Cloves of Garlic (or more – Garlic usage should come from the heart)

1tbsp Butter or low fat butter spray

2 cups of water

Seasoning

Spoonful of cooked chickpeas to decorate

Fresh coriander (optional)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180•C.

Put the herbs and spices together in a bowl, stir.

Put the chicken onto a baking dish and rub it with butter, or spray with a low fat option. Next up, work the herb and spice mixture into the chicken well.

Generously twist some pepper on top and sprinkle with salt.

Around the chicken add your crushed up garlic and onions. Add the water.

Pop into the oven for an hour, basting generously. After an hour, cover the chicken loosely in foil, turn your oven down to 160•C and cook for a further hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with the juices. Add cooked chickpeas and fresh chopped Coriander.

Plate up and enjoy with some Raisin and Paprika Cous Cous, topped with coriander.

In addition, how about adding some braised Courgettes and Carrots to the dish?

This went down Mighty well at home. Seconds all round!! Bonus.

Here at Mums In Real Life, we’re always seeking out tips and love to hear your tales. Please comment or email us at:

hello@mumsinreallife.co.uk

Pimms O’Clock

It’s the mid-summer, the days are long – perfect weather for sitting outside with a nice refreshing Pimms cocktail enjoying a good book?

Yeah, so I’ve got young kids who go outside, and they always try to kill each other on the trampoline, or accuse each other of various misdemeanours. So it’s usually something to keep my throat lubricated while shouting at the kids! You know how it is…

The Ultimate Salter Family Pimms Jug

Ingredients

  • 250ml Pimms no 1 cup
  • Lemonade
  • Ginger Ale
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Apple slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Slice of Orange
  • Fresh Mint
  • Ice

The thing that shocks people about this recipe is the addition of ginger ale into the Pimms. I don’t know if it’s my family thing, but let me gift it to you, as it really makes this cocktail pop.

Method

  1. Add halved strawberries to the jug with slices of cucumber and apple and pour the Pimms over the top. Let the fruit marinade for as long as possible (five minutes of so if you can). The fruit tastes amazing afterwards.
  2. Next add a generous handful of ice and pour over slowly at an angle (so not to mix) one part lemonade to one part ginger ale.
  3. Add the mint and orange wedges to the top.

It’s the kind of cocktail that you can just keep on topping the jug with ingredients as the afternoon progresses. Traditionally the herb used isn’t mint, but Borrage (grows wild everwhere), which goes better with lemon slices than orange.

Enjoy! James

Focaccia Stuffed With Pesto & Tomatoes

If you are looking for a food project this weekend, look no further as this is it. We’ve upped the ante by adding juicy cherry tomatoes and by slapping red pesto into a traditional Focaccia.

Ingredients:

500g Strong plain Flour

7g Sachet Yeast

1tsp Salt

3tbsp Red Pesto (see link https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/red-pesto-sauce/ for one of our recipes or shop bought is absolutely fine)

100ml Olive Oil & extra to drizzle (I used my herb & chilli infused olive oil https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/homemade-herb-chilli-infused-olive-oil/ for an extra twist)

5 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary, leaves picked

200g Cherry Tomatoes

Sea Salt flakes to garnish

300ml Lukewarm water

Method:

Pour 300ml into a jug and add the sachet of yeast, stir. Leave for a couple of minutes until it starts to froth.

In a large bowl, tip in the flour and add the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and then add 75ml Olive oil. Use a knife to stir the mixture, until a rough dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If necessary, sprinkle extra flour on the dough to prevent it sticking.

Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover and leave for 40 mins – 1hr to prove. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it onto a clean, floured surface and knead for a couple of seconds to knock the air out of it.

Shape the dough into a rectangle and roll out to roughly 20 x 10inches. Mix together the red pesto and sprigs of rosemary and smear over one half of the dough.

Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and pinch together to seal it.

Now put the bread into a roasting tin (lined with baking paper) and cover with cling film. Place somewhere warm for an hour to prove further. Preheat the oven to 220C, fan 200C, Gas mark 7.

When the bread is ready for the oven, drizzle over 2tbls of Olive oil and rub it in gently. Gently press the Cherry tomatoes into the dough and use your fingers to gently dent the rest of the dough. Pop in some sprigs of Rosemary. Scatter over the sea salt flakes. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for a further 20 minutes.

Place the bread into the oven, bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 200C, fan 180C, Gas mark 6 and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the bread has risen and looks golden. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut into slices or chunks and enjoy with your main of choice (we had steaks and a nice crispy salad!!

Bon appetite lovely people! X

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