Autumn Love at Bradgate Park

Hello lovely people on my blog. Lately, I am definitely making more of an effort to document my camera snaps, so do drop by from time to time if you enjoy taking a sneak peek into our family adventures.

I saw this on Instagram the other day and I learnt something new. Who knew that the end of autumn is actually in December. Fun fact : It officially falls on the 21st of December this year. When it gets really chilly, I just assumed winter’s here. Whoops.

Another Autumn themed post today! These glorious pictures were taken at the beautiful Bradgate Park. We love going to the park at weekends for the child to run wild and free. She adores taking her bicycle or scooter out and I am thrilled for her too as her dad is there to help and race with her. I just relax with the baby. Win win!

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Chinese Pumpkin Cake

Leftover pumpkins anyone? We made an interesting traditional Chinese dessert with ours. We tried it once in a Chinese restaurant and it was delightful. Attractive golden colour glistening with oil and very scrumptious. Slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The recipe is straightforward and the child enjoyed making them together with me. First, cut your pumpkin into thin slices. Steam your pumpkin slices for 10 minutes. Mash into a puree. Add in the glutinous rice flour and sugar. The dough is of a lovely texture and she helped me roll them into little balls, flattened them and then coat them with breadcrumbs. Remember to coat both sides. Pour the oil in a pan and heat the oil. Fry the pumpkin cakes to a golden brown on both sides. Drain excess oil off the cakes onto a kitchen towel. Don’t forget to eat them hot. We drizzled ours with condensed milk and its the best combination.

500g Pumpkin

450g Glutinous Rice Flour

2 tablespoons White Sugar

Bread crumbs – enough to coat the small cakes

Oil – to fry the pumpkin cakes

Condensed milk – a small can

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The Making of an Autumn Wreath

Fall may be one of my favourite seasons at the moment. I have never really paid much attention to it till the child came along. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated the beauty. Love the various shades of autumn leaf colours, falling leaves and the crisp refreshing air but I have never truly experienced autumn till I shared the season with my daughter. An eye opening experience! Such innocence and joy when they discover autumn and they genuinely take it all in with great enthusiasm from having races with her friends through the leaves, rolling around in them, squirrel spotting and her absolute favourite ‘treasure hunting’. We have hundreds of conkers in little boxes and a handful of acorns and pine cones. All part of her autumn treasure collection. Oh how I burst into laughter when she came home from pre-school and told me ‘Mummy, look in my school bag. I have a surprise for you’. Her bag was filled to the brim with autumn leaves. She refused to chuck them and kept them in a box too. We also had lots of pumpkin fun leading up to Halloween. We treated her to a few tiny pumpkin, squash and gourds and she was so proud of them.

One day, she came running home from school with a ‘note’. There is a parent child Autumn Wreath Competition much to her delight. She is a child who loves homework of any sort. Odd child alert. She immediately mentioned she was going to make one filled with conkers from her collection. Hoorah! What a fabulous idea little one. All I need was a glue gun.. Amazon to the rescue!

Surely every mum needs a glue gun. At long last, I am a proud owner of one now. . No more faffing about with the silly glue stick. This wreath project kept her busy for a few days. We did it in stages. We cut out a cardboard box as the base of our wreath. I also assigned her the task of cleaning all her conkers. She loved scrubbing them with soap and an old toothbrush haha. We had to chuck out her leaves as they were all gross and mouldy. We found a brilliant pack of fake autumn leaves at The Works for a quid. She arranged her treasure on the wreath base and I stuck it on. Voila! The end result surprised me. It looked fabulous even if I were to say so myself. Enjoy the pictures.

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Pumpkin Picking with Our New Addition

For the last 3 years, we have taken our eldest child to Cattow’s Farm for our annual pumpkin picking day and every year they have made it bigger and better. This year, they have really outdone themselves. Superb family day out. It was busy, jam-packed with humans yet it did not feel too hectic. Thank goodness they had a bigger carpark and lots of activities to keep the children very excited and happy like bouncy castles, face painting, pedal powered tractors and more.

Flashback time, oh I love looking back at old pictures and blog posts. Time really does fly by and I feel like I am starting to forget so many precious memories (already!) especially since we were blessed with another child. People will ask, so when did your eldest crawl or walk and I have to really crack my head to recall. Blimey and this is with 2 children. Documenting our memories is definitely worthwhile, so come on Iris. Write more 😉

2016 – Peek at our delightful 2 year old’s first experience at the pumpkin patch HERE.

Cattows Farm

2017 – 3 year old bubba and soon to be big sister! Aaaah, bump pics.

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… and today, October 2018 as a family of 4. Surreal to be honest. Do you know what was really handy? Our baby wrap was a fantastic move as we didn’t really want to deal with a super muddy stroller. The wrap we have is from Joy and Joe and its brilliant for less than £20. Initially, the soon to be 4 year old was wary and not too keen to be honest about all the ‘mud’ on the pumpkins. She soon warmed up as she sprinted up and down the farm trying to pick the best ones for her to bring home. Little ones for her collection and a huge one to carve with her daddy. A real adventure for her and also a great lesson that our food does not only come from the shops but they actually grow in soil on a farm.

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Till next year, Cattows Farm. We had an ace time creating precious childhood memories with our children.

Pamson Grill Leicester

We were pleasantly surprised when we walked into Pamson Grill located off London Road on Highfield Street. The restaurant had absolutely stunning interiors and was spacious, warm and inviting. Beautiful and comfortable, with a very family friendly ambience. They have a kids menu too which is extra fabulous for us as our child does not really eat spicy food. Ps. even black pepper is spicy for her! There was popcorn chicken, fish fingers or pasta for the child to choose from and she declared that their popcorn chicken was Deeeee-licious. I love that they made everything in house instead of some frozen food that they threw in the oven. Fresh popcorn chicken made to perfection for the little one.

Service was brilliant and the owner, Muhammed gave us very knowledgeable recommendations when we were going through their menu. They truly delivered when it came to their food (the most important thing when it comes to eating out) and gave our family a fantastic authentic Pakistani food experience. We were really impressed at the quality of the food, one bite and you can tell how fresh it is.

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We are huge meat lovers so we were going to order the usual suspects to start : Lamb chops and Seekh Kebabs. They highly recommended we try a vegetarian starter called Papri Chaat. It was my first time trying this dish and the Chaat was excellent. The dish is prepared with chickpeas, potatoes and spices and it was like an explosion of flavours in your mouth. My husband thinks the lamb chops here are beyond amazing and he would definitely come back again just for them. They were marinated very well and served on a sizzler with fried onions and peppers.

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Their starter portions were generous and I would have been happy to skip the mains and go straight to desserts but I was intrigued at what the mains would be like especially when the chef appears in front of you and starts whipping up your meal. My daughter was very amused and she loved the whole experience. The chef cooked their special dish called a Katakat in front of us. We tried their Chicken Tikka Katakat and it was an amazing curry like dish. Their Lamb Karahi was lush, with tender meat and served in a wok! As you probably know, we enjoy eating out and we frequent quite a number of Asian restaurants and I have to say the standard of food here is high and has a feel of a heartwarming homecooked meal.

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Chicken Tikka Katakat

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Lamb Karahi

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We had an overdose of good Pakistani food at Pamson Grill and I would highly recommend this restaurant for an enjoyable and interesting meal out. We had 2 little ones in tow as always and the meal was still fun and relaxing. I bet we will be regular visitors from now on!

Pamson Grill

8-10 Highfield St

Leicester LE2 1AB

Foolproof Recipe for the Best Chocolate Brownies

Looking for foolproof recipes? You are in the right place as I do all my baking with the child nowadays when she has special requests. Imagine all the distractions, a baking spatula and lots of ‘I think that is ENOUGH mixing’.  This baking ‘challenge’ came along in a very casual conversation about desserts with my 3 year old, and she just slotted ‘Mummy, can we make our own chocolate brownies?’. I promised her that we will do this joyful activity soon and this child never forgets.

‘Mummy, do you remember you said we could bake brownies together?’ ( x 15 )

I stumbled upon this recipe by Dini, The Flavor Bender (yes, I actually googled The Best Chocolate Brownies) and boy oh boy, its a WINNER. I have tried quite a few brownie recipes but there was nothing to shout about .. this one is incredibly LUSH and FUDGY. I have finally found my go to recipe for brownies. So, share I will!

We tweaked the recipe slightly as we had a chocolate emergency! I couldn’t locate any dark chocolate much to the toddler’s delight. We had to open bars and bars of little Hersheys and Cadbury milk chocolate. You can tell its a kids idea to mix chocolate .. as if a chocolate brownie will not be ‘chocolatey’ enough.

This recipe calls for warm melted butter. Oh I love butter, please even my child is obsessed with butter. She was eating chunks of butter before we even got started.

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Not as many pictures of us actually making the brownie mix as its no joke trying to bake something edible and trying to micro manage the child and a sleeping baby.

We used bar type moulds (oh they are clever!) as I never look forward to slicing them and then cleaning the knife blade after every cut. My edges are never neat and clean anyways and always lob – sided . Whoops. Well well, I found the perfect trick that the child really liked as well. ‘Brownie blocks’ eh?

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I like to grease and flour my moulds before adding batter. Added security measure although you can also skip this step and make sure its properly cooled before popping them out.

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Seriously, just look at that beautiful brownie crust. Its just so nice and crackly and very inviting. ‘Come and sink your teeth in me, hurry.’

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Peek at the serration from the mould. It was perfect for playgroup. It became bite-sized in seconds. No hassle 🙂

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Look at the child’s chocolate choice. It made the brownie very enjoyable in fact. The Hershey’s Cookie And Creme Bar was gooey and crunchy and a really nice addition I must add. (It was a ‘ran out of dark chocolate’ emergency if you recall)

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227g butter

170g brown sugar (1/2 cup)

170g white sugar (1/2 cup)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt butter. We used a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, you can also use the microwave. Use very warm butter. Add sugars and salt whilst it is warm and combine till you have a smooth mixture.

3 eggs

1 yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the eggs and vanilla to the mixture. Whisk in the eggs until they have been incorporated into the butter sugar mix. You can use a hand mixer (much easier), whisk the butter-sugar-egg mix until the batter becomes pale in color. We used lots of ‘manual strength’. Just a spatula and a whisk 🙂

128g flour (2/3 cup)

80g cocoa powder (2/3 cup)

Sift and add into mixture. Mix until just combined. This is where I have to reinforce to the child that there should be no more mixing

226g ‘dark chocolate chunks’ ( We used 90g milk choc and 136g Hersheys )

We threw this in last, gave the mixture a little swirl with the spatula and poured the batter in to the mould.

Bake for 35 minutes at 176°C (350F).

Till the next bake or restaurant review?

Lots of love. xx

 

 

 

 

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Jimmy’s Killer Prawns

We love eating out. We love eating. Fullstop. Our family eating adventures aka ‘restaurant hopping’ is still going strong although nowadays I never write about it anymore as life takes over and takeaway is too convenient when you have to juggle 2 kiddies BUT …

There’s a new kid in town that spurred me to write a post to share just how much our family enjoyed our meal there. They claim that their food is addictive and oh boy it truly was. I am a huge fan of their killer prawns. We went there over the weekend and we even ‘Deliveroo-ed’ them the following day. Eeks ( not very kind to the wallet ). It just goes to show how addictive it was.

There’s something for everyone and if you are not a fan of seafood, there’s always the chicken or meat option. Be warned though, their portions are ENORMOUS. The prices are slightly steep but when you share your meal, it works out to be pretty good value for what you get.

We went for a combo as the other half wanted to have a bit of steak too. It was all about the prawns for me! Ours was served with rice, fries and their trio of sauces. The garlic butter was divine.

The Prawns are served whole in their shells and with their heads intact. The marinade on them was lovely. Its messy but the best way to enjoy them is to suck on the outer shell as its just so juicy. Gosh, I cannot believe I just wrote that. The grilled prawns were on point and I would come back again and again for them.

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IMG_3666.JPGKids meal. Our child adores prawns and she could have shared ours but we went for the spicy grilled prawns instead of the orignal flavour. Turns out, she loved it .. the spicy one. We did order her a kiddy meal though. Fried prawns with fries. She enjoys her food and its always a pleasure to watch her try a variety of food.

 

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We also ordered a starter to share and the waitress recommended we try the Red Prawn soup. One of the best I’ve tasted in a while, thick, rich, spicy and plenty of prawns in there.

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Not ready for food, oh little child but we bring you everywhere with us too.

Definitely worth a visit. Let me know what you think!

Jimmy’s Killer Prawns

58a London Rd

Leicester LE2 0QD

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