Simple dairy-free sausage rolls

Hello my lovelies,

Tonight we are going to the Luna Open Air Cinema to watch The Greatest Showman. And it’s a sing along! I can’ t wait!

It’s been a run around of a day. We’ve seen two sets of friends at two different parks, made Elderflower cupcakes that don’t actually taste much like Elderflower but look good never-the-less.

But the real show stopper for tonight are our home made, dairy-free sausage rolls.

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These are just too good not to share and so easy to make!

You will need:

4 good quality pork sausages (We used Porky Whites)

1 package Jus- Rol ready rolled puff pastry sheet

Dairy free spread to grease the baking tray

Set your oven to preheat to 200 degrees if it’s a fan assisted or 220 if it’s not a fan assisted oven.

Unroll the pastry and cut in half width ways.  Slit the skins of the sausages and remove from the skin.  Place two sausages on each piece of pastry.   Fold the pastry over and roll over the edge making sure the sausages are nice and snug inside the pastry.

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Next crimp the edges with a fork

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Cut each sausage roll into 8 even slices and place on a tray.  Brush with beaten egg.

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Bake until risen up and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before devouring!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

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Dairy-free choc banana bites

Hello my lovelies,

Sometimes it’s difficult to get kids to eat their fruit and veggies.  Right now, Missy is loving veggies but doesn’t seem too interested in fruit.  I know, right!  Crazy!  For most kids, it’s the other way around.  Trust Missy to be different.

I had a couple of bananas that were starting to get black spots on the skin and knew Missy would pass them over because of this.  I figured  the only way I could get her to eat them was to smother them in something desirable. And this is what I came up with.

I must add that this is (besides the microwaving part) a very child friendly bit of food prep and the kids will love getting involved.

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These couldn’t be easier to make.   First, peel and chop up two bananas into chunks and skewer them.

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Next, melt some dairy free chocolate in the microwave.  We used Moo Free chocolate.  Melt only 30 seconds at a time and stir well between microwave time.  Chocolate burns very quickly so watch it carefully.

 

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Next, dip the banana into the melted chocolate using a spoon to help to coat the underside of the banana chunks.  Be careful  as the banana tends to want to slip off the skewer.

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Next sprinkle the chocolate covered banana with sprinkles of your choice (being careful to ensure that the sprinkles are dairy free) and set onto a plate to cool.

**After trying to eat these, we found that putting them on a plate to set was not the best idea!  They stick terribly!  Rather, place them on a tray covered in waxed paper to cool. Then they will come off easily. Not that Missy didn’t have tremendous fun prising the bananas of the plate 🙂 **

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Set in the fridge for a few hours before digging in!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

DIY all natural lip scrub recipe

Hello my lovelies,

It’s half term here in the UK and it’s raining. Of course it’s raining. It’s half term and I have a seven year old to entertain.  Of course, it’s bloody raining!

Anyhoo!

I found some cute little clear butterfly pots at The Works a couple of weeks ago and thought they would be perfect to make some lip balm with.  But it’s that time of year when my lips are always dry and rough from the change in the season.  I’ve seen lip scrubs in some high end stores and figured, it couldn’t be that difficult to make one.  So Missy and I gave it a go.

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The ingredients, are probably those that you already have in your pantry.  You will need:

1t coconut oil

1t honey – we used some lavender flower honey we got in Germany last year

2 1/2 of white sugar or brown if you prefer

1/4 t vanilla bean extract (optional)

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Measure all ingredients into a bowl and combine well.  Try not to eat it!  It smells and tastes fabulous!

Spoon carefully into the little pots and there you have it!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Dairy-free banana bread recipe

 

With a daughter who has a dairy and apple intolerance, it can be difficult to find shop bought dairy free items that not only taste good but aren’t filled with undesirable ingredients. I constantly adapt recipes to so my daughter can enjoy the same foods as everyone else. During the school holidays, when you’re out and about, a coffee and a piece of cake can easily cost you £5.50 each. That’s if you can find anything dairy free that is. It’s so easy to make your own and cost effective too. This recipe is based on a recipe by Tessa Kiros. I’ve adapted it to make it dairy free and made a few other small changes to taste. Dairy free banana bread recipe 125g dairy free spread 180g sugar 1 rounded tablespoon treacle 4 ripe bananas, mashed 2 free range eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon cinnamon 250g plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 3 tablespoons almond milk (or you could use oat or rice milk if you can’t have nuts) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease a loaf tin with dairy free spread. Cream the dairy free spread with the sugar and treacle. Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and banana and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. In a cup, mix the warm milk and bicarb until no lumps remain. Add to the banana mixture and combine well. Pour the banana mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for between 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto a metal rack and allow to cool. Serve warm with dairy free spread.

I hope you enjoy my video and for more dairy free and other recipes, be sure to give this video a thumbs up!

Bright blessings,

 

Mrs R

A day in Wonderland at Chiddingstone Castle

Hello my lovelies,

Today we visited Chiddingstone Castle for their Alice in Wonderland themed day and had the most wonderful time!

We got all dressed up and walked in the castle grounds

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in the mist

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We met the Mad Hatter

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We did crafts with the White Rabbit

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We had a dance lesson a la MC Hammer, Michael Jackson and Gangnam Style in the great hall

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We even caught the Mad Hatter doing the Fadderwacken

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Sang with Alice

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and played croquet with The Queen of Hearts

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we even scooped the Best Dressed prize!

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We had a wonderful day and loved every minute of it

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We can’t wait to visit again.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Review: Lapland UK

Hello my lovelies,

For some years I’ve been hearing about this magical place in Whitmoor Forest, Berkshire where elves and Father Christmas invite children to help them prepare for Christmas.  I’d heard it was the most wondrous place where Christmas dreams come true so I was thrilled to get an early invitation to buy tickets.  Frequented by the likes of Sir Elton John, Idres Elba and other stars, there was no way I was letting this golden opportunity to see the inner workings of Father Christmas’ magical world slip through our fingers.

Missy (aged 7) received her personalized invitation in the post and it was left for her at our Harry Potter themed North Pole Breakfast in a pile of snow.  I knew she’d never be able to contain herself if we gave her the invitation days before so it was given to her on the morning that we went.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (really only an hour’s drive) we arrived at Lapland UK and parked in the Owl parking lot.  All the lots are named after animals with clearly marked and fairy light lit paths to help you remember where you parked.

We were greeted with this gorgeous little cottage which belonged to Eeko the elf.  Already you get a sense of the kind of fantastic detail spread throughout Lapland.  Every detail from the sledges, carved stags and gently lit lanterns added to the magic.  Everywhere you looked there was some tiny bit of interest that made you feel as though you were really in Father Christmas’ home town.

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Of course, Missy had to have a photo outside a real elf’s house.  Little did she know we’d see lots of elf folk homes during our visit.

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The elves at reception greeted us with a traditional elf greeting and checked us in.

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Here I bought elf jingles the currency of Lapland which came in a red velour bag emblazoned with the word Lapland.

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Missy was also given an Elf passport and a complimentary pin of Wish the elf.  I loved that the massive books at reception hid a clever touch screen computer.  Once again, the details made something as dull as check in seem magical.

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After we checked in, we waited at a picnic table and took in the magic around us. On the opposite side to the reception desk was a cafe selling a selection of cafe type foods and coffees including gluten free and vegan offerings.  Prices were what you’d expect from an upmarket cafe.

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Our tour was due for 2 pm and two elves gave us a short introduction talk about what we could expect before leading us through the doorway into the the magic wood.  If I ever have a massive house one day, remind me that I want a wall of cases like this!SONY DSC

In the magic wood, we were led to seating around a magical tree.  The excitement was almost too much for some of the children who couldn’t quite wait to see what would happen next.

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We were greeted by Sage

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and Eeko

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the woodland elves who told us all about Lapland and how Father Christmas, a simple wood cutter became the legend he is today – due to a little elf magic of course.  We were introduced to our herders who split us into two teams.  We were put into team husky and given a cute husky sticker to help us remember.

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The first stop on our journey was to the toy making workshop where the children got to help the elves finish stuffing some toys for Father Christmas.  Due to an increase in demand, the elves were behind and the children we special helpers who helped the elves get back on track. SONY DSC

Once again, the details were superb. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

Missy with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

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We decided that the trees were covered with magical never-melt snow and were surprised that it was actually cold to the touch!

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Next we were ushered to Mother Christmas’ bakery.  There was so much to see.  Each nook and cranny had some tiny detail or point of interest.  Including a self-stirring pot on the stove!

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Mother Christmas chatted to the children about Lapland and Father Christmas. They were also introduced to the baking elves.

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The children were shown to the tables where they got to decorate gingerbread Christmas trees.  I informed the office after I’d booked about Missy’s intolerances and they were every so helpful with providing a dairy free gingerbread Christmas tree and appropriate sweeties.

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Missy was the first to finish decorating her gingerbread and got selected to ring the story time bell. She felt very special!

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Mother Christmas read the children a story and then gave them a message for Father Christmas.  The children had earned their golden elf bells for their help in the toy workshop. We were told these could be collected from the Elf Emporium in the Elven Village.

I can’t tell you how magical the village was.  Missy was enthralled!

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The first elf we met was Pixie Mixie who owns the sweet shop.  Missy was taken with her and particularly liked her costume.

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I adore a nutcracker and this one outside the Elf Emporium was taller than me!

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Each shop had two entrances, one for Big Folk and one for Small Folk which Missy was determined to use at every opportunity.

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She was so excited to have earned her golden elf bell and couldn’t stop jingling it…

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much to my annoyance!  Of course, we had to buy an elf hat to attach our elf bell to.  I was quite impressed with the Elf Emporium in terms of content. There was a huge selection of good quality toys and games.  Even a homewares section that had some gorgeous scandi style decorations.

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I can’t describe the level of detail in the elf village. It was pure magic.

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There was so much to do. We petted Amber and Star the Huskies…

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We ice skated around a gorgeous snow covered Christmas tree to carols being sung merrily in the background.

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I was so impressed with the ice skates and how everything was geared towards families. There were the usual ice skates for adults and children could choose from the same type as the adults or clip on double bladed ones that made skating easier.  Stability penguins were provided to help the children feel more confident.  I should also mention that there were 3 ice wardens dressed in red patrolling the ice to help those who needed it.

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After we’d skated we visited Post office to write a letter to Father Christmas and post it in the magical post boxes.

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On our way round the shops in the Elven Village we met Compass and Bauble and had a little chat.

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While there was an elf restaurant, they also had a take away stall in the middle of the village where you could get traditional German bratwurst sausage on a roll that would set you back about £6.  The tea room sold a wide selection of cakes and hot drinks.

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My favourite shop was Bauble’s Christmas decoration shop where you could buy an official Lapland UK painted with each of the elves for £15 or buy a personalised bauble for £10.

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At Pixie Mixie’s we filled a cup with dairy free sweeties which were kindly pointed out to us by Pixie Mixie herself and paid £4.50. Missy excited by the sweeties while I goggled at the gorgeous displays.

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Once we’d enjoyed everything the Elven Village had to offer, we made our way through toward’s Ambolt’s forge where, just outside Father Christmas’ reindeer waited to greet us.

Then, we got to see Father Christmas’ actual sleigh!

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There was also an opportunity to buy Santa key’s, reindeer food and reindeer (horse) shoes.  I completely regret not buying one!SONY DSC

From here we checked in to see Father Christmas.  While Missy and Mr R waited and scoped out Compass’ office I went to the check in desk and double checked the details Father Christmas had for Missy.

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After only a three minute wait, an elf led us along a frosty path to Father Christmas’ cabin where we waited to be seen. Missy was so excited she could barley sit still.

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Upon entering, Father Christmas greeted us by name and Missy could hardy speak she was so in awe of the magical man.

Father Christmas praised her on doing well in her Literacy work recently and commented on her upcoming karate grading. She couldn’t believe he remembered so much about her life.  He pronounced that she was on the good list and presented her with a plush husky.

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After our chat with Father Christmas, we headed back towards the Forest and collected our complimentary photo (above) and had the opportunity to buy a scrapbook of our experiences in Lapland for £20.  It would include, all of the pictures taken with Father Christmas. We browsed the gift shop which had different items to the Elf Emporium. I particularly loved the ‘build-a-bear’ type costumes and accessories for the plush husky.

Lapland UK is honestly the Disney of Christmas.  Every item and activity besides the food and souvenirs is included in the price which, in my opinion is worth every penny.  There was nothing that I could find fault with or would consider changing.  It was a well thought out, perfectly fabulous experience that has made the run up to Christmas very special for us.

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For more details about Lapland UK, visit their website or Facebook page.  They are also on Instagram.

We heartily recommend Lapland UK and hope to visit again next year.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

Hot Chocolate Butterbeer Station

Hello my lovelies,

I have a confession to make.  I had planned on setting this Hot chocolate Butterbeer Station up on the last weekend of November, just in time for Christmas tree decorating but it’s just been so cold outside!

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Unfortunately, this little bureau is in a weird spot; on the small piece of wall that joins the back door of the kitchen to the living room sliding doors which means there are windows on either side. This makes taking a decent picture impossible, however, it means that everything I need to make a gorgeous cup of hot chocolate butterbeer is near the kettle.

This Butterbeer sign is from Two Delighted. As two fellow potterheads they have some gorgeous free printables for anyone wanting to recreate their fantastic Harry Potter party.

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Our hot chocolate station last year was a total mish-mash of different hot chocolate and drink powders and sprinkles.  This year, I wanted a much simpler look and I guess sticking with butterbeer instead of every other hot drink known to man means I’ve achieved that.SONY DSCKnowing I wanted to create a hot chocolate butterbeer station meant I could incorporate a few of the other Potter related projects I’ve worked on including the Three Broomsticks tray I made a couple of summers ago and my newest addition, the Butterbeer mugs.

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Originally, I was going to wait until we went to the Harry Potter Studio tour and buy some Butterbeer tankards there to make hot chocolate in.  I then realised that they would probably crack with hot liquid in them because they’re plastic and meant for a cold drink.   I then found a lovely lady on one of the groups I follow on Facebook who made me these specially printed labels that get baked onto glass!  I can’t tell you how delighted I am with how these heat resistant Butterbeer mugs came out.

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On a trip to TK Max earlier this year I found the Hazelnut and Vanilla syrups for £3.99 each and had to scoop them up for my Butterbeer station.  They taste awesome and really add something special to the mix.  I’ve also added some caramel syrup which was one  I picked up at Morrisons on sale for £2.

The sprinkles above are small honeycomb pieces I got from B&M in the baking section and tiny gold sprinkles that are from Morrisons Christmas range. They’re the perfect addition to any Butterbeer hot chocolate.

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The recipe for Hot Chocolate Butterbeer is as follows.  Make up your favourite hot chocolate the way you usually do.  Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup, 1 teaspoon of hazelnut syrup, 1 teaspoon of caramel syrup and mix well.  Add squirty cream and top with white marshmallows and sprinkles.  Or chocolate ice cream syrup topping.

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It couldn’t be easier!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

xxx