CSMA challenge: Crispy bacon, houmous and cheese topped Pork chops #newthings

This week our challenge set by CSMA was to try a new food, well I have been a bit lazy on the blog from what with returning to work and the children going back to school and I have found it difficult to get back into a routine. I left it too late to do a shop (I had something extravagant to try out) but instead I had to result with trying out anew recipe with what i had left in the fridge/cupboards. I guess that is just normal life!

This is week 3 of 4 for the CSMA challenge, last week it was Try out a new game, which we wrote about Balloon Pop and the week before it was to visit a new place, we went to London and done a Harry Potter tour.

My family love to try new food and don’t shy away with tasting something that is new to them, anything to tickle their taste buds. The boys get quite excited when they are served up a new recipe to try. I have always taught them to taste it first before complaining that they don’t like it as sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised at how something tastes as to what it looks like. The youngest loves his seafood, with his favourite being mussels from the shell and The eldest is beginning to enjoy eating lots more spicy food and has even started to be adventurous in cooking them

A well-balanced diet, Eating a variety of food is good for our health. Each week we try to introduce a new food into the house, wether it be a new spice, new recipe or a new fruit to try. The children now like to pick out foods at the supermarket and ask me if we can try it at home, i like to encourage this and when we are cooking it I get them to watch and help out.

Unfortunately this week we wasn’t so adventurous with our food but it was still a new recipe to try.

Pork chops Pizza

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Ingredients:

Pork chop medallions

Tomato Puree

Half a small onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves

6 slices Bacon chopped and cubed (remove the rind)

houmous

Grated cheese

Oliver oil

Mixed herbs

Method:

  • Place the chops under the grill until the pinkness has gone, and turn over for a few minutes.
  • Fry off the onions adding the garlic and bacon in some olive oil until the bacon is nice and crispy
  • Once one side of the chops are cooked and the other side has lost its pinkness, spread some tomato puree over them adding a big dollop of houmous and place back under the grill for a minute.
  • Top the chops with the bacon mixture and add some of the cheese on top, place back under the grill until the cheese melts
  • Repeat the last instructions
  • Take out of the grill and plate it up adding some more of the bacon on top and some mixed herbs

Serve with baby potatoes and greens

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We used caramised onion houmous and make sure you are generous with it, it gives a smoothness to the taste.

Hope you enjoy.

If you looking for inspiration on new recipes why not take a look at CSMA Smart Spending page for some recipe ideas on a budget

FAMILY



Matt Hatter Chronicles Season 3

GOING MULTIVISION

We was recently invited along to an exclusive screening of the New CITV Premiere of Matt Hatter Chronicles

On Saturday 30th August 82 VUE cinemas across the UK screened a never been seen before awesome extended episode of Matt Hatter Chronicles, to celebrate the return to CITV this September.

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Matt Hatter Chronicles is An animated action adventure TV show aired on CITV. Matt Hatter is a school boy who has just moved to London from New York to live in Cornet Movie Theatre, which is owned by his Grandpa Alfred. Upon arrival, along with his Mum and Dad, they quickly realise that Grandpa is missing…but where is he? Matt soon discovers the family secret when he falls across the Chronicles. The Hatters are guardians of another dimension called the Multiverse, access to the Multiverse can only be reached through the cinema. Villains from the movies that were once screened at the Coronet have now escaped into the Multiverse and are now answer to the bad Lord Teneroc.

With Matt as the new Hatter Hero along with his friends in the multiverse, Roxie and Gomez, working together they battle and capture the villains and save Grandpa Alfred.

Here is Jak’s video review of the extended Matt Hatter Chronicles that we viewed at the cinema

We even got to meet the Nigel Stone, the creator of Matt Hatter Chronicles. Jak managed to win a prize for receiving the most points on a game prior to the screening and he was presented it by Nigel Stone

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Nigel Stone

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Jak receiving his prize from CITV presenters and Nigel Stone

getting a high score with quick response

getting a high score with quick response

We had a wonderful time at the VUE cinema, even I enjoyed the animated cartoon!

The boys got to dress up as Matt Hatter

Cool Jak Hatter

Cool Jak Hatter

Awesome Oliver Hatter

Awesome Oliver Hatter

Super Joseph Hatter

Super Joseph Hatter

“To continue the Matt Hatter adventures at home, Simba Toys UK has just launched an all-new Matt Hatter Chronicles toy line. Kids can bring their favourite Matt Hatter scenes to life with the brand new range of toys. True to the popular CITV show, the must-have toy collection allows kids to re-enact Matt and his friends’ quest to rid the Multiverse of Lord Tenoroc’s fearsome Super Villains! Who will become the ultimate Hatter Hero as kids re-live the awesome adventures of the Matt Hatter Chronicles?

The Matt Hatter Chronicles toy range features actions figures, vehicles and role-play toys that encourage collectability and engage kids in interactive play patterns derived directly from the show – a true extension of the Matt Hatter universe.”

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The debut toy range is available from all good retailers now. For more information please visit www.matthatter.com

Watch Matt Hatter Chronicles every Saturday Morning at 7:55 on CITV from 13th September.

We was invited along to the Premiere screening of the new CITV series for the purpose of this review, Thank you Jess.

Watch WatchALL-NEW episodes of ‘MATT HATTER’ every Saturday morning on ITV & CITV at 7:55am from Saturday 13th September!

Snap Shots from an 11 year old

What happens when you give a camera to a Tween?

This is exactly what i did In the summer. Jak was nearly 12 and is just getting into photography.

We was staying at a Haven caravan site in caister, our caravan was pretty close to the grassy sand dunes and on the other side was a lovely wide beach. Jak went off one morning with the camera in hand and came back with these fabulous shots

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Photos by Jak Wright, 12

What do you think? Will he cut it as a Photographer

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

CSMA Challenge: Boom Pop Balloon #NewThings

Have you tried anything new this week?

It’s week two of four into the CSMA Newthings bloggers challenge and this week was as a family to try a new game. This week has been extremely busy for us, not only did the two eldest boys return to school but i also returned to work after having 5 weeks off over the summer. The eldest boy started his new adventures into secondary school, plus we celebrated his 12th birthday today, so we have all been kept rather busy… although not too busy to enjoy playing a new game together.

As it was the eldest birthday there was quite a few balloons lying around the livingroom floor and as i was sitting their thinking about what game we could play, i quickly remembered reading about a party game involving balloons.

BOOM POP BALLOON

You will need a selection of different coloured balloons, inside one place a small gold star. Inflate, tie and leave to one sideDSC_0133

Next gather the children in front of you and tell them that you are going to throw the balloons up in the air – one balloon per child

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As you throw the balloons in the air give them an instruction to follow that they must do with one balloon

  • Catch the balloon with your right/left hand
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  • Catch the balloon with your feet

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  • Catch the balloon with one foot and one hand
  • Bounce the balloon with your head 5 times then sit down
  • Try to keep the balloon off of the floor by bouncing it high with your hands/feet/nose/elbow as many times as possible

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If you have quite a few children you could play a kind of musical chairs game but instead of taking a chair away each time take a balloon away and the child left without holding a balloon has to sit out.

My boys are very competitive and was funny to see how the littlest was eager to win by pushing his older brother aside and standing in front of him so that he could reach his balloon first.

Remember the balloon with the golden star inside….Well! Now this is the fun part. Gather the children together and ask them to pop all of the balloons because inside one of them there is a little star and whoever finds that star will be the lucky child who will receive a goody.

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Watch out for the POP!

After a few minutes of bottom bouncing, one of the boys found the golden star but as I am a nice mummy I let both of the boys have a sweetie.

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We had giggles, uncontrollable laughter, some pushing and shoving but most of all lots of fun. My boys love to play together especially when it’s a new exciting game to play. Balloon Pop Boom is a fun but active game and can keep them busy for hours. Give a child a balloon and watch in amazement on how long they will run around the room bouncing it around.

If you have done anything that has involved trying something new this week, why not link up below. I would love to read them :-)

If you need any inspiration, CSMA Club has plenty of ideas for free attractions and places to visit around the country on the Time Out section of its Smart Spending hub. Don’t forget to use the #newthings hashtag whenever you’re sharing.

FAMILY


This is our entry into the CSMA week 2 challenge

A London Harry Potter Tour #NewThings

The boys and I have been invited along with a selection of other bloggers to become New Things Ambassadors, a project run by CSMA. Over the next coming month we have been asked to help inspire other families in trying something new.

Read all about the NewThings project here This week the challenge is to visit a New Place.

This week we visited London. Ok, it’s not a new city for us to visit as we are up there at least once a month but it was the fact that we visited lots of new places in London that we have never been to before. London has a vast amount of hidden treasures that we may pass every day and not know they are there.

The boys and myself are huge Harry Potter fans, like many we have read the books and watched the films, we even have a few Harry potter toys lying around the house but we have never been to the Harry Potter studio tours, as It is slightly too expensive for us to go to as a family. So we took to the internet and found a perfect website to help us out with our OWN tour of London, visiting many of the locations that Harry Potter movies were filmed.

First up we caught the underground train to Leicester Square, we exited onto Charing Cross Road.

This is where the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed when the Death Eaters swoop down over Trafalgar Square, heading down Charing Cross Road leading a trail of destruction behind.

leicester square station

Next we made our way along Cranbourne Street, taking a right at the end onto St Martin’s Lane. Go left onto New Row and a little along the road we saw Hardy’s Original Sweet Shop

hardy sweet shop

Just like Honeyduke’s sweets shop in Harry Potter, Once inside this shop you are instantly surrounded by shelves that are stacked to the brim of all types of sweets. We bought a bag made up of Harry Potter themed sweets, costing £10 – not bad considering one of the packs cost 3.99 on its own! Inside is a long jelly basilisk, a chocolate wizard, a pack of liquorice wands, a pack of sherbet lemon sweets, a chocolate frog, a packet of popping candy and very famous every flavour beans.

will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?

will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?

Once stocked with some Harry Potter themed goodies, we headed on over to the other side of the road where we went right into Bedfordbury. Just along on the right hand side there is a passageway tucked away called Goodwins Court. This wasn’t in the Film but it has a magical feel to it with the lamps above the doorways. We must have passed this alleyway many times before but had no idea what was down it, until now!

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So Pretty!

At the end of Goodwins Court, cross over St Martins lane, veering left and head down Cecil Court. The court has such a magical, mysterious feel to it, not used in the HP Films but believed that Cecil Court was the influence of Diagon Alley. With curious antique and book shops, there is plenty to look at, most of the shops even have Harry Potter items on display for sale.

book store

Magic Money

Magic Money

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Next we headed on over to Leicester Square, where we walked towards Shaftesbury Avenue. This is where Ron, Hermione and Harry apparate to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and nearly get run over by a number 19 bus.

Number 19 bus

Number 19 bus

As you walk along Shaftesbury Avenue you are taking the exact route that Harry, Hermione and Ron took in the film when discussing the Theatres. A little along the road you will see an arcade with large globe lights over head

arcade

The same route that the young wizards took as they discuss about missing Harry’s birthday.

From here we made our way towards Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square, this is where the Death Eaters launch an attack on London from the air in the opening sequences of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. 

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Looking at Trafalgar Square in a different way and trying to remember clips of the film, made it feel quite real for us.

Next we headed on over to The Entrance of Ministry Of Magic which is actually on Great Scotland Yard and on the corner of Scotland Place.

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In the Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Mr Weasley enter through the ‘visitors entrance’ which was in a red telephone box located to the left of the brown door. The telephone box was a prop that was lowered down onto set and removed once the filming had finished, there are many telephone boxes scattered around London we found some great ones on Parliament Street to have a photo taken in.

On the other corner of Scotland Place, it was used in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part one , where the young wizards drink the polyjuice potion to get into the Ministry of Magic.

If you head along towards Horse Guards Parade towards Horse Guards Avenue, standing with your back towards the Spencer Comptons statue, you will notice that this is where the Staff entrance into the Ministry of Magic was. The entrance was in fact a ‘gentleman’s Toilet’ and was only a prop that was placed in the middle of the road.

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About to enter the Ministry of Magic

About to enter the Ministry of Magic

 

On the next part of the tour we headed to the Train Station to catch a train to Temple. Exiting the station we walked up the steps to the left and turned right. At the end of the road turn left into Milford Lane and walk up the steep flight of steps ahead along to Essex Street. At the top of the street you will find that you are on the Strand, turn left and ahead on the right hand side you will see Austraila House: Gringotts Bank. Look inside and see the magnificent crystal chandelier and the glorious marble floor. the boys said it really was Gringotts Bank!

We made our way back to Temple Station where we caught the underground train to Monument, here we headed up Fish Street Hill, crossing over Eastcheap and turning left along Gracechurch Street. Keep on walking along over Fenchurch Street and turning right into Bull’s Head Passage.

Here we found a blue optician doorway which was used in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the entrance into The leaky cauldron.

leaky couldronKeeping ahead and walking into the Victorian Leadenhall Market, this was used in the films for the exterior shots of Diagon Alley.

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On the last part of our NewPlaces tour was to head to Kings Cross Station, where we was going to see if we could enter through Platform 9 3/4 to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts. We caught the Northern Line train from Bank to Kings Cross and headed to KIngs Cross St.Pancras. There was no way we could have missed where the Platform was as there was a queue of people waiting to photograph the famous Platform 9 3/4 sign. There is even a luggage cart placed against the wall, where you can pose for photo.

jak kingscross

joseph kingscross

oliver kingscross

 

Kings Cross station was in every Harry Potter Film as it was the location where young wizards caught the Hogwarts Express from to journey to Hogwarts.

We had a fabulous day in London visiting places that we never knew were there, London really is the City with hidden treasures. We saw London with open eyes and noticed how beautiful buildings were and how magical and mysterious the City really is. We had fun as a family and I enjoyed being with the children in such a wonderful City. If you’re looking for ideas on days out then why not take a look at CSMA 10 Cheap things to do with the kids.

We found all of the locations with the help of downloading the guide from www.the-magician.co.uk

We would like you to join in and share your experiences with us too, they don’t have to be the same as our challenge, they could be trying new clothes on, visiting a new country or playing a new sport for the first time, join in with the linky or just use the hashtag #NewThings

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NewThings

The boys and I have been invited along with a selection of other bloggers to become New Things Ambassadors, a project run by CSMA. Over the next coming month we have been asked to help inspire other families in trying something new.

Why ‘New Things’? UK psychologist Dr. David Holmes came up with a scientific formula to booking the perfect holiday which stated that the best holiday memories are created when you try something new. Whether it’s introducing your family to a new recipe, visiting an attraction you’ve never seen before or just playing a new game, a unique activity leaves a stronger impression in your memory and helps you and your family remember the fun times you had together.

Each week from 25th August for one month, we will be set some challenges/topic that we will focus on a new experience. Our challenge is to encourage others to join in and try something new, using our imagination and creativity.

Over the course of a month, we will be sharing with you about our new experiences, how we enjoyed it and what we thought of it:

Week one (25th 31st August)  – visit a new place

Week two (1st – 7th September) – play a new game

Week three (8th – 14th September) – try a new food

Week four (15th – 21st September) – experience a new culture

We would like you to join in and share your experiences with us too, they don’t have to be the same as our challenge, they could be trying new clothes on, visiting a new country or playing a new sport for the first time

FAMILY

 

Linky will be open frome friday and will close on Monday, each week for the next month. Hopefully the linky will be a success and it will be continued after the months is up.

Join in using the hashtag #NewThings

Thank you :-)