#RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge

Having fibre in your diet is essential for good digestion, it helps speed up the digestive process and prevent feelings of bloating and sluggishness. Most people do not get enough fibre in their diet but this can be easily changed by having a cereal rich in wheat bran for breakfast. When Britmums asked me to try the new All Bran cereals and take part in the 5 Day challenge I was interested to see if it would work. Eating more fibre for five days should make me feel revitalised and with better digestive health. I do have problems with bloating and was hoping this cereal would change it. When I think of All Bran I tend to think of cardboard tasting cereal, but Kellogg’s have added three new products to the range; Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch and Chocolate Wheats.

All BranI reviewed the Chocolate Wheats previously and my son loved them. I decided to try the five a day challenge with the Red Berry Crunch and the Golden Crunch.

All Bran cerealsI have to admit the cereals were really tasty, the Red Berry Crunch was bursting with fruit and was really crunchy. The Golden Crunch was a mixture of different cereals and gave the crunch without the fruit. Both of them had plenty of wheat bran inside. It was no hardship to eat either of these cereals, they both made a delicious start to the morning. My favourite was the Red Berry Crunch, the bits of freeze dried fruit made it really tasty.

All Bran Golden CrunchMy son loved both cereals as well, I caught him pinching handfuls out of the box to eat as a snack when he was hungry. I couldn’t object to this as it was a healthy snack but it meant the cereal did not last long.

Having tried it for five days it definitely made a difference to my digestive health, I felt less sluggish more happy and definitely noticed less bloating. Eating cereal is a quick and easy way to add more fibre to your diet and make a definite change to your health.

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs


My Recipe Shortlisted For Cookbook

Sometime ago Intu MetroCentre were asking people to send in Regional Recipes for a chance for them to be included in the Intu Great Taste Cookbook. I decided to take a chance and submit my recipe for Singing Hinnies which are a Northumberland Fried Scone.

Singing hinnies

The scones are cooked in a frying pan rather than in an oven and you can imagine them being cooked over an open fire in pit cottages. I was very surprised to get an email the other day to say that my recipe was shortlisted along with five others and it was up to people to vote for their favourite recipe. The winner will be included in the cookbook. I would love it if you could vote for my recipe. You need facebook to vote and you can find the app on the Intu Metrocentre page. Voting closes on the 8th of August. It would be great if you can vote for my recipe. I would be over the moon if it was included in the book.


Walkers Crisps Announce Flavour Finalists

You may remember a while ago I told you about a competition that Walkers Crisps were running where people were invited to “Do Us A Flavour“. The idea was that people would send in their ideas for new crisp flavours and Walkers would choose six finalists. These six final flavours would then be made so we could try them and vote for the one we liked best. The judges David Walliams and Marco Pierre White have been busy testing flavours and have finally chosen the six finalists.

Walkers Crisps Flavour FinalistsThe flavours are:

  • Ranch Racoon
  • Chip Shop Chicken Curry
  • Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup
  • Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce
  • Cheesy Beans on Toast
  • Sizzling Steak Fajita


These are now on the shelves and you can vote for your favourite flavour at www.walkers.co.uk. The person who designed the flavour that wins will receive £1million and the five runners up with win £10,000 each.

Walkers crisps sent me the finalist flavours to try out and see what I thought. I have to admit to being intrigued by Ranch Racoon. Racoon is not something that I have ever tried but the flavour is very tasty, you can really taste the ranch dressing. I can’t say how authentic the racoon taste is but I think this was my favourite flavour. My second favourite was the Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce, it manged to combine the pork taste with a subtle hint of the barbecue in the background. My husband loved the Chip Shop Chicken Curry, he said it had a nice curry taste that was not overpowering. He was not as impressed by the Sizzling Steak Fajita though, he thought that was a little bland. My son took his job as flavour tester very seriously and decided that the Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup was his favourite and the Cheesy Beans on Toast was his second favourite.

There was a lot of debate about which flavour was our favourite within the family so it will be really interesting to see which flavour is crowned flavour millionaire. Voting closes on 17th October 2014 so you have plenty of time to try all the flavours and decide which you like best. I may have to buy some more before I make a final decision.

Disclosure: I was sent the flavour finalists to try out in return for an honest review.

Sunderland Airshow, Grottos and Follies

This weekend was the 26th Sunderland International Airshow. Last year we watched the airshow from the DFDS Ferry, this year we decided to would drive up and see it from the land. We left early as we were not sure what the parking would be like. As we approached Sunderland the traffic became very busy, there were plenty of signs for park and ride and parking but it was quite expensive. The sea front was really busy, lots of people sitting on the beach ready for the show. As wall as the airshow there were plenty of other events going on beside the beach. We decided we would drive up the coast a little way.

We found a parking spot at Marsden, on the cliff edge next to the lift down to the Marsden Grotto. Marsden used to be a thriving pit village for the miners working in the nearby Whitburn Colliery. After the mine closed the village was demolished, partly due to the erosion of the cliffs. Now the area is part of the Whitburn Coastal Park and home to colonies of seabirds

Marsden beach


Marsden Grotto is a pub that set into a cave in the cliff, with a more normal building on the front. It has a colourful past and is said to be haunted. Smugglers used to work in the area and looking at the coastline you can easily imagine them dragging casks out of the water and storing them in caves.

Marsden GrottoOn the far side of the beach Marsden Rock is visible, a large stack of  Limestone rock. It used to be much larger but part of it had to be demolished due to erosion. At the top of the cliff is a sign that shows a number of choirs standing on top of the rock in 1903 when they climbed up the stairs on the side to perform a choral service.

Marsden RockNow the rock holds plenty of sea bird colonies, kittiwakes, fulmars and cormorants. The birds make plenty of noise as you descend the stairs on the cliff to the beach, and you can see them nesting on the cliff sides. The climb is very steep down narrow stairs zigzagging along the cliff edge. Luckily there is also a lift which takes you inside the pub.

Marsden beachFrom the top of the cliffs you can see the birds on top of the rock, crying their raucous cries as they go about their birdly business.

Marsden-8There is also a good view of Souter lighthouse, which was the first lighthouse in the world to be designed to use alternating electric current. It is no longer in use but is owned by the National Trust and is a fascinating place to visit.

Souter LighthouseAlso on the road side is what looks like a fortification from the world war, a large and imposing brick structure that looms at the side of the roadside. In fact they are lime kilns, left over from when limestone was quarried in the area. The limestone and coal was poured into the kiln and quick lime was produced. The area must have once been really industrialised and busy, it is hard to imagine this now.

lime kilns
Once we had a good walk around the beach we sat on the cliff edge and watched for the planes in the airshow. We had a good view of the Red Devils as they flew over; doing acrobatic swoops and whirls in the clouds. We watched them for about half an hour then decided to drive back along the sea front and towards home.

Red DevilsRed DevilsRed Devils
On the way home we detoured to get a close look at Penshaw Monument. The monument itself is visible from my house; I can see it far in the distance when I take the dog out for a walk. It looks like it was built by the Romans, a temple to pacify the gods. It was actually a folly built in 1844 as a monument to the first Earl of Durham. It is a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and sits high on Penshaw Hill. It is quite a climb to the top of the hill but once you are there the views across the landscape are breathtaking. While we were there we even saw some more of the aircraft from the airshow fly past.

Penshaw Monument
When we reached the bottom of the hill again we saw some people sitting on the roof of the monument. We did wonder how they got there. Apparently there is a spiral staircase inside one of the columns that takes you up to the top. We might try that next time.

Penshaw Monument

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Summer Sorted and Pitta Pizzas

The Summer holidays can be hard work for parents, the kids are off school and it can be hard work keeping them entertained. In order to help families get the most out of their holidays Sainsbury’s have launched the “Summer Sorted” campaign. The idea is to give parents practical ideas on how to keep the kids fed and entertained over the holidays, along with promotions in store to help parents budget. Three real families have been chosen to front the campaign and they will be sharing tips and ideas on ways to stretch families budgets, keep lunchtime interesting and coping with grazing. The grazing is something I need help with, being the parent of a teenage boy I buy food then open the fridge to find it has vanished! Sainsbury’s are also helping to keep the kids entertained over the Summer, with the opportunity to exchange Nectar points for vouchers worth double which can be used at over 1,200 attractions across the UK. If that was not enough they are also launching a new app iSPIES. Based on the family game, it has been made bigger and more interactive allowing kids to play their friends whilst exploring magical universes and finding hidden treasure. It can be downloaded from the app store or google play store for free.

As part of the campaign Sainsbury’s challenged me to recreate one of their Summer Sorted recipes and send them a picture of my platie. If you are on twitter you can also recreate one of the recipes and send it to @Sainsburys with the #platie hashtag for a chance to win £200 grocery shop. They sent me a box of ingredients and one of the recipes for me to try.

Sainsbury's ingredients

When I opened the box I found an array of ingredients and a recipe for Pitta Pizzas. These are pizzas created using pitta bread as the base, so they can be made really easily when you are hungry. I made them for dinner that night.

Pitta Pizzas

I was really please with how quick they were to make and how tasty they were. I had dinner ready in about fifteen minutes. My son was starving as he had spent the day at a Sport and Splash camp at the local leisure centre. He demolished them and asked for more. I was happy to make more as they were so simple to make. I would never have thought of using pitta bread as a pizza base but it works really well.
Pitta PizzasI shall be getting some pitta bread to have in the cupboard for those emergency hungry moments that happen over the summer. I usually have most of the other ingredients in anyway so this will be a great standby.

Pitta Pizzas
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 1 red and 1 yellow pepper
  2. 4 wholemeal pitta breads
  3. 175g double concentrate tomato purée
  4. 200g closed cup white mushrooms
  5. 125g medium cheddar
  6. 100g drained tinned sweetcorn kernels
  7. ½ of a 335g pack of cherry tomatoes
  8. ½ iceburg lettuce
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas mark 6
  2. Chop the mushrooms, peppers and cherry tomatoes into small pieces.
  3. Grate the cheese.
  4. Pop the pitta bread in the toaster for a minute then leave to cool. Cut the pittas in half using a knife.
  5. Spread the tomato purée over the pitta halves then add the mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, tomatoes and cheese.
  6. Cook on a baking tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  7. Serve with shredded iceburg lettuce
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/

Disclosure: I was sent the ingredients to try out the recipe and let you know what I thought.