Slow Cooker Chocolate Rice Pudding

Slow Cooker Chocolate Rice Pudding


I have owned a slow cooker for several years now – probably at least 15 years and in all that time I have never cooked a dessert in one! Considering how much I love puddings, this is a surprise even to me! On Friday while it was still October, or for users of the crockpot #Crocktober , I decided to break my slow cooker pudding ‘cherry’ and I decided to make a rice pudding, a real comfort food for this time of year. 

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Vegetarian Pate Recipes (Review & Recipes)

When I was at BritmumsLive (yes this is an overdue post – ooops!) I met the people from Paragon Books and agreed to become a book buddy. I was sent away with two really lovely cookery books from their Love Food Cookbooks range. When I say lovely I really mean it. These two books are filled with beautiful photographs of the ingredients required, the method for each recipe and the finished meals.
I have been looking through these two books regularly since I obtained them back in June, as I enjoy sitting down at my kitchen table with a cup of tea and looking at each page longingly!! However, it was not until the weekend that I actually decided to try a couple of the recipes. Surprisingly, I opted to try out the vegetarian book which if any of you read my blog will know that my OH is a meat eater, and complains if I give him food which is meatless!
I decided to try out a two of the pate recipes featured in the book and both were very easy and straight forward to make thanks to the step by step photographic method. I have to confess that I may have slightly changed each recipe based on what ingredients I did and did not have but I do that with all my cookery books!!
The recipes mentioned below are taken from the Vegetarian book but with a couple of amendments (eg. using peas, using pitta bread instead of ciabatta and garlic & herb cream cheese in place of goats cheese in the broad bean pate)
(makes enough for 4)
150g vegetarian low fat soft cheese
350g fromage frais
115g blue cheese (I used stilton)
55g dried cranberries, chopped
5 tbsp chopped mixed herbs eg, parsley, tarragon, chives
85g butter
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
bread for serving – I used pitta bread
Beat the soft cheese and fromage frais together and then add the blue cheese, cranberries and herbs and mix
spoon the mixture into 4 ramekins making sure to smooth the tops
Melt the butter gently and once melted skim any foan off the surface and discard
Carefully pour the clarified butter over each ramekin and top with some walnuts
Place the pate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until firm but I found it took longer than this.
Serve with your bread of choice
I dont like blue cheese so I made this for my OH who really enjoyed it
(makes enough for 6)
600g shelled broad beans
 (I used some peas too as I didnt have enough broad beans)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped mint
pitta bread, toasted
3 tbsp garlic and herb cream cheese
black pepper
Add the beans and peas to a pan of boiling slightly salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender
Rinse under cold water and then remove the skins from the beans
Place the beans, peas, oil, lemon and mint and some black pepper (to taste) into a food processor (or similar) and pulse to a chunky puree.
Toast the pitta bread and cut into slices then add the bean and pea pate to each slice and top with some of the garlic and herb cream cheese.
Serve straight away
This was really lovely flavour and even my OH the meat eater said he really liked it, so much so that I will be adapting it to add to pasta next time as a main meal.

Both books are a welcome addition to my kitchen and I plan to make many more of the recipes and the vegetarian one will help with my budget as many of the meals are low cost to make and of course very healthy. For more healthy options please see this list.

For more information reagrding these and other fabulous books by Paragon please visit their website
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Wake Up Do, Lydia Lou by Julia Donaldson (A Review & Give Away)

We love, like totally LOVE , books written by Julia Donaldson. We have quite a collection now and what I adore about them asides from the brilliant characters, illustrations and the clever stories is the fact that they tend to be written in rhyme. This makes it easy for Burton and even Jenson to ‘read’ the books to each other because they have memorised the story through the rhymes given on each page. 
A new story book has just been released by Julia Donaldson and as ever has some simple and easy to memorise rhyming prose. 

Wake Up Do, Lydia Lou is about a little girl asleep in bed with her teddy bear and a ghost is trying to wake her up so she will let out a scream. However, Lydia Lou is a deep sleeper and does not hear the ghost saying “boo” and “woooooo”so he enlists help from various animals, birds and even a baby to wake Lydia Lou up. 
Will the ghost wake her up from her dreams?????
Both boys enjoyed this story, but Burton in particular has taken a shine to it and after the first night of me reading it twice in a row to him and Jenson, he has been reading it ever since! I even caught him reading it with his night light one night after Jenson fell alseep and I could hear him talking to himself! As I mentioned, because it is simple rhymimg prose Burton is able to tell the story page by page and read it to Jenson and sometimes me. The three of us repeat the main part of the stort again and again and again!!!

I have a copy of Wake Up Do, Lydia Lou to give away and all you need to do is fill in the simple form below
Good luck and the prize draw ends Thursday 15th August 2013 at 12.00am

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Abney & Teal Books – A Review

I sometimes find myself watching Cbeebies and thinking what a load of *insert chosen adjective here* about certain programmes that I find myself and my children watching. Some are beyond me, like Baby Jake, which I still don’t ‘get’ and that rabbit is just freaky. Yet my two like dancing to the songs, so I guess *that* is the point to it. Maybe. Who knows.
Another programme which has taken me a few showings to like is Abney and Teal. I recall watching it for the first time and wondering what on earth was it teaching my boys and what was with all the strange little characters like Bop (a furry water dwelling, tea drinking blob?) and Neep (a turnip?). However, after seeing it a few more times and even more now that Burton has suddenly grown a fondness for it, and I have come to realise that it actually doesn’t matter what it is about, because the characters are engaging and its kind of all about recycling and friendship and looking out for each other which are important life lessons to adopt. 
 It has made me realise that actually, I watched a lot of shows when I was a child that was full of weird and wonderful characters and maybe didn’t make much sense to adults. In fact Abney and Teal reminds me a little of Bagpuss as that had recycling themes (before it was know as that!).
To accompany the popular and acclaimed Cbeebies series, Walker Books have released three Abney and Teal books. 
Always out for an adventure its two main characters discover all about Bop and his hiccups in Bop’s Hiccups which are like no other hiccups Bop has ever had before! He creates waves that get bigger and nearer to the shore!

 In another book, Brilliant Boots a ‘something’ is found and everyone tries to work out what it is by trying to drink out of it, drive in it and slide down it. What is it?

We have read these books (two per night) every bedtime for the past fortnight! I may have ‘hidden’ them for now *ahem* so I we can have a little break and read I we something different.

The third book, An Island Adventure, is rather special because it is a pop-in-the-slot book. I don’t think I have ever seen a book like this before, but it comes with several character and imagery cut outs at the front of the book which you cut out and then as you read the story you can slot them into their relevant page slots to make a 3D story book.
This is a fabulous way of telling a story, but we haven’t had as much use of this because Jenson is a bit young for it so I dare not use it with the cut outs with Burton in front of him because he would not want to miss out and I am afraid he would tear or crease the cut outs. So for now, I have just read the story to him and Burton and I will use the character cut outs one day soon! (when we get some time alone)

They both adore the little beanie Abney and Teal that accompanies the TV series and to save arguments I closed my eyes and gave each boy a doll; Burton got Teal and Jenson received Abney.

Priced at £5.99 for the two story books and £7.99 for the pop-in-the-slot book, these are sure to please any Abney and Teal fan and are fun to read and there are lots of things to pick out in the illustrations too.

Ideal with Christmas on its way, I have 3 sets of the Abney and Teal beanie dolls and books as featured in this review

To win, simply fill in the entry for below (3 sets of the above products to give away)
Closing date is

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I was sent copies of these books for the purpose of this review. All comments made are honest and my own.
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Little Tiger Press Book Review #1

We are big book fans in this house and although sadly I don’t get the time to read any myself at the moment, I love reading stories to the boys, and they have had them included as part of their daily lives since they were very small. Daddy reads to Burton ever night before he goes to sleep and then Burton always goes off to sleep surrounded by books, which I have to remove later when I go to bed myself!
We we recently sent some new titles by LittleTiger Press to read and look at together
Monty & Milli The Totally Amazing Magic Trick
(Written by Tracey Corderoy , illustrated by Tim Warnes)
When I read this to the boys, it made me smile and I said to Burton that just as he sometimes gets fed up with Jenson copying everything he does and wrecking things like his train track when he has built it, Monty gets frustrated when his little sister Milli wants to be involved with everything he does too! Burton then proceeded to tell me about some things Jenson does!!
This is a really sweet story about a typical sibling relationship where the younger one annoys the older done by ‘spoiling’ their fun and generally getting in the way! It has a lovely ending showing that in fact as much as Milli frustrates him, Monty loves her very much.
We have been adopting the magic words kazaam kazim kazoom! at meal times in a bit to get Burton to finish meals he doesn’t want to, and yay to magic because it has helped a couple of times now!
Bright Stanley Double Trouble
(written by Matt Buckingham)
A fish called Stanley is looking after his cousin Dennis and needs to find ways of occupying him and to keep him out of trouble. Except that little Dennis is a bit of a dare devil fish and wants some adventures and not play boring games like hide and seek!
This is a fun book with some great illustrations! Burton now likes saying ‘double trouble’ a lot too, and I reply “yes, just like you and Jenson!”
Duck Says Don’t!
(written by Alison Ritchie, illustrated by Hannah George)
This is all about a duck who is left in charge of a busy pond while his friend Goose goes away on holiday. The trouble is, Duck takes his new role a little too seriously and started telling the ponds residents that they are not allowed to do things like jumping, splashing or fishing in the pond! To enforce his new rules Duck makes signs for them until soon the pond is full of wooden signs and nothing else! Duck is sad because he misses all his friends and he needs to apologise to them.
We really enjoyed this book and found it amusing and colourful to look at, and we enjoyed naming all the creatures featured in it.
For more information about these books please visit

I was sent copies of these three books for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, comments and opinion made are my own. 
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