Monday, 20 April 2015

Storytime Sounds fun at the farm!

In October the children and I attended a Not On The High Street event for the launch of their storytime sounds app which was a lot of fun for the children so when we were invited for the launch of their farmyard sounds (an addition to the app,) we were all very excited to take up the invitation.

It did of course help that the event was taking place at Godstone Farm, a short drive from home and a wonderful location for a day out.

When we arrived we were directed to a decorated barn where the children were asked to sit on picnic rugs as they eagerly awaited the storytelling.  The stories were very engaging and interactive due to the use of the app and the children really seemed to enjoy 'switching on their imaginations' and pressing the buttons to hear the different storytime sounds.

I'm a great lover of stories and storytelling and the app is a fantastic way to keep little ones engaged in the action and to help older children use their imagination and create their own stories.

Now I wonder if I could jump inside this balloon?

After a lovely morning of story telling we were then taken on a farm tour which included a ride on the tractor and some animal handling, much to the delight of my little man who has thankfully moved on from the throwing guinea pigs stage.  The rest of our day was spent independently exploring the farm, and what a lovely day it was!

This lovely donkey came over to say hello <3

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The storytime sounds app is available for your ipad or iphone.

 We were given lunch and free entry to the farm in exchange for this review, all opinions are my own.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Vegan Puff Pastry Lentil Loaf

It's very rare that I find a recipe I use without making changes but I must say this one from 'It doesn't taste like chicken' was almost perfect!  The sight has lots of recipes to choose from and I will most definitely visit again.

I would usually have a go at making my own pastry but if I'm perfectly honest I wanted to make sure the meal was prepped and ready for the next day so no messing about with experimental pastry making.  I only made a few changes to the original recipe such as leaving out the nuts and the celery and though the ingredients would make 2 I only make one loaf because I only had one sheet of pastry.  If you only want to make one loaf I suggest halving what I used.  My ingredients were:

1 sheet of vegan puff pastry
1 cup of red lentils
2.5 cups of vegetable stock (I used a vegetable stock cube and water)
3 Tablespoons of ground flax seed
1/3 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion
1 cup of mixed veg
6 medium mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3/4 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of flour
2 teaspoons of rice milk (used to brush pastry before going in the oven)

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 6


1. Rinse the lentils before placing in a pan then add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.  Allow to simmer for around 35 - 40 minutes, once finished the lentils should be soft enough to mash (I mashed mine with a fork).

2.  Whilst the lentils are cooking saute the mixed veg, onions and garlic for five minutes then add the mushrooms and herbs and seasonings and saute for a further 5 minutes.

3. Mix the water with the flax seed to form a paste.

4.  Place all the remaining ingredients (except the pastry and the milk) together in a bowl with the lentils, vegetables and flax seed mixtures and stir.

5.  Prepare your pastry by cutting to shape (you can just roll if you prefer) and place the mixture on the prepared pastry.

You can use the cut off bits to make shapes to decorate your loaf

6.  Fold your pastry over the mixture brush with milk and place in the oven.

Unlike me, make sure you keep an eye on your pastry so as not to let it over cook, about 40 minutes should do the trick.

And there you have it, a delicious puff pastry lentil loaf.