Category Archives: Food & Drink

Chocolatey Easter treats

Chocolatey Easter treats

It’s Easter and we’ve all got far too much chocolate again which begs the question… what to do with it all?

Well luckily we have you covered with these amazing Easter themed puds! These scrumptious Easter treats are perfect for using up all that chocolate whilst getting the kids involved!

Rabbit Cup Cakes

(Or to us grown-ups, carrot cake with an added chocolate glaze that is sure to get the little ones interested.)

By trading butter for vegetable oil, you end up with a really moist and scrummy cake.
These cakes are super easy to make so the kids can get involved.
Makes 10.

  1. Peel and grate 3 medium carrots or, if you’re feeling lazy, throw them in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Sieve together 300g plain flour, 400g caster sugar and a tablespoon of baking powder. Add 4 beaten eggs to the mix with 250ml vegetable oil and the carrot. Stir until combined.
  3. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180º C for 30 minutes.
  4. For the chocolate glaze, heat a tablespoon of butter, 250ml milk, 2 tablespoons of honey and 100g chocolate in a saucepan until melted. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  5. Wait for the cakes to cool and top them with the chocolate mixture. We added little icing carrots we found in the supermarket.

Eggstra Realistic Easter Nests
A twist on the classic rice krispies cake, these Easter nests use shredded wheat to make them look more like a little bird’s nest!
They only take about 5 minutes to make and everyone is bound to love them.

Makes 12.

  1. Crumble 8 large shredded wheats (approx. 180g) into a bowl.
  2. Melt 250g chocolate and 50g butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once melted and smooth, take off the heat and add 3 tbsp golden syrup (this helps them stick together).
  3. Add the shredded wheat and stir. Spoon into cupcake cases, top with mini eggs and leave to cool.

Easy as pie. Well, easier than making a pie, actually…
If you’re in the mood for cooking and baking this Easter weekend, check out our eggciting Easter breakfast ideas. Don’t forget to share photos of your concoctions with us on social media!

Easter egg

Have a cracking Easter breakfast!

Have a cracking Easter breakfast!

Easter egg

Easter’s almost here and everyone knows that you can’t celebrate Easter without eggs. Most people (me included) will be stuffing their faces with chocolate all weekend. I certainly won’t be judging you! If you however don’t fancy eating chcoclate so early in the morning then check out our eggcelent egg recipes for an Easter breakfast… or lunch or dinner.

Egg in the Basket

A favourite dish of Joey Tribbiani’s – “eggs with the bread with the hole in the middle, a la me” – Egg in the Basket is a very simple dish that the kids will love, especially if you use a rabbit shaped cutter in the centre to make it more fun.
Take your slice of bread and cut out part of the centre. Fry one side of the bread in butter until it’s lightly golden and then flip it over. Crack an egg inside the gap and fry until cooked. If you want, you can also fry the cut out shape and use it as a lid. Creative and delish!

Meri Meri Easter Cookie Cutters, Set of 5, £9.00

Eggs Benedict

Nobody’s exactly sure where Eggs Benedict came from, but one story is that Wall Street stock broker Lemuel Benedict went into the Waldorf Hotel one morning in 1894 needing a hangover cure. He asked for “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of Hollandaise” which was adapted by the maître’d into the dish we know today.
To make Eggs Benedict, lightly grill and butter two halves of an English muffin, top each half with ham (or salmon), a poached egg and add Hollandaise sauce. You won’t regret it!

Eggy Bread

Also known as French toast, Eggy Bread is much older than people think as recipes for pain perdu (lost bread, aka stale bread) date back more than 600 years. Eggy Bread can be sweet or savoury, depending on the batter ingredients and is a popular breakfast dish all over the world.
Mix eggs with a dash of milk and a pinch of salt/cinnamon. Coat slightly stale bread slices in the mixture and fry on both sides. For a savoury snack, serve with ketchup or marmite; if you fancy a sweet dish, top with berries and maple syrup.

Huevos Rancheros

(Personally i think this is more of a evening eggy meal). Huevos Racheros is a popular Mexican dish served on the rural ranches in Mexico, this dish is perfect for a brunch with a bit of spice. It’s also really easy… especially if you take a trip to your nearest supermarket and don’t make the salsa and tortillas from scratch!
Lightly grill (or microwave) a tortilla wrap, top with a fried egg, fried peppers and tomato salsa. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, add some guacamole, cheese and soured cream.

Spanish Tortilla

A common tapas dish in Spain, the tortilla de patatas was allegedly created during the siege of Bilbao to provide a nutritional meal for the Carlist soldiers.
Fry thin discs of potato in hot oil until they are soft. Pour off most of the oil and cover the fried potato with beaten eggs. Cook until the sides go brown and then place under the grill. Using a plate, flip the tortilla over and finish off the other side under the grill – add cheese if you fancy it.

Pancake day!

10 perfect pancake toppings

Pancake day!

10 perfect pancake toppings!

Bakers, get your pans at the ready, it’s the best time of the year!

Traditionally, Pancake Day is all about emptying the cupboards and preparing for Lent. It’s a day everyone can get involved in, whether it’s perfecting your pancake recipe or spending the evening scraping batter off the ceiling, everyone loves this time of year. So get ready to whisk and flip because Shrove Tuesday is rapidly approaching!

A family favourite, lemon and sugar

Simple but classic, lightly sprinkle your thin pancake with caster sugar and a drizzle of lemon juice to create an age-old topping loved by the whole family. Lemon and sugar was voted the nation’s favourite topping by ‘The Telegraph’ in 2017.

However some would say there’s more to pancakes than just lemon and sugar…

An American classic, maple syrup

Some would say there isn’t a better addition to pancakes than Maple syrup – its thick, sweet, gooey and complements almost any fruit. Go American style and thicken the pancakes up with baking powder and self-raising flour to create a meal that’s bound to make your mouth water.

Maple Syrup Pancakes

Wake up the right way with breakfast pancakes   

Sweet pancakes not your thing? Add bacon, eggs and avocado to create a dreamy breakfast meal. If you’re feeling adventurous, add mashed potato to your pancake mix for a thicker, fluffier feel!

Perfect peanut butter pancakes

Let’s get creative… is it time to mix up the classic pancake day batter mix? If so, why not add smooth peanut butter for a brilliant way to add protein to your Shrove Tuesday!

Naughty Nutella 

You just can’t go wrong with a dollop of chocolatey goodness on top of your pancakes. However, if you wanted to take your chocolate obsession a little bit further this year, why not try to create Nutella-stuffed pancakes?

Nutella pancakes

Whipped cream, because why not!

There’s only a few times a year when you can get away with having a ridiculous amount of calories in one go and just blame it on the time of year. Why not add whipped cream or sprinkles to your pancake day feast?

Carrot cake pancakes (yes, you heard us correctly!)

These might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can tell you, from personal experience, that these taste A LOT better than they sound. Simply add grated carrots into the batter, fry, pop on a plate, then cover in thick cream cheese and enjoy!

Yogurt and fruit pancakes for the healthier lent lover

Trying to get ready for that holiday you’ve got coming up? Not to worry, why not try natural Greek style yogurt with a selection of healthy fruit on top. Who cares if you’re trying to cut down on calories, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the family fun!

Yogurt fruit pancakes

Don’t hold back with ice cream,

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of ice cream on top of your crepe. Feeling a little more adventurous this year? Let the ice cream melt into your batter before frying for a sweeter tasting pancake. We promise you won’t regret it!

We guarantee the kids will love coloured pancakes

Whilst whipping up your usual pancake mix, add in a drop of food colouring. If you haven’t got any in the cupboard, add kiwi for green pancakes, and mixed berries for a pink-tinted pancake. (Adding fruit is an easy way to get the kids to secretly get their 5-a-day too!)

coloured pancakes

Lacking in pancake utensils? Don’t panic we’ve got you covered…

Here are some of our most sort after pancake must haves: 

Sage The Scraper Mixer BEM430SIL

Prepare your pancakes like a professional with the Sage Scraper Mixer, it’s a must have in any kitchen! The smart mixer takes the frustration out of baking you’ll never have to suffer lumpy cooking ever again!

Set of 2 Black Non-Stick 'Jamie Oliver' Frying Pans

You won’t have to worry about your pancake mix sticking to the bottom of your pan with these ‘Non-Stick’ Jamie Oliver frying pans. These pans are tough enough for everyday use and are no trouble to clean!

Optimum Nutrition protein Pancake 1020g mix.

Fuel your morning this pancake day with the Optimum Nutrition protein Pancake 1020g mix. Its quick easy and low sugar great if you’re on the go all day! Just add water, pour into a frying pan and cook until lightly brown on both sides.

 

Top Tip: If in your household it’s a battle of who can win the title of ‘best pancake flipper’, be sure to add a little too much butter to your non stick pan for a more confident flip!

Have the perfect pancake day!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day just around the corner on 6 March, have you selected the perfect gift for the special mums in your life? If not, don’t panic, we’re here to bring you a rundown of some of our favourite Mother’s Day gifts. From chic and stylish gifts to unique experiences that you can both enjoy together.

Don’t forget that with all these gifts, you can collect epoints to treat yourself too! All you need to do is log into your account on epoints.com before shopping online. If you prefer to shop on the high street, you can collect epoints via the bigDL app (available on the App Store and Google Play). 

As a special Mother’s Day treat, we’re also offering you quadruple epoints at selected stores!

Happy shopping!

mothers day 2016

Chic gifts for stylish mums

Jimmy Choo Parfume Debenhams Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum 40ml – Debenhams £36.90 (+147 epoints)

Jimmy Choo parfum oozes glamour and sophistication and this fruity fragrance with woody undertones is perfect for the yummy mummy in your life. Debenhams is now offering 10% off its 40ml bottle, now for just £36.90. To pick up your Debenhams rewards with epoints, simply sign into your account before shopping.

QUADRUPLE epoints available at Debenhams

Diptyque candle – John Lewis £40 (+40 epoints)

Diptyque candle John Lewis

Diptyque candles have become synonymous with fashion and luxury and are the undisputed favourite candles amongst celebrities and fashionistas. The Baies fragrance is the most popular, with luxurious scent of blackcurrent leaves. Why not run your mum a candle lit bath to sink into and relax? You can grab one of these Diptyque candles at John Lewis. Don’t forget to login to epoints before shopping to get your John Lewis rewards.

Ted Baker London NOUEL purse – Ted Baker £85 (+85 epoints)

purse

Inspired by Ted Baker’s stunning hanging gardens print, this statement purse has a zip fastening and coin, note and card compartments. The stunning design is the perfect accessory as we move into the spring and summer months. To take advantage of the epoints Ted Baker loyalty scheme, make sure to log in to epoints before shopping at Ted Baker online.

Sporty Mums

Nike FS Lite Run 2 Trainers – Sports Direct  £34.50 (+34 epoints)

Nike FS Lite Run 2 Trainers - Sports Direct

These lightweight trainers have excellent breathability with an upper mesh panels. The ‘Fitsole’ technology also provides excellent cushioning, fit and support. The trainers are available from £34.50 (size 4) to £46.00 (size 7) at Sports Direct. Make sure to pick up your Sports Direct loyalty points via epoints.
 
 
SONY Walkman MP3 Player – Currys £55 (+55 epoints)
 
Sony Walkman MP3 Player - Currys
If the mum in your life enjoys going to the gym, running or even swimming, this waterproof MP3 Player is ideal for listening to music and keeping motivation levels up. Lightweight, comfortable and wire-free, the MP3 player has 4GB of memory, ensuring there’s plenty of space available for a mum’s favourite music. Make sure to collect your Currys rewards by shopping online via epoints or upload your receipt on the bigDL app if shopping online.
 
 
Fitbit – Argos £89.99 (+89 epoints)

Argos Rewards

The popular Fitbit fitness tracker enables users to track their steps, distance travelled, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. The multifunctional wristband also syncs seamlessly and wirelessly to iOS and comes in a range of colours. It’s available at Argos for £89.99, plus you’ll get Argos rewards when you shop via epoints.
 
 

Foodies

Mother’s Day Hamper – Fortnum & Mason   £85.00 (+85 epoints)

Mother's Day Hamper - Fortnum & Mason

Famed for their wonderful wicker hampers, this Mother’s Day hamper from Fortnum & Mason contains a variety of treats. It is packed with the finest tea, biscuits, jam, chocolate and the exclusive Countess Grey Tea Votive candle. To collect your Fortnum & Mason rewards, make sure to log on to epoints before ordering your hamper online.
 
 

Michelin Starred Restaurants UK Wide BuyaGift.com £159 (+636 epoints)

Michelin Starred Restaurant - buyagift.comA real treat for foodie mums, this tasting menu and champagne offer for two from buyagift.com is available at a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants. There are five venues to choose from, each of which have earned their prestigious Michelin star with their quality menus. To receive your buyagift.com loyalty points, simply log on to epoints.com before purchasing the offer and you’ll gain 636 epoints.

QUADRUPLE epoints available at BuyaGift.com

Great British Bake Off – How to Bake – The Works £18.99 (+18 epoints)

Great British Bake Off - The Works

The Great British Bake Off was one of 2015’s most-watched TV shows and if the foodie mum in your life loves to, or would like to, bake, this cookbook will be a winner. It provides tips and recipes for the perfect cake, biscuits, breads, pastries and more. Don’t forget you can collect The Works rewards when you shop via epoints.
 
 
 

Experiences

Afternoon Tea for Two UK Wide Special Offer – Asda Gifts £32.50 (+128 epoints)

Afternoon Tea for Two UK Wide Special Offer

Nothing quite makes Mother’s Day for a mum than time with her children, so why not enjoy each other’s company with an afternoon tea experience. With Asda Gifts you can choose from a range of delicious venues with a flexible afternoon tea for two voucher for just £32.50. Log on to epoints before booking to take advantage of the epoints Asda reward scheme, where you’ll gain 32 epoints.

QUADRUPLE epoints available at Asda Gifts 
 
Luxury Champneys Overnight Spa Escape for Two – £185 (740 epoints) Virgin Experience Days

Champneys spa - Virgin Experience Days

Relax and unwind while spending some quality time with your mum with this luxury spa experience from Virgin Experience Days. You’ll get full access to the famed Champneys health resort with its swimming pools, steam rooms and saunas and will enjoy a delicious afternoon lunch. You’ll also get two luxury treatments including a facial and a pedicure or manicure. Make sure to collect your epoints Virgin Experience Day rewards.
QUADRUPLE epoints available at Virgin Experience Days

Smartbox with 1275 experiences to choose from – BuyaGift.com – £49.99 (196 epoints)

 BuyaGift.com mother's day experiences

If you want to enjoy some quality time with your mum, but can’t quite decide on the perfect experience, with this Smartbox, BuyaGift has chosen a fantastic range of experiences for you to choose from. This includes everything from adrenaline adventures to spa days with venues right across the UK. Make sure to log into your epoints account before purchasing this gift to collect 196 BuyaGift loyalty points with epoints.

QUADRUPLE epoints available at BuyaGift.com

Mother’s Day favourites

Continental Experience Collection Thorntons – £10 (+10 epoints)

Thorntons Rewards

No Mother’s Day is quite complete without a box of chocolates to indulge in. With this Continental Experience Collection from Thorntons, you’ll find a variety of delicious chocolates inspired by the continent, such as the feather-light Viennese Truffles. A classic Mother’s Day gift that will always impress. You’ll also pick up Thorntons rewards when shopping via epoints.

Large Pink Radiance flower bouquet – Interflora  £39.99 (+39 epoints)

Interflora Rewards

Nothing quite says happy Mother’s Day than a lovely bunch of flowers and this stunning bouquet from Interflora is sure to be a winner. The bouquet consists of fragrant roses, germinis and Oriental lilies. You can collect Interflora Rewards when you log in to epoints before ordering online.

QUADRUPLE epoints available at Interflora.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfume 50ml – Boots £68 (+272 epoints)

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle- Boots

 
This modern classic has a fresh oriental fragrance and some serious staying power. The fragrance draws inspiration from Gabrielle Chanel (Coco) and is aimed at the independent woman who breaks the rules and makes her own. Expensive, but worth the price tag. To collect Boots points via epoints, make sure to log in to epoints.com before purchasing online.
QUADRUPLE epoints available at Boots
 
bigDL app: discounts and vouchers on the high street and online
Don’t forget, you can collect epoints with the bigDL app which gives you the very best single view of Mother’s Day discounts across the high street and online. The free money-saving app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Roaring fires, real ales and roast dinners – our guide to the best pubs in the UK

Best British Pubs

What’s your ideal Sunday? Does it involve a roaring fire, roast dinner and  a cheeky pint or glass of wine? Wait… does it have to just be Sunday for that? Wouldn’t have thought so!

For the good of you epointers I’ve undertaken the tough task of choosing my top 5 pubs across the country for just that kind of day – it was a hard job but someone had to do it.

So pour yourself a glass and let’s get going!

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Full of Beans – do you prefer tea or coffee?

Donut with your coffee?Winter’s on its way and if you’re anything like me, this means months of being permanently cold – I even have a hot water bottle in the office.
But the best way to keep warm is to have a hot beverage. Not only is it comforting, but you can warm up your hands on the side of the mug. I love coffee and even treat myself to a hot chocolate every now and then.
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Feeling hot, hot, hot – stay cool with these summery drinks

Summery Cocktails for this weekend's heatwave“It’s like a heat wave, burnin’ in my heart…
Ooh, ooh, heat wave
Ooh, ooh, heat wave”

That’s right – this weekend is supposedly going to be HAWT! So get out the paddling pools and the barbecues and invite your friends round for a garden party.
Although most people serve beer and wine at a barbecue, why not try something new and shake up some summery cocktails for your guest?
We’ve shared some of our favourite summery drinks:
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In an English country garden – easy outdoor entertaining

Have the perfect garden party this summer

You really can’t beat a warm British summer – days spent relaxing in the park and long evenings in the garden with a gentle breeze.
Eating outside is such a pleasant experience that we organise barbecues and gatherings like they’re going out of fashion.
If you’re holding a garden party then our top tips for outdoor entertaining will guarantee smiles all round: Continue reading

Dining al fresco in style – sophisticated picnic ideas

Fine dining al fresco with champagne

Nothing is more British than eating outside, especially a picnic and ‘lashings of lemonade’ a la Enid Blyton characters.
There are so many outdoor events this summer that if you’re attending more than one you might get fed up with the same packaged sarnies and salads from the nearest supermarket.
So why not take some time to pack yourself something a bit more sophisticated – it doesn’t have to take you long, but the difference is amazing.
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Enjoy the May bank holiday – relax with wine and a barbecue

Enjoy the long weekend BBQs & chilled wine

The long weekend is almost here and if our latest weekly vouchers weren’t enough for you, we’ve found some super summer products to make your May Bank Holiday weekend even better than you were expecting – fingers crossed it’s hot and sunny.
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