Bear Alpha Bites Cereal {Review}

Alpha Bites

I must say, when I agreed to be a Bear Ambassador, I didn’t realise I would be so spoiled! Last month it was a personalised bag for some trick or treating, in previous months crafting, and more besides, but this month along with two boxes of Alpha Bites cereal, I received a bright yellow breakfast bowl – the kids loved it so much I bought a matching one… it’s made breakfast a much brighter affair! – and with it a personalised spoon, and a Heather Alstead placemat.  Alpha Bites

Aren’t they pretty?

Alpha Bites

Of course, the real review here is the Alpha Bites. Aside from the simple, but bright and colourful boxes themselves. The boxes contain the Bear Time Travel Adventure cards, which my daughter absolutely loves. They are informative and entertaining, and often good conversation starters. Alpha Bites

The Alpha Bites come in ‘plain’ multigrain and cocoa flavours. They are very sweet, but not in a saccharin manner – in fact they have no added refined sugar, and no added salt. The Alpha Bites consist of barley, oats, corn, rice, wheat and coconut nectar, which is what makes it sweet. Alpha Bites

The kids love Alpha Bites, surprisingly the Multigrain as much as the Cocoa. They love it with milk, and they also like it as a snack without milk, so that’s good to have on hand for when everyone wants a little something sweet.

We are part of the Alphabites programme, so have been sent these items free in exchange for an honest review

Easy Monster Eggs

Monster Eggs

It’s almost Halloween and while the rest of the world have been having parties and trick or treating, we’ve been so busy I’ve not even thought about it too much. This evening though we did breakfast for dinner, of a sort, with sausages, eggs and potato wedges, and I decided to make them a little Halloween-ish. So here’s a quick recipe for  Monster Eggs to bring some Halloween into your day with little to no effort.Monster Eggs

Fortunately, I happened to have edible ink and edible eyes on hand (That’s normal, right?!) so it was easy to do. If you don’t have those, you could use mayonnaise and olives for the eyes, or even mayonnaise and a sprig of greenery for eye slits.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 4 peeled and boiled eggs (14 minutes in the Thermomix® internal steamer/Varoma) 
  • 50g spinach
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste

Cut the eggs in half, then scoop the yolks out
eggs Combine the yolks, spinach, mayo and paprika in a food processor and blend till it’s a smooth mix (2 mins, speed 4 in the Thermomix®)

If you have edible ink, draw eyelashes on the egg whitemonster-eyes

Scoop spoonfuls back into the egg whites and top with the ‘eye balls’


Sprinkle salt to taste

These will keep for a few hours in the fridge if you’re making them for later

Follow this link for more Halloween recipes


Decorating the Breakfast Table with Egg Buckets and Soldier Eggs

Egg & Toast Soldiers

You know how sometimes you have something to do and you put it on a list, then a new list, then a new list. And then you’re going to do it before you move, then after you move then after your holiday, and before you know it, something you were planning on doing in March finally gets done in June? Well, that’s me and these egg cups. I’ve been wanting to tell you about them for months! Hopefully after today I can enjoy using them without reminding myself I should write this!Eggs Bucket
Well, we received these bucket egg cups from for our Easter (oh, the shame!) table, and we loved them. They are steel, coated in a strong paint, meaning they don’t break when dropped and the paint (hasn’t thus far) chipped. The little handle is very cute too, and the ‘Eggs’ on it is a nice touch. Once you’ve eaten the eggs they only require a little rinse. If you forget them in the hot water, the black writing does unfortunately rub off, leaving only a shadow of the word, which is unfortunate, but not a deal breaker. They are still lovely egg cups. We also use them for mixing soy sauce and wasabi when we’re having sushi.

There’s also another fantastic little set which is ideal for children.

Soldier EggsIt’s a soldier egg cup and toast cutter, which is a plastic egg cup, shaped and decorated like a soldier complete with a hat and all. Along with that, the soldier-egg holds a spoon the child can use to eat the egg – although it’s too soft to crack the egg, so they’ll need help with that, but I tend to peel them for the kids anyway, saves on a lot of mess. There’s also a toast cutter that comes with it. Each piece of toast will cut three soldiers lying head to toe, but obviously you can turn them the right way round on the plate. They are perfect for dipping in a runny egg yolk.

My daughter loves this set, and it does convince her to eat a little egg yolk, though she wouldn’t normally. It’s very cute though and at only  £6.95 is a fab addition to our weekend breakfast table.

Something else Prezzybox sell, though I don’t have one myself, but will be buying it for a friend who has her own chickens, is the Personalised 1/2 dozen egg holder. I think it’s such a lovely thing for someone who collects their own eggs (and if you’re lucky they’ll give you some, because eggs from someone’s garden are soooo much better than any you can buy, free range or not!

Personalised Egg Box

  • I was sent these review samples for free to see what I thought of them. Opinions are my own. Links are affiliate links. It won’t cost you anything to use them!

Chocolate Cranberry Muffins (Egg-Free)

Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

I’ve been making muffins a lot lately, because they’re a really easy way to fill the kids up when they’re hungry thirty-seven million They are pretty quick to make while I’m making breakfast, and then they can snack for the rest of the morning. Of course these have too much sugar for that to be a sustainable idea, but we’re calling it a Christmas treat.

These are really only egg-free because I ran out, but the banana binds it together. If you want to use egg, substitute the banana for two eggs.

These have dried cranberries in, but you can substitute that as you wish – raisins or choc chips, both work well.

With the banana in these do have a little bit of a banana taste, but chocolate and banana work well anyway.Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Chocolate Cranberry Muffins (Egg-Free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Breakfast, Snacks
Serves: 12
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 70g olive oil
  • 1 banana
  • 200g milk
  • handful of dried cranberries - more or less depending on taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Add all the ingredients to the Thermomix® bowl, except the cranberries
  3. Mix speed 4/ 60 seconds
  4. Add the cranberries
  5. Scoop out into 12 large or 36 small muffin cases and bake for 10 - 20 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins.
  6. Find the largest muffin and stick a knife into it. If it comes out clean, it's ready.


Stewed Fruit For Breakfast

Stewed FruitI grew up a military child, which meant we moved around a lot. Whether it was normal or due to my dad being an officer, I don’t know, but every time we moved cities we had three weeks in hotels, and I loved it. I still love hotels to this day, even if they’re down the road from my house, a break away in a hotel is a mini adventure, filled with excitement and newness of change. It’s wonderful.

One of the things I remember most in moving from Namibia to South Africa was staying in the no-longer-in-existence Drum Rock Inn, to my memory a proper bushveld hotel, complete with morning drumming to wake the guests.

In this hotel, we’d go down for breakfast, and the only thing I remember from this breakfast, and subsequent ones, is the stewed fruit that goes with yoghurt. Now, whenever I move, I crave stewed fruit! But I’ve been making it for my breakfast for a while now, and I absolutely love it.

Stewed Fruit

Just a tip, not to be indelicate, but eat a little at a time otherwise everyone will smell you coming 😉

The ingredients below are a guide. You can play around with it. If you use fresh fruit, you need less water or sugar. If you use dried fruit, as I do, you need the water to both rehydrate and stew. Play around with which fruits you like. I love the apple rings for flavour, the apricots for a bit of sourness and the prunes for sweetness. If you use sugar, you’ll have a beautifully sweet syrup to have with a thick and sour yoghurt, but if you use Rapadura you may have a little less syrup at the end.  You could use other sweeteners, but I haven’t tried to.

Stewed FruitYou don’t have to use a Thermomix® to make stewed fruit. A nice sized heavy based pot on a stove will do the same job, you may just have to cook it for longer, and stir on occasion.


Stewed Fruit For Breakfast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 servings
  • 150g fruit - 50g apple rings, 50g apricots, 50g prunes
  • 30g sugar / 20g rapadura
  • 400g water
  • ½ tsp cinnamon and/or vanilla pod
  1. Add all the ingredients to the Thermomix® bowl.
  2. Cook Varoma/Spoon Speed/10 mins without the MC
  3. Remove the fruit and set aside
  4. Cook the remaining liquid for 5 - 7 minutes, Varoma/Speed 2 (still without the MC) to thicken the liquid into a syrup, but keep an eye on it.
  5. Pour over fruit.
  6. Serve with yoghurt, hot or cold.

Price compare your dried fruit ingredients here:

Try this recipe with fresh fruit from Riverford:

Grav Lax: Three Day Marinated Salmon Recipe

This has to be my favourite salmon recipe, but it’s one that pretty much only makes it onto the table for Christmas morning.

179996_10150367654720234_7355877_nI made this for Christmas one year and thought it was the best thing I’d ever tasted, and it’s become a Christmas favourite for us.  This is not a SMOKED salmon recipe -although I have in a pinch made the dressing to have with smoked salmon, which is also delicious.

For this recipe, the salt draws liquid from the salmon and “cooks” it in the fridge over the period of three days. It forms a lot of liquid in the fridge, so make sure to use a large enough bowl. If not for Christmas, serve this as a brunch with a selection of breads or as a starter to an evening meal. It is amazing.

Grav Lax: 3 Raw Marinated Salmon Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8
For the Salmon
  • 1 kg Norwegian salmon fillets (of optimum quality)
  • 60g salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns, slightly crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh dill including the stems
For the Sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Swedish mustard or German sweet mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt, pepper
  • 90 ml mild vegetable oil (not olive oil!)
  • additional fresh dill, finely chopped
  1. Three days before eating, remove all bones with a pair of tweezers, but leave the skin on. Rinse the salmon gently.
  2. Mash the dill stems in a mortar with a little of the salt, saving the leaves for the sauce.
  3. Mix with the rest of the salt, the sugar and pepper.
  4. Cover the flesh side of the fillets with the mixture, and place the fillets flesh-to-flesh in a tray made of glass or stainless steel.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and put a heavy weight on top (e. g. the mortar or a brick) - you need the weight to press down on the fish.
  6. Keep refrigerated for 72 hours, turning the fillets every 12 hours.
  7. Do not discard the liquid that forms until the end of 72 hours. ( A lot of liquid will form)
  8. After 72 hours scrape off the spices very gently and discard the liquid. (You could use this for a fish stock.)
  9. The preserved salmon will keep refrigerated for about a week.
For the sauce
  1. Make the sauce the day of, or the day before eating.
  2. Mix mustard, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and dd the oil a teaspoon at a time, constantly whisking.
  3. Just before serving, add lots of dill and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slice the salmon with a sharp, flexible knife in long, thin slices parallel to the skin.
  5. Arrange the ice-cold salmon on lettuce leaves with slices of lemon.
  6. Serve the sauce separately.
  7. Optional: Also serve toasted bread and butter.

a-very-thermie-christmas-cover This recipe features in A Very Thermie Christmas, where you can find it and 50 other recipes perfect for a Thermomix® assisted Christmas. Read more about it here.

Fruit Bottom Compote For Yoghurt

Fruit Compote

I’m a bit of a boycotter – of companies whose ethics are beyond reprehensible – and as a result I had to give up not one, but two of my favourite brands of yoghurt. I had to learn to make my own though, because once the nicest were no longer an option, it seemed all that was left was the very sugary, the 0% fat, or the artificially sweetened, none of which were ideal to share with my children. (With the exception of Yeo Valley, which I will still buy when I’m buying, because they’re more or less local, I’ve seen their cows with my own two eyes, and they’re actually yum and good for you at the same time. I didn’t know about them when I started making yoghurt, however.)

So the recipe I’m sharing with you now is just for the fruity component of my own fruit bottom yoghurt. For the yoghurt recipe, have a look at yesterday’s post.Fruit Compote

Fruit Bottom Yoghurt
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
In this recipe I'm using a mix of summer fruits. You can use any berries, or any fruit. You can also use fresh fruit, but you may need to add a few teaspoons of water when you start cooking. There's little wrong or right, really. This makes about 80 - 100 ml, which should go well with about 500ml yoghurt.
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Serves: 100ml
  • 100g frozen fruit
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar or rapadura
  • 1 teaspoon honey
In the Thermomix®:
  1. Add all the ingredients to the Thermomix® bowl.
  2. Cook at 70C/Speed Spoon/ 10 mins
  3. Check that fruit is soft and pour into sieve. Drain off the fluid and pick out some of the whole fruit, avoiding as many seeds as you can. Discard seeds and pulp (or save for fruit leather)
  4. Pour into container and top with yoghurt.
  5. Seal and keep in fridge for 2 - 3 days
On a stovetop:
  1. Add all the ingredients to the stove and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. You don't want the sugar to burn.
  2. When fruit is soft, and some liquid has formed, remove from heat,
  3. Pour into sieve. Drain off the fluid and pick out some of the whole fruit, avoiding as many seeds as you can. Discard seeds and pulp (or save for fruit leather)
  4. Pour into container and top with yoghurt.
  5. Seal and keep in fridge for 2 - 3 days

I tend to remove the seeds as far as possible as they get stuck in the yoghurt pouches we use, or worse in my teeth. Quarter fill your yoghurt container with the compote, and top the rest with yoghurt.

Mix it all together before serving, topped with muesli or on it’s own. Yummy, no additive, no preservative, no colouring, no fake sugars. Just good for you, and only cost about 55p to make.


Cinnamon Scrolls

20130502-215342.jpg These are probably ridiculously bad for you. I try not to think about it. They are so incredibly yummy. I make them ‘better’ by not pouring a sugar syrup over them, and I follow the theory that the cinnamon is good for you, so that cancels out the sugar ;). I have successfully made these with Rapadura too, which takes some of the ‘bad’ out of it.

The best part of this recipe is the fact that it takes around 20 minutes from putting the flour in the bowl to eating a cinnamon scroll.

Cinnamon Scrolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a Thermomix® recipe, but you can adjust it to any food processor. You can also make a runny icing sugar to pour over each scroll, but we find that too sweet, and choose not to.
Recipe type: Desert, Sweet
Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Dough
  • 300 g Self Raising Flour
  • 90 g Butter , cut into chunks
  • 150 g milk
  • Filling
  • 60 g Butter
  • 40 g Soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 210C (190C gas)
  2. Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
  3. Place flour and butter into mixing bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 5.
  4. With lid set to locked position, knead 40 - 60 sec/ Interval setting.
  5. Add milk gradually until a soft dough is formed.
  6. Turn out dough onto lightly floured baking paper and roll out dough into a rectangle
  7. Filling
  8. Place all ingredients for filling into mixing bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4 or until creamy mixture has formed.
  9. Spread mixture evenly over dough rectangle.
  10. Roll up dough from the long side and using a sharp knife cut rolled up dough into 3cm pieces. (sometimes we make it smaller for bite sized/toddler sized rolls)
  11. Place dough pieces, cut side up, on prepared baking tray and cook in the oven for 12 min or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool and enjoy.