Eco Pod Herb Pots For Indoor Gardening

eco pod herb pot

We decided last year to give up our allotment, because,… life, but I do really like having fresh herbs around and I’d like to keep growing a few things, as best I can in the space I have. We are blessed in our house to have large Georgian windows which get a lot of beautiful sunlight (okay, daylight, sun even beautiful windows can’t promise!) but the windowsills are low, so anything we put on it, ends up falling off or being knocked about in the general melee of daily life. So, when I spotted these gorgeous Eco Pod herb pots, they were the answer to a question I didn’t even know I had yet. eco pod herb pot

The Eco Pod Self Watering Herb Pots come as a set of two, and are three-part, egg-shaped little gadgets of wonder. Part one is the bracket which is attached to the wall by removable sticky tabs. You need to attach the double sided tabs to a clean surface, and then attach the bracket. Leave it overnight so that it can properly ‘set’. eco pod herb pot

I didn’t want to wait for seeds, so I bought some potted herbs from my local supermarket – basil and parsley in this instance. If you just tear them apart, I’ve found, they don’t tend to live very long, (I think the roots are too damaged). However, if you remove the herbs from their pots, and put them in a bowl of water for a day or two it all comes apart much easier and there’s less damage, and the herbs seem to survive better. The herbs can soak while the wall sticker is resting. eco pod herb pot

The Eco Pod herb pot itself is made up of two parts – the top bit is where the soil and plant go, and the bottom bit is where the water goes. The water will drip from the top to the bottom through a sponge-like filter and then, I suppose, get soaked back up it over time. So you water the top, it runs through, and then comes back up again as needed. It’s all very simple and yet very clever.

The two parts are held together by magnets, which so far, is still all holding together well. eco pod herb pot

Learn from my experience – put it all together and plug it into the wall bracket as one piece otherwise you have muddy water running down the wall! But that little mishap aside, it doesn’t seem to leak, so long as you top the water up with care.

I intend to get a few more pots to add extra herbs. They are small pots, so these are for the kind of herbs you would use on occasion, rather than for, say, pesto where you’d use the whole pot! I think it would be smart, too, to pop some seeds into the pot every few weeks so that you have constant new growth. I haven’t tried it that way yet, but I’ll let you know if it works. Even if I have to replace the herb pots every now and then, the herbs last longer this way, and there’s always fresh herbs for my cooking. Love, love, love it – and I think it looks gorgeous too.


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!

The Weekend Cook – Cookbook Review

The Weekend Cook

A lot has changed in my life in the last year and one of those things is the frequency with which I cook. It turns out cooking dinner for one is really a lot of work, so most nights, dinner is just something quick and easy, if in fact I bother with it at all!

On the weekends I try to make it a bit more special: waffles for breakfast, fresh bread, and if I have the time, some batch cooking for the week ahead.

The Weekend Cook* is the latest addition to my cook book collection. It’s a collection of meals that can be prepared when you have some lazy time. They aren’t all complicated or time consuming, just a little more luxurious than a mid week ‘get food on the table and the kids in the bath and bed’ kind of meal.

The Weekend Cook

How’s The Weekend Cook organized?

The recipes in The Weekend Cook book are organised by when you might want to make them – Friday night takeaway, Saturday kickstart breakfasts and lunches, Sunday best brunches, Monday morning boosters, and so on. There are beautiful full page photos of the finished products throughout the book.Weekend Cookbook

What type of recipes will you find in The Weekend Cook?

With over 200 pages, there are plenty of recipes in this book. They include regular favourites like Chicken Chow Mein and Lamb Kebabs with Hot Chilli Sauce, Chicken, Chorizo and Seafood Paella, and similar ‘known’ foods. The recipes include standard ingredients that you’ll find in most kitchens, or at least easily in most regular supermarkets. The recipes are generally actually quite simple, yet still delicious without ridiculous amounts of ingredients.Techniques used in The Weekend Cook

The recipes include step by step instructions and I haven’t come across any unusual or unlikely equipment requirements. Techniques are pretty standard – chop, pour, mix, grill, fry and so on.

There are also informational sections in this cookbook, with topics like “Tips for Weekend Cooking”, “How to host a perfect dinner party”, “Wine tasting tips” and so on.
Weekend Cook

Where can you find The Weekend Cookbook

The Weekend Cookbook (ISBN-13: 978-1472392527) from Parragon has a £15 RRP, and is available from Amazon* and many major retailers. At the time of publishing it’s on sale at The Works for £3 or £13.49 at Amazon.

I think this is a lovely lazy weekend cookbook. Not just that but it has plenty of inspirational ideas that will widen your cooking repertoire while – generally speaking – not requiring anything arduous from you, either in ingredients or effort.

30 Second Yoghurt With The Easiyo Yoghurt Maker


I’ve been using the Easiyo for a number of years now and last year I posted about how I use the Easiyo along with the Thermomix® to make yoghurt for breakfast, and yoghurt pouches for the girls snacks too. I posted a recipe for stewed fruit to have with my daily yoghurt as well as one for a fruit bottom compote, so you can see – yoghurt makes up a huge part of our day to day diet.

When Easiyo got in touch to ask if I’d like to review the yoghurt maker I declined, since, well I have one already! But when they invited me to an event I had to oblige – I’m a sucker for a good event! – and boy was I surprised! The new Easiyo is totally different to the old one!

How is the new Easiyo different to the old Easiyo?

There are plenty differences. The first is in appearance.

  • The new Easiyo is slicker, and will fit right into the modern kitchen

It’s a lovely red, with rounded edges. It looks very stylish.

  • The new Easiyo is shorter and will fit on at least one of the shelves in kitchen*

The old Easiyo was really tall and didn’t fit on any of the shelves in my kitchen, so I stored it on top of the boiler, which isn’t the ideal spot to store anything, really. It was a bit ‘clutter’-ish. This new one is shorter, and fits nicely on the shelf when not in use.

*Unless you have a really off-speck kitchen

  • The new Easiyo has sticky feet underneath

This is great as it’s less likely to move around the counter and crash onto the f loor when your washing machine is on the spin cycle!

  • The new Easiyo is filled with New Zealand Lambs Wool

Inside the Easiyo, between the red external and white internal walls is a square of New Zealand lambs wool, rather than the polystyrene that used to fill the old version. Apparently this makes for better insulation, but I’m pretty sure it’s better for the environment too, should the time come to recycle.

  • There’s an Easiyo mini maker too

I think this is a great addition for smaller families or individuals. It’s a 500g maker in green and does the same thing, but in half the quantity.

So what’s the same then?


You still get the freeze dried milk starters that you can use to make your yoghurt. It still takes about 30 seconds to make the yoghurt, which you then set aside for 8 – 12 hours depending how thick you want your yoghurt, and then chill and enjoy.

There are 35 flavours of starter, and contrary to what you might think of something that comes out of a bag, there’s no preservatives, no added sugars and there’s still a live acidophilus culture in each bag. So it’s really all good stuff. The plain yoghurt will last for two weeks in the fridge, those with ‘bits’ in them for about a week. If your family is anything like mine, however, it won’t last more than a couple of days.

Of course you can use the yoghurt in a variety of other recipes too, and at £2 a kg of yoghurt it’s cheaper than other luxury brands, even if not as cheap as the cheapest brands – (but if you use some of the current batch to make your next batch, it costs you the price of milk. Then just make up a new batch from the powder when you need it/have run out and so on.) But the pouches are really convenient and fantastic for when you are short on time. Over the next few weeks I’ll be trailing some of the flavours and will let you know what I think of them!

Fun Halloween Misfortune Cookies {Review}

Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

I don’t normally fall over myself to do anything special for Halloween, but when I saw these Mis-Fortune cookies, I pretty much had to have them.

They would make the most perfect after dinner treat if you’re doing anything on Halloween – or if you’re a closet Goth and want to bring your inner darkness to the table.

The box contains – obviously – an unlucky 13 misfortune cookies. Each is individually wrapped in a frightful wrapper decorated by frightened cats, ghouls and a teddy bear that’s seen better days, all in a style reminiscent of Tim Burton.

Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

Inside the wrapper is a pitch black misfortune cookie, shaped like a traditional fortune cookie. Crack it open with a perfect snap, and inside you’ll find a black paper with your mis-fortune written on it.

My first misfortune cookie was so macabre, I had to laugh out loud: Your best days are already behind you. Well, I’d just spent the morning with two tired and grumpy children after an intensely busy week. How did the misfortune cookie know?!Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

Well, on that cheerful note, I risked a bite of the cookie, half expecting it to be made of dried out black pudding or something equally unpleasant sounding and tasting. Fortunately the producers take mercy on your taste buds and provide a delicious tasting fortune cookie – but it is the only thing they take mercy on.

With messages like “Happy? It won’t last!” and “At least I believe in you. Me. A piece of paper” your guests will be served a hard dose of reality, but I bet they’ll laugh about it. This will be like Christmas, where everyone’s taking turns sharing theirs for everyone to groan and laugh over.

Whether as an after dinner amusement, or if you’re feeling flush and want to give them out to trick or treaters, these will go down a storm, I’m pretty confident!Halloween Misfortune Cookies Packaging

These Misfortune Cookies are made from wheat flour, sugar, glucose syrup and contain Soya Lecithins. They are coloured by carbon, rapeseed oil and also contain flavouring, salt and sodium bicarbonate.

You can find them at a number of retailers online:

Bahlsen Choco Leibniz – The Biscuit You Have To Try

I’m not a big consumer of commercial biscuits. The way I figure it, if I’m going to stock up on empty calories I’ll just go straight for the chocolates – which I do often enough. I can, however, walk down the biscuit isle in my supermarket and simply not be tempted.  Well, I could. Once. I fear those days may be over.

Let me introduce you to my new friend(s): Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Dark, and his cousins Milk, White, Choco Orange, and Caramel.

Choco Leibniz
New Kids In Town: Choco Leibniz Biscuits

We were sent a parcel full of biscuits to review (that’s just great post to receive, by the way!) and told to have ourselves a little picnic.  I’m going to interrupt myself here to tell you one of the major drawbacks to living on a holiday – island: whenever you go to the beach, your kids want ice cream and treats, because everyone else is on holiday, and having ice cream and treats. I’m the mean mum who says no! we aren’t on holiday!

When I emptied out these biscuits into a fetching plastic container, and took them along to the beach for our picnic, my kids thought Christmas had come. Thanks Bahlsen!

More Choco Leibniz please!
More Choco Leibniz please!


So, to the biscuits and why Choco Leibniz will make me do a double take in the supermarket: they may look like a biscuit, but they’re really just chocolate with a bit of crunch. And they are so delicious. I’m almost ashamed to say how many days it took us to finish all five boxes. Not many.

Milk: delicious creamy milk chocolate – proper quality, melts in the mouth.

Dark: these were scrumptious. Rich dark chocolate, bitter but balanced with the biscuit, a definite favourite. I had to fight my daughter for the last one.

White: now, these took me by surprise. I don’t like white chocolate, but these have a dark biscuit base that make for an amazing taste sensation. I’d definitely buy them again!

Orange: These, again, took me by surprise, because I’m not a huge chocolate orange fan. But after one bite, I pulled the half biscuit back to have a look inside. I thought it had a liquid or jelly layer, like jaffa cakes. But they don’t. They’re just really fresh tasting. Lush.

Caramel: I didn’t get to have any of these. My family demolished them before I got to them. I think that means they loved them too!

As you can see in that last picture of our picnic on the beach: my girl doing an Oliver Twist impression, “More please, Sir”. Doesn’t she look sad with her plate (an upturned frisbee!) all empty.

Yeah. That’s how we all feel, now the cupboard is bare.

(Oh, and there’s also a whole page dedicated to recipes using the Choco Leibniz biscuits. Sadly we ate them all before I realised that.)

*These were a free gift in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase Choco Leibniz biscuits from most major retailers. Right there. In the biscuit isle. Never to be walked by again.


SmoothPacks Reusable Yoghurt & Smoothie Pouches

I’ve been making my own yoghurt for a few years now, and my yoghurt recipe is in fact one of the most popular recipes on this blog, dating back almost two years! In that time I’ve been using a reusable pouch system that I was perfectly happy with and have recommended to many, but last week I discovered something new and I am in make-your-own-yoghurt-smoothies heaven, seriously. I cannot recommend the SmoothPacks Squeeze Pack System highly enough.

Reusable Yoghurt or Smoothie Pouches
When you buy a kit, you receive the Smoothpack ‘Station’ – the bit you fill up with your babyfood, yoghurt, smoothie or whatever else you’re making – and you receive 4 x 125ml pouches and two 250ml pouches.

Inside  the plunger bit for the Smoothpack Station you’ll find all the accessories – the nozzles and cleaning clips – safely stored – this is awesome for storage, and not having random bits lying annoyingly around the kitchen drawers.

The plunger has a spiral ridge all the way around it that slots in to place and runs down the ‘track’ as you turn it, meaning you don’t end up with yoghurt (smoothie, babyfood) down your front if you get the angle wrong. In fact, the gliding motion is so smooth, my 5-year old insists on doing it.

Reusable pouches

Rather than one nozzle that means you fill your pouches one at a time there are four nozzles and you can fill them all at the same time. You fill the Station with 500ml of whatever, and push, filling four pouches at the same time. If you only want to do one or more at a time though, you can just put the stopper (that lives inside the plunger) in place, and seal it up. Essentially it takes about 10 seconds to fill four though, so it’s a fantastic time saver.

The thing people always ask me about reusable pouches, however, is how you clean it. These pouches have a seam down the side that you can open to clean. What also lives inside the plunger are four alien looking plastic thingies that you put inside each pouch and wedge into the dishwasher or drying rack so that the pouches can wash inside. It’s really clever.

The set also comes with two spoons that clip to the lid of the pouches so that you can take them out and about with you for spoon feeding your baby, if that’s your thing, or in my children’s case, feeding your younger sister!Reuseable pouches

We use our pouches for yoghurt, and in this particular instance I also used the Easyo fruit packets to flavour the yoghurt. I filled about 45oml of plain yoghurt and topped it off with 50ml of fruit compote. Mix it together with a spoon (you can also use a stick blender to liquidize or puree) and put the plunger in place. Open the nozzle lids and fit the pouches securely on before twisting the plunger gently and watching the pouches fill. Screw the lids on and wash the plunger, ready for next time.

The only negatives I can mention for this product is that since it is quite new to the UK, I can’t seem to find the option to buy pouches only at the moment, although spare sachets will be available for the price of £6.95 for 4 Smoothpacks and 2 spoons

If you’re in the UK you can pick this amazing, sleek and easy to use and store refillable pouch system up at Cuckooland for £19.99 (with £4.95 delivery) and £5 off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter. Click here to buy.

If you’re in the US you can find it at Amazon, for $34.99.

Italian Breads With Giovanni Rana Pesto And Bolognese Sauces

I love food competitions and stretching my creative brain to include competition criteria, as it’s something that stretches me out of my comfort zone. Normally. The Giovanni Rana competition isn’t a huge stretch, since pasta isn’t a novelty in our home. Quite the opposite – it’s something we have loads of! What we don’t normally treat ourselves to, however, is pasta sauces. When I saw the Giovani Rana sauces, I decided that I had to try something that incorporated pasta sauces.

One of our favourite Italian food combinations is bread and oil (and vinegar). It brings to mind memories of late afternoons relaxing on the banks of the Arno river in Florence, Italy, dipping fresh breads from Mercato Centrale and sipping light red wines.

I decided to play with the breads and pasta sauces from Giovanni Rana, and see what I could come up with.


I used my Thermomix® for both of these recipes, but you can choose any recipe or method you prefer, and add the ‘toppings’ to the finished product.  The two breads here are Pesto and Mozzarella Foccassia, and Bolognese Rosemary BreadFBTopped

The Focaccia Bread I used was from the basic Every Day Cookbook. This is the recipe:

Italian Breads With Giovani Rana Sauces
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Despite a very wet dough, this Focaccia recipe makes an airy and light bread. Add the toppings to the hot bread to allow them to melt in, and enjoy with salad or on it's own.
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 500g bakers flour
  • 2 teaspoons of dry yeast (or 1 sachet)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 30g olive oil
  • 400g warm water
  • Sea Salt
  • Giovanni Rana Pesto Sauce
  • Capers
  • Mozzarella
  1. Place water, oil, sugar, yeast, flour and salt into bowl and mix at speed 6 for 20 seconds.
  2. Knead for 2 minutes on Interval speed
  3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough into the bowl. This is a very wet dough. Very wet.
  4. Leave to rise for at least an hour, till it's doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 220c
  6. Remove from bowl and shape onto a baking tray or stone bake tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  7. Place in oven and cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Without removing from the oven, sprinkle with water, then cook for a further 10 – 15 mins or until golden.
For the topping
  1. Tear the mozzarella and spread over the hot focaccia. Drizzle the Giovanni Rana Pesto sauce over and top with capers. Make sure to add toppings to hot foccaccia so that it all sort melts onto and into the bread.
Non Thermomix® Instructions:
  1. Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix using an electric beater until well mixed.
  2. Knead for 20 minutes by hand, or 15 minutes with a bread hook.
  3. Follow the same rising and resting instructions as above.
  4. Follow the topping instructions as above.

The Giovanni Rana Pesto is quite salty, with a very sweet ending, it’s delicious and perfectly suitable for this bread.


The next bread is this Rosemary & Honey bread recipeadapted to make my Italian Style Bolognese Bread.

Follow the instructions as written out up to and including step 4, but before twisting the bread, make a groove down the centre of each ‘braid’ and fill with sauce.

Honey & Rosemary Bolognese Bread

The Bolognese sauce from Giovanni Rana is ideal as it is quite firm out the tub and wont run all over. Gently ‘close’ the dough over the filling, and then ‘plait’ the bread as per the recipe.


Leave it to rise, and follow the Rosemary & Honey bread recipe again from step 6.

Your finished bread should look something like the one above.

Tear of a piece off each bread, serve with some salad, and have a lovely meal together – maybe not on the Arno, but all the Italian flavours in one meal, simply can’t go wrong.

*Giovanni Rana sent me £5 worth of vouchers to buy and try some of their products. We also bought a RAVIOLI SPINACI E RICOTTA filled pasta for dinner one evening, which took about four minutes to prepare – bonus on an ‘I’m not cooking tonight’! dinner. Opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own, except where otherwise stated. 

Entertaining Food – A Review Of Benihana Japanese Steakhouse

My two girls and I were invited to Benihana, a Japanese restaurant in London who are trying to promote themselves as a family friendly – child friendly – restaurant.

The event itself had two elements – one of entertaining us, and another to show us what a visit to Benihana with children would be like.  I’m going to focus on what you can expect when you visit Benihana with your children.

Beni Girls
Beni Girls leading the kids in a hip hop workshop

(Although I should mention the Beni-Girls, dancers from Japan touring the Benihani Restaurants in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the chain. They were lovely, entertaining the kids with hip-hop dancing and putting on a show including sharp utensils and butchers knives as inspired by the Teppan chefs. You can find out more about their London appearances (this weekend) here.)

Benihana Japanese Restaurant, London
The only way to eat chicken…

Everything about Benihana screams quality. From the modern, yet still traditional décor on the way down into the basement restaurant, to the proper foil balloons kids get on the way out the door, Benihana is a Japanese Steakhouse with a difference.

Unlike many London restaurants, there are wide open spaces where you can wait comfortably in the bar area for your company to arrive. There’s also a big screen in the waiting area announcing occasions, “Happy Birthday James”, “Happy anniversary Mr &  Mrs Smith” and so on, perfect for personalising your evening.

When you’re ready for your meal, you’ll  go through to one of the square tables, but instead of a centrepiece there’s a Teppan pan – a huge flat frying griddle – with a chef waiting to cook your food.

The history of Benihana is based on showmanship. When Rocky Aoki started the first restaurant in the USA  in 1964, he knew that Americans liked a show, and he decided that the road to success was in fact by entertaining diners. As such,each table has its own private chef, and amidst smoke and flame (s)he will prepare your meal in front of your eyes. Adults and children alike, this side of the ocean too, mesmerised.

Benihana Japanese Restaurant, London
Food and entertainment in one

The chef chops, chucks, lights, throws and entertains as he cooks your meal, and waiting staff are super alert, observant and ready to serve. While its a really quick way to prepare individual dinners for a party of people, its not just a meal, its entertainment too. The chef juggles sharp knives and spatulas, flips a shrimp tail into his hat, arranges onion rings into fire-shooting volcanoes and juggles with flashing lights. Mesmerising.

Benihana Japanese Restaurant
Benihana chefs hats make cute photo opportunities

The children’s menu folds into a chefs hat which they can put on, branded with Benihana and sure to inspire a photo or ten, and if they take them off, they can play the maze game and soduku printed inside while they wait. Benihana may be a steak house, but it isn’t a fast food experience, and its different to any steakhouse I’ve ever been to. Its also not cheap dining, but I don’t suppose its any differently priced than say dinner and a cabaret would be, with the difference that it is actually something that keeps even little kids engrossed for a while.

Benihana Japanese Restaurant
Delicious as a Strawberry Kiss

Something that is worth specific mention is their selection of cocktails and mocktails. There are a few on the kids menu – mocktails, that is – and they are decently sized and the ones we had were delicious. Strawberry Kiss is the bomb, should you ever find yourself wondering which to order. Delicious.

My only observation for improvement would be that they didn’t seem to have the facility for cooking for allergies. So if you’re a pescatarian, your food is cooked with the meat, if you’re allergic to shellfish, you cant eat anything until the hotplate gets cleaned again. I know that’s not their problem as such, but it is a little limiting for people who have to be careful about what they eat.

Our overall experience of Benihana was fantastic. It may be very different, going in on a Friday night to going in at opening (5:30) on a Wednesday afternoon, but with kids you’re probably likely to be leaving as the crowds arrive, and your experience should be similar to what ours was.

From a practical point of view, there is a family/wheelchair toilet with a changing table. There were people with pushchairs, but I don’t remember seeing a ramp down – I may have missed it, but there were pushchairs down stairs.

My four and two year old had a fabulous time, I got to eat delicious food cooked by someone not me, and may have sampled a cocktail or two, and had the opportunity to chat to grown up people in a relaxed environment. What’s not to love about that!

*I am aware that I failed miserably to take any photos of the actual food. This is as much a surprise to me as it is to anyone who has ever had a meal with me. Feel free to search twitter or Instagram for #benigirlsbash however, and you’ll see everyone else’s pictures  there!

**We were given a free meal and demonstration at Benihana in exchange for an honest review. 

4 Fabulous ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker Recipes

CaptureSummer is coming, and I for one am looking forward to afternoons spent in the garden with my girls, enjoying the sunshine.

My girls love ice creams and ice lollies, and I generally choose to make my own yoghurt based or simple water based juices for them. We recently received a ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker for review, and I was very excited to try it, so popped it in the freezer immediately, eager to try it out.

The  ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker comes as a cup with the magic freezing bit inside, a leak-proof seal, lid, and a spoon-slash-straw. The way it works is fabulous for children. Total ‘magic’.

You need to pop the slushie maker into the freezer for four to six hours before use, so ours actually just lives in our freezer, rather than a drawer. That way whenever we want to make a quick frozen treat, it’s ready to go.

 ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker I particularly love the fact that I know exactly what goes in to these Slushy treats.There’s no colouring, sugar or preservatives unless I add them myself. It’ so easy to do, literally, even a child can do it. Here are some of  our favourite snacks to make in the Slushy maker:

Vanilla Ice

  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1tbs vanilla essence

Pour into the Slushy maker, squeeze for about 2 minutes, enjoy.

Chocolate Milk Slushy 

This is so incredibly good, it rivals and beats another brand of chocolate milk hands down. While doing it this way didn’t actually make a Slushy, it did make a beautifully thick chocolate milkshake. So delicious! (Apparently when they have ‘bits’ in them, the liquid doesn’t make a proper slushy.)

  • 3 tbs hot chocolate powder
  • 3 tbs boiling water
  • 200ml whole milk

Boil the water and add it to the hot chocolate. Stir to make a paste. Add the milk and stir it into the paste.  Pour it into the Slushy maker and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Use your straw to drink this one if it doesn’t freeze up entirely. Delicious.

Cola Slushy 

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like… a cola slushy. Not a healthy treat, and more one for me than the kids, but yummy anyway.

  • 200ml coke

Pour. Squeeze. Eat/Drink. Yum.

Fruit Juice

If you use a juice with ‘bits’ in it, it doesn’t slush properly. Choose a smooth juice. Make as above.

It’s that easy.

The only thing I don’t like is that there’s no real immediate reuse option – you have to refreeze after every use – and I would love if they made a family sized version, so I could do more than single person portions. I’ll definitely have to get a second one for my other daughter soon too.

They’re around £15.99 each, which is a lot, but if you think what it can save you in ice cream van purchases, dental treatments down the line and general sugar intake… it’s a bargain!