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The School Of Artisan Food – Game Of Cones – Making My Own Ice cream – AD-Review

It’s been a while since our last Ice cream parlour visit. This week I stepped up the competition a little when I attended a course to learn how to make my own ice cream at the School of Artisan Food.

The School Of Artisan Food

The School Of Artisan Food is based in the heart of Sherwood Forest. The Forest provides such a beautiful backdrop to the stunning victorian buildings. Inside, although set up in a modern kitchen classroom style the stunning architecture has not been lost.

I head into The Refectory and there is complimentary refreshments in the form of tea and coffee along with pastries made on site by the students of the school and local fruit and cereal.

While eating my pan au chocolate and drink my cuppa I read the course guide and chat with other students .

I now have a list of courses that I’d like to attend. Well my birthday is coming up!

An Introduction Into Ice Cream Making At The School

Kitty Travers an artisan Ice Cream producer is our tutor for the day. Kitty makes a small amount of the frozen dessert and sells through shops local to her home in London. She starts by giving us an icebreaker. What is your most memorable Ice Cream?

Ice (Cream) Breaker

Going around the room there were students from all over. Some that came on the course as they have a passion for ice cream, some as they want to make it part of their business. One man had travelled from Greece to take inspiration and gain knowledge from Kitty.

I introduced myself and talked about the Game Of Cones Challenge and how when I lived in whitby I worked in an ice cream kiosk.

Learning Time

Introductions were made around the room. Kitty then gave some key points into how the best ice cream is made. Some facts were shared about the mass produced desserts you see in shops and even some authentic italian gelaterias.

She broke up facts and figures with stories of her travels. How she spent some of her time traveling and working in different places to gain her expert knowledge.

Practical Lesson

It was then time to get making. We paired up and were given a recipe each to make before lunch.

We got eggless ice cream – following the recipe in our hand out we got to work weighing and measuring. I’m so glad I was paired with a lovely lady who was on the same wavelength as me. In fact all of the students on the day were lovely and didn’t make me feel out of my depth.

Once our mixtures were prepared and in the fridge chilling it’s time for lunch.

Lunch Time

Lunch is included in the price of the course and is again freshly prepared with local ingredients some even grown on site.

Food is laid out on the counter like a buffet so you can just help yourself to the beautiful spread. The jacket potatoes, chilli and salad I opted for were delicious.

Once I’d eaten and chatted I headed outside to soak up some of the sunshine and breath in the forest.

Made in an instant

Kitty shared some more stories while she showed us how to make instant ice cream.

This is definitely now on my summer bucket list of things to do with the kids. So simple and so delicious. Still in our pairs we could choose what ingredients to put in our instant mix. We chose a honey and peanut butter

We even surprised ourselves as we tasted our creation. There were lots of other flavours to sample all around the room.

Keep Those Ice’s Churning

A quick cuppa was drunk before churning our main ice cream. Churning takes around half an hour so while it’s working its magic we all help to wash and tidy up. There isn’t much to do however as the kitchen technicians keep on top of it during the day.

Taste Test

Once the ice creams have all had another blast in the freezer it’s time for the last and best part of the day Taste test.

There were a range of different icecreams made during the day including several different vanilla ones as well as a sorbet and a peach flavour.

We all sample a little of each and discuss which ones we would like to try at home which we though tasted the best.

In Conclusion

Before I headed out to this course I was a little apprehensive as to whether I would be out of my depth. I feared that as I’m not really someone who is confident around the kitchen I would have trouble keeping up.

I was pleasantly surprised that everyone there on the day were at different skill levels some had never made any ice cream before.

There are loads of courses on offer at The School Of Artisan Food from absolute beginners to those who are a little more advanced in their food and cookery journey.

Some of the ones I’ve now added to my list are

There is also another Introduction to Ice cream making later on in the year.

Nina X

*disclaimer. I was invited to attend this course to give a review  However all opinions are my own.
As with all #ads I only ever work with brands and companies that fit with me and my  family.

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Meal Plan Monday – July 1st

A brand new month and a brand new week ready for another bunch of meals for Meal Plan Monday?

Meal Plan Monday

Meal plan Monday bbq sausages

Meal planning relives the stress after school of thinking what your going to make for dinner each day. There is nothing worse than getting to 4pm and realising you have no idea what to cook or that you have nothing in to cook.

This weeks Meal Plan

This week is a busy week. I have a funeral, the kids have a assembly for parents to attend, and a meet the teach evening as well as a hair appointment for me and an evening out with the girls from WI. All of this needs to be factored into my meal planning this week.

Breakfasts

We are getting close to the end of the school year so for little treats to keep us going I have let the kids have some Pan Au Chocolate this week for breakfast as well as the usual cereal and some smoothies.

Lunch

Post Playgroup cafe lunch | Picnic Plate | Ham & Chips | Salad | Lunch out with Spencers ARC Daddy | Picnic | Sandwiches|

Dinner

This week i need a dinner plan that takes little preparation as I have said we have quite a busy week ahead. Hopefully these meals will satisfy this.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday – Cheesy Pasta & veg

Tuesday – Nuggets, Salad, Chips

Wednesday – Fish finger Sandwiches

Thursday – Slow Cooker Bolognese

Friday – Pizza

Saturday – Chicken Kebabs, & Salad

Sunday – Roast Dinner

Fingers crossed we can stick to this meal plan this week.

Dont forget I often post on my Instagram feed or in my stories the meals we are having and our daily adventures.

Nina x

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Joining in with Katy Kicker – Meal Plan Linky

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Belvoir Castle Simple Family Days #AD

A great family day out

This weekend we headed out to Belvoir Castle located in rural Leicestershire’s Vale of Belvoir. The Castle is dated back to the eleventh century and is home to the Duchess of Rutland and family. You can explore some of the castle and marvel at the decoration inside as well as exploring the 7 gardens outside.

Castle Life and Treasure Hunt

Once we had worked our way up the hill to the castle we left the pushchair outside and headed in to explore. One of the guides told the big twins about the teddy hunt around the castle. The kids set to straight away looking for hidden teddy bears. I’m told this teddy hunt is on daily through weekends and holidays.

As a lot of the rooms are upstairs we opted to leave the pushchair and let the littlest twins walk around. There is so much to see during your visit and if you book a guided tour from one of the knowledgable tour guides I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. We didn’t have a tour guide, however just chatting with a couple of the guides I actually learnt a thing or two about life in and around Belvoir.

Once we had found all of the bears in the hunt you inevitably end in the gift shop to pick up the teddy hunt prize.

Explore the Gardens

We picked a good day weather wise for our day out at the Castle. We were able to explore some of the extensive gardens around the property. The gardens are great for tiring out the little ones. Our big two enjoyed playing hide and seek and running off on their own while the little twins tried their best to keep up!

Engine Yard & Play Area

Once we had worked up an appetite exploring the beautiful gardens we headed over the road to the Engine Yard. Where we had a well earned cuppa and some cake at The Fuel Tank. Of course once we had stopped off at the play park. We obviously didn’t tire the kids out enough walking around the Castle grounds.

The Engine yard is home to a range of boutique shops as well as The Balloon Bar. The Ballon Bar was New for Summer 2019.

A Great Family Day Out

Choosing Belvoir as a location for a summer day won’t disappoint. There is ample parking and several places for a good cuppa, lunch or even tapas and a cocktail.

belvoir castle,

Nina x

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What is Simple Living?

I am on a journey to living more simply for better wellbeing but what is simple living? What could be classed as Simple Life?

If you head off into the the obis of google you can find loads on simplifying life. Rules to follow, decluttering techniques and more. It can be a little overwhelming to say the least.

I have decided to set my own simple list of simple living ideas and what it means to me.

Can I even have a simple life as a mum to 2 sets of twins? I mean just leaving the house is quite a complex task. The amount of things we need to carry on a daily basis!

simple living, beach art, rock stacking

5 Simple Living Ideas

I’ve been doing a little research into living a more simple life and I have come up with a set of rules. Hopefully These will create a simpler way to live for my family.

Declutter for simple living

The big one to start with for any Simple living lifestyle is decluttering. I have been on this mission for as long as I can remember. One piece of advise I heard is just start. Though I think working on decluttering on a bigger scale is in order for it to really impact positively on our Simple living lifestyle.

Rhythms and Routines

I know as well as most that creating a daily routine can make for a less stressful time especially on school days. Creating these routines or rhythms is essential for simple living.

Daily rhythms are personal to our circumstances therefore we need to create ones that fit the time of life we are in right now.

When we find a routine that fits our time of life it means we dont have to think as much about the things that need doing. Like brushing your teeth or making a cuppa first thing. Why not add emptying the dishwasher to that list and do it every day in the same order. You will have created a rhythm before you know it. Then it just gets done as part of your everyday.

Simplify Money & Spending Habits

Is it really as simple as not spending money? Well yes and no. Most things cost money. Food, clothing, our homes, e.t.c.
We need to start a budget and not impulse buy. Write lists for things we need.

Paying off debts is is a huge way to simplify finances and something we have been working on for a while.

Food Made Easy

Following on from Money and making lists for less spending is food. Creating meal plans for our weekly meals not only saves us money but it also takes away the stress of thinking what to eat each day.

A lot of the research I have done into simple living also suggests eating a more organic unprocessed diet. which we all know is good for our health.

In my bid to live a more simple life I plan to mostly cook and eat a less processed diet. Add more fresh fruit and vegetables into our daily life, however I am realistic I will also throw in some more quick and dare I say fast food meals because you know 4 children and all that. Sometimes you have to go for the easy option.

ECO Friendly

For a long time I have sat with my head in the ground regarding living more eco friendly. I have used disposable plastics and not thought about the consequences on the world we are leaving for our children. I think alot of us are guilty of this.

The past few months though I have been trying to find alternatives. making swaps within our life to help with the plastic crisis and our effect on the planet.

Making more conscious decisions for eco living is high up there on my list for simple living.


I hope this list will inspire you to start your simple living journey. Remember little steps each day. Maybe make up your own rules to suit your season of life.

Nina x

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18 Summers – Number 8!

Has anyone else seen the posts going around the internet about the fact that we only get 18 summers with our kids? I am on Summer number 8 already. Now, Although there are only 18 until they can legally abandon you it doesn’t mean they are forced to. Its our job to make sure we create enough good memories so that they want to still spend time with you during their adult years. I have been creating a summer bucket list and other holiday bucket lists for our school holidays for as long as I can remember. It helps so that we dont waste our time then at the end of the holidays we have lots of good memories to share.

Summer Bucket List

I find it so beneficial to create a bucket list for different seasons in our life and for the different holidays to make the most of our time together. Since starting my simple living journey I know how important it is to keep our schedule simple too.

Keep it simple

This year my bucket list is paired down so that we can have a slow summer holiday and enjoy every moment. I have broken our bucket list into 5 different sections.

In addition to our bucket list I plan on scaling down my workload so that I can focus more time on being present and less time scrolling through my instagram feed.

Summer 2109 Bucket list

child at the beach, summer bucket list

Kids & Family

  • Swimming
  • Geocaching
  • Play Park
  • Sandcastle Building

Travel

  • Cornwall Road trip
  • Whitby
  • Maltby Weekend

Me

  • Sea Swim
  • Lone Coffee
  • Yoga
  • Less time online

Couple Time

  • Cinema Date
  • London Evening

Food

  • Campfire Marshmallows
  • BBQ
  • Pancakes
  • Seaside Fish ‘N’ Chips
  • Ice cream

This may look like a lengthy list however they are all simple little things that make great family memories. None of them involve lots of money or thought and some of them can be done with a little spontaneity.

lady in hot tub with a cuppa

Great Summer Memories

This is what makes a great summer for me. Getting up in a morning, deciding on the days plans while sat in bed cartoons on and a cuppa in hand.

I’d love to know whats on your family Summer bucket list?

Nina x

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