Spooky Halloween Party Fun With BEAR

If I asked Mia and Joe to list their favourite things, I’m pretty sure that Halloween, parties and glitter would be very near the top for both of them! So, when they received a party invitation to the BEAR Claws Halloween event a few weeks ago, they were super excited. The fact that it was in London too, and meant a trip on the tube (they love it!) just added to the excitement.

The Halloween party invite, with lovely monster artwork, was safely looked after by Mia on the train. She wanted to be the first to find the BEAR’s party location in the Deep Dark Woods once we reached our tube stop. On arriving at Whole Foods Kensington, and hearing the party music and laughter, they rushed towards it, leaving me and their dad behind! With the party in full-swing, they quickly joined in with games, dancing and some excellent craft activities. The guys from Sharky and George children’s party entertainers really know how to keep the party energy going, it was non-stop fun and the kids loved it!

There was also the lovely and incredibly talented Snapdragon Facepainting on hand to create some amazing spooky designs. Mia loved having her face decorated, and had so many ideas for designs, but ultimately decided to go for a surprise design! Her face paint looked amazing, and she loved her arm artwork she asked to keep it on until the next morning!

There’s nothing cuter than munchkin pumpkins and all of the little ones had so much fun decorating them with spooky stickers. Joe took his pumpkin decorating very seriously, and covered every little space on the pumpkin with stickers. It is now proudly displayed on our fireplace at home, where as he says ‘everyone can see my Halloween pumpkin art’!

Waking up the day after the party to a trick-or-treat parcel from BEAR was the sweetest way of continuing the Halloween fun. Mia and Joe unwrapped a great selection of craft supplies for decorating pumpkins, and to Mia and Joe’s delight, GLITTER!

After popping down a layer of newspaper on our kitchen table, I gave them complete freedom to glitter it up and make their super sparkly pumpkins, and also some spooky mummy masks to wear…also strongly featuring glitter! The addition of some boxes of yummy BEAR Claws went down very well too with the little ones. It’s especially important for them to enjoy healthy snacks at this time of year, and the tasty Claws fruit and veg shapes make a welcome alternative to other more sugary Halloween treats available.

They had fun arranging the BEAR Claws to make lots of different monsters with the body part fruity pieces. Thankfully none of the monsters were too scary to eat! BEAR Claws are made with 100% pure fruit and are baked into delicious (and not too scary!) monster body part shapes. With no-added nonsense, no added sugars or preservatives they are an excellent healthy option.

All Halloween limited edition packs of BEAR Claws include some cool glow in the dark stickers, perfect for decorating your own litte pumpkins!

How scary can you make your BEAR sticker creations?! Share your spookiest crafts across social media using #ClawsHalloween …woooooo!

To discover more BEAR fun, and plenty of spooky sticker inspiration:

http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/

BEAR Nibbles on Facebook

@follow_the_bear

@BearNibbles

#ClawsHalloween

As part of the BEAR Happy by Nature team we are happy to work with them on this collaborative post.

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Whipped & Charred: The Launch Of A Cook Book

If a new cook book could be released at the perfect time of year, it would be Whipped & Charred. A collection of cosy homely recipes, from the Thomas Curtis, Head Chef of ‘The Best Traditional Pub in Oxfordshire’, the White Heart, Witney. Thomas’ recipes reflect his family roots and celebrate really good food, but in an accessible way, that home cooks can enjoy too. He describes the book in his own words:

“I have lovingly put this book together as a tribute to my late father, Ian Curtis, who sadly passed away at Christmas in 2014. It is full of rich, homely content and a few memories and insights into my personal life and time working as a chef,” he says.

A wonderful idea of sharing homely and comforting recipes, whilst supporting and raising awareness of two charities; the British Heart Foundation; a charity which deals with one of the UKs biggest killers, heart disease; and secondly MIND, a charity for better mental health.

Choosing a favourite recipe from the book which includes so many favourite pub classics such as steak and onion pot pie, herby sausage rolls and an indulgent cauliflower cheese would be an almost impossible task. At this time of year, I could happily cook and enjoy one of the book’s recipes every evening! One recipe that really caught my eye though was the Earl Grey panna cotta with lavender shortbread, which sounds like a lovely twist on a traditional classic. Thomas has very kindly shared the recipe:


Earl Grey panna cotta with lavender shortbread and fresh raspberries

Preparation time: 4 hours 10 minutes (including cooling time) | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Serves 6

A very quirky twist on tea and biscuits. We have substituted a small amount of the full fat milk for evaporated milk to really bring out a lovely malty flavour that goes so well with tea.

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
160g plain flour
1 tbsp lavender flowers
500ml full fat milk
100ml evaporated milk
60g caster sugar
6 Earl Grey teabags
3 sheets leaf gelatine
36 fresh raspberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°c/170°c fan.

Beat the butter and 50g sugar together in a mixing bowl, until smooth.

Fold in the flour and lavender flowers to get a smooth and soft dough. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the dough is 1cm thick.

Cut into 12 fingers and place onto a baking tray. Prick with a fork and sprinkle with caster sugar, chill and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a pale golden brown colour. Set aside to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • In a heavy based saucepan heat up the full fat milk, evaporated milk and 60g caster sugar over a medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar until it just comes to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes then remove the teabags, giving them a little squeeze to get the maximum flavour.
    Place the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes until they are soft and pliable.
  • Take them from the bowl and squeeze away any excess water, then gently stir into the warm milk and tea mixture until the gelatine fully dissolves.
  • Pour the mixture into six 100ml pudding moulds and place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
    To serve, fill a shallow dish with very hot water and submerge each panna cotta in for a few seconds to loosen up. Turn each one out onto the centre of a serving dish and garnish each with six fresh raspberries and two lavender biscuits.

I think this recipe would be so much fun to make for a family gathering, and it looks pretty impressive…plus anything involving tea and biscuits has to be a winner as far as I’m concerned!

Whipped and Charred retails at £20 and to ensure your money goes towards a good cause, buy a copy from the man himself at [email protected] or pop into the restaurant. It will be also be available to purchase from Amazon, book shops including Waterstones and online from www.mezepublishing.co.uk.

 

 
This post is not sponsored, but I am always delighted to support exciting local businesses and good causes

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