> The Beesley Buzz

The Perfect Personalised Stocking from Pink Lining!

A pretty pink parcel,
What could it be?
A beautiful stocking,
Just for me!

A classic design,
and generously sized,
And best of all...
My name! It's Personalised!

What's this in the pocket,
Let us take a peek...
A cute Christmas robin,
playing hide and seek.

Thank you Pink Lining, 
I couldn't wish for more,
Now I have a stocking to be filled,
With Christmas gifts galore!

This stunning Christmas stocking is available from Pink Lining. Priced at just £10 (without personalisation). You can add a personalised name (up to 11 characters) for £4.99 extra. All prices correct to the best of our knowledge. Please check yourself for current price at time of ordering. 

Pink Lining also offer personalisation on some of their other products in the Pink Lining Child range. They also have lots of other amazing Christmas gift ideas: 


Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash for Nintendo 3DS

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is the fantastic new platform game for the Nintendo 3DS. You play as Chibi-Robo, a cute little robot, as he tries to save the world.

Mischievous aliens have been stealing the world's resources, and it is up to Chibi-Robo to try to stop them. At only 10cm tall, he seems an unlikely hero but, armed with his Chibi-Plug and the skills to use it, he is more than capable.
His two skills are the Whip Lash and the Zip Lash. In the first, he uses his Chibi-Plug as a whip to defeat enemies, a grappling hook to reach higher levels or a lasso to grab items. Once you gain the Zip Lash skill, though, you and Chibi-Robo can do so much more! Breaking bigger blocks, using the Chibi-Plug as a long-range zip wire, or defeating many enemies in a row at once, it really is a great addition to your armoury.
This is a great game, loads of fun, and simple controls. With the Zip Lash power able to ricochet, you have to think about where you want to go and how you might get there. As with all the great Nintendo games, the first few levels are nice and simple so you can get used to the controls, and get progressively harder as you go. With over 35 levels spread across different continents, this will keep you entertained for hours.
J, our resident gamer, has really got stuck in and proudly announced he has beaten the final boss this evening. There's still more to do to complete it, though - bonuses to unlock and an extra world - so he's still looking forward to playing it for many more hours.

J says:
On Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash you are a robot called Chibi-Robo and you have to try to stop the aliens. You use your whip lash by pressing the X button and you press and hold the Y button to use a zip lash. You have to kill enemies and complete the levels. The final boss is awesome!!! You can buy an amiibo that can unlock a secret world. I want an amiibo for Christmas. I give it 10 out of 10!!!

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is out now on Nintendo 3DS. Thank you Nintendo for sending us such a great game!


A fine dining sandwich? Is it possible? - It is with #ProperPickle!

The new Proper Pickle range from English Provender is exactly what it says on the jar - a truly proper pickle - crunchy, full of flavour and packs the perfect punch in a sandwich.

The new range of Proper Pickles consists of 4 fabulous pickles: Proper Pickle Finely Chopped, Proper Pickle Chunky, Proper Pickle Pickled Onion and Proper Pickle Beetroot. All very tasty, all add a tang to a dish and they're ideal for making the perfect sandwich too!

A sandwich is often a rushed 5 minute lunch grabbed between meetings without much thought going into it. Well I decided that a Proper Pickle deserves a proper sandwich. One with plenty of thought that's gone into it, made completely from scratch (yes - including the bread!) and worthy of enclosing the most proper of pickles.

Presented with the finesse of the finest fine dining restaurant, this sandwich truly is worthy of a Proper Pickle.

It looks and tastes amazing and it actually doesn't take too long to make either - just a little bit longer than a 'grab and go' boring sandwich. Truly worth those few extra minutes to make the bread and prepare the filling.

Now we all know that the most classic of pickle sandwiches is the famous cheese and pickle - so without further ado here is my fine dining version of that famous classic cheese and pickle sandwich...

Cumin spiced Roti bread, Paneer and Proper Pickle Sandwich

The Finely Chopped Proper Pickle was the inspiration for my sandwich. It led me to think about whether a sandwich could be considered a fine dining experience given the right ingredients and presentation.

The indian cooking cheese, Paneer, is used as my cheese in this sandwich (it is widely available from most supermarkets these days) and the home-made miniature roti breads provide the perfect bread backdrop to showcase the very best of what pickles have to offer...The Proper Pickle.

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people. Adjust quantities as required.

Ingredients for the roti bread:
115g Plain Flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
A quarter tsp table salt
1 tsp groundnut oil
A little melted ghee
62ml warm water

Ingredients for the Sandwich:
100g Paneer - dry fried for a minute on each side
1 leaf of red cabbage
A small sprig of fresh coriander
A few baby spinach leaves
English Provender Proper Pickle Finely Chopped
English Provender Proper Pickle Beetroot

The Prep stage - making the roti bread, cooking the miniature roti, dry frying the Paneer, dry frying the red cabbage
1. Make the cumin spiced roti bread by mixing together the flour and dry ingredients. Mix together the warm water and oil. Then pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix to form a dough. Knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.
2. Split the dough into 4 and roll each out. Brush with a little melted ghee, fold in half, brush with ghee again and fold in half again. Roll again to flatten it. Using a circle or square cutter, cut the dough then place in a dry frying pan on the hob for a minute or so on each side. Remove from pan.
3. Slice the Paneer into lengths and dry fry for a minute on each side until browned. Remove from heat and cut into small cubes.
4. Roll the cabbage leaf tightly removing any parts that are too hard to roll. Then slice as finely as you can. Place these in a dry frying pan and dry fry for a couple of minutes until they are slightly charred. Remove from heat.
5. Wash the coriander. Chop a few of the leaves. Keep those flavourful stalks and cut them into small pieces too - they are perfect as a garnish!
6. Now you are ready to assemble your fine dining sandwich as follows:
The assembly stage - roti, Proper Pickle, Baby spinach, Paneer, awaiting the top layer of roti bread to complete the sandwich

  • Spoon a little Proper Pickle Finely Chopped onto one of your mini roti breads, place a fresh baby spinach leaf on top, then add the diced Paneer.
  • Sprinkle a little chopped coriander on top of the Paneer and pop the second roti bread on top. 
  • Add a little of the charred red cabbage on the very top. Repeat to make 2 or 3 of these per person.  
  • Serve on a plate using the chopped coriander stalks as a garnish. For the perfect finishing touch, dot 3 pieces of Proper Pickle Beetroot around the plate too. 

And there you have it. It is possible to turn the humble sandwich into a fine dining experience with the right ingredients - and the right pickle in particular! 

This post is an entry into the #ProperPickle Challenge with The English Provender Co and Foodies100. Find out more here


Chocolate Biscuit Reindeer Edible Christmas Cards

These cute reindeer are so easy to make - I just made a batch of them for the preschool Christmas fete. Then I thought about how great they would be added to a Christmas card to make a unique edible gift!

The recipe for the chocolate biscuit is a brilliant one from The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits recipe book and can also be found online here. The online recipe states 350g plain flour but we used 275g as per the version of this recipe that is found in the book.

I used a Tom & Jerry cutter to get the shape but you can always make your own template using baking paper. Draw the shape you want then use it to cut around the dough as a guide.

The decorations were added using Icing made up using the powdered egg white version of the Royal Icing recipe found here. I made a much smaller quanity. The great thing about this design is that I only needed to make up one colour to use alongside white. I just added red sugarflair colouring to half the icing to make it red.

I used squeezy bottles to pipe the icing on. The black dots in the eyes were done using a cocktail stick dipped into black food colouring paste and dotted onto the white part of the eye.

A simple design but I think they look really festive in the run up to Christmas!


Rainbow Jacket Potatoes with Rainbow Salad - My #NothingArtificial Clover recipe

When it comes to food, these days bright colours are often associated with E numbers and sugary kids sweets. Yet nature itself boasts many, completely natural, vibrant colours. We try to make sure nothing artificial sneaks into our meals by using plenty of fresh natural ingredients and cooking from scratch as much as possible.

I wanted my #NothingArtificial Clover recipe to reflect all the wonderful colours that are found in food naturally. I also wanted to make a fun family recipe that's great all year round - warming jacket potatoes in the winter, that would make equally awesome picnic food on a summers day especially with the colourful rainbow salad we've made to go with the potatoes. 

Jacket potatoes and butter - a simply classic combination. By replacing butter with Clover as we've done here, you get all the buttery taste of butter as it's made with buttermilk but only half the saturated fat. Clover light goes a step further with 60% less saturated fat than butter meaning that you can use it in all your favourite recipes without the guilt. 

Packed full of tasty colourful veg and presented in a fun way, we hope our recipe will become a family favourite of yours too. 

Here's a recipe video we made to show what to do but for those who prefer it all written down, keep reading for the full ingredients list and method. 

Ingredients for the rainbow potatoes:
4 large baking potatoes
1 head of broccoli
3-4 small beetroot 
1 butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of frozen sweetcorn 
Grated cheddar cheese
Pinch of dried mixed herbs

Ingredients for the rainbow salad:
1 Red pepper
1 Carrot
2 tablespoons cooked sweetcorn
Lettuce leaves
Red cabbage

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash your potatoes and pat dry. Push a few holes into each with a fork. Rub with a little sea salt (this helps get a crispier skin). Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

2. Cook the broccoli, sweetcorn, beetroot and butternut squash. The broccoli and sweetcorn can be cooked on the hob for a few minutes in boiling water. The butternut squash and beetroot can be roasted for maximum flavour. 

This recipe can be made using leftover vegetables which makes it quicker. You can also use frozen butternut squash ready to roast in the oven for 30 minutes and pre-cooked beetroot to save time. 

3. Once the vegetables are cooked mash each of them to a puree. You can use a stick blender to speed  up this stage.

4. Cut each potato in half, and scoop out the potato into a bowl. Keep the skins. Add some grated cheese, seasoning, mixed herbs and the chosen vegetable puree and the most important ingredient - a dollop of Clover -  and mix well. Scoop the mixture back into the skin.

5. Repeat this with all of the potatoes using a different vegetable puree for each. Grease a baking tray with a dot of Clover under where each potato will go. Then pop them back into the oven for around 15-20 minutes until they start to brown a little on top. 
6. In the meantime prepare the rainbow salad. Wash and chop the ingredients and arrange on a plate to reflect all the colours of the rainbow.

7. Serve the potatoes with the rainbow salad remembering to add an extra dollop of Clover on top of your potato whilst it is warm. 

Clover has nothing artificial in it and nor does this delicious recipe. So here's our very own cowboy and magic fairy to make sure that all our mealtimes are protected from artificial ingredients. 
Truly good natural food at its best with #NothingArtificial involved!

This post is my entry into the Tots100/Clover #NothingArtificial competition. More details about the competition can be found here and you can find out more about Clover here

Animal Jam Play Wild App Review

I remember well the day that D rushed home from school and begged to join yet another online world. Along with all the other games he plays, I didn't really want him to. Then he showed me Animal Jam and when I saw that it is something that has been created in partnership with National Geographic Kids, an organisation I think of as educational and trustworthy, I changed my mind and let him join. 

And now, Animal Jam is available as a FREE app so we got it downloaded onto D's iPad to try out.
I interviewed 9 year old D to find out more about it...

Can you give me an overview of what animal jam play wild app is about ?
Well you get to create an animal so you can play games, move around Jamaa (which is the land it is set in) and make friends.
You can choose from the animal choices which animal you want and then personalise it with the colour, pattern and accessories.
By playing the different games on there you can earn lots of gems and then use them to buy more accessories and personalise your den.

Tell me a bit about the land of Jamaa?
It's big. You can go to lots of different places in it like the beach - crystal sands, the mountain - Mt Shiveer, and the forest - Sarepia forest.

What games can you play on the app?
There are lots of games to choose from. My favourites are falling phantoms, phantom dodger, and pill bugs where you get to blast the bugs to earn points which turn into gems.
What do you think of the graphics?
I think the characters are cute.

Do you find it educational?
Not really. It does show you different facts and animals and the world on the loading screens and at the end of each level on the games.

Is it similar to the Animal Jam online game?
Not really. On the online game you do missions, on the app it's mainly the games and making friends.

Anything else you want to tell me?
The games are fun!

Would you recommend this app to others?
Yes. It's fun.

The Animal Jam Play Wild App is free to download. Animal Jam kindly sent us a goody bag as we were unable to make it to their recent bats event day. For a great write up of the day and some brilliant Bat facts, see this post at Vevivos.
Image courtesy of Animal Jam
You can find out more about Animal Jam as follows:
Twitter – @AnimalJam
Instagram- @animaljam
Facebook – facebook.com/PlayAnimalJam