Thursday, 20 July 2017

Philadelphia Flip & Dip review - are you a #doubledipper or #singledipper ?

 Philadelphia have launched a new product that is perfect for summertime picnics, straight-from-the fridge-because-it's-too-hot-to-cook sharing platters and alfresco dining. Flip & Dip is made with lightly whipped Philadelphia cream cheese, topped with a choice of three mouth-watering sauces, including sweet chili, Mexican salsa and caramelised onion.

 Inside the cardboard sleeve, there is a plastic pot with a foil lid to peel off. My immediate thought was that there was no way to seal the pot to keep the leftovers in once we'd finished. It turned out that this wasn't a problem at all though, as the whole lot got polished off in one sitting every time I opened one !

After flipping the pot over on to a plate, it slides out effortlessly to create a perfect dome of cheese, covered in sweet, sticky sauce that oozes down the sides.We tried it with carrot sticks, crackers and tortilla chips and it goes beautifully with all three. As it comes straight out of the fridge, it is really refreshing on a hot day.

What made me laugh the most was that the kids were in such a rush to get dipping that they totally missed the whole bit about flipping and just dug straight in with their carrot sticks and tortillas. As long as you dip right down to the bottom to get to the sauce, it makes no difference though, so this is a great tip if you're at a picnic and don't have a plate handy to turn it out onto.

Now we come to the thorny issue of dipping etiquette - do you double dip ? Do you think it's totally gross to reuse a carrot stick for extra dip once you've bitten the end off, or does a bit of spit-swapping with your other half seem totally normal to you ?! 

 For me, it depends - I'd never double dip in public, but if we're at home, why not, since everybody else does ! It also depends on my choice of dipper - I am not averse to double dipping long things like carrot, celery or bread sticks, but double-dipping crisps and crackers is a big no-no because they're too small and you're bound to end up with fingers in there too !

What about you? Do you flip and dip AND double dip? Or are you like the Madhouse kids and dip without even flipping ?! 

I had to chuckle when I was taking the photos for this review. I often get companies telling me that they like the fact that I use natural photos without filters and effects in my reviews, because it really shows the products as they are, rather than the airbrushed copies you get in the publicity shots. Here's a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at why I have to go for instant snaps - if I don't get in quick, it's gone before I've even got the pictures ! And this is coming from a trio of kids whose reaction was "that doesn't sound very nice" when I read them the blurb - they soon changed their minds though !

Philadelphia Flip & Dip is now available in Tesco & ASDA with an RRP of £1.49

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.

Globecooking recipe : Mustard & Lemongrass Beef (Guadeloupe)

When I saw this recipe in my Guadeloupe-themed Kitchen Trotter box, I was dubious because I don't like hot mustard, and I wasn't sure how mustard and lemongrass would work together. It was actually delicious though, because the mustard was very mild. I would have said this has more of an Oriental feel than what I would have expected from the Antilles.

It used two ingredients from the box - mild Creole mustard and "graines à roussir".

This is a wonderfully aromatic blend of cumin, caraway, fenugreek, yellow mustard and white sesame seeds and gives an instant burst of flavour to stir fries and slow cooked stews.

Mustard & Lemongrass Beef

ingredients :

5tbsp mild Creole mustard (I used 3tbsp)
3tbsp graines à roussir (see above)
800g beef/steak, chopped into strips
4 shallots (I used 2 red onions)
a sprig of thyme
2tbsp sugar
2 stalks of lemongrass (or you can use ground lemongrass if you prefer)
3tbsp sherry vinegar (I used pomegranate vinegar)
20g butter
salt, pepper

Chop your beef into strips (I used frying steak) and fry it in the butter. Keep it quite rare as it will continue to cook later. Sprinkle over the graines à roussir and the sugar and toss the meat around to make sure it is all evenly coated. Remove the meat to a plate or separate pan (which you can use for the rice later).

In the frying pan that you just used for the meat, fry the onions/shallots - add a little butter or olive oil if necessary. Roughly chop the lemongrass and add it to the pan, along with the thyme - these will add flavour but will need to be fished out before serving.

Once the onions have gone soft and started to caramelise, put the meat back in the pan. Add the vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper and toss it all around to coat the meat and onions evenly. Cook until the meat is warmed through and cooked however you like your beef cooked. (Medium rare for me, please !)

Taste and adjust the seasoning with extra sugar, mustard or vinegar to balance out the flavours, and serve over rice.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Globecooking recipe : Turrón de Jijona crème dessert (Spain)

This was such a simple yet delicious dessert that I'll have to have another go using different flavours.

It used one ingredient from my Spanish-themed Kitchen Trotter box (click through for my unboxing post) - a bar of Turrón de Jijona. I've had turron before and it was like soft nougat, but this one had a completely different texture. It's crumbly but slightly oily so you break pieces off and rub it between your fingers as if you were making breadcrumbs. I wasn't keen on the greasiness on my fingers but the flavour was lovely and it's perfect for melting into the cream.

Turrón de Jijona crème dessert 

ingredients :

150 g turrón de Jijona nougat
300ml milk
220ml full fat liquid crème fraîche (or single cream)
30g sugar
2 egg yolks

Crumble the nougat into a saucepan.

Add the cream and milk and whisk together over a gentle heat. Keep whisking non-stop until it starts to boil then turn off the heat and keep whisking until it is totally smooth.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it turns pale and creamy.

Gradually add the egg yolks to the creamy mixture. Put back on the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil, until it is thick and creamy.

Pour into bowls and leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

You could sprinkle some crumbled praline or chocolate on top, but it's already delicious on its own.

Fancy trying a Spanish feast? Then how about some of my other Spanish recipes :

Get ready for a #MoshiMonstersMadness twitter party 12-1pm today :)

If you're looking for a way to keep the kids busy during the summer holidays and you love competitions, make sure you're online this afternoon from 12-1pm for the #MoshiMonstersMadness twitter party. I'm one of the hosts @cherylp59 - wish me luck ! 

There are all sorts of exciting new things going on in the world of Moshi Monsters so I'll be telling you all about that, as well as giving you the chance to win prizes.

You can find out all about the free-to-download Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt Mobile Game, which is captivating a whole new generation of kids. Having shot to number one in the App Store’s 6-8 kids’ chart, this charmingly silly game sees kids hatching and adopting their very own little monstery pet, which they can name, customise and look after. They can even collect their friends’ unique Moshlings because each personalised character has its own shareable code.

Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt Trading Cards are also here! Hotly anticipated, this egg-citing launch range consists of over 350 cards. Each foil pack contains eight colourful cards, depicting Moshlings, monstery items and a guaranteed ultra-rare shiny card. But here is the monstrously clever bit: some cards feature secret codes to unlock in-game goodies and bring characters to life in the all new Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt mobile game. To scratch or save, that is the question !

The annual Moshi Monsters ‘Design a Moshling’ contest is back and now accepting entries. If you have ever dreamt of designing a character for an iconic brand in a number one mobile game, now is your chance! Running until 31st July 2017, the top three winning designs will be judged by Mr Moshi himself before being transformed into official Moshlings and featured in the App Store favourite, the all-new game. Three lucky runners-up receive a Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt Goodie Box, which is available exclusively from Moshi Monsters HQ.

You can find out more at and make sure you're following me @cherylp59 as well as @MoshiMonsters @MindCandy @miprglobal and the #MoshiMonstersMadness hashtag for the twitter party. See you there ! :)

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt Mobile Game & Trading Card (review) #MoshiMonstersMadness

Forget bears, this summer, we're going on an egg hunt ! Not just any old eggs either - these are Moshi Monster Eggs.

The well-known and well-loved monster collecting game has introduced two new ways to play this summer, with both a new free-to-download app and a new collection of trading cards.

Series 1 of the trading cards are now available and come in pretty pinky-purple foil blind packs of eight cards.

I opened up two random packs and here's what we got - there is a nice mixture of monsters, accessories and "rox" that act as money.

On the back of each card, there is a scratch panel hiding a code that will enable you to redeem these items in the accompanying app. You can scratch it off and use it yourself or leave it intact and swap the cards with your friends. Inside each pack, you are also guaranteed to get a rare shiny card.

We had a good giggle at some of the things in our packs - a bike, jelly baked beans and a dessert island all sound good (and yes, I did spell that right !), but I'm not sure about eye pie - ewww ! 

The app is quick to install and you get to name your new Moshling friends.

You can decorate your room - this is where the codes on the cards come into their own, for buying and unlocking fun items.

You can earn extra rox currency in fun little mini games and puzzles within the app.

There's something new every time you play, as you can hatch a new egg every day. You can interact with them, feeding them, washing them and even cleaning up their poo !

To help build up your collection, you can even add your friends' Moshlings to your own collection because each personalised character has its own shareable code.  To celebrate the Moshi Monster’s Egg Hunt Mobile Game launch, Moshi Monsters are giving away an EGGSclusive unique code every Saturday to redeem a mystery Moshling. If you've missed a secret code video, you can catch up here :

Get Burnie the Fiery Frazzledragon here:
Get Splutnik the Spaced-brained Zoshling here:
Get CocoLoco the Naughty Nutter here:
Get Judder the Unhinged Jackhammer here:
Get Slurpy the Lickity Lizard here:

One final piece of news - there will be a twitter party tomorrow and I'm one of the hosts @cherylp59 so you'll have the chance to win prizes if you follow my twitter feed and the #MoshiMonstersMadness hashtag. How eggsciting is that ?! 

Disclosure : I received some trading cards in order to write an honest review.

Giveaway #637 : Win 2 x Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang on dvd - closing date 31/7


Two iconic Spanish comic strip characters Zip and Zap come to life in this exciting adventure. Brothers Zip and Zap thought they would get to enjoy their summer holidays. But after they’re caught stealing exam questions, they’re forced to re-do the year and are sent away to summer school. When they arrive, they soon realise their summer isn’t going to be any fun after all. The headmaster is a one-eyed, patch-wearing man whose motto is ‘no play is allowed’ and, along with his chief security guard, he runs the school with strict discipline.

 Zip and Zap quickly make friends and form ‘The Marble Gang’ with the aim of wreaking havoc around the school by creating mischief and playing pranks whilst everyone sleeps. During one of their adventures, they discover that the headmaster is hiding a mysterious secret - one the brothers are just waiting to solve…

The main (and in fact only) issue that many people will have is the language - it's in Spanish with English subtitles. The Madhouse kids are bilingual (French/English) so they're used to hearing different languages, but as they don't speak a word of Spanish, they did find it hard going to keep reading the subtitles. I tend to multitask when watching TV or films, usually writing up blogposts funnily enough, so that caused a problem for me too as I couldn't follow the subtitles ! If you can get beyond that or if you speak fluent Spanish, it's a lovely film though, full of cheeky shenanigans and eccentric characters that are great fun to watch.

Genre: Kids / Family
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Runtime: 89 minutes
RRP: £19.99
Cat no: SODA373

If you fancy testing your language skills while discovering a new family-friendly movie (or getting the kids to revise their Spanish in a fun way!), I have two copies of the film to give away to lucky Madhouse Family Reviews readers. Fill in your entries in the Rafflecopter widget below.

UK only. Closing date : 31/7/17

T & C's : Entries close at midnight on the closing date. Winners will be selected with a random number generator and announced on facebook and in the giveaway post subject line. Please note, you will be contacted by email and/or twitter and if I haven't heard from you after 28 days, I'll have to pick another winner. Prizes will be sent out by the companies or their PR directly to winners. Madhouse Family Reviews cannot be held responsible for any prizes that go astray !

You may also like to enter my other giveaways :

Monday, 17 July 2017

Lego Elves - The Capture of Sophie Jones (review)

We've recently been reviewing one of the five new Lego Elves sets, designed for 7-12 year olds :  The Capture of Sophie Jones 41182 (RRP £17.99). The exciting backstory to the range will give lots of ideas for imaginative play once the kit has been put together : The magical world of Elvendale, where the LEGO Elves Azari, Farran, Naida and Aira live, faces dark times now that the King Goblin and his goblins have hatched an evil plan. Emily Jones’ little sister Sophie has followed Emily through the portal to the magical kingdom of Elvendale. However, without her big sister and her elf friends, Sophie gets captured by the evil Goblin King and his mischievous goblins. The LEGO Elves must unite their magic and go on a dangerous mission to search for Sophie and also recover Emily’s precious Amulet, which has been stolen. If the Goblin King finds the amulet, he will become the most powerful being in Elvendale and evil will take over the enchanted land.

Once you tip out the contents of the box, you get two sealed bags with a wide variety of bright colours and interesting looking shapes.

The full-colour enclosed instruction book shows you exactly what to put where and it's really easy to follow, even for a child with little or no input from parents. This is really gratifying for the child and is great for confidence-boosting.

Juliette jumped straight in and within half an hour (including time for stopping and taking photos), the whole set was put together, so it's a great choice for beginners, who may be overwhelmed or become disinterested by a complicated kit that takes too long to assemble.

Following the order of assembly in the book, the first thing we made was Barblin the Goblin's capture-mobile, with a big net on the front.

Pushing it along, the wheels really turn and the net goes up and down, so you can have fun catching Sophie Jones over and over again.

Alternatively, you can shake things up and let Sophie have a go at goblin-hunting instead !

This isn't the only story-telling and creative play that can be inspired though, as there is also a fully stocked shop (Mr. Spry’s grocery store) where Sophie can go and buy food and drink. There is great attention to detail, with numerous bottles and jars, as well as a sheet of stickers to decorate certain objects, such as a rug and the board showing what's for sale.

We love the interactive playability and the attention to detail, as well as the short time it takes to put together, so it gets top marks from us. This is just one of the sets in the range, so you could put together a whole Elvendale village by buying the others.

Magic Rescue from the Goblin Village 41185 (RRP £49.99)
Join Azari Firedancer and Farran Leafshade as they rescue the captured animals while they search for Sophie Jones! Check out the crystal and cage-making workshops, and watch goofy Fibblin try to catch Hidee the Chameleon. Help the elves deflect the evil seeds Bieblin is shooting at them from the catapult and avoid Smilin the guard and the carnivorous plants. Then free Panthara the Panther before continuing the search for Sophie!

Aira's Airship & the Amulet Chase 41184 (RRP £39.99)
Fly on a daring chase and search mission in Elvendale! Dukelin the Goblin has spotted Emily Jones with her amulet on Aira’s airship and swoops in with the goblin glider. Oh no, Dukelin has stolen the amulet and is getting away! Use Aira’s wind powers to transform the airship to super-fast flight mode and catch the goblin before it returns the amulet to the Goblin King!

The Goblin King's Evil Dragon 41183 (RRP £24.99)

Fly with the Goblin King on the back of his mind-controlled dragon, Ashwing, as he hunts for crystals to power his portal! Grab Blubeary the momma bear with Ashwing’s claw as she explores the empty cave with Lil’ Blu, and then have Jimblin the Goblin use the dynamite to blow up part of the cave and find the special crystal. Store the crystal in the cage on Ashwing's back and fly back to the Goblin King's fortress! Fly with the Goblin King as he hunts for crystals on his mind-controlled dragon, Ashwing, plus a crystal cave with explosion function, Jimblin, Blubeary and Lil’ Blu.

Naida's Gondola & the Goblin Thief 41181 (RRP £8.99)
Row through the streams of the unexplored goblin forest with Naida Riverheart the water elf as she searches for rare ingredients and crystals! Use the map and compass to find new places to explore on the way. But wait, Roblin the Goblin has spotted her and is firing evil seeds from the catapult, because the Goblin King wants the crystals to power his evil portal. Help Naida fight the goblin and protect the crystals!

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £17.99

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.