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Soup Maker Recipe: Root Veg with Mushroom Soup

Mixing mushroom with any soup is always a hit or miss.  The colour of this soup was more muddy than it looks in the picture.  The colour seems to be very photogenic with a flash gun, but although muddy colour due to the mixture of green and orange, it was pretty tasty.

Soup Maker Recipe: Root Veg with Mushroom Soup

Lesley Smith
4 from 1 vote
Course Soup Maker
Cuisine Soup


  • 200 g Carrots peeled and sliced.
  • 200 g Potatoes peeled and cubed.
  • 150 g Onion chopped.
  • 50 g Leek chopped.
  • 50 g Asparagus chopped.
  • 50 g Mushrooms chopped.
  • 30 ml Olive oil.
  • 1 Garlic Clove Crushed.
  • Pinch Black Pepper.
  • Pinch White Pepper.
  • Pinch Chilli Powder.
  • Pinch Paprika.
  • 2 Vegetable Stock Cubes.


  • Saute your onions and leek with the oil, garlic, black pepper, white pepper, chilli powder and paprika.

  • Add the rest of your ingredients to the pot.

  • Fill the soup maker to the maximum level with water, making sure it fills above your minimum and below your maximum level. Stir well to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of your pot.

  • Ensure the lid is on properly.

  • Choose the smooth setting for your soup. If you make it in a pot, simply cook the soup and use a blender to smooth.


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Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Challenge from Britmums

Kelloggs sent us a big pack of Rice Krispies, with a fab case of colouring pens, colour changers, glitter glues and more.  The colouring pack alone has kept my kids entertained for a few days now, and they’ve rediscovered an enjoyment of colouring in again.

Middler has learning difficulties, but he likes to colour in.  His older brother helped him to do the figures and they made a pretty tidy job of it as a team.

The next picture is my entry for the Britmums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kelloggs.  The prize is £500, or a year’s supply of Rice Krispies.  When I mentioned a prize, the kids took colouring in very seriously indeed…..

There is also the opportunity for 10 entries to be put on a T-shirt for the child to wear.

Lots of bloggy fingers crossed.
The Scottish Mum Kids

If you want to enter, visit the Britmums Linky and link up a blog post entry of your own.

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Carrot and Orange Soup Challenge by Scotty Brand

As a Scotty Brand Blogger, I am loving the boxes of goodies arriving with instructions on how to make something that I haven’t made before.  This week, the challenge was to make Carrot and Orange soup, which I managed quite easily.  I had a couple of packs of carrots torn open and being chopped within about 10 minutes of them arriving at my door.

I didn’t read the recipe properly and thought that it only needed 600ml stock and so quadrupled the contents as my boys eat huge portions of food.  Don’t make the same mistake as I did, as I then had to up the milk quantity by four times as well – AND transfer my soup into a much bigger pot.  I’ll give you the Scotty Brand quantities and not mine, as we ended up with an obscene amount of soup which is now stored in the freezer for other cold days to come.

I also made the cardinal mistake of doing kids homework while I put the soup ingredients together, and I had put the butter in the microwave to melt.  It was after the soup was eaten that I discovered I hadn’t put it in the pot.  I have to say, the soup without the butter was delicious, so I’d say it was an optional ingredient and all in all, the recipe is fabulous and can cope well with some modifications.

Scotty Brand blogger badge


  • 450g Scotty Brand carrots sliced
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 65g butter
  • 65g plain flour
  • 600ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 orange (juice and rind)
  • Salt and finely ground pepper
  • 5ml nutmeg
  • 5ml parsley


  1. Melt butter and add onions and carrots  (I just added the onions and carrots to the pot with the stock and flour).
  2. Cook gently, and stir in the flour and cook for a further 1/2 mins (oops, I missed this step).
  3. Add milk.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 20/30 minutes  (you really have to stir frequently because of the milk).
  6. Liquidise before adding orange juice and shredded rind (I left out the rind as one of my boys doesn’t do bits in soup).
  7. Serve sprinkled with parsley and, if you like, a dollop of fresh cream or plain yogurt.

Scottish Mum Blog

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Guest Recipe : The Best Carrot Cake in the World from Lindsey Cave

A lovely Guest Recipe from Lindsey, who you can find on Twitter as @MrsVanderCave, with her blog at  That topping is perfection by the look of it.



This recipe is actually for a carrot cake but it makes a big cake which can sometimes be a bit OTT, particularly if you like to watch your weight! So I came up with the idea of making individual cakes using half the recipe. This recipe has been named as the best carrot cake in the world ever after I used it in the school cookery book that I collated for my son’s school PTA fundraiser

The recipe below is gluten-free and for a full-sized cake but it is easily transformed back into a regular recipe by swapping the gluten-free flour for ordinary plain flour and excluding the Xantham gum. For 8 muffins just half the recipe and bake for around 18minutes.

The best Carrot cake in the world ever!

Pre heat the oven to 180c. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins. I use my cake tin liners from Lakeland.


250ml corn oil
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
175g gluten-free plain flour (I use Doves gluten-free flour mix)
2tsp Xantham gum (Doves Farm make this, you can get it in Tesco and Sainsburys)
1.5 tsp gluten free baking powder (check the label on your baking powder)
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/5tsp salt
1.5tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
115g chopped walnuts
225g carrots finely grated
5tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp soured cream
For the frosting
175g full fat cream cheese chilled
25g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g icing sugar sifted


  • Place the corn oil and sugar in a bowl and beat well with an electric mixer until thickened.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. The mixture should now be pale and fluffy.
  • Sift the flour, Xantham gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt into the egg mixture and beat well.
  • Fold in the carrots, walnuts, vanilla extract, and soured cream.
  • Divide the mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for 1hr 5minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the tin comes out clean.
  • Once cooked, turn cakes out of the tins onto a wire rack to cool.
  • For the frosting place all the ingredients in a bowl and whip until light and fluffy.
  • Sandwich the two cakes together with a little of the frosting then cover the whole cake with the remains of the frosting. Swirl the frosting as you go to give the classic carrot cake look.


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The Cheats Strawberry & Raspberry Pavlova (made in Aberdeen by kids)

Made in Aberdeen by the Scottish Mum kids.

Want a speedy dessert that will make kids fall over themselves with delight at having made?  One they can share with family and friends, or just to eat themselves?

There is nothing difficult about creating such a spectacular tower of indulgency for a sweet dessert to die for, nor does it take any time at all to put together.  Using bits and bobs left lying around the house, it uses up all the fruit and sweetie leftovers.

Ingredients my boys used:

  • mini marshmallows
  • sugar strands
  • a pre-made meringue pavlova case
  • carton of custard (or you could make it yourself)
  • spray Tip Top cream (thoroughly ashamed, but hey, it was speedy)
  • strawberries and raspberries

Pinching a marshmallow is good fun too.

With some custard added to the bottom of the pavlova, spraying on the Tip Top was the next step.

Adding the fruit and veg is the most difficult bit for fingers.

Then simply finish the decoration and eat immediately.  This is not a dessert that can languish in the fridge. If you use fresh cream, you would get away with putting it in the fridge for later.

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Three generations of Scottish Mum women at the age of 18 ish.

Uncovering some family photos, I came across some lovely photographs of my grandmother, that I have not seen in years.

We don’t have many photographs as a family, and there are so few of me that it is shocking.  I will go to my grave, as almost the faceless entity, mother of 3 adopted children.

My grandmother – how hip and trendy was she.  I wish there were lots more photographs.  My grandfather took the photograph so I have no idea who she is posing on the bike with.  We Scots didn’t all run around in our kilts and sporrans, even in the early 1900’s !!


My mother – now where DID she put that dress??


And last, but not least (I hope) – me, with awful bouffant hair, but I wish I was still as slim as that.

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Thank you to Warner Bros. for the lovely Xmas Gift.

Last week, the postman delivered a lovely surprise from the team at Warner Bros.  The box was a little battered and bruised from the long journey to the Scottish Mum Family up in Aberdeen.  I left it sitting until the boys came home from school, as it was addressed to us all as a family.

When my mini people arrived home, the first thing they came across was the box.     There was much excitement and bright lit up eyes about what could possibly be in it for them.

They opened the box, and what was in side was delightful.  A gorgeous hessian sack, tied with ribbon and with a jingly bell attached.  Lifting the sack up gave the jingle jangle that signalled christmas had made it early to the Scottish Mum household with the first seasonally wrapped pressie to hit our home.

Inside was a collection of lovely DVD’s for us to watch.  They pulled them out.  Some of the DVD’s were Yogi’s First Christmas, Polar Express, Scooby-Doo and the Lake Monster, Bugs Bunny Christmas Tales, Happy Feet, Yogi Bear, Ben 10, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

At first, I thought they might think the films were too young for them, but they have been happily working their way through them and discovering some old favourites.   It just goes to show that you never get too old for a good old cosy up on a cold night and putting on a good family film.

The gorgeous Scooby Doo Mystery Machine seemed to be simply a toy car, but on closer inspection, it turned out to also be a holder for all 41 episodes of Scooby Doo in a Limited-Edition Deluxe Set.   They also included 2 bonus live action movies and 4 episodes of the new Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc, Show.

It was a gorgeous gift and considering I was expecting to just see Polar Express arriving, it was a very welcome and unexpected surprise.

Thank you very much Warner Bros.
Kind Regards

Scottish Mum Blog

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Littlewoods Christmas Giveaway….. Ends 15th November 2011 – Goodie Basket

It’s that time again, and Christmas is just around the corner.

I know, I know, I can hear you all sigh, groan, stamp your feet and run for the hills at the mention of Christmas in October and Early November.  The reality is that we either get moving and organise our Christmas presents, or we run around at the last-minute like headless chickens.

I watched this video a few times to write this post, and it made me smile.   Littlewoods seem to have captured a Christmas family favourite to showcase their Christmas gift ideas.

Littlewoods also have some fabulous 3 for 2 offers on jewellery & beauty, and some toys with as much as half price reductions.


To launch their christmas ideas advert, Littlewoods are offering a fabulous christmas giveaway for one of my readers.

The prize is going to be a goodie basket with the gifts in the picture for a mum and her child.

To enter.

  • Watch the video at the top of this post.
  • Leave a comment here saying which gift in the video would be your favourite surprise gift on Christmas day and why.  Any funny stories will be greatly welcomed to help spread Christmas Cheer around.
  • Make sure you leave your twitter id, or email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.
  • If you would like to tweet the competition, I would be very grateful if you would click the retweet me icon on the page.

We will end the competition on the 15th November, and the Littlewoods representative and I will choose a lucky winner to receive the basket.

The winner will have 3 days to claim their prize and send their address details to me, or we will re-draw by random generator.

Good Luck and Happy Video Watching
Scottish Mum


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The A-Z of Me

Thank you to the lovely Mummy Musings for tagging me in this meme.

This meme originated from Lauren of The Real Housewife of Suffolk County.

So here is the A-Z of me!

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side?

I remember what people tell me and I seem to be able to tell when they are telling white lies.  It means I get a red face when I know that someone is standing in front of me telling me a lie about why they have changed their mind about something or are making excuses and then they think I have something to hide.

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change? 

My size and weight battle.  It’s been a life long issue for me.  I am a sugar and carb addict.

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why? 

I agree with Mummy Musings – Robbie Williams.   What’s not to like there.

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging?

I can’t remember my first blog post, as I lost my first blog, but I remember I began blogging as a way of venting, and then found the fantastic community out there who blog and talk to each other.

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret? 

I have a few.  I think most of us have them by the time they get to 40 +.   One of them would be the fact that I didn’t stand up to a bully when I was 25.   Every so often, I think about what I could have done or said, but hey ho, that’s life.

FUNNY – who’s making you laugh?

My lovely blind dog makes me laugh a lot.  She still does silly things to get attention.   I don’t know how the boys are going to cope when she goes.

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on? 

Easy – I’d get my eldest son some help at school.

HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination?  

I am going to be a bit boring here.  Anywhere that my family is.

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit? 

My bad habit of repeating what I say.  It drives me nuts, so I don’t know what it does to other people who have to listen to it.  I can’t stop.

JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}?

I can’t think of anything that isn’t a joke my kids have told and some are not printable, so I’ll keep those to myself.

KENNEL… Do you have any pets? 

1 lovely blind lab, and 1 needy and haughty ex wild cat

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner? 

Married 16 or 17 years.  Can’t remember which year we got married, I never can.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert?

Starter – Melon and Grapes or Breaded Garlic Mushrooms with Mayo (depending on the diet), Main – Anything that has no meat or peppers in it.  Dessert – Easy, cheesecake anything.

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with? 

In a relaxing spa retreat on my own with a kindle full of books……….

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time? 

Blog, tweet, read & the odd day out.  Hmmm, I think that is common among blogger, tweeter, readers.

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of? 

My Degree.

QUEASY …What turns your stomach?

The smell when people or animals pass wind or vomit.  “you did ask”

 RELAX…How do you relax? 

Tweeting, Reading, Blogging

SONG…Whats your favourite song of all time? 

Robbie Williams – Angels

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose? 

From age 24, as long as I know what I know now.

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows? 

My weight.  You didn’t think I was going to tell you, did you.  I don’t even know.

VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist? 

Robbie Williams tho I think Matt Cardle is coming a close second if he could get some better songs to sing.

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now? 

Not doing it just now.  What I do for free would be nice to get paid for though.

XRAY…Any broken bones?

Arm, Leg and Nose.   All as a child and nothing as an adult (yet)  *touch wood*

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment? 

I can’t tell you that, it’s too embarrassing.

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be? 

A contented, well loved and well looked after dog.  I treasure loyalty.

And now I have to tag some other victims bloggers to take part in this meme.


A very similar post I did is here.


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My Vege Bags

My little pots are growing their leaves and flowers, and I hope, that eventually we will manage to have some lovely little flowers from the pots and containers that are full of gorgeous leaves.  Whether they actually have some fruit or not remains to be seen, but hopefully they do.     I have spent hours (ok minutes) tending these lovely pots and bags to try to turn my non gardening fingers into some semblance of a growers beginnings.

Here for your enjoyment, in all the Scottish dreary weather are some shots of my growing pot collection.

I did try to hold off until the sun showed its’ smiley face again, but I suspect that might not be anytime soon.

Ok, ok, I know these are not vegetables, but some pansies and geraniums make lovely pictures.

The strawberries are nearly ripe for picking (all three of them).  There are two more, honestly, there are.

Leeks and Onions and Lettuce are really doing well.

My potatoes are growing up a storm.

And apart from the carrots on either end, I have no idea what is growing in the  middle of my trough.

My neighbour gave me the seedlings and I planted them.  She cannot remember what they were.  If you recognise the leaves, do let me know.

Thats it for now.  I’ll post more when I start to harvest my little crop.

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Cybermummy and Leap Frog Leapster Explorer 2011

I was taken totally out of my comfort zone when I was in London at the Cybermummy Conference on the 26th June.  Mixing with a HUGE group of women, none of whom I had ever met before had my stomach growling with the nerves that were threatening to overtake my bold statement at booking myself in for the conference in the first place.

I swallowed my nerves, gave myself a stern talking to, and made it to the Brewery in time.  Walking through the door, I was a little taken aback by the number of stalls that were handing away little things, and asking us to enter competitions.   Slightly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people who seemed to be milling around talking to each other, I actually felt like I was the only person there that didn’t already know somebody else.

I had some cups of coffee, browsed, had some more coffee, and sat and listened to Sarah Brown at her keynote speech.   Behind the computer screen, I am a confident, assertive woman, who very much resembles the woman that used to have a career path – but that was pre-kids.  Eight years of caring for a child with learning difficulties, including behavioural and emotional problems, and the other stresses it can add, and my confidence had dropped to ridiculous levels.

I came across the lovely PR’s on the Leap Frog stand, and for some reason, I began chatting and found I qualified for a brand new and shiny Leapster Explorer and Camera.   The chat gave me a bit of a confidence boost, and for that I have to say thank you to Claire.

I have a special needs youngster who needs strong toys that are also “cool”. The Leapster Explorer and the Camera, certainly fitted into that category for him.   He squealed when I took it out of my bag, and it has remained his favourite toy so far.  The buttons are easy, and large enough for him to understand, and the case seems to be tough and practical.   The screen quality is also very good which is often unusual in childrens toys and is bright enough for him to play with during the day without drawing the curtains.

The back of the leapster holds the 4 AA batteries, and the screw is so large that a regular sized knife will open it easily.  I suspect a 5p coin would also do the trick, so no need to carry around a screwdriver just in case of that all important battery run out, just when you need it to keep a youngster occupied.

To get the best use out of it, the Leapster Explorer needs to be connected to the LeapFrog Connect application which you get on disk, or can download it for the leaplets (little apps and games ) directly from their website (here).

To download a leaplet, there is a starter code with the leapster when you unbox it, and linking up via the computer is actually very simple to do.   To buy more download codes, you have to go to specific outlets and have them sent to you, or buy from some toy shops.

It would be lovely to be able to order and pay for the games online and have them downloaded instantly.   Maybe that is something they are looking at in the future.  it’s not a deal breaker and we have another code on the way, along with a game on the way from Amazon, and I do love Amazon.   I looked this morning, and they have the Leapster Explorer which should be £59.99 reduced to £44.89.  I didn’t find the camera, but it seems to be coming in around the £14.99 mark.

One of the things that he is usually very jealous of is that his older brother can take photographs on his phone.   He is never trusted with a camera alone, as sadly things just seem to fall apart in his hands, and we all end up devastated.

The camera fits into the bottom slot of the leapster.  It was surprisingly easy to sort out.   It just takes a second to click it into place, then connect to the store through LeapFrog Connect, and download the software for it to work.

My boy has taken hundreds of photographs with his, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pictures were coming out with reasonable quality, and that the memory in the leapster must be quite good for what you can pack onto it.   He can add effects and use distortion effects to huge amusement and much giggling.  The camera even lets him take videos, which is an added boost, although I don’t think my son has fully understood everything that it can do.  When you set up your parent account, you can also see how your children are progressing through the learning games.  All in all, it’s a pretty impressive little gadget for youngsters, and for older special needs children.

We are waiting for a game to arrive so I can’t yet comment on those too much yet, but the built in software is keeping him happy so far.  The software is all around learning and there are several demos on the leapster that show you what it can do.  The demos are very popular and he seems to watch them a lot.  I can see there will be many requests for the games on the website for his birthday and christmas list.

All in all, it is a huge success in our house for my 9 year old with special needs, and I have seen his brothers sneaking onto it on the rare occasions that it has been laid down.  It seems attached to his hip at the moment, and I haven’t had much time to have a good look at everything on it.   Sneaking into his bedroom when he is sleeping, I have several times tried to quietly slip my hand under the pillow it is hidden under, only to be met by a sleeping hand shooting out to protect his pride and joy by grabbing it firmly.

It’s fantastic.   Thank you Leap Frog.  We love it.

Scottish Mum