Pork wraps recipe

A classic Chinese dish, made using lean pork with a wonderful Kikkoman soy sauce glaze.


Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cals per serving: 420

Fat: 12

Carbs: 29

Sugars: 13.9

Salt.: 3g


700g loin of pork joint, fat and skin removed.

5 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

2 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsptomato puree

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder

12 –16 Chinese pancake wrappers

6 tbsp hoi sin sauce

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 small cucumber, finely sliced


  1. Pre heat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas 5. Make 6 x 2.5cm deep cuts into the pork joint.
  2. Line a roasting tin with a double layer of tin foil and place the pork in the centre.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the Kikkoman Soy Sauce, sugar, orange juice,tomato puree and Chinese five spice powder. Spoon over the pork, then scrunch up the foil around the sides of the pork to form an open parcel and roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Finely slice the meat, shredding it if possible and toss back into the roasting tin with the cooking juices. Baste with the flavoured juices and grill for 5 minutes, to crisp up the meat.
  5. To serve: warm the wrappers and spread with a little hoi sin sauce, a scattering of spring onions and cucumber. Top with the crispy pork and roll up.



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Five biscuits seems like a lot of favourites but they have always played a part in my life so here you go!

It is funny how hard it is to concentrate on biscuits and not get caught up with chocolate bars, cakes and all manner of things.  Biscuits, think biscuits.

five biscuits

1. Custard Creams – I would not say they are the tastiest in the world but they have that comfortable sense of familiarity about them.  Can you remember a time when you did not know what a custard cream was?  They remind me of home.  These days, they are the biscuit of choice when my children come home from school and run through to Grandad’s biscuit tin.  There was also the rather embarrassing incident when I was a teenager and in a drunken state asked a Catholic priest whether he would like a “Cussy Wussy” whilst leaning over him in a most inappropriate way.  I was never really destined to be a nun.

2. Bourbons – They are as familiar as custard creams.  However, they are better because they involve chocolate.  You can probably tell a lot about a person by the way they eat these delights.  I take off the top layer and then lick the cream.  Yes, even now that I am a grown-up girl.

3. Millies Cookies – These are wonderfully calorific and naughty.  They come in all sorts of flavours and are so tasty.  One of the main reasons I like them is that I associate them with becoming an adult and making my own choices.  When I went to college, a new friend took me to the kiosk where they were selling them.  She already knew all about them and was amazed I did not do so.  There were many things I had to learn at aged 18 and cookies were just the start.  Of course, my children take trips to Millies for granted because times really have changed a lot.

4. Digestives – I am probably cheating here but I include both the plain and the chocolate ones.  I love the taste of the plain ones and there is no better comfort for period pain or any sort of angst than a packet (or three!) of choccy digestives. Weirdly, you could be disgusting and binge eat them with female friends but blokes and children tend to make comment about your gluttony.

5.  Fox’s Biscuits – I am loyal to my roots and love all Fox’s Biscuits.  I was brought up within a couple of miles of the biscuit factory.  Most of my Mum’s friends and relations had worked there at some point.  If you stayed for 25 years on the production line, they rewarded you with a gold watch.  However, you had to put up your hand if you needed the loo so someone could take your place.  My friend H went to work there briefly and was making brandy snaps.  She hated the smell and I seem to remember her then boyfriend bought her some brandy snaps once as a gift and she nearly threw them at him.  There is a particular chocolate biscuit that Fox’s make that I like with a bumper outer biscuit layer and chocolate inside.  However, you can’t really go wrong with any Fox’s biscuits.

Perhaps we should all confess whether we are dunkers or not?  I confess to dunking.

What are your five favourite biscuits?

Red pepper soup recipe

Beat the Arctic Weather with this Super Swedish Soup
With the cold, rain and blustery weather attacking the UK at present, why not warm your cockles this January with this soup-er recipe from Sweden, where they know a lot more about food perfect for dealing with arctic weather.

Healthy, warming and finished off with Sweden’s King of Cheeses Västerbottensost which is now available in Waitrose priced at around £4.60 for 200g, this dish can’t fail to banish the January blues.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Grilled Prawns

Serves 4


4 red peppers

5 unpeeled garlic cloves

Rapeseed oil

1 chicken stock cube

500ml/18 fl oz water

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

2 pinches pepper

50 g/2 oz dark rye bread

12 cooked king prawns

7 tbsp grated Västerbottensost

Flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 wooden skewers


Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/Gas 7.

De-seed the peppers. Arrange peppers and whole garlic cloves on a baking tray. Drizzle a little oil over and roast in the oven approx. 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Bring water and stock cube to the boil.

Peel the peppers and garlic cloves and place in a food processor with stock and lemon juice.

Blend to a smooth soup; if necessary, add more water to improve consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Crumble the bread and fry in a little oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry the king prawns in a hot frying pan approx. 1 minute and thread three onto each skewer.

Mix cheese, bread croutons, grated lemon rind and parsley.

Reheat the soup if necessary and pour into four bowls. Serve with a king prawn skewer and the cheese mixture.


Scope, the disability charity has launched Mindful Monsters a set of activity cards, which gives parents a new and exciting way to help their little ones develop important life skills through exploring mindfulness, while spending quality time together. The cards are quick and easy activities parents and children can do anywhere.

Research shows mindfulness in families has many benefits such as resilience, improved focus, better understanding of emotions, a sense of calm and more positive thinking.

We took a look at the cards which are colourful and fun. Themes covered included positivity, concentration, creativity and relaxation.The activities are really easy to understand and quick to do without any complicated instruction

We are busy juggling family life, business, work, education and hobbies. We do not have time to do a PHD in mindfulness but we do have time to pick up a fun card, read simple guidelines and have a go.

The children aged 11 and 13 were both interested so I think I might even try them out on my 16 year old in the hope mindfulness might help him with exam stress.

Mindful Monsters – the video

What are the things girls need most?

The book title “10 Things Girls Need Most” grabbed my attention straightaway. As soon as I gave birth to my daughterI felt overwhelmed at how I was going to teach her what she needed most to be a strong girl and woman. Regular readers will know how it distresses me how girls and women still don’t get a fair deal in society so I wanted my own daughter to be well-equipped growing up.

Things Girls Need Most

An accessible read

Steve Biddlulph’s book looks big but is just over 200 pages long and with lots of picture pages. Why does that matter? I am mum who juggles business, work, education and more. I need to know that I can actually find the time to read any book and one this size is great as it is not like “War and Peace” and it is broken down into manageable chunks.

I checked the contents page of 10 things girls need most and was surprised to see that chapter 8 is called “Backbone” I remember my late mum telling me that she had brought me up to have this as she felt it was what every daughter needed. I resisted the temptation to read that chapter first!

I decided to go down the traditional route and start at the beginning of the book but admit to picking the book up at random moments in my day and grasping wise advice from different chapters.

Reflecting on our female journeys

The book starts by looking at the different stages of childhood and what the main developments are for each stage if all goes according to plan. You are asked to look at your own daughter but also at yourself as a child. I found this quite poignant remembering being adopted and also my Mum becoming mentally and physically ill when I was a tween. It started to make sense why I have struggled with insecurity all my life. I also saw gaps where things went awry in my daughter’s life as I struggled with post-natal depression. I  am not sure quite how he pulls it off but the author picks you up emotionally really quickly showing how simple tools can repair the gaps and build a more positive future. My husband would not normally want to participate in the challenges in this type of book but he too found it helpful to reflect on his own childhood and how that impacts on his parenting style.

This bit really hurt but also helped to make sense of things for me.

“It all begins in your arms. Her knowing that she is cherished and safe. But to give her that security, we have to be in the right place ourselves”

I spent a year in a convent when I was born waiting to be adopted. My adoptive Dad told me just before he died that he knew that this was a void that despite his best efforts he could never quite fill. My daughter also had that void has I felt detached and worthless in her early babyhood. I was excited to read that girls can have these gaps filled especially around the age of 13 as my daughter became a teenager about a month ago. I have found myself happier in later life and I see her beaming smile and celebrate our love and connection. We have started slowing down and treasuring moments instead of rushing to the next achievement or task. We intend to do more of this and you will read about that on the blog very soon.

Protecting  our girls from the pressures of modern life

It disturbed me on reading further to see how society is making our girls grow up way too fast and pushes them towards impossible standards of so-called perfection. Social media, peers and the education system itself all contribute towards this and many of our girls will experience anxiety at best as a result and some will face a mental collapse. I remember being shocked at my college reunion at how many times I was asked if my daughter was “doing well” rather than what she was about as an individual or how happy she was. I will take her mental wellbeing over exams and sporting  prowess any day of the week!

Having taken two out of my children out of school, I have seen how home education gives them so much freedom to play and to pursue their own passions. Life is short and they are happier running free. We are going to ensure we strengthen this concept with a major lifestyle change so that they access nature in a more powerful way. Watch this space!


This is a book that will help you think about the impact of screen time, social media and fashion in modern society.  It covers big topics such as feminism, sexuality and friendship.

This is one of those books that remains with you as you go about your daily life. It makes sense of so many things in really simple language and is very accessible.

Your story isn’t mine. Your daughter’s experience will differ from mine. However, I urge you to read this book and reflect on your own journeys and how you might change them for the better. Your solutions will be different to mine but this book can really help you think it all through.

Let our girls move forward positively with spark, backbone and spirit!

Steve Biddulph is a world-renowned psychologist, and parenting educator, who, for over 30 years has campaigned for better lives for parents and kids across the globe. He has sold over 3,000,000 copies worldwide and is the author of the massive bestsellers, Raising Girls and Raising Boys.

Now, in answer to the crisis in girls’ mental health, the UK’s bestselling parenting author, Steve Biddulph brings an interactive learning guide rich in content and interactive elements to help parents be prepared and self-aware in providing for their daughters.

In his ground-breaking new book 10 Things Girls Need Most, Steve Biddulph, psychologist and parent educator offers an interactive experience for parents to explore the relationship with their girls from the cradle to the her teenager years. It is a guided journey of exercises, conversations, reflections and self-rating questionnaires that builds the inner capacities in a parent, targeted at each stage of their daughters growing up.

Every aspect – love and security in babyhood, mindfulness, setting boundaries, emotional well-being and emotional literacy, education and learning in primary and secondary school, friendship, puberty and adolescence, sexuality and sexualization, choosing partners and negotiating equality and respect.; in fact everything a father or mother needs to think about to be prepared and self-aware in providing for their growing girl.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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