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Blackberry Jam

05/09/2016 10:13

It’s blackberry season and they are looking so juicy that we couldn’t resist picking as many as possible and making our very own blackberry jam. Thankfully our venture was a success and I’ve been eating toast with home made blackberry jam for breakfast for a few days now, and will be into the foreseeable future.




  • Bowl of blackberries
  • Granulated sugar
  • Nob of butter



  • Jam thermometer (if you have one)
  • Big cooking pot
  • Metal spoon
  • Glass jam jars and lids (sterilised in the dishwasher or in boiling water beforehand)



1. Once you’ve picked loads of blackberries give them a quick rinse and weigh them
2. Then weigh out the same amount of sugar

Jam and sugar
3. Put the blackberries in a big pot over low heat to bring the juice out of them, stirring occasionally but being careful not to break the berries (about 15 minutes)

Boiling berries
4. Gradually add the sugar to the blackberries and stir it (carefully) into the mixture
5. Bring to the boil
6. While you’re waiting for the jam to boil get your jars, remove the lids and put them all on a tray and into a hot oven (about 150*C) leaving them here until the jam is ready
7. Turn down the temperature so the mix is simmering and leave it for about 45 minutes (this is where things get a bit trickier as there’s no 100% certain time it takes to make jam) then check the jam every 10 minutes as the change from too runny to too think can be pretty quick

Boiling jam

8. If you have a jam thermometer it would come in handy now – the jam is ready when the mixture reaches between 20*C and 23*C. If you don’t have a jam thermometer you have to be eagle-eyed and check the consistency of the jam another way… Dip a metal spoon into the jam and take it out, the layer of liquid that is left on the spoon should form 2 drops that hang for a moment and then fall off the spoon, or they may merge into one bigger drop slowly and then fall off- when you reach this stage the jam is ready 
9. Once you think your jam is ready turn off the heat and add the nob of butter, stirring carefully until it is melted, this gets rid of the foamy bit on top of the jam
10. Remove your jam jars from the oven and transfer your jam into the jars. We used a ladle but it did get a bit messy, if you have a wide funnel that would probably be best
11. Put the lids onto your jars- CAREFUL THEY’LL BE HOT!
12. Leave your jam to set overnight and test it out for breakfast in the morning

Jam in Jar


Timing jam can be a bit confusing but don’t be dissuaded if it comes out too hard. It’s all about trial and error to figure out what works best. We made this recipe with about 1300g of berries and filled 6 jam jars. If you want to make the jam a bit more sour then add some lemon rind at the boiling stage (5) just don’t forget to take it out when it comes to putting the jam into jars. Get picking and let us know how your jam turns out! We’ll be making more this weekend (the supply of blackberries seems endless!) so will have some more tips and tricks coming your way soon…


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

The Olympic Games

09/08/2016 10:01

The Olympics is the biggest sporting tradition in the world with every country sending participants thousands of miles to take part in this historic event every four years. We all know what the modern Olympics is like with it’s dazzling opening ceremonies, participation controversies and screaming audiences, but do we know where it came from?


The first recorded ‘Olympic Games’ took place in Ancient Greece as a religious festival in honour of Zeus, in 776 BC, and held in Olympia. At this time the games only consisted of one event- the 200-yard dash called ‘The Stadium’ but over the years more events were added starting with the more traditional Greek events, such as discus, javelin and wrestling, to all of our modern sports. From this point the games were held every 4 years until 393 BC when they were abolished by Emperor Theodosius I as he considered it a Pagan cult which offended his Christian religion.


It wasn’t until the late 19th Century in France that Baron Pierre de Coubertin undertook a successful campaign to revive the Olympics and make it a secular, international event. The first modern summer games opened on March 24th, 1896 in Athens, Greece. The Olympics fostered the ideal of ‘sound mind and body’ and aimed at promoting friendship between nations. Other than 1916, 1940 and 1944 when the games were cancelled due to World War 1 and World War 2 they have taken place every 4 years. However after 1992 the Winter and Summer Olympics were no longer scheduled for the same year.


This year’s Olympic Games is being hosted in the magical Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Despite the controversy and surrounding the games this year’s event is a first in many regards. It is the first Olympic games to be held in South America, previous games have been held in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia leaving just Africa and Antarctica having not held the games. This year we also have a record number of 206 competing teams including the Refugee Olympic Team which aims to highlight the current refugee crisis across the world. We also have 2 sports back in the mix with Golf and Rugby being played for the first time since 1904 and 1924 respectively.


The games has only just begun so we wish all the athletes the best and hope you all enjoy watching the games against the beautiful backdrop of Rio.



Posted By Patrick the Puffin

We have some new treasures especially for you with a brand new range of wooden toys from Lanka Kade and colourful tights from Blade and Rose.


Designed in the UK and hand crafted in Sri Lanka, all of our new products from Lanka Kade are fair trade and of the highest quality, with the majority being made of natural rubber wood.

We’ve got animal puzzles which help with learning numbers and letters in a colourful and fun way, simple jigsaws aid in developing problem solving and coordination skills and four-piece block puzzles help with picture recognition skills. In addition to these educational toys we have larger interactive toy sets from a pirate ships to farm yards. These all include characters and are a great way to expand your child’s imagination or as a gift at a Christening or Christmas.

Alphabet whale puzzle, jungle block puzzle, dinosaur number puzzle


Our new collection of tights and leggings from Blade and Rose are made and designed in the UK and come in a range of themes to suit every personality. With an elasticated waist and made from cotton, nylon and spandex they are comfortable, flexible and practical to keep those little knees safe from grazes while they play, crawl and climb. From pirates to unicorns and Beefeaters to cupcakes we’re sure that you’ll find something to suit your Mister Master or Little Miss. These wonderful leggings are easy, fun and perfect for everyday use and the tights come with anti-slip feet to help keep accidents to a minimum.

 Pirate, unicorn, beefeater and cupcake tights


We hope you like our new additions and would love to see your family playing with or wearing them so go ahead and tag us on Instagram, facebook or twitter @mmlmkids.


Love Patrick the Puffin


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

Summer BBQ

06/05/2016 10:37

Hooray!  Finally, the warm weather is on its way in time for the weekend - and we think there is nothing better than a barbecue in the garden on a nice sunny afternoon. So we've got some recipes here to help you enjoy the weather and the BBQ!


Alternatively, why not have a barbecue with friends and family in a country park in the beautiful South Downs.  The Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire is a fantastic place to have a barbecue with friends and family in a stunning location.  They have a number of family hearth areas in the forest which include a static barbecue and picnic tables and can be hired for 2 hour periods.  The hire cost is £10 per session and can cater for 10 people.  The park also has play areas for the children and some beautiful walks and scenery.  A truly fantastic day out.


Enjoy the sunshine!


Jerk Chicken



- 4 tbsp soy sauce

- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

- 2 tbsp runny honey

- 125 ml vinegar

- 2 onions, grated

- 1 fresh green chilli deseeded, finely chopped

- 2 cloves garlic crushed

- 1 tbsp brown sugar

- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

- ½ tsp ground allspice

- ½ tsp nutmeg

- 1 tsp black pepper

- 4 chicken breasts



1. To make the marinade mix all the ingredients, except for the chicken, together in a bowl

2. Make slashes across the chicken, then cover with the marinade and place it in the fridge

3. Leave to marinate for at least an hour (the longer the better)

4. To cook, place the chicken on the barbecue and cook evenly for around 30 minutes, turning often

5. To check the chicken is cooked insert a skewer or fork, if the liquid runs clear its ready to eat!


Barbecue Ribs



BBQ Sauce

- 2 heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup

- 100g soft brown sugar

- 100ml low-salt soy sauce

- 100 ml white wine vinegar

- 2 cloves of garlic, minced

- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

- ¼ tsp salt

- 1 tsp paprika


- 2 racks of higher-welfare pork loin back ribs (about 1.6kg)



1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6 and preheat the BBQ

2. Drizzle some oil over the ribs and season with salt and pepper

3. Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients together in a pan and place over medium heat

4. Stir the sauce until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken the sauce

5. Put the ribs in a large roasting pan and brush with the marinade

6. Cover the roasting pan with foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes (total), or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily

6a. After 30 minutes in the oven baste the ribs with the marinade

6b. After 1 hour remove the foil, baste and cook uncovered

6c. After 1 hour 10 minutes baste the ribs again

7. Once your ribs are cooked and the BBQ is hot, transfer the ribs to the BBQ and cook over a medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes



Bon appetite! 


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

In 1967 the last work of the infamous Walt Disney was released with those unforgettable characters Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan and more. Inspiring the names of more than a few household pets, the Disney animated classic tells the story of a man cub raised by wolves and the adventures he undertakes with his animal companions on his way to the man village. The recent reimagining by Jon Favreau tells the same story of friendship, loyalty and the search for identity that is so common in Disney movies but with a more nuanced and adult tone.


The live-action remake of this family favourite features some famous voices in prominent roles. From Sir Ben Kingsley’s eloquent portrayal of Bagheera the self-appointed guardian and escort of Mowgli, to the humorous, fun Baloo of Bill Murray and the sinister and threatening Idris Elba as Shere Khan, you are guaranteed nothing less than excellent vocal performances. Neel Sethi, who you’ve probably never heard of before, plays our protagonist Mowgli. At just 10 years old Sethi captures the personality of Mowgli perfectly, with his fun loving, smart and cheeky ways. Other significant voices you may recognise are Scarlett Johanssen as Kaa the snake, Christopher Walken as the gigantopithecus King Louis, Giancarlo Esposito as Akila and Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Mowgli’s wolf mother.


I’m always hesitant to see remakes of Disney classics. As an adult who regularly uses younger family members as an excuse to watch children’s movies, I always fear that the magic of Disney may be lost in the adaptation of the original. Favreau and Marks have created a movie which incorporates aspects of both the book, written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894, and the Disney movie, which is more familiar to us all. By incorporating more aspects from the Kipling edition than that of Disney (who told his animators not to read the Kipling version when working on the movie as he believed it was too dark) Favreau and Marks have widened the audience of their movie, making it enjoyable for adults as well as children.


Using the relationship between a man cub who has ‘no people’ but manages to unite all of the animals for one cause, Favreau and Marks have skilfully made a movie that inspires you to try and be the best you can be. It speaks to children who are trying to fit in with a crowd that they are never quite part of, but shows them that by being themselves and using the gifts that make them unique they can be part of something bigger and better.


This is a great movie to watch with the whole family, combining a great jungle adventure with a few nostalgic songs and some moral lessons. Some of the characters are more sinister than in the original movie so I would suggest not to take children under 6 (I definitely jumped a few times). The Jungle Book is out now at Cinemas showing in 2D, 3D and IMAX and it really brings a new lease of life to some of your favourite characters. Let us know what you think of the movie in the comments below! I for one will be naming my next pet Bagheera or Akila…


Enjoy the popcorn!


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

New Spring Collection

05/04/2016 16:38

We’ve got some great news here at Mister Master & Little Miss… We’ve been very busy over the last few months and we’re pleased to show you our amazing new swimwear range and some great designs for Spring and Summer.


Designed in France, Australia and New Zealand our new swimwear collection is bright and colourful, providing you with some stylish, practical, and safe items for your kids. All the costumes are made with UV resistant material and have special stitching to avoid skin irritation as well as fast drying and light weight material. Check out our new range here.

Swimwear variety from UV fashions


In our Spring and Summer collection we’ve got some bold new styles and colours from UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Portugal and France. For the younger members of the family we’ve got some beautifully hand-knitted cotton clothes from Mon Marcel as well as some colourful patterned rompers and outfits from How to Kiss a Frog, and some vivid colours from Little Creative Factory.


Our Little Misses will love the new eye-catching patterns we’ve got for them from I Love Gorgeous, Essence and How to Kiss a Frog. From flowers to stars these colourful outfits will brighten up any wardrobe ready for Summer. If your Little Miss prefers dynamic block colours then have a look at our Little Creative Factory collection which provides chic and stunning looks. SS16 patterns LM


Let’s not forget about our Mister Masters; from Little Creative Factory we’ve got some bold colours as well as some traditional earthy tones which mix and match to create a handsome look. Meanwhile from How to Kiss a Frog we’ve got some everyday items with a twist on the norm. Keep them looking dapper with some great combinations which you wont find anywhere else.SS16 bold colours


We can’t wait to see your Mister Masters and Little Misses wearing our new collection so tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with @mmlmkids or #mmlmkids!


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

Easter Activities

18/03/2016 11:05

The Easter holidays are less than one week away, so here are some ideas for fun games to play with the little ones over the Easter weekend…


Easter Egg & Spoon Race – Hard boil some eggs and get the children to paint or colour them however they like.  Each participant balances their egg on a spoon and races to the finish line.  The first person to cross the finish line with their egg still intact is the winner!

An Alternative twist on this, perhaps for older children and pre-teens, is to get them to hold the spoon in their mouth while balancing the egg and have them manoeuvre around an obstacle course.


Pin the Tail on the Easter Bunny - For this game, you can either print a picture of a bunny or draw/paint one yourself.  Use cotton wool balls for the bunny's tails and paint each ball in a different colour. Place some double sided or looped tape on the back of each cotton ball.  Each participant then takes it in turns to be blindfolded and spun around before they attempt to stick the tail on the bunny! The person who sticks the tail most accurately is the winner.


Traditional Easter Egg Hunt – This one requires more planning as you might need to set up some clues and hiding places for the eggs. Once you’re ready give everyone an empty basket and a clue as to where the first egg is hidden. When they find the first treat, the next clue will be with it. This continues until all the eggs have been found with an extra special larger egg at the finish.

For added competition you can set up two paths of clues and split the group into two teams to see who can finish the challenge fastest.

For younger children, try hiding different colour eggs and assigning each child to a specific colour. This will make the game last a little longer and prevent any squabbles and scrambles for the same eggs!


If you prefer to get the children out of the house and let someone else worry about organising then why not try some of these fun activities taking place across the South over the Easter holidays:

  • Fontwell Park is hosting a range of events on Friday 1st April including a petting zoo, a funfair, bouncy castle, face painting and of course a big Easter egg hunt with some great prizes.
  • Longdown Farm is hosting an Easter trail hunting for eggs around the farm with some chocolate treats at the end. Don’t forget to put your children in an Easter bonnet to get a cheaper entry rate!
  • Moors Valley Country Park is hosting an Easter Egg hunt everyday from 25th March until Sunday 10th April. Just buy a £2 trail card at the Visitor Centre between 9am and 4pm then follow the clues, collect the letters, and unscramble them to win a chocolate prize.
  • The London Wetland Centre is full of new buds, babies and bugs this Spring but is also hosting a Giant Easter Duck Hunt. See how many you can find with a chance to win a prize if you spot them all.


We'd love to see what you get up to over easter so #mmlmkids on twitter or instagram to spread the fun. Happy Easter everyone!


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

Half Term Inspiration

10/02/2016 10:04

With half term fast approaching here are a few activity ideas to keep your mister masters and little misses entertained in their time off school...


The BFI in London is showing a selection of Disney movies this half term to help you out with the kids, The Princess and the Frog is showing on Monday 15th, Tangled (one of my personal favourites) is on Tuesday 16th, Wreck it Ralph is on Wednesday 17th and Winnie the Pooh is on the Sunday 14th and Thursday 18th. For more information, check out the BFI website.


The Tower of London needs some help getting their stories back in order this half term and has an interactive trail and game for families to help them, as well as meeting characters from the past and learning years of history through fun, tactile adventures. Story Scramble is on from the 15th to 19th February between 11.00 and 14.30 if you’re looking for a historical, interactive and educative activity for the kids.


Down on the south coast a great day out is at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, only an hour and a half from London by Train it is a great educative day out that is fun for children and adults alike. From tours of HMS Victory (captained by Admiral Nelson) to games at Action Stations there are loads of things to see and do and only a short walk from Gunwharf Quays you could end the day by going up the Spinnaker Tower and seeing a great view of Portsmouth.


Buying an all attraction ticket online in advance is recommended as it’s much cheaper than choosing a few sites and will save you time and queues on the day. It’s also valid for a year so you can go back when they open their new Mary Rose exhibition this summer. On Feburary 17th they also have a Lego ship building competition going on which is free to enter. So if you think you’ve got the next Christopher Wren take them down to the Historic Dockyard to build an amazing ship!


The most important thing to do this half term though is to make sure you enjoy spending some special time with your kids! Go on some adventures and make some memories that will last a lifetime.

Love Patrick


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

My Amsterdam Adventure

20/01/2016 12:27

This weekend I went to Amsterdam for the first time for the Kleine Fabriek Trade Show looking for new brands to bring to you guys. This was my first trip to Amsterdam and I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you all about some of the great things to see and do there.


To start with, Amsterdam is really close by. It’s less than an hour flight from London and there are usually some pretty cheap flights with Easyjet and other airlines, so it can be great for a weekend break or a longer holiday. Be warned Schiphol airport is HUGE! So you can end up walking through it for a while, but it’s right next to the train station so has great transport links to the rest of the Netherlands particularly the centre of Amsterdam.


Once you’ve made it into the city there are loads of things to do. It’s a very bicycle friendly city so a great option is to rent some bikes and cycle round exploring the city. If you’re not much of a cyclist (or it’s very cold) you can also use the tram system which is extensive and very user friendly. There are loads of things to see and do in Amsterdam, from markets to museums and parks. We only made it to one market since we were there for work but it was great fun! Full of delicious snacks such as Stroopwafels (syrup waffels) and Poffertjes (like tiny pancakes usually served with sugar and butter), clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, jewellery and more!


After all your sight seeing in the many art galleries and museums (I’ve been told that next time I MUST see Anne Franks Huis and the Rijksmuseum), and of course your visit to the ‘I AMSTERDAM’ sign for the traditional tourist photo, you will no doubt be in need of some replenishment. We found a great street called Utrechtsestraat which was full of amazing looking restaurants, cafes and bars. Unfortunately we only had time to test out one restaurant called Mystique, but the food there was delicious so I highly recommend it.


Amsterdam is full of great things to see and do and I didn’t have time to do all of them in one weekend but definitely recommend it as a destination. The people are friendly and all speak impeccable English, transport around the city is excellent, and the city is beautiful and very family friendly with lots of interesting things to do. Let me know what you think of the city when you make it there and I’m always open to more recommendations of things to see and do the next time I’m there! I’ll be back with more adventures soon and some exciting news on new products that we were looking at in Amsterdam.


Love Patrick


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

Christmas Ring

23/12/2015 10:18

This is one of our FAVOURITE Christmas recipes and we make it every year. The result is a delicious doughy ring filled with raisins and nuts that lasts at least 2 weeks (not in our house!), perfect with tea or as a cheeky snack between meals. This recipe makes 4 big rings so we usually half it if there aren’t so many people around the house.

food nuts raisins

Dough Ingredients (Makes 4 large rings)

- 1 cup milk

- 8 cups flour

- 1 1/4 cups cold water

- 2 packets yeast (4 1/2 tsp)

- 2 tsp salt

- 1/2 cup sugar +2 tsp sugar

- 4 tbsp melted margarine or butter

- 2 beaten eggs

Filling Ingredients (per cake)

- 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

- 1/3 cup sugar (we usually use demerara but any will work)

- 1tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 cup raisins, currants or sultanas

- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we usually use pecans or walnuts but this Christmas we've mixed both and it tastes great!)

Icing Ingredients

- 1 cup icing sugar

- 2 or 3 tsp milk



1. Preheat oven to 180°C

2. Scald the milk. Add cold water to the scalded milk and measure out half of this mixture into a small bowl. When this is lukewarm, dissolve in 2 teaspoons sugar and sprinkle in the yeast

3. Place 7 cups of sifted flour into a mixing bowl

4. To the other half of the cold water-milk mixture add salt, sugar, margarine and eggs

5. Combine the mixture from number 3 and the risen yeast mixture and then add to the flour. Mix this all together and knead lighting, adding up to 1 cup more flour

6. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place until it has at least doubled in bulk (at least an hour)

food dough nuts raisins

7. Punch dough to get rid of the air and divide into 4. Roll out one of these sections to be a very thin rectangle

8. Brush the surface with melted butter or margarine then sprinkle over the sugar, cinnamon, raisins and nuts. Make sure all the goodies go right up to the edge so the ring isn't left with any empty areas. We sometimes end up adding more nuts and raisins just to make it extra full!

dough sugar filling nuts raisins dessert

9. Roll up tightly from the longest edge, make sure you do it as tightly as possible, then shape into a circle by putting the ends together and squeezing a little to get the dough to stick

10. Make crossways cuts around the top of the ring a few inches apart (scissors make this much easier) and then fold the top layer back to expose the sugar mixture underneath but hide all the nuts and raisins so they don’t burn while in the oven

11. Leave to rise until around double the size and then bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown

12. Once cool drizzle icing (the icing sugar mixed with the milk to a honey consistency) over the top and enjoy!

food nuts raisins


Posted By Patrick the Puffin

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