While Mum’s at Work, Dad’s Gone to Iceland to Get Dinner

There were two things I knew about UK supermarket Iceland:

  1. Much of its produce is frozen (‘Iceland’, geddit?)
  2. Only mums can shop there

Ok, no. 2 isn’t strictly true, but linking the brand with motherhood has historically been a strong theme of their advertising. The tagline ‘That’s why mums go to Iceland’ will be familiar to UK shoppers.

It’s an association that relies on traditional gender stereotypes, and can wind up mums and dads alike with the assumption that only mothers take care of the shopping – and by extension the household.

Is this brand focus shifting? Perhaps. I noticed that Iceland had been working with a lot of mum bloggers on their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, so I figured it was business as usual. However, Iceland recently got in touch and wanted me to give them a try too.

However, the hook for this was football, more specifically the Euro 2016 contest. Is it another gender stereotype that dads love football? Of course it is. But the fact is that I do like football, especially international tournaments.

While I’ll be cheering on England, it’s also very English to have a plucky underdog – sorry, another plucky underdog – to support as well. What does this have to do with anything? Well (as I’m sure you know) Iceland is also a country, and for the very first time they have qualified for the European Championship. With a population of just 300,000 they are the smallest nation ever to do so.

So in a nice bit of brand synergy, Iceland (the supermarket) is sponsoring Iceland (the national football team) in the tournament – and they are making the case for them to be your second team.

Iceland (the supermarket) challenged me to prepare a football feast that you might eat while watching a game – using only ingredients from their supermarket.

Challenge accepted. The also sent me through a few Iceland (the supermarket) and Iceland (the national football team) themed goodies, the most useful of which was the shopping bag (pictured).

So that’s why this dad’s gone to Iceland.


My challenge had a few conditions, which included a couple of specific products, keeping it within a £30 budget, and making something that’s convenient to feed the masses while watching the footy.

While it would have been easy to create a ‘fake-away’ of Iceland ready meals, I thought I’d attempt to cook something. I only used one frozen ingredient and included a number of fresh ingredients available in the supermarket, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Anyway, this is what I came up with:

Chicken Fajitas Football Feast

While Mum's at Work, Dad's Gone to Iceland Chicken Fajita Football Feast #PowerofFrozen finished dish

Makes 12 wraps (we would serve 2-3 per person, or 1-2 per child).

Total prep and cooking time was about 30 mins.

Ingredients (from Iceland)

  • Iceland Breaded Chicken Breast Fillet Strips (650g)
  • Old El Paso Fajita kit (12 wraps, seasoning, salsa)
  • Red onion x 2, diced
  • Peppers x 3, sliced
  • Lettuce (small head x 2), shredded
  • Tomatoes x 3
  • Cheese (mild cheddar), grated
  • Red wine (Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon), large glass
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Chillies (to taste), chopped


  1. Cook chicken in oven as per packet instructions (typically 180c for 20-25 mins)
  2. In the meantime, in a large pan heat oil on a medium flame. Fry onion for a few minutes, then add chillies.
  3. After 5 mins add the peppers and cook for a few more minutes, then the fajita seasoning. As the peppers cook, they will release water into the pan.
  4. Crank up the heat then add the wine, loosening any bits stuck the the pan
  5. While the pan is sizzling, shred the lettuce, slice the tomatoes, and grate the cheese, ready for fajita construction.
  6. Enough time should have elapsed to remove chicken from oven (but check properly cooked).
  7. Heat up wraps according to packet instructions.
  8. Construct your fajitas, combining all the elements as desired – for each one I started with pepper/onion mix, 1-2 pieces of chicken, lettuce, salsa, cheese, and topped with more lettuce.
  9. Roll up each one up, slice in the middle, and they’re ready to eat.

So there you have it – a tasty football feast using a mix of fresh and frozen ingredients from Iceland (the supermarket).

Now, this feast cost about £15 (with 2/3 bottle wine left over). I blew the remaining half of my budget on a mini beer keg (5l) of Budweiser (no, not the rancid US one but the original and far tastier Czech beer, aka Budvar).

While Mum's at Work, Dad's Gone to Iceland Chicken Fajita Football Feast #PowerofFrozen packshot


I was happily surprised that I could make this dish using only ingredients from Iceland (the supermarket). I was also happily surprised that I – a dad – was welcome to shop in Iceland too 😉

They have also swayed me towards supporting Iceland (the national football team), who are 150-1 outsiders to win the tournament.

It reminded me of Euro ’92, when the similarly small Nordic country Denmark won – they were such outsiders that they hadn’t even qualified, and only got in when Yugoslavia was disqualified (for not existing as a country anymore). Denmark beat the mighty Germany 2-0 in (what I remember as) a thrilling final.

As the triumph of Leicester in the Premiership this year has shown, football remains a funny old game.

So c’mon England – and failing that, c’mon Iceland. Their first game is against Portugal on June 14th, a mismatch made in football tournament heaven.

Remember the Danes Iceland…


This is a sponsored post.




The Angry Birds Movie LEGO: King Pig’s Castle (75826) Review

Anything that gets kids away from screens and engage in a real life activity is to be encouraged. So it’s ironic that Angry Birds, the iconic smartphone game, may actually be able to help. This is a licensed LEGO set, albeit one that is based on a film, that is in turn based on a smartphone game.

We’ve not seen The Angry Birds movie. My daughter wants to, based on the trailer we saw months ago, however the 43% score in Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes took care of that decision as far as I’m concerned. I’ve not even played the game that much other than the Star Wars version.

So out opinion of this toy is pretty much based purely on how it is as a LEGO set, not in relation to the property it is based on.

The Angry Birds Movie LEGO King Pig's Castle (75826) Review packshot

It’s a large set, with hundreds of pieces in 8 numbered bags from a 120 page interaction book. It took us quite a while to put it together – I am increasingly keen for her to construct as much as possible with LEGO, so while we made this together it was lead by her. We generally did 1-2 bags per session.

The Angry Birds Movie LEGO- King Pig's Castle (75826) Review construction
Construction took place over a number of sessions

Mirroring the game, the final build is a castle that you have to catapult a bird at to knock things down. The set up for the playset is that King Pig has taken some Eggs – and it’s up to Red and Mighty Eagle to get them back. Other pigs in the castle are Chef Pig and and another one piloting what appears to be a crate of TNT with wings.

This has some fun little features such as the slide that can tip the eggs into Chef pigs pan, the dining table with ice cream, and best of all a toilet – I have not seen a LEGO loo before.

The Angry Birds Movie LEGO- King Pig's Castle (75826) toilet restroom
Some neat little details such as this table with drinks cans & ice cream, and a LEGO loo

One observation about the set, is that for something you are encourage to launch things at it is less stable than I thought, with the central tower especially prone to falling over (it is not connected to the rest of the set). But perhaps that’s the point, with this being more of a destruction toy, in line with the point of Angry Birds in the first place.

The Angry Birds Movie LEGO- King Pig's Castle (75826) Review playing


The Angry Birds Movie LEGO: King Pig’s Castle set (75826) has an RRP of £74.99

Disclosure: We were provided with this set free of charge for the purposes of this review.

Hallmark’s DC Superheroes Itty Bittys

My daughter’s Itty Bitty collection has been getting bigger – in more ways than one.

She recently received two iconic DC villains – Batman’s nemesis The Joker, and the feline femme fatale Catwoman.

Hallmark's DC Superheroes Itty Bittys Joker Catwoman
The Joker and Catwoman Itty Bittys

My daughter has really taken to the Batman cast of characters, and it’s great to have these heroes & villains in their Itty Bitty form. Female characters tend to be more difficult to come across in superhero merchandise, so I’m particularly glad that she now has Catwoman.

The Joker is especially suited to the cute Itty Bitty look, as his maniacally happy persona is not at all at odds with the aesthetic of the brand, and his trademark purple and green colours make this a bright and attractive little plush toy.

We also had a bit of a surprise with an addition to the Itty Bitty line – Itty Bitty Biggies!

Hallmark's DC Superheroes Itty Bittys Biggies Batman Superman compare size
Superman and Batman Itty Bitty Biggies – next to their small sized versions

These are exactly the same design and proportions as the Itty Bitty line – but far from itty bitty in size.

My daughter was the happy recipient of Batman and Superman Itty Bitty Biggies, and they complement her existing Batman and Superman Itty Bitty, uh.. smallies – so it offers a direct comparison for just how big these new ones are.

My daughter has already decided that the big superhero plush toys are the parents and the little ones the children.

While the normal Itty Bitty’s are the perfect size for little hands to grasp, the big ones are just right for a great big cuddle. They’re also a lot harder to lose – while the small ones have turned up behind the couch or under the bed, these biggies aren’t going anywhere.

Hallmark's DC Superheroes Itty Bittys biggies cuddling batman


Hallmark’s DC Superheroes Itty Bittys are available from Amazon and other retailers now. RRP starts at £6.