Monday, 25 July 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 25th July 2016

Last weeks meal plan went out of the window. I am blaming the gorgeous weather we have been having and the heat. The last thing that I wanted to do was have the oven on cooking. So last week we had a lot of quick, easy meals and also had a barbecue, it would have been a sin not to!

The children have now broken up from school. One has now finished primary school and moving up to secondary school while the twins have now finished nursery! September is bringing a lot of changes so I am wanting to enjoy these summer holiday that bit more. This weeks meals will all be dishes that can be prepared easily without needing too much time.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Friday, 22 July 2016

Foodieseeker Friday - All About the Food and Drink!

Being the Foodieseeker Blogger for Carnival Cruise has meant that I have spent a lot of time looking at what food Vista will have to offer. I have already told you about the places to eat on Vista but today I thought that I would tell you about what meals I am looking forward to tasting!

We now have our tables booked to visit three of Carnival Vista's speciality restaurants Cucina del CapitanoJi Ji Asian Kitchen and Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. You may remember that in April I told you about Cucina del Capitano and made my own version of Nonna's Linguine and Meatballs so this is a meal that I will definitely be ordering when we visit.

As I am terrible at ordering when in a restaurant I have decided that a bit of forward planning is needed. I simply cannot make my mind up when faced with so many delicious meals to choose from. I am known for taking a long time to decided and for changing my mind!

The first speciality restaurant that we will be visiting is Cucina del Capitano. As we all love Italian food I just know that we are going to love eating there. I have looked at the menu in the past but have revisited it and am planning to order:
  • Appetiser - Antipasti - This is a favourite dish of ours, we love to start a meal with breads and olives so this will be a must have!
  • Entrees - Nonna's Linguine and Meatballs - I cannot wait to try this dish, especially after I cooked how I imagined it to taste!
  • Dessert - Magic Tiramisu - In my mind tiramisu is the ultimate Italian dessert and Vista's Cucina del Capitano's tiramisu sounds amazing!
  • I am planning to accompany the meal with a glass of Cucina Chianti

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Fresh Strawberry and Mint Porridge

As you will probably know we are having a bumper harvest this year of soft fruits. So I am using them in as many different dishes as I can. Today's recipe is now a favourite of mine. There is nothing more satisfying than going down the garden in the morning to pick fresh berries and mint for breakfast.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Evolution of McDonald's

I was lucky to be invited to a recently refurbished McDonald's restaurant in the centre of Leeds. McDonald's has to be the world's best known fast food chain and one that we have been enjoying for years! I have fond memories of having McDonald's as a child and even of my late Nanna asking for cutlery when we gave her her meal. With McDonald's you know what you are going to get. If you order a Big Mac in Spain, you know that it is going to taste the same as it does in England. So when I was offered the chance to learn more about how McDonald's are evolving and how they are making their food even fresher I could not wait to attend!

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Briggate Leeds restaurant was the modern, street art deco throughout the restaurant. The restaurant had a fresh feel to it and was the first way that I saw how McDonald's is evolving.

To start I met some of the senior McDonald's staff, the press team and two other bloggers. It was during this meeting that we were given some background information about McDonald's.

Did you know that in the UK there are 1250 restaurants? I knew there were a lot but what I did not know is that a lot of these restaurants are actually franchise restaurants! At the end of 2013 beginning of 2014 McDonald's started to refurbish their restaurants. They wanted the digital age to be a huge part of the refurbishment. This includes self service kiosks. So far 500 restaurants have undergone the refurbishment and they aim to have all of their 1250 restaurants completed by 2018. Not only is the digital age a big focus but the companies commitment to the environment is essential. They now have two bins for your rubbish. One for landfill and the other for recycling waste. They have also been using their waste cooking oil to fuel their delivery lorries! What a genius way to reuse it!

After having a chat it was time to go down to the restaurant and the kitchen. While we were there we got the chance to see and even have a go at ordering a meal using the new digital self service kiosk.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Chicken and Kale Korma

We love a good curry. But as we are keeping our spending down we cannot afford a takeaway. The other week we decided to buy a ready made curry from an upmarket food chain and after we had eaten we really were not happy. The quality was not good and we really did not enjoy our meal after spending as much as we had. So to try and make up for that disaster I thought I'd make my own curry with the help of Aldi's Specially Selected Mild and Creamy Korma curry sauce. 

I have never used this sauce before but I loved how it came with a sachet of spices to add to the chicken before adding the sauce. This enabled the flavours to fully develop as the meat cooks. This sauce creates a deliciously creamy, fragrant and mildly spiced curry. The coconut, cream, yogurt and ground almonds give it a truly authentic finish. To give this curry some added goodness I have added some shredded kale. When it comes to leafy, green vegetables you just know that they are good for you. Kale is classed as a super food, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, C and A. But what not many people know is that kale is an great source of calcium which makes it a useful source for vegans or people who follow a dairy free diet. But the list does not stop there, kale also contains folate (folic acid), anti oxidants, manganese, copper and it virtually fat free and low in calories! If you struggle to get the kids to tuck into some kale at dinner time, then do what I do, add it to a meal that is sauce based and watch them eat it all up!

This is what I did...

Monday, 18 July 2016

#CookBlogShare Week 28 - The Homegrown Round Up

Welcome to another round up of CookBlogShare recipes. As always there were so many delicious recipes linked up last week. But one thought kept popping up as I was reading the posts. That thought was "Ooooh we have that growing in the garden!" So bearing this in mind I knew what my round up would be. 

Here is the homegrown round up and here are my four favourite recipes from week 28 of CookBlogShare...