Tuesday, 17 October 2017

#CookBlogShare Plus 4 Super Soups!

Hello and welcome to CookBlogShare week 42!

Wow how did we get to week 42? I cannot be the only one that feels like this year is flying by at an incredible rate! We are also in our last week of the first half term of the academic year and we are all looking forward to a week off work and school.

This month is National Cholesterol Month and throughout the month I am working with Heart UK and John West to promote a healthier diet and how your diet effects your cholesterol level. I have also pledged to complete the 100 Mile Challenge throughout the month. Exercise can help to lower your cholesterol and by completing the 100 miles during October I am showing how easy it is to raise your activity levels by making a few simple changes. You can read how I have been getting on during week 1week 2 and week 3 in my Weekly Meal Plan posts. One simple way to help reduce your cholesterol levels is to include at least one meal of oily fish to your weekly meals. Over the last couple of weeks we have been having more tuna and salmon, plus with tinned fish it is quick and easy to add to a dish!

Before I go on to my four favourite recipes I have to tell you about a fantastic new giveaway. I am delighted to be offering one Hijacked By Twins reader the chance of winning a box of wine from Le Petit Ballon. To enter simply visit my giveaway post and enter the Rafflecopter.

Now onto this weeks CookBlogShare. Last week the linky was hosted by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie and there were so many autumnal recipes coming through but it was the soups that really stood out. The four recipes that I have chosen are split into two sets that are equally as tempting as the other. Each set features the same dominant ingredient but have very distinct flavours.

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 41 of CookBlogShare..

Monday, 16 October 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus Week 3 of National Cholesterol Month

Wow the weeks are flying by! I cannot believe that we are half way through National Cholesterol Month with Heart UK!

I have to admit that last week I was exhausted most of the week, but I think that this is due to a manic week at work, being hormonal and just feeling run down. I feel like my body is fighting off some germs so needed a bit more rest. But despite that my steps have stayed up and I am confident that I will get my 100 miles during October.

Last weeks meal plan went well until I started feeling run down and I did slip into quick and easy freezer meals, which I know is not great if eaten everyday. But every once in a while I think is fine.

In my meal planning post last week I gave you a sneak peek of one of my lunches that used some leftovers. Well you can now see the whole recipe for my Alioli Fish Feast and check out a new giveaway that I have got running where you can win a lovely box of wine from Le Petit Ballon! I know that alcohol is not good if drunk in large quantities and Heart UK have got some fantastic alcohol tips, but if drunk in moderation then the odd glass of wine is ok. Life is all about having a good balance.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Alioli Fish Feast Paired with Le Petit Ballon Bordeaux Blanc Sec

Now that I have told you all about Le Petit Ballon let me show you what I paired the wine with and share with you a delicious fish feast that is full of fish, fresh vegetables and tasty alioli.

After reading the tasting notes that come with each bottle of wine from Le Petit Ballon I knew that I could chose from the following foods:
  • Grilled white meat
  • Fresh fish, fried or steamed
  • Courgette gratin
  • Cheeses
I decided to go with the fresh fish and added in some courgette from the courgette gratin. This is a meal that is served on a platter dish, placed in the centre of the table so that everyone can dig in. This is a social meal that when paired with the wine makes a perfect meal for entertaining!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Le Petit Ballon Wine Giveaway!

So it is no secret that I love a glass of wine. But what may not be well known is how I love to pair wine with food. Finding the perfect mixture of wine and food can transform both the food and the wine!

So when Le Petit Ballon asked me if I would like to try some of their wine I saw this as a perfect pairing opportunity. If you do not know who Le Petit Ballon is let me tell you a bit more.

Le Petit Ballon is a monthly wine subscription. Each month you will receive two bottles of specially selected wines, one red and one white. Each bottle has been carefully selected by Jean-Michel Deluc, Le Petit Ballon's personal sommelier. A Sommelier is someone who is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who normally works in fine restaurants. As well as the two bottles of wine each month you will also receive The Gazette which is a magazine all about Le Petit Ballon's passion, wine. It is full of tips, recipes and even tells you about the winemakers that supply them wine. What I loved was that with each box you also receive tasting note cards for each of the wines. The cards even give you ideas for pairing the wines so you can easily cook a meal that will compliment the wine.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus Week 2 of National Cholesterol Month

We are now on week 2 of the National Cholesterol Month and I have got to say that I am loving the healthier dinners and feel like I have got over the bump that I encountered. I am thinking more about what is going in, especially when it comes to our dinners. My only downfall is cake and biscuits that get brought into work! But hey we all need a treat!

I have changed where we have been getting our shopping from again. I found that I got bored with the usual vegetables so have returned to Ocado. I love the wide variety of foods that they have, especially the more unusual vegetables. Check out this delicious salad that I had for work in the week. I will be posting the recipe later in the week but here is a sneak peek...

It was leftover vegetables with John West Pink Salmon. Did you know that having just one portion of oily fish each week can help to lower your cholesterol? As well as providing you with a deliciously healthy dinner, what reasons do you have to not indulge? Plus thanks to John West you can get your oily fish in a convenient tin which will also help keep your shopping bill down.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Revamp Your Breakfast!

This month I am following a diet that helps to promote lowering my cholesterol. I am doing this with HeartUk to help promote National Cholesterol Month.

Cholesterol is a silent killer that is effecting over half of all adults. But this month I am going to show you how with a few little changes you can help to prevent a high level of cholesterol.

One meal which I need to pay more attention to is breakfast. Now that I am going to work in the morning gone are my relaxing breakfasts once the kids are at school. I will admit to skipping breakfast more than I would like to. This is mainly down to time but also I get bored with the same old cereals. So with this in mind I thought that I would have a go at revamping my cereals. I have done it in two ways that I am going to share with you today.

Do you ever find yourself sitting, whilst having your breakfast, thinking how boring your everyday cereal is? I know I do and no matter how hard you look it is so hard to find the perfect bowl of granola or muesli. There is always something that is missing or an addition that you do not like. That is why the hubby and I decided to make our own. We started with a simple granola and jumbo rolled oats then added our own additions to create a bespoke cereal. The results were so easy to achieve but they have literally transformed our breakfast bowls from boring to a taste sensation! Each spoonful gives a different taste, a different texture and we love it!

In this post I am going to give you some ideas what to add and the rest is up to you!

This is what I did...

Monday, 2 October 2017

National Cholesterol Month and a Healthy Meal Plan

Yesterday marked the start of National Cholesterol Month with heartuk. I am all for promoting good health and especially when it comes to something that is not a visible problem. It is not surprising to learn that cholesterol is known as the silent killer. In the UK over half of all adults have raised cholesterol. This was a statistic that I was really surprised about. National Cholesterol Month is all about raising awareness of high cholesterol, what causes cholesterol, how it can be controlled and most of all making everyone aware what the dangers of having a raised cholesterol level really are.

So, what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is formed in the liver, however cholesterol can also be found in some foods. Cholesterol plays a vital role in the function of our cell and is also needed to make vitamin D. But having a high level of cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart and circulatory diseases. There are certain foods which contain high levels of cholesterol and eating too many of these will inevitably lead to high levels of cholesterol in you blood stream.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Guest Post: Can you Visit Manchester on a Budget?

A travel guide if you’re planning to go to Manchester – Can you plan on a budget?
It is needless to mention that Manchester, England is replete with passion for soccer. The city prospered during the time when it became the very first industrialized city, but then soon after it went through a sharp decline as manufacturing left England. However, at the present day, it is full of culture, hotels, restaurants and it is also the most bustling industrial district. Something that everyone knows is that the city of Manchester is popular for its football teams, the Manchester United and Man City. In short, it is a rough and tough city which is worth exploring.
What are the costs of tripping around Manchester?
Hostel costs: In Manchester, the hostel dorms start at £20 per night and most of them even provide you with a free Wi-Fi connection. For a private room, £45 would be the cost.
Average cost of food: Manchester is filled with markets which sell fresh and local cheese, meats, fruits, wine and vegetable. If you want to cook and reap benefits of these markets, you’ll get groceries at £30-50. It can cost you more if you wish to eat out.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Coffee, Fruit and Walnut Cake

Guess who has finally got her baking mojo back.....

Yes me!!!

I had a good bake off of a weekend. I baked some fat rascals, which I am planning to share soon, then I made this cake, then went on to make some delicious apple crumble using some homegrown apples, again, this will be shared shortly.

This is a recipe that has evolved. A couple of weeks ago I made a coffee and walnut cake which was delicious, but I wanted to make it into something more so I added some dry fruit and wow it has transformed this cake into something else!

I love it and that is why I am sharing it today!

This is what I did...

Monday, 25 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus a Perfect Midweek Recipe

Hello and welcome to another week of meal planning and a perfect midweek recipe.

Last week was one heck of a roller coaster. I applied for some additional hours at work which unfortunately I did not get. The role that I wanted to add on was a finance role and being up against an accountant meant that it was not meant to be. But I feel proud of myself for getting as far as I did and just happy to have the job that I have got. I am a true believer of things happening for a reason, and this was not meant to be.

Anyway, this is a new week and time to move on!

Last weeks meal plan was a success and I am loving having my Pressure King Pro out again. Warming meals are definitely the way we are going with our dinners!

This weeks perfect midweek recipe is one that is so simple but so full of flavour. One of my favourite ingredients has to be chorizo, it adds so much flavour to a dish and really does all of the work for you. This weeks recipe is a twist on our favourite cottage pie sauce.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

#CookBlogShare Linky Week 38 - Plus Awesome Apple Recipes

Hello and welcome to week 38 of #CookBlogShare.

Before I go on I must apologise for the post being a little late. I had it in my head that I was hosting next week! Life is certainly manic at the moment and J turns 13 today so my head has been all over!

Now on to food! I am loving the excuse to cook more autumnal meals, the weather seems to have turned even earlier this year. But it also means that we are starting to have more warming dishes. One food that is a favourite at the moment has to be apples. We have got a young apple tree in the garden that we got fruit from for the first time last year. This year we got a bumper crop from it but they were all ready to drop at the same time so I had a lot to use at once. My favourite way of using up apples has to be stewing them. Once you have got your stewed apples there are so many ways to use them. With this in mind it is no surprise that apples are the focus of this weeks CookBlogShare linky.

Check out these awesome apple recipes...

Monday, 18 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus a Perfect Midweek Recipe

At the moment my blogging time seems to be running away from me. It really is harder than I first thought it would be, working, parenting, housework, being wife and a blogger is such hard work! After I have been at work all day, cooked tea, done some jobs around the house and spent time with the children once they are in bed all I want to do is relax. Before, I used to get the laptop out and blog. I am finding juggling everything exhausting. So to make my blogging life a little easier I am going to start combining my weekly meal plan post with a perfect midweek meal recipe. I thought that it would be the perfect time to inspire your meal plan but a way to get two posts in one.

Before I tell you what we are going to be having this week I am going to share with you a recipe that I have been meaning to share for a long time. In fact, I cannot believe I have not written it up sooner. This is a recipe that we will be having this week. Now that the evenings are drawing in and it is feeling quite autumnal already my Pressure King Pro is going to be out more and more as the cold weather comes. One of my favourite things about the Pressure King Pro is that you can cook on the fast, pressure cooking setting or on the slow cook setting, and even delayed start timer. This is ideal with me being out all day and I know that it is going to be lovely to come home to dinner ready and waiting. This recipe is one of our favourites and one I am looking forward to cooking again this week. Chilli con carne is a great meal that can be served in may ways, with rice, in wraps, as enchiladas and there is always leftovers.

Here is my perfect midweek meal and meal plan...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mushroom Orzo Risotto - A Perfect Mid Week Meal

Risotto is a real family favourite in our house. I love the versatility of risotto. You can add ingredients and take them out according to what you have in or what you fancy. It can be made with vegetables or with meat, with fish or leftovers. The possibilities are endless. The only thing that I do not like about cooking a traditional risotto is the time it takes to cook. Before when I was not going out to work it did not matter, but now that time at home is reduced the only time I can really make one in this way is at the weekend. However when we were shopping the other week the hubby spotted some Orzo pasta. Orzo is pasta but it looks very similar to rice so we got some for a mid week, cheats risotto and we loved it!

This is what I did..

Monday, 11 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 37

Hello and welcome to week 37 of #mealplanningmonday!

I hope that you had a successful first week back to school. All three of the kids were certainly ready to be back and looking forward to the coming academic year.

My return to work went well, I had a really busy week and have increased my hours to full days to help cover some additional work. I was pleased that I was offered the extra hours, yes I am going to be out all day but I really do enjoy what I am doing and the extra money is going to make a huge difference to our life.

Over the weekend I shared a video regarding fresh fish, well I say fresh, that should say, not so fresh. It really did make me stop and think. You can see the video here! The video is all about giving away #freefreshfish, would you like any free fresh fish if you knew that is was 9 days old? No me neither. When buying frozen fish you know that it has been frozen straight away and has retained more of the goodness and is even cheaper than "fresh" fish!

Anyway back to meal planning! This is what we will be having this week...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Quick and Easy Back to School Pasta - A Perfect Midweek Meal

Well, that is it, another summer is over and it is time for the children and I to return to work. I will admit to looking forward to September. We all function so much better with a routine. Don't get me wrong, the holidays were lovely but towards the end you could tell that we were all ready for work and school. Now that we are getting back into our regular routine I am stepping up my meal planning as I find it so much easier to get home knowing what I am cooking, and also adding more vegetables into our meals. I cannot be the only one who gets lazy over the holidays, it is easy to go for the easier, unhealthy option, grab a chocolate bar or a take away. 

Thankfully there are easy ways to add some extra goodness into our meals and this recipe demonstrates that perfectly. When I returned to work I discovered the value of my freezer and how frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh vegetables when you are in a hurry.

In our house pasta is always a winning meal so what better way to start the school year than with a delicious pasta dish that is full of veg the kids will love!

This is what I did...

Monday, 4 September 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 36 - Back to School!

Hello and welcome to week 36 of #MealPlanningMonday!

It is the time of year that you either love or hate. It is time for the children to return to school after the long summer holidays. I have to admit that I LOVE this time of year, yes I do love my children but I also love having some time out. This September is different as it also means that I am going back to work and yes I am looking forward to that too!

It is also time to step up with my meal planning. Over the holidays I have got lazy and have not really followed them. Don't get me wrong, I did set out to follow the plan but a mixture of days out, busy days, stress and pure laziness lead to me basically winging it. But now that I am back to work having a meal plan in place is a necessity.

Last week we had a late evening visit to Marks and Spencer's food hall and from now on I will be going late in the day. We picked up so many bargains and have quite literally stocked the freezer up. Meat reduced to £1.50, fish reduced to under £2, we got so many bargains. They will be featuring in this meal plan and will hopefully mean we do not need to get too much when we do the shopping on Friday.

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

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Quick and Easy Avocado Salad

Over the weekend we were blessed with some lovely sunny days which were perfect for eating al fresco. At this time of year I love salad but I am always looking for ways to make them more exciting than your regular lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. One salad ingredient that I love is avocado. It adds such a delicious creamy texture to a salad and not forgetting providing you with some good, healthy fats. Most people associate avocado with guacamole but it can be so much more!

This salad side dish that I am sharing with you today is so quick and easy to make but full of flavour and will simply keep you coming back for more!

This is what I did...

Monday, 28 August 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 35

Hello and welcome to week 35 of MealPlanningMonday and the final week of the summer holidays!

Yes, I am celebrating the end of the summer holidays! They have seemed so long and the last couple of weeks have dragged. But we are ending the holidays on a high as we have the hubby home with us and a busy week planned so there are not too many meals to plan for but a lot of pre planning for the return to work and school. I return back to work a week today, then the twins go back on the Tuesday followed by J and the hubby on Wednesday.

This is what we have got planned this week...

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Jazz Apple Breakfast Pots

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not make it more interesting and delicious. It is so easy to get lazy with breakfast and settle for a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. In this post I am going to show you how you can revamp your breakfast with just a little effort the night before and with deliciously sweet Jazz apples.

Jazz apples are originally from New Zealand but they are now grown all over the world. From UK growers to South American orchards! They are such a crisp, sweet apple that is so full of flavour and can be used in a wide range of dishes or enjoyed as it is. Today I am sharing with you an easy compote that will be the base to so many sweet dishes. I have so many planned but today is all about breakfast!

This is what I did...

Monday, 21 August 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 34

Hello and welcome to week 34 of #MealPlanningMonday!

Sorry for the lack of a meal plan post last week, but we did have a meal plan thanks to the hubby. I left him in charge while we were away camping and he did a great job! 

This weeks meal plan is all about getting more vegetables into our diet. We have been a bit lazy with getting our five a day recently and we can feel it in our bodies. I can feel it round my waist and have put on a few pounds which need to be lost. My moods haven't been too good either so that has not helped. But time to get back on it, healthy eating, more exercise and counting down to returning to work, yes I am looking forward to getting back to work!

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

Friday, 18 August 2017

Camping King Prawn Pasta & Holiday Adventures!

Last week we went on our first camping holiday. This is something that I have been looking forward to. Getting the kids (and me!) away from the television, away from the internet and just going back to basics a bit more. But what I was most looking forward to was cooking camping style. We went armed with a two ring gas stove and a couple of pans. I did take some food with us so that we did not need to go shopping straight away and took non perishable foods such as pasta, rice and tinned food. One meal that I knew that I would make would be one that uses fresh fish. I adore fish of all sorts and as we were staying just outside of Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast so I knew exactly where I could find some. Next to the harbour is a little shop that sells fish that has been brought in fresh from the fishing boats. But before I tell you all about my recipe let me tell you a bit about our holiday!

There really is something soothing about being by the sea and we ventured down to the seafront for walks on all but one of the days that we were there. The children (and the hubby and I) loved walking, paddling and exploring. By the end of the day I was shattered but the kids were full of energy, I simply do not know where all of their energy came from. One day when it was just the kids and I (the hubby had to work for part of the week) we used the park and ride to go into the centre of Bridlington. This is where the stunning harbour is. When we arrived the tide was out and the children were fascinated by how the tide came in and out. As you can see on the picture above when we went in the evening the tide was in. This was the twins first UK seaside holiday and I relished in showing them how beautiful our country is, especially along the coastline.
Visiting the harbour gave the children the opportunity to learn where our seafood comes from. Yes, they know that fish comes from the sea, but visiting the harbour allowed them to see the traps that go in the sea and to see the boats that collect the fish for us to eat. We decided that king prawns were what we wanted to eat on that day and I had an idea how I would cook them. So we sourced some fresh ingredients from a local greengrocers and returned to the tent for a feast.

This is what I did...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Loving the Outdoors

Going camping last week made me realise how much I love the outdoors and nature. One of my favourite ways to relax while away, admittedly it was when the children were in bed, was just looking up at the sky. We often do not take the time to look up and admire the beauty that is always there.

Since returning home I have found myself missing being outside and have noticed a drop in my moods and a rise in my anxiety and combined with stir crazy children this has not been a good mixture. Over the weekend J asked me if I would go outside at watch the meteor shower. On the first night it was too cloudy but thankfully the following night it was lovely and clear. We were stood, looking up for so long we got neck ache, so we ventured down to the bottom of the garden to sit back and enjoy the show. Well, I say show, but we only saw one shooting star but it was spending time with J that I enjoyed most of all. I wish it was lovely enough to do this all year round. It was so relaxing just looking up at the sky but we cannot rely on the great British weather to do this all year round.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Charlie Bighams - A perfect Meal for Two or More!

Last year I wrote a post about the Charlie Bigham's ready meals and since then they have become more widely available and we have tried even more of the delectable dishes. So when I was asked if I would like to share some more meals with you I knew I could not say no.

Until we tried Charlie Bigham's ready meals we had been a bit fussy with the ready meals that we had. In fact we rarely had them. We are passionate about good quality meals and getting pre-prepared meals that use quality ingredients can often be tricky. But Charlie Bigham's use carefully sourced ingredients from trusted suppliers and each recipe has been hand crafted by their top chefs.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

CookBlogShare 2017 Week 33 - Plus 4 Deliciously Tempting Bakes

Hello and welcome to week 33 of #CookBlogShare!

I hope you are all having a lovely summer break so far. Last week we ventured on our first camping trip which, up until we had 36 hours of non stop rain, we thoroughly enjoyed. I have to admit that my favourite part of the trip was experimenting with camping meals. After having some successful meals I have some lovely recipes to share over the next couple of weeks and plenty of ideas floating around my head! Here is a little taster of what is coming!

Anyway now onto CookBlogShare. Last week the linky was hosted by Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy who shared a delicious round up of pork and bacon recipes. If you missed them pop over and take a look. At the moment I have definitely got a sweet tooth and am loving bakes, so it was no surprise that, for me, the sweet bakes stood out. Here are my 4 favourite bakes from week 32 of #CookBlogShare...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Banana and Date Loaf

Not many people like getting really ripe bananas. But I love them as it means they are perfectly ripe for baking! I even look on the reduced section and whenever there are any there I stock up. They are also delicious frozen then blended into an ice cream, but that is another blog post!

This recipe has become a firm favourite. The banana makes it a lovely moist cake while the dates give it a toffee like flavour. Combined together you get a banoffee style loaf which is great as it is or with a layer of butter.

This is what I did...

Monday, 7 August 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 32 The Camping Edition!

Hello and welcome to week 32 of #MealPlanningMonday!

This weeks meal plan is a little different to normal as this week we are going back to basics and are camping! This is our first ever camping trip so I think that having some meals planned is a necessity. I have brought some non perishable foods with us such as pasta sauces, wraps, tins and packet mixes. I am planning to buy fresh meat, fruit and vegetables as we go and hope to find a lovely farm shop near by. But to help the week go smoothly I have come prepared to make the following meals.

For the first part of the holiday I will have the hubby with us so meal times will be easier as we will either eat out or we will prepare the meal together, but during the week the hubby has to work so it is just me and the kids so all of the meals need to be kiddie friendly, easy and fun meals we can all dig into! I have tried out a couple of meals using just two pans as that is all I will have. I am nervous but so excited to try something that is completely new and back to basics!

This is what we will be feasting on while camping...

Friday, 4 August 2017

Summer Curd Tea Loaf

Since making my Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd I have been using it in as many recipes as possible. As the curd contains egg yolk it needs using within a week. Not being one to like waste I have had so much fun experimenting and adding to bakes.

This recipe is based on my ginger tea loaf which is a firm favourite of the hubby. I have changed a few ingredients but have followed the basic ingredients. But as I had a lot of curd to use, this one has a delightfully fruity tang to it. It is a perfect tea loaf to have as a mid morning snack with a good cuppa!

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Bean and Bacon Stew - A Pressure King Pro Recipe

This meal is not the most summery of meals but then again we have not been having much of a summer! But it is an easy meal which is perfect for the busy summer holidays. Who doesn't love a good old one pot meal? I love them, less washing up, full of flavour and super easy and this one is no exception. Plus when made in the Pressure King Pro it is cooked in a fraction of the time!

Beans are a great way to bulk out a meal and helps you to cut down on more expensive ingredients. This recipe is a great meal when you are getting to the month end and money is a bit tight. It is a cheap meal that will make enough for the family plus enough for some leftovers the following day. As well as a cheap way to bulk our a meal they are also a healthy addition. They are full of fibre, protein and iron! With the fresh vegetables you know that you are getting a bowl full of goodness!

This is what I did...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 31

Hello and welcome to week 31 of MealPlanningMonday!

Please excuse my absence last week. We had a lovely weekend away and did not get home until late on Sunday, hence no meal plan in place! Last week the twins and I were at school and work until Tuesday so a busy weekend was followed my a manic two days for me doing all of my end of year work. But now we are well and truly in holiday mode! This week is going to be all about planning for our holiday. We are going on our first camping holiday. We recently bought a tent to enable us to get away more. Holiday cottages are so expensive so we hope that this will give us some lovely cheap getaways.

This weeks meals are going to be easy meals that do not require much effort. To help I have got a couple of review meals that we will be indulging in this week. I have some delicious Charlie Bighams meals and some super tasty and quick Dell'Ugo pasta and gnocchi dishes.

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

Friday, 28 July 2017

Raspberry and Blackcurrant Meringue Pie - A kMix Recipe

Last week I told you how to make my super yummy Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd and this week I am going to share a recipe that is a perfect way to use some of that curd. My Raspberry and Blackcurrant Meringue Pie is a delicious alternative to the traditional lemon meringue and one that we all love!

Ever since trying the kMix a few weeks ago to make my lemon and lime meringue pie I have wanted to make more meringue, which as we have chickens and get a lot of eggs it is a great way to use some of them up! Since using the Kenwood stand mixer to make meringues gone are the days of collapsed meringue. Using the kMix they come out so fluffy and with very little effort from me. The kMix does all the hard work and lets me show off my puddings! 

If you love meringue pies, this dessert will not disappoint. The sharp but sweet flavour from the curd accompanied by the fluffy meringue and the sweet pastry will leave any diner coming back for more!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 30 - Plus a Catch Up

Hello and welcome to week 30 of #CookBlogShare.

Wow week 30! Where have the weeks gone?

For this weeks CookBlogShare post I am doing something a little different as a one off. This week I am going to have a catch up with you all. To be completely honest I am shattered and forgot all about writing this post until last minute, yes even us bloggers forget! Over the weekend we attended a beautiful wedding across the other side of the country so last night was a late night and end of the school year work has left me well a truly exhausted. But the good news is that tomorrow is my last working day until September! I am certainly looking forward to catching up with everyone from the CookBlogShare gang!

So what have we been up to? Well the weekends have been full of family time and relaxing. Plus we have had a couple of lovely visits to RHS Harlow Carr which is only an hours drive away. Best of all is the Betty's tea room that is there. When we go we always stock up on fat rascals, Betty's apple and juniper tea, coffee and sweet treats. Slimming World would certainly not approve! But hey, you have got to live a little haven't you?

Take a look at these gorgeous sweet treats...

Friday, 21 July 2017

Quick and Easy Chicken Curry - A Perfect Midweek Meal

Since returning to work full time I have been trying new, quick and easy meals. Ones that can be made in no time, without the stress of a lot of preparation and meals which are healthy and will please the whole family.

Last week I decided to go for a family favourite, curry. Curries do not always require long marinading time to be tasty and this recipe is proof. Ready in just over 30 minutes this is a meal that can be made easily but more importantly it is a lot healthier than grabbing a take away, not to mention cheaper!

Pair this curry with some rich turmeric and cardamon rice or as my children wanted, rice and beans, naan breads, poppadoms and dips and you have got a meal that has been transformed into a feast!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

How Healthy is your Lunch?

Since returning to work full time I have really struggled with what to have for lunch. I will admit to getting lazy and fed up with sandwiches. On the odd occasion I have called into Tesco on my way to work and picked something up. I tend to go for their salads but have also been tempted with their delicious wraps. This is not always good for my diet or for my pocket! So when I saw this infographic from TrustTwo I thought that I would share it with you as it certainly did open my eyes!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd

After the hubby built the fruit frame a couple of years ago each year we have had more and more berries to harvest. This year is no exception. I do normally make jam but this year wanted to make something different and something a bit more versatile. So I decided to make a curd. We all love the creamier texture of a curd and it is perfect spread on hot toast, warm, fresh bread, scones and it ideal for a meringue pie!

Next week I have got a summer meringue pie recipe to share but before I do I thought that I would share with you how to make the basic curd. This curd can be the basis of so many different bakes and recipes. So expect to see more recipes that use this curd as I am sure that we will get a lot more berries over the season!

This is what I did...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 29

Hello and welcome to week 29 of #MealPlanningMonday!

Wow the weeks are certainly flying by aren't they? J finishes year 7 on Friday and the twinnies have got two more days next week, as have I and then it is the summer holidays! Now that I am working and have been full time the last couple of weeks I know that come next week I will be ready for a break. We have got some exciting plans for the holiday. I am taking the children on our very first camping trip in August. The hubby will be with us a couple of days but as he cannot get anymore time off he has to go home to work. So it'll be some quality time for the kids, the hubby thinks I am crackers but it is better than being stuck in with three bored kids!

We had a lovely weekend. Yesterday we took a spontaneous trip up to RHS Harlow Carr and we all had the best day ever. The children were all so good and we had such a good quality family day out. We came home with lots of foodie treats from Betty's bakers and a bottle of gin!

Last weeks meal plan was a success. I did not get round to making the quiche in the week as I had planned to and ended up popping into Tesco and getting some reduced fish cakes but I will be making it this week so all is not wasted! This weeks meals are, as before, a mixture of easy meals that can be made either quickly once I get home or left in the Pressure King Pro.

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