Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bowl - The Perfect Quick Meal

Today's post is a guest post recipe and a meal that we love! Cottage pie style meals are always a huge success in our house. One of our favourite ways variations of cottage pie was my Cottage Pie topped with Butternut Squash Mash that was a quick meal thanks to the Pressure King Pro.

But this recipe that has been shared with me is an even quicker one!

Guest Post

On busy weeknights, spending hours in the kitchen is the last thing most of us look forward to, even if we love to cook. For days like this, it is a great idea to prepare a quick and healthy dinner that is not only nutritious but also delicious. This delectable recipe serves four and is bound to give you the perfect comfort food feeling:

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Beef Kheema for Great British Beef Week

This week is Great British Beef Week so this weeks recipe with Aldi features their 100% British beef. Aldi are committed to sourcing only 100% British beef that comes from Red Tractor assured farms. This means that they are able to trace back all of their meat to the farm of its origin. The Red Tractor is one of the largest food standard schemes in the UK and they ensure that the welfare of the animals is protected, food safety is paramount and that everything from the care to packaging of the meats is environmentally friendly. 

With Aldi offering some of the best prices on the market seeing the Red Tractor on all of their beef you can be confident that you are going to be cooking and consuming great meat.

To celebrate Great British Beef Week and to also celebrate the fantastic prices at Aldi I am sharing with you a curried beef recipe, beef kheema. This is a simple yet full of flavour dish that can be served in a variety of ways.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

One Pot Spring Vegetables and Pesto Pasta

Green vegetables are not only super good for you but they are also deliciously versatile. They can be added to a wide variety of dishes and can be paired with so many different flavours.

This recipe actually started off as a soup but as I added the all of the ingredients together I realised that they would make a delicious one pot pasta dish. So I added some vermicelli and hey presto we had a new meal! But what really does complete this dish is the pesto. Before you serve it simply add a spoon of pesto and then stir it in to the pasta and vegetables to add some extra flavours.

This meal is quick, easy and keeps the amount of washing up down to a minimum, perfect for a busy mid week meal.

This is what I did...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 17 2017

After a week away it is lovely to come home to a meal plan already in place. To make life easier I planned this week before we went on holiday. I did this for a couple of reasons, one so it saves me the stress of wondering what we can eat and secondly there is always so much to do after a holiday and with the children going straight back to school the following day it does not give us much time to unwind.

The majority of this weeks meals are easy dinners using what I have already got in the freezer. This means I do not need to worry about going shopping as soon as we get home which will save us some much needed money.

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

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Easy School Holiday Meals with Birds Eye

When Birds Eye got in touch with me and asked me if I would like to try out some of their spring recipes I knew that the school holidays would be the ideal time to try one out. During the school holidays we all want to have meals that are quick and easy. When you have days out or have just had a busy day at home you want to be able to prepare a meal that is both nutritious and tasty.

Birds Eye do a great range of frozen fish, chicken, vegetables, potato products, pie, ready meals and even breakfast sweet treats. I decided to use some of their delicious fish products in a recipe. The Birds Eye Inspirations range allow you to feast on fish that is full of flavour and that has been paired with perfect extra ingredients. As you know I am following the Slimming World eating plan and will admit that it did play a part in what I decided to get. When I was looking at the syn value in the fish I was delighted to find that the Salmon in Lemon and Dill Sauce was syn free it went straight into my trolley!

I decided to make a meal based on the serving suggestion on the front of the box. The picture shows the salmon on a bed of pasta and peas.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Honey Earl Grey Cupcakes for National Tea Day 2017

Like them or love them there seems to be a national day, week, or month for just about everything. The foodie that I am, I love food and drink days. Even if they are foods and drinks that we consume on a daily basis it is always good to celebrate them and try something new.

Image result for national tea day logo

On Friday 21st April it is National Tea Day so it is only fitting to celebrate this much loved drink by creating a recipe incorporating tea. There are so many different teas, blends, flavours, makes available on the market. If you are a tea drinker you really are spoilt for choice! Aldi stock a good range of teas at a great price. From Mao Feng green tea to Earl Grey, from fruit infusions to the traditional black tea, we have even found special green teas that contain coconut, manuka honey or mint.

This recipe features the Aldi Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is a lovely blend of black tea with flavours of bergamot. Bergamot that is used in Earl Grey is an oil that comes from the bergamot orange that grows in Italy. It gives you a light citrus cup of tea which goes perfectly with a slice of lemon and no milk. Tea also has many health benefits which make it an even better drink, they are:
  • Tea contains antioxidants which help protect our bodies from pollutants
  • Herbal teas contain no caffeine
  • Black teas contain half the amount of caffeine than coffee
  • Herbal teas can help settle your digestive system
  • Tea is hydrating
Whenever we think about afternoon tea we immediately think of cake. This cake recipe is the ideal accompaniment to you cup of tea.

This is what I did...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 16 2017 - Easy Meals for a Holiday

Welcome to week 16 of #MealPlanningMonday.

This weeks meal plan is not my usual plan. As it is the Easter holidays we have got a bit of time away so this week there is no specific meal plan in place. We have got a couple of meals booked but the remainder of the week we will be cooking for ourselves. To keep costs down I will be doing a small shop to get foods and snacks that we may need. But as we are a family of five I am sure you can imagine how much stuff we take away with us so we do not have the room for a lot of groceries. Plus we cannot take perishable foods, we will need to purchase those once we arrive. So this weeks meal plan is going to be a list of meals that will be easy to prepare, foods that we can easily pack and meals that everyone will enjoy.

Here are my top holiday meals...
  • Lasagne - Pasta dishes are great easy meals. When cooking lasagne you can buy some delicious sauces that allow you to easily make this classic dish. You can buy the tomato base sauce, white sauce and a box of lasagne sheets will easily pack.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Lentil and Bacon Stew with Celeriac Mash

Stews are a great way of adding extra vegetables to a meal without the children always knowing exactly what they are eating. My eldest is adamant that he does not like butternut squash, but when I use it is a stew he eats it with no questions asked. Stews can often take a while, especially if you are using a slow cooker. But since I got my Pressure King Pro to review I am able to make a quick and easy stew in a faction of the time. As a busy mum this is something which has made meal time a lot easier and quicker!

This recipe is full of delicious vegetables but also has the bacon and lentils to bulk it up. With the celeriac mash it really is a filling meal.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Posh Cross Buns French Toast - An Easter Breakfast

I love hot cross buns and can happily eat them all year round. At Easter they are an essential part of my shopping list. This year Aldi have lovingly created a hot cross bun that is out of this world! If you love a good, rich hot cross bun you must take a trip to your local store and pick up a pack of their brioche hot cross buns. Priced at just 99p for 4 you cannot go wrong.

You do not have to take just my word for how great these hot cross buns are. They have been dubbed the 'Posh Cross Bun' for Easter 2017. These indulgent, sweet buns are packed with juicy sultanas, raisins and currants and combined with the all butter brioche you will find them to be simply irresistible! Over the last few years brioche breads have certainly become the most popular sweet bread on the market and during 2016 Aldi sold 16 times more brioche than the likes of Marks and Spencer and Waitrose! Aldi's brioche range accounted for 37% of sweet bread sales in the UK!

To celebrate their 'Posh Cross Buns' Aldi have teamed up with Great British Bake Off finalist Miranda Gore Browne to bring you some delicious recipes, both sweet and savoury, and all featuring their 'Posh Cross Buns'. When I was asked to feature one of the recipes I could not resist trying the French toast recipe. It was so delicious I am going to share it with you!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Exploring Under the Sea

The Easter holidays are here and now is the time when a lot of us are either taking our first holiday of the year or start to plan what we can do over the year. As the children are getting older I find that we can do a lot more together as a family. In fact we have just made a purchase, which we see as an investment in our family, of a tent. This is going to mean so many more, new adventures for us. It is going to bring us closer to nature and the children will be making some amazing memories.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

This has led us to thinking what we can do and where we can go. With this new found holiday freedom the possibilities are endless. I love to be by the sea and really want to explore more coastal locations. Our favourite coastal location has to be Northumberland. The northern county boast some of the most picturesque, idyllic coastal lines in the country. The crystal clear sea is somewhere that I am curious to explore more. Thankfully J shares my love of the water and as he matures I can see this being an activity that we can do together and have some one to one, mother and son time. Scuba diving has to be the best way to explore the sea!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 15 2017

Hooray for school holidays! I may not be saying that in two weeks, but for now it is lovely to know that we can have a bit of time out. I have a feeling that this week is going to go by quickly as we only have four days until we have the hubby at home for just over a week.

This weeks meals are going to be easy meals that I can either make quickly in the evening or one that I can put in the Pressure King Pro and just leave it. Last weeks meal plan was a huge success, the best meal had to be the butternut squash pearl barley risotto, it was so good! Unfortunately I did not get a single picture as it was eaten before I got a chance. Needless to say it will be made again and I will be blogging about it!

My last weigh in at Slimming World has certainly given me the motivation to keep on. I only lost 1.5lbs but I now have the urge to carry on and I will get to my target weight!

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

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Super Boost Green Matcha Smoothie

Since starting Slimming World 25 weeks ago I have noticed my body and tastes change a great deal. Now that I have stepped up my weight loss plan to include more activity what I eat and drink has changed even more. On the days that I exercise my appetite is bigger but for good foods. Before I exercise I have an oat based breakfast and try to include banana for energy and a natural peanut butter to help the long term release of energy. My favourite way to start a gym day is with a lovely big bowl of my Full of Energy Porridge.

Whether you are exercising or not what you drink is also an important part of your diet. When I drink alcohol my whole body feels it and it effects the way I eat. So I am trying to make a conscious effort to not drink as much, limiting it to the odd drink. I have started to add super green matcha to my drinks again and on a gym day the matcha really does give me an added boost! In the past I have written about matcha and what a great drink and ingredient it is. I have used it in porridge, cakes and drinks. When I have matcha in my diet I find that my energy levels are higher, my moods are better and I generally feel better in myself. Over the last few weeks I have been starting the day with a delicious, green smoothie. It has become a loved part of my daily routine hence why I am sharing it with you today!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dairy Free, Free From Refined Sugar Easter Fruit Oaty Snack - An Alternative #FreeFromEaster with Aldi

Recently I have been experimenting more and more with free from baking so when Aldi challenged me to create an alternative Easter bake I jumped at the chance. At the end of the week the children break up for the Easter holidays and we all know how important it is to keep them busy. This weeks Aldi recipe is perfect to make with the children and I even had a little helper when I made these.

These lovely little fruit oaty snacks are a bit like a soft flapjack that can be cut into a range of shapes and decorated as you wish. They are dairy free and free from refined sugar. We added fruit and honey to give them a natural sweetness. Aldi have got lots of delicious Easter recipes, including some free from treats, in their Easter section. But for now let me and my little helper show and tell you what we did...

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 14 - Plus 4 Yummy Bakes

Hello and welcome to week 14 of #CookBlogShare.

Where have the weeks gone? We are now in April and this is my last #CookBlogShare for the next 3 weeks. Next week the linky will be hosted by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie then the following two weeks will be guest hosted by Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy and Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes. We have got a week away which overlaps the linky so instead of trying to cram everything together I am going to have a couple of weeks off, go away and have a bit of time off with my family. I am confident that Jacqui and Monika will keep everything ticking over while I am away.

Back to this weeks CookBlogShare, last week there were so many delicious recipes shared, but again the Easter, spring inspired bakes won. Here are my 4 favourite recipes from week 13 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 3 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 14 2017

Welcome to the first meal plan for April! We have one more week of school before the children break up for the Easter holidays. 

Last week I had a bit of a Slimming World wobble but after a great image therapy session I am back on it and have my mojo back. I was amazed that I maintained my weight when I stepped on the scales and this has certainly encouraged me to carry on. I have only 11lbs to go until I reach my target. I CAN do this! I even kept to my meal plan 100% and we loved all of the meals.