Monday, 30 November 2015

Recipe & Review: OXO Mandoline sliced vegetable crisps


A mandoline has been on P's all time wish list for like ever! So when an email dropped into my inbox from OXO uk asking if I would like to do a review, I new exactly which product of theirs I wanted to try.

They actually do a ton of kitchen products I never new anything about.

I LOVE kitchen and bake ware. It's like an addiction.

So I was like a child in a sweetie shop when browsing their site.

And when the box arrived on Saturday, P squealed like a girl 'I love new kitchen gadgets!!'

We're easily pleased.

We took no time in whipping it out of the box on Sunday and decided our first venture with our new toy would be vegetable crisps.

We love vegetable crisps but they are so expensive compared to normal potato ones and a little too salty for my liking.

OXO has three different mandolins ranging in price from the handheld at £15 to the Chef's mandoline at £60. 

We went for the mid-range simple mandoline at £40.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Recipe: Christmas tree cupcakes


This time next month the big man himself will have been and gone and we'll all be stuffed after scoffing down a giant Christmas dinner.

Scary thought huh?

Don't panic. Eat cake. It'll make you feel better. I promise.

And get you into the festive spirit if you make these cheery little Christmas trees!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Review & Recipe: Slow cooked paprika pork with roasted vegeteables & Quinola


Quinoa....

Kwin-o-a? Kin-wa?

I've always struggled with what to call it. In my head it shall forever be Kwin-o-a. Even if I do now know that is incorrect.

I have to admit, I've heard it quite a lot recently. 

It seems to be the new super food on every ones lips.

But what the devil actually is it?

Apparently it is the grain-like seeds of the quinoa plant from the Andes.

Well I never, you learn something new everyday!

And what makes Quinola so special?

The Quinola mothergrain website gives 5 very valid reasons why:

1. It's super easy to cook! If you can cook rice and pasta then you can definitely cook this. And the express range is fool-proof.

2. It is super healthy. Quinoa is a complete protein that can be used to replace meat. It is gluten and cholesterol free and packed full of vitamins.

3. Great for the planet. It is sustainably organic.

4. Ethical. The farmers in Cabana are covered by the fairtrade guarantees.

5. Superior. This brand claims to be the very best in quinoa.

Quinola is a great carrier for flavours so lends itself so well to so many different sweet and savoury recipes.

The Quinola website is also packed full of yummy and imaginative recipes to use quinoa in, from Quinola fried chicken to Quinola cashew truffles.

Quinoa is also great as a simple swap for pasta or rice in meals.

As this was my first time of trying quinoa I kept things simple and used it as a straight swap for mashed potato which I am trying to avoid as part of my low GI diet.

Review & Recipe: Lizi's passionfruit & pistachio granola cookies

When the email landed in my inbox asking me to review some Lizi's granola I jumped at the chance.

I know granola doesn't sound like the most exciting product to try but I had never tried it before and was intrigued by the different flavour combinations Lizi's range has.

I was also very keen because I am currently following a low GI/GL diet (hate that word!), as I have previously discussed, for health reasons.

Lizi's webiste has a whole glycemic load section which was very informative and great to hear these products fit in with my diet!

The webiste also features a whole heap of recipes featuring new and imaginative ways to use granola, from apricot and sage stuffing to granola bread.

I used my Lizi's passionfruit and pistachio granola in my own recipe to make some healthy cookies.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Paris terrorist attacks: How much do we tell our children?


This is something I've really pondered over the last few days.

Struggled with.

My head and my heart are at logger heads over it.

My 5 year old came home on Monday having been told about what happened in Paris at School.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Recipe: Healthy spicy turkey burgers with sweet potato wedges


So you may have seen my last post for Quorn bolognese which details my new healthy eating journey.

I don't particularly like the word 'diet' as I think as soon as I tell myself I'm on a diet it suddenly becomes really unachievable for some reason. 

Food loses its excitement to me if it is for a diet.

I'm not over weight by any means so I don't need to go on a diet anyway, but I am mindful that recently I have let my eating habits change and meals have become much more fatty.

I explained on my last post too, that I was previously a vegetarian for 10 years. My eating habits were naturally very healthy then because of that. 

When I became a meat eater again, I started to love fatty meats, mince beef meals, steaks etc.

Because me and P had started to eat fatty, unhealthy meals, it had become the 'norm' that the children would eat something nutritious and healthy first, then me & P would eat something different later.

Looking after the childrens wellbeing but not our own.

And eating at different times is not something I like doing at all.

The children have such busy schedules with after school clubs, rainbows, dance classes and things, that fitting family meals in is becoming impossible at times.

So my aim this week has been to NOT go on a diet, but to make healthier choices and few simple swaps like quorn mince in place of beef mince and here turkey mince in place of beef mince and to make meals quick enough to fit in with our hectic schedule, meals that all the family can enjoy, together!

These turkey burgers were a total winner all round.

I'm a total convert and will do turkey burgers over beefburgers every time now.

The children much preferred them too!

This recipe makes 10 burgers.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Recipe: Vegetarian Quorn bolognese with buternut squash & courgetti


I'm currently trying to eat a little healthier.

As you may be able to tell, I do love cake.

But it is starting to show!

I used to be a vegetarian, and was for 10 years, until recently when the smell of meat got the better of me.

But the one thing that has remained the same, is using quorn in place of beef for things like bolognese and lasagne's.

I think it is very close in taste and texture to meat, one of the best meat substitutes out there and many meat eaters over the years have not been able to tell the difference.

And this simple swap is not only just as tasty, it is much much less fatty and cheaper.

The butternut squash and courgetti is a fun alternative to pasta and a great way to get the children to eat extra veggies.

This recipe is healthy and quick. 

A win win family meal.

[Serves our hungry family of 5 pigs]

Monday, 16 November 2015

Recipe: Spiced apple & sultana slices


These slices are perfect for lunchbox treats or with an afternoon cup of tea.

Packed full of fruit which keeps it moist and naturally sweet, spiced perfectly with cinnamon and ginger, these cake slices have a carrot cake type texture and similar taste.

They would taste lovely with a cream cheese frosting but I kept mine plain for the children (they are odd creatures and hate any sort of cream/ frosting on cakes!)

This recipe fills 2 x 18cm square tins, which is approximately 18-20 slices.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Recipe: Mint aero cupcakes


If you love mint aero's as much as me, you'll love these cupcakes.

Perfectly chocolatey.

Perfectly minty.

Yum!

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.






INGREDIENTS
For the cakes:
240g Plain flour
280g Caster sugar
100g Mint aero, melted
2tsp Baking powder
250ml Milk
2 Eggs
80g Butter

For the frosting:
50g Butter
20g Cocoa powder
70ml Milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
Green food colouring

To decorate:
Mint aero balls

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 170c and line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

2. Mix the flour, caster sugar and baking powder in a bowl then add the softened butter and rub together until it resembles sand.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted chocolate, eggs and milk together.

4. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

5. Spoon into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

6. For the frosting: Mix the icing sugar slowly into the softened butter. Split the mixture equally into 2 separate bowls.

7. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and half the milk to the first bowl. Mix thoroughly.

8. Add the peppermint essence and a few drops of green food colouring to the second bowl. Mix thoroughly.

9. Refrigerate both for 10-15 minutes before putting into a piping bag, alternating between a spoon of chocolate, a spoon of mint, and so on, to create the two tone effect frosting you can see.

10. Pipe swirls onto each cake and top with a mint aero ball to decorate.

















Linked up to:
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.comMonkey and Mouse

Thursday, 5 November 2015

#NoFearGoSmear

#NoFearGoSmear

Easy right? Just go?

Or maybe not....

The current guidelines in England are that every women is invited to have a smear test at 25.

I was no different.

The letter landed on my doorstep shortly after my 25th Birthday.

And what did I do? 

Book the appointment?

Nope. Of course not. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Bonfire night safety with free printable guide


It's nearly bonfire night, and we are very excited to this year be hosting our own fireworks in the back garden.

Here is some great Bonfire night safety information.

I've printed and spoken with my children about it.

Now it's your turn....

Better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Recipe: Cheese & bacon muffins


These cheese & bacon muffins make a lovely change from all the sweet baking I do and are perfect for a breakfast on the run or lunchtime accompaniment.

Yummy and healthy too!

This recipe makes 9 large or 12 small muffins.




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