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food, Lifestyle

Diet Coke Chicken

Finding myself again

A new family meal – Diet Coke Chicken

With recently re-joining Slimming World I have been taking a look at some of our family meal times. I can safely say that whilst I have not been attending group our eating habits have slowly gone back to our old ways. When it is Ian’s turn to cook when I am working late he mistakenly thinks that the takeaway apps the oven. Accidentally on purpose of course. This is even done when there is a pre made dinner in the fridge that just needs to be put in the oven so it is ready for when I get home from work.

I re-looked at some of our meals and thought perhaps a change is needed and we needed a change and to mix things up a little to help bring back the love of cooking from fresh food again. In our house time plays a big part in our eating habits. Admittedly we love any dish that can be cooked using the minimal amount of pots and pans and is also quick to make. Slow cooker recipes are a favourite in our house.

With us both out working 12 hrs of the day preparing food and a nice family meal can become a problem if we are not prepared in advance as all we want to do when we get in is kick our shoes off and enjoy a nice long soak in the bath.

Batch cooking is something we used to do a lot and is something we need to start getting into again. We moved house since last attending Slimming world, we are now settled and have re-joined at a different group so hopefully this will all fall into place again very soon.

Slimming World was re-joined again on Wednesday and so far the plan has been stuck to so fingers crossed results will show next week at group. One of our new meals we have enjoyed is Diet Coke Chicken….Yes Diet Coke Chicken!

Diet Coke is one ingredient we have never used before for cooking, have you?

This was one meal we had to try, I must say it was delicious. It was enjoyed by all of us, the teens even asked for more so we can’t complain. Lots of veg was added and it was extremely filling. It had been spoken about in group at our old group and new so I just had to try it out with my boys and see if it’s a possible new recipe that can be made and enjoyed again. The answer from my teens was a big yes. I am so pleased to be finding family meals that can be enjoyed by myself who is currently wanting to lose weight and meals that also fits into meal times that family will also enjoy to.

Ingredients used was:

  1. x 4 skinless Chicken breast
  2. Low calorie spray
  3. x 1 red pepper & x 1 yellow pepper
  4. Can of Diet Coke
  5. Chicken stock – 200 ml
  6. Cup of frozen peas
  7. Kale x 2 handfuls
  8. x 1 onion – diced
  9. Mixed herbs 1 tbs
  10. 8 tbs Passata
  11. 4 tbs Tomato puree
  12. 2 tsp Worcestershire
  13. x 1 tbs dark Soy Sauce
  14. x 2 chopped Carrots

How we cooked Diet Coke Chicken:

We heated the pan and then sprayed the pan with my low-calorie spray.

All the vegetables and chicken was then added until lightly browned.

Once browned the stock was then added, diet coke, passata, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and then mixed herbs.

This was then continuously stirred whilst bringing to the boil.

A lid went on the pan, the heat was turned down and it was left to simmer until the chicken was cooked through and the sauce had thickened.

This was so quick and easy to make, all in the one pan too – extra bonus!

This took us 15 minutes to prepare and roughly 40 minutes cooking time and most of that was simmering on its own.

This meal fed four of us and we all very much enjoyed it. This meal made a lovely change and will certainly be being made again. I enjoyed this meal with cauliflower rice Ian and the teens had rice.

diet coke chicken

Do you have a favorite family meal?

 

 

food

Lemon Drizzle

lemon drizzle

Lemon Drizzle

Bradley recently made us a lovely Lemon Drizzle cake, I must say it was amazing. Here is how he made it.

You will need:

For the cake

  1. 350g butter
  2. 350g caster sugar
  3. 350g self-raising flour
  4. Zest of two large lemons
  5. 4 medium eggs
  6. 50ml milk

For the butter cream

  1. Juice of 1 small lemon
  2. 100g butter
  3. Caster sugar
  4. Vanilla extract

For the drizzle

  1. Juice of 2 large lemons
  2. Icing sugar

Method:

Lemon drizzle

To make the cake mix you need to:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl sift the flour and the zest, mix together.
  4. Using another bowl add the eggs, milk and then whisk together.
  5. Line the cake tins with grease-proof paper.
  6. Whisk together the butter and sugar.
  7. Add all the cake mix together and whisk for 2 minutes.
  8. Separate the mix between the two tins and bake for 30/40 minutes until the sponge has risen and cooked through.
  9. Leave the cake to cool off.
  10. Once the cakes are cool make the butter cream filling.

Lemon drizzle

To make the butter cream filling you need to:

  1. Beat the butter together with the caster sugar.
  2. Add the juice of the lemon.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Spread over the cake and add the top to the cake.

Lemon drizzle

To make the drizzle you need to:

  1. Add the juice of the lemon and icing sugar, mix together.
  2. Drizzle the mix over the top of the cake.
  3. Place in the fridge to set.

Then you simply enjoy.

Lemon drizzle

Bradley made us this Lemon Drizzle cake to enjoy one evening, it tasted amazing and was a lovely homemade treat enjoyed by all. Bradley really enjoyed making this cake, he had great fun trying to bake something new, he loves baking and calling himself head chef in the kitchen.

You can find our other homemade recipes on the blog >>>HERE<<<

Christmas, food

Christmas Leftovers

christmas leftovers

Christmas Leftovers

Ian is always in charge of picking our Christmas meats for over the Festive period. I like to know we have enough for Boxing Day too as this is a day off from cooking in our house so we just have cold meat and pickles – we like something light as we always over-indulge on Christmas Day on all of our Christmas treats. We still end up with loads of Christmas leftovers as Ian always buys huge lumps of meats – I’m sure he wants our Christmas dinner to see the new year in with us.

What do you do with your Christmas leftovers? This year we have made:

Spaghetti Carbonara

Christmas Leftovers

Christmas pizza

Christmas Leftovers

Christmas Leftovers

Christmas Leftovers

Curry

Christmas leftovers

As you can see we always end up with loads of leftovers. In a way I am pleased this happens as I can then meal plan our meals and make the cooking that week so much easier. This releases some of the stress over the festive period leaving room for more family fun time.

I am a carer that works out in the community and was needed back into work but I have been looking forward to coming home and having a nice dinner that has slowly cooked away whilst I’ve been at work. I love coming home to a meal that has been planned and is all ready and waiting to just be served. The last thing I want to be doing as soon as I get home is spending time in the kitchen, especially over the festive week.

Have you ended up with loads of Christmas leftovers?

Christmas, food

Christmas Treats

Christmas Treats

Christmas Treats

One thing we all enjoy in our house over Christmas is all the Christmas goodies, well what can we say Christmas treats are just the best ever!

Christmas is a day that the diet goes out the window, we have a day off and enjoy ourselves without checking and weighing everything before we eat it. We love to sit and watch Christmas movies in our pjs with lots of sweets crisps and chocolates….well it is Christmas after all. We all take turns to pick a movie, this mainly happens the day after Boxing Day when the excitement of it all has just got too much and we want time to chill-out and have a day off from it all whilst looking back and chatting about our Christmas gifts.

Christmas Treats

One treat the boys do like is their Cadbury’s treats, they enjoy all of them, the biscuits, advent calendars, chocolate Santa and most of all the selection boxes. All of these get enjoyed over the festive period.

Myself and Ian like to sit back and over indulge ourselves on the Lindt selection. We think the Lindt reindeer’s are so cute and we could happily sit and eat a whole box of truffles easily.

Christmas Treats

Last year I found myself making eggnog which not only I enjoyed but other family members did too so this is something I will be making again this year. I started to make this after hearing it mentioned quite a lot in the Christmas movies I had watched last year, I thought to myself I have never tried eggnog and wanted to try it so I made some homemade eggnog and really enjoyed it!

Christmas treats

We also enjoyed making chocolate truffles – these make fab homemade gifts, perfect for the neighbours, colleagues, teachers and friends.

Christmas Treats

Of course Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a Christmas cake would it. Do you make your own Christmas cakes? We do. We start making our Christmas cake about August time. Here is our cake from last year.

christmas cake

As you can see we have a very sweet tooth in our house over the festive period and I’m sure our house isn’t the only house to over indulge……Are we?

We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

May all your dreams come true in 2016.

X

 

food

Monster Munches

monster munches

Monster Munches

Brad has been busy making up some spooky Halloween treats, he really enjoys being creative in the kitchen with his food. He has some mates staying over at Halloween and Brad has been planning his spooky monster munches menu, here is what he has come up with so far.

Brad would like to introduce you to:

monster munches

A blood sucking sugar monster

(A sugar doughnut with vampire teeth and red icing along with resins for eyes)

monster munches

Ghost heads

(Strawberries dipped in yoghurt decorated with icing)

monster munches

Hungry brain eating monsters

(Calved faces into cooked peppers with cooked dried pasta noodles)

monster munches

The cheesy mummy monster

(x 2 Wraps, one covered in cheese with the other used as bandages along with pepper ears, resin eyes and tomato nose)

Then put under the grill.

monster munches

Spider snack

(Brownie square, dried fruit eyes and pretzels for legs)

Brads planning on having a little Halloween party so he’s been putting together a party plate.

monster munches

What do you think?

He is now planning he’s costume and fun spooky games to play. One thing he does enjoy doing is spooky pranks on us, last year even Buddy hid from his pranks.

What are your favourite Halloween games?

HALLOWEEN

food

Overnight Oats

overnight oats

Overnight Oats

Slimming World has been a big part of our family meals for a year now, myself and Ian are members, both wanting to lose a few stone. We have found that we are both currently stuck at our current loss. I am currently stuck around the 3 stone loss, I will attend weigh-in and have put on 1-2lbs or get told I’ve either maintained or lost 1-2lbs, admittedly we are now very frustrated/bored with being stuck at this weight. Ian does shift work and is unable to attend every week so his gains or losses are much bigger, he is currently stuck at the 2 stone loss. We have recently had a chat and have decided we want to try different meals to see if that helps boost our losses, we have decided our breakfast this week is going to be the first to change and will be Overnight Oats.

We have been trying Overnight Oats so far this week and have found them to be so filling that the picking between meals had stopped (bonus). We also like the fact that it is a breakfast that you prepare the night before so it is also a time saver in the morning, you just get it out the fridge ready-made and ready to eat, you can eat it at home or simply grab and go (perfect).

Our overnight oats ingredients:

A glass jar to make the oats in

Strawberries – Unlimited amount

35g unflavored Porridge Oats

1 pot of 175g Muller Light Yoghurt

How we made our Overnight Oats:

We washed and sliced our strawberries, measured our oats out, chose our yogurt and then was ready to make our breakfast.

We covered the bottom of our glass jar with strawberries, spread one tablespoon of yoghurt over the strawberries, we then added some of the oats, enough to cover the yoghurt. The process was then repeated, we continued to layer our ingredients until the ingredients had gone, we did not mix the ingredients together we left the oats to soak in the yoghurt and the fruit as it was layered.

Once the Overnight Oats was made we then put it in the fridge until breakfast (10-12 hours). We then mixed the ingredients together then added some more fresh fruit on the top.

This is what ours looked liked once it came out of the fridge the next day.

This looked amazing, we couldn’t wait to tuck in.

overnight oats

So delicious…

overnight oats

The ingredients above is per person.

You can also add different fruits.

overnight oats

This is our mixed berries Overnight Oats.

overnight oats

We will be continuing to make our Overnight Oats and will also be trying it using different fruits mixed in. We will also be getting more active, we are going to take up swimming again and getting out more on our bikes.

Do you attend Slimming World? have you been wanting to join? here is a free 7-day Slimming World meal plan for you to try.

Please do come back a let us know if you give the Overnight Oats a try, we’d love to know your thoughts.

food

Crystal celebrations

crystal celebrations

Crystal celebrations

We recently celebrated our crystal wedding anniversary, myself and Ian had already said to the boy’s that we didn’t want a big party as we had just came home from a family holiday instead. The kid’s kept on asking why we wasn’t celebrating with a big party and having crystal celebrations, we then sat the boy’s down and explained to them that with us both working there just wasn’t any time to cater for a party.

In the end the kid’s won and we ended up having crystal celebrations, whilst I was at work Ian was busy doing the gardening and the kid’s tidied the house, the food was being catered for by The Platter Company, we spoke with the platter company on the phone and arranged a convenient time for delivery which Ian took delivery of while I was busy working, all I had to do was arrive home relax, enjoy myself and celebrate, it was lovely and totally stress free…..Perfect!

The Platter Company deliver at a time to suit you, at your chosen location within the Hertfordshire and Essex areas. The food is delivered lovely presented and ready to eat. There is a lovely selection of food to choose from to cater for all occasions.

the platter company

There really is no occasion too small!

crystal celebrations

For our party we had a mixture of sandwiches, this platter consisted of:

  • Bacon lettuce and tomatoes (BLT)
  • Cheese and onion
  • Chicken and sweetcorn
  • Smoked salmon

The sandwiches had just the right amount of filling in them, the bread was lovely and soft we found there to be a lovely choice of sandwiches.

 

 

To go with these lovely filled sandwiches is a selection of pastries.

 

crystal celebrations

The traditional british feast:

  • Mini sausages roll
  • Mini Quiche
  • Beef pasties
  • Cocktail sausages

The selection of pastries was great, it had a great selection of party favourites within the platter.

 

 

And to finish we had a lovely dessert platter.

crystal celebrations

The dessert platter consisted of:

  • Lovely decorated cupcakes
  • shortbread teddy
  • A huge cookie
  • Toffee rice crispy cake
  • Brownie
  • Carrot cake
  • Mini millionaires

Now this was a platter that didn’t last five minutes, the selection was just right, it certainly had all of our favourites on it.

These platters were enjoyed very much by all, the platters was perfect, the last-minute party turned out lovely and was totally stress free.

the platter company

The Platter Company provided a high quality reliable service, all platters came ready to serve. The platters were delivered in a refrigerated van, arrived in plastic lidded trays which are 100% recyclable. We just took the lid off and left the food on the serving trays. The whole process was stress free and all looked and tasted perfect!

Disclaimer: we was sent these lovely platters in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

food

Chicken shish kebab

chicken shish kebab

Chicken shish kebab

Me and Brad was sat discussing some summer time recipes, as it is now getting too hot to want to eat let alone even be standing around cooking. The boy’s enjoy eating wraps so we thought we’d make a nice tortilla recipe and make a chicken shish kebab with a salad for dinner. Instead of using pitta bread we thought we’d use tortilla wraps for a change.

We decided on what we would like to put on our skewers, ingredients being:

Chicken breasts cut into small pieces

Peppers

Pickled onions

Tomatoes

chicken shish kebab

Method:

We started off by cutting our ingredients to size to make it easier when loading our skewer.

Seasoned our chicken with a chicken seasoning.

We then got loading the ingredients on, pepper, chicken onion and then repeated until we had no room left on the skewer.

Bradley really enjoyed doing this, it was a great team effort, I done the chopping and Bradley done the loading of the skewer. I done the first one to show him how to do it and then Brad took over and finished the rest off.

Once the skewers was made we then placed them in a dish, covered them in cling film and then popped them into the fridge until we was ready to cook.

We then prepared a salad to go with our chicken shish kebab, we got washing and chopping to create a lovely choice of salad. We really enjoy creating a fakeaway, Bradley wanted to create a kebab shop, even naming it “Brad’s kebab’s”.

The boy’s was wanting wedges with their kebab so we then chopped up some potatoes to make our own wedges to have on the side.

Once the salad was prepared and everyone was ready to eat we then cooked our chicken shish kebabs under the grill.

chicken shish kebab

We placed the skewers on a grill tray and then put them under a medium grill heat turning to make sure they cook through thoroughly.

When ready we then placed them on a bed of salad inside a tortilla wrap and added the wedges on the side.

Prep time: This meal was very much enjoyed by all, it took about 15-20 to prepare and about 12-15 minutes to cook.

chicken shish kebab

This meal can be enjoyed as an indoor meal or even enjoyed outdoors at a lovely BBQ.

food

Homemade breakfast shake

Homemade breakfast shake

 

Did you know that this week was breakfast week (25th-31st January), in our house we all enjoy our breakfast….Well why wouldn’t we it is a good way to start the day.

With the weather being cold we have been enjoying a nice variety of hot breakfast’s such as Porridge, Shredded wheat, Weetabix etc. I have mine with a nice cup of tea, Lee and Bradley enjoy theirs with a nice hot chocolate. This week we have gone through so much milk,¬†especially with it being so cold lately we have been having extra hot chocolate drinks.

We enjoy our breakfast as it gives us a good start to the day and with the weather being so cold it is nice to have something warm inside us for venturing outside to brave the cold.

One morning we was all in a rush so we experimented by making a homemade breakfast shake to have on the go.

Ingredients:

Breakfast shakeOne cup of natural yoghurt

One cup of milk

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

One banana

One cup of oats

We combined all the ingredients together and mixed in a blender, it was so quick and easy to make. We are lucky as the boys love their fruit and they enjoy experimenting with the fruit to make all different types of shakes. This was our first attempt to make a homemade breakfast shake and the boys loved it, they said it see them through until lunch time at school so that was a bonus.

We will definitely be making this homemade breakfast shake in the future as it was so filling and it makes a healthy breakfast to have on the go.

We love letting the boys experiment with foods and flavours, we feel it is important to let them, we also think it is great that they take an interest in what they are eating, we enjoy watching them try different flavours as they don’t like all foods and spices and when they come across something they don’t like trust me they soon let us know.

Do you have kid’s that like to experiment with food’s and flavours, do you think you would try out this homemade breakfast shake?

 



Disclaimer: We was compensated for the milk used for the purpose of the post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. 

 

birthday cake, chocolate cake., food, Home baking

Mums chocolate delight cake

Mums chocolate delight cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I had such a lovely day, I went shopping with Bradley as I wanted to get a new outfit for our night out Saturday and Bradley said he needed to get some ingredients for a cake he wanted to make for me called Mums chocolate delight cake, so we had a fun afternoon shopping.

Bradley made me this beautiful cake and it had my two favorite ingredients, chocolate and strawberries.

He said he wants to call this cake mum’s chocolate delight cake as it has my two favorite ingredients.
I can say that this cake is extremely tasty, chocolate and strawberries how can you go wrong, naughty but very very nice.
Ingredients used for the cake are
200 g Self raising flour
25 g Cocoa powder
4 Large eggs
225 g Caster sugar
225 g Unsalted butter
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Baking powder
2 tbs strawberry jam
1 punnet of strawberries
icing sugar to dust
ready made chocolate fudge icing
  • ¬†Preheated the oven to 180 c
  • Grease the cake tins, then line with grease proof paper
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl
  • Add the eggs, caster sugar, butter, vanilla extract and baking powder
  • mix with an electric hand whisk for a few minutes until well mixed
  • Divide evenly between the two tins
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Leave to cool

Bradley then used 2 tbs of strawberry jam to spread over the bottom layer of the cake, half of punnet of strawberries chopped and laid them over the jam, then used the ready made chocolate fudge to put on top of the strawberries.

Mum's chocolate delight cakeUsing chocolate and strawberries my two favorite ingredients it was then dusted with icing sugar to finish

Mum's chocolate delight cake

The most secret ingredient in this cake is lots of love.

birthday, food

Cousin love

 Cousin love

 

                       

 

Cousin love, my boy’s love their cousins they have 5 in total and they love them all dearly.

Tomorrow is Demis birthday and tonight my boys have made a surprise birthday cake for her ready for her big day, Demi has been giving us her big count down to her big day and she is super excited about turning 6.
They came straight in from school and got started on looking up what cake they wanted to make for her, and then checked to see if we had the ingredients needed.
It is nice to see the boys getting on well together and working nicely without any disagreements, the boys love baking as it is something we have always done together.
They chose to make her a heart shaped Victoria sponge cake.
Ingredients used:

 

175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
175g self-raising flour
6-8 tbs jam
150 ml double cream
The boys found some extra ingredients that they chose to add to their Victoria sponge for added colour and decoration.
They chose to add
 
Hundreds & thousands
Silver balls
Popping candy for a little surprise
Marzipan rose decorations
Royal icing decorations
Wafer daisies
Strawberry icing
Marsh mellows
  • We preheated the oven to 190c
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  • Added the eggs a little at a time
  • Sift the flour
  • Mixed it altogether
  • Divided the mixture equally for a top and bottom part of the cake
  • Baked for 20 minutes
  • Allowed to cool

The boys preparation time was about 15-20 minutes.

When the cakes had cooled down they started to decorate.
 
The boys had great fun baking and preparing this cake for Demi and they are super excited about giving it to her, demi said she likes pink so we hope she likes and enjoys her cake.
Happy 6th birthday Demi
art, breakfast, food, food presentation., sunny toast

Sunny toast

 Sunny toast
As it is raining outside and Ian is not feeling very well we thought we would cheer him up and brighten up his day by cooking him breakfast in bed. We thought we would make sunny toast.
Sunny toast
Ingredients used
 
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large egg

Bradley cut out a circle in the middle of the bread using a cutter and then cut the mushrooms in half, we then put it under the grill to toast one side, whilst the bread was toasting we started to fry the mushrooms and tomatoes, we then put the bread in the pan toasted side up and then added the egg to the whole in the bread and allowed to cook.

This is our end result, Bradley put some of his art into his presentation and made a sunny breakfast.
Sunny toast
5 a day, family meal, food, Healthy food, vegetables, working parents

Beef and vegetable stir fry

Beef and vegetable stir fry
Being working parents spending time in the kitchen is very limited but we still like a nice healthy family meal in the evening, one of our favourites is a nice beef and vegetable stir fry as it is very quick to prepare and best of all it is all done using just a wok so not all the dreaded pans to wash up after.
What we done was pre heat the wok, put our beef strips in the wok with a drizzle of sunflower oil to brown off, chose our ingredients and washed them, we all got stuck in by chopping it all up while the beef browned, when the beef had browned off enough we started adding our chosen sauce, the one we like is the Chinese stir fry sauce then we started adding our vegetables Starting with the carrots and potatoes that have been diced, as these will need just that little bit longer to soften and cook, then we added the green beans that have been thinly chopped, after about 5 minutes, we gave them a few minutes then we added the rest of the ingredients that have also been chopped/sliced small and left simmering for about 10- 15 minutes for the last 5 minuets we added fresh egg noodles for the last 2-3 minutes we added the kale.
The vegetables we chose was
x4 Carrots
Handful of Greens
Handful of fine Green beans 
x1 Red onion
x3 Red rooster potatoes
1/2 White cabbage
x1 Tin chopped tomatoes
x1 Courgette
1/2 Red cabbage
Handful of kale
Meat used
 
350G Beef stir fry strips
Sauce used
180G Chinese stir fry sauce
Prep time
Five to ten minutes
Cook time
 
Twenty to twenty-five minutes
 
Herbs & Spices of your choice can be added if you wish
This is a recipe that can be adjusted to suit your taste
The meal dished up ready to eat  the kids enjoyed it and ate all their dinner even asking for more.
 
beef and vegetable stir fry
                           A nice tasty dish full of goodness !
What is your favourite family meal ?