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breakfast, food, healthy eating, Healthy food, wellbeing

One pot breakfast in 90 seconds

One pot breakfast in 90 seconds

Can you spare 90 seconds

Are you like me and want to eat healthy but also hate having to use loads of pots when preparing a meal? How does breakfast in 90 seconds sound? and even better still it’s all done in one pot.

Breafast is the most important meal of the day and I will be first to admit that I often skip this meal as the mornings can sometimes be hectic. Is this a meal you skip too for the same reason?

Making breakfast easier

I have been currently looking at ways to overcome this problem. With the time of year and the mornings being cold, damp and sometimes frosty, a cold fresh fruit shake just isn’t as inviting at the moment. For me they are more for the warmer days. A nice warm breakfast is more needed at the moment.

One breakfast I have been currently enjoying and that is this loaded egg in a dish breakfast. A breakfast made using just the one dish and is ready in just 90 seconds. Breakfast has never been so easy.

How to make this tasty breakfast in 90 seconds

Ingredients:

  • Eggs x2
  • 1 tablespoonful of skimmed milk
  • Lean ham – I used one slice.
  • Parsley

Method:

  1. Chop the ham into small peices and place in the dish.
  2. Crack your eggs into the same dish.
  3. Add the milk.
  4. Add the seasoning. As much or as little as you like.
  5. Mix the ingredients together.
  6. Place in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  7. Enjoy.

Add any fillings of your choice

This loaded egg breakfast makes a perfect quick breakfast. The ingredients can be played about with and you can add any filling of your choice. Ian likes his loaded with more fillings and likes mushrooms, peas, cheese and other fillings added to bulk his out more.

This also makes a perfect breakfast for kid’s like Bradley who struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. He is now in college and still hasn’t changed from his school day’s – he still isn’t a morning person and ALWAYS needs reminding to have breakfast before darting out the door to get his train to college.

A perfect way to start anyones day. All you need is eggs, milk and any fillings of your choice.

We do enjoy cooking and baking – check out our food section to see what we have been making.

Enjoy!

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cooking, 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
    1. Low calorie spray
    1. x 1 red pepper & x 1 yellow pepper
    1. Can of Diet Coke
    1. Chicken stock – 200 ml
    1. Cup of frozen peas
    1. Kale x 2 handfuls
    1. x 1 onion – diced
    1. Mixed herbs 1 tbs
    1. 8 tbs Passata
    1. 4 tbs Tomato puree
    1. 2 tsp Worcestershire
    1. x 1 tbs dark Soy Sauce
  1. 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?

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food, food presentation., product review

Unique Soapstone Serving

unique soapstone serving

Unique Soapstone Serving

By having a close family we quite often have a large number of people come to dinner and there is nothing worse than struggling to maintain the desired food temperature whilst serving a large number of people.  We have recently been using soapstone servers to not only help keep our food the temperature needed but to also serve in style. The unique soapstone serving is a  great way to serve platter sharers and adding a little unique rustic touch to our dinner parties which we have quite often.

unique soapstone serving

This is a beautiful re-claimed soapstone serving slab, perfect for serving cheeses, appetizers or even as a mezze platter. Each slab is handcrafted and custom cut, no two pieces of these soapstone surving slabs are the same. Each individual slab has rustic raw edges and a beautiful unique design with attached soapstone feet for easy transportation which is also great for protecting work surfaces. No two pieces of these soapstone surving slabs are the same so measurements will vary. They come in options of small, medium, large or extra-large.

unique soapstone serving

You simply freeze or even place in the oven to help maintain food temperatures that you require, helping to serve food to dinner guests at the desired temperatures needed.  RRP £40

Perfect For Dinner Parties

unique soapstone serving

This oven-to-table entertainment platter is also hand-crafted from USA and made from recycled soapstone. The tray can also be heated or chilled to help maintain optimal food temperatures. This beautiful serving slab comes with a rustic wooden serving tray for easier movement from oven-to-table. Measures 16″ x ¬†8″ x 8″ RRP ¬£58.50

unique soapstone serving

Add Style And Elegance

We found using these serving slabs really helped to add style and elegance to our dinner party, they stayed chilled for around 3 hours when we froze them. When heated they held the heat for the duration of the meal saving us from the worry of side dishes going cold.

Would  you would like to serve up a statement? if so you will find both soapstone items over at Formahouse.

Disclaimer: we was sent these serving slabs for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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cake, food, homemade, Recipe

Lemon Drizzle

lemon drizzle

Who Doesn’t Like Cake

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 in our food section.

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food, food preperation, homemade, Recipe

Celebrating The Chinese New Year

celebrating chinese new year

Chinese Fakeaway

Will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year? We really enjoy our Chinese food and love nothing more than a fake-away. One of our favourites is sweet and sour pork noodles.

Ingredients used are:

Pork loin steaks, fat removed and cut into small pieces.

low-calorie cooking spray.

1 large onion – diced.

Salt and pepper.

1 red pepper – cut into strips.

150ml chicken stock.

4tbs light soy sauce.

Egg noodles.

Fresh pineapple chunks

2 carrots cut into strips.

Mangetout.

Baby corn.

Chinese 5 spice.

x2 garlic cloves – we used frozen.

1 tbs of cornflour.

x4 tbs of tomato purée.

x1 chilli pepper

x1 tbs of white wine vinegar.

Celebrating The Chinese New Year

How to make:

We put our wok over a high heat (we have an electric hob), whilst waiting for it to heat we sprayed the pork with cooking spray, seasoned and then added it to the wok. We then cooked for 5 minutes – until cooked through. When the pork was cooked we then transfer onto a plate and set aside.

We then sprayed the wok and returned it to the heat, adding the onion, carrots, mangetout, baby corn and peppers. We stir fried them for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes we then added the pork and continued for a few minutes before adding the stock and garlic.

Whilst that lot was cooking away we got a bowl and mixed 2 tbs of water with the Chinese 5 spice and cornflour along with white wine vinegar. Stirring the mixture in with the meat veg and stock. Cooking this on a low heat until the mixture has thickened.

Just before we remove the meal off the heat we like to add our pineapple chunks to heat them up for the last-minute or so.

Some of us like our sweet and sour pork with noodles and some of us like them with Tilda rice so we always prepare both with the meal. We cooked these to the packets instructions and then serve with our meal.

Of course we all enjoy side dishes – we had sweet and sour prawns, crackers and duck wraps.

This dish is quick and easy to make, it has been a family favourite for a long time now. We have made this dish to celebrate the Chinese New Year and to #IgniteYourTastebuds

Celebrating The Chinese New Year

Celebrating The Chinese New Year

These ingredients fed five of us.

Would you like to watch it being cooked?

Do you enjoy Chinese food, if so what’s your favourite dish?

Disclosure: we was sent a voucher to buy the ingredients used to creat this recipe. All thoughts and opionions are our own.

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Christmas, food, food preperation, homemade, Recipe

Christmas Leftovers

christmas leftovers

Stuck With 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?

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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

 

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food, food preperation, halloween, halloween food, party 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?

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food, food preperation, healthy eating, Healthy food

Overnight Oats

overnight oats

How To Make 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?

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

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AD, celebrations, food, party food, product review, review., service review

Crystal Celebrations

crystal celebrations

15th Wedding Anniversary

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!

Delivery To Suit You

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.

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food, food preperation, Healthy food, homemade

Chicken Shish Kebab

chicken shish kebab

Homemade 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.

A Perfect Summer Time Recipe

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.

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breakfast, food, food preperation, Healthy food, wellbeing

Homemade Breakfast Shake

Shake-up Your Breakfast!

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. 

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chocolates, food, gifts, homemade, Homemade Gift's

Festive Homemade Truffles

IMG_0074

Homemade Treats

We have been busy in the kitchen again, we have made homemade truffles this time. We love homebaking and fancied making something different other than a cake so we thought why not try to make some truffles.

We love truffles and thought why not try to make some ourself, we have family visiting christmas evening and would love to put out some fancy nibbles other than the normal old stuff we have out on offer. The kids really enjoyed helping to get stuck in and yes there was the usual arguments over who is going to lick the spoon and clear the bowl….Ian won that one! (big kid).

Ingredients used:

250ml double cream

50g butter

300g dark chocolate

Brandy enough to taste

1tbs Peppermint essence

Hundreds and thousands

Desiccated coconut

Butterscotch pieces

Chopped mixed nuts

Neon sugar sprinkles

Icing sugar

How we made the truffles:

IMG_0078We started off by putting the cream and butter in a saucepan, heated until the butter had melted and the cream started to gently boil.

We broke the chocolate into small pieces and melted in a dish over boiling water until fully melted.

We then poured the cream and melted butter into a mixing bowl, added the melted chocolate and then mixed the mixtures together.

Brandy Was Then Added

We then added brandy to taste. (we made two lots of these truffle mixes, an adult’s mix and a kid’s mix) for the kid’s mix we added peppermint essence to give it a minty flavour.

IMG_0079

Whilst I was mixing the cream and chocolate together Lee lined a large size oven dish that was deep enough to hold all the mixture in with greaseproof paper.

We then poured the mixture into this dish, allowed the mixture to cool and then placed in the fridge for roughly just over an hour.

While we was waiting for the chocolate to set we prepared the sprinkles and nuts by pouring them into Separate bowls.

The Fun Then Bagan

When the chocolate was ready we got a tea-spoon and spooned out some chocolate, rolled it into a ball and then rolled the ball in a chosen covering, either nuts, sprinkles etc until fully covered, continuing the process until all have been made, placing the truffles when covered on greaseproof paper on a plate. We placed the truffles when made in the freezer ready for christmas. We separately boxed up the adult’s truffles from the kid’s.

IMG_0060

Doing this was a very messy process, we was hand washing in between making each ball, we all got stuck in at making the truffles so they did not take to long to make. The kids thoroughly enjoyed making these, they loved getting all chocolateley and choosing what to cover the truffle in.

Very Messy But Fun

After all our hard work we have some lovely festive truffles all ready for christmas evening when family come to visit.

IMG_0080IMG_0070

What are your favourite food’s to have over christmas?

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baking., Christmas cake, festive food, food, food preperation, Home baking, homemade

Homemade Christmas Cake

Time To Bake

If there is one thing we enjoy at christmas it is a nice homemade christmas cake. We have been busy preparing and baking our cake ready for this christmas. Last year I prepared our cake about the same time of year and everyone that tasted it said it was very tasty and really enjoyed it.

This year we have been asked to make a cake for other family members as well so we have been busy preparing cakes for them too as well as our own so it is a good job we enjoy baking.
We love to bake our own christmas cake as we think you can not beat homemade cooking, especially at christmas time when you have family visiting it is nice to offer something home-baked.

Ingredients we used

1kg mixed dried fruits

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange

You can use any alcohol of your choice we used brandy

250g butter

200g light soft brown sugar

175g plain flour

100g ground almonds

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

100g flaked almonds

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

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How We Made It

  • We started off making our christmas cake by pre-heating the oven to 130c, we then added the dry fruit, butter, sugar and brandy in a large saucepan, set over a medium heat, we then brought it to boil, we then lowered the heat and left it simmering for about 5 minutes.
  • While the fruit was simmering we double lined a cake tin with grease proof paper.
  • After the fruit mix had¬†been simmering for about 5 minutes we tipped it into a large bowl and left it to cool for about half an hour.
  • Once the fruit mix had cooled off we then added the rest of the ingredients stirring the ingredients in well, we then put the mix into our tin, covered with grease proof paper and tied with string to keep it covered, then placed it into the oven for 2 hours.
  • Once the cake had been in the oven for 2 hours we removed it and allowed it to cool off, we poked holes in it with skewers to make pockets for when we add our alcohol.
  • We will be adding alcohol to our cake by pouring¬†over two table spoons of brandy every fortnight. We have wrapped our cake in cling film, we will be icing our cake and decorating it a week before christmas.
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This is our cake we baked last year with a winter wonderland theme to  it.

This is our adults only cake due to the alcohol in the cake, we will bake a separate cake for the kid’s nearer christmas.
We are still thinking on a theme for our cake this year. Do you bake your own christmas cake ?
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Stuffed Aubergines

Cooking With Aubergines

I am on week one of my diet, one thing I have been doing is looking at our family meals and yes I admit we was not eating very healthy, but all that is to change from now on, we will have the odd naughty meal but only on the odd occasion here and there. Tonight I have made stuffed aubergines, I will admit I have never cooked with aubergines before and wanted to give it ago and introduce it to my family meals.

The ingredients needed are:

2 large aubergines.

2 garlic cloves.

1 small diced onion.

150g extra lean minced beef.

3 vine tomatoes, chopped small.

2 tbsp passata.

2 tsp dried oregano.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

100g cooked white rice.

Freshly chopped parsley.

Method:

To start with I put the two aubergines in the oven whole and baked for about 15 minutes to soften them, I then left them to cool. Once they was cool I cut them in half horizontally, I then scooped out the middle and put the middle to one side ready to add to the mince shortly.

I then browned my mince and drained away the fat. I then added the garlic, onion, tomatoes, the middle of the aubergine, oregano, passata and a pinch of salt and pepper.

I left the mince simmering with the ingredients in a saucepan uncovered for about 10 minutes while I cooked the rice. Once the rice was cooked I then added the rice to the mince and vegetables and mixed it well.

Once I had added the rice I then added the mixture to fill the aubergines, covered with foil and baked in the oven at 200c removing the foil for the last 5 minutes. Once cooked I dished up and garnished with freshly chopped parsley and we had this with side salad and a stuffed mushroom.

stuffed aubergines

The stuffed aubergines was enjoyed by all of us, the kids even asked for more and if we can have this again another day. So it was a big hit with them and a thumbs up all round, this will now be on our new family menu.

Do you like Aubergines?

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