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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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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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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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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

IMG_9502

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.
 IMG_9505
IMG_9638
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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food, food preperation, healthy eating, Healthy food, Recipe

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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