Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cluck Cluck Cluck {Hen Weekend}

Before I get down to business I am thrilled to have been chosen to be the featured favourite for Delicious Dish Tuesday - This was for my healthy way to do chilli - go check it out! Whilst your at it have a look at  my recipe for this week - the classic Carbonara! Enjoy!

This weekend was a heavy one! Hence my absence yesterday and Friday. It was Hen Weekend! And what a weekend it was.... Every element was kept secret from our hen but I think that was probably best as it meant she just had to get on and trust us to do well.

The things you get distracted by when on treasure hunts!

We went to Bath and had a great weekend of Burlesque shows (try them they are great fun) 3 Course Meals, Treasure Hunts, dressing up, hen games and lots of dancing all night long!

The bride with her hen book - emotional point of the weekend 

Was a great weekend and I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to go with - Now to prepare for my Chief Bridesmaid duties in a couple of weeks - exciting!!

Easiest games of Wheres Wally Ever!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Lately I've been..... {2}

I know, another post that isn't a recipe - if I actually have a chance to get in the kitchen and cook tonight I will be posting one tomorrow.

Baking: Cinnamon Rolls - I base my recipe on this one here and they are amazing every.single.time

Cooking: Not much as I haven't had time, but I did make this after picking up some yummy sausages from the farm shop the other day. And yes, I know it's not Autumn

Reading: From a book - stupid broken Kindle! Currently reading The Good Father by Noah Hawley and really enjoying it

Exercising by walking to the office, swimming in the Whitstable sea and gardening! (great for bingo wings don't you know)?!

Dreaming of a holiday. Fingers crossed for September

Enjoying Impromptu BBQ's with wonderful friends 

Loving My anniversary present. Amazing. 

Looking forward to Lulus Hen weekend! This weekend will be messy but great!

Drinking LOTS of water... it's so warm in London at the moment

Wearing a nautical blue and white striped dress. I love stripes 

Organising Hen Do's!! And lots of things at work. I'll be pleased when in a few weeks I'll be able to breathe again!

That's all for now folks;  I'll update with some yummy recipes real soon

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hosting a Spa party at Home {My Temple Spa Party}

Here in the UK there is great company called Temple Spa  who make some lush products - that are really great for the skin! The best thing about the company is that their representative comes to your house and you have a mini facial as you learn about the products. Its a great chance to get the girls together and have a girly pamper!

When I was organising my party I knew that the food had to be important and look great. In fitting with the night I also made sure it was all super healthy! Here's how it looked:

The Spread!

The Food:
 Kale Crisps 
Bake kale in an oven with some S&P and a little olive oil until crisp
Baked Tortilla Chips and Dip
Cut Tortillas into triangles and put under a grill for a few minutes until golden and then turn and do the same. Serve with guacamole and salsa
Salmon on Rye
Cut some Rye bread into small squares, top with extra light soft cheese, some smoked salmon, a squeeze of lemon and some black pepper
Mushroom Pate and Rosemary Biscuits
not going to lie - i bought these
Hummus and Crudites
I bought the hummus and cut up celery, peppers and carrots to dunk 
Chocolate strawberries
melt some dark chocolate and dunk the strawberries in. Chill and then serve 
Fruit Kebabs
Cocktail stick with cubes of fruit and grapes - easy! 

The food was a hit and the fact that it was guilt free really helped!  I decorated the table simply with fresh flowers and little tags saying what each item was. I think its really easy to go overboard with these sorts of things so I tried not to make to much and kept it to little nibbles. Once I came in from work I only had an hour or so to get ready so it had to be quick! 

Chocolate strawberries - everyone's favourite

The Drinks:
Prosecco - Our favourite

Raspberry Fizz
Prosecco with a fresh raspberry
Ginger Lemonade 
Sparkling water with freshly squeezed lemon juice and slices of fresh ginger 
Spa Water 
jug filled with water, ice, lemon, lime and cucumber

Ginger Lemonade ans a bit of the spa water!

And there you have it, my ideas for throwing a Spa party. You could always do your own and do face masks, pedicures and manicure.... Although its much easier when someone comes and does it for you!

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Boy Done Good


Hope you all had lovely weekends..... mine was very busy and a bit damp due to the weather but it was great to celebrate our one year anniversary whilst seeing friends and family! This post is short today as the list of things I have to get done is LONG!!! Never enough time in the days...

Let me leave you with my anniversary present that my beloved made with his own two hands and a old pallet - the boy did good! And now I have a new herb/veg planter;

How amazing is this?

Cant wait to get all my herbs planted 
I'm a very lucky girl!
I'll be back tomorrow with a longer post..... promise!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Knowing Me, Knowing You {Blogmopolitan Quiz}

Oh lovely lovely Erin! Creating another link up for a Friday that's so good I just cant miss out on it..... so here's a first - A two post day - Wow!

I loved the idea of sharing a bit more of me on here with you and as Erin's done the hard work for me I liked the idea even more.... so with no more ado here is my Blogmopoliton Quiz, I cant wait to link up and read everyone's responses! Enjoy

Happy Friday everyone!

Things I am grateful for {Oh Hey Friday}

Linking up again for Oh Hey Friday! I loved it last week and so I'm sure that I will love again today! Thanks everyone who stopped by last time I've loved connecting with new blogs through this link up, hats off The Farmers Wife and September Farm. This Friday I've decided to focus on 5 things that I am grateful for; 


Face pack Thursdays with my housemate: We have a whole skincare routine, we eat yummy food (this week was Turkey chilli), watch Masterchef, talk a lot and drink a glass of wine and lots of Spa water. I'm often at my Man's house these days so I love coming together and having this time with the other important man in my life!


Horse Guard's Parade 

Nelson's Column - and lots of London traffic!

One day I'll remember to look and see who this dud actually is!

My beautiful walk to work: in the most beautiful city in the world (biased I know)



Cherry Tomatoes

The fruits of my labour: My herbs and plants have been thriving for a while but this week both my tomatoes and my chillies started to grow. Excited was an understatement. I love growing food its so fulfilling and means I don't even mind the weeding. In not so good news I seem to have too many snails, caterpillars and slugs trying to eat my produce - any ideas on how to prevent this?


No doubt we'll look something like this! (Source)

Weekend plans: That include gardening, picnic and a music festival with friends - keep your fingers crossed for sunshine!


So dang cute I try and eat him

A year of my love: My Handsome Man and I have reached one year together this weekend. And despite tough situations that life threw at us (the least of it being a 19 year age gap) falling in love with him was simple and this year has been easy and so so full of happiness and love. Easily the best year of my life. I'm grateful for many things in my life but he, he is top of the list every time.  

Enjoy the weekend lovelies

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Healthy Way to do Chilli

Spicy Turkey Chilli

I've been adjusting my eating habits for a quite a while now and I'm now approaching the two stone mark on my weight loss journey... makes me happy and quite proud, although these things take time. I try not to deprive myself (see my dinner on Monday) as I think that leads to failure and I hate to fail.

One thing I look to do is to make healthy versions of my favourite meals or to replicate great healthy meals that I have out. Chilli is a favourite of mine and I used to love eating a really slow cooked chilli full of beef, chorizo and red wine smothered with sour cream and cheese and preferably served over a jacket potato. Hello calories, fat and carbs....  and I wonder why I put on weight. Duh!

So here is my alternative- a yummy chilli made from turkey mince (which is a great ingredient for all you dieters out there). Mine is pretty spicy so adjust the spice ratios if you want it a bit milder. Feel free to add whatever veggies you like to bulk this up - its a great way to clear the contents of the veg drawer.  I served this with gem lettuce leaves (zero carbs and means I can justify a small sprinkling of cheese) but other healthy alternatives would be a baked Sweet Potato or some Bulgar Wheat.

Turkey Chilli 

Serves around 4 to 6 depending on how hungry people are!
300g Turkey Mince 
2 onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 fresh red chilli, chopped finely
1 Green Pepper & 1/2 Orange Pepper, cut into chunks
1 carrot, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 TBSP Tomato puree 
2 TSP Cumin
2 TSP chilli powder 
2 TSP Paprika 
1 tin chopped tomatoes 
200g Kidney beans, drained 
Olive Oil

Simmering away in the pan 

Fry off the onion, garlic and chilli, add the pepper, carrot and celery and allow them all to soften. Add the turkey mince and cook for around 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Once the mince is cooked then add the spices and puree and cook for a few minutes. Season. Add tomatoes and then leave to cook for 30 mins or so - simmering over a low heat. Add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with gem lettuce leaves, some Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of cheese. 

Messy but yummy!
This Dish has been picked as a featured favourite for Delicious Dish Tuesday! Thanks so much guys.... I encourage everyone to get involved - its a great link up!

Full Time Mama

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Linking up with Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Moules Mariniere; it's easier than you think (trust me)

Obviously my trip to Whitstable has not satisfied my hunger for all things seafood as last night I cooked some of my own in my little kitchen. Mussels are just so darn cheap... £1.99 for a bag (500g) in the supermarket and yet they are a great source of protein and cooked well they can be very filling. I guess because you buy them "live" people can be nervous cooking them but they are very easy and they cook fast... This very traditional sauce/broth the mussels are cooked in is simple and light but full of flavour and is the perfect accompaniment for your plump and juicy mussels

You do have to do a bit of prep first but don't worry it's dead simple!

Moules Mariniere

(Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter)
500g live mussels
3 shallots slice finely
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
200ml dry white wine
50g butter
70ml double cream
Handful of parsley, chopped (I had to omit this as pesky slugs ate my parsley!)


Place mussels in a large bowl of cold water (or in the sink) and one by one pull of any beards and use a knife to scrape off any nasty bits on the shells. Discard any that have opened as that means they are dead and they won't be good. Give them another rinse and you are good to go.


Melt the butter in a large lidded pan, add shallots and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until they have softened. Add the white wine and S&P and cook of for a minute before adding the mussels. Put lid on firmly and give pan a shake. Keep giving pan gentle shakes here and there and when the shells have opened up (literally took 3 minutes) take of lid and stir in cream and parsley. Told you it was easy! Just divide into two bowls and you are ready to go!

Serve with crusty bread and butter or chips if you are that way inclined. We ate this out in our garden him with a glass of wine me with some sparkling water. It was a very easy, cheap weekday meal that felt like a treat to eat!

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Linking up with Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday

Monday, 14 July 2014

Our Happy Place: Whitstable (again)!

Beautiful Beaches (minus the seaweed) 

If you've read this blog before then you will know that Whitstable is our happy place (I talk about it here and here). Everything about it, I love.  I'm smiling from the moment I get there to the moment we drive away (with me asking my beloved how soon we can return).  All being well its where we would like to get married and one day maybe we'll even have our own little fisherman's hut on the waterfront. Until then I just love having the luxury of it being just 45 minutes away and knowing that's it just waiting for me to return. 

The working Harbour 

We spent the whole day blissfully relaxing...... We swam in the sea, he sunbathed whilst I read, we drank Prosecco whilst listening to the waves, we ate fresh oysters by the harbour, wondered around the delightful little shops, sheltered from a storm in The Pearson's Arms, sat outside and listened to jazz whilst drinking wine and picking at fresh seafood....   

The Amazing Native Oysters - best in the world!

It truly has my heart, this little sleepy seaside village in Kent with a vibrant food and music scene.... I'll be seeing you again real soon Whitstable. 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Getting Green Fingers {Oh Hey Friday!}

Linking up for the first time with for Oh Hey Friday! I love reading what everyone's into at the moment.... here's mine and this week I've done quite a random one about what I've been loving this week, but I like the idea of choosing a different theme each Friday! Great Idea Karli from September Farm and The Farmer's Wife, can't wait to link up with you all: 


Been really into my salads this week - so quick and easy to prepare when I come home from a busy day at work.... My favourite one this week was a mackerel, beetroot, egg and tomato salad with gem lettuce and red onion. I sprinkled a bit of balsamic dressing on it and it tasted great. Salad for the win!


Feeling proud about actually getting my lazy bum in gear and posting two recipes this week. Both interesting healthy meal ideas. Find them here and here - Give them a go!


Loving all the hard work we have put into our garden - it's starting to get to where I want it to be - although i really need to crack on with some weeding this weekend. My tomatoes and chillies are just starting to look like they are ready to sprout and I never thought it would get me so excited!


Talking of gardens my biggest success so far has to be my herbs! I followed a tutorial from the lovely Rachel at Tryingforsighs blog for making a hanging herb garden! Great idea, I love how it looks and no nasty foxes can reach them to eat!


My beloved has his guitar exams this weekend and he is starting his first guitar teaching job soon. I am a guitar widow. But he's so talented so keep your fingers crossed for him!

Enjoy the weekend lovelies

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Sweet like..... Sweetcorn

I have a funny relationship with sweetcorn. Without meaning to put you off your breakfast they are the one food that your body cannot digest (that's what I heard anyways) so it leaves me wondering why we bother? But then when I taste its crunchy sweet golden goodness it suddenly doesn't matter that its going to go straight through me, it tastes amazing!

These fritters are a go-to recipe for me as I always have the ingredients lying around the kitchen. They are incredibly easy to make but taste great and I often add any other vegetables going off in my fridge.

Sweetcorn Fritters 

2 heads of sweetcorn or 1 can of sweetcorn - fresh is best, tinned is ok, frozen doesn't work!
sprinkle of fresh red / green chilli
30g / 1 heaped TBS self raising flour 
1 egg 
1 egg white
Butter for frying 

Using a large knife, remove kernels from the cob, put into mixing bowl with whole egg, chilli, flour and season. in separate bowl beat an egg white until stiff and fold into the sweetcorn mixture. Melt some butter in a frying pan with a touch of oil so it doesn't burn. Place large TBSP of the batter into the pan, this amount will make around 6 decent sized fritters. Leave the patties to go brown on one side then flip them over and cook over side. Drain them on some kitchen paper and eat as soon as you can bear the heat in your mouth. Keeping it fairly healthy I had these with some cooked beetroot and some salad but I've had them before with some smoked mackerel (good) and on another occasion with fresh sausages (great)! Once I had them with a bit of cream cheese and chilli jam - terribly bad for me but tasted sensational. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

So I remembered I have a blog; A nourishing recipe of fish, chorizo and beans

Relationships can be hard work. They can. I feel like my relationship with this blog is hard work most of the time and I have felt like just deleting the whole thing.... I have next to no followers and my readership is pretty low. But then I stopped to think - I am consistently telling people how much work relationships are; with boyfriends, with friends, family etc and that they take time and commitment. So I guess I'm trying to make a promise that I am going to commit more effort into this blog because I love cooking well and writing badly - and it's for me really, a little piece of me in the large world wide web. 

This dish was an experiment with flavours I believe work very well together. Its a great dish so I guess it’s a fancy apology or my nourishing love on a plate. Either way I recommend it.

A bit blurry, but you see what I was trying to achieve!

Pan fried cod on a chorizo, tomato and butter bean medley

2 pieces Skin on cod – I got this from the fishmongers and simply asked them to cut the size that I wanted – easy!  
1 x tin Butter Beans, drained
4 Shallots, thinly sliced
2 stalks Celery finely sliced 
125g Chorizo, cut into small cubes
200ml glass white wine
1 x tin chopped Tomatoes
100g cherry / baby plum Tomatoes, halved or quartered (i did a bit of both) 
Lemon Thyme

Start by frying the chorizo and shallots in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Once the shallots are soft and the chorizo slightly crispy add in the celery and half the cherry tomatoes, cook for a further 5 mins until the celery is softened. Add in the wine and allow to reduce by half. Add the tomatoes (tinned and fresh) , a sprinkle of sugar, lemon thyme and seasoning. allow to bubble away for 10 minutes. Add the beans and continue you to Cook for around 15 minutes. you can throw in some more lemon thyme if you think it needs it. 
Season you fish and flour the skin. Melt butter and oil in a pan and then cook the fish so the skin is crispy. You could always oven roast or grill if you prefer. Serve the fish on top of the medley and garnish with lemon slice an a sprig of lemon thyme.

After eating this we decided that you definitely need another element to the dish..... maybe some grilled asparagus or some buttered Samphire. I'll get back to you on that.