Monday, 30 January 2017


I tried out the recipe/food delivery service Hello Fresh last week - the company deliver you fresh ingredients and a recipe card so you can enjoy cooking the food yourself. I loved it as you have the exact ingredients and so you don't waste anything (I hate waste) and the food was delicious. My only complaint was it took much longer than the suggested 30 minutes and at the moment I don't have that amount of time in the evenings. It was nice to try something new and the portions were a healthy size - I will definitely be using it again in the near future but not when I have a demanding baby!!

Anyway I did find a very easy recipe to cook for Arabella and I last week, it took around 20 minutes in total, but was extremely simple.

Ingredients for 2 people:

2 chicken breasts
Olive oil
4 tbsp red pesto
175g mozzarella, sliced (you can use less - I just adore cheese)!
A few leaves of basil (I forgot this so used dry but fresh is better)

To serve:

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting through half horizontally (but not all the way through) and opening up like a book. Lay clingfilm over the top and gently bash until they are similar thickness all over. Mine were quite thin.

Heat a non stick frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken and then add to the pan. Sear for around 5 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. The exact amount of time will depend on the thickness of the chicken so do cut into it to check there is no pink meat.

Preheat the grill to hot.

Lift the chicken on to a baking tray, spread the pesto over each breast and top with the mozzarella. Slide under a hot grill and cook until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. This only took a couple of minutes so keep your eye on it.

Finish with some fresh basil leaves and serve with a green salad.

Arabella originally moaned when I told her what I was cooking as she had eaten chicken at school that day, however after a few mouthfuls, she was telling me how much she enjoyed our supper. It is very kid friendly and I loved it too - simple but tasty. Next time I might add some avocado to my salad as well.
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Wednesday, 25 January 2017


I follow this great account on Instagram called Delish and it shows mini video clips of the most mouth watering recipes. My daughter Arabella and I both love watching them especially the sugar filled ones. Plus they always look really easy. My only complaint is they don't give out the measurements of all the ingredients and I couldn't find this recipe on their website however it looked easy enough so we decided to wing it. 

Ingredients for 16 "sandwiches":

1 pack of Oreo cookies (16 in a pack)
400g milk chocolate
16 Reese's peanut butter cups

Start by splitting the Oreos in two, this was easier said than done and we ended up breaking quite a few, (that didn't happen in the Instagram video)! 

Sandwich the Reese's between the Oreos. We had to stop ourselves eating them then!

Put a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and break the chocolate into the bowl. Leave it to melt, stirring occasionally. This took around 5-7 minutes.

Leave to cool (you need to be able to put your fingers in it). We ended up tasting it several times just to make sure the temperature was right.

Dip the Oreo and Reese's sandwiches into the chocolate. This was an extremely messy process, we ended up using a spoon to help. It looked so easy in the Delish video but I don't think my chocolate was liquid enough - we were in a bit of a rush to get these made so I didn't melt it for very long. I would recommend the chocolate being more liquid and smooth as the result will definitely look better.


Thankfully they tasted better than they looked!!

Lay the chocolate covered sandwiches on a plate and put in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then take out and tuck in.

Even though these didn't look particularly great, they tasted amazing. I loved the combination of the chocolate, Oreo and Reese's, and even though they were very sweet, I still demolished two and we had finished them all within a few days. I adored the fact it was a recipe where my daughter could get fully involved and I didn't have to worry about her burning herself or anything. 

So despite mine looking rather rubbish, these were easy to make and I would definitely recommend them (although maybe not on a diet day)!!!

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Our family new year's resolution is to each choose 4 new restaurants and so then this year we try 12 different places to eat. We planned to start this weekend however the weather was so miserable, we decided to stay at home, have a pyjama day and cook. I had several chicken breasts to use up so found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website, you can used leftover roast chicken if you have it instead. This took around an hour and serves 6 people although I was only cooking for 3 people.

Ingredients for 6 people:

1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1kg ripe mixed colour tomatoes (I just used red cherry tomatoes), chopped
1 fresh red chilli (optional), sliced and deseed
A few sprigs of oregano, leaves chopped (I used dry)
Olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon of sweet paprika
2kg free range poached chicken (I used poached chicken breasts)
200ml chicken stock
4 fresh quality chorizo sausages, chopped (around 400g)
1-2 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds, crushed

If you are using uncooked chicken breasts, start by poaching the chicken in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. Once it is all cooked through, slice the chicken into chunky pieces or if you are using an actual chicken, pull the chicken off the bones.

At the same time, blacken the peppers under a hot grill and then place in a bowl and cover with cling film to steam for 15 minutes. Apparently after 15 minutes, it should be really easy to peel off the skin. This wasn't the case for me, maybe my skins weren't black enough. Anyway it didn't really matter. Chop into chunky strips and set aside.

Slice the onion, tomatoes and garlic. Halve, deseed and chop the chilli and then pick off the oregano leaves and cut.

Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes before adding the garlic, tomatoes, paprika, chilli and most of the oregano. I left out the chilli as my daughter is not keen on too much spice. Cook for around five minutes or until beginning to soften.

Add the chicken to the pan with the stock and the peppers. Leave to bubble for 25 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and is thick and glossy.

Place the fennel seeds into a pestle and mortar and bash until crushed. I don't have a pestle and mortar so tried to use the back of a teaspoon. It didn't really work so I just left it.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a second frying pan over a high heat. Skin the chorizo sausages and slice the meat into bite size pieces. Add to the pan along with the fennel seeds.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until dark, golden, crisp and smelling fantastic!

Mix together the chorizo and the chicken and add a good slug of olive oil and season. Stir in a big dollop of creme fraiche, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and scatter over any remaining oregano leaves.

Finally serve with either fresh baguette, jacket potatoes or warm tortillas. We went for the latter with a scattering of cheese and rolled it up like a fajita - delicious!!

I don't cook many Jamie Oliver recipes as I find them too complicated and they often need so many different ingredients however this was a success. I didn't follow it exactly i.e. I left out the chilli, I used basic cherry tomatoes, dried oregano, chicken breasts rather than a proper chicken and I didn't have a pestle and mortar......and guess what, it didn't matter! This recipe actually worked really well and we all enjoyed it and it was a very pleasant change to have something other than our usual pasta. It did take a while to cook but it wasn't complicated and I think next time I won't bother to blacken the peppers, I will just fry them with the onions. With this in mind, I might be doing some more Jamie recipes in future....that is if I have time to cook!!!

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Monday, 16 January 2017


The only cooking I have been doing recently is pureeing fruit and vegetables. My little girl is nearly 6 months old and just like her mummy, she has a real interest in food. I am trying to cook everything fresh so I have been so busy stocking up the freezer. I look forward to the time when we can all eat the same things, not that I want to wish this time away, my baby is growing up too quickly as it is.

Anyway gone are our weekends of visiting museums and going out for supper. We managed a night out on Friday to see Wicked at the theatre and ate at a fantastic Turkish restaurant in Victoria called Kazan. Unfortunately I forgot to blog it so we will have to go back. Anyway the rest of the weekend we stayed at home and I finally had the time to make some home cooked meals for us.

This recipe is from Delicious magazine, I follow them on Instagram and end up liking pretty much all their posts. This took about 20 minutes to cook.

Ingredients for 4 people:

400g spaghetti
1/2 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 streaky bacon rashes, roughly chopped
100ml half fat creme fraiche
5 free range egg yolks

To serve:
Grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese

Prepare all the ingredients such as chopping the onion and bacon, crushing the garlic and cutting up the broccoli. The florets need to be bite size, mine were too big! 

In a large frying pan, heat a glut of olive oil and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and bacon for around 7-10 minutes until the bacon is crisp. When it is ready, take the pan off the heat.

Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and then cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions, mine took 10 minutes. 3 minutes before the end, add the broccoli to the pan. Once it is ready, drain in a colander and drizzle with a little olive oil, then return to the saucepan.

Add the bacon mixture to the pasta and then thoroughly stir in the creme fraiche and egg yolks. 

Serve with a good grinding of black pepper and a sprinkling of grated cheese.

This was very quick and easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. I loved the light creamy sauce, the saltiness of the bacon and the crunch of the broccoli. My husband, daughter and I were all big fans and I was particularly happy to be having an "indulgent" meal that included green veg. Another time, I might substitute the broccoli for mushrooms although not when my daughter is round - she hates them!

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