Category Archives: Food & Drink

Slow cooked Beef Stew

I do actually really enjoy and like cooking but the thing I struggle with is finding things that are quick and easy for when I get home from work to cook especially now things that are warm and wholesome with fast approaching winter.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

400/800g of diced beef

5 x large Potatoes chopped into chunks

5 x large Parsnips chopped into chunks

5 large Carrots chopped into chunks

1 x large swede chopped into chunks

2/3 x Large white onions, chopped

1 teaspoon of mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

Pre made dumplings/Dumpling mix

Beef stock cubes

500ml boiling Water

Method

Seal the beef in a frying pan or you can put it straight in the slow cooker to cook.

Cut and peel all the root vegetables in the small chunks and add them in the slow cooker, add all your mixed herbs and thyme and then finally mix your beef stock cubes with boiling water and add to your meat and vegetables.

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In total to make this meal it cost me under £10. If you are looking for a delicious and under budget meal that you can make in bulk and freeze, this would be perfect.

* I received £20 aldi vouchers to create this meal for the purpose of this review.

Ready To Break The Cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting For Good?

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Are you a long-term yo-yo dieter? It really is one of the most frustrating things ever to experience. Just as soon as you’re making progress and doing well, you find yourself slipping back into old habits. It’s not a healthy approach to nutrition and it doesn’t do your self esteem much good either, where you feel like you’re forever failing yourself. If you’re ready to break the cycle for good, here are a few things that might help.

Identify Your Underlying Issues With Food

The best way to stop yo-yo dieting and finally break the cycle is to work out the reasons why you overeat. The answer is likely to be extremely complex and made up of many different factors. But try to be completely honest with yourself and write it down if it helps. Do you turn to food when you’re feeling emotional or bored? Does disorganisation mean you often eat right before bed? Are you too busy or lazy to cook meaning you often resort to unhealthy takeaways? You might even have an underlying medical condition which makes you feel hungrier than you should. Working out the reasons as to why you turn to food can give you much more control over the situation. If you feel as though you have extreme issues when it comes to food, you could even consider speaking to a therapist to help you work through them.

Clear Out Your Kitchen

Having unhealthy treats or temptations in the home is an accident waiting to happen. Even if they are for your partner or children, get them on board too. Kids especially will benefit from switching unhealthy snacks for healthy ones. Allwomenstalk.com for example has ideas for healthy swaps you can make. In fact this is one of the most beneficial things you can do for them nutritionally. Get rid of anything that isn’t providing your family’s body with goodness. From salty, processed canned and prepackaged meals to sugary cereal to even unhealthy sauces and preserves. Do a big grocery shop and replenish the kitchen with the things that you know you should be eating. This stops you from picking and snacking on things just because they are readily available and acting as a temptation. While you could break your healthy plan by driving to the shops, this takes a much more conscious effort.

Set a Healthy Yet Realistic Eating Plan

In the beginning, when your motivation levels are high it’s easy to say ‘right I’m not having any unhealthy foods from now on’. The problem is this motivation can’t last forever, and permanently depriving yourself isn’t the answer. Providing you eat healthily for the majority of the time you can treat yourself to things in moderation now and again. If you plan for these, you won’t feel guilty afterwards or end up going completely off track. Adding a supplement to your diet can also boost your weight loss. Always choose something that’s natural and safe, Garcinia Cambogia is one example which has been proven to be effective. Sites like www.bestdiets2016.com have more information about this.

Learn To Cook

Learning to cook healthy yet exciting meals means you’re much less likely to resort to something prepackaged or from a takeaway just because you want something satisfying and flavourful. Invest in a selection of herbs and spices and learn how to use them in your meals. These can add taste without fats or oils. Know where to make healthy swaps in recipes, for example natural yogurt instead of heavy cream. If you can get excited and passionate about cooking, and build up a repertoire of healthy yet delicious dishes you and your family will always eat well. You could look at a healthy food site like www.health.com for ideas to get you started.Even if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, buying a slow cooker allows you to add lots of healthy produce to the pot in the morning and have a home cooked meal ready by the evening. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients, and just have fun with it.

Dish Cooking on Black Non Stick Pan on a Burner

Get More Involved With The Food You Eat – Tasty Growing And Cooking Tips At Home

If you ever worry about the price of food or even where it comes from, now could be the time to be more proactive about it. The cost of food will continue to increase as Brexit takes hold. More of it will need to be sourced from the British Isles, but this could make some of our favourites harder to source off season. So what can you do about it? Why not have a go at growing your own?

When certain foods are out of season, powered greenhouses need to pick up the slack. This does increase the cost. The alternative is to import the produce. You could grow your own, which might prove a little costly on your time and energy. The alternative is to eat seasonally. If strawberries and oranges aren’t in season, pick apples that will be ready in late autumn and can be stored in the freezer. Frozen summer fruits could work quite well too. Buy them when they’re cheap, fill the freezer and enjoy all year round.

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Growing at home requires good soil and regular weeding or pest control. This can become a fun hobby, and eating from your garden is wonderful. You will need to hone in on some seasonal recipes to enjoy your crops. Why not sell your excess produce to create a little income stream? When you’re cooking from your garden, be sure to give everything a thorough wash. And if you’re growing organically, it could all be much healthier too.

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Some foods that are easier to grow at home can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. The British climate is great for root vegetables, but they can all become a bit samey. Some veggies that you can grow can be used to make fat-free sponge cakes. Courgettes and beets have become popular for that. You can sweeten with something like the miracle berry tablets to create healthy cakes that are low in fat and calories. And some of the ingredients could come straight from your garden!

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It’s not always easy to find the time to prepare your garden for growing. Why not build a simple raised bed? You can then add good soil ready for growing. Once you have planted your vegetables and fruits, you will need to keep the slugs and snails away. They are quite adept at climbing up the raised beds. However, you can make it less appealing by sprinkling something coarse like sand around the base. Cover with netting to keep the birds away too.

Don’t forget, you can grow your favourite herbs at home too. Some people like pots on the window sill. Others have a little-sheltered area outside the back door. Lettuces can be grown in a similar way. And why not grow your strawberries from hanging baskets next to the door? Pick and eat as you come home from work (after washing, of course). The best thing about all this is you can get the kids in your family involved too. It’s a great activity to do with the children, and it’s a fun way to spend time together. Bon Appetite.

Caketoppers Cupcakes Review

Everyone loves cakes right? Hands up…I do!

The one thing that’s better than just any old plain cake is a cake that has been personalised – I have never had a personalised cake but I did get one done through Tesco’s years ago for my mum’s birthday which she loved. Caketoppers are the home of personalised cakes and produces, everything from full size celebration cakes to individual personalised cupcakes.  We were sent a set of 2 cupcakes to taste and they were super yummy..

You can personalise your own Cupcakes with pretty much anything – from photos or wording. I decided to put my blog name on an a picture of my nephews on mine.

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The cupcakes came well packaged and sent through via Royal Mail. Unfortunately we missed the delivery and they were thrown over the back garden gate and surprisingly the cakes were still in perfect condition despite the delivery method.

You have a choice of cakes which come in classic sponge with white icing in a silver foil case and chocolate sponge with chocolate icing in a gold foil case. We received one of each flavour so we could enjoy both varieties. I love that you have a choice to suit any preference.

How cute are these?

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The cakes had thick icing on top, the cases were full to the brim with fluffy sponge cake that tasted fantastic and the photo on the top was printed onto icing. The sponge was soft, light and fluffy and the whole cake was delicious, a really lovely cake.  Even after not eating the cakes straight away after receiving them they were still as fresh as if you had brought them the same day.

I will defianitely be buying cakes from Caketoppers again and it was great service despite the delivery service from Royal mail.  They would make a great gift also, but who needs an excuse to buy cakes? Not me!

Caketoppers create really lovely cakes and if you would like to use their service you can get 10% off your next order using my special code LOAA10 at the checkout.

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review, However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mission Burrito Food Review

IMG_6648My fiance & me love mexican food, we’re always cooking and eating it at home, so when we were invited for food at mission burrito at Brindley Place we couldn’t wait.

It’s not your average place as it is mix between a restaurant and a cafe, you don’t have a menu to look at, but there are boards above telling you what your options are.  It’s all homemade food and you get to pick everything yourself to make up your own burritos.

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This was the selection of food you can choose from.  There were 3 meats (chicken, beef and pork plus a veggie option), rice, salad, beans and then a selection of sauces, they were filled with everything and It is all homemade so they know exactly what’s in it.

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There were other options to choose from if you don’t like burritos.

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The pictures doesn’t show how big and full this burrito is but it was delicious.  I struggled to hold it and keep it together and eventually it gave up and all fell apart.  They are quite messy to eat but amazing.

We were also given “Nachos Grande” which were delicious, I love nachos and these were loaded full of lots of amazing fillings.

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Along with food, I got given a Margarita Cocktails, which are also made on site, It’s not my normal sort of cocktail that I would go for, I’m more a Cosmopolitan type of girl but it was lovely.

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Where did “mission burrito” originate from?

Our love affair with burritos started over a decade ago when we lived in San Francisco. We developed a border line burrito obsession in the Mission Districts taquerias. Unable to fuel our addiction back in the UK we quit our day jobs and set up Mission Burrito.  You can read more about their background from here.

The decorations on the wall were just stunning.  There’s a map of San Francisco upstairs and name places on the wall down stairs.

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The staff that were working and served us were friendly and really helpful, a massive thank you to Hayley & Moween for the great service provided.

It was delicious food and I would go back again.

* We were given one free meal & drinks free for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park – Review

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On Saturday 4th June me and my mum in law headed out to Cannon Hill Park to visit the Food Festival, We met up with her daughter, boyfriend and their 3 boys.  We arrived around 10.30pm and the gates opened at 11am.  There was certainly a large crowd gathering, waiting to get into the festival.  The weather was slightly overcast when we arrived too but was warm.

When we finally got through the gates there were so many different companies and lots of freebies been handed out.

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We tested lots of ciders and wines all before lunch time – Acceptable right?  There was also ravioli pasta, cheeses, fudges, honey, and so much more.  It was delicious.  I was getting full with just the freebies.

There was even a bus made into a bar.

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As we continued walking round, we found the Regge Regge Chicken Van that was hidden away in the corner, I’m not good with overly spices things I can just about cope with Nando’s “Medium” sauce. I didn’t know what to expect, but the samples they were giving out were delicious.  Little chicken drumsticks cooked in the sauce with spring onions in a little tray.  Was very yummy, but a little too spicy for me.  They were also making nachos, I prefered these.

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There was so many different stalls, there was also a curry one, this was amazing the staff let us try a little bit of curry and it was amazing the meat just melted in your mouth, and the taste just exploded in your mouth.

It was a great day overall and would defiantly go again.

* I was given complimetary tickets for this event, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Pizza & Cider at The Stables Birmingham

On Sunday 8th May I attended my 2nd blog event which was held in Birmingham at The Stables. It was a very hot summers day and what better way to have spent it than drinking cider and making pizza?  I had never heard of this place/company before so this was a first for me, they are fairly new to Birmingham.  I went along with my sister in Law Rachel and I do love cider so was really excited to go – who wouldn’t be with alcohol & Pizza?

When we first arrived we were the first bloggers there and were handed a glass of cider, it was lovely and refreshing.

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After a few minutes lots of other bloggers started turning up we all sat on benches and got talking to lots of different people, then the general manager introduced himself to us and the other members of staff.

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We started the afternoon off with a really interesting talk and taste session with Alan from Hogan’s Cider (Above photo). There were lots of opportunity to taste a variety of flavours that ranged from very strong Scrumpy types, to bottled fizzy varieties and lastly a cider brandy. The ciders had weird and wonderful names like ‘Hazy Daisy’ and ‘French Revelation’.  They also had different flavours, but unfortunately these weren’t to my taste.

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Then came more cider but this time a “Blind Tasting” session there were 5 on a rack and we had to guess what they were.  We couldn’t guess what they were but what we could tell you was that 2 out of the 5 were yummy, 1 and 5 were my favourite.

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This is what they were.

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After testing a lot of Cider on a pretty empty stomach, it was time to indulge in the other favourite of The Stable – Pizza.  Seeing as this was a bloggers event, there was an opportunity to get into the kitchen and make our own.

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The base and sauce was done so we then chose our own toppings.  The toppings I chose were Cheese (Lots of cheese), pepperoni, onions and more cheese, but goats cheese this time.  I am really fussy when it comes to pizza toppings so was really happy when I was able choose my own and put whatever I wanted on it.

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We were allowed to have a go at getting the base into the huge ovens (not as easy as it sounds or looks when the base is so thin).  I managed to do it though (Whoop).

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After a pretty quick couple of minutes in a big hot pizza oven they were ready for tasting.  I’m not a big pizza fan (Unless i’m hungover) but my god these were amazing & delicious (Even if I do say so myself), thin crispy bases will a few of my favourite things on = one happy me.

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I would defiantly go back to The stables.

*I was invited to this event for the purpose of a review, all opinions and thoughts are my own.