Lamb with Sticky Carrots

Oh my wow guys, this dish is AMAZING! Super simple, and a great Easter combo.


First things first, my photo below is just of the sticky carrots, purely because when I dished this up I was so hungry I sort of just chucked it all on the plate and wanted to eat it rather than pretty it up for the picture! So there we go…

Sticky Glazed Carrots, yum!


Another thing to note is the ‘glaze’ for the carrots works really well on tons of other root veggies, try on parsnips or beetroot also,

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2x Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2x Lamb steaks
  • Carrots
  • 1x red onion
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2x tablespoons honey
  • 2x tablespoons olive oil
  • 2x table spoons balsamic vinegar

To Make:

  • Get the lamb out the fridge and pre heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Chop up the rosemary, thyme and garlic an mix with salt & pepper in a bowl, put lamb steaks in and coat with the rub
  • Chop up the carrots to roughly thumb size chunks
  • Chop cherry tomatoes in half
  • Cut the onion into 8 chunks
  • In a bowl mix together the olive oil, honey and balsamic,
  • Put the carrots in a oven proof dish and toss in the mixture, throw in the onion & tomatoes and season,
  • Put in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing halfway through
  • While this is cooking leave the lamb to soak up the rub flavours, then 10 minutes before the end, fry off the lamb steaks, if you want them ‘blushing’ then 3 minutes each side, followed by 5 minutes resting time should be perfect

Ta da!

We had ours with new potatoes, but you could serve this with a nice creamy mash, roasties or if your trying to cut back on the carbs bulk it up with extra veg?

Enjoy all and Happy Easter!

I Made Meringue

Holy cow, guys if I can manage this anyone can! AND I did it without an electric whisk, not out of choice mind, just because I don’t own one. Let me tell you it was an arm workout and if you own one, use it to half your whisking time!


After watching tons of episodes of Bake Off I really thought this was going to be a nightmare, however I’d made Carbonara earlier in the week so had leftover egg whites, and I hate throwing out food so I figured why not? It was super easy! The mixture made loads and I had a little jump of glee when I saw these rising in the oven, happy days.

Just finished baking, super excited to eat these!

Ingredients:

  • Egg Whites x3
  • 150g Caster Sugar (I won’t lie I’ve tried it with standard granulated sugar too and works just fine!)

To Make:

  • Pre heat the oven to 140 degrees
  • In a large bowl, start whisking the egg whites until they are at soft peak consistency
  • Add the sugar slowly a large tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk, until all combines and the meringue is glossy and smooth
  • If you wanted to add in any flavorings nows the time to do it (vanilla extract/ orange zest?)
  • Place baking paper (or tin foil) on a tray and using two table spoons scoop out the mixture to form oval, rugby shaped blobs on the tray, you should get 6 large or 10 smaller portions (If you want to be fancy use a piping bag to get more professional shapes, but I think the rustic look proves they are home made!)
  • Bake for an hour for chewy center or extra 15 minutes if you prefer them to ‘snap’, crack open the oven door and leave to cool in the oven

To serve add whatever fruit, cream, yogurt, honey, anything you fancy really! We like ours with fresh strawberries, a dollop of cream and some grated dark chocolate, delicious.

Also these keep for about a week in some Tupperware in the fridge (if they last that long!) and can make multiple varieties of puddings throughout the week!

Served with cream, strawberries and a dusting of dark chocolate, what’s not to like?

Orange Glazed Chicken

Day two of my week of meal prepping,

Thanks for all the likes on yesterdays post!

So today I want to share a favourite in our house, sticky orange glazed chicken *drools onto keyboard! This is a super easy one if you prep it all the night before, then when you come to make it, it’s just a case of chucking the chicken in the oven and heating up the sides, my kinda cooking!

Now, before I give you then run down on how to make this I want to say, in an ideal world you would griddle the chicken to get a nice flavoured sear, however in the process of me making this I have RUINED two ‘non stick’ griddle pans. This might be because I’m a novice cook, or because I’m impatient and had it on too hot, but either way I’m going to show you how I now make it oven baked, but give it a go on the griddle if you are comfortable with this (and let me know the secret to it!)

nfd

Ingredients:
(For the Marinade)
Juice of 2x Oranges
Juice of 1x Lime
Heaped Tablespoon marmalade
3x Tablespoon soy sauce
2x Tablespoon sriracha chilli sauce
Thumb size chunk of ginger, grated

Chicken Breast x4
1 orange sliced
Tin of Chickpeas
2x Broccoli
Lime Juice
Fresh Basil OR Mint (Whatever your preference, I like mint, The Husband likes Basil!)

To Make:
Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl, add the chicken, making sure to mix around so it’s all covered, cover bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight
Pre heat oven to 200 degrees
Meanwhile blitz the two broccoli (stalks and all) in a blender until rice consistency, add lime juice (can leave this to sit in fridge overnight also to save time the next day)
Place chicken in an oven tray and drizzle over remaining sauce
Cook for half an hour, or until juices run clear
Stir fry broccoli for a couple of minutes with the chickpeas
In the stir fry pan, sear off the sliced up orange
Serve, adding chopped up basil/mint leaves to the broccoli ‘rice’ to garnish

This will do one dinner and two lunch portions for two people, and heats up great in a microwave in the office for quick hassle free leftover lunch, you’re welcome!

Meal Prepping for 9-5’ers

Happy Monday guys, nice short week with the Easter break coming up!So I wanted to (attempt) to put together a foodie based week, I cook all the time at home and I really enjoy it, I am just rubbish at remembering to take photos, so I haven’t put anything on here yet. So bear with me on this one,


So we leave the house at half 7 for our morning commute, and I walk back through my front door at half 7 after getting home from work. Safe to say it’s a long day, and sometimes I could walk in and consume everything in the fridge, and sometimes by the time I think about dinner it’s so late and I’m past the point of being hungry.


So meal prepping for me is key, it means I don’t snack on crap, and I eat at reasonable times of the day.


Here is my easy chicken puff pie that only uses a few ingredients, makes a huge pie that will see you through one dinner and two lunch portions for two people, and the smell that wafts through the house while it’s cooking is amazing, winning!

Super Easy Chicken Pie, delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts x 4
  • Mushrooms (any variety will do but I like button mushrooms for this)
  • Ready Made Roll Puff Pastry
  • Red Onion x 2
  • Garlic Clove x3
  • Dried Herbs (Cumin, Coriander, Basil)
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Chicken Stock Cube (300ml boiling water)
  • Worcester Sauce x1 teaspoon
  • Dejon Mustard x1 heaped teaspoon
  • Creme Fraiche 150ml
  • Flour x2 heaped tablespoons

Prep:

  • Pre heat oven to 200 degrees
  • Get pastry out of fridge so it can get to room temperature
  • Boil a kettle (for stock)
  • Slice the onions and mushrooms, chop garlic, cut chicken into chunks

To Make:

  • In a large pan, fry off the onions in some oil for a couple of minutes until just soft, add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes
  • Add the chicken, Worcester sauce and dried herbs, cook until chicken has turned white.
  • Sieve over flour and stir in to combine
  • Slowly ad the stock, stirring it in to combine, leave to simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened up
  • Add the creme fraiche and fresh thyme, stir in
  • In a large pie dish (a large oven dish will do the job just fine as well) pour in mixture, making sure its evenly spread across the pan, then unroll the pastry on top to make your pie crust, make sure to crimp the edges to seal the mixture in (trapping the mixture stops any spillages and also help the puff to rise and give a great flaky texture)


Cook for half an hour until pie is golden


Enjoy with side veggies, makes 6 portions, perfect!

Welcome to Instagram, Me!

So, I never jumped on the Instagram frenzy when it came out, partly because I don’t really post much on social media as I’m not sure what I have to say is worth hearing (the irony as I’m writing a blog!) but also, some of you may have noticed this with my Marie Kondo & Mrs Hinch posts, but I have quite an addictive personality, once an idea plants it’s seed I can’t let it go without exhausting it.


This became my main fear of getting Instagram, I wasn’t sure I would be able to cope with constantly seeing celebrities or other people’s rose tinted versions of themselves, and not compare myself. Plus if I did compare myself I wasn’t honestly sure if I was strong minded enough to realise THIS IS FAKE. Of course people put there general life on social media, however I think it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves most people only put the very best part of themselves out there, that’s ok, but it gives off a false sense of normal to those of us just managing to hold it together!


But alas, I have caved, and created an Instagram account! Mostly so I can check out the fun memories my friends post after a night out, all I ever hear is “Oh you didn’t see all the pictures I put up from the party, oh yeah I forget you don’t have insta” ergh, so here we are, years behind the curve but hey ho!


It had however opened up a whole world of exciting new people I can follow for my own general musings! So happy days! Any recommendations for inspiring people worth following, let me know.

House Plants, real vs artificial?

Hello world! So after my spring clean blitz over the weekend I am super excited about all the spring flowers coming out! However….I manage to kill ALMOST* all plants I have ever owned. I sh*t you not I have killed a cactus. *As a side note my Nan buys us all an Amaryllis plant each Christmas and we have a competition who gets the most flowers, and by some fluke I won this year with no less that 14 off this bad boy!


But anyway, I forget to water them, I don’t really have windowsills that are suitable for plants so all in all they just die on me. But I am loving the range of artificial plants and flowers out there at the moment! I got a great potted fern that sits above our kitchen sink, which looks so real I had to tell The Husband it didn’t need watering, after I found out he’d been watering it for weeks!

How lovely is this huge cheese plant from Matalan?! Also my gorgeous green Ikea lanterns!


I also bought a huge artificial Cheese plant (I know these are meant to be super easy to keep but our lounge is more like a snug and doesn’t get much sunlight) for twenty quid! Plus when I get bored I can just switch the plants around between rooms and it feels like a freshen up to the decor. And why had no one thought to bring out a range of weatherproof artificial plants? Gap in the market I say!


So what does everyone else think? Are the current artificial plants out there good enough to house or is everyone else still loving the real thing? And any tips on keeping these alive?

I’ve Been Hinch’ed

So for anyone who’s been here since the beginning with me will know I love ‘the latest fads’ and I absolutely love any sort of cleaning/ organising hack! If you haven’t already read it I did a previous post based on us using the Marie Kondo tidying techniques on our home (and if I’m honest three months on I’m still folding and trying to keep everything in it’s place, some weeks more successful than others!)


So the latest bandwagon I have jumped on is Mrs Hinch, she’s become insta famous from her cleaning tips and also her amazing home. Not to mention how relate-able she is, and having a gorgeous doggie called Henry helps too! So after poring over her posts most of last week, and writing a comprehensive list of must have cleaning products, I set out on Saturday and pretty much bought every cleaning product I could get my hands on in Poundstretchers and Poundland. I think the staff must have thought I was setting up my own shop, or creating a cleaning mad Brexit bunker!

My now fully stocked under sink cupboard!


I then went around room by room on a cleaning frenzy, I honestly think my house has never been so clean! We’re not dirty people but you know the jobs you always put off, like the dreaded cleaning of the oven, shudder. Well I think I cleaned solidly for about 6 hours, and my goodness it’s as good as going to the gym! Even though I spent this long cleaning, I only really tackled the kitchen, both bathrooms and lounge, and a quick hoover round upstairs, changing the sheets and a spritz of fabric spray on the curtains! So this weeks challenge is tackling upstairs (and maintaining the now spotless state of the rooms I have done!)


One of my other jobs is now trying to find a home for all the new cleaning products I’ve bought, as my under sink cupboard is full to bursting, whoops! And convince The Husband to go along with my daily cleaning rota so that I don’t have to do a full blown Mary Poppins cleaning marathon again in a few weeks time, wish me luck!

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side…

Sorry it’s been a while guys, I’ve had a pretty hectic week, you know when you just get in a funk and cant seem to drag yourself out of it? Well, I’ve been in that place!

But one thing that always manages to shake off the foggy mood and put a smile on my face is being outdoors. And even better to be by the water. So at the weekend myself, The Husband, and the in-laws went to the beach. It was so windy and we had on and off showers all day but the walk along the sand felt so good. The beach side pubs and fish and chips might have helped too!

I’ve got some exciting things coming up this week so I promise to be more in the game! Happy weekend guys.

Garden Project


Like most of our grand ideas, this one started one spring evening over a glass of vino!

The weekend before easter last year, whilst we were sat on our little patio, pondering what we could do to make the garden more ‘us’, we both agreed we had too much concrete space at the back, and wanted more grass, greenery and structure to the garden. So imagine before the back concrete area came all the way out to where the grass starts now. Stupidly we both believed we could get it done over Easter weekend, oh how niave we were!

Fast forward to almost a year and we’ve almost achieved what we set out to do, however it’s gone on hold to be finished off due to having an extension, and the likely hood of our garden being trashed in the build! But I loved this project, we did all of it ourselves, from digging out the earth to hiring a skip to take away the leftover hardcore, to creating the sleeper planters and leveling off the ground to create the steps.

I’m so proud of our achievement, and it’s meant in the long run, once we have the extension sorted we won’t have lost any grass space, win win!

We just really need to sow some grass seeds to finish off the lower level, and jet wash the tiles and put and edging on the step. Rehang the mirror – its only down at the mo because ‘Storm Gareth’ (which doesn’t sound menacing enough for this wind!) nearly blew it down so I don’t want it to shatter. Oh and convince my green fingered Mum to give us a hand planting some bulbs in the planters, although knowing Mum it won’t take much persuading!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s day tomorrow, hurrah! So in the spirit of all things womanly I wanted to talk about us being comfy in our own skin.


Can I just say early doors, it had taken me YEARS to finally say “you know, I’m kinda happy with the way I am”, and that’s not to say I don’t have a little blip every now and again. Or look at someone slimmer, with bigger boobs, whiter teeth, glossier hair and don’t have a pang of jealousy. It’s just that I feel like I had been on a diet maybe since I was around thirteen, and only this year have I come to the conclusion enough is enough. I like food, god dammit!


When we got married (around eighteen months ago) I put myself on a really strict diet, I quit booze, I joined a gym, and to be perfectly honest I was MISERABLE AS SIN! And The Husband preferred me slightly curvier, so I was doing all of this just because I’d got in my own head and decided I didn’t like how I looked. After the wedding, and doing some serious pigging out on our honeymoon, I then slowly put back the weight that I had lost, because I went back to eating normally. And I’m so much happier now! My skin looks better, my hair feels better and I’m just at my ‘usual’ comfortable weight.


So have a good, long look at yourself ladies, I promise you are beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, obviously eating healthy and gymming it is good for our bodies, and eating cr*p should only be done in moderation, but the most important thing of all is to make sure you’re happy. And learn to love yourself. Be comfy in the skin your in and you will have the confidence to do anything, this is the most gorgeous quality of all.!