Pea & Mint Soup

This simple soup is my go to if I need to go food shopping or just need to eat something really comforting. I love homemade soups as I like to know exactly what is going into the food my family and I are eating. Also ideal for vegetarians, as a starter or chilled in warmer climates. Packed with absolute goodness, super easy to make and really quick, you can’t go wrong! As always you can add whatever you like as you go along, experimenting is all part of the fun, but this recipe is fool proof and tastes delicious. If you’re on a budget it’s really cost effective and incredibly filling. Served with some crusty bread and a little crème fraiche this super healthy meal will definitely become a firm favourite in your home as it has in ours. Download must Tove Lo Featuring Hippie Sabotage ‘Stay High’ Amazing! Enjoy!

What you will need: Two cloves of garlic, One onion, Olive oil, Half a bag of frozen peas, One vegetable stock cube, A handful of fresh mint and half a bag of spinach, Salt and pepper to taste, Crème fraiche or natural yoghurt (Optional of course)

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Step one; Heat the oil of your choice in a large pan, add the garlic, onions and slowly cook for around ten minutes on a low heat. Careful not to burn!

Step two; Add a litre of boiling water, pop in the vegetable stock, peas, mint and spinach, bring to a boil and then let it simmer for around thirty minutes.

Step three; Season with salt and pepper and blend! Easy peasy!

 

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Studio 2

Last Saturday was date night for the hub and I, a much anticipated occurrence when you have a couple of mini monsters! We enjoy this quality time together immensely and I think it’s so important as a couple to get dressed up, go somewhere nice and enjoy each others company. With the craziness of being parents, working and bills to pay, it becomes quite easy to become passing ships in the night, it’s really nice to be reminded of why you actually like the person you’re with. So we headed over to Studio 2, Liverpool’s legendary recording studio, bands such as Coldplay, Take that, Snow Patrol, Moby and Bjork (to name a few) have recorded there. This place is definitely a must for any music lovers out there, I actually had my 30th birthday party here, I fell in love with the décor and atmosphere. It has since been took over, but certainly hasn’t lost any of the original charm, if anything it is better! There is a host of musical events throughout the week, ranging from Jazz artists, Soulful bands, Weekend dj’s and an eclectic mix of musicians, Something for everyone. The food is delicious, tapas style, you can create your own board to share, perfect, as that way you get to try everything. As always we ordered far to much, the portion sizes are overly generous for the price. And I have to just say, the banoffee pie is the best I’ve ever tasted. We were treated to the talents of two fabulous artists, the first a pretty little thing named Lauren Mcgee, her voice was beautiful and she had a folky style charm about her, so soothing. Next up was the amazing Soweto Kinch (Check him out on youtube) who is an award winning alto-saxophonist and MC. He was performing material off his new album ‘The legend of Mike Smith’ which draws on the seven deadly sins and tells the tale of a young MC caught in the very modern world of temptation, the political messages in his music are incredible and he is nothing short of a lyrical genius. If you like Jazz and you like Hip-Hop this is the man for you. All in all we had a lovely night, great food, wine, music and cocktails (The French martinis are a little piece of heaven!) If you want a cosy night full of entertainment, you should get your little booties over there immediately. I wore one of my favourite Vivienne Westwood suits (My number one designer of all time, but that’s a whole other post!) with black ankle boots from Zara. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend, I’m just about to crack open a nice bottle of red, Cheers!

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Suit; Vivienne Westwood, Choker; Vivienne Westwood, Top; H&M, Boots; Zara

Sensual Stuffed Peppers!

So this post has to have my favourite title ever, but these little fellas are pretty sensual, like a fiesta on your taste buds. I make these stuffed peppers all the time, sometimes just as a snack or as a side dish with some grilled fish or chicken. Super easy and cheap, cheap, cheap!! The main component of the stuffing is the wholegrain rice, the rest is up to you, But I find these ingredients really complement each other. They are really filling and nutritious. Last night my hubby was out with friends and my daughter was at my mums house, So it was just me and my little guy who had ate his favourite tomato and veggie penne for tea. I don’t really like just cooking for one so was on the verge of ordering a take away, but decided to do these instead, they only take 30 minutes and are so much nicer that having all that gross greasy food in your system. A lovely glass of white wine and Disney films with my date turned into a lovely perfect Friday night.

What you will need; Peppers (any colour) Wholegrain rice 1 small cup, Handful of olives, Few fresh coriander leaves, Half of a red chilli, A few spring onions, Handful of cherry tomatoes, Cheese (Whatever cheese you prefer, I used good old ched for these ones, but goats cheese works really well) Mango chutney (Optional)

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Step one; Bring to the boil your rice, with a little salt, cover and let it simmer for 20 mins, Meanwhile slice your pepper down the middle and remove seeds, drizzle with a little oil, season and let it soften in the oven for 20 mins at 180-200 degrees.

Step two; Mix the rest of your ingredients into a bowl, with some chunks of the cheese also (Make sure there is some left to grate over the peppers)

Step three; When your rice is ready mix into the bowl and stuff into the peppers, grate over the remaining cheese and pop back into the oven for a further ten minutes until it is all lovely and gooey.

Step four; Pour yourself a glass of wine, put a little dollop of mango chutney on the side and enjoy!!

P’s Sorry for lack of pictures, It was only when I’d finished cooking these little beauties I decided to blog about them.

Beef & Prune Tagine

I made this scrumptious tagine Saturday as it is the perfect dish that doesn’t involve a lot of preparation, the beauty of this dish is that the longer and slower it is cooked for makes it more delicious, leaving you free to enjoy your weekend. There isn’t a huge amount of effort involved at all and it can be cooked in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Tagines are a great way to experiment and you can add a little something extra each time you make one, there is no certain way. One thing I am certain of is that this one will go down a treat with all the family. Tagines are hearty stews typically found in the North African cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, I first fell in love with them when I visited Marrakech, the spices in the souks piled high and the strong smell of tagines cooking throughout the city are just gorgeous. You can make it with meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian. The tagine is the special earthenware pot it is cooked in, the traditional way to serve the tagine is to take the pot to the table and help yourself. I serve simply with some couscous, crusty bread and a good glass of red wine. The perfect dish for those autumn cosy nights.

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What you will need to serve four; 2 red onions chopped finely, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, pinch of saffron, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, diced beef or steak, 50g of butter, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 1 small cup of chopped almonds, 1 small cup of prunes, 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind, 1 cup of water, fresh coriander leaves, salt & pepper

Step 1; Combine the onion, oil, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, salt & pepper into a large bowl, add the beef and coat evenly.

Step 2; Place beef into your tagine pot/saucepan with butter, a few fresh coriander leaves, tomatoes, prunes, the sugar, half of the nuts and water. Leave to simmer on the lowest heat, covered, for at least 2/3 hours, stirring frequently.

Step 4; Add the fresh coriander, remaining almond nuts and lemon rind before serving.

Enjoy!

 

The perfect Sunday breakfast

This breakfast is perfect for lazy weekend mornings or even for a light lunch, My coconuts love helping me make them and they are a firm favourite with my mini food critics. Super easy to make, all you need is bread, butter, ham, cheese and eggs, they look pretty impressive and are a nice change from the usual bacon sarnie scene. They are basically ‘Croque Monsieur’ the famous French sandwich but with a slight (better) twist and called ‘Croque Madame’ The sandwich has a gender swap when an egg is thrown into the mix…. really! Inspired by the lovely Rachel Khoo, I have been making these little beauties for a few years now. Although they are typically cooked with béchamel sauce, I prefer to leave it out as I find them to rich with it and my kids don’t like it at all. I love a good dollop of mustard on the side, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a lovely milky cappuccino. Perfection!

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Step 1; Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, take your bread and roll it out until it’s quite thin, butter both sides and place in a muffin tin, pinching the sides so it is sturdy.

Step 2; Place the ham in the bottom (Smoked salmon is also good) and a dollop of mustard if you like.

Step 3; Crack your egg and place the egg yolk back and forth between the two shells so most of the egg white falls out. Place the yolk on top of the ham.

Step 4; Grate over some of your favourite cheese, season to your liking and put in the oven for ten minutes.

Enjoy!

Hola Espana

As soon as we land in Spain and that warm heat and balmy, salty scent hits me I know our summer holidays have officially begun. We holiday in a small costal town near Valencia, which is our second home. It is a beautiful place with amazing beaches, restaurants, cocktail bars and places for the Children. This area of Spain is a place where mostly Spanish holiday and is completely unspoilt, you won’t find any high rise buildings or tacky English pubs! Whilst here I will be practicing plenty of sunrise yoga with my mum (Always helps when your mum’s a yoga teacher!) Eating lots of healthy fish dishes and yummy salads, working out with my brother (Also helps when he is a personal trainer) and his girlfriend (Both of them are like machines, you will probably find me having a near death experience in the corner of the gym, drowned in my own sweat from trying to keep up!) and just living the simplistic perfect lifestyle I adore. Watching the coconuts swim, play and make new friends, having late night dips and a few cocktails (Or mocktails!) at the beach huts suit us aplenty. Be sure to keep checking for my holiday must haves and the perfect beach chic outfits

 

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Super Smoothie’s

So on my last blog I promised to update more often… Well due to unforeseen circumstances that didn’t go to well. Unfortunately my daughter has been incredibly ill and has spent a lot of time in hospital being operated on, then had two weeks recovering at home. I won’t go into the personal details, but she is lot’s better and stronger now, back at School and feeling great. Safe to say it hasn’t been the best month! Thankfully with the help of my wonderful family we are all feeling like ourselves again, unbelievably appreciative at the support team we have had around us. Anyways on a brighter note, I have been nursing her back to health with my delicious (and nutritious ;p) smoothie’s. So I thought I would share my favourite with you guys. I always put Manuka honey into all my smoothies as the health benefits from it are amazing, studies show the medicinal properties of this kind of honey are very effective, it is also greatly used on cuts and wounds and has fantastic healing effects. I try to make this for my family most mornings as it is a brilliant boost for throughout the day, amazing for the immune system and just a generally great way to get your intake of daily goodness. Sonny is convinced his little (non existing) muscles increase after each glass, he also believes it makes him run faster. (Placebo effect at its best!) My skin and hair always feel great when I stick to having my smoothies religiously and as I want to avoid the aging process as much as possible in the most natural way this is best for me. I’m not really a fan of the botoxed look so hopefully (Never say never but..) I’ll be steering clear of that, by making the right choices now. These smoothies are super easy to make and are actually really filling, anything we have left over I make into lolly ices. The great thing is anything really goes, So you can work with what you have available in your fridge-fruit bowl. This is our family favourite. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Incredibly simple and really beneficial, basically I just chop up whatever fruit I have at home, this one consists of Pineapple, Grapes (Seedless) Strawberries, Blueberries, Juice of a fresh lime, Manuka honey and a Omega3 fish oil tablet (Pierce a small hole and squeeze in the oil). Blend until it is nice and smooth, maybe pop in a few ice cubes and enjoy! To make into lolly ices, you can buy the moulds anywhere for really cheap, mine are from Ikea. You can also get some really fun shapes, let that set overnight and it’s a great way for the kids to have all that goodness and also have a treat too.