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Unconventional Uses for Every Day Appliances

Meal Plan 30th December 2013 ~ 5th January 2014

Its an eating out/leftover kind of week here. Today we off to a pub for dinner with extended family, New Years Day we are at the in-laws and we are at my parents for a meal on the 2nd Jan. In between I will be using up all the  leftover cheeses, meats and vegetables and hope to run down my stocks during January so its a cheap month grocery wise!

Monday 30th December
HM Chicken Kievs, Roast Potatoes, LO Sweet Potato Mash, LO Cauli Cheese, Peas

Tuesday 31st December
Creamy Sausage Pasta for lunch and party food in the evening at a friends house.

Wednesday 1st January
Roast at In-Laws

Thursday 2nd January
Meal at Parents

Friday 3rd January
Homemade Pizza using up leftover cheese and meats.

Saturday 4th January
Spaghetti Carbonara

Sunday 5th January
Prawn and Smokey Sausage Jambalaya

Dress Your Table For Christmas

I was kindly asked to take part in the Debenhams Dress Your Table For Christmas campaign and was given a voucher to spend in their online home and furniture shop on items to decorate my dining table ready for the Christmas season.

After many hours spent perusing the website I opted for the following:

Gold Bell Christmas Tree
2 of these Angel tea light holders, also in gold
Some festive red placemats and a ribbed red runner
I also bought 6 large wine glasses, which are lovely and chunky.


Thanks to Debenhams for letting me take part.

I am busy preparing some make ahead desserts for Christmas today including this no bake Choc Orange Cheesecake. Will be back later in the week with more festive recipes.

Chocolate Mallow Crunch Bars

A very naughty treat.... but oh so nice!

If you make this in a foil tray it's an ideal traybake to take to your childrens Christmas bake sale at school or to serve at a Christmas Party.

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Chocolate Mallow Crunch Bars by Beth Sachs December-5-2013 A naughty chocolately treat. Ingredients 150g Dark Chocolate150g Milk Chocolate125g Unsalted butter3 TBSP Golden Syrup220g Digestive Biscuits, crushed4 Crunchie Bars, crushed3 heaped TBSP Mini Marshmallows50g For the topping -White Chocolate, melted50g Milk Chocolate, melted Instructions Step 1: Use a foil tray or line a 20 x 30cm tin.Step 2: Break up the chocolate then place in pan with butter and syrup and melt on low heat.Step 3: Crush the biscuits and crunchie bars then add to the mix along with the marshmallows.Step 4: Press into try, chill then drizzle with the melted milk and white chocolate. Cut into squares when ready to eat. Details Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 20 mins Yield: 20 bars

Banana and Baobab Breakfast Bars

On weekday mornings I need a quick and easy breakfast I can eat at my desk. I often turn to flapjack based bars as they tend to keep me full until lunchtime  - my favourites being these Honey and Peanut Butter flapjacks. As I had a couple of black banana's to use and an intriguing packet of Baobab powder (thank you Eden Project) to experiment with I though I would develop a high energy Breakfast Bar, using a flapjack recipe as the base.

Baobab Tree's in Africa are known as the 'tree's of life' because their fruits contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They contain:
Three times more calcium than milkTwice the Vitamin C of orangesSix times more antioxidants than blueberriesNot only do the fruits provide health benefits, but trade of baobab fruit helps to relieve poverty by supporting harvesters and their families. Eden project baobab is sustainably harvested and bought from rural harvester groups in Malawi. Money from every sale of baobab powder…

Christmas Menu Planning Ideas

Christmas Meal Planning has well and truely started in this house. I love pulling Nigella and Delia off the book shelf to help inspire me and this year I thought I would put together a list of my favourite festive recipes in a blog post. Some of the recipes are my own, some are from external websites and some are from books (I will include book and page number for you). There will be recipe ideas for the 'main event' but also recipes for the run up to the big day including freeze ahead meals, gifts and edible presents, sweet treats, buffets and 2 menu options for Christmas Eve. To be helpful I will also mark any recipes that can be frozen.
If you have any tried and trusted favourites then leave a link in the comments section and I will add it to the blog post.
Christmas Cakes Walnut and Whisky Christmas Cake with Whisky Icing Easy Christmas Cake
Gluten Free Ginger Christmas Fruit Cake (Apple and Spice blog)
Sweet Treats Gingerbread House Easy Mince Pies (F) Star Studded Mince Pies (N…

Meal Plan 4th November - 10th November 2013

Back to School and work this week...Boo. Despite the changeable weather we managed to get out and about locally visiting Trerice House and Gardens near Newquay, Cardinham Woods near Bodmin - where I had a yummy Pulled Pork Ciabatta from Woods Cafe and also a walk on our favourite local beach, Sandymouth on Rorys 4th Birthday. I managed to make a few meals for the freezer too which I will use this week- always a lifesaver to have something in the freezer to call on after a busy day at work and 2 hungry kids and a husband to feed. So this coming weeks meal plan goes something like this...

Monday 4th November
Curried Mince and Peas with Rice

Tuesday 5th November
Jackets with leftover Curried Mince

Wednesday 6th November
Chorizo and Pea Risotto

Thursday 7th November
Creamy Sausage Pasta - scroll down the blog post for the recipe

Friday 8th November
Homemade Pizza

Saturday 9th November
Spinach and Bacon Carbonara

Sunday 10th November
Chicken Kievs, Rice and Steamed Vegetables



American Style Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Pancakes aren't something I get to make very often for breakfast due to rushing out the door at 7am on a weekday. As it is half term though and with both the kids and I at home I thought I would give them a treat.

I seem to forget how quick and easy Pancakes are to actually make and you could probably make up the batter the night before and leave it to sit in the fridge overnight before cooking the pancakes in the morning.

Pancakes also freeze suprisingly well too. Just cook them and leave to cool before  placing between pieces of baking paper and freezing. When you fancy some pancakes pull them out and warm up in the microwave. I made a double batch and have frozen some for a wet and wintry weekend breakfast!

I tend not to put fruit in mine and instead serve them with sliced banana's on top but a couple of handfuls of blueberries or raspberries in the batter would work well here. Maple syrup is a must and I always like some crispy bacon rashers on mine...but the kids prefer…

Spiderweb Millionaire's Shortbread for Halloween

I saw Ruth make these a few days ago over on her blog The Pink Whisk and thought they would be a good half term Halloween bake for a rainy day....and today has definitely been rainy....and windy!

Millionaires Shortbread used to be a favourite of mine when I was younger and if Mum was making them for a special event or bake sale she would cut off long strips in the baking tin and let my brother and I eat the offcuts...if she didn't get there first!

I used silicone cupcake cases as Ruth suggests as they keep their shape better. Once the chocolate layer has set, just peel off the silicone cases and store in a cool dry place.

For a more in depth photo tutorial on how to make these then please see Ruths blog. Below is the basic recipe and method.

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Spiderweb Millionaire's Shortbread by Beth Sachs October-28-2013 A perfect Halloween treat for kids Ingredients For the Shortbread80g Butter, softened40g Caster Sugar140g Plain Flour For the Caramel90g Butter 90g Light Mus…

Chocolate Vanilla Marble Cake

Sometimes the simple things are the best and this cake is so easy to make. Its lovely and moist and if you use really good quality cocoa and vanilla bean paste it tastes fab. There is no faffing with icing or glazes and because of this it makes an ideal lunchbox cake as there is no sticky mess to deal with afterwards!
The mixture is a simple madeira cake recipe (hence why it keeps so well) which you split into two bowls, cocoa powder folded into one and vanilla paste into the other. The two mixtures are then swirled gently together in the cake tin - I usually use a long skewer. 45 minutes in the oven and you have a pretty marbled cake to enjoy. The kids call it the cow cake......
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Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake by Beth Sachs October-26-2013 A super easy moist cake perfect for lunchboxes Ingredients 225g Butter, softened225g Caster Sugar4 Eggs225g Plain Flour2 TSP Baking Powder50ml Milk1 TSP Vanilla Paste50g Cocoa Powder, sifted Instructions Step 1: Preheat oven t…