Wow, what great weather we had this weekend! So who has a Braai? Ok BBQ? Yep it has the be done.
We went the whole hog and had 2! First one Friday night and another last night. You have to love eating outside.
Last nights Braai was all about using the leftovers. It’s amazing what you can create with a bit of imagination.
Saturday temperatures reached over 34 degrees for us! Not that I sat out in it myself! Oh no! We had friends round on the evening so first things first I needed to catch up on the housework! It has to be done especially with 2 malting dogs!
Talking of malting dogs, they do struggle when it’s so warm! Fido thankfully knows how to cool down. He stands in the shower waiting for someone to turn the taps in for him!!
Anyway, back to the friends coming for dinner. As it was going to be such a lovely day I decided the menu needed to reflect that.
Hubby offered to make his prawn soup! It’s light but very tasty. Perfect for a hot summer evening.
For main, I opted for pineapple and salmon kebabs with Jerk seasoning, with home grown new potatoes and a pomegranate and feta salad. As a salad dressing I made a Dijon mustard dressing. So far all free on Slimming World, but still tasty.
Now, this is where it got interesting. For dessert, I decided on an ice cream cake. Well why wouldn’t you!
The cake requires 2 layers of ice cream and a raspberry coulis, topped with a ginger biscuit layer! Sounds fab doesn’t it! And it was apparently (I made a syn free version for me).
The problem I had was the weather! I mean, when it’s over 34 degrees outside, how are you supposed to stop the layers melting while constructing them!
It was a case of moving very quickly and having a hubby on hand to open freezer doors for you!
I published a video of it here!
I had to laugh when I watched it back. I looked quite fresh at the start of it! By the end I was definitely wilting !!
The main thing is the food went down a treat! Note to myself though! Don’t try it again unless it’s about 10 degrees cooler!
I’m not complaining though! I love it when it’s hot hot hot !
If you are a member of Slimming World you will know there are so many recipe books out there. I think I have most of them.
Every so often, if you buy a 12 week countdown you get one for free!
I must be honest, recently I’ve been a little bit negative about them producing another book. What else could they come up with. I mean, they have the BBQ, Soups, One Pot, Meals for One, meals using 5 ingredients, desserts, the list goes on!
The recent one is called SP Sensations. I received mine as part of a 12 week countdown a few weeks ago!
I took it home expecting it to go into my recipe book cupboard, never to see the light of day!
That evening as I ate dinner I flicked through. Suddenly I found myself leaving markers of things I liked! Oh wow, this book truly was different and amazing.
Suddenly I had an increased urge to be more creative in the kitchen. I got my groceries app out and started my weekly shopping list!
Turkey with Chorizo, Tuna Niscose are my first dishes. Hubby tasted them and was amazed at the flavours!
Another dish was cinnamon prawns! I think I actually got ‘you have excelled yourself’ from hubby on this one!
Even where I haven’t used the recipe exactly, it’s inspired other dishes.
The other night I made the Gong Bao Chicken. The recipe is for 4. As I only needed it for 2 I still made up the oyster sauce mix for 4, so I could use the left over to create a dish last night. Which I have to say was amazing. I will be posting that dish on my YouTube channel on Friday!
Suddenly dinner times are exciting again. I’m no longer tired or bored of having to think of meals every night to cook. I can’t wait to get home and produce something amazing.
When you have only 2 hours every evening to cook, prepare breakfast and lunch for the next day, eat and do everything else that you need to do before going to bed to start the day again the next day, it’s easy to get into a rut. This new book has completely reenergised me!
So if you are able, go get this book. If you can’t, then make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to see my creations, as I share them with you!
Have you ever had a taste for a specific dish, or seen something on the TV or in a magazine but you don’t have a recipe?
This happens to me all the time. The other one I get from my hubby is ‘my mum used to make ……’. When asked how she made it, of course he never has a clue!
This week when at my Slimming World group, we were given a sneak preview to a new cookery book which feature meals for Extra Easy SP meals.
I’ll be honest, when I heard there would be another recipe book, I’d decided not to buy it without even seeing it. I have so many already which I don’t use all the time. I also couldn’t think what else they could bring out that would be worth me buying another time one!
As I flicked through, there were so many recipes I loved. It’s not on sale yet as it will be part of a 12 week countdown. As I’m so close to target It won’t be worth me buying one. Well I keep telling myself that! I’ve been messing about for 18 months now trying to get into my target range again!
For me, the motivation has slightly gone as everyone especially hubby doesn’t want me to lose that 7lb again, but I do!
Anyway back to the book! I know it will be a couple of months before I’ll be able to buy it.
There was one specific recipe that really caught my eye! Moroccan Lamb! Now if you know me, you will know I don’t eat lamb, but I thought it would be great with chicken!
I tried to memorise it in my head!
The next day I planned to make it! I couldn’t however remember what liquid was required. It certainly wasn’t in the ingredients so maybe it was in the instructions which I hadn’t really read!
I contacted my consultant who kindly sent me a photo.
So last night I set about to make the dish I’d been dreaming of all day!
I got all the ingredients ready from what I had remembered. I grabbed my phone to check them against the pictures my consultant had sent!
As I looked at my phone the colour drained! I’d somehow deleted the message! Can you believe it!
I was not going to be put off! I decided I would make it anyway using my memory of the recipe and my own cooking knowledge.
Here is what I did:
I love experimenting with food! I never let not having the recipe stop me being creative!
If it doesn’t turn out quite right first time, try it again a different way! It might not taste exactly like the one on TV or in that magazine, but who cares! If you like it, then that is all that matters.
So what you waiting for? Get into the kitchen and start being creative! You will be amazed at what you will come up with. It will also bring variety back into you mealtimes.
In my quest to add variety to our meals, this week I have 2 new companies to try!
The first one in fairness, I did order from a few weeks ago! Compared to the other online shops I’ve done, I found this one to be very slow in comparison. Over 2 weeks for my order to arrive compared to a couple of days! The say though that the best things in life are worth waiting for! So what is the product? Skinny sauces from The Skinny Company!
Since starting with Slimming World I’ve almost given up on sauces, opting for using my syns on other things.
After over 2 years, I felt the need to zing up my food so when I saw these on Facebook, I thought why not give them a try!
I decided to go for a big variety. With summer around the corner we will be having more salads and Braai’s, but also with the good old British weather I’ll be having roasts and baked dishes too.
I opted for honey & mustard, thousand island, bbq, mayonnaise, and a few more! At zero syns it would be rude not to! Check out my video to see the whole haul!
I’ve also bought the chocolate sauce. What amazed me was that for 100g it is equivalent to under 4 cubes of sugar. This compares with other brands like Nutella which are around 57 cubes! That is a staggering saving!
I’m looking forward to getting creative with that product!
Last night I decided to try my first bottle!
At the weekend I also visited a spring fair locally where I bought my second new product! Heck chicken burgers! At 1 syn a burger I had to try them!
Wow the zingy chicken was lovely . With a splash of honey and mustard sauce, it was like going out for a full fat burger.
I’m looking forward to trying the bbq one out tonight now!
It’s amazing how much of a routine we can get into with our food! By just changing a few items in your shopping back, you can reignite your taste buds!
My hubby follows a diet during the week, which he picked up from his native South Africa – The Banting Diet!
The basic principle is that you don’t eat carbs or sugar!
One ingredient they recommend as an alternative is Psyllium Husk. I’ve bought it and used it to make a bread alternative etc for him! It’s expensive!! This put this product cost into perspective for me.
It comes in packs of 2 in the shape of a circle, around 8″ wide. A pack of 6 costs £14, so with 10% off it came in at approx £2.30 a piece!
It was a lot more versatile than just being used as a pizza base alternative. This excited me!
I quickly put my order in. Within an hour I got an email back saying it had been dispatched! Wow, what service!
It arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to try it!
It’s extremely light and doesn’t roll out, which can make you a bit nervous to begin with.
I decided for my first try, I would revisit a childhood favourite- egg custard!
See how it turned out on my YouTube channel.
I was surprised at how it tasted.
Next, I thought I should go back to basics and do the pizza!
My hubby was blown away by it. The base really worked. Better still at only 2 syns on SW and fitting in with the Banting diet, it meant it was something both of us could enjoy!
Every month we get a magazine from Tesco. My hubby has started to take a real interest in it. So much so, he actually cooked 2 meals for me recently from them! He never cooks! I have a lot to thank Tesco for, that’s for sure!!
In a recent magazine, he spotted a Mexican Pizza recipe and suggested we use the Lo-Dough to make it! It looks like he now has the Lo-Dough bug too! Possibly something for dinner next week. Who knows !
My next recipe is going to be a chocolate brownie. Instead of using it as it is, you make it into breadcrumbs. I can’t wait to see what it comes out like!
If you want to try it too, use discount code RECIPES10 to get 10% off!
After avoiding it for so long, it’s now definitely a product which I will use regularly. @Lo-Dough is certainly an amazing product.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on!
On my pizza video, I also give you a review of another new product that you MUST try! Misfits is a nutritious, high protein snack. They have a fab offer on at the moment where you can get a taster pack for only £3 instead of £11.99 with the cost Taste3!
I have to say, there is no excuse for anyone who travels along the road I take to work, to forget it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow!
There is a bright red sign reminding every car. It’s been there for a week, and is actually an advertisement for a florists! A very good marketing strategy.
I know many people feel that Valentine’s Day is just a gimmick to make money, but I really like it!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my hubby wasting money on over priced flowers or presents, but it is a great excuse to remind ourselves why we are together.
Life gets so busy these days, so it’s nice to take time out together. Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse for that. Again, I’m not talking expensive restaurants, a takeaway or a meal in the local pub is absolutely fine too!
It’s about spending a few quality hours together over a meal cooked by someone else, and sharing a bottle of wine or fizz together.
I treasure my life with my hubby. I really enjoy his company (most of the time ha ha !!). So will we be doing anything tomorrow? We certainly will.
I have booked a table at our local pub – The Kings Head. https://bit.ly/2ti1dYy. It’s a nice pub and after its forthcoming refit, will be even better.
At the moment, it’s nothing amazingly fancy, but it will be good food, good wine and even more important, good company.
We will spend the evening together talking. Probably planning where we will go if we won the lottery, or what we would like to buy if we had an open purse, or just telling jokes. The important thing is, we won’t be distracted from each other.
Since getting married, we have made sure we take a night away, or just a meal out every few months. It gives us time together, and stops us taking each other for granted.
We work together and live together, which you would think means we are together 24/7. Reality is, we don’t. We both work full time, when we get home, there are jobs to be done and we both like time out separately to enjoy our hobbies! If you ask my hubby, he will include cleaning as one of mine! For the record, that’s not true!! Although it is satisfying when the house is clean and the washing and ironing done, but don’t tell him that!!
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, to just have some quality hours together, oh and someone else cook my dinner!
I have a bottle of Slimline Fizz on chill too, to enjoy before we go out and when we come home. With work the next day, I know by drinking that, I am guaranteed not to have a hangover!!
So if you have that someone special in your life, why not use tomorrow to show them how important they are to you.
Remember, it’s not about how much you spend in money, it’s about the quality of time together!
Whatever you do tomorrow have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Does anyone else feel like that when Monday morning comes round ?
On Friday I was so excited at the prospect of a couple of days off. The next thing I know, the alarm is going off for work! It’s like Groundhog Day! How can it be Monday already?
I suppose I shouldn’t complain though as this weekend, whilst disappeared in the blink of an eye, was really fun.
If you have been following me you will know I have been doing dry January! As my hubby didn’t think I would do it, we had a bet on! Whoever lost the bet paid for dinner out at Lambs in Stratford-upon-Avon.
I thought I had booked our table for 1 February, back on 2 January. It was for 7.30 pm, to give us chance to get home, walk the dogs and get dressed up!
On Thursday last week, by chance, hubby checked the email confirmation. I’d some how booked a restaurant in Gloucester ! Eek!
I quickly cancelled that and rang Lambs! Thankfully they could fit us in but only at 7 pm! So on Friday it was a mad rush to get ready and make sure the dogs got their usual walk!
Then there was the issue of parking. If you know Stratford-upon-Avon, you will know that there isn’t many places with on site parking . So after finding a carpark a little way away, I then had to try and walk rather quickly in heels! When you haven’t worn them for a while, that’s about as easy as trying not to spill a glass of wine while rowing a boat on choppy seas!
Finally, after a very rush start to the evening, we arrived at the Restaurant only a few minutes late !!
The meal as usual was amazing! As I completed dry January, I enjoyed my first glass of wine this year !
Ok, I actually had a bottle. Eek! I have to say, if you want a nice meal out, check out Lambs in Sheep Street. You won’t be disappointed!
The meal over, I now had to manage the walk back to the car with the added challenge of alcohol in my system !!!! Don’t worry, I had a secret weapon! Flat shoes ! Oh yes! I had a pair of folding pumps in my handbag! They were like slippers! The walk back was now relaxing ! Phew!
We had a 5am wake up call the next day as we were off to London for the day, so it was home to bed !
5am came far too quickly! It was a brisk walk with the dogs before a quick shower, change and out.
We had booked an early Virgin train. Mainly because it was cheap and fast. The only drawback was that it went from Birmingham so we had to leave home earlier than we would for work!
Isn’t it funny how on a week day it’s a struggle to get moving, but when you have something on you enjoy, it’s almost a joy to be up so early !
The train trip was really relaxing. I’d taken food with us, but bought teas and coffee on the train. It was lovely to sit back and look at the countryside. Most of it was covered in snow. It really was beautiful!
Now I’m not a fan of London if I’m honest. It’s too busy and people just don’t seem that friendly!
We hopped onto the tube and underground easily. We then have to go onto overground to the Olympia. This trip, everything was literally there in minutes. It was hassle free!
We arrived with almost an hour before the exhibition opened so went for coffee.
Not knowing the area we went to the first place we found ! It wasn’t the most fashionable place but it did a good cup of herbal tea! The toilets on the other hand ! Well, let’s not go there !!!
As we still had time to kill, we decided to have a walk around . We first passed some flats which I commented looked quite nice ! There was a sale board in the windows so we had a look! £3.25m! Seriously! I’d want a mansion and grounds for that!
We then came across a shop selling cars! There was this horrible looking 4×4 outside. Second hand and a few years old but still £280k! I’m seriously doing something wrong!!!
We decided to start heading back to the Olympia before we got anymore shocks!
The Holiday and Travel show was brilliant . We both love to travel and there were so many ideas! There was also a lot of free bags and brochures which we seemed to have picked up!
My favourites were a classic car holiday and the railway holidays ! Both very different but looked amazing !
The classic car holiday was based in 3 countries, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. You have to make your own way to those countries, but when there, they pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. There you will get to see your car for the week. It will be a classic car from that country – a Trabant. They give you a Sat Nav, mobile phone and vehicle tracker. There is also mechanical support throughout. You drive each day taking in heritage sites, vineyards, Cold War sites, and ancient historical sites. Each day you only drive about 2 hours, at your leisure and all fuel is included. You will end up at new hotels each night which are all organised for you too, including breakfast.
I think this would be a amazing holiday for a group of friends. They only have about 5 cars in each group.
We would also love to do a train holiday, but sadly I think they are out of our price range!
We spent a good 4 hours wandering round, wishing we had won the lottery, so we could book some of these amazing holidays. Getting hungry and loaded up with ideas and brochures, we decided to head back to Euston and find somewhere to eat.
Not far from the station is a Prezzo which seemed the perfect place . We had a lovely meal chatting over the day and planning where we would get if we won the lottery ! You have to have a dream !
We headed home chilled and in good spirits ! During the journey home I needed the loo! I will share my experience on my Youtube channel!!
It had been a good day!
England had played Ireland at rugby earlier in the day which we had recorded, so we snuggled up in sofa up watch it. Hubby with a beer and me with my slimline wine ! If you still haven’t tried it, you so should. My favourite is the sparkling which is available at Tesco, or visit their website for their full range!
The day just got better as England won! Woo hoo!
Sunday was going to be busy but our plans changed last minute . It was a cold day but the sun was out ! We decided to take the opportunity to take the dogs on a long walk along the canal!
There is a lovely pub on the canal side called Fleur De Ly in a little village called Lowsonford. It’s a beautiful pub! Inside it’s so cosy on a cold winters day. On days like Sunday and in the summer it has an amazing garden, where you can sit out and have a drink or dinner, overlooking the canal!
We parked up and took a 4 mile walk! The canal was still frozen, it was cold, but with the sun out, it was perfect.
On the return, it was only right we stopped off at the pub for a quick drink !