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Tomato Spaghetti...


HELLO!!! Goodness it's been forever since I blogged and I can only apologise! But life has been crazy hectic, which I will tell you about in my next post!

I have been super lazy in the kitchen lately but in our house that doesn't mean much...I still get a yummy meal out no matter what, well almost sometimes the boys just have a pizza lol...
Tonight, like most nights lately, I was completely knackered but craved something yummy and settled on tomato spaghetti. It's so quick and basically consists of 3 main ingredients! What else could you ask for when you not up for much cooking?!

Here is how I made it...


Ingredients

2 cans chopped tomato
2 medium/large cloves of garlic, crushed
spaghetti, cooked as per instructions
sea salt and pepper
a little sweetener, optional
tomato paste, optional
sprinkle of chili powder, optional
basil to garnish

Method

1. While your spaghetti is cooking add your garlic and tomato to a deep pan and simmer gently. You want the garlic to infuse with the tomatoes giving it a subtle heat and flavour. If needed add your sweetener and then the chili and seasoning.
2. When the spaghetti is just cooked add to your tomato sauce and stir. Serve hot with a sprinkle of basil and a little extra sea salt.


Couldn't be easier and couldn't be tastier. Feel free to add a little bacon or even chicken if you fancy it!


Now before I head off to bed I just want to thank everyone for being so patient with me and I am hoping to be back posting and creating recipes on a more regular basis soon! Have a wonderful evening...or day :)

recipe - mine
syns - FREE

Fairy Bites...


Today I was visited by an old school friend that I haven't seen in years. I obviously had to bake something to celebrate this wonderful visit! :)

I wanted to bake something cute and tasty and after browsing Pinterest last night was inspired by these cute little shortbread cookies and just had to have ago at myself. As usual I gave them my own little twist and flavoring. (They are a lighter version too..woohoo)


Ingredients

1/2 cup light butter, softened
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sweetener (you can of course just use sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
GOOD sprinkle of 100s and 1000s (try get the very bright ones if you can as mine faded slightly)


Method

1. Cream the butter and sugar together and then mix in the Vanilla.
2. Combine with the flour and salt and then sprinkle in your 100's and 1000's.
3. Using you hands bring together to form a ball of dough.
4. On a floured surface press out the dough, you want it to be about 1/2 cm thick. Then using a cutter cut out your cookies. ( you can also bake it as one sheet and then cut into cubes.)
5. Place the cookies on a lined or greased and floured baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
6. Once done leave to cool completely.


These cookies are deliciously crumbly and the 100's and 1000's add a little bit of texture and colour. They would be a fabulous treat at a little girls tea party or even given as a gift in a pretty jar.


Strawberry milk is optional but always a winner in my book :)

recipe - inspired by pinterest but mine
syns - around 3 syns each

Saturday Night Fakeaway - Meatball Curry with Rice and Red Lentils...


Its Saturday night and that calls for a takeaway or in our house a fakeaway!
We spent the afternoon in the garden again and with winter creeping in the evenings are getting quite chilly so we wanted something filling and warming. A reward for our hard graft but one that wouldn't get in the way of reaching my target!

As you can tell I am rather fond of  meatballs, in sandwiches, with pasta, in a calzone... they are always a winner. So I thought why not in a curry then! And with a few spices and a little squishing and shaping I was on my way to curry fakeaway greatness.


Ingredients

for the meatballs
500g Lean mince meat
1 clove of garlic. crushed
heaped tsp of medium curry powder
good squeeze of tomato puree
1/2 red chili, finely chopped
handful of mint chopped
salt and pepper

for the sauce
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp medium curry powder
1 can chopped tomato
500ml tomato passata
squeeze of tomato puree
salt and pepper
1 tsp sweetener

1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup of rice
2 cups water
1 chicken stock cube
handful of coriander
1/2 red chili, finely chopped
1 lime


Method

1. Combine the mince with the garlic, tomato puree, mint, curry powder and chili. Mix well and then set aside for 30 minutes or so. You want the flavors to develop. I made mine in the morning.
2. With wet hands roll the mince into balls and brown them off in a pan. Do this in batches and then drain on some kitchen paper.
3. In the same pan start your sauce. In a little frylight cook down your onion and garlic and then add your curry powder and tomato puree. Once combined add your chopped tomato and passata along with the sugar. Once bubbling away gently add the meatballs and let them cook through in the sauce.
4. While the meatballs are cooking make your rice and lentils. Put into a pan with the water and stock and bring to the boil, after about 5 minutes turn off the heat and cover and let steam.
5. Once everything is cooked garnish with coriander and fresh chili and serve with a wedge of lime.


This is a great family dish and the sauce is so rich and delicious. I would actually recommend having a few naans on the side to lap up the sauce at the end. That's if you not watching the waistline like me ;)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Recipe - mine
syns - none

Apple and Cinnamon Crisps...


The leaves are slowly turning and apples are at the plenty, how could I not be inspired to make something Autumnly delicious... yes Autumnly is a word - to me anyway.

I am always on the look out for healthy yet delicious snacks as I am a massive grazer, and although these do count as syns on Slimming World, they still tick all the boxes. Not to mention how easy they are to make.


Ingredients

2 -3 apples, sliced thinly and cores removed. I used a cute cutter.
1 tsp of sugar/sweetener
1 tsp cinnamon

baking paper

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 100C. You want to bake them slow and steady.
2. Place your sliced apple in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss with your hands to coat the apple slices.
3. Place on a lined baking tray and pop in the oven. Bake for 2 hours or so, you want them to be soft/cooked through but crispy.
4. Once done leave to cool completely. This will crisp them up even more.


Serve as a snack or even along side some Cinnamon ice cream for desert. They would be great over Christmas time too.


This picture is actually my second batch as the first one was eaten before I could get a photo! Yes they that yummy!


The crisps will last up to a week in an airtight container.

recipe - mine
syns - 3-4 per 25g as the apples are baked.

Tomato and red Lental Rasam and Onion and Sweet Potato Bhajis...


Gosh I feel like it has been forever since I have posted a Slimming World recipe and for that I must apologize. Summer has been crazy and I have spent allot of it not on plan :/ BUT with my group finally getting closer to opening it's time to get to the end of one SW journey (weightloss) and to the begging of the next (being a consultant)!

During summer I also got the new Veggie cookbook which I LOVE!!! I would have put it on sooner but haven't been able to, better late then never though. Have you got it? If you haven't get to group and get one! It has some amazing recipes in it and ones that can easily be added to your weekly meal plan and even adapted for the meat eaters out there.

Last night I cooked two super yummy recipes but did add some cod to bulk it up as I only cooked enough for two. The recipe however is for 4.


Ingredients


for the rasam
100g dried red lentals
low cal cooking spray
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried chili
4 cloves
2 green cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
1cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 green chili, deseeded and finely chopped
10 curry leaves
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
6 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
pinch of sweetner
1 tbsp lemon juice

for the bhajis
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
50g gram flour
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
2 small eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
low cal cooking spray

for the raita
2 large handfuls of fresh mint plus finely chopped mint to garnish
1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 green chili, deseeded and roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons
pinch of sweetner
250g fat free natural yogurt


Method


for the rasam
1.Put the lentals in a saucepan with 350ml of water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15 - 20 minutes or until the lentals have absorbed all the water and softened. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth using a stick blender or food processor. set aside.
2. meanwhile spray a non sick saucepan with low cal spray and place over a high heat. add the mustard seeds and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until they start to pop. Add the cumin seeds, dried chilli, cloves, cardamon pods, cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic, green chilli and curry leaves. Stirfry for 30 secs and then add the coriander stalks and stirfry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes.
3. add the chili powder and tumeric to the tomatoes and cook for one minute. Then add the sweetener, lental puree and 400ml water. Bring to the boil over a high heat. ( I left the water out as it wanted t thicker instead of soup like)
4. Discard the cinnamon stick, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve hot.
I then grilled some cod until cooked through and flaked it on top for a little something extra.

for the bhajis and raita
1. Put the onions, sweet potato, gram flour, lemon juice, spices, chilli, fresh coriander and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix well, season and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
2. Make the Raita, Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste and chill until you are ready to use it.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C and line a baking tray. Using your fingers, mix the sweet potato mixture again to combine thoroughly. Spoon 16 equal sized dollops onto the baking sheet, spray with low cal spray and bake for 15 -20 minutes until golden.
4. Scatter with mint to serve.


This meal has allot of ingredients and can seem to take awhile when you first make it, as you have to keep looking back to make sure you haven't missed anything but I think when the second time comes around, which it will, you will have it done in no time at all. It super yummy each on there own and together. Fish is obviously optional.


Has anyone else tried cooking from the Veggie Deluxe book?

recipe - Slimming World 
Syns - 2 per serving for the bhajis. rasam free

Gooey Chewy Mocha Cookie Sandwich...


Happy Sunday my lovely foodies and readers. Today's recipe is a disaster turned triumph he he .
I began wanting to make whoopie pies but then realised I had no eggs and with two unsuccessful trips to the neighbors I decided to just wing it and see how things turned out...as you do sometimes.

While cooking things looked good but when they came out of the oven they went pretty flat so I called them cookies! Yummy ones too I must say. Most people would give up, maybe start again when they have eggs but me i carried on and made 'lemonade out of lemons' and I am now sharing my disaster recipe with you all! he he


Ingredients

cookies
500g softened butter
140g caster sugar
tsp vanilla
135g self raising flour
5g cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk

if you wanting to make whoopie pies add two eggs, beaten and use 2 tbsp of milk rather then 4.

filling
125g softened butter
1/2 vanilla
250g icing sugar
1 tsp coffee in a tbsp of water


Method


1.Cream butter,sugar and vanilla. ( you would now add the eggs after mixing for 5 minutes)
2. Into a sieve add your flour, cocoa and baking powder. Sieve and then combine with the butter mixture. Use the milk to loosen.
3. Place a dollop on a baking tray, leaving a good space between them as they will spread. ( or a whoopie pie tin)
4. bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 10 - 15 minutes. Once baked leave to cool.
5. For the icing combine your butter, vanilla, icing sugar and coffee. you want it to be thick.
6. Once cooled,sandwich your cookies with a good dollop of icing. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy with a nice cup of tea or coffee.


They are super yum even if they were a mistake!

 I will post the real whoopie pie recipe when I can and have eggs. :) Although I have added bits in that would have been the correct recipe.

And with that I will say good bye and go an enjoy my cookie sandwich with a cup of tea while the small boy sleeps...FINALLY!!!!

recipe - mine

Red Pepper, Sweet Chili Meatball Sandwich...



What a gorgeous day we have had today! Winter has taken a back step and allowed summer to have a last few moments of golden glory. So why not enjoy this last bit of sunshine with a bit of easy but tasty midweek al fresco dining.

These super scrumptious meatball sandwiches are made from scratch but take no time at all and is a crowed pleaser all round!


Ingredients

meatballs
500g lean beef mince
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 red peppers, small dice
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
salt and pepper

sauce
1 can tomato
1 clove garlic, chopped
handfull of fresh basil, chopped. Put some aside for garnish.
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sweetner
salt and pepper

fresh roll/french loaf
salad leaves
cheese, grated
tomato, sliced

Method

1. In a bowel mix and combine your mince, diced pepper and sweet chili. Season.
2. Roll into balls
3. Put meatballs into a pot and brown off slightly then pour in your canned tomato. Into that add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir. Gently.
4. Cook down until the sauce thickens and gains richness and the meatballs are cooked through.
5. In the mean time toast or bake your roll. I use the fresh ones you need to bake. It takes about 8 - 10 min.
6. Assemble your sandwich. Salad, tomato, meatballs, sauce and then sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil.


Its a real mouthful and a treat for the tastebuds. As you can tell Miss Angel was trying to give me her cute face so she could get in on the meatball goodness too.


My Slimming Worlders don't worry as I made a version for us too. Its the same but bread free. Serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of salad and use your HEA for cheese. its about 1 syn per serving due to the sweet chili sauce and worth every bit.


recipe - mine
syns - 1 per serving

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes...


So this just happened and has totally made my day!! They are so pretty and so delicious!

These beauties are not from my own recipe but the lovely Floral Frosting's and taken from the wonderful Lemon Freckles new Zine Lemonmade.

Unfortunately I am not going to share the recipe with you, as I want you all to head over to Charis's blog or get your hands on Toni's fabulous Zine for it!

Instead I will share some photos and hope they inspire you to give them a go, you wont regret it!!!






My Mandy...


My Mandy, how I miss my princess while I'm away!! 


Hopefully she is behaving herself and giving my friends Magda and Tomic lots of kitty cuddles!


Are you a cat or a dog person? Maybe a bit of both?


Illustrations by Kayley Mills...


I am sure quite a few of you are aware of my Instagram obsession and my love for super talented beauties and their illustrations. I think I am drawn to the talent I wish I had! 


I have mentioned the super fantastic Sophie and the the beautiful unicorn that is Toni on my blog and today is the turn of the sparkling princess that is Kayley Mills. 


Kayley's amazing work is just beyond amazing! I just love her and her style. I love it so much in fact that it graces every room in my house, well except for the bathroom but that will probably change soon!


She has done everything I ask her so perfectly my saying in my kitchen, our family portrait, the sign for Benji's door and even special Dinosaur bunting for his bedroom.


I don't just request custom pieces but also love her prints in her etsy store Kayley Draws too, to which she is always adding to.


So if you haven't got your hands on one of her prints...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? They are fabulous just like the gorgeous lady herself!



Hidropark - Alcudia, Mallorca...


Feels strange writing this last post about Spain, reason being I leave for Cyprus tomorrow :) *YAY* But when I am a mummy that can only blog into the late hours, getting posts up when I can, writing a post about one holiday the night before the next is fine!


So Hidropark...one word FUN!!!! And by far Benji's best day! It was the day before we were due to head back home so we thought why not. I am so glad we did.


The park is packed with fun rides for big and small kids and the baby area is just awesome. So awesome infact that I think its the only place Pan actually went on a slide lol


In saying that I must mention that Pan swimming is a Miracle!!! I literally had to tackle him into the water! Swimming isn't the issue, its the getting out part - skinny man = no fat to keep him warm! If only I could give him some of mine lol


I of course wouldn't get out and enjoyed the slides while Ben was napping! ( think its the mermaid in me...water is my happy place!)


The wave pool was also a big favorite of ours and we spent our last hour there taking the compulsory underwater holiday selfie. Even got Benji *hi five me*


Hidropark was such a good way to end our holiday and had us all smiling even when we went to bed. Me and Pan are big kids ourselves sometimes I think.

It can get a little pricey doing a water park and if you have a little one, toddler age, Hidropark is great as the other water parks are allot more expensive and are more for the older child.

Final word...Hidropark, as you can see from the last pic Pan gave it a thumbs up :)