Spring and summer have Sprung with new Vigour

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Hello Wildlife!

Finally thought I might finally sit down and update my blog – as I have the evening to myself! I should really be baking for friday and saturdays charity event or perhaps sort out the mountain of paperwork / invoicing thats looking longing at me…But No! That can wait for once, they’re not exactly going anywhere are they?!

I hope you are all enjoying spring? Once again my garden has sprung up and last years plants are HUGE! I should really read a gardening book and plant them a little further apart so they are not all battling against each other in the strive for sunlight- but that would just take the fun away! Anyway I like the higgledy piggledy cottage garden style- especially as it attracts soo many bees, birds and various other insects! Unfortunately our birds are particularly camera shy most of the time (or I am a little too noisy!)- Nutthatch, finch, green finch, gold finch, chaffinch, great tit, blue tit, wood pecker, blackbird..and our new swallows nest…

Dragon fly Continue reading

Pecan and Toffee Roulade

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Great Recipe for Entertaining

Pecan and Toffee Roulade

Well I have already broken one of my new years resolutions this year haven’t I? – to blog more frequently!! Having said that I have kept to my challenge and have lost nearly 6 pounds of my stone to loose by april taking me to half way! So I am bang on track there! Wahoo! :D Continue reading

Caramel Shortbread

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Sunday Baking caramel shortbread

I am well on track with my February challenge having lost two pounds this week! :) As it’s the weekend (Sunday being my cheat day!) I thought I would bake an ever so slightly lighter and not too sickly version of millionaires shortbread. The recipe is using a traditional shortbread recipe and the caramel has less golden syrup and a touch of ginger syrup and light carnation condensed milk. As for the chocolate it’s 300g plain chocolate and 50g of milk which sets off nicely against the sweetness of the caramel. If you prefer a milkier taste then go ahead and use 200g milk and 150g of dark instead. The ginger syrup is optional, but for me although there is not quite enough ginger syrup to actually taste it does remove the very sickly aftertaste you can some times get if the caramel is overly sweet. If preferred replace with golden syrup! (or corn syrup in America!)caramel shortbread Continue reading

Wholegrain Mustard, Ham and Broccoli Filo Tart

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A lighter but flavoursome filo tart

Wholegrain Mustard, Ham and Broccoli Filo Tart

I am a massive fan of quiches and tarts – but unfortunately for me, most pastry doesn’t agree with me and find it too rich. Having discovered the world of filo pastry all of my woes have been fixed! Filo has that delicious satisfying buttery texture with that crunchy melt in your mouth feeling of a rich pastry. I know some of you will be skeptical and although it will never replace shortcrust pastry but its just delicious in its own right, some are gluten free (check) and lower in fat! Win win win!

Continue reading

Mary Berrys – Whole Orange Spice Cake

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A spiced winter treat

WHOLE ORANGE SPICE CAKE(Baked and scoffed before going on my February Challenge!)

Having bought Mary Berry’s book – Christmas Collection before christmas, typically its only now that I am getting round to trying her recipes! I was inspired to give this cake a go when it was featured on on the latest series of the Great British Bake Off.  Its a really tall light and moist sponge with a nicely spiced winter feel on your taste buds. Its great for entertaining as it both looks and tastes divine! Continue reading

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella and Bacon Gnocchi

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Im all for trying new foods..

Tomato basil and mozzarella baked Gnocchi

I have only ever used Gnocchi twice before and quite honestly one dish was lovely Garlic, Mushroom, Ham and Pesto Gnocchi the other was a disaster! If you have ever had badly cooked gnocchi its enough to put you off for life – trust me! Still on my mission to try new foods, I thought I would re-try a Baked Gnocchi recipe with an open mind and it was gorgeous! Even my husband who groaned with disappointment and made sure I had a backup when I said we were having it, loved it! I served it with a grilled chicken breast and green salad – Yum!

The recipes off the Blog She Cooks, she eats – here is the link –  Baked Marinara Gnocchi with Mozzarella

Tomato basil and mozzarella baked Gnocchi

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti

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Blog Inspiration!

Searching on the internet I found this amazing Blog She Cooks, She Eats – great inspiration for my three month challenge! So saturday night I tried the Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti and it tasted so good, not only am I recommending it, we had it again on Sunday night! We made only one change – no cumin as neither of us are keen on that particular spice.

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti

Chicken Enchilada SpaghettiChicken Enchilada SpaghettiChicken Enchilada SpaghettiChicken Enchilada SpaghettiYum yum – heres the recipe…http://www.shecookssheeats.co.uk/2011/11/chicken-enchilada-spaghetti.html

Tonight we shall be trying the low fat lasagne on her blog…

February Challenge – forget resolutions, it starts now!!!

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My February – April challenge…

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So its the first of February and I have to say it’s truly miserable here, rain, rain, oh and lots more blooming rain!! Although spring is arriving with lots of snow drops, pansies in full bloom, violas, my sage has come to life and my rose hasn’t stopped flowering since last may! (I’m slightly worried it thinks its something else entirely!) So I think its about time I set my self a new challenge this February with the deadline of April – to loose a further stone -with the bonus of if I do it on here I am surely more likely to achieve the results I desire!

Last year if you read my previous posts I started doing Zumba or a walk every morning at 6:30am with a few neighbours which lasted right up until I started work at the cafe in November. During that time I lost well over a stone in weight and have kept it off. Unfortunately as I now have to leave the house  by 6:45am I can no longer fit in the walk before showering etc. (unsurprisingly no neighbour wants to walk with me at 5:30am!!)  So, inspired by a friend (also has an under active thyroid) who has lost nearly 2 stone since october using slimming world, I am going to try their recipes along with other bloggers slimming world friendly recipes.

Please let me know if you have any recommended recipes or bloggers – so far I have seen a blog called www.shecookssheeats.co.uk amazing inspiration! Roll on the rest of February I shall let you know how I get on! :)

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