Sunday, 27 June 2010

Homemade Margherita Pizza

I found the recipe for this on my trusted BBC food website. You can find it here: This really was so simple, and Toby loved joining in. As he was rolling out the dough, he said "Toby likes cooking, Mummy". Ahhh.

Sunday breakfast in the garden

Tim did some cooking today! Can you actually believe it?? He made a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs, grilled herby tomatoes and mushrooms sauteed in butter,garlic and rosemary.
I also had an ice cold coffee, which I made by stirring insant coffee, sugar and a bit of boiling water into a tall glass, topping up with loads of cold milk and adding some ice cubes. The best way to start a hot day.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Blueberry muffins

For breakfast we had toasted soda bread (brought all the way from Ireland!), my blueberry muffins, and strawberries. Here's how to make the muffins (makes 12):-

75g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
75g caster sugar
1/2tsp bicarb of soda
2tsp baking powder
200ml milk
1 egg
200g blueberries, washed
grated rind of 1/2 lemon (optional)
a 12-hole cake tray and paper cases

1) Melt the butter on a low heat in the microwave. Leave to cool. Preheat oven to 200'C.
2) Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the rest of dry ingredients, and stir to mix.
3) In a measuring jug, beat together the milk, egg and melted butter.
4) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then gently mix together with a metal spoon. Make sure you use a light hand and don't overmix it, as this will result in tough muffins. Don't worry about any lumps and bumps.
5) Fold in the blueberries, again keeping the mixing to a minimum.
6) Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Best eaten fresh from the oven!

Lasagne and Focaccia for Nora and Martin!

Last night we had Tim's relatives from Ireland come to stay-Auntie Nora and Uncle Martin. Tim's mum Margaret joined us too. We had a really nice evening, catching up and enjoying my lasagne and homemade focaccia. Toby even got to stay up late with us, even though he was still up before 7 this morning!
I made the lasagne using 1kg lean steak mince,mixed peppers and chopped mushrooms in a tomato sauce, then layered with organic pasta sheets and a bechamel sauce. Topped with cheddar and cooked in a hot oven for approx 40 minutes. Topped with some fresh basil to serve.
You can find the recipe for the focaccia here:- I added some olives and fresh rosemary to mine, before baking.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Toby's Birthday and the Infamous Rocket Cake

Had a lovely Sunday with the family to celebrate Toby's 3rd birthday. We had an afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, and Pimm's! Mum had the idea to make Toby a rocket cake, so we spent Saturday evening putting one seemed like a good idea at the start but after a few glasses of wine it became hard work! Especially when we got the giggles trying to do the fiddly bits. Anyway it was all worth it and we had a great afternoon. Happy Birthday my beautiful boy xx

Mum's homemade quiche for lunch in the garden.

Toby's new bike!

My homemade lemon drizzle cake, and Mum's chocolate trifle made with chocolate muffins, chocolate custard and cream. Naughty!

So here's the cake that Mum and I stayed up ssooo late finishing! It was worth it in the end though, seeing Toby's little face light up.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Pizza Express

I actually feel a bit silly posting this after all that talk of my new healthy lifestyle, BUT in my defence we had a gift card for Pizza Express to use, and after a chilled late afternoon at the crescent it was just too convenient to resist! Had a lovely time with my girls Alice and Zoe, then Tim met us from work and we ended up meeting friends outside the Garricks Head for a drink. It was one of those spontaneous evenings that ends up being really lovely.

I had a Fiorentina pizza, Tim had a pizza with artichokes, peppers, olives,garlic oil and pesto, and Zoe had baked spaghetti with mushrooms.

Toby was bribed to behave with the promise of chocolate ice cream. Works every time. Actually he was a little angel, stayed out until 9 o clock and he loved every minute. There's something about a lovely Summer evening, it feels more civilised to let Toby stay up with the grown-ups.

Tomatoes on toast

Really simple but yummy lunch today. Put some vine tomatoes on a roasting tray,drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, seasoned with salt and pepper. Roasted in the oven for half an hour and served on some toasted Hobbs House Bakery 'Sherston' loaf, which makes the best toast.
Sorry,for some annoying reason it won't display this picture landscape,even though it was taken as landscape!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Sweet Chilli Salmon

Went for the first power walk with Team Power this evening! It was really good, we walked for about an hour around some really beautiful parts of Bath, and it made me so thankful that I live here. We even did sit ups and buttock crunches in the park, so we took it pretty seriously.
I felt so good when I got home, that I just wanted a light and healthy dinner. I cooked some organic noodles with brocolli,peas and spinach, then stirred in a dressing made of approx 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce,1 tsp honey and a splash of sesame oil. Topped it with a salmon fillet that I pan fried for about 5 minutes each side.
I'm vowing right here in black and white to get fit, and do the walking twice a week. Go Team Power!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Quiche and Salad

I've been at work today, so wanted an easy dinner. I put this salmon and watercress quiche from Asda in the oven, then boiled some new potatoes. Mixed some herbs from my herb garden (I used rosemary,thyme and parsley) into some butter to toss the potatoes in once cooked, then served it all up with a spinach and avocado salad. Hmm butter and quiche...not the lowest in fat I suppose, but the meal felt light and healthy.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Roast by the River

Another lovely Sunday with my boys. Had roast lamb at a pub called The Jolly Sailor, by the marina so Toby could watch the boats coming through the lock. Very good roast potatoes, which is a real sticking point for me as there's nothing worse than going out to eat and getting second rate roasties. They're the best part!
Then spent the rest of the afternoon at Victoria Park, and had Mr Whippy for dessert. Yummy! I love Sundays.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


I'm sorry, I really tried to get into the football tonight to watch it with Tim and keep him company. Apparently, I asked too many annoying questions and made silly observations, so I kept my opinions to myself and happily curled up with my magazines and a big mug of hot chocolate. Now that's happiness.
Oh we also had a lush chinese takeaway, so I''m thoroughly binged out. This is my last weekend of indulgence before starting my new healthier lifestyle, which is going to include power walking with my friends Rene and Graz! Watch this space!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

French style chicken with peas,bacon,lettuce and asparagus

Here's a classic French style chicken recipe that uses chicken thighs, which are an affordable cut of meat so you can buy it free range for a very reasonable price. I found the original recipe for at, and simply added some asparagus because I love it!
You have to give this one a try- I can safely say it's dead simple and will now probably be on my list of most used recipes. You basically fry the bacon, put it aside, fry the chicken, add spring onion and garlic to the pan with some chicken stock,simmer,add the veg,simmer,then stir in the creme fraiche. Obviously you'll want to use the full recipe (I halved the quantities to serve two), but just thought I'd give you some encouragement to go for it! Let me know what you think..xx

Ok so it's not the most photogenic plate of food but it's bloody delicious!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Veggie Patch-Stage Two, plus First Strawberries of the Season!!

Veggies are coming along nicely! In the first pic you can see our courgette, sweetcorn, and courgette plants. In the second pic are our carrots and onions..coming along a bit slower but at least it's a start!
We were very excited to see our first strawberries turn red today, as Toby pointed out. They were absolutely delicious.

It's all very very exciting....


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