Friday, July 22, 2016

Monty Bojangles Truffle Cookies

Chocolate company Monty Bojangles are embarking on a new adventure by creating some new chocolate truffle flavours. Their range currently include the delicious Choccy Scoffy, Orange Angelical, Scrumple Nutty, Berry Bubbly, Cookie Moon & Flutter Scotch. To match their flamboyant packaging, people have been voting on flavours such as lemon meringue and black pepper, Popcorn & Crispy Crêpe or Coconut and Chilli. I was sent some of their current boxes to try and I used to them create some tasty snacks and desserts.
I made some cookies using a simple plain recipe, and popping a truffle in the centre before cooking them.

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
Chocolate Truffles
Method
Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine. Sift over 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined – you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together. Divide into 12 ball and push a truffle into the centre of each. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
As I have recently tired making rice pudding in different ways, I also included melting a truffle in the center of a bowl of warm rice and creating a delectable dessert.
Disclaimer: I was sent these products for review, but opinions are my own

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WIAW Moving leftovers

I moved at the weekend. A whole 50 meters to a house just over the road. Having spent 6 years in a two bed flat, the move into a house share meant I have to sacrifice some cupboard space which is hard. Saying that, I now have a much larger space to cook in as well as my first ever dishwasher.
My first breakfast was of course the normal peanut butter and banana on toast. Lunch was some homemade guacamole with my mums home grown tomatoes, cheese and rice ales. I love keeping these in a cupboard at work to allow for quick lunches.
My snack was a selection of fruit from the work fruitbowl topped with some homemade granola.
My dinner was some soba noodles with veg and flaked Thai flavoured mackerel and topped with some sesame seeds.
My dessert was some cookies which I tested out my new oven with. They were a basic cookie recipe with a Monty Bojangles truffle pushed into the middle (recipe to come soon). They came out really well and work enjoyed them as well!
What did you eat this week? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

WIAW Just V Show

This weekend, I went to V show, which showcases a variety of products suitable for vegetarians, vegans or those with intolerance's. It amazes me how much delicious food is available now, and even though I don't have any food needs, I enjoy some of the food that is on offer. I came back with a goodie bag of delicious treats that I has been trying throughout the week. I tried the Nutri-Brex gluten free porridge for breakfast with banana and honey.
As I am moving soon, I am trying to eat all the leftovers I have in my freezer. This was a spicy tomato pasta bake which I reheated with some spinach and topped with cheese.
I snacked on some dates in the afternoon. I love these juicy fruit as snacks or dipped into chocolate for an evening treat.
For dinner, I used up a Linda McCartney burger and made it into meatballs with a tomato red wine sauce. The flavour was really rich and worked well as meatballs placed on top of courgetti.
For dessert I tried the Choc Shot spiced orange drizzled over some rice pudding as part of the Naughty but Rice challenge.
What did you eat this week?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Naughty but Rice Pudding Challenge

Naughty but Rice invited me to try some of their flavoured rice pudding pots in Salted Caramel,  Coconut & Raspberry and tangy Chocolate Orange. I had always thought of rice pudding as the boring sloppy flavourless dessert that we were always served up at school, but these little pots have opened up my eyes into the world of sweet and filling desserts.You can heat them in the microwave or eat them as they are which makes them perfect for your lunchbox.
They also invited me to try making my own flavours of rice pudding and I jumped at the challenge. I tried two different ways of cooking the rice- one on the hob which proved quicker but needed more attention and constant stirring, and the other baked in the oven. Although this took longer, it was easier to leave and was useful for making larger batches leftovers.

My first try was vanilla, and chocolate with some orange zest on top.
Ingredients
100g pudding rice
700ml semi-skimmed milk
75g plain chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one orange

Method
Stir the rice with the milk in a medium sized pan over a medium heat. Add the vanilla and reduce the heat, stirring continuously until the rice is soft. Stir in the chocolate until it melts and add the zest.
I also opted to try a coconut version.
Ingredients
100g pudding rice
700ml semi-skimmed milk
75g desiccated coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
handful of raisins

Method
Stir the rice with the milk in a medium sized pan over a medium heat. Add the vanilla and reduce the heat, stirring continuously until the rice is soft. Stir in the coconut and the raisins to finish.
When I had a little more time at the weekend, I tried baking the rice with rice milk and seeing how it differed. I found the texture more creamy and felt luxurious like the Naughty but Nice pots.
Ingredients
100g pudding rice
700ml rice milk
2 chunks of chocolate per bowl
squeeze of choc shot

Method
Heat the oven to 150c and add the rice into a buttered baking dish. Stir through the milk. Cook for two hours or until the pudding wobbles slightly when shaken. Place a couple of chunks of chocolate into the center of the served up pudding for a nice chocolate surprise and drizzle with a little chocolate.
I found the baked version was also perfect for leftovers....and not just for dessert. I wanted to see how it would work as a breakfast dish - treating it similarly as porridge. I just heated it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and added my topping of choice. For me this was either bananas, strawberries and peanut butter, or homemade granola.
What flavour combinations would you try?
Disclaimer: I was given these products for review and recipes, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WIAW Picnic leftovers

This weekend, I had been to my colleagues wedding. Set in the middle of the countryside in converted farm buildings, a few of us pitched tents and camped out for the weekend. On the way there we explored areas of the Cotswolds and had a great picnic. We didn't quite finish it all so had some great leftovers on Monday.
For breakfast, I grilled some slices of baguette and topped with my normal peanut butter and banana.

Lunch was the remainder of bread with two different types of pate- smoked salmon and crab. I had it a little side salad.
My afternoon snack was nectarines kiwi topped with homemade granola.
My dinner was a delicious homemade Spaghetti Bolognese that was slowly cooked throughout the evening. I tried bulking it out with lentils which worked nicely and meant that I have tubs of leftovers in the freezer ready for quick meals and lunches
For dessert, I was send some Naughty but Rice puddings to try. Instead of your stodgy classic rice puddings, these have a modern sweet twist and come in some great packaging.
What did you eat this week?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WIAW Brilliant BBQ leftovers

We had a family BBQ this weekend despite the high chance of rain but managed to survive with only a small scattering of showers. A couple of people couldn't make it due to illness which meant we made the most out of the leftovers for the upcoming days. As well as the usual burgers and sausages, we did some garlic king prawns, trout and vegetable skewers.We had planned to have some bananas with brown sugar to end the day, but everyone was too full so I took one home to have with my usual breakfast.
Lunch was a great array of leftovers, included a supersoft burger bun, salad and some trout. Fish is one of my favour bbq items. It can easily be steamed in some foil and some out so flaky and moist.
My afternoon snack was an apple as well as some grapes from the work fruit bowl.
For dinner, I had more leftovers included my mum's famous quiche which I need to learn to make myself. It's not eggy or too creamy like shop bought ones, but has lots of bacon, cheese and a few tomatoes in. I had it with a jacket potato and some leftover peppers that were once skewered.
Have you risked having a BBQ in the British weather?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Grains as Mains Baked Chicken Paella

I have followed author of whole heartedly healthy, Laura Agar Wilson from the very start of my food adventure. She is a health coach, writer and recipe developer and I have picked up many tips, tricks and recipes from my time spent reading her blog. When I found out she has written a book 'Grains as Mains', I was excited to try some of the recipes. Once overlooked, grains are starting to become popular after being made aware of the protein and vitamins it packs into something so versatile and tasty. Throughout the book, there are guides to replacements you can make which is helpful when some of the grains are difficult to find in smaller superstores as well as vegetable and meat substitutions. One of the first recipes that shouted to me was the Baked Chicken Freekeh Paella. As I didn't have freekeh in my cupboard, I substitued it for pearl barley and added a few more minutes onto the cooking time. It is a simple and easy to follow recipe, with everything only needing preparation and then leaving in the oven to cook. The one pot dish is simple for supper or brilliant as an entertaining dish as well.

Ingredients

4 chicken legs (I used breasts)
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
250g uncooked freekeh
400ml chicken stock
120ml dry white wine
175g chorizo
2 red peppers, finely sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp parsley to garnish

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Season the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper, paprika and chilli flakes.
2. Place the freekeh, stock and wine in a large ovenproof dish. Then add chorizo, red peppers, chillies, onion and garlic and then place the chicken on top. Cover and put into the oven.
3. Roast for 35 minutes. Then remove the lid for the last 10 mins until the chicken is cooked and the grains fluffy (Add 15mins extra cooked if using pearl barley). Drizzle over the lemon juice and garnish with parsley.

The flavour of this dish is smokey with a slight hint of spice. It's a great one to make and have leftovers for lunch the next day as the flavour develops and gets even better!