Monday, 20 February 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all, I hope you had an amazing weekend. My weekend was spent dog sitting two very cute puppies, so naturally I went on lots of fun walks and re-fuelled with some delicious grub. I also baked a pretty HUGE red velvet cake, which is all gone already. Cakes don't hang around too long at our house! What did you get up to this weekend, anything exciting? Today, i'm sharing with you my meal plan for the week. A few meals you will recognise from last weeks meal plan as we didn't get around to cooking everything on the plan. Here's what we will be eating this week...


TUES: Fish Pie, Tesco Recipe Card.

WED:
Spring Chicken Stew, Jamie Oliver's Family Classics.

THURS:
Pork Cassoulet, BBC Good Food.

FRI: Butternut Chilli, BBC Good Food.

SAT: Indian Sweet Potato and Dahl Pies, BBC Good Food.

SUN: Cauliflower Cheese Macaroni, BBC Good Food.

MON: Warm Pearl Barley and Roasted Carrot Salad, BBC Good Food.

As you can see I'm mainly using an old favourite of BBC Good Food. A lot of the recipes I will be using this week are available on their website so have a wee look if you fancy cooking along with me this week. I am particularly excited about the cassoulet and the chilli, I LOVE a veggie chilli. Oh and also, the cauliflower macaroni cheese (well, all of it really!).

I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. What will you be making this week? Do you have any exciting meals planned?

Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.



Friday, 17 February 2017

Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares


Hi all, it's that time again! FRIDAAY!!! Today, I have a little recipe for you guys. If you're anything like me then you'll love making something sweet to have in the cupboards over the weekend, just as a little treat. Well, I have the perfect recipe for that, Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares. These little squares of yumminess are an absolute favourite of mine. I remember always making these for birthday parties as a child, they are so easy but oh so tasty! I have amped the recipe up a little, just because I can, but they were absolutely perfect in their simplest form, chocolate and krispies as well. These little guys bring back lots of childhood memories. Anyway, enough reminiscing I hear you say, give me the recipe...


Ingredients

160g Mars Bars, chopped
50g Butter, chopped
1/3 of a big box of Rice Krispies
200g Galaxy Chocolate, broken into chunks
50g White Chocolate, broken into chunks

Just a quick note- I used the Tesco version of Mars Bars as they were much cheaper and taste exactly the same. I also used Tesco's version of Rice Krispies (again, cheaper!) and feel free to use any milk chocolate which you prefer. I love Galaxy's creaminess so this was my chosen chocolate.

Method

1. Melt the mars bar pieces and butter together in a bowl over boiling water until completely melted and liquid. Turn the heat off just before this point so as not to burn the chocolate.
2. Add in the Krispies a little at a time, making sure everything is well mixed.
3. Put the Krispie mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten the mixture down so you would have a square about 2cm thick.
4. Put this in the fridge to cool while you get on with melting the galaxy and white chocolate separately in the same way.
5. When the chocolate has melted pour the galaxy chocolate over the cooled rice Krispie mix and smooth out so you have a nice even layer (it will start to cool immediately!).
6. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted white chocolate in straight lines over the Galaxy Chocolate, just one way. Then take a knife and run it through the chocolate in the opposite direction to the white chocolate lines to create a feathered affect. This step is just to make it look a little more fancy but you can definitely leave it out if you can't wait that long.
7. Pop back in the fridge until completely cooled and cut into squares.
8. Scoff away! It's impossible to eat just one, I recommend having two with a cup of coffee. Oh and it's a rule with these, whoever makes them gets the biggest square.


And there you have it, my recipe for Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares. Let me know if you give these a go, they really are pretty easy and the perfect sweet treat for the weekend. What are your favourite childhood treats? Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

What I Eat in a Day 15

Hi everyone and welcome back to another 'What I Eat in a Day' post! I hope you had a wonderful valentines day filled with love, family, friends and other halves! As I mentioned in my last post, we don't really do valentine's day but we did manage to treat ourselves yesterday which was nice and we are heading out this evening for hot chocolates and desserts (i'm very excited about this, can you tell?). Anyway, this what I ate yesterday.

BREAKFAST

 Banana and Frozen Mango Smoothie.

I am still loving smoothies in the morning, they are just so fresh and make me feel wide-awake (might have something to do with a bucket of coffee too!). At the moment i'm working my way round all the frozen fruit in Tesco to keep my smoothies new and exciting. So far I have tried the mango, pineapple and strawberries and loved them. I can't wait until a sunny summers day where I will be able to drink these outside in the morning. For now though, I will just have to stick with the sunshine yellow of a smoothie.

LUNCH

  Ratatouille Vegetable Pie with Peas and some oranges.

Lunch was leftover Vegetable pie which was truly delicious. The recipe came from Jamie Oliver's 'Superfood Family Classics'. It was essentially a ratatouille vegetable mix topped with ricotta enveloped in filo pastry. What's not to love? And of course I had to serve this with more veg and the compulsory mini oranges.

AFTERNOON SNACK

 A few squares of galaxy chocolate and a coffee.

As you can see from these posts I always allow myself a little mid-afternoon snack of something sweet. I find that it perks me up but it also helps keep any sweet cravings at bay and sometimes gets rid of them completely for the rest of the day.

DINNER

Pizza, Salads and Rose Wine from Marks and Spencer.

For dinner we treated ourselves to some pizzas and salads in Marks and Spencer and of course we had to have a little tipple, it was Valentine's Day after all. Because we cook from scratch every night it's a big treat to get something pre-made (mainly because there are less dishes for me to do). We were able to relax a little more and take longer over dinner as we didn't have to worry about the mountain of dishes that I usually create when making dinner. Pizza is definitely one of my favourite foods, Sean makes really good pizza too, but these pizzas were delicious. My pizza was topped with roasted veg, spicy chicken and pesto and Sean's was spicy peppers and Italian meats, yummy scrummy.

What are your favourite meals for when you want a treat? Did you end up doing anything nice for Valentine's Day? I hope enjoyed this post, I will be back on Friday with a little treat recipe for you. You know, just to keep you going over the weekend. I always like to have home-baked goods in the house going into the weekend. Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Monday, 13 February 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, I spent my weekend starting a pretty exciting new baking project! It's the week of love this week and I hope you all have some amazing valentine's day plans! My husband and I have decided that instead of doing gifts and cards we are going to take ourselves out for a sweet treat, I'm thinking waffles, crepes and ice-cream and I can't wait! Do you have any exciting plans? Today is meal plan Monday, as you all know by now, and I'm sharing what I will be cooking and eating this week. You may notice a lot of potatoes in the meal plan this week, that's because an old friend of ours brought us a HUGE bag (like 10kg!!!) of potatoes and I just couldn't wait to get started making all my favourite starchy dishes. Anyway, here is what I will be making this week...


TUES: Fish Pie, Tesco Recipe Card.

WED:
Big Greek Stew and Mash, Tesco Recipe Card.


THURS:
Green Veg Pesto Pasta, Jamie's Family Classics.

FRI:
Spring Chicken Stew, Jamie's Family Classics.

SAT:
Leek and Potato Soup, Jamie's Family Classics.

SUN:
Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Burgers with Wedges, A Girl Called Jack.

MON:
Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce, my recipe.

As you can see I'm still loving the new Tesco recipe cards. I have to say that I think this is such a fab idea on Tesco's part, I can see it really helping to get people in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I tend to tweak the recipes just a little according to my tastes but all in all I think they are fab. I'm also still cooking this week from one of my faves 'Jamie's Family Classics', it's such a healthy, tasty recipe book with all your favourite dishes in there! Anyway, that's the plan for the week. Are you cooking anything exciting this week? As always I will be back soon to let you know how I'm getting on with these recipes, thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Friday, 10 February 2017

January Favourites

Hi all and welcome back to the Tea Cozy Kitchen, we are almost at the weekend! Yay! My plan for the weekend is to drink all the coffee and eat all the cake (as always!). I have plans to bake two rather exciting cakes so stay tuned to my Instagram if you want to see how these turn out, I'm @rachheron1 if you want to follow me! Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? Today, I'm sharing my January favourites, a little late I know but January was such a long and dreary month that it took me a while to think of what I was actually loving. I've got a couple of foodie favourites mixed with some other less foodie favourites. Let's get going...

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
As you may or may not know, in January I started an evening class at my old university. The course is called 'The Hidden Lives of the Bronte Sisters'. So naturally I have been re-reading a couple of their novels. Wuthering Heights has always been one of my favourite books since I was 16 but re-reading it now (for the 3rd time!) and actually studying it has been a real eye-opener. I'm a real lover of classic literature anyway but this novel is so different to anything else I have ever read. I really recommend giving this a read if you haven't. It's one of those 'must read before you die' books (sorry, things got a bit morbid there!).
  • Smoothies
I have been really loving making smoothies for breakfast or snacks lately. You've probably seen this in my 'What I Eat in a Day' posts on the blog. I have loved experimenting with different fruit and veg combinations. Here are some of my favourites...

Banana and Mango,
Apple, Banana and Spinach,
Strawberry, Banana and Carrot,
Berries, Banana and Apple.

What are your favourite smoothie combos? I would love to know.
  • Baking
In January I started baking a lot more. I used to bake a lot a year or two ago but sort of lost my way a bit with it. But, I'm so happy to back at it. I really love to eat cake so this is a perfect past-time for me. So far I have made a cherry bakewell cake, a coffee cake, a marbled loaf cake, banana bread, mars bar rice krispie buns and a carrot cake. They have been some pretty yummy adventures in the kitchen, let me tell you!
  • Flowers of any description, mainly tulips.
I have really been craving colour lately, everything in Northern Ireland just seems a bit grey in January. I have loved having fresh, brightly coloured flowers about the house.  It's amazing how having bright flowers brightens your mood slightly! Tulips have been my favourites but I also love roses, carnations and of course, Daffodils (but I can't seem to find any at the moment, a bit early me thinks!).
  • Exercise videos on YouTube.
Exercise and me are just not friends, I've never been the kind of person who loved to work-out. I was never good at sports in school, I was always very clumsy and not co-ordinated, so sports were usually embarrassing and possibly dangerous for me to take part in. Over the years I have tried different things but nothing has stuck. I love going for walks in the beautiful countryside but we don't really get the weather for that all year round. But, in January I found 'The Fitness Marshall' on YouTube and have since been loving doing his dance workouts, I have actually stuck with it for about 5 weeks (a record for me!). And from there, a whole new world of different work-out possibilities opened up on YouTube. I love how I can fit in a work-out as long or as short as I like and the best thing is, no-one has to see me trip up or miss all the moves entirely. If you hate exercise but feel like you need a bit of activity this might be something to try, it's free and fun. If you have any exercise videos that you love, please do let me know?

So there you go, a few things that I have been loving in January. I would love to know what you have been loving in January too. January felt like the longest month EVER, so I'm very happy to be into February and hopefully spring is just around the corner with it's longer and warmer days. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful weekend,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

What I Eat in a Day 14

Happy Hump day everyone, I hope you are having a fabulous week! I'm back today with another what I eat I a day post, yay! I'm still really loving doing these posts, I love how I am able to look back over recipes that really worked and I enjoyed, for inspiration for future meal plans. I'm also finding that I am finding new and exciting things to have for breakfast rather than sticking to the same boring thing every morning. I mean I actually strayed away from porridge this week, what a surprise!!

BREAKFAST

 Healthy-ish vanilla and cinnamon French toast topped with banana and honey.

As I mentioned I was trying to think of something different to have for brekkie rather than porridge, when my husband suggested French toast. Now normally I reserve this recipe for Sundays as a treat. But why not treat yourself mid-week too. It's pretty healthy, easy and also pretty delicious.
Here's how you make it... (this makes enough for one person).

  • Mix one egg with a drop of milk, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4tsp vanilla extract.
  • Put your non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with a small knob of butter.
  • Soak your 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture, on both sides. I normally use brown bread for a bit of extra health but I used white bread this time and it worked really well too.
  • Fry both slices in the frying pan until nice and brown and crispy on both sides.
  • Pop on a plate, slice and top with whatever you please. In my case, sliced banana, honey and of course more cinnamon.
This is such an easy and tasty recipe and will impress anyone on a brunch date.

LUNCH

 Home-made Baked beans and a baked potato.

Not the prettiest picture but sometimes you just can't beat a lovely baked potato with baked beans, perfect comfort food. These home-made baked beans were delicious, I added a wee bit of chopped bacon to it, which made it even more yummy. I would love to have topped this with cheese, but alas we didn't have any.

AFTERNOON SNACK

 Caramel Waffles and a large coffee.

CARAMEL WAFFLES are the love of my life (sorry Sean!). They are very dangerous to have in the house as I could probably eat a whole packet. But two are just perfect with a cup of coffee as an afternoon sugar rush! I love to set them on top of my coffee until the caramel centre is all oozy and gooey! Am I making you want to buy some yet?

DINNER

Sweet Potato Falafel, avocado and vegetable couscous salad.

This meal was 'inspired' by a Tesco recipe card. When I say inspired, I mean I wanted to make it as the recipe card suggested but when it came to it I realised I had a load of ingredients missing, oops! So, I just sort of made do with what I had in the house. The falafels were pre-made from the freezer section of Tesco. I don't normally buy pre-made stuff but I thought I would give these a go. I had a wee look at the ingredients and they seem pretty good. I was a tad sceptical but boy were these delicious, they were so yummy in fact that they will now be a regular occurrence on my shopping list. I was so surprised they were that tasty and not to mention quite cheap. Whilst eating them I was coming up with all kinds of recipes to use them in. I would really recommend giving these a try, they are vegan too!

So there you go, everything I ate yesterday. A very tasty day if I do say so myself! I also really recommend giving that French toast recipe a go, it feels like such a treat but without anything unhealthy. What are your favourite treat breakfasts? I would love to know down in the comments. I hope you are having a lovely day and thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all and welcome back to another meal plan Monday! The weather is absolutely horrible today, the wind is blowing a gale, rain is pelting at the window and not to mention it is absolutely freezing. Definitely the kind of day where you just don't want to get out of bed! I hope the weather is better where you are and that you all had a lovely weekend. I spent my weekend visiting my family in Portstewart, eating good food, drinking wine and going for long walks with the pups on the beach. Sometimes I just need to escape the city to the icy blasts of Northern air at the beach, it blows away the cobwebs and sorts your head right out! What did you get up to this weekend? Today I'm sharing my meal plan for this week with you. There are a couple of meals left over from last week in there and a couple of old favourites! On with the food...


Tues: Falafel and Salad, Tesco Recipe Card.

Wed: Out!

Thurs: Pea and Ham Soup with Wheaten Bread, my recipe.

Fri: Smoky Veggie Chilli with Cheesey Jacket Spuds, Jamie Oliver Family Classics.

Sat: 'Hot or Not' Chicken Curry, Tesco Recipe Card.

Sun: Ratatouille Pie with Green Veg, Jamie Oliver Family Classics.

Mon: Jool's Tuna Pasta Bake, Jamie Oliver Family Classics.

This week I thought I would try some more of the new Tesco recipe cards as the ones last week were so delicious. I'm also going back to an old favourite, Jamie Oliver's Family Classics. I think it is possibly one of my favourite Jamie Oliver recipe books, I love how easy, healthy and delicious the recipes are. I also love that there is an abundance of exciting veggie options to try. Save with Jamie is another of my absolute favourite recipe books. You can tell because the pages are very worn and torn and are usually covered in some sort of foodie splatter, this is the sign of a well loved recipe book. Are you eating anything delicious this week? Also, I would really love to know what your favourite recipe books are? I'm always on the look out for recommendations. Thank you so much for reading, I will be back soon,

Rachael xx.