Friday, 28 April 2017

20 Facts about Me

Hi all and welcome back to The Tea Cozy Kitchen! I have slightly different post for you today! I have seen these types of posts floating about Instagram (i'm @rachheron1 if you want to give me a follow) and I thought it would be fun to give it a go! It's a little bit more personal than i'm used to, but, I thought it would be good to show the person behind the food, so here goes, 20 facts about me.



  1. My name is Rachael and I am 26 and live in Belfast in Northern Ireland.
  2. I went to an all girls high school and loved it.
  3. I got engaged when I was 21 and married when I was 23 to my lovely husband Sean.
  4. He was my first and only boyfriend. We met when we were 19 and that was that!
  5. My husband and I both have lots of red hair, we are typically Irish looking.
  6. I started doing a degree in Actuarial Studies but switched to an English Literature degree two years in. I studied at Queen's University Belfast.
  7. I am such a worry wart and if there is anything to worry about I will definitely find it, much to the annoyance of my husband.
  8. I used to work in Retail but recently just left my job as it was not what I wanted to do long term (loved the people though!) and I wanted to pursue food as a career.
  9. I love to bake (as you can probably tell!) and bake a lot for family and friends.
  10. I also love to cook but didn't really do any cooking until about 5 years ago. I credit Good Food magazine for teaching me to cook and helping me to love food.
  11. I'm a complete literature geek and love all the classics. I recently just did an evening course on the Bronte sisters and it was amazing.
  12. I read all the Jane Austen novels when I was 14 and this nurtured my love for literature.
  13. I'm a complete perfectionist and put a lot of pressure on myself for everything to be PERFECT! If I feel like it's not then I've failed even though others don't see the failure.
  14. My first love was my Golden Labrador Ben who my family got when I was 5, he was my best friend and had the kindest and most gentle soul. Unlike my puppy Ralph, he's a tad mental.
  15. I baked my first wedding cake a couple of weeks ago! Eeek!
  16. I have two younger sisters who I think are absolutely amazing!
  17. I love to sleep and can never sleep enough. Haha 8hours is a short nights sleep for me, I go to bed very early!
  18. I lived in Australia for 6 months when I was 2 as my parents were working there. I don't remember it at all but i'm told that I picked up a bit of an accent whilst I was there.
  19. I love to go for walks in the country and nothing makes me feel better, both physically and mentally than a nice long walk in the fresh air and beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland.
  20. I'm a coffee addict and need at least two cups a day. The first one needs to be within 10mins of waking up otherwise I get majorly GRUMPY!

And there you go, now you know everything about me, well, there might be a wee bit more. I would love to know a fact about you, so please feel free to share in the comments. Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day 22

Hello everyone and happy hump day! Today I have a what I eat in a day post for you guys! Yesterday was a pretty stressful day for me, I had lots of car madness and ended up stranded in Costa by myself for most of the morning, not fun! Basically what happened was that I took our car for it's service when it wasn't actually booked in until the next week but the kind folks they were, they said they would fit me in that day! I hope you all had a better day than I did and your week is going well.

BREAKFAST

Carrot, Banana and Mango Smoothie.

Another day, another yummy smoothie combination!

MORNING SNACK

Hot Chocolate and a Cherry Bakewell Tart at Costa Coffee.

No picture of this as it was scoffed in a few seconds, sorry, I just can't hold back when I get a yummy bun put in front of me.


LUNCH

 Mushroom, Broccoli and Mangetout Stir Fry.

Leftovers from the night before, this was such a tasty stir-fry. Stir frys are one of my favourite tasty, easy and healthy meals to make. You can just throw in whatever veg you have, this stir fry had a yummy Nasi Goreng paste in it too, which totally amped up the flavour.

DINNER

Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers.

I love stuffed peppers as they are such a summery dish. These peppers were stuffed with Halloumi, quinoa, spring onions and kidney beans and topped with chopped cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. This was such a yummy dish and pretty easy to prepare after my stressful day.

And there you go that's everything I ate yesterday! Did you eat anything tasty yesterday, I would love to know? Also, please give me some new breakfast recommendations, I seem to be stuck in a smoothie rut. Thanks for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday


Hello! Its been a wee while since I was last on here! I decided to take a little impromptu holiday over Easter, so sorry for the lapse in meal plans etc. but I was basically just eating a lot of chocolate and enjoying myself! I hope you all had a fabulous Easter and enjoyed indulging in all the chocolate eggs. I'm back now and raring to go with this weeks meal plan. So here goes...


MON: Bacon and Sausage Carbonara, Good Food April Issue.

TUES: Spinach Cannelloni, Good Food April Issue.

WED: Chicken Cacciatore, Good Food April Issue.

THURS: Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Barley Salad, Tesco Food Magazine.

FRI: Broccoli Pesto Penne, Tesco Food Magazine.

SAT: Mushroom and Mangetout Stir fry, Tesco Food Magazine.

SUN: Quinoa and Halloumi Stuffed Peppers, Tesco Food Magazine.

So that's everything that I will be cooking and eating this week. As you can tell i'm still working my way through the April editions of Good Food and Tesco Food Magazines. As I have said before these are both amazing recipe resources and they give such great recipe inspiration. I'm particularly looking forward to the carbonara and the stuffed peppers this week. I'm also really looking forward to getting back to the veg after all the chocolate of Easter. Are you making anything exciting this week, I would love to know. Have a fab week everyone, thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day- Weekend Edition

Hi all and happy hump day I hope you are all having a lovely week. I am currently in the midst of wedding cake madness so just a short post from me today! A slightly different take on my What I eat in a day posts, a weekend edition. At the weekend I usually tend to have a few more treats, so I thought it would be interesting to share what I eat on a more treaty day. On with the food...

BREAKFAST

  Two blueberry and white chocolate muffins and a big cup of coffee.

The puppy wakes up with the birds so this morning I tried to use that time to make some yummy freshly baked white chocolate and blueberry muffins. This is one of my favourite treat breakfasts and goes perfectly with a big mug of coffee. I also needed something quick to eat as we had to head out to walk the dog and to do some messages.

LUNCH

 Vegetable and Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Pittas.

This vegetable soup is another from the Tesco recipe cards and was so easy and quick to make, it took no less than 30mins. And of course I had to serve it with a grilled cheese pitta, this is compulsory with a bowl of soup for me.

AFTERNOON SNACK

Easter Malted Milk Blondie and another cup of coffee.

I baked up a batch of these Easter treats on the Friday afternoon for munching over the weekend and they were so yummy. The recipe came from the newest issue of BBC Good Food. I love all the Easter baking recipes that come out at this time of year, i'm dying to try creme egg brownies.The perfect little treat with an afternoon cup of coffee.

DINNER

Sausage Cassoulet with garlic cabbage and peas and a beer ( something local and crafty that my husband picked!).

My husband made the dinner on this particular night. He usually cooks on a Saturday night and I cook every other night. It's one of my favourite evenings because I get to sit and have a drink and await my dinner being served to me (I definitely could get used to that!). This was his take on Jamie Oliver's Spicy Sausage Cassoulet from  'Save with Jamie' and it was delicious. The cabbage and peas were my suggestion, I just fancied a bit of green on the plate! It was all washed down with a lovely local craft beer (my husband is quite the beer connoisseur!).

And there you have it, everything I ate last Saturday! Such a yummy day for me. Do you tend to treat yourself more at the weekend? I would love to know what your favourite treats are to have at the weekend? Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all and welcome back to another Meal Plan Monday post, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a rather relaxing weekend filled with lovely walks with the puppy in THE SUN!! (Yes you heard me correctly, we had SUN in NORTHERN IRELAND! and it was glorious!). What did you get up to this weekend? Anyway enough rambling, I have a very busy week planned this week and am glad i've got my meal plan to follow as I know I would definitely just go for take-away every night if I didn't! Here's everything I will be eating this week...


MON: Falafel Pittas, A Girl Called Jack.

TUES: Red Lentil Burgers, A Girl Called Jack.

WED: Ham, Pea and Mint Casserole, A Girl Called Jack.

THURS: Veggie Stir Fry, Save with Jamie.

FRI: Chicken Curry, Save with Jamie.

SAT: Spiced Sausage Cassoulet, Save with Jamie.

SUN: Mac 'n' cheese, Tesco Recipe Card.

And that's the menu for this week! I'm so looking forward to the mac 'n' cheese as it is one of my favourite dishes! Are you cooking anything exciting this week? I will be back on Wednesday with a slightly different version of my what I eat in a day post, so stay tuned for that! Happy Monday, thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Friday, 7 April 2017

March Foodie Favourites


Hi everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY!! Hope you've had a fabulous week and have that Friday feeling. I know I definitely do, i'm very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend, before the madness of Easter next week begins. I've already got my Friday bake in the oven, today i'm making Malted Milk blondies and I can't wait to taste them. Anyway, today's post is a monthly foodie favourites one, all things yummy which I have been loving throughout March. So here goes...


Nakd Posh Bits in the Cocoa Mandarin flavour

OMG these are sooo good! They are the perfect little sweet treat to have with a cup of tea in the evening! They are made from all natural ingredients, there's only fruit and nuts in them but boy do they taste good. Not quite a Terry's Chocolate Orange but they are close competition and are slightly healthier. They are also in really cute shapes, I love the little hearts.

Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

We all know I am a complete chocoholic and have practically tried every chocolate out there but this was a new one for me. It is so rich and sweet, you only need a wee bit to satisfy that chocolate longing.

Pukka Peppermint and Liquorice Tea

I think I have mentioned this on the blog before but this is one of my favourite evening teas. I find the peppermint settles my tummy before bed and the liquorice gives me that hit of sweetness with no sugar. I also find it makes me incredibly sleepy which is a bonus.

Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

Let it be known I love a G+T and I have been known to over indulge once or twice (never again!) and for me, Fever Tree is the best Tonic Water out there. So imagine my delight when I spotted this new flavour I had never tried before, naturally I had to buy a big box and a new gin to try it with. I think I actually like this more than the normal tonic water, I just love the light florally flavour it gives to your drink.

Littles Chocolate Caramel Instant Coffee 

It's 6.30am, you stumble into the kitchen in the dark, let the pup outside and reach for the comforting container of your favourite instant coffee and to your dismay you find it empty ( I mean who does that?!). Oh the horror (it's ok we had ground stuff so my husband was safe from the lack of coffee wrath!). This coffee was bought in a panic and boy did it deliver. It's so delicious and I actually like it more than my usual coffee. Such a lovely sweet chocolatey coffee flavour for the morning. Yum yum!

And there you go, some of my foodie favourites for this month. If you see any of these products around you should definitely give them a try. Have you got any recommendations for me? Anything foodie you have been loving recently? Please do share in the comments. I'm off to make a cuppa, that coffee is THAT yummy, thank you so much for reading my little blog, have an amazing weekend,

Rachael xx.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day 21

Good Morning everyone and happy hump day! I am having a pretty busy week this week and the puppy is certainly testing my patience haha! He just seems to love to chew up my recipe books, I would actually prefer it if he chewed my shoes! But, he has his first puppy class tonight so hopefully that will knock some sense into him, or at least he'll just get to burn extra energy playing with puppies. I'm back today with my What I Eat in a Day post and I was trying to be a little healthier yesterday as I am practicing making wedding cakes at the moment for an upcoming wedding which means that there is a lot of cake about (not that i'm complaining, i'm a cakeaholic!). I might do a wee post on this soon to show you the cakes that I made for the wedding, if you would like to see this!Anyway, here's everything I ate yesterday...

BREAKFAST

Blueberry, Banana and Pineapple Smoothie.

A new combination for me, I hadn't tried blueberries in my smoothies before as I am not the biggest fan but this was so delicious. I'm still pretty much having smoothies everyday and loving them. I usually add at least one vegetable but I had pineapple that needed using up. I will definitely be having blueberries in my smoothies more often as I have heard that they are very good for the old brain :).

LUNCH

 Bacon, Broccoli and Blue Cheese Pasta with 3 clementines.

I decided to treat myself to a bit of a fancy lunch as I was very hungry and needed a wee bit more of a feed. This pasta dish was so easy to make, the recipe is an adapted version of a BBC Good Food recipe. Here's how I made it...

Ingredients (Serves 1/2)

A few broccoli florets
a handful of frozen peas
2 rashers of bacon
a tablespoon of mascarpone
50g blue cheese
about 50-75g dried rigatoni pasta

Method

1. Put the pasta on to boil for 5mins in salted water.
2. Chop and fry the bacon until crispy.
3. Put the broccoli florets in with the pasta for another 5mins and add the peas for the last minute.
4. Drain the pasta and stir in half the bacon, half the blue cheese and the mascarpone and season to taste.
5. Serve topped with the remaining bacon and blue cheese.

This would work really well for dinner too and as you can see is so quick and easy to make. It is also full of flavour and you feel like you are having a rather fancy meal.

DINNER

Italian Chicken Tray bake.

This recipe came from the new issue of BBC Good Food and was so tasty and simple to make. I love tray bake meals as they are so easy, everything cooks in the one tray and there aren't many dishes, that's a definite win in our house, I hate doing dishes. The tray bake comprises crispy skinned chicken thighs, plum tomatoes, bacon, baby potatoes herbs, garlic and olive oil, what could be better?

I also had a wee cup of peppermint tea and a few squares of dark chocolate with sea salt in the evening. Ha ha I just wouldn't be me if I went a whole day without chocolate.

Ta da! That's everything I ate yesterday, it was such a tasty day! Let me know if you try any of these recipes I would love to know how they worked for you! Wish us luck with the puppy class, haha hopefully Ralph will learn how to behave :). Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday

HELLO! Welcome back to the Tea Cozy Kitchen! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I spent my weekend taking the puppy out for some of his first exciting walks and of course I baked a wee bit too. This weekend I baked a lemon yoghurt cake and a batch of double chocolate mocha muffins for Sunday's breakfast, yum yum! What did you get up to this weekend? Today, is meal plan Monday so I will be sharing with you everything that I will be cooking and eating this week, so here we go...

MON: Squash and Spinach Pasta Rotolo, Save with Jamie.

TUES: Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Carbonara, Good Food April.

WED: Springtime Minestrone, Good Food April.

THURS: Italian Chicken Traybake, Good Food April.

FRI: Chorizo and Barley Stew, Good Food April.

SAT: Spicy Pie with Sweet Potato Mash, Good Food April.

SUN:  Veggie Chilli, Good Food April.

As you can see I got my Good Food Magazine subscription through the post, it's always like Christmas when this arrives. This weeks meals mainly come from the April issue which looks like it has some super tasty recipes, I can't wait to try them. There is also some super tasty Easter baking ideas in there which I really want to make! This week though I am particularly excited about the pasta rotolo, which is for dinner tonight, it's a recipe I have done many times before and is one of my favourites. I am also excited about making the spicy pie ( I love pie in any shape or form!).

And there you go, that's everything I will be cooking this week. Do you have any exciting meal plans for this week? I would love to know in the comments below! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Spring Mini-Egg Popcorn Bars

Hi everyone and welcome to a pretty exciting recipe post! As you probably know by now I am obsessed with Spring and with Easter right around the corner, I get free reign to do all my super sweet, brightly coloured sweet recipes! So today, being a bit of a popcorn connoisseur, I have been inspired by SkinnyPop popcorn to make these super-easy and yummy mini egg popcorn bars! Go on give them a try, you won't be disappointed!



Ingredients

25g Popcorn ( I used SkinnyPop naturally sweet flavour)
50g white chocolate, chopped
100g mini-eggs
any brightly coloured sprinkles
50g mini marshmallows
20g butter


Method

1. Melt butter, 25g white chocolate, and mini marshmallows in a pan over a low heat.
2. When melted and smooth turn off the heat and stir in the popcorn and sprinkles until evenly distributed.
3. Press into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper until flat and then press in the mini eggs into the top. Leave to cool for 5mins.
4. Melt another 25g of white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the tray.
5. Cut into bars and scoff!



And there you go, that's how you make them, I told you they were very simple to throw together! Feel free to add whatever you would like into the mix, I think Smarties or Lucky Charms would work really well too but I love this combination! They would be perfect for an Easter Afternoon tea or a yummy treat to get your kids to make over the Easter holiday! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

What I Eat in a Day 20

Hello everyone and welcome pack to What I Eat in a Day! Hope you are all having a fabulous and productive week. This week i'm still trying to adapt to having a rebellious puppy in the house, it can be quite difficult to get stuff done as he is always getting in my way, so I am feeling a little de-motivated and unproductive at the moment! Any tips for this would be greatly appreciated??? But I have made a plan and hopefully things will pick up. What are you up to this week? Any exciting plans?  Anyway, the rant is now OVER, so on with yesterday's food...

BREAKFAST

Green Smoothie- Banana, Apple and Spinach.

Just the usual smoothie breakfast, I think I might actually be addicted to smoothies haha! I just love how many fruit and veg I can get in there :).

LUNCH

 Broccoli and Pea Dip on Home-made Wheaten bread, sprinkled with feta and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

We didn't have any leftovers for lunch today so I had to come up with something different and let me tell you this was pretty tasty! Here's how I made the dip/spread:

Broccoli and Pea Dip/Spread Serves 1

1/2 Broccoli head ( I used frozen broccoli florets which worked really well)
handful of frozen peas
a clove of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
fresh mint
salt and pepper

1. Put broccoli in a small pan with a splash of boiled water, the crushed garlic clove, cover and steam until soft.
2. Add in frozen peas for last minute.
3. Drain the veg of all the water.
4. Add seasoning, a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of fresh mint.
5. Blend with a stick blender (or potato masher) until kind of smooth but still a bit textured.
6. Use as a dip for crudité or spread on some nice toasted bread, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with feta just like I did.

This was such a tasty lunch and so simple to make. I sort of think of it like an alternative to avocado toast. Bold claim I know because it definitely isn't as hipster but it is equally delicious. You could also drizzle a little pesto over the top which is SOOOO yummy.


DINNER

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata with Green Veg.

This frittata recipe comes from 'Save with Jamie' by Jamie Oliver. It is one of my favourite recipes in the book as it is just so easy and very very delicious. There's quite a bit of cheese in the frittata which is always a winner with me as I am a complete cheese addict. I served it with some more green veg, as I really don't think I had enough green in my diet yesterday haha!

EVENING SNACK

Hot chocolate with marshmallows and some cookies.

I was feeling a little emotional and down last night and in need of some comfort food. So hot chocolate it was. I'm sorry there is no picture of this, it was demolished pretty quickly. Just imagine a HUGE hot chocolate, loaded with mini marshmallows and a big stack of cookies and you've got it!

And that's everything I ate yesterday, a pretty good food day for me :). I will be back on Friday with a pretty exciting recipe so stay tuned for that! Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hello my lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! The sun was shining here in Northern Ireland, which is always a rarity, so we spent a lot of time outside enjoying some Vitamin D! I also spent a large part of the weekend baking! I baked a red velvet cake, mini-egg cookies, cherry bakewell slices, biscoff cupcakes and oreo brownies! Haha! We had plenty of treats to munch on over the weekend. But, it's back to porridge today and my regular healthy meal plan. Did you get up to anything fun over the weekend or bake anything nice?  Here's everything that I will be cooking and eating this week...


MON: Sausage and Beer Casserole.

TUES: Falafel and Pittas.
WED: Spring Piggy and Mash.

THURS: Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata.

FRI: Chicken and Chorizo Paella.

SAT: Squash and Chickpea Stew.

SUN: Squash and Spinach Rotolo.

The recipes this week again are mainly coming from 'A Girl Called Jack' by Jack Monroe and 'Save with Jamie' by Jamie Oliver. These are my two favourite budget recipe books, the recipes are so cheap but so tasty as well. Are you eating anything exciting this week? I would love to know in the comments :) Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.






Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What I Eat in a Day 19

Hi all and welcome back to The Tea Cozy Kitchen, I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Just a quick post today (while the puppy sleeps, he tortures me when he's awake!) to show you all what I eat in a day. Yesterday was a bit of a comfort food day as the snow made a re-appearance in lovely Northern Ireland and it was pretty freezing! I definitely needed that big pile of mash for dinner! What's the weather like with you? Has spring made it's presence felt yet? Anyway, on with the food, here is everything I ate yesterday...

BREAKFAST

Carrot, Mango and Banana Smoothie.

Even though it was a freezing morning, I still had to have my smoothie. I just really love starting the day on fruit and veg. This smoothie was just a frozen banana, some frozen chopped mango and a chopped carrot. It was so yummy and fresh and you really couldn't taste the carrot.

LUNCH

 Grilled cheesy wheaten bread, clementines and apple slices with peanut butter.

No leftovers for lunch means I actually have to think about what to make. Today, I wasn't really feeling cooking up a storm for lunch so I just settled for some of my home-made wheaten bread topped with grilled cheese and some more fruit.

AFTERNOON SNACK

 Coffee and a few giant chocolate buttons.

We had no baked goods in the house for my snack (sad times!). Can you tell i'm a little disorganised with this puppy running around? So I managed to scavenge a few chocolate buttons, fought off the pup who decided to steal the packet (don't worry he didn't get any!), just to get my afternoon sugar hit.

DINNER

Mushroom Chasseur with Mustard Mash.

MASH, MASH, MASH oh how I love you. I know it's such an Irish thing but I think mash is my most favourite food EVER! It's just so comforting and warming and perfect with this yummy mushroom chasseur (casserole thing!). The casserole was very simple to make, just chopped mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, masala wine and vegetable stock! The recipe for the casserole comes from 'A Girl Called Jack' by Jack Monroe.

Did you have anything tasty to eat yesterday, I would love to know. I would also love to know what your favourite comfort food is? I will be back on Friday with another post but until then I better go try and tire this puppy out so I can get stuff done :). Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Meal Plan Monday (+Puppy Spam!)

Hi all! Hope you are all doing really well! Firstly, I just wanted to apologise for my impromptu holiday from the blog last week. As you may be aware we got a puppy last week and I just wanted to take a wee break to spend some time getting used to doing my days with the puppy! I have some pictures for you of the wee lad! His name is Ralph and he is an 8 week old Springer Labrador Cross puppy! He has such a huge personality and is a bit of nutter, but he is settling in pretty well and already has stolen Sean and I's hearts! Here's a few pictures of the way guy...


Also i'm still looking for tips and advice on looking after a puppy so if you have any advice or tips please do leave them in the comments below.


Anyway puppy spam aside, today's post is my meal plan for the week. I am very much looking forward to this weeks meals, there's quite a few comfort meals in there, which is no bad thing considering we are supposed to get snow this week (yuck! it's meant to be spring!). On with the food...


MON: Chocolate, Chilli and Black Bean Soup, A Girl Called Jack.

TUES: Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Burgers, A Girl Called Jack.

WED: Mixed Bean Goulash, A Girl Called Jack.

THURS: Warm Spicy Dahl, A Girl Called Jack.
FRI: Mushroom Chasseur and Mash, A Girl Called Jack.

SAT: Sicilian Sardine Pasta, A Girl Called Jack.

SUN: Honey and Mustard Gammon, Mash and Cabbage, A Girl Called Jack.

As you can see I've gone back to an old favourite recipe book this week, A Girl Called Jack. I just love how simple the recipes are and also how budget -friendly they are too. They definitely scrimp on price but absolutely not on flavour. You should check out her recipe books if you fancy saving a few pennies on your weekly food shop! I am particularly looking forward to the Gammon and the chilli soup, yum yum!

And there you have it, everything I will be eating and making this week. Are you making anything exciting this week for dinner, I would love to know? I will be back on Wednesday with my what I eat in a day post. Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Friday, 10 March 2017

February Favourites

Hiya all and Happy Friday! Yay, we made it to the weekend! I am particularly excited about this weekend as, you may or may not know, we are picking up our new puppy on Saturday! Eeep! We just can't contain our excitement. So, the weekend should be filled with puppy cuddles and maybe a wee bit of training too! I also have a load of baking to do for an event on Sunday night, so that should be fun with a new puppy! I can't wait to show you him, expect lots of puppy spam in Monday's post! Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?

Today's post is my February Favourites and i'm a little late with this post, I just had so many other posts I wanted to share with you first! This a brief summary of a few of the things I have been loving in February both foodie, fashion and of course Netflix! Here we go....



-Twining's Cherry and Cinnamon Tea

I mentioned how much I loved this tea in this post. It tastes so sweet and yummy, just like a cherry bakewell. I found that I kept turning to this tea time and time again for my evening cuppa! You should definitely give this tea a try if you're not into traditional teas and need something to curb your sweet tooth upon an evening!

-Tesco Recipe Cards

These have been amazing for my meal planning throughout the month! I love trying new recipe resources, especially free ones, and these cards are just amazing. I've tried a few of them and they are so tasty. If you have a look through some of my 'what I eat in a day' posts you can see my review of the individual recipes.

-Netflix's 'The OA'

My husband and I started watching this after we finished 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' (also SO SO AMAZING!) on Netflix. It is such a different style of program for us to watch, quite similar to 'Stranger Things' but also very different. You couldn't put this show into a particular genre, it's got a bit of everything in it. I loved it a lot but it was pretty mind-boggling in places. Give this show a watch if you liked 'Stranger Things' and if you like to have your brain a bit melted upon an evening.

-Daffodils

Need I say more? Daffodils just embody spring to me and have been making myself and my house feel particularly cheery on a dark and dreary February day.

- Sainsbury's Tu Spring clothing collection

Tu's spring clothing collection is on point, it is so good! I've never been one to buy clothes in a Supermarket before except in emergencies but I think in future I will always check them out first. Firstly, the prices are amazing and they often do promotion weekends, when I went I got 25% of everything I bought (quite a lot ha, so the discount adds up!). And secondly you can get everything in the one place and get your groceries at the same time, win win! I bought this gorgeous embroidered grey jumper and blush pink long woollen cardigan for about £20, both of which are HUGE trends for Spring! I also picked up a navy pleated midi-skirt, a Breton tee and a few bits for the husband.

And there you have it a couple of my favourites for the month of February. Is there anything that you have been loving lately or you think I should try? Let me know in the comments! I'm away now to get my bake on, have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

What I Eat in a Day 18

Happy Wednesday everybody. It's only three days until we pick up our new puppy, i'm so excited!! I hope you are having a lovely week and are looking forward to an exciting and fun-filled weekend. Today I've got my 'what I eat in a day' post. I'm really enjoying moving away from the comfort food and into more springy and more colourful dishes for the new season! What are your favourite dishes to make you feel more spring-like? Mine is definitely smoothies, they just remind me of summer! Anyway, I digress, as usual, on with yesterday's food...

BREAKFAST

Strawberry, Banana and Carrot Smoothie.

Back on the smoothies again! This is my favourite combination at the moment, you really can't taste the carrot! The strawberries and banana are so sweet that they hide the carrot flavour. To make my smoothies I just fill my Nutri-ninja cup with a chopped banana, frozen strawberries and a peeled and chopped carrot. I then just fill to the mark with cold water and blend until smooth. They are definitely one of my favourite breakfasts as you get loads of vitamins and nutrients in first thing in the morning, winner! What are your favourite smoothie combinations?

LUNCH

Veggie Couscous salad and clementines.

This is a bit of mix and match lunch. Food was low in the house so I had to be a bit inventive with ingredients and raid the fridge. So my couscous salad has sweetcorn, peas, raisins, flaked almonds, feta and a touch of cinnamon and olive oil. As a bit of a random mix it was pretty tasty and hit the spot.

AFTERNOON SNACK

 Slice of Banana Bread with Nutella and a cup of coffee.

So it was that time of the day where I needed my daily treat. I have been craving banana bread for a while and decided to rustle up a loaf using some frozen bananas I found in the freezer. My favourite recipe is definitely this one. Nigella definitely knows how to make a good banana bread. This recipe is also delicious with a rather thick layer of Nutella spread on top, it's also a great addition to the banana bread mix (you're welcome!). This was the perfect afternoon treat, I may have had a few slices!

DINNER

Burrito Bowl.

This was such a yummy dinner although the picture does not do it justice. The Burrito bowl contains some boiled white rice, chopped tomatoes, red onion, avocado, coriander, lime, wilted spinach and some chipotle black beans. I love Mexican food, I think it might be my favourite after Italian! This was such a delicious meal and a great way of getting fruit and veggies in. It also goes great with a nice glass of beer. It was very easy to prepare but did involve a few pans on the go at once, one to wilt the spinach, one for the black beans and one for the rice, but doesn't really involve much skill otherwise and is ready pretty quickly!

That's everything I ate yesterday, a pretty tasty day I think you'll agree! Did you eat anything delicious yesterday? I would love to know! Also thanks so much to the people who left puppy tips on my last post, please keep them coming! Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hello all! I hope you had an amazing weekend filled with fun and good food. I had a fabulous weekend as my husband and I finally found a puppy!!We have been looking or a few months and just haven't found the right one but on Sunday we did!  We are picking him up next weekend which is so exciting but means this week involves quite a bit of puppy shopping! So there will be a lot of puppy spam to follow, sorry in advance! Any tips on new puppies would be most appreciated if you have been through this? Anyway, back to business, today is meal plan Monday which means I will be sharing what i'm going to be cooking and eating this week! Here's the menu...


MON: Stuffed Red Peppers, Good Food Magazine March 2017.

TUES: Sausage, Kale and Chilli Pasta, Good Food Magazine March 2017.

WED: Burrito Bowl, Good Food Magazine March 2017.

THURS: Spanish Chicken Stew, Good Food Magazine March 2017.

FRI: Green Burgers and Sweet Potato Chips, Good Food Magazine March 2017.

SAT: Red Pepper Gnocchi, Good Food Magazine.

SUN:  Tandoori Trout, Good Food Magazine.

As you can see all the recipes come from the new issue of Good Food Magazine so pick that up if you fancy making any of these dishes. I am particularly excited about the Burrito Bowls and the Spanish chicken stew, it looks like it is shaping up to be a pretty tasty week! Are you making anything new, exciting or tasty this week, I would love to know! Thank you so much for reading, I've got to get on with puppy proofing our house now, wish me luck,

Rachael xx.



Friday, 3 March 2017

How to Style your Dining Table for Spring


Hi all and welcome back to The Tea Cozy Kitchen. I hope you are all having a wonderful week. March is upon us and that means spring is right around the corner, hopefully! The sun has even made an appearance where I live, it's still freezing but at least it's showing it's face reminding us that it will be back soon. In light of this, I was inspired by Arhaus to share my spring tablescape ideas. So, today I will be showing you a couple of ways to style your dining table for spring. The dining table is the heart of the home in my opinion, well, it is in my house anyway. Decisions are made there, serious discussions had, laughs aplenty and of course delicious grub consumed, so it makes sense that we would want to dress this area a little for spring, bringing the colour into the home before it officially makes its debut outside. And with Easter on it's way there will surely be lots of family feasts and lunches to let your new tablescaping skills run wild.

Cue a lot of yellow daffodils (i'm obsessed with daffodils at the moment)...



I set my table up for a spring afternoon tea as this would be a great idea for Mother's Day or even Easter Sunday. Can you tell that I really love dressing my table and hosting foodie gatherings?



I love old teapots filled with fresh flowers, set on cake stands. You can have just one like in the picture or three on different heights of cake stands as an amazing centrepiece! I love this vintage china teapot that I found in a Charity shop. It even featured on tables at my wedding.


I really feel that tin cans are totally underrated. There are so many ways you can recycle them and they are completely FREE! I love them styled with ribbons and flowers and placed on stacks of vintage books!


Pretty glass jars can be recycled as well into cute little vases!


Spring is the perfect time to get out all your floral china to lend a little pop of colour to your table. Teacups and milk jugs can also act as mini vases when filled with fresh blooms.


Brightly coloured tablecloths are also a good way of brightening up a dark wood table for spring. Here I used a vintage floral tablecloth with a natural table runner from IKEA over the top. You only get a little of the floral pattern on either side of the table runner so it's not too much or too clashy!


I also like the idea of recycling old milk bottles with flowers and ribbons to dress the table. I'm all about recycling!

Another way of updating your dining area if you've got a wee bit of money to do so (unlike me!) you could invest in a new dining table or a new tableware set.  Arhaus have an amazing selection of dining tables and some beautiful tableware collections. I think when it comes to dining tables something big (if you have space for it) and light in colour is nice for spring, so you can entertain your whole family at once and have a lovely light coloured table with pops of bright florals. Here are some of my favourite dining tables...

Zinc Alloy 84" Rectangle Table With Weldon Base

Pietro 94" Dining Table in Bleached Oak
I would absolutely love this one, would be absolutely perfect with my house!

Copper Verdigris 60" Rectangle Table With Weldon Base

Here are some of my favourite tableware sets...

Avignon White Dinnerware (Set of 16)

Avignon Octagon Aqua Bread Plates (Set of 4)



Oh be still my beating heart, these two colours would work perfectly together on my dream table above for a wonderful spring table scene.

If you would like any more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page, The Tea Cozy Kitchen, I have a whole board dedicated to my spring tablescape inspiration. I hope you enjoyed this post, it was something a little different for me. I would love to know any of your tips for decorating your spring tables, please do share them in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.