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.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What I Eat in a Day 17

Hi all and hello March! I think March is one of my favourite months. It heralds the start of spring, warmer and longer days and the flowers start making an appearance. March also means that Easter is coming soon which is every chocolate lovers favourite holiday! I'm back today with another what I eat in a day post and yesterday was quite a special day as it was Shrove Tuesday/ PANCAKE DAY!! Of course that meant PANCAKES for breakfast and a little more chocolate than usual, YES!! Here's what I ate yesterday...

BREAKFAST

 Pancakes with a Nutella drizzle topped with flaked almonds.

I swear by the Jamie Oliver fluffy American pancake recipe. I find it so easy, it makes the perfect amount of pancakes and it literally NEVER fails. You can find the recipe here. If you are a frequent pancake maker or you just find them really difficult then definitely try this recipe, you will keep going back to it time and time again (like me every Sunday!). No pancake breakfast is complete without Nutella in my book so I had a rather generous drizzle and topped the pancake stack off with some crunchy flaked almonds. A rather yummy and decadent breakfast for a Tuesday morning, if I do say so myself.

LUNCH

 Roasted Carrot and Squash Pearl Barley Salad and four clementines.

Lunch was leftovers from dinner the night before, what a surprise! This is a such a lovely light and nutritious lunch. The salad has roasted carrot, squash, onion and garlic mixed through some pearl barley with peas and blue cheese crumbled over the top (so yummy!). The recipe is from an old edition of Good Food and can be found on their website here. I adjusted the recipe slightly by adding in some leftover roast squash and some peas (I add peas to everything!). Give this a go if you are looking for a salad that's a bit more filling and a little bit fancy!

AFTERNOON SNACK

 Two Home-made double chocolate almond biscotti and a coffee.

I have to say I could have been Italian very easily. I love the combination of a good biscotti and a cup of coffee and don't get me started on biscotti and dessert wine (SO YUMMY!). At the weekend I rustled up a batch of this double chocolate and almond biscotti to have for dunking into cups of coffee. Let me tell you it did not disappoint. What can be better than having a really crunchy chocolate biccy to dunk in your cuppa. I used a recipe from BBC Good Food again for these but I adjusted the recipe again quite a bit. You can find the original recipe here. I adjusted it by adding in a dash of vanilla extract, 25g cocoa powder, almonds instead of hazelnuts and white chocolate chunks. I then drizzled my biscotti pieces with dark chocolate and flaked almonds. The perfect afternoon pick me up!

DINNER

Red Pepper and Spinach Hash topped with feta and fried eggs.

After a day of a little more indulgence than usual I was looking forward to a nutritious dinner. This dish was so easy to prepare and has some of my favourite ingredients, red pepper, potatoes, spinach, garlic, lemon and cannellini beans. The recipe is from the March edition of Tesco's food magazine, which is free in your local Tesco store. I love the combination of flavours and the fact it's topped off with a fried egg. What could be better on a cold and wet February evening.

And there you have it, everything I ate yesterday! I hope you are having a wonderful week and hump day blues haven't got you down. I will be back on Friday with a post all about how to update your dining table for spring, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.