Food Challenge Week 1: One Pan Pesto Chicken

For the first week of my food challenge (and if you don’t know what that is, please refer to a previous post for the sitch), I knew I wanted to choose something fairly healthy, fairly simple and something I knew I had the skill to cook.

Enter Pinterest for inspiration. It being the New Year, after having indulged in a lot of heavy and rich foods (my skin is screaming for respite) I picked something of the roasted chicken and vegetables variety.

vine tomatoes, new potatoes and green beans

Being dairy-free (not by choice, I’ll add) means I can veto a huge bunch of recipes, but there’s also a huge bunch I can adapt. The recipe I actually found was promoting the Sacla Free From Pesto. I already knew this existed, but I think seeing the post promoting this ingredient probably spurred me on to choose it over any others.

jar of sacla pesto

I’ll post a link to the particular recipe I used, but it’s dead simple.

Roasting new potatoes in a little oil, then adding the chicken, then smothering it all in pesto before introducing the green beans and vine tomatoes towards the end and basting with the chicken/pesto juices. Then serve. It’s as simple as that!

roasted pesto chicken and vegetables

I won’t lie, I avoided basting the tomatoes in the pesto mainly because I ran out of room in my pan and for the sake of nice photos (!) I didn’t want them to break off the vine during vigorous jigging of veg. So these probably didn’t cook down as much as they’re supposed to. But they did start to burst a little and were pleasant enough. I’m not a massive fan of a cooked tomato, but that’s what this challenge is about – broadening my food horizons….

roasted pesto chicken and vegetabl

So, as you can see, the potatoes cooked down beautifully, and were nice and buttery-soft on the inside but lovely and browned and nutty on the outside. (Just writing this is making me hungry…) The green beans were roasted but still moist (yes, I said moist) and had a little crunch to them when you bit in. The chicken was… I’ll say, okay – I didn’t like the chicken we’d bought from Tesco if I’m honest. I’d much rather pick mine up from Costco, but I didn’t have any of theirs in the house. But the pesto on top was a nice addition. And the tomatoes I’ve mentioned. They were warm roasted tomatoes – not much else you can say about them!

plate of pesto chicken and vegetables

As an overall dish, the flavours and textures were nice together. It wasn’t too greasy, despite pesto being traditionally oily. I feel like the Free-From iteration was less oily – on opening the jar I didn’t need to stir in any oil on the top into the pesto, which you do with standard pesto. I do feel like this pesto was a lot less salty, and the whole dish was fairly under seasoned, despite me adding what I would consider to be enough salt and pepper. If I was to make this again, I’d add some more salt.

All in all I’d give this recipe a 6/10 – it was fine, but I don’t like fine for dinner – I like yummy!

If you’d like to see the original recipe I used, you can find it at The Taming Twins here.

Let me know if you’ve tried or if you will be trying this recipe, and how you got on with it. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

So, on to week 2! I already know what the next recipe for my challenge is going to be, so stay tuned for next week’s post!

2018: A Year of Self-Improvement

Every new year we sit and think about resolutions. We look back over the year past, and wonder what will face us in the coming 12 months.

I’ve never been one for setting new year’s resolutions mainly because I either forget I’ve set them or I fail early on and get annoyed at myself.

So this year, I’ve decided to set myself two challenges, partly because I hope if I fail at one I’ll still achieve the other, and of these particular challenges one I know I am already partially skilled at and the other is something I’ve wanted to do for many many years.

The first challenge came to me during a period of new film watching. As a huge Nora Ephron fan it seemed bizarre that I’d never seen Julie and Julia. The film is based on a true story about a woman who lives in NY and decides to make her somewhat dull and frustrated life a little more exciting by cooking each and every recipe in her classic Julia Child cookery book – all 524 recipes. And every time she makes one, she blogs it. I had no idea this was a story about blogging either, so I was very pleased to see a mix of my love of Nora Ephron, food and blogging all in one film. (I very much enjoyed the film by the way!)

Anyhow, it made me want to start some kind of food challenge. So I decided that I would set myself the task of cooking at least one new recipe for every week in 2018. I know this could be a massive task, since I sometimes run out of time in a week, and if I’m on holiday or sick this will also be impossible. So I’m allowing myself the occasional skip-week. And I’m also including recipes like sauces or new variations of old favourites.

recipe books

And then the idea is that I will blog the recipes, and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have at least 52 new things under my belt, will have hopefully increased my skill set in cooking, and with luck will have tried new foods and found new favourites!

I have so many cookery books and Pinterest at my fingertips so hopefully the hardest part will be choosing what to make next!

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My second challenge is a skill I’ve wanted to learn for some years, and I think I even mentioned it in my New Year roundup last new year! I’ve taken the first steps in beginning to learn calligraphy. A dear friend went for it last year, when I was toying with the idea, and seeing her coming on leaps and bounds has really inspired me. She has warned me it’s not as easy as it looks and to preserver, and I intend to! I’m hoping by Christmas 2018 I’ll be writing beautiful envelopes on my Christmas cards! Here’s hoping!

Anyway, I’ve bought some pens and a new notepad (you need special paper don’t you know) and I intend on sharing pictures of my journey on instagram, and here, as I go (if I’m any good!) Fingers crossed!

So those are my two challenges for the year. I have one more up my sleeve, but that’s more of a thinker so maybe I’ll share that down the line.

I’d love to hear if you’ve set yourself any challenges or new year’s resolutions for this year? What do you want to achieve by January 2019?

Share A Meal with World Vision UK

I love food, and I love sharing food. Coming into the Christmas period (let’s face it, it’s really soon) we start to think about family, getting together and sharing food and drinks. But it’s easy to forget those in other countries facing diversity.

To promote awareness, World Vision UK have launched the #shareameal appeal to raise money for the refugee children in Bidi Bidi, Uganda, along with Great British Bake Off’s star baker Selasi.

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Selasi recently visited Uganda to see how we could make a difference.

“It’s heartbreaking to see pain and hunger etched onto the faces of orphaned children and hear their harrowing stories of rape and violence. It is vital that, as a community, we come together to do what we can to help provide these kids with a better future.”

Thousands of children flood into Uganda’s refugee settlements, escaping civil war in South Sudan. Many of these having seen their parents murdered and having to walk for weeks without food or shelter. This is a dangerous and frightening trek, having to hide from fighting to avoid being killed. They are along, traumatised and hungry.

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And this of course is something we just can’t relate to. But we can help, and World Vision UK have come up with a way we can help bring aid to these children, in a way we can relate to.

World Vision UK help feed these children and find them foster families, to give them a new start. However, global funding just isn’t enough and so to raise money, they’d like you to take part in #shareameal.

World Vision UK invite you to be inspired by Selasi and host a dinner party. It can be as small or large as you wish, just as long as you’re sharing a meal. Following the meal, you and your guests donate the value of the meal to World Vision UK and that money goes to the children.

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They’ve even made it really easy for you, but putting together a pack that includes everything you need – invitations, an exclusive recipe from Selasi and thank you cards for your guests too!

Visit http://www.worldvision.org.uk/get-involved/share-meal/ to download your pack!

Now, if this wasn’t fun enough, they’re also giving you the chance to win a meal for two, cooked by Selasi himself! To enter, simply post a picture of your Share A Meal event on Instagram using the hashtag #shareameal and tagging @WorldVisionUK! For more information visit www.worldvision.org.uk/shareameal

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So all that’s left to do is start planning your meal and who you want to invite.

With so many holidays coming up, you could host an American-style Thanksgiving, a Christmas themed meal, something for New Years or simply use some of the fantastic Autumnal ingredients that are starting to appear in supermarkets.

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It’s an excuse to show off your repertoire AND help the refugee Children in Uganda.

I’m already planning mine, so keep an eye out for my post about that in the next couple of months!

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Event photos provided by World Vision UK. All other photos are my own.

My Search for Authentic Flavours: Cherry Tomato Linguine

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes food to taste authentic. I love picking up recipes for food from books, magazine and most usually now Pinterest and tweaking them until they’re perfect. In fact one of Gary’s favourite meals, sausage casserole, is one I’ve been perfecting over the last decade.

On our recent trip to Rome, the very first meal I ate was a tomato and basil spaghetti. Nice and simple with fresh ingredients and pasta cooked al dente and just right. It was delicious, but the thing that struck me the most was how much it tasted like something I already cook.

I picked the recipe for cherry tomato linguine up off Pinterest, and the main reason I wanted to try it was that it’s a one pan recipe so I knew it would be pretty simple to make. I’ve made it a handful of times, and always enjoyed eating it, but was left with an acrid after taste every time – which I had put down to the use of garlic in the recipe.

So whilst eating this gorgeous plate of spaghetti in the little authentic recipe down a Roman side street, I thought hard about the flavours and decided I was going to make my linguine slightly differently next time.

So about a week after returning I picked up my ingredients and away I went. I have to say, this time I nailed it. I cut out the garlic and instead used garlic oil – oil infused with enough garlic to add the right depth of spice and flavour, but without that nasty after taste. I posted a photo of my creation and had a request to blog the recipe, so here goes; my one pan cherry tomato linguine, tweaked to perfection!

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Cherry Tomato One Pot Pasta (very generously serves 2)

2 tbsp garlic oil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (from oil) snipped smallish with scissors
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (left whole)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
200g dry linguine – or however much you want for 2 servings! (snapped in half to make everything easier)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/4 cup of cold water
85g tomato puree
handful of fresh basil (sliced thinly)
Add olive oil to large high sided pan with a lid (I use a cast iron Le Creuset casserole dish), heat the oil, add the sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Coat well with oil, over a medium heat and then partially cover the pan and allow to cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The tomatoes will spit a little as they burst because they’re full of water, so be careful! Add the paprika, pepper and salt, and cook for 2 mins more, stirring well.
Add the broth, water and pasta and increase the heat to high. Then add the tomato puree and mix well. Once the liquid has come to a rapid boil, stir well and then allow the liquid to reduce for about 14 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, give a stir and then add the basil. Stir one last time and then cover the pan and let it sit, off the heat, for about 5 minutes.
Serve with bread to mop up with!

If you decide to make this, I’d love to know what you think – send me your photos and comments, and tell me if you changed the recipe at all.

Happy eating!

This Week I Have Been Mostly

this week i have been mostly

Firstly I’d like to say well done to everyone for surviving Lost day….. Yeah it passed me by too, but it’s pretty cool.

On 4th August 2015 at 16:23 and 42 seconds the date and time aligned to make up The Numbers from the tv series Lost. People wondered what would happen. And obviously, much like the whole tv series, nothing happened…. So there you go. But, you know, pat on the back for surviving.

The last few weeks have been pretty uneventful – or should I say blissfully uneventful. We were feeling rather burnt out from the busy start to our summer, and have very much enjoyed the lie-ins and chilled out evenings. Catching up on movies and being generally lazy.

Still recovering from my injury and getting my first tattoo (pictures once it’s healed, but hop over to instagram if you can’t wait) has meant that swimming training has halted for the time being. Which is both good and bad. It’s 26 days until my Ibiza trip and I’d hoped to be feeling a little fitter and looking a little more toned by then, but hey. What you see now is what you get!

We’ve had, until this weekend, terrible weather. One of the past weekends was positively autumnal and saw us hunkered down under a blanket, drinking tea and watching movies.

I’ve tried a few new recipes, one from a new dairy free cook book. It’s the kind of ‘dairy free’ book which calls for a lot of dairy free cheese, dairy free milk and dairy free cream. I consider this as cheating in allergy recipes because I could look at any recipe and make those substitutions myself – I do have a brain. But one recipe caught my eye. Boston Baked Beans with Chipolatas and Dumplings. Unfortunately I failed to take a photo before I served it up, but it was so delicious there’s no doubt I’ll be making another pot shortly. It’s definitely an autumnal dish and can see it featuring in regular rotation on my repertoire.

Last night the Book Club met at a local TGI Friday’s to celebrate a few of our birthdays. We have 2 birthdays in June, 2 in July and 2 in August so we took the opportunity to push July and August’s into one and have a meal together. Fantastic company and hearty food – with free desserts courtesy of the Friday’s Birthday Club – AND 4 free huge slices of birthday cake for the birthday girls. We had to stand on our chairs and shout across the restaurant to earn them, but I have little shame so all was good.

11828664_10152876895446511_2124377560263580556_nI even had a cheeky cocktail, called Summer Peach, which had orange sherbet in it. Perfectly refreshing and juicy.

I took my cake home to share with Gary – I was truly stuffed!

So, next weekend is my birthday! I’m turning the big 32 and have no idea what I’ll be getting up to, but I intend to rinse the whole weekend doing fun things 🙂 You only get one birthday a year, after all!

This Week I Have Been Mostly

this week i have been mostlyThis week has been book ended with great running and has had food and fun mixed in between

  • Sunday, last week, I ran my fastest 5k (29 mins) and my fastest 10k (61 mins). The weather was perfect for it, and despite swallowing a few flies, it was a pretty amazing run.
  • I really enjoyed watching the final week of Masterchef this week. I love seeing the contestants improve so fast – and it always makes me hungry!
  • I finally sold my bike, for a pretty penny, and used some of the funds to buy some holiday shoes!
  • After months of planning, we booked our 10 year wedding anniversary celebrations for 2016 – we’re going to Disney World!

11192662_1426375217668410_87374560_nThere a LOT of planning to do now that it’s booked, but I can’t wait. We’re off next September and got an amazing deal for our stay. We should be there for the Epcot Food & Wine festival and also have a chance to go to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!

  • Over the last month we’ve been re-watching the Paranormal Activity movies in order. Last night was 4, which means there’s only one left. Sad!
  • I’ve cooked two new meals this weekend, both Pinterest recipes (and can be found in my Tried and Tested board). The first was Cherry Tomato One Pot Pasta

11189439_351608161715296_1651573003_n The second was Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

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  • To bookend a fabulous running week, today was the London Marathon. A chilly and overcast day for spectators but great conditions for the runners. We braved the cold to cheer on friends and fellow bloggers. I managed to spot and cheer on Leah who writes Naturally, Leah, Janice aka Queen Bee (she had her photo taken with Barack Obama a while back, when he was rambling the UK moors…) and I was able to cheer on my Rock Choir leader Pippa who ran to raise money for NSPCC. This was her first marathon and she did an amazing job. Everyone did an amazing job. There was a great atmosphere, as always!

Next weekend we have a bank holiday and the MK Marathon. This was the event that I ran the half marathon last year, but this year I’ll just be spectating. I’m hoping to spot Mary, who writes A Healthier Moo, as she completes the marathon distance. After all this marathon-ing it’s making me think a marathon isn’t totally off the cards for me…. one day maybe!

When Did it Become February?

And all of a sudden it’s mid February. I’m not sure when that happened but for sure it crept right up on me. And the cheeky thing about February is that it’s a short month. I’ve spent a lot of my spare work time getting things prepped for when I’m away on holiday, to make things easier when I get back, and most of my home time training. And before we know it, it’ll be March!

I’m on a 9 month training plan (of my own making) to gain a bikini confident body by September when I go to Ibiza on my first girly holiday, and hen party. I have some kind of training planned for every day of the week apart from one which is a rest day, but I’m out on that evening anyway. I’ve maintained the same weight for the last 4 weeks and it’s 2lb under my topper most happy weight. So it’s all going well and I feel more toned and less wobbly. I’ve been taking progress photos and not seeing a huge amount of difference so far, but I’m only a month and a half in.

Eating has been the hardest thing at the moment, since discovering I’m lactose intolerant, all I want is cheese and clotted cream, but I’m experimenting with foods at the moment and seeing how they affect me. A lot of the stuff I normally eat is dairy free anyway, and I’m not having a hard time substituting ingredients in other recipes to create a dairy free version.

Since the weather has been so so cold of late, I’ve been really fancying soup for lunch, which is odd because I’m usually against soup. I feel like I need to digest something for my lunch and soup, to my brain, is just a hot drink. But I found a recipe for a lentil soup a while back, which I think I’ve mentioned before, and it’s so easy and filling (and healthy!) that I have been making a batch on a Sunday morning and dividing it between 5 tubs for lunches throughout the following week. I’m able to buy the ingredients and use any left over for other meals in the week, and also get a wholesome and filling meal in the middle of my way, all week! Win win. My affair with soup won’t last long, and as soon as the weather picks up a little I will be back onto salads, but it’s great for now.

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And speaking of the weather picking up, which it seems it might start to do from next week, it’s been lovely seeing all the Valentine’s flowers about and a recent visit to my Mum’s saw a lovely bouquet of tulips in her living room. Spring touches are out and about and it’s wonderful.

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G Man and I don’t really do much, or anything, for Valentine’s Day. I’m not about to go on about commercialisation and a fake holiday, but you get the drift. It doesn’t have any impact on us. And that’s not because we’re not romantic or we don’t love each other, but because we love each other just the same all 364 other days of the year and don’t need a card or stuffed animal to show each other that. But on that cynical note I hope you all had a lovely day. Our day was made more Valentine-sy but being invited over to our friend’s house for Valentine’s lunch and cuddles with their new baby.

Lunch was amazing – a huge spread of salads followed by afternoon tea cakes and scones.

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And of course the company was great and we got plenty of cuddles with little Leo. It made for a much more festive Valentine’s and we were able to spend it with friends we love!

So it’s all go here in the Mason house, with preparations for all kinds of trips and lots of eating, with some running and training thrown in to boot. Not at all bad!

Red Lentil Soup
This recipe serves 4, but I tend to add a little more boiled water once the stock has gone in, just so I can stretch it comfortably to 5 lunch sized portions. This doesn’t affect the thickness of the final soup.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lrg carrot, diced
1 sml onion, diced
2 lrg ribs celery, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or low salt broth
1 whole bay leaf
2 tbsp lemon juice
In a large non stick pan (with a lid), heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to combine and then cover. Let vegetables sweat until onions are soft and translucent (about 5 mins). Add the lentils, water/broth and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, until lentils are soft and starting to fall apart (about 20 mins).
Turn off the heat, and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir and taste. Add the other tbsp of lemon juice, if you’re happy to. (You do need both as the acidity cuts through the creaminess of the lentils, but please don’t ruin your soup!) Add salt to taste (this also reduced the lemony-ness of the juice and it all blends really well).
Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf! This will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

December 15th

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The time has come. With ten days until Christmas it’s about time I wrote about food!

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Food is one of the best things about Christmas. All the spices and roasted foods, comforting and wonderful to smell. Chestnuts are a big favourite of mine. I never really had them until I met Gary but it was a standard thing for his family. Cut a notch into each one, pop into the oven and soon you’ll have a wonderful warm snack. It’s fun to crack them open and then you get to eat what’s inside!

I also find I’m now fond of Stollen, despite hating fruit cake or anything with raisins inside. It’s sweet, soft and usually has lots of marzipan and icing sugar. What’s not to love?!

This time of year I’m partial to the odd mulled wine and a cocktail or two, but my favourite Christmas tipple is a snowball. That’s advocaat and lemonade. It’s fairly old-fashioned but so yummy. I like to have a few while I wrap the Christmas presents!

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Something I’ve discovered this year is butternut squash, and after having it for the first time about a month ago I scoured Pinterest for more recipes. I found this amazing one from The Vegan Cookie Fairy, for roasted butternut squash and chestnuts. It has sweet shallots and thyme in it too. We made it a few nights ago, and even though it was for 4 people we ate the whole lot. It was amaze-balls! You should try it if you like butternut squash, and it was so easy to make. I’m even considering making some to take to my in-laws for Christmas Day.

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This time of year I also love party food, and in my family celery sticks with Primula is a bit of a tradition in Christmas evening’s buffet. Anything you can eat with your hands is okay with me! I love Wenslydale cheese with cranberry, Quality Streets, maple roasted parsnips, and even the odd brussels sprout. It’s all good!

Darn it, now I’m starving……

What’s your favourite food at this time of year?

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Chilly & Chilli

The weather has well and truly turned for the worst, and despite it being a tad dryer this week, the weekend has been bitterly cold. At times on Saturday I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had started to snow.

Friday night Gary and I took another visit to the gym, and I was determined to run a 5k on the treadmill. I got a stitch pretty early on which I couldn’t shift and reluctantly gave in at 3k. I was super annoyed. It was pointed out to me later on, that trying to run 5k on a Friday after work when I was tired and already frustrated probably wasn’t a good idea. Good point.

Saturday we had to get up early as I had a hair appointment and unfortunately due to a mix up with a new receptionist at the hairdressers I was booked with the wrong person. The hair cut was fine but I was disappointed that I missed my quarterly catch up with my hairdresser, and there was so much to ask and tell. So it’ll be February before I get to catch up with her again 😦

After the hair cut Gary and I met with some friends and he went to see Gravity at the cinema and I caught up with my friend Tash. We had a flutter in the new casino and a nice long, chilled out chat. The casino in MK is one of the new Super Casinos and is surprisingly relaxed and chilled, and weirdly an ideal place for a girly chat (and free drinks!) We didn’t come out up on our money but we hadn’t lost much.

Supermarket shopping was next (we’re so rock and roll). There’s been a recipe I’ve wanted to try for about 5 years from Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Express, and I was very excited that I was finally going to make it. I’m not a fan of spicy food. I love to try most foods and I wish my tolerance was better for hot spices but my body just can’t handle it. I really love the idea of chilli though, and when I saw a quick chilli recipe in Nigella’s book, that included sweet chilli sauce I got excited. I have adapted the recipe quite a lot for various reasons, but I’ll post it how I made it below. For various health reasons I swapped the minced beef for Quorn mince from the chiller cabinet (as opposed to frozen tvp mince). I switched chorizo for smoked sausage because neither me nor Gary like chorizo. And I toned down the spices by using unspiced mixed beans and no chilli flakes. The end result was very very mild for spice – like, no heat – but full of flavour. Obviously use spicy sausage, cooked mince, chilli flakes and spicy beans if you want, but that’s pretty much every other chilli recipe and I just loved how I was able to make a quick, mild and flavour-some chilli so easily. We served it with rice, but it would have been very yummy on a jacket potato or topped with broken nacho chips and grilled with cheese on top.

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Today is Remembrance Sunday and we decided to have a lie-in and watch the processions on the tv before we got up. It’s such a poignant and thought-provoking day, and I’m so pleased that we still observe it to the extent we do. After that we had a session at the gym with personal trainers as we’re new to the place. The plan I was given seems very good and focusses on continuing with the running but integrating intervals on the treadmill whilst strengthening my upper leg muscles, to help prevent further knee pains and also a little bit of upper body and core strength work. It was good to work on areas that I hadn’t previously and I know it’s all going to work towards helping my running technique and ability. All in all very positive. But now I’m knackered and can barely move – not because I over did it, but generally exhausted. It’s hard to do any kind of work out when you’re so bunged up you can’t even get the oxygen in normally….. ah well. My Movember 10k is only two weeks away…… let’s hope I can get the correct training in!

Quick Mild Chilli

150g Smoked Sausage (ready to eat, but heated according to the packet)
350g Quorn mince
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
3 Cardamom pods, bruised
500g jar tomato and chunky veg pasta sauce
240g (drained weight) can mixed beans
60ml sweet chilli sauce

In a heavy based pan I slung in the pasta sauce, drained beans, sweet chilli sauce and spices. I sliced the heated sausage into half moons and added to the pot. Then I tipped in the mince. If you’re using meat mince and chorizo make sure these have been fried off first before you add the sauce, beans and spices. At this point the mix is kinda dry so I put it all on the heat and added a little freshly boiled water. I kept the kettle nearby whilst I brought the mixture to the boil, adding hot water by eye until I was sure that it was loose enough but not too loose. Once at a boil I turned the heat down and simmered for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.

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bubbling away!

If I wanted to make this all vegetarian I think I’d replace the sausage with chunks of mushroom and courgette, though carrot or peppers would also be lovely. This makes enough for 4 people and as there’s only two of us here we have another hearty serving of chilli for later in the week!

Let me know if you make this, I’d love to know what you think, or how you adapt it.

Gahh….. Now I’m starving…… 😀

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Clearing My Weekend

First of all, I’d like to say ‘Hello’ to all my new visitors! I have been getting a lot of blog traffic due to a Pinterest post Chicken and Frogs which included a recipe. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and if you made it I’d love to see what you think! I’ve also had a huge amount of visitors due to my post about Grave Encounters which is nice to see because I really enjoyed those movies and I hope you did too!

So this weekend I had quite a lot planned but the whole of the week I was so exhausted that towards the end of the week I started to cancel my plans. I have had such a wonderfully lazy weekend and it’s been a welcome change because I swear I haven’t had a chill out like this for about 3 months. Yay for being lazy! I’m feeling so much better for it today and even think I’ll be able to manage a good run tomorrow after work.

We have been working hard towards some good news, and I think it’s probably okay to share now. We’re almost at the point of exchanging contracts on our first house purchase. We are so excited to move out and live in a real house made of bricks instead of the tissue paper house we love in right now. It’s not far from where we are now but the area’s much nicer and we won’t have neighbours who crash about and make noise all day and night. We will have a proper garden too. It’s all go and we can’t wait!

I know I’ve been blogging less over the past few weeks and I have a few blogs planned but I’ve been having issues with WordPress web tonight and so I can’t write them at the moment. This post is being written via the iPhone app which is less than ideal! I’m hoping it’ll fix itself and I’ll be back up and running soon!

Until then iPhone blogging it is! Here’s to lazy weekends and more energy for the week ahead. Have a great one!

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