Squeeze The Day

According to experts, Orange is the happiest colour. It radiates warmth and energy and apparently, also helps stimulate activity and our abilities to socialise!! I do agree with this, bursts of Orange always brings a smile to my face.

I stumbled upon this Jamie Oliver marinade recipe and had to give it a try. It marries beautifully with chicken & was so quick and easy to make that my kids helped out. This is a perfect recipe is you want something quick and easy, or equally as good if you are cooking for the masses as you can scale up.

Ingredients:

Zest of 1 orange

1 deseeded small chilli, finely chopped

1 1/2tsp Paprika

1 1/2tsp Dijon Mustard

3tbsp honey

3tbsp Ketchup

1tsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to season

Method:

Pop everything into a bowl, stir and season to taste.

Set aside a couple of tablespoons for later, drizzle the remaining marinade over the chicken.

Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, then either bbq or oven cook the chicken. Once cooked, plate up & spoon over the remaining marinade.

When Life Throws You Lemons…Make Houmous 🍋

This beautiful Houmous is so easy to make & tastes delicious. It makes me smile. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

400g Tin of chick peas (rinsed and drained)

Juice of 2 lemons

5 tbsp of Olive oil

2 tbsp tahini paste

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Salt & pepper

Fresh coriander sprigs and Paprika to garnish (optional)

Method:

Tip all of the ingredients into a mixer and blitz. If necessary, add a few more glugs of olive oil to loosen it up.

Spoon into a bowl, add a splash of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with Paprika. Add a few sprigs of coriander to garnish. Enjoy!

Red Pesto Sauce

This gorgeous red pesto sauce will have your family begging for more! Not only is it very easy to make, it tastes delicious and is perfect for a quick mid week meal.

Ingredients:

200g Sundried Tomatoes

20g Fresh Basil

1 Clove of Garlic (more I’d preferred)

60g Pine Nuts

50g Parmesan, grated

50ml Olive Oil (may need a glug more at the end to loosen up)

Method:

Quite simply tip everything into a mixture and blitz. Serve with pasta (or topped on Chicken fillets) and enjoy X

No Hassle One Pan Lasagne

We all know the drill. Kids bundle through the front door yelling “what’s for dinner?”. “Hello darling! Have you had a nice day?” “Yes, I’m starving!! What’s for dinner?”

You’ve had a full on day and quite frankly, are feeling a bit knackered!! This One – Pan Lasagne is basically the cheats way to make a good hearty, yummy meal for the entire family. It misses out loads of elements, making it super achievable on a week night.

The recipe comes from the One Pound Meals book, by Miguel Barclays (no, I’m not promoting him – just sharing some fine time hack recipes) I thought I’d give it a go and share the results! I scaled up to feed 4 of us.

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

500g Lean mince meat

4 garlic cloves, sliced

400g Tin Tomatoes

3 dried lasagne sheets

5 tbsp Creme Fraiche

2 tsp dried oregano

Enough grated cheese to cover the lasagne sheets

Olive oil

Seasoning

Method:

Start off by preheating your oven to 190•C/gas mark 5.

Add the olive oil to an oven proof pan (I used a casserole pot) and place on a low heat. Gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Next up, add the mince and season. Brown off for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, fry until it starts to brown and add the tomatoes.

Simmer for 10 minutes, until juices reduce. Add the oregano and season well.

Lay the lasagne sheets on top of the mixture.

Spoon over the Creme Fraiche and sprinkle over the cheese.

Pop the lasagne into the oven and leave to cook for 25-30 minutes.

Serve up with some veg or salad & enjoy x

Do You Budget For Your Meals? What’s Your Weekly Planning Secret..?

I’d love to hear what people do when it comes to their household shop. Don’t be shy. Please share what works. Are you the type of person who flies by the seat of your pants and wings it every day? Buying food on a whim , depending on what your taste buds are calling for? Are you a strict planner, who knows exactly what your weekly menu will be and you don’t spend a penny over your list? Or, are you like me? Someone who does a large weekly shop based on what I think I may cook, plus a bit extra on the side that takes my fancy. And then a little bit extra on top of that for the spare freezer (just in case!). Someone who then pops out to the shops to buy some extra bananas & accidentally spends £32.47? I decided to take a deeper look at where my money is spent. The usual bills, kids clubs, gym membership etc but I was absolutely gobsmacked by the billions of times I pop into various supermarkets on a weekly basis, in addition to my weekly food shop!!! I must seriously love a supermarket! The odd £23 here, £3.42 there, then another £17 here and oops, another £6.75 here….it goes on. crazy!!! Am I alone? Do you go out for milk and return home with a hedge strimmer (minus the milk!)?

I therefore thought it might be a good idea to start planning my weekly shopping a bit better (everyone raves on about it, after all!). In doing so, I’ve found a nifty online tool which compares the supermarkets (uk – but must have similar in other countries) & offers the option of swaps and switches to reduce the cost of your shopping basket. I decided to go for it.

http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/?banner=35311&utm_medium=email&utm_source=affiliate&utm_campaign=MoneySavingExpert&utm_content=MoneySavingExpert

On average, our weekly shopping bill ranges from £97 – £134. Plus all the extras my husband and I buy in addition to this. Of course, it does differ & we need wiggle room. Is it the type of week where all the detergents need purchasing, do we have guests over, what’s the wine store looking like etc? Based on a good look through my cupboards and Fridge Freezer before I sat down to write my list, I’ve decided to be strict on myself and go for an £80 budget this week. I’m slightly scared. My shopping pattern does vary, especially if I’m a bit hungry whilst zooming around the aisles! And don’t even mention kids! If they come with me, it really does sky rocket with my little ones in tow!

As you may know from previous posts, we had a bit of an adventure with our youngest when it came to trying new food. See the posts here:

https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/synopsis-of-a-5-day-healthy-eating-plan-for-kids/

I really do try to engage the whole family when it comes to meal times, it works for us and has really given my youngest a little voice when it comes to dinner.

We therefore roughly decided on a menu (personally I find it helpful with my youngest. If it’s been agreed, then it’s much easier for me to negotiate when said dinner appears and the reaction is like I’ve dished up dogs doo doo!) . We’re still trying to try new meals (as you may know, I LOVE food and quite frankly dinner times were becoming tedious!). Here’s the menu for the week:

Now, I’m quite a conscious shopper. I always try to buy local where possible and to support farmers. I also care about recycling. Let’s see how I get on.

Now time to shop! I did the online comparison, and whilst all comparisons weren’t available, it became clear that the shop of the week for my needs was Aldi. This was ok, because I didn’t need all my other preferred brands (laundry powder, dishwasher tablets, shampoos etc) that Aldi doesn’t stock. Phew!

Off I went on my merry way. I got most of what I needed (and a few extras – I just can’t help it!) but wasn’t able to buy Sesame seed oil or Sesame seeds. I also swapped Sea Bream to Sea Bass. That’ll mean a trip to Tesco then (because it’s the nearest to me). Also, I didn’t buy any alcoholic beverages. I was so shocked when the time came to pay – £75.95!!

I was pretty pleased, I didn’t even compromise on my cuts of meats. For example, it would’ve been cheaper to buy less lean mince, but I stuck to my guns and bought the normal 5% Fat lean mince I always buy. I was able to buy a lot of British food, so that was fab. What I did notice, was the amount of packaging that the fruit & veg came in. Understandable when it’s travelling so far, but is it necessary? But this is for another blog.

I will probably need more fruit & milk as the week goes on, get through it faster than the click of a finger!!

Here are my fares:

I was pretty pleased with myself. Not a hedge strimmer in sight! Go me.

The food, ingredients and methods will be posted as I go along. Wish me luck with the Sea bass and fingers crossed it all gets enjoyed, I’m not a fan of waste 🤞🏻

PS: If you are shopping in Aldi for the first time…TIP: at the tills you bundle everything back into the trolley as soon as it’s scanned and pack afterwards once you’ve paid 👍🏻

Rhubarb & Summer Berry Crumble With Ice Cream & Custard

Here at Mums In Real Life, we love a good pudding. Cue Rhubarb coming into season and for us, this equates to happy days!

This Rhubarb & Berry Crumble hits all the right notes. It is also ridiculously easy to make!

Ingredients:

500g Rhubarb, cut into chunky cubes

Handful of frozen summer berries

2oz Demerara sugar

1tsp cinnamon

2oz chilled butter, cubed

3oz self raising flour

To serve:

Vanilla ice cream

Custard

Basil leaves to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160•C fan, gas mark 4. Place the rhubarb into a saucepan and cover with water. Add the sugar & cinnamon and stew on the hob for 15-20 minutes.

Once stewed, add in the berries. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Next, make the crumble mixture. Place the butter & flour into a processor and pulse until you get done breadcrumbs.

Once cooled, transfer the stewed fruit into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle the crumble on top.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool slightly and serve with a scoop of ice cream and custard. Garnish with basil.

Quick 10 minute Rainy Day Cookies

School pick up is imminent and the weather here is miserable! Here is a fantastic rainy day cookie recipe to keep the kids occupied when they can’t get outside to play.

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

75g soft brown sugar

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

2tsp vanilla extract

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Chocolate bar of choice, chopped up

1tbsp peanut butter (optional)

Sprinkle (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140•C.

Melt the butter and chuck all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Give it all a good stir.

Use a large spoon to dollop blobs of cookie dough onto a large baking tray (lightly greased or top tray with baking paper).

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until golden.

Perfectly peeled eggs – every time

That after hard boiling eggs, if you (carefully!) stab through the egg with the sharp point of a knife, place in cold water for 10 seconds…you can perfectly peel them?

home-bistro-no-shopping-no-cooking-no-cleanup

The water penetrates the membrane beneath the egg shell, and you can peel the eggs perfectly!! No egg hacked away, or anything 👍🏻

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking out for hacks that will make everyone’s life easier. Do you have any tips to share? Please comment or email us at:

hello@mumsinreallife.co.uk

Synopsis of a 5 day healthy eating plan (for kids)

It’s ‘throwback Thursday’!!! Way back when, here at Mums In Real Life we trialled out a 5 day healthy eating plan on some of our fussy little eaters. The results were AMAZING!!!! Take a read and as always, here at Mums In Real Life we’d love to hear any tips of secrets you may have! We’re all in this together, right?1

Soooooo, what an interesting few days in terms of the healthy eating plan we put in place and trialled throughout the week. As you may recall (or if you are new, welcome and all will make sense soon), we’ve been trying to encourage a couple of our fussy little eaters to try more food ingredients. Hail the red kidney bean!!! Hoorah for Mexican music! I salute you cod fillets rolled in breadcrumbs! You are forever in my heart, Avocado!

Looking through books, discussing what food we love & why, what food they REALLY dislike (and why – some untasted) we put together a menu. One that was simple, achievable but with a few dishes ordinarily a couple of kiddie winks ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT EAT at this stage in their little life.

Quite frankly, meal times were starting to get quite tedious. I’ve mentioned before, it was like Ground Hog Day.

See our previous blogs for some of the results. The one I was most dreading, was our Mexican theme night. I’ve tried this before. Loads of times. However, at some point this week all of the cogs fell into place.

I made up a quick mince dish today – it was so easy. For the purpose of this menu I left out Chillies, but I did add Cumin, Ginger, Paprika and Garlic.

I whizzed a (very) ripe Avocado in the blender with a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream and some lime juices. It took about 30 seconds and then I twisted in some pepper.

That was it. Done. As I went to pick my kids up, I mentioned to Tahlia that I really wasn’t sure how dinner time would go down. I genuinely felt quite torn about it.

I shouldn’t have worried. Like I say, some cogs had fallen into place for my youngest. I do confess at this stage to playing traditional Mexican music this morning, us all dancing around, really ‘bigging up’ tonight’s meal.

best-gourmet-food-delivery-service

Here are the results: Yes, they even ate the kidney beans 👍🏻

So a good week. I will go to bed tonight knowing that I’ve been well and truly played. The fact is, there isn’t much my ‘fussy’ little doesn’t like. Apart from a bit of control. But before I head off to bed, I’m going to add some jalapeño peppers to the mince and enjoy my feast (Mexican music and all).

Give it a whirl 👍🏻

No more messy spoon marks on your worktops!

Here at Mums In Real Life, we use the hanging hook on our pans to hold our spoons! Very random, but it’s a bit of a cleaning hack as we don’t need to clean the kitchen tops 👍🏻

Got any helpful hacks to help us out? Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always keen to hear any helpful hints!

Please comment or email us at:

hello@mumsinreallife.co.uk