This isn't really a recipe and might seem entirely obvious but sometimes it's the simple blog posts that I like to read, the ones that make me think, 'oh yeah, why don't I do that more'. At the moment I'm trying to make my food go further. This is a quick dinner that my mum used to make with leftover chicken and tagliatelle. I didn't have the right pasta but the idea is the same. The best bit of this recipe is the lovely crunchy and tasty breadcrumb and cheese topping.
For this dinner you will need:
- leftover roast chicken
- onion and garlic
- can of tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- Bread - the top slice that no one ever wants works well
- A bit of grated cheese
- Put the oven onto 200C.
- Chop and fry the onions and garlic together and when soft add the chopped vegetables and gently fry in a pan.
- Add the can of tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, herbs and heat gently.
- Meanwhile cook enough pasta for 2 (or 4) of you.
- Take the bread and rub it between your hands to make breadcrumbs. Mix together with some pepper and grated cheese.
- Mix together the leftover chicken, tomato vegetable sauce and pasta and place in an oven proof dish.
- Sprinkle ontop the bread and cheese and bake for 20 minutes until steaming top and the topping is crispy. Enjoy!
I have recently been complaining about my knives and so was happy to try a Kitchen Devils Utility Knife
which is supposed to be great for chopping fruit and vegetables. I have been using it for a month now and have sharpened it once. It is great at cutting through the skin of tomatoes and the toughness of carrots. I would definitely say it is a good all rounder for the kitchen especially as it is only 7.99. These knives are sold in Lakeland and most supermarkets.Disclaimer: I was sent a Kitchen Devil knife to review and was not required to give a positive review.
The sun is shining and my thoughts have turned to Pimms. Looking at my shelves I have lots of different spirits brought back from holidays and homemade cordials and drinks. I could really do with cleaning the shelves before people bring back a new set of random holiday liquers. I also love buying and making fresh cordials but often don't get round to using them all up.
So this month we are going slightly off the food theme and asking you to use up some of that lingering liquid to make something delicious and summery!
Do join in and remember you can republish old posts with the No Waste Food Challenge Badge.
Do join in and remember you can republish old posts with the No Waste Food Challenge Badge.
- Please add your post to the linky below.
- Please include the title, recipe and a link to your post. If the recipe is not your own make sure you credit the author.
- Feel free to republish old posts just make sure you add a link to the challenge and add the challenge badge.
- Make sure you email before the end of the month.
- Please also include a link back to this blog and use the badge below.
At the end of the month I will do a roundup post and hopefully we'll all have more imaginative ways of using up tour odds and ends of preserves.
I am only just getting round to this year's spring clean. To be honest it just didn't feel right until the days were lighter and the rain and sleety snow had finally given up. I don't know what it is about Spring but I always want to have a bit of a sort out, throw things out and do a deep clean.
I have been using little pots and big baskets to organise my things. I love the ones currently in Tiger. I replaced all my hangers with space saving coloured hangers. Don't worry I have another wardrobe of clothes not just this one!
I tackled the dirt between the tiles in the bathroom with a toothbrush and some bleach and had a good clean of all those neglected nooks and crannies. I cleaned my windows so I can see out without smears of marks.
If anyone follows me on twitter they will have seen lately that I was having problems with my hoover - it just wasn't picking up dirt and was getting clogged all the time. It was a Vax Power Pet 8 and despite having a two year guarantee was a real battle to get sorted.
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Whilst I was arguing with Vax, Morphy Richards contacted me about the Innovater review program that I am involved in, and offered me a Never Loses Suction Lift Away Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
I was very happy to receive one to review.
The vaccum cleaner comes in quite a light compact box which was a clue to the hoovers size - it is a smaller vacuum cleaner than I have had before. The vacuum cleaner was very easy to put together and I was up and running in about 10-15 minutes.
The vacuum cleaner is actually quite small and petite which suite me perfectly. It is also nice and light and easy to push around. The Vax Power 8 we had was massive and needed considerable effort to hoover with. The head is only 28cm wide and I thought that this might be quite annoying as you need more swishes to do all the hoovering, however I found instead that it was perfect for fitting around all my furniture. As the dust canister is also separate from the hoover head it means that the head can fit under low tables and bits of furniture.Bagless dust canisterThe dust canister seems quite small at first and I thought it might fill up straight away but it actually took about 3 rounds of our two bedroom flat. The canister is great -there is a release button at its base and all the dust comes out easily with a little shake and bash. This was one of the main problems with my rubbish Vax - the dust got caught so much that you had to pull half of it yourself ending up covered in dust! The Never Loses Suction Vacuum Cleaner was much cleaner to empty.
The suction is fab, it picks up small bits and hidden dust really well. There are different settings for hard floor and carpets and the button to switch between settings is at an easy to reach height. I didn't really want to show you an example of the squalor, but just to proof the range of bits it can suck up, here is a before and after shot.
The vacuum cleaner also has a sponge HEPA filter which seems to work very well. This is it after one round of my flat (Ewwwww!) I have also washed this filter and it is easy to clean and dry. The dust canister is also easy to quickly clean with a little bit of soapy water if you so wish.
Lift away feature
This is a great feature. My last vacuum cleaner used to knock over and back into you anytime you used an attachment. The lift away feature is great when using attachments and was fab for doing the stairs in my flat hallway! Using this feature means the hoover is even lighter so this is great if you struggle to lift things.
The attachments work well and I have so far used the pointy hose to deal with my corners and skirting boards and I used the rotating brush head for a very thick pile rug which pulled up lots of bits and left it looking really clean.
So do I like it?
To sum up, I do, it is easy to lift and push around, the suction is good, it gets into corners, is easy to empty and it stows really neatly into my storage cupboard. I think the lift away feature is very handy and the product is well designed.
This is a smaller hoover which makes it good in portable situations or for a small flat but if you live in a big house you may find it doesn't suit your needs. I have been using the hoover for about a month now and honestly have not found any other disadvantages.
Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review as part of the Morphy Richards Innovator Program and I was not required to write a positive review.
Hello all. I seem to have had a mini blog hiatus over the last few weeks. Hope you haven't minded!
My lovely fruit and veg box has been providing me with a new predicament - grapefruit! I'm not a big fan of the tangyness of grapefruit so I have been trying to find ways of eating it (before I swap it out!).
First up I tried this baked grapefruit recipe. There are lots of different recipes on the internet including this one at food.com
For my baked grapefruit I cut my grapefruit into quarters and made slits into the fresh. I then dabbed on some butter, plenty of honey and some cinnamon. I baked it until just turning brown and all the juices had come out. This was definitely more edible and very refreshing but I'm still not sure I am a grapefruit fan!
Secondly I decided to add the zest of grapefruit to some shortbread. I used this recipe by Rachel Allen
and used a mix of grapefruit and orange zest. The result was a really lovely pastel and orange yellow flecked, light, and tangy shortbread.
Next up I made some grapefruit and orange juice. I juiced one grapefruit and three small oranges. I added 3 tablespoons of sugar and gently heated until all the sugar was dissolved. After cooling I then added 1 pint of water and poured into this bottle. It was lovely and perfect for our picnic.
Do you like grapefruit? How do you eat yours?
Last weekend it was sunny enough to have a quick picnic. We had egg sandwiches homemade bread, apples, tomatoes, strawberries together with some orange drizzle buns and freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice Perfect!
This is the dinner I make when the fridge is looking bare or I can't be bothered to think of anything else to make for tea. It can be adapted to use up whatever you have in the fridge and if you have a bit of time and are feeling very frugal you can even make the flour tortillas which I did on this occasion. I regularly make extras of these and take the leftovers for lunch.
I used this delicious magazine recipe for the flour tortillas
. I found them very easy to make and by placing a clean tea towel on top of the cooked tortillas they will stay soft.
To make 4 servings of the actual quesadillas have a rummage in the fridge and see what you can find. You need:
- grated cheese about 200g
- any fresh herbs - coriander or basil work well
- any vegetables or salad items - spring onions, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes
- 8 flour tortillas
- Very lightly grease a frying pan and gently heat.
- Place one of the tortillas into the pan and scatter on the herbs, vegetables and cheese.
- Add on top another tortilla and allow the cheese to melt. Make sure the heat isn't too high so that the bottom tortilla doesn't burn.
- Once the cheese has melted and the bottom tortillas has shrunk slightly, carefully flip the tortillas sandwich and gently cook on the other side.
- Slide the cooked tortilla onto a plate and cut up into quarters and serve with salad.
This is my finished Easter Lemon house, instead of using ginger in the recipe I used the zest of one of my home grown lemons to add a lighter, fresher taste to the house for spring. I found the mini sized eggs in Morrisons and I added some plastic bunny cupcake toppers that I had. I tried to ice some growing greenery and flowers onto the house as well.
I was very lucky to be sent the Fairy Tale Cottage Mould to review from Lakeland. The kits is traditionally marketed as a Christmas product but as I am partaking in the Seasonal Gingerbread House Challenge
I wanted to try it for my Easter house. The kit comes with silicone moulds, to make the components of one house, two piping bags, and the recipe to make either a gingerbread or chocolate house.
The gingerbread was very easy to make, I made mine with golden syrup and substituted white sugar for the brown sugar and used lemon zest instead of ginger powder.
The kit is exceptional easy to use and makes a really impressive looking house. The gingerbread made is solid enough but still a little soft and I had no problem gluing it all together with royal icing. The finished house is very stable. The kit costs £11.99.
Just to mention a little about Lakeland, I love their products, they are inventive and creative. An extra bonus is the fact that the products come with a long term guarantee. If you end up unhappy with a product they have a no quibble returns policy even if you have had the product for a long time. I make sure I buy most of my standard kitchen, and home stuff from here as it is really handy to have that reassurance. For example I bought my Kenwood Prospero mixer from Lakeland knowing that I have that extra peace of mind.
As Lakeland is a company I buy from a lot, and trust, I have signed up to the Lakeland affiliate programme as a trial so you may see a few ads on my site. If you click through and buy something I receive 4% commission. It would be fantastic to earn a little money towards ingredients and bits for the blog. I promise that is all I am going to say!
| || |The rules
- We don't mind how you make your gingerbread house. If it is chocolate, cake, biscuit or part of a premade kit.
- Send your blog posts and pictures to email@example.com
- You are welcome to resubmit old posts just please add the badge and link back to here.
- Please tweet your entry to @JaimsKitchen using hashtag #seasonalgingerbreadhouse
Hotel Chocolat very kindly sent me this Salted Caramel Egg Sandwich to review. It comes in a package that is about 16cm x 10cm and inside are two egg halves with an extra border of splodged chocolate.
I love the taste of Hotel Chocolat's chocolate and once again this was lovely. The salt really comes through the chocolate and works particularly well with the creamy milk chocolate.
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I have to say there are a couple of drawbacks, the caramel taste is quite subtle and the eggs are hollow. I think it would have been really nice to actually have a caramel centre to the eggs.
This little package also costs £8, so not a gift for my boyfriend who prefers quantity over quality! However it is the type of gift that would suit someone who really appreciates good tasting chocolate and who is trying to not eat too much over Easter!
Hotel Chocolat have a fab range of Easter gifts with one of my favourite being this stunning Peter Rabbit style egg. They are pricier than Thorntons but their chocolate is of a higher quality and I can vouch for its yummyness!
Last year I had a chance to review one of their Extra Thick Chocolate Eggs
which were fab. Do check out their range of gifts for this Easter.
Please note I was sent this product to review and was asked to write an honest review.
These look so effective but are relatively easy to make. I thought they would make a different and colourful addition as Easter gifts. The key here is to make sure you have all the supplies. You need lollipop sticks, chocolate and cocoa butter transfer sheets. I bought mine from Squires for £2.99 each. This sounds a little expensive but if you are making individual chocolates or lollipops like these one sheet will go a long way.
By using different coloured chocolates you can use one cocoa transfer sheet to get lots of different effects.
I bought the same design in white and pastels and worked with these two sheets throughout.
- Start by laying out your supplies.
- Cover a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Melt your chocolate - be very careful not to burn the chocolate. Stop melting when the chocolate is still a little unmelted and then stir until it has all melted.
- Now place spoonfuls of chocolate onto the greaseproof paper and use your spoon to make a flatter and larger circle.
- Now add the lollisticks to each chocolate lollipop.
- Cut squares of transfer sheets that ill fit on top of your chocolate lollipops.
- Make sure you have the transfer sheet with the design the right way up and then gently press the rough cocoa side down onto your chocolate lollipops. Make sure you press down gently and that their are no bubbles underneath the sheet.
- Leave the lollipops to completly harden - overnight is best.
- When the lollipops are set - gently peel off the transfer sheets.
In order to make your lollipops more professional you need to temper your chocolate. This makes it shiny and have a wonderful snap. The Guardian has a good article on how to temper chocolate. I must confess that despite having a chocolate thermometer and using good chocolate I am still rubbish at this. However for these lollipops don't worry too much as the transfer sheet leaves a smooth and shiny surface on the chocolate.
If you want to buy some transfer sheets from Squires click the link on the right.
NB: I bought the transfer sheets myself.
Do let me know if you try making these and I would love to see pictures!