Monday, 21 September 2015

Top Chef -blogger competition with Grana Padarno

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in Grana Padano's Top Chef competition hosted by chef Fracesco Mazzei, probably best known for being in Masterchef.

The brief was to create a 2 course meal, capturing the real taste of Italy and using Grana Padano Riserva 24 months as the star ingredient.

We were lucky enough to receive a bag of goodies and a delivery of ingredients to Inspire me and also a voucher for tesco just incase I needed anything else. I felt like Christmas had come early with all these deliveries.

First was my starter, I chose to make a starter of Italian gralic mushrooms and pancetta on toast.

Italian garlic mushrooms and pancetta on toast

200g of mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
Half an onion diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Grana Padano plus some to sprinkle on the top
Half a glass of wine (optional)
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
77g packet of pancetta
Basil to garnish
1 slice of warbutons soft white wrap

1.Heat the oil in a pan 
2.Chop the garlic and add to the pan 
3.Add the onion and cook until a translucent colour
4.If desired add half a glass of wine and cook for around 3 mins
5.Add to the mixture the pancetta
6.Add the mushrooms and cook until they have reduced in size
7.Add the herbs and a the Grana Padano to the pan and stir
8. Toast the slice of bread in the oven, take out when toasted and cut to desired shape. Drizzle with some olive oil
9. Top with the garlic mushroom mixture
10. Top with a sprig of basil and enjoy

It really makes a great starter or even a main if you prefer.

I chose for my main a dish my mother likes to cook, but switched it around for an authentic Italian dinner.

Roasted butternut squash and creamy chicken tagliatelle

This serves 4

2 chicken breasts diced
250g squash diced
1 garlic clove
Half a finely diced onion
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
4 tablespoons of grated Grana Padano
100g tagliatelle
6 oz of natural or greek yogurt plain
Sprig of basil chopped

1. Heat oven to 180
2. Roast squash in oven until soft
3.Mix chicken, yogurt, herbs, garlic and onion in a bowl and add half of the Grana Padano
4.Put in an oven proof dish and bake for 35mins
5.Cook the pasta, drain then toss in a little olive oil
6.Remove the chicken out of the oven and mix in the squash and some of the basil
7. Place pasta on a plate, then the chicken and squash mixture on top, garnish with basil and grated Grana Padano

Both dishes go well with a nice glass of wine and I enjoyed taking part in this round of the competition.

I just want to wish the other bloggers good luck and thank Chef Francesco and Grana Padano for letting me take part.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Oh the weather is lovely - Making the most of it!

Fun in the sun with my baby girl. The weather has been great hasn't it. At the moment whilst I'm back at my dad's we have been making the most of the weather, back garden and space.

What's your favourite thing to do in the sun?
Any suggestions to keep the kids occupied this summer?

Friday, 10 April 2015

If I can dream - Panasonic Review

Well everything has considerably changed since the last time I posted. I made the very difficult choice of being on my own and focusing on Juno. 

All this upheaval and change means looking for a place of our own for me and Juno and starting from scratch again. (more on that soon)

One of the most important things for us is being able to watch Frozen repeatedly to our hearts content. The need for this means a new T.V and the solution to this problem may lie in a Panasonic Smart Viera LED 4K TV 

It is a 4K display TV which means it fits four times as many pixels into the screen. So basically it looks like Anna, Elsa and Olaf would be as real as if they were looking at you through a window. (freaky thought really, imagine seeing a scary movie or Jeremy Clarkson that clear!!)

Another thing I love is gaming, and this definitely has the features for it. It has the very latest 4K 50/60p input which means gaming, computers, cameras and camcorders can benefit from a new dimension in definition and clarity. 

The Panasonic Smart Viera is also a 3D TV too, personally I'm not too keen on having 3D at home, but this may convert me. It comes with two pairs of glasses too which is a bonus.

If you are a bit of a technophobe like me it's also very easy to operate and set up, with the help of voice interaction,voice guidance and also E- Help, you should have no problems. With a touch pad controller life could be no simpler. 

You can also browse the internet too as this TV is internet ready and has it's own apps, is blue-tooth compatible and has it's own swipe ans share feature which I think is pretty cool.

At an impressive 65 inches, it may seem a bit too big for me but lets face it, you wouldn't need anything else would you?

If you want more information on this Panasonic Smart Viera TV -  

(* This is a sponsored post on behalf of Panasonic)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Tea Is Changing - Twinings New Blends

Hey, how you doin? (Sorry couldn't resist)

If you know me, I am a very big tea drinker. I have tried in the past to get into fruit and flavoured teas before but I will be honest, I haven't had much success. They are either too perfumy or have a mint flavour to them. But when I was contacted by Twinings to test out some new flavours I thought this is the time to experiment.

Twinings is undergoing a revolution this month in releasing a wide range of new and exciting teas.
As peoples palates are becoming more sophisticated beyond the basic flavours, Twinings want us to open up our senses and make a stir in our lives, even if it as something as simple as having a different flavour of tea or changing the colour of your mug.

Twinings new flavours are set to re invent the world of tea by giving more ways to engage your senses and making you think differently about what teas are available. They have new green teas, chai lattes, black and loose leaf tea that include everything from a fruity Passion Fruit Ceylon, Bollywood Chai Latte, a Popcorn Green Tea and a Nutty Chocolate Assam to name a few.

Did you know that Twinings have over 300 years of experience in tea so they know quality. The blenders that come up with these flavours have to do five years worth of training!! The selection I was very kindly given is just a smidgen of what they have to offer, So far 27 different flavours will be released from the 26th October, so check them out.

The first flavour I tried was called Bollywood Chai Latte which is a blend of traditional Indian spices and almond. It is an Assam tea and reminded me of marzipan. I don't like the proper marzipan as I'm not too keen on almonds, but this was pleasant and not overbearing.

As I tried each one I was surprised at how unique they were but subtle in flavour. My favourite had to be the English Breakfast and the Apple and Elderflower. I may even try mixing the two together next time. 

If you are wanting to try these new flavours they are out now. 
For more information Click here Twinings new range

Have you tried any of this new range?

Which one is your favourite and have you mixed and together to come up with a tea cocktail?

Speak soon


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What I Love About Autumn - My top 5

Oh god how I love Autumn. Apart from the dark nights coming earlier and when it gets really windy, it's really great.  There are many reasons that I could write down that makes me glad it's here but here is my top 5 reasons why I love the Autumn.

1. The Great New Seasons On The Box

Well I don't think I watch too much TV, but there does seem to be some great shows that start or make a return in the Autumn. I never miss Arrow, Sons, Once upon a time and Revenge, but there is some good new shows too. Selfie and The Flash to name a few. I love snuggling up in my PJ's and a cup of tea and binge watching these. (I love the fact we have Netflix and Amazon too).

2. Wrapping Up In Lush Comfy Clothes

As the nights go a bit colder, we start wrapping up in big jumpers, cardigans and boots. It gives us a chance to bring out the old favourites and also invest in some new key pieces. I always go and have a mooch around the local charity shops to find a bargain or two as budgets for this can be a bit restrictive. But they are the best!! The number of tops etc that I have found have been amazing and at great prices too. 

New season next £35

3. When The Leaves Turn Golden

 One of the things I love is going for a walk with Juno amongst the fallen leaves and make that scrunching sound. We go picking for conkers, and we take them home to keep the house 'free from spiders' (doesn't work). 

4. My Local Fireworks And Carnival

Where I live in my little town of Burnham On Sea, every November we have a fireworks display and a carnival. It has always been a tradition of mine to make sure me and my family go, through time with different people. But it has always been great. The fireworks display is based on the seafront so overlooks the sea, last year we lived on the seafront so didn't have to leave home to watch it. This year will be even special because Juno is old enough to see it and understands that it's fireworks. The Carnival, is on the Monday and goes through the high street. Overall it's a great weekend, and a tradition I intend to keep up as long as I can. I love the fact I end up being silly and completely weird when they are on. Let's just see what happens this year. (Will let you know)

5. It's Nearly Christmas!!!

Of course the Christmas bug has well and truly hit everyone by now, especially after Halloween ends. The thing for me is trying to find the Christmas bargains and presents. I will be getting Jerome in a Christmas jumper whether he likes it or not.

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

How far are you in the lead up to Christmas? There isn't many weeks left.
I'd love to hear them. 

Speak soon


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Heinz Tomato Ketchup 50% Less Sugar


Hey, long time no speak
Change of jobs, family life and Juno made it time for me to take a back seat in my blogging for a while. Will chat about that later, but I am here to tell you about Heinz's new Tomato Ketchup with 50% less sugars.

If you are like me, I am constantly trying to find products with less sugar in for me and my family to try and eat a bit more healthily. Trying to get Juno to eat dinner is a challenge without having sauce, so finding Heinz 50% less sugar tomato ketchup is brilliant.

Heinz have replaced their sugar with sweeteners made from natural sources (so none of those artificial ones) Some of it has been replaced by a plant called Stevia which the extract of which has 300 times the sweetness of sugar and has been used for hundreds of years.

We sat down last night to home-made fish pie, broccoli carrots and sweetcorn, Juno always has sauce on the side. She tried some and I asked her what she thought of it and the words were saucy. Me and Jerome both thought it tastes like ketchup, and couldn't tell the difference. So it would be a great alternative that the whole family could enjoy without missing out on all the original taste.

Check it out in stores now, priced at £2.00 for a 500ml bottle its great value for money. Also check out the advert you'll be seeing alot more of too.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

My New Kitchen Essential

Well hello there Hope you are well. There comes a time in a persons life when the little things (that may sound sad) make me very happy. One of these things was the anticipation and the arrival of my new frying pan!

You see as you may have noticed I don't get out a lot, so when I got my new Green Earth Frying Pan from Ozeri delivered I was so happy. 

It's called the Green Earth pan because it uses a non-stick coating which also keeps it free of chemicals such as PTFE which can be harmful to the environment. 

The first thing i did when it came was make a bacon sarnie. Our old pans make the bacon or anything stick but this was great. The same night I made a Spanish omelette (fritata). 

It doesn't need a lot of washing, and it is a great pan. But, at £28.99 it could come across as a bit on the extravagance side for a kitchen utensil. This I am assuming is because of the technology used in it. 

Overall, I think it is of a reasonable size for us and a great price too and I have already got my money's worth. When you buy one you also get a limited lifetime warranty too. 

If you want to find out more or get one of these here is the link   

I have some great plans for my blog soon, so keep your eyes peeled

Speak soon  


*I was contacted by Moderna to review this product, although all thoughts and reviews are my own.