Recipe – Sizzling fajitas

One of our favourite cuisines and dishes in our house is Mexican fajitas. Most of the time we use chicken but on the odd occasion I will make steak fajitas for a nice change.

Ingredients (makes enough for 4-5 wraps)

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 medium/large peppers, sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil (though using the Ozeri Stone Earth pan like I do you need less than 1 tsp)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder (I use mild when J is eating them, hot when he’s not – I love the spice!)
  • 1 tsp paprika (can use smoked if you wish)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • tortilla wraps
  • salsa

Method


  • Preheat the oil in a large deep pan then add the chicken and cook on a moderate heat until thoroughly cooked, and starting to brown on the outside.
  • Add the onion & peppers and mix with the chicken (add these 5-10 minutes before serving as you still want a bit of a crunch).
  • Mix all of the spices in a seperate bowl.
  • Once the onion & peppers are cooked a little, add the spice mix and give the pan a good mix & shake. 
  • Cook for around 5 minutes until the mixture has made a lovely brown coating over the chicken, onion & peppers. 
  • Either place into tortilla wraps with salsa, or take straight to the table and let everyone make the wraps themselves! Serve with homemade smoked paprika potato wedges on the side, or nachos.

Foodie Penpals – May reveal

Once again my foodie parcel was a bit lot late – it was worth waiting for though if only for the chocolate! I had a few items from overseas this time as my penpal Kelly was going abroad on holiday before sending my parcel, so I was looking forward to receiving things I may not necessarily have had before.

In there was a mixture of sweet & savoury items.

First up the yummy sweet treats:

  • a bar of 72% dark chocolate with almonds. I usually eat milk chocolate so this was a lovely change. Sickly because it is so strong, but delicious!
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups. This was the first thing I tucked into, I love these!
  • a jar of homemade raspberry jam which Kelly’s friend made. I haven’t had chance to tuck into this yet but it looks lovely.
And the savoury items (none of which I’ve had chance to try yet but am very much looking forward to doing so!):
  • a jar of chipotle ketchup. I usually get sent a jar of spicy ketchup or sauce or similar, so am building up quite a collection!
  • some fresh saffron. I’ve never cooked with it before as it’s expensive so I’m looking forward to making something with this. 
  • a jar of a selection of chilli/spice mixes for cooking. I love these little jars, I also have an Italian mix one.
  • some Egyptian dukkah. I had to search this but basically it is a mix of nuts, seeds & spices and is good for dipping bread with olive oil.
  • pimenton dulce – I also had to search this and it turns out to be sweet smoked paprika, yummy.

If you wish to find out more about Foodie Penpals and join in, visit Rock Salt for more details.

The Lean Green Bean

Eat like the greats (free Send A Cow recipe ebook)

I think everybody around the world knows the importance of breakfast.


breakfast
ˈbrɛkfəst/
noun
  1. 1.
    a meal eaten in the morning, the first of the day.
    “a breakfast of bacon and eggs”



Breakfast is in fact just that, breaking the fast of the night before. It helps us to get on with our day, gives us energy, helps us think. It is especially important in helping children to reach their full potential in every area of their life. Unfortunately not all children have this privilege. 

That is why Send A Cow have launched a new free ebook called The Most Important Meals Of Their Lives, to help raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential. 

What would have happened if Einstein hadn’t eaten his breakfast on the day he cracked the theory of relativity? Or if Edison didn’t have his breakfast on the day he had a light bulb moment (literally)? Would they have been to think as clearly? So, breakfast may be the most important, if not smallest, meal of the day, but it can arguably be said that it has also been one of the most important meals of all time for these great inventors.

Not only inventors, but this fantastic book also contains breakfasts of other greats from history. 

How would you like to eat:

Ancient Egyptian bread like Cleopatra VII…

…Or pound cake, tea, toast and cocoa like Jane Austen?

Maybe Umphokoqo like Nelson Mandela…

…Or perhaps Sops (stale bread in milk) like William Shakespeare?

Or you may want to go the route of Winston Churchill and have poached egg, cold meats, toast and grapefruit.


If you don’t even fancy any of these, you can find another 20 great breakfast recipes from the likes of (amongst others) Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, First Men On The Moon, even Barack Obama!

Me, I will definitely be trying some of the recipes featured, and who knows, maybe you, I or a special unprivileged child may be one of the next greats to go down in the history books!* So go on, what are you waiting for?

The ebook is free to download but a £2.50 donation is suggested, as the Government will match all donations to the Break… Fast appeal up until the 30th June 2014. Your donation could be enough to support breakfast for an African child for an entire month!

*Probably not me.

Recipe – Chicken, mushroom & butternut squash risotto

We don’t tend to eat risotto very often now as it’s time consuming and I never seem to have much of that spare anymore, but sometimes I just fancy it and like to add different ingredients for a change. We had a butternut squash in our veg box this week so I decided to add that. Of course you could also make it without chicken, I only added it in the end because hubby is a fuss pants!


Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 8 (approx.) large mushrooms , halved (I used regular mushrooms as it’s what I had in but you could use any variety)
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 litre of stock (I used vegetable, you could use chicken)
  • 1 tbsp oil (or a few sprays of Fry Light)
  • 175 g arborio rice
  • thyme, to taste (or you could use sage, this was what I had in)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to gas 7/220C/425F. Place your squash in a deep oven tray and coat with oil, then roast for around 30 minutes until soft on the inside and browned on the outside.
  • In a heated pan, fry the onion & garlic on a medium heat until soft, and brown the chicken.
  • Add the rice and mix with the onion, garlic & chicken.
  • Gradually add the stock, mixing well each time. Let the mixture simmer and when the stock has been absorbed, add some more.
  • When you are nearly out of stock, add the mushrooms. (I add them near the end so they don’t overcook). Also add the thyme.
  • The risotto will be ready when the rice is tender. If it isn’t quite cooked once all the stock is used then just add a little water until it is. 
  • Serve and enjoy!

Foodie Penpals – April reveal

After a couple of issues and setbacks last month regarding the posting of my parcel from my penpal Kim, I finally received it this week – better late than never as they say!

Anyhow, it was worth the wait in the end as it contained lots of yummy items. First up some naughty sweet stuff:


  • a chocolate cake bar – I’ve just tucked into this but I had a pear afterwards, so that cancels it out, right?…
  • a mini pack of Lotus biscuits – I’ve had these before and they are delicious.
  • a Reese’s NutRageous bar – I love these as I love peanut butter so it was the first thing I ate!

Next up were some healthier items. Gratefully received as I’m trying to be good at the minute (most of the time anyway!) as I really want to get to my goal weight this time around, and am trying to eat healthier snacks instead of chocolate bars, biscuits and crisps every time.


  • a single portion of dorset cereals muesli – I haven’t tried this version yet so I’m going to have this for breakfast tomorrow. I love the colour of the packaging too!
  • a pack of apple crisps.
  • a pack of apple & strawberry clusters.
  • a pack of sultanas, apricots & apple. 

And finally:



  • a pack of pear & vanilla tea – I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds interesting!
  • some cupcake cases for my love of baking them!
  • some orange & ginger jam – this sounds like a lovely flavour combination.
  • and some fajita stir in sauce. I love spicy food and usually make my own spice mix but this will come in handy when I  can’t be bothered!



If you wish to find out more about foodie Penpals and join in, visit Rock Salt for more details.


The Lean Green Bean

Review – Plum Little Yums teething wafers

Even though he’s now 2 years old, little man J is still teething. His first tooth came through at 9 months old, and he still only has 12 full teeth – 13 & 14 are currently on their way through! I use teething powders for him which seem to help, but when he’s really bad he won’t eat much; so when the lovely people at Plum Baby got in touch to try out some of their new Little Yums teething wafers I gladly obliged. 

Little Yums are light, delicious wafers made with the nutritious ancient grain buckwheat, plus fruit and veggies. They’re the perfect first snack for little teethers: the wafer dissolves easily in your baby’s mouth and is easy to hold, which encourages self-feeding. The unique fruit and vegetable combinations we’ve created are designed to delight tiny taste buds with the natural flavours of our delicious and nutritious ingredients.

The wafers are stage 1 so can be eaten even from 6 months old. Though of course they should be supervised, and given to babies who are already used to chewing solid foods. They come in two flavour varieties – pumpkin & banana, and spinach, apple & kale. The packaging they arrived in was very eye catching due to the bright colours, so even the box would appeal to little ones! In each box are 6 packs of 3 wafers, the foil packets match the box so are eye catching too. As usual with Plum products, all ingredients in the wafers are organic which is appealing. 



J loves his food so as soon as I took a packet out of the box he was running to see what it was. I told him they were biscuits so he would eat them (naughty Mummy I know, feeding him biscuits! Not very often though…). I opened the packet for him and he did his normal inspection of a new food before tucking in. After his first bite he didn’t spit it out so he must have liked them. He chomped his way through the whole packet, though after the first couple he did take a while to eat the last one, so I’m not sure if younger children would eat them all in one go. He ate the pumpkin & banana ones quickest so I’m guessing they were his preferred flavour (though banana is one of his favourite fruits anyway!).



The RRP of each box of Little Yums is £2.49 which works out at just over 40p a packet so I think they are well worth the money for little teethers to snack on and I will probably buy them for little man N when he starts teething too. 

Our rating – 4/5



Disclosure

We were sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.

We're going on an adventure

Our Easter 2014

Since little man J arrived he has actually seen two Easter holidays. The first year, he was only a few weeks old so he received nothing at all, and last year he had pretty much only just turned one so only received a couple of eggs from family and some clothes from us. 


This year I wanted to make it a bit more fun so I made him a special basket full of goodies (he had no big eggs from us as again he got them from family). (Next year though we will probably have an egg hunt as there will be both the boys to take part in it). I wanted to make an Easter basket rather than just use a standard shop bought one, so I took to Pinterest for some ideas. I pinned a few but in the end I decided on using these ones from Red Ted Art as inspiration. 


I haven’t used papier mache since I was at school so I really didn’t realise how long it took to dry – I did quite a few layers so it took a while, and it was a mad rush on Saturday evening trying to get it dry, decorate it, and fill it! Anyway, eventually it ended up looking like this:



For a rush job in the end I don’t think it looks too bad! Inside the basket I put these goodies for the little man:


  • That’s not my bunny touchy feely book
  • Hop DVD
  • Bunny ears
  • Bunny bubble wand
  • Peppa Pig surprise egg with jelly beans, stickers and a toy
  • Smarties chick
  • Milkybar bunny
  • 4 plastic eggs filled with small chocolate eggs with mini Smarties inside
  • 4 plastic eggs filled with bunny marshmallows
He loved it all, I wouldn’t say he really had a favourite item though he did tuck into the Milkybar bunny straight away!

As little man N was only 7 weeks old we I just had to dress him up, so he got this Easter bunny onesie:


I might be biased but I think he looks looks darn cute!

We had my father and brother in-law around for lunch and we had a lamb roast done in the slow cooker, it was flipping delicious but I never got a photo! For dessert I made this salted caramel mini egg millionaire’s shortbread (also mega yummy but ever so sickly!):


How was your Easter?

Foodie Penpals – March reveal

This month my Foodie Penpals parcel came from the lovely Marjan all the way over in The Netherlands! I always love receiving my parcel from overseas as it means I get to try to local foods that I probably wouldn’t get the chance to otherwise.

The parcel made me smile straight away when I opened it to this gorgeous postcard with a glimpse of The Netherlands. I have visited a few times and I forgot how beautiful it was. I’ve also never tried any regional foods from there!



First up were these cheese biscuits – quite like ones we get over here. Still, yummy and very moreish – kind of like the taste of cheese straws.

Next up, ‘Old Amsterdam’ cheese. I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet but I’m sure it’ll be delicious – I love cheese!

First of the sweet items which Marjan included, these waffles with syrup. They are very sweet so just one is enough for me. They are so nice though. I had one straight out of the packet for the purposes of this post, but Marjan says they are lovely just blitzed in the microwave too – I will try that next time. 

Next up, these mini Easter eggs, of four different flavours – milk, dark, white & mocha. Also very moreish and hubby & I polished off the lot in one sitting! I thought they were nicer than the ones we get over here…

Finally, a smaller version of the traditional bread which is eaten at Easter in the Netherlands. This was one of my favourites in the parcel – it reminded me a little of Stollen as it had marzipan through the middle. I could probably eat the whole of the normal sized version of this!

If you wish to find out more about Foodie Penpals and join in, visit Rock Salt for more details.


The Lean Green Bean

Foodie Penpals – February reveal

Right, so I am a lot late with my reveal for February’s foodie penpals. My labour started on reveal date and I hadn’t written this post by then, and I have still been trying to find my feet as a mummy of two and finding time for blogging (must find some kind of routine!). Anyway, here it is – better late than never?!


My parcel for February came from the lovely Carol from Wales who blogs over at Corpulent Capers. As ever, I was excited and eager to see what was in my parcel – especially as I told her in my email that I was pregnant and nearing my due date with a very sweet tooth! 


So what did I see first when I opened it?!…

Well first up was some clotted cream shortbread. I only usually ever have shortbread at Christmas so this was a lovely item to receive. There were two large rounds, and it took me two sittings to eat them – one round at a time! Delicious. 
Next up, a lovely home made jam – carrot cake flavour. I found this very intriguing and had no idea what it would taste like. It is ‘a pear, pineapple and carrot jam with added spices’ – my mouth was watering when I read this description. There are many ways this could be eaten but I tried it on cream crackers with cream cheese – yummy. The jam itself is very sweet but has a lovely tangy taste to it. 

The next item I pulled out was this peanut brittle. I haven’t had anything like this for years so it was one of the first things I tucked into. I was expecting it to be quite hard but it was soft and easy to eat, in fact it could have been peanut fudge as it had that kind of texture. It didn’t last long either! 



Also in my package was this little bag of sweets (tied with a cute ribbon) from a popular sweet shop in Abergavenny. They are mint so they kept me going through my labour. 

And finally, on the savoury side, was this curry spice mix. It is ‘tantalizing tikka’ flavour which is a good choice as it’s usually hubby’s preferred option. I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet but I’m sure I will soon as we love a curry!

If you wish to find out more about Foodie Penpals and join in, visit Rock Salt for more details.

Review – Organix Winter Warmers range

Since we started weaning little man we have used the Organix brand – even now he especially loves the cheese & herb puffs; well he loves anything that tastes of cheese really! We have also used the fruit pots and breakfast cereals, but not the meals which we sent to try some of – from the Winter Warmers range (priced at £1.99 RRP, recommended for 1-3 years old). 


On their website Organix state:

Our Unique No Junk Promise guarantees our foods are made with nothing but the best-quality organic ingredients.

When buying ready made meals from brands, I think that this is at the top of most parents’ list as we want to feed our child with top quality healthy foods. Being a stay at home Mum, the majority of the time I cook most meals from scratch, but these Organix meals come in very handy when I just can’t be bothered to cook and hubby & I have a takeaway or a ready made off the shelf meal! They are made from ingredients that would normally be found in a home kitchen, and they only take a couple of minutes in the microwave, or you can even cook them on the hob but they obviously take a little longer.

We were sent three soups (Mighty Soups) – Hearty Root Veg & Beans, Tangy Tomato & Pasta, and Tasty Sweetcorn & Noodles:


And three meals (Mighty Meals) – Pasta Shells & Vegetables in a Tomatoey Sauce, Spaghetti with Pork & Bean Meatballs, and Hearty Veg, Bean & Lamb Hotpot.


The Mighty in the name stays true to form, as the meals are packed with chunky ingredients so there is plenty of texture and goodness in there. The same goes for the soups, they are not just standard ‘liquid’ soups so they are a bit more interesting for little mouths.

Hearty Veg, Bean & Lamb Hotpot


I own up to even having a little taste as they smell yummy, and I would actually eat it myself! The portion sizes are just right and pretty much equivalent to what I would serve up, though little man is a real gannet and I think he would actually eat more if there was more in it! 


Little man is a pasta fan so he especially enjoyed the pasta shells and the spaghetti. He was a bit wary of the soups at first, but I think that’s because he has rarely had soup before so it was a new way of eating for him, but he soon became accustomed to it. 

Overall I think these meals are good value, tasty, and I would use them again if we were in a rush or I was not in a cooking mood. There are also other delicious sounding flavours which we will probably try. 

Our rating – 4/5

Disclosure
We were sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest and our own.