Top 5 Cookbooks

Hello, Its me….talking about food AGAIN!  Here are, what I consider to be, the Top 5 cookbooks owned by yours truly.

Levi Roots  – Caribbean Food Made Easy

Product DetailsSince  discovering Levi Roots’ cookbooks, dinner times in the Essex house have never been the same.  I’ve experimented with so many new flavors and ingredients thanks to him and it has influenced so many of my new dinner ideas.  It also introduced ‘Gingered-Up Chicken Pasta‘ into my life for which I will be eternally grateful.

Jamie Oliver – Jamie’s Italy

Product DetailsI love all of My Oliver’s books, in fact I just love Mr Oliver in general, but this book is by far his best yet.  The Fennel Risotto is AMAZING.

Rachel Allen – Bake

Product DetailsRachel Allen has a knack of creating great ‘go to’ cookbooks. This book, along with the other two I own of hers, offer me mid-week dinner inspiration time after time.

Nigella Lawson – Nigella’s Christmas

Product DetailsOther than my Christmas pudding which is, and always will be, a Delia inspired one, Nigella Lawson has Christmas solved with this beautiful book. The Christmas cake is better than any you will ever find in a shop and the Mac and Cheese and Tiramisu recipes are so good I use them all year round.  Remember, a cookbook is for life not just for Christmas.

Joanna Weinberg  – How to feed your friends with relish

Product Details

This was a Christmas present from the Essex Husband and it showed me just how well he knows me.  The book is amazing, its not just recipes, its a guide to being the perfect hostess.  Tips to make your weekend guests feels as at home as possible, ideas on how to throw the perfect dinner party, there is even a whole section of flowers.  Its quickly become my household bible.

I just couldn’t resist joining in with this weeks Listography over at Kate Takes 5 – I do love my food porn after all. Pop and take a look to see what other cookbooks are being talked about, there are some really good ones out there!

Image Credits – Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com

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Homemade Baked Beans Recipe

These add a real zing to a cooked breakfast to dinner time classics such as sassuage and mash.

Warning: Once you try these your family will never let you go back to shop bought baked beans again!

Ingredients (serves 4 as part of a meal or 2 for beans on toast)

400g tin of Haricot Beans

1 Garlic clove roughtly chopped

3 tbsp Tomato Puree

2 Tbsp Maple Syryp

1 Tbsp Soft Brown Sugar

3 Tbsp Cider Vinger

2 Tbsp Water

2 Large pinches of salt

1 Large pinches of ground all spice

3 Bay leaves

Method

Preheat the oven to 200

Drain and rinse haricot beans and place them in an oven proof dish with a lid

Add in all other ingredients, stir to mix thoroughly and cover with lid

Bake in the oven for 30 mins – stir every 10 mins to prevent sticking

Remove bay leaves and garlic before serving

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Hope you like these as much as we do – Enjoy!

 

Exciting Times at The Pier, Harwich

I love visiting Harwich. My beloved Aunt and Uncle live there, walking distance from the sea, and I never tire of a walk along the Ha’penny Pier to watch the fishing boats come and go with the daily catch.  When I’m there I just cannot resist having lunch at the Milsom’s seaside offering, The Pier Restaurant and Hotel.

What better place to eat than walking distance from where the day’s fish has been bought ashore after all?

And there are exciting new changes afoot at this charming waterfront eatery.  Tom Bushell, the revered chef at Le Talbooth, has made the move to The Pier to take on the exciting new challenge of Head Chef.  Armed with fresh ideas and an inspiring new menu an excited Tom said ‘it was my boyhood dream when I first started in Dedham to one day work at The Pier. I never thought I’d end up as head chef in the Harbourside restaurant’

If you haven’t been to Harwich before and visited The Pier it really is a must for this summer.  With the first floor restaurant views over the Stour and Orwell estuaries, it really is a treat that has to be seen to be believed. As well as The Harbourside restaurant, The Pier also has the Ha’penny Brassiere on the ground floor and 14 bedrooms, perfect for a luxurious weekend at the seaside.

For more information on The Pier Harwich, and all Milsom’s hotels and restaurants, please visit http://www.milsomhotels.com/

Get Set Bake Review

With the kitchen being my favorite room in the house and cooking one of the things I most enjoy doing I’m sure that it will come as no surprise that I have fallen in love with Get Set Bake baking kits.

Set up by sisters Henrietta and Anastasia, Get Set Bake is wonderful idea allowing even the most novice of bakers create wonderful cakes and biscuits in their own homes.

My favourite of the kits we have tried has to be the heart shaped biscuit kits – they tasty so yummy and looked so lovely on the place.  The only problem with them was they were so good they got eaten by the family before I got a chance to take a picture of my master piece.

The kits contain all the dry ingredients you need for you baking plus any cases, cutters and icing you may need.  Having the ingredients ready weighed really takes the hassle out of an afternoon of cake making, this is a major plus point when I normally have little hands trying to help.

These kits would make great presents, I know my little lady would love to receive one for her birthday this weekend, and I think I have the mothers’ day gifts sorted for this year too.

Mothers Day Kit

Cupcake kit that is a fun and delicious way to celebrate!  The kit makes 6 large cupcakes and includes beautiful edible flowers, glitter, Belgian chocolate, piping bag and all the dry ingredients needed. Costing only £8 this is a sweet treat not to be missed.

For more information on Get Set Bake and their Baking Kits please visit their website.  I cannot wait to put my apron back on and start baking again.

Money, Money, Money – Saving For The Future

The past 4 years have seen me meet the man of my dreams, have two children, buy a house and get married. It’s been a whirlwind, it’s been emotional and it’s been breath-taking BUT my goodness it’s been expensive!! It’s seen our savings depleted and left us looking for ways to save money in order to build them back up again.

With two beautiful daughters we know that the future isn’t going to be cheap either.  If they have anywhere near the taste for clothes, shoes, bags and make up as their mummy we may be in trouble.  Then there are the weddings to think about.  I’m quite a traditionalist at heart and would like to think that my husband and I would be in a position to help out with, if not pay for in full, both of our daughters’ weddings.

So where do we start? Well as I am the one off work and running the home I have been given the task of getting the family to be frugal.  First stop was to take a look at our outgoings and cut down on unnecessary expenditures. The amount I spent on lunch and coffee when out in town each week was astounding, especially as I have perfectly good coffee and cakes at home. We now have a set amount for such luxuries a month so we can keep on top of our spending.  Next I got tight on our shopping budget, planning our meals on a weekly basis so I only bought what we needed cutting down on wasted food that was essentially just wasted money. Good for the pocket and good for the environment, so everyone is a winner with this one. These small changes have made a huge difference to our finical situation and have allowed me the privilege of giving up full time work and becoming a housewife so I can raise our two amazing daughters.

Don’t get me wrong, some days I hate the fact I have to stick to a budget and crave the time when my disposal income was sky high.  However I know we are both still in our 20’s and have our whole lives ahead of us to enjoy our money. If we give ourselves a good footing now, in the future we will literally be laughing all the way to the bank.

 This is a sponsored post – but the views are all my own