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Friday, 27 February 2015

Lemon Pepper Chicken (in the Actifry)

There are not many kitchen gadgets or small appliances that I can say have been worth their weight in gold, but I can honestly say that the Tefal Actifry has earned it's place on my kitchen shelf, and not been pushed to the back of the cupboard.

We mostly use it for healthy chips, wedges or roast potatoes, and it's so simple that even the husband can use it. From time to time I do the odd stir fry in it, but as it's not large enough to make stir fry for the whole family, I only really use it when I'm making lunch for myself or dinner for two.

It is, however, large enough to cook enough chicken or pork for all of us in only 10 minutes, which can then be added to fried rice, pasta or vegetables.

Lemon pepper chicken is a dish I like to make myself for lunch as it's really quick and takes little effort, as well as being really tasty, with enough pepper in it to give it a nice kick.

Lemon Pepper Chicken (in the Actifry)

Lemon Pepper Chicken - serves 1

1 chicken breast
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground black pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
  • Cut the chicken into thin strips & place in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, black pepper, soy sauce & olive oil and mix to combine
  • Add to the Actifry and spread around to avoid it sticking together
  • Cook for 10 minutes (this may vary slightly depending on the thickness of your chicken. ensure it's fully cooked before serving)

I served with fried brown basmati rice and vegetables

Lemon Pepper Chicken (in the Actifry) Lemon Pepper Chicken (in the Actifry) Lemon Pepper Chicken (in the Actifry)

Weight Watchers Filling & Healthy : This is suitable for Weight Watchers filling & healthy and is completely free if you use the olive oil from your healthy oil allowance.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Finding my Better Place - Syndol #BetterPlaces

Last week was half term here, and whilst I love having the kids at home and not having to do the school run each morning and afternoon, I felt as though my head was going to explode at times. Having three children of different ages, sexes (well not all 3 are different, but you get the idea) and with different interests, can cause problems at times. Whilst one wants to go swimming or play football with friends, another wants to go shopping in town and the third wants to do whatever Mummy is doing. Thankfully the husband was off work last week too, and he took on the role of 'Dad's Taxi' whilst I got on with work and entertaining a five year old.

By the end of the week I felt as though I had been running a café/hotel/laundrette and my head was pounding. Luckily we were heading off to London for a couple of days break from the norm, which was very much needed, but usually when I feel like I'm going to explode I like to pull my running shoes on and head out into the countryside close to where I live.

Finding my Better Place - Syndol #BetterPlaces

We may not have beaches or mountains, but here in the heart of Staffordshire we have country lanes, and lots of them. I have a 5k loop that I like to run (and walk a bit) from time to time, which doesn't see much traffic, but if you keep your eyes peeled you may just see cows, sheep, horses, rainbows, spring flowers, sunrises and sunsets.

 photo runningloop_zpsc6bb01f9.jpg

I usually take my phone with me to record my distance and time, and take the odd photos, but one day I took my Nikon with me to grab a few clearer images of my #BetterPlaces for the Syndol Find Your Better Place campaign.

 photo DSC_0811_zps8fc5641e.jpg  photo DSC_0819_zps9697167f.jpg  photo DSC_0814_zpsbd086054.jpg  photo DSC_0828_zpsda0440b2.jpg  photo DSC_0837_zps05fdd8b1.jpg  photo DSC_0841_zps2c000703.jpg  photo DSC_0842_zpsdb457e3e.jpg

Where do you go to clear your head? Do you have a Better Place?

“This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Find Your Better Place campaign with BritMums. Syndol is now formulated for headaches. Visit for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.” and linking to 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake

It's not often that I buy sweets, cakes or junk food so it's rare that there's something 'naughty' in the house, unless it's been a birthday, Christmas, Easter or I've gone shopping whilst hungry and been led astray by special offers, or of course when I've been baking. So when the kids ask for pudding, and the cake tin is empty, this is my go to quick recipe for a delicious dessert that can be eaten straight from the oven, drowning in custard.

It takes a matter of minutes to prepare in the food processor attachment on my Kenwood Chef Sense, and 20-25 minutes to bake. You don't even need to have your ingredients at room temperature, and they can all be weighed straight into the bowl together, to save on washing up. I also use cake tin liners, which is another great time saver.

Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake

Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake - makes 1 x 8" cake

2 medium free range eggs (weighed in their shells)
equivalent weight (approx 115g) of :
self raising flour
caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp natural yogurt or coconut cream
1 eating apple, cored & sliced
1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • Add the eggs, flour, butter, caster sugar, cinnamon and yogurt to the bowl of the food processor
  • Pulse until fully combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice
  • Add the apple and pulse a few more times
  • Pour the batter into a greased and lined 8" sandwich tin
  • Scatter the demerara sugar evenly over the batter
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown & springy to the touch
  • Eat warm or cold
Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake

Crispy on the top, and moist and fruity in the centre.

Quick and Tasty All-in-One Cinnamon Apple Cake

If you want to see more recipes that can be made in a Kenwood Chef Sense then check out these videos, where you might just spot little old me! *runs and hides*.

More videos like these can be found on the Kenwood You Tube Channel and Kenwood website.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf

I got up this morning with a spring in my step. Two out of three children were still sleeping so after my shower I went to wake them, and there was a hint of daylight peeking through the blinds. It was great to feel that spring was on it's way. The sun was shining and I decided to go without socks, and very nearly went without my coat on the school run. 

I'm so glad that I came to my senses before I stepped outside the door as it was freezing! I was completely fooled by that sun for a moment, and I'm certain that I'll be keeping the winter coat out for a few more weeks at least.

Once the shopping was delivered I decided to make a meatloaf, which would be a perfect hearty meal for the kids after their first day back at school. I spiced it up with some Baharat spice, which is a blend of spices used in Middle Eastern cooking, that contains paprika, coriander, black pepper, cayenne, cumin, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. It's not too spicy but adds a delicious flavour, and the vegetables keep the meatloaf moist. You could just grate the vegetables, which will give it more texture, but processing them hides them from the pickiest of eaters. I topped with a mildly spiced tomato sauce, which can be blended to make a smooth sauce if preferred.

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf

2 small red onions
1 small carrot, peeled
1 small courgette
750g lean beef mince
3 tbsp ground oats (I grind a large batch of oats at a time in the food processor & store in a jar)
1 egg
3 tsp Baharat spice
1 tsp olive oil

400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Baharat spice

  • Add the onions, carrot and courgette to a food processor and blitz until finely chopped
  • In a large bowl mix together the blitzed vegetables, mince, oats, egg and spices until well combined
  • Brush a loaf tin with the olive oil and line with baking paper
  • Add the mixture to the tin, cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 45-60 minutes, until cooked all the way through, removing the foil for the last 23 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes and spice to a saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer until thickened
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes, drain any excess juices before slicing and serving with the tomato sauce

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf Middle Eastern Spiced Meatloaf

Weight Watchers Filling & Healthy : This is suitable for Weight Watchers filling & healthy and is completely point free (if using the olive oil from your daily healthy oil allowance)


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