Meal Inspiration Monday- Spicy Sausage Chilli

 

Something which I love to consume in the winter is a chilli. For me it is one of those hearty warm meals which warms me up after a cold hard day. This is something which I have consumed so many times when I have been growing up and has become a staple. I have even managed to cook it when I was living away at university on a budget. When we moved house and I actually purchased the Hello Fresh cook book. I found a variation which used Sausage this is something which I have made several times since and I love. I think it may be one of my favourite meals I have had the book.  Today I am going to share with you the recipe.

Ingredient – Serves 2

1 Leak

1 Red Pepper

4 Sausages

1 Clove Garlic

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1/2 Bunch Chives

1 Tin Kidney Beans

1.5 tsp Paprika

1.5 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 Beef Stock Pot

Utensils

Knife, Frying Pan , Sieve,Bowl

Method
  1. Remove the dark green top and the bottom root from the leek. Cut in half length ways, then slice into thin half moon shapes. Peel and grate the garlic. Remove the core from the red pepper and chop into small 1cm chunks. Chop the chives into ½cm pieces.

2. Put a large frying pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add your leek and pepper and cook for 5 mins till softened.

3. Remove the sausage from the skins, you can get rid of the skin. Drain the kidney beans.

4. After the 5 minutes of the Leeks cooking add the sausage meat to the pan. Cook this for a further 5 mins making sure you break down the sausage meat so it cooks evenly. During this time it should go brown when this is up add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

5. Once you have done this add in the  garlic, smoked paprika and ground cumin. Mix together and cook for a further 1 minute.

6. Pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan, rinse the tin out and then add a 1/4 of a tin of water and mix it together.

7. Add the beef stock pot and stir until dissolved, then add your kidney beans. Stir together and cook for a futher 10-12 mins, until your chilli is thick. The consistency you would expect chilli to be.

8. You may want to season with some salt and pepper.

I serve mine sometimes on it’s own as I find the chilli to be very filling. I have also served it with rice and also tortillas which have been toasted or even the cheap slightly salted Doritos. You could serve it with whatever you would like.

Have you tried using sausage in chilli?

 

Charlotte xx

 

Toddler Christmas Gift Guide 2018

Today I am going to be sharing with you another gift guide. In this edition, it is going to be all about the toddlers I have a 3-Year-old Jess.  Today I am going to be sharing some of the presents we have purchased her. It might like a lot but some of these items are ones which she already owns and that’s why it looks so much more.  Toddlers can hard to purchase for because it feels like they have everything.  Jess also is lucky to receive so many presents off the grandparents as well.  On with the post because I know it is going to be a long one anyway.

Balance Bike

A balance bike is something which we have chosen this year. She has had a scuttlebug and toddler 2 bike and has just become too big for both of them sadly. She loves to be able to ride around the garden on something when the weather is nice .  I can imagine when the weather is better she is going to be able to go to the park on it because we are lucky to live close to two parks. I am one who is super organised so managed to pick up a balance bike on living social which should have cost £50 for half price it’s worth checking sites like these for toys.  Halford’s usually have money off children’s bikes close to Christmas.

Toy Kitchen

Jess is lucky that she does own a toy kitchen which her grandparents purchased last Christmas. Since we moved house this is something which Jess has been playing with so much. We have managed to put it in the wendy house.  I think this is going to be something which she is only going o get more use out of when the weather improves.  If your child does not already own one I am sure they would love one. I have had my eye on the Aldi wooden one because the one Jess has is not the greatest condition. I love wooden toys I know the Aldi one will be out of stock as it is that popular. The Great Little Trading Company do a wooden on which I would love but it is so expensive.  When it comes to a kitchen it can be passed down between any further children we may have.

Shop

One thing which Jess is obsessed at the moment with is pretending that she is going to the shop. Something which I saw in the Aldi toy sale was a wooden toy shop at one side and a puppet theater on the other.  This means that there is the benefit of this gift been two in one because you get both. I did not have to purchase any food as Jess has so much from the kitchen.  This is something which is is going to get so much love no doubt I will have to be a customer and a shop keeper. I have also picked her up a till because what kind of shop would she be if she did not have a till.  Again,  picked this up in Aldi which means that it is wooden so should not become broken easy. I have noticed as well that the money which comes with is also wooden. With it been a theater on the other side it means I have had to purchase some puppets. I purchased a range from Aldi when they had them on and also Amazon. I could not believe how expensive puppets are in the shops.

Books

Even though I am doing a book advent calendar for Jess I am always keen to increase her book collection. We read a story an night so can easy become bored of the same books. The ones which I have saved for Christmas presents are the Disney ones these  Aldi had in stock. I promise this gift guide is not sponsored by Aldi. These are longer books so this might mean that they are going to have to be read over a couple of evenings. These are going to be something which we are going to treasure. I can see us owning these books for a long period of time.  Eventually I am sure we will end up reading them all in one sitting. Of course, you could purchase books depending on their age and attention span.  You could even pick up books second hand in the charity shop because some of them are really in good condition for really cheap.

Selection Boxes

We do not get Jess too much chocolate because we do allow her to share some of ours. When I was in Home Bargains I found the paw patrol ones. I know this is going to be cheap chocolate but she will love it because it has the pups on.  You can easily wrap these up and put them in your child stocking or a normal present.  Of course, there is a wide selection of selection boxes available some with characters on. Then obviously there are the classic ones which you get including Cadbury depending on which your child likes more. I always remember as a child being given a selection box a Christmas. This is something I hope to do with Jess as well.  You could even get some chocolate coins as well which is something which I might actually purchase before Christmas.

Gellibaff

Spending a lot of time in the bath is something which Jess adores to do. So when Gellibaff offered to send us some products I just had to say yes. This these are products which Jess is going to have so much fun with. If you do not know Gelli Baff sends you water like jelly. While Slime Baff is going to turn your bath or whatever you put in it slimey.  Its safe because I know there is a worry about the safeness of slime at the moment with Baron. However, this does not contain this which is always a bonus. These are so cheap could not believe that they are cheaper than a lush bath bomb at only £2.50.  You run your bath normally add the mixture and wait for between 10-20 minutes depending on the temperature of the bath.  Slime baff you only have to run more water which is going to make it dissolve. The Gell baff you do have to get the dissolver which then allows it to go down the plug hole.  I will be a doing a full review on this at a later date.  If your child loves the bath as much as much this is going to be an ideal present you can even pick this up from the supermarkets.

Orchard Toys

Orchard toys are a company which we love to play their games have had hours of fun with them. If you purchase the mini-games they come in small boxes which means that you can travel with them. We only have the summer editions of these games but I know we are going to purchase more of them. Hours of fun have been had with these  because they are so simple which means that Jess can play them without getting bored. We currently have a matching game, snap and a counting game I spoke about them more here. Personally, I think this is amazing because it is a fun way of her learning which is always a bonus.  She wants to play all of the time because you can play from 2 players usually we can play.  These games usually are under £10 which you can afford to get a couple. The games which are suitable for toddlers to 9 year old meaning you can get the whole family involved.  You can purchase them on Amazon and in most toy stores I know our local one stocks them.

Bath Crayons

These are something which has brought hours of fun to our lives since we first used them several years ago now.  f you have not heard of them before they are crayons which you wet it almost turns to paint which you cause to draw on either yourself or the bath. It is great because it just washes away and does not stain your bath or the tiles which your child may draw on. We have found it is easy to get off the skin because I have been painted several times when I have been supervising bath time and it has always come off. We have found I think it was last year that these only rose in price on Amazon and we ended up finding them in Boyes I would not pay more than about a couple of pound for them. If you leave hem for too long like Jess has a tendency to do in the water they just go all mushy and horrible. This year while having a walk around Home Bargains I found these which come with a Skye wash mit which means that she is going to be able to clean herself with her favourite pup. It was only £1 which is amazing for something paw patrol.

Pyjamas

Pyjamas I know are something which most people get new on Christmas Eve. However, shockingly we are a family who does not do this tradition at the moment. I do like to purchase pyjamas as gifts for Christmas. I have managed to pick up some Disney ones which Jess this is because we are lucky to live close to a gap outlet store. Which means I can pick them up for a fraction of the retail price. Usually I like to get Jess character ones because think that thin she will appreciate them more and usually the character ones are the ones she wants to wear.  There is nothing better than being able to get cosy as a family in all your pyjamas. This year I am tempted to get some of the matching family ones but we might see about this.  I have noticed while browsing the shops that for toddlers you can purchase Pyjama sets. These come with a dressing gown which can be handy after the bath. These usually are character ones and are around the £13 mark.

Lego

Lego is meting which I recommended in my male gift guide  you may think that toddlers are a little bit too young.  However, we have found that as long as Jess is supervised when she is playing with it we have no problems. We have found that she is a lot more creative when she plays with lego compared to mega blocks. Again like I said in my male one I would recommend the classic more for children because it allows them to use their imagination. I do not think if she had the sets she would not be as creative and wouldn’t play as often.  Jess loves more of the transport items which means that we always have train tracks and also boats out.  I think at one stage we had a house in the middle of a train track.  When I was in The Works I noticed that they had a huge base plate which is compatible with Lego. It is huge and as you know lego is not cheap and this huge baseplate it only cost me £8 I know it would be at least double if you ordered this from official lego.  The works are incredible fo gifts you should check them out for everyone’s gifts.

Jigsaws

Jigsaws are something which Jess has got into recently, however,  we do not have that many because of space really.  She is able to do the couple of bigger jigsaws which she already has. She now can do them without even asking for help which for me tells me that they are a little bit too easy.  I find that it is great being able to do some jigsaws when then the weather is rubbish outside because they are so fun to do. I picked up this Paw Patrol because of this smaller pieces that the ones which she has. Hopefully, this means that she is going to find it a bit harder and of course you always want to make something which you enjoy.   I am not one of the parents who can sit and do jigsaw but because Jess is so happy to do them alone it works.  You can actually purchase them so easily in a lot of cheap shops. I might have to see if I can purchase some more in the run up to Christmas.

Writing

Learning to write is something which Jess is trying so hard. She has tried to write her name so much it is so hard to believe that she is only 3 sometimes because she is so ahead.  I know she has a short name and this could be why. This book is actually is wiped clean it means that she is going to be reuse it several times. I know maybe she is a little bit young to do this but because she wants to do it and be grown up. These are the first 100 words which kids should be able to write so of course, these are short words. I think this is something which will help and enhance her learning which she does at nursery. This is one of a couple of books which are going to be able to help get a good pencil control.  I always love getting her a few presents which are going to help her learn but also be fun. Again The Works are so amazing for things like this. 

What do you recommend getting your toddler this Christmas?

 

Charlotte xx

This post includes some PR samples however, all views are my own.

 

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide For Men 2018

Can you believe it today it is time to share the first of my Christmas Gift Guides. I have decided that I am going to kick them off with my gift for men this year.   I do have a few males which I have to purchase for this festive season. Of course. I have 8 males to purchase for and this does include Joe of course. I have not included any of Joe’s presents because I know he is likely to read this post.

Skincare

Men’s skincare is something which has only exploded in the last few years. There are now so many brands who actually make skincare we have managed to try a few different brands. I actually use it because I find it so much better than some of the female brands. Admiral is one of the brands whose products which I enjoy. I have done a whole review actually on Admiral I have linked it.  Body wash is something which all men need to use and this does have a really nice scent. It is not over a manly scent but it does have a scent which is always a bonus. Men usually do not get as many different scents women. The hair wash it really good  I have found that it does keep your hair clean for several days. Without a doubt, this hair wash you could use every single day.  Moisturiser is something which a lot of men use now because they want to look after their skin. These gift sets are something which I have picked up for a few people because I know how much people are going to love them.  They also do an amazing facial scrub which is not in this gift set but I would recommend purchasing.  These gift sets are a bargain at £9 from fragrance direct, the actual products are worth around £20.

Sauces

Hot sauce sets are something which I purchase often due to my Dad loving everything hot. Purchasing sets like this allow you to try a range of sauces which you may not normally do.  This set, for example, has 8 different sauces and normally they might try one.  This means if they do like one of the sauces they could go and repurchase a bigger size bottle. Usually, as you can see from the packaging the bottles are tester sizes this one is 48g. If the person your buying for does not like hot sauce but for example likes flavoured coffee. There is a wide range of gift sets which contain the syrup for coffee. I have seen some of the sets which have been olive oil and all different kind of food-related gifts. Over the years we have found that TKmaxx or Homesense usually have a good selection of food gifts. The one in the picture above which contains 8 different hot sauces came from there and was around the £10 mark I seem to remember.

Clothing

I always find for people like Joe or my brother that clothing is a good gift. This could be because I think they should look good the majority of the time. I usually have a look at Hollister as they do some amazing basics which last forever. They seem to wash well which means they look like new for a long time. If you can get them on a sale price then they are not a bad price either. I know you do not want to always spend too much on each person at Christmas. Sign up to their newsletter which allows you to know when they have offers on. Boohoo is another place which does sell so many amazing male clothing usually they are not that expensive. From the clothing which Joe has had, we have actually found them to good. Again Boohoo have money off all of the time it varies between 20-30% . This means you can sometimes get a whole outfit for around the £20 mark. I have actually purchased a whole outfit this year as a gift. Don’t even be afraid to purchase socks men do actually want and use them.

Sweets

Sweets are a treat which of course people love to. You could purchase their favourite sweets if this is something that you know. For me, we have decided to pick up these Jellyactrics which are basically Jelly Babies. Instead, they are designed to be older people instead of babies. These are more of a joke present I  picked them up because I know that those who I am gifting them to will find them amusing. Pick n Mix is something which I would love to receive because these are some of my favourite sweets.  If you are purchasing sweets make sure you know they like the ones which you have purchased . There is nothing worse than them not actually liking the sweets which have actually been given. If you like me want to gift Jellyatrics you can purchase them from Hawkin’s Bazaar this is the cheapest place I found them at £1.75 a bag.

Toiletries

These are something every male needs no matter their age they are still going to be using the shower.  Gifts like this can be amazing for people who you do not see often like Grandad’s. When you are looking at toiletries gift sets make sure you look at them properly. For example, there is a lot of them which contain body lotion. I know the males we buy for are unlikely to use body lotion so it is pointless getting a set with it in for them not to use it. The one which we have chosen to gift this year is the Bayliss and Harding gift set which included Body wash and a shower gel. We know they will use everything in it which means they will be no waste products.  The gift set we purchased is currently on offer for £5 so will not break the bank. We have decided to give this to the Granddad’s instead of purchasing something like Old Spice or Brut like we usually do.

Scratch Off Map

If you have someone who is into travelling why not purchase them a map which you scratch off when you have visited the country. This is great because it is going to last a long time because when they first get it they can do the countries which they have already visited. The overtime when they go to more countries they can continue to do it.  This could also motivate them into booking a trip to another country which they have not visited.  This then would allow them to scatch another place off. They are so beautiful posters that they look good anywhere in the house because of them can look very tacky. The one which we have purchased for a gift is actually A1 so it is pretty large. It would look great in something like an office but do take into account the size when you order one. You do not want to purchase one and then it is way too big. I think you can actually get some smaller ones if this size would be too big.  This gift would be great for anyone or if like us sometimes you have to purchase a gift for a couple but really do not know what to purchase.  I purchased this one from Amazon for around the £10 mark I know they are more expensive at the moment but with black Friday coming up they are sure to be on offer.

 

Adult Books

No, I am not out to go all fifty shades of grey on you are all I do not mean that kind of adult book . I have noticed there is an increase in the amount of parody adult funny books this year. I have actually picked up two the first been the hungover caterpillar. This is a play on very hunger caterpillar but about a guy who is hungover so eats as much as the hungry caterpillar. This is a book which Jess was obsessed with and made my brother and I we knew the words off by heart. I thought it would be funny if she purchased him this book. I picked it up in The works but I do know you can get it on Amazon.  You could always gift this to someone who has been forced to read this book several times as well.  Another book which I have picked up is one which is for a friend who is into fitness and HITT.   While browsing on ASOS I  came across this book which is high-intensity intercourse training which is something which HITT could stand for.  I actually bought this as a joke present but did not realise how good it was.  It has about 60 positions in it telling you the intensity and difficulty in case you fancy trying them out which I found funny. I know the person who I have purchased it for will also find it amusing.  If you fancy purchasing this book it can be found on ASOS.

Console Games/ Accessories

If your other half is anything, like mine then they are really into gaming. Whether that be PC gaming or console gaming you could purchase them a game which you have heard them talk about. If you are doing this check they do not already own it.   I know the big one which has just been released is Red Dead Redemption 2,  the new Forza Horizon has also been released on the Xbox.  I am unsure what has really come out on the PS4. If you do not know what game they want you could purchase them a gift card so they can download the game which they want. If you do not want to go through the expense of purchasing a game you could purchase an alternative/. For example, they may thank you for a controller if theirs is starting to become old, a hard drive so they can store more games. Also if they like playing with friends maybe a headset would be perfect.  We have found that when it comes to gaming some of the best deals can be found on Amazon so this is a place to check out.

Gimmiz Bar Mats Image 3

Games

If the person you need to purchase a gift for is really into board games this could be an idea for a present. I know the males in my life would not be the kind who are going to sit and play board games.  I usually like to pick up some games which they can play on Christmas day. My brother has just started uni and as you know this is the time when you start playing more drinking games. I know when I was at uni this is something which we did for pre-drinking.  We all had different games but people never really knew the rules so we played a variation. So when I was in Wilko and I saw a game which had 30 bar mats with 30 different drinking games. I could not believe that these were only £3. They do a range of different games as well including champagne pong and a range of drinking games. The majority of them are under the £5 mark which means they are great for secret Santa. If you are hosting this festive season these would be so good because you could pick up a few and have so much fun. You can even purchase them on Wilko’s online store here.

Lego

Lego is not something which boys ever grow out of.  I know for sure that Joe still enjoys playing lego now as much as when he was a child. He loves nothing more than building things with Jess but you want the freedom to create whatever you fancy.  Instead of purchasing a lot of sets which means that you are restricted to what set you to have to what you can build why not get classic lego.  Unless you are purchasing something like a set of New York to announce a trip there.   This is actually a present for Jess but I know so many men are into lego and building which is why I have included it.  I managed to pick the 900 pieces set in Asda for £18 a while ago.  For sure there is going to hours of fun as a result of this, it is also a good bonding experience for Dad’s and their children.  This is something which Jess and Joe spend hours doing and creating different models.  I know Amazon have some sets which are at least 50% off meaning you can save some pennies.

Boob Egg Cup

I actually saw this on a Holly Vlogs video if you do not know who she goes around bargain stores showing you all the bargains to be had.  She showed this egg cup which holds two eggs which is perfect if you know someone who likes to have hard boiled eggs.  These can be found in the pound shop for you guessed it the mear sum of one pound. I thought that this would be a great a secret Santa joke present. This is almost what I have purchased it for. I know the person who will be receiving this will find it very funny. Of course, you do need to make sure that they are not going to take offense.  I know they can be some issues with people recieving boobs or other parts of the body as gifts. This does feel like it is good quality rather than cheap. I am unsure if they do anything else apart from Boobs so it may be worth checking out the Pound shop this year for some gifts.

I hope this has helped in getting some inspiration for seeing what I have purchased for the males in my life.  Let me know in the comments what you are going to purchase for the males in your life this Christmas.

 

Charlotte xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- King Prawn and Courgette Curry

Its Monday again which means it’s time to share with you another meal which I have been cooking recently. I actually have made this one a couple of times due to the fact that I have found myself with courgettes left over from other meals I have made. I do not like waste and I would rather turn left overs into a meal than throw them away. One of the meals which I have made is the courgette and king prawn curry. When I made this one it actually made the whole house smell amazing and like an Indian.  Just for the scent alone I would make this meal again.

Ingredients- Serves 2

2 tbsp Olive Oil

500g Courgette thickly sliced

½ tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp ginger

6 crushed garlic cloves

1 red chilli, deseeded and finally chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground turmeric

500g chopped tomatoes

150ml hot vegetable stock

225g peeled frozen king prawns

½ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

Items you need-  frying pan, wooden spoon and sharp knife and a chopping board.

Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large wok and stir-fry the courgettes for 5-6 mins until softened. Lift from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind.
  2. Add the cumin seeds to the pan and toast for a few seconds.
  3. Put the ginger, garlic, chilli and spices stirring for 1-2 mins.
  4. Add the tomatoes into the pan and cook for a few minutes more.
  5. Pour in the stock and simmer to make a thicker sauce, then add the courgettes and prawns.
  6. Cook gently until the prawns change from grey to pink and the courgettes are tender, but not too soft.
  7. Stir in most of the coriander, saving some to sprinkle over the top.

You can serve this with rice which is something which I did. Yes I have frozen rice and I know this is something which you are not meant to do at all. I think when I take this out of the freezer I may add some nan bread to go with this.

Have you every tried making a curry using courgette or king prawns?

 

Charlotte xx

Book Review- The Women Who Went To Bed For A Year

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This is a book which has been on my to be read pile for a long time. I think I actually purchased it not long after the women who went to bed for a year when it came out in 2012. That is how long I have been waiting to get around to reading it. I see to remember that there was a huge hype about the book when it came out. After reading it I am unsure why this was the case.

This is the first book which I have read of Sue Townsend. For sure after reading his book it has not made me want to go and find all of her back catalogue of books and read them. After doing more research after finishing this book apparently, I am not the only one who feels like this.  The women who went to bed for a year is a book which is not Sue Townsends greatest book. Anyway on with the review.

The Blurb

The day her twins leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she’s wanted to yell at the world, ‘Stop! I want to get off’. Finally, this is her chance. Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva’s defiance spreads. Legions of fans, believing she is protesting, gather in the street. While Alexander the white van man brings tea, toast and sympathy. And from this odd but comforting place Eva begins to see both herself and the world very, very differently.

My Thoughts

This is a book which I had to read to the end because I thought it had to get a lot better. However, I am sad to report it never did and this was a disappointment for me.  The women who went to bed for a year actually won a 2012 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comedy. I do not see how this happened because for sure I did not find it a funny book at all.

I found that there was a lot of characters who we were introduced to randomly but then we never heard any more about them. There was a lot that could have been built on because this is one trick which I think the author missed. For example, Poppy, Ho’s and Sandy Lake. The only character I felt like we got to know was Alexander and Eva and I liked Alexander. I actually grew not to like Eva because, because she was so totally unrealistic. She was been selfish expecting people to do everything for her.

I actually found this book to be quiet depressing and not in a good way at all. I understand that Eva want a pure while room to find peace but then to block all the light out seemed very strange to me. There were other elements of the women who went to bed for a year which I found very strange as well. For example, I am unsure why nobody stood up to Eva and told her to grow up and get out of the bed. Instead they were bringing her food and water up in bed when they remembered to.

We never actually find out the real reason why she is in bed at all we are just kind of told it is because she has had enough of the world. He husband even moves out of the house when she tells him to it seems like nobody actually wants to upset Eva.

I wanted to know what happened to her children in the end but we never seem to get an answer. Overall, I would not recommend spending your time reading this book there are a lot of books which are a lot better than this one. I struggled to finish it and only did because I do not like not finishing books.

If you have read the women who went to bed for a year what are your thoughts about this book?

 

Charlotte xx

Instagramable Cafe In Wakefield- The Hepworth Cafe

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A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited to The Hepworth Cafe in Wakefield. In order to, test out their new menu which has been changed to tie in with the change of the exhibition. At the next door Hepworth Art Gallery. You may be shocked to find such a instagrammable cafe in Wakefield. From the drinks menu which looks like a cinema listing board , to the views out of the windows which let so much light in. Who could also forget about all the plants and decor which The Hepworth Cafe is home to.

There drinks menu is a wide selection of hot drinks which are available. With over 95 different selections and blends of tea available this is heaven if you are a tea drinker. If like me and coffee is more you thing there is a wide range of different types of coffee available. They even are home to some amazing coffee art which impressed me so much. Then The Hepworth Cafe is somewhere which you really need to visit. They also have a wide selection of cake to go with your coffee.

Of course, the Hepworth Cafe does a wide selection of food including vegan, vegetarian and also gluten free options. No matter your needs you will be able to find something delicious to fill your stomach. From lighter meals ranging from salads to Pulled Pork burgers for sure they is going to be something which wets your appetite.

Salads

If you do not fancy a whole lot to eat at lunch time the salads could be the perfect option. I found that they were full of flavour. For sure some of the salads may not have been something which I would have chosen if I had been visiting. The Hepworth Cafe have orange, beetroot and goats cheese and roast cauliflower and lentil salads. I found both actually very pleasant to consume at £7 the portion size does justify the price combined with the taste.

 

Beetroot Fritters and Avocado Stack

Truthfully, this was one of my least favourite meals.  I think this was due to the texture of the beetroot it was something which I was not used to. I would order something else of the menu instead of this if I was to visit again. It was packed with flavour which you may not expect from a meal which has beetroot as the main ingredient.  I am sure that there will be a lot of people who will enjoy this meal but its just not for me.

 Yorkshire Rarebit

Cheese on toast if you know me is one of my favourite meals full stop. So when we got to try Yorkshire Rarebit which was made with Wensleydale cheese I was over the moon. This was packed with flavour which can be hard to get when you are making a posh cheese on toast. The bread was fresh which was a huge plus as you know some of the cafes food is not always the freshest. At The Hepworth Cafe everything is made to order so you know it is going to be super fresh and of the best quality it can be. This was one of the tastiest Rarebit I have tried for sure I could just demolish some right now.  I might have to make a another trip back just to make sure that I can have this again.

Spanish Tortillia

The Spanish tortilla for sure was one of those meals which shocked me. I actually did not have high expectations for this meal for some reason however, it was beautiful. It is such a simple dish but I found it to be so light. In my head I thought it was going to be more stodgy. This is is one which I would order again it is so simple but a dish which works. If you are not overly hungry this is one which I can imagine you wanting to order. This would make a great lunch and of course it does not break the bank which is always a bonus. Next time I may add chorizo to the meal because if you know me it is one of my favourite things.

Sweet Potato and Three Bean Chilli.

Chili is something which I adore at the moment for me it is a go to comfort food. I have had it in so many different ways however, I never have had a vegetarian chilli. This is until now where at the Hepworth cafe they do a sweet potato and three bean chilli which is to die for. It has all of the spices which you expect in a chilli it comes with the tortillas. This is one which I could have consumed the whole portion of due to it been so tasty. This has made me want to try more veggie meals as they can be packed with flavour and still be filling. I would say that this is one which you need to try if you are feeling hungry as the portion size is pretty large. This does mean that is it very good value for money though at £8.

BBQ Pulled Salt Brisket Burger

I would order normally because pulled pork is something which I find so tasty. However, I have had it before where it has been too dry and lost its flavour. This is not the case with this offering I found it was packed with flavour and sauce. This is what I prefer in a burger to be honest.  Sweet potato fries are standard with this burger which makes a change as usually they are extra. If you are not too hungry you could share this meal by cutting the burger in half. For sure if I took Jess I could do this. I know Joe would not actually share because he could consume the whole burger himself. At £9 this is so reasonably price for a burger of the quality. I think this is going to be one which I have to take Joe to try because I know how much he likes a burger.

Smoked Haddock Tart

Again this is a meal which had I been visiting myself is one which I would not have chosen. It was one which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is so full of flavour of the ingredient which is has within this tart you may not expect. As it only has leek and smoked haddock in it. Leeks are not one of those vegetables which gives a lot of flavour but combined with the haddock was beautiful. This was not too heavy at all which is great because I find this is something that I do not want at a lunch time. The potato salad which this comes with is not too big either and I find this a great accompaniment.  This is one meal I would recommend should you take a visit to the Hepworth.

Apple, Cinnamon Pancakes with Salted Caramel and Ginger Ice Cream

I will be the first to admit I do not have a hugely sweet tooth so this may affect my views. The topping of apple and cinnamon really work. To me this makes me think of Christmas on top of a pancake which is never a bad thing in my eyes. The pancakes are so light and fluffy which is what I think a pancake should be however, the stack is large. I would recommend sharing or actually ordering the children’s portion. The ice cream works so well and is one which I could eat scoops of it I was allowed and I am not a huge fan at all of salted caramel which says a lot. For a sweet treat for you to share or eat alone if you have a sweet tooth and are hungry these are amazing.

Black Forest Cherry Compote, Dark Chocolate and Cream Pancakes

Again the portion size of these pancakes are huge.  For sure, I know Joe and I could actually share these because they are so larger. I think of the two stacks of pancakes I tried these were my favourite because I am addicted to all things black forest. These for me are a winner the whole flavours work I and could happily share these with a friend over coffee while watching the world go by. These are not too sweet which is what I expected them to be instead I found them to actually be very tasty. For £6 these are amazing value and if you do not have a huge sweet tooth or you are visiting alone I would recommend the mini portion.

Thank you so much to the team at the Hepworth cafe for inviting me to taste the new menu. To find out more about the cafe, go to: thehepworthcafe.co.uk and more about the executive chef at popupnorth.co.uk . This opportunity was through BlogUpNorth.co.uk – a leading influencer network in the north of England.

 

Will you be visiting the Hepworth Cafe?

 

Charlotte xx

I was gifted this experience in order to share my views with you.

Meal Inspiration Monday’s- Tomato Soup

I know what your thinking making your own tomato soup seems very pointless. You can purchase it in the supermarkets very cheap in tins. I used to be like this as well however, I found myself with a lot of tomato’s which would have otherwise had to be thrown away. Instead of doing that I created a tasty tomato soup I could not believe the amount of flavour. I think this is because I expected to have to add a lot of seasoning to get flavour. Today I am going to share with you the recipe.

Ingredients- Serves 4

1KG Ripe Tomatoes

Medium Onion

1 Small Carrot

1 Celery Stick

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Squirts Tomato Puree

Pinch Sugar

1.2L Hot Vegetable Stock/ 2 vegetable Stock cubes

Things you will need:

Deep Pan with a lid, Knife, Chopping board and also blender

Method
  1. Cut the tomatoes in quarters removing any hard cores as these do not soften when you cook. Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.

2. Heat in a low heat pan 2 tsbp of olive oil until you can feel the heat rising from the pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft and faintly coloured. For 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. Squirt in two squeezes of tomato puree this will turn the vegetables red. Add the tomatoes into the pan with a sprinkle of sugar and a little amount of black pepper. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan. Do shake the pan gently over the time this makes sure that everything keeps mixing instead of sticking to the pan.

4. Pour the boiling hot vegetable stock into the pan. Make this with boiling water and two vegetable stocks. While you do this stir to mix with the vegetables. Turn the heat up high and wait for everything to bubble. Then turn down the heat to low and add the lid on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes stirring a couple of times. At the end of this the tomatoes will be very slushy looking.

5. Remove the soup from the heat. Ladle the soup after a couple of moments into the blender. Blitz it until it is smooth for me I did it for a couple of moments and that was long enough. Pour it back into the pan if you are eating straight away. If you are planning on freezing it add it to containers and let it cool down before you add it to the freezer.

I served the portion of Tomato Soup I had with crusty bread however, you could have it alone. The amount of ingredients I used made 4  portion and I have frozen some of it. I will take it out to defrost and this can be a tasty lunch or a starter even at Christmas. For sure this would be a tasty starter on Christmas day without breaking the bank.

Have you ever made your own Tomato Soup?

 

Charlotte xxxx

 

 

Talking PANTS with Pantasaurus

, . 

A few days ago when I was dropping Jess off at nursery I was informed that they were going to be talking PANTS. I was very confused to what this was all about.  They told me that it was a campaign with the NSPCC and it was to teach children to stay safe from abuse. The children were going to be speaking about this at circle time and may have some questions. This is something which since that conversation I have researched more myself. I could not believe that this is a campaign which I had not heard of.

PANTS is a campaign which is fronted by Pantosaurus who is a friendly dinosaur. Using a dinosaur is friendly is going to encourage children to engage and interact with the campaign. PANTS is a campaign which has been going for a over a year which I have not heard of. It is important because we do not want the young children to be subject to sexual abuse.

PANTS actually stands for privates are privates, always remember you body belong to you, No means No, talk about secrets which could be upsetting you, and finally speak up someone can help.

Privates are Privates.

Which means that you do not need to show them to anyone else. Your private parts are something which only you should see. It encourages children to keep their genitals in their own pants so they are not going to be flashing. This is something important because you do not want your child flashing all because it is not socially acceptable.

Always remember your body belongs to you.

This means that you do not have to do things which others tell you. If you are asked to show some private areas which you do not feel comfortable in doing you can say NO. Your child needs to know that they can tell someone who you actually trust if they are in this situation. For example they need to know that they can tell you because this is important . It means that you can actually deal with the situation in the way you feel most appropriate. This may include going to the relevant authorities if you feel this is required.

No means No.

This means that people have consent to see anything private. If for some reason you do not want them to see you can say NO. For example if they wanted you to show something private you do not have to show them at all.  It’s important that your child knows that they can say no if they do not feel comfortable doing something. They are in control of their own body if they do not want to do something they do not have to which is very important. It is also important to make sure that they know there is sometimes times when they will have to do things which they may not like. For example show an area to a doctor, nurse or an adult who has responsibility for them.

Talk about secrets that upset you.  

This is going to help you because the child to know that they can speak to you about anything which could be upsetting them. This could be anything it does not have to be anything to do with sexual abuse. It could be anything which is upsetting them all children want to know that someone cares about them. If they have any worries that want share with you they need to feel comfortable in been able to do this.  This will hopefully easy any worries which you have as a parent because they can talk to you about things which may be worrying or upsetting them. This can be even things which may seem really small to them like they have had a rough day at nursery because someone has not wanted to play with them or something like this.

Speak up, someone can help.

This is be about anything no matter how small your child may think the issue actually was. If your children are feeling sad, anxious or frightened they know they are going to be able to speak to people. It does not have to be you who your child speaks to. We all know it can be hard to speak to your own parents when something is the matter. However if, the person they speak to is a teacher, someone at their nursery or a family member. Children and for that matter adults should not have to worry about things there is always people that you can speak to and they are not going to judge you for how you are feeling.

I feel like the PANTS campaign is something which should be spoken about more because we do not want children been scared. Sexual abuse is one of the worse things which can happen to you and it is not pleasant so been able to protect more people is key. Talk to your children or other children who may trust you about the PANTS campaign and keep them safe. They are never too young to learn about things like this.

Have you heard about the PANTS campaign?

 

Charlotte xx

 

October 2018 Favourites

 

It has been a long time since I last did a monthly favorites actually it was only July but it seems a lot longer than that. This is because I have been so busy I have not had time to use products religiously or blog. However, for the 6 weeks there has been some products which I have been using constantly and I love. So today I thought I would share with you my favourite products of October 2018.

Carex Chocolate and Orange Handwash

The first one is a is the Carex Chocolate Orange scented hand wash. I have been doing more washing up and hand washing since we moved house so I need a hand wash which I love. We have two different hand washes both are Carex but I wish we only had the chocolate and orange one. It cleans your hands well as well as leaving the scent lingering for a while. This is great if you are like me and addicted to the smell of the hand wash. I may have to stock up on this because it looks like it could be an exclusive Halloween scent due to the packaging.

This product can be slighlty drying which means you may have to apply some hand cream. If you are anything like me you will have plenty of this.  I am sure I picked the handwash up for around 75p at poundstretcher or B&M.  For sure I will be trying to find it before the end of the Halloween Season.

Wickford Co Halloween Candle

The next item which I have been loving is also a Halloween item technically. It is this Wickford Co Halloween candle these are available in Home Bargains. Despite having a pumpkin on the front the scent is more of a candy scent without been too sweet. This candle if I remember correctly is around the £2.50-3 mark. For this price it has a huge scent I can have it burning in my lounge and it can be smelt all throughout the house. This is something which I have had more expensive candles fail to do. I think I might have to go back and check out some of the Christmas Candles. For sure if you love candles check out Home Bargains.

The Circle

If you have not heard of this show where have you been?. TV is not something which I watch a lot of because I have barely had a tv for a year so it does not bother me. The Circle is a show which we ended up watching every single night even if I did get bored towards the end. Maybe it was half a week too long for me. If you have not seen the show it was on channel 4 and it saw players live in an apartment block with each other. However, they could only speak to other players through the circle.

It was like an experiment to show social media works  there was people catfishing and others choosing not to share everything about themselves. For example Freddie was playing it straight when in fact he is a gay man. There was a lot of game playing going on as they could win 50K if they did not get blocked by the other players. You only got blocked if you were not deemed popular enough by the other players.  It just showed how people did not always appear who they said they were on social media. I would recommend watching this on All 4 if you can.

Fitbit Alta HR

I have owned my fitbit since April but I only used it till about June and then managed to lose it .  A few weeks ago I managed to find it in a box and have been using it ever since. I think I am going to do a full review on it in a couple of weeks time. I am one of those people who move a lot in a short period and then not move for couple of hours. Maybe because I am busy working on my blog and getting sucked in or something similar. One of the features which I love is having a reminder if I have not done the 250 steps in an hour. This does make sure that I do not have too much time which I have not moved for.

I am also able to track my sleep which is something which interests me because I aim to try and get 7 hours but usually fail and then wonder why I am so tired. My fitbit is motivating me to go to sleep and move 10,000 steps a day which is always a bonus. It also makes me on a weekend want to move more when sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation.

Blankets/ Throw

Blankets, well actually a throw which I use as a blanket because it is so big it means that I can get super snuggly. I have it wrapped around my legs the majority of the time when I am on the sofa.  I do not always want to put the heating on. More so while it is just me in the house and Jess is upstairs in bed.I find there is nothing better than been snuggled in the blanket with the lamp on and a candle burning. I usually am either watching the TV, reading a book or even blogging.

As I write this I am snuggled up in my blanket  the one which I have at the moment is one of the extra large throws from Primark.  I think they are around the £16 mark but could be wrong as it is a year ago. They even stay super soft after you have washed them this doesn’t happen with all throws. I would recommend Primark and Dunelm for blankets and throws they seem to have the best quality ones for a reasonable price.

Hello Fresh

Hello fresh is a subscription recipe box which gives you the recipes which you are going to cook. You choose the meals which you have. We have the box which is 5 meals and we have it for two people you can have it for up to 5 people. Jess does not have food at home which is why we have it for 2. Along with the the recipe cards you get the exact amount of the indigence you need. For example say you need 1tbsp of chilli flakes this is what they will send you. This does mean that you do not have to purchase lot of different spices which you may only use once.

I have found that I am making a range of different meals ones which I would not normally be thinking about.  It has also made me want to cook more  even when I am having a break from Hello Fresh. It is so easy to skip a week for example if your not going to be home. This is something I am having to do at the moment regular. I am cooking the meals for two and freezing the other portion. Meaning I have to take a break in order to eat up some of the food. I had one problem with Hello Fresh and it was sorted very quickly which I am so happy with the service. For more about Hello Fresh see their website and you can get £20 off your first box with my link here.

Quidco

Quidco is another one of my favourites this month I have been doing some of my Christmas shopping . I have the quidco widget on my laptop meaning if I can get cashback on a site which I am looking on it will tell me. Then I have to go to quidco which allows my purchase to be tracked and then I get the cashback. Sometimes you do have to wait months to get the physical cash.  I know I have some which is now going to be released in March next year.  You can get cashback on a range of sites which you may order from all the time for example Superdrug and Boots. I have gained about £100 this year which I can put towards presents. Any cashback which does not get confirmed before Christmas I will use next year as a bonus.

What items have you been using this month?

 

Charlotte xx

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Pork, Feta and Courgette Burger

Today I am going to share with you a new series which is called meal inspiration Monday’s. I sometimes struggle with ideas of what food I am going to create for meals for me and my family. I have been searching online for some new recipes because we all get bored of the same meals. Each Monday I am going to share with you a meal which I have created recently for my family and how I did it, and one day you may want to create similar meals. When you do not know what to create.Today I am going to share with you a meal which I created which is a Pork, Feta and Courgette Burgers. I like burgers but I get bored of normal beef burgers and sometimes I want something different. Instead, I have taken a twist on burgers and a similar recipe which I found on the Good Food website.

Here are the ingredient which you need in order to create the pork, feta and courgette burgers. The following will allow you to make 4 burgers.

Ingredient:
  • 500g Pork Mince
  • 100g Feta Crumbled
  • 1 Large Courgette
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
  • 1/2 Chilli Flakes
  • Zest of Lemon
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
Things you need
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Mixing Bowl
  • A Plate
  • Grill
Method
  1. Crush the garlic, zest the lemon and also chop the courgette into small chunks.
  2. Beat the egg.
  3. Mix the pork mince, feta, courgette, crushed garlic, chilli flakes and zest of lemon and beaten egg into a mixing bowl everything but the olive oil.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper into the mix
  5. Round the mix into the a burger shape making sure you have 4 if you have used the same ingredient as above
  6. Put the pork, feta and courgette burgers into the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the burgers to firm up as at the moment they are not the consistency of raw burgers
  7. If like me you are going to some freeze your pork, feta and courgette burgers now is the time.
  8. Preheat your grill to the highest it can go, I actually use my George Foreman Health Grill instead.
  9. Coat both sides of the burger with Olive Oil this will prevent it from sticking.
  10. Cook for between 8-10 Minutes till golden brown.

I served my pork, feta and courgette burger naked which means it did not have the bread. The reasons why mine is not golden burn and more burnt looking is due to using the George Foreman. I decided that I was going to have some oven chips and salad with mine however, you could have anything to accompany your burgers. This is a healthier alternative to a takeaway burger and also for a fraction of the price if like me you are trying to save some pennies.

Please let me know if you try the Pork, Feta and Courgette Burgers.

 

Charlotte x