Friday 31 January 2014

Detox With TASSIMO Green Tea

Recently I was sent a box of Twinings Green Tea and Mint as part of the TASSIMO blogger challenge , I was highly surprised as I had been using my Tassimo for coffee and especially hot chocolates over the Christmas period ; we got through more squirty cream than you can shake a cinnamon stick at.

It is refreshing to know that your Tassimo can be used for more than coffee and hot chocolate especially good for me to help with a detoxing after the excesses of Christmas. Green tea is well known for it's antixotant qualities and is supposed to be good for cleansing .

The mint taste is not as you might suspect over powering,  it is wonderfully subtle and refreshing and I normally heave at tea without milk but I liked the simple cleansing taste of this. Mr T was a bit more resistant but I won him over eventually "if you don't try then you don't know " is my motto.

I even managed to get green tea into a chocolate cake recipe  whilst I agree cake isn't quite in keeping with getting over the mountain of food I consumed at Christmas . It was jolly nice with a cup of the Twinings Green tea and Mint.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Marshmallow Rescue Me Fridge Cake

You see this should have been a Bundt cake , I knew I should have follow The Boy and Me's recipe . My Mary Berry senses were tingling with that "ooooooh " sound that Mary Berry makes. I could hear Paul Hollywood saying to me " I can't wait to get my mouth around your moist sponge"

Before this sounds very much like the "Bakes of Grey" the erotic cake novel that never was, I will let you know how you can create your own fridge cake be it from shop brought ones or fairy cakes that have been sat on or Victoria Sponge with as much lift as a wonder bra in your 40's.


Two shop bought Madeira cakes or any disaster you happen to have laying around.

Tin of oranges.

4 handfuls of marshmallows.

1 -2 tablespoons  golden syrup


 The first thing you do is break your cake up it helps if you are quite , quite cross from your Bundt recipe failing or failing that ask your kids to tidy their room ( and when they don't you'll be cross)

Add in a tin of drained orange .

Stir madly.

Add a couple table spoons of fresh orange juice or the liquid from the tinned oranges.

Add 4 handfuls of marshmallows through 3 in you would have eaten the 4th handful due to cake stress.

Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of golden syrup.

Sir again.

Thinking of the musketeers is optional.

Put the magical mixture in a 1LB light greased load tin.

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Whilst you are waiting for this ; you'll probably be tidying your child's bedroom.

Monday 27 January 2014

Life , Liposuction And Lollipops

So I went to the WI party.

The theme was blue.

I didn't go as a Smurf or the character from Brave heart.

I sat in the corner , I'm shy then I was dragged out the corner.

I was placed on the lower table , I suspect a possible hierarchy but there seemed no evidence of this .I helped with several answers to the quiz questions all on a blue theme ; though no one would believe me when I said  an answer to a question was the 'Blue Lamp'.

You see there was a reason why as a young child I watched black and white films one because I was plonked in front of it and the other because the television was black and white.

There was a buffet ; there was quiche now I have a problem with quiche I don't like the crust of the pastry. So I left it ,a quizzical look was put my way , now you have to remember that some of these ladies were land girls etc .So the idea of food being left is a little alien the room was filled with  " She doesn't like the crust ..." 

Gosh wait till they find out I don't like tomatoes ....

And then there was the entertainment but which was Pam Ayres poetry and errrm some blueish jokes .

Ooooh my.

Some game old birds as you might say ! puts the world of life, liposuction and lollipops in the world of those reality mags to shame. Spirit I like , puts a spring in my old young step.

Big Eyed Blues

I found this in the local charity shop and it's going to my friend Sianto and she adores the big eyed pictures. It cost £1.50 ; I have quite a trained eye when it comes to finding hidden gems in charity shops.

I found this Debenhams sterling silver bracelet for £4.50 I'm polishing it up using tomato ketchup( which is good for a quick surface clean) and I will be using baking soda for a deeper clean .

And I found a Tiffany plate a few weeks back for 99p, how wonderful is that? I didn't even know that Tiffany did other products ! 

Friday 24 January 2014

I Went A Wandering, A Wondering I know

I went a wandering , a wondering I know .

Down rainy lanes .

A vexing Willow a whomping .

Rusty gates no reason to contemplate.

Bends beckon , entice , honey trap in the fabric of life.

Life is for living .

Sometimes you just have to take yourself out the focus.

Potato Topped Cauliflower Cheese With Meatballs And Pesto

Wednesday was any ordinary day I had planned what we were going to eat but the jar of white sauce I was going to use was horrifically out of date it said October 2013. My powers of time travel are some what limited so going back in time wasn't going to work this time.

1 cauliflower 
500ml of semi skimmed or skimmed milk
4 tablespoons of plain flour
50 g of low fat spread 
12 meatballs 
3 medium potatoes 
50g low fat cheese grated.
2 tablespoons of pesto .

First sieve the flour into a saucepan

Add the 500 ml of milk

Add the 50 g of low fat spread 

Gently heat 

As the spread starts to melt whisk for 2 minutes.

And your sauce should come together smoothly.

Add your 50 g of low fat cheese.

If you find your sauce is to thick just add a little more milk till it is the consistency that you want it to be. Set the sauce to one side

Next cook your chopped up cauliflower around 5 minutes should do it.

Put your cauliflower at the bottom of an oven proof dish.

You can if you wish flour your meatballs first and gently brown them off in a frying pan.

Add to the cauliflower cheese mixture.

Layer the sliced potato over the mixture .

Put the completed dish in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. 

About 15 minutes before the end of your cooking time drizzle pesto over your dish and return to the oven.
Tasty Tuesdays on

Thursday 23 January 2014

Moments That Mattered

My 2013 for the most part was horrible and it wasn't till my holiday in Florida Orlando that I began to relax all that tension just flooded away into the Florida blue skies. Even thing looks better in sunshine ; like sunshine on a rainy day . I bet you feel like singing now don't you?

So my life had gone from zero to hero again I was my families hero again .

Dear Family 

I am sorry I robbed you of joy and happiness for so long, it was a situation I couldn't cope with, it was if you didn't know who you were living with. I wasn't a wife and I didn't feel life a mother I felt like a prisoner in my soul. I felt as if I had failed you and had built up walls between us I felt sad.

 I knew that you were there but I had a fog over my eyes that didn't lift till we were on holiday. And then my walls of resentment and hurt began to crumble ; moments of importance had been lost in the fog of my worry and woe before.

And now I saw our moments as moments that mattered ,our holiday mattered and I did my utmost to make it work and it did. I smiled, I laughed I even let my picture be taken, I fed a stingray I didn't panic when I lost something . We were family; we were the ones we mattered, it was our moments mattered and I look back at bad times only a little just a little knowing I can move further forward.

I look forward to our holiday this year and making more moments that matter. And you have me a wife a mother and moments that mattered from last year and yet to come.

Yours Claire

Thank you to Lloyds Bank for helping me relive my moments that mattered. I am being sent some vouchers in conjunction with this post.

Yale Home Security

Yale the home security firm that's helping me put confidence back in me feeling secure in my home . My sense of security was violated earlier this month ; when someone attempted to break into my home in the early hours of the morning . I have since stepped up my security even more from security lights outside to door chair and a letter box restrictor.

The Yale letterplate restrictor allows you to restrict the opening of the letter-plate on the inside of your external doors, rendering any letter-plate related security threats ineffective and reducing the risk of access to internal locks and keys. The restrictor also prevents anyone from looking inside your house through the letterbox. This device is adjustable to allow full closure, part restriction, or full opening.
  • Restricts the opening of the letter plate on the inside of the door
  • Prevent visibility of occupancy
  • Reduce the risk of access to internal locks and keys
  • Adjustable to allow full closure, part restriction or full opening
  • Surface mounted and simple to fit

Disclosure I was sent the letterbox restrictor but I brought the door chain myself.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

A Bag Of Nervous Nuns

Though honestly I am more relaxed.

It still seems.

That people think I'm a bag of nervous nuns.

I think I must need to practice my humorous faces.

SO how to you practice an outwardly I'm ok face ... even though you are ok inside.

But have a reputation for being more nervous that a chocolate tea pot .

Yours puzzled

Silly Cycle Silliness Matters

Blowing the cobwebs away .

A simple cycle .

May not be exciting to some .

But to me it's pure joy , elation and sets my mind joyfully free.

And when no one is looking .

And I am on one of the lanes that I love.

I start at the top of the little hill take my feet off the petals.

And go wheeeeeeeeeeee ....

Because quite frankly silly things matter.

Yours Claire aged a lot more than 4 a shimmy past 20 and a massive gallop past 30.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Taste Inc Burgers Gone in 90 Seconds.

I was somewhat puzzled when a shed load of burgers turned up .

I scratched my head and pondered.

Then I looked through my email and found yes I had agreed to road test some burgers , not my usual fare I know.

My son liked the chicken ones as did my husband , their verdict was that they were good and fulfilled an immediate hunger need.

And they are also handy coming in after a rugby game when one day my son didn't want to have the boiled to death pasta the rugby club had on offer.

At Taste Inc. they  want to seriously shake up microwave snacking to deliver an incredible-tasting experience for kids and adults alike. They have a range quick and easy microwave snacks includes subs, microwave burgers hot dog and baguettes has been developed to taste incredible. Ready in just 90 seconds in the microwave, all products in the range contain fewer than 500 calories, so what are you waiting for? Open, Heat and Eat. It’s incredibly simple!

You can follow Taste Inc on Twitter and also on Facebook where they run some really cool Competitions.

Disclosure I was sent a number of their snacks for review my opinions are honest and unbiased.

Monday 20 January 2014

Meal Planning Monday January 20th

Meal planning is essential especially this week the blur ray player blew up then the PS4 went wrong ( it caught the blue screen of death) luckily we have a spare blu ray player ( I have a tendency to squirrel things away ) and The Ps4 is under warranty from Amazon so that has gone back . I don't feel confidant enough to order the PS4 from Amazon again so we decided to go to a High Street shop and buy it from there. Yes we will be out of pocket for a few days until Amazon short out our refund but least if this one goes wrong we have a face to face contact to deal with.

You might be wondering why meal planning is essential ? it helps cut down your costs and allowed to  us to build up a money contingency if anything else goes wrong * as I speak I think the radio is trying to contact the afterlife. I have been food shopping for 9 days only to get the basics like milk , bread creme eggs and toilet rolls.

Monday Chicken and Corn Beef Pasta Pasta Bake In A Tomato Sauce.

This was frozen from Saturday and there is 3 portions so that's Monday sorted.

Tuesday Party food Roulette .The frozen party food is slowly going down * don't think I can eat any more chicken satays , possibly.

Wednesday Homemade Beefburgers With Apple And Marmite.

Thursday  Beef In Black Bean Sauce With Egg Fried Rice and Prawn Crackers.

Friday Chicken Teriyaki

Saturday Seasame Covered Fish steamed Vegtables.

Sunday A roast .

Meal Planning Monday

The Drugs Don't Work.

My name is Jack

  " I've been clean from drugs  catnip for 1 day .

In my defence someone left the kitchen door open.

And the catnip was just lying there.

I had one , the one lead to 2 .

Then the pink elephants starting going on parade .

How weird is that ? And I've not even seen the film Dumbo.

And the Poinsettia ; let's be honest no expects those things to last beyond Christmas anyway.

It was spoiling for a fight, so I took it down all the way to China town.

It died.

I won.

Seems I am not allowed catnip treats for a while now.

There was talk of me going on Jeremy Kyle .

Where I would have to face the demons of my past.

I tell you the catnip toy mouse was begging for it, so I ripped his ears off.

And apparently I didn't help matters when I brought a mouse in which happily sat under the fridge freezer bricking itself .

Mrs human bean couldn't remove it .

And Mr Human Bean wouldn't come home from work as he was on a conference call to Hong Kong.

It was removed eventually when Mr Human Bean came home.

He was muttering something about the Hong Kong people thinking his work place had a mouse problem.

My name is Jack and I have a catnip problem ."

Saturday 18 January 2014

Chicken And Corn Beef Pasta Bake In A Tomato sauce

Serves 4 -6 people 


250 g of dried pasta
3 chicken breast diced
1 can of corn beef cubed
1 can of tomato soup
250 ml of hemp milk ( or normal milk will do )

1 onion chopped finely 


First cook the pasta whilst this is cooking preheat the oven to about 190 c.

Finely chop an onion.

When the pasta is cook drain it and put into a ovenproof dish prefably with a lid , if you don't have a lidded dish you could use foil.

Then add the finely chopped onion and stir lightly. 

Add 250 ml of hemp milk or normal milk if you prefer.

Add a can of tomato soup.

Next add the cubed cornbeef .

Lastly add the diced chicken.

Then obviously pop it in the oven.

Cooking time around about 1 hour adjust to suit your cooker .

Disclosure I was sent some Good hemp milk , oil and seeds but the recipe is my own . I have not been compensated for this post .

Just 5 minutes

Just 5 minutes ?

What can you do in 5 minutes ?

I can do this !

You know that 5 minutes can be the best time of your life.

Life's an opportunity not to be wasted , and I try and make every minute count.

I have some ideas so please keep an eye on this blog. 

Thursday 16 January 2014

Glazed Chicken Teriyaki

Glazed Chicken Teriyaki
(Serves two people)(Approx 600 calories)

2 Chicken Thigh, bone removed, skin left on
160 ml Sake
160 ml Mirin
60 ml Soy
5 grams Sugar
½ Red Onion, peeled and quartered
½ Carrot, peeled and large diced
Pinch of Sea Salt
Oil to fry
Serve with some warm White Japanese Rice, White Cabbage or a side of your choice (mash potato, salad)

Alter quantities to s

First make the teriyaki sauce. Place the sake, mirin, soy, sugar, carrot and red onion into a pan and place on a high heat until to boils. Continue to boil for 10 minutes than reduce the heat and simmer. You need to reduce the original amount by half.

Prepare the chicken thighs by patting them dry, sprinkling the skin with the salt. Place the pan on the highest flame. Add a little vegetable oil to the pan, when the oil is hot add the chicken thighs skin side down. Colour the skin then turn the pan down to a medium heat. Cook for 4 minutes then turn the thighs over. Cook for a further 1 minute.
When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and glaze the chicken thighs in the sauce turning whilst cooking. Be careful not to burn the sauce (if it starts to burn add a dash of cold water).
Place the rice, cabbage or alternatives onto the serving plate and neatly place the glazed chicken onto the plate. Drizzle with some extra of the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Disclosure Yo Sushi kindly let me replicate their recipe here . I have not been compensated for this post.

One Of The Tricks To Sleeping Well.

A Collaboration post

One of the tricks to sleeping well is a good mattress!

I like my sleep if I have not slept well then my whole days falls apart and everyone else can suffer as a result and that is not really fair. We have a king size bed and when we first got it we had one of those memory foam mattresses from another company it was fine at first then it got a bit squishy and lumpy. It was a first generation memory foam mattress so the technology really wasn't at its best.

I now have a sprung mattress but it has a memory foam topper, I am fine with it but Mr T is moaning that it doesn't feel quite right to him so it looks alike we will be changing our mattress very very soon.

As technology has moved on you can be sure of a good mattress from Furniture Choice where there is a good and varied selection of mattresses to suit everyones need. You can get a mattress that is comfortable and you don't have to compromise on comfort, if you have any queries then Furniture Choice are on hand to offer you the help and advice that you might need. I love the fact that you get free delivery I wish I had known that when I ordered my son's bed which came from another retailer I could have saved myself £40 and ordered his bed from Furniture Choice instead. That £40 could of gone on something else ! like going towards a new mattress for me!

And delivery for most items be from dining room furniture to mattresses is around 7 - 10 working days subject to availability. This is another point I wish I had known when I ordered my teenagers bed from another company delivery took a month ! if I had ordered his bed from Furniture Choice then I could have saved myself a month of teenage angst.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

50 Shades of Blue

You what ?

The who?

The Womans institute

I went.

I can hear you gasping.

Yes it's full of people who are older than me.

In fact I think I am the youngest.

I went to the woman's institute with my mother when I was seven I think it was a talk on birds.

I went to the on a trip to the New Forest as well I think .

And that is my only venture till now into the world of the woman's institute .

I joked  " I suppose we sing Jerusalem"

We sang a hymn it was  "`Jerusalem"

I rather like this hymn.

Yes there this cake.

NO doubt there are cliques but in the most friendly of ways.

There was a resolution to vote on for and it was to vote against genital mutilation.

Which I think it a rather good cause !

Who says the woman's Institute was out of touch !

There is a  "Fifty Shades of Blue " party where you wear blue .

I suspect I shouldn't go dressed as a giant smurf ....

Monday 13 January 2014

Frugal Feet

Mellow Mummy New Beginnings Blog Swap

This is a guest post from the lovely Emma who blogs over at Jumbly Mummy she has very kindy written a blog post for me . And the emphasis with it being the new year is being frugal. I love the idea of doing my own spa treatments and saving the pennies at the same time.

The image is a freedownlable image from freedigital

Frugal Feet

In the New Year many of us fancy a rest. A bit of me-time. Some luxurious pampering. But if, like me, you've spent the festive period eating 'luxury' mince pies and 'finest' Christmas Cake then your budget for 'luxurious' is probably a little stretched. But luxury pampering doesn't have to mean salons and spas and one of the best ways to refresh yourself at this time of year is an awesome home-pedicure that you can repeat as often as you like for a tenth of the price of a salon.

My recipe for frugal feet requires few basics but once you have them, a luxury pedicure is available whenever you need a bit of pampering. All you have to do is to find half an hour of me-time (which is easier said than done!)

Step 1. Soak.

Drape your favourite bath towel over your radiator to warm up. Pour yourself a washing up bowl of warm water filled with your favourite bubble bath, or, if you own a footspa fill it with water and add a teeny tiny drop of bubble bath so that the bubbles don't overflow! Find yourself a comfy chair, turn the lights low, play some mellow music and soak both feet for a good ten minutes. Before your feet start to shrivel(!) take them out and wrap them up in your warm towel.

Step 2. Scrub

Please the towel on the floor below your feet. Using a foot file, rub the dead skin from the heels and the toe pads. It looks icky, but it makes your feet feel like new.

Step 3. Minty Rub

Give your feet a really invigorating massage with a very simple minty moisturiser. The trick here to to buy a REALLY plain and incredibly cheap hand lotion or plain moisturising lotion and before you rub it in, sprinkle on two drops of Peppermint essential oil (you can buy this from most pharmacies). Trust me, a peppermint foot rub is one of the most tingly, refreshing feelings you can experience, made all the better if you can rope an unsuspecting family member into massaging your feet for you!

Step 4. Polish.

Remove any traces of polish using nail polish remover, push back the cuticles (with a wooden cuticle stick ideally) and apply a base coat to prevent your nails from staining. Apply one or two coats of your favourite polish and if you have one, finish it all off with a top coat.

Step 5. Relax!

Because your nail polish needs to dry fully before you go anywhere or do anything you have the perfect excuse to sit down and do absolutely nothing while your family pander to your every need.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Frosty Footsteps

Today was a 116 mile trip to see my son play rugby it was 0 that's cold I lose all function it the cold sometimes. I still have wonderment at how beautiful and breathtaking nature can be and while I was waiting for the pitch to defrost I took this picture. Nature has a continuing canvas , everything has a purpose and commands your attention.

Here was a cloudy day but I see beyond the clouds and look can you see the blue sky in the middle ?

I love quiet , I love solitude I love being with me , if I turn the corner will you be waiting for me ?

Times past of cabbages and kings and time for tea upon Edwardian splendor.

Silent Sunday

Thursday 9 January 2014

Frugal Shepherds Pie

  • Frugal times call for frugal measures and sometimes I don't know about you but with my shopping I 'm not always replenishing as soon as I run out. I like to make use of what I've got and I'm finding that I'm enjoying seeking out recipes and developing my own.


    1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (optional)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g  beef mince
  • 2 x 410g/14½oz tin baked beans

  • 100ml/14fl oz stock, made from stock cube (ideally beef but chicken or vegetable is fine)

  • Ideally you would have around 2lbs pounds of potato for the mash but the other day I only had 2 medium potatoes and I didn't want to go out in the rain just to get some more so this recipe with show you you can adapt any recipe if you think about it.


    1. Preheat the oven to 200 c

    2. Whilst the oven is preheating heat a saucepan and add the oil. When this is hot fry the carrots and onions for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

    3.Add the mince and cook until it has all browned mix with a tin of beans. Transfer to a lidded overproof dish. Add a beef stock cube or even one of those packet mixes for a slow cooker etc.

    4. Cook in the oven for around 40 with the lid on.

    Now it it at this point you will be peeling albs of potatoes until the realisation you only have 2 potatoes. A quick tweet out offers some suggestions of adding mashed swede or mashed  carrot. I had no swede ( I know I've failed as a cook by not having an emergency swede on board)

    SO I added another can of baked beans after mashing what potatoes I did have and then spread it on top of my shepherds pie and cooked for a further 20 minutes.

    Then I grated some cheese and returned to the oven for 5 minutes . 

    I am submitting this recipe to #Creditcrunchmunch so pop over to Camillas  Fabfood4all blog and Helens blog FussfreeFlavours and take part and see what other recipes you find. Together we can all stretch those pennies !

    I am entering this recipe into the competition .

Tuesday 7 January 2014

SwellPets Thermo-Kitty Cabin

"A cats life is a easy  hard life .

I enjoy a comfy spot just like the human beans and who can blame them but sometimes the spot I choose isn't quite the human bean want s. Here I am sitting in a empty selection box it was a protest as the human bean had moved the  heated Kitty cabin  into the dining room during the Christmas period to make room for the tree. But I made up for this and boxed the baubles off the tree and ran up it pahaaaaaaa !

Is an ideal cabin bed for myself and Rollie cat especially in this weather or as I get older and start collecting a pension  which I do hope is paid in mice ! . The Kitty Cabin can be placed anywhere there is a convenient plug socket. I really enjoyed sleeping in it and the human bean I might just keep them as they got this for me"

K&H have launched the new Thermo-Kitty Cabin.™  This a great new product for cats that keeps them cosy and warm.
The cabin comes with a dual thermostat 4-watt heating unit that can be removed when the bed needs to be washed.
The bed has a flexible exterior that can be formed into 3 useful shapes .The bed is designed for internal use only and comes in 2 colours, Mocha or Sage.

Price at £34.99 a good investment for your feline friend and so much better than an old a Christmas selection box.

Disclosure Jack the cat was sent this item by SwellPets and all thoughts, words  and opinions are that of Jack but obviously I had to type for him as we all know cats can't type.