Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Homemade Berry Smoothie

So I am now back at University for my final year and trying my hardest to live healthily. I have been to many a gym class and wake up every morning aching.Last night we did Kick Ass followed by Legs Bums and Tums - wow that was intense! 

This morning I made myself a delicious berry smoothie. I have never made my own smoothie as never had the equipment to do so, so I just had to share it with you.

You basically put what every you want into a smoothie maker/blender. Its fabulous, quick and easy.

As I am a student its all about saving money, so all the ingredients are from my new favourite supermarket - Aldi. The food is so cheap but the fruit and veg does not last very long so you have to use it quickly! 

I used, 1 banana, just under half a punnet of raspberries, a selection of fruit from the frozen berry selection, a glug of apple and raspberry juice and about 3tbsp of low fat greek yoghurt.

I put it all into a blender, whizzed it up until a smoothie consistency and hey presto a healthy smoothie! 

Now I wonder how many of my 5 a day is in that!? xoxo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Easy but delicious Weekend Meal

Last weekend I cooked for my family, for some reason (don't ask!!) my family absolutely love chorizo. So when I came across a recipe for Chicken and Chorizo pie I just had to make it.

The recipe is very simple, but soo delicious. It also looks great so is perfect to serve at a dinner party.

1 tbsp olive oil
10 chicken thighs, skin and bone removed
2 onions, chopped
200g chiroiza, skin removed and slices into discs
50g plain flour, plus a little for dusting
100ml dry sherry, or white wine
600ml chicken stock
150ml single cream
large pack parsley, chopped
500g pack puff pastry
1 egg, beaten


1 - Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Brown the chicken thighs until golden, then transfer to a place.
2 - Add the onions to the dish and cook for 5 mins until soft, then add the chorizo and cook for 2 mins until the orangey oils are released into the pan.
3 - Stir in the flour for 1 min, then add the alcohol and bubble for 2 mins until most has evaporated.
4 - Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 mins, or until tender.
5 - Using a slotted spoon, scoop the chicken pieces out of the pan and transfer to a place. Use two forks to shred the meat into chunk bite-sized pieces.
6 - Meanwhile, add the cream to the pan, increase the heat and bubble for 10-15 mins until the liquid has reduced to a white sauce consistence.
7 - Add seasoning and return the chicken to the pan along with the parsley.
8 - Transfer to a pie dish (roughly 20cm x25cm) and place a pie funnel in the centre.
9 - Set this aside to cool whilst you prepare the pastry
10 - Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin.
11 - Brush a little beaten egg around the rim of the pie dish, then using your rolling pin to help lift the pastry over the dish.
12 - Trim away and excess pastry, then pinch the edges with your forefingers and thumb to crimp.
13 - Brush with a thin layer of beaten egg, and use the left over pastry to decorate.
14 - Bake for 45 mins or until golden brown and the filling is piping hot.

For dessert I make the easiest ever shortbread!

Plain flour, 200g
Butter, 200g
Golden caster sugar, 50g plus extra for dusting


1 - Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
2 - Whizz the flour ad butter in a food processor
3 - Add the suagr and whizz until the mixture is crumbly
4 - Press the mixture into a buttered fluted 22cm round tart tin with the back of the spoon
5 - Bake for 30-35 min until golden brown
6 - While still warm, cut into wedges, prick with a fork and dust with caster sugar
7 - Leave to cool completely in the tin

Enjoy baking both of these at the weekend, especially on a cold winters day! I often serve the shortbread with a mousse, such as lemon posset or passionfruit mousse.

*both recipes from BBC Good Food

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Rachel Reviews: Müller de luxe Corner - Vanille d'or

Müller have brought out a new deluxe range and this particular one caught my attention as the description sounded simply divine, and of course because it was on offer for £1 (for two!) in Sainsburys.

The yoghurt comes with shortcake caramel biscuit balls which are coloured gold. The yoghurt has a smooth toffee layer at the bottom of it.

This yoghurt definitely lived up to the description and exceeded my expectations! The yoghurt and toffee www smooth and creamy and the caramel shortcake balls complimented the yoghurt perfectly.

I sometimes find with these yoghurts that there is not enough of the 'corner' be it fruit pieces, chocolate or fruit. However I found there was ample biscuit pieces and was not short of biscuit balls.

I am glad I randomly picked these off the shelf. I am obviously impressed with them as I did my second 'Rachel Reviews' post of them!

I would recommend these to any sweet toothed yoghurt lover like myself!

What have you tried new recently? xoxo

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A weekend in the Peak District

I go to University in Sheffield, and am fortunate to be so close to the Peak District. Literally keep driving up the Eccy Road and bam you're into the lovely countryside!

My parents came up to Sheffield last weekend to bring the remaining of my University bits, such as furniture as it didn't all fit in my little Fiat 500!

As we live in London, they always stay for the weekend as its too much to drive to and from Sheffield in a day, 6 hours of driving is not fun!

On the Saturday we went on a beautiful walk around Froggatt and Calver. The walk ended on Fraggatt Edge, which was beautiful and gave stunning views of the peaks. You could even see Chatsworth House. We have done a couple of walks around Chatsworth, and there is a gorgeous tea room too. I hadn't started my blog then, but I am sure I will be back so can do a post then!!

The walk around Froggatt was about 4 miles and took about 4 hours, we were exhausted!!

In the evening we went for dinner in Sheffield near where I live to a restaurant called Graze Inn on the Eccy Road (Ecclesall Road!!). The Eccy Road has so many lovely restaurants to visit and I am very lucky to live in such a good area.

We were seated in a booth at the back of the restaurant, which was good as the main bar area was absolutely heaving!

I had a lovely frozen mango daiquiri to drink and then half a chicken and 3 sides. The chicken is such good value, half a chicken with three sides for £12. I went for, garlic mash, sweet potatoe fries and peas & carrots. The mash was out of this world, so creamy and garlic and amazing!

My brother went for the pepper and chorizo risotto and it was delicious! My dad had the chicken also like myself and my mum had the signature ribs, she said they were yummy! I have been to Graze Inn a number of times and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area. The Sunday Roasts are pretty amazing, as are their desserts. Or even just to pop by for cocktail for Happy Hour in the bar area.

On the Sunday, I met my family at their hotel and we all enjoyed a large breakfast. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I made the most of the buffet breakfast!

We then headed back into the peaks and hired bikes. You can hire bikes at either end of the Monsal Trail. The trail is on a old disused railway line, so is completely flat and easy to ride, but will stunning views as you are so high up.

We hired bikes from Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire, which are £5 cheaper per bike than from this place.

We cycled all the way to Hassop Station and went to the cafe there. The cafe was heaving with people also biking along the trail. I had a hot chocolate and rocky road, mmm!

We headed back to the start of the trail, cycling roughly 15 miles in total!

What a lovely weekend in the Peak District, cannot wait til the next one after the Christmas break :) xoxo

Saturday, 4 October 2014

MasterChef Restaurant & Bar

Unfortunately my first foodie post on returning from America, is not a positive one!

I bought my mum for her birthday tickets to the MasterChef Restaurant & Bar. Tickets flew like hot cakes for this, and they even extended the restaurant for a week due to popular demand. I was only able to get Brunch tickets as they lunch and dinner ones were gone!

I was excited to visit the restaurant, which is advertised as 'MasterChef champions and finalists from the last ten years will lead the kitchen and be appearing in front of your eyes'. Additionally the website states that 'you are invited to meet the champions, eat their dishes and experience MasterChef first hand' 

However this was not the case. The chef's were not present, we could not meet them, and they didn't even cook our food. 

The menu
Leading swiftly onto the food itself, which was a complete let down. We were served yoghurt and granola. Well I can't imagine the chefs made the yoghurt by hand. We were also served a bowl of fruit. Cannot imagine the chefs sliced the fruit either.

Fruit and Granola 
We were then offered a choice of scrambled eggs and salmon on a toasted muffin, or buttermilk pancakes with maple bacon.

Pancakes with bacon and (lots of...!?!) maple syrup
I went for the pancakes. There was not enough maple syrup for the pancakes, and the bacon was too fatty. The quality of the ingredients was awful. My mum had the scrambled eggs and salmon and said that the salmon was awful.

Such a shame to be writing such a negative blog post about the MasterChef Pop-Up as I was so excited to go, and more importantly super excited to meet the chefs and watch them cook. However even if the chefs were actually cooking the 'open kitchen' wasn't even open at all,  merely a small window! 

I would have much preferred to have spent the money on a brunch elsewhere, where the experience and food would've been 10 times better and probably half the price. 

Trying to make a laugh of the awful situation!
So now I am home and to cheer myself up I think I will bake something tasty! Most probably a scrummy post to follow!

Chin up! xoxo

Bag - Kate Spade $368
Leggings - Miss Selfridge £25
Top - Abercombie Kids $12
Leather Jacket - Warehouse
Necklace - Topshop £12.50