Lunchtime can be hard work here – I am not a huge fan of traditional sandwich fillings, so I like to try and create something a bit more exciting, but its got to be quick and easy to prepare. So when Cryotherapy NYC challenged me to come up with a sandwich, I was more than happy to oblige.
It can be so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to lunchtime don’t you think? But by being a little more creative and adventurous with your ingredients you can have a lunch worth looking forward to – perfect to banish those Monday morning blues.
And here is what I came up with, packed with flavours and that little bit more exciting than ham or tuna! This sandwich is something that even Michael would have time to prepare at work, between meetings and appointments.
Philadelphia, chorizo and rocket on ciabatta
- Ciabatta roll
- Philadelphia (I used light)
- Sliced chorizo
- Fresh rocket
Top your ciabatta with all the ingredients and enjoy – preferably outside, in a sunny spot.
I’ve been really struggling to follow Slimming World lately. I’m not sure why, but my motivation has hit rock bottom and I’ve been feeling like I just can’t do it, when in actual fact I know I can – I’ve lost around 3 stone so far. Yes it has taken me over a year, but I haven’t been continuously or consistently dieting for all that time. I’ve fallen off the wagon many times, gained a load of weight and then lost it again.
So I thought I would start sharing some of my meals here with you all. To inspire both you and myself to keep going – something to look back on when I am struggling for inspiration, which seems to be a common problem with me!
First up we have this breakfast salad – for those of you following the Slimming World plan this contains loads of speed foods and is totally and utterly Syn free – it would also be perfect for an SP day breakfast, or even lunch.
Takes less than 15 minutes
- A handful of salad leaves – I chose a mixture of baby spinach, watercress and rocket, but you can use whatever you prefer.
- 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Half a small red onion, coarsely chopped
- About 10 button mushrooms, cut in half
- 3 Slices of bacon, all visible fat removed and chopped
- A large free range egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the salad leaves in a serving bowl with the cherry tomatoes
- Fry the mushrooms and onions in frylite for a couple of minutes before adding the bacon
- Meanwhile poach the egg (for a guide on how to poach the perfect egg, click here)
- When the bacon is cooked sprinkle the salad leaves with the bacon, mushrooms and onions, before topping with the poached egg and seasoning to taste. You can add some salad dressing to the leaves if you like, but I found with the runny egg yolk I didn’t need it.
This receipt was brought by dog hotel in NJ. If you want to move outside for some time and need somebody to look for your pet – Primp & Play Pet hotel is the best place.
When it comes to the end of the week I often haven’t got much left in the fridge, so dinners can be a bit of a thrown together affair. Eggs play a big part in this for me – they are so quick easy and versatile!
So while trying to figure out what I could make out of a completely random selection of ingredients, I came up with this quick and easy spinach and egg tortilla pizza – most of the ingredients you will have lying around the cupboard anyway. This pizza is also really healthy and filling and can be served as a lunch, or with a side salad for dinner.
Spinach and egg tortilla pizza
Serves 1 Cooking time 15 mins
For the pizza sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Garlic powder/puree or fresh garlic
For the topping
- Handful spinach
- 40g mozzarella cheese, chopped into chunks
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
- Mix together all the ingredients for the pizza sauce and add a little water to thin it out, spread the pizza sauce over your tortilla base
- Put the spinach over the top, and then add your mozzarella, leaving a gap in the centre of your base for the egg
- Cook in the oven for 5 minutes
- Bring out of the oven and carefully break your egg into the middle of your pizza.
- Put the pizza back in the oven for around 5 minutes, or until your egg is cooked to your liking
Disclosure – I was asked to create this post as part of my role as a #shortcuteggspert and was compensated for my time with vouchers at Variety Fun Office Snacks.
Two of my very favourite bloggers, Nargis from Uzbek food restaurant and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps have got together and set up The Great Bloggers Bake Off. They have challenged us to either recreate a bake from the Great British Bake Off each week, or bake our own creation to fit in with the themes on the show. This weeks themes were Angel Food Cake, Sandwich Cake and Chocolate Showstopper.
I decided to try something I hadn’t tried before and go for an Angel Food Cake, covered in white chocolate cream and decorated with summer berries. I did of course use Mary Berry’s recipe. I couldn’t find an Angel Food Cake tin (GBBO mania must have hit!) so I simply bought an insert and used that and it worked fine as well as saving around a tenner!
I did follow the recipe for the cake which I found on the internet, but it made way too much, so I have listed the ingredients at half the amount here which is enough for a 25cm loose bottomed cake tin with insert.
To make the Angel Food Cake
- 67g Plain Flour
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- tsp Vanilla Essence
- 0.5 tsp cream of tartar
- good pinch of salt
For the white chocolate cream and decoration
- 75g white chocolate
- 300g double cream
- Fruit of your choice to decorate, I used raspberries, strawberries and blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180c or 160c for a fan oven. Arrange a shelf in the lower third of the oven.
- Sieve the flour and 50g of the caster sugar into a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites on high speed for about a minute until frothy, add the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt and whisk for a further 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar (100g) a little at a time and whisk until firm peaks form.
- Sprinkle over a third of the flour and sugar mixture and gently fold in, continue until it is all folded in.
- Transfer to your ungreased pan and bake for around 30-40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Once the cake is cooked, immediately turn it upside down (I placed mine on top of an empty wine bottle) and leave in the tin to cool completely.
- Once the cake is totally cooled, run a spatula around the edges of the cake and remove it from the tin.
- To make the white chocolate cream melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the cream until quite stiff, then gently fold in the melted chocolate. Cover the cake with the cream and then decorate with the fruit of your choice.
A recent study by Stork on childrens birthday parties showed the following:
- Two thirds (64%) of parents compete to throw the best kids bash versus their peers
- One in 10 claims that pressure ‘to be the best’ has caused rifts between partners
- More than half of parents (55%) claim to have encountered extravagant party requests, including registered gift lists (12%), dress codes (16%), and compulsory expensive activities (25%)
It also revealed that 50% of us parents spend 2.5 working days making our childs birthday cake. How many of you are now nodding your head *raises hand*.
I have spent days creating the perfect cake, I have stayed up till stupid o clock and spent Sophie’s birthday exhausted because of this, its always worth it to see the smile on her face when I walk in carrying said cake. I usually start planning weeks if not months in advance. Sourcing just the right decorations and having trial runs. But do I really need to go through all that, and the simple answer is no, not really. And what if you don’t have hours to do that? And you don’t have the confidence to recreate masterpieces worthy of the Great British Bake Off?
Pop on over to the Stork website where they have come up with a range of delicious, stunning, yet quick and simple recipes to make the perfect birthday cake for you and your loved ones.
It was my birthday yesterday and I decided on this Limoncello Mascarpone Layer Cake to celebrate – it sounded simply delicious and was a bit of a challenge as I have never attempted anything like this before. It took me less than half a day (including cleaning up and chilling time) and I have to say it looked brilliant and tasted even better!
Limocello Mascarpone Layer Cake
- 4 eggs, large
- 150g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 120g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 60g Stork tub, melted and cooled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsps Limoncello
- 75ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml Limoncello
- 450g mascarpone cheese
- 360ml double cream
- 250g lemon curd
- 100g white chocolate curls
- Prepare 2 x 8” sandwich tins, grease well and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk for 6-7 minutes until the mixture is thick and airy, almost trebling in volume.
- Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold in carefully until fully combined.
- Pour the cooled melted Stork around the edge of the bowl and fold in again until well combined.
- Split the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden on top and springy to the touch. When the cakes are ready they will start to come away from the edges of the tin.
- Carefully remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
- Prepare the lemon syrup. Place the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and the syrup clears slightly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a jug to cool to room temperature.
- To make the filling first make the Zabaglione. Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the eggs and sugar and whisk well. Add the Limoncello. Continue to whisk, over the pan of water until the mixture thickens. This takes about 10 minutes and happens just before the Zabaglione reaches boiling point and you will start to see small bubbles appear. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.
- In another large bowl beat the mascarpone so that it is smooth. Beat in the slightly cooled Zabaglione and mix until even.
- Whip the double cream to soft peaks and beat into the mascarpone/Zabaglione mixture.
- To assemble, split each sponge into 2 even layers using a sharp serrated knife. Place 1 sponge layer onto a serving plate, cut side upwards. Soak the exposed sponge with the lemon syrup brushing on with a pastry brush.
- Spread the sponge with lemon curd and then add an even layer of mascarpone filling. Top with a further sponge layer. Repeat the process adding syrup, lemon curd and mascarpone filling to each later until all 4 layers are in place.
- Coat the top of the cake with an even layer of mascarpone filling. Run a palette knife around the sides of the cake to even out the filling. Reserve the remaining mascarpone filling and place the cake in the fridge for 4 hours to firm so that the rest of the assembly can be completed.
- Once chilled, coat the sides of the cake with the reserved mascarpone filling.
- Warm 2 tbsps lemon curd gently and drizzle over the top of the cake.
- Take the white chocolate curls and using a cupped hand gently press the curls onto the side of the cake to coat. To do this with minimum mess it is best to raise the cake using a cake stand or turntable and place a small bowl underneath the edge of the cake to catch the excess chocolate curls as you coat.
- Once the sides are fully coated sprinkle a little around the top on the outside edge.
- Brush any excess chocolate curls from the serving plate with a dry pastry brush.
The cost of my ingredients for this cake was covered by Central Pike Bike Rental