Crepe Recipe

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With Tuesday being Pancake Tuesday or you may prefer to call it Shrove Tuesday I thought I’d share with you one of my full-proof recipes for crepes.  Well I lie, this is my mum’s recipe that she passed on to me (could originally be a Delia Smith one).  Mum always made these for us growing up and the recipe is really quick and easy to do.  They can also be made for a sweet or savoury filling.  One of my favourite Pancake Day meals was mum’s cheesy broccoli and cauliflower pancakes; using the crepes like pasta or enchiladas she would put cooked broccoli and cauliflower which would be in a cheese sauce into the centre of the crepes, roll them up, put them in a tray and bake them when covered with the remaining cheese sauce and some grated cheese on top.

So let me give you the recipe for the crepes 

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Ingredients

– 110g plain flour

– a pinch of salt

– 2 large eggs

– 200ml milk mixed together with 75ml water

– 2 tbsp melted butter

Method

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.

3. Start to whisk in the eggs and incorporate the flour from around the edges.

4. Start to gradually add the milk and water mixture (ignore any lumps because they will gradually disappear).

5. When all the liquid has been added slide a rubber spatula around the edge of the bowl to make sure you have got all of the mix from the side of the bowl and then whisk again until your batter is the consistency of smooth cream.

6. When you are ready to cook, add the 2tbsp of melted butter to the batter and stir in.

7. Melt some butter in your frying pan (or you can spray some frylight) and add a ladleful of your batter depending on the size of the pan you are using (you may only need half the amount).

8. Swirl the batter around the pan until it thinly covers the base.

9. Flip it over when it starts to come away at the sides and cook until golden brown on each side.

10. Repeat this process until you have ran out of batter. Place your pancakes somewhere warm and separate them with layers of kitchen roll whilst you make the rest.

11. Serve as you like them . . .

We had no lemon in the house so we had ours with some fresh lime juice and sugar

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enjoy xx

 

My Look Book

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Recently I’ve really been making an effort to take photos of my outfits, one to share on my instagram and join in with a few fashion hashtags, but also for memories of what my outfits look like together.  So often I get stuck in a rut about what to wear or just wear the same thing again and again.  Just recently I put a look together and remembered just how much I liked it on.  Hence why I’m uploading these recent looks to this blog post so it can act as a memory for me.

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A lot of my outfits are clothes that I’ve had for years, with a few new pieces, so I will link pieces of clothes where I can and tag the shops the clothes originally came from, just in case you can pick them up second hand online or in a charity shop.  However perhaps you may have something similar in your wardrobe and this will give you the idea of putting it something different.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Sunglasses – Parfois (link for these – click here), 2. Trench Coat – F&F Clothing, 3. Black jacket – Zara, 4. Black vest top – Primark, 5. Large polka dot print trousers – Zara (link for a similar pair – click here), 6. ‘Oh la la’ handbag – Parfois (link for this – click here), 7. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

This was the outfit I wore to my Christmas dinner. The dress was from Zara, the shoes from Next, the clutch from Tk Maxx and the earrings from Aliexpress.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Black long sleeved top – Primark, 2. Black and gold belt – New Look (link for these – click here), 3. Leopard print skirt – New Look – (link for these – click here), 4. Black tights – F&F Clothing, 5. Sock boots – Marks and Spencer, 6. Leather jacket – F&F Clothing.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Glasses – Specsavers, 2. Jacket – Marks and Spencer, 3. Jumper – F&F Clothing, 4. Leggings – Gok Wan for TU Clothing, 5. Boots – Office.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Earrings – Accessorize, 2. Dress, George at Asda, 3. Black tights – F&F Clothing, 4. Boots – New Look, 5. Leather jacket – F&F Clothing.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Jacket – Nine by Savannah Miller for Debenhams (link for these – click here), 2. Dress – Marks and Spencer

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Glasses – Specsavers, 2. Earrings – Accessorize, 3. Jumper dress – F&F Clothing (currently in date 20.02.19), 4. Black tights – F&F Clothing, 5. Boots – New Look.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Scarf – Accessorize, 2. Leather jacket – F&F Clothing, 3. Dress – Marks and Spencer, 4. Black tights – F&F Clothing, 5. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Sunglasses – Parfois (link for these – click here), 2. Scarf – Accessorize, 3. Jumper – Dunnes Stores, 4.’Oh la la’ handbag – Parfois (link for this – click here), 5. Black leggings – Primark, 6. White converse style pumps – Primark.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Beret – Marks and Spencer, 2. Dress – Marks and Spencer, 3. ‘Oh la la’ handbag – Parfois (link for this – click here), 4. Navy tights – F&F Clothing, 5. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Leopard Print Scarf – New Look, 2. Glasses – Specsavers, 3. Dress – Marks and Spencer, 5. Bag – Dr Marten’s, 6. Black tights – F&F Clothing.

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Glasses – Specsavers, 2. Navy polo neck – Zara, 3. Necklace – Bella Mia Boutique, 4. Sleeveless jacket – New Look, 5. White vest top – Primark, 6. Leggings – Gok Wan for TU Clothing, 7. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Top – George at Asda, 2. Black leggings – Primark, 3. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Beret – New Look, 2. Glasses – Specsavers, 3. Striped polo neck – F&F Clothing, 4. Pinafore – TU for Sainsbury’s, 5. Backpack – French Connection 6. Black tights – F&F Clothing, 5. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

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This look from top to bottom:

1. Beret – a little shop in Nice, 2. Jumper – F&F Clothing, 3. ‘Oh la la’ handbag – Parfois (link for this – click here), 4. Trench coat – Zara, 5. Black leggings – Primark, 6. Converse trainers – Schuh (link for these – click here).

BAKE SOME LOVE

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Fancy going for the handmade or homemade touch this Valentine’s Day? How about some easy shortbread treats? Make it romantic with a heart cutter, letter cutters spelling out L-O-V-E or just go to the effort of making something yourself, and just think of the brownie points you will get for a maximum of an hours effort!

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What you will need to make your own shortbread . . .

Ingredients

– 8oz self raising flour
– 8oz soft margarine
– 4oz icing sugar
– 4oz cornflour
– 1tsp baking powder

Equipment

– Baking tray (any flat tray really), grease-proof paper, rolling pin (or something to roll with, I have been known to use a wine bottle!) and cutters, either bought ones in shapes or if you are needing to make do you can use a glass (just put flour around the top of the glass so it doesn’t stick.

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Method

1. Cream together your icing sugar and margarine

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2. Add the cornflour, flour and baking powder

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3. Mix together until crumbly and then forming into dough

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You will need to use your hands to combine the dough together

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Get your hands in and squash it into a ball of dough

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4. Roll out and cut into shape on a slightly floured surface, not too much flour or it will dry out your dough, don’t forget to put a little flour on your rolling pin too (or wine bottle if you have no rolling pin)

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You want to roll it to about this thickness.

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Cut out your shortbread, this is so easy to do and if you have little ones at home they will love getting involved.

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5. Place on a baking tray with greaseproof paper or a little flour on the tray and bake at 180oC for about 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown (depending on the size and thickness)

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If you are making any small hearts make sure to keep an eye on them as they won’t take as long to cook.

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TOP TIP: the shortbread can burn easily and quickly so keep an eye on it, it can take less than the 10 minutes, especially if you are onto your second batch on the tray and the oven is really hot.

6. Lift them out of the oven when they are golden brown and leave on the tray for about 5 minutes, they will start to harden a bit then carefully move them to cool on a wire rack. However if they haven’t really hardened then put them back in the oven for a couple of minutes and repeat the process I said.

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7. Once cooked sprinkle with caster or icing sugar and leave to cool or once cooled fill the middle of 2 biscuits with any filling of your choice, it could be lemon curd, jam or chocolate spread and sprinkle with icing sugar.

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And there you have it, quick and easy to make, they look good and taste even better!

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If you do make these for Valentine’s Day or any time really I’d love to see, so take a photo and tag me on instagram @mrs_ds_lifestyle or just comment and let me know how you got on.

Open your senses

Last weekend I headed back ‘home’ to Bangor for a long overdue catch up with my best friend and to finally get out for our Christmas dinner, not per-say the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and stuffing; but as a Christmas present to each other a dinner together for Christmas rather than an unneeded present.

Presence is definitely the best present!

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Any-who,to the food!  We decided that we would book a table at the local Nepalese restaurant (on Abbey Street in Bangor, for any local readers).  I had been once before, but Sarah hadn’t and was keen to try it.  I’d definitely say she’s more adventurous than me when it comes to trying different cuisines, and to be honest with you if my friend Karla hadn’t introduced me to Yaks and Nepalese food months before I would never have picked it. That’s the great thing about friends, they introduce you to things you’d never leave your comfort zone to do yourself.

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‘Nepalese cuisine comprises a variety of cuisines based upon ethnicity, soil and climate relating to Nepal’s cultural diversity and geography.’

For more information and background on Nepalese food, check out this fantastic post A Guide To The Dishes and Food Of Nepal from The Culture Trip.  It is definitely a lot more informative than my description ‘it’s a bit like Indian, but not as heavy and rich’.

THE FOOD

In this post I’m going to share with you the food from both of the visits I’ve made, to try to show you a bit of a range of the food Yaks serve.

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A bit like when you go to an Indian restaurant, you are instantly greeted with poppadoms and a range of dips/sides.  I swear I could eat these all day, they are delicious and none of the dips aren’t massively spicy, which is good for a wimp like me!  I’m not sure of their exact name, but the bottom one is like a yogurt style (fresh and fragrant), the top left is like a chutney, sweet and spicy with onions and then the top right is a delicious sweet sauce (can you tell this was my favourite?).

THE STARTERS

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The first time I went with my friend Karla we went for the Veg Momo; special Nepalese street food, with aromatic sauce. Momo are Nepal’s version of dumplings, and usually contain steamed vegetables or meat. For me I found the sauce a bit too hot so I just had a small amount.

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The next time I went with Sarah (last weekend) we were going to share 2 starters, but was recommend by our server to go for the Yak’s Vegetarian Special, which included; Onion Bites, Chapat, Veg Samosas, and Paneer Chilli.

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The good thing about my friends is they too love food like me and love bread, so of course we ordered Naan bread.  Pretty much Sarah and I order ALL THE NAAN!  We went the side of the Chef’s Special Naan Basket, which is an assortment of three Naans and just got that with our starter to have throughout our meal.  This trio included a Plain Naan, Peshwari Naan (a sweet naan) and a Garlic Naan.

THE MAINS

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This is the Dal Vat Tarkari – a traditional Nepalese style dining suitable for vegetarians.  My friend Karla is veggie, this is what she had ordered when we went the first time and I just loved how cute it looked, all coming out in little individual ‘gold’ bowls on a ‘gold’ tray.  The little bowls contain; lentils, seasonal vegetable curry, saag, a chutney and rice, it also comes with a side of naan.

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The staff in Yaks really are fantastic at helping you choose your meal if you are unsure as to what to get or where to start.  I explained how I was a wimp when it came to spicy food and they recommended this Himalayan Masu that I chose with a chicken base.  It’s a curry cooked with thick ginger, garlic, coriander and yogurt.  Absolutely delicious and served with a side of Pilau Rice.

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After loving how cute Karla’s Dal Vat Tarkari was I decided last weekend to go for the meat equivalent Dal Vat Masu which is  traditional Nepalese style dining with meat and includes; lentils, chicken or lamb curry, saag, a chutney and rice, it also comes with a side of naan, but we didn’t need it because we had the trio from our starters.

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Sarah decided to actually go for the main I had had with Karla and went for the Himalayan Masu but with prawns instead of the chicken that I had and and she to went for the Pilau Rice.

THE DESSERTS

Now by the time it came to desserts last week Sarah and I were absolutely stuffed so it was out of the questions.  However the time I went with Karla, well of course we tried both desserts and shared them; I mean it would have been rude not to and I’d never tried either of  these before.

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On the left is Kulfi or Qulfi  which is a popular frozen dairy dessert originating from the Indian subcontinent during Mughal India. It is often described as “traditional Indian ice cream”.  It tastes a bit like frozen condensed milk and is VERY sweet.  On the right is Gulab these are a milk-solid-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as Myanmar. Again SWEET, these are like cake balls soaked in a sugar syrup.  Both were tasty, but for me just way to sweet and I could take or leave them.

THE VERDICT

I absolutely loved Yaks, the staff are all so friendly, they offer advice on foods, they check to see that all is OK, and not when you are in the middle of eating, they are genuine and sincere that you have a good time and the meal is all at your own pace.  The food comes out quickly, but if you need a bit of a break between courses they offer you this and check when you are ready, never once are you rushed!  The food is also so fresh and delicious, packed with flavour!  The price is also fantastic, when we went last week we had all I described above plus a bottle of wine for £67 and then we were given complimentary Prosecco and a Bailey’s each.

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On top of it all, and to top it all off they sent us home with a Naan I didn’t get with my main, remember because we got ALL THE NAAN with the trio for starter and the pieces we had left over from the trio.

To have a look at Yaks menu for either sitting in the restaurant or as a delivery this is all on their website.  If you are in the area or are looking to try something new I would most definitely try here!

Yaks on Facebook              Yaks on instagram              Yaks website

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Phil and I had so much fun last night, our wee party for 2.

I’m not really one for setting myself goals or doing New Year Resolutions, because I always end up forgetting them or breaking them, I think there has only ever been one year that I actually completed them. So instead this year I am just going to share what I have planned and what I’m looking forward to:

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This year is going to be a pretty big one for me, you’ll see why in a minute, and so far I’ve about half the year planned, who knows how the rest will actually turn out. . .

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I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into my new job!

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Heading to Nice, France for a long weekend with my mum.

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Having an amazing hen with my girlies!

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Marrying my best friend!

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Watching Snow Patrol in my local park at home – Ward Park 3

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Heading off on honeymoon, hopefully America

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Seeing the Foo Fighters again with my new hubby!

As for the rest of the year and the inbetweens, well that will be a mystery!

So long 2018

I’m going to be honest with you, right now 2018 is a bit of a blur, perhaps I’ve been walking about with blinkers on all year.  I wouldn’t say nothing eventful happened, because it did; instead it is maybe that the year went by so fast.  Yes there have been ups and downs, stress and bouts of anxiety and depression.  Today however I’m going to focus on the key events of the year; not on the negatives, but also not wanting to look like my life is amazing and rosy with everything perfect.  Life by no means is perfect and believe me you can’t believe everything you see on social media.

Right, let’s get to it, here are my highlights of 2018:

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We got our save the dates sorted, yes I dragged Phil around the North Coast with a tripod, chalk board and a camera to snap photos.  From the start I decided that I would make all our wedding invitations and I was so happy how these turned out.

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On the theme of my wedding I also choose and asked two of my best friends to be my bridesmaids and they accepted!

Oh and I also found my wedding dress (this isn’t ‘THE ONE’) and organised more wedding things, just check out this link for more info.

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Divinity Bridal

We headed to England for this little man’s 1st birthday and celebrated in style with a bit of a joint party for me too.

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I worked with some fantastic companies for both my blog and instagram account, here are just a few:

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Lusso Tan
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Cluse
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K-POP
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Progressive Building Society
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Little Beauty Box
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CastleCourt Shopping Centre & Debenhams
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Bedtime Bliss UK
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Kildare Village & CMPR
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Cancer Focus NI
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Aiken PR & The National Trust
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Perditi & Dutch Blend
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Grace & Stella
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Nora NYC

There was a bit of travelling; England, and then closer to home Lusty Beg with mum and Donegal with Phil.

I upped my game when it came to those WIW posts, being a little more daring in where I posed and a massive thanks to my friends and family behind the camera.

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I nailed the flat lays and started to love spending time setting them up, snapping and then editing them.

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A few new little humans were introduced into my life, both family and friendfam.

Within my little blogging world I attended so many fantastic events, once again here are just a few:

He-shi product launch, WCCFW (West Coast Cooler Fashion Week) both SS and AW, Lusso Tan’s first birthday, Charlotte Tilbury, and Kildare Village.

The best thing about all these blogger events is meeting all my fantastic new friends and reconnecting with some old.  Most of all I’m grateful for connecting with Vicki (The Northern Irish Mum) who has become one of my closest friends and pretty much my only friend living close to me up in Lurgan).

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I used my ‘influence/platform’ to highlight the importance of knowing your body, trusting it and checking it for signs of Cancer.

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A massive thing for me this year alongside moving out of home for the first time and moving miles away from all my friends and family to live with Phil was moving jobs.  It really was so tough for me to do, but after months of stress I took the plunge, applied for my dream job and got it.  I cannot wait to properly get my teeth stuck into it in 2019!

What 2018, and life in general for me is all about:

Without a doubt life for me is all about my family and friends, it’s hard to get a photo with everyone in it and indeed there are a few people’s photos missing from those above; which simply means we need to get more photos together!  True friends and family are the ones you don’t need to see all the time, but those that are always in your heart and who are there for you!

To you, the reader, my friend, or my follower (ugh I hate that term):

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read through my posts, either on here or instagram, contacting me, and sharing the love for what I enjoy and share.

Zane xx

Shop local and small this Christmas

Today I headed to a local small business on my way home from work today and finished off my Christmas shopping. This fabulous little shop is in Broughshane, Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland and is The Nest. Just look at the video for a sneak peak at some of their amazing pieces.

The shop is so pretty, I loved the decor and the range of products and the staff were fantastic and so friendly!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Cake

Looking for something to do with your pumpkins after Halloween? It really is such same to waste them and just throw away perfectly good food, especially when you haven’t carved them. There are so many recipes about both sweet and savoury; this is my sweet recipe for Pumpkin Cake, it’s a slight variation on my Carrot Cake recipe.

Ingredients

  • 100g pecans
  • 340g raw, grated carrots
  • 260g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tbsp mixed spice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 240ml vegetable oil
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 oC

2. Grease and line 2 cake tins or one large tray if you want to make a slab of cake

3. Toast the pecans for about 8 minutes or until slightly brown in a pan, then chop

4. In a bowl measure out your dry ingredients, apart from the sugar

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5. Peel and grate the pumpkin and set aside

6. Beat the eggs in a mixer until frothy

7. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and lightly coloured

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8. Add the oil in a steady stream and beat in the vanilla extract

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9. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated

10. Using a spatula fold in the nuts and carrots

11. Divide into the tins and bake for 25-30 mins, or if like me you are using a large tray pour in the mix and bake for 45 mins.

12. Once baked, serve as you wish, we are going to have ours with some homemade vanilla custard. However if you would like to ice the cake here is the ingredients for the frosting. Just combine all the ingredients below together and spread on your cake when cooled.

Ingredients for frosting

  • 57g softened butter
  • 227g cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 230g icing sugar (use more if your frosting is too watery)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp orange/lemon zest

Top 12 – October

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So I thought September flew in, well October just whizzed past! I’m a bit late with my October round up, with it now being November, but hey better late then never and yeah I’ve cut it down from my top 15 to my top 10, basically because I’ve barely had any time to do anything. So check out my top 10 favourite obsessions for October, they range from food to skin care.

1. Book

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I haven’t actually read this book yet, but I have started it and that is a start. I just know it will be good, I came across Liane Moriarty a few years ago and have loved all her books! I found it really refreshing to read a book that wasn’t based in Ireland and it was actually my first time reading books set it Australia, I loved Big Little Lies (read this ages before it was made into the TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman), Truly Madly Guilty and The Husband’s Secret. Hopefully by the end of November I will be able to give you a quick review of Nine Perfect Strangers for you all.

2. Savoury Recipe

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Kinda became a little obsessed with this Ginger Chicken Biryani this month, made it loads and randomly preferred it cold the next day for lunch (not cold, cold, but room temp). It’s a recipe I got from the Joe Wicks Cooking for Family and Friends that I actually borrowed online from Libraries NI, click here to try it out for yourself.

3. Netflix programme

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Absolutely loved The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina! Yeah I think I got through this new and slightly twisted version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Netflix in about two days. My name is Zane and I’m a Netflix binger! I say slightly twisted, but it’s more like a completely different show. Yes it has the same premise of a teenage witch called Sabrina who lives with her two aunts Hilda and Zelda, there’s her love interest Harvey and of course Salem, (who doesn’t actually talk in this one). Bur like the title says it is a little darker and not suitable for little ones, it is a 15, however if you are into the supernatural and witch craft like me, then you’ll love it!

4. Podcast

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I’ve recently really got into listening to podcasts in the car on the way to and from work each day, I spend so much time driving I wanted to be more productive. This month on Acast I’ve been listening to John Bishop in Conversation with . . . it’s been nice listening to it, as I missed a lot of the conversations on the TV Show. Any other podcasts you recommend please leave me a wee comment or get in touch.

5. Walk

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I haven’t really been out on any proper big walks this month (I don’t think so anyway), but when I’ve been down home in Bangor I have been taking advantage of being down at the beach (oh how I miss it now that it’s no longer in sight or on my doorstep in Lurgan). The beach I grew up playing on and walking over again and again is Ballyholme Beach (pictured above) and it 100% is home!

6. Nail Polish

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So kinda cheating here with this one as I am sharing my gorgeous nails that I just love, that I didn’t do myself but the very talented Jenna from Serenity Beauty Lurgan did for me. They are my natural nails with an acrylic overlay and then gel polish with gold leaf on the statement nails. They are just perfect for Autumn and amazing; I’ve had so many compliments on them.

7. Product I can’t live without this month

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A product or products I’ve really loved using this month has been this Environ skincare alongside the facials I was so kindly gifted by the Little Beauty Box . I’ve noticed a real difference in my skin and have got into a proper skincare routine. I’ll have a full blog post on it all soon, so be sure to keep an eye out!

8. Photo

Love the fun in this photo, two of my favourite people enjoying sparklers while I play about on my camera with the new techniques I’ve learnt in my photography course.

10. Piece of Clothing

 

This month I was invited down to CastleCourt for an NI Blogger Brunch, it was a fantastic morning and during that time we were really kindly gifted a £50 voucher for Debenhams. I was so grateful for this and with money being very, very tight the last few months it was lovely to go and spoil myself. An that is just what I did, I treated myself to this gorgeous Nine by Savannah Miller leather jacket, which had a fantastic 30% off at the time too, so I got an amazing deal. Fancy this jacket for yourself? Just click here.

11. Sweet Recipe

So this is the recipe I found on BBC Good Food it was actually a vegan recipe, but I chose it more for the fact I had an avocado I wanted to use up and just switched the recipe to what I had in the house, which was not dairy free/vegan ingredients. It was lovely and moist and lasted about 5 days (it probably could have gone longer if we didn’t all scoff it). If you want to try this recipe just click here.

12. Place to eat

One of the places I love to eat when I’m up in Ballymena (which I will be a lot more often) is Middletown Coffee. It’s the loveliest wee coffee shop with amazing food, cool decor and the friendliest, welcoming staff! I 100% recommend you pay them a visit!

So there we have it, my top 12 obsessions for October, now to obsess over a few more things for November. Any suggestions of what I should give a go?

RECIPE: Joe Wicks Ginger Chicken

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Kinda became a little obsessed with this Ginger Chicken Biryani in October, made it loads and randomly preferred it cold the next day for lunch (not cold, cold, but room temp).  It’s a recipe I got from the Joe Wicks Cooking for Family and Friends that I actually borrowed online from Libraries NI,

PREP 15 MINS          COOK 50 MINS          SERVES 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 7 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp chilli powder – more if you like it hot
  • 10 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 4 cm chunks
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 bunches of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3 x 250 g packets of pre-cooked rice
  • pomegranate seeds, to serve

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Method

  • Melt 1½ tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, add the cloves and cardamom pods and fry for 2 minutes. While the spices are frying, blitz the onions in a food processor until they are pretty much smooth and tip straight into the pan.
  • Fry the onions and spices, stirring regularly, for about 8 minutes, until soft. Add the fresh ginger and garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, then sprinkle in all of the ground herbs and spices. Fry, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. If the mixture is starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, pour in a little water.
  • Scrape in the chicken and stir, cooking for another minute or so. Next add the chopped tomatoes and pour in 200ml water. Gently bring the whole lot to a simmer. Simmer the curry with a cocked lid on top for 30 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then to make sure it isn’t burning at the bottom of the pan.
  • After 30 minutes, take the curry off the heat and stir through half the chopped coriander. Leave the curry to cool to room temperature.
  • About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, zap the rice in the microwave. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large casserole pan and carefully tilt the pan so that the bottom and the sides are greased with coconut oil. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Take one packet of rice and tip it into the bottom of the pan, using a spoon or fork to spread it out roughly. Next, spoon half of the curry straight on to the rice and spread it out evenly. Tip the second packet of rice on to the curry and spread it over evenly, then pour the remaining curry on to the rice. Spread it out and then cover with the final packet of rice.
  • Place the lid tightly on top and put the casserole over a low heat for 5 minutes. The rice at the bottom of the pan should have browned a little and turned crunchy.
  • Proudly carry your curry to the table, remove the lid and top with the remaining chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds.

NOTE If you don’t have a pot with a tight lid, lay a clean tea towel over the top of the pan and then place a lid, plate or baking tray over the top. Be careful to tuck in the ends of the tea towel so they don’t catch fire!

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Just wanted to point out that our rice never crisped up, but it still tasted lovely and to be honest the lack of crisping could have been because I was using a wok rather than a large hob-proof casserole dish like Joe recommends.

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