Cherry & Coconut Granola

I love the flavours of cherry and coconut together, delicious in flapjacks and muffins, but today I’m making a cherry & coconut granola. I have learnt, through the various granola recipes I have created over the past year, a few tricks to make the perfect granola clusters with the perfect amount of sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch. When you buy granola mixes from the supermarket you take for granted all those lovely honey coated oaty clusters but actually they’re quite hard to make like that at home! So today I’m going to share with you a few tips to making the perfect bowl of granola.

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It’s nearly pancake day!

I’ll be honest, I have never had much luck making pancakes. But today I’m going to share with you the best recipe ever for making the fluffiest, softest, most pancakey-est (new word) pancakes, in the world, ever. Promise. Oh and yes, all gluten free and dairy free….yay!!!

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I don’t know about you guys but I only ever make pancakes for the kids on either a sunday morning or as an after school treat if something good has happened. But as I was making up the batter today I was wondering why we consider something made simply from flour, milk and eggs to be such a treat?! I suppose it’s all the syrup and lovely yummy toppings that we pile of top of them that is the treat part, but still. Essentially, apart from the little bit of butter that you cook them in, there’s nothing much in them! At less than 140 calories a pancake, that’s gotta be a good thing right?!

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Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and write something for weeks….sorry lovely readers, don’t know where the time has gone. I thought I would make up for it in spades by wowing you with a sticky, chocolatey, delicious childhood favourite of surely everyone on the planet….millionaire’s shortbread. And yes, this version is all gluten free and dairy free and is just as sticky, chocolatey and delicious as you remember it!

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Creamy Fish Pie Pasta

You know when you’ve bought all the ingredients that you think you need, mentally prepared to take some time to cook a dish, got everything ready and out and prepared and then…..you realise you’ve forgotten potatoes? Yup that was how I ended up making this deliciously satisfying pasta bake when I was planning on making a fish pie! Happy accidents are the best though aren’t they? The three little bears christened it ‘Fish Pie Pasta’ and I thought I’d share it with you on this cold and frosty winter morning.

There’s nothing nicer than a huge dish of comfort food is there! How good does this look?!

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My favourite take-to-a-party dish

So you know when someone says “bring something to share” to a party….well this is the perfect dish. I took it to at least three different parties over the holiday season and it always went down a treat plus the best thing about it is, you can make it basically from store cupboard ingredients and it’s seriously easy to rustle up! What’s not to like? Naturally gluten, dairy free & vegetarian it will cater for most people’s diets and everyone’s tastes. Serve it warm in the winter or keep it cold in the summer, it’s equally good both ways. Is it a salad or is it a side-dish, you decide, but however you serve it it’s sure to be a delicious & different alternative to those same-old dishes that everyone else will be bringing!

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Breakfast Treats

I’m not much of a breakfast girl. Never have been to be honest. I can’t even think straight without my cup of tea first thing and then we’re rushing out the door on the school run and then there’s the dog to walk or a yoga class to go to. After that….that’s when I’m hungry and ready to eat something nutritious and delicious. Saturday brunch has also become a bit of a thing with the hubs and I and sets us up for the weekend ahead with a nice cup of frothy coffee alongside. Here are some of our favourite breakfast treats:

But if I’m in a rush and need to grab something quick that’s gonna fill me up until lunch then granola is always my go-to. I make fruity ones, crunchy oaty ones, full of seed ones and today I have come up with this naughty chocolate & hazelnut one for a treat!

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This recipe if for a special treat granola that tastes like dessert but you can eat it for breakfast – win win! 

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If you like chocolate or nuts or nutella or all of the above, then this granola is definitely for you! Crunchy hazelnuts, chewy pecans, little pops of chocolate chips, sweet hits from chocolate covered raisins all surrounded by sweet clusters of oaty goodness. Continue reading

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cakes

I LOVE chocolate orange!

If you read my blog often enough you will already know this fact (!!) and sorry if I’m boring but I’ve come up with yet another chocolate orange recipe for you lovely people…. this one is particularly appealing because it’s super duper easy peasy to make. Get the kids to make it or rustle it up quickly  before someone pops in for coffee – they will never realise how simple it is but it always goes down a treat I promise!

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Family Friendly Fruit Loaf

I know I know, I have’t blogged for ages….I’m sorry, don’t tell me off! Half term is a killer with 3 kids suddenly needing to be entertained all day long, plus we’re moving house this month so everything is a bit crazy at this end! Half surrounded by packing boxes, signing bits of paperwork, filling in forms, emptying cupboards and chucking out years worth of stuff we’ve been accumulating in the loft. It’s not pretty but it’s got to be done!

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Lazy Sausage & Bean Casserole

Mummy guilt is a bit crap isn’t it?! Sometimes I wonder why we don’t give ourselves a break, I really do. I am constantly feeling guilty about one thing or another….not listening to music practice properly, getting the big bears to look after the littlest bear too much, letting them have too much screen time, not making the beds everyday, not walking the dog for long enough, not phoning the grandparents enough, not doing my own ironing (I send it out! shhhhh), not replying to emails or texts and then forgetting about them, saying I’ll go to something and then being too knackered to actually go, missing friends birthdays, not going to the gym enough to validate my ridiculously expensive membership fee, being late for school pickup, being late for school drop off, being late for most things…..arghhhhh the list could go on and on!!!

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But then sometimes I think to myself, sod it…I’m doing the best that I can, my kids are happy and healthy and loving school, my husband gets a home cooked dinner on the table most evenings, the house is kept relatively clean and tidy and organised and sometimes (sometimes) there’s nothing on my to-do-list. That’s ok isn’t it?

I get so fed up with the guilt that occasionally I go totally against the rule book and I don’t take the kids to the playground/theme park/cinema, spend hours building lego/playdough/jigsaws, arrange lovely playdates/parties/dinners and instead, I allow us, as a family, to spend the whole day doing nothing. Nada. Nill. Not a thing. And usually we do it….in our pyjamas (collective intake of shocked breath) – so what?!

I’m not ashamed, in fact I’m rather proud of our occasional days of nothing, no pressure, no clock watching, no visitors, no plans, just all of us hanging out together watching rubbish tv and getting a takeaway (do I hear another collective intake of shocked breath?!). Did you imagine because I love to cook that we never get a take away? Nonsense….we love a take away! And we’re lucky enough to have some great gdfree places nearby that very kindly agree to deliver their delicious gdfree food right to our very lazy doorstep! We have a Chinese that lists everything on its menu with allergens and will make things specially for you if you request it, we have an Indian which offers nearly 90% of it’s menu as gdfree and we even have an award winning fish and chippie that offer gluten free fish and chips mon-thurs.

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So…to help alleviate those guilty moments I have come up with a super store-cupboard-ingredient casserole that really hits the spot in those moments of can’t-be-bothered-to-cookness. It contains 1 pack of sausages, 5 tins from the cupboard and a pint of seasoned stock. The only thing you have to chop is an onion. ok maybe two onions, but that’s it I promise.

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Family Frittata with Courgette & Chorizo

I don’t know about you but I’m always seriously knackered and can’t be bothered to cook and wish I had a fridge full of home made delicious goodies to feed me and hubs once we’ve got the three little bears to bed of an evening. I don’t mind cooking for them as they’ve had a lovely hot meal at school so all they need is a baked potato or some pasta or a wrap….something low effort and quick to make.

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But by the time I’ve supervised homework, listened to music practice, put a load of washing on, stacked the dishwasher, read through school paperwork for tomorrow, bathed the littlest bear, made sure the big two have showered, folded clothes up for the morning, checked their reading books and tucked the time-consuming little poppets into bed – the LAST thing I really want to do is cook for my poor husband!

So, having inhaled a glass of wine, the solution occurs to me and when and if I’m organised enough and/or have the time/inclination/groceries/inspiration to prepare something in advance then this recipe is a goodie. And actually the best thing about this dish is that it’s so enormous you can eat it for weeks! Mission accomplished! Healthy and delicious it’s great with a salad or on it’s own, it can be eaten hot or cold and if you’ve got adventurous kids they may well enjoy it too.

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