Chorizo and Prawn mini skewers

These are tasty little appetizers that will go down a treat at any dinner party, holiday get together or even if you just fancy making something special. I love starters my dad always orders a few different ones instead of a main meal and I think he is onto something because they are usually the most delicious part of your meal and that way you have lots of variety.

This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe and I just love his food, I think he is an amazing chef and much lovelier than he comes across in North America. You should check out his show ‘Gordon Behind Bars’ It is fantastic, he spends 6 months in a UK prison teaching inmates how to pay their way by setting up a business on the inside to sell food on the outside ‘The Badboy Bakery’ It is a great concept and very moving to see men that haven’t had a great start in life, learn a skill and become confident and proud of themselves. I will be looking for the lemon treacle slice when I go home.

I have made these a few times now and they always turn out perfect, you simply fry the sliced chorizo and prawns together untill cooked then layer them on a toothpick with a shred of basil and baked cherry tomato’s and garlic! If you are a really tight on time I would use fresh tomato’s and a drizzle of df pesto!

Ingredients:

  • 16 prawns
  • 16 slices of chorizo
  • 8 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 16 basil leaves tore in half
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C, place the sliced cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet topped with a thin slice of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

When the tomatoes are about ten mins from being done, add some oil to a pan and fry the chorizo slices and prawns over a medium heat until cooked, keep warm until the tomatoes are finished. Then slide onto your tooth pick, a prawn, piece of basil, slice of chorizo, another piece of basil and top with a grilled tomato slice and garlic. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Gordon Ramsay’s Recipe

The Badboys Bakery Lemon Treacle Slice Review

Union Jack Designs

Living away from home has made me love the UK even more, I thought the Jubilee was wonderful and the Olympics were amazing! So I have decided to do a post on some of my favorite Union Jack pieces. I can’t wait to go home this Christmas, I will be going to my favourite shops and bringing back something pretty and patriotic! If I could get all of the things below in some kind of Mary Poppins bag it would all be coming back to Canada with me.

I love all of the cushions below and how cute is that sleepy dog!


This wall and chandelier would look great in a restaurant.

This set of draws would be a nice focus piece in a guest bedroom, I like how everything else is pretty neutral that way it doesn’t seem to loud.

All of these would be adorable in the kitchen!

Chris’s mum sent over these oven gloves which I love!

I would like to attempt making this cake.

This jubilee cake is amazing!

And of course some Fashion! I think that dress is gorgeous! it makes me miss the summer.

The Jacket and welly’s would be very stylish for a countryside stroll! 

Then you could match it with these heels and a purse for the pub! In my head I am imagining wearing all of these! 

I saw in the news a while ago that people were complaining about a town mayor wearing these shoes and they demanded that she resign, complaining that she was ‘wiping her feet‘ with the flag which I think is ridiculous! They are very patriotic and just like all of the other items, we buy and wear them because we are proud to be British! You just can’t please some people I guess. 

And lastly, how lovely is this, a little village turned their phone box into a community book exchange! Much nicer than the phone box at the end of my road which some people used as a urinal!!

Ahhh well! that’s my window shopping done for the day!

Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna is perfect to cook up on the weekend! it’s full of flavor, layered with robust tomato sauce and creamy white sauce, it’s also packed full of healthy vegetables. Me and Chris are trying to make one night a week meat and fish free which I’m enjoying, it really gets you trying new dishes and changing up old ones. My parents are vegetarian and I was growing up and I think now that I eat meat I tend to make it the main ingredient in most dishes which I would like to change as I used to be more creative with vegetarian food.

I think veggies are even better in this dish than beef, because you get so much flavour and it’s isn’t overly heavy like meat lasagna can be! I chose egg-plant, mushroom, courgettes, pepper and onions for my red sauce and in the white sauce I used garlic, broccoli and spinach. All of those vegetables unlike beef are low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, they are also full of vitamins, they help prevent heart disease and they all have major cancer fighting benefits!

The white sauce is rich, creamy and the broccoli and spinach are amazing in it, I was tempted to just eat it straight from the pan. You could also use either sauce recipe over spaghetti if you wanted to try them separately.

For the red I cubed the vegetables, that way they don’t go mushy and are easier to eat than big slices of vegetables. My cousin is a very picky eater, she always takes the onions and peppers out of her food, but she ate every bit which was a triumph.

Although it isn’t the prettiest looking dish it is the best lasagna I have had so do give it a go, It comes out bubbling and the smell is gorgeous!  I made 2 medium-sized lasagna’s with this recipe but it will make one large one it just depends on the size of dish that you have. This is a great one to make on a sunday because although it takes a bit of time you will have plenty for during the week or you can freeze some for a quick dinner one night.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette cubed
  • 1 small egg-plant cubed
  • 10 white mushrooms peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper cubed
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups of white sauce
  • 1 jar of homemade or store-bought spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pack of gluten-free lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup of shredded daiya mozzarella shreds
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

White Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 2 tablespoon of white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon of cornstarch mix
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • pepper

Directions:

Pre heat the oven to 350° and bring a large pot of water to the boil, while you are waiting for that, cube all of your Veggies except the broccoli and spinach. Add your sheets of lasagna to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Fry all of the cubed veggies over a medium heat with some olive oil for about 8 minutes or until tender, you may need to use two pans. In a separate smaller pan boil the broccoli head and cook for about 3 minutes, in a microwave safe bowl cook the spinach in a little water for 1 – 2 minutes.

In a small sauce pan add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk and bring to a simmer, with the remaining 1/2 cup mix together with the cornstarch until fully combined. Add the rice flour, garlic and butter and stir untill smooth then add in the cornstarch mixture and bring to the boil. When thickened sprinkle in some pepper. Drain and chop the spinach and broccoli then add to the white sauce, give it all a good stir and remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and lay out flat, add the sauce to the fried veggies and mix untill fully covered. save a little to put on the base of the pasta dish about 1/4 cup.

Add the saved tomato sauce to the bottom of your dish and spread out cover with a layer of lasagna sheets, you may need to slice some to get them to fit, then add a layer off the tomato vegetable sauce and then a layer of the white sauce and then a thin layer of the mozza shreds and repeat until finished. Place in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes or until bubbling and hot.

Butternut Squash, Apple and Ginger Soup

We are now officially in fall and I can tell, its chilly in a morning so I’ve had to dig out my warm coat, the leaves have turned lovely shades of red and orange in the village and pumpkin spice lattes are being advertised at every starbucks! I do love autumn, we are still having nice bright blue skies and now that it’s getting chilly I am cooking up lots of hearty soups and stews!

I decided to make a butternut squash soup because they are now in abundance, it’s also rich and delicious! The ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon really add warmth and flavor to the soup and the apple compliments the squash nicely

Making your own soup is so much tastier than the stuff sitting on shelves for months, its also very cheap and you can make the most of the vegetables that are in season. It’s always quite surprising to me how much goes into blended soups, it’s a great way to get your daily fruit and veg intake (butternut squash is technically a fruit!).

Butternut squash is packed full of health benefits, it is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, B6, it also helps fight against breast cancer with its high amount of beta-carotene and against heart disease with its folate levels and carotenoids.

I love the variety with soup, you can have them chunky or blended, creamy or broth based and the ingredients are endless, I think next time I make this type of soup I am going to make gf bacon croutons, they would be really tasty with it.

I stirred in a little Dairy Free sour cream and served with toast! Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Onion Finely Chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of dairy free butter
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 butternut squash chopped into small pieces
  • 2 apples, skinned and chopped
  • 600 mls of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (the drinking kind)
  • 1 thumb of ginger finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • a little grated nutmeg

Directions

Melt your dairy free butter over a medium heat then add your onion, garlic, celery and cook down untill soft (about 5 mins) then add in your squash and apple pieces and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour in your chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Put the soup into a blender and puree until smooth then add back to your rinsed pan and add in the coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and season. Give it a good stir and then serve with gluten-free toast and if you like a little dairy free sour cream.

Beautiful Bath Tubs!

I absolutely love bubble baths, I know some people aren’t keen on but I find them really relaxing! So much so that I often nod off, only to be woken by a splash in the face as I do the head bob! They are the best in winter when I am constantly freezing and they always smell amazing filled with all kinds of bubble baths and bath bombs! So for all you other bath lovers out there here are a few to day dream about!

This just looks amazing! A glass bath in a tropical over water bungalow, I wish I was there right now.

This nice deep one with its own rain would be so relaxing.

A fabulous stiletto tub would make a great center piece for any shoe addict like myself!

Claw foot bath tubs are my favourite type, they are so elegant and classic! Although I can’t imagine a big man climbing into that delicate little tub! I think this is more for ladies, especially with that chandelier.

This one is still very pretty but nice and big! I also like the romantic balcony and rose petals in the water!

Hopefully no hikers about for this one! I like the big window but you might feel a bit boxed in?

Another more zen sunken tub, the head rests are a nice comfy touch. 

This Pink Quartz bath costs a hefty $750,000 but looks incredible!

I like this lovely Rustic Copper tub!

This one recycled into a sofa is a fun idea!

And finally a glamorous one for pampered pooches! My Charles would love one of these!

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