ALTERNATIVES TO CHOCOLATE AND CRISPS

Hello hello helloooo!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Now, we are in the season of lent. If you aren’t Christian/Catholic, lent is generally when people give up eating certain things that they love and start doing more for others. This year, I have decided to give up chocolate and crisps. I have been doing this for around 3 weeks and am finding it extremely difficult!! I eat chocolate and crisps normally EVERYDAY so I am really struggling. That is why I have decided to write a post on the alternatives of these two foods, in case any of you are giving these up for lent or generally just want to cut down on eating them. I can’t promise these are all going to be healthy because the majority of them aren’t…oopppsss…but they are better than chocolate and crisps.

Let’s start off with chocolate. These are the alternatives I have come up with and have been eating instead over the past 3 weeks:

  • rich tea biscuits
  • peanut butter
  • fruit- you may think this is stupid because fruit and chocolate are nothing alike, but there is surprisingly a lot of sugar in some fruit
  • protein bars
  • hard boiled sweets/lollies
  • flapjacks
  • fudge

Next, on to crisps. These are the alternatives I have come up with and have been eating instead over the past 3 weeks:

  • banana crisps
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • rice cakes
  • mini cheddars
  • spicy/non spicy roasted chickpeas
  • popcorn

Thank you so so much for reading. If you would like more posts like these and enjoyed this post, please give it a like and press the follow button! I love you all very much and I’ll see you soon for another post xoxo

HEALTHY 5 MINUTE LUNCH #2

Hello hello helloooo!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Today, I am going to be sharing my second healthy lunch with you! If you haven’t seen my first one, go check it out- https://mylifethroughalens560.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/healthy-5-minute-lunch-1/  The lunch I am making today is a salad that I have created myself, and I can assure you it tastes insane!!

Ingredients needed:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Pesto
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Of course if you don’t like any of these ingredients, you can either substitute them or leave them out.

Firstly, I washed the lettuce and broke it up into smaller pieces, then cut up the cucumber(you can do it in whatever way you would like), then cut the avocado into thin slices. I then placed all of these ingredients into a bowl.

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Next, I cut up the baby tomatoes into halves and put them into a smaller bowl. I then put 1 tbsp. of pesto and 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil into the small bowl with the tomatoes and mixed them together.

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I then simply spread this all over my salad! And that is it for your 5 minute healthy lunch!!

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Although this looks disgusting, it was actually soooo delicious!! I would recommend that you don’t put that much pesto or extra virgin olive oil in if you make a smaller salad, as it is very strong and you don’t want it to drown or ruin your whole salad.

Thankyou so much for reading, if you enjoyed this then please give it a like and follow me for more, I am aiming to do these a lot more often! I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I will see you next week for another post.

I love you all very much, Bye xoxo

HEALTHY 5 MINUTE LUNCH #1

Hello hello helllooooo!!! I hope you’re all doing really well and having a wonderful day. Today I am going to be sharing my simple healthy lunch idea with you. I’m really trying to eat healthily this new year, as there’s so many benefits and it lifts my mood so much!

This is an extremely easy and simple lunch that takes around 5 minutes, so is super easy if you’re wanting a very quick lunch. All you need is ryvitas, peanut butter and a banana. This is a super good lunch to have just before the gym but is also good for a general energy boost or to fill you up.

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You can pick as many ryvitas as you want, but I found that 5 fit my banana on comfortably. Then, simply spread on a thin layer of peanut butter on one side of each ryvita. Finally cut your banana up and place them on top- SIMPLE!

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This is one of my favourite lunches at the moment. I generally have this with blueberries in a little bowl, which fills me up until around 6, ready for my tea! I am starting to make a lot more healthy lunches so please let me know if you would like me to post them on my blog. Thankyou so much for reading, please give it a like and follow me if you enjoyed it, so you don’t miss any more posts.

I love you all very much and I’ll see you soon, byeeee!!xoxo

CHRISTMAS MORNING BREAKFAST IDEAS

Hello hello helllooooo!! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVERYONEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I hope you’re all having a lovely day and are prepared for the big day tomorrow!! Now if you’re panicking about tomorrow’s Christmas morning breakfasts, don’t worry I have some fab ideas for you! These can be for kids, yourself, your grandma, your parents or you can make them for your whole family!!

SANTA PANCAKES

Who doesn’t love pancakes? And on Christmas morning it is the perfect breakfast, and why not make it festive by turning them into santa! Now all you need is a normal pancake recipe (I used the one on the BBC website), whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate chips. You can make these as big or as small as you want of course, depending on how much batter you put in the pan. I thought these looked so awesome and I classed it as kind of healthy with the strawberries;).

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SNOWMAN PANCAKES

Another pancake breakfast idea! (sorry if you don’t like pancakes) This one is so so sooo cute and all you need is a pancake recipe, strawberries, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and chocolate fingers. Again, you can make them as big or small as you want, depending on how much chocolate you’ve eaten! You could even make snowman and santa pancakes seen as they involve some of the same ingredients. Why not? IT IS CHRISTMAS AFTER ALL!

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BAGEL BAUBLE

I don’t know about you but I LOVE bagels! Basically all you need is a bagel, a cucumber, a skewer and some kind of topping. I just used cottage cheese as it’s quite filling but not too bad for you. You can use anything you want of course and add any extra toppings and make your baubles as festive and colourful as you want!

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CHRISTMAS SHAPES WITH FRUIT

Now this is a healthier alternative for kids or for yourself if you know you’re going to be eating lots of rubbish throughout the day! Or you can even melt some chocolate and dip the fruit in. A Christmas shape could be a candy cane which I thought was soooo cute, just using strawberries and bananas and alternatively placing them on the plate to make the shape of a candy cane. You can choose whatever shapes you want, get creative and festive!

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RICE KRISPIE COAL

I thought this was such a good idea! Especially if you’ve been bad this year!! You can make these for your partner, your family or yourself for a little tasty treat. All you need are rice krispies, marshmallows, black food colouring and a little knob of butter. You basically even out the amount of rice krispies and marshmallows, by having half of the amount of rice krispies for the marshmallows. Then heat the butter and marshmallows then mix in the rice krispies and slowly add in the black food colouring. Finally put clumps on baking paper, on a tray then put them in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. You can make these as dark or light as you want. The picture makes mine look very very light grey but actually they were dark grey…I blame the flash.

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Thankyou so so much for reading, please give it a like if you enjoyed it! Have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! I love you all very much, and I will see you at the start of the new year as I’m having next week off, and starting fresh in the new year with new, fun posts for you!

Remember, Christmas only comes round once a year, ENJOY IT!! HAVE THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER GUYS!!!!

RICE KRISPIE CHRISTMAS TREES

Hello hello hellooo!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! I’ve been very busy this week trying to get all of my posts organised and also doing college work, but I did have time to do this quick and easy treat-rice krispie Christmas trees, with only 4 ingredients! I made these with my 6 year old nephew and it was super easy, he loved it.

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of marshmallows (around 50 marshmallows altogether)
  • a box of rice krispies
  • green food colouring
  • 3 1/2 table spoons of unsalted butter

Step 1

Firstly, grease proof a 9×13 inch tray/pan then set it aside. Then melt the butter and marshmallows in a large pan until it looks like this:

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Step 2

Next, add your green food colouring into the mix until you are satisfied with the colour of green.

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Step 3

Add the rice krispies gradually into the pan and mix until all of the rice krispies are covered. (on the picture it really doesn’t look green, more grey/yellow, but it did in real life:))

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Step 4

Then next, scrape all of the mixture into your pre-greased tray/pan and flatten it down a little bit, depending on how 3D you want it to look. (again it looks more yellow than green sorry, the flash has done me no favours!)

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Step 5

Then simply sprinkle hundreds of thousands/sprinkles over the top of the mixture and put it in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

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Step 6

Once it has all set, simply use a spatula to go around the sides of the tray so that it can be taken out easier. Then use a knife to cut out the Christmas trees then you can make other shapes with the excess or just clump it together like I did so you can pick at it! (it all still looks yellow instead of green and I am the worst person to cut triangles!!! I apologise for the presentation)

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Thankyou so much for reading, if you enjoyed this then please give it a like and let me know if you decide to make these. Also follow me for more Christmas posts like this. I love you all very much and I’ll see you on Wednesday for another post!

Remember to BELIEVE in the magic of the season!

MAKING A GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Hello hello hellooooo!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. I’m so sorry I didn’t upload on Sunday but I decided to actually make the gingerbread house at the weekend and thought it would make sense for me to take my time with this post and do it properly, so I’m uploading it today instead. I will be going through how to make the gingerbread house and all of the ingredients I used so you can make one yourself! Surprisingly this actually worked which my family found quite insane. I will be giving you some little tips that helped me along the way too.

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Ingredients:

  • 250g margarine (Stork)
  • 200g Demerara sugar
  • 7 tbsp golden syrup
  • 600g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • dolly mixtures
  • giant chocolate buttons
  • fruit pastels
  • any sweets of your choice to decorate
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/gas 6.
  2. Melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a pan. I found that there were still little lumps of sugar in the pan but I didn’t want to burn the butter so decided to leave them and they worked out fine once everything was mixed together.
  3. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in the liquid mixture from the pan until it forms a dough.
  5. Wrap cling film over the top of the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for an hour. Whilst this is chilling, I cut out the template of the house which I will link here: http://www.marthastewart.com/921723/swedish-gingerbread-house-how Although, I did find that there wasn’t a template for the roof panels, so I calculated them myself, with a little bit of a struggle.
  6. Once the dough was ready, I rolled it out with a rolling pin onto baking paper, placed the template over the top, then used a knife to cut around the template, into the dough.

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8. Once they were all cut out, I placed them all onto trays and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. I kept checking after 15 minutes though, as the ones on the top shelf were ready quicker than the ones below.

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9. Whilst they were cooling, I used the excess dough to create different shaped cookies, using Christmas cookie cutters that I bought from amazon.

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10. Once the gingerbread house parts had cooled and gone hard, I started to piece them together with royal icing and icing fondant. I cheated with the icing fondant and bought it from Tesco, but the royal icing I made with the icing sugar and egg whites in the ingredients section above. I simply frothed the egg whites then added them to the icing sugar. The royal icing would have taken forever to stick all of the parts together, but the fondant wouldn’t stick to the gingerbread without the royal icing, so I used the royal icing as a kind of glue. First I glued together the sides and the front, leaving the roof until last.

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Unfortunately I had an accident and one of my sides fell and cracked into three pieces, which I was devastated about! However, I just used the same gluing technique to stick it all back together. Accidents like this don’t matter as they are going to be covered with the decorations anyway.

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12. Whilst I left that to set, I decided I would use the royal icing to stick the giant buttons onto the roof panels. I thought it looked very effective if I used an excessive amount so that it would spill around the sides of the buttons and make it look like snow. Mine looks very messy as I was in a bit of a rush at this point but it didn’t matter in the end as more decoration was needed.

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13. I left the decoration on the roof panels to dry, whilst I decorated the sides with the royal icing, just simply using a spoon to smear it over the top half of the sides. As it was still wet, it dripped and dried very effectively, looking like snow and ice. (That’s what I thought anyway!)

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14. Next, I used the dolly mixtures to outline the bottom of the gingerbread house and the jelly sweets in the dolly mixtures bag to go over the top of the front wall. I used a fruit pastel to go in the middle as there weren’t enough to fill the whole line. You can decorate your house with whatever sweets you would like.

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15. Then, add the roof panels with the same gluing technique you used previously. There will be a gap in between which I filled with icing fondant, then glued fruit pastels along the top for decoration.

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16. Finally, I sprinkled (more like threw) on some icing sugar, over the top of the house so that it looked more snowy and effective.

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17. Once I had finished my gingerbread house, I decorated all of my biscuits with the remaining royal icing and sweets.

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Thankyou so much for reading this post, I hope you really enjoyed it! I absolutely love doing baking posts so please let me know if you love reading them in the comments below or let me know if you’re going to try this yourself. Please give it a like if you enjoyed it and follow me if you want more Christmas or baking posts. I love you all very much and I’ll see you soon for another post!

Remember, good things come to those who bake.

BAKING APPLE CRUMBLE

Hello hello hellooo my lovelies! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week and are enjoying the last of the nice weather!! I had a very busy day yesterday, baking apple crumble! I had never baked this before so I knew that it could have been an absolute disaster. Want to know if it was? Keep reading!

So first of all I had to find a recipe, that would be a good start.. I used a very old cook book we have had a very long time! It’s called the cooking book by Victoria Blashford-Snell. Here is the link to it from amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooking-Book-Victoria-Blashford-Snell/dp/1405332220/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473534303&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cooking+book

I would really recommend it as it has lots of different recipes from quick, sweet treats to big, fancy meals.img_1554

So just a warning, you have to dedicate at least half an hour of your time to cutting and peeling apples-definitely if you’re a beginner (it took me that long anyway). Once all the apples are cut and peeled, they are put aside with lemon juice in the bowl and mixed in, so that it stops the apples from browning.

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To make the crumble, it is very simple. You just use the tips of your fingers to rub together butter and flour until it is very crumbly, then mix in brown sugar and oats. My tip to make sure the crumble is perfectly crumbly, is to put it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to chill. This will set the crumble so that it doesn’t change to a cake like texture when it is put in the oven.

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Finally, I put the apples in a pie dish then added the crumble on top and pressed lightly over the top with my fingers. Then it was ready to go in the oven!

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The Finished Product

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IT WASN’T A FAIL!! I actually did it and it was very very easy! I really suggest this recipe and the book as they are so easy for beginners but also have some advanced recipes too. I absolutely loved this recipe and it was so delicious. Also, as I only used apples for the filling, with no added sugar or other ingredients, it is quite healthy too(that’s what I keep telling myself). If you want the full recipe, then I suggest you buy the book that I have linked above, it will be so worth it! Also, I suggest cutting the apples smaller if the apple crumble is being made for children as the spoonful’s can be quite big due to the apples.

Thankyou so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, I definitely enjoyed making and eating it! I love you all very much, give it a like if you enjoyed it and follow me if you want more posts like these. I love doing them! See you on Wednesday for another post.

Remember, a little bit of sugar fixes everything.

TANYA BAKES-BIRTHDAY CAKE

Hello hello helloo! I hope you’re all lovely and well. Today I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on Tanya Burr’s new creation, Tanya Bakes and how I found making the birthday cake was.

First of all I was making this birthday cake for my niece who was 13 on Friday, but as I am rubbish at baking, I needed to ask my mum to assist me in the kitchen, because I would have probably made a mess of it. I think Tanya’s book is so aesthetic and super easy to use!IMG_1454

Anyone can use this, from chefs to beginners as she explains things thoroughly and there are different recipes for different types of people; some are harder than others. I would say I am probably a beginner and I probably went for one of the hardest things to make! However with a little bit of help from an expert, like my mum, it was very successful and sometimes you can learn more doing the harder things with an expert, rather than the easy things just with the book. I know I definitely did!

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Now my cake obviously didn’t look as beautiful as this one but we tried our hardest to make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. There were quite a lot of ingredients in this cake so we spent a lot of money on this and you also need 3 round tins, each 21cm. If you don’t have this many round tins, as we didn’t, you can always ask around family and friends and I’m sure you’ll end up with three quickly enough.

Overall, the cake was very easy to make but more time consuming than we thought. Tanya has wrote 20 minutes for the prep time, however it took us double the time, maybe treble including the icing too. Cooking and baking books always say it takes a shorter time than it actually does because they are experts and can do it twice as fast as us beginners. That’s definitely a heads up for all you beginners who think it won’t take long, make sure you have enough time and aren’t rushing to get off anywhere. However, the more you bake, the quicker it will get.

THE FINISHED PRODUCT

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As we only thought it was going to take 40 minutes including cooking time, we were quite rushed towards the end to finish the icing which is why the icing and sprinkles could have been a lot neater. The hardest part I found was trying to add the sprinkles to the sides. I ended up throwing them on in a rush but I’m sure there has to be a neater way to do it- if you know, please let me know in the comments below.

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When making the cake, we decided to put our own little twist on it to make it look more fun! We used blue, green and red food colouring but you will not be able to tell here as it came out green, yellow and brown which was not planned but there was no harm done; we weren’t going for any specific colours. I do suggest that you put more food colouring in than we did if you do want a specific colour for the cake. However a drop of red food colouring did the trick for the pink icing.

I was very proud of this first attempt and everyone said it was delicious, thank goodness! The cake was very light, which was lovely but the icing was quite sickly so I suggest not smothering the cake in icing if you were to do it yourself. Thankyou so much for reading, give it a like and comment below if you enjoyed it and want me to do more of these. I will see you next week with another post!

Remember-seize the day!!