Category Archives: food

Foodies Festival – Bristol – 26-28 June

If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest you’ll know that I’m pretty obsessed with food.  I literally open my eyes and think about food. I close my eyes, and yip … I’m thinking about food. Lol.



Food plays a huge part in family life, some days I feel like I’m constantly planning it, shopping for it, cooking it, feeding people it and then cleaning it all up.  I’ve recently taken a good look at our diet and have implemented some much-needed changes such as cutting out white bread and pasta, cutting down on chocolate, no crisps, making Davina flapjacks – all that stuff.


But it can be hard to stay inspired. Real hard. Especially when there are 2 teenagers in the house who literally crave junk food – especially giant choc chip cookies.  So when I was asked to attend the Foodies Festival in Bristol with the girls I jumped at the chance.

They will probably kick and scream about going to a ‘Boring Food Thing Mom’ but perhaps the atmosphere and the promise of ‘Michelin-star and celebrity chefs cooking live, a vast array of artisan producers, new food and drink theatres and more street food than you can shake a satay stick at!’ may just tempt their little tastebuds and switch their mindsets to trying to eat more healthy with me.  There’s even some hands-on sessions for the little ones which I know Shan will just love.

As for me? I’m particularly looking forward to the giant Pimm’s teapot… bring on the Pimm’s!

The Foodies Festival is launching their New Festival at The Downs in Bristol with a Feast of Top Chefs to Celebrate their 10th Anniversary. It’s happening this weekend – and you can buy tickets HERE. 


The Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, local MasterChef winner Ping Coombes and Michelin-star chefs Jonray and Peter Sanchez Iglesias of Casamia, who will cook their favourite summer recipes and inspire visitors to experiment with new flavours and ingredients.

Top chefs appearing at Foodies Festival Bristol include:
– Ping Coombes – MasterChef winner 2014
– Jonray & Peter Sanchez – Casamia
– John Whaite – Great British Bake Off winner
– Tim Anderson – MasterChef Winner 2011
– Louise McCrimmon – Harvey Nichols
– Romy Gill – Romy’s Kitchen
– Xanthe Clay – Food Writer
– Larkin Cen – MasterChef finalist 2013
– Angela Langford – MasterChef finalist 2014
– Mat Follas – The Casterbridge and MasterChef winner

MasterChef winner Ping Coombes will also launch her new street food pop-up ‘Chairman Ping’


Chairman Ping joins the Street Food Avenue, a feasting hub at the heart of the festival, offering a huge selection of hot and cold dishes from around the world. Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, French and African are just some of the cuisines visitors can tuck into in the Feasting Tent.

Visitors to the festival can look forward to toasting Foodies’ big year in the New Wine and Champagne Theatre with experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe, who will guide visitors through this season’s best wines and champagnes from the UK and around the world, while beer expert Melissa Cole hosts masterclasses in the New Craft Beer Theatre matching foods with craft beers.


​L-R: Harvey Nichols Bristol head chef Louise McCrimmon, Romy Gill of Romy’s Kitchen, Michelin-star chef Peter Sanchez from Casamia and Anthony Wolowiec of Vin D’am

New Tasting Theatre invites festival-goers to discover new tastes and learn new skills with Confectionary Made Easy classes from boutique chocolate maker Fiona Sciolti, Morgan Jupe and Vin D’am wine tastings, and a sausage making and tasting masterclass with Great British Sausage.

The Cake & Bake Theatre is an inspiration for passionate bakers with top local cake makers and bakeries sharing their tips for baking delicious summer cakes. Visitors can also enjoy 3D cake modelling, Chocolate Making and Sugar-Craft masterclasses and a complementing Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village selling bakes, jams, gadgets and baking essentials.

With over 200 exhibitors in the Artisan Producers Market selling award winning cheeses, wines, bakes and condiments; festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with samples and for what to buy to take home and enjoy – a perfect setting to meet the producers and share their passion for food and drink.

For those brave – or foolish enough – the famous Chilli Eating Competition challenges those who like it spicy to try and break the current record of 16 million scoville eaten to win the Chilli Eating Crown – that’s 6400 times the average chill heat! 

Little foodies can explore their taste buds and learn basic skills with Picnic in the Park themed masterclasses in the Childrens Cookery Theatre, where Kiddy Cook will show them how to make finger sandwiches, jellies and chocolate bugs.

After a day of food and fun, foodies can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or cocktail from the Giant Pimm’s Teapot or Captain Morgan Mojito Ship.

If you’re in the South West I think this will be a fantastic day out for the whole family – I’ll be popping a review up on it next week and I’ll be filming the day so look out for a video on my YouTube channel toooooooo!

Meal Planning Monday – 08/03/2015

So here’s what grub’s up for this week! Video of our grocery haul at the end of this post 🙂

Meals for this week: 

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Utterly Scrummy’s Fish Pie

Wednesday: Cottage Pie & Veg

Thursday: Grilled Salmon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Superfood Salad

Friday: Jacket Potatoes with Tuna/Sweetcorn & Salad

Saturday: Out for Dinner

Sunday: Roast Beef and all the trimmings

Here’s my grocery haul that I did yesterday – all food bought at Lidl – spend: £ 117

Linking up to At Home with Mrs M’s #mealplanningmonday

Meal Planning Monday

Coconut Banana Bread {Recipe}

This banana bread is literally the best thing I have ever tasted Banana Bread wise (aside from my mom’s recipe which I still can’t re-create)

If you love Banana Bread and you love coconut, this moist banana loaf is the way forward dudes.

Coconut Banana Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
2.5 cups SR Flour
1.5t Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (or shredded coconut)


Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Lightly grease a loaf tin.
In the bowl using a wooden spoon mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond essence.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed banana and the coconut milk.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Start and end with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in the flaked coconut.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.

Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. *I have a gas oven and mine was done within 1 hour*

Seriously yum for the colder months with a big cuppa tea… nommmm… What are your favourite loaf recipes?

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Our Meals this week – Recipe Links Included!

So we survived half term! The kids ate us out of house and home but we managed to pretty much stick to our meal plan and only had to go and top up once with some pizza’s – the girls had friends over and it was just easier to buy them each a pizza they would like and eat!

This week we’re back to school & work routine – we’re also trying to not eat so much red meat so we’ve concocted the following meal plan
Sunday: Roast Chicken with Roast potatoes, Homemade Yorkies, Sweet Butternut squash mash, peas & gravy. It was DELISH.
Tuesday: Candid Mommy’s Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup – I’ve been eyeing this bad boy up for a while – Check out the How-to in her video below! 
Thursday: Crockpot Baked Potatoes with a variety of toppings
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Easy homemade pizza dough recipe  MY NOTES: Cups recipe not weight!  Used New Year's Day 2014.  Easy to double and freeze.  Used 3 tbs in stead of 4 for oil in double batch
So that’s what we’re munching on this week – how about you?

Oh Yes!

Cornwall. England’s little piece of Paradise 🙂
I got older (aka had a birthday) so Dave whisked me off to Cornwall for a child-free weekend.
It was HEAVEN.  The sun shone for 2 whole days, we stayed right by the beach and just did whatever we wanted to without having to stick to a time schedule or include a jumping castle en route to entertain the sprogs. 
It was Awesome. Have I said that already? Here’s our weekend in pics..
Seriously. It was a BEAUT of a sunset.
Haha – this is our first stop….. we’re on holiday… pass the booze! 
We ate at the pub we stayed in and the food was just out of this world and so reasonably priced too.  I had fish both nights…. When in Rome? 🙂

Check the paddle dude – this was about 9pm… just a totally relaxed way of life by the beach, I do miss it so..

Dreaming, posing, shmodel shot – LOL

After dinner on my actual birthday the sky exploded with colour… someone on the beach had put on the most beautiful firework display – of course Dave tried to con me into thinking he’d organised it all just for me – GREAT timing on his part!

I got spoilt with a new beach bag, some white converse, jewellery, choccies…. all the good stuff 🙂

St Ives is one of our favourite towns to visit so we hopped into the car and took the Park & Ride into town. This ended up being a train shuttle along the coast and we saw the most stunning beaches along the way!
Every year we sit on this bench and shuve down a huge Cornish Pasty.  Small traditions… notice the UKIP plane flying overhead with it’s banner too… haha!

More fish… and handcut chips. This was HUGE … like…. WHALE and chips

Birthday morning coffee at my birthday table.. (my birthday was on the 17th) again – stroke of luck for Dave! Serious brownie points by this stage!

We stopped off at Healey’s Cornish Cyder farm for a taste of their home-brewed cider – I’m not a huge cider fan but this stuff was pretty yum and we ended up bringing a bottle home – the bottle alone is just beautiful!

Of course we had to take a few obligatory selfie’s along the way. ‘Scuze the finger.

MORE food…. scrummy tapa’s at the Phoenix pub where we stayed – the bruschetta had an olive and garlic paste smothered on them – they were SO good.

Breakfast with a view at our favourite cafe on the beach at Watergate Bay – The Beach Hut!

 Sexy surfer people. Also…. I need to clean my camera lens. Photo fail.

These ball thrower things fascinate me…. how does the flipping ball stick in there?

I’m a big kid at heart and dragged Dave into the amusements to spend a whole pound on the 2p machines. There are some SERIOUS players in there man! After I lost my pound there was a whole queue waiting for my machine! haha!

 Just Strollin…. 🙂


We came across this awesome cave – it was super freaky and the thought of the tonnes of rock above me just freaked me out so I spent about a split second in there before I came galloping out.

And when I got home (to a roast dinner!) my awesome Mom and sprogs had baked me a scrummy chocolate cake and surprised me with yet more prezzies. All in all it was a fabulous weekend – the weather was perfect, the food was perfect, the location was perfect and the company was perfect. What more could a girl ask for? 🙂

Meal Planning Monday – 26/05/14 – Half Term!

Monday: The Pioneer Woman’s Lasagne – this is the BEST lasagne recipe ever. Like EVER.


Tuesday: Lentil & Mince Bolognese. Recipe from Utterly Scrummy’s blog – delish and we’ll have it tonight with pasta and tomorrow on Jacket potatoes
Wednesday: Lentil & Mince Bolognese on Jacket Potatoes with Salad
Thursday: Clean Eating Slow-Cooker Tortilla Stew from The Gracious Pantry blog.  I’m working on Thursday so this will be easy enough to chuck in the slow cooker before I go or even the night before – I’ll pop it into the fridge and then plug it in before I leave for work to cook slowly for 8-10 hours. Delicious!
Clean Eating Tortilla Chicken Stew

Friday: Chicken and Coke Casserole – I’ve posted my recipe for this HERE on the blog before – the kids love this and we just dollop it over basmati rice. Yum Yum Yum.
What are you cooking up this half-term week?
I’m linking this up to Mrs M’s #mealplanningmonday – check out the other posts by clicking the badge below! 
Meal Planning Monday

How to make an Apple Swan

Yes. You read that title correctly…

Niamh’s bestie best friend came over the other night and introduced us to Apple Swan’s. It literally took 10 minutes and we were super duper impressed with the outcome. 
Great activity for the older kids in your life 🙂
Here’s the How-To video on YouTube. Have fun! 

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy

Last week we fell off the Meal Planning wagon and WOW… we spent a fortune picking up last minute bits here and there.  So, on Sunday I sat down and quickly scribbled 7 meals, listed the ingredients for the meals, lunches and brekkies and sent Dave off to the shops. (Yay for men who love to food shop!)

Meal Planning Monday

So our Meal Plan looks like this:

Monday: Chicken & Coke Casserole with Rice – essentially sticky chicken, plonked on top of rice. We use Diet Coke as we don’t drink full sugar drinks here to save ourselves from the crazy children swinging from the lightbulbs.

Tuesday: Lamb & Apricot Stew – Stewed Lamb casserole which I’ll chuck into the slow cooker before I head to my Doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

Wednesday: Bacon & Veg Frittata with Potato Wedges – I use Utterly Scrummy’s recipe which you can find HERE. Yum!!

Thursday: Prawn & Butternut Squash Curry – I’ll do chicken nuggets for the kids… they don’t like the look or taste of the prawns.

Friday: Mac ‘n Cheese 

Saturday: Butternut Soup & Rolls – yummo recipe to follow tomorrow! 

Sunday: Chicken Roast with all the trimmings.

So that’s what we’re chomping… what are you whipping up in the kitchen this week?  Check out more plans and link yours up to the lovely Mrs M’s blog HERE

Happy Feeding everyone 🙂

Meal-Planning Monday: 31/12/12

So, I’ve been reading the Meal-Planning Monday posts allllll year… so what better time to join in, than on the last day of the year! That’s procrastination for you.


Yes it is. No it’s not. Yes it is. No it’s not. Yes i…

Ok… I’ll stop.

I’ve gone all Martha Stewart on my own backside and planned a whole list of meals for a MONTH. Yes – a month. So, my PLAN is to share the meals with you here and the recipes and the shopping lists and all the goodness that comes with being Martha Stewart’s groupie.

So here we have it:

Monday: Bangers, Mash, Veg & Gravy – not very inventive I know, but we’re off out to an adults-only New Years party, so only the sprogs will be eating.

Tuesday: Prawn & Butternut Squash Curry with rice – I’ll share this easy peasy recipe with you tomorrow!

Wednesday: Taco’s & Mince – I use the One Pot Mince recipe from Utterly Scrummy’s blog – YUM.

Thursday: Sticky Pork Chops with Mash & Veg – I’ll share the marinade for this too – it’s super easy!

Friday: Chicken & Mushroom Bake – nom nom – get in my tummmmmyy!!! – again, recipe to follow.

Saturday: Chunky Veg Soup – real winter warmer.. eldest doesn’t eat soup, so she’ll have chicken nuggets or something wholesome like that.

Sunday: Chicken Roast with Roastie Potaties, Butternut Squash, Yorkies, Peas, Parsnips, Carrots & Gravy.

Wowza’s – I’m STARVING after thinking about all that.

If you want to read about some more Yummy Goodness & get some more meal plan idea’s – head on over to Mrs M’s fabulous blog by clicking the image below.

Happy Cooking. Ya’ll!