I had a bit of a cooking revelation recently.

FROZEN CHOPPED ONIONS!

Iceland Eat The Week ham hock risotto

Note to self: next time don’t use a white background for onions.

Have you ever used them?? I can’t believe I have gone for nearly FORTY YEARS and never cooked with a frozen onion! No more chopping, no more children asking ‘what’s wrong Mummy?’ in a worried voice while I sob quietly to myself over the chopping board. No wanting to make a pasta sauce only to find we have no onions, and NO WASTE.

I feel like this is a landmark in my culinary life. I’m not even exaggerating. If I could suggest one food hack that you take away from this post it’s to always have chopped onions in your freezer.

There’s quite a bit of snobbery around frozen food for some reason, but there are actually a lot of benefits to harnessing the power of frozen. Not only is it super handy, and often cheaper, but nutritionally it’s often better for you, as stuff is preserved naturally by freezing and doesn’t have to have lots of artificial preservatives added to it. (I also discovered that you can shop online with Iceland and the minimum order is only £25, which is handy to know.)

So all hail the frozen onion. View Post

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Advertorial in association with Quaker Oats

Following on from my Quaker Oats recipe for PB & J overnight oats, I’ve got a great giveaway for you today, so that you can create an aspirational breakfast to make your family proud! Read on to find out more…

There are plenty of moments that, as a parent, have not been my proudest.

For example, Belle seems completely unable to forget the one time I made her a tea that consisted simply of four burnt fish fingers. I can’t remember the context – I’m sure there was some – but of course, that will be the one thing she remembers forever and ever. Will she care that I have built myself an entire career around school hours, just so I can be there for her in the morning and after school?

No.

She will remember the fish fingers.

Very occasionally though, I have one of those amazing parenting moments, where I actually do something that the mums on Pinterest do. Like when I made those pink doughnut helium balloons, or the time I made these Pingu cupcakes for Bee’s birthday. (And by ‘made’ I mean ‘paid someone else to make’.)

#vegan Pingu #birthday #cupcakes 🐧🍰☺️❤️

A post shared by Bee ✨ (@teachezbee) on

That was a very proud day for me.

I had another of those aspirational parenting moments this week when I tried my hand at making some overnight oats using one of the new Quaker Oats MissPrint mason jars. I actually made PB & J overnight oats with a home made raspberry and chia seed jam, so bonus points to me. Skip back a few days and you’ll find the recipe post. View Post

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Advertorial in association with Quaker Oats

PB & J overnight oats recipe

I went through a stage last year of being totally overwhelmed by the amount of oats I had in the cupboard. I don’t know what went wrong with my shopping, but every time I’d go to look for something for dinner, all I could see was the Quaker Oat man smiling up at me. I swear I had about six different boxes at one point. It was bonkers.

Oats are brilliant of course. They are tasty, nutritious* and really versatile. You can’t get as far as I have down the parenting road without having made about 27,000 batches of flapjacks.

And then I really got into making granola and my oat problem was solved. I found a recipe in a book that made it look so easy I couldn’t believe I’d never done it before. Normally about half of the mixture makes it to the oven and the rest goes into my mouth in warm little squished up balls, but that’s okay, because breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

Overnight oats are the next step up from making your own granola, (which is basically like making a giant flapjack and passing it off as breakfast). Overnight oats are what that mum at school that you want to be like makes for her family. They are the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of – those beautiful layers of colour and texture, all laid out on a wholesome looking wooden board, sprinkled with oats and toasted seeds.

If you make overnight oats you know that you have WON at life. View Post

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Birds Eye Crispy chicken recipe

A year or so ago a new restaurant opened just up the road from us. It was one of those all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurants, the kind where you pay £14.95 each and get to stuff yourself silly with sesame toasts and teeny tiny puddings. We were very excited. What normally happens though in these places is that you get overexcited, eat a plate full of chicken balls, worth about 78p, and then suddenly get too full to eat anything else.

Whenever we’ve been there, Belle has pretty much just eaten crispy duck and chocolate fountain. (Not at the same time.) She loves those little pancakes, and I love her eating them because they are one of the only things she eats that includes protein AND a vegetable.

Hoorah for teenagers eating balanced meals!

When Birds Eye got in touch then, asking me to create a 20 minute, family friendly recipe using their Crispy Chicken, I had a moment of inspiration – I could make my very own buffet restaurant pancake experience, switching duck for chicken!

I know. Genius. View Post

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I remember once seeing a kebab pizza in Iceland. (The supermarket, not the country.) An actual pizza, with kebab toppings.

I guess in my head, that’s exactly what Iceland was all about – cheap frozen food, that perhaps wasn’t the most gourmet choice going. When I told people I was working with Iceland, reactions seemed to reflect a similar sentiment – raised eyebrows, Peter André jokes, comments about having to defrost my dinner, that sort of thing.

Oh how wrong I was!

I went along last week to an event with Iceland to have a sneak preview of their new autumn collection and my MIND WAS BLOWN.

Here’s the menu, which was created for us by Iceland’s head chef Neil Nugent, all using ingredients currently available at Iceland, or coming out in the autumn:

Iceland new autumn collection

YOU SEE??

That’s not what you expect from Iceland is it? I’d never even HEARD of a deep fried avocado, let alone tried one alongside a crab taco. In fact, I didn’t even know that frozen avocado was a THING, so that was a bit of a game changer. Safe to say I was pretty excited on the train up to London, looking forward to getting my mouth around a warm Welsh cake ice cream sandwich. View Post

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