In association with Lancashire Farm

Lancashire Farm full fat natural yogurt

I have a reputation in my family for being competitive.

I’m not entirely sure where it has come from. I mean I did TELL Belle she should have been on my team for that family football game. Of course she was going to go down in the tackle, she was only eight.

I had been thinking that I was mellowing with age, but then I went on a writing course recently where we played an Articulate style team game with celebrity names in a hat and I may have got a bit carried away trying to describe Boris Yeltsin through the power of mime.

This weekend though we played Toppers, a fun game sent to me by Lancashire Farm to encourage us to be a bit more adventurous with yogurt. (Ooer). All Lancashire Farm yogurt is made with 100% free range milk. They make one kilo tubs of natural and Greek style natural yogurt, both also available in fat free versions, as well as coconut, strawberry and mango flavours of low fat bio yogurt. View Post

I don’t often do recipe posts just for the lols, but I was thinking about making mini frittatas for my breakfast and I just thought ‘sod it, I’m going to take some pictures as I go and WRITE THIS BABY UP.’

(I have been working at home for quite a long time now and the cracks are starting to show. Yesterday I played YouTube videos of background cafe noise to make it sound like I had friends and last night at a networking event I asked a man what his favourite vegetable is.)

These healthy mini frittatas are DA BOMB. I love them because they are super tasty and easy to make, you can change the recipe every time depending on what you have lying about, and they’re actually really good for you because they’re full of vegetables and eggs and wholesome things like that. (Note: I also put a load of cheese in mine, which you could leave out if you wanted, or use in moderation, or just PILE ON, depending on your mood.)

This recipe makes a dozen mini frittatas, and you can either eat them straightaway while they are warm, or pack them in lunchboxes or for picnics or whatnot. I expect they keep, but to be honest they’ve never lasted long enough in my house to test it.

How to make your own healthy mini frittatas

To make your own healthy mini frittatas, you will definitely need eggs. This is the one essential. Oh and a muffin or small cake tray with 12 muffin holes. I use four eggs for my mini frittata recipe.

Then have a look in the fridge or freezer for odds and ends of vegetables to add. Today I used:

  • A handful of frozen peas
  • A handful of frozen sweetcorn
  • One grated carrot
  • Seven baby plum tomatoes, chopped. (This isn’t just me being specific, I only had seven.)

Having something grated like a carrot or a courgette works well to hold the mini frittatas together. Peppers work well too, finely chopped onion maybe? You get the idea. View Post

Post in association with Uncle Ben’s

Do you have a particular meal that reminds you of your childhood?

Our family went through a vegetarian period in the mid 1980s, when I was about eight or nine years old. I’m not sure if it was an ethical choice, or whether we were just too poor for meat maybe, but I think vegetarianism was quite a thing in the 1980s. My mum has a recipe book I remember very well called ‘The Vegetarian Feast’. Inside the book she kept an empty Tesco brown rice packet, with a recipe on the back for a rice and bean bake.

My mum sent me a picture of the best before date on it as proof of how long she has had it tucked inside the front cover.

rice recipe

It’s this rice and bean bake that I would think of if you asked me to pick a favourite family meal from my childhood. This and Jaffa Cakes, but that’s not really a meal is it? (Although I did eat seven Jaffa Cakes yesterday, so probably should have counted it as a meal.) When Uncle Ben’s got in touch then recently to see if I’d like to cook a family meal that reminded me of home comforts and family memories, I knew exactly what I was going to make.

We talked about it on the family WhatsApp group.

‘I always use one of those packets of rice,’ said my sister, ‘it’s much simpler than faffing about cooking it.’

She actually said that WITHOUT PROMPTING, I didn’t set her up for it at all. It’s true though isn’t it? Wholegrain rice seems to take about two weeks to cook from scratch. View Post

I really enjoyed our brief period living in Bristol. I made some lovely friends, I joined a netball team and I ate more brunches from independent cafes than you can shake a slice of fried halloumi at.

I missed Somerset though.

I missed the feeling of familiarity and belonging somewhere, of driving past places and thinking ‘I remember going there with Gran and Grandad when I was little.’

When I moved back to Somerset about four years ago (four years!) it felt like coming home, only better than first time around because I appreciated it more. Perhaps it’s age too, that means I enjoy all that shiz like heritage and feeling rooted in a community. I like chatting to people at the weekly farmers’ market in Taunton and buying locally produced food and drink. I like going to garden centres and drinking cups of tea.

I am living my Best Somerset Life.

Given how fond I am of all the tea drinking and local producers and what not, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was pretty excited when local tea and coffee legends Miles asked me if I fancied coming for a nose around their factory in West Somerset and helping them launch their new range of Tea Kites.

Basically they asked me to be the poster girl for local tea bags. Pretty sure that’s what happened.

Look how excited I am to be holding a box of tea!

Miles Tea Kites View Post

If you watch my Instagram stories you may have noticed a little while ago, between pictures of my cats sleeping, a few posts about Blue Coffee Box.

Coffee for me is a bit like gin. I know I like it, but 90% of the time I can’t taste the difference between one brand and another. When you hit upon something in the other 10% though, (like Sibling Gin – have you tried it?), you KNOW. It’s a class above the rest, something distinct that you have to have again.

That was how I felt when I tried the coffee from Blue Coffee Box.

blue coffee box competition

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In association with Goodfella’s

How much do you reckon you spend as a family on entertainment?

I’d probably say that we don’t spend a great deal, but then I start to add up in my head our regular cinema trips, bowling, Spotify and television subscriptions and it starts to get a bit scary. Factor in meals out (gah!) and Belle’s penchant for going to Bristol just to buy bubble tea and suddenly you begin to understand why I don’t have a great deal in the way of savings.

It has been just me and Belle at home for a while now and I think if I’m honest with myself I use things like bubble tea outings and pizza restaurants as a bit of a crutch. I know that just hanging out at home with your 40 year old cat loving mum isn’t always the MOST fun, and I know too that Belle has been having a tough time lately and that getting out of the house is a good thing for her.

It can be expensive though. And is guilt really a good reason to spend all of your disposable income on bubble tea?

A poll of 2,000 parents by frozen pizza brand Goodfella’s found that we spend a staggering £2,602 keeping our kids entertained during the course of just one year. £609 a year of this goes on meals out and during the summer holidays our total spend rises to an average of £127 a week. Desperate times and all that.

Does that sounds about right for you?

If anything I’d say that’s probably a conservative estimate for us. Take TV and films – according to the research the average monthly spend on this is just over £37. We each have a monthly cinema pass, which costs £36 for two of us, so already we are hitting the average. Add in Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky and we clearly spend too much money AND time on television.

(In our defence we do like going to the cinema, and we only need to go twice a month to mean the limitless cards save us money, so it is worth looking into if you like films.)

I guess, like most things, that it comes down to balance. Yes it’s nice to go out and have treats, but you can’t sustainably do that every day. Plus it’s just as fun sometimes to have a fun night in at home, which is exactly what Belle and I did on Saturday night.

We decided to combine three of Belle’s favourite things to show that you can have just as much fun at home on a budget. Unable to secure Finn Wolfhard for a celebrity guest appearance at short notice we settled on:

  • films
  • pizza
  • bubble tea

We had a helping hand from Goodfella’s in the form of their new Romano range of premium frozen pizzas. There are five flavours, all with a stonebaked base and generous toppings. At just £2.50 each you could save a lot of money switching that meal out for a night in with Goodfella’s.

 Goodfella's new Romano pizzas View Post