Monday, 22 February 2016

Dairy Free Mango Ice cream (three Ingredients)

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Mango Icecream
This delicious guilt free mango ice cream is dairy and sugar free too.
  • 3 Large Ripe Mangoes
  • 2 Large overripe Bananas
  • 200 ml Coconut Cream
  • 2-3 drops Mango essence (optional)
1. Peel 2 of the mangoes and remove the stone and finely chop  them into cubes. Put in a ziplock bag in the freezer overnight.2. Peel the bananas and break them into chunks, place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer overnight.3. To make the ice cream add the frozen bananas and frozen mango into the Optimum 9400  blender and blend both ingredients until totally smooth and creamy.4. Add the coconut cream and the mango essence and blend for another minute till mixture is thick and creamy.5. Transfer the mixture to a tupperware pot and cover with lid and place it into the freezer for 3 hours.6. After three hours take the tupperware out of the freezer and using a fork stir the ice cream through to break up any ice crystals. Smooth the surface and return to freezer for another 3 hours.7. To serve the icecream remove tupperware from freezer and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes.8. Peel the remaining mango and remove the stone and finely dice it. 9. Stir in the mango pieces into the ice cream and scoop ice cream into serving bowls.
Prep time: Freezing time: Total time: Yield: 4 portions

I  made my Mango Ice cream in the The Optimum 9400 blender which was sent to me by Froothie to try out, you can see the original review here. The Optimum 9400 not only makes amazing smoothies, it, blends, pulses, grates, chops, grinds. makes cold icecreams and even cooks hot soup.
 It is available to buy at £349.00, It comes with a 1 MONTH TRIAL - MONEY BACK GUARANTEE (includes return postage costs for UK customers)  You can also get an extra two year warranty if you order through this site using code "Brand Ambassador" If you like the sound of this awesome blender, please orders it through here.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Khushi Nepalese Restaurant review

I have been blogging for a number of years and  through the blogging network I have been fortunate to have made a number of lovely like minded friends who share my passion for food. I love meeting up with them whenever I get a chance so that we can catch up with each other share tales of our culinary adventures and have a fun meet up. This Friday I met up with Heidi from Heidi Roberts Kitchen Talks and Fiona from London unattached for a meet up at a Khushi Nepalese restaurant a stone's throw away from Boston Manor Underground Station.

Khushi is a Nepalese Restaurant, tastefully decorated in authentic Nepalese Artefacts with a warm and welcoming ambience. On arrival we were promptly greeted and seated at our table to enjoy drinks and poppadoms with chutneys whilst we looked through the menu.The restaurant has a wine list and my friend Fiona really enjoyed the white wine Spritzer but Heidi and I stuck to soft drinks and salted lassi since we were both driving.

Although I have visited many Indian restaurants, I had never eaten at a Nepalese restaurant so I was keen to sample traditional Nepalese dishes rather than Indian dishes familiar to me. For starters the waiter recommended Momo's, which I had never eaten before. These are steamed dumplings with an array of spicy fillings. My friends Heidi and Fiona tried the chicken and lamb, whilst I chose the vegetarian option. The momos were served with a love spicy dipping sauce and I enjoyed them tremendously.

For the main course there were many Indian/Nepalese dishes on offer but we all decided to try the Nepalese Platters. There were two types one with Dhal, Bhaat (Rice) and Takari(curry) and the second one was the Newari Bhway. I chose the vegetarian option of the Nepali platter whilst Heidi had the non veg with chicken. Fiona opted for the Newari Bhway, a  typical Newari Feast with spicy soya bean, beaten Rice, vegetables, moola/aloo achar and chhoyela (spicy lamb) served on dried leaves plate.

We also tried the side dishes of govi bhajee (cauliflower) and mushroom bhajee all served with stuffed porotha- a flat bread stuffed with spicy potato and herb filing and naan bread.The dishes were all aromatic and delicious.They were beautifully presented in Nepali style authentic brass serving plates and bowls and dried leaf plate.(Since I am prop obsessed I only wish the restaurant had given us the platters and the serving cups to take home, they were something that I could not keep my eyes off.) The feast was indeed delicious and there was plenty left over for a doggy bag to take home too.We were so full we did not even look at the dessert menu although I am not sure there was one.

Food 4 / 5
Ambiance 4.  /5
Service 5 / 5

Score - 13 / 15
I was an invited guest at Khushi Nepalese Restaurant together with my two friends. We did not pay for our meal and this is a recap of my personal experience at the restaurant. I would like to thank Emerz for organizing the meal and Khushi for their kind hospitality and service which was excellent.

You can find Khushi Nepalese Restaurant at:
Boston Road, Ealing, London, W7 2DG. 
0208 8401226

You can also read about Heidi's and Fiona s Experiences here:
Heidi -London Nepalese Restaurant Khushi

Fiona- Khushi Nepalese Restaurant Review

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Easy Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate and strawberries are two ingredients that go hand in hand. For valentine's day I served up a treat of fresh chilled strawberries and a bowl of chocolate sauce for dipping!!!

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Easy Chocolate Sauce
Silky chocolate sauce made using three ingredients, perfect to pour over ice cream, cakes, fruit and pancakes.
  • 50g Dark Chocolate
  • 50g Milk Chocolate
  • 100 ml Double cream
  • 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar
1. In a microwave safe bowl add the cream and heat it up for 1-2 minutes.2. Chop the chocolate up into small pieces and add it to the hot cream.3. Leave aside for 5 minutes to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate.4. After 5 minutes add the icing sugar and stir the chocolate and cream mixture until all the cream and chocolate are incorporated.5. Return the bowl back to the microwave and warm the sauce up for 1 more minute, stirring it at 30 second intervals.6. Remove bowl from microwave and allow chocolate sauce to reach room temperature.7. Pour into a jug and use it on icecreams, pancakes, fruit or cake.Keep refrigerated.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 small jug

Delicious eggless pancakes recipe here.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Eggless Pancakes with Strawberry, Mango and Chocolate Sauce.

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Eggless Pancakes
Delicious eggless pancakes served with fresh strawberries and mango and drizzled with chocolate sauce.
  • 1 cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Melted Butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Skimmed milk
  • few squirts Sunflower spray oil
  • 10 Fresh strawberries diced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh mango diced
  • 3 tablespoons Chocolate sauce
1. In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and milk and whisk the mixture together.Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour2. Heat a non stick pan and spray with sunflower cooking spray.3. Pour a ladle of pancake batter and swirl it around to form a thin pancake.4. Cook on medium heat until bubbles form and then flip the pancake. Transfer the cooked pancake on to a piece of greaseproof paper and cover and keep warm.5. Repeat for rest of batter.To serve place a pancake on a dish folded into quarter and spoon some chopped strawberries and mango on it. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4

Thursday, 4 February 2016

An Activity crafty day with a 4 year old. #BostikBloggers

At the weekend I was babysitting my little niece who is four years old. The weather was really wet and windy and it was so bad it was impossible to venture out. Entertaining a four year old is quite difficult as their attention span for long periods of time is limited. I had to plan activities that were fun to do, easy to clear up and didn't take too long.

I picked up my niece (Little M) and as soon as she came in, she ran into the kitchen and immediately wanted to help me make a smoothie in my Optimum 94OO.  With Aprons on we set to work, Little M peeled the bananas and roughly cut them with a blunt knife them, together we added them to the blender. With help she added dollops of vanilla ice cream, some cold milk and them with little fingers she whizzed the whole smoothie up.
Our banana smoothie was delicious. There was no time to style the photograph but here is a quick click of what we made.

Banana smoothies and cookies eaten we decided to make some rice krispie chocolate clusters so that Little M had a pressie to take home for mum and dad. We added some milk chocolate into a heat proof bowl and microwaved it  at 30 second intervals until it had melted. Carefully as bowl was hot we added the rice crispies into the chocolate and mixed it together. With little helping hands we spooned the mixture into little cupcake cases and left them to set. I was able to take a quick photo while Little M licked the bowl.

It soon  stopped raining so we were able to go out to the shops to get some shopping. Although it's only February the shops have all started selling Easter goodies and treats. Little M saw some Easter treats and was excited about the furry little chicks in baskets.

We bought some mini Easter Eggs and the furry little chick in the basket. We had lunch out and then ventured home.

The afternoon the weather turned awful again and I was thinking what we could do, luckily my Bostik  Easter Craft challenge box had arrived so Little M and I looked through it and she decided she wanted to make an Easter card for her mum and dad to take home with the chocolate crispies. 
She chose the foam easter egg shape, some pretty flowers and the pipe cleaners  which she was really excited about as she thought they looked like pretty worms!!! She had endless fun bending them into wiggly shapes and this is how the zigzag on the card idea was born. 

You will need:

  • 1 Foam Easter Egg shape cut out
  • 3 Pipe cleaners assorted colours
  • Stick on flowers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Envelope 
  • Pretty tape
Here is how we made it.

1. Make a concertina zigzag with the pipe cleaners. (Little M needed a little hep with this)
2. Arrange them on the card and shape them, gently cut off any edges that are not required.
3. Stick the zigzags onto the foam using the glue. This was tricky and we had to put a heavy book on the card for a few minutes to make the pipe cleaners stick to the foam.

4. While the pipe cleaners were waiting to stick. We decorated the envelope which was plain. We stuck the pretty floral tape on the four edges of the envelope and it was transformed.
5. The pipe cleaners were securely stuck on the foam and Little M added some stick on flowers to finish off the foam card.
6.Lastly We added a Happy Easter message on the back of the foam card. I wrote the words happy easter in pencil and she went over the pencil lines with a gold decorating pen we had.
The card fitted beautifully in the envelope.

Little M was really pleased with her card. We  also put the chocolate crispies in a pretty box and tied a ribbon on it to make the perfect gift.

The day was really enjoyable and it certainly brought the child out in me. I think these babysitting days might become a regular. Little M and I had a lovely time crafting thanks to Bostik for the craft box they sent me.
Little M's  Mum and Dad were really pleased with their gifts too.

I was sent a box of craft items to create an Easter Themed craft for being part of the Bostik Crafters 2016 by Tots100

Monday, 1 February 2016

Customised photo canvas from Bags of Love

For the last few months I have been living out of suitcases, boxes and bags whilst my house is undergoing some renovations. I had a new bedroom furniture fitted,  had a new shower installed  and have also had the whole house repainted. Its exciting but at the same time its been really stressful. Finally though all the painting is complete, the wardrobes are fitted and the shower is fully working so it's time to start the fun bit and that is choosing some new accessories for the house.

I wanted something personalised for the house so when I saw that Bags of Love do customised gifts I checked out their web site. They do beautiful photo montages such as throws, cushions, spreads, blankets and pillows too. I really liked the ideas of a photo montage and finally settled for a photo canvas montage to hang on the wall.

The site was really easy to navigate. there were options to upload all your chosen photos and either choose to create your own arrangement of the collage or to use Bags of Love's preset templates which is what I did as my collage had some 60 pictures in it. The preset template allows you to select the size of the collage together with the different edge finishes and background colour. Once you have set the choice, it automatically arranges your photos in a random order. The website will then allow you to preview the finished layout and then  all it takes is a click of a button to place the order. With delivery options of next day you could have your photo canvas montage within almost 48 hours. The prices for the montage vary depending on size.

My canvas photo montage came within 48 hours and I must say I am really pleased with it. The selection of photos I used were varied, some old photos that that I had scanned into the computer were not as good in colour as the newer ones. I was pleasantly surprised how they all blended well and the whole montage looks amazing. The parcel arrived well packaged and included in the packaging was a fixing kit with screws and hook. It was very simple to fix and hang up the photo canvas montage.

I am really pleased with my finished master piece. If you are interested in getting a personalised gift for valentines day, mothers day or for any special occasion Bags of Love have some really excellent gift choices to suit all budgets.

I would like to thank Bags of Love who gave me the opportunity to create my own personalised montage. All views and opinions expressed in this post are of my own experience.