Friday, 28 April 2017

20 Facts about Me

Hi all and welcome back to The Tea Cozy Kitchen! I have slightly different post for you today! I have seen these types of posts floating about Instagram (i'm @rachheron1 if you want to give me a follow) and I thought it would be fun to give it a go! It's a little bit more personal than i'm used to, but, I thought it would be good to show the person behind the food, so here goes, 20 facts about me.



  1. My name is Rachael and I am 26 and live in Belfast in Northern Ireland.
  2. I went to an all girls high school and loved it.
  3. I got engaged when I was 21 and married when I was 23 to my lovely husband Sean.
  4. He was my first and only boyfriend. We met when we were 19 and that was that!
  5. My husband and I both have lots of red hair, we are typically Irish looking.
  6. I started doing a degree in Actuarial Studies but switched to an English Literature degree two years in. I studied at Queen's University Belfast.
  7. I am such a worry wart and if there is anything to worry about I will definitely find it, much to the annoyance of my husband.
  8. I used to work in Retail but recently just left my job as it was not what I wanted to do long term (loved the people though!) and I wanted to pursue food as a career.
  9. I love to bake (as you can probably tell!) and bake a lot for family and friends.
  10. I also love to cook but didn't really do any cooking until about 5 years ago. I credit Good Food magazine for teaching me to cook and helping me to love food.
  11. I'm a complete literature geek and love all the classics. I recently just did an evening course on the Bronte sisters and it was amazing.
  12. I read all the Jane Austen novels when I was 14 and this nurtured my love for literature.
  13. I'm a complete perfectionist and put a lot of pressure on myself for everything to be PERFECT! If I feel like it's not then I've failed even though others don't see the failure.
  14. My first love was my Golden Labrador Ben who my family got when I was 5, he was my best friend and had the kindest and most gentle soul. Unlike my puppy Ralph, he's a tad mental.
  15. I baked my first wedding cake a couple of weeks ago! Eeek!
  16. I have two younger sisters who I think are absolutely amazing!
  17. I love to sleep and can never sleep enough. Haha 8hours is a short nights sleep for me, I go to bed very early!
  18. I lived in Australia for 6 months when I was 2 as my parents were working there. I don't remember it at all but i'm told that I picked up a bit of an accent whilst I was there.
  19. I love to go for walks in the country and nothing makes me feel better, both physically and mentally than a nice long walk in the fresh air and beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland.
  20. I'm a coffee addict and need at least two cups a day. The first one needs to be within 10mins of waking up otherwise I get majorly GRUMPY!

And there you go, now you know everything about me, well, there might be a wee bit more. I would love to know a fact about you, so please feel free to share in the comments. Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day 22

Hello everyone and happy hump day! Today I have a what I eat in a day post for you guys! Yesterday was a pretty stressful day for me, I had lots of car madness and ended up stranded in Costa by myself for most of the morning, not fun! Basically what happened was that I took our car for it's service when it wasn't actually booked in until the next week but the kind folks they were, they said they would fit me in that day! I hope you all had a better day than I did and your week is going well.

BREAKFAST

Carrot, Banana and Mango Smoothie.

Another day, another yummy smoothie combination!

MORNING SNACK

Hot Chocolate and a Cherry Bakewell Tart at Costa Coffee.

No picture of this as it was scoffed in a few seconds, sorry, I just can't hold back when I get a yummy bun put in front of me.


LUNCH

 Mushroom, Broccoli and Mangetout Stir Fry.

Leftovers from the night before, this was such a tasty stir-fry. Stir frys are one of my favourite tasty, easy and healthy meals to make. You can just throw in whatever veg you have, this stir fry had a yummy Nasi Goreng paste in it too, which totally amped up the flavour.

DINNER

Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers.

I love stuffed peppers as they are such a summery dish. These peppers were stuffed with Halloumi, quinoa, spring onions and kidney beans and topped with chopped cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. This was such a yummy dish and pretty easy to prepare after my stressful day.

And there you go that's everything I ate yesterday! Did you eat anything tasty yesterday, I would love to know? Also, please give me some new breakfast recommendations, I seem to be stuck in a smoothie rut. Thanks for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday


Hello! Its been a wee while since I was last on here! I decided to take a little impromptu holiday over Easter, so sorry for the lapse in meal plans etc. but I was basically just eating a lot of chocolate and enjoying myself! I hope you all had a fabulous Easter and enjoyed indulging in all the chocolate eggs. I'm back now and raring to go with this weeks meal plan. So here goes...


MON: Bacon and Sausage Carbonara, Good Food April Issue.

TUES: Spinach Cannelloni, Good Food April Issue.

WED: Chicken Cacciatore, Good Food April Issue.

THURS: Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Barley Salad, Tesco Food Magazine.

FRI: Broccoli Pesto Penne, Tesco Food Magazine.

SAT: Mushroom and Mangetout Stir fry, Tesco Food Magazine.

SUN: Quinoa and Halloumi Stuffed Peppers, Tesco Food Magazine.

So that's everything that I will be cooking and eating this week. As you can tell i'm still working my way through the April editions of Good Food and Tesco Food Magazines. As I have said before these are both amazing recipe resources and they give such great recipe inspiration. I'm particularly looking forward to the carbonara and the stuffed peppers this week. I'm also really looking forward to getting back to the veg after all the chocolate of Easter. Are you making anything exciting this week, I would love to know. Have a fab week everyone, thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day- Weekend Edition

Hi all and happy hump day I hope you are all having a lovely week. I am currently in the midst of wedding cake madness so just a short post from me today! A slightly different take on my What I eat in a day posts, a weekend edition. At the weekend I usually tend to have a few more treats, so I thought it would be interesting to share what I eat on a more treaty day. On with the food...

BREAKFAST

  Two blueberry and white chocolate muffins and a big cup of coffee.

The puppy wakes up with the birds so this morning I tried to use that time to make some yummy freshly baked white chocolate and blueberry muffins. This is one of my favourite treat breakfasts and goes perfectly with a big mug of coffee. I also needed something quick to eat as we had to head out to walk the dog and to do some messages.

LUNCH

 Vegetable and Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Pittas.

This vegetable soup is another from the Tesco recipe cards and was so easy and quick to make, it took no less than 30mins. And of course I had to serve it with a grilled cheese pitta, this is compulsory with a bowl of soup for me.

AFTERNOON SNACK

Easter Malted Milk Blondie and another cup of coffee.

I baked up a batch of these Easter treats on the Friday afternoon for munching over the weekend and they were so yummy. The recipe came from the newest issue of BBC Good Food. I love all the Easter baking recipes that come out at this time of year, i'm dying to try creme egg brownies.The perfect little treat with an afternoon cup of coffee.

DINNER

Sausage Cassoulet with garlic cabbage and peas and a beer ( something local and crafty that my husband picked!).

My husband made the dinner on this particular night. He usually cooks on a Saturday night and I cook every other night. It's one of my favourite evenings because I get to sit and have a drink and await my dinner being served to me (I definitely could get used to that!). This was his take on Jamie Oliver's Spicy Sausage Cassoulet from  'Save with Jamie' and it was delicious. The cabbage and peas were my suggestion, I just fancied a bit of green on the plate! It was all washed down with a lovely local craft beer (my husband is quite the beer connoisseur!).

And there you have it, everything I ate last Saturday! Such a yummy day for me. Do you tend to treat yourself more at the weekend? I would love to know what your favourite treats are to have at the weekend? Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Hi all and welcome back to another Meal Plan Monday post, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a rather relaxing weekend filled with lovely walks with the puppy in THE SUN!! (Yes you heard me correctly, we had SUN in NORTHERN IRELAND! and it was glorious!). What did you get up to this weekend? Anyway enough rambling, I have a very busy week planned this week and am glad i've got my meal plan to follow as I know I would definitely just go for take-away every night if I didn't! Here's everything I will be eating this week...


MON: Falafel Pittas, A Girl Called Jack.

TUES: Red Lentil Burgers, A Girl Called Jack.

WED: Ham, Pea and Mint Casserole, A Girl Called Jack.

THURS: Veggie Stir Fry, Save with Jamie.

FRI: Chicken Curry, Save with Jamie.

SAT: Spiced Sausage Cassoulet, Save with Jamie.

SUN: Mac 'n' cheese, Tesco Recipe Card.

And that's the menu for this week! I'm so looking forward to the mac 'n' cheese as it is one of my favourite dishes! Are you cooking anything exciting this week? I will be back on Wednesday with a slightly different version of my what I eat in a day post, so stay tuned for that! Happy Monday, thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Friday, 7 April 2017

March Foodie Favourites


Hi everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY!! Hope you've had a fabulous week and have that Friday feeling. I know I definitely do, i'm very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend, before the madness of Easter next week begins. I've already got my Friday bake in the oven, today i'm making Malted Milk blondies and I can't wait to taste them. Anyway, today's post is a monthly foodie favourites one, all things yummy which I have been loving throughout March. So here goes...


Nakd Posh Bits in the Cocoa Mandarin flavour

OMG these are sooo good! They are the perfect little sweet treat to have with a cup of tea in the evening! They are made from all natural ingredients, there's only fruit and nuts in them but boy do they taste good. Not quite a Terry's Chocolate Orange but they are close competition and are slightly healthier. They are also in really cute shapes, I love the little hearts.

Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

We all know I am a complete chocoholic and have practically tried every chocolate out there but this was a new one for me. It is so rich and sweet, you only need a wee bit to satisfy that chocolate longing.

Pukka Peppermint and Liquorice Tea

I think I have mentioned this on the blog before but this is one of my favourite evening teas. I find the peppermint settles my tummy before bed and the liquorice gives me that hit of sweetness with no sugar. I also find it makes me incredibly sleepy which is a bonus.

Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

Let it be known I love a G+T and I have been known to over indulge once or twice (never again!) and for me, Fever Tree is the best Tonic Water out there. So imagine my delight when I spotted this new flavour I had never tried before, naturally I had to buy a big box and a new gin to try it with. I think I actually like this more than the normal tonic water, I just love the light florally flavour it gives to your drink.

Littles Chocolate Caramel Instant Coffee 

It's 6.30am, you stumble into the kitchen in the dark, let the pup outside and reach for the comforting container of your favourite instant coffee and to your dismay you find it empty ( I mean who does that?!). Oh the horror (it's ok we had ground stuff so my husband was safe from the lack of coffee wrath!). This coffee was bought in a panic and boy did it deliver. It's so delicious and I actually like it more than my usual coffee. Such a lovely sweet chocolatey coffee flavour for the morning. Yum yum!

And there you go, some of my foodie favourites for this month. If you see any of these products around you should definitely give them a try. Have you got any recommendations for me? Anything foodie you have been loving recently? Please do share in the comments. I'm off to make a cuppa, that coffee is THAT yummy, thank you so much for reading my little blog, have an amazing weekend,

Rachael xx.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

What I Eat in a Day 21

Good Morning everyone and happy hump day! I am having a pretty busy week this week and the puppy is certainly testing my patience haha! He just seems to love to chew up my recipe books, I would actually prefer it if he chewed my shoes! But, he has his first puppy class tonight so hopefully that will knock some sense into him, or at least he'll just get to burn extra energy playing with puppies. I'm back today with my What I Eat in a Day post and I was trying to be a little healthier yesterday as I am practicing making wedding cakes at the moment for an upcoming wedding which means that there is a lot of cake about (not that i'm complaining, i'm a cakeaholic!). I might do a wee post on this soon to show you the cakes that I made for the wedding, if you would like to see this!Anyway, here's everything I ate yesterday...

BREAKFAST

Blueberry, Banana and Pineapple Smoothie.

A new combination for me, I hadn't tried blueberries in my smoothies before as I am not the biggest fan but this was so delicious. I'm still pretty much having smoothies everyday and loving them. I usually add at least one vegetable but I had pineapple that needed using up. I will definitely be having blueberries in my smoothies more often as I have heard that they are very good for the old brain :).

LUNCH

 Bacon, Broccoli and Blue Cheese Pasta with 3 clementines.

I decided to treat myself to a bit of a fancy lunch as I was very hungry and needed a wee bit more of a feed. This pasta dish was so easy to make, the recipe is an adapted version of a BBC Good Food recipe. Here's how I made it...

Ingredients (Serves 1/2)

A few broccoli florets
a handful of frozen peas
2 rashers of bacon
a tablespoon of mascarpone
50g blue cheese
about 50-75g dried rigatoni pasta

Method

1. Put the pasta on to boil for 5mins in salted water.
2. Chop and fry the bacon until crispy.
3. Put the broccoli florets in with the pasta for another 5mins and add the peas for the last minute.
4. Drain the pasta and stir in half the bacon, half the blue cheese and the mascarpone and season to taste.
5. Serve topped with the remaining bacon and blue cheese.

This would work really well for dinner too and as you can see is so quick and easy to make. It is also full of flavour and you feel like you are having a rather fancy meal.

DINNER

Italian Chicken Tray bake.

This recipe came from the new issue of BBC Good Food and was so tasty and simple to make. I love tray bake meals as they are so easy, everything cooks in the one tray and there aren't many dishes, that's a definite win in our house, I hate doing dishes. The tray bake comprises crispy skinned chicken thighs, plum tomatoes, bacon, baby potatoes herbs, garlic and olive oil, what could be better?

I also had a wee cup of peppermint tea and a few squares of dark chocolate with sea salt in the evening. Ha ha I just wouldn't be me if I went a whole day without chocolate.

Ta da! That's everything I ate yesterday, it was such a tasty day! Let me know if you try any of these recipes I would love to know how they worked for you! Wish us luck with the puppy class, haha hopefully Ralph will learn how to behave :). Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.