Thursday, 17 August 2017

Coffee Spots in Northern Ireland




Hello again! How are we all? I thought today I would talk a little about something I LOVE and you all know that I am addicted to coffee. So, today I thought I would share a couple of my favourite coffee spots in my favourite little home country of Northern Ireland. The coffee scene is definitely expanding and improving here and it is very exciting for someone who loves coffee and a big slice of cake. This is by no means a definitive list, just a few of my favourites. I haven't visited every coffee shop in Northern Ireland (though I plan to) so doubtless a few more places will make the list soon enough.  So, let's get started...

Lost and Found, Coleraine

Flat white and Swedish almond cake with cream!

My ultimate favourite coffee spot in NI as it's also in my home town so I have many positive memories being back there. It's like my second home when i'm visiting my parents in Portstewart.  I love the décor in this spot, the friendly staff but most of all the Swedish almond cake, mmmm it's delicious. The coffee in here is AMAZING, I always order a flat white (my drink of choice) or a hot chocolate, which is so rich and chocolatey. In my opinion they have the best selection of buns and cakes, the kind you just can't find anywhere else. If you're ever in Coleraine this place is well worth a visit. I honestly don't know where I went before this place arrived in the town. Also, the breakfasts are great too, grilled halloumi, tomatoes and poached eggs on toast, um yes please!

Babushka, Portrush

Poached eggs and avocado on toast!

A good coffee shop with a view of the beach, what could be better on a stormy winter's day (and boy do we get a lot of those, year round!). This coffee shop is perched between Portrush harbour and the west strand beach and comes complete with deck chairs and benches to sit outside with the pups (weather permitting)! Whilst the coffee is great here it's their breakfasts and lunches that I love, like the ultimate cheese toastie in sourdough bread, aaah delicious. It's such a tiny little shop but packs a lot of flavour.

Established, Belfast

His and hers pre-shopping breakfast!

Before a day of shopping in Belfast, you need to be fuelled appropriately, right?! Well this is our go-to for breakfast before a spot of retail therapy. Amazing coffee, amazing food and salted caramel brownies to die for! The décor is fabulous also, very industrial with nice details. I also like that there are quite a few communal tables, perfect for getting some work done!


Paper Fig, Portstewart

Pecan friand and hot chocolate.

Last and by no means least is this little place that sits a whopping 2 min walk from my parents house so is a must when we are visiting them. Another place that has great outdoor seating to enjoy nice weather with your doggy on a walk (water bowls provided for the canines). The coffee is so good here, nice and strong, just the way I like it. They also do great lunches and ice-cream which is a must when you visit the seaside in the summer! It also has stunning views out to sea with binoculars for dolphin watching!

And there you a go, a few of my favourite coffee shops in Northern Ireland. If you are ever visiting our wee country be sure to give these places a try! I will be back soon with a very fun and alcoholic recipe for you to try! Thanks for reading,

Rachael xx.



Saturday, 5 August 2017

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oat Energy Balls


HELLO! So, it's been a while since I last visited my little corner of the internet. Nothing much has happened I just was having a little break from blogging. In my break from the Tea Cozy Kitchen I have been on holiday to Croatia, which was so beautiful and the food and drink was amazing. I celebrated my 27th birthday (shock! horror!) with a very tasty triple layer biscoff and caramel cake (pics to follow!), we also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and our wee tiny pup turned 6 months old! Time just keeps marching on!

Anyway, today i'm sharing a very simple, tasty and a little healthy recipe for you. Chocolate, peanut butter and oat energy balls are a new discovery for me but a great one at that! I love one or two mid-afternoon with a big cuppa coffee to beat those 3pm energy slumps. So here goes...

 
Ingredients
makes 16 (two-bite) energy balls

150g oats,
50g raisins,
3tbsp smooth or crunchy peanut butter,
1.5tbsp honey,
0.5 tsp vanilla extract,
100g white chocolate,
90g dark chocolate,
cocoa nibs and ground almonds to decorate.


Method

  • Use a food processor to blend the oats, raisins, peanut butter, honey and vanilla together until you get a paste that can be easily rolled into balls.
  • Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and roll the mixture into 16 evenly sized balls setting each one on the tray.
  • Put the tray of balls in the fridge to set for 15mins.
  • Melt the chocolates and roll each ball in the chocolate until it is evenly covered and setting each ball back on the tray with a sprinkle of your desired topping, I used cocoa nibs and ground almonds.
  • Pop the tray back in the fridge for the chocolate to set for another 15mins then chow down!
These can be kept in the fridge for a few days. This is a great base recipe as you could easily change the nut butter, swap the raisins for dates, add chopped nuts or change the toppings. I really enjoyed this recipe so I would really love it if you let me know how it goes for you, thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Rainbow Piñata Cake

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Tea Cozy Kitchen. So, I mentioned in my last post that I was doing a bit of baking at the weekend for a first birthday party. I thought I would share with you the cake that I baked and also the process which was involved in making this cake.

For this first birthday party I made a Rainbow Piñata Cake. I mean what could be better for a kids party than a brightly coloured cake that explodes smarties when you cut into it!  For the cake sponge I just used a very simple all in one Victoria sponge method with a little added vanilla and made four layers with it. I used Mary Berry's Victoria sponge recipe as you really just cant go wrong with a recipe by her. I mean Mary Berry knows her cakes. To get the colour on the inside I used some gel food colouring. I wanted the colour to be vibrant so I used quite a lot (maybe could have done with a wee bit less, the colour was almost fluorescent).





As you can see the outside of the cake was decorated very simply with a light and fluffy vanilla buttercream and topped with some fresh berries. I wanted the outside to not give any hints on what was hiding on the inside. I did two layers of the buttercream to try and get an opaque finish! It was pretty hard to achieve this as I have made so many semi-naked cakes recently.


Between the cake layers was a thick layer of buttercream but also a good bit of strawberry jam. I always think that vanilla and strawberry jam screams kids birthday cake. To get the smarties in the centre I used a cookie cutter to cut a circle in the centre of the first three layers. When they were stacked and assembled with buttercream there was a column down the middle that I was able to fill with smarties. The top layer had no hole and was set on top to stop the smarties falling out.


 And that's how I made this Rainbow Piñata Cake, I think it's possibly one of the most fun cakes I have ever made and it went down a treat with the kids and adults alike. What's your favourite thing that you have baked? I would love to know! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Meal Plan Monday


Hello, it's Monday and that can only mean one thing, it's meal plan day! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I had a rather busy weekend doing some baking for a first birthday party and I will be sharing with you what I baked on the blog this week, if you're interested. So this week, the diet/health kick continues with a lot of healthy meal inspiration courtesy of BBC Good Food and a couple of my own recipes too. If you want the recipes for any of these dishes, check out the BBC Good Food website as a lot of these can be found there. Anyway, on with the plan...


MON: Sweet Potato Tex Mex Salad, Good Food.

TUES: Slow Cooked Spanish Chicken, Good Food.
WED: Kidney Bean Curry, Good Food.

THURS: Penne Arrabiatta, Good Food.

FRI: Sardine and Broccoli Traybake, Good Food.

SAT: Veggie Stir-fry, my own recipe.

SUN: Goan Pulled Pork, Good Food.

And there you have it, everything that I will be cooking and eating this week. Do you have a meal plan for the week? I would love to know what you will be cooking and eating. Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.








Friday, 12 May 2017

Sweet Potato, Feta and Tomato Mini Frittatas

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Tea Cozy Kitchen. I hope you all had a wonderful week, we finally made it to Friday guys, YAY! Today i've got another easy recipe to share with you. These frittatas are so easy to make and taste delicious, perfect for summery buffet style lunches, packed lunches, picnics or even as a post-workout snack. Another great thing about them is they are so easy to change up depending on what ingredients you have to hand.  You should definitely give these a try!



INGREDIENTS
(makes about 4 mini frittatas)

2 medium eggs,
50ml of milk,
1/2 tsp of dried oregano,
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks,
1/2 tsp paprika,
a small handful of plum tomatoes, halved,
50g feta, crumbled,
a drizzle of oil.


METHOD

1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Put the chopped sweet potato in a baking tray and toss with the paprika and oil. Roast in oven for about 35mins or until soft and coloured slightly. I didn't peel my potatoes as I like the skin but it can work either way.
2. When the potatoes are done, leave to cool slightly and mix up the eggs with all the other ingredients.
3. Grease (grease REALLY WELL as they can be difficult to get out) 4 holes in a muffin tray and pop a few sweet potatoes chunks in the bottom, pour over the egg mix and top with the remaining sweet potato.
4. Cook in the oven for about 15mins until they look nearly set, then turn your grill to high and grill for 5mins to brown and crisp up the tops slightly.
5. Leave to cool for packed lunches or scoff straight away for a tasty snack/lunch.

Anyway, that's it for today! Happy weekend all! Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? I will be spending mine gardening (as per usual) and baking a very special cake for a very special person's first birthday. I'm so excited to share this cake with you, it's quite unusual. Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.







Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Greek Pasta Salad

HELLO! The sun is STILL shining here in Northern Ireland, which is pretty much unheard of. So, today I've got a lovely summery and healthy recipe to share with you guys. This recipe is so easy to make and is perfect for summer picnics, work lunches or just as a healthy snack. I just threw this together for my lunch today and thought it was really tasty so just had to share because lunches can get pretty boring (am I right?!). Can you really go wrong with these ingredients?


GREEK PASTA SALAD

INGREDIENTS (makes enough for one hungry person)

a handful of dried pasta, I used penne
a handful of black olives, halved
a couple of plum tomatoes, halved
1/4 of a cucumber, cut into small chunks
about 50g of feta, crumbled
1/4 of a red onion, finely diced
3tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 juice of a lemon.

METHOD

1. Boil the pasta according to packet instructions.
2. Chop all your veg and mix the lemon juice, olive oil and a little salt and pepper together.
3. When the pasta is done, mix everything together. Save a little feta to top the dish.
4. You can eat it now or leave it to cool and have it cold, either way it's delicious.

And there you have it a quick and easy lunch recipe. If you try this I would love to know what you think! Anyway, i'm off to watch more Riverdale now (i'm completely obsessed!). Hope you have a lovely day! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Meal Plan Monday


Hi all and welcome back to another meal plan Monday. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. We have gorgeous weather in Northern Ireland at the moment so I'm attempting to get a little colour on my pasty ginger skin! This meal plan is a little healthier than normal as I'm on a little bit of a health kick at the minute. My husband and I are heading away in a couple of weeks to Croatia and we are both so excited, we haven't had a proper summer holiday in two years. But alas, I went to try on a couple of my favourite summer pieces and let's just say they were a little more snug than I would like. So, I'm hoping to just drop a couple of pounds before the holiday but nothing drastic, there will be no detox teas or juice cleanses here. I'm just going to be choosing better snacks, less coffee, more green tea, more walks and less desserts but I will still be having my little bit of chocolate every evening with my cup of tea! Anyway here's what I will be cooking and eating this week!



MON: Healthy Mac 'n' Cheese.

TUES: Moroccan Squash, Chickpea and Kale Stew.

WED: Tex Mex Eggs.

THURS: Pea and Broad Bean Shakshuka.

FRI: Pea and Broad Bean Risotto.

SAT: Spanakopita.

SUN: Halloumi Flatbreads.

All the recipes for these dishes come from the current issue of BBC Good Food magazine, the May issue. This issue has some really tasty dishes with loads of veg which is just what I need before this holiday! So I would definitely recommend picking it up if you are in need of some inspiration! I am particularly looking forward to the Spanakopita and the healthy-ish mac 'n' cheese. Are you making anything exciting this week, I would love to know. Until next time, thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Chocolate, Oat and Raisin Cookies

HELLO! How is everyone? We just had a lovely sunny bank holiday here in Northern Ireland (hence why there is no meal plan Monday!). I spent the whole day in the garden planting, painting, playing with the pup and of course drinking a G&T or two! But today, I've got a really tasty recipe to share with you. These cookies are one of the best cookies I've ever made ( a very bold claim I know!) but they are just the perfect combination of crispy, soft and chewy, not to mention so easy to make. I made these one afternoon as I was really craving cookies but didn't have any eggs, and voila, such a yummy cookie was born. They are the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee. Or they would also be delicious with ice-cream sandwiched between them for an easy dessert. I really recommend you give 'em a try!


Ingredients

Makes about 10 big cookies

110g butter,
105g light brown sugar,
1tsp vanilla extract,
95g plain flour,
a pinch of salt,
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda,
30ml boiling water,
80g porridge oats,
40g ( a large handful) of raisins,
100g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees for a fan oven. Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in the flour and salt.
3. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in boiling water and add to the mix along with the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
4. Roll into 10 equal size balls and flatten each slightly on a baking try lined with baking paper. Make sure to spread the cookies out as they well spread in the oven.
5. Bake for 12 mins or until golden and crispy.

And there you go, a delicious cookie recipe to try! Let me know if you give them a go, I would love to know what you think! Until next time, thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.

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.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Meal Plan Monday

HELLO! Welcome back to the Tea Cozy Kitchen! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I spent my weekend taking the puppy out for some of his first exciting walks and of course I baked a wee bit too. This weekend I baked a lemon yoghurt cake and a batch of double chocolate mocha muffins for Sunday's breakfast, yum yum! What did you get up to this weekend? Today, is meal plan Monday so I will be sharing with you everything that I will be cooking and eating this week, so here we go...

MON: Squash and Spinach Pasta Rotolo, Save with Jamie.

TUES: Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Carbonara, Good Food April.

WED: Springtime Minestrone, Good Food April.

THURS: Italian Chicken Traybake, Good Food April.

FRI: Chorizo and Barley Stew, Good Food April.

SAT: Spicy Pie with Sweet Potato Mash, Good Food April.

SUN:  Veggie Chilli, Good Food April.

As you can see I got my Good Food Magazine subscription through the post, it's always like Christmas when this arrives. This weeks meals mainly come from the April issue which looks like it has some super tasty recipes, I can't wait to try them. There is also some super tasty Easter baking ideas in there which I really want to make! This week though I am particularly excited about the pasta rotolo, which is for dinner tonight, it's a recipe I have done many times before and is one of my favourites. I am also excited about making the spicy pie ( I love pie in any shape or form!).

And there you go, that's everything I will be cooking this week. Do you have any exciting meal plans for this week? I would love to know in the comments below! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Spring Mini-Egg Popcorn Bars

Hi everyone and welcome to a pretty exciting recipe post! As you probably know by now I am obsessed with Spring and with Easter right around the corner, I get free reign to do all my super sweet, brightly coloured sweet recipes! So today, being a bit of a popcorn connoisseur, I have been inspired by SkinnyPop popcorn to make these super-easy and yummy mini egg popcorn bars! Go on give them a try, you won't be disappointed!



Ingredients

25g Popcorn ( I used SkinnyPop naturally sweet flavour)
50g white chocolate, chopped
100g mini-eggs
any brightly coloured sprinkles
50g mini marshmallows
20g butter


Method

1. Melt butter, 25g white chocolate, and mini marshmallows in a pan over a low heat.
2. When melted and smooth turn off the heat and stir in the popcorn and sprinkles until evenly distributed.
3. Press into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper until flat and then press in the mini eggs into the top. Leave to cool for 5mins.
4. Melt another 25g of white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the tray.
5. Cut into bars and scoff!



And there you go, that's how you make them, I told you they were very simple to throw together! Feel free to add whatever you would like into the mix, I think Smarties or Lucky Charms would work really well too but I love this combination! They would be perfect for an Easter Afternoon tea or a yummy treat to get your kids to make over the Easter holiday! Thanks so much for reading,

Rachael xx.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

What I Eat in a Day 20

Hello everyone and welcome pack to What I Eat in a Day! Hope you are all having a fabulous and productive week. This week i'm still trying to adapt to having a rebellious puppy in the house, it can be quite difficult to get stuff done as he is always getting in my way, so I am feeling a little de-motivated and unproductive at the moment! Any tips for this would be greatly appreciated??? But I have made a plan and hopefully things will pick up. What are you up to this week? Any exciting plans?  Anyway, the rant is now OVER, so on with yesterday's food...

BREAKFAST

Green Smoothie- Banana, Apple and Spinach.

Just the usual smoothie breakfast, I think I might actually be addicted to smoothies haha! I just love how many fruit and veg I can get in there :).

LUNCH

 Broccoli and Pea Dip on Home-made Wheaten bread, sprinkled with feta and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

We didn't have any leftovers for lunch today so I had to come up with something different and let me tell you this was pretty tasty! Here's how I made the dip/spread:

Broccoli and Pea Dip/Spread Serves 1

1/2 Broccoli head ( I used frozen broccoli florets which worked really well)
handful of frozen peas
a clove of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
fresh mint
salt and pepper

1. Put broccoli in a small pan with a splash of boiled water, the crushed garlic clove, cover and steam until soft.
2. Add in frozen peas for last minute.
3. Drain the veg of all the water.
4. Add seasoning, a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of fresh mint.
5. Blend with a stick blender (or potato masher) until kind of smooth but still a bit textured.
6. Use as a dip for crudité or spread on some nice toasted bread, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with feta just like I did.

This was such a tasty lunch and so simple to make. I sort of think of it like an alternative to avocado toast. Bold claim I know because it definitely isn't as hipster but it is equally delicious. You could also drizzle a little pesto over the top which is SOOOO yummy.


DINNER

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata with Green Veg.

This frittata recipe comes from 'Save with Jamie' by Jamie Oliver. It is one of my favourite recipes in the book as it is just so easy and very very delicious. There's quite a bit of cheese in the frittata which is always a winner with me as I am a complete cheese addict. I served it with some more green veg, as I really don't think I had enough green in my diet yesterday haha!

EVENING SNACK

Hot chocolate with marshmallows and some cookies.

I was feeling a little emotional and down last night and in need of some comfort food. So hot chocolate it was. I'm sorry there is no picture of this, it was demolished pretty quickly. Just imagine a HUGE hot chocolate, loaded with mini marshmallows and a big stack of cookies and you've got it!

And that's everything I ate yesterday, a pretty good food day for me :). I will be back on Friday with a pretty exciting recipe so stay tuned for that! Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.