Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

What I got for Christmas…

**Disclaimer: I am not bragging or showing off what we got for christmas, I like to look at what other people got so I decided to share what I had with you**

This year, we had so much for christmas that I’m just going to show some of my favourite presents instead of everything!

My amazing husband got me a macbook!! I’ve been wanting one for ages, but the price always put me off. Luckily, we managed to get one second hand that is pratically new! It is the perfect thing for me to blog on so expect more frequent posting in the new year.

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Dan really spoilt me this year. Not only did i get my macbook, i also got a beautiful new pandora charm some more of my favourite perfume, Chambord black raspberry liqueur and the b.right! skin care set from benefit cosmetics amongst other things.

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A few months ago, my washing machiene gave up on me, and so we were living with no washer the day before me and lillee went to camp! My parents, having had enough of washing my clothes for me, brought us a new washing machine as part wedding present and part christmas present. Because of this, we really didn’t expect anything else from my parents as they had already been so generous. We were plesently surprised though with a gorgeous Yankee candle gift set

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A yoghurt maker and some yoghurt my mom let us steal out of the cupboard

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and a multi-fryer to which makes healthy chips and many more things according to the recipe booklet! At the moment, we have only tried chips but they were so tasty! Cooked perfectly; crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Perfect presents for getting healthy in the new year!

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From my Aunties and Uncles, we had a really cute owl cushion, a new loaf tin and some different bread mixes to try in it and a movie box containing sweets, an amazon gift card and a really gorgeous sign like they use in the movies!

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We were also lucky enough to receive some new clothes, money and chocolates. My parents-in-law gave us a really thoughtful present this year, they took a selection of pictures from our wedding and framed them for us! At the moment, its being kept safe until we can hang it up hopefully as part of the frame wall I’m planning!

What did you get for christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Christmas 2014…

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This year, Christmas was so lovely. Lillee is a perfect age to enjoy all of the magic and wonder of this time of year. We have seen Santa a few times, opened some gorgeous presents and have new memories to treasure for years to come.

20141204_232038802_iOSMy favourite ornament this year is probably my wedding bouquet bauble that I made in early December. It was an idea I saw on pinterest, and was pretty simple to recreate. All I had to do, was carefully push some of the dried flowers from my bouquet into a large glass bauble being careful not to break the delicate petals.

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Christmas Eve this year was truely magical. I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning, while Dan took her too a Christmas party at his parents golf club. When they got back, she told me all about dancing, having her face painted and winning the singing competition! When she got home, there was a bag on the coffee table full of presents! Santa had come early to deliver some things to a special little girl for Christmas Eve night. In her bag, there were:

  • New Pyjamas
  • Reindeer food
  • A Christmas story
  • Miracle on 34th street on DVD
  • Popcorn
  • Mini jaffa cakes
  • Bubble Bath

She loved it so much! She had a bath in her new bubbles, got dressed in her new pyjamas, snuggled up and ate some popcorn while watching her movie and sprinkled the reindeer food outside just before cleaning her teeth, reading her story and snuggling up in bed all ready for Santa to come on Christmas morning!

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On Christmas morning, Lillee was so exited to open her present!
We spent some time opening everything as a family before Christmas tree Crumpets and Buck’s Fizz for breakfast (or OJ in Dan and Lillee’s case!) The rest of christmas day passed with lots of present opening and yummy food! We were all very spoilt and I’m so thankful to our amazing family for all the lovely things we had.

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How did you spend your christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Lentil and sprout top shepard’s pie…

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So, a little while ago I found this amazing recipe for a lentil and kale Shepard’s pie, the first time I followed their recipe, and it was amazing. I’d defienetly go and check it out If I was you! Anyway, dan wanted cheesy mash for dinner and I remembered this recipe before I discovered we didn’t have some of the ingredients.

This is my take on it, but you can find the original here.

•1 onion, chopped finely
•1 cup of green lentils
•1/2 cup of red split lentils
•1 sprout top finely sliced
• handful of mushrooms sliced
•1 carton passata
•pinch dried thyme
• 2tsp honey
• few shakes Worcestershire sauce
• pinch dried rosemary
•1 clove of garlic finely diced
•1kg potatoes peeled and in chunks
•200g mature cheese
•100ml milk
•50g butter

Boil the potatoes until tender, when done mash with the butter and milk and a little seasoning. Stir in the cheese.

Meanwhile boil the lentils until soft and drain when done.

Soften the onions and garlic in a little oil, and add the mushrooms and sprout tops. Cook for a few minutes before adding the herbs, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Stir through then add the passata and cooked lentils.

Layer in a baking dish, the lentil mixture at the bottom and mash on the top. Indent with a fork (to make more crispy bits!) and drizzle with olive oil before baking for about 40 minutes at 180c

My whole family loves this recipe, and it I love how it is meat-free. Personally, I think we eat far too much meat in our house so this makes a really nice change!

What do you think?

Emma-Jayne xx

Winter Days…

snowman

lillee fell over

cuddles

chilli

cake in a jar

lillee the ladybird

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china teacups and springtime flowers

tea for one

mommys little helper

cobbler

lillee's new quilt

butternut squash soup

Snow, snow and more snow! its been snowing an awful lot lately just here in staffordshire, so playing outside was a must. It’s all gone now, but we enjoyed it while it lasted. The comfort food was a hit in our house, especially the cobbler it may just become a new family favorite! The cake-in-a-jar was a huge success too something i’m definetly going to be making again.

January is traditionally a time to make resolutions. Out with the old and in with the new. New recipes, preparing new things for a special someones birthday in the near future and playing in the first snow of the year seems to me like a fantastic way to start everything off to me. And so, my resolution is this: Live well, laugh often, love much. (Bessie Anderson Stanley) I think we’ve made a good start so far.

Emma-Jayne xx

It feels like Autumn…

It’s a cold, windy day. There’s leaves carpeting the grass. The heating is on and a pot of soup is bubbling in the kitchen. I’d say Autumn has most defiantly arrived. I can’t say I’m 100% happy as this year we’ve had a distinct lack of summer, but I’m looking forward to snuggling up wrapped in warm blankets with my baby girl, warm baths and hot drinks before bed, bonfire night and seeing Lillee’s face when she sees the fireworks again,  soups, stews  and casseroles. Christmas is just around the corner, with all the twinkly lights and a turkey roast. and, for the first time ever I’m prepared to face Christmas head on.  Lillee has presents all ready to be wrapped and sent to Santa  I’m making a start on the hampers for everybody else and slowly but surely getting the house into shape ready to decorate when December comes. I have to say, I’m getting rather exited at the thought… Let’s just hope my preparation pays off this year.

Emma-Jayne x

Hot chocolate…

I made this gorgeous hot chocolate courtesy of Mr Jamie Oliver

2 Pints of semi-skimmed milk (serves 8-10)

* 2 tablespoons Horlicks
* 2 tablespoons cornflour
* 3 tablespoons icing sugar
* 4 tablespoons quality organic cocoa
* 100g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely grated
* a pinch of ground cinnamon
* a pinch of sea salt

1. Pour the milk into a large pan, and bring almost to the boil over a medium heat.

2. Meanwhile, add all the chocolate mix ingredients to a large jar and give it a good shake to combine. You need around 10 heaped tablespoons of the chocolate mix for this amount of milk. Simply spoon the chocolate mix into the hot milk, give it a good whisk and leave to bubble away for a few minutes before serving. You’re looking for that gorgeous, thick, almost claggy, knockout texture.

Emma-Jayne xx