Lemon, Thyme and Garlic Chicken Pasta with Creme Fraiche

I’m forever just thinking of yummy, different ways to eat Pasta. This one in particular was so nice with a Spring/Summery twist, it felt fresh and light for a creamy Pasta dish and I had it with a side of Tender-stem Broccoli and Asparagus.

For 4 people (2 big, 2 little) you will need:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts diced
  • 250g Pasta
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 100g Creme Fraiche
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chopped Parsley

Start frying off the Chicken in a large pan on a high heat, put a pan of water on to boil. Once the Chicken has started to brown, add salt and pepper, the Thyme and Garlic then fry for a few minutes.

Add the Chicken Stock, bring to the boil and reduce down for 5 minutes.

Add the Pasta to the boiling water whilst still reducing the Chicken Stock, cook the Pasta for 8-10 minutes.

Once the Chicken Stock has reduced right down, turn down the heat.

Once the Pasta is cooked, drain then add to the Chicken. Turn off the heat and stir in the Creme Fraiche, the juice of half a Lemon and some of the chopped Parsley.

And that’s it! This is so simple and easy and packed with some of my favourite flavours! I went heavy on the Garlic because I love it but you could use less if you aren’t as much of a fan.

Hope you enjoy!

L x

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Being a Blogger chit chat

There was a time not very long ago at all, that I would roll my eyes at the term Blogger.

Not so much other people, but myself.

Like it wasn’t an actual thing that I could be or even dare say that I was.

On stories yesterday, I spoke about the fact that I now have management. Even saying that makes me feel funny and thats mainly because I don’t want others to think ‘Oh who does she think she is?’

I have been on Instagram for 4 and a half years and in that time my Instagram has grown and changed, I used to feel guilty about this and the fact that it started out as a ‘weight loss Instagram’ but lets be honest, in life we grow and change too and when I was pregnant with Isla, sharing my pregnancy and those early days of being a Mum to two, well it pretty much saved me.

Then theres the other side to it. I started making money, to be completely frank. I realised that putting a bit more thought and effort into my content could potentially make me a living. So I started doing that too and to be honest, it’s going really well, better than I could of ever imagined.

But why can’t I say that without feeling bad? I constantly feel like I have to justify myself to everyone, partly because I give too much of a shit what people think sometimes and partly because it’s really hard to talk about working with brands, having management, creating content for Instagram and my Blog and calling it work without sounding like a dick. Without sounding like its all gone to my head, which believe me it hasn’t.

But sometimes it is exactly that, it’s work and I literally have to pinch myself when certain brands want to work with me… and I think it is important for me to continue caring what people think (to a certain extent) because again, without sounding like a dick, I wouldn’t have these opportunity’s if I didn’t have you lovely lot engaging and interacting with me.

Then that brings me to feeling unworthy. I often say that I don’t know how this happened, I don’t know how I ended up here, getting to do some amazing things and work on things that I genuinely love… like I don’t deserve it. I don’t know if thats just me? I know I have terrible ‘imposter syndrome’ which I just googled and I’ll pop it here…

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

This is me all over, and it genuinely needs to stop.

I need to start feeling proud and just enjoying it for what it is, because who knows how long it will last. The fact that I can do this around my ‘day job’, school runs, nap times, bed times well its bloody perfect and I know that I am very lucky to have that.

Having management for me doesn’t mean that I now think I’m a celebrity just for the record. I will explain a little about what it means, Lauren basically talks to brands for me, she does the back and forward emailing which can take a lot of time, negotiating a fee for any paid content, finding out what content they want, when they want it for and if its actually something I am happy to do. I have never felt so ‘myself’ with anyone so quickly which is so important to me because I don’t feel like I have to say yes to anything if it doesn’t feel right. Then I send her my content, which she then sends for approval… (which is usually how it works if there is money involved for anyone who is interested)… then she will let me know when/if its approved, then I post it and she takes care of the invoicing too. So basically she is giving me the huge and very much needed gift of more time on my hands, and that is basically it.

I felt so pathetic after chatting on my stories about it and was like why on earth do I feel the need to justify myself so much? I need to just keep on doing what I’m doing, following my gut instinct and more than anything stop caring too much what people think. As long as I’m happy and feel good about something that should be the bottom line, especially if its benefiting my family and not just financially but more importantly, a little more time and a little less stressed for them.

So yeah, that is that, nothing is going to change here, I will continue to only work on things that I genuinely love…(I have linked an old blog post here about doing #ads)… I will start having a bit more self belief and also let myself enjoy it more and focus on the future on some ideas that I have that I’m really excited about and I’m not keeping them to myself to be a dick and all mysterious… I just don’t want anyone to steal my idea 😂!

L x

Lamb Kofta Pizza Wraps with Feta and Pomegranate

This recipe was huge inspiration on the menu at work last week… one of the chefs was cooking some Lamb Mince for Greek style Pizzas and I was just like ‘wooowwwww, I NEED to recreate this at home’, so I have and it’s epic and even I’m a little pleased with myself about this one. We had ours with some Greek Salad and Yoghurt and Mint sauce on the side, which is literally just Yoghurt and Mint Sauce mixed together. You could use other Veg etc on top but as they are wrap pizzas, you don’t want to overload the toppings as they just don’t hold the topping as well as a regular Pizza.

For 4 Pizza wraps you will need:

  • 4 Wholemeal Wraps
  • 400g Lamb Mince
  • 1 Red Onion sliced
  • 200g Feta
  • 100g Pomegranate
  • 1 carton of Passata
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Coriander for Garnish

Put the Passatta and the Italian seasoning into a Saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for around 15-20 minutes until thickened.

Fry off the Red Onions with a little salt until soft.

Fry off the Lamb Mince, you wont need any oil! Once starting to brown, add the Spices, Garlic and some Salt and Pepper.

Keep frying the Lamb until it starts turning crispy, keep it moving so it doesn’t burn.

Put the wrap onto a large tray, add a spoonful of the Passatta, some fried Onions, the crispy Lamb and some Feta, then cook in the oven on 200′ for 5-10 minutes, keep an eye on it.

Finish with Pomegranate and some chopped Coriander and Basil.

And thats it! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

L x

Banana, Blueberry and Almond Bread

I had some seriously sorry looking Bananas at the end of the week this week, and I’ve been terrible for not using them up lately and just lobbing them. But with a bit of time on my hands I wanted to try out a Banana Bread, I opted for a version without Sugar and to be honest when I ate it I was a bit like hmmmm could do with chucking a load of Sugar in there BUT it made for a great guilt free Breakfast as I do try and avoid adding Sugar in things! I’m going to have it again this morning but toasted with a little Butter and I’m quite excited about that 🙃.

For 1 Loaf/10 slices you will need:

  • 150g Wholemeal Flour
  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 300g Banana (over ripe)
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 3 Eggs
  • 150g Total 0% Yoghurt
  • 100g Blueberries
  • 30g Flaked Almonds

Pre heat the Oven to 140′.

First mash the Banana up in a bowl. Then whip the Eggs till they are fluffy.

Add the Yoghurt, Banana and Honey to the Eggs and whip in.

Add the Flour, Baking Powder and Bi Carb and fold in gently.

Add Blueberries and stir through. You could use anything really (chocolate chips would of been lovely) but I just had some Bluebs to use up!

Line a loaf tin with some paper and a little oil spray. Add the mix to the tin and top with the Flaked Almonds, again you could use anything you like Walnuts would be nice too.

Pop into the Oven and cook for 1hr20mins… I went for low and slow cooking as it’s quite a dense loaf and I didn’t want to burn the nuts on top.

And that’s it! Let me know if you try it and I hope you like it!

L x

Leek and Gorgonzola Risotto

This is one for the Blue Cheese loverrrrrs. I am firmly in the Blue Cheese camp, I bloody love it, and this creamy Risotto really hit the spot.

For 2 people you will need:

  • 2 Leeks sliced (use the lighter parts, the dark part is bitter and nobody wants that!)
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 150g Risotto Rice
  • 1 ltr Stock (I used Chicken, you won’t need this much, there should be some leftover!)
  • 40g Gorgonzola
  • 50g Philadelphia Light
  • 1 tsp chopped Thyme
  • small handful chopped Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Sweat the Onion for 5 minutes, add the Leeks then sweat for another 2 minutes.

Add the Risotto Rice and Thyme then turn up the heat, frying off for a minute or 2.

Start adding the Stock gradually and keep stirring whilst it cooks. Once the stock is absorbed add a little more. Keep tasting and checking the rice so you don’t overcook it.

Once the rice is very nearly cooked, add the Philadelphia and a little more stock to give it a nice creamy consistency.

Add the chopped Parsley.

I cooked some extra Veg to have on the side.

Add the Gorgonzola on top once you have plated up.

And thats it! So yummy and really easy to make!

Hope you enjoy.

L x

Maternal Mental Health Week

In a week where I have been seeing, and reading so many amazing, inspirational, thought provoking posts about Maternal Mental Health, why have I felt so stumped.

I pride myself in being honest and open when I am going through things but sometimes it’s just so much easier to pretend everything is ok… and also I feel like although being authentic and ‘real’ is something I try and do, there should also be a line that isn’t crossed because on a personnel level (and this is just my opinion and what I feel comfortable with) I don’t think it’s necessary or healthy to share everything in my life.

Truth is I have had one of those weeks where I have felt a bit like I’m wading through the mud. My anxiety has been crushing at times, I have had two panic attacks and just felt a bit on ‘auto pliot’. That’s the funny thing about mental health (well its not funny but I don’t really know how else to say it)… But looking at my Instagram, or seeing me IRL you would have no idea that I had felt that way at certain times this week.

And before I go on, I feel like I have to say this, because unfortunately when you have a certain number of followers, for some reason there will always be people rolling their eyes (P.S its this sort of person that is a huge problem for any mental health issues in my opinion, the ‘oh she’s such an attention seeker’ ‘oh what does she have to feel shit about’ people, it’s those sort that put people off getting help for the fear of being brushed under the carpet…) anyway I digress, but what I want to say is this is not a pity post. As I said I pride myself on being honest, and I take so much support and comfort from others when I do open up because so many people are like ‘me too’ and I feel less alone and the fact that I feel like I can talk about this stuff, well it helps me to a certain extent.

So anyway, Maternal Mental Health week is led by Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK, the aim is to get all Mums and Mums to be to speak up about the way they are feeling and if need be, seek help. It raises a huge amount of awareness and really does get us all gabbing away about Mental Health and also all helping each other which is honestly so amazing.

But I have felt stumped this week and unable to join in the conversation, because it is that thought in my head ‘what the fuck is wrong with you’ ‘what do you have to feel sad about’ ‘why are you so anxious’ ‘what the fuck is wrong with you’. Mental health issues, do not discriminate. On paper, I have a very nice life, I have some issues and things going on that I probably will never talk about openly and yes these are a factor in me feeling the way I do sometimes but I know deep down it all has kind of snowballed in the last 2 years… and whilst I can happily sit here and pen my thoughts and feelings openly to potentially thousands of people why the fuck can’t I go and sit in a room with one person, one stranger and tell them I think I need help.

When It all gets a bit much and I lie in bed at the end of the day like fuck, right tomorrow I’m going to go and talk to someone, I can wake up the next day feeling a bit lifted, feeling like today is going to be alright and then I just get on with my life until it hits again for a few days and I go through all the same thought processes again, it’s honestly a bit knackering. I find myself thinking is there something wrong with you or is it just life? Life has many ups and downs, it’s not easy for anyone. Throw kids, partner, home, work into the mix along with everything else it’s very easy to feel like you are sinking once in a while.

So where does it become a Mental Health Issue and not just having a few bad days? I honestly do not know. But for me I think the fact that it keeps happening and frequently is probably a bit of a warning signal. I have been writing this post all week and it’s honestly so therapeutic for me to come back to it in different frames of mind and look back and think why did you feel like that, but I also feel a bit silly. There are some amazing inspirational women I follow, who talk very very openly about their Mental Health Issues… and it’s that feeling of ‘god I can’t say that, It’s not even that bad, there are others going through so much worse’ but I saw a picture on @mamas_scrapbook Instagram feed that just made me think, we all have a voice and nobody should ever feel like they can’t share what they are going through, it’s not a competition, it’s a serious, real life, issue and I truly believe the more we talk about it and the more we take action the better it will be for future generations.

I feel like I don’t really know how to end this post, I’m feeling good today, happy and looking forward to spending the weekend with my family, so the thought of needing to go and speak to a professional about how I have been feeling in other times is a bit daunting and feels almost unnecessary but now I feel like I have been so honest and open that I owe it to myself to at least go and see what they say, It is just the fear of them being like ‘oh your fine today though?’… anyway I’m going to just leave it here and say Thank you for reading and to everyone who does message me or comment to me saying ‘me too’ Thank you for making me feel less alone and less like I’m losing my mind.

L x

Creamy Sausage and Mustard Penne

I love it when I make new Pasta dishes that I’ve not had before and they turn out so good. If you didn’t know I am a bit of a Pasta addict and this didn’t disappoint. It was really easy to make… the kids didn’t eat it… Isla’s was launched on the floor and Abbie faffed around with it for 5 minutes then moaned she was FAR too tired to eat, it might have been more successful without the Mustard but Kieran also being a bit fussy with Mustard loved it, so if you aren’t a Mustard lover fear not! It’s very mild and you could just add 1 tbsp as opposed to 2 if you really wanted to.

For 4 people you will need:

  • 6 Sausages (go for good quality ones, I used Porky Lights)
  • 150g Mushrooms
  • 300g Penne Pasta
  • 150g Philadelphia Light
  • 2 tbsp Grain Mustard
  • Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Tenderstem Broccoli (we had this on the side, you could have whatever you want)

First slice up the Mushrooms, then squeeze the Sausage meat out of the skin (fun utimes, I know) I squeezed each Sausage into about 4 balls.

Start frying off the Sausage balls, once they had sealed I thought they were a little on the large side so I used a wooden spoon to break them up a bit into smaller chunks

Add the Mushrooms and fry off then turn the heat down, put the Pasta onto boil in salted water.

After around 8 minutes the Pasta will be about there, check its ready but still has a bit of bite left to it, drain and save some of the Pasta cooking water. Add the Pasta and a little of the Water to the Sausage pan and mix together.

Add the Philadephia and Mustard and stir through on a very low heat, you may want to add more of the Pasta water to get a nice silky, creamy sauce.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste and some chopped Parsley and thats it!

We had ours with Veg on the side, it went lovely with Tenderstem but you could have whatever you fancy, Green Beans would be nice too or just regular Broccoli!

Hope you enjoy!

L x