Oh my goodness, it’s Christmas next weekend. How did that happen? I feel like I’m not entirely ready for it yet so want to get a move on with planning my recipes for the festive period. I shared a round-up of my previous Christmassy recipes last week (including 2 types of gingerbread, coffee shop hacks and some Christmas cake ideas) but my favourite part of Christmas cooking is preparing snacks. I love to have hot crunchy savoury treats in the oven throughout the holidays (and mince pies too, of course) just in case a guest arrives. Surely, there’s nothing better than being welcomed into a home with a big plate of nibbles and treats, is there??I’ve made star tarts, pastry rolls, pizza twists and leftover pasties in the past but never have I attempted to make my own crisps. While I loooove crunchy crisps, I do worry about how healthy (or not!) they are, and I know that I’ll be tempted over Christmas. So when I began craving fried snacks I started to do some research into healthier ways to make my favourite treat. Let’s face it, I’m going to want to eat them all month long, and will definitely be dishing out bowls of crisps on New Years Eve too!It turns out that it IS possible to make crisps without a deep fryer, and all you need is a microwave. Considering that I got a new Panasonic steam combination microwave about three months ago, I was feeling very confident that I’d be able to pull off making my own crisps. It’s got a great range of power settings so knew I’d be able to adjust the power accordingly to get that perfect crunch. Well, noone wants a soggy crisp, do they? Here’s how I got on and the recipe for (wait for it…) parmesan and smoked paprika potato chips.Ingredients: Potatoes (1 ‘jacket’ sized potato will make a small bowlful of crisps), olive oil (or you could use Fry Light for an even healthier version), salt and pepper, dried parmesan and smoked paprika.
One of my favourite foodie treat is nachos. I think it’s the ‘sharing’ nature of nachos that pleases me so much when I see it on a menu. It means that the plate will be massive and I’ll get to enjoy an extra cheesey nacho treat alongside my own meal. Found on many pub menus these days, it’s a dish that I look forward to whenever I go out for dinner and it’s something I’ve tried to recreate many times on Saturday nights at home. It’s a dish that works with any combination of toppings; chilli beans, guacamole, salsa and hummus. But my favourite topping of all is nacho cheese and that’s the recipe I’ve tried to recreate today with the help of a tube of Primula… Ingredients: 75g butter, 75g plain flour, milk, a whole tube of Original Primula cheese and approx. 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (depending on taste and how spicy you like it!)
- Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
- Quickly stir in the flour to make a paste.
- Add a splash of milk and stir quickly to mix into the paste.
- Keep adding a little milk at a time until you have a smooth sauce.
- Squeeze in a whole tube of Primula Original cheese, or Primula Light if you prefer.
- Sprinkle in cayenne pepper and/or chilli a little at a time to taste.
- Pour over crisp nacho chips or use as a dip in a separate pot.
It’s such simple recipe and really quick to make, thanks to the speed of stirring needed in order to make the sauce smooth and creamy. The Primula cheese makes the sauce lovely and creamy as well as really cheesy – so much so that you don’t need to add any extra grated cheese. And if you leave out the chilli or cayenne, it’s the ideal cheese sauce for cauliflower cheese or macaroni cheese so it’s well worth whipping up a huge batch, yum!Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe and leave me a comment if you have any ideas of different ways to flavour the cheese sauce – perhaps a cheese ‘n’ chive sauce would be good for cauliflower cheese? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated so please do get in touch and let me know your favourite way to eat cheese sauce!
Are you taking part in the #WomanKind campaign this month? I’ve been really excited about getting stuck in to this ‘me-time’ project so you might have spotted a few posts over the last couple of weeks about looking great on a budget. If you miss them, here are my posts on starting your new year in style with a wardrobe makeover and hunting out payday footwear bargains. I’ve been sharing thrifty tips and really throwing myself into the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign by supporting my lovely readers to get some great fashion deals and grow in confidence at the same time.I especially love joining in with this campaign because its aim is to encourage women to be kinder to themselves, and that’s something that we all need to work on. The survey I read on the #WomanKind site shows that a whopping 89% of women never compliment themselves and are much more likely to be kind and loving to others than they are to themselves. I really think it’s time to change that and this is precisely why I’m getting stuck into this campaign.
Today’s blog post is something a little different to my usual Pieday Friday recipe posts. In the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign I’m sharing money-saving tips for eating well and healthily this new year. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to make a change to the way you approach meal times AND treat yourself with the care that your body deserves.
Tip 1 – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to eat healthily. You don’t need any specialist meal-replacement products or new kitchen equipment. Yes, swapping sugar for fruit-based sweetener and cooking oil for Fry-Light will help you make your meals and drinks much healthier, but these are probably the only two things you’ll need to make a big change. From here on in you can make your own healthy ‘instant’ meals, mix up your own fruity yoghurts and bake your own low-sugar snacks so there’s no need to invest in speciality foods. You just need to put a little effort into caring for yourself (yes, be #WomanKind to yourself again!) and spend some time preparing fresh dishes that will make you feel great on the inside, as well as on the outside.
Tip 2 – take the time to eat well. This tip can be interpreted two ways and the first is to actually Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Eat well & healthily this year” »