Wedding Favours honey rum and matches for sparklers

For our wedding I wanted some personalized favours but really didn’t want to pay lots of money for them. We also wanted to tailor them to our family and this particular brand of honey rum is special to us.

For the rum favours I bought a set of miniature bottles from eBay and some personalized stickers. On our last trip to Gran Canaria we brought back some of our beloved rum and using a funnel I filled each bottle and sealed them up.

We were also having sparklers in the evening so I bought a multipack of matches and used some of the leftover stickers to really make them special.

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Amazon link to the bottles I bought:
130 x Small Glass Bottles with Corks, Perfect for Wedding Favours

And if you’d like our honey rum:
Ron Arehucas Miel, Rum-based liqueur with honey from the Canary Islands, 3 economy Pack 3 x 700 ml

Just a reminder that I also have a wedding planning online if you are planning a wedding and need some practical advice.

My spice collection

One of the best things I’ve doing over many years is building up my spice collection. Every recipe I’ve tried has generally meant I needed a particular type of spice. I don’t like spending too much money so I tend to buy different brands and get the most volume for my money. I also like to pick up different spices and herbs when i’m on holiday if I’ve had a recent local meal and want to try and recreate it at home so I ultimately end up with a whole load of ugly; mismatched containers.

As a result I bought a load of glass jars (see link below) and some labels that I think are usually used for making jam. Every time I now buy a new spice I create a new jar.

I also have larger jars with my homemade gravy mix (which I’ll include a recipe for soon) so using the same labels on them keeps my whole collection looking a bit organised.

A tip though if you do this is to make a note of the expiry date of the spices in a little book or an a spreadsheet online. The alternative option and a general rule of thumb is to completely replace and refresh your spices every couple of years if you are worried. This isn’t just for health reasons but really old spices just don’t taste the same.

Spice collection Homemade gravy mixture

If you want some of the types of jars I bought see below:
Nutley’s 8oz Hexagonal Jam Jar with Screw-Top Lid – Gold (Pack of 6)

Healthy lunch boxes

Healthy lunch boxes prepared

After quite a lot of rich food I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier at work so have been making an effort to put together some simple lunch boxes.

These boxes are from Amazon and are perfect because they gave just the right amount of little compartments.

Yingwei VWH 5 Compartment Bento Style Lunch Box Picnic Food Fruit Container Storage Box For Kids Adult (Pink)

Today whilst I was making dinner I browned off some chicken breasts in the oven and cut them into small chunks. In the other compartments I made a little salad with red onions and tomatoes. I have some tiny bottles of olive oil so I keep that on my desk to make a little side dressing.

For dessert I added some watermelon chunks and some strawberries.

Wimpy Nottingham

This is going to be a bit of a strange review and probably 25 years too late but I wanted to make you aware if you weren’t already that there is still the most perfectly retro Wimpy restaurant available for you to go and try in the UK.

On a random day out in Nottingham we were exploring this lovely little city and after finding a videogame bar and even a videogame museum (go to the Toast Bar inside if you ever head that way too!) we fell across a Wimpy.

The decor; the tables including having your burger on a plate are incredibly retro but most importantly the burgers are still as perfect as they were in the 1980s. The buns are floury and the meat is cooked well.

We now go back whenever we can and hope it gets to stay around as long as it can.

Please go and enjoy it or let me know if there’s another one we need to go and visit.

Wimpy Wimpy burgers Nottingham

Dr Botanicals

May’s beauty finds

I don’t normally cover a lot of Health and Beauty items but in the interests of sharing a balanced set of lifestyle hints and tips and the fact I’ve discovered not only the best beauty finds in May but I they are of the year!

Firstly I’d highly recommend the Dr Botanicals pomegranate sleeping mask. I think I got this in a monthly beauty box but you seem to be able to get it on Amazon with a Dr Botanicals gift set (link below). If you put this on before you go to bed you wake up with lovely soft and clear skin. I used to walk up with slight lines from the pillow and that’s gone away on 2019, excellent! When this runs out I’m going to buying the larger version. I’ve also recommended to my sister and she fed back exactly the same results.

The next items is Caudalie face spray. I found this by watching some beauty vloggers on You Tube and they were using it as a makeup setting spray like Mac fix pro. I do this but also if you just need a little pick me in the day to really refresh your skin it makes such an incredible difference. It also smells amazing!

Happy trying…

Caudalie Beauty Elixir – 30ml

Caudalie

Caudalie

Dr Botanicals – Vegan Skincare – Coco Noir Sensuous Night Repairing Moisturiser 50ml, with Pomegranate Sleeping Mask

P.S. I’ll try and do the same in June as I’ve lot of good beauty items already purchased … eek.

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Quick and easy Lamb Biriani

Hello fresh inspired lamb Biriani

https://www.hellofresh.co.uk/recipe/details/5cb597c9e3f339234a289552

Another Hello Fresh recipe review for today. Lamb Biriani. It absolutely was not all what I expected and will definitely take the recipe and probably add some more chunky bits of lamb and probably move the whole dish to my slow cooker. It was really refreshing to get inspiration though for a meal I’d not really ever had before.

The recipe details are above but in essence you brown off the meat; add the sauce and then the rice and jet all the flavors mix together. Remember to put a lid on as the rice dies continue cooking in the residual steam.

I loved the addition of sweet raisins as I love any meat and sweet dish and I’d highly recommend serving with soured cream.

If you want to join Hellofresh please join at the below location:

https://hellofresh-uk.sjv.io/7BZD3

Easiest fried Chicken burgers

Tonight’s dinner is a cheats one.

I had a sudden craving for fried chicken but didn’t really want the grease from a takeaway. Aldi in the UK has some really good prepared meats and they have at the moment sone southern fried chicken pieces. You simply pop them in the oven and you are good to go.

I added a toasted bun; mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce and a little splash of chili sauce. That definitely hit the craving spot!

Chicken burger recipe

Wing restaurant review.. wing stop London

Wing stop wings chicken

We are huge chicken wing fans. Our favourites are definitely in the buffalo sauce area especially boneless. Our favourite restaurant in the US is Hooters as they have the best medium honey buffalo sauce. In the UK really good wing places are rare and even if you find them they rarely have boneless and never have sauces to compete with the US.

In a recent trip to London we fell across a London branch of Wingstop so had to run in and try it. We picked a medium heat classic sauce with some seasoned fries and a couple of cold beers. The chicken was fried and boneless and coated in the sauce.

The fries were fab and very similar to FiveGuts in flavouring. They were also served with classic ranch dressing which again is rare in the UK as you normally get stuck with blue cheese which is horrid.

We highly recommend the wings and sauce although they could have probably taken even more sauce. We would even go as far as to say they are best wings in the UK and trust me we have tried a lot. I think we will start and wing and burger ranking chart soon and I’ll share them on here.

From a top point of view Wingstop doesn’t take cash so if you head that way remember to take your card with you.

Mini Cottage pies

Whilst wondering what to do with the residual beef from my extra large Sunday lunch beef roast I fell across my lovely little tapas dishes and thought they’d make perfect mini cottage pies.

On that topic is it cottage or shepherd’s pie? After a quick google apparently beef is cottage and lamb is shepherd’s. Who knew?

So it really is as simple as browning off the bits of beef in a pan with butter. Coat them with flour and seasoning and add to the dishes. I the poured on some beef stock; dash of Worcester sauce and balsamic vinegar. I added a few peas then topped with mash potato (residual from sunday lunch).

Bake at 25 minutes at 200 degrees until golden brown.

Serve with veggies and gravy.

Peas

Peas

Mash

Mash

Beef

Beef

Finished pie

Finished pie

Oh and if you want my tapas dishes you can get them at:
Utopia Titan, M14013-000000-B01006, Tapas Dish 5.25″ (13cm) (Box of 6)

Yorkshire Puddings

Easy Yorkshire puddings

Yorkshire Puddings

Yorkshire Puddings

A lazy Sunday calls for a perfect Yorkshire pudding. Over the years I’ve made lots of variants of these including large ones or baby ones. I’ve tried packet mixes and frozen ones and I always come back to the simplest and most traditional method.

In a glass jug so you can pour the batter out add plain flour (ideally sieved); salt and pepper and a couple of eggs. Add milk until the consistency ends up like thick gloss paint so it will pour but it’s not too liquid.

Put the jug in the fridge to get cold whilst you make the rest of the dinner so this tends to be the first job I do in making a typical Sunday lunch.

When you are about 25 mins out from serving dinner pour some sunflower oil in a muffin or cup cake tin to about 1/2cm depth. You can put in the oven at 200 degrees c but I prefer to put it on a baking tray and put that tray on the hob to directly heat it up. This is dangerous so take care to protect your hands and do not Jesse it unattended as the fat will rapidly heat and spit.

When it starts to bubble pour the batter into the trays until it reaches the top of each dent mixed with the oil.

Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes until crispy and tall.