Lifestyle

Mac & Cheese

The next recipe is one of my all time favourite bakes… Chicken & Mushroom Mac & Cheese! It might not be as simple as some of the other recipes on here, but it’s just as delicious! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 250 Pasta (I use Conchiglie, aka: shells)
  • Parmesan, mild Cheddar, Leerdammer, Mozzarella
  • Teaspoon of salt
  • Baby Chicken (cut in four pieces)
  • Chestnut mushrooms
  • Small peeled onion
  • Bay leaf
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Carda-mom’s the word
  • Turmeric powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Cloves
  • Ginger*
  • Garlic clove*
  • Flora butter (light)
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Nutmeg

* optional

Method:

Pasta:

Begin by boiling the 1 & 1/2 litres of water… Once the water has boiled, add one teaspoon salt and then boil again for 2-3minutes. Add the macaroni for 4-5 minutes (you do this because it’s going to cook it some more in the oven later).

Chicken:

Fry the baby chicken in the pot (before boiling) for a bit, adding the boiling water (amount equivalent to a full kettle).

Stock:

To make the stock: include a small peeled onion (whole), one ‘bae’ leaf, cinnamon stick, cracked cardamom, quarter teaspoon turmeric powder, quarter teaspoon cumin powder and two or three cloves. You could add a peeled garlic clove and/or washed ginger for extra flavour.

Boil the chicken pieces for 20 minutes and then take off heat. Remove the chicken from the stock and transfer into sifter to drain the stock. Cover to protect against drying. Once cooled, use your fingertips to debone the chicken into chunks.

1 cup of sieved stock is to be set aside for the macaroni & cheese’s white sauce, with the rest left to freeze for use in another recipe at a later date.

The turmeric prevents inflammation while the cumin prevents bloating.

White sauce:

The white sauce needs four levelled tablespoons light Flora butter, four tablespoons flour, four cups of milk (semi-skimmed is my choice), grounded fresh nutmeg.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add flour (on a high heat) to form a doughy mixture. Then, add gradual cups of milk, whisking as you go along (until it thickens).

Remember, once you start adding the milk, you should also be lowering the heat; this prevents the white sauce from burning. You’ll start to feel it thickening, continue to lower heat until the end and leave to simmer.

The tell-tale sign of ‘ready’ is when bubbles start appearing on the top of the mixture… As soon as you see them bubbles, turn off the heat and take off the hob, adding some grated nutmeg for extra flavour.

You’ll notice that I didn’t add salt, this is because the butter of my choice includes it.

Filling the Macaroni & Cheese:

Now, let’s get cheesy – bring the Leerdammer, mild Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan (1-1/2 cups grated) into the mix. If you can’t locate some Leerdammer, you can use some Gruyere.

1/2 cup of the cheese is to be mixed with white sauce. The rest of the cheese is to be left until the end for garnish and/or mixed in with the chicken and mushroom layers.

One onion, sliced finely, fried with a squirt of olive oil, adding chestnut mushrooms (washed, dried, chopped and peeled – there’s dirt and sand in mushrooms, make sure you clean them properly). Once the onion has been shallow fried, push them to the back of the fryer, making room for the mush! Add the medium sliced mushrooms and turn up the heat to stop water from seeping out.

Mix mushroom and onion with spatula adding a dash of salt, ground pepper. Finally (for this part), add the chicken to the mushroom and onions (same seasoning).

Assembly:

Spread the 1-2 tablespoons of white sauce in the dish (to stop it from sticking), then add half the macaroni, half the chicken and mushroom (adding grated cheese *optional), and half the white sauce + half stock water (adding grated cheese *optional) and repeat.

At the end, garnish with white sauce and grated cheese. In order for the cheese not to burn, spread 2-3 tablespoons of milk on top of the cheese and more mushrooms.

Baking:

Coat the macaroni and cheese dish with silver foil, leave some room between the dish and the coating so as not to stick. Use a fork to pierce some holes into the foil.

At this point, your oven should’ve been preheated to 200 degrees. Before you bake the gratin, lower the heat to 180. Cook for 20-25 mins.

After baking for 20-25minutes, reduce heat to 150 and remove tin foil. Cook it some more for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Depending on your oven, the cooking time should last between 40-45 minutes (in all). Leave to cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Again, I ate the photo (included) too.

Prawn Cocktail

Today, I’ll be introducing you to my favourite three-course meal recipes. These will be easy to make, delicious to eat and a treat to look at.

This first recipe is a twist on the traditional prawn cocktail. I don’t know, can a prawn cocktail be traditional? I think so…

I came up with this while studying Catering at GCSE, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s absolutely delicious and puts a fine-dining twist on the average, bog standard prawn cocktail that we’re used to. It’s delicious.

Ingredients for the prawn cocktail:

  • Fresh King Prawns/Shrimps/Langoustines
  • Avocado
  • Mixed leaves (I chose: spinach, watercress and rocket)
  • Caviar* (for garnish)
  • Dill

*optional

Marie Rose/Thousand Islands Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Tabasco*
  • Lemon juice
  • Ground pepper
  • Dash of paprika*

*optional

Method:

De-poop the langoustines… Yes, there’s a thread of absolute sh*t that runs through its back, remove that.

Next, you’ll want to boil some water and lemon zest together with a pinch of salt (adding a ‘bae’ leaf for flavouring). Once boiled, turn off the heat and take the saucepan off it ready to soak the prawns in boiling water for 3 and a half minutes.

FYI: you’re looking for a coral tone on the shrimps (that’s how you know they’re ready for assembling).

Remove the prawns from the boiling water and transfer into a sieve for drainage, before assembling all the ingredients into your favourite serving bowl/glass.

The assembling part is vital obvs, but everyone does it differently… I start by scattering some mixed leaves on the base, adding the avocado, prawn, and sauce with a sprinkle of caviar. Do this as many times (forming layers) at the end, just garnish with some dill.

Finally, add extra langoustines around the glass for decoration. Can’t have too much langoustines. They’re yummy.

This recipe is so delicious that I ate the picture included.

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award… or as I like to call it: the ‘LIBRA’ (or LOBSTER) award! Thanks to Simply Stella for making me aware of this… I’ll answer your questions as best as I can, considering I’m usually rubbish at question answering.

The rules of a Liebster Award:

  • Give your nominator a mention, linking to their online website for blogging purposes.
  • Answer 11 questions (set by nominator).
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself (again, I’m probably going to have to make some up).
  • Nominate 11 blogs, giving them 11 questions to answer (notifying them of the nomination, obvs).

The questions:

  • What is your favourite food?

The type that you can put inside of the mouth and then consume to an appetising and satisfying extent.

  • If you could have any person, deceased or living over for dinner – who would it be?

Mr Lava Lava.

  • What would you serve them for dinner?

Sushi for starters, Ravioli for main, and a canoodle for dessert (or unlimited access to my biscuit tin/sweets and chocolate cupboard/entire freezer of creamed ice goods).

  • Have you been to Disneyland? Or would you want to go if you have not?

I’d love to go.

  • What is your favourite kids’ movie to watch as an adult?

Enchanted, Bridge to Teribitha, Mulan… There’s a long list.

  • What would be the first thing that you would do if you won the lottery?

Invest/save it and give most of it to my family.

  • Cosmo or Vogue (or your fav magazine)?

I like the women’s weeklies. Is that bad? 🤣

  • Heels or flats?

I can’t walk in heels, at all. Flats. All the way. Then again, I can’t walk in flats properly either atm.

  • Running or yoga?

None of the above.

  • Do you put syrup on your pancakes?

Does orange/lemon juice and sugar count as syrup?

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t know how much growing up is left for me to do… However, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d continue to be a blogger, social media person, and freelance journalist.

My Facts # is 53%YC4N5UV:

  1. I walked for the first time in one week (today) unaided.
  2. My mum is one of the best mums to exist.
  3. I’m currently addicted to Oreo thins.
  4. Love conquers all.
  5. I have a thing for teeth.
  6. I have a thing for eyes.
  7. I have a thing for people who are really funny.
  8. He’s the greatest dancer, that I’ve ever seen.
  9. I have Ride on Time as my alarm and I set it for 6am to wake myself up properly.
  10. When I get hooked on a TV show, I watch every episode again and again, finishing all the seasons.
  11. My brother is lovely (sometimes, and one of the times was when he got me Oreos), like today when we bonded over football.

Nominations:

  1. Honestly, you’re all amazing bloggers in your own unique and beautiful ways… This is why choosing nominees is so difficult! I’m going to have to say my nominees are the first 11 of you to read this post (or whoever wants to). 👍

Questions:

1) what’s your number one beauty product?

2) who’s your number one bae?

3) how long do you usually take to get ready?

5) where do you love to spend your time in the summer?

6) why did you get into blogging?

7) what inspires you the most in life?

8) where would you like to be/see yourself in 5 years?

9) who is the last person you spoke to?

10) how do you define ‘friendship’?

11) why are you such a beaut?

Versatile Blogger Award

ALOHA!

I’m coming to you LIVE and direct from Honolulu, Hawaii aka London town… How GOES it?!

I just wanted to jump on the blogging bandwagon to give major kudos, love and shout-outs to Alexis, one of my favourite ladies in the blogasphere. What an absolute BABE! Bloggers like her are the reason I carry on blogging.

Thank you Alexis for nominating me for my second Versatile Blogger award.

Right, let’s hop to it – the rules should you choose to accept them (like a proposal) are…

  • Give a little thankful R E S P E C T (the way Aretha Franklin does) in the form of back linking to your nominator.
  • Nominate 15 blogging gangstas of your choosing.
  • Link your nom-nom-inedible-ations and inform them about their nomination.
  • Share sieben (seven) FAKTZ about your person/self.

 

(I feel like you know enough, so I might have to write seven FICTIONS instead, for suspense purposes)

  • My next tattoo is going to be a willow tree (this is true.)

 

  • I smell like 8Teen Spirit (fiction.)
  • I kickboxed my way to a tendon tear in my knee (true…)
  • I don’t really know much about life (25 years later), but I’ll keep you posted when I reach level 26 (oh, who am I kidding? True!)
  • I have an Oreo cheesecake in my fridge which belongs in & around my facial arena, making its way inside of my stomach lining (true.)
  • This is the sixth out of the seven facts, I can count, honest. (a fact that showed promise of having nothing to do with me, #selfish.)
  • The definition of a fact is: “a thing that is known or proved to be true”. I, myself, am a fact. I’m no Catfish! You don’t need to set Nev & Max to kick my butt! (true.)

 

15 nominations time… Alright. Who’s it gonna be?

Jheeze, I feel like this is the virtual version of the Sorting Hat scene in Harry Potter…

Okay, here goes:

  1. You, the person reading this.
  2. You, the person reading this.
  3. You, the person reading this.
  4. You, the person reading this.
  5. You, the person reading this.
  6. You, the person reading this.
  7. You, the person reading this.
  8. You, the person reading this.
  9. You, the person reading this.
  10. You, the person reading this.
  11. You, the person reading this.
  12. You, the person reading this.
  13. You, the person reading this.
  14. You, the person reading this.
  15. You, the person reading this.

It’s not a tall order choosing 15 people who read this and I’ll tell you why… ‘Cause this blog isn’t a Giraffe! Bless you all whether you sneeze or not.

LOVE!

❤️

… injured myself while trying to impress a girl or boy I was interested in.

I injure myself with or without ‘someone to impress’… Put it this way, I rode horses for years and I never fell off once. However, since been doing kickboxing and zumba, I’ve been breaking/tearing everything.

… had to run to save my life.

Nope, thank God.

… taken food out of a trash can and eaten it.

Wow. So, is this something to be proud of?! 🤢 If so, I can’t say I have nor want to.

… cried / flirted my way out of a speeding ticket.

N/A. I can’t drive fully, yet… I’m still learning. I’ve got to put some time aside for my theory test.

… taken part in a talent show.

LOL. I actually have. It was when I was younger. I enjoyed it, not sure anyone else did though… 🙈

made money by performing on the street.

Never.

… broken something at a friend’s house and then not told them.

HAHAHAHAH! I have, they knew what had happened, they were there. FML. Can we, like, move on? Like, right now? Thanks.

… snooped through a friend’s bathroom or bedroom without them knowing.

No. Why would I? Who does that? 😂

… ruined someone else’s vacation.

Nope. I have no intentions to either…

… walked for more than six hours.

Was there an Uber, car, train, bus or plane apocalypse? That’s the only exception.

… jumped from a roof.

Karma, karma, chameleon again?! WHAT NOW?! In other words: “do I have a death wish?” No, no I don’t…

… shoplifted.

I can’t lift a weight/dumbbell and you expect me to lift a shop?! No. #ThugLyf ain’t for me…

… seen an alligator or crocodile in the wild.

I’ve seen Steve Irwin at Madame Toussade’s… He’s seen them! So, that counts right..?

… set my or someone else’s hair on fire on purpose.

PARDON?! WHO THE FLIP CAME UP WITH THESE ‘NEVER HAVE I EVER’S? As if that’s something to be proud of, as though it’s a rarity… 😱

… ridden an animal.

Horses.

… had a bad fall because I was walking and texting.

I’m the type to have a bad fall because of gravity, texting doesn’t come into it.

… been arrested.

I’ve been on a police summer camp before – I was a geek at school. So, with that in mind – do you really think I’d ever get arrested? 😂

#REBEL. FFS!

… pressured someone into getting a tattoo or piercing.

Myself? Look, I don’t own anyone else neither would I want to. It’s up to them.

… gone surfing.

Depends, if the internet counts as surfing, I’ve gone surfing a lot.

… walked out of a movie because it was bad.

‘Step Brothers’. It was embarrassing imo. The first scene was not for the faint hearted. Mind you, I’ve heard it gets better. 🙈

… broken a bone.

I break bones like fashionistas buy clothes. So, unfortunately – yes, yes I have…

… tried to cut my own hair.

My fringe. LOL! Let’s just leave it at L O L. I’m no Edward Scissorhands, trust me. More Spice Girls’ Zig-a-Zag-AHHHH!

… completely forgot my lines in a play.

Yes. I have. It was my part in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. 😂

… shot a gun.

WTF? Water pistol maybe. I haven’t even touched arm muscles referred to as “guns” so how you expect me to be within a vicinity of the real thing?! Nah. I want to live!

… had a surprise party thrown for me.

My mum did this for me, bless her! I was 11 years old at the time and she rented out a bowling alley.

… cheated on a test.

GOD FORBID.

… dined and dashed.

GOD FORBID. Although – what are the rules on eating one or two pieces from the ‘Pick & Mix’..? 👅

… gotten stitches.

Not IRL, but I vaguely remember dreaming of it. I’m not even joking. I get really daredevil-ish and brave in my dreams… I’m the opposite in my conscious life. 🙈

… fallen in love at first sight.

Not yet.

… had a paranormal experience.

Yes, saw my grandad’s ghost at my grandma’s house. ❤️

… woken up and couldn’t move.

I have once, it was after doing spinning/cycle at the gym.

… accidentally said “I love you” to someone.

No. However, I’ve said it and realised I didn’t really feel that way afterwards though. As far as I know, true love comes once – and once only.

… hitchhiked.

Nope. I don’t do hitchhiking, I don’t go far enough to…

… been trapped in an elevator.

I have. At my old workplace. Hilarious but scary.

… sung karaoke in front of people.

Every day is karaoke for me.

… been on TV or the radio.

Yes, I graduated from a Broadcast Journalism degree, so there was a lot of radio involved, not mainstream though…

… pressed send and then immediately regretted it.

All the time.

… been so sun burnt I couldn’t wear a shirt.

No. Also, while we’re on the subject – I catch tans like everybody else does fallen stars. #NEVERHAVEIEVER.

… had a crush on a friend’s parent.

PARDON? WTF?! I like the older man but COME OFF IT!

… been awake for two days straight.

Yes, also known as: ‘in-some-Narnia’.

… thrown up on a roller coaster.

If I ever got on one, I’d imagine it’s the first thing I’d do – I just know it! Saying that, I’d probably puke before it even has the chance to take off.

… snuck into a movie.

Yes. And?! Don’t act like you haven’t… Trick is – buy a ticket and then visit all the screens.

… accidentally sent someone to the hospital.

No! Thank God.

… dyed my hair a crazy colour.

No.

… had a physical fight with my best friend.

I have never been in a physical fight, ever.

… had someone slap me across the face.

No. 😂

… worked with someone I hated with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

Eh? No. I mean, there have been people in the past (at uni/school) where I’ve not got along with for whatever reason, but I don’t have time nor the energy to hate anyone or anything. Stay out of my way (or don’t), and I’ll stay out of yours.

… danced in an elevator.

I dance everywhere. Not necessarily good, mind…

… cried in public because of a song.

I cry all the time. I even cried at TED the movie FFS.

… texted for four hours straight.

My best friends.

… chipped a tooth.

Yes.

… gone hunting.

Yes, hunting for makeup or food at the supermarket… That kinda thing, maybe?

… had a tree house.

Not me, but I’ve watched videos of people in tree-houses… 🙈

… thrown something into a TV or computer screen.

No, I’m not an angry person.

… been to a country in Asia.

I haven’t been. I’d like to go though…

… been screamed at by a customer at my job.

NO! NO I HAVE NOT!

DON’T ASSUME OR ELSE YOU’LL MAKE AN “ASS” OUT OF YOU & ME!

… spent a night in the woods with no shelter.

Again, I don’t have a death wish…

… read a whole novel in one day.

I have. The ‘I Heart New York’ book.

… gone vegan.

Vegetarian, not vegan.

… been without heat for a winter or without A/C for a summer.

No.

… worn glasses without lenses.

I have. I love glasses.

… gone scuba diving.

I haven’t. I’d like to go S-Cuba diving though.

… lied about a family member dying as an excuse to get out of doing something.

WTF?! IS THE PERSON WHO CAME UP WITH THESE QUESTIONS/STATEMENTS OK OR..?

… bungee jumped.

I had no choice, it was during a camping trip with my school. Funnily enough, I attended a school. Yes, so I did.

… been to a country in Africa.

I lived in a country in Africa… Sierra Leone.

… been on a fad diet.

Plenty. They don’t work hence the name “FAD”.

… been to a fashion show.

No, I can hardly find time to dress myself let alone watch others flaunt their attire after getting dressed.

… been electrocuted.

Me and my friends give each other electric shocks (somehow) all the time. Kinetic energy. 🙈

… stolen something from a restaurant.

No. I’ve paid for the food I stole from the plate of stuff I ordered though…

… had a bad allergic reaction.

Popchips, blue packet of M&Ms and salt.

… been in an embarrassing video that was uploaded to YouTube.

Probably. I don’t even know… Luckily, if I have, I’ve yet to come across it.

… thought I was going to drown.

Yes. I can’t swim in deep waters.

… worked at a fast food restaurant.

Not as such, I’ve worked out what meals to order IN fast food restaurants though…

… fainted.

Probably. Can’t remember though.

… looked through someone else’s phone without their permission.

Only when they had taken a secret, unbeknownst photo of me (that I wanted to delete)… I get all Ninja-y.

Thanks for reading this tag. All 1470 words of it. Xo