Cocktail Hour 馃嵏 Aldi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Frozecco 馃嵐

As you know, for my Daughters Birthday I made Cocktails for them – I thought this weekend I would make some more – for us this time 馃構


Aldi kindly sent me a bottle of their gorgeous Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, I am not just saying that because they sent me it, it’s something I buy whenever we have something nice to celebrate – for 拢7.99, to me it tastes as good as any Champagne 馃聽They asked me to try one of their Cocktail recipes ‘Frozecco’ 聽馃嵐



路 150ml Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Aldi, 拢7.99
路 20ml fresh orange juisce
路 1 cup frozen whole strawberries
路 1 teaspoon honey
路 Garnish with fresh strawberries or oranges
路 Blend all ingredients together until smooth
路 Garnish with orange slices and/or strawberries as desired
路 Serve immediately


This is lovely and refreshing, like a grownup slushy


don’t forget to top the strawberries and freeze them overnight.


Perfect for a summer evening in the garden with friends – Cheers!

Kir Royale


For another Prosecco combination, what about a Kir Royale, this traditionally is a French aperitif made with Champagne and a splash of Creme de Cassis in the bottom of a champagne flute


It is just as fabulous with the Prosecco – an amazing aperitif for a summer dinner party 馃嵕


As I was in Cocktail making mode, I will also share one of my favourites too – this is a strong one, not for the feint hearted 馃槣

Expresso Martini

250ml Frozen good quality coffee
100ml Vodka
30ml Coffee Liqueur
30ml Franjelico (Hazelnut liqueur) *optional


You could use 50ml very strong expresso and 200g icecubes – I froze 250ml strong coffee overnight.


I add all of this to the Thermomix and whizz for a few seconds on speed 7


Pour into glasses garnish with a few coffee beans and enjoy…..

Here are some other Cocktails I have made聽A White Lady聽and聽Cocobay Mojito

what are your favourite Cocktails?

Please note We are having food with this – just burgers and salad for me, jacket spuds for Hubby – well you have to have a balanced diet 馃ぃ


Chicken Satay and Lettuce Wraps. Mid Week Meals

Back to work today, which was hard after a lovely 5 day break 馃様


Last night I took out 3 Aldi Chicken breasts from the freezer and defrosted overnight in the fridge. Satay chicken for dinner 馃槏聽I would normally use boneless chicken thighs, but we have had BBQ a lot recently and the breast what what I had left.


I cut these into large strips

IMG_4137marinated in chilli (as much as you like) 2 crushed cloves of garlic, soy sauce, a squirt of honey and a tablespoon of Veg oil.

IMG_4139for at least an hour, overnight would be good


Thread these onto skewers ready to BBQ – you can oven bake or grill just as easily I am just taking advantage of Hubby’s BBQ addiction 馃檭

For the Satay sauce I am using the Thermomix but this can be made in a pan, just takes more stirring.



Into the bowl, I add a peeled, halved small onion and a peeled cloves of garlic and a s much Chilli as you fancy, whizz these on speed 4 for 5 seconds, then scrape down the bowl add a tablespoon of Veg oil and cook for 5 minutes, heat 100 speed stir (or finely chop the onion and garlic and sweat off in a pan)


Add a heaped tablespoon of brown sugar, cook again at heat 100, speed Stir for 3 minutes. (Or add to pan and gently stir till sugar starts to caramelise)聽Add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce


3/4 jar of peanut butter

IMG_4143and half a can of coconut milk, at this point it will look revolting and cook for 5 minutes heat 100 speed 2.

This sauce can be adjusted to taste, more soy, more sugar etc and can be cooked down to a thickness you like, or loosened up by adding more coconut milk.


The Satay sauce keeps well in a jar in the fridge and reheats well. A good dipping sauce for crunchy Veg too 馃槈

IMG_4146We BBQ the chicken till cooked through then, for Aldi super 6 Romaine lettuce leave to wrap with the chicken and drizzled Satay sauce – I love this sauce – Yummmm….


IMG_4147Dinner is served 馃槏

The men had Wraps and salad.




Party Time… 馃嵏馃嵐

Just a brief one today, we have been busy getting stuff sorted for the party – I don’t think the queen has this much fuss – I know it’s self inflicted, no sympathy required 馃構


Hubby is on garden duty, the gazebo is up, chairs and tables ready to positioned, electric is available for the DJ boyfriend- neighbors have been warned/invited – thankfully  sadly this will all be over by 10pm at the latest 馃ぃ馃ぃ


I have been baking, which is lovely on the hottest day of the years so far 馃寢

As I said yesterday I use Nigella’s cupcake recipe, it’s simple and tastes great


for 24 cupcakes I mixed 250g unsalted butter with 250g sugar and a blob of vanilla bean paste, till light and fluffy, add 4 eggs, one at a time to the mix, then add 250g of self raising flour about 1/4 at a time – add a little milk till the mixture is ‘dropping constantly.


Spoon into the cases, don’t overfill them, half to 3/4 full is enough

IMG_4100Into a preheated oven (200) for 15 minutes, then leave to cool.


I made the icing sugar yesterday, the buttercream icing is simple, add 250g unsalted butter to the mixing bowl with a small blob of vanilla bean paste, beat till pale, then carefully add 500g of icing sugar, a bit at a time so it doesn’t look like a snow storm in the kitchen.  You can colour this at this point – I am making 2 batches, one natural, one pale pink.


Spoon you icing into a large icing bag, with a star nozzle at the end, in today’s heat I popped this into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm a little.

IMG_4106I start with a blob of icing in the middle of each cake, and with a continuous swirl.

Decorate to suit – these are truly easy to make and look lovely, even if I do say so myself – great fun to make with kids 馃


The salads are finished off.


The watermelon sliced and plated.


The cakes arranged.


Cocktails are go…


Hubby is Grill King


Lets Party……….



Party Prep 馃

Tomorrow we are hosting a Birthday BBQ for our Daughter and her friends for her 21st.


Today is prep day and we have been out shopping, the BBQ meat is from Iceland, as I saved some vouchers especially for this purpose- just the normal Burgers, sausages plus spices Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawns as they are her favourite – we are not going OTT. I have some Field Mushroom and Halloumi for the Veggies 馃構


I also got some frozen Macaron- they are so pretty and taste amazing and at this price I couldn’t make them.


For a healthy sweet kick, sliced watermelon


To go with savoury I am making 2 basic salads, one a giant Cous Cous Salad – I boil this in plenty of water for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and pop back into the pan with a good glug of olive oil to keep it from sticking together – I am leaving this to cool, and will add finely sliced spring onion, cucumber, red pepper and a whole pack of chopped coriander and mint, Stir though with salt, pepper and lemon juice till ‘right’


The other a homemade coleslaw

IMG_4089I make this in the Magimix with the slicing and grating blades – I could make it in the Thermomix, but it Chops the veg and I prefer it sliced – this will be finalised tomorrow.

Instead of a Birthday cake, I am making 21 cupcakes, the base recipe I use is from Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book. These will be made tomorrow.


I make my own icing sugar in the Thermomix a kilo of icing sugar costs 拢1.70 on Sainsbury’s website, a kilo of Aldi granulated sugar is 59p

IMG_4067I add 250g of sugar and a teaspoon of cornflour to the Thermomix bowl and whizz at speed 10 for 10 seconds, stop, shake the bowl, and whizz again for another 10 seconds – I pop a sheet of kitchen roll between the measuring cup and the lid to prevent a billow of icing sugar


Repeat this till the sugar is used – hey presto – a kilo of icing sugar 馃

I am keeping these simple with pale pink rosette icing with shop bought ‘toppers’

When Grace was tiny, she couldn’t pronounce ‘Grace’ and as everyone called her Gracie, she shortened her own name to Ce-Ce (see-see) that was lengthened to Cupcake – like Families do 馃檮 聽So her birthday cake had to be Cupcakes 馃槆

IMG_4080For drinks, I said I would provide a toast drink, we are making聽Strawberry Dachari’s for those who like them from Homemade frozen Stawberry pur茅e , vodka, Lime juice, crushed ice, whizzed up in the Thermomix聽馃槈聽Aparently Cocktails are very ‘in’, I personally would prefer an Expresso Martini 馃槆


We also have a huge bottle of Prosecco to toast her with – I might even share it with others 馃ぃ聽Loads of soft drinks too

I am sure she will have a fab night, they are going onto a night club afterwards – we will be on Cleanup duty then flaking out 馃ぃ Just one more 21st to go (youngest) then they can arrange their own parties 馃

Cauliflower Tikka Masala – Meat Free Monday – World Meat Free Day

Monday again, very busy week ahead…. 馃槒

Anyway, dinner, fancied a curry, so thought I would try Cauliflower Tikka Masala, I found the recipe聽Here聽and by pure coincidence they have a lovely video of their trip to the Isle of Wight, so if you are interested in our little piece of the world, do have a look 馃槉聽Its on the right hand side of their page


Now onto food… the original recipe is for 6 people, so I have halved it and, of course fiddled to use what I have

I am making the sauce with the help of my Thermomix, but this could easily be made with a knife and some patience 馃槈


Into the Thermomix bowl, I added a halved, peeled large onion, 2 cloves of peeled garlic, a good inch of peeled ginger, a fat red chilli (I used chilli flakes as didn’t have fresh) and whizzed on speed 8 for 5 seconds, scrape down the bowl and add the stalks and some leave from a bunch of coriander – whizz for another few seconds.


Into a large pan, add a splash of Veg oil, gently heat, then add the aromatic mixture, stir through till starting to cook.


Then, add a big blob of tomato pur茅e, 1 teaspoon each of Garam Masala, turmeric and half a teaspoon each of ground coriander, paprika and cinnamon.


At this point


add a tin of coconut milk


Stir together and let it simmer for a few minutes to let it reduce a little – season to taste – I added some lemon juice to brighten the flavours a bit.


I took a whole Cauliflower and cut into medium-sized florets,


popped into the sauce to cook through and thicken up 10 minutes or so should do it.


Serve with whatever you fancy – Poppadums – rice – naan – a big old salad



I am adding a spoon of Greek Yoghurt (which means it’s no long vegan) and a good dusting of chopped fresh coriander 馃槏

Kerala King Prawn Coconut Curry and Cauliflower Rice

The weather has turned yuk, the wind was so strong last night I thought our house was going to be doing a ‘Dorothy’ from Wizard of Oz 馃ぃ

Anyway, I want something warming and I found聽This Recipe聽on BBC food, and thought it looked good.


I start by defrosting Iceland King Prawn, they take a few hours , or overnight in the fridge.


When defrosted, drain and mix in the juice of half a lemon, and leave to marinate whilst you make the sauce.


I am using my trusty Thermomix, but as the link shows it’s easy to make without 馃檭


Into the Thermomix bowl, I add a halved, peeled medium onion, 3 fat, peeled cloves of garlic, a peeled inch of fresh ginger


whizz these at speed 9 for a few seconds, scrape down the bowl


then add the stalks and a few of the leaves of a bunch of coriander and whizz again for 2-3 seconds at speed 4, scrape down again.


Heat a little veg oil in a heavy bottomed pan, then scrape the onion/garlic mix into the land and gently cook till softening.


Add a half teaspoon of turmeric, 6 cardamom pods, a teaspoon on cinnamon and enough chilli powder to please your palate


Stir though and continue to gently cook.


Add a can of coconut milk, stir in and cook again for a few minutes, till slightly reduced


season to taste.


Add the prawns, and cook for a few minutes till the prawns are pink and plump and just cooked through.

Whilst your sauce is cooking, make the Cauliflower rice.


Now, if you have never heard of this, you must have been in hiding – I wasn’t convinced when I first heard about it- but it works, with a decent curry sauce, you really can’t tell the difference to actual rice 馃槉


This is mega easy to make, take about 1/4 of a small/medium cauliflower per person and either grate,


or put into a food processor and whizz for a few seconds till the Cauliflower looks like – you guessed it – rice!!!! 馃


I then pop the Cauliflower rice into a microwaveable dish and cook for 2 minutes, Stir though, and that’s it – ready to serve


A spoonful or 2 of the cauliflower rice, topped with the creamy Prawn curry and a sprinkle of fresh coriander to finish 馃槆

I love Prawn curries, and will choose that above almost anything else on a menu – perfect midweek treat.




Spaghetti, Meatballs, Homemade pasta sauce back to work bluerhhhh…

You know those days where you really wished you stayed in bed…. 聽well this is one of them, so lazy dinner, Spaghetti and Meatballs for the Menfolk – I do make my own pasta sauce though 馃槈 I may just have an omelette with salad as I am too hot to be bothered with much.


I am using a pack of 20 mini Meatballs which are in the freezer from Musclefoods, I will gently fry these off till browned and cooked through, ready to stir though the pasta and sauce.


For the sauce – made in the Thermomix, I add a halved peeled onion, 2 peeeled cloves of garlic, a roughly chopped carrot and a roughly chopped stick of celery and whizz on speed 6 for 10 seconds, scrape down the bowl


add salt and pepper then add a glug of olive oil and cook at heat 90 for 5 minutes, speed Stir.


Add a tin of tomatoes, a squirt of tomato pur茅e, and some fresh oregano or dried mixed herbs, a pinch of sugar cook for 20 minutes, varoma heat, speed 1 – I place the rice bowl,on top of the lid to prevent sauce from splashing as it cooks down.


Hey presto – spaghetti sauce 馃槉 A fresh tasty version, not the sweet sticky neon red gloop you can buy in a jar 馃憤


I set this to one side, rinse the bowl and top up with water to 2 ltr mark, add a pinch of salt and ‘cook’ at heat 100, reverse speed 1 till it gets to temperature – add a handful of spaghetti and watch it do its little dance for 10 minutes, till cooked through.


Drain the spaghetti, add to the Meatballs, add sauce and mix together



Dinner is served – not a jar in sight 馃槈


And a quick shot of mine 馃槉 A cheddar cheese omelette 馃槣