Tom Kerridge Pea & Ham pasta. (We used pancetta!)

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I’m going to be super lazy with this post and literally just attach photos of the actual book and the recipes for you instead of writing them out word by word, but you still kinda get the drift! I cook all the pasta in our household and I must say, this recipe was seriously seriously easy! Anybody could make it and it’s really quick too! A few of the ingredients we didn’t use, for example anchovies.. neither of us like those so we left them out! And instead of ham we used M&S pancetta. But yeah overall this is super easy and yummy!

There’s nothing quite like the smell of garlic, onions and pancetta cooking away is there?

I also found it super weird how the recipe tells you to add the frozen peas into the boiling pasta once cooked! Something I’d never actually done before but totally makes sense now.

We served ours with some rocket, grated Parmesan cheese, and garlic bread too of course!

Rating out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe and if you think you’d give it a go yourself! If you like carbonara type dishes, you’ll love this!

Sending love as always,

Mrs Chalke x x

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Char-grilled courgette & lentil lasagne. (Plus pancakes for breakfast!)

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It’s called balance, and I have been truly spoilt today by Tazmyn who made me buttermilk peanut butter pancakes and strawberries for breakfast, and then another brand new recipe this evening! One being considerably more calories than the other, but we don’t need to talk about that!

She’s promised I’ll get pancakes again on Valentine’s Day (our tradition!) so I’ll hold her to that, because they were amazing.

What do you eat your pancakes with?

Back to this posts recipe!

Char-grilled courgette & lentil lasagne

Cooking time: 1 hour & 15 minutes.

Serves: 4

Calories: 320 per serving.

Ingredients:

🌸 2tsp olive oil

🌸 1 large onion finely chopped

🌸 2 cloves of garlic crushed

🌸 2 x 400g tinned green lentils drained & rinsed

🌸 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

🌸 60ml Water

🌸 2tsp fresh thyme leaves

🌸 300g courgette sliced thinly

🌸 3 dried wholemeal lasagne sheets

🌸 2tsp finely chopped basil leaves

🌸 200g ricotta

🌸 60ml skimmed milk

🌸 1 egg

🌸 20g finely grated Parmesan

🌸 50g rocket

🌸 1tsp lemon juice

Method

1. Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion & garlic and cook, stirring for 5 mins until the onion softens. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water and the thyme and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°c/Gas mark 6. Lightly grease an oven proof dish.

3. Meanwhile, cook the courgette on a heated oil griddle pan, over a medium high heat for 1 minute each side or until tender & then set aside.

4. Spread with one third of the lentil mixture over the base of the dish. Cover with half of the lasagne sheets, trimming to fit. Top with half of the remaining lentil mixture, then the courgette, basil and remaining lentil mixture. Over with the remaining lasagne sheets.

5. Blend or process the ricotta, milk & egg until smooth. Spread evenly over the lasagne sheets and sprinkle with Parmesan.

6. Cover the lasagne with tinfoil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for a further 25 minutes until golden & the pasta is cooked. Stand for 10 mins before serving. Drizzle the rocket with the lemon juice and serve with the lasagne. (I had mixed salad instead!)

We absolutely loved this dish & actually preferred it to regular lasagne. We are a huge fan of lentils lately, and would definitely have this again! There’s so much left for lunches!

Out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I hope you all enjoyed this recipe, tomorrow evening we’re actually eating out but I’ll most likely blog that too!

Sending love, as always.

Mrs Chalke x

Gnocchi with peas, pesto & spinach.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

🌸 50g chopped baby spinach

🌸 100g defrosted frozen peas

🌸 4tsp fresh pesto

🌸 3tsp crème fraîche

🌸 500g pack of gnocchi

🌸 basil to garnish (optional)

Method:

Put the spinach and peas in a non-stick pan with some seasoning and a splash of water, and heat, stirring, until the spinach has wilted. Add the pesto and crème fraîche, and gently heat through. Cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling water following pack instructions then scoop out with a slotted spoon into the spinach pan. Toss everything together, then serve in warmed bowls topped with a basil leaves for garnish if using.

I hope you enjoyed this post, this dinner was super quick and easy! We don’t often eat gnocchi but will definitely be making it a more regular thing in our household! So many things you can do with it too!

Lots of love,

Mrs Chalke xxx

Hoisin beef stir fry.

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Tonight in the Chalke household/kitchen was hoisin beef stir fry, that I found in the latest edition of Bella magazine if you’re in the UK. This entire meal is 388 calories (without rice) and is packed full of flavour! If you didn’t want to do rice on the side like we did, you could go for noodles or toasted pita breads, both would probably work just as well.

This recipe was super easy to follow, and I’m all about that pak choi life right now. If you haven’t tried it, you need to, it’s delicious!

What you’ll need to make this:

🌸 1 tsp sesame oil

🌸 1 fresh red chilli finely chopped (we used 2)

🌸 2 cloves of garlic crushed

🌸 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

🌸 80ml Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry

🌸 80ml soy sauce

🌸 800g beef strips (we used frying steak)

🌸 100g Fresh shiitake mushrooms

🌸 500g pak choi halved

🌸 4 spring onions

🌸 60ml Water

🌸 60ml hoisin sauce

🌸 1 fresh long red chilli sliced thinly

Method:

1. Combine the sesame oil, chilli, garlic, ginger, half the cooking wine and half the soy sauce in a large mixing bowl. Add the beef and stir to coat in the marinade. Cover and chill for 3 hours (ideally overnight!)

2. Heat half the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Stir fry the undrained beef mixture, in batches until the beef is browned all over & just cooked through. Remove from wok.

3. Heat the remaining peanut oil in the wok and stir fry the mushrooms, pak choi, onion and the water. Cover and cook for 5 mins or until the vegetables are tender.

4. Return the beef to the wok with the hoisin, pak choi and remaining soy sauce. Stir fry until the pak choi leaves are just wilted. Serve the stir fry with the thinly sliced chilli. (We added sesame seeds to ours too!)

This takes around 35-40 minutes in total to cook and serves 4 people, although Tazmyn and I easily finished it off.

Out of 5 stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe! Tomorrow is gnocchi so look out for that!

Lots of love,

Mrs Chalke xx

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Day 3 in Barcelonaaa

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We’ve been pretty boring this holiday, literally just ate, slept and drank all day. I’ve been drafting my blog posts in the afternoon when Tazmyn has a nap, in between reading Lily Allen’s book, which can I just say is amazing.

I waited for what felt like forever for this book, and so far it’s been everything I wanted it to be and more. Yes I have loved Lily Allen since my early teens, strangely not a huge fan of her music but of her as a person. I love her voice (not singing voice) and how she comes across in interviews, I recently watched her interview she did with the BBC regarding her stalker who she had been dealing with for years and years of her career (you can find that interview on YouTube!) anyway it was about an hour long and I was just sat intrigued in how she spoke and how she came across. Very hard to explain but the things other people probably don’t notice, I always do. She interests me and always has done. So this book written by Lilly herself has described the ups and downs of both her personal life and career. She talks about her childhood, her marriage to Sam Cooper and her 3 babies, including her first born son who she sadly lost. I’m almost finished the book now, and it took me less than two afternoons to finish it. I’d highly recommend it if you like Lily Allen and want to know more.

Yesterday we took a train from right outside our hotel to a little town called Calella. The train journey was super cute, it was mainly filled with old people, it was €2 per person for a return and you could jump on and off the train as many times you wanted throughout the day. We got off in Calella and had a wonder about the town checking out some of the shops. We stopped at a bar for a drink and contemplated having lunch there too but decided against it in the end and thought we would have lunch at a beach bar we loved right outside our hotel instead. Once we got the train back to our hotel, we headed across the road to the beach bar Molokos. We sat right on the sand and it was beautiful. I had tagliatelle carbonara and Tazmyn had a wrap and chips.

Today have been super lazy, had a late breakfast, pancakes again duhhh, then went up to the rooftop and sunbathed for a few hours, it’s 26 degrees today but super windy so we stayed up there until lunch, ate and then came back up to the room. I had pasta again for lunch, and I never thought as an Italian girl I would be saying this, but I’m actually sick of pasta now. Give me a roast dinner!

We’re going to get showers in an hour or so and then go for a walk along the strip down past our hotel and see if we can find a nice bar/restaurant to have dinner at.

I haven’t brushed my hair in 3 days but,

Lots of love,

Marks & Spencer Food Porn

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It’s Saturday. Strictly come dancing starts tonight, no it’s not a false alarm, strictly come dancing is actually starting tonight. My favourite time of year is approaching us and that only means one thing.. Saturday treat night!

We have made it our tradition to always have a nice dinner every Saturday during the autumn when Strictly and X Factor are on the telly. Sometimes we’ll cook something nice, sometimes we’ll get a take away. Whatever we fancy really. Today, we decided we’d take a trip into town, have coffee and cake in M&S cafe, and then pick out something nice for dinner downstairs in the food hall. I adoreeeee M&S who doesn’t? Everything is so plush and fancy.

We couldn’t agree on any of their meal deals for £10, I was hoping they’d have steak but they didn’t. Tazmyn isn’t too keen on anything with beef, and yeah just wasn’t feeling the vibe.. so we came across a Chinese take away box for £10! I know, £10 it almost seems like some kind of sick joke but nope, really only £10! They had an Indian box for £9 as well but we fancied Chinese tonight. Inside the box you get:

Egg fried rice

Beef in black bean sauce

Vegetable chow mein

Battered chicken breasts in sweet chilli sauce

Sweet and sour chicken

4 large spring rolls

– because we are even bigger piggies on Saturdays, we got an extra dish of crispy shredded beef because it’s our fave – which was £4.50 and then we picked up a little portion of salt and pepper chicken for £2.50 and then a bag of prawn crackers for £1. Some may say, well you could get an actual Chinese take away for the same price, but actually you can’t, Chinese take aways here are super pricy at about £5 per dish, so we definitely got a bargain with lots of little bits and bobs. Plus, in case I forgot to say it already, MARKS AND SPENCER IS THE BEST! didn’t you know?

Have you tried any of the M&S meal deals? What’s your treat meal?

– this post was drafted last Saturday, so if you’re reading today, there’s no strictly tonight because they’re training 😩 it starts again next week I believe!

My quick & easy Chilli

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I kid you not, when I met Tazmyn she categorically told me she hated mince and hated chilli con carne, which was a bit of a pain because I’m Italian and I love lasagne and chilli. Anyway, after a lot of persuading she let me make her my chilli con carne one time, and of course loved it, and now asks me to make it almost every week! It’s nothing fancy, it really doesn’t contain many ingredients and it takes absolutely no time at all to cook, but it’s amazing and it’s one of the very few things I can actually cook (I know I know 🤦🏻‍♀️)

So, what you need to make my super quick and easy chilli is:

500g of steak mince

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

1 tube of tomato purée (but we only use half!)

1 tin of mixed taco beans (I prefer these to just regular kidney beans, because these are in a hot spicy sauce and add more flavour!)

250g of mushrooms

40g of chilli seasoning (you can buy packet mix for example Schwartz or Coleman’s) but mine contains, chilli powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano & crushed chillis)

What I do:

Okay so wash your mushrooms and get them sliced, pop your steak mince into a pan on hot heat, and add the mushrooms

I use fry light whenever I cook anything, never oil but it’s entirely up to you what you use.

So cook the mushrooms and the mince until the mince is all brown and the mushrooms have softened, once you’ve done this, DRAIN YOUR FAT, I genuinely can’t think of anything more disgusting than to leave the fat from the steak mince in your chilli, so definitely make sure you drain this until there’s absolutely none left in the pan.

When you’ve done that, bring the pan back to the stove and go ahead and add your seasoning.

Stir the seasoning into the beef and mushrooms, and then continue to add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, taco beans and your tomato purée, I only use half a tube of tomato purée simply because otherwise it tastes a bit too rich in tomato but it’s entirely down to preference.

Once all your ingredients are in, reduce the heat to really low, pop a lid onto your pan and leave to simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour. You can make this chilli using a slow cooker too if you have time, otherwise in a pan is just as good. By leaving it for the 45 minutes to an hour, this makes the chilli much thicker and richer and it cooks nicely.

I serve my Chilli with tortilla chips and rice, but you can have it with whatever you like, wraps, jacket potato etc!

Let me know if you decide to give my very quick simple and easy chilli a go and what you think of it if you do 😘