The Best Slaw Recipe Ever…

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Hi there,

After a lazy few weeks on the blogger front I managed to get my act together and finally finish this post. I just need to do the same with the other four posts I’ve half written! 

The sign of a good recipe is when you come back to it time and time again and that it precisely what happens with this recipe, which I’ve been making since 2012. However, I seem to have become completely obsessed with it and I have made it every week for the last month or so.  

What makes this recipe stand out from all the other coleslaw recipes is the dressing. Most coleslaws tend to be pretty heavy as they are usually drenched in a creamy mayonnaise so I love how light and refreshing this dressing is. I’m a big fan of white wine vinegar so it pairs perfectly with the mustard powder and seeds.

 

Although you are supposed to use both red and white cabbage in this recipe I tend to only use one if I can’t buy two small cabbages otherwise it becomes an absolutely gigantic portion and much too big for two people even if you’re eating it for four days solid, like I normally do! I have made this slaw with both red and white cabbage and I think it tastes much better with the red cabbage, even though it turns everything purple. I try and stick with the same ingredients when I make this slaw, but I see no reason why you can’t throw in whatever you’ve got in your store cupboard or fridge. Another reason why I love this recipe so much is that I get to chuck everything in my food processor so while mine doesn’t look as appetizing the pictures in the magazine it certainly takes less time to prepare, which is always a bonus.  This slaw goes with pretty much everything, but my favourite way to eat it is with a crispy jacket potato and a side of tuna and onion mixed with crème fresh and Dijon mustard.

You can find the recipe here.

Suz x

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Dates

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Hi there,

Making banana bread has been on my baking to-do list for the best part of two years. However, I’ve never found a recipe that inspired me enough to put it to the top of the list until now. When I made this bake, I’d had no internet connection for almost a week so it’s surprising how much housework and baking you can do when you have no distractions!

Having made two batches of granola along with some Deliciously Ella ginger and cashew balls (blog post coming soon) I was at a loose end with some over ripe bananas and plenty of coconut oil to use up so I decided to make this vegan banana and walnut bread and I was thrilled with the results. 

This is a lovely little recipe, which is really simple to make and is perfect for those days when you have no eggs or butter to hand, but decide you want to make a cake. I love the combination of bananas and dates in this cake as well as the texture, which seemed to get better and better as the days went on. The toasted walnuts add a lovely crunch and the only fault I could find with this cake is that I needed to cook it for an extra 10 minutes, but luckily it didn’t taste dry. 

I have already made this cake again, in fact as soon as it cools down I will be having a slice with a nice cup of coffee. And with three jars of coconut oil to get through I can definitely see this cake being made again in the very near future! 

The recipe can be found here. The only change I made from the original recipe is that I used wholemeal self-raising flour instead of white self-raising flour.

Suz x

Polenta Chips with Cheese and Herbs

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Hi there,

I’m not the biggest fan of polenta cakes, but when it comes to polenta chips it’s a whole different story and I was determined to have a go at making my own even though I don’t own a deep fat fryer. I duly bought the polenta, but then as per usual with me I left it sitting in the cupboard for a few months. So after looking at the packet all sad and lonely in our pantry yet again I finally got my act together and decided to look for a recipe online.

It didn’t take me long to find one and I have to say that I had great fun ‘playing’ with the polenta as the texture reminded me of plasticine, which I spent many a happy hour playing with when I was a kid.

The mixture made up in full

The mixture when halved

What I like about this recipe is that the chips can be made up ahead of time and kept in the fridge or they can be frozen if you want to use them later. I have made these chips twice now and I definitely found the recipe easier when I halved the ingredients and used a smaller whisk as the polenta can become very thick and hard to work with.

The full amount also makes up a fairly big portion so unless you are cooking for a lot of people or you’re planning to freeze half a batch then I don’t think you need that much mixture. I also think these chips shouldn’t be left in the fridge no longer than three days to ensure they are still fresh. 

The first time I made these chips I cut them much thicker so even though I cooked them for around 35-40 minutes the texture was still a bit chunky and they didn’t taste very nice. However, I persevered and the second time around I cut them much smaller so the outer shell became wonderfully crisp and the middle was lovely and fluffy.

The best thing about this recipe, after the taste of course, is the fact that you can cook these chips in the oven and instead of the usual olive or coconut oil I used Carotino oil, (not sponsored) which is a bright orange red palm fruit & rapeseed oil. As well as giving food a beautiful golden colour it is also supposed to be healthier for you. 

I love both the taste and texture of these chips and the fact they are so quick and easy to make. I’ve already made up a third batch for the coming week so I can see these becoming a firm favourite in the Shhdonttellhim kitchen. Hopefully I won’t get fed up of them any time soon! 

These chips go with just about anything, but my favourite combination is with chicken, steamed veg and rainbow sweet and sour slaw.

I found this recipe online here.

Suz x

Shop My Stash – Part 2

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Hi there,

Having spent the last few weeks trying to use up as much of my skincare stash as possible I thought it would be a good idea to apply the same logic to all my half-finished bath, body, hair and make up products.

I must admit that there is something very satisfying about using up products with abandon and as you can see my pile of empties is growing by the day.

Products I’m trying to use up include:

  • Aromatherapy Associates Lotion – I prefer to use body creams over lotions so I don’t find this all that moisturising so I wouldn’t buy it again.
  • Aromatherapy Associates bath and shower oil in Revive – I love these little oils especially when used alongside my favourite bath soak as it makes my bath extra nourishing so I will definitely buy more of these oils again in the future.
  • Pure Lakes massage and bath oil in Grapefruit and Lemongrass – it’s taken me ages to get through this little bottle so while it smells nice I wouldn’t buy it again as it’s not that easy to get the oil out of the bottle.
  • Burberry blush in Earthy – I’d forgotten how much I liked this blush and even though I’m desperately trying to finish it up I would buy it again at some point in the future.
  • Max Factor crème puff blush in Seductive Pink – I think these Max Factor blushes are really great and up until I bought my Becca blush palette it was one of my most used products. However, having put it to one side and forgotten all about it I’m happy to have found it again and it’s become a regular in my make up bag again.
  • Malin and Goetz shampoo and conditioner – considering how expensive this shampoo is the packaging is absolutely dire and every time I use it I end up with letters all over me and the bathroom. I didn’t used to have a problem with this shampoo and conditioner, but the last few times I’ve used it I’ve had an allergic reaction to it so I think I may have to chuck these rather than finish them.
  • Macadamia rejuvenating shampoo – I don’t have much to say about this shampoo. It is ok, but pretty unremarkable so I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.
  • Macadamia deep repair masque – this is one of my favourite hair masques, which I’d completely forgotten about as it was stuffed away in my beauty cabinet. I love how soft and shiny this leaves my hair so I will totally buy this again.
  • Tarte powder foundation – I have a love/hate relationship with this foundation mainly because it’s taken me so long to use up as I’ve never been completely happy with the colour, which I think is one shade too light. I’m a big fan of mineral powder so although I’ll be buying another powder foundation in the future it won’t be this one.
  • Daisy by Marc Jacobs – this perfume always reminds me of Canada as I bought it in the airport to take on holiday with me. I love the bottle, but the scent is not one of my favourites so I wouldn’t repurchase it again.
  • Sugar Lychee by Fresh – I bought this in one of my favourite shops (Sephora), although I couldn’t say which one as I did visit quite a few times in various cities and while I like the sweet, citrusy scent I’m not sure I would buy it again. I would like to try the lemon sugar scent at some point in the future though.

As well as identifying a few products I wouldn’t buy again the good thing about this project is rediscovering a few old favourites, which I will definitely re-purchase again in future. And of course once all these products have been used up the fun can start again!

Suz x

Sweet Potato and Courgette Fritters

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Hi there,

I’m a big fan of spicy bean burgers as they are a great alternative to potatoes. They are also an easy option after work as you can just throw them in the oven. However, it always concerns me that shop bought frozen food might be full of salt and fat so I try to limit the amount we eat.

Where possible I always like to cook from scratch so when I saw this recipe I was really excited. In the back of my mind I thought I could ditch the frozen variety and make up a big batch to freeze and use up as and when needed.I love the flavours and the texture of these little fritters, but what surprised me most was the actual process of making them. I find them very soothing and enjoyable to make, mainly because I get to play with my food processor as well as various spices.I was planning to put this recipe up on the blog weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist experimenting with some of the ingredients so I thought I would wait until I’d tried a few different flavours. In total, I have made these fritters three times and each time they were a great success.As well as sweet potato and courgette I have also made these with carrot and sweet potato, and parsnip and carrot. Although I loved the taste of the sweet potato I have admit that my favourite combination was parsnip and carrot as the sweet parsnip paired really well with the mustard seeds, garlic and turmeric. However, I don’t see why you couldn’t use whatever you have in your store cupboard to make up a batch. 

Portion wise I get around 8-9 fritters out of this mixture and we eat them over two days. Funnily enough I still haven’t got around to freezing a batch yet, but as I find them so enjoyable to make I’ll probably stick with making them fresh each time. 

These fritters have become a firm favourite in our house so with summer just around the corner I think these would be perfect with some juicy chicken, garlic mushrooms and halloumi cheese or with an amazing sweet and sour rainbow slaw. They also go surprisingly well with the cacao chilli con carne I featured on the blog a few weeks back.

Ingredients:

  • 300g grated sweet potato
  • 100g grated courgette
  • 3 spring onions
  • 3 tbsp spelt flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 garlic cloves (or squeezy garlic)
  • 2 tbsp coconut/normal oil

Method:

  1. Whisk the eggs and combine with the grated sweet potato, courgette and onion (can be done by hand or in a food processor).
  2. Add the garlic, turmeric, flour and mustard seeds, and mix until well combined.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6-8 patties or smaller if you want more fritters.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the fritters for four minutes on each side, or until they are dark brown.

Recipe taken from the Happy Kitchen Cook book.

Suz x

Cinnamon Buns

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Hi there,

I finally got myself sorted and managed to write up one of the many blog posts I’ve been planning over the last month!

I love going out for coffee and cake, but I would never choose a cinnamon bun. However, it’s a completely different story when it comes to homemade buns as I love working with enriched dough.

Enriched dough is so easy to work with and I haven’t had any disasters with it so far. I find working with this type of dough very soothing as I love how puffy it looks when it has been rolled out. It’s also very satisfying when it comes to adding all the ingredients and slicing it up to reveal it in all its glory. 

A few weeks back I was asked to make some cinnamon buns for my husband’s work colleagues so with a Sunday afternoon to spare I dug out a Paul Hollywood recipe and a few hours later I was admiring and taste testing my cinnamon, mixed fruit and chocolate lemon drizzle buns.

I baked mine for 20 minutes as per the recipe. However, I think I could have got away with taking them out of the oven around the 18 minute mark as the buns on the top shelf looked a bit darker than those on the second shelf. These buns are best eaten on the day as they seemed a bit dry the next day so I’m not sure if this was down to the cooking time or whether they should be eaten straight away. 

Overall these tasted amazing so I will definitely be making them again, but I might experiment a bit more with the baking times. However, I plan to stick to the original recipe next time and see if apricots and cranberries are as much of a winning combination as chocolate and mixed fruit!

Suz x

Current Favourites

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Hi there,

It’s been ages since my last favourites post as I haven’t been buying any new makeup lately. Instead I’ve been enjoying what’s in my collection and apart from the Fresh sample I’ve been using all the other products for months. And surprisingly for me I’m still not bored with them.This is my all time favourite eyeshadow palette and it’s life changing in that I don’t think I ever want to use another brand of eyeshadow again! As well as amazing pigmentation and staying power I can get so many looks out of it as I use pretty much all the colours in it, which is rare for a palette. 

Amazing eyeshadow – just don’t look at all the powder kick up!

Eyeshadow has always been my thing so although I’ve downsized my collection over recent months I still have a few products that I can’t bear to part with and which I try and force myself to use once a week. I can’t see myself buying Burberry or Too Faced eyeshadow again though.

Green – Navy – Plum – Brown – Charcoal – Black

I can’t live without my eyeliner and I’ve been blown away by the Jouer slim crème eyeliners since I got them last year. My favourite is the matte brown, which I’ve almost finished (gutted) closely followed by the matte charcoal. I hope Cult Beauty start to stock these individually as I’m already getting jittery about what I’ll do when I have finished them.

I’ve never been a fan of liquid liner as I find it hard to use and a lot more time consuming to apply. However, this Bourjois felt tip eyeliner has completely changed my opinion. I love how black this liner is and how easy it is to apply. Although I would never wear an eyeliner for 24 hours I am happy with how it performs over the course of the day as it stays in place without smudging. This eyeliner has a lovely consistency and I love wearing it on the top of the lid with the charcoal shade on the water line as it creates a really nice contrast.One brand I’m becoming completely obsessed with is Delilah Cosmetics. Not only do I like being able to support a British brand, but their products are absolutely amazing and well worth the extra money. I love using the brightening and illuminating powders as both products give a lovely glow to the face. They are both finely milled and the smaller size is just perfect. I have a big wishlist for this brand and as there isn’t much online in the way of reviews I’ll be sure to add more posts as and when I buy more products. I want to get the loose powder, the lipstick in Hush, the blusher in Clementine and the Farewell Concealer when I work out my shade. I took this Fresh vitamin nectar sample on holiday and managed to slather it on my face three times before it ran out and it didn’t disappoint. Not only did it smell great, but it left my skin so soft that I couldn’t stop stroking it. The texture was a bit gloopy, but it didn’t bother me too much. This mask felt like such a treat and while I liked using it I wouldn’t say my skin looked more radiant.

This is a great pampering mask and although I liked how soft it made my skin I’m not sure I could bring myself to spend £52 on it. However, if they were to release a 30ml sized pot around the £20+ mark I would definitely invest in it.

What products have you been loving lately?

 Suz x

Out with the Old and in with the New: Bath and Body

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Hi there,

I wish I was one of those spendthrifts who only liked make up. However, my spendthrifty ways have not only seeped over into skin products, but bath, body and hair products too. Following my recent shop my stash post I realised how much ‘stuff’ I have so I have decided that I’m only going to buy products as and when I need them from now on.

Out: As you can see from the all the empties I definitely had a thing going for Molton Brown in 2016. I have to say this is a lovely brand and one I will definitely be investing in again. I like the texture of these body washes as they aren’t too thick or runny. I also enjoy being able to get hold of the smaller sizes so that I can test as many different scents as possible. My favorite is the Honeysuckle and White Tea bath and shower gel closely followed by the Rhubarb and Rose body wash.

Out: Another favourite brand of mine is The Bath House Shop. Every time I visit Knutsford or Ambleside I always like to pick something up. One of the newer scents to be released is Pomegranate & Blackberry, which is very fruity and light. This scent isn’t overly sweet, which I like and although it’s probably classed as a summer scent I couldn’t get enough of this throughout the winter. I got through this bath soak in record time and I would definitely purchase it again.Out: When it comes to skincare I’m a big fan of Fresh, but at £16 (now £18) this bath and shower gel didn’t wow me as I was expecting the scent to make more of an impression and be a bit more zingy. I really like the sugar range so having taken a gamble on this product I did regret my decision to buy it. I probably wouldn’t buy this again even in another scent as the texture isn’t as nice as the Molton Brown products.In: At £7 this Patchouli and Black Pepper bath soak was an absolute bargain and I deeply regret not buying another bottle as it should have been £20. Alongside the discontinued Amber Noir and Vanilla this is my favourite scent so I will definitely be enjoying this over the coming months.

In: One of my favourite things to do when I go on holiday is to pick up a new perfume as I like to use it throughout the week so that the scent always reminds me of my holiday. My recent break in the Lakes was no different so this time I decided to treat myself to some more products from the Pomegranate & Blackberry range. I picked up a new soap and a 30ml Eau De Parfum for £25, which I thought was good value.In: I’d been eyeing up this exfoliating soap from Fresh for months so when I saw they were offering free delivery I decided to hit the buy button as it meant I could add another three samples to my growing skincare sample collection! I didn’t realise how big this soap was when I bought it, but it’s absolutely massive and probably three times the size of a normal bar of soap.

I’ve used this a few times and while it’s nice and a great exfoliator I don’t think it’s worth the price. Then again this soap has recently gone up in price by £2 so maybe I’m still peeved that I paid extra as you know how much I like a bargain! However, as this soap is so big I’ll probably never need to buy another one anyway.

Suz x

Coffee and Walnut Traybake

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Hi there,

I love coffee, I love walnuts and I love traybakes, but until now I’ve never brought them all together in one cake. I’m a big fan of the recipes featured in You Magazine so when I saw some of the cakes featured in last weekend’s pull out I couldn’t wait to make the espresso and walnut cake. I’ve never made anything from Lorraine Pascale before and as I had quite a few espresso pods lying around I thought I’d make it for Mother’s Day. As well as featuring coffee this cake also appealed to me as it doesn’t require too many ingredients, is relatively quick and easy to make, and it’s just one of those chuck it all in and mix type of cakes, which is always a bonus if like me you’re short of time.

Having already made three batches of granola before starting this cake I was surprised that no disaster befell me and 36 minutes later I had a perfectly cooked and even cake ready to be decorated with a deliciously moreish coffee buttercream.

This cake was light, fluffy and full of flavor, and I enjoyed it so much that I gave most of it away! This is one of those cakes that is perfect with a cup of coffee, but it tastes so nice that you can’t stop eating it so I had no choice but to pass it on otherwise I would have eaten the lot myself.

You can get eight very generous portions or 16 acceptable portions from this cake and I highly recommend giving it a go. I know I will definitely be making this one again. The link to the recipe can be found at the top of the page.

 Suz x

Shop My Stash: Skincare

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Hi there,

When it comes to skincare I have tendency to buy something, enjoy it for a while and then get distracted when something bigger and better comes along. So as you can imagine with all this chopping and changing I have built up a bit of a back log of half used products.

In the spirit of turning over a new leaf and not being such a spendthrift (not sure how long it will last!) I have a number of products that I want to use up over the coming weeks. Some I didn’t like (Elemis night cream, Enzyme mask), some I got bored of (GlamGlow treatment, Elemis skin buff) and others I just forgot all about them (Origins serum, Aromatherapy Associates moisturiser and oil).

  • Fresh soy cleanser
  • Elemis toner
  • Elemis Tri-Enzyme resurfacing night cream
  • Elemis skin buff
  • Aromatherapy Associates orange flower moisturiser
  • Aromatherapy Associates refining face oil
  • Origins serum
  • GlamGlow dualcleanse treatment
  • Flint+Flint serum
  • Flint+Flint enzyme 3 mask

In future I am only going to buy products that I know I will love and which I will definitely use up. And that means not buying any new skincare until I’ve used up all of the above products.

Wish me luck in being sensible for once!

Suz x