A Strong Coffee

Monday, 23 April 2018

Meal Planning: April 23rd

Apologies for the silence on the blog recently, I have lots to write up about our travels to Thailand, but I have also got a bee in my bonnet about sorting out or house. I guess it is a spring cleaning kind of thing. Last weekend, I sat in our conservatory hating it. It made me realise that buying was great as it gave us more space, but a year on and I was living in someone else's house still. I need to make it into our home. So with that, when the boys had an inset day, I got out my paintbrush and started painting the walls, so it looks cleaner and brighter. It already looks so much better and I will share my efforts with you all soon. For now, here is a sneak peek......


Note to self: tell middle man that his Mexican mask is so good that it should be displayed in his room as may get faded from the sun in the conservatory.

Luckily with the weather being nice, the boys have played outside most of today and we had a quick round of crazy golf. It was lovely to see how much they have improved since last year. Damn it, big man was close to beating me!

This week is going to be a busy one so meals need to be simple. The boys have karate on Monday and then Thursday seems me in and out of the house taking them to various school discos. Saturday my father in law is coming over so we can have a belated 70th Birthday celebration with him. I am hoping I will have time to bake a cake. I am currently trying to decide if it should be a caramel and chocolate one or a larger version of my lemon cupcakes.

lemon cupcakes


Monday: Homemade quiche. My boys love this and I have been meaning to share the recipe for ages, so we are having this for tea after I have taken a picture of it!

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas.

Wednesday: Pork pie and salad.

Thursday: Filled Pasta and sauce.

Friday: Scampi and chips

Saturday: Light lunch and then having dinner out.

Sunday: I haven't a clue. Maybe a BBQ if the weather is good, if not a roast.

What have you got planned for this week?





Hijacked By Twins

Monday, 16 April 2018

Meal Planning 16th April

Well the Easter Holidays are nearly over and it is time for me to get back to meal planning. We have been in Thailand for most of the holidays and whilst I would love to tell you I ate an array of the local dishes, a bout of food poisoning left me surprisingly unhungry and I probably ate more pasta than Thai cuisine.

So what will be on this weeks menu?

Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: Sausage pasta
Wednesday: homemade burgers

Thursday: Fish pie
Friday: Lamb Dhansak

Saturday: Scampi and wedges
Sunday: Lamb hotpot


Hijacked By Twins

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Garlic, Lemon And Chilli Prawns

These garlic, lemon and chili prawns are a fantastic starter or a tasty light lunch. Packed full of flavour they are one of my favourite dishes.


This recipe serves 2 people for a light lunch, but could probably stretch to 4 people as a starter.


Garlic, Lemon And Chilli Prawns

  • 240g frozen raw prawns, defrosted.
  • Bake at home ciabatta
  • Olive oil
  • 1cm cube of ginger chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • a handful of parsley
  1. Bake the ciabatta as per instructions on the packet.
  2. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and red chilli. Place this in a wok with some oil oil and then add the prawns.
  3. When cooked through, add the juice of a lemon to the pan and a handful of finely chopped parsley.
  4. Serve on the freshly baked ciabatta, drizzled with olive oil.





Hijacked By Twins

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Afternoon Tea At Coworth Park Ascot

For my friends Birthday in June, I bought her an afternoon tea at Coworth Park in Ascot. We finally managed to get round to having it in March! I am pleased to say, however, that it was worth the wait.
Coworth Park is part of The Dorchester Collection and is based near Virginia Waters. They have afternoon tea sittings at 2.30 and 16.45.



The afternoon teas take place in the Drawing room, which is quite a small venue and will need booking. I found that the 2.30 slots were booked up a long way in advance. There was more availability on the 16.45 slots and this actually works well as it serves as your dinner. I booked the traditional afternoon tea which had a special offer of a free glass of sparkling wine and was £34 per person plus service charge.

It was particularly nice as there was a pianist throughout the tea. We had a selection of finger sandwiches, warm scones and then a range of delicious pastries. The latter were particularly good. Sometimes cakes can look pretty but taste wise aren't so good. This was not the case here. All were delicious. If you aren't able to finish them, they will give you a little box to take the remainder home.

My particular favourite was this caramel profiterole with shortbread.

coworth park afternoon tea


It was a lovely afternoon tea that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who is looking for a delicious afternoon tea in Berkshire. Now with only a few months to go until her next Birthday, I think we need to be a bit more organised. But where do suggest we go next?


Family Fever

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Win The Little Princess On DVD (2 Copies To Giveaway)

Today I have a giveaway for Little Princess fans, you could win one of two copies of the DVD I Don't Want To Go To Bed.


Abbey Home Media are excited to announce that their first Little Princess DVD is due for release on 2nd April and called " I Don't Want To Go To Bed."

Based on the best selling books of Toby Ross, Little Princess is a hot on Channel 5's Milkshake. This first DVD contains 6 episodes of this animation.

With voices from Julian Clary and Jane Horrocks, I Don't Want To Go To Bed see's the Little Princess lose a tooth, learn to accept help from friends and find value in a night's good sleep.

If your little one is a fan of the Little Princess then you can purchase the DVD from 2nd April from abbeykids.co.uk, Amazon, ASDA, Sainsbury's and all good retailers. I am also excited to be able to offer two of my readers the chance to win a copy for themselves. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Little Princess DVD



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SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Hinds Head, Bray, Lunch Menu

After a weekend at Center Parcs and a feed the big cats experience, the last part of my husband's 40th Birthday present was lunch at The Hinds Head in Bray. We have visited a couple of times before (including a Sunday when the boys were young) and have never been disappointed. The Hinds Head is owned by Heston Blumenthal and offers really good food, but not as theatrical as that at The Fat Duck.

The Hinds Head Bray

It has one Michelin star which I am pretty sure it didn't have when we last went. It also seemed a little more pricey, except for the lunch menu. Now that was amazing value at £25 for 3 courses. There is a catch though. It is a set menu and there is only one choice. To be honest, when I go somewhere like this, I actually like not having a choice. It means I would eat things that I would never have picked off the menu myself and have never been disappointed.

Both my husband and I opted for the three course set menu and also added on a Scotch egg as well.
If you go to The Hinds Head, then I would highly recommend ordered the Scotch egg. They are warm with a runny yolk and a world away from anything you would buy in the supermarket.


Our starter was Cod Brandade. I can say that I wouldn't have ordered this off the menu out of choice but it was delicious as well as beautifully presented.

cod starter - the hinds head


For our main course we had chicken ham and leek pie. It is certainly the best pie I have ever eaten. Flavours were intense and although I would have happily eaten more, the size was just right.

chicken and ham pie at the hinds head

Finally we ended our meal with a sweet treacle sponge.

treacle sponge

When The Hinds Head had confirmed the booking, they asked if it was a special occasion, so they bought out some chocolates and a candle for my husband.


If you are looking for a Michelen starred lunch, with good hearty food rather than complicated, all at a good price, then The Hinds Head lunch menu (Mon-Fri) is certainly worth a try.

Where have you been to have great food recently?


Family Fever

Monday, 19 March 2018

Weekley Meal Plan 19th March

Well I don't know about you, but I wasn't banking on building a snowman this weekend. It was a poor effort, but little man was happy.



This week see'e the boys doing their karate grading so they will have an extra lesson on Monday nights so an easy meal is needed there. To be honest, easy meals all week are on the plan. I seem to be exhausted at the moment and the last thing I want to do after a day at work is spend hours cooking so, simplicity is the key this week.

Monday: Homemade quiche with wrap base

Tuesday: Courgette and feta frittas. This is a Nigella recipe that I haven't made for ages but tastes great.

Wednesday: Parsnip soup

parsnip soup


Thursday: Sausage pasta

Friday: Lamb curry

Saturday: Some kind of salmon. I got a side of it this week and half is in the freezer.

Sunday: Roast chicken.





Hijacked By Twins