Blogmas 2019, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas Day 27 – Beef Stew

Good evening friends,

Winter is all about food… that’s a lie, life is all about food! And, this is a simple but delicious meal for all the family, especially in the winter months.

I love a beef stew, my recipe changes slightly almost everytime, and I litrally throw everything together, but this is roughly what I’ve been using the past couple of months.

Ingredients

800g of Beef

4x large Potato (peeled and diced)

4x Carrots (peeled and diced)

2x large onions

2x beef stock cube in 400ml of hot water

2 table spoons of tomato puree

1 tea spoon of each – salt, pepper, paprika and cumin

1 half squeeze of a lemon

Method –

I tend to have a few saucepans/frying pans on the go at a time.

  • Peel and dice the carrots and potatos, and boil in a large saucepan until soft.
  • Dice and fry the beef and onion until tender/soft.
  • Defrost the peas
  • Stir the beef stock cubes in 400ml of hot water until they disolve
  • Add all ingredients, stock mixture, seasoning, and the lemon juice to the large saucepan.
  • Put the lid on lightly, lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.

The meat and veg will fall apart and warm you through. And a chunk of buttered bread accompanies it nicely.

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 24 – Christmas Eve Traditions

Good evening friends,

Were just minutes away from Christmas, I cannot wait!

This evening my partner and I spend the last few hours of the evening wrapping presents, snuggled up in our pjs, watching Die Hard 2 and Batman, whilst roasting mashmellows… this is now our Chrostmas Traditions.

Whatever you chose to do, see, eat, spend time with, I hope you have a fantastic Christmas eve, and an even more wonderful Christmas Day!

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 22 – The best Yule Log

Good evening friends,

So, this winter I made my first ever Yule log. I dont know how it’s taken me this long?

I made this This is a super quick, easy, and delicious yule log for my works chrostmas buffet. And it went down a treat!

It is not the prettiest of yule logs, but I did make it in between finishing work and going to the cinema, but, I’m sure with a little more time and effort it would look amazing!

Nigella yule log

FOR THE CAKE

  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons icing sugar (to decorate)

FOR THE ICING

  • 175 grams dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 225 grams soft butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until thick and peaking, then, still whisking, sprinkle in 50g / ¼ cup of the caster sugar and continue whisking until the whites are holding their peaks but not dry.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar until the mixture is moussy, pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract, sieve the cocoa powder over, then fold both in.
  4. Lighten the yolk mixture with a couple of dollops of the egg whites, folding them in robustly. Then add the remaining whites in thirds, folding them in carefully to avoid losing the air.
  5. Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving a generous overhang at the ends and sides, and folding the parchment into the corners to help the paper stay anchored.
  6. Pour in the cake mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool a little before turning it out onto another piece of baking parchment. If you dust this piece of parchment with a little icing sugar it may help with preventing stickage, but don’t worry too much as any tears or dents will be covered by icing later. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel.
  7. To make the icing, melt the chocolate – either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water or, my preference, in a microwave following the manufacturer’s guidelines – and let it cool.
  8. Put the icing sugar into a processor and blitz to remove lumps, add the butter and process until smooth. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and the tablespoon of vanilla extract and pulse again to make a smooth icing. You can do this by hand, but it does mean you will have to sieve the sugar before creaming it with the butter and stirring in the chocolate and vanilla.
  9. Sit the flat chocolate cake on a large piece of baking parchment. Trim the edges of the Swiss roll. Spread some of the icing thinly over the sponge, going right out to the edges. Start rolling from the long side facing you, taking care to get a tight roll from the beginning, and roll up to the other side. Pressing against the parchment, rather than the tender cake, makes this easier.
  10. Cut one or both ends slightly at a gentle angle, reserving the remnants, and place the Swiss roll on a board or long dish. The remnants, along with the trimmed-off bits earlier, are to make a branch or two; you get the effect by placing a piece of cake at an angle to look like a branch coming off the big log.
  11. Spread the yule log with the remaining icing, covering the cut-off ends as well as any branches. Create a wood-like texture by marking along the length of the log with a skewer or somesuch, remembering to do wibbly circles, as in tree rings, on each end.
  12. You don’t have to dust with icing sugar, but I love the freshly fallen snow effect, so push quite a bit through a small sieve, letting some settle in heaps on the plate or board on which the log sits.

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 21 – Christmas Meal with friends

Good morning all,

Last night, a group of friends and I met for our annual christmas meal. We’ve been meeting up every christmas for over 10 years now, I cant believe how the time has flown by!

I had a few errands to run yesterday, picking up parcels, collect and deliver an oven for a friend, meeting family etc. My stomach was still very painful and I was feeling rough but I’d stopped being sick, so thought, just power through.

Comfy and cosy OOTD

Stripy Jumper – M&S

Jeggings – H&M

Knee High boots – New Look

Bag – Paul Costello

Scarf – cant remember but blooming snuggly

My boyfriend and I got home about 2pm and I was ready to call it a day.

I snuggled up on the sofa with him for a bit and slowly drifted off. I contemplated cancelling plans with friends, but thought if I havent been sick today then just power through. I really didnt want to, but I got into bed about 4pm and had a hour and a bit nap. I can’t stand being ill.

I woke up just before 6 and got my glam on.

I let me hair down before my nap, and slept on it in a good position as I woke up with amazing bed hair… hardly any frizz. That never happens! For the first time ever I wore my hair naturally big and curly for a night out, it may not seem like a big deal but for me it is, especially as my hair freezes so easily. I wanted to embrace and rock the natural look.

Eye shadow – Bella Pierre, Liquid Shadow Eye Candy

Lip – NYX Sandstorm

Dress – Boohoo

Shoes – Matalan

I wore the same dress that I wore to my works Christmas do 2 weeks ago. Yes yes, I am an outfit repeater. Who isn’t? All I could think of was…

‘Lizzie McGuire you are an outfit repeater!’

We met at Michelangelo’s in Ryde. A gorgeous italian restaurant, to have a christmas meal with a twist.

For my main I had the Turkey;

Turkey breast parcels stuffed with spinach and Provolone cheese, wrapped with smoked bacon, roasted in oil and white wine, served with Fagiolata (Borlotti beans stewed in tomata sauce with rosemary) Sauteed potato side‘.

Oh my goodness, it was the most scrumptious turkey I’ve ever tasted!

For dessert I had a tiramisu. It was so rich light and fluffy, perfection!

After coffees and a shuffle around the table to have a chat, we headed to a bar for a drink, whilst some of the group had a boogie.

11pm hit and we decided to head home. Since I havent been feeling well, I decided to have soft drinks for the night and to drive us there and back.

When I got home I realised the richness of the food wasnt the best idea. The stomach pains were incredible. Compared to the toast and dry foods I’ve had the past 72 hours, my body didnt know what the heck was going on!

Apart from the stomach cramps, we had an absolute incredible time with friends, I love that we all make the effort to see each other, even if once a year. I feel extremly thankful to have these people in my life.

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 20 – No more please

Good evening friends, Blogmas day 20, and we are finally back on track.

We are also feeling extremly unwell.

‘Tis the season’, for catching a cold, sickness bugs!

I had terrible stomach pains and waves of sickness yesterday at work.

A sickness bug has affected a few at work and I was hoping that I was just being paranoid.

Hoping it would pass, I finished at 5 feeling sorry for myself, and then cancelled plans in the evenings.

Although at the time I was just feeling rough, my partner and I were due to meet friends, one, who is pregnant. I dont want to be around anyone, especially someone pregnant when I feel ill.

That awful sicky and cramping feeling stayed with me all of last night, I woke up this evening ready for work, thought I’d have a nice shower to freshen up, and then quickly jumped out to be sick.

Joy.

I have to say, I’m not the best ill person. I’m stubborn. I hate laying around feeling unwell and having my stomach gurgle, waiting to be sick.

I also hate the fact that I’ve only been at my new job a few months and I’ve had to take a a off sick. That’s really sh*t.

I feel weak and crappy; hungry but only braving small pieces of dry food.

My body is aching, and feels bruised. My head hurts from dehydration (I’m scared to drink more than a few sips of water at a time), I’m frustrated laying here in certain positions trying to get comfortable and fed up of the sharp pains.

I have a weekend full of christmas fun to look forward to and will be irritated if I miss anything.

So here to resting up, binge watch another season of Sex and the city, having a festive fun weekend and kicking ass at work on Monday!

Apologies if this comes across as a negative post, but I’m feeling terrible, and just because its blogmas, doesn’t mean we cant be real and honest

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 18 – The food bank

Good afternoon friends,

This blogmas post is short, fast but important.

This year, I’m sending out a friendly reminder that Christmas is about love, giving, sharing, and making memories. Well, that’s what it means to me.

For some this season is all about decorations, a tree, presents and masses of holiday food, and if you do or dont decide to celebrate christmas that way, then each to their own, what ever makes you happy.

A christmas dinner I feel, is important its just one meal, with maybe a few treats around it.

This year, the same as last, I’ve been donating to the local food bank.

Buying the trimmings and sweets for Christmas day can really add up, and not everyone is as fortunate to afford it.

A few items whilst shopping, with the intention of donating the few pounds worth to the food bank could make the world of difference to a family for that one special day.

I understand that food banks recieve more at christmas, and then less through out the year, but surely they could, if needs be, put goods by for next month?

From next month, I’m going tintry to rememeber to buy £5 worth of food for the food bank each month. It might not seem like alot, but £60 a year could really make a difference.

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 17 – Super Drug Bloom Advent Calender

Hello friends,

There I was, strolling through Superdrug minding my own business, and then BAM!

I’ll be honest I saw the

‘was £70, now £10′

Before I even saw the product, but I was intrigued!

I bent down and peered to the bottom shelf to see this huge, gorgeous, advent calender! The advent calender had some serious weight to it, and contained 24 gift boxes.

I’ve decided to do a ‘no spend January’, and to spend less as I’d like to be able to save more money and eventually buy a house. With that being said, buying offers like this are a great way to stock up and save a little in the long run. And yes it was a treat to myself

Superdrug are seriously pulling it out of the bag this year!

I had a mooch on the back and was wowed by the products. I bought it immediately!

I know that this is a 24 day advent calender, and they traditionally have numbers on the doors/boxes but I kind of love that this ones different. You can pick and choose what size door you want on what day.

Put me on the naughty list … I opened them all at once… you’d do the same!

In this advent calender I recieved

CONTENTS

1 x Mandarin and Lime Basil Eau de Toilette 100ml
1 x Pink Peony and Cashmere Eau de Toilette 100ml
1 x Dark Berry and Jasmine Eau de Toilette 50ml
1 x Orange Rose and Amber Eau de Toilette 50ml
1 x Mandarin and Lime Basil Body Lotion 100ml
1 x Pink Peony and Cashmere Body Lotion 100ml
1 x Dark Berry and Jasmine Body Lotion 100ml
1 x Driftwood and Sea Salt Body Lotion 100ml
1 x Orange Rose and Amber Body Lotion 100ml
1 x Mandarin and Lime Basil Shower Gel 100ml
1 x Pink Peony and Cashmere Shower Gel 100ml
1 x Dark Berry and Jasmine Shower Gel 100ml
1 x Driftwood and Sea Salt Shower Gel 100ml
1 x Orange Rose and Amber Shower Gel 100ml
1 x Mandarin and Lime Basil Hand Cream 35ml
1 x Pink Peony and Cashmere Hand Cream 35ml
1 x Dark Berry and Jasmine Hand Cream 35ml
1 x Driftwood and Sea Salt Hand Cream 35ml
1 x Orange Rose and Amber Hand Cream 35ml
1 x Mandarin and Lime Basil Eau de Toilette 15ml
1 x Pink Peony and Cashmere Eau de Toilette 15ml
1 x Dark Berry and Jasmine Eau de Toilette 15ml
1 x Orange Rose and Amber Eau de Toilette 15ml
1 x Eau de Toilette Travel Pouch

Ten pounds people! I told a few of my girlfriends about the boxes, and proceeded to buy 3 more boxes the next day on their behalf.

I believe 2 are going to be kept for themselves and 1 other is going to be given as a present. I know I’d be over the moon if I recieved this for Christmas!

I haven’t heard of Bloom to tell you the truth, but their range is gorgeous.

Their products are sold all year round, I dont know how I’ve missed them. The Eau de Toilette retail at £10 each at 100ml, a fantastic price!

The Eau de Toilette’s are buildable, and with such a variety to choose from you can easily mix and match them to create your signature scent One of the sprays wasn’t quite to my taste, but the rest of them along with the body lotion, shower gel and hand cream were lovely!

Bloom also had a 25 days of Christmas candles set which I’m tempted by… if they’re still in stock… it’s happening!

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 16 – Chocolate Island

Hello there friends!

I’m playing catch up with my blogmas, it’s been a crazy busy couple of days, but any who, heres day 16!

Last weekend my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to an afternoon at Chocolate Island.

This gorgeous chocolate shop and cafe is located in the town of Godshill, on the Isle of Wight. The town itself is small and cosy but with so many hidden gems.

I bought us a voucher from a site for Isle of Wight residents called ‘The Price is Wight’. The voucher was valid for 2 people, for a Belgian Chocolate Luxury Tapas for 2!

To get to the cafe you have to walk through the tempting shop, which sells an array of incredible chocolates.

Loose chocolates, wrapped gifts, chocolate houses, chocolate lolly pops… more than you could wish for!

We booked a table and arrived at lunchtime for our tapas. There was seating outside but the weather was a little wet and windy

We bought a pot of tea for 2, and then sat eagerly waiting for our sweet feast. It did not disappoint!

We had the option to choose 2 out of 3 dipping chocolates. These included, dark, milk or white. We chose milk and white, and asked for them both to be refilled at one point, and at no extra cost.

Our feast included –

  • Fresh warm churros
  • Ice cream
  • Marshmellows
  • Selection of fruit

If you ever have the chance to visit chocolate island, I strongly recommend it. We were filled until dinner time, and extremly satisfied!

Have you visited Chocolate Island or somewhere similar?

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019, Hauls

Blogmas Day 15 – Boots Advent Calender/Full face of make up

Good evening friends,

I have been a absolutely loving advent calender’s this year!

Last week I picked up this Boots beauty calender online, which includes 24 doors, filled with make up for just £12.50!

I didnt look at any spoilers before I bought it, and said to myself, if I can do a full face of make up with the products, then I will.

Here’s what I got…

A highlighter,blusher, bronzer

Sparkly brown eye shadow, soft light brown, sparkly grey

Eyebrow powder, Eyebrow setting cream

3 lip glosses, pink, peach, light pink

2 nail varnishes – Pewter and Pink

I am seriously impressed with this calender!

For my make up look, I had to use my own primer, concealer and mascara as they weren’t included, but I did use the tools in the calender to apply the make up.

Before

Fresh out the shower, no make up, no filter, and wet hair

After

The bronzer was a lovely colour but the brush was alot thinner and not as fluffy as my day to day one, so I almost felt as if I was drawing stripes on my face. It took alot to blend!

Also I use a soft pencil to thicken/fill in my brows, which you can be precise with, the brow powder was easy to apply, but it was far too light for my brows, and just covered a large patch instead of allowing me to give the front of my brows a more natural look.

The lip glosses didnt really have a difference in shades but that’s fine. I used the stronger pink which was a silky soft application, and was non sticky.

Blush isn’t really a product I gravitate to, but I quite like the rosy cheeks look.

I went for a discrete eye look, as I didnt think silver glitter was appropriate for sunday lunch?

I applied the glittery brown, lightly to my lids, and under my lower lashes, the silver in the corners of my eyes, the brow powder along my lash line as I didnt have an eye liner, and a little of the brow setting cream on my brow bone.

I think this look is simple but pretty. I’m going to get use out if all of this products, the only think missing would be a mascara, and then I’d be happy to rock this look solo.

Blush, bronzer, highlighter, lips, eye shadows, nail varnish’s and beauty appliances is amazing, an absolute steal!

This is a great advent calender for any age, skin tone, and level of experience with make up.

Have you used any Beauty advent calender before? And would you reccomend it?

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 14 – Christmas Carnage at Strings

Last night my other half and spent the evening at Strings bar and venue, for another round of Wrestling!

In the summer, we attended our first wrestling match, and it was fantastic!

The first half was awesome, but we were excited to see my friends Matt (Maxx Carnage)

During the interval the hard rock band ‘Any Road’ performed. They were bloody brilliant. 2 of the members, Jon and Tom, are old school friends, I definitely need to watch them more often. Both of them have incredible voices and are insane on the guitar, and there drummer was equally brilliant. Such a fantastic set!

After the interval Maxx Carnage was announced.

This time round, the wrestlers were even more interactive with the crowd.

When Maxx Carnage stepped into the ring, we knew it was going it be a bad ass match. At one point the wrestlers had stepped out of the ring, pounded upstairs where Maxx had his competitor by the neck threatening to drop him off the balcony into the ring. I loved it! Of course these men are trained but you never know how far they’re going to take it!

For just £7 a ticket, we spent the evening being entertained, cheering and booing, and listened to some superb live music.

A bit of a random Blogmas post this year, but hey ho, it was a great night!

Kaya •