Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas – Christmas Day Cooking

Good morning friends,

Christmas day for as long as I can remember is all about seeing family and friends, as many as you can cram into one day.

Multiple minced pies, crackers pulled and countless cups of tea. Well, we partly did that!

We had a relaxing morning, opening presents, listening to Christmas music

We only had a light breakfast and cuppa’s during the day, ready for our festive feast.

We social distanced with family, face timed and called loved ones.

And for the first time ever, I cooked Christmas dinner. In years past I would have assisted here and there, but this year I cooked Christmas dinner and all the trimming, and absolutely loved it.

I seasoned the chicken, I went rogue, shocker, taking it out every 25 minutes or so to baste it, as add the roast potatoes that seasoned in the juices, all was cooked to perfection.

I minted the lamb chops and smoothered the carrots and parsnips so that they were honey roasted.

Pigs in blankets were another ‘must’.

I had to be clever with the arranging of the trays, the doubling up and timings, but all went to plan

I over cooked, as we will have meat and stuffing sandwiches, chicken curry, chicken soup etc for meals through out the next couple of days

After dinner, and a sit down all was packed away ready for the next couple of days, watched Home Alone and had a tipple

Is it just my family tradition, or does everyone cook a little extra for the coming days?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas X

Kaya •

Blogmas 2020

Blogmas – Christmas Biscuits

Good afternoon friends,

If you’re looking for quick, easy, classic Christmas style biscuits, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

Christmas Biscuits

I bought a pack of 10 Christmas cutters for just £4.99 from amazon, and a variety of icing pens and sprinkles from B&M for a few quid each

Ingredients
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature100g/3½oz caster sugar1 free-range egg lightly beaten1 tsp vanilla extract275g/10oz plain flour

To decorate
400g/14oz icing sugar
3-4 tbsp water
2-3 drops food colourings
Edible glitter

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale, light and fluffy.

  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined.

  • Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough.

  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm/½in.

  • Using biscuit cutters or a glass, cut biscuits out of the dough and carefully place onto the baking tray. To make into Christmas tree decorations, carefully make a hole in the top of the biscuit using a straw.

  • Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

  • For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring.

  • Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and sprinkle over the glitter. Set aside until the icing hardens.

A no fuss recipe, for relaxing and fun decorating fun by yourself or with family, FYI the biscuits go well with a cuppa tea

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya, Isle of Wight

Farmhouse Fayre (Supporting Local)

Good afternoon friends,

I hope you’re all keeping well!

Now more than ever, it is essential to support your local business’s.

For the past year or so we have been visiting Farmhouse Fayre, our local Green Grocers. Before lock down, we would visit every other Saturday to pick up our goods.

I dont know if its because I love to cook, or picking out your own fresh fruit and veg subconsciously makes you think your food will taste better? Who know? But our trip to the green grocers always out a smile on my face.

The staff there are so lovely, helpful and kind. They’re wonderful at recommending what might mix well for certain dish’s, how to cook/cut certain products, and what is best in current seasons.

They also sell hummus chips… do I need to say more?

Since lock down we haven’t been able to visit, which was disappointing, but had discovered they are selling online, and also now sell Fruit and Vegtable boxes.

Hold me back!

They offer 3 varieties of boxes; Medium £20 (pictured above), Large £30 and extra Large £50

The standard Fruit and Veg box generally contains the following (subject to seasonal variations):

2.5kg Isle of Wight potatoes (dirty)

3 x onions (m)

2 x red onions

1 x swede

1 red cabbage

1 x cucumber

5 x apples

5 x satsumas

3 x pears

5 x bananas

1 baby carrots

5 x tomatoes (large)

1 x garlic

500g red grapes

1 x lemon

1 x lime

2 x kiwi fruits

1 x little gem lettuce

1 x cress (punnet)

1 x cauliflour

Now that is a heck of alot for £20!

When ordering these boxes online, you have the option to Click and collect or your box can be delivered for free!

Before we realised you could get free delivery, the past 3 or 4 times, we have clicked and collected which will have you order ready in about 2-3 days where you can pick between 8.30am and 5pm.

The green grocers also sell a variety of local produce.

Meats, milk, Cheeses, eggs etc

And have recently paired up with another local shop, Grace’s Bakery, who we ordered a fresh loaf of bread from. It was delicious and smelt incredible.

Since recieving our boxes we’ve been able to increase our fruit and veg consumption.

Just to name a few, we’ve made, Soups, casseroles, burritos, pasta salads, fruit salads, cauliflour cheese, vegtable curries,stir fry, roasted veg, jacket potatoes, the list is endless.

The boxes also helped us to have a meat free week (blog to follow in the future) something I’ve always wanted to try but never have. With such a variety of gorgeous fresh ingredients it made it so easy.

Buying these fruit and veg not only takes the pressure off going to the supermarket, or waiting for an online delivery with at times, ridiculous delivery charges, but you’re also supporting local.

We have been trying our best to support local businesses over the past couple of months.

Buying fresh, local produce, and helping the community, is something we should all be taking part it.

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

Cheesy Fish Pie Recipe

Good afternoon friends!

During this pandemic I’ve spent alot of time, maybe too much time, cooking.

I’d like to share one of my favourite dishes.

A delicious and creamy meal for a Saturday night dinner.

Prep 15-20 minutes
Cook time 45 hour at 180°

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 350g Potatoes cut into chunks
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 350ml whole milk + 2 tbsp
  • 200g cheddar
  • 300g fish pie mix (I use either Morrisons or Iceland fish mix)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp of Paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp of Pepper
  • Sprinkle of finely chopped Parmesan ontop to serve

Method

Pre hear your oven to 180°

Skin your potatoes, and dice into chunks.
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover in boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender

Meanwhile,
Dice up your onion into small pieces.
On a medium heat, add a few drops of oil/cooking spray in a deep frying pan.
Add the onions and peas and cook for a few minutes, then add the fish mix.
This is optional but I love to squeeze in half a lemon and some paprika
Leave this to cook for 8-10 minutes, and stir occasionally.

Whilst your potatoes and fish mix are cooking.
Warm the butter in a deep pan over a low heat.
Add the flour and stir until you have a paste. Gradually whisk in 350ml of milk until you have a thick white sauce.
Simmer on a medium heat and stir for 4 minutes .

Once the sauce is smooth and has thickened, turn the heat down to allow and gradually fold in the cheese.
Add a pinch of pepper

Now add the sauce to the onion and the fish mix, and stir until everything is completely covered.

Mash the potatoes with the 2 tbsp’s of milk. Fold in the remaining 25g of cheese.

Pour the filling into a large heatproof dish, and spread the cheesy mash potato ontop.

Cook for 45 minutes until the mash is golden brown.

Once cooked, remove and sprinkle over your parmesan.

Dish up and enjoy!

Please do let me know if you try this recipe!

Kaya•

Cooking at home with Kaya

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Good morning friends and happy Sunday!

Last night I popped open a bottle of red wine, and banana bread struck me as a good idea.

Now you know I love a quick and fuss free recipe, and this ones supplied by the amazing, Mary Berry.

Banana Bread Recipe

Prep time: 15 m

Cook time: 1 h

Total time: 1 h 15 min

Ingredients

100g (4oz)butter, softened

175g (6oz)caster sugar

2eggs

2ripe bananas, mashed

225g (8oz)self-raising flour

1 tspbaking powder

2 tbspmilk

Essential kit

You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in) base measurement.

Instructions

Lightly grease the loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a spoon.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a small palette knife and turn the cake out. Remove the lining paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly to serve.

This paired particularly well with the wine, but I’m sure it’ll be delicious all the same with a cuppa tea!

Kaya •

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Start as you mean to go on : Do what makes you happy

Good morning friends, and Happy Sunday!

With such a busy 2019, especially December, I’ve decided to have a more relaxed January. We decided to spend the first weekend of January relaxing but being productive.

Saturday morning I woke up after a lie in, I definitely needed to catch up on a few hours of sleep!

After rolling out of bed and doing my yoga, I made myself a big omelette.

Omlette:

3 eggs, handful of spinach leaves, 2 mushrooms, sprinkle of salt, pepper and paprika.

After glamming for the day, my boyfriend and I packed up 2 more bags of clothing and books, and dropped them to the charity shop.

We strolled into town to run a few errands and then met some friends at a local Cafe in Newport, ‘Cafe Isola’.

Cafe Isola is a great meeting spot for large groups, and families. With a fantastic variety of hot and cold food and drinks, and desserts, a decent space between tables for prams and buggies, and so you dobt feel like you’re sitting on the person next to yours laps.

I ordered a Pot of earl grey tea, which was presented nicely, but was accompanied by an egg timer.

I was intrigued about the egg timer, and asked the server what it was for. She told me that it has different times for you to brew your tea.

I don’t mean to sound rude but, A little too pretentious and hipster for me to use … my teas done when it’s done. I’ve managed to make a brew for 29 years without any issue, sure I can manage without.

Did make for a nice photo though!

Our friends arrived with their gorgeous kids, including their 1 week old baby, who I had cuddles with, I turned to mush!

We each dug into a bit of lunch before exchanging late christmas presents.

Chicken, pepper, onion pizza

The other 3 in the group recieved alcohol, but my present really stood out. I got a awesome wooden ‘Bat-Duck’. Have you been anything like him? How incredible! He shall sit proud on our book shelf

After a good free hours of chatting, my boyfriend and I decided to visit my late grandad. My Grandads birthday was yesterday, so we visited his grave and planted a Cyclamen. I have never heard of this plant before, but it looked pretty, good for the winter months, and I know he’d appreciate that more than a bunch of flowers.

Plans had changed, so we now had a free evening. Sun had set so we decided to settle in for the night.

Whilst my love cooked us dinner, I did my insanity work out. Shaun T totally kicked my ass, I was dripping with sweat!

After my shower I entered the kitchen to the most amazing smell, he made me lamb chops. Now my man can cook! The just fell of the bone!

We’d normally have a tipple on a Saturday night, My love had a few beers but I stuck to squash as I’m taking part in Dry january.

The rest of the evening was extremly chilled. We watched the first episode of ‘The masked singer’, my boyfriend was not into it! Oh well.

Only a few days ago I watched a clip of the US version, and thought it looked hilarious.

On the judges panel for the UK version were Jonathon Ross, Ken John Davina Macall, and Rita Ora.

I wasnt sure what I’d make of it but it was great! The costumes are wild, and it completely draws you in, i didnt have a clue. What a fantastic concept for a tv show! I’m seriously impressed that anyone could sing and dance in that get up!

For the rest of the evening I threw on a face mask and played a few hours of the Sims whilst he played Batman.

We fell into bed about 11, so I snuggled down and I read a couple of pages of my book for this month.

What did you do with your first Saturday of the year?

Kaya •

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Board IOW… a different spin on Halloween

Good evening friends and Happy Halloween!

This evening my boyfriend and I spent our Halloween at a new cafe, ‘Board IOW’, The Board Game Cafe.

My partner dressed up as a mummy, and I fashioned a last minute witches costume. The hat and broom helped massively! It was all good fun!

(Pumpkin spiced latte … yes, I have been converted)

For just £8 a ticket per person, your ticket include’s a Halloween themed drink, a snack platter and 3 hours of gaming!

We had an incredible time, playing numerous new games that we’d never heard of. A man dressed as a vampire arrived alone, so we invited him to play with us. That’s just another wonderful feature with this cafe, they offer social nights where you can join tables of others and play with strangers, why not hey?

It’s a brilliant way to interact and to get to know like minded people.

In the day, the cafe also had a child friendly event, which was Harry Potter themed. Wizards, witches and Muggles were all welcome, where they may play a variety of Harry Potter Games or take part in activities and crafts. The owners explained that it had been so popular that they will be hosting a Harry Potter themed event again this coming Saturday.

Although the cafe has only been open a couple of months, it is extremely popular.

The owners and staff are absolulty lovely which is always an added bonus. Everytime I’ve visited I always recieve a warm welcome, and everyone is so keen to offer help regarding picking a game to play… since there is over 125 to choose from. Often a member of staff will walk you through the game so that you’re not spending your time reading through instructions and getting puzzled.

This cafe is truly unique, and another way to spend your days and evening with friends, family, and loved ones

They also have an alcohol licence, so if you want a few drinks but not fancy hitting the bars or clubs then this is the place to be!

I’ve been a few Times with friends for a couple of hours of game play, and some delicious nibbles, but also met a friend for brunch, with no games but a good old chit chat session.

With a menu that’ll keep all the family happy, a wide range of games, cocktails and the most incredible hot chocolates and milkshakes, theres no question of why this has become a favourite place for Islanders to spend their time.

Kaya •

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Day 1 of a new journey

Good Morning and Happy Monday to you all!

The past couple of months I haven’t had a week that’s gone by that I haven’t been invited round for dinner, out for lunch, or to attend a celebration with family and friends.

Although I haven’t gained weight, I’ve been struggling to lose it. My weight will fluctuate, which I’m fine with, but I’ve become a little too relaxed and palmed it off on, wanting to celebrate and indulge with everyone else.

I’m such a foodie, I always have been. I have such a sweet tooth, love to cook and am always game for trying new foods. This isn’t a bad trait or way to look at food… But I have a wedding, a holiday and a few event coming up the next couple of months, and need to whip myself into shape.

I know what works for me, and although I have to try extremely hard to lose weight, it does happen with maximum effort. And I know to do that I need to be strict with no ifs or buts.

I’ve done my research, and have decided to join the Slim Fast Challenge.

I understand that eating healthy, drinking water and doing exercises are what I need to do to lose weight… That being said, as I explained above… I don’t have alot of self control when it comes to food (foodie habits).

Yes I know. This sounds awful, but I’m aware of it.

The plan

The 3-2-1 slim fast plan works by, allowing you to eat

– 3 Snack (100 calories each)

– 2 Shakes (230 calories

– 1 Meal (600 calories)

I will be eating fruit and vegetables as snacks, but have the slim fast snacks there as a naughty treat if I need them.

I picked up a 6 pack of instant shakes as they’re handy for on the go, and also if I’m out and about and don’t have somewhere to store cold milk.

The Cost

1x Tin (12 meals) £7.29

6x bars £2.99

6x Instant Shakes £9.69

Oven baked Cheese flavour bites 22g – £0.59

The Outcome

I have weighed myself and taken my measurements. I will be on this plan for the next 6 to 12 weeks, with the goal of losing 1-2 stones, and a few inches.

I’ve researched and seen some outstanding results. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people where the weight just ‘drops off’, but I am hoping that in the next couple of months I will see a pleasent difference.

I am currently half way through my 100mile, Race at your Pace challenge, so I am drinking and working out daily to contribute to achieving my weight loss.

I’ll keep you all updated! Have a wonderful well all!

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

Quick and Healthy Pancakes

Good morning and Happy Pancake day to you all!

Through out February I have been trying different breakfasts that avoid boxed cereal and bread, and although I eat alot of fruit and omlettes, there’s nothing like getting your teeth into some pancakes.

Delicious home made porridge oat and banana pancakes for breakfast, a perfect start to the day, and an alternative healthier option for ‘pancake day’, enjoy!

Banana Oat pancakes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings: 2
Calories: 245 kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • maple syrup to serve (optional)
  • fresh fruit of your choice to serve
Instructions
In a blender, combine the peeled banana, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt.
  • Allow to blend until the mixture is as smooth as you want it and blended well. Allow the batter to stand for 10-20 minutes until thickened slightly.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Fry spoonfuls of the batter until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.

Simply Delicious Food Easy Healthy Banana Oat Pancakes

My pancakes have a bit more roughness/texture as I mash and mix the ingredients rather than blend them.

Just my preference 🙂

Let me know if you try this recipe or if you’ll be making tradition pancakes today!

Kaya •