Thursday, 28 February 2013

Geeta's Chutney Challenge!

I was invited to take part in Geeta's Chutney Challenge.

The challenge was simple - to celebrate Geeta's 20th anniversary, share an inventive and original recipe using Geeta's Premium Mango Chutney.

So, I got my thinking cap on... And ended up calling my brother...

He works in a kitchen and told me he'd made something this week incorporating mango chutney which sounded pretty tasty. 

So, Jack totally takes the credit for this creation but it was too good not to share with you.

It's his (pretend) birthday today too - he's a leap year so no real birthday until 2016!  

(My favourite thing to go with mango chutney before trying this was poppadoms!) 

So, here's Jack's creation...

Spiced Corn Fritter, Grilled Halloumi, Rocket Salad with Mango Chutney & a bit of Fresh Salsa.


* Take one jar of Geeta's Premium Mango Chutney...

* 1 tbsp ground cumin

* 1 tbsp ground coriander

* 1 tbsp paprika

* 1 tsp chilli flakes



Add cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli flakes to finish!



As I mentioned I sent this out with spiced corn fritter, grilled halloumi, rocket salad and a bit of fresh salsa.



Corn Fritter is dead easy to make.



In a bowl mix one can of drained sweetcorn with 4 tbsp wholemeal flour or polenta, 2 tbsp milk and one egg.



That is the basic bit for the fritter.



Into that I added:



* 2 tbsp fresh coriander - chopped

* 3-4 spring onions - chopped

* 1 red chilli - chopped

* 1 tsp paprika

* 1 tbsp ground coriander

* 1 tbsp cumin

* salt and pepper - pinch

* 2 tbsp toasted pinenuts

* 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds



They taste reeeally fit, and the pumpkin seeds with the pinenuts add a nice crunchy texture and nutty taste.

Just a case of shaping them up and whacking them in a pan to shallow fry on medium heat.

The salsa was just a regular tomato salsa (tomato, onion, coriander, lime, chilli)...
Will you be giving this recipe a try?

You can find out more information on Geeta's foods by visiting www.geetasfoods.com





Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Chang Beer Recipes to Celebrate Thai New Year!

Thai New Year, celebrated in April, involves a host of traditions, from colourful Songkran parades and religious ceremonies, to epic water fights, which are believed to wash away the sins of the previous year. 

 Transport your dining experience to Southeast Asia with Chang’s very own authentic Thai recipes alongside a cool, crisp and refreshing bottle of Thailand’s premium authentic lager.

Made using the finest quality malt, hops and deep well water, Chang Beer is brewed using a unique blend of ingredients to match the spicy flavours of traditional Thai cuisine. Complex aromas of smokey, peaty green apples and vanilla, and a full-bodied flavour with light citrus notes, make it the perfect accompaniment to the exotic tastes of Thai cooking.
Why not host your own Songkran dinner party for the Thai New Year and give your guests the ultimate Thai experience? 

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

Chang Tempura of Langoustine and Squid

Ingredients:
8 langoustines (shells removed from tails and deveined)
4 small squid (gutted and cleaned)
2 leeks
2 sheets of nori
1 garlic bulb
150g self raising flour
150g rice flour
50g corn flour
½ tsp. baking soda
Sea salt
200-250ml Chang Beer

Method:
Sieve the corn flour and flour into into a bowl and mix in the baking soda and salt
Stir in the Chang Beer, the batter should be thin, almost broth like. If it seems to thick add more Chang Beer.
Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or deep fat fryer
Dip the langoustines and squid into the batter and fry for about 2 minutes, until crisp and golden. Transfer to a baking tray, lined with absorbent, paper and keep warm.

Spicy Prawn and Pork Filo Parcels

Ingredients:
50g pork mince
100g raw prawns (diced)
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. palm sugar or soft brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp. coriander stalks
½ tsp. white pepper
3 shallots
1 tbsp. red chilli
Handful of coriander leaf
1 egg lightly whisked

Method:
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl
Place filo sheets on to a lightly floured surface and cut unto 4-inch squares
Put 1 dessert spoon into the centre of each of the filo squares and pull up the sides
of the pastry and pinch together forming a parcel
Brush with beaten egg and bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees

Sesame Crisp Thai Crab Cakes

Ingredients:
300g fresh white cooked crab meat
3 tbsp fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves
5 tbsp chopped coriander
1 diced shallot
1 clove crushed garlic
1 lime juiced
1 egg whisked
Coating:
2 eggs whisked
100g breadcrumbs
100g sesame seeds
Flour to dust

Method:
Combine all ingredients
Form into 2 inch balls and roll in flour and then egg wash
Finally roll in breadcrumb and sesame mix
Shape into cakes and deep fry for 2 minutes, removing when crisp
Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon

If you're stuck for further inspiration, experts at Chang Beer have worked closely with top Thai chefs to devise a selection of mouth-watering traditional Thai recipes with a twist. To find out more visit the Chang Beer website.

Will you be doing anything to celebrate the Thai New Year? What's your favourite Thai dish?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NOTD January 2013

I did these a couple of weeks back using the WAH Nail pens 


Sunday, 24 February 2013

OOTD 21/02/2013


Just a quick post to show you what I wore the other night when I went out for dinner with some friends...
Spotty Shirt: New Look
Black Skinny Jeans: Topshop
Leopard Print Flatforms: Matalan




Friday, 22 February 2013

Topshop Dress ♥

I've been fairly good with my spending recently and have been using my money on "experiences" rather than "things". 

I did however pop into Topshop at the weekend for a quick look. 

I'd seen this dress while it was full price but couldn't justify spending 40 quid on it. I'd been looking at dresses online and spotted it in the sale but not in my size so couldn't resist when I saw it in store in my size! Hooray! 
I'm a bit uninspired though as to what to wear with it! 

Any ideas how I could jazz it up? 



Thursday, 21 February 2013

Trip to London for LFW - Mary Katrantzou Show

The lovely Natalie of The Science of Happy Blog kindly asked me if I would like to join her at the Mary Katrantzou show for London Fashion Week.

I of course jumped at the chance of attending & booked myself on a megabus to London pronto!
Standard derp face from me...

It wasn't until I got home that I realised I'd been a bad blogger and not actually got a photo of what we wore to LFW. Total fail... Natalie was wearing an absolutely gorgeous dress and boots too!
I stayed over in the YHA at St Pauls as it was fairly central and pretty cheap too. When arrived I was a little worried about how I was going to get into bed at it was a triple bunk bed and I was in the top!

I ended up having to get a chair to help me when I got in so's not to stamp on anyone's head...
We went for tea in Yo! Sushi, my favourite! 
The show pass...
Fizz at Somerset House 
I was quite sad that there wasn't an actual illustration of Boris...
The catwalk...
The show...
My photos of the actual show didn't come out too well but you can see some better ones on Katrina's blog here!
Dedicated!
I can now say that I own a Mulberry.. (tote)!
After the show we went for cocktails in Adventure Bar at Covent Garden.

We caught up with Katrina from Carousel Diary Blog who is absolutely lovely. Katrina got engaged over the weekend - congratulations! (Woohoo!) 
I had my favourite cocktail - Fallen Angel 
More cocktails...
These weren't all for us...
I have no idea how this photo happened but I think it was a visual representation for the evening after about midnight..!

We ended up in The Roadhouse and danced our socks off to cheesy music 
Last photo from the evening...
I felt absolutely shocking the following day. Cue bubble tea from Chaboba in Camden Lock to try & put things right...!

I had such a fun time (and the best Valentines night ever!) Thank you again to Natalie!

You can read her post about the trip here



Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Nutribox Review & Discount Code

I was contacted by the lovely Abi of Nutribox to see if I would like to try out one of their boxes.

Nutribox are a Sheffield based company offering a healthy snacking subscription service.

They offer two different box sizes –a selection of 8-10 or 16-20 gluten-free snacks that vary month to month (the variation in snack quantity reflects the portion size and cost of different snacks).

I'm trying very hard to change my eating habits so was really excited to find out more!
Here are all the goodies I received!

Each box contains a mix of fruit and nut mixes, snack bars, savoury snacks and treats. You can enjoy the surprise of finding out what’s in your gluten-free box each month and reap the benefits of healthier snacking.
My box arrived well packaged and I was amazed at how many things were crammed into the box.

There were things that I was familiar with (such as the Nakd Bars) and a lot of things that were totally new with too. I couldn't wait to try them all out.

My favourite things by far were the Om Bars. They were such a nice treat and really quite rich so you only wanted to have a little piece at a time rather than eating a family sized bar in one sitting...
The boxes are a innovative idea and slightly different to some of the other subscription style boxes available. I like that the things included are available to buy in the shops or from suppliers, so if you like something especially you would be able to get hold of it again.
The lovely people at Nutribox have given me a discount code for you to use so you can try out the boxes too!

The code is PINKLITTLEBEAN50 and it entitles 10 people for receive 50% off their first box. Also for those who miss out on the 50% off, there is currently a standard 25% off first box on the website.

For more information about Nutribox, you can visit their website : thenutribox.com

Find them on Twitter : twitter.com/thenutribox

Find them on Facebook : facebook.com/thenutribox



Monday, 18 February 2013

Changes...


This past year I’ve had some pretty big changes. I moved back in with my parents after 9 years of living away from home, started a new job (that I love) and some other things along the way too.

I learnt to drive when I lived in Cornwall and passed when I was 17. I lived in a very rural area and so it was pretty much a necessity to learn to drive! I only actually drove for a short time after that and then moved up to Sheffield to start university.
I haven’t actually been behind the wheel of a car for 10 years now, which is a pretty scary thought.

Up until now I’ve not really needed to have a car as I’ve either walked everywhere or got public transport. I always thought that there wasn’t really any need for me to have a car.

As I mentioned, I moved back home. I’m living a bit further out of Sheffield now. Things aren’t really within walking distance (work, the gym, town). I have to rely on lifts a lot which is obviously a bit meh as a 28 year old.

All of a sudden my attitude towards driving again has changed and I feel like I might get a bit of independence back if I got myself back behind the wheel.

My Mum suggested that I could get insured on her car and use it to get about.

I’m now looking into where I would get new car insurance as I’m a bit out of the loop! And possibly some refresher lessons too...

Do you drive? Do you enjoy it? Who do you get your insurance with?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Not-So Mini Round Up 17/02/2013

Hello!

I've had a pretty busy past few weeks so thought I'd do a mini round up of what I've been up to...
I guess unless you've been in hibernation, you would have seen all the snow we've had recently! It's ruined a few of my plans but I managed to get a snow day out of it, so all is not lost! 

The photo above is of where my office is - I was the only person who made it in that day and my boss called me to say I could go home if I wanted. It was pretty eerie and bleak looking!
A few weekends ago I went over to Leeds for the weekend for a mini uni reunion with my friends. We had a really fun time and I drank far too much...
The dress I wore is my absolute favourite at the moment. I'm hoping to find some skirts that suit me for a bit of a change. Any ideas of where to look/styles?
I spotted this in the toilets of one of the bars we were in - such a cool idea! 
I went for dinner with some friends at Zeugmas on London Road in Sheffield. It was the first time I'd been there and went for the veggie kebab. The portion was of epic proportions as you can see! It was so nice but I could have probably done with sharing it with someone...
My parents went away for a weekend so I was left to fend for myself. Cue lots of halloumi cheese based dishes...
...And pizza for breakfast after a night out!
I've also been pretty busy with my NEBOSH course that I'm doing for work. I'm finding it pretty heavy going and don't have that long left now until my exams which I'm a little nervous about!
I'm trying to cut down on my 957 cups of black coffee-a-day habit. I picked up some matcha powder when I went to the Japan Centre last. I do like the taste but need some ideas of how else to serve it? I've been having it in my orange juice which is pretty tasty.
I've started going to the gym at least twice a week since January. It's the first time I've actually stuck at it and I'm really enjoying it now/not making excuses not to go! :)

I need some ideas for workout playlists, as you can see from my choice above it was one of the campest workouts in a while...
I had a little cry that I didn't manage to get tickets for Fall Out Boy at the Underworld but I'm hoping to get Leeds Festival tickets so I can see them then.

I've got a few gig tickets booked now (including Queens of the Stone Age in Berlin, Yellowcard, Finch, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Eels) but would like to get myself going to some more gigs this year!
I finally had a mini tour of the stately home next to where I work which was pretty cool!
And I finally visited Tamper Coffee in Sheffield to meet some friends. I'll definitely be going back!
I love it when you discover things you've never spotted before in Sheffield like this graffiti by Phlegm...
...And this by Kid Acne too!
I had a sort through my food cupboard and realise it looks a little bit like a 5 year olds.
Mum made us some "Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle" pancakes last week 
I had a stroll home in the snow and looked like a snowman by the time I got back!
I made this for the office at work but I'm half tempted to turn it into a bob-sleigh if it snows again...
I went out last night for a friends 21st birthday and this is what I returned home to... It's nice to see that someone is excited to see me! 

I've got a few other bits and pieces to share with you too but I will write about them in separate posts!

Are you on Instagram? I am pinklittlebean on there too! 



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