Halloween Stuffed Peppers

What a better way to celebrate Halloween than with this Halloween stuffed peppers that look just like pumpkins!

We think everyone must be making them as it was very tricky to find orange peppers in the supermarket and our Instagram feed was full of these, even the Body Coach makes them! These are super easy to make and perfect for kids.They are also taste great and are healthy too!

  1. We cut the tops off the peppers and then took out the middle of the pepper. We then used a small knife to carve in the detail of the pumpkin face.
  2. We then made up some cous cous, mixed with feta cheese and filled our peppers to the top and put the lids back on.
  3. We roasted in the oven (180degree) for 25-30 minutes, until chargrilled and soft.

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These are so versatile and can be served with salmon, chicken or eaten on their own. They can also be stuffed with many things such as minced lamb or beef, rice or quinoa.

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Melting Ghost Brownies

We are definitely getting into the spirit of Halloween this year and we cannot get enough of Halloween cooking. These are the worlds gooiest brownies and you will want to eat the whole lot!

They are lots of fun to make and not too difficult, enjoy the recipe below and let us know how you get on!

Ingredients
350g/12oz dark chocolate
250g/9oz unsalted butter, chopped into squares
3 large eggs
250g/9oz dark muscavado sugar
85g.3oz plain flour
1tsp baking powder
400g white chocolate
1 bag large marshmallows
small chocolate decorative balls

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 150ºc. Butter a tray bake tin and line with grease proof paper.
2) Melt the chocolate and butter together, over a pan of simmering water. Stir well and cool.
3) Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy and well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently stir until smooth.
4) Pour into the tray bake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until just firm to touch. There should be moist/gooey crumbs on the skewer when inserted. Do NOT be tempted to overcook!
5) Once cooled, melt all the white chocolate over a low heat. Dip the marshmallows into the white chocolate and then place 2 chocolate balls on the mallows as the ghosts eyes.
6) Cut the brownies into squares and pour the remaining melted chocolate over each brownie to make the puddle. Put a marshmallow ghost on each brownie. Leave to set and enjoy – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Halloween Graveyard Cake

Halloween is such a great time of year, its gives you the opportunity to get extra creative in the kitchen. This Halloween we decided to go all out with This Halloween Graveyard Cake. Its really fun to make and looks very effective. Stay tuned for more fun Halloween bakes this weekend!

Happy Halloween!

Cake Ingredients:

  1. 175g (6oz) margarine or softened butter
  2. 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  5. 50g (1¾oz) of cocoa, sifted
  6. 1tsp baking powder

Icing Ingredients:

  1. 300g Icing sugar, sifted
  2. 100g Unsalted butter- at room temperature
  3. 40g Cocoa powder, sifted
  4. 40ml whole milk

Gingerbread Ingredients:

  1. 50g (120z) Plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  2. 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  3. 2 tsp Ground ginger
  4. 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  5. 125g (4.5 oz) Butter
  6. 175g (6oz) Light soft brown sugar
  7. 1 Free range egg
  8. 4tbsp Golden syrup

Decoration Ingredients:

  1. 4 Oreo’s
  2. Box of Quality Street Matchsticks
  3. Glace icing and piping bag

Method 

1)      Cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy. The longer you cream the better. Beat the eggs together and separately sift together the flour and cocoa. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar with a teaspoon of flour if necessary to stop the mixture from curdling. Once the eggs have been added fold in the flour and cocoa and finally the baking powder. Pour into a lined square cake tin and cook in  pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.

2)      Leave the cake to cool whilst you make the gingerbread.  Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3)      Roll out on a floured surface and cut out some gravestones and crosses. You don’t need a cutter you can do this free-hand with a knife. Place on a tray covered in grease proof paper and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

4)      To ice the cake, put all the ingredients for the icing into a mixer and whisk until all combined and fluffy. Cover the whole cake in the icing and then the decoration can begin!

5)      Firstly whiz the Oreo’s in a blender to make into crumbs and sprinkle on top of the cake to look like soil. Make a small amount of glace icing and put into a piping bag then pipe the words etc on the tombstones and crosses. Then press the gingerbread into the soil as a scene. Finally break the matchsticks into random lengths and out all around the graveyard like a fence.

6)      Hey presto you have a graveyard cake. If you want to add anything else to it get creative with it, maybe add some Haribo sweets  creatures or chocolate spiders……..

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Running in your lunch break


We find running outside far more enjoyable than running on a treadmill. We have been running in the evenings for about a year now and really enjoy it.  A few months ago we decided to go for a run on our lunch break, this is something we had discussed for a while but had never actually got round to going. It’s a great way to fit in some cardio in if you don’t have time to go to the gym that day.

We put some time in our diaries at the beginning of the day, once your run is scheduled in you know you have dedicated that time to run. We get a one hour lunch break so decided to give ourselves 5 minutes to get changed, 30 minutes to run and 25 minutes to cool down, shower and eat lunch.

You could even invite your co-workers along with you so it becomes a social activity which could even lead to a work running club. Running with friends makes time go so much quicker and you will have completed the 3 miles before you know it.

It is so important to get some fresh air at lunch time and you will more than likely return back to your desk in a better mood, less stressed and ready to focus.

We have found it is important to work out a running route before you start the run to ensure you don’t waste time figuring out which way to go. We used map my run, which is really great and easy to use. If the route doesn’t work well for you after trying it out then think of a different route for next time it can be trial and error to begin with. For example running near Waterloo and Westminster (Particularly Southbank and Westminster Bridge) can be tricky at lunch time as it can become very overcrowded.

If you are trying to improve your speed then we would suggest running the same route so you can track how quickly you are running. Of course running the same route may quickly become boring so you could try mapping out a few runs and keeping track of your fastest times on each of these run. This way you will be able to keep track on whether you are maintaining your pace, speeding up or slowing down If you aren’t trying to improve your speed then why not try lots of different routes and get to know the local area a bit better, running is a great way of getting to know your surroundings as you can get to places a lot quicker than walking.

Another tip would be to prepare your lunch for work that day. You don’t want to waste time queuing up for lunch after your run, so make it the night before or buy it on your way into work. If you know you are running at lunch time then make sure you have prepared or purchased food that is going to refuel your body.

Happy Running.

The Porridge Series- 3 (Peanut Butter & Jelly)

Peanut butter and Jelly is particular popular in America, in 2002 a survey showed the average American would have eaten 1,500 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches before high school- swap the bread for porridge and we are there!

The Peanut Butter market has boomed in the last few years. There are so many healthy choices in the supermarket now days that pretty much only contain Peanuts which is great if you are a nut butter lover. Stay tuned as we are going to write a blog post all about Nut Butters!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Porridge 

Ingredients
50g Porridge Oats
250ml Almond Milk, Milk or Water
1 Pip and nut Sachet- we used the regular smooth peanut butter sachet.
Punnet of fresh Raspberries (you could also use frozen)

Method
Place your porridge oats in a bowl
Pour your liquid of choice on top of the oats
Place the oats in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (stir after one minute
Once your porridge is cooked remove the bowl from the microwave and set aside.
Put half the punnet of raspberries in a bowl and place int he microwave for 1 minute until the raspberries are stewed.
Pour the hot raspberries on top of the porridge.
Place the remaining raspberries on top to decorate
Drizzle the Peanut butter
Mix (one you have taken a photo of course) and enjoy


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Livia’s Kitchen Blueberry Porridge Squares


When we came across Livia’s Kitchen Blueberry Porridge Squares we knew we had to make them. If you read this blog regularly or follow any of our other social media platforms you will know we are obsessed with porridge, so of course we were going to jump at the chance of making these delicious sweet treats.

The blueberry porridge squares only contain 5 ingredients all of which are healthy and nutritious (and you are most likely to have the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard which is a bonus and makes the recipe inexpensive). They took us less than 5 minutes to prepare and cooking time was between 15-20 minutes. There are lots of other porridge square recipes on Livia’s kitchen and we are certainly going to be testing them out, the Cacao & banana ones look divine.

The squares would be perfect to have for breakfast if you are in a rush or as a mid morning of afternoon snack enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. We were going away for the weekend to Sheffield so thought they would be the perfect car snack for the 2 ½ hour drive.

You can find the recipe here


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A weekend in Normandy

My friend invited me super last minute for a weekend away in France. Her friend was unable to go so I took her place. The trip consisted of me, my friend Talia and then her two guy mates who I have met a handful of times.

 We met bright and early at Liverpool Street Station and then got on the train to Southend Airport. The airport was tiny and hardly any passengers there, which mean check in and security was plain sailing. We grabbed some breakfast, it was gross. They had run out of porridge so I paid £2.75 for 2 slices of toast and jam – I could’ve bought 3 loaves of bread for that! The scrabbled egg didn’t look any better so glad I avoided that!

 It was soon time to board the plan, this was not a normal plane I would fly on, but much much smaller, with only 2 people per row! I was unfortunate enough to be sat right at the back of the plane next to a screaming baby. I asked to move to be with my friends and away from the baby but was told seat were allocated to help balance the plane (oh great!) and I couldn’t move. The jourey was super quick and it seemed that by the time we had taken off it was ready to land again. I occupied myself by catching up on the apprentice!

 We landed into to Caen airport,  Northern France in the Normandy region. Now Tom has lived in France all his life and his parents have a place here, they met us at the airport and left Tom the car so we were able to get around. The first stop was to be a historic one and we headed to the Normandy beaches. We went to Arromanches – les – Bains and to the beach there. We started off in an circular cinema watching 20 minutes all about the D-Day landings which was really interesting and very cleverly made. We then wandered down into the town where we all enjoyed a crepe (pancake), which was delicious – mine was sugar topped with Chantilly cream.

 We then headed back in the car to Caen, the major city in Normandy. We wandered around Caen looking in the shops and also bought some items from the bakery. We headed to the port and stopped off for a drink as we weren’t meeting Tom’s brother for a while. We sat outside drinking, when its €2.80 for a large glass of wine its rude not to! We then headed back to the city and met Tom’s brother in a bar called Au Chef Raide. From the outside this doesn’t look very inviting but once inside there are comfy seats and it’s a very cosy atmosphere, there are also board games for customers to use. We ordered some more wine and waited for the rest of the party to join us. Once they arrived we ordered some food. Myself and Talia decided to share the baked camembert which was served with a whole baguette and also share a terrine de campagne, which was also served with a whole baguette. Everyone else opted for either a burger or croque monsieur. We were absolutely starving and were super pleased when out food arrived and it tasted absolutely incredible, everything typically French all on two plates and it was just what we had been craving all day! Surprisingly we managed to nearly eat the whole lot – it was divine. We stayed until 9pm and left early as it was at least an hour’s drive home. On leaving I noticed where the place cooked there food and it was all under 1 grill, I was so impressed that all the bar needed was a grill and they made absolutely delicious food – it really inspired me!

 The next day we woke early to do the boulangerie run, we headed into the town of Rânes and picked up a feast! We ate breakfast with Tom’s mum and Dad which was lovely, I had a croissant and a mini brioche. We then got ready and headed in the car to the town of Falaise to the Saturday morning market. The market was half inside and half outside and had lots of different stalls to visit. I bought a punnet of strawberries and have never tasted anything so nice, best strawberries I have ever eaten – I ate the lot! We were meeting Tom’s brothers girlfriend twin sisters and her boyfriend (confusing I know!). They lived in a converted chapel and it was incredible, they had done it up themselves and had done such a good job. There living room was right at the front of the chapel and then the bedroom was a messane using the original stairs bannisters from the chapel itself. We had some wine and chatted and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday lunchtime. Following on from this we decided to visit the Chateau of Falaise as it had been recommended to us. The chateau was great, on arrival you get give iPads, and in each room you have to scan something in the room and then the iPad shows you what the room used to look like in the olden times. This was a really interesting way to learn about the history of the chateau. We also climbed to the top of a turret for some great views.

 After the tour which took about 2 hours we headed to the town of Bagnoles-de-l’Orne. This is a spa town with a massive lake and was absolutely gorgeous, I loved it. I felt like I was in the alps in Switzerland or something. We had a drink in  bar, I had a hot chocolate and then shared a croque monsieur with Talia. I would definitely like to visit this town again as it was super pretty.  We popped to the shops on route home to buy some cheese and wine and other snacks.

 We arrived back to the cottage and tucked into the cheese and started on our 2 boxes of wine! We got all the board games out and started with scrabble which was fun as we were all awful! Then Talia and I cooked a chilli con carne for us all. We spent the evening drinking wine, eating and playing games in front of the fire. It was bliss.

 The next morning Tom’s parents kindly did the boulangerie run for us all. We had breakfast and then got ready before walking to the goats cheese farm. This farm was literally round the corner from Tom’s parent and it was great. We got to pet the goats and then were given a tour of the farm and showed how goats cheese is made. At the end of it we bought a large selection of goats cheese as it was so cheap! We headed back to the cottage for lunch,, which consisted of homemade carrot and coriander soup, French bread, goats cheese (of course!) and a variety of other cheeses. It was delicious.

 We then headed to La Chapelle-d’Andaine where we were to watch a horse show called La Michaudiere (Ferme du cheval de trait). We arrived early so we could pet the horses/donkeys before the show started. We got front row seats and watched this slightly odd horse show which had a lot of French humour which we did not get. However it was cool watching the men ride 2 horses at the same time whilst standing up. After the show we were provided with Normandy cider and hot chocolate.

 We drove back home and back to the warmth of the cottage fire and played some games before dinner. Dinner was raclette, which Talia had last time she visited and hadn’t stopped raving about it – it lived up to its expectations and was divine. We cooked our own meat on the top of the raclette and then grilled cheese underneath it. It was all served with potatoes, salad and side sauces. The most amazing meal ever and I would eat it all over again now!

 I had an early night before getting up early to head to the Deaville aiport to fly home. I had such a lovely chilled weekend and it was just what  I needed. I think the French way of life is great, and we should all aspire to live like that, especially us Londoners who are always in a rush when really there is no need to be. Sometimes we just need to take time to chill, relax and reflect in the country – it’s good for the soul.

Walking Workout

Walking its free and one of the easiest ways to get fit and become more active yet so many people HATE walking. As a society it has become too easy to get from A to B without using your legs. There are so many different types of transport these days it has resulted in us not having to walk.

Growing up our parents were all keen walkers, at the weekend we used to go on family walks which at the time we hated! We didn’t understand why our parents enjoyed walking and we certainly didn’t agree when they said ‘come on it will be fun’.

Now we go on walks all the time exploring new places whether this is in the beautiful countryside or exploring the streets of a bustling city. If we have the option of walking or using transport we will always choose walking.

A walking workout will help strengthen your heart and lungs whilst also toning your legs and bum (Bonus).  Walking is a great way to help maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your bones and muscles both of which are incredibly important.

Last year we each purchased a Fitbit so we could keep track of how many steps we were taking in a day, working in an office can reduce your daily step count dramatically so we wanted to make sure we met our daily target of 10,000 a day every day. The Apple Iphone also comes with a ‘Health’ app that will tell you how many steps you walked in a day.

Ways to make your walk more enjoyable

  1. arrange to meet your friend for a walk, this way you are less likely to cancel as you have made a commitment.
  2. Explore new places
  3. If you are walking on your own try listening to some music or a Podcast.
  4. Phone a friend and have a catch up (time will fly by)
  5. Pack some healthy snacks and water if you are going on a long walk.

Get outside and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.


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The Porridge Series-2 (A taste of Autumn) 

Autumn is without a doubt one of our favourite times of year, we absolutely love summer but there is something about autumn that is so comforting. Grabbing a jumper and getting cosy on the sofa whilst sipping a hot beverage is perfection.

Nothing quite says autumn like the delicious spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves oh the list could go on for days.

In our porridge we decided to use Cinnamon. Cinnamon has been used for decades in both sweet and savoury dishes which you can buy either ground or rolled up as a stick.
This spiced apple porridge reminds us of a hot apple pie!

 A taste of Autumn 

Ingredients
50g Porridge Oats
250ml Almond Milk/ Milk or water
1 Apple (we used Pink Lady)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Water
Drizzle of honey

Method
Place your porridge oats in a bowl
Pour your liquid of choice on top of the oats
Place the oats in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (stir after one minute)
Once your porridge is cooked remove the bowl from the microwave and set aside.
Slice your apple
Place the apple in a clean bowl
Sprinkle the teaspoon of cinnamon over the apple evenly
Add 2tbsp Water to the apple and cinnamon
Place in the microwave for 2 minutes or until the apple is soft.
Place the apple on top of the porridge and add a drizzle of honey.


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