Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie - Optimum VAC 2 Air Vacuum Blender

In my attempt to get fit, eat healthy and lose this 9lb off of my stomach I've been making smoothies which I have for lunch. Just a smoothie for lunch?! But there's no need to worry about me, I'm not going too mad in trying desperately to lose never shifting 9lb that never seems to happen.

But that's all changing as this time I'm really determined to do this and since I bought a FitBit only a few weeks ago I have actually managed to lose 4lb in 6 weeks, which for me, is amazing 😊 

Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie

Anyway, I even invested in the Aria scales to go with the FitBit (I'll do a seperate post soon) but when you weigh yourself these scales record your weight sending it straight to the FitBit app. They're dead accurate and even measure ounces. Now that's possibly a bit extreme but I will tell you, it's working for me; I get well excited when I can announce I've lost another one of those dots - meaning when I weighed myself last Saturday said I weighed 8st 10.6lbs and today it says 8st 10.4lbs so I can say that's another 2 dots and the 2 dots are on the way to losing another pound 😉


Back to my Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie. Because of the added rolled oats and the banana this smoothie is really quite filling which is how comes I can get away with only having this for lunch.

Everyone's talking about the Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender from Froothie and I can't recommend it enough. Yes it is on the expensive side but if your seriously wanting eat healthier and perhaps lose a bit of weight like me, then the Optimum VAC2 is for you. It's a power blender so pretty much anything you throw in gets blended without fear of breaking it. The vacuum means smoothies don't separate and keep their colour. It has a powerful 2238W motor - the Vitamix Pro 500 series has a 1492W motor and doesn't have the option to use Vacuum. It has 6 stainless steel blades as opposed to 4 which is more common.

In the past I've broken a few blenders by adding frozen fruit or veggies and so even though they were cheaper blenders they really didn't last long so it's a kind of false economy. Don't forget 0% Finance is Available; you pay just 10% deposit and then spread the cost, 6 months finance with 0% interest.

Keep reading to get a code for Free Delivery and £20 off.....

Top Choices - What to Cook for Your Valentine

If you're wondering what to cook for your Valentine this February 14th then take a look at these interesting findings from new research from the number 1 recipe box in the UK HelloFresh.

The poll of 1,500 adults found that two-thirds of British women believe that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and Brits believe that a juicy steak, a full roast dinner and a spicy curry are the top three meals most likely to lead to a night of passion! 😉

And 35% of British men are planning on cooking for their loved one this Valentine’s day with 41% believing cooking their partner’s favourite meal is the best route to getting lucky.
Whilst oysters, strawberries and sweet treats are what we traditionally associate as the food of love, but it seems the British public are far more likely to opt for a juicy steak (that'll be me please) but surprisingly, a roast dinner or spicy curry is the way to go according to new research from the number 1 recipe box in the UK, HelloFresh.

HelloFresh Recipe Box

The poll showed that a full roast dinner is the second most popular choice, with two in ten (22%) respondents saying the traditional British meal is the best way to seduce their other half. It’s well-known that spicy food can act as an aphrodisiac, so it’s no surprise that 17% of those surveyed reported that a curry is their go-to dish when cooking up a night of romance.

Recipe boxes from HelloFresh are a great solution for Valentine’s cooks looking to impress without stress. A box of ingredients delivered to your door can help to take the pressure off, giving you more quality time together.

After enjoying all that yummy food do beware the curse of the full stomach because of those surveyed, nearly a quarter (22%) said that a romantic evening in had gone wrong, with ‘eating too much’ reported as the most common reason - Oh dear! 😞

Top Five Recipes for Seduction, according to British couples:

1.  Steak (35%)
2.  Roast dinner (22%)
3.  Curry (17%)
4.  Salmon (15%)
5.  Profiteroles (14%)

HelloFresh helps solve the ‘what's for dinner debate’ by delivering delicious fuss-free recipes with the exact pre-portioned fresh ingredients you need to cook them from scratch. By taking the usual hassle out of food shopping and meal planning, HelloFresh helps you to save time and spend it with your loved ones. Fuss-free, fresh food, delivered straight to your door & prepared by you.

Disclosure: I did not receive payment to write this post. I believe it's something my readers will be interested in.

Grande Fusilloni and How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

There's nothing quite as nice as making your own pasta sauce; not only is it far healthier than most shop bought brands but it tastes fresher and really doesn't take that long to make. Okay you have to roast the onions and peppers but once they're in the oven you can get the pasta on the go.

Now talking about pasta, I got a bit excitable when I found Grande Fusilloni in Aldi last week. They also had Grande Paccheri too; just saying 😊

Well anyway not long after that I got all excitable again when the nice people over at Prestige sent me a rather nice Roasting Dish from their Inspire range, plus a gorgeous Frying Pan from their Prism range. They asked me to make a recipe for Valentine's Day, so armed with my packet of Grande Fusilloni, roasted pepper sauce came to mind.

Grande Fusilloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Homemade pasta sauce is perfect for a fuss free, quick yet tasty meal for 2 or indeed for any amount of people (just double the recipe) it's a great sauce to perk up pasta at anytime.

But first, let me tell you a bit about these products from Prestige. First up the Prism Frying Pan; I chose the 20cm one because it's perfect size for two. It is available in other sizes and metallic colours. Silver is my personal favorite but bright Purple and deep Copper are other options and are all equally gorgeous.

Black Kale and Quinoa Burgers - Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Oh my goodness I've gone all healthy on myself; not only have I been converted to using Frylight cooking spray with just 1 kcal per spray but now I'm all into kale and spinach too!

The spinach thing started a while ago when I made conjured up my Cheese, Tomato and Spinach Stuffed Peppers and half the time Paul (the husband) doesn't even know he's eating it! Oh yes I've been hiding it in his dinner. Chopped up really finely and added to fresh tomato pasta sauce along with mushrooms which he also doesn't like and claims he will not eat; but if they're chopped up tiny I've discovered he doesn't even know he's eaten them 😉

Black Kale and Quinoa Burgers with Egg

Surprisingly tasty and packed full of goodness my invention of these burgers was a success. A great way to hide veg for kids and fussy eaters; yes there are also carrots hidden in my burgers.

Cavelo Nero is a variety of kale (also known as black kale) is low in saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and is a good source of Vitamin A and C and Vitamin B6 among a whole list of other stuff. Quinoa is also good for you; it's high in protein, contains all nine essential amino acids and it's gluten free too.

Back to my Kale, Quinoa and Cannellini Burgers. Instead of adding potato I used cooked quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and I decided Cannellini Beans would also be good since I'm on this healthy eating thing - well not all the time just a lot of the time these days as the holiday is nearing and I need to get myself sorted!

To make this recipe I used my Optimum VAC2 Blender - you can read my review by clicking on the link. Also do take a look at another review by Tin and Thyme.

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender from Froothie - Review

The Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Power blender from Froothie is not 'just another high powered blender' it's a heavy duty blender that has the option to be used with or without vacuum. Just look at this gorgeous machine; I say it definitely looks the part, but not only that it makes life so much easier in the kitchen.

It's also available in Black or Red but I'm loving Silver. I have to say it's built well, and so it should be for the price, but you can tell this is fantastic quality as is my previous Optimum 9400 Next Generation Blender. There's certainly nothing flimsy or cheap looking about any of the power blenders from Froothie.

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Why would you need a Vacuum Blender?
When used with the vacuum option the air is taken out of ingredients such as fruit placed in the blending jug. By removing the air smoothies etc will stay colourful and won't separate as they usually would. The vacuum technology eliminates the oxidation process by drawing out the air which can lead to the destruction of nutrients in food; this is what causes smoothies etc to separate in a very short time if not consumed straight away.

How to make Marzipan

Well who'd have thought me of all people, has actually managed to made a Christmas cake. Now for the cake itself I used a recipe off the net which worked and I had a rich dark, moist fruit cake.

As I understand it it's important to 'feed' the cake every few days by making small holes in with a cocktail stick and adding brandy. Well due to one thing or another happening round here I didn't get round to icing it for a good few weeks so for fear of it drying out my cake was fed possibly a little too much; yep a lot of brandy went into this cake 😊 I think if I had a shop I'd need an alcohol licence to sell a slice!

Christmas Cake

So anyway the cake was made and with thanks to the lovely people over at Dr. Oetker the icing was taken care of by way of a ready to roll pack. Well I got so into this cake making lark I even bought me a fondant icing smoother which is necessary for a lovely smooth finish - see I know all the techie bits lol 😉 A cake smoother not only give a nice smooth finish but it ensures the marzipan and icing are nicely sealed with no airspace in between; you may remember I had lessons at the Langham Hotel in London with Cherish Finden no less so I know these things!

Bear in Mind your Star Sign when Deciding what to Eat

There are many aspects of life that can be explored using our zodiac signs; the most obvious of which is when you’re thinking about your love life and who you might be most compatible with. Then, of course, we can use astrology when considering a career change, as certain character traits – and suitability for certain roles - seem to follow with whichever star sign we are.

Astrology

"astrology" (Public Domain) by claudiadea131

But did you know that there are certain foods that are supposed to suit certain zodiac signs better than others? Maybe you take astrology seriously and have regular astrology readings like those available at TheCircle or perhaps you just tend to glance at your horoscope in the paper and see if anything chimes with how you’re feeling at that moment. Either way, it makes sense that if our star sign affects our character and love life, it might also be relevant to what foods work for us.

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Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie - Optimum VAC 2 Air Vacuum Blender

In my attempt to get fit, eat healthy and lose this 9lb off of my stomach I've been making smoothies which I have for lunch. Just a smoo...