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Fruity Friday – Week 5 Frozen pineapple and berry slush

frozen pineapple and berry slush header
Image by Yan from Pixabay

Welcome to week five of my Day Zero Challenge to cook my way through a cookbook. You can find the details in the original post, Fruity Friday. Today we’re making frozen pineapple and berry slush.

Our fifth recipe is:

Frozen pineapple and berry slush

Frozen pineapple and berry slush
Serves 4
8 ice cubes
250g (9oz) hulled strawberries
250g (9oz) fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
120ml (4 fl oz) pineapple juice
2 tbsp dried skimmed milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar or caster sugar, or to taste
sprigs of fresh pineapple mint to decorate
frozen pineapple and berry slush
1) Put the ice cubes in a food processor or heavy duty blender and process until they’re finely crushed.
Alternatively, crush the ice cubes in a freezer proof bag, bashing them with a rolling pin and then put them in the blender or processor.
2) Add the strawberries, pineapple chunks, pineapple juice and skimmed milk powder and process again until blended but still with small pieces of fruit and ice visible.
3) Taste ans sweeten with sugar if necessary. Process briefly with the pulse button.
4) Spoon into tall glasses, decorate each with a sprig of pineapple mint and serve with long spoons.
KayCee drinking her slush
Each serving provides:
95 kcal
3g protein
0.3g fat
22g carbohydrate of which sugars 22g
2g fibre
Ella drinking her slushFamily verdict:
Ella LOVED it! It didn’t last more than a couple of minutes and I think she finished off KayCee’s as well!
It was very nice and would make a lovely refreshing breakfast drink on a warm summer morning.

Fruity Friday – Week 4 Citrus Wake-Up

Welcome to week four of my Day Zero Challenge to cook my way through a cookbook. Today we’re making Citrus Wake-Up.

You can find the details in the original post, Fruity Friday.

Our third recipe is:

Citrus Wake-Up

citrus wake-up
Serves 4

4 juicy oranges, about 500g (1lb 2oz) in total
1 pink grapefruit

1 lemon
1 lime
grated zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
To Decorate (optional)

slices of lemon and lime

KayCee and Ella making citrus wake-up

1) Cut the oranges, grapefruit, lemon and lime in half crossways. Juice them using either an electric juicer or a simple citrus squeezer, preferably one that strains out the seeds but leaves in a generous quantity of pulp. If you have no squeezer at all, poke a fork into the flesh several times, then squeeze the juice from the fruit by hand, prodding with the fork now and again.
2) Combine the citrus juices in a jug with the lime zest, 4 tbsp of water, the sugar and shreds of mint. Stir then pour into glasses over a few ice cubes and, if you like, slices of lemon and lime.

Each serving provides:
60 kcal
1g protein
0g fat
14g carbohydrate of which sugars 14g
2g fibre

Citrus wake-upFamily verdict:
Not everyone enjoyed this drink, in fact, I think I ended up drinking most of it. It was just too sour for little taste buds.
They had fun getting sticky making it though so it wasn’t all bad!

Fruity Friday – Week 3 Banana & Mango Shake

Welcome to week three of my Day Zero Challenge to cook my way through a cookbook. Today we’re making Banana Mango shakes.

You can find the details in the original post, Fruity Friday.

Our third recipe is:

Banana Mango Shake

banana mango shakeServes 2
Half a ripe mango
1 small banana, sliced
150ml (5 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
120ml (4 fl oz) orange juice
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp caster sugar
2 heaped tbsp vanilla frozen yogurt
Sprigs of fresh lemon balm to decorate (optional)
1) Peel the skin from the mango and cut the flesh away from the stone. Chop the flesh roughly. Put into a blender with the banana.

2) Add the milk, orange juice, lime juice, sugar and frozen yogurt and blend on maximum for 30 seconds or until mixed and frothy.

3) Pour into glasses and serve immediately, decorated with sprigs of lemon balm if you like.

Each serving provides:

150 kcal
5 g protein
2 g fat (of which saturated fat 1 g)
30 g carbohydrate (of which sugars 29 g)
1 g fibre

Family verdict:

Ella making banana mango shakeWe all loved it except for KayCee. She didn’t actually say she didn’t like it but she put it in the fridge saying she’d have it later and it’s still there so I think we can safely assume she’s not keen.
She did enjoy helping to make it though, especially when it came to eating the left over vanilla yogurt!
KayCee making banana mango shakeIt didn’t take them both long to empty the tub and I reckon they’ll probably be asking me me to buy more the next time they see me doing my Tesco order!
We left out the citrus juices after the results of our first recipe as I knew the tang would put the children off.
The banana also seemed to overpower the flavour of the mango so I think next time we’ll add more mango.
KayCee pouring banana mango shakeIt was extremely nice and we’ll be making more of these. Ella wants to make mango milkshake because that’s what Coraline asks for in the movie and Coraline is one of her favourite movies so we’ll make some of that soon as well.
 Ella pouring banana mango shakeI’m really pleased I started doing these recipes because it’s always great to get the kids to try fruit in new ways 🙂

Next Week: Citrus Wake Up

Spaghetti IN sausages!

I saw this recipe for spaghetti in sausages on Pinterest and knew my kids would LOVE it so I gave it a go 🙂 I wasn’t wrong, they were amazed, especially Aiden who said it was super amazingly awesome. It’s not often my cooking gets such high praise!

KayCee was the first to ask how it was done and after explaining that you just push the dried spaghetti through the sausages before you cook them she was eager to do it herself.
I now have to order more sausages from Tesco so they can all have a go next week!
I served theirs with beans, carrots, peas and sweetcorn while Ant and I sauce made from soft cheese, onions and garlic sausage. We also had the veg mixed in. It was delicious.

The thing to remember next time is not to make so many. I did 2 tins of sausages, which I’d usually use when serving them as hot dogs in buns. I used less spaghetti than I would normally use if I were cooking it to go with a sauce but found that the portions looked huge serving them this way. The girls had about three-quarters of a sausage each and Aiden had about 1 and a half. With the beans and the veg, they ended up with quite a large dinner and we ended up with loads of spaghetti and sausages left!
They’re having them again for lunch today 🙂


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Fruity Friday – Week 2 Mango, Peach & Apricot Fizz

Mango, peach and apricot fizz header image
Image by RIKO YANDRI from Pixabay

Welcome to week two of my Day Zero Challenge to cook my way through a cookbook. Today we’re making mango peach fizz.
You can find the details in the original post, Fruity Friday.

All recipes are taken from the Readers Digest Fresh Fruit and Dessert book.

Our second recipe is:

Mango Peach & Apricot Fizz

Serves 4

You will need:
1 ripe mango
1 ripe peach
2 ripe large apricots
500ml (17 fl oz) ginger ale or lemonade if preferred.
Fresh mint or lemon balm leaves to decorate (optional)

If you can’t get fresh fruit, substitute with canned fruit in juice.

1) Peel the mango and cut the flesh away from the central stone. Roughly chop the flesh and put it in a blender or food processor. Alternatively, if you’re using a hand blender, put the mango in a large tall jug.

2) Cover the peach and apricots with boiling water and leave for about 30 seconds, then drain and cool under cold running water. Slip off the skins. Roughly chop the flesh, discard the stones, and add to the mango.

3) Pour over enough of the ginger ale just to cover the fruit, then process until completely smooth. Pour in the remaining ginger ale and process again.

4) Quickly pour into tall glasses, preferably over crushed ice. Decorate with fresh mint or lemon balm leaves, if you like. Serve immediately with wide straws or drizzle sticks.

Each serving provides:
55 kcal
1g protein
0g fat
14g carbohydrate (of which sugars 13g)
2g fibre

Family verdict:

We used tinned peaches and apricots and a fresh mango. We made two batches; one with lemonade instead of ginger ale because KayCee doesn’t like ginger ale.

KayCee and Ella making mango peach fizz

The girls enjoyed whizzing it all up with the hand blender and then seeing all the froth come to the surface as we added more fizz!

KayCee and Ella making mango peach fizz

After tasting both versions, we all agreed that although the ginger ale one was nice, we all preferred it with lemonade.

KayCee drinking mango peach fizz

It’s a very refreshing drink and I can see us making lots more of it in the summer and pouring it over plenty of crushed ice 🙂

Fruity Friday – Week 1 Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

strawberry yogurt smoothie header image
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Welcome to week one of my Day Zero Challenge to cook my way through a cookbook. Today we’re making a strawberry yogurt smoothie.
You can find the details in the original post, Fruity Friday.

All recipes are taken from the Readers Digest Fresh Fruit and Dessert book.

Our first recipe is:

Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie.

To make 4 servings, you will need:

450g (1 lb) ripe strawberries, hulled
Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
150g (5 and a half oz) plain low-fat yogurt
1 tbsp caster sugar, or to taste (optional)

To Decorate (optional)
4 small strawberries
4 small slices of orange

1) Tip the strawberries into a food processor or blender and add the grated orange zest, orange juice and yogurt. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping down the sides of the container once or twice. Taste the mixture and add *sugar or powdered sweetener, if necessary.

For a really smooth consistency, press through a nylon sieve to remove the strawberry pips, although this is not essential.

2) Pour the yogurt into the blender and whiz it again until the yogurt is fully mixed in.

3) Pour into glasses. If you like, decorate with small strawberries and slices of orange, both split so they sit on the side of the glass.

*To add sweetness without using sugar, add a sliced banana. It will also thicken the mixture.

Each serving provides:
55 kcal
3g protein
0.5g fat (of which saturated fat 0.2g)
11g of carbohydrate (of which sugars 11g)
1g fibre

Family verdict:

The kids enjoyed making the smoothie and all of them said it tasted nice but the orange gave it a tangy taste.
They said it would have been nicer without the orange so next time we’re not going to use it.
While eating breakfast, they discussed what other flavour smoothies they want to make next 🙂

ingredients for strawberry yogurt smoothie
KayCee making strawberry yogurt smoothies
Ella making strawberry yogurt smoothies
Strawberry yogurt smoothies

Millionaire’s Shortbread

Image by David Greenwood-Haigh from Pixabay

We’ve never tried this recipe for millionaire’s shortbread before and for the life of me, I have no idea why not! I mean, it’s shortbread, it’s caramel and it’s chocolate. Three of my most favourite things all together!

This recipe is based on Nigella’s but we don’t have semolina so we left it out.

For the base we used:

225g Plain Flour
100g Sugar (it says caster sugar but we’re using granulated because that’s what we have!)
225g Unsalted Butter (it doesn’t specify that it has to be unsalted but again, that’s what we have)

For the caramel we used:

175g Unsalted Butter
175g Sugar
4 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 x 397g Can of Condensed Milk

For the topping we used:

200g Chocolate (the recipe says plain chocolate but we only have milk so that’s what we’re using)

Set the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 2

KayCee measured the ingredients for the base and mixed them all together until they formed a dough.

KayCee measuring ingredients for millionaire's shortbread
KayCee mixing ingredients for millionaire's shortbread

We had to add a bit more flour because it was a bit sticky.

KayCee mixing ingredients for millionaire's shortbread

I pressed the mixture into the tray and KayCee pricked it all over with a fork.

I put it in the oven and cooked it for about an hour then left it to cool. it says to cook it for 30-40 minutes but ours didn’t look done so I cooked it longer.

While it was cooking, we got the paints out ready for the hand and footprinting we were going to do when the cooking was finished.

When the base had cooled, Ella helped measure the ingredients for the caramel into a saucepan and I heated it on the cooker, stirring all the time until the butter melted.

Ela measuring the ingredients for millionaire's shortbread

I continued to constantly stir the mixture while it gently bubbled, for about 12 minutes. When it started to get thicker, I poured it over the cooled base and then left that to cool.

We had to leave it overnight because it was bedtime by the time the caramel had cooled so this morning, the girls broke the chocolate into squares and I melted it in the microwave.

KayCee breaking the chocolate
Ella breaking the chocolate

I poured it over the caramel and left it to set.
And here it is, our first ever Millionaire’s shortbread. It’s absolutely delicious and we’ll be making this again!

millionaire's shortbread
millionaire's shortbread
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