Learning To Cook With Jamie Oliver’s Hotpoint Teaching Kitchen

How many of you cook your evening meal from scratch every night?

I would hazard a guess that it won’t be many of you and as research from Jamie’s Ministry Of Food shows this sadly the case for many of us.

In fact a huge 1 in 5 adults rely on takeaways and convenience food due to a lack of knowledge in cooking skills and a whopping 1 in 10 have never cooked from scratch.

For me one of my favourite lessons at school was home economics and was actually the only A I got at GCSE.

It was an outlet away from the more academic subjects that I never thrived in and it certainly gave me a great knowledge of food preparation and nutrition that has always stayed with me.

Sadly in many schools this is not on the timetable at all now and 7 in 10 people feel the rise in takeaways and convience food has been greatly affected by this.

This makes for a vicious cycle of parents then not having the knowledge to pass down to their children creating a nation with little knowledge on food at all.

I was shocked to find that 1 in 5 can’t boil an egg, a quarter struggle to cook rice and a third of the people asked lack the skills to correctly cut an onion.

For these reasons Jamie’s Ministry Of Food has got together with Hotpoint to create a fantastic teaching kitchen that is setting up in the towns where obesity and diet related illnesses are at a high.

I was asked along to have a lesson at the truck earlier this week in Selhurst, South London.

I arrived in the car park of Crystal Palace Football Club which seemed like a pretty strange place to be learning to cook.

The truck was nothing liked I expected and was in fact a spectacularly kitted out set up with high tech appliances from Hopoint and plenty of natural light to make for a fantastic area to learn new skills.


Although I would say I’m a pretty confident cook my repertoire has become pretty limited due to cooking for a large family with limited time.

To be honest the majority of my meals are prepared from scratch but I’m a bit of a one pot fan and I was hoping this lesson would open my eyes to creating something new for the family.

Any nerves I had about starting the session were soon quashed when the super friendly chefs introduced themselves and started the afternoon.

Our mission was to prepare a beautiful dish of salmon teriyaki from scratch which is one of my favourite meals but something I’ve not tried to create mysel.

Each step was shown to us and then as we went through the process ourselves there was plenty of experts on hand to help out at any stage.


I learned some great tips on food wastage and an entirely new way to cook rice that I will be trying out at home!



Children as young as 7 can go along to take part and I think this would be the perfect way to introduce little ones to the exciting world of cooking and sparking off something that could turn into a real passion for them.

The truck is in Selhurst until 16th June and you can book your slot HERE for free.

It is then moving onto Bristol, Middlesborough, Sunderland and Liverpool.

There is then an exciting opportunity for one community to win the chance to have the truck come to your town.

All you need to do is post a picture on social media showing members of your local community such as a youth group or scout troop holding wooden spoons.

Simply let them know the name of your town and why they are deserving and is the hashtag #cookforchange.

I would love to know if you decide to visit the truck and if you do what you think!

Kiddie Free Evening At FEGO

A while ago now I went along to FEGO in Banstead with Frankie and Oscar to see what they had to offer in the way of family dining.

We were hugely impressed with everything they had to offer…so much so that when I was asked to come back and sample their evening menu I couldn’t wait.

I’m sure I’m not the only parent who craves a little adult time away from the daily routine of taking care of the family, in fact I think it is important to take a break from it all, give yourself a little headspace and enjoy some adult conversation.

I hadn’t had a night out with my younger sister since Christmas so we were both really looking forward to some uninterrupted chit chat over dinner.

We arrived at FEGO and were taken to our table where our super friendly waitress guided me through the drinks menu and helped to pick out a cocktail she thought would take my fancy.

I went for a pornstar martini that I sipped on whilst we perused the menu.

It was a tough decision and I flitted from burgers to salads, pizzas and steaks until I finally settled on a succulent piece of salmon coated in lemon and olive oil served with a sweet potato side salad that was covered with a whole grain mustard dressing.

My sister went with the veggie curry that was a gorgeous combination of cauliflower, spinach, sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash in a mildly, creamy curry sauce served with fluffy basmati rice and a really different mango salsa that made a pleasant change from the usual chutney.

The desert menu was then shown to us and although every part of me wanted to opt for the fruit plater to save my waistline, my willpower was not strong enough to resist the sharing platter of mini puddings.


This was probably not the best choice for sisters who still have that childlike tendency to argue over who has had the biggest portion!

Each and every pudding was a taste sensation with something different with each mouthful.

The lemon posset gave you that bit of sharpness, the chocolate brownies and ice cream were there to satisfy the love for chocolate and the pasteis de nata filled the want for something creamy.

But my favourite had to be the peppermint crisp pudding that was a combination hard to describe so I will leave it down to you to try for yourself.

Pleasantly full we remained at the table and chatted for ages with another cheeky cocktail.


At no point did we feel pressured to leave and were more than happy taking in the great atmosphere, relaxing and making the most of some rare time out.

Never before have I visited a restaurant at serval different times of day and have been able to enjoy completly different yet equally as wonderful experiences.

FEGO really have covered every base and I have to say that evening dining has been my favourite experience and one that will be having me coming back time and time again.
*Collaborated Post

Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes

Easter is always a tricky time for Frankie and his allergies but this year he is feeling it even more so.

For a few months he had been allowed dairy and it had opened up his eyes to the world of real chocolate.

We had all really hoped that this would be the first year he would be able to get a Easter egg the same as his siblings but sadly this isn’t the case.

Stomach problems, bad skin and mood swings had all come on in force again and the doctors decided it was probably down to the dairy so we had to say goodbye to it again.

It’s been a hugely tough couple of months as he was so enjoying everything that came will the inclusion of dairy so this Easter I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it special for him.

These cupcakes that mimic a chick cracking from an egg have really put a smile on his face and could easily be converted to your usual ingredients.

Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes 

  • 100g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g dairy free spread
  • Egg replacer for equivalent of 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder 
  • Pack ready roll fondant icing 
  • 12 decorative chicks
  • 12 cupcake cases 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F and lay out cases into cake tin.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with electric whisk until combined.
  3. Place ingredients into cases as bake for 13/16 mins.
  4. Once cook allow to cool on rack.
  5. Whilst cooling roll out a small amount of icing to about a thickness of 2cm.
  6. Cut out a circle slightly larger than the cakes and create a cross in the middle.
  7. Lay on top of the cake and peel up edges of the cross to open a whole in the centre.
  8. In this gap place one of the chicks to create the look of a hatching chick.

What If You Couldn’t Afford To Feed Your Baby

All any mother wants is the guarantee that when her precious little bundle arrives she will be able to keep them safe, healthy and happy.

We all go out of our way to give our babies the best start in life that we possibly can…but what if this taken out of our hands and problems arise.

When I had number four as many of you will know we had a really tough journey after his was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.

I had never really considered what a huge impact this would have on us and it took months of hospital visits and teams of wonderful staff that managed to get this issues under control so that we could go be safe I the knowledge that we could bring up our son so that he would grow and nourish like any other child.

I was lucky enough to manage to breastfed for two years by excluding all allergiens from my diet, but as he got older his diet was so limited that he struggled with weight gain and up until the age of four he was prescribed a formula milk that was suitable for him.

Along with this and up to the present time we also get safe bread and pasta for him that have been a huge help as they are so costly to buy and the bread alone that is only available online at the cost on nearly £5 for one small loaf.

Sadly I have just heard that the Clinical Commissioning Group for the borough of Croydon are now going to stop providing infant formulas and gluten free products on prescription.

Can you imagine having a newborn baby that needs feeding and having to find the money to pay sometimes as much as £45 for one small tin of formula.

With an average of two tins being used per week I would struggle to find many families that would be able to find upwards of £360 a month to feed one baby, infact this amount would probably equate to what most families would spend on a food shop for their entire family.

I fully understand that the NHS is under extreme pressure and cuts and changes need to be made so that this fantastic service can be kept for us, but taking food from the mouths of babes is a step to far and will have serious implications for so many families in this borough.

If this affects you in any way or you feel this is unjust then please feel free to sign this petition ‘here’.

Vegetable Broth With Ginger And Chilli Meatballs 

My life sometimes seems to be filled with me wondering what I am going to cook for the family, and most importantly when I do are they all going to eat it!

I can count on one hand how many meals I prepare that please them all, but eating out is always a different matter.

One of our favourites is Wagamamma and what I love about this restaurant is their use of fresh and healthy ingredients that also taste great.

I timidly tried to do my own take on this with a mildly spicy broth filled with rice noodles and tasty meatballs.

If you want to have a go yourself then take a look at my super easy recipe. It is also free from most major allergens so great for my little allergy boy.

Vegetable Broth With Ginger And Chilli Meatballs


  • 450g minced chicken
  • 225g rice noodles
  • 3 pak choi
  • 8 spring onions 
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 400ml vegetable broth 
  • 1 tbsp wheat free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp grated lemongrass 
  1. Place the chicken into a large bowl and then with you’re hands mix in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, half the spring onions and half the chilli flakes.
  2. Roll into balls that are about 3cm in diameter and place into a hot pan to cook for around 10mins, turning occasionally.
  3. While the meatball are cooking I a large pan lightly fry the pak choi and remaining spring onions for a couple of mins.
  4. Add to this the broth, soy sauce and remaining chilli flakes and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and add the rice noodle and meatballs and simmer for a further five minutes.
  6. This will now all be ready to serve in deep bowls…with chopsticks if you are brave enough!

As My Blog Grows So Does My Waistline

It is coming up to nearly two years since I started my blog and my love for it is a strong as the moment I hit publish on my first post which now seems like a lifetime ago!

Blogging has bought me so many wonderful opportunities and I never in a million years thought it would be something that I could turn into a job and I am absolutely over the moon that my little pipe dream has become a reality.

The only downside to staring this journey has been my ever increasing waistline!

All my time and energy are being engulfed by my family and my blog and my passion for exercise has fallen to the wayside and been replaced with a far more sedentary lifestyle. 

I was always a five times a week girl when it came to training in the gym and this would always be a priority, which in turn managed to keep my love for food under control.

In the past two years I have managed to gain a considerable amount of weight that has been really getting me down…yet apart from some sporadic training I have done little about it.

With the New Year started I have decided that with some organisation and getting my butt out of bed they little earlier in the morning I have the ability to give just as much effort to losing weight as I do to my blog and I’m feeling really positive about the changes I have been making.

Last year I attempted to get my old self back by tracking my progress on here.

This was an epic fail so this time I am going to put less pressure on myself, throw away the scales and just get back to a healthier and happier new me.

Wish me luck X

Jackson And Rye Guilford:Review

Just before Christmas we made our way into Guilford to the launch evening of the brand new Jackson and Rye restaurant that has just hit town.

Jackson and Rye are already a very well established chain that have bought a touch of London style dining to the heart of Guilford.

The dimly lit restaurant and dark decor set the tone for the New York style dining they are famous for.

Once seated we were shown a menu that was so hard to chose from as the variety was so great.

We started with mini corn dogs that had caught our eyes a few minutes before ordering, a huge plate of flavoursome crunchy chorizo prawns and some wonderfully crispy buffalo chicken wings.

Our eyes may have been bigger than our bellies as the portions were so generous that after the appetisers we were already pretty full.

Mains arrived promptly and my Cajun spiced chicken was super succulent and accompanied perfectly with a fresh sweetcorn succotash that was a welcome change from the richness of the starters.

My steak loving husband picked his favourite fillet steak and was more than happy with the juicy cut of meat and the crispy fries that set it off perfectly.

Literally bursting at the seams I still made room for a sticky potted cheese cake that was served with a tart berry compote.

We went along as a couple but this restaurant would also cater well for our large family; we looked on at a table full of little ones throughly enjoying a large variety of food from the menu.

Jackson and Rye was a welcoming, relaxed restaurant that still had that feeling of something a little special. They have taken the usual American dining experience and given it a touch of class.

After chatting with the friendly waiting staff we found the restaurant is infamous for their weekend brunch and we will certainly be back soon to sample this soon!