Slow Cooking With Homepride

[AD] Cooking for a large family with varying ages can be a challenge to say the least. There are always likes and dislikes, someone is hungry when someone else isn’t or there is a last minute friend turning up that needs feeding.

All of these issues with the need of serving them something nutritious as well as tasty can be mind blowing at times, but this is where my slow cooker is my saviour.

I bought my first slow cooker back before I can even remember now, after getting fed up with serving up a plate of beige food when I was pushed for time after the kids swimming lessons. We would get in late, they would be ravenous and I just reached for nuggets and chips or pizza as they were the quickest and easiest option. 

The more children I had and the more after school clubs that were happening, the more I was reaching for freezer food and I knew this wasn’t good for any of us.

The slow cooker came on the scene and I marveled at how I could prepare a whole range of meals that were healthy and filling in the morning, and this would be ready to eat as soon as we got in at night.

My narrow minded thoughts of them only being used to cook stews were quashed and over the years the different meals I have prepared have been so vast. The only thing that sometimes holds me up is having a bare cupboard as some recipes require a fair few ingredients and this is why I have been so pleased to discover the Homepride Slow Cooker range.

Homepride slow cooker sauces are concentrated sauces that once added to a few simple ingredients creates a perfectly slow cooked meal packed with flavour in three simple steps.

For me the sauces are perfect for those times when you are in a real rush as all the flavour is packed into this handy little pouch for you which is so convenient when you are pushed for time…or inspiration.

Big families also come with big food bills and these Homepride sauces are extremely budget friendly as there is no need for a high list of ingredients which you can find with some recipes.

As I said earlier, another hurdle I face with my gang is needing to please everyone’s tastes which is no mean feat! The Homepride sauces offer chilli con carne, chicken curry, beef and ale and BBQ pulled pork. My mini critics are a hard bunch to please but I can honestly say each recipe was a winner.

The issue was choosing which sides to have, but because the recipes are so quick and easy to prepare I didn’t mind adding a few different side dishes to please everyone.

The beef and ale worked perfectly served with a creamy mash that I had made in advance, and for my potato fearing kids, chunks of fresh bread worked well. The pulled pork was the perfect after school meal as it could be piled inside floury baps with a big green salad.

The favourite for us though was the chilli con carne. I can never get the combination of spices right and the Homepride sauce gave me a rich sauce with just the right amount of spice.

Head over to my highlights on Instagram to see a step by step guide of how I made it and please let me know what you think if you give it a try.

Making Arla Organic Free Range Milk Part Of Our Everyday Routine

My husband jokes that it would be cheaper and easier to buy a cow for our home due to the vast quantities of milk we go through each and every day. From breakfast to our evening meals there is rarely a meal that doesn’t include it. Milk is certainly a staple in our house that we couldn’t live without and after a trip to an Arla dairy farm last year it gave me a completly different outlook to how I view this rather amazing product!

I was certainly the kind of person that didn’t give my choice a milk more than a few seconds thought. I would simply throw a full fat for the little ones, a semi skimmed for the adults and a dairy free for Frankie into the trolley and off to the tills I would go.

All of Arla’s milk is free range and sourced only from British farms. The cows are all free range and where possible grazed on organically farmed land. The wellbeing of their cattle is of upmost importance and this is one of the many reason I choose to buy Arla Organic Milk.

I always start the day with a big bowl of porridge along with the majority of the family. There are varying topping of choice from healthier options such as blueberries and strawberries to naughtier hazelnut spread!

Arla is the perfect milk to kick off our day with and works perfectly with our porridge.

Having a large family and working from home can sometimes feel like I’m in a hamster wheel that I can’t get out of so I always try to take five minutes out of my day to switch off to everything and grab a cup of tea. This usually means a quick stop off at the supermarket after the school run in the morning (Arla Organic Milk comes in handy 2L bottles) and take solace in the garden – sometimes with a sneaky piece of cake!

One of my favourite ways to incorporate Arla Milk into our meals though is with my creamy rice pudding recipe that I have left below.

The richness of the whole milk is the prefect choice and something my whole family love:

125g pudding rice
600ml Arla organic whole milk
50ml single cream
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsps sugar

Place the rice into a medium sized saucepan and pour in the milk, cream and vanilla extract. Bring all this to the boil and then simmer.

Cook the rice ensuring you stir regularly for 20/25 mins. The aim is for the rice to be plump and the liquid reduced.

Add the sugar and nutmeg and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Once it is completely dissolved give it a good stir and serve covered with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Using Arla Organic Milk allows me to know that my family are getting all the goodness they can from a milk plus I have the feel good factor that comes from knowing it is coming from happy cows and the money I am spending is going straight into the farmers pocket.

Is buying Arla Organic milk something you already do or something you would consider?

*Collaborated post

Date Night With Gousto

The more children we have and the older I get the less I can be bothered to make time for a date nights with my husband.

This is a huge bone of contention in our house as its something thats very important to him so we have to find a little bit of compromise.

Food is a big love for both of us so the perfect way to spend a little time together without the stress of going out is taking an evening or two away from the chaos of family meal times and preparing a meal for just the two of us.

This is however pretty time consuming so when we were asked to sample some meals from Gousto I thought this would be a great way to save some time and forethought in our very limited amount of alone time.

Gousto is so quick and easy to use. You simply need to log into their site, chose the size of box you require and select which meals you fancy from a varied list for the week ahead.

The box is then delivered directly to you door with all the ingredients carefully weighed out and prepared ready for you to follow the easy to use recipe cards that are provided alongside your food.

First up for us was a sticky chilli beef burrito with a lime mayo.

 All I needed to do was to grab the bits I needed that are all listed in words and pictures for you on the sheet and get on with the cooking.

The rest of the week we got to sample a curried chicken and sultana rice with a spicy kick that was complimented perfectly by the sweetness of the dried fruit.

Sea bass on smoky chorizo chowder that teamed a gorgeously creamy chowder with the crispy skin of the melt in the mouth fish.

And finally a chicken, red pepper and lemongrass curry which bought a completly take on rice for me.

Meals can become something of a chore at times and the ability to pick something you might not ordinarily choose really opened my eyes to recipes that I would usually consider to time consuming to prepare.

If you are looking for something to take the monotony out of the weekly meals plans, need something that is a great time saver or simply fancy trying something a little different then I highly recommend you give Guosto a try.

*we were given this Gousto box for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinion.

 

Quorn Chilli Dogs

Hot dogs are always something that most children will eat and are so quick and easy to prepare.

I decided using a couple of great Quorn products to create a vegetarian chilli dog that allows you to sneak a few veggies into one of their favourite foods.
Quorn Chilli Dogs

Serves 4


  • Pack Quorn sausages
  • Pack Quorn mince
  • 4 brioche hotdog buns
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 3 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 400g tin kidney beans
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tbsps tomato purée
  1. Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and then begin to fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Next add the red pepper and fry for a further couple of mins.
  3. Add to this the spices and and allow to release the flavours for a few minutes.
  4. Add the Quorn mince, tomatoes, tomato purée, kidney beans, stock cube, water and oregano and allow to simmer for 20 mins.
  5. Whist the chilli is cooking place the Quorn sausages into the oven for 15 mins.
  6. Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven and place inside the brioche buns and top with the chilli.
  7. Serve with a portion of skinny fries and a mini corn on the cob.