Posted in food

Chicken and Ham Pie

This recipe has been handed down to me by my mum and each time we add something to it to make it our own. This is something I make when I have a fair amount of time as it can take a little time to make (especially if you make the pastry yourself).

What I love about this pie is that it is jam packed full with ingredients and so you only need a small amount of it before you are full. Paired with mini roast potatoes and fresh veg this is a great dish for a cold winters day, it’s warming and filling and that’s exactly what you need when you have hungry mouths to feed that never seem to be full.

I recommend you make the filling for this pie the day before you are going to cook it as that ensures that the meat is infused with the different flavours, making for a tastier dish that you just won’t be able to resist.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • 100g cooked ham
  • 150ml double cream
  • 75ml chicken gravy
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp english mustard
  • 250g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 med egg beaten
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Put chicken, ham, cream, gravy, tarragon, cornflour, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well
  3. Leave to marinate over night
  4. Spoon filling into a shallow baking dish.
  5. cover with pastry, trim to fit
  6. brush with beaten egg
  7. cook for 30-35mins
  8. serve hot with veg and potatoes.

You can also blind bake some puff pastry with baking beads for about 10 mins before putting the filling inside it. This makes it a bit more of a traditional pie, rather than a hot pot with a topping.

I hope you enjoy this recipe

Much love xx

Posted in about me

What’s In My Handbag – Summer 2020

My handbag is not just a bag for me, but for my daughter as well. Wherever we go I have to make sure that I have everything that I could possibly need for our days out.

The contents of my bag change with the seasons and weather to make sure that I am always prepared for absolutely anything, and the more my daughter grows and changes the more her needs change and the things I need to bring with me change.

A mums handbag

So What’s in my bag?

I tipped my bag out to find out the answer to this question, and I had a really good laugh at seeing the things I had in my bag.

  • 2 Pairs of children’s knickers – my daughter is fully potty trained but we do still have the odd accident
  • 3 odd socks for my daughter – I don’t even know how they got there to be honest, or even why there isn’t a pair!
  • 1 pair of my daughter’s leggings – again in case of accidents. If she is wearing a dress it will be a clean dress and pair of tights if the weather is cool.
  • A couple of nappy sacks – for wet clothes in case of accident
  • Wipes – we always need a pack of wipes
  • Hand sanitiser – before Covid 19 this was for nappy changes and before we eat, now it is for literally everything.
  • Keys
  • Face mask – thankyou covid 19
  • Purse
  • A Pen – always handy to have a pen.
  • Packet of Rennie’s – you never know when your going to get indigestion or heart burn.
  • hundreds of receipts
  • Bottle of Water – for my little one mainly
  • Sun cream – well it is the middle of the summer
  • And hundreds of crumbs – I think I need to hoover my bag out haha!

So there you have it, the contents of a mum’s bag. We are out so much during the week that only the contents we use get swapped or changed, I will also add in snacks for us before we leave the house so my little one will never be hungry during an activity.

What’s in your handbag? Do you have any strange items hiding in the folds of the fabric, or in that secret pocket you forgot about?

Much Love xx

Posted in food

Nan’s Fish Pie

A Fish Pie is full of protein, veg and yummy goodness. This is something that my dad used to make all the time when I was little, and when I asked him where he got the recipe from he told me it was from my nan.

Since having the recipe I have adapted it and moulded it to my tastes and to something that my little one is more likely to eat. I have now got my fish pie to an almost perfect state, but I know it is missing something, and I hope to one day find out what that is and then share it with you.

Ingredients

For the Mash
  • 5 med potatoes
  • milk
  • butter
  • ground black pepper

For the Filling
  • Fish pie mix (defrosted)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (cut into 4)
  • Grated cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • A knob of butter
  • Pinch of pepper

As I said at the beginning of this post there is something missing from this ingredients list and I still haven’t worked out what it is. But that’s what cooking is isn’t it? one big experiment with food.

Method

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces. Put them on to boil.
  2. Boil the eggs for 12 mins ~(to get hard boiled)
  3. Once boiled leave the eggs to cool for 10mins then peel and cut into 4 pieces
  4. Once the potatoes are soft drain the water and add a knob of butter and splash of milk
  5. mash the potatoes and add more milk or butter to the consistency you like, set aside for later
  6. Pour a cup of milk into a pan and bring to boil.
  7. Add the fish, let simmer for around 5-10 mins.
  8. remove fish and add flour and parsley to the milk, mix well until smooth and it thickens
  9. add in the peas, simmer until they are heated through
  10. add in fish, and eggs
  11. set into a pie dish (I used a lasagne dish)
  12. layer the mashed potato on top, run a fork in the potato to make ridges
  13. top with cheese
  14. bake in the oven at 200c for 25-30 mins or until golden brown

Serve with veg of your choice.

This is dish very simple to make but does require a bit of your time, however if you have older children they could help you make the sauce or for a better result prepare the filling the night before you wish to make the pie so that the flavours are really infused.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you have any ideas on what could be missing please let me know.

Enjoy xx

Posted in about me

About Me

Hello there!

My name is Emma and I am the owner of The Mum Diet Style.

I set out on a journey with my blog to share my easy recipes for families who are constantly on the go. But since then have decided to share my passion for fashion and beauty with the world to show mums that we can still be fashionable with little ones. Even if it is a big challenge.

I am a single mum who is passionate about everything she puts her mind to. My little girl constantly keeps me on my toes and these blogs are the perfect way for me to unwind in the evening.

I look forward to sharing with you my experiences with both food and fashion and hope you will become a frequent visitor.

Much love xx

Emma

Posted in food

The Veg Dread

Getting children to eat their fruit and veg is always a tricky one. When they are just babies and trying food for the first time you give them every vegetable under the sun, but then something happens as they get older. They discover other food and realise that veggies are not as nice as, say, a biscuit.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

It is our duty as parents to try and persuade our little cherubs that they should be choosing the healthier options, or to just “eat one more mouthful of peas”. The fight is never ending and our little ones can be incredibly stubborn. I’ve had food thrown over the floor, her just refusing to eat anything, eating everything but her vegetables, sneaking her veggies onto someone else’s plate, and I’m pretty sure if we had a dog, the dog would be very well fed with unwanted veg.

Fruit is much easier to get little ones to eat, they are sweet and moist and much tastier than the slightly bitter vegetables that we have to offer. What’s more they are much more vibrant in colour making them more appealing to little fingers.

So my question is

How do we get children to eat their veg?

Do we force feed them into oblivion?

Do we threaten them?

Do we make every single meal into a soup, just so we know they’re having something?

Do we continue with a daily battle and struggle making meal times ever so slightly stressful? Or do we find a solution that works best for our children?

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

I have spent the last year and a half looking for alternative ways to get my little girl to eat her vegetables. I will admit not everything that I have tried works, but the ones that do work I stick to.

Trial and error is the best option we have as parents to try and get our little ones to eat. Even a supermarket has tried a campaign to get children to eat their veg. But the question is does it work?

Below are a few ideas that I have tried, with some good results.

Hide and Seek

Adding vegetables to a sauce or hiding them in a Bolognese, this has been a great way for me to get my little one to eat up her vegetables. She loves a Bolognese and my homemade sauces always go down a treat.

Another way to hide vegetables is to make a soup. (I will tag my soup recipe once I reveal this to you al, below) My daughter loves a soup but is adamant that she dislikes the various veggies that I add to it. That is where I laugh a little. She will gobble a homemade soup up in no time giving her plenty of nutrients and veg.

Shaping it up?

Making fun shapes out of vegetables and fruit is a really good way to get little ones to eat them. Rather than doing the classic vegetable sticks and chunks, make them into something fun. Try some letters and numbers to help with their learning, or simple shapes such as a star, heart, or smiling faces.

Sometimes I get my little one to help make the shapes, that way as she has felt involved she is more likely to eat them. I like to get her to make a picture with her veggies before she eats them so she has fun with them first. She gets great pleasure in eating her creations (haha).

Making a game out of it?

My favourite game to play with my little girl is that her veggies are going to eat her favourite part of her meal if she doesn’t eat them first. At first she started eating her favourite parts first so the veggies wouldn’t touch them, but after a bit of learning (I started removing bits from her plate when she wasn’t looking shhh – she got them back after her veggies were gone) she will now eat her veggies alongside the main part of her meal.

We also try a game of who can eat their veg the quickest, and I used inspiration from the Aldi advert (I think it was aldi) and told her that the vegetables are going to take over the world if she doesn’t help mummy eat them all.

Making it fun to eat her vegetables is definitely one of the best ways I have used to get her to eat them up.

Nicknames

Giving the vegetables a nickname helps her to see a fun side with them, and more likely to touch them. While it doesn’t always work it does help her to understand that they are good for you.

Some of the nicknames we have are:

Broccoli – green trees

Cauliflower – white trees

tomatoes – tomtoms

Cucumber – cumbie

What are some of the things that you do to get your children to eat their veg? This is an ongoing battle for most parents and while I have found some solutions to it, I will admit IT DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK. Children are stubborn and they know what they want (even if it’s not what they need) and will do anything they can to get what they want where possible.

I look forward to hearing all about your solutions and struggles that you have with getting your little ones to eat their fruit and veg.

much love xx

Posted in food

Quick ‘n’ easy Quiche

Quiche is one of our summer go-to’s. It is a light and tasty dish which is perfect for a warm summers day paired with a wonderful salad. My salads usually consist of a selection of lettuce, tomatoes, celery, pepper and cucumber. I don’t use a dressing as I usually mix it with the products that I am pairing it with.

There are so many fillings that you can add to a quiche to make it your own, I am going to share with you the fillings that I used to make the one photographed. However the world is your oyster when it comes to the fillings that you can add to a quiche.

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • 140g cold butter
  • 50g parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml double cream (or creme fraiche for a lighter filling)
  • 1 Pepper
  • a handful of tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 50g grated cheese (I like to use a red cheese like red leister)

Making the Pastry

  1. Rub flour and butter together until crumbs are made
  2. Slowly add water until a dough is formed
  3. Roll out pastry until desired size and put into the tin
  4. leave in fridge for 20 mins
  5. Heat oven to 180c
  6. Prick base of tart, line with greaseproof paper and put baking beads on top.
  7. Blind bake for 20 mins with beads then 5 mins without.

To make the filling

  1. Prepare and cook filling items so semi cooked. (onions and peppers slightly softened)
  2. Beat eggs, gradually add cream and seasoning (the mixture wont go thick but will stay a runny consistency)
  3. Sprinkle parmesan over the base,
  4. add filling ingredients
  5. top with the cream mixture and cheese
  6. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden brown
  7. leave to cool and remove from tin
  8. serve.

While this is a slightly more complex recipe in terms of time it takes to make, this is an absolutely tasty delight once the recipe has been perfected. Since making this dish I have found that adding the cheese into the cream mixture makes it have a fuller taste. We have also found that bacon and other seasoning items such as pepper, basil, and parsley also go really well with a quiche.

I hope you enjoy this meal and have fun adding your own fillings and experimenting like I have been doing and still am!

Enjoy!

Much love xx

Posted in food

Leek and Bacon Jacket Potatoes

There are so many fillings that you can have with a Jacket Potato. One of my favourites is a creamy leek and bacon filling. Both Leeks and Bacon go really well with potato so this combination is just perfect.

Jacket Potatoes are an incredibly easy and versatile meal. They can be used as a main meal, a lunch or as a side dish, and are perfect for all kinds of weathers. This is why I love a humble jacket potato, they are perfect for hundreds of different meals and meal types.

Ingredients

  • Jacket Potatoes (1 per person)
  • 1 Leek
  • 4 Rashers of Bacon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • butter
  • milk
  • cheese

How I made it

  1. Bake the Potatoes in the oven at 200c for about 30-45mins or until potatoes are soft.
  2. Chop the Leeks into small chunks, cook until soft.
  3. Grill the bacon. Cut into small pieces.
  4. melt a knob of butter
  5. stir in flour until a paste is made
  6. add a splash of milk at a time until a sauce is formed. Mix continuously.
  7. grate in cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. add in the leeks and bacon
  9. serve with a sprinkling of cheese and a side salad.

An alternative you could add a teaspoon of mustard to add a twist to the sauce. It is a delicious creamy sauce and I am still experimenting with ways to make it better and different, because who likes to have the same thing over and over again?

I hope you enjoy this recipe and add your own alternative twists to it to make it yours.

Enjoy!

Much love xx

Posted in food

Breakfast Pancakes – American Style

A little treat for a weekend breakfast. We serve this up in various different ways, banana and syrup, bacon and egg, or sometimes even just a knob of butter with a fruit salad at the side.

However you decide to serve up these pancakes they are always a great treat for anyone to have for breakfast. Especially on pancake day!

I only started making these as a little experiment after going away to San Diego and having pancakes for breakfast for the first time ever. I was so excited by what I had tasted and experienced that I wanted to try and recreate it when we got back home. The first few tries were terrible, but I finally managed to get a recipe that works for me and now this is something that I do as a treat once in a while.

Ingredients

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g of melted butter slightly cooled

How to Make

Firstly you need a large bowl to mix the ingredients in and a frying pan, make sure you have a plate ready at the side as you will need this to stack the pancakes on once they have been cooked.

  1. Add all the dry ingredients into the bowl, make a well in the centre.
  2. beat in the 2 eggs then add the milk and melted butter.
  3. mix well – I use my electric whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
    • alternatively you could add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz, unfortunately I don’t own one so do it the hard way.
  4. melt some butter in the frying pan
  5. add a small amount of mixture to the pan and fry on both sides (watch my video for how I do this)
  6. once cooked put onto a plate to the side and repeat until all mixture has been used.
  7. serve with toppings of your choice and a nice cup of tea or coffee.

This easy recipe is great for a little treat here and there and I usually make this when we have a big day planned or if we are celebrating something, like a birthday. I love to make this for breakfast on pancake day as they are ever so slightly different to the pancakes I make for desert.

I hope you enjoy making these – and please let me know what toppings you add to your pancakes for breakfast.

Much love x

Posted in food

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese, yum yum and healthy! There is so much about a spaghetti bolognese that I absolutely love. For one, you can pack it full of healthy vegetables and the kids will never know. They end up getting their five a day and you can rest easy knowing that you made a yummy nutritious meal that they finished in like 5 mins. It’s a win-win situation really.

What is even better with Spag Bol is that it literally only takes about 10 mins to make, it’s super simple and super quick, so when my little one is trying to raid the cupboards for snacks and telling me she is “soooo hungry mummy I need those biscuits” I am able to whip up a quick and healthy meal in just a few minutes.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti (enough for the amount of mouths you’re going to feed)
  • Minced meat (or vegetarian alternatives)
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 onion (i used red)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pepper (I used a yellow pepper)
  • handful of mushrooms (or as many as you like)
  • tinned tomatoes
  • 1x veg oxo cube
  • 1x beef oxo cube
  • mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tomato puree

As you can see from this meal alone you are getting at least 3 of your 5 a day (considering how much would be in the portion). And as you will be making the sauce yourself you know that it is low in sugar and much better for you in the long run.

Making the dish

Before we start cooking, boil some water in the kettle (this will be used to cook the pasta), and prepare all the veg. Dice the onion, pepper, courgette and mushrooms and crush the garlic. As stated in the ingredients list the carrot should be grated. Once the ingredients are prepared you are ready to go.

  1. Put the spaghetti on to boil – you want everything to be ready at the same time.
  2. put a little oil in a frying pan, when hot add in the onions and garlic.
  3. once the onions have started to soften add in the pepper.
  4. as the pepper begins to soften add in the mince and mushrooms
  5. once the mince is mostly cooked through mix in the chopped tomatoes.
  6. crush the 2 oxo cubes into the mix and sprinkle some herbs over the sauce.
  7. once the sauce is boiling add in the courgette and grated carrot.
  8. make sure to taste the sauce as you go along and add to it where needed to your taste.
  9. I usually add a couple of teaspoons of tomato puree right towards the end to give an extra tomato flavour kick.
  10. Once the sauce is to your liking and the pasta is cooked through, drain the pasta and serve.

Remember pasta first then meat mixture, and top with your favourite cheese (parmesan goes best)

As you can see this is a very easy dish (you are literally throwing everything into one pot) and it all comes together in just a few minutes. Have fun with it and try adding in other flavours to make it your own.

I hope you enjoy my recipe, if you want to see more of my simple recipes then please follow me on social media.

I look forward to showing you my next creation

Enjoy! xx

Posted in food

One Pan Risotto

In my previous post Easy peasy paella I posted about how we love a good rice dish in our household and often swap between these two very similar dishes.

So here is my absolute fave (against what everyone in the household feels) my vegetable risotto. I love the diversity that you get with a risotto as you can literally use anything that you find in the cupboard or fridge to make it something rather special. This is usually a dish that gets created at the end of the week right before we need to do a food shop.

Ingredients

Theres very little use me putting up an ingredients list as every risotto I make is different from the last, as I use whatever I have left in the fridge. Here is a list of the most commonly used ingredients in my risottos.

  • 1 cup risotto rice per person
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 1 veg and 1 chicken stock cube (mixed in the water)
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup peas
  • mushrooms (usually about half a punnet)
  • half leek
  • salt and pepper
  • mixed herbs
  • cheese (any cheese you have left, cheddar works best with parmesan for topping)

Again, literally anything you can get your hands on to use up will work well. I have even used spinach, peppers, bacon lardons, left over chicken and prawns before and all taste great in a risotto.

In this Risotto I added some ham at the end just to give it a little extra colour.

How I made it

First and most importantly you want to prep your food and make sure it is all ready to be cooked. chop the onions and garlic, mushrooms, leaks and any other ingredients you might have that need to be cut (like bacon and chicken).

Once your food is prepped and ready to go then you can start.

  1. fry the onions and garlic until the onions are softening,
  2. add in the leeks and mushrooms (and any other ingredients you might be using, NOT frozen veg yet though)
  3. pour in the rice (no stock yet) and cover in the butter
  4. once covered slowly pour in the stock, making sure that the rice is covered with the liquid.
  5. stir thoroughly and continuously. you don’t want the rice to stick to the sides. stirring continuously also allows for the edges of the rice to break down which will allow for the sauce to become creamy.
  6. before all liquid is absorbed add in the frozen products (if you have any) like peas.
  7. If rice is still quite hard add a splash of water
  8. add in the cheddar and herbs/spices constantly mixing the mixture.
    • The mixture will become creamy right before your eyes.
    • taste it at this point so you can add in more herbs/spices or cheese as needed.
  9. once the water has evaporated and been absorbed, the risotto is ready to be served.

I serve my risotto up with a mixed salad on the side or sometimes a garlic bread. I find it is a lot of fun to ask my little one to help me with the stirring, it allows me to have a free hand so I can add in the ingredients, and she gets to see the magic of the creamy texture happen right before her eyes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

much love x