Catch up – Easter Weekend!

Catch up – Easter Weekend!

Ahh! I can’t believe it’s almost two weeks until the end of my internship, and I’m going a little crazy/stressed making sure I’ve gotten everything I need to complete both my courses. Hence, the lack of blogging recently!

I actually feel quite bad every day I don’t write on here. Not only because it’s fun and I enjoy it, but because I can get stuff out that I feel I need to. And I think Jamie has been on the receiving end of this – I mean, the second you want to say something and you can’t, and you’re holding it in, it just becomes so difficult not to be crabby at home (sorry Jamie!). BUT, It’s Easter (HAPPY EASTER!), and I’ve spent all weekend so far prepping food and being so, so busy. And I’ve actually gotten some much needed relaxation time, hence the blog :)!

So, what have I been up to this weekend to keep myself so busy? My parents just met Jamie’s parents for the first time today, and I’ve been SO nervous. And when I get nervous, I tend to over-do things. At least that way, if anything goes wrong, it won’t be because I didn’t try. But things went so right today, and it was amazing. And, I don’t mean to take the credit, but I’m going to at least hope that around 5% of it was down to my amazing decoration-skills and (non-existent) cooking talent!

Easter-Decorations
Testing my hand at decorating! Tulips were freshly bought and look much nicer now they’ve had a drink for the day. Love the colours of them!

No joke, I actually spent all of yesterday in Sainsburys, cooking, baking, decorating, tidying and cleaning. And I swear my back still hurts from this. I decided that you get out what you put into a situation, and made a three course menu!

Course one: Butternut Squash, Parmesan and Chilli Soup

This was really easy to make, I used a recipe from my Covent Garden cookbook, and just edited it to have a lot of extra seasoning, a little chilli powder and garnished with some fresh parsely. I mean, recipes are really just suggestions, right? This was a massive hit! I actually made this soup once before, without all the extra seasoning and garnish, and although other people liked it, I just wasn’t so keen – it tasted a little bland to me, which is strange because I usually love all Covent Garden soup. If you ever feel your soup is a little bland, honestly, a pinch of chilli, lots of black pepper, a bit of salt and some parsley are sure to do the trick.

Easter-Starter
Butternut Squash, Parmesan and Chilli Soup. So proud of this, and tasted so yummy!

Course two: Roast Pork with crackling and SO MUCH VEG.

So, I’m really sorry I couldn’t get a photo of this. But any person who can cook a massive roast for six people and actually wait to get a photo of it, rather than digging straight in, is a much bigger person than me. I had to delve into this, and although I couldn’t finish everything (cue my stepdad having a quick pick at the table about not eating all my greens *so funny*), it was really nice. And probably one of the nicest roasts I’ve ever cooked. BIG thank you to my brother, Dave, for the pork recipe -the crackling was AMAZING.

Course three: Double chocolate fudge cake with vanilla cookie topping.

I’m actually a little disappointed by this. It was Jamie’s mum’s birthday yesterday, and she likes chocolate – so I thought I’d make her a realy nice chocolate cake as a surprise. But, whilst I was moving it from one plate to another yesterday, I accidentally broke the cake. Luckily I salvaged it with some extra frosting and it still tasted lovely, but it’s not quite an instagram dream (sorry!). The cake itself though was delicious, and I would definitely make again, but maybe without the cookies! I got the recipe for the cookies from my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and found them really difficult to get right. To be honest, I know I usually try not to go processed – but I’d rather buy the oreos pre-made for this in the future. Then again, that may just be me and my limited baking skills.

Easter-Dessert
Jennys Birthday Cake! Icing completely saved the breakage but homemade vanilla cookies are just not the way forward.

Also, please, never try to do all this by yourself. Jamie’s been at work most of the weekend, and I’ve had to take up the job of so much washing up, my hands are going to fall off! Always have a helper (or a handy dishwasher) nearby.

And now, I’m off for a cheeky episode of gossip girl before I drag myself to bed. Happy Easter to everyone reading this and I hope you’ve had lovely days! I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to?

– Megan Grace, xo

P.S. I know I keep mentioning about the Birchbox reviews and I am so excited to do these. I’ve just been so busy recently. But I have tried some amazing new products which I can’t wait to write about and these will be up soon :).

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A little treat with lots of health…

A little treat with lots of health…

Phew! What a busy day. Sundays are bake days like no other!

Last weekend, I was quite lazy and didn’t do my meal prep. Boy, was that a mistake. Every day, I popped across the road and bought a meal deal of a tuna pasta salad, cocktail sausages and a bottle of coke. At the time, this seemed balanced. In hindsight, not so much. This may also explain why this week I’ve felt more sluggish, bloated and tired. So today, I decided to make a new rule again. No more buying fizzy drinks, with the exception of lemonade (only because I never seem to overdrink on lemonade!). No more cocktail sausages, back to my meal prep and no popping to the shops at lunch! Oh, but I am allowed naughty treats… If I make them myself.

So fast forward to today, I baked some delicious Toffee Mocha Muffins as a treat, before cracking down and prepping some delicious lunches for the week. Now, I’m one of the most amateur bakers you’ll come across, and have never used a piping bag, until today. I can honestly say, I currently have the utmost respect for bakers nationwide. Not only did it take some extreme arm strength to mix the frosting, but a fair bit of practising just to do a basic swirl! However, I am proud of the results…

toffeemochamuffins-0204

Anyone that knows me, knows I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I eat recently. I’ve stopped buying ready meals for dinner, opting to make recipes from Kayla Itsines new book instead. Her Nasi Goreng is amazing! Therefore, having a couple of cheeky muffins today, even if homemade, is a treat. And not to be confused for a healthy lifestyle. So, in order to balance things out a little more, it was time for the dreaded meal prep. Except, this week, it wasn’t so bad! Rather than cooking up elaborate lunches, I deigned to make my own version of the Tuna Pasta Salad!

mealprep-0204

Now this looked and smelled so good I just had to have it for dinner tonight too. And it didn’t disappoint! And was actually one of the nicest dinners I’ve had this week. I’ve been having a bad skin week (largely due to overindulging on coca-cola), so really need to boost my intake of skin-friendly foods too. Plus, you really can’t beat the amazing feeling you get from all those friendly nutrients and vitamins, and this meal is packed full of them! But now, I think it’s time for a workout…

Taking healthy living one day at a time,

Megan Grace, xoxo