This time of year all that I want is comfort food, and lots of it. Give me easy, warm dishes and I’m happy. A recipe that I’ve recently fallen in love with and have been making quite a lot is Sausage & Tomato Risotto.

I’ve never really enjoyed risotto. It’s probably because when eating out I struggle to find a Risotto without mushrooms and I’m not a fan of mushrooms. But, when I recently discovered this Sausage & Tomato Risotto in my Weight Watchers book I decided to give it a go. It’s a total game changer.

I’ve adapted the original recipe slightly so it’s not so Weight Watchers friendly but trust me, it tastes amazing. And, if you’re on Weight Watchers then it’s an amazing recipe for only 6 smart points when you stick to the original ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 2 with larger portions):

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 125g risotto rice
  • 40ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock made with 1/2 cube
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 10 cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Chive seasoning

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Melt the low fat spread in a pan. Once melted, add the shallots in to the pan and fry gently for five minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the wine and sizzle for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Start adding the hot stock, bit by bit, and keep stirring until it’s fully absorbed by the rice and is creamy.
  6. In between stirring the rice, roll the sausage meat into small balls.
  7. Line a roasting tray with tin foil, put the sausage balls on the tray and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes, turn the sausage balls and add the tomatoes to the tray. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Mix the tomatoes and sausage balls in with the rice and serve!

Risotto

As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa catching up on The Apprentice. It’s 3pm and I’ve only just got out of bed, had a bath and changed out of my pyjamas. There’s no denying that today, I have been well and truly lazy.

When we moved into our little house nearly six months ago, lazy Sundays were non-existent. Partly because we had so much to do on and around the house, but equally because I had such a strong feeling of guilt. Why should I be laying around whilst there’s washing up that needs to be done, a bathroom that needs to be cleaned and bed sheets that need to be changed?

It’s taken me a long time and a lot of work on myself to get to this stage where I no longer feel guilty. Right now, there’s a load of washing in the machine that needs to be put out, there’s a big pile of washing up and to be honest, the house could do with a bit of a tidy. But, today is about me. I went out last night, I am in chronic pain today and tonight is family time. All of the other things can wait.

If we don’t take the time for ourselves whether this is a lazy day, a pamper day or even a few hours spent exercising, we’re not truly looking after ourselves, are we?

Now, I’m off to go and make a cuppa and grab a slice of cake…happy Sunday!

What are your plans for today? How do you choose to spend your lazy days?

Lazy day

There’s nothing better than a good bar of soap. It’s a love that I get from my mum who is always easy to buy for; a bar of soap and she’s good to go. The only thing better than a good bar of soap is one that is homemade.

The Pamper Kingdom offers homemade soaps in a range of flavours with everything from toffee apple to hot chocolate and spicy orange (oh my goodness!).

I have quite a few allergies and sensitive skin but I was lucky enough to get my hands on three different flavours that were allergen free. This is something that I always struggle with, especially with homemade soaps, as often they contain almond oil because of the benefits it has on your skin. My skin only benefits from this oil in the way of a big old red rash!

The Pamper Kingdom offers a variety of allergen free soaps with loads of amazing flavours/scents so there’s a soap for everyone (typical sales pitch!).

I do sometimes find that homemade soaps can either be overly scented so that they’re actually quite sickly or the opposite and they don’t smell at all. However, you can tell that The Pamper Kingdom has a lot of experience and take the time to test different ingredients etc because the scents were beautiful.

Not only do the soaps look and smell amazing but they also lather up easily which again, is something that homemade soaps often don’t do.

What is your favourite soap scent?

The Food and Fancies - Pamper Kingdom

Getting a dog is a big commitment. Yes, their puppy eyes and endless cuddles may tell you different but in reality, they’re a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, the work is so worth it but there’s a few things that you need to know/think about before getting a dog.

  1. Research breeds – Every dog breed is different. They all have different behaviours, habits and medical requirements. Some dogs need exercising a few times a day whereas some prefer to lounge around and sleep all day. Some breeds can eat regular dog food whereas some require a specific diet. All of this is so important and you need to make sure your lifestyle suits the breed. It can be easy to just go for the breed that look the cutest but trust me, you’ll wish you’d done your research beforehand.
  2. Your lifestyle – I’m really lucky as Coco is very low maintenance and although we walk her every day, she doesn’t actually need to be. She’d be just as happy chilling at home. We’re also lucky that my mum lives just five minutes down the road and checks in on Coco during the day to let her out for a wee, walk her, etc. If you work long hours and don’t have time to look after a dog properly then it’s not fair on the dog.
  3. Your location – Your location is so important when getting a dog. For example, if you live on the 10th floor of a block of flats, taking your dog out for a wee every hour or so is going to take a lot of effort. Realistically, is this something that you’re going to commit to? If you live in a busy town centre and can’t safely walk your dog unless you drive somewhere, are you really going to drive 20 minutes or so every day to walk your dog and 20 minutes to get home? If neither of these things put you off and you’re 100% sure you’ll stick to it then that’s not a problem but just think long and hard about it.
  4. Rehoming – There are so many dogs that need rehoming and there are so many organisations and charities that are on a mission to rehome these dogs. Before you go off and buy a tiny puppy just because it looks cute, research your local rehoming centres to see if they have any suitable dogs that you could help change the life of.

For regular updates and pictures of Coco, follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Dog

Baking on a Sunday has become my new thing. I’ve suddenly discovered a love for baking and adapting recipes. One of my latest recipes is Homemade sausage rolls. This recipe took a couple of attempts with a few tweaks to the recipe but I’ve finally cracked it!

Ingredients (makes 48 sausage rolls):

  • 4 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg
  • 500g pork mince
  • 500g sausage mince
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 finely chopped brown onion
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c
  2. Combine both minces, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, honey, mixed herbs, onions, carrot and garlic cloves in a bowl and mix together using your hands
  3. Lay the pastry sheet out and cut it in half horizontally. Spoon 1/8 of the mixture evenly along one side of the pastry.
  4. Mix the egg and milk in a bowl and brush the mixture along the opposite side of the pastry
  5. Roll the pastry up with the seam side down. Brush the egg and milk mixture along the top of the pastry, ensuring that it’s fully coated.
  6. Cut the pastry into six even pieces and place these onto a lightly greased baking tray.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 seven times with the additional pastry sheets and mixture.
  8. Cook for 30 minutes or slightly longer until the sausage rolls are golden.

Sausage rolls 1 Sausage rolls 2 Sausage rolls 3

Why not bake some easy flapjacks to enjoy alongside the sausage rolls?