*Sponsored Post* Foodie Friday: Celebrate French Week with Lidl

Lidl French Week

To celebrate French Week (25th September – 1st October inclusive), budget supermarket Lidl challenged me to create a meal fit for a family dinner party. I chose to go all out and not only made a French meal but in fact created a three course meal using Lidl’s French Week themed foods.

Lidl Store French Week

Starter:

Assorted meats, cheese and fresh baguette, served with cider

Lidl French Week Camembert

This sharing platter is made from an assortment of cheeses including baked Camembert and Fat-reduced Brie with cured meats (also shown is Salami with Walnuts and Air dried Hazelnut Salami slices) and fresh crusty baguette. To wash it down I chose Cidre de Normandie Brut, a light dry cider and the perfect accompaniment to lighter dishes. I love this style of food as it’s easy to pick at and feels more informal with friends.

Lidl french week cider

Main:

Slow Roasted Pork in a calvados and mustard cream sauce with mixed vegetables, served with Hautes-Cotes de Beaune

Lidl French week main

I slow roasted a joint of pork with herbs, adding sliced apples, Chantenay carrots and onions around 40 minutes before taking the pork out to rest.

Along with a small mountain of Pommes Noisettes (light and crispy potato balls which were so good!), I also added a mustard cream sauce on the side made from the pork juices, 1tbsp Coarse Grain French Mustard, a big glug of Fine Calvados and a splash of cream.

The wine I chose to accompany this dish was the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune white, an oak aged Chardonnay with notes of butterscotch and honey to compliment the tender pork.

Dessert:

Madeleines, macarons and chocolate tart, served with french blend coffee

Lidl French Week Macarons, Madeleines and French Blend Coffee

For dessert I chose to create another sharing platter, made from a selection of sweet French delicacies including a warm chocolate tart, made using the Gateau au Chocolat Baking Mix, all served with a good dollop of fresh double cream. For those who wanted something less rich the delicate macarons and madeleines provided a tiny sweet hit, served with a shot of French blend coffee to round off the meal nicely.

Lidl French Week Chocolate Tart

Every dish was a hit with my dinner guests, with the Macarons, Camembert and Chardonnay the stars of the show. I’m equally impressed with the ease of use and quality of the French inspired ingredients. Plus for three courses it was an affordable £5 a head for six guests.

The Lidl French Range is available in store now while stocks last (and it’s selling like hot croissants), so be quick! All products mentioned are sourced where possible in France.

For more great ideas and recipes for French Week at Lidl visit lidl.co.uk

All French Range products mentioned:
Cidre de Normandie brut £1.99
Fine Calvados £15.49
Camembert Soft Cheese £1.19
Air dried Hazelnut Salami £1.79
Coarse Grain French Mustard 49p
Salami with Walnuts £1.99
Fat-reduced Brie 99p
Pommes Noisettes 99p
French Blend Coffee £1.59
12 French Macaron £2.99
Fresh Baguette 70p
Dried French Herbs 59p
Madeleines £1.49
Gateau au chocolat baking mix £1.49
Hautes-Cotes de Beaune AOP £7.99

What’s you favourite French dish?

Thanks for Reading,

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Foodie Friday: Back to School Cereal Bars Recipe

Back to school bars recipe

Back to school bars recipe

The leaves are turning brown, the weather’s getting cooler and the nights are drawing in. And that only means one thing – the Autumn term has begun.

If your kids are back to school why not make this quick, no bake, delicious recipe for Back to School bars, a sweet treat for both packed lunches and for your morning coffee break!

Back to School Bars

Makes 8 Bars or 16 Squares
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes + chilling

Ingredients
100g Biscoff Lotus Biscuit Spread
100g Golden Syrup or Honey
100g Light Soft Brown Sugar
85g Rolled Oats
25g Rice Cereal
150g Milk Chocolate Chips

Equipment

  • Kitchen Scales
  • 9 x 9 inch baking tray lined with non stick baking parchment
  • Large Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Medium size saucepan plus a glass bowl that fits over it without the bowl touching the bottom of the pan
  • Metal Spoon

Method

  1. Weigh out the biscuit spread, syrup and brown sugar into the large saucepan, then place over a low heat until melted and creamy. Make sure to stir the mixture throughout melting so that it doesn’t ‘catch’ on the bottom and start to get too dark.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Once cooled stir in the rolled oats and rice cereal until fully combined with the syrup mixture
  4. Add 100g of the chocolate chips to the mix and stir thoroughly.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and press down using the back of the spoon.
  6. Place the remaining 50g chocolate chips into the glass bowl.
  7. Add enough hot water into the medium size saucepan to cover the bottom and place the glass bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the glass bowl.
  8. Place over a low heat until the chocolate chips are fully melted and remove from the heat.
  9. Using the metal spoon, stir the chocolate thoroughly and drizzle lines of chocolate over the top of your cereal bar mix in the baking tin.
  10. Refrigerate for around 1 hour and cut into 8 bars or 16 squares.

Serve and enjoy!

back to school bars cereal bars recipe

nb. I chose not include nuts in this recipe incase of allergies – but the bars are equally tasty substituting the biscuit spread for peanut butter or Nutella. Plus you can add extra chopped nuts, raisins and marshmallows into the mix for a rocky road version that everyone will love.

back to school bars cereal bar recipe

6 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

6 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Now I’m in my 30’s (good grief when did that happen?!) I’ve been putting much more of a conscious effort into adopting a healthier lifestyle. In addition to working out more regularly and re-vamping my skincare routine, I have been trying to ‘eat clean’ around 85% of the time, meaning no added salt, sugar and sweeteners and eating fresh, nutritious healthy food to meet my body’s needs. Energy is a big issue for me so I like to make sure I start my day right by filling up on a balanced breakfast to fuel me for the day, so below I’ve shared some of my favourite breakfast dishes that I regularly enjoy. I’ve chosen 6 rather than 7 breakfasts as there’s always room one day of the week for a slightly less healthy option such as grilled bacon or sausage, pancakes or jam with toast.

My 6 healthy breakfast ideas:

1. Eggs of any kind

Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast

Eggs are high protein and really filling so are a great healthy breakfast option. Scrambled eggs are definitely a favourite of mine, served with wholemeal toast, and I like to make them on weekends when I have a little more time to make them properly – on the stove in a pan, stirred very slowly over a low heat until thick and creamy.

2. Mixed berries and natural greek yogurt

Mixed Berries with Natural Greek Yogurt

Berries (including blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) are SO good for you! They contain high amounts of Vitamin A and C needed for healthy skin and to maintain both your immune system and metabolism. I like to top a bowl of mixed berries with 0% fat greek style natural yogurt – it’s thick and protein rich (meaning I’m fuller for longer). I’m currently choosing fat free yogurt to help aid weight loss but you can swap to full fat or low fat to suit your personal taste.

3. Porridge with chopped dried fruit

Porridge with chopped dried fruit

Porridge oats are a great staple for breakfast time as they’re so versatile and porridge is a quick, simple way to fill up first thing. If you’re gluten intolerant check for gluten free versions. Traditionally porridge is more a winter time breakfast for me but I like to enjoy it all year round, made with milk and topped with dates and figs (dates are sweet but figs are better for you as they contain a much higher fibre content). Add a little honey or agave syrup if you like it a little sweeter.

4. Muesli, banana and almond milk

Muesli, Banana and Almond Milk

Some muesli is full of added ingredients so choose one that contains no added salt and contains only natural fruit sugars for optimum health benefits. Muesli is naturally high in fibre, low in fat and contains oats which help sustain energy levels throughout the morning. However, remember muesli is still high in calories (as the mixture of oats, fruit and often nuts and seeds are carbohydrate dense) so it’s best to measure your portions. I always choose bananas to top my muesli as they’re also great for energy, are filling and full of potassium. Almond milk is a new favourite of mine as it’s naturally low in fat and full of vitamin E (for healthy skin and nails).

5. Overnight oats (with raspberries and almonds)

Overnight Oats with Raspberries and Almonds

Overnight oats (also known as breakfast oats and similar to the dessert cranachan) is one of my favourite breakfast dishes! Prepare this the night before and in the morning you’re good to go – you can grab this and eat on the way to work or if you’re in a hurry without worrying about missing the most important meal of the day. You simply mix porridge oats with yogurt (here I’ve used raspberry and honey yogurt) and layer the mixture with your favourite fruit (I use frozen fruit so it’s defrosts overnight). Then in the morning stir it or eat it as is. For an extra crunch I like to add a sprinkling of chopped or flaked almonds and for sweetness, a drizzle of agave syrup.

6. Tropical fruit, greek yogurt and granola

Tropical Fruit, Greek Yogurt and Granola

I like to change it up by adding different fruits to my breakfasts and one of my favourite combinations is mango with blueberries. I like to eat them together as a snack but for breakfast I top them with greek yogurt and a recent find – mango and macadamia granola – to make it a bit more substantial. I choose macadamia nuts because they are full of nutrients, healthy fats and are a good source of protein. Again, granola is another breakfast cereal that can have many hidden ingredients so I try to choose a healthier option with no added sugar or salt and weigh or measure it out before serving. Alternatively you can make your own granola – one of my favourite recipes is this Healthy Homemade Granola from Bless This Mess.

So which of the above gets your tastebuds tingling?

Also leave me a comment below telling me your own breakfast recipes or favourite breakfast dishes, I’d love to hear what you have for breakfast or brunch – is it very different to these ideas or perhaps you skip breakfast altogether?!

Thanks for Reading,

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store