Sabrina’s Tips On How To Make Your Food Go Further

Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles and Peppers

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that food is a huge passion of mine. Coming up with new recipes and experimenting is a hobby of mine. But today, with all this talk about panic buying amidst this deadly virus, I couldn’t help but think, what can I do now to help others…

My epiphany was this! My Ideas On How To Make Your Food Go Further!

There are certain things that most of us keep in our kitchen during week to week shops or our larger monthly stock ups, so I wanted to focus on those to begin with. The issue right now is that due to bulk panic buying some of our staples are very hard to get a hold of. Take a look at the meals below to see if any of them would appeal to you or your family. Then see how you can make them go further with my recipe adjustments.

Keep those handy takeaway boxes ready to freeze any leftover freshly cooked meals, extra vegetables or leftover homemade sauces.

COTTAGE PIE
Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions)
Ingredients

1 or 2 Large White Onion – Diced
3 or 4 Large Carrots – Diced
500g Mince Beef – Cooked & put through a processor to make smaller pieces
1kg Potatoes – Cooked and Mashed
Gravy Granules – I use the Bisto Onion Gravy Granules
Additional foods to add to make it go further…
Baked Beans x 1 Tin
Mixed Dice Vegetables x 1 Cup
~~~
Most people will have a bag of frozen veg or veg that needs to be used up. Dicing it up small and adding it to your cottage pie gravy is a great way to get extra veg into children as well as help an adult get their 5 or more a day! Same with the tin of beans! Pour off a little sauce if there is lots in the tin, but the tomato sauce actually helps you to get a lovely gravy. The beans bulk out the cottage pie filling while adding your veg in take. You can even add all of this into a large casserole dish, and cook it in the oven for an hour, even the veg if cut small enough will cook in the gravy, locking in all the vitamins…

My Cottage Pie is a family favourite! If you cannot get fresh meat then using a tin of Minced Beef and Onion would work just as well!

CHICKEN CURRY
(You can use one of my Recipes already on my blog for the method)
Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions)
Ingredients

2 Large White Onion – Diced and Chopped into two sizes
50g Tomato Puree (this is for your homemade sauce)
2 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes (for your sauce)
500g of Chicken cut into bite size pieces
100g of Yoghurt, I use Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt
Serve with Rice and / or Naan Bread
Sauce – I prefer to make my own to my taste but you can use a jar of sauce, but if you do use a jar you only need 1 Tin of the Chopped Tomatoes. You then add curry spices like Cumin, Paprika, Garam Masala and Chilli. As well as Garlic and Coriander usually! (See my Recipes for more on making sauce and a method for the curry too).
Additional foods to add to make it go further…
New Potatoes x 1 Tin (They’ll cook in the sauce on a low heat for 20 mins)
1 or 2 Peppers Sliced thinly (fry these a little with your onion then add)
Cauliflower Diced up x 1 Cup (Chopped small it will cook in the sauce)

Here is one of my recent Curry dishes, this one was with extra Peppers and Potatoes

CHILLI CON CARNE
Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions)
Ingredients

2 Large White Onion – Diced
4 Large Carrots – Diced
1 Tin of Plum Tomatoes (they are sweeter but you need to chop them)
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes (you could use 2 of these and no plum if easier)
500g Mince Beef or Pork or both – Cooked & then put through a processor to make the pieces of meat smaller – or use Quorn or Soya Mince
1 Tin of Red Kidney Beans
Serve with Rice
Sauce – I use a packet or a jar for convenience but you can make a sauce, you have done the basics with the tomatoes already. So add the tomatoes to a bowl, then add Cumin, Garlic and Chilli to your own taste.
Additional foods to add to make it go further…
Baked Beans x 1 Tin (some people don’t like Red Beans so you could use Baked Beans (Haricot Beans) instead.
Peppers – as many or as little as you like, if one needs using up do it!
Mixed Dice Vegetables x 1 Cup (You can add other basic veg if you don’t have enough or you want to do a vegetarian style chilli).

✩ ✩ ✩

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
Serves 4 to 6 people
Ingredients
500g Chicken Breast (Diced) or a Vegetarian Alternative
Tin of Pineapple – Cut into Small Chunks – 1 Ring per person
Peppers – 1 Yellow and 1 Red Cut into Small Long Pieces
1 Large Onion – Diced into Small Long Pieces
2 Carrots – I Peel and Slice them with the Peeler into long thin shards!
Serve with Rice
Sauce – I always buy a cheap jar of sauce, the cheaper the better!
Alternatives
This dish is so easy to make and these flavours are quite specific, if you aren’t keen on that much pineapple then do one ring total or leave it out but then you should add more of the other ingredients.



Fresh meat, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are hard to get hold of in my area right now. When I did a home delivery order most of what I asked for was either out of stock or I was given a substituted alternative closest to what I wanted. This was very inconvenient and I have ended up spending 4 hours in total, chopping, peeling and bulk freezing some of the fresh veg before it went bad. I created mixed veg bags including a stir fry mix!

TOP TIP: Only make a freezer portion size for what you or your family members would eat at a meal time! Then there is no waste when you defrost it to use!

Washed, Chopped and Sliced, Ready to Freeze. MY TOP TIP always squeeze the air out of the freezer bags before popping them into the freezer to save space!

You can make 6 portions of Vegetable Stir Fry using the following raw vegetables, washed, chopped and ready to cook or freeze:
3 Coloured Peppers – 1/2 a sliced pepper per portion
1 Broccoli Head – cut into thin stems
1kg Carrots – I use a peeler to slice mine into strips
1 White Onion for every 2 Portions – Diced into small chunks
~ Add any of the following to make it go further and become 8 portions~
Water Chestnuts – I use Tinned x 1
Bamboo Shoots – I use Tinned x 1

Adding Noodles OR Rice on the Day you make the Stir Fry for extra bulking out of your food. Either use 1 Packet of Stir Fry Noodles once your veg is cooked, or a packet of Microwave Noodles or a Microwave Rice (all down to your preference) and one of these makes this meal double in amount.

Using a bought Sauce or Making a Sauce?

Adding a bought sauce to this stir fry is great, but if you’re feeding more than 4 people then 1 jar is only just enough. TOP TIP: Make sure you add 2 cm of warm or hot water to the bottom of the jar, replace the lid and give it a good shake, add this to your stir fry, no sauce left in the jar and wasted!

Don’t be scared of not using all the sauce, you can you half, replace the lid and use the rest within 2 or 3 days usually (always check the label).

Alternatives for Sauce… Make your own!
You will need… Garlic fresh or paste, Ginger fresh or paste, Sweet Chilli Sauce or Chilli Sauce (if you like it hot!) Salt, Pepper and Chinese Five Spice! I prefer the pastes as it makes things so easy!

In a small bowl mix up a tablespoon of everything above! Less of the hot chilli though unless you like it spicy! Add more or less and experiment with the taste until it’s to your preference. Add this to your stir fry when you add the noodles. One of each paste does me around 7 or 8 stir fry’s or Chinese orientated meals. Chinese Five Spice goes a long way too!

A Pasta Bake is also a great way to use up Vegetables about to go stale and any leftover sandwich meats or leftover sausages for example. This is a firm fave of mine, bacon chunks, peppers and tomato!

I really hope I have given you some inspiration on some family favourites and ideas on how you can make them go a lot further during this difficult time. You can of course substitute the meats for vegetarian alternatives or swap out the vegetables you don’t like for others too.

Experiment with what you’ve got to use up and so long as you’re making healthy meals with vegetables in you’re already winning for the day! If you liked any of my meals after making them please leave me a comment, I would love to know how you got on.

Is there anything you would like to cook but need some help with? I’m an experienced cook and perhaps have experience of the dish, please comment and ask me 🙂 I’m happy to help!

Stay In and Stay Safe Friends. I might go do some baking now I’m done with my savoury cooking! If you’re after sweet treats check out those recipes that are on my blog already too!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sweet Treats Week – Day 5 – Sabrina’s Customisable Cookies

Welcome to Sweet Treats Week on Severn Wishes. This half term I wanted to share my top 5 baking treats with you all, hopefully you’ve got some time this week to make them with me! I cannot believe this is Day 5 already! I hope you’ve had as much fun baking these as I have!

Check out my Instagram and Facebook page for more food pictures, videos and future recipe ideas too!

Day 5 is Sabrina’s Customisable Cookies!

And the great thing with these is that you can literally add anything into them… I like mine to have chocolate chips. But you could put tiny marshmallows in them or different kinds of chocolate confectionery. Just follow my basic recipe and then add in whatever you feel like! This is a great one to get the children involved in too and perhaps they could each make two or three cookies just for them!

My recipe will make between 12 and 16 cookies with a prep time of 20 minutes and a fridge time of 3 hours. When you bake they take as little as 15 minutes and only a five minute cool time, so before you know it you could have cookies to enjoy as a mid afternoon snack today!

What You Will Need

A Flat Oven Tray or two
Baking Paper or Parchment
A Large Mixing Bowl for the main mixture
Small Mixing Bowls if your children are doing their own
A Wooden Spoon
A Tablespoon or Ice Cream Scoop
A Sieve
A Cooling Rack
Something To Store The Cookies In After They Are Cooled

Ingredients to make the Cookies

100g Light Brown Sugar
75g Caster Sugar
100g Butter / Dairy Free Spread (Melted)
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
220g Plain Flour

Additional Ingredients

100g of Chocolate Chips

You can use other colourful confectionery like Smarties, M&Ms, Chocolate Chips of different sorts or even chop up your favourite chocolate bars and use those. (Get an adult to do this chopping up). You can use as much or as little as you want.

Step 1. Mixing Sugar and Butter and Salt

Method Steps

1. In a Large Bowl start by mixing the melted butter with the sugar and salt. You should have a thick brown liquid when it’s mixed enough.

2. Next you need to add the egg and once again mix thoroughly.

3. Make sure you sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir gently to combine as you do so. Once it’s all mixed in you can add your chocolate chips. If you’re doing different cookies you can now transfer some of the mix into smaller bowls and add the various confectionery. If your mixture is looking dry add one tablespoon of water at a time until it becomes more like cookie dough.

4. Place cling film over each bowl you have and let them cool in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours. TOP TIP While you wait you could play a game!

5. Then coming up to the end of the 3rd hour you can preheat your oven to 180’c and place some baking parchment onto a flat tray ready for your cookies.

6. In order to make your cookies the same size either use a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop to get a measurement out of the bowl. You want to make heaped almost ball shape but press them lightly to the baking paper. TOP TIP Leave at least 4 cm between each cookie! You may need 2 trays!

7. Bake the cookies but stay close by and keep an eye on them! I always have to rotate my tray half way! They will take between 12 and 15 minutes in a fan assisted oven, and you need to let them cool on a rack before you tuck in!

Step 6. Ready to Bake

TOP COOKIE TIPS

Don’t over handle your cookie dough!
Mix in your chosen confectionery into the dough but don’t over mix it.
When laying the cookies on the tray leave them heaped, they will flatten on their own.
Bake your cookies straight from the fridge for best results.
Keep an eye on them so they don’t over bake, it’s a fine line!

Cookies Freshly Baked and Cooling Down on the Rack

Thank you for joining me for Sweet Treats Week! I do hope you have enjoyed it and if you do make any of my bakes then please let me know how they turn out!

If you make any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media, leave me a comment here on my blog. Any questions about a recipe please don’t hesitate to ask them! If you recreate this recipe somewhere else please credit me for it and name me and my blog, or even better link back to this original post too! Thanks everyone!

 Sabrina 

Sweet Treats Week – Day 4 – Sabrina’s Loaf Tin Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake

Welcome to Sweet Treats Week on Severn Wishes. This half term I wanted to share my top 5 baking treats with you all, hopefully you’ve got some time this week to make them with me! Check out my Instagram for more food pictures, videos and recipe ideas too!

Chocolate and Banana Loaf Cake

Day 4 is Sabrina’s Loaf Tin Cake

I know some people aren’t fond of eating loads of chocolate things so I figured I’d have to put my next favourite baking combination out there, which is Loaf Tin Cake! This can be my favourite cake which is a Lemon Drizzle cake! Or we can do a Banana and Chocolate Chip flavour!

I make this delightful and refreshing cake in a loaf tin because it’s easier to cook it, easier to cut it and easier to store it too! You have lots of options to customise your own cake too! I will be giving you two versions, Lemon or Banana and Chocolate, you can choose which to try or even do both!

When baking you’re looking for a gorgeous golden colour on top!

A loaf tin cake is much easier to judge than a round cake, I think!

It’s also easier to store, cut it into slices and it’s ready whenever you want a piece! One tin gives you around 8 slices! This cake keeps best for up to 3 days, but because there aren’t many slices it’s usually enjoyed during a day or two when it is at it’s best. TOP TIP Store this cake in a cake tin with a piece of kitchen roll underneath the baking parchment to help absorb any moisture.

Fresh Out Of The Oven

What You Will Need

A Loaf Tin
Baking Paper or Parchment
A Large Mixing Bowl
A Small Mixing Bowl
A Wooden Spoon
A Tablespoon
A Sieve
A Knife
A Whisk (Manual or Mechanical)
Something To Store The Slices In After They Are Cooled

Lemon Drizzle Cake
Banana and Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients To Make Any of Sabrina’s Loaf Cake Recipes

1 Free Range Egg (Fresh is best for baking)
125g Butter (or Dairy Free Spread) Melt in the Microwave
100g White Caster Sugar
50g Golden Caster Sugar
190g Self Raising Flour
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Essence
1 Tablespoons of Milk or a Milk Alternative

Additionals to Flavour the Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake
For the Cake: 30ml of Lemon Juice
For the Drizzle: 30g Icing Sugar, Lemon Juice, Lemon Rind (Optional)
In a small bowl Mix Lemon Juice one Spoonful at a time to Icing Sugar, how much you want to make depends on your personal preference.
Pour this over your cake when it’s baked.
Add the Lemon Juice at Step Number 2.
Add the Drizzle only when the Cake has cooled but still on its parchment.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Cake
For the Cake: 1 Banana – The Softer the Better! Mushed Up!
50g Chocolate Chips (I use Dark and Dairy Free)
25g Chocolate to Melt and Pour on Top of the Cooled Cake (Optional)
Add the Mushed Up Banana and Chocolate Chips at Step Number 2.

Method Steps

1. In a Large Bowl mix the egg and sugars together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Then add the milk and vanilla. Add the melted butter which has cooled and combine all these ingredients together using a whisk.

2. Now is the time to add your additional filling, use your small bowl to measure out anything you want, then transfer it to the large bowl and mix in.

3. Next you need to sieve the self raising flour into the bowl, do this a little at a time, stirring it together constantly mixing until the mixture is smooth.

4. Make sure you cut a piece of parchment to the correct size for your tin, it needs to stick out above the sides to allow the cake to rise and not spill over.

5. Bake this Cake at 160’c or 150’c (Fan) for 30 – 35 minutes. Check the cake at 25 minutes with a knife or skewer and then check it again at 30 minutes. The knife should come out clean and the top of the cake should be golden like my image below.

6. Once baked remove the cake from the tin by lifting it out using the parchment, and leave it to stand on a flat surface to cool down. Once cooled you can either add the additional options as outlined above or cut it and serve.

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Thank you very much for joining me for Sweet Treats Week! I hope to see you again tomorrow for our final baking day!

If you make any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media, leave me a comment here on my blog. Any questions don’t hesitate to ask them! If you recreate this recipe somewhere else please credit me for it and name me and my blog or even better link back to this original post! Thanks everyone!

Sabrina

Sweet Treats Week – Day 3 – Sabrina’s Rocky Road

Welcome to Sweet Treats Week on Severn Wishes. This half term I wanted to share my top 5 baking treats with you all, hopefully you’ve got some time this week to make them with me! Check out my Instagram for more food pictures and recipe ideas too!

Day 3 is Sabrina’s No Bake Needed Rocky Road

Definitely one that the kids can get involved in, and this tray bake requires zero baking! You just need an adult to do some melting and chopping! This recipe will make 24 delicious squares of Rocky Road and you can do a custom set of ingredients to suit your family too!

Start by gathering all of your favourite things and a giant bowl to mix them! You’ll need chocolate for melting which will be the glue to hold all of the other ingredients together! You also need a deep tray to squash it all down into before you refrigerate it too!

The best thing about Rocky Road is that it’s totally customisable to your family and you can’t really get it wrong! Plus it’s fun for everyone! There’s only one danger with Rocky Road! Just don’t go eating all the singular ingredients while you’re making it!

I love to put things in mine you don’t usually find in a supermarket style tray bake, sometimes you find Nuts and I don’t put any of those in, some also contain fruit, which is a personal preference to whether or not you add this in. I will outline all the measurements below, and you can make your selection of your favourites.

Step 6.

What You Will Need

A Large Mixing Bowl – the bigger the better!
A Wooden Spoon or Two
A Saucepan (to do the melting part)
A Spatula
A Sharp Knife
Tea Towel and Rolling Pin (Or something to smash the biscuits with)
Baking Parchment to line your tray
A Large Tray that will still fit in your Fridge minimum of 1.5 inches deep

Ingredients

Mini Marshmallows 50g to 60g
Maltesers or Honeycomb Shards 50g to 60g
White Chocolate Chips 30g to 40g
Biscuits 150-200 grams (You can use a mixture of biscuits like I do, Digestive, Shortbread and Ginger are my faves, Ginger give a nice taste!)

Milk Chocolate (for the melting) 250 grams
Dark Chocolate (for the melting) 120 grams
Butter (for the melting) 140 grams
Golden Syrup (for the melting) 4 tablespoons

Additional Ingredients to Personalise your version of Rocky Road

Your “Special Ingredient” can be anything, between January and April I tend to use Mini Eggs or other Easter related Mini Chocolate Eggs etc. I just cut some of them up for going inside the bake. Other things that go well and add colour are Smarties, Aero Bubbles anything that sort of size etc.

Use around 70g to 100g of your chosen ingredient and remember to save around 30g of it for the topping!

You can also add any of the following things that all go brilliantly with this type of non-bake recipe – Cherries / Cranberries / Nuts / Raisins etc…

You will need 50 grams of your chosen one/s and make sure you then increase the depth of your tray by half an inch / 2 cm if you decide to include more than one of these ingredients. You could also choose to remove say, the white chocolate from my main list, and add in Raisins instead, just keep the ratio the same…

The customization is all down to you and your family! Go crazy! Have fun!

Method

1. Measure out and then Crush the Biscuits into mixed bite size pieces and add them to a large bowl.

2. Next, gather all your additional ingredients as outlined above, measured correctly and add these to your large bowl. The aim is to then mix all these dry ingredients together so they are evenly distributed.

3. Melt the Milk and Dark Choc with the Syrup and Butter until Smooth. Set 150ml of this melted chocolate mixture to one side in a jug to cool a little (you need this for the top of the mixture).

4. Add your melted mixture from the saucepan to your large bowl, coating all of the dry ingredients, keep mixing it quickly but carefully. You need to cover all of them in a light chocolate covering before it cools down too much.

Step 5.

5. Transfer from the bowl to the tray making sure the parchment is already lined inside it and smooth the rocky road out as flat as possible, push it down gently using a wooden spoon. Then pour the remaining melted chocolate (from the jug) over the mixture and smooth that all over the top with a spoon or a spatula, you need to try and coat most of the mix if not all of it, TOP TIP don’t forget to coat up to the corners!

6. Finally add your chosen Chocolate Decorations like Mini Eggs. Push them down a little so that they stick to the melted chocolate. Score the pieces of size you want to cut once it’s solid, using a knife (adult part only). Then put the whole tray in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

7. To serve it, gently remove the paper from the baking tray, lay flat and cut the Rocky Road where you scored into it earlier, do this using a knife that has been run under hot water (another adult only part). Remember to put the pieces into a seal-able tin or tub afterwards to make sure it stays fresh. Once set and cut you just store it at room temperature, for the best results eat it within 3 days.

Step 2.

Thanks very much for joining me for this recipe on Sweet Treats Week!
I do hope to see you here again tomorrow! See my social media for some videos while I am baking these as well! Including versions and what I use to make my bakes dairy free too!

If you make any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media, leave me a comment here on my blog. Any questions about a recipe please don’t hesitate to ask them! If you recreate this recipe somewhere else please credit me for it and name me and my blog, or even better link back to this original post too! Thanks everyone!

 Sabrina 

Sweet Treats Week – Day 2 – Sabrina’s Warm and Gooey Cookie Dough

Welcome to Sweet Treats Week on Severn Wishes. This half term I wanted to share my top 5 baking treats with you all, hopefully you’ve got some time this week to make them with me! Check out my Instagram for more food pictures and recipe ideas too!

Finished Cookie Dough, Yummy!

Day 2 is Sabrina’s Warm and Gooey Cookie Dough Recipe.

This fantastically easy recipe is great if you want a hot desert ready in under an hour. It’s egg free too! I make mine with a dairy free butter and use dairy free chocolates. But you don’t have to if you prefer the real thing. This warm desert is best served about thirty minutes after it’s finished baking, cooled off a little bit but while it’s still warm and gooey. Great on its own or you can pair it with a nice vanilla or coconut ice cream for example.

What You Will Need

A Glass Dish measuring approximately 12cm x 17cm / 5″ x 7″ and preferably with a lid for easy storage after its cooled down!
A Large Mixing Bowl
A Wooden Spoon
A Sieve

Ingredients

150g Plain Flour
115g Butter (Dairy Free Spread)
110g Light Brown Sugar
Water (Per Tablespoon – See Method)
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
Chocolate Chips or Chunks (As many as you like but a nice ratio between dough and chocolate) I used around 60g of dairy free chocolate chips.

Additional Information: This sized portion will make 4 portions when transferred into pudding bowls. This is a rich desert and you can divide it up into 8 portions if you want to have it accompanied with something else such as ice cream. Keep any leftovers inside the glass dish with the lid on at room temperature, eat it within 48 hours. If you want it warm and extra gooey then microwave a portion for 20 seconds in the microwave.

Dairy Free Cookie Dough with Various Dairy Free Chocolates

Cookie Dough Variations

Add Chunks of Chocolate Brownies. If you have already made brownie earlier in the week you could put small lumps of your softest brownie into the cookie dough along with some chocolate chips. Just ensure they are submerged in the dough so as not to overcook near the top!

Method Steps

1. First you will need to soften the butter a little, add the measured out spread into the large mixing bowl, melt it at 10 second intervals in the microwave and stir after each one. Once softened you add your measured out sugar. Mix until smooth and combined.

2. Sieve your measured flour into the bowl now, make sure once it’s all in you carefully mix it. Then when smooth you add your Vanilla and Chocolate Chips.

3. You now need to add some water to the mixture, add it a tablespoon at a time until you achieve a Cookie Dough consistency. It usually takes between 4 and 8 tablespoons to achieve the dough like substance. Once you’re happy transfer it to your preferred baking dish.

Step 3. Ready to Bake!

4. Now it’s time to bake! Preheat your oven to 180’c and cook in the centre of your oven until the cookie dough top goes golden and slightly brown. The best way to test the dough is right for you is to carefully touch the top, beware it will be hot, so leave it a minute outside of the oven and push down on the top. I like mine to be like a Cookie on the top, and then soft and gooey underneath! Mine took around 24 minutes!

5. As I described above, leave the glass dish out of the oven for around 30 minutes after the bake is complete. Serve the dough after this, it won’t be too hot that way, it should just be warm and gooey!

Thanks very much for joining me on my blog for this recipe! Thank you very much for joining me for Sweet Treats Week! I do hope to see you here again tomorrow!

If you make any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media, leave me a comment here on my blog. Any questions about a recipe please don’t hesitate to ask them! If you recreate this recipe somewhere else please credit me for it and name me and my blog, or even better link back to this original post too! Thanks everyone!

 Sabrina 

Sweet Treats Week – Day 1 – Sabrina’s Extra Special Chocolate Brownies

Welcome to Sweet Treats Week on Severn Wishes. This half term I wanted to share my top 5 baking treats with you all, hopefully you’ve got some time this week to make them with me! Check out my Instagram for more food pictures and recipe ideas too!

Sabrina’s Chocolate Brownies

Day 1 is Sabrina’s Extra Special Chocolate Brownies

Brownies can be tricky, but if you follow my recipe one step at a time you should be able to recreate my incredible triple chocolate brownies! Since needing to go dairy free I’ve even made these brownies free from dairy by substituting the butter for a dairy free spread and then I swapped the triple chocolate chips for only dairy free chocolates, and they still taste incredible! So do whichever version you would prefer, the difference in butter doesn’t change the end result.

My recipe will make around 20 brownies once you cut them after they have cooled. They are quite rich which is nice because they will last longer! They will last around 3 days in a sealed container, the best way to keep them is to store them at room temperature. TOP TIP Reheat a square or two for between 10 and 20 seconds in the microwave and serve them with ice cream! Yum!

Sabrina’s Triple Chocolate Style Brownies (A.)

What You Will Need

A Glass Dish or Baking Tray measuring approx 26cm x 20cm (8 x 10″)
Baking Paper or Parchment
A Saucepan
A Large Mixing Bowl
A Wooden Spoon
A Metal Spoon
A Whisk – Manual or Mechanical
A Sieve
A Knife
A Cooling Rack
Something To Store Them Inside After They Are Cooled

Step 5. Once Smooth Add Your Chocolates To The Mix!

Ingredients

3 Free Range Eggs (Fresh is best for baking)
175g Plain Chocolate (for melting) (You can use dairy free chocolate too)
175g Butter (or Dairy Free Spread)
200g Caster Sugar
75g Plain Flour
50g Cocoa Powder

Additional Flavours or Additional Chocolates… There Are Endless Possibilities! What Would You Do? Here are my favourites…

Brownie Variations

A. Triple Chocolate Brownies require 75g of White Chocolate Chips and 75g of Milk Chocolate Chips (or use different varieties of dairy free chocolates). Add these at Step 5.
B. Chocolate Orange Brownies require 100g of Chocolate that is Orange Flavoured, dairy free choc orange bars from Asda are fab or a few broken segments of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange are best! Put these pieces in the mixture at Step 5 instead of chocolate chips.
C. Mint Chocolate Brownies require 75g of Chocolate that is Mint flavoured, with such a strong flavour of chocolate it can be used as part of the melted part at the start of the bake. For a more Minty flavour later on you could add some Aero Mint Chocolate Balls when the brownie is almost cooked! Push them into the top of the brownie before the top is solid leaving just a little sticking out so they don’t melt and or burn!

Sabrina’s Chocolate Orange Brownies (B.)

Method Steps

1. First you need to place your butter and plain chocolate into a saucepan. Break the chocolate into small bits so it melts faster. Only melt on a low heat slowly. Keep stirring the melting mixture frequently until it is smooth with no lumps left. TOP TIP I only have my hob one setting 1 or 2 for melting, you don’t want to burn the mixture! I don’t like melting chocolate in a microwave, it’s too easily burnt!

2. Set the melted chocolate mixture to one side and allow it to cool. You can now preheat your oven to 180’c, 160’c for a Fan Assisted or 350F or Gas Mark 4. Cut a piece of baking parchment for your tray and push it inside.

3. In a large bowl break the 3 Eggs, make sure no shell falls in. Using a wooden spoon mix them up, add the Caster Sugar gradually while stirring. You then need to Whisk them both up together until they are combined and smooth with a light and creamy colour.

4. Using a Large Metal Spoon, you now fold in the cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture, one spoonful at a time. Keep stirring it through the creamy mixture, keep going one spoon at a time until all of the smooth thick liquids are combined into one large one. It should be a lot and not lumpy. TOP TIP If the chocolate mixture is still hot it instantly cooks the eggs and you end up with a curdled concoction! Make sure its cool, lukewarm is best, and stick to my one spoon at a time method!

5. Finally you need to Sieve the Cocoa Powder and the Plain Flour into your liquid, again you do this gradually, shaking a little into the bowl and mixing it through until it disappears. Repeat until all the dry ingredients are in the bowl and the mixture should now be a thick pour-able liquid. Add your chocolate chips or buttons or other bits now! Mix them in thoroughly.

6. Pour the mixture entirely into your tray with the parchment inside it. The mixture should sit just over half way inside giving it a little room to rise up slightly. Add any toppings like chocolate chips now, or part way through if they are not bake stable. Shake the tray from side to side before pushing it into the oven, so the bake is level.

7. Bake it with the correct setting for your oven, you’re looking for an even bake with the slightly crisp topping, it should change colour, it should be soft but cooked in the centre. On average this bake takes between 20 and 30 minutes, depending upon tray used and oven type. Just keep an eye on it, take it out and stick a knife into it. When the knife comes out almost clean, pull the tray out. Leave it on top of your oven for ten minutes, try the knife again. Remember if you hit a melted chocolate chip you may think it’s not cooked when it is! For this reason don’t be tempted to over cook it! They should be soft with the additional chocolates melted inside when you cut it!

Remember to wobble the tray so the mixture goes flat!

Thank you very much for joining me for Sweet Treats Week! I hope to see you again tomorrow!

If you make any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media, leave me a comment here on my blog. Any questions don’t hesitate to ask them! If you recreate this recipe somewhere else please credit me for it and name me and my blog or even better link back to this original post! Thanks everyone!

Sabrina

Sabrina’s Chocolate Orange Brownies (B.)

Fun Crafts With Children This Christmas

Hello everyone, today I’ve gone all arts and crafts on you! Most children break up from school today and I’m sure a lot of you are trying to come up with ways you can entertain everyone without it being Christmas movie after Christmas movie. Hands up if I’m right!

So what about some crafting! You can choose whichever one of these that you already have the necessary items for!
Pick one or do them all over the festive season! They make great tree decorations or cards, and perfect gifts for family members too!

Top Tip: Pop your little ones name and the year in the corner of the decoration if you’re keeping it, make one every year and compare the sizes!

It’s amazing what you can make out of a few bits of card, a pack of mixed pens and some washable paints! Why not give one of these awesome craft ideas a go with your little ones this Festive Season!

I always love the idea of doing cards! You can combine any of the below ideas and then simply cut out your finished design and stick it on to a piece of card.

Reindeer Foot Print
Penguin Foot Print
Snowman Foot Print
Christmas Tree Foot Print


Reindeer Hand Print
Robin Hand Print

What Will You Need:

A Sensible but Fun Adult 😉 with Baby Wipes at the ready!
Coloured Paper and Card
Pack of Mixed Coloured Pens, Glitter Pens are also cool too
Double Sided Tape or Pritt Stick or Glue

Washable Paints in mixed colours – I like the Crayola ones
A few different sized paint brushes or a sponge for skin application.

Scissors (one reason you need an adult)
Stickers if you want to add those or some googly eyes for your print animals

You may need a ruler, a hole punch and string or ribbon if you plan on making anything into a hanging decoration.

Use Washable Paints and some Card to make your very own Tree Decorations or Christmas Cards. It’s easy to do Hand Print Robins, Wreath or Reindeer! Or Footprint Trees, Snowmen, or Penguins!

How To Make It…

Paint your child’s Hand or Foot and carefully press it down on to your chosen card or paper.
Let it dry overnight somewhere warm.
Flatten the design for the next few hours once it’s dry.

Next you need to decide which Christmas theme to go for!
Paint, Draw or Stick on your favourite bits to make your design real!
Get an adult to do any cutting parts that are needed to make it into a decoration or card.

Toilet Roll Snowflakes are great to do too!
You need two toilet rolls per snowflake, glue, scissors, paint and glitter!
Tip One: Paint the Toilet Roll and Glitter it up first and then let it dry before cutting, at least overnight!
Tip Two: Cut all the pieces the same width and arrange it before gluing!
Tip Three: Tie some Ribbon or String to the top and hang in your home!

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed this Arts and Crafts post. Hopefully I will to see you here again soon. Have a great Festive Season!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Reindeer Child Foot Print

Sabrina’s Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets

How To Make Delicious Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets For All The Family To Enjoy!

Today I will be showing you how to make tasty, nutritious and dairy free vegetable nuggets that contain four different vegetables.
They are great fun for your children to eat as finger food and your older children can dip them in the sauce if they choose.
This recipe is ideal for weaning and beyond.

Veggie Nugget (broken so you can see the soft inside)



Ingredients for Sabrina’s Veggie Nuggets

3 Tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup
1 Tablespoon of Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Herbs
1 Large Egg (Beaten)
160 grams of Breadcrumbs (approx) roughly 4 slices of bread – I always use the 2 end bits if I have them!
6 Medium Carrots – Grated and Squeezed
2 Courgettes – Grated and Squeezed
100 grams of Swede Cooked First, then Diced Finely using a Chopper
1 Large White Onion Diced Finely
50 grams of Dairy Free Alternative to Italian Style Hard Cheese
Plain Flour (6 tablespoons approx) spread this onto a small plate ready for rolling…




Method

To make the sauce combine tomato ketchup and soy sauce together. Double the amount if you are preparing these nuggets for people to dip into the sauce straight after cooking them. Use half of the sauce for the vegetables mixture and leave half for the dip.

Once you have prepared all of the vegetable ingredients as directed above, you will need to ensure the mixture of vegetables isn’t too wet. Take a handful of the grated and chopped veg and place it between a few paper towels, a muslin cloth or a clean tea towel. Squeeze and press it in the cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Do this with all of the grated veg.

Get a large mixing bowl and crack the egg into it. Add the herbs and stir until combined. Next add some of the tomato dip. Next add the squeezed vegetables, then lastly add the hard cheese (or alternative) and the breadcrumbs, stir it all thoroughly. You don’t want lots of the same type of veg in each ball, try and mix it so you get a variant of all the ingredients. (I do my breadcrumbs in a small food mixer).

Place the flour onto a small plate ready to roll your nuggets in.

To make a nugget take a small handful of the combined mixture and roll between your palms. Top Tip! Do this with wet hands so it doesn’t stick to you! Roll them out into oval shapes, and then once happy you can roll each one in flour to coat it.

Have a large frying pan ready on your cooker with some oil getting hot. You should place the nuggets down gently so as not to break them or splash the oil. Fry each one until lightly browned all over. Top Tip! Use a pair of tongs to adjust them while frying to make sure you do all of the sides. Keep topping up the oil after every few nuggets.


Once they are cooked set the nuggets to one side on a piece of kitchen roll so as to drain any excess oil from them and let them cool a little, and then serve them while they’re still warm in a large bowl with the remainder of the tomato dip. They are great for a children’s party or a finger food family night in.

Squeezing the Veg so as to remove as much moisture as possible.
Veggie Nugget Mixture Ready For Mixing and Rolling

Vegetable Nuggets are ideal for children who are weaning at around 10 months and older, when they are learning to hold and bite into foods.
They are great for getting your children to eat vegetables.
The tomato dip provides a fun element for older children.
The leftovers can be frozen, defrost over night and re-fry them to give them a crunchy outside again.

My Recipe made me approximately 24 Nuggets.

Once you have rolled your nuggets between your palms you can get ready to fry them… My Top Tip is to have some done so you can fry one set while you make the next set…

Frying Tips

When frying the Nuggets take care and turn them frequently so that they cook evenly on all sides. You also need to maintain the oil so that they sit in a few millimetres at all times to avoid sticking to the pan.

Finished Veggie Nuggets

These Nuggets are great, and rather tasty too, that is providing you like the Veg I have chosen. You can substitute the Courgette for Mushrooms if you prefer those! And you can also do these without being dairy free by using a regular cheese like Parmesan if you wish.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have enjoyed reading about this recipe, if you decide to give it a go then please leave me a comment with how it went afterwards… Check out my other recipes on the category list!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sabrina Has 6 Ways to Improve your Well Being

Today On The Blog I Am Discussing Ways to Improve your Well Being.

It’s actually easier than you think to improve your well being. I began to do these things last year and am happy to say that I achieve most of these most weeks still.

✩ Stay Active
✩ Read More
✩ Eat Well And Proportionally
✩ Remember To Climb Those Stairs
✩ Try Something New Once In A While
✩ Do Something You Love Every Day And Enjoy Yourself

✩ Staying active is easy providing you stick to what you’re able to do. Even a ten minute walk is better than not walking at all. Other easy exercise includes gentle swimming and cycling. However if you’re generally a healthy person you might want to take up a new hobby this summer, walking outdoors is often free to do. You can make it fun for children by playing Spotting or Eye Spy games.

✩ Reading more is something I’m passionate about myself and I aim to increase mine even further. Whether you read the news, a book, a magazine, you are still working your brain by reading the words, and looking up words you don’t know is also beneficial. But more than that you are exercising your brain and taking in knowledge, despite what you read, a physical book or on a screen, it’s still reading.

✩ Eating well is so important anyway for your health, but portion sizes and proportion is vital. You need a good ratio of the main elements of food types as well as the right sizes of these types. Your 5 fruit and vegetables a day is also a key element in keeping your body healthy.

✩ Climbing a couple more staircases every day rather than taking the easy routes of lifts and escalators is something to consider. Your heart rate increases when you climb inclines or stairs, this is classed as exercise, even if it only takes you one minute to do the task. Stairs are also good for using muscles in your legs.

✩ Your mind needs to remain healthy too, and one way you can accomplish this is by trying something new. Whether it’s a hobby or activity, playing a board game or simply going somewhere new. New things stimulate your brain.

✩ No matter what kind of day you have, a busy day, a slow day, a stressful day or a day of fun! You should do one thing that you love each day. This is more for a sanity reason, but we all get busy and chores and work come ahead of what we want to do or love to do. For example, I love to play games, so I allocate twenty minutes in an afternoon or evening where I play Scrabble on my mobile phone. It’s not just something I enjoy but it also stimulates my brain by getting me to think.


Sabrina’s Top Tip!

Don’t try and accomplish all of the sections above in the same go! Perhaps do one a week and then see if you can achieve it again the following week. Also my tip is to pick the one you believe is most achievable to you!

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes for this lifestyle post today, I hope that you have enjoyed it. Leave me a comment if you want to, I would love to hear what you think about it.

✩ Sabrina ✩

How to make Chinese Food from Scratch at Home for this Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!
新年快乐

A great way to enjoy some tasty Chinese style cuisine this week is to do it yourself. To celebrate Chinese New Year I thought that I would share my own recipes with you all. Many people think it’s a complicated type of cuisine to make but if you’re good at following step by step recipe guides like mine, then you can create my delicious dishes in your own kitchen!

In today’s blog post I’m going to outline some of my own tips and tricks, as well as share my own recipes on how to make some flavoursome Chinese meals. Follow my instructions as much as you can, and substitute the meats for other meat or fish or a vegetarian alternative where I indicate you can with this symbol ⇕ . You can decide which of the sauces you’d rather make too, I will show you a few.

Why not give some cooking a go this Chinese New Year week! I’ve worked out that you can make 4 of my dishes for 4 people, plus a bowl of Sabrina’s Special Egg Fried Rice, for around £6.50 per person. That’s a heck of a lot cheaper than ordering in! On average a dish from a Chinese Takeaway comes in at around £7.00 in most parts of the UK. You can have 3 dishes and a rice for the same price! All you have to do though is cook it!

SHOPPING LIST

Stir Fry Pork ⇕ 500g is £2.75 at Tesco
Stir Fry Beef ⇕ 375g is £3.50 at Tesco
Chicken Fillets ⇕ 500g £4.00 at Tesco
Rice Wine Vinegar – £1.99 for 150ml
Reduced Salt Soy Sauce 65p for Tesco own brand or £1.30 for Amoy
Egg Noodles – Range from 80p to £1.40 – You need 150g for 2 people
Rice Noodles – Range from 90p to £1.80 – You need 300g for 4 people
Spring Onions – 55p for 100g at Tesco
Peas – Petit Pois Frozen at Tesco for £1.60 for 1kg
6 Free Range Eggs – Medium are 85p at Tesco
4 Peppers 2 Red 1 Green 1 Yellow 55p each at Tesco
2 White Onions – 85p per kg at Tesco
Carrots 59p per kg at Tesco
Jasmine Rice – Thai Jasmine Rice 1kg £2.00 at Tesco
Chinese 5 Spice Jar 85p at Tesco
Cornflour​ £1.30 at Tesco
Sunflower Oil 500ml 80p at Tesco
Seasame Oil – 250ml £1.80 at Tesco
Sweet Chilli Sauce – don’t have this at home buy supermarket own
Tomato Sauce – don’t have this at home buy supermarket own
Garlic – if you don’t have this at home buy supermarket own or jar
Ginger – fresh or jar or paste all work the same
Chilli – fresh or jar of flakes is fine but fresh taste better
Black Bean Sauce – Various Brands and Sizes Available

Remember that for some of these items you will have leftover amounts of them that you can use the next time that you cook Chinese food, such as the Petit Pois, the Rice Wine Vinegar, the Cornflour and the Soy Sauce.

Optional Extras

Bean Sprouts for the Stir Fry & Chow Mein Dish – 300g for 50p Tesco
White Cabbage are 79p each in Tesco
Water Chestnuts 225g Tin at Tesco for £1.10
Button Mushrooms – 90p for 200g at Tesco

I have worked out that your shopping list will cost between £27 and £30 depending on supermarket offers and whether or not you pick those offers or brands versus own brand. I shopped at Tesco but prices are similar else where when I looked online. For 4 people this equals approximately £6.50/£7.00 each, that is for the 4 people to have 3 Chinese Dishes and Rice.

TIME TO COOK

How To Make The Crispy Meat Element of the Dishes.

One of the most delicious parts of Chinese food is crispy strips of meat seasoned with Chinese spices. You can pick up a jar of Chinese 5 Spice for less than £1 in most supermarkets, and because it’s so strong in flavour it goes a long way.

Options for this type of meal are…
Crispy Beef in Sweet Chilli Sauce
Crispy Pork in Sweet and Sticky Sauce

Ingredients

Meat In Strips (your choice from Shopping List) Cut It If Not Already
5 Tablespoons of Cornflour
3 Tablespoons of Chinese 5 Spice

How To Prepare

You need a small saucepan that you pour oil in to until it is around an inch deep. You need to heat this on a hob until it’s very hot before you place meat inside to fry. The Meat Strips take around four minutes to cook through depending upon their thickness, so always test one piece before you do the remainder. You will also need several pieces of kitchen roll/towel to place your fried goods upon to drain and soak up any excess oil.

In bowl number one you need to place the cornflour and Chinese 5 Spice, mix it using a spoon. You need to coat each piece of meat in this mixture, by adding meat slowly a few at a time, once coated place them into the hot oil and time them frying. Remove them from the saucepan using a spoon or spatula with holes so as to drain the oil. Dry the strips on some towel until they are ready to mix with your chosen sauce.

A great way to use up those Takeaway Sauces you get given is to use them like I did to make a Chinese Sauce. See my image below…

How To Make Chinese Sauces

Here are my recipes for some sauces and stir fry meals I love to make. They are easy to follow and take around half an hour to prepare and cook.

There is one sauce that I always buy because it is more expensive to try and make it, that is black bean sauce. You can pick this up in most supermarkets for between 35p to £1.50. Packets or Jars depending upon if it’s for a one off dish or for several if you wish to make it again. Black Bean Sauce is the Perfect accompaniment with Chicken.

Chicken in Black Bean Sauce
Serve this with chunky chopped Onions, ribbons of Carrots and sliced Green Peppers.

Crispy Meat in Sweet Chilli Sauce
Serve with Carrot Ribbons, Onions and a chopped Chilli Pepper.
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar

Crispy Meat in Sweet and Sticky Sauce
Serve with fried peppers and onions.
1 Tablespoon of Garlic
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons of Tomato Sauce
3 Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar

Chicken Chow Mein Sauce with Onions
1 Tablespoon of Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Ginger
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
5 Tablespoons of Boiling Water
1/2 A White Onion Chopped Chunky & Fried
Add other Veg as Optional Extras

Add the Chow Mein Sauce to pre-cooked Rice Noodles or Thin Egg Noodles and your already fried and seasoned meat. If you want a richer flavour then marinate the chicken in soy sauce for an hour prior to frying it.

Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce
Crispy Beef in Sweet Chilli Sauce
As Delicious As It Looks!

Sabrina’s Delicious Stir Fry

You need 2 pans. Once prepared fry all your Vegetables together in a little oil. In the other pan, take some of the garlic, ginger and spices and add them to season your main element while you cook it, don’t forget to season with pepper and salt.
Once everything is cooked combine the main and the vegetables. Add your noodles and a splash of boiling water to the pan. Stir fry until cooked, serve immediately.

Meat / Fish / Vegetable of your choice (Main Element)
Shallots OR White Onion
2 Tablespoons of Ginger
2 Tablespoons of Garlic
2 Peppers – 1 Yellow & 1 Red – Sliced Long Ways
1 Tablespoon of Chinese 5 Spice – Season Chosen Main
Noodles of your choice
Add Spring Onions too if you like Onion as much as I do for a pop of colour!

Fry all these tasty vegetables together to begin your Stir Fry.
Soy and Chilli Chicken Stir Fry with Onion, Yellow Pepper & Egg Noodles.

How To Make Sabrina’s Special Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice is relatively easy to make and is a great accompaniment to lots of Chinese dishes. You can partially cook this dish too to save time! Cook the rice either on the hob or preferably in a Rice Cooker if you have one. Then you’re ready to begin.

Ingredients

Jasmine Rice – 300g – 400g Cooked
2 Tablespoons of Oil
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Garlic
Peas or Petit Pois – 1 Small Cup – 150g approximately
Spring Onions – 4 to 6 Chopped Up – 100g plus
Scrambled Eggs – 3 Medium Eggs season with Salt, Pepper & Soy Sauce to your tastes

Method

In a large frying pan add oil soy sauce and garlic, then fry the Spring Onions and Peas together. Add the Eggs (previously whisked in a small bowl) and scramble together using a wooden spoon on a high heat. Turn the heat down and add the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly and add any more seasoning to taste. Fry until hot and all flavours are combined. Serve in a large bowl so people can help themselves and scatter some fresh spring onion on top.

The Final Dishes

Your final options for the Chinese Dishes are…

Main Dish 1. Crispy Pork with Sweet Sticky Sauce & Stir Fry Vegetables
Main Dish 2. Chicken in Black Bean Sauce with Vegetables
Main Dish 3. Chicken Chow Mein with Rice Noodles
Main Dish 4. Crispy Beef with Sweet Chilli Sauce & Stir Fry Vegetables
Main Dish 5. Soy and Chilli Chicken Stir Fry with Egg Noodles
Side Dish. Sabrina’s Special Egg Fried Rice
Side Dish. Stir Fry Vegetables

Thank you for joining me on Severn Wishes, I hope you enjoyed this lengthy food post! Let me know in my comments or tag me on social media if you make any of my recipes!

✩ Sabrina ✩