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 ✩

December 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the December 2018 Treatbox Reveal
with Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treat Box Day! It’s the last Treatbox of 2018 and it’s the Christmas box!

The little sticker is a stag on a winter scene with pale yellow tissue paper.

I have been very much looking forward to this box, it had been delayed due to Zoe awaiting an item, and you know that Zoe puts a lot of effort into every single month of Treatbox, therefore I eagerly wanted to know what it could be…

Without further ado, here are all of the contents of the December 2018 Treatbox.

This month there are 4 physical items, plus 12 square card prints accompanied by 10 golden pegs with string, plus a Calendar Print and an A5 Print.

Calendar Print for December 2018
A5 Print – Rocking Around The Christmas Tree
Twelve Square Card Prints Designed by Treatbox for Christmas Time
11 Golden Pegs with a Piece of Green and White String
Treatbox Designed 2019 Diary and Planner
Gnaw Chocolate Bar – Winter Wonder
Vitamasques – Cranberry and Apple Sheet Face Mask
Teeny Bobeenie Boutique – Snowberry and Mistletoe Wax Brittle
Selection of Christmas Related Sequins Thrown In For Fun

Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close.







My Favourites

My favourite pieces in this box have to be the Diary/Planner and the original cards. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and pamper products. I’m hoping to get some evenings to relax once the main Christmas days have been and gone, and enjoy what has been discovered in my box. The 12 cards are very sweet and awesome for making a home Christmassy and bright.


My Overall Opinion

I really loved the Treatbox originals and unique items this box. Once again we have lots of effort that has been applied and a theme that is well thought out. You can apply your face mask and eat your chocolate whilst writing your Christmas Cards for example…
I appreciated that this box was delayed, however I was more than happy with the content, it was worth the extra few days wait. This Treatbox has certainly ended the year on a high, and I look forward to the January box.

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Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website.

Check out my previous posts in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any thoughts of your own that you would like to share or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, why not leave me a little comment in the section below.

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Thanks for reading this Reveal and Review today. It’s been another whole year of Treatbox already, where did 2018 go?! I’m looking forward to all that 2019 will bring and also eagerly anticipating what will appear in the first boxes of the new year.

Thank you for joining me for my blog Reveals, hope to see you visit Severn Wishes again very soon. Have a very happy holiday!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Health and Well Being – Steps to Smarter Eating


Well Being and Health – Steps to Smarter 
Eating

Smarter Eating is something that we can all get into doing more often. Because some of these things are so easy to become good habits too, you just have to be patient. Try introducing them one at a time, and after some time why not do several on occasion and then give yourself a day off from them once a month? There are many ways in which you can look out for your health, and these are the ways I have found to be quite easy. Remember food should be enjoyed but some things need to be in moderation.

 

✩ Hydration ✩

So we all know that we should be drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. Depending on the size of the glass that you use, this can equate to anything from 1.5 litres to 2 litres each day. When they say “a day” they mean within 24 hours.

So here is my Top Tip – Keep a reusable bottle or glass by the side of your bed, make sure that when you wake with your alarm in a morning that you drink before getting out of bed. Not only are you having your first glass of water, but you are also helping your body to wake up and your blood pressure to regulate as well.

Another tip is to carry a reusable bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Not only will it remind you to drink, but it will also save you money because you won’t be buying drinks from shops or vendors.

 

✩ Embrace Your Favourites ✩

Favourites! We all have them! Embracing the ones that are good for you is definitely the way to go. And if not then why not try and add good things to your faves. Such as halving your bowl of ice cream and adding fresh fruit. Or you could add frozen spinach on top of your favourite pizza! Enjoy your foods but make them better for you.

 

✩ Boost Flavours ✩

Boosting the flavours of bland foods that are good for you but not entirely pleasant to eat is a great idea. Why not try and add low fat yoghurt to a bowl of fruit or to a bland (but good for you) cereal. You can try low fat versions of your tastier favourites such as cheese, or add fresh herbs to your meals.

 

✩ Eat More Vegetables ✩

It may sound easy, but sometimes we get lazy after a long day when we look at a pile of vegetables that need to be prepared. The trick and tip from me here would be to buy frozen. You waste less doing this and can only get out what you are going to use. It’s faster to measure up portions too! Easy to add two cups of mixed diced vegetables into a curry or a pasta sauce, for example, than counting out how many carrots you need to peel and then chop and then cook…

 

✩ Eat More Grains ✩

Dependent on your dietary requirements getting more grains could be difficult. However if you don’t have any allergies you should consider this. Getting more fibre through your diet. I love cereal, and my favourite happens to be high in fibre. Why not make a switch for a week if yours does not and see how you feel. Add fruit or jam if you require a sweetness rather than adding sugar.

 

✩ Try Something New ✩

We all get curious from time to time. My most recent example of this would be when I tried the new range of juice drinks from Tropicana – Tropicana Essentials. Although more expensive than my usual choices I wanted to try something that was meant to be better for me, and more beneficial to my health…  It is made of fruit and vegetables and I did notice I had more energy after consuming it on consistent days.

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Thank you for joining me for this next installment in my well being and health related posts today. I hope that you are able to take something from my tips and they can help you improve your lifestyle.

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

 

Well Being and Health – Easy Ways To Make The Most Of Vegetables

Easy Ways To Make The Most Of Vegetables

 

We often throw away a lot of fruit and vegetables that have a habit of going off before we get around to using them. In this post today I’m going to outline the ways in which I make the most of vegetables and how easily you can so to.

 

Sabrina’s Top Tip is to invest in a blackboard or a meal planner or even both! That way you won’t forget to use what’s in your fridge! Plan out one night a week that is a Treat Night where you can have something tasty like chips with your evening meal, but otherwise mix up your vegetables so as not to get bored with the weekly selection.

 

Buy Frozen

You often get a lot more veg for your money with frozen, and it’s just as good for you with most brands choosing to freeze hours after the vegetables are picked. Frozen often gives you more per kilo as well, with things such as broccoli because you’re not paying for the weight of its stork, or spinach for example which is frozen in far larger quantities than you find it in fresh packets. Frozen veg also has the added benefits of you only using what you need each time rather than you wasting with cutting sections of fresh veg up when preparing them.

 

Make a Soup or Sauce

Usually I make a soup or a sauce out of veg that needs using up, or left over veg that wasn’t all eaten during something like a roast dinner.

 

Use your Peelings – They are the most nutritious parts!

If you often peel potatoes, parsnips, carrots and sweet potato, but throw those peelings away, you should consider making your own vegetable crisps out of them.
A greatly tasty and healthy snack for children between meals or as a starter while the evening meal is cooking. Keep them for 48 hours in a clean lidded Tupperware box to keep the crunch!

 

Save Money By Using the Stems

If you prepare Cauliflower and/or Broccoli regularly, do you ever use the stems? There are a few options to save you throwing them away.
Make Cauliflower Rice by putting the stems and any left over florets into a processor to make cauliflower rice.
Make an easy vegetable curry by cubing the stems of cauliflower with any left over potato and cook them a little longer than you would usually to soften them up.
You can take broccoli stems and either shave them finely using a peeler and fry them with stir fry vegetables or dice them and add them to pasta dishes.

 

Buy Seasonal to Save Money

Look into buying Seasonal Vegetables that are on offer in Supermarkets. Some of the larger ones in the United Kingdom do weekly deals too! Make sure you plan your week around this and use up the items that will spoil first so as to ensure no waste.

 I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post and my vegetable tips!

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

October 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the October 2018 Treatbox Reveal
with Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone! So it’s officially Autumn (as of a few days ago) and we are all counting down to the next “Holiday” which of course is Halloween!

This month the Treatbox  is “Positive Vibes” and as Autumn begins… leaves are changing and the nights are drawing in. Colder days are upon us and I hope that this box will reflect this seasonal transition…

The tissue paper is pale blue as I opened this box. The little sticker reads “Hello You”.

Here are all of the contents of the October 2018 Treatbox. Remember to check your calendar print information because there are often variations in some items with their flavour or their colour for example.

This month there are 5 physical items in the Treatbox plus a Calendar Print and two A5 Prints as well.

 


Calendar Print – October – Smile! Leaves changing…
2 A5 Prints – “Be Kind” & “Do It For Yourself”
Coaster “Good Vibes” – exclusive to Treatbox
Dark Grey Scarf – 100% Polyester
Vitamasques – Sleep in Mask – Made with Avocado
Kokoa smooth Venezuelan Hot Chocolate Stir-Ins! We get 3 in the Packet and they are 58% Cocoa.

Melting Pot Fudge – Traditional Butter Flavour – made in Ireland

Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions about any of them please leave me a comment at the end of the post, I will do my best to find you an answer.

My Favourites

My favourite pieces in the box this time have been the Grey Scarf, the two Prints and the Hot Chocolate Cocoa Stir-Ins. I cannot wait for a cold afternoon where I can enjoy the hot chocolate. The prints are always great for building positive thoughts through ones day.


My Overall Opinion

I really liked that the box resembled (in my opinion) an afternoon of relaxing. You could go for a walk with your lovely new Scarf keeping your neck warm. Once home you make your Hot Chocolate, while it’s too hot to drink you stand your mug on the Treatbox Coaster, enjoying eating the bar of Fudge as you relax in your favourite chair.

It was great to try new brands and new things in this month’s box as well.

The scarf is nice quality and soft to the touch, and I liked the over all positive theme.

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Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any thoughts you would like to share or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, why not leave me a little comment in the section below. If you have any questions about any of the items from this month’s Treatbox then please get in touch I am more than happy to answer them if I can.

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Thanks for reading this post everyone! I hope you enjoyed this Reveal.

So finally don’t forget that Severn Wishes website isn’t just about Treatbox! I write about every aspect of my life and review many a variety of things and other boxes sometimes too. So if you enjoy this reveal then why not check out my other categories.

Thank you for your on-going support for me and my blog, I hope you have a wonderful month! Don’t forget you can follow me on Social Media to see what I’m up to on a daily basis…

✩ Sabrina 

 

 

Reviewing and Comparing Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Reviewing and Comparing Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

So today I’m Reviewing and Comparing Chocolate Chip Cake Bars available from Tesco. Why? I hear you ask, well someones got to do it! Ha! Ha! No seriously though, I have been living off tasty snacks since my son was born. Including Cake Bars! I have needed sugary snacks to get me through long nights and early morning feeds.

I have shopped at Tesco for many years and I have always supported their own brand products too. Sometimes I would only purchase the branded version if they were on special offer.

Today I wanted to Review the two most similar cakes that I buy regularly and explain what I like best about each of them. I am going to score them after the product information has been shown, and tell you why I choose to buy them.



Here are the two types of chocolate chip cakes bars that I purchase on a regular basis. Exclusive to Tesco Ms Molly’s Treat Store and Mr Kipling Exceedingly Good Cakes.

 

This is what the cake bars look like out of the boxes.

 

✩ Cake Bar Product Information ✩


Ms Molly’s (Exclusive to Tesco)

Pack Size: 5 Cakes
Cake Bar Size: 26 grams
Values per 100 grams: Fat 5.4g Saturates 0.8g Sugars 5.9g Salt 0.1g
Energy 442 kJ / 106 kcal
Details: Each Cake Bar is individually wrapped in clear plastic, with the eat by date stamped upon it also.
Price per Packet: 47p (works out to be 9p per cake bar)
Suitable for Vegetarians. 

Mr Kipling

Pack Size: 6 Cakes
Cake Bar Size: 24 grams
Values per 100 grams: Fat 5.0g Saturates 2.0g Sugars 9.6g Salt 0.11g
Energy 456 kJ / 109 kcal
Details: Each Cake Bar is individually wrapped in a brown Mr Kipling wrapper.
Price per Packet: £1.60 (works out to be 26p per cake bar)
Suitable for Vegetarians.

My Opinion Of Each Cake Bar Brand.

Ms Molly’s: These are delicious cakes that have been individually baked so that the inside stays soft and the sponge is light. There are chocolate chips running throughout the inside of the bar that taste delicious and are a nice contrast in texture to the sponge cake itself. You can see from the image above that the cake bar is a nice shape and are always a good golden colour to show they are well baked. They are very affordable at 9p a cake, and I would happily put them in my trolley every time that I go shopping (and usually do!) The use by dates are normally around 2-4 weeks after the purchase date which gives you plenty of time to eat them. Overall I really enjoy the taste and texture of the Molly’s cake bars, a nice sponge and delicious chocolate pieces, to be honest the price is just a bonus!

Quality of Product 5✩

Value for Money 5✩

 

Mr Kipling: These cake bars have very tasty chocolate chips that are not only found inside the cake itself but also scattered on top of it. The Mr Kipling brand is very well known and I am fond of their cakes. The only downside with these particular cakes is that they are cut bars and not baked individually, so the sponges aren’t as soft as some other cake bars such as Molly’s. Even though I find the chocolate tastes nicer in these cakes the actual sponge itself isn’t as moist or as soft as its cheaper counterpart. For this reason I would honestly choose the Tesco own version of Molly’s over Mr Kipling.

Quality of Product 4✩

Value for Money 3✩

 


Here are what the two bars look like inside. As you can see the texture of the Ms Molly’s is more moist and is a bigger size. Where as the Mr Kipling bar is a lighter texture sponge but with more chocolate chips.

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Thank you for reading this review today. Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media to see what I’m up to on a more daily basis! I do love my food so I watch out for more food related posts in the future.

✩ Sabrina 

September 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the September 2018 Treatbox Reveal
with Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone! I have been looking forward to this box, the end of Summer and beginning of Autumn is usually a beautiful transition in the United Kingdom. I am hoping this box will reflect that…

This month the Treatbox UK theme is “Staying Cosy” as our Summer ends and Autumn begins…

I adore Purple and was happy to see a deep Purple tissue paper as I opened this box. The little sticker reads “Happy Post” and it certainly is!

Here are all of the contents of the September 2018 Treatbox. Remember to check your calendar print because there are often variations in some items with their flavour or colour for example.This month there are 7 items in the Treatbox plus a Calendar Print and an A5 Print.


Calendar Print for September 2018 – Heart

2 Pukka Tea Bags – Cranberry, Rose & Vanilla Flavour
Purple “Baked Apple” Scent Circus Wax Melt 20g
Popcorn Shed “Pop N Choc” Bag of Gluten Free Popcorn
Vitamasques Peaches & Honey Hand Mask
“Stay Cosy” White Pillowcase
After Spa Magic Makeup Remover Cloth
A5 Print – “Take A Deep Breath, Let Out All The Stress, You Deserve To Be Okay!”

 

Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions about any of them please leave me a comment at the end of the post.

 

September 2018 Treatbox UK

Hand Printed at Treatbox HQ!

My Favourites

My favourite pieces in this box were the Pillowcase and the Popcorn. The print was of good quality as always too.

I really liked that we had a few things we hadn’t had before in a box, such as the Popcorn Brand and the Hand Mask – something I had not tried previously. Having the opportunity to try a hand mask made from Korean beauty is great. The pillowcase was a nice addition this month and something that everyone can use.


My Overall Opinion

What I liked was the theme for this month, being “Cosy” as Autumn draws in sounds wonderful. Although I felt the items themselves lacked something special. Cosy for me is a candle and a blanket, or at least a scarf and something warming. I felt like a Candle would have fitted the theme better than a Wax Melt, and that the Tea was a good addition for the warming element of this concept. However in my opinion there could have been a little more thought into this months theme.

I wasn’t a fan of the Wax Melt, I still haven’t used any of the other melts I’ve received in Treatbox, they simply go into a box for me to re-gift to others during the year. I would have loved more Popcorn too! One small bag of it (considering the grams) just seemed such a shame! The fact that the Popcorn was Gluten Free was a great bonus though!

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I love to be honest and share my honesty about my reviews.

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Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any thoughts you would like to share or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, why not leave me a little comment below.

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So finally don’t forget that Severn Wishes website isn’t just about Treatbox! I write about every aspect of my life and honestly review a variety of things, products and brands. So if you have enjoyed this reveal then why not check out my other categories too.

Thank you for your on-going support for me and my blog, I hope you have a wonderful month! Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media to see what I’m up to daily!

✩ Sabrina 

 

 

July 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the July 2018 Treatbox Reveal
with Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone! I have been looking forward to this box, it’s arrival comes just before my baby is due! So I was hopeful I would still be bringing you this unboxing as a full reveal. And you’re in luck!

This month the theme is an “Ooo La La” – French Themed!

Bonne Treatbox journée!

As I open pale yellow coloured tissue paper with a sticker that reads “Bonjour” I am already excited, because Paris is one of my favourite places on Earth!

Here are all of the items in the July 2018 Treatbox. (Remember they can vary slightly!).

This month there are 7 items in the Treatbox plus a Calendar Print and an A4 Print.

Calendar Print for July 2018 – Bonjour with Hearts
2 Treatbox Badges – French Inspired Badges
Navy with White Polka Dots Coin Purse
Biscuit – “La Vie Est Belle”
Pair of Pink and Navy Blue Eiffel Tower Socks
Decoration – Sass and Belle White and Gold Polka Dot Frame
Bubble T Lemongrass and Green Tea Flavoured Macaroon Shaped Lip Balm
A4 Print white with navy writing “à la belle étoile”

Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions about any of them please leave me a comment at the end of the post, I will do my best to find you an answer.

My Favourites

My favourite pieces in this box have to be the Coin Purse, the Socks, the Photo Frame and the Badges. I love anything that has a French theme, so this entire box is right up my street.

I really liked that we had new items this month because I don’t recall having a coin purse in my time of receiving Treatbox. Something to wear like socks are always a lovely bonus. I would personally rather have a nice item like the photo frame than two more perishable items for example.


My Overall Opinion

What I loved this month, was both the theme and the items. In fact there isn’t an item that I don’t like! The overall quality is good and I had already planned to use two of the products before I had even finished photographing them individually.


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Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any thoughts you would like to share or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, why not leave me a little comment in the section below.

Also if you have any questions about any of the items from this month’s Treatbox then please get in touch I am more than happy to answer them if I can.

If you enjoyed this post then why not check out my Reveal Video, click the link to see this latest one on my channel right HERE


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Thanks for reading this post everyone! If you manage to watch my video you will notice it’s a little different and a lot shorter due to my impending arrival.

Although I have really enjoyed the Reveals of the months and years that I have been subscribed, my baby is coming very soon and I won’t be able to put in the time and effort I would usually do with the boxes. I don’t want to miss out, and I also enjoy the treats for myself once a month that I receive. I’m currently deciding whether or not I will stay subscribed, if I do then it won’t be to do a full reveal by video, it will only be a photographic one.

So finally don’t forget that Severn Wishes website isn’t just about Treatbox! I write about every aspect of my life and review many a variety of things. So if you enjoy this reveal why not check out my other categories.

Thank you for your ongoing support for me and my blog, I hope you have a wonderful July! I know that mine will no doubt be a very busy one filled with new experiences as I become a mum! Exciting!

✩ Sabrina 

3 Delicious Recipes Suitable for Pregnant Women including Homemade Egg Free Ice Cream.

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Sabrina’s Delicious Recipes for Pregnant Women and their Families.

I have always been a cook, and from a young age too. But what I didn’t bargain for was all the things I couldn’t eat or had to alter or avoid during pregnancy. These included runny eggs, smoked meats and processed foods. I decided almost a year before I had gotten pregnant that I would make some changes to my diet. Less processed foods, less chocolate and snacks, more fruit and vegetables and definitely more healthy recipes. I swapped my bacon twice a week for just on a Saturday morning, cut down red meat to one night a week and ate more lean white meat instead.

Trying to do this for just one person is difficult, and it took a number of weeks to convince my husband to swap with me to certain items. I told him we could have everything in moderation. You could still eat a bag of crisps at lunchtime, you could still have a pudding after your evening meal, and we still had a takeaway delivered every fortnight on a Friday. But in between we would snack on healthier choices, eat more vegetables with our evening meal and cut down on the amount of processed meats we were eating.

It took about a month, but I began to feel better for the choices that I had made. And once we were in fact expecting, I looked through the internet and my cookbooks to find recipes that I could adapt to our new regime. This included changing minced beef for lean pork mince which is a healthier alternative, removing meat altogether from a recipe in some cases and putting in two vegetables instead, and even making my own cakes and ice creams that didn’t contain any eggs.

Depending upon whether or not you’ve been unwell during the first trimester of your pregnancy or not, can determine what and how much you’ve been eating. I certainly made up for missed nutrients in my second trimester and it’s also when you should have more energy and appetite so you will enjoy it more. However come the third trimester there isn’t a great deal of room for you to indulge, so smaller portions, little and often became my way to go.

The remainder of this blog post will outline three of my favourite recipes that I have made during this pregnancy. It includes a starter, a main course and a dessert and if I know any nutritional information I will include them. And I will also include how long the prep and cooking took me so you know the details of each recipe and the rough amount the quantities of it will make too.

STARTER

✩ Chicken and Bacon Salad with Egg ✩

It may be light but it is very flavoursome, the salad portion is one of your five a day, and you can choose to add a dressing or sauce of your choice as well. You should be able to multitask through the prep so long as you keep an eye on the things you are cooking while chopping the salad for example.

Serves 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

You Will Need;

✩ A Grill Frying Pan with a little oil
✩ A nice deep bowl per person for serving
✩ Colander for Washing the Salad
✩ A Sharp Knife for preparing the salad
✩ A pair of Kitchen Scissors for cutting the chicken and the bacon
✩ A deep saucepan filled with water for boiling the eggs

✩ Ingredients ✩

✩ Mixed Salad Leaves – your preference – 50 grams per person
✩ Chicken Breasts – 1 small breast per person – cut into shreds
✩ Streaky Bacon – 2 Rashers per person – cut into shreds
✩ Eggs – to Hard Boil – 1 egg per person
✩ Cherry or Plum Tomatoes – your preference – washed and halved – several per person
✩ Cucumber – Washed and Sliced into Chunks – 3cm of Cucumber per person
✩ Croutons – You can use shop bought ones if you want to save time
✩ Grated Parmesan or Grated Cheddar Cheese – your preference

✩ Method ✩

1. Boil the Water for the Eggs and Hard Boil
2. Grill the Chicken and Bacon together until cooked
3. Wash the salad and chop accordingly
4. Arrange the salad at the bottom of the bowls
5. Arrange the other ingredients on top of the leaves making sure the chicken is last
6. Grate some cheese over the top and finish with any dressing you may want
7. Serve immediately

TOP TIP – In order for a Salad to be classed as one of your five a day you need to eat 80 grams or more of it. By combining the grams of the salad leaves with the cucumber and tomato you should achieve the correct amount for it to count!

MAIN

✩ Sabrina’s Mild Spicy Meatballs in Tomato and Pepper Sauce with White Rice ✩

My family friendly Meatball Recipe is mildly spicy and tasty, it also contains two of your five a day with all the vegetables contained in the sauce… You can choose to remove or up the amount of spice dependent on your own tastes.

Serves 4
Prep 1 hour
Cook 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

You Will Need;

✩ A Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the main sauce
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ Rice Cooker OR Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the rice
✩ A Small Frying Pan
✩ Small Bowl
✩ Bowls to Serve the Meal in

 

✩ Ingredients ✩

For Meatballs

✩ Lean Mince Beef (10% Fat or less – 500 grams)
✩ Salt and Pepper To Taste
✩ 1 Egg
✩ Italian Mixed Herbs (1 Tablespoon)
✩ Onion Powder (1 Teaspoon)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried (1 Teaspoon)

For Sauce

✩ Chopped Tomatoes (1 Tin – 400 grams)
✩ Large White Onion (2 Onions – Finely Chopped)
✩ Carrots (2 Carrots – 200 grams approx)
✩ Plum Tomatoes (1 Tin Chopped – 400 grams)
✩ Red Pepper (1 Pepper Sliced and Diced)
✩ Beef Stock Cube/Stock Pot – (Pots Do Melt Quicker)
✩ Mild Chilli Powder – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Oregano Herbs – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Basil Herbs – 1 Tablespoon
✩ Tomato Puree (50 grams)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried / Fresh (1 Tablespoon)

✩ Method ✩

1. To make the Meatballs add the binding ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Using clean and dry hands roll small amounts of Mince Beef together into meatball sized shapes and put them through the mixture to coat.
2. Fry off the Meatballs in a pan with a little oil, sealing the flavour in. Then add them to the saucepan ready for cooking within the sauce.
3. Fry the Onion and Peppers together once all the meatballs are done.
4. Once cooked through add the onion and peppers to the saucepan, then add the other vegetables ingredients including the tomatoes and carrots.
5. Stir these thoroughly and then add one beef stock cube/pot.
6. Add all of the Herbs and Spices listed next, stir through until dissolved.
7. Simmer on a low heat stirring occasionally for up to an hour, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
8. Serve on a bed of Rice and if you want to, a sprinkle of cheese on the top! Yum!

TOP TIP – Always add the spices last before starting the simmering, they will dissolve into the liquid and really marinate over the hour as the liquid is absorbed. This also gives the meatballs time to cook through too and absorb those delicious flavours!


DESSERT

✩ Egg Free Vanilla Soft Scoop Ice Cream 

A delicious homemade ice cream, the vanilla stands out just enough and because it’s soft scoop it’s easy to eat and can be paired with so many things. Alternatively just eat it on it’s own…

Serves – 12 people
Prep – 5 minutes
Cook – 5 minutes
Chill Time – 3 hours
Total Time – 3 hours and 10 minutes
Nutrition – Egg Free, Vegetarian and Gluten Free.

You Will Need;
✩ An Ice Cream Churner Whose Inner Pot Has Been Frozen Prior To Use (Overnight)
✩ A Large Shallow Saucepan
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ A Tub For Freezing The Ice Cream In Afterwards

✩ Ingredients ✩
✩ Double/Heavy Cream – 2 Cups
✩ Milk – 3/4 Cup
✩ Salt – 1/8 Teaspoon
✩ Sugar (White) – 3/4 Cup
✩ Vanilla Essence – 2 Teaspoons

✩ Method ✩

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large shallow saucepan.
2. Heat them on a Medium Heat until it begins to Bubble.
3. When Bubbling starts Turn Off the Heat and Mix until all the Sugar is Dissolved.
4. Allow the Mixture to Cool down to Room Temperature.
5. Pour the Mixture into a previously chilled Ice Cream Churner according to fill level and follow the manufacturers directions for quantity and times.
6. Once Churned properly carefully Spoon the Mixture into a Tub and Freeze for 3 hours before Serving. This is a Soft Scoop Ice Cream and is easy to remove.

TOP TIP – It’s a good idea to serve some fruit with this kind of ice cream, it always turns out so soft and delicious it’s nice to give some texture to it.

I hope that you will enjoy my recipes from this blog post, or that it has perhaps inspired you with some healthy eating options to try! You can enjoy this food whether you’re pregnant or not and I hope you’ll consider trying this delicious food!

Thank you for reading, this has been Food Week on Severn Wishes Blog!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Healthy and Nutritious Snacks for Pregnant Women

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Healthy and Nutritious Snacks for Pregnant Women

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt so far during my pregnancy it’s this, you cannot always know what you’re going to want to eat! Snacking is fine providing you have a healthy and balanced diet with enough of the Vitamins and Protein that you and your baby need.

I’m now into my third trimester and I’m supposed to be consuming the extra 200 calories a day. However some days I find this quite difficult. Guidelines suggest that these calories are made up from low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, extra portions of fruit and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrain.

For my size and current weight I was advised at the start of my pregnancy to aim for between 2000 and 2250 calories every day. That can now be increased to between 2250 and 2500 calories but maintaining my healthy choices.

I have been monitoring my daily intakes using my Fitbit app on my iPhone. This allows me to see several things including the amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats I’ve consumed for that day. It’s a good way to keep track and is fairly accurate.

As my next image will demonstrate, most days begin in the same way, usually I eat cereal with milk so that I maintain a good fibre and calcium intake first thing. But then it really depends on what I feel like as to how much I eat at lunchtime. Sometimes it’s bread related, sometimes a whole hot meal, but other times it’s a mixed salad with added proteins… what I’m getting at is every day is varied. It also depends on how busy I am and if I’m working or at home. As you will see from these statistics from the first few days of May, my calories had an average of 2,400.

One thing I do maintain is eating between 3 and 6 fruit and vegetable portions in every 24 hours. Some days that is easy and others not so much. Although one trick is to drink a glass of orange juice or smoothie, this counts as 1 of your 5 a day and also contributes to your liquids intake which should be between 2 and 3 litres.

I’m going to be doing a blog post on some of my favourite healthy recipes that may help you if you struggle to get your recommended daily amounts. Lots of these are meals that I have eaten while being pregnant too.

One thing I’ve been pretty reliant upon is healthy snacks. I’ve eaten a lot more yoghurt and a lot more fruit related portions since my pregnancy began. For a time I went off sugary snacks which in a way was great, as I was only eating naturally occurring sugars and not processed ones. Though occasionally now I find myself reaching for a snack sized chocolate bar, but that’s still okay! Due to all the other more healthy snacks I’ve been consuming.

Here is one idea, why not keep a food diary if you don’t have an app so that you can keep track.

Here is a list of the things that I’ve been eating regularly and also a couple of other ones that pregnancy books and apps have recommended! I have included a few images of some of my foods too!

Low Fat Yoghurt with Fruit / Seeds

Scrambled Egg on Wholegrain Toast

Plain Porridge with Fruit

Smoothies – Banana and Raspberry is tasty and so is Strawberry and Mango!

Popcorn – Not the sugary sort but plain

Low Fat Yoghurt and Granola / Oat Cereal

 Crackers with Cheese and Grapes

Bread Sticks and Cheese

Grapes and Apple Slices (80-90 grams is 1 of your 5 a day)

Banana Bread / Banana Cake / Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip Cake


Baked Beans on Toast

Fruit – I love Berries like Raspberries in a bowl with two pieces/squares of shaved dark chocolate grated on top (only the good stuff!)

Mixed Salad Leaves and a Tablespoon of Grated Cheddar Cheese

 

You’ll notice that many of these snacks could be considered breakfast related, and they are all pretty simple and quick to prepare as well.

I will admit I do enjoy cereal and yoghurt related snacks the most. But I have also enjoyed discovering new things these past few months too.


I hope that this blog post has inspired you with some healthy eating snacks whether you’re pregnant or not!

Thank you for reading!

✩ Sabrina ✩