Friday, 2 October 2015

Pulled Pork

Hello everyone! How are you all today? I hope you are well! In New York I had the most amazing pulled pork (with an unhealthy side of mac and cheese) and I really wanted to have a go at making my own! Although it didn't beat the pulled pork I had in the US (I think I will probably struggle to find one that will), it was pretty darn tasty!

To make, you will need:

  • 1 kg pork shoulder
  • 1 packet of pulled pork seasoning (I chose a brand called Red's)
  • Seasoning
  • A drizzle of honey
  1. Line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Place your pork shoulder on top and shake the seasoning over. 
  3. Rub the seasoning in to the shoulder, turning the meat over to ensure all is covered. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of honey.
  5. Cover in foil. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180c and bake for 2-3 hours.
  6. Then, using a fork or your (clean) fingers, pull the pork off the shoulder. I like to remove any bits of fat here too.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

New York: Days 3 & 4

Hi everyone! Hope you are all well. Today's post is all about our third and fourth days in NYC.

On our third day in New York, we decided to take a trip to the Natural History Museum. We had also planned to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the same day but definately underestimated just how huge the History Museum is! It was such a fascinating museum and there were so many exhibitions to see. We also got to see a film called the 'Secrets of the Ocean' which was interesting. Our entrance to the museum was included in our CityPass ticket but I believe general admission tickets are around $22 per person. I would say it is well worth the price and we had a great day out.

In the evening, we headed to Broadway to the theatre to watch the Curious Incident of the Dog in the night-time. We were seated up in the mezzanine (because the seats were cheap) but the view was still so good. The show was incredible and we really enjoyed our evening! Warning though: do not buy refreshments at the theatre unless you have money to throw around.

On our fourth day, we first visited the Met museum. I must admit, I definately prefer history museums to art museums. Although there was a lot to see, we were put off by the amount of security guards and their rude attitude. I understand that museums do need security, but there seemed to be an awful lot of staff around not doing very much apart from shouting at people having a sip of their drink (including me). I like to feel that you can explore museums at your own leisurely pace, taking in the exhibitions around you without constantly feeling looked over.

After our visit to the museum, we headed on the subway down to Times Square. It is such an iconic but overwhelming place, especially in 34+ degree heat. After a couple of visits, I started to feel a lot less anxious here and began to love it. The shops are amazing too - in particular, the Disney store, Toys R Us (which features a ferris wheel inside!) and the M&M store.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Keep Me Going Cereal

Hello everyone! How are you all today? What have you been up to? I was recently very kindly sent some cereal from Keep Me Going* to try, specifically their Whole Grain Oat and Barley pillows. I was excited to try these out as I am always looking for new, healthy breakfast options to try. The company prides itself on finding low sugar and low salt alternatives to many of the cereals already on the markets and I can certainly agree with that! I think it is often easy to forget what we are eating first thing in the morning, especially if you wake up as hungry as I do. From what I can see on Ocado at the time of writing this post - it retails for £2.65 for a 375g box which I think is really competitive price. Anyway, on to what I thought:

The first thing that struck me was the packaging. I love the bright, vibrant colours and the simple, effective design. I think it shows that it is family-friendly, yet not solely child orientated like some cereals can often appear.

I must admit the cereal isn't much to look at, but then I think that also shows that it has simple, pure ingredients with no added nasties. I enjoyed the taste of the cereal and it was definitely a taste that I developed more of a love for the more bowls I had. It is also a really versatile cereal and goes perfect with fresh or dried fruit. It is also delicious served simply on its own with some milk - sometimes you just need a straightforward, quick breakfast!

I am also looking forward to seeing the new versions of the Keep Me Going range which will be on our shelves soon, including Keep Me Strong.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

New York: Days 1 & 2

Hello everyone! How are you all? Hope you are okay. As you may have gathered over the last few posts, we were lucky enough to recently travel to NYC and it was amazing! I have been so excited to share some photos with you and tell you all about it so I hope you enjoy it.

We arrived in the city at around 2.30pm their time but after a hectic day travelling with two heavy suitcases (including mine which suitably broke before we had even stepped out of JFK airport) we were glad to land at our hotel. We were really pleased with our hotel, it was right near the Empire State building.

After a relaxed evening, we got up nice and early. On our first full day, we decided to head over to Ground Zero and the 9/11 memorial. It has always been a tragic event that gives me shivers but actually visiting was very emotional. It was hard at first to imagine that it was where the twin towers actually stood but we were pleased with how sensitive and appropriate the memorial and exhibitions were. We also took a visit to Central Park zoo - it is a fairly small zoo to be honest but there is plenty to see (including grizzly bears!). Entrance to the zoo was reasonable too and only set us back around $30.

On day two, we decided to take a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island. Our city passes (which I mentioned in a previous post) included this and the ferry ride. Apart from nearly being sick (damn you travel sickness) - it was great to visit these two little islands, full of history and things to see. Afterwards, we headed to the Empire State building. Our ticket included a day pass and a bonus night time visit to use after 10pm. I must say that I think I preferred it at night time - although the views are spectacular, there was something more amazing about seeing the city all lit up in the evening.

Overall, our meals for the first two days were fairly standard and not much to blog about. It definately took us a few days to find the better restaurants and I will mention these in my next posts! A lot of NYC seems to be based around fast food and it took a little effort to find places to sit for a relaxed meal.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 31 August 2015

August | favourite products

Hello everyone! How are you all? I've realised I haven't done one of these posts for a while so I am sorry about that. I am excited to tell you about my favourite products from this month though!

Humzingers - Fruit Sticks
I picked these up at the pound shop which I thought was really good - I am always looking for healthier snacks and these are really affordable and tasty. I must admit they are quite small but they make the perfect little nibble to have with your afternoon cup of tea...and they are one of your 5 a day!

Nature's Store - Coconut Bars
My mum brought these down for me when my family came to visit and they are so good, I had to try really hard to save this one to get a photo of it for this post. I absolutely love coconut and these snack bars are really filling.

GroovyFood Company - Agave Nectar
I love baking but always find that a lot of recipes contain A LOT of sugar, I go through bags of sugar like crazy which really makes me feel quite bad. Although there is some controversy around the health benefits of using agave nectar, it is a great alternative to use in baking and I find you don't actually need that much for a matching level of sweetness. 

Kallo - Rice Cakes
I have been such a big fan of these this past month - they are my favourite snack to have after the gym (yes...I now go to the gym!). They are the perfect quick snack as they are or you could add a little spread of peanut butter or chocolate spread for a more indulgent snack. All for 29 calories a rice cake!

What are your favourite products at the moment?

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 28 August 2015

Favourite Blogs: Tilly's Crafts

Hello everyone! How are you all today? As you may have noticed (hopefully) I am really big into making homemade items at the moment - you can find them over on my etsy shop. It is the perfect hobby for relaxing and I like trying to be more creative. So, I thought I would do just a little post to thank my inspiration for my crafty ventures, my beautiful Mum. I also thought this might be a nice start to a series of posts where I will let you into my favourite blogs. She is also the reason I started a blog while I was off ill having seen her blog for a good few years now and how much she enjoys it.

She runs her blog over at Tilly's Crafts (which is named after our gorgeous dog who sadly passed away last year) where she makes a range of gorgeous cards, blankets and other handmade items. Tilly's Crafts also has an etsy shop which you can find >>HERE<< and is well worth a visit if you are looking for affordable, lovingly made, handmade items.

Handmade crochet kindle/e-reader case - FREE UK P&P!

I hope you will agree that they are absolutely adorable and I'm hoping my crochet gets as good as this one day!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 24 August 2015

Planning a trip to New York

Hello everyone! How are you all today? It isn't long until we head off to New York now (exciting!). I'm not sure if it is just because I am off at the moment and have slightly too much time on my hands...but I feel like I need to be super organised for our trip away. I want to make the most of our time in New York and see as many of the amazing sights as possible. I thought I would make a little list of what I am doing to get organised and how you can too:

Baggage cart with suitcases at the aiport : Stock Photo

I definitely depend too much on technology nowadays and often think 'oh I can just check on my phone/laptop' if I need information. However, I think it is quite handy to have important information written down. This could be flight numbers, hotel address, contact numbers etc. Simply scribble them down on a piece of paper before you go and zip it in a safe place in your bag!

When we booked New York I knew there would be plenty to see, but I wasn't sure exactly what aside from the key famous landmarks. I started to look into it, browsing other blogger's posts (thank you!) and jotting some down. This was when I came across the CityPass. This is a ticket for New York which gives you access to the top attractions in the city for a discounted price, including the Empire State Building and Ground Zero. It also allows you to skip queues so I am glad I came across this and will be sure to let you know how I get on with it.

I am really guilty of over-packing and/or packing for every possible scenario but checking what your hotel will provide you with can help here. Items like hairdryers, toiletries and bathrobes are frequently available in your room anyway so check this out beforehand. 

I like to make sure that, a few days before I go away, I put all the documents I need together in a little plastic wallet. Passport. Flight information/Online check in documents. EHIC. Travel insurance details. Don't forget your travel money either. I like to have all of these to hand in my handbag. 

Doing all of these has made me feel a lot more relaxed so hopefully if you're heading away soon and are a little worried this might have helped.

I've just realised this post is veeeery serious - don't forget to HAVE FUN AND RELAX! I know I am going to!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 21 August 2015

Lemon Brownies

Hello everyone! How are you all today? I am getting a little fed up at the moment; I love blogging, reading, baking etc but I do miss the routine of being at school teaching so I am looking forward to getting back to it in September. It's made me realise I think I do actually enjoy having lots to do. Although before all of that, I do have a very exciting trip to New York coming up which I can't wait to tell you all about.

Anyway, today's recipe is for Lemon Brownies. These were a little concoction I came up with one evening. I had a bar of Green and Black's Lemon Dark Chocolate to use up so I gave these a go. If you love lemon then these are definately for you - if not, why not try using a different flavoured chocolate? I'm going to try chocolate orange next.

To make, you will need:
  • 100g Dark Chocolate with Lemon (I used Green and Blacks but only because it was on offer so feel free to choose which ever you like)
  • 4oz Spelt Flour
  • 3 tbsp of Agave Nectar
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of Almond Butter

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan on a medium heat.
  2. Gently stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Remove from the heat and add to a lined baking tray.
  4. Bake at 180c for approx 20 minutes.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

6 months blogging & a giveaway!

Hello everyone! How are you all? I hope you are all well. I can't quite believe it but I have had my blog for 6 months now - it has gone so fast and I feel like so much has changed since then. I set up my blog while I was signed off sick and looking back I wasn't in the best of health really. Now, six months on I am so much healthier and happier! I am back doing my PGCE and am slowly but surely learning to approach everything with a lot more positive and confident mindset. And one of the main things that keeps me focused and excited is my blog!

However, this wouldn't exist without all my lovely followers and blogging friends so I have decided to host a little giveaway to say thank you! I hope you will enter for the chance to win a £10 Amazon Gift Card and I look forward to drawing the winner on the 3rd September 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 7 August 2015

Baked Basa

Hello everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY! Hope you are all well - I have been so busy focusing on my Etsy shop etc that I feel I haven't done a foodie post in ages. Don't worry though as today's post is a recipe for baked Basa with a tomato sauce. I didn't actually plan to make this with Basa but it came as a substitute for Cod with the online shopping and I was so pleased with the taste that I ordered it in my next shop. It is a lot more affordable than Cod too at £2.50 for 2 good sized fillets.

© Food, Thoughts, Life | Lauren Taylor | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig