10 minute chocolate chip cookies

10-minute chocolate chip cookies

It seems that evolving never ends! Once we’ve learned something it doesn’t mean that we never have to work on it ever again!! In blogging about my life as it unfolds, it serves as a great reminder to myself the lessons I’m learning and somehow by writing it down, I hope it will lock it in even further.
I asked myself…. is this my self-discovery this week? I still work on things that I have worked on all my life, and it’s the same with my kids; I thought once I taught them manners that that would be it, but it seems I still have to remind them of their Ps and Qs! We all need to rinse and repeat on certain things!
So I thought; What did I get from this week? I went blank. Nothing. I learned nothing?! Did my creativity dry up? Is it time to just write recipes with no blurb? I decided I would sleep on it.
As I reflected on the week in bed, I acknowledged that this was a checklist heavy week.  Lots got done, and things progressed massively but little yoga was done and the emphasis was more on doing rather than being. And I think I found my learn.
In the past, I have been all about thinking about what I need to do, but most of my evolving has not been about logic, intellect, and thinking. It has been about feeling and hearing what is at the core of my heart, finding the answers that lie within and doing things that make my heart sing. I had slipped back into a comfortable old pattern of being overly productive and not focusing on what I need to do to feel good.
As I finish this I realise that I need to not clean my house but go do some body balance at the gym, less thinking in my head and more being in my body. So my goal for the weekend is to disconnect from the to-dos and connect with the people around me and to do things that make my heart sing. Isn’t that why we were put on the planet?! To enjoy life.
And what better way to do that but by having a batch of quick cookies by your side! Sending love Foodies for a beautiful weekend. Do you know someone who would love this recipe (or a batch of delicious fuss free cookies?!) then please remember to keep sharing the fuss free love bu sharing the link on Facebook or click the share button below  Lisa

10-minute choc chip cookies

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking  powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 100g dark chocolate chips or chocolate chopped into chunks (or milk if you prefer)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190℃/375℉/Gas Mark 5
  2. Gently melt the butter in a pan
  3. Put both the sugars into a bowl and add the melted butter and stir
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, stir, then add the chocolate chips
  6. Spoon heaped dessert spoon sizes of mixture onto a lined baking sheet, leaving about 4cm in between each dollop as they spread!
  7. Bake for 8-10 mins until they are turning pale golden brown
  8. Leave on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, and then cool on a wire rack
Double chocolate chip and hazelnut cookies
  • Substitute 40g of the plain flour for cocoa powder instead
  • Add 75g chocolate chips and add 40g chopped hazelnuts
The original recipe is from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh F-W.

WBC with suburban slaw

Westbury Baked Chicken with coleslaw

Holiday time when you are a stay at home parent feels like an oxymoron! It's not until both the boys started school and I get a reprieve from the 8.45 school bell, do I now feel school holidays are indeed a holiday.

It's about a break from routine, and we all enjoy hanging out in our dressing gowns beyond 9 am, having a bit more screen time and getting out and exploring in brighter weather. Being more relaxed brings about a need chill a bit with food too. With having to feed the boys every meal (and they can eat!) without school dinners to break it up, even I find it a bit of a slog and have learned to take a relaxed holiday attitude to food too!

We eat out a bit more, which means more chips, the crisp consumption goes up and even I ease up on the whole 5 a day mission. But holiday food today doesn't have to totally revert back to the 'dirty' eating I did in my 20s! The Big Mac has been swapped for the Pig Mac (#Pigsty) and KFC for WBC......Westbury Baked Chicken!!!

This is something I've been meaning to try for ages, as I'm still all about comfort food at this time of year and I am all about nurturing my soul....especially with food! Even as the crocuses are starting to bloom and the daffodils are in bud, I'm still about fuss free tasty soul food. We ate this on Wednesday night, with my suburban slaw and baby pickled beets, and we were both in heaven! The combo of crunchy, creamy and sharp was totally spot on. 1 out of 2 kids ate it too....the fussier one, at that, so it felt like a total success story!

Let us know if you try this and what you think in the Fuss Free Foodie Facebook group or see some behind the scenes action and food reviews on the Fuss Free Foodie page. See my fuss free life in pictures on Instagram or what I'm tweeting on Twitter. Don't forget to keep seeing FFF in your feed, keep giving a little like, comment or share! Lisa x

Westbury Baked Chicken
180℃/350°℉/Gas mark 4
6 boneless chicken thighs, skin off, cut in half
150g panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, mixed
25g plain flour
1 tsp hot paprika
Salt and pepper
3 plates
1 oven tray and grill rack

    1. Preheat the oven. Prepare an oven proof tray that will fit a grill rack in it to elevate the meat off the bottom of the tray.
    2. Make sure all the little bones are out of the thighs by feeling the meat.
      Place the 2 eggs onto one of the plates and whisk until all blended together.
    3. On another plate place the plain flour, season with salt and pepper and add the paprika and mix thoroughly. On the final plate put the panko breadcrumbs.
    4. Put the plates in order of which you will need them. Flour, egg and then breadcrumbs. So as not to 'pané' your hands, use one hand for the dry ingredients and the other for the wet. Inevitably you will get a bit sticky but not half as bad! This is fun for the kids to do too, being careful of hand hygiene after touching raw chicken.
    5. Take 1 piece of chicken and dust it in flour, shaking to remove the excess. Then dip it in the egg mixture and shake to remove any excess and then coat in panko crumbs. Do this to all of the thighs and place them on the grill/tray.
    6. Place in the oven for 35 mins, turning halfway through so as to colour evenly.
    7. Take out of the oven and serve with suburban slaw and for a sharp twang, baby pickled beets or gherkins!

Forget the Fuss....

If you wanted to use a leaner protein you could use a chicken breast sliced into 4 goujons. Cut off the 'mini fillet' as one (try and trim the sinew out) , and make 3 more from the rest of the breast. Coat as above with flour, egg and crumbs, and then on a medium heat grill for 7-8 mins on each side.

Make sure it is cooked through, but try not to overcook, as it will go dryer. There is less room for error with breast meat as there is less fat. You could pop in the over too on 180℃ for 15-18 mins, turning half way through.

I get my panko breadcrumbs and sumac from Waitrose. If you can't get there, you could use ready made croutons and crush them up. I have not tried this but have seen that used before!

Suburban Slaw
1/8 (around 160g) of red cabbage, white cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots (around 160g), grated
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
3 tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
Squeeze of half a lemon
1 tbsp of Sumac
2-3 tbsp of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

  1. Place all the vegetables in a bowl and mix. Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, sumac and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning and creaminess from the mayonnaise, as desired.
  2. If you don't have any sumac, 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard works really well too.
    This works as a side dish to many others so share the recipe around!

Breakfast of champions: Pancakes

Breakfast of Champions: Pancakes

We all express our love in different ways, and it will be no surprise the way I do it is through food! Getting no mother of the year awards during the week (getting 2 boys ready for school each day) I often feel in the quiet backwaters of the weekend, Sunday morning is a great time to express my love in a relaxed, non-shouty, hanging out in our dressing gowns type of way!

This Hugh F-W pancake recipe is my go-to recipe. I have tried others but always come back to this one as its reliable, tastes good and definitely fuss-free as it's prepped in 5 mins. It uses wholemeal self-raising flour, so they feel almost healthy (!), so pop to your local health food shop (I get my flour in Bristol from Wild Oats or The Better Food Company) or to keep it fuss-free and use normal self-raising flour. I serve these pancakes with thick Greek yoghurt and any fruit I have, blueberries, raspberries or chopped apple...whatever I have and the kids fancy.

Pancakes with cream cheese and blueberries

Last weekend, I wanted to use up a pot of cream cheese in the fridge, so I popped the 250g of cream cheese in a bowl, added 4 tablespoons of maple syrup and mixed until light and smooth. This made a mellow but slightly sweet topping for the pancakes was a nice change to yoghurt and was pleasantly surprised as both boys enjoyed it, even though they wouldn't normally eat cream cheese. Equally, if you wanted to serve the pancakes with some bacon, I can confirm this works too!

So, on these wet and wild days, why not haul up and give it a try....get the ingredients in and have a go! It will make a wonderful breakfast on the weekend!

Let me know how you get on at The Fuss Free Foodie FB group. Lisa x

Wholemeal drop scones
Makes 20-30

250g self-raising wholemeal flour (available at Health Food shops or use normal self-raising flour)
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
25g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
275ml milk
50g butter, melted
Oil

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Add all the wet ingredients into the well, retaining 10-15mls of milk as you aim to get a slightly thicker than double cream consistency.
  3. Mix by hand with a whisk, and if too thick add the milk bit by bit until desired consistency.
  4. On a medium heat in a frying pan, drop a teaspoon of oil, and then remove it by rubbing the bottom of the pan with kitchen roll (use this oily kitchen roll each time you cook a batch). I use 2 frying pans at once to keep up with demand!
  5. Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into the pan (about digestive biscuit sized) and wait for bubbles to show on the top of the pancake and flip over and cook for another minute on the other side.
  6. The first batch can stick, so stay with it, re-oil the pan and keep going! Adjust the heat if browning too quickly.
  7. Place on a warm plate, covered with a tea towel, or hand them straight to the hungry hoards!

Smooth Operator….

Smoothies.....

Mo in Nov, Stop in Oct, Dry in Jan.....I am all for reducing things we are doing too much of, but what if, you feel there wasn't too much Xmas excess? For me, rather than give up something...I am going to add something to my daily life that will benefit me and those around me.

This time last year I began something that I still do every morning and is definitely a part of my daily routine now, still, a year on. My breakfast smoothie!

What I love about a smoothie breakfast is its fuss-free to make, as you chuck it all in your blender, ninja or bullet (!) and whiz. Secondly, it's portable. Quite easily taken for your walk to school, car journey or train to work. Easy. Finally, you can get some greens in before 9 am, and if you add a high-quality protein powder, will keep you going until lunch. SO many fuss free benefits, and I love the taste of mine too!

Whilst I figure out what I will do this year, and with the kids back to school tomorrow, Lord knows I'm looking forward to being able to think again and work this out! In the meantime, I thought I would share with you my two favourite winter smoothies.

The first, was a revelation in Autumn for me, as not only did I have a load of squashes on my allotment that needed using, but with the spices, it warms me from the inside out when the mornings are getting fresh!

I roast a butternut squash when I have the oven on for something else (150 degrees for me so it doesn't burn!), skin on if not too blemished, cut in half long ways, seeds scooped out and cut to 1-inch slices. No oil or anything needed. I then store it in the fridge or keep it in the freezer and take out as and when.

My spinach is actually bought fresh and then put in the freezer as it stays fresh and you pull it out a handful at a time. Similarly, with my bananas, when they are on the turn I peel and chop them into 1 1/2 inch pieces and freeze them too. All ready to go go go! I personally do find that I can only stand my spinach and 1 other frozen thing, otherwise it's like ice cream!! Brrrr! So if I freeze my squash, I may use some unfrozen banana to balance it out.

....Let me know what your favourites are at The Fuss Free Foodie FB group and how you get along! Take a look at behind the scenes action and food reviews on the Fuss Free Foodie page, see my fuss-free life in pictures on Instagram or what I'm tweeting on Twitter. Don't forget to keep seeing FFF in your feed, keep giving a little like, comment or share! Lisa x Happy New Year!!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Serves 1

400ml Almond milk
2 scoops whey protein (I use USANA MySMART protein shake...click to shop)
3 pieces of butternut squash
1 1/2 inch of frozen banana
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves (or green of choice)
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger
20 rasps of fresh nutmeg

Blitz until smooth and enjoy!

Choco Cherry Smoothie

Serves 1

400ml Almond milk
2 scoops whey protein (I use USANA MySMART protein shake...click to shop)
1 handful of frozen cherries
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves (or green of choice)
1 heaped tbsp of CACAO powder (not cocoa!)

Blitz until smooth and enjoy!

PB&J Smoothie
Serves 1

400ml almond milk
1 handful of frozen blackberries (I use Aldis)
1 large tbsp almond butter (or peanut...I prefer almond for health)
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves
1/2 small ripe avocado
2-3 stoned Medjool dates (Or a squidge of date syrup)
Optional add protein powder

Whizz in a blender.......and enjoy!

Forget the Fuss
I get my cherries, blueberries and blackberries frozen from Aldi, they are great value, and today I bought their Cacoa too..it was great!