Tuesday, March 31, 2015

For The Betterment Of Mental Health

Eating five meals of fruits and vegetables daily is associated with a better mental health in a recent survey conducted by the Warwick Univesity, UK.

In the survey, a researcher collected data from more than 14,000 volunteers that took part in a helath survey  for England.

About 33.3% of those suffered from serious mental health were reported to be taking 5 meals a day. From this group, only 6.8% took less than 5 meals.

Among the other volunteers that suffered from high mental health, 31.4% took 3 to 4 meals of fruits and vegetables daily and 28.4% took one or two meals a day.

Volunteers comprised of 44% males and 56% females, showing the almost related results for both sexes. All volunteers were more than 16 years old and their mental healths were assessed using the Warwick -Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS).

Approximately 15% of the volunteers were categorized as having high mental health and another 15% in a lower category. The rest of 16% to 84% fell in the middle, according to the survey, that was published in the British Medical Journal.

In 2012, the same group of researchers discovered that mental health culminated with 7 meals of fruits and vegetables daily. This research was published in the Social Indicator Research Journal

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chocolate Puddle Pudding

Family meal planner... Meal planning is a great way of being organized, saving money and avoiding waste all at the same time. Who says deliciously different meals have to be expensive? This cost-conscious dish will wow your family and please your pocket at the same time.

 Serves 4 

75g unsalted butter, softened
75g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
65g self-raising flour 
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar, for dusting
Ice cream or cream, to serve

For the sauce :

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
50g soft light brown sugar
250ml boiling water


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1. Grease a 600ml gratin dish with a little of the butter. Place the remaining butter , brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl and sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Beat together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and spread the top level.

2. For the sauce, place the cocoa and sugar in a bowl and mix in a little of the measurement water to make a smooth paste, then add the remaining water, a little at a time, and mix until smooth.

3. Pour the sauce over the pudding mixture and place in a preheated oven, 200 C  ( 400 F ), Gas Mark 6, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has sunk to the bottom of the dish and the pudding is well risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream or cream.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Caramel Pear Tarte Tatin

Family friendly recipes.....for easy family meals ....
Simple cash saving meal to serve four or more.

Serves 4 - 6

Butter, for greasing
2 x 400g cans pears in fruit juice, drained
5 tablespoons dulce de leche
375g pack ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry, defrosted if frozen
Plain flour, for dusting
Ice cream or cream, to serve


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1. Line the base of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and grease.

2. Place the pears and dulce de leche in a saucepan and heat over a gentle heat for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears well coated in the sauce. Arrange the pears in the base of the prepared tin in a single layer.

3. Roll out the pastry on  a lightly floured work surface to a circle slightly larger than the tin and place over the pears, folding any surplus up the side of the tin.

4. Place in a preheated oven, 220 degree C, Gas Mark 7, for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked . Run a knife around the edge of the tart and turn out on to a serving plate. Serve cut into wedges with ice cream or cream.

Easy family meals ...Everyone knows that eating dinner together as a family is beneficial in so many ways.

Scone, Strawberry and Clotted Cream Trifles

Family meals...Gather round the dinner table and feed the family with this fresh home-cooked meal that serves four or more...

Serves 4

175g fresh strawberries, hulled and quatered, plus 2 extra, halved, to decorate
4 tablespoons strawberry jam
4 tablespoons clotted cream
2 shop-bought plain scone, halved


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1. Place the strawberries in a bowl and mix with the strawberry jam. Divide half the strawberries between the bases of 4 serving glasses and top each with a spoonful of the cream and then a scone half.

2. Spoon over the remaining strawberries, then decorate each trifle with a strawberry half.

....enjoy family meals ......

Speedy Apple Crumble - Style Desserts

Cooking budget or cheap meals doesn't mean sacrificing quality or taste. With some planning and preparation you and your family can enjoy great tasting, healthy food on a budget. It is a well known fact that own or home cooking is more economical and saves you a lot more than having to engage or hire someone ... Cooking family meals on a budget has never been easier..

Serves 4

25g unsalted butter
2 large Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons soft dark brown sugar
4 tablespoon double cream
8 tablespoon granola crunchy oat cereal
2 tablespoon toasted flaked almonds
clotted cream, to serve ( optional )


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1. Melt the butter in a heavy-basd frying pan and cook the apple chunks over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 - 6 minutes until tender and browned.

2. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cream and cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute untik the sauce is caramel coloured and the apples are tender yet still retaining their shape.

3. Divide the apple mixture between 4 warmed serving bowls. Mix the oat cereal with the almonds and spoon over the top of the hot apple mixture. Serve with a spoonful of clotted cream on top, if liked.

Cheap family meals....Keep everyone happy with child-friendly, wholesome family meal...a cheap and easy after-work meal for all the family.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meringue - Topped Tangy Lemon Cups

Please the whole family with this quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe....good for quick family meals. 
Munch your way through our credit crunch with our low cost, budget friendly meals.

Serves 4

Finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
150g caster sugar
2 tablespoon cornflour 
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar  


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1. Place the lemon rind and juice in a small saucepan with 75g of the caster sugar and 150ml water. Bring to the boil. Meanwhile, blend 3 tablespoons water into the cornflour in a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot liquid, stirring constantly, and mix well until thickened. Stir in the egg yolk. Return to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute until thickened. Divide between 4 individual ramekins or gratin dishes.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until stiff. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining caster sugar at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the meringue is smooth and glossy.

3. Spoon the meringue mixture over the lemon cups and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the dishes on a baking sheet and cook under a preheated high grill for 1 - 2 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and have firmed a little. Serve warm.

More easy recipes coming up ......and have dinner on the table in less than half an hour...for quick family meals...

Caramel Bananas

Healthy family meal - Perfect for the whole family.....
Cheap family recipe - Wholesome, budget supper for the whole family...

Serves 4

25g butter
50g soft light brown sugar
4 bananas, peeled
8 tablespoons double cream vanilla ice cream, to serve

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1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter is foaming.

2. Cut the bananas in half lengthways, then cut each half in half again widthways. Add to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring and turning gently once or twice, fore 3 - 4 minutes until softened. Remove with a fish slice and divide between 4 warmed serving bowls.

3. Add the cream to the pan and stir well with a wooden spoon. Spoon the sauce over the bananas and serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy your healthy family meals....

Quick Tiramisu with Strawberries

Family meal ideas. Cooking on a budget? Don't skimp on nutrition! You'll feel good about feeding your family these creatively delectable recipes.

 Serves 4 - 6

150ml strong coffee, cooled
75g soft light brown sugar 
4 tablespoon coffee liqueur
100g sponge fingers, snapped in half
300ml shop-bought ready-made fresh custard
250g mascarpone cheese 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g plain dark chocolate, roughly chopped
125g fresh strawberries, hulled and thin sliced
cocoa powder, for dusting

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 1. Place the coffee, sugar and liqueur in a large bowl. Add the sponge fingers and gently toss to soak in the mixture, then transfer to a shallow serving dish , spooning over any excess liquid.

2. Beat the custard with mascarpone and vanilla extract in a separate bow, then spoon half over the soaked biscuits and spread evenly. Scatter half the chocolate over the top followed by the strawberries.

3. Spoon the remaining mascarpone mixture over the strawberries and spread evenly. Scatter over the remaining chocolate and dust with cocoa. Chill until ready to serve.

More family recipes packed with family meal ideas coming soon....