Peanut Hottie Recipe – Peanut Banana Oaty Muffins [low syn slimming world]

I was asked recently if I would like to try and do something creative in the kitchen with Peanut Hottie.

I have had a lot of fun trying Peanut Hottie and seeing what you can cook with it! I had never thought of cooking with it before.  It tastes lovely as a hot drink and a great alternative to a hot chocolate. At 83 calories per cup it is a great low fat treat. It is also suitable for vegetarians caffeine free (great for bedtime!) and no artificial additives or colours. Peanut Hottie have just released a new version, Chocolate Peanut Hottie, which is divine! I just had to see what I could do with it in a recipe, it’s a winning combo! 

So, Here is my recipe for Peanut Banana Oaty Muffins

 Ingredients: 

 30g Oats (I used a packet of Oat So Simple Multigrain)

2 x eggs, beaten

1 x mullerlight yoghurt, (I used vanilla with dark chocolate sprinkles) – you could use any low fat yogurt 

 2 x teaspoons Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hottie 

 Half a ripe banana, mashed 

 Method: 

 Add oats to a bowl. 

 Add yoghurt and stir together

Add 2 x teaspooons of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hottie. 

 Add the eggs and mix well until all combined. 

Add the banana and stir.

Seperate into 6 muffin tins, and cook in the oven 200 degrees until cooked (15-20 minutes). 

 Allow to cool, serve with fresh banana and perhaps some yoghurt or chocolate sauce. 

  

These are really nice, great for a quick brekkie or a snack. They are a little more squidgy than normal muffins just to warn you, but I found them pleasant enough to eat. I would maybe add more oats to give them a more flapjack feel in hindsight and something I will try soon! 

 Why not try….PANCAKES

You could also use this mixture to make some american style “magic” pancakes – watch this space as I will give this a go very soon and show you what they look like! 

Slimming World Notes:

On slimming world, at the time of publishing, the oats would be your HEB. Syn the cooked banana (2 syns) and the peanut hottie (10g = 2 syns) and you have 6 muffins for 4 syns (about 0.5 syns per muffin) (if not using HEB then add 6 syns =10 syns for 6 or 1.5 syns a muffin).

If making this, make sure you weigh and count everything and check your values in the book or online – as syns can change!   

Chocolate Peanut Hottie is £2.99 and available from Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose. 

For more recipe ideas with Peanut Hottie check out their Recipe Page. 

I’ve really enjoyed using Peanut Hottie so keep your eyes peeled for some more recipes soon! 

I was sent some Peanut Hottie in order to create a recipe. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Embracing the Mess

The other day, Nancy asked to go into the garden.

Ok, I said.  I was watching her like a hawk. Like one of the guards in a prison like Orange is the New Black. “Don’t touch this, don’t touch that!” “You’ll get MESSY!” I threatened, panicky and nervous that I would have to clean up, re-dress, re-change.

It’s the same when she gets her felt tips out, I feel my blood pressure rising.

“Put the caps on!” “Write on the paper!” “Argh you’ll do something in a minute to ruin my carpet!”

She got Play-doh for her birthday, which I hid.

She started to get funny about dirt, or food or pen on her hands, wanting to wash it off instantly.

Then it hit me: Where’s the fun in this? 

She needs to explore, and learn, and get messy.  She shouldn’t be afraid of getting messy, of having dirt on her hands. She should be playing in the mud, picking up worms, learning about the world around her. At nursery she is always rolling around in shaving foam and bits of pasta. Why can’t I do the same with her at home? What’s my problem?

Because it is my problem. I am stopping her doing things because I am worried I will have to clean up or sort out the mess. Granted, I don’t want her painting with Nutella all over my walls, and there has to be limits, but can’t I do some messy activities with her?

So, I embraced it. I set her free into the Garden, and I went with her. I took a big deep breath and I let her get muddy, and messy.

We planted seeds and dug up mud in the flower bed. We watered the garden. We spotted worms and watered the garden a bit more. She had a fantastic time. I had a good time. Yes, she got a bit muddy, yes our hands were filthy, but when we came in we stripped off and we washed our hands, and that was it, done. It felt good to have been out in the fresh air, to see her face as we explored the garden and when she found things such as the worm. Her face when she tried to weed my flowers and her delight at watering the garden.

Then another day, she found a big tub of crafty bits I’d bought ages ago, and asked if we could use them. I must admit my heart sank a little.

“Nnnnnno…” was on my lips, but then I stopped myself. I said “Yes” instead and we got out the crafts and we got out the glue and we got out the glitter and we made a little picture. And it was good, and fun. It was a bit messy, and things got everywhere, and at times I felt like saying “stop!” but she loved it. I loved it.

Ah, and then the Playdoh. I relented and got out the playdoh. We got out some cookie cutters, a fork, anything to make some pretty prints and marks in the play doh. We made pretend food and we made wriggly worms to her delight. She ‘fed’ her toy baby playdoh pasta, which was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I tried not to think about the state of my floor or the inevitability that a minute speck of playdoh will soon reach my carpet and that’ll be it.

I am starting to say Yes, I am starting to embrace the mess, embrace the fun.  It means that we have spent quite a few hours now doing some lovely things together, with no TV, no ipad. It has been positive, and happy and I haven’t been moany old mum who’s scared of a pair of muddy jeans.

I clean up, happy that we have spent fun time together, that we have made (sometimes quite literally) some memories. Every mark on my carpet has a story to tell, every pen mark I wash from my hands remains there invisible, a mark of a time I spent playing with my girl. I quite enjoy it really. Apart from touching worms, coz that’s a bit icky.

Sick Leave Mummy Style

When I used to fall unwell, before baby, although I felt rotten there was some slight excitement about being able to lie on the sofa in a lempsip stupor, watching Homes Under the Hammer and This Morning.

Now, when I first feel the signs of a cold, I’m necking echinacea like no tomorrow and ramming oranges down my throat quicker than a martini.

You see, nowadays, I don’t want to be unwell. I dread being unwell. It’s probably the worst thing that could happen to me (yes I know when anyone is unwell it sucks, but still, I feel the dread).

You can’t call in sick to the Mummy job. Oh no. That is not part of the employment contract.

Whether you have been coughing your guts up all night doesn’t matter. You will be up at 6am making playdoh bananas and feeding the baby jelly like there was not a problem in the world.

Peppa Pig will be pounding into your head like a hammer, and your head will be so fuzzy you’ll wonder if you’re hallucinating when the twirlywoos come onto the TV.

The child may demand to Play shop, for you to make juice, (not orange juice, purple juice), to go on the potty, off the potty, dress up, dress off, reading hairy mclairy very loudly and demanding pasta and pesto for lunch and not eating it, all the while you’re breathing like Darth Vader and dragging one foot behind you.

Your only contact with the outside world, your phone, will be demanded to watch YouTube videos of adults opening glitter putty coloured eggs. There is no escape.

Child will want to sit on you, preferably your chest so that you actually can’t breathe much. Even better when they sing a song in your face.

You’ll consider going back to work. I did once, and was sent straight back. I cried all the way home.

Food wise, you manage to survive on dry cereal, hula hoops and squash, muller light yoghurts and quorn chicken nuggets. Time will tick by very very slowly.

Where is the other half to free you from this nightmare?

Then they come home, tell you they don’t feel well*, and go to bed.

You read bedtime stories to the child until your voice cracks and you can’t stop coughing. Then you manage to wheeze ‘twinkle twinkle’ and crawl out of the room with the last ounce of energy you have, to the safety of your bed. You may forget to brush your teeth and wear the same pyjamas that you’ve have been wearing for the last 48 hours.

And then if you’re lucky, you may sleep for a bit.

I’m all for a cure for the common cold, me. Anything to try and prevent another sick day.

*Is it me, or when you say you’re unwell, your partner will say they are unwell too? And they are always worse than you, aren’t they?

Diet Bore #6

So, this week at slimming world!  How did I do. 

This is week 3 at slimming world:

  

  

 Yes, I have lost another 1lb.

Yes, I am a little bit disappointed. But I am also a little bit happy, actually. I had a Mothers’ Day Afternoon Tea, chocolate, champagne and also some not so other good bits. I decided to reign it in from the Monday, and I have actually had a very good week. I cut down on my syns and I had a lb loss to show for this. 

 I have now 5.5lbs lost in 3 weeks. 1.5lbs next week, and I have my half a stone!

So I am really, really trying hard. I am eating free foods as much as I can, and trying to eat speed foods at every opportunity. However I have been unwell the last few days, still have stuck to free foods but perhaps not so much speed foods.   I also possibly over did it this evening on the syns front too – being ill sucks big time. I can barely remember what I’ve eaten today.

Generally, I am finding the slimming world plan easy to follow. I thought I would struggle with the healthy extra B, but I find having 2x Alpen Light Bars really helps me. I always have found breakfast a difficult meal, I am tending to have fruit and yoghurt, with an Alpen bar. Lunches are usually easier as it’s leftovers from the night before, or I will grab a jacket potato. Syns I haven’t found too tricky and I usually have eat least 5 – I don’t tend to have syns during the day and have them as treats in the evening. I have probably 15 a day at the weekend for extra treats and I aim for 10 during the week. 

Food has been good, we made a really nice red Thai curry this weekend with some quorn in it, was delicious! I have also made curly kale crisps which were delicious, you’d never think they were totally syn free!  Again totally loving the greens this week. I am trying new foods I’d never dream of trying in the past, and the way to really keep motivated is to make new and interesting meals throughout the week. I am looking through recipe books and thinking of ideas for things to make, it makes mealtimes a bit more exciting and I am really enjoying cooking again.

  

This week we are hoping to have:

  • Spinach and cheese Canelloni 
  • Mushy pea curry
  • Lentil and red pepper chilli
  • Courgetti quorn bolognese 
  • Veggie fajitas 

So let’s see how I get on. I am really hoping I can lose 1.5lbs so I can get my half stone. Just need to get better and get eating! 

Dinner Time Showdown

When I get home from work, I always have that dreaded question in my head, and like clockwork, the question will be asked. It’s one of life’s mysteries, and one we all ponder on a daily basis.

Question: What’s for dinner? 

Answer: I don’t know what’s for dinner. 

Why am I the gatekeeper of the fridge? The only one who can dictate what we are having for dinner tonight?

Why is it my job?

Meal planning is a great idea. In principle. However, I can’t help but feel a contestant on masterchef being given a box of mystery ingredients to cook with (such as pasta, tinned peaches, chopped tomatoes, half a knobbly courgette, 5 day old hummous and a slightly soft onion) most nights.

Or, I plan meals and then find out someone else has eaten one of the essential ingredients.

OR, I spend hours cooking something amazing  and exciting and then NOBODY LIKES IT apart from me.

OR, I run out of all energy and end up chewing on a piece of celery* all evening.

The rage boils up inside and I feel like throwing the lot on the floor snd screaming ‘Well YOU make something then!’

The worst comments for others to make at dinner time, and cause possible rage are:

“I don’t like this”

“I wanted chilli not curry!” (or whatever it is, when you didn’t say that) 

“My mum made this much nicer”

“It’s a bit well done”

“I’m a bit fed up of broccoli”

“It’s too watery”

“What is this?”

“I was going to eat it but I’ve just ordered a Dominos”

or, my favourite: “It’s alright”

(what, pray tell, does “alright” mean? is it good or bad? is it mediocre? is it just something you say when your manic over heated partner has thrown a plate of food at you?!)

Well, I’ve started to fight back. I tell people it’s their turn to cook. I decided it’s time they have to think, use their brain, and chop vegetables (apart from my partner who tells me he can’t chop vegetables?!) and devise a meal suitable for everyone as soon as they walk through the door.

This experiment has resulted in:

takeaways 

- nothing being cooked 

- pasta, pasta, pasta

-some nice meals cooked by my sister 

- every implement, pot and crockery being used and the kitchen looking like it’s been through the apocalypse 

So to try and prevent scurvy from being reintroduced into my family, I have had to admit defeat, and start actually cooking again. I really want to eat more than pasta. Starting Slimming world has helped my momentum, as now I really do need to cook properly in order to lose weight.

I do have a vague meal plan in my head, and I have plenty of ingredients so that I can hopefully make something quick and easy. I dusted off my clow cooker (again, I am the only one that uses it!) and have made some very nice things in it too, with minimal effort.

So basically, if they don’t like healthy low fat meals, they know what they can do*.

*order a takeaway, ahem.

 

 

Diet Bore #5

So, week 5 of Diet Bore, and my second weigh in with Slimming World. What was the result? 

I can’t say that I wasn’t a little disappointed with a 1lb loss. Could be to do with a number of reasons. I struggled a bit the last week, my sister was away which meant that I had to cook meals for one, and it’s not an excuse but little stresses got the better of me. I also went to Blog On, and whilst I was pretty good (Ok apart from the lunch the massive chocolate cake and the wine) I know I wasn’t totally on plan. But, it was OK. I aim to be syn free and extra easy at every meal, and just because one meal may not be on plan doesn’t mean the rest have to be as well. Anyway saying that, I still lost a 1lb so it shows I have been sticking to the plan in some way. 

I am really hoping to lose 2.5lbs this week so that I can have lost 7lbs. I must say the start of this diet week has not been so good, the weekend was a bit dodgy and Mothers Day was pretty much a write off but I have been totally, 100% on it since Monday so I am hoping I can lose something on my weigh in on Thursday. 

I’ve been making lots of nice meals though, and am really enjoying cooking still. I made a lovely veggie beany cottage pie and I have also made a nice lentil pasta sauce and a veggie curry. I also made a nice carbonara style spaghetti using quorn bacon, peas and philli light. I also made smash pizza which meant I managed to avoid a Pizza Hut which I was really proud about. 

I have become a little obsessed with spinach this week. It’s super speedy and it goes with anything. It was gorgeous dry ‘fried’ in a pan until wilted with some garlic and then right at the end a good squeeze of lemon. It was divine! 

I am also loving spinach, watercress and rocket salad mix which is much tastier than boring old lettuce which I have realised I can’t stand. I’ve been loving this salad mix with 2 peppered quorn steaks which is a super speedy lunch. 

I have also discovered Quorn nuggets and OH MY GOD they are divine and very similar to McDonalds but without all the chicken mush and fat. They are 0.5 syns each which is fabulous and means a good portion as a treat goes a long way. I had some the other day with some slimming world chips and cauliflower rice. Yum. 

I made some really tasty hash browns as well which went really well with my breakfast. I’ll pop the recipe up on the blog in a bit. They were really easy. 

So, in two weeks I’ve lost 4.5lbs. It’s a good start, as long as I am losing I’ll be happy. So let’s see how I get on this week! 

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons Book Review

I recieved a copy of this book via Netgalley 

 I had heard a lot about this book online, and I was really interested. I hadn’t read a crime book for ages so was really looking forward to a great read, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. 

 Here’s the blurb: 

 Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late? 

 I loved the plot of this book, I felt it was original and had me guessing right up until the end. There is a nice twist to the plot too, which I actually didn’t see coming. D.I. Kim Stone was a character I found hard to like initially; her character does seem a little typecast and her brooding about her past was a little corny, but as I read the book further, and got more and more intrerested in the plot, I felt Kim’s character develops and by the end I did actually like her a lot. She’s got a great attitude and won’t take crap from anybody, and I liked her determination and dedication to her role.

 I liked the way we could see things from a number of different points of view; it made the ‘who dunnit’ element intensify and the suspense was really heightened. I kept trying to figure out clues and red herrings, it was a book that made my brain work overtime! The main characters in the book were relatable and you got to know them quite well, so well you almost become complacent. I won’t spoil it for anyone out there but I really was surprised by a twist in the plot, which I thought was refreshing and orginal in this time of books with an almost obligatory twist which you can normally see coming a long way off. 

 The crime itself is a harrowing, but it is described well and not too grusome detail. The crime itself is almost overshadowed by events which happen after the murders occur. It is interesting to have a past and a present to the story and two different angles.

It was a great start to a crime series, and I am so glad I will get to see D.I. Kim Stone again, and see more of her charcater, and see how the character develops.  I know that many crime novels have a hard done by, emotionally flawed Detective in them but not so many female lead characters, which makes this book stand out. You can overlook any cliches regarding the characters because I think the book is so readable and beliveable, you don’t really mind.  

I give Silent Scream by Angela Marsons 4 out of 5 stars

 

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons is published by Bookouture and is available to buy now. 





Reasons Not To Go To Bed – Toddler vs. Mum




Toddler:

  • It’s already morning (it’s not)
  • Need a drink without water 
  • Need to read the zoo book
  • Need to go downstairs
  • Need to sing ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’
  • Legs sore
  • Thumbs sore
  • Upsy Daisy needs to go downstairs 
  •  Need to eat my toast (from breakfast)
  • I need to speak to Grandma
  • Where’s the moon?
  • Where’s Peppa Pig?
  • I need to get back in the bath (that I only spent 2 minutes in because it wasn’t purple)
  • I need to use the Potty
  • I need to bake an orange in my kitchen for the baby 
  • I need my bracelet 
  • Can you sing twinkle twinkle?
  • Wrong duvet cover
  • The light is on
  • The light is off
  • Can we go into the garden to look for worms
  • I need you to Rock me like a baby
  • Where’s blankey

Mum

  • Child is still awake
  • I’m going to drink this glass of wine even if my eyes are half closed
  • I want to watch a programme of some kind 
  • I need to watch orange is the new black before it isn’t 
  • I need to eat
  • I need to drink something today 
  • I need to wee for the first time today
  • I have to wash some clothes as mine are all covered in snot
  • I need to do the dishwasher
  • I just want to lie here for a while
  • I’m worrying about tomorrow 
  • I’m thinking about how little sleep I will get tonight 
  • I’m thinking about dyeing my hair sometime this year 
  • I need to stare at my iPad for half an hour 
  • I want to finish my book
  • What am I going to eat for dinner tomorrow?
  • I want to change jobs
  • Thinking about what life would be like if I didn’t have to work ever
  • I need to call my mum back as she called me three weeks ago
  • I’m having such a great time why would I want to sleep?
  • Painting one fingers nails 
  • Listening to 90s songs on YouTube 
  • Googling former child stars of the 80s
  • It’s morning (it is)

Time

I am running out of time, Like sand through my metaphorical fingers. I just never seem to have enough.

Running out of time sounds dramatic, but I really don’t know where it all goes. I never feel I have enough time to do everything properly.

I am not sure what I do with my time, but I do something and then I blink and then it’s time to go to sleep or get up.

Just to prove my point, I fell asleep as I wrote that last sentence.

I start lots of things, I have lists in my head of things I want to do. I want to try my hand at crochet and also sewing (yeah the Sewing Bee really convinced me that I too can be a dress maker), I want to write lots of very funny and popular blog posts, I want to watch TV programmes right until the end, and not fall asleep.

I have ideas of washing my hair everyday and shaving my legs at least weekly (well, I can dream.) I  even think about getting to the bottom of the washing pile or even cleaning my bathroom.

I need to get better at managing my time. Where did all the time go?

I was asked recently what I did before I had Nancy. I can’t really remember.  All I can think of is big gaps of nothingness, days where I had so much time, it wasn’t a luxury to me.

I try and make the most of the time I have, but there are moments where I just think everything is half finished. Rushed. A bodge.

I make lists, and lists of lists, and that does help. I plan my time, but there’s always something else I could be doing, too. I have to prioritise and sometimes it is a hard thing to do.

I know I want to make the most of my time now. I think that’s what being a Mum has taught me, time is precious, and we need to make the most of it. So yes, sometimes I throw my lists out the window and do something different instead, because you have to make the most of things.  But then I come back with my tail between my legs, scrabble around picking up my lists of lists, and I’m back on that rollercoaster again.

Sometimes I have every will in the world but I’m just so tired and sleep takes over every other priority in my head.

I better go now as I am actually supposed to be in the shower, but I chose to write this instead. Oops!

I don’t really think there is any answer. We muddle along the best we can. Anyway really should go now as shower has been reduced to a wet wipe…

How do you manage your time? Any tips?

Diet Bore #4

So, week one on Slimming World, what did I do? 

Woohoo! I can lose weight, huh. I had a really good week and I had a good loss to show for it. It has really helped that my sister has been doing it with me and we’ve been cooking meals and eating together. We made slimming world quiche, had salads, diet coke chicken, lentil chilli, loads! I have really enjoyed what I’ve been eating and cooking form scratch is something I’ve always enjoyed. I haven’t been craving crap and I’ve been trying my best to drink water a lot more – I take a refillable bottle to work with me and always have it in my bag. I’ve cut down on milk (I can give up milk easier then I can give up cheese so tend to have my cheese as HEA) and I’m drinking a Green tea (loving mint green tea and also the salted caramel green tea at the moment). In the last week I have not eaten too many syns, about 5 a day. I think I should up this though as I know cravings will kick in. I haven’t purposely eaten 5 it’s just that’s where I’ve ended up! I don’t tend to eat syns during the day but have them for treats at night. 

I’m aiming for 3lbs again this week, I’m not sure if I can do this bit I’m giving it my best shot. I really need to plan, this week will be harder as my sister is away  but I’m taking it day by day and just focusing on free foods as much as I can. My slimming world consultant said last week that this is not a diet, it’s healthy eating and this really struck with me. I am eating as healthy as I can, when I can. Let’s see what happens when I weigh in this week!



As you can see I really am being a diet bore at the moment, but I’ve got a new found enthusiasm for this and I’m going to go for it. So there. If you like boring pictures of food come join me on Instagram. :)