Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese

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Hi all,
I know it’s been a long time since I posted on here! I’ve had lots of ideas about what to put up but very little motivation to do so…
I thought to ease myself back into blogging I would put up a recipe that I’m loving at the moment.
Mac and cheese is one of my favourite comfort foods and sweet potatoes one of my favourite vegetables! So what a combination that isn’t too unhealthy!
The recipe is a combination of these two recipes from Macaroni and Cheesecake and Naturally Ella.

Ingredients For 1-2 people (Beware its very filling!)
1 medium sweet potato (peeled)
1 cup of pasta (1/2 pint)
2 cups of milk (1 pint)
1.5 cups of grated cheese (A nice mature cheddar will work well!)
1/4 tsp of mustard (Dijon is good)
A big handful of spinach (I haven’t tried this yet but Naturally Ella suggests it and what a good way to get some extra veg in there!) Edit: just made this again (at 11am no less!) and the spinach works well! Also added a little paprika in with the butter when I mixed the sweet potato! Adds an extra depth! Try 1/2 a tsp
A knob of butter.
A pinch of salt to taste.

First you need to put a pan of water on to boil. If you’re impatient then boil the kettle to speed this along! Meanwhile peel your sweet potato and chop into chunks.

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Put the sweet potato in the water to boil. This shouldn’t take long, so in the meantime prep the pasta.

The way that M&Cc does her mac and cheese is to cook the pasta in milk instead of water which give you the basis of the sauce and reduces the need for too many pans! The important thing with this is to not let the milk boil or else it will develop a skin which can lead to lumps! Yeck! So keep stirring this and make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together. Keep checking with a fork until its the texture you like (I’m found of mine quite soft!) for me this takes about 15-20 mins.

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After about 5-10 mins the sweet potato should be nice and soft. Check with a fork, then if it is drain using a sieve or colander.

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Put the sweet potato back in the pan and here you can add a little butter if you like. Then use a handblender or potato masher to purée the sweet potato and make it nice and soft!

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By this point your pasta should be pretty much ready and obviously don’t drain it! Put the sweet potato purée in with the pasta and stir. Immediately you’ll notice the sauce thicken up and take on a nice creamy texture. At this point you could add the spinach if you’re using it! Make sure it’s nice and clean first!

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Now you can add your mustard, cheese and salt to taste! Take the pan off the heat and gently stir together to bind and melt all the ingredients.

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Now you’re done! Grab yourself a bowl and enjoy your healthy comfort food!

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If you try out this recipe then please let me know how you get on with it on if you have any suggestions of how to improve this recipe, write in the comments below!
J xx

Festive Nails – Statement Nails

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Hey guys,
I thought I’d do another nail post! I know these aren’t particularly festive colours but its such a versatile design and glitter is always festive!
I chose to do a pretty pink with a glittery ring finger which I expect you’ll have seen all over the Internet! Pinterest is full of great nail designs and I always feel inspired!
For this one I used a pretty pink from toma! Not sure what its called but any colour will work with glitter!
The glitter is I’m Not Lion from China Glaze and its a really nice subtle gold micro glitter.
For this look (and every look really) try to use a base coat as glitter can be really tricky to get off!
So what are you guys looking forward to most about Christmas? I’d love to hear!
J x

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Festive Nails – Frostbitten

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Hi all,
I’ve got a little nail art/ festive nail tutorial for you here as I haven’t done one for a while!
I always enjoy painting my nails and even though I’m no professional it’s fun and its easy!
This one is Christmassy inspired and I was kinda thinking of icicles and frost when I did this one! Plus I’m seriously loving the glitter at the moment so that had to be in there!

So here goes:
I always do a base coat to protect my nails, especially when I do glitter as its notoriously difficult to get off! The one I used here was Sally Hansen Insta-grip, which is pretty good an I got it reduced!

The base colour is used was OPI Time-less is more, which I’ve had for a while! I had to do three coats as this is quite a sheer colour!

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To add a subtle hint of glitter I used jackpot which was just from George’s own make up range at Asda all over the nail.

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Then to add the frosty glitter I used Snowflake from Models Own which is quite a nice chunky glitter in white iridescent tones! I used this from the middle to the end of my nails before finishing with a top coat!

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And there you have it! If you try this nail look I’d love to see a picture and if you have any other nail looks you’ve tried I’d love to see them!
❤ xx

Puff pastry pizza

Hi all!
I haven’t posted for a while but things have been pretty hectic since I started university!
Having to cook for myself all the time now means that you sometimes have to get creative with what you eat so that you don’t end up eating supernoodles and oven chips constantly!
So here is a very basic pizza recipe which uses puff pastry for the base instead of dough. I made it last night after getting inspired on Pinterest an it’s great if you’ve got a few random ingredients leftover that you’re not ire what to do with!
Recipe:
I used half a pack of puff pastry that I had leftover from my homemade chicken pie.
Arrabiata pasta sauce for the base
Mozzarella
Pesto
Cheddar cheese
Chicken breast (seasoned and baked)

To prepare the base roll out the pastry and prick it in several places leaving about an inch around the edge for the crust!
Brush with melted butter or an egg wash.
Put in a preheated oven at about 180•c for about 15-20 minutes so that it is partially baked! Mine puffed up loads so I had to press it down with the fork!
After this, you can add whatever base and toppings you like and then bake for about 8-10 minutes!
Hope that you enjoy this recipe!

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Off to Hogwarts – School Haul!!!

So, as I’m sure is the case for many of you guys, I’m off to university for the first time this month (which is incredibly scary if you ask me!). As such, today we went on a shop to get some bits in preparation. Mainly cleaning products and bed linens! As I’ve heard that most things you buy/use as a student get ruined we tried to keep everything we bought fairly cheap! I think we did pretty well!
We bought a load of cleaning products from poundworld which I know some people may think it’s really cheap but or the most part it’s branded products and they’re £1 each!!! Can’t really go wrong there can you?
We spent about £15 on stuff for me so I should be set- especially as I will be sharing a bathroom with my fellow housemates😛

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I also managed to get a toasted sandwich maker in Argos for £4.54 and got it insured for an extra 99p which will cover me fir 3 years should I break it/drop it (fairly likely!) I love toasties so this will be good for easy meals🙂

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Primark were doing a deal on back to college bed stuff so we also got a thick duvet for under £8, mattress protector (good knows who’s slept in my dorm before me!), two fitted sheets, two pillowcases and a duvet set! All of this came to less than £25! So I’m pretty set for most stuff!

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I’ve already done some kitchen shopping in ikea (genuinely one of my favourite shops, especially their food ;)!) and I got another duvet set there!

Let me know whether you’ve managed to find any bargains and what you’re plans for uni are?
J x

New site design!

As you can see I’ve had a little redesign of the blog! 

I’ve been experimenting with photoshop and got some new brushes that I wanted to try out! 

What do you all think? Any ideas for anything else I could change? Please let me know!

J x

HP Studio Tour

Sorry in advance for the long post and photo dump, but I had lots to talk about!
Hello all!
Yesterday I went, along with my family to the Warner Bros Studio Tour to see the Making of Harry Potter tour!
It was absolutely amazing and the sheer amount of detail included in every prop, set piece and costume was incredibly overwhelming!
I went somewhat dressed for the occasion in my pastel Deathly Hallows t-shirt worn with my mint jeans and studded flats. I would definitely recommend wearing comfortable shoes for the tour as our tour started at 5:30pm and we left about 9:30pm- but the guides said some people can spend up to 7/8 hours going around! There is so much to see!
If you live in the UK, particularly in the South East as I do this is a MUST go to for ANYONE who is a fan of the films or just the franchise in general.
Now I didn’t take all that many photos on my phone- but took about 500 pictures on my camera so I will add some more later!
If there is anything in particular that you want to see from the tour please let me know and I will try and post a picture of it!

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Another thing that I’m getting excited about is the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics which starts at 9pm tonight!
I saw some clips from the dress rehearsal on the BBC website and it looks amazing! Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!
So far current rumours include:
– NHS nurses
– British countryside activities
– livestock!
– and of course…RAIN! Because it just wouldn’t be British without some rain(!)

Let me know if you are planning to go to the WB studio tour or what you thought if you’ve been!
Also- what are you most looking forward to in the Olympics?

Lazy Brunch- eggy cheesy toast!

Here is a recipe for a lazy breakfast/brunch that is great for mornings where you can’t be bothered to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

It’s from a recipe that I adapted from a magazine, and it’s like cheesy French toast in a way! It’s so easy and really yummy too! All you need is:
-bread (two slices or a divided roll)
-1 egg
-cheese (not sure how much but a good handful of grated cheese)
-Worcestershire sauce (just a few drops for flavour)
-milk (if required)
Time: approx 10 minutes

-First of toast one side of the bread under the grill or in my case, the wrong side of the roll for crunch!

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-Next, make your egg mix! Whisk an egg in a bowl and grate your cheese into it! Add a few drops of the Worcestershire sauce for flavour or you can add a pinch of salt if you don’t have any of the sauce. Then mix well together.

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With your bread toasted on one side, flip it over and prick the bread with a fork: this stops it running off the side and absorb the mixture better!
Pour the mixture onto the bread and spread with the fork- if you don’t have enough mixture add a drop of milk to the mix and a bit more cheese to stretch it out a bit!

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Now pop the bread back under the grill and leave to toast until the mixture bubbles and turns golden brown! Mmmmm…:) While that is cooking have a quick tidy up an fix yourself something to drink!

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Enjoy! Also let me know if you use the recipe and any adaptations you try🙂
J x

DIY City Break Maxi Skirt + Rome Update

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A few weeks ago I went on a belated birthday trip to Rome for a weekend with my family!
Before we went I had been searching for a simple, pleated maxi skirt, but hadn’t found one I was willing to pay for. So I decided to make my own! I whipped it up in less than an hour using only about 1.5m of fabric and a piece of elastic. I would suggest more fabric than this depending on your size…I’m a medium and I was struggling a bit! Plus the more fabric you have, the better the gathered effect! the fabric is used was a kind of opaque synthetic with a good drape like chiffon.
Here’s my simple tutorial on how to make a maxi skirt!

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First start by measuring a piece of elastic around where you want the skirt to sit i.e. waist, hips etc. Make sure that the elastic is stretched a little as this will help to create the gathered effect on the fabric! Also make sure you have enough for the elastic to be seen together at the ends.

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Next make a channel for your elastic across the top of your fabric by folding over a small section. The size of this will depend on the width of your elastic, mine was about 1cm so my channel was about 2cm wide. Then sew this channel down, making sure you leave enough room to thread your elastic through.

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Thread the elastic through using a safety or bobby pin- try to keep hold of both ends, I kept dropping one end and having to start again! Gather the fabric as you go. Once you’ve threaded it through pin down or stitch together at each end.

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Now with your fabric fold in a seam allowance of about 2cm and stitch all the way down. This is your centre seam which will sit at the back! At this stage, try it on for size as it may need adjusting of its too big/small/tight/loose etc
I ended up having to sew a split up the back of mine because my lack of fabric meant that I was waddling when I walked🙂 (even so, I managed to rip the split up even further when walking to dinner…oops! Darn me and my long strides ;)!
Once you’ve determined that your skirt is the right size, you can then hem it or finish as you like. I did a simple folded hem of about 1.5cm before stitching down, making sure I ironed down to ensure a nice neat finish! And voila! Simples😉
We had a lovely, busy weekend and got to see so many beautiful sites! We also, very proudly used EVERY form of public transport available; train, bus, tram, tube… You name it😉
Here are a few of my phone snaps, I still haven’t uploaded my camera ones yet:/ oops!

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What a beautiful city! I definitely want to visit again…soon🙂 probably for even longer to do more exploring!
If any of you try out this tutorial I’d love to see what you make! Write in the comments below and let me know what you think🙂
J x