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Recipes from around the world

Lately, we have been getting a little fed up with our general meal planning, the same foods and meals week in week out is getting a bit boring and I'm defiantly losing my creativity on what to cook. So I had an idea why not try foods from across the globe to inspire us. We would love to travel and visit these far away locations, so why not try some amazing foods from around the world from the comfort of our own home. Over the next few weeks and months, we will be looking at some recipes from across the globe that we can incorporate them into our meal plan, I'm sure some we will keep and may others we may not, but we are going to have a try at making some classic dishes to inspire us.

Of course, I'll share with you the chosen recipe and our thoughts and give my readers the low down on the costs so you can see if you can incorporate it into your family meal planning and budget.

We have selected a few countries that we are hoping to try their classic main meal dishes (maybe next time I'll just focus on the desserts!!): American, Vietnamese, British, Japanese, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Mexican, Caribbean, Chinese, French, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Greek, Indian, Italian

We have kicked off our Recipes from around the world with - Japanese  Yakisoba Chicken Noodles

Delicious Salad Dressing Recipe & Buyer’s Guide To Olive Oil

I love cooking with Olive Oil not only is it more healthy, but I find the food has a better flavour. We always buy olive oil and use it for all of our cooking needs, but I didn't really realise the varieties and what each one could be used for, Jamie's Italian brings you their amazing Olive Oil Buyer's guide (See Below), the guide that tells you all you need to know about this fantastic ingredient. It also has a handy guide for cooking and tasting.


I wanted to share with you, our favourite Salad dressing using olive oil, it's quick and simple and tastes delicious perfect for leafy salads.

Lemon and Olive Oil Salad Dressing

1 tbsp Lemon Juice
3 tbsp Olive Oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Simply mix all of the ingredients together and season, then generously sprinkle over your salads.
This has to be the most simple and easy salad dressing to make.

Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger Chocolate Truffles Recipe


If you have enjoyed Easter and are now looking for something a little bit different then why not try these tasty unique truffles, using some products from YUTAKA, YUTAKA is a leading UK based Japanese food company and has all the ingredients, without all the additives, to make authentic and delicious truffles at home. For more information check out www.yutaka.co

Chocolate truffles have just become a little more sophisticated, thanks to the Japanese food experts, Yutaka. Perfect for grown-ups who are looking for a more intense chocolate hits, with a range of interesting flavours:
Miso Caramel - think salted caramel with a twist
Shaoxing Rice Wine - a warm, boozy hit
Wasabi Furikake - milder than chilli with the added crunch of sesame
Pickled Sushi Ginger - chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle
Yuzu - a hint of citrus.

I wanted to share all of the alternate recipes as they are mostly based using the same recipe and method, but with different flavours and fillings. I opted to make theYutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger, they were really tasty and the ginger taste worked well with the chocolate, giving it a tangy taste. I did roll some in cocoa powder and some in vermicelli for variety. Perfect!

Chocolate Truffles

Truffle ingredients - makes approximately 30 - 36
200g dark good quality chocolate
60ml double cream
80g unsalted butter
Truffle cases

Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger 
 2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa for coating

Method for all truffles
In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set - overnight if possible.
Filling & coating ingredients

Alternate Flavours:

Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring
 2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli for coating

Yutaka Wasabi Furikake flavouring
 2 tbs Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
 Drinking chocolate for coating

Yutaka Yuzu flavouring
2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu
100g white chocolate - gently melted for coating

 Miso caramel sauce filling
 75g sugar
 25ml water
50ml double cream
1 tbs Yutaka Miso
100g dark chocolate - gently melted for coating.
Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top

Miso caramel flavouring method
 Put sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture. The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.

To finish the truffles
Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keeping the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.
Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases. Roll the Wasabi Furikake in drinking chocolate and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.

Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the white chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over Yuzu truffles until coated. You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. This needs patience! Leave them to set on a plate.
Melt the dark chocolate and coat the Miso caramel truffles as above. Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.

Easter Fun at The Marylebone Hotel In London

We spent our Sunday in central London, as we headed for some fun Easter celebrations at The Marylebone Hotel In London, the boys were looking forward to the morning brunch followed by an Easter Egg hunt, well I must admit I was looking forward to the Easter Egg Hunt too.

When we arrived we were greeted by the friendly Hotel Staff, we were lead into a stunning room where a delicious feast awaited,  from Smoked Salmon Bagels to Avocados on Toast and for those with sweet tooths like me, Pancakes, Pastries and Waffles and Maple Syrup, everything you could possibly imagine and more, all created and prepared by Chef Russell Ford and his team.


We soaked up the stunning atmophere, as we nibbled our way through the Easter brunch and chocolate eggs,


Mark Leeson was on hand to keep the kids entertained he amused us all with his witty nature and interactive games, we even made our very own balloon sculptures.


We were then treated to a reading from renowned Children’s Author Harriet Whitehorn, creator of the much-loved character Violet Remy-Robinson, from her newest book, Violet and the Smugglers.
A perfect Easter Sunday.

Shrek's Adventure : London

We were lucky to visit Dreamworks Shrek's Adventures in the heart of central London. This was an extra special visit, as this Easter (until 23rd April) visitors to Shrek’s Adventure, will be given a very special Easter challenge, which is to search for the rare Dragon eggs during their tour of Far Far Away.

We were given a Dreamworks Dragon Egg Hunt card, as we journeyed around the adventure we had to locate the large rare Dragon Eggs and reveal the magic word, the card is presented at the end of the experience where we got to see a stunning dragon emerging from its egg at the end of the adventure.

On entering we were instructed to turn off our phones as recording equipment and taking pictures isn't permitted during the adventure, this is so it doesn't spoil it for others, for me, it also gives me the rare opportunity to fully immersnse myself into the moment rather than taking pictures.

Our Adventure began with a ride on the magical 4D London Bus, where we were greeted by Donkey our Bus driver, the 4D ride was awesome, we swooped and soared through London, meeting some much loved Dreamworks Characters along the way. But on our journey, Rumpelstiltskin’s witches began to cause mischief and the London Bus has to make a crash landing. Our jounery had began!! We had to find Shrek!!! and stop Rumpelstiltskin plans. We loved every miniute of the 10 fairytale live shows, audience participation was encouarged which made it, even more, fun and entertaining.

Although we couldn't take picture throughout the adventure, there were plenty of picture opportunities at the end of the tour when we got to meet Shrek and his Dreamwork friends. Shreks Adventure is a truly fun magical experience for the whole family.

Shrek's Adventure is open 7 days a week, if you book online its slightly cheaper - Childs online ticket price £15.30, Adults online ticket price of £19.00. The tour last for approx an hour. The Special Easter Egg Hunt challenge is on until the 23rd of April. for more information check out