Today I wanted to share with you a LL little secret a dessert I have up my sleeve for those weeknights when guests are coming or your family demands or deserves a little treat. I love a dessert which tastes scrummy, can be adapted and is a little healthier than a slice of cake. I got inspiration from Mr. Jamie Oliver (thank you) and modified it to suit what I have in my pantry at the said time. The idea can also made healthier if necessary. I love cheesecake and find the biscuit base the best bit (never understood NY cheesecake.) I do however in the week want to eradicate the butter required to make that crumbly bottom, so I thought what would work as an alternative and granola sprang to mind. Granola is so versatile, perfect for breakie or as a snack but this provides a great base, plus depending on the granola you bake or buy you can use one with nuts, seeds, and dry fruit. Next, I add a dollop of heavenly curd, and this can be of your choosing, this time I chose lemon, but lime, raspberry, rhubarb or any other fruit curd would be delicious. Curd works well with the granola and is also scrumptious with yogurt. Then I add fruit, this again is personal preference, but I would recommend something which compliments the curd of choice. The piece de resistance is the topping which I use mascarpone, but you could use crème fraiche. I place in a bowl add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a teaspoon of icing sugar give it a good mix and voila a yummy topping. If you were looking to lighten things up reduce the amount of topping or use yogurt. If mascarpone is not your desire, you could use clotted cream, cream or ice cream. The versatility of this dessert is what makes this a winner. It always feels more sophisticated to present these in martini glasses, it also means you have greater portion control, and if you have dietary requirements, you can make to specific desires. I have also made this in sundae glasses or mason jars; they always look super cute! You can make these ahead, and they can last in the fridge for several days. All which make them a Lifestyle Lady Love.
Happy hump day! So todays post is a review of a new service I have tried last week called Blue Apron. I love to cook, I like trying new recipes and producing home cooked meals, I don’t always enjoy meal planning, list making, shopping etc. I often thought how nice would it be to have a service who took some of the hardwork out of it and voila we have Blue Apron. I had been meaning to try this for a while but with moving etc the time had never been right. When I got my hands on a coupon I thought lets give this a try. Now I am aware that Blue Apron is not the only place that provides this service but from what I have read to date Blue Apron has good feedback. It is a service which sends you in refrigerated boxes with fresh produce to provide meals for your family. You have two basic options 2 meals for 2 covers (2 person plan) or 4 meals for 4 covers (family plan.) I went with the latter because I need leftovers to send with Mr L for his lunch. Blue Apron explain that the meals are farm-fresh, seasonal produce, meat and poultry with no added hormones and sustainably-sourced seafood. So if like my family you are conscious about where your food comes from this is for you. As well as the fresh produce you are provided with extensive recipe cards which guide you in producing each meal.
A Photo Diary Of My Blue Apron Experience
I have Blue Apron delivering this week, mainly because I have been so impressed. The app and website have a great interface, clear and easy to use. The service is first class, every time I have emailed the response has been prompt and effective. I will add, this service is not for someone who has little or no interest in cooking, it does require prep. If you are looking for a prepared meal service this is not for you. If you are a family or couple pushed for time who like wholesome good food and enjoy eating around the table this is for you. If you are in a meal rut and like some insipiration this also may help. The meal cards, provide extensive photographic and written method so if your wanting to improve your cooking this would also help. I really wish they had this service when my husband and I were both working. This would be a great gift idea for new parents or a family or couple on the go. I have been so impressed I intend to keep the service up, I will use in weeks where we have lots going on. If you wish to cancel or miss a week to do so is very easy and straightforward.
If you were thinking of giving this service a try I urge you to do so.
Happy Monday. I hope your weekend was great, mine was interesting as Mr L is away on business and I have been flying solo with Little L for the last week, she has been pretty good except for night waking. I have to tell you this mama does not do well on little sleep. I did try my first hip-hop class this weekend, yes you read this right and Beyoncé I am not although I had great fun. On Sunday evening my friend and I took our daughters to see Daniel Tigers Neighborhood which was performing in Houston and that inspired me for todays post. It was wonderful to see so many parents appreciating the value in taking their preschoolers to the theatre. I secretly hope Little L shares my passion for theatre, it is one of the things I miss most about my British life, I was spoilt with the West End on my doorstep. I was blessed with the variety of theatre I saw in my formative years, so whenever their is anything suitable for Little L I pounce. I was touched to see her actively participating in the audience, she was so upset when we left as she wanted more “Dan Dan.”
I have been meaning to share this post for a long while, but better late than never -right? Now Little L has started pre-school I find myself nostalgic about where the last (almost 3 years have gone -wth?) A wise person said “the days are long but the years short.” They definitely had toddlers. She turned two in the latter part of last year and Mr L and I decided to celebrate this milestone with a party at Gymboree. If you are not familiar with this establishment it is a program of classes for children from 0-5 available across the world. Little L had been attending our local classes since she was 8 weeks old and I have never underestimated how much she has benefited from attending. Like so many of the children’s facilities they offer parties, after all who wants to entertain a group of toddlers?
Gymboree do offer an excellent range of themes for their parties, at that time she had one great love and he came in the form of an animated tiger called Daniel or as she calls him Dan Dan. This is based on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I appreciate my European readers will not be familiar with this cartoon but if you see it on Netflix or Amazon Prime and you have a toddler, download. If you need further convincing I was reading over the summer of some research by Texas Tech on preschoolers who watch Daniel Tiger and its affect on social skills development. (I link article here.) Little did I know when I purchased some very cute electronic invites of Daniel Tiger on Etsy, how little party merchandise there was. Disney and Nick Jnr seem to have all their characters covered but the PBS characters have a less commercial presence.(Although I think this is improving.) So this means that TLL had to spring into Pintrestmom and make and create things that would fit the theme. Below I wanted to share with you some of the photos of things that I made to give it the Daniel Tiger party it’s feel and make it a party for Little L to remember.
The majority of the party was a class of fun games and activities on the equipment and I knew that it was during snack time and home time is where I could create the theme feel.
The birthday girl. I purchased her adorable t-shirt from etsy.
Getting stuck into playtime
As I was serving a simple tea, I wanted the food to be light, relatively healthy and easy to transport. I made these pizza bites which I found through Pinterest. The kids loved them. I kept them veggie as I had vegetarian, they all went. I also made fruit salad and portioned them into small pots, similar to this, they were perfect to transport and the right size for toddler tummies whose eyes were on cupcakes. I also served raisins and veggie sticks. I was pleased as I was left with very little food and all the kids seemed to eat and enjoy. They sat for 20 mins eating and chatting which was super.
Favor Boxes/ Party Bags
You can see the favor boxes above, they did take a while to make but once you have made a few you can speed up. I think they look pretty effective and the kids loved them. Inside was a face mask as you can see. I also included a Daniel tiger crayon pack which I made, I bought sets of crayons placed them in a clear gift bag very similar to this. I added some coloring pages, a ball and a free pass to try a Gymboree class (thanks Gymboree.) Honestly it is a while since I packed them and I had none spare after delivering to some guests who couldn’t make it. I think there might have been one or two extra items.
I will be honest and say I would have been “up a creek without a paddle” if I did not have access to this PBS site, they helped with printouts and inspiration. I did adapt and change some of the ideas but generally a super resource. Little L’s party invites came from NineLivesNotEnough via Etsy. They were perfect and set the tone. I also bought her thank you cards at the same time which matched. Looked super. The same shop provided many of the printouts I used to decorate everything. I urge you to take a look. Little L’s T-shirt came from littlemacboutique via Etsy, again this was great for the party gal.
We really had a super time and it created many happy memories. I was very impressed with Gymboree and how professional and fun they made the whole event (I am fussy.) In conclusion I want to thank my brother who helped me prepare some of the decorations when he was over visiting (who knew you needed to be an Engineer to make trolleys?!) TLL knows how to treat her guests well. I would urge you to check out dollar/pound shops for party supplies (I never thought I would write that!!) I was impressed with what was available and you don’t mind trashing after the event. The party also reinforced to me that the party is for the kids and not the adults who attend. Little L’s first birthday we had lots of adults and we catered more for them, this time we made the right decision with a Gymboree style option. We had a great time, lets hope we can make some new friends in this new location before November so I can plan another party, but Little L if you are reading this lets have a more commercial theme next time? Princess’ Frozen, Sophia the First, Thomas, any of those would be great!