Bella Electric Pressure Cooker

Bella Electric Pressure Cooker Review

Pressure cookers have come a long way since the 80s. My mum had one (probably still does!) and it was huge, heavy, and hogged the whole hob. As far as I can remember, she only used it for the Christmas pudding, and to pop popcorn. Well, fast forward 30 odd years, and I can tell you the new generation are nothing like that noisy old one.  I’ve been testing a swanky electric pressure cooker, and it’s pretty cool and does lots more than just pressure cook.

I’ve been interested in getting a pressure cooker for a year or so now. When I was part of the IKEA Live Lagom sustainability project, a few people got them and were raving about them. They cook really quickly, thereby saving money on fuel costs.

As a busy working mum, my time is very precious. I do love cooking but have been put off since we moved house as our oven is terrible. We are getting a new kitchen in a  few months, so we are trying to save money. This clever electric pressure cooker ticks all the boxes, and has reignited my interest in cooking!

Bella Electric Pressure Cooker and utensils

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Why We’re Sticking With the LiveLAGOM Sustainable Life

You may have read one of my previous posts about our exciting sustainability project with IKEA and environmental charity Hubbub. We were chosen from around 9,000 families to take part in their #LiveLAGOM project, long with a handful of families from each of IKEA’s UK stores. We were given a budget of £500 to spend on products to make our lives more sustainable.

The project is coming to a close now, so I have been reflecting on the changes we have made and what our next steps will be. You might want to grab a cuppa!Succulent in a coral pot

So to recap, the idea of living LAGOM is not about depriving yourself of the nice things in life. It’s about taking care not to waste resources, and not taking what we don’t need.

LAGOM comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best) which means enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need.

We have always cared about our environment, and have quite a few energy saving measures in place, which you can read about on my original LiveLAGOM post . We also got an Anglian Water audit of our house to try and save water. But we were keen to do more.

WE HAD Four goals:

  1. Save energy
  2. Make our home office more cosy
  3. Reduce food waste
  4. Get more creative with our recycling

Looking back, I think I may have been a bit optimistic with how much of a difference we could make with £500 worth of stuff, and should probably have narrowed it down to one or two goals. But I am nothing if not enthusiastic! Continue reading

My Best Ever Flapjack Recipe: Easy, Gooey & Delicious

My flapjacks are famous amongst my friends. I once took some to work and was told by several people I could give up my job and make flapjack for a living. I think that would be rather foolish, but you get the point! Sorry if you think I’m blowing my own trumpet, but try these and see what you think – I’d love to know, so please leave me a comment below! The best flapjack you'll ever taste, full of golden syrup, brown sugar, butter, oats and dessicated coconut. Delicious in moderation!

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Three Months of Our LiveLAGOM Project with IKEA and Hubbub

At the start of the year, we began our  LiveLAGOM project with IKEA and Hububb. We were incredibly excited to be selected as ambassadors, to see if we can live a more sustainable life, with the help of £500 worth of IKEA products. Being a huge IKEA fan, I didn’t need asking twice!

The idea of the project is to live a more LAGOM life, which comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best). So enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need.

So we set to making a list of issues we wanted to address, and the products that would help us. Then it was shopping time!

Thea showing off her IKEA shopping list

So how are our LIVELAGOM resolutions going?

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Five things I love right now: July

1. All yellow, orange and red peppers. Finally, you can now buy a packet of peppers that doesn’t have a lousy green one in it. Thank you Sainsbury’s for seeing sense! We go through so many peppers, the girls love them raw, it’s one of their favourite snacks. But we all hate the green ones.  Red, yellow and orange peppers
2. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue I love bareMinerals products. I’ve used their Original Mineral Foundation for ages and their new tinted gel moisturiser is great, either as a (very) light skin-tone-even-outer, or beneath the powder foundation. It has an SPF of 30, which is a big bonus, and even has a shade pale enough for me! It’s not the cheapest as £26 but I used my Boots points so didn’t mind.bareMinerals Complexion Rescue
3. Childs Farm Hair Detangler. We’ve tried a few over the years and this one is hands down the best. It smells great, and is 98% natural, with no parabens, SLSs, or mineral oils. Love it. We love the rest of the range too, as it has never made Ava’s eczema flare up.Childs Farm Hair Detangler

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ingredients for Death By Chocolate cake

Death by chocolate: decadent gluten-free cake

It was my sister’s birthday at the weekend so I wanted to make her an awesome cake, but as she can’t have gluten, it needed to be gluten-free.

I was perusing my favourite baking book, The Great British Book of Baking, by Linda Collister, when I spotted a recipe for Death by Chocolate, which I had somehow never noticed before. Not only is it gluten-free, it’s also a real celebration cake, as it’s incredibly rich. The 500g of chocolate alone cost £5, so it’s definitely a ‘treat’ cake.

This seems like quite a simple recipe, and actually it is, but it takes quite a bit of patience, as you will see!

For the cake:

300g good quality dark chocolate (I used Green & Black’s Cooking Chocolate)
150g unsalted butter, diced
5 medium eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g caster sugar

For the topping:

200g good quality dark chocolate (I used Green & Black’s)
100ml double cream

Preheat oven to 180°/350°/gas 4 (160° for fan ovens.) Grease and line the base of a 22cm spring clip tin. (I used a 20cm tin and it worked fine.)

Break up the chocolate and put it in a heat-proof bowl with the butter over a pan of hot water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water, and don’t boil it or the chocolate will go all clumpy. Once it’s melted, take it off the pan and leave to cool whilst you whisk the eggs.

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Easy gluten-free ‘risotto’ that even my 4 year old liked!

Did you know that one in every 100 people in the UK suffer from coeliac disease? But, according to Coeliac UK, only 24% of these people have been diagnosed. Here is some more information about the causes and symptoms.

This week, it’s Coeliac Awareness Week, and although I don’t suffer from the disease, I do know a couple of people who have it, and have seen how stressful it can be to find food that they can eat without triggering a whole lot of dreadful symptoms.

My sister Debbie has an intolerance to wheat, so we are used to avoiding it when we eat with her, but with coeliac disease, you can’t have any gluten at all.

I thought it would be interesting to try out some new gluten-free recipes, so I’m kicking off with this one from BBC Good Food Vegetarian Cookbook:Cheddar and Tomato Rice

It’s basically a risotto, with less stirring, and long grain rice. And it has peppers and cheese, two of the Pink family’s favourite ingredients. It’s very straightforward, and as it was the first time I made it, I followed it fairly closely, though I put in double the garlic. I used gluten-free stock, but if you don’t have to avoid gluten you can use any kind.

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12 Small Parenting Victories That Make You Feel Like You Won The Lottery

1. When your child’s feet fit the sale shoes.

Clarks shoes

2. Getting the eye drop straight in before they blink.

Instead of squirting a few drops over a closed eye and hoping they will blink a bit in.

Thea's eyedrops
3. Getting a parent and toddler space at the supermarket.

This is a real rarity, due to the amount of selfish idiots using them to save two minutes of walking from a normal space. Because that’s more important than a child’s safety, right? And parents love nothing more than battling to get their kids in or out of their awkward car seats, whilst desperately trying not to slam the door into the next car. Puts you in the best mood to tackle attempting to do a weekly shop with a baby and toddler. After herding them through a busy car park where people suddenly seem to forget how to drive safely.

Parent and Toddler space

4. Leaving the house with everything you need. First time. On time.

So rare, yet so infinitely beautiful.

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Ten things I love right now: January

1. Mug cakes.  A cake in minutes? Genius. All you need is a microwave, a mug, and ingredients.  So bad for you, but oh-so-good on a cold winter’s afternoon. Going like hot cakes in the Pink household. My current fave is ginger cake. Delish.

photo 2

2. Neighbours. I really missed it over Christmas. I’ve watched it since it started (with a couple of  breaks for uni and when I lived in America) and I just can’t get enough.  Dr Karl is a legend. (Yep, he’s still in it. And still brilliant.

Dr Karl Kennedy/Alan Fletcher

3. Winter decorations. Taking down the Christmas decorations is my saddest day of the year. But I can keep the snowflakes, right? As they aren’t Christmas decorations. Just seasonal. Yep.

snowflake

And the beautiful bird was a gift, and comes from a very talented artist called Zeena Shah, check out her wonderful designs here:

Heart Zeena

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