Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

cajun chicken pasta 1

This creamy cheesy cajun chicken pasta recipe was one of those recipes where I started trying to make something else and it just sort of evolved.

I was originally making chicken pasta alfredo. However, when I made it, it just didn’t taste right. It was a bit boring. So I added a couple of spoonfuls of cajun spice mix – much better.

Then next time I made it I decided to add some vegetables (anyone that reads my recipes regularly will know that I like to squeeze extra vegetables into my dinners as much as I can). Since I was using cajun spice mix I decided to take my inspiration for the vegetables from chicken fajitas, so I used peppers and onions.

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How to Make a Mickey Mouse Pancake

Guess what Mickey Mouse eats for breakfast? Mickey mouse pancakes of course!

Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner and I’ve been busy sharing my favourite pancake recipes (including my Traditional Pancake Day Pancakes and my Lemon and Raisin Pancakes). However, there’s one fundamental problem with all of these pancakes… They’re all just round, how dull is that?

So I decided that it was about time I got my icing bottles out again and had a go at making my pancakes look a bit more interesting.

The subject of todays efforts… Mickey Mouse

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Building my Blog – January 2015

My Recipe Book - Food Blog Traffic and Income Report January 2015

Welcome to my 7th monthly update, all about what I’ve been up to on Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in January 2015.

As always I’ll share with you my experiences and hopefully pass on a few helpful tips, as well as the usual visitor and income numbers.

If you’ve not read one of my reports before and want to know a bit more about why I write them, then take a look at my very first report.

January 2015 – A record breaking month for Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen

This month I have seen an 800% increase in visitors to my site with over 12,000 people popping by (welcome all!). I put this down to three things (all of which conveniently start with the letter P!)…

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Ultimate Guide to Food Photo Sharing Websites

Ultimate Guide to Photo-Sharing Sites

Anyone who reads my monthly reports will have noticed that getting my food photographs onto photo-sharing websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker has been high on my list of priorities.

I’m happy to say that I’ve now reached a point where I’m mostly successful (yay). However, over Christmas Jon (my husband) and I were discussing whether there were any alternatives to Foodgawker and Tastespotting. He kindly offered to help me out by having a look into this, so now I’m going to hand over to him to tell you all about what he found…

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Pancakes (Perfect for Pancake Day)

How to make perfect tradition pancakes. Just what you need for pancake day.

Every year when it comes to Shrove Tuesday I always end up Googling “Pancake Recipe” and aiming for the first thing that comes up.

This has led to some hit and miss pancakes over the years. Some too stodgy, some lacking flavour, and fortunately some good ones too.

This year I decided that enough was enough. No more pancake Russian Roulette. I was going to figure out what I think is the perfect pancake recipe.

I have now lost count of the number of pancakes I’ve made (and eaten) over the past week (not to mention my Lemon and Raisin Pancakes which I also made this week too!). Some of them weren’t even particularly good. However, after much experimentation I’ve found something I’m really happy with.

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Lemon and Raisin Pancakes

lemon raisin pancakes

It’s Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day as I prefer to call it) on the 17th February so I’m busy busy busy pulling together recipes for some of my favourite pancakes, one of which is these Lemon and Raisin Pancakes.

Unfortunately this means that my mission to build my repertoire of healthy breakfast recipes has stalled after the banana and almond breakfast smoothie, but I’ll be back on it again soon, I promise.

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How to Make Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies marry me

This month we celebrate both Valentine’s Day on the 14th and Chinese New Year on the 19th so I thought it would be fun to make fortune cookies (although it turns out from my pre-posting research that fortune cookies are actually an American invention).

The great thing about making your own fortune cookies is that you can personalise the message however you want. Although if you’re stuck for ideas there are websites like Fortune Cookie Message where you can get a few ideas. I particularly like “Your shoes will make you happy today” and “Sometimes you just need to lay on the floor”.

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Roasted Vegetable Lasagne

vegetable lasagne slice

I’m not a vegetarian and generally I tend to eat meat as a major part of most of my meals. However, I’ve always enjoyed vegetable lasagne so thought I would have a go at creating my own.

There are a couple of other reasons for creating this vegetable lasagne recipe…

I’m always looking for ways to sneak extra fruit and vegetables into my family’s food. By cutting the meat and making the dish all about the vegetables it gives me the perfect opportunity to cram in as many as possible (This vegetable lasagne contributes two of your five-a-day).

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#FoodYearLinkup – February 2015

It’s that time again to launch the #FoodYearLinkup for February 2015.

Thank you to everyone who joined in last month, we had some fabulous recipes linked up. My favourite recipe from last month was this Pannetone French Toast for Breakfast Week from Laura at A Girl and Her Home.

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Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce)

How to make Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce) - My simple step-by-step instructions for making Béchamel from scratch at home.

Béchamel (white) sauce is a really versatile little sauce. I use this white sauce for lasagne, pasta bakes, cauliflower cheese, fish pie, there are so many possibilities.

It’s really simple to make at home with everyday ingredients. I use a roux base (butter and flour) and then add milk, cloves, bay leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Some recipes also add onion (which is removed before serving). However, I find it a little overpowering as the sauce has a delicate savoury flavour so I prefer not to.

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