Pork and Sweet Potato Pie

pork sweet potato pie 4

Earlier this year I shared my recipe for traditional cottage pie, made with minced beef and root vegetables in a rich gravy, and topped with mashed potatoes and melted cheese.

Recently I’ve been playing around with it a bit and I’ve found a delicious alternative – Pork and Sweet Potato Pie. The cooking method is very similar, but with quite different flavours. It’s also lower in calories and fat than the original (only 405 kcal and 13.4g fat), as I don’t use cheese in this version.

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Banana & Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

Banana and strawberry smoothie

Since sharing the recipe for my Banana and Almond Breakfast Smoothie in January I’ve been enjoying having more smoothies for breakfast. They’re quick, nutritious and most importantly, they taste good.

A lot of the smoothies I’ve been having have been a very close variation of the original, with bananas and oats. So recently I’ve been trying to find something a little different.

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Scones (The Perfect Afternoon Tea Treat)

scones jam clotted cream

One of my favourite treats is an afternoon tea, and no afternoon tea is complete without delicious scones with jam and clotted cream (and maybe even a little butter).

But what makes the perfect scone?

That’s the very question I’ve set out to answer over the past couple of weeks. In order to answer it I’ve baked (and eaten) batch after batch after batch after batch after batch after batch, you get the idea. Each batch subtly different from the last, until I found just what I was looking for – how to cook the perfect scone (fortunately I made single scone batches each time so I shouldn’t get too fat!).

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Tartare Sauce

Tartare sauce ingredients

Tartare sauce is one of those sauces that everyone seems to make a different way, so I decided I might as well chip in and share my version.

Tartare sauce is something relatively new to my kitchen. I’ve always enjoyed eating it* with haddock and chips when I’m out and about. However, I had been put off making it myself as it has a mayonnaise base. I remembered making mayonnaise at school and it being a bit of a pain to make (it turns out that it was because I was whisking by hand – use an electric mixer and it’s a doddle).

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Building My Blog – February 2015

Food blog traffic and income report

Welcome to my 8th monthly food blog traffic and income report, all about what I’ve been up to on Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in February.

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 traffic and income reports before and want to know a bit more about why I write them, then take a look at my very first report.

My February

If you read last month’s report you’ll know that in January I saw a huge jump in site visits, from around 1,500 in December to over 12,000. This was achieved through getting the hang of Pinterest, improving my photography and posting more regularly. However, you’ll also know that I was worried February would be tougher. In January, I had the benefit of having a lot of older recipes to post on Pinterest and Foodgawker, whilst also having a bit of luck being featured on Recipechart.

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Simple Overnight Oats

overnight oats above

Way back in January, when I shared my Banana and Almond Breakfast Smoothie recipe, I said that I was on a mission to improve my selection of healthy breakfasts. My mission then stalled for a while. This was for two reasons…

That banana smoothie is really yummy – I couldn’t resist making it.
I got a bit carried away making pancakes so didn’t have much time for healthy breakfasts.

Overnight oats seem to be everywhere at the moment. So a few weeks ago I gave them a try and thought I’d share my super simple version.

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Avocado, Bacon and Chickpea Salad

Last week I shared my recipe for Hummus. When I know I’m going to photograph a recipe I stock up on a few extra ingredients, just in case of any mishaps, and I got a bit carried away stocking up on chickpeas.

So what to do with all the spare chickpeas? I thought it would be nice to create a salad, so off to raid the fridge…

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Pear Crisps

My little ones love crisps so I thought I’d have a go at making a fruity alternative which would contribute to their five-a-day.

I originally set out to make apple crisps but an oven setting error (I set it to 200ºC not 200ºF) meant that they came out black and made a strange crackling sound like they were just about to set alight (oops). It was my last apple, and determined to continue my fruit crisp experiment I settled for a pear instead.

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Chocolate Chip Soda Bread

chocolate chip soda bread slice

I enjoy making bread but it takes sooooooo long. By the time I’ve made, kneaded and proved the dough (twice) that’s several hours gone. Admittedly I can go and do other things whilst the bread is proving, but I can’t really go out as I need to keep an eye on it to make sure that I don’t overprove it.

That’s where soda bread comes in. It’s unbelievably simple. All you have to do it put the ingredients in a bowl, mix them up and pop them in the oven. Its about the easiest thing you can make.

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#FoodYearLinkup – March 2015

It’s nearly the end of February so it’s now time for March’s #FoodYearLinkup.

I was so proud of my linkup last month with a total of 30 fabulous recipes and foodie posts linked up for all sorts of events.

It’s been so tough to choose my favourite this month as there were so many and the ones for Valentine’s Day were particularly gorgeous. However, I’ve finally decided on this marshmallow jelly fondant recipe from Karen at Mummy Do It. It was a tough choice but in the end I was swayed by the fabulous recipe and the fact that Karen wished me Happy Birthday in her post and made me feel special (Thanks Karen).

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