Monday, 3 November 2014

Fakeaway Friday: Taco Fries

Hi all.  Today I want to share with you the recipe for Taco Fries adapted to the Slimming World plan.

It's a real comfort food and really filling.

INGREDIENTS: (4 persons Free on Extra Easy if using Cheese as your HEA)

500 gr extra lean mince meat
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 large potatoes
120 gr of grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese


1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sweetener
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano

For the Taco sauce

6 tbsp fat free fromage frais or natural yoghurt
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp chilli pepper
1 tsp garlic
3-4 tbsp water


Spray a pan with low calories spray and fry the onions and peppers.
Add the mince and fry till browned.
Add all the spices, Worcestershire sauce and stock cube. Mix well.
Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer till it dries out.

Prepare the Taco sauce by mixing all ingredients very well in a bowl.

Cook the fries and when ready layer on a plate in the following order:
Mince sauce
Taco sauce

Serve piping hot and enjoy it.

Soo filling! xoxo

Friday, 24 October 2014

Fakeaway Friday: Sweet and Sour Chicken with Boiled Rice

The recipe I will share with you today is sweet and sour chicken with boiled rice.  Quite easy to make and very tasty.
I served it with boiled rice but I tried it with noodles before and it's just as nice :-)

INGREDIENTS: serves 4 about 1 syn per serving on Extra Easy

  • 4 chicken breasts diced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 large red pepper chopped
  • 3 carrots finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree 
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce 
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 400g fresh pineapple flesh, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 spring onions to decorate


  • Spray a pan or a wok with Frylight (cooking spray). Place the diced chicken breast and fry till brown. Remove and put on a plate.
  • Spray some more cooking spray to the pan and add the garlic, onion, pepper, and carrots.  Fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken to the vegetables and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • In a separate bowl mix 2 tbsp of water with cornflour, wine vinegar, soy sauce, tomato puree and stock.  Add it to the pan and cook it for a few minutes till the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add the pineapple.
  • Serve with boiled rice or noodles and decorate with finely slices spring onion.
  • Enjoy your meal.

My family loved this recipe.  I added some hot chilly pepper to mine as I loooove spicy food!!

Please, do send me pictures if you make this recipe.  I will definitely be making this again, next time with noodles :-)


Friday, 17 October 2014

Fakeaway Friday: Chilli Con Carne with Boiled Rice

My 10-year old always asks for this recipe and I am also glad he is starting to develop a taste for spicy foods (provided it's not too spicy or he gulps down litres of water :-/)

Today I will share the recipe for the Chilli con Carne with Boiled Rice: a beautiful Mexican recipe made from scratch the healthy way :-)

INGREDIENTS: serves 4 syn free on Extra Easy

  • 500 gr extra lean mince meat
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 2 large red peppers chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch of chilli pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 400 gr tin kidney beans


  • Spray a pan with Frylight (cooking spray). Add the garlic, red onion, and peppers and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the mince and cook till brown.
  • Add the cumin, paprika and coriander and mix well to season the meat and vegetables.
  • Mix the stock, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans and simmer till thickened. Add some chilli pepper to taste if you like it spicy.
  • Serve with fried rice or if you are in the mood of real comfort food, serve with Slimming World chips. 
  • Follow with a naughty glass of wine :-)

Yummy comfort food without the guilt ;-)


Monday, 13 October 2014

Liebster Blog Award Nomination


First of all I want to thank the lovely Rachel from rachforthestars blog for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.  
For those of you who are not aware, the Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German words that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

  • Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to do the same.
  • Let the bloggers you have nominated know they have been nominated.

Thanks again Rachel for the nomination!

You can check out Rachel's blog at

Let's start!


  1. I was born in Rome.
  2. I have been living in Ireland since 1994.
  3. I have a degree as a Translator.
  4. I love shopping for clothes but often end up coming home with new clothes for the kids and nothing for me. I'm sure some of the mammies out there can relate to that.
  5. I never ever leave the house without make up on.
  6. I hate spiders.  In fact, I have panic attacks if I see one bigger than half an inch.
  7. I lived in NY for a while before I got married.
  8. I don't like heights.
  9. I need a cup of coffee as soon as I wake up.  
  10. I absolutely love rainy Friday nites when the whole family is at home and cozy by the fire watching a good movie.
  11. I love Chinese food.


1.  What is your favourite movie?

There are actually a few movies I like but one that I enjoy watching are Mamma Mia! and How to loose a guy in ten Days. I'm a hopeless romantic...

2.  Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My mum.

3.  Where did you go on your first holiday and who did you go with?

Venice with my parents. I was about 10.

4.  Your house is on fire and you are only allowed to take 3 items what do you take? (all family and pets are out of the house)

My mobile phone, a box where I keep baby pictures of my children and my wedding dress.

5.  What was the first concert you ever went to?


6.  If you only could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?


7.  Who is your favourite singer/band?

I don't really have a favourite singer. I enjoy most pop music.  I couldn't live without the radio.

8.  Skiing holiday or sun holiday?

Definitely sun holiday. Love the sun!!

9.  Do you have any animals? If so, what do you have?

I don't have any pets.

10.  Who is your celebrity crush?

Matthew McConaughey.

11.  What is your dream car?

A jeep


  1. Coffee or tea?
  2. What is your favourite colour?
  3. If you could move to a different country for one year, where would that be?
  4. Favourite season?
  5. What's your dream holiday destination?
  6. What do you love most about blogging?
  7. What's the last book you read?
  8. What do you do to relax?
  9. Name one thing you can't live without.
  10. What's your favourite food?
  11. What's your favourite blog?

Now I nominate:

Have fun girls! Don't forget to send me the link!

Claudia xoxo

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Girly Scrapbook Layouts

Hello lovelies.

These are a couple of girly scrapbook layouts I have been working on.  The background papers are from the Simple Stories Collection Kit and they are 12" x 12".  The papers and decorations used are from my stash, and the flower chain on the second layout is made with a Martha Stewart punch I picked up in New York a couple of years ago.

Do you like scrapbooking?  If not, would you like to have a try?


Monday, 6 October 2014

Autumn is here...Hot Breakfast

Autumn is in the air. The cold and frosty mornings are just around the corner.  

This year I'm actually looking forward to winter; in fact I always look forward to the changing of the seasons.  Time to pack up all those summer dresses to make space for cozy jumpers and heavy coats :-)

I went for an hour walk this morning after the school run and when I got home I was really looking forward to something hot. What a better way than starting your week with a bowl of hot porridge topped with beautiful fresh berries and a nice cup of tea? Right what I needed to get this brand new week to a great start!! :-) Happy Monday everybody! 

What do usually have for breakfast?  Let me know, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas...


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Altered Wooden Items/Decorations

Hi all and Happy Saturday!

Today I wanted to share with you some wooden items I altered in the last few days.  

I usually take part in a couple of Christmas Craft Fairs and I'm starting to build up some stock.

There you go

Heart hanging decorations. 

I'm planning on making a few Christmassy ones or maybe even custom make them with names. Lovely keepsake for a new baby.

The next one is an example of a wooden plaque.  Always my bestseller at craft fairs.  
Last year I had about 30 with me at one of the markets with various quotes and I was not only sold out but also got a few orders to custom make a few :-)

Name plaques, any colour, any name:

Cute for a child bedroom

A couple of wooden bookmarks:

What do you think?
Do you go to Christmas Craft Markets?

Claudia xoxo

Monday, 29 September 2014

Key Lime Pie

Hi everyone and happy Monday!

Today I am going to share a dessert recipe with you: Key Lime Pie.

I wish I had tried this recipe over the summer as it would have been lovely after a BBQ.  It's really fresh and creamy and great if you want to impress your friends and family without spending hours in the kitchen. 

It will have to set in the fridge for a few hours and even better overnight, so there's no last minute preparation! What more can you ask for?!

There it is:

INGREDIENTS: Serves 10 people. 5 syns per slice
  • 8 digestive biscuits
  • 50 gr low fat spread
  • 1 sachet sugar free lemon and lime jelly
  • 250 gr quark
  • 2 x 175 gr muller light vanilla yoghurt
  • a few drops of green food colouring
  • zest of 2 limes plus the juice of 4 limes
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 3 tbsp sweetener


  • Make up the jelly with 150 ml of boiled water and let cool.  Add the powdered gelatine.
  • Crumble the digestive biscuits and mix with the melted low fat spread. 
  • Press this mixture very tight with the back of a spoon at the bottom of a 20cm springform baking tray.
  • In a blender mix the quark cheese, 2 muller light, the juice of 4 limes, the zest of 2 limes, and the food colouring.
  • Mix in the jelly when is completely cold and pour the whole mixture over the base.
  • Let it set overnight in the fridge and enjoy.

Send me some pics if you make it. I would love to see them!! :-)


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pizza Topped Chicken

Whenever I feel like having something really tasty and don't have too much time to spend in the kitchen, the pizza topped chicken is one of my options.  
I love the sweetness of the sauce, and what to say about the cheese: I adore cheese!

I usually use the low fat cheese and count it as my HEA so that the whole recipe is syn free.

This is how I make it:

INGREDIENTS: (syn free if using cheese as HEA)
serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 red pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • half a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 50 ml of stock
  • 160 gr low fat cheese


  • Spray a saucepan with frylight and sautee the pepper, onion and garlic for a few minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree, oregano, stock and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Spray a pan with Frylight, butterfly the chicken breast and fry till it gets a bit of colour on both sides.
  • Place the chicken breast in an oven proof tray, top it with the sauce and put cheese on top.
  • Cook in hot oven at 180 degrees for about 25 mins or till fully cooked and enjoy it with Slimming World chips and a side salad

Have you ever tried it?

Send me pics if you make it.  I would love to hear if you enjoyed it xoxo

Monday, 22 September 2014

Bowtie pasta with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes

Today's recipe is a very easy and quick one.  It's a dish that you get ready in matter of minutes: bowtie pasta with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. 
As some of you may already know, pasta is always a big hit with my family and I absolutely love it when I think of a recipe that is so simple to make :-)

Serves 4 (1 syn per serving if using the cheese as part of your HEA)

  • 350 gr bowtie pasta
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 50 gr porcini mushrooms
  • 250 gr chestnut mushrooms
  • 100 gr sundried tomatoes (4 syns)
  • 70 gr light philadelphia cheese
  • parsley


  • Soak the sundried tomatoes in warm water for about half an hour.
  • Soak the porcini mushrooms in warm water for a few minutes, drain, chop and keep the water for later.
  • Mince the garlic, dice the onion and slice the chestnut mushrooms.
  • Spray a pan with frylight and add the garlic, onion, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.
  • In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted hot water and drain.
  • Add the pasta to the pan and stir in the philadelphia cheese, the porcini mushrooms water and make sure it's nice and moist and that the water doesn't dry out completely.
  • Serve immediately and add some parsley on top.

Let me know if you are going to make this recipe and send pics in if you do :-)


Friday, 19 September 2014

Fakeaway Friday: Fish and Chips

Since I joined Slimming World I learned how to prepare all those takeaway dishes from scratch by using a wide variety of spices.

Fish and chips is one of them, prepared the healthy way of course :-)
I always loved fish and chips but the one you get from the takeaways is so high in calories and fats and if you are trying to lose some weight and eat healthy it's just not worth it :-(

It doesn't take so long to make this healthy version and it can be prepared in the morning and stored in the fridge till you are ready to cook it.  It's also virtually syn free if you use the wholemeal bread as your HEB.

There you go:

serves 4 - syn free if using wholemeal bread as HEB

  • 4 cod fillets cut into strips
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 120 gr wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 oxo cube
  • 1 tbsp dried garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  • Mix the breadcrumbs, oxo cube, garlic, parsley and paprika in a bowl.
  • Dip the fish strip into the beaten egg and then straight into the dry mixture.
  • Make sure the fish is all coated.
  • Spray a pan with Frylight and fry the fish to brown the coating.
  • Transfer into an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for approx 20 mins or till fully cooked.
  • Serve with Slimming World chips and a side salad.

It was soooo yummy!
Let me know if you try it and send me some pics.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Orange Cake with Berries

Today I want to share with you a beautiful cake recipe: Orange Cake with berries.

Perfect ending to a Sunday dinner or whenever you feel like having a special treat, this cake is quite low in syns (3 1/2 per slice) but bursts with flavour.

There it is: :-)


Serves 12 - 3 1/2 syns per serving

  • 4 eggs
  • 50 gr caster sugar
  • 150 gr self raising flour
  • 5 tbsp sweetener
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tbsp of grated orange zest
  • berries to serve

  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot
  • zest of 2 oranges 
  • 4 tbsp sweetener
  • 90 ml water


  • Preheat the oven at 190 C and line a 20cm baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Separate the eggs.
  • In a bowl mix until thick the egg yolks, flour, sweetener, sugar, baking powder, juice of 2 oranges, and orange zest.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they are softly peaked.
  • Fold them into the rest of the mixture.
  • Spoon the whole mixture into the baking tray and bake in the oven for approx 25/30 mins or till firm to touch.
  • In the meantime prepare the syrup by placing all the ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Bring to boil and continue whisking till thickened.
  • When the cake is fully cooked leave it to cool down in a wire rack for a few minutes.
  • Drizzle the syrup over, cut into slices and serve with berries

It's a gorgeous gooey cake that explodes with orange flavours.  It would be lovely to serve it with raspberries but I didn't have any at home... one more excuse to make it again :-)

Let me know if you make it and what you think,

Till next time


Monday, 15 September 2014

Aveeno Hand Cream Review

When I think of hand cream the one product that comes to my mind is Aveeno Hand Cream.
It's the only cream I've been buying for my hands in the past year. 

My hands crack, bleed and they get very sore in the winter, therefore I have always been looking for a very good product. My local chemist recommended I should try Aveeno Hand Cream.  

I have to say it's one of the best hand cream you can get: my hands felt much smoother right from the first application and what's more it doesn't have that greasy feeling and get absorbed quite quickly.  Also a little bit goes a long way and it definitely lasts through a couple of hand washings, although I 'm not sure it last for the 24 hours. I also love the fact that it's practically scent free because it feels very natural.

I always keep a tub on my bedside table and one in my handbag.  I apply it every night before bed and once more half way through the day if needed. 
It retails at a price of €7.39 in Ireland which is a little bit pricey for 75ml but so worth it!

Definitely one of those products I can't live without...

What do you think?  Have you tried it yet?  Can you recommend other good hand creams?

Till next time lovelies,


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pop Up Box Card Tutorial

Today I will show you how to make a Pop Up Box Card like this one:

You will need:

  • 12" x 12" cardstock
  • Coordinated patterned papers
  • Acetate (cut into thin strips)
  • Die cuts
  • Scoring board and tool
  • Paper trimmer
  • Double sided tape

First of all trim the cardstock to 23.5cm x 15cm
On the long side score at 5.5cm, 11cm, and 22cm
Turn it around and score at 7cm

Cut down to the score line right where you had previously score (only 7cm down).
Trim half of the small strip on the side (soon after the 22cm score) and keep it for later. Cut a slight angle on the other half.

It will look like this:

Now trim your patterned papers as follow:

  • 6 rectangles 6.5cm x 5cm
  • 2 rectangles 14.5 x 5cm
  • 3 rectangles 7.5cm x 5cm

Adhere each panels as indicated:

Front of the card (outside)

Back of the card (inside)

This is what the box card will look when it's closed.

Now take the strip of cardstock you had previously cut out, cut another one of the same size.  
Fold 2 flaps and adhere them inside the box

Now your box card is ready to be decorated with die cuts and embellishments:
I used this strip of acetate to adhere the hearts and die cut to the inside strips.

Hope you enjoyed my project!
Thanks for reading xoxo