Seriously Spicy Pasta Sauce

When I was at uni last year I brought all of my pasta sauce from the supermarket but over the summer, after a number of far too sweet sauces, I have decided to cook pasta sauce myself. 

 I have been shocked at how simple and cheap some sauces can be, you basically just throw whatever you have into a pot! So I thought I would share with you a seriously spicy pasta sauce. This has a great kick to it unlike the shop brought stuff! 

 

Ingredients. 

1 can of tomatoes chopped. 

1 pack of ground beef 

4 table spoons of tomato Ketchup 

1-2 tea spoons of herbs de Provence 

1-2 tea spoons oregano. 

2 sticks of celery

2 small onions 

1 scotch bonnet chilli 

1 normal chilli 

1 packet of bacon. 

 

  1. Get the ground beef out of the freezer and begin to defrost roughly an hour before you are going to cook. If your really organized de-frost it over night in the fridge but you don’t have to. Cut the beef into smaller sections and place into the pan with a small amount of oil. 
  2. Allow the meat to begin to brown off stirring occasionally to cook it all. While the meat is cooking cut your bacon into small pieces, Dice the onions into chunky sections and slice the Celery. 
  3. Once the beef has browned Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes, re-fill the can with water and add that as well.  Mix the meat and liquid together and add the tomato Ketchup and allow to bubble away. 
  4. add the herbs into to pot and stir. Add the scotch bonnet chili whole and allow to soak in the liquid. Allow the liquid to bubble away with the lid of until the liquid has reduced. 
  5. Once the sauce has reduced to much less liquid, add the other chili chopped into small pieces and mixed in with the sauce. 
  6. Get the Scotch Bonnet Chilli out of the sauce and throw away. The Sauce is now ready to serve.  

 This sauce is perfect with any type of pasta and plenty of cheese. 

 

My Confessions. 

I finally have an internet connection again Hoary! 

I am starting a new series called ‘Dear Diary’ on here next week which will be more personal

I have lasted my final freshers week and my boyfriend is on his way to see me 

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Matalan Review

Hey guys. Sorry I have been away for so long! It has been manic in my life! I will explain all soon. Meanwhile enjoy this review 

If you follow me on facebook or Instagram then you may have seen my talk about a new review. Well It is finally here!

A couple of months ago I got an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing some things from the Matalan students range, and of course, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t really heard anything about the range before, I am not sure how long it has been around but I certainly didn’t know anyone who got stuff from there when I moved into halls.

I really enjoyed searching through their site and looking at the students items. They have some great deals on necessities, but also some great all round stuff. So this is what I got.

Reem Tea Towel- £1.50 (currently 2 for £2)reem

When I heard about the review my boyfriend and I started searching the website and he loved this tea towel. I think the ‘reem’ reminded him of our friend who went to a different uni this year. The towel is made out of proper tea towel material, Cotton I think, not the toweling sort that sheds on all of your plates. It is relatively thin but does its jobs well and makes a funky addition to the kitchen.

Oven Gloves – Not currently available

This is one of the most over looked uni item ever! You never think you need oven gloves, but after one too many burn you will love them. I think the black and white flower pattern on them is great, although very girly and not very colorful. They seem  to standup to heat well. Although ours have a few marks on them the patten hides any marks. Overall I think these are great, and a really useful thing to have in the kitchen (we have 2!)

Towel Bale– £10.00

I have to say that if you have a friend who is going away to uni, or possibly moving into their own home, then this would be a great gift. Bundled together with a matching ribbon the different sized towels look really pretty. I chose the Aqua blue because I think the bright color can bring life to even the dreariest uni bathroom. The bale contains two wash clothes (or Flannels, depending what you call them.) two hand towels and two bath towels. This is perfect for uni because you are likely to have friends to stay and you don’t want to share a towel. (also Wash one, use one is big at uni!) The bath towels aren’t huge, but thats because I am used to bath sheets (the huge ones) but they are really nice. The material is not too thick so I don’t feel too weighed down and they are great for you hair! Overall I love this set, they give you everything you need and they are super cheap.

Candle– £3.00 candle

Candles are one of those non-essential things I was talking about in the intro, as well as that they are also something you are most likely not allowed in uni halls. However one of the things I was looking forward to this year was my candle! This candle is a very bright almost christmasy color and smells amazing. It is a Warm Spiced Apple scent, and I really think that its a true description of the smell and MY GOSH! I love the smell! I have to say this came in very useful when I lost light in my bathroom and was great for relaxing me when I my essay was due in.

Mug- £1

As the days have got colder I have been more and more attracted to warm drinks. So I decided I wanted to try out a Matalan mug. I have to say It is a really nice mug. I got it in Purple, (matching the dinner set you can read about next.) I think it is a good size and looks great. For £1 can you really go wrong?

Dining set– £12.00

I always feel like your dining set is one of the biggest thing you need at university. You can live without a lot of kitchen stuff but you will need something to eat off. Unless you plan to eat out every night. This set is a great value, you get 4 large plates, 4 bowls and 4 side plates. This is a great number if you have friends stay over as well as meaning that you don’t have to do the washing up every time you eat. Mine is in purple, matching with my mug and I think it looks really good in my draw as it adds a nice touch of colour.

basketNylon Basket– £5.00

Looking at this basket on the website, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. However I wanted to try it out to see if it was any good. It feels quiet plastic-y but looks like a wicker woven basket, just in fun colours. This material is great for holding clothes or food as you can wipe down the basket if anything is spilt on it. I have found that this is the best basket for my laundry. It is the perfect size for a load of washing in an average washing machine and the wet clothes doesn’t stain or ruin the fabric, so I can use it to carry wet washing.

Although the items reviewed in this post were sent to me by the company, Matalan, all the opinions expressed in the post are completely my own. Matalan have had no input into what has been said in the review, they have simply provided me with the products to review.

Talk to you soon!

Love lauren blog sign off

Making your food budget stretch!

I know, I’ve been gone forever!

The past week or so has been a bit of a stress-fest for me; I have had essays due in, as well as a few issues with my house so I have really struggled to post anything, and I have felt so bad about that!

Anyway, I am back today with an tips post. I thought I would share with you my tips on how to make your food budget stretch further.

How many meals do you need?

I know this sounds like a weird thing to say but if you sit down and look at your calendar, what days are you in university for lunch time? Are there any reasons you will be eating out or round at someone else’s house? I plan to eat in every night and have lunch at home most days with only 1 or 2 brought meals. Working out what meals you are going to eat means you can plan better.

Make a plan.

Leading on from the last point, once you have worked out when you are going to be making food try and plan the food. Planning ahead can mean you are going to have less product wastage. If you have a chicken pasta on monday you could do a chicken curry later in the week using up the left over chicken. It is normally cheaper to buy one big thing than a couple of little ones so think of how many ingredients you can use more than once.

Lunch!

I know how easy it can be to go into university with a bit of money and have grab some food from the canteen. In the winter it can also warm you up. However buying food is much more expensive than cooking yourself. I know I said earlier to think about lunch, but if you are in for lunch everyday then think about a packet lunch for some of the days. I tend to buy food as a ‘well done’ for getting through the week or a hard part of the week.

Frozen veggies

Although I love having fresh fruit and veggies in my house, it is so much easier to have a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer to just whip out when you need it. I have a bag of mixed vegitables and its lasting forever! (And goes with everything!)

What time is it!

(Is it really sad that I want to shout “Summer time!” from high school musical now? Please don’t run away!)

Most cities nowadays have 24 hour supermarkets or at least ones that are open until stupidly early, and us students need to take advantage of that. Who else goes shopping at 2am?

I am not suggesting that you go on your food shop just after you have been on a night out because I am pretty sure alcohol and food shopping don’t go together to make a cheap shop. However if you go late at night there tends to be a number of great things in the clearance section. Because of laws over sell by dates the shops will put a huge discount on a product the day of its sell by date. It is still perfectly fine to eat and in fact should be for at least a few days however they can’t legally sell it after the sell by date has gone!

Shop and Freeze.

One of the things that I tend to do is buy loads of products and then freeze them. It means your weekly shop doesn’t have to be weekly and you still have good food. When I am putting away my shopping I take all my meat/ fish products out of their packaging and wrap them in foil in meal sized portions. This means I don’t have to try and break the ice to get the amount I need.

I think this is everything I can think of right now, I am super tired so I am sorry about any mistakes on this post I just wanted to talk to you again!

Talk to you soon.

It’s food time

I know that I have a tendency to talk a lot about cooking. It is a great passion of mine and a great way to stay healthy. But let’s be honest we are uni students not gourmet chefs; sometime you just don’t want to cook.

This post is going to be based on some of the lovely food I have found over the past couple of weeks that is requires no cooking or very little. Get that Microwave ready!

Chicken Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo Sandwich

When I am on my way home from my lectures I have to walk past a Tesco Extra. This can come in really useful when I need to stock up on a few essentials on the way home. Of course this stock up also means that I end up buying their meal deal for lunch.

I walked in today and decided that I would try something new. A Chicken Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo Sandwich, I have to say I may have found my favorite sandwich. The Chorizo gives the sandwich a slight spicy tang to it, Although it would never be too spicy, and the mayo tastes nothing like the normal boring and plain mayo. The Bread is also a little special with sun dried tomato bred. It tastes amazing!

Hungry joe’s

I went food shopping again yesterday and finally managed to wonder around without being pressured to get home for football! So I loved wandering around and looking at products I hadn’t seen before. I was right at the end of the shopping trip, in the frozen food aisle, when I saw a new brand (well I have never seen it before!)

The brand was called Hungry Joe’s and I have to say Joe I love you! This guy’s random food combinations come straight from my brain and into his packet! I brought two of the Hungry Joe’s meals the first one I ate last night which was Chicken Vindaloo with Cardamon rice and a nan bread.

One pet hate I have with store brought curries is that they lie! I have tried so many ‘vindaloos’ or ‘extra spciy’ curries and have wondered if a chili was ever anywhere near it. I am a curry maniac, I have even traveled to india, and I love spice so I want it to be hot, However I understand that it needs to appeal to the masses. Which is another reason why I love this curry, It has a great kick to it and I could definitely taste the spice without it being likely to kill people! The rice is amazing and has a good cardamon kick. Although I did need to stir the rice a little more during cooking and I would suggest that you cook the nan in a toaster.

Indian Burrito Company

My university has a new company called Wrap chic ‘The Indian Burrito Company’ and my golly Gosh! They are good. The idea behind the food is that it a fusion between mexican and Indian food. A flour tortilla is topped with rice, red kidney beans a choice of curry salad and sauce. I Always get the Saag Paneer and it tastes so good.

Cook and Freeze

Cook and Freeze.

I thought I would come back from my little break in true Uni Confessions style; so here is some food!

This meal is perfect for university because once you have cooked it you can wack it in a container and freeze it for another day.

Ingredients

450g minced beef

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

430g jar of pasata

1 bell peper

2 cloves of Garlic

1 onion

A sprinkle of mint

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons of Chilli

  1. In a large pan Brown off your mince. Don’t use any oil for this as the meat has its own fat. Your meat should ideally already be unfrozen however if you have just got it out of the freezer slice it up a little and it will cook fine.
  2. once your mince is brown, you should add your chopped up Onions and Pepper.
  3. Add in both the tinned tomatoes and Pasata into the pan and stir in with all your ingredients. Don’t worry if this looks like too much liquid.
  4. Add your seasonings: Chili, Mint and Oregano. You then need to stir them into the sauce.
  5. You can then add your Finely chopped Garlic cloves into the sauce.
  6. Once you have added all your ingredients. You should leave the liquid to boil without the lid so the sauce can reduce.
  7. Once it is thick enough, you can simply serve on top of some pasta or spaghetti.

I hope you enjoy!