Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Make it My Way :Cook up with Giovanni Rana

I really love pasta of any type and really Italian food in general. My husband loves to cook and come up with new ideas for meals, so the chance to combine the two was a gift.
The master of pasta Giovanni Rana has launched an exiting new cooking experience and has reveals six fresh stir-through pasta sauces and we got to try the range and come up with our ideas over a week.
The saucesare also  made to complement Giovanni Rana's fresh filled pasta ranges, the simply Italian sauces and Indulgence sauces are crafted from authentic recipes that capture the taste of Italy's sun soaked landscape. From leafy basil gathered for pesto to vibrant Mediterranean tomatoes for passata.
The simply Italian Sauce range includes: Tomato and Basil, Sun Ripened Tomatoes and mascarpone, pesto: Butter and sage.
The Indulgence range includes : Porchini Mushroom and cream and creamy carbonara.
So we started our week on holiday with our son Matthew, his wife Karen our grandson Nathan and Karen's parents George and Lynne, so it was like a proper Italian family.


BBQ time 
We had Chicken made Texan style sticky BBQ sauce using fresh ingredients and the Giovanni Rana sun dried tomato and mascarpone sauce.
Kevin my husband used the sauce and added in onion, vinegar, paprika, Cinnamon, Ginger, salt and pepper then reduced it by cooking to make a lovely sticky sauce. He used this to cook the chicken in and boy was it tasty . Geroge made a great job with all the sausage and we all joined in the have a great meal .  I have to say we never would have used pasta sauce for this type of thing but it was amazing.


Creamy Carbonara

One of my favorites and one we were all looking forward to .  We used the Porchini Mushroom and creamy carbonara .
We used the sauce but added fresh mushrooms, onions, smoked bacon pieces to make a lovely carbonara and we served this with ciabbata bread and salad and we all tucked in and it was yummy. It was so easy to use the sauce and it was so creamy tasty.  We all agreed it would also be nice done like a white sauce for maybe chicken or in a pie as well and in fact we want to try that next.

Fresh Ravioli and Mushroom sauce

We had a lazy night as we went out for the day. It was great as we wanted something simple to make and that tasted yummy. We had fresh ravioli also from the Giovanni Rana range and used the wild mushroom sauce topped with fresh basil. We added a simple fresh salad and a few glasses of good wine and we were all happy bunnies lol. So happy and relaxed I forgot to take a picture lol silly men. The sauce was so nice and rich and we all felt well feed after I can tell you.


Filo Pastry filled with filled with leek and onion.

Large tart tin lined with layers of buttered filo  pastry. Topped with leeks and onion cooked in the Giovanni Rana butter and sage sauce and wrapped and cooked in the oven till golden. Served with potato gratin with goats cheese and peas.
The sauce is so nice and creamy it went so well with the leeks and I was so full I could not have had a bit more lol.


Simple quick pasta Dinner

Today was another busy one and with these sauces it is so easy to run in and have something within seconds almost.  We picked the fresh pasta with spinach and ricotta. The pasta cooks in minuets and so does the sauce just combine the two and add in some nice fresh basil and salad and a glass of wine and away you do. It was so nice and the sauce was tomato and basil so it went really well together.


Ciabbatta fried in olive oil , using the sun dried tomato sauce with fresh sweet cherry tomatoes, white wine, garlic, onion and basil.
Spread on the bread then layered with avocado and mozzarella topped with wild rocket drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  As you can see it was a rather yummy lunch and we all enjoyed it a lot.

It really has made us see that pasta sauces are not always for pasta and I know we shall be trying to see if we can come up with other ideas to use the yummy Giovanni Rana sauces in the future.
You can buy his range at all the supermarkets and can visit the web site for lots more information.


Please note I was not paid for this post but did receive samples of the products to use

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Wordless seaside

Rant Alert!

Rant is not someone I normally do and not on my blog , however today I feel one coming on. I have been ill for just over a week with a bad chest infection and asthma . I was on holiday when it started and lucky for me got hold of some medicine to help. Now normally they kick in and I am fighting fit but this time it didn't happen. Even with all my health issues I fight on and often hide if I am feeling unwell. This time is was not the case , soon as I got home I hit my bed and stayed in it for 4 days and only moving on day five to drag myself to my doctor. My one ( who knows me well) well was on holiday so I had to see a new doctor. She asked what was the issue and then I explained, she then listened to my chest and agree It did not sound great. Also my temperature was a little low so suggesting an infection.
Then she turned to me and asked " ok how do you think we should deal with this"!!!!! what on earth! Is that not why you go to medical school for five years plus ? To be able to tell me how you can help me ?? She ended up giving me more meds and saying " Lets see how is goes" and I left.
My daughter was in next and has been having a lot of rib pain and pain in the chest. Once again she asked her what she thought should happen and then suggested a pulled muscle. No pain killers or x ray and sent her off.

I am sorry but is this not what a doctor is for to tell you what is wrong or suggest ways to help? How many people get sent off that are really sick and they have not bothered with. I am hoping we both recover well and will just have to ride it out. I think next time my doctor is away I will avoid Dr " what shall we do" like a wild fire.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


I am writing this post before I go off to bed to try and remember all the facts I need to . At present while wonderful father in law cat and house sits,  I am on holiday.  In fact a first family holiday with our Grandson Nathan. We are a party of 6 adults, one baby and two dogs lol.
So far the weather has be wonderful and we have enjoyed many sunny days which is pleasant.
We are staying at a lovely place in the Cotswold's called Lower Mill Estates. Our house is huge and rather fab

We are also staying with my daughter in laws parents who we just happen to get along with very well. It was a great chance for the two grandparents to spend a week with their grandson for the first time. Nathan was having a wonderful time lol

Granddad, Daddy and Nathan

Sitting having a lovely meal which everyone chipped in to make was just one hi light

Today we had a lovely day out in a beautiful location and even got to have a cream tea it was yummy

Its been lovely to stay with nice Friends and family who all get on
Sorry planned to write more but its too hard to fix her now lol

Silent Sunday:17/05/15

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Clairella Cakes Day

If you read my blog you will know one of my passions in life is Cake decorating. Funny thing is I hate to cook and for me to have got into a hobby such as this is really funny. A few years ago I thought it would be fun to do a cupcake day and from then on I was hooked. I wanted to learn more and more and then started to make cakey friends.
Then last year my then tutor told us about a couple of people from our area who were going to exhibit at Cake International. I was amazed at all the cakes and one was outstanding and so beautiful it really did catch the eye. This was when I was introduced to the amazing Claire Anderson from Clairella Cakes. She makes the most wonderful creations and every one she turns out is a master piece. I left a comment to say congrats and then when Claire was running a class I went along. Then I did a second with a guest teacher Bella Baking, then I was lucky enough to get to go along for another. It was extra special as it was a lady called Jayne's birthday so we got to sing to her and share a wee glass of bubbly !

Claire's classes are so much fun, but at the same time you learn so much it is a real delight. She is calm and kind and oh so patient which at times must be hard work lol. She has a fab classroom full of light to make everyone feel like an artist. Everything is provided and you just need to turn up and get started.
Drinks flow freely along with yummy treats so if you are going forget the diet. When lunch comes around ...... where do I start lol. Wonderful array of sandwiches , fruit , cake and all sorts to pick from. All freshly cooked and laid out along with tea or coffee or many different juices so spoilt for choice.

After lunch is is back to work but all the time with much laughter and fun, making it the most relaxed day possible. I always come home with a fab cake and also more skills to add to my list, and fired up as to my next creation . People come from all over to attend the classes and its well worth it!
If  you love to cake decorate you have to get along to Clairella for a class you so will not regret it at all.