Lifestyle | Four books to read time and again

In January I shared what was hoping to read that month, this month I want to share four of the books that I love and have read over and over again. This has nothing to do with the fact that I failed miserably last month, giving up on one book and still reading another. No. Nothing to do with that at all.

These are the four books that I will never send off to the charity shop, have read numerous times and recommend to everyone.

Four favourite books | Fish Fingers for Tea

1984 by George Orwell.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

“Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.”

1984 is my hands down favourite book. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it and have no doubt that the number will climb, I take in something new with each reading. If you haven’t read it then you really should, whether you like dystopian novels or not. If you were forced to read it at school and thought you didn’t like it, then give it another go and read with a grown up perspective. 1984 may have passed but the concepts explored are scarily relevant today… (more…)

Home | Debenhams Flowers review and giveaway

Let’s start with the obvious – flower arranging is not my strong point. I aspire to vases full of the most beautiful arrangements but my skills are more of dump them in, fiddle with them a bit and then sit back and admire them anyway skill level.

Debenhamds flower delivery review and giveaway | Fish Fingers for Tea

I love having fresh flowers around the house. They’re so cheery and brighten up a room with very little effort. They don’t need to be expensive either, a £1 bunch of daffodils picked up in the supermarket is one of the cheapest ways I know to add a touch of colour to our coffee table.

Debenhams Flowers got in touch recently so to see if they could send me a bouquet from their range of Mother’s Day flowers.  I didn’t actually know that they did flower delivery and had a hard time choosing, the range is lovely but I finally settled on this lilac and white roses bouquet.

What do you think? They’re rather elegant and it’s the first time I’ve ever had roses of this most beautifully soft lilac pink colour. They arrived in a cardboard box (bonus points for recycling ability) with the stems wrapped in damp tissue paper to keep them fresh. There’s the usual flower food packet and they looked lovely tied up with their ribbon. (more…)

Food | Chocolate mug cake

It’s rare that there’s not some form of chocolate or cake in the house but when we are lacking, this chocolate mug cake comes into its own!

Peanut butter chocolate mug cake | Fish Fingers for Tea

Let’s talk about greed for a moment. Usually Rich and I would share one of these beauties but the other night, after a particularly stressful day I demolished one all by myself. I made a loaded version with both peanut butter and Nutella nestled in the middle and topped it off with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. I then sat on the sofa and proceeded to eat myself into a chocolate coma.

It was good.

That is the one problem with mug cakes; you’re never more than a couple of minutes away from a serving of chocolate cake. And whereas you might be able to stop yourself from heading to the shop if you’re lacking any sweet treats you will more than likely have the ingredients for this already in the house.

Ok, they aren’t going to be winning any awards for finesse or looks anytime soon but when you’re in the midst of a cake emergency (yes, there are such things) then this hits the spot. (more…)

Family | Him indoors

So we’re a month down the line from swapping roles. I’ve mentioned changes in the Fish Fingers for Tea household a few times now and this is the main one. At the beginning of the year Rich and I swapped roles. I now work full time across two jobs (one freelance at home and the other in an actual office with real live people) and Rich has taken on the role of stay at home dad. Or house husband. He hasn’t decided which term he prefers yet.

There are a myriad of reasons why this has happened but they are blog posts for the future. For now, here are 8 things I’ve learnt along the way….

Things we have learnt about swapping roles | Fish Fingers for Tea

I’m a control freak. Not that this is news to me or anyone in my immediate circle. It turns out that I expect things to be done my way even if I’m not the one doing it. I’m working on it.

But my way isn’t always the only way. Or the best way. Rich and I have different routines but both work. Apart from how he hangs the laundry up to dry. That doesn’t work.

If you don’t bake a man a cake, he’ll learn to bake it himself. Bonus result for me here. After a couple of weeks of complaints of the lack of cake action coming from the kitchen, I handed Rich a pinny and told him I’d teach him how to do it himself. Turns out he’s pretty good and I might have some competition on my hands! (more…)

Food | Flapjack granola

We’re adding another granola recipe to the collection on Fish Fingers for Tea. And this one is a-mazing. Buttery, sweet with golden syrup and highly adaptable. Think flapjack in granola form and you’re there. Who wouldn’t want that for breakfast? Or if you’re like me and not really a breakfast person, then a bowl of this is good at any time.

Flapjack granola made in a Tefal Actifry | Fish Fingers for Tea

We were sent an Actifry to try out just before Christmas. Have you seen them? They are the machine that can produce the most fantastic chips with just one spoon of oil. Rich had been dropping hints about getting one for months but I kept resisting, so when the email from Tefal dropped into my inbox I knew I would be in big trouble if I said no.

I could talk to you about the chips. They are fall off your chair good, they really are. But the Actifry is a really versatile bit of kit so I wanted to show you what else it could do (you can find out more of our thoughts about the Actifry underneath the recipe). We’ve been cooking veggies in there stir fry style and a risotto will be being tested out soon. I spotted that Nova over at Cherished by Me made a batch of granola in hers, something that I hadn’t considered so I decided to give it a whirl. (more…)