Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

This is my go-to dinner party recipe. I had a few friends (who happen to also be neighbours) round for dinner this weekend, and this was what I made. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, phew! I doubled up on the quantities and it worked well; I had leftovers for the freezer too!

Chicken curry with star anise, lemongrass and coriander.

Serves 4


1 tablespoon oil

2 onions, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons of garlic paste (e.g. Schwartz Easy Garlic tube)

1 teaspoon of Bart Lemongrass

3-4 teaspoons of ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilli

1/2 teaspoon dried cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon medium curry powder

1 star anise

1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

1 tin of half fat coconut milk (400 mL)

Couple of squirts of lime juice from a bottle

500g skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes

Fresh coriander (1/2 a 20g pack)

6 spring onions

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

Salt and pepper to season


[Image source]


Heat some oil in a wok.

Fry the chopped onion, garlic paste, lemongrass paste and the ginger paste over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Turn down the heat, add the crushed chilli, cinnamon, ground coriander, curry powder, star anise and the fresh chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spices are toasted and aromatic.

Pour in the coconut milk. Simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken and brown it in the oil in small batches. Don’t cook it all the way through.

When the curry liquid has reduced a little, add the chicken and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.

Add the coriander, spring onions, lime juice and fish sauce and incorporate into the sauce.

Serve with rice or noodles.

If I happen to have mange tout, sugar snap peas, baby corn or whatever, then I’ll chop these up and add to the curry also.



Hard Rock Cafe – Breakfast with Bunny

We were kindly invited to Hard Rock Cafe this Easter for Breakfast with the Bunny.

The event started at 9am on the Saturday, so our morning was a little rushed trying to get everyone ready and out the door for just after 8…it was worth it though.

It was a great start to our weekend. We had guests staying with us… my sister, Robin & his kids… and it was fantastic being able to rock up (!!) to a cooked & continental buffet that was ready & waiting! There was a wide selection from sausages, black pudding and hash browns to pancakes, bacon and maple syrup to fruit kebabs, yoghurt and muffins plus plenty of tea, coffee and juice.

The kids had 30 minutes to eat before the party started, which was plenty of time for them. The host started with balloon models and the kids had great fun with their swords. This then allowed the grown ups to have a more leisurely breakfast whilst the little ones were occupied.

The disco lights were flashing, music pumping (just as well I wasn’t hungover!) and then the games began…musical statues, pass the parcel with dares (my son had to hop round the room like a bunny shouting carrots over & over!), dance-off and an Easter egg hunt.

We were of course joined by special guest, the Easter Bunny too. The event lasted for 2 hours in total.

Overall, the morning was very well organised and I will most certainly go back (there are similar events at Halloween and Christmas). I think it was great value for money (£12.95 for an adult ticket, £9.95 for kids and under 2’s are free) and most importantly the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Huge thumbs up from us!

How tall are you?

Dating is much harder now than when I was in my twenties. With more life experience under my belt, I have a much better idea of what I want from a partner. In my younger days, my wish list was probably a bit superficial; I wanted a boyfriend that I found physically attractive (I had a thing for red heads) and I wanted to be with someone who could make me laugh. I wasn’t really considering their hobbies, beliefs or aspirations and if they were aligned with my own.

Now I have a lot more to think about, because my future partner will need to be a positive role model for my children in addition to all the other stuff.

A few of my friends have said that I need to lower my standards, whereas others have said not to settle and to continue to hold out for a man who meets all the requirements on my ‘check list’. I went on a date with a guy that was smaller than me, in my attempt to be less choosy. He was lovely, but just not for me. Now I know that I definitely need to be with a man that is at least the same height as me. So that’s already one item that I’m not willing to compromise on and reduces the pool of eligible men considerably.

Did you know the average height of a man in Scotland is 5’9″?

I’m 5’11”!

I’ve heard that I’m not the only girl that is interested in height and it seems to be a common question that women ask on online dating apps. That’s one of the things I did like about is that you can filter by location, age, height, smoking status, relationship status (never married, separated, divorced, widowed). Whereas Tinder is filtered purely by location, age and a photo!

If you’re interested, I’ve been on two dates now with a gent (who is the same height as me!)… all is promising thus far. Date three is in the diary!! Watch this space…


The Magic of Disney on Ice

The brand new ice spectacular Disney On Ice presents Silver Anniversary Celebration coming to the SSE Hydro Glasgow in April.

Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they commemorate 25 years of Disney On Ice across Europe in an action-packed ice adventure that travels to four magical destinations… I cannot wait to see all the characters from Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Frozen! The kids and I have been a couple of times to see Disney on Ice at the SSE Hydro, and it has been absolutely fantastic. Seeing the excitement on their little faces is just so lovely.

“The arena will be filled with music and magic in every scene as you discover four unique landscapes filled with boisterous pirates, Caribbean beats and loving moments. Audiences will explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom; and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to join Tinker Bell and the lost boys.  If that wasn’t enough, you’ll then travel to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with royal sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favourite huggable snowman, Olaf.”

The show will be starting it’s tour on 16th March in Liverpool and then visiting Birmingham, Wembley, Cardiff, Glasgow (28th April to 1st May), Leeds and ending in Nottingham in May. Tickets are available online here.

The Dating Game

I’m not programmed to be single. I like being in a relationship, and since breaking up with Rick in October last year I’ve become a bit lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my own company but I would like someone to share my free time with. The kids go off with their dad for 5 nights on the trot every other week. I fill that time with work, gym, meeting friends, spending time with family and generally keeping busy, but I find that in the evenings once it’s just me again I wish I had someone to snuggle up with rather than my cats (Rhubarb is just too scratchy!).

I’m new to Internet dating, and to be honest I don’t particularly like it very much. But how else is a busy, working mum like me supposed to meet someone? The amount of men with ridiculous profile pictures is unreal. Surely they know that they should be putting their best photo first, and not a ridiculous grin, a picture of half their face, their naked torso or a photo of their dog. I also immediately discount photos of men with their fingers up swearing at the camera or downing a pint of beer. Thankfully I’ve not experienced any horror stories and the few men that I have met, have looked like their profile pictures and have been decent enough guys. Just not the right guy for me. 

I’ll keep you posted with how I get on!

Review – Star Wars Itty Bittys

My son was delighted to review the new Star Wars Itty Bittys which launched at Hallmark in February this year.

His immediate reaction on opening the parcel was, “they’re awesome”.

We then proceeded to photograph them all, and he plans on recording a video too with all of them!

I hadn’t heard of Itty Bittys, but they are huge in the US and Australia (according to Google!).

The plush toys are super cute, and seem to be very well made. I like the fact that they can stand up as well thanks to the beans in their bottom! They look fab all standing in a line on my son’s bedroom shelf.

They are also the perfect size for taking out on adventures, as my son proved by stuffing one in each of his pockets. His favourites he has decided are C-3P0 and R2-D2.

They retail at £6 each, which I think is good value for such a fab collectible. There are tonnes of other well known characters as well as Star Wars. Batman is the most popular in America.

Tea Revives You

I’ve got a poster in dining room, in bold red letters, that states “Tea Revives You” and I do believe that this is true (to a certain extent anyway!).

The other weekend I was invited along to an afternoon tea party with a local charity Contact the Elderly group; the coffee, cake and chat certainly had a positive effect on all of those that participated that day.

Contact the Elderly, which supports people living alone aged 75 years and over, currently have 50 people in the Glasgow area hoping to join their monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties. To enable these people to attend parties, the charity needs to set up 10 new groups in the city, which requires around 70 volunteer hosts, 35 volunteer drivers and a pool of reserve drivers, as well as a volunteer from each group to the the co-ordinator.

I visited volunteer host Kathryn’s house for the party, where she had prepared a range of savoury and sweet treats for the guests (my favourites were the chicken satay and the apple cake with maple icing). Kathryn explained to me that as a volunteer host, the group will attend her house twice each year; a commitment that Kathryn is able to fulfil easily. The properties are checked in advance, taking into account the number of stairs, access to bathroom facilities etc. Kathryn has a few stairs, so if you are considering volunteering don’t rule yourself out straight away if you think there might be access issues. The guests, with help, managed to get up these ones and the cake was definitely worth it!

The volunteer drivers, of which there were 4 at this party to transport the 5 guests, make a commitment of attending all the parties, one each month with the group.

The elderly guests benefit from the company and chat during the parties, and as it’s the same people at each party they soon become friends. I know from experience with my gran, that once you get to a certain age, life can be lonely. My gran is now 93 years old and sadly a lot of her friends have passed away.

However, it’s not just the older guests that benefit from the parties. One of the drivers volunteered with the charity to make friends herself after having recently moved to Glasgow.

Kathryn and her husband had put together a quiz for the guests which was good fun (although I was terrible at it!!). It’s up to the host if they provide any entertainment. Kathryn’s little children were certainly entertaining too and very cute! Her son made up his own Star Wars quiz for us which had us all chuckling!

After helping clear up a little and assisting the guests back to the cars, I drove away myself feeling warm & fuzzy. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon and for charity too 🙂

If you fancy becoming a volunteer (perhaps my friends at Glasgow Baking Club might be interesting in hosting?!) then you can find out more details here.