Mango Swirl Pavlova

Over the years I have written many recipes.  Some of these recipes have been featured on my blog, others in magazines and on other blogs and for the first time I have a recipe being featured in an e- cookbook.  How exciting!!!!!!  Various bloggers were approached and asked to write a budget recipe and I decided to rise to the challenge with my Mango Swirl Pavlova.  This is not only super simple to make but also tastes great and costs just 27p per serving!

The pavlova is large enough for 6 portions, unless you are my friend Jane and then probably enough for 3 or less.  She does love my pavlova and was kind enough to help me with the tasting and has helped with tastings of numerous others over the years.  Why does she love my pavlova?  Take a look below:

This has the most gorgeous light fluffy centre with a perfectly crisp shell.  I normally love to combine my pavlovas with vanilla cream and fresh cut strawberries but I thought I’d be adventurous and had wanted to try and be a bit different.  With my Mango Swirl Pavlova I actual swirled in some freshly made mango coulis into the pavlova base prior to baking so it’s actually cooked into the pavlova.  After this I added my toppings as seen in the picture above and voila you have an amazing dessert that is inexpensive and delicious!

Fancy trying to make it yourself?  Pop over and check out my budget pavlova recipe as well as some other great budget recipes here:

https://www.voucherbox.co.uk/blog/free-cookbook-low-cost-recipes/

Enjoy!

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to be the first to have all my recipes, reviews, competitions etc. delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Top 5 Low Cost Ideas to Have Fun This January

January is not the most fun month of the year.  The weather is gloomy and it can be very cold.  The bank balance is looking rather depleted after Christmas and the January sales really haven’t done much to help this.  But think of it another way, you are going out far less so saving that money you hadn’t been paid yet and may have otherwise spent.  This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on fun activities that maybe you didn’t have the chance to before.

Here are my top 5 low budget ideas to have fun this January without having a drastic effect on your bank balance.

Go out for Dinner using Restaurant Vouchers

We all love going out for dinner, I know I do but it can be a costly pastime.  Going through websites that provide discount vouchers such as Buyagift or My Voucher Codes can give a reasonable saving plus you may discover some wonderful new restaurants that you might not have otherwise.  For example Buyagift has a 2 for 1 on a 3 course meal at The Hilton on Park Lane costing only £49.  Naturally I couldn’t resist and had to look at the menu – it’s what I do lol I AM food obsessed!  The menu is varied and I must say looks good enough to entice me out on a freezing cold winters day / night.

Fun1

The rest of my suggestions will be based from home making them equally as fun but also a little lighter on the pocket.

Dinner with Friends

This can be pretty pricey if one person foots the bill and that is not what we are looking for.  Each guest will bring a dish (prearranged so you don’t all bring a main and miss out on dessert as that would be a disaster).  Don’t forget to ask them all to bring a bottle of something alcoholic or not.  Avoid pot luck as I’ve been invited to these before and once you have tried the 3rd persons offering of a potato salad you can get pretty fed up and it’s not so much fun.  Everyone tends to have a speciality dish which they can whip up fast or at least easily and tastes great.  Another option that leads on from this is a theme night.  These can be petty fun (don’t forget you also have the option of fancy dress too here for those so inclined) and you can try some delicious dishes without is costing a fortune.  For those that lack confidence in the kitchen you have two options either buy a dish or simply arrange a few evenings with friends where they can teach you how to make various dishes as in my last suggestion.  Not only is it great fun it also increases your cooking range and makes meals far more exciting as you can improvise with ingredient the next time you make the dish to create other dishes.

spiraliser3

My Courgetti, Tomato, Chorizo and Olive recipe is easy to make, low calorie and very tasty.

Movie Night at Home

Movie night can be great fun and pretty inexpensive too.  I love to snuggle with my daughters and little boy on the sofa and watch cartoons or animated movies whilst nibbling on homemade popcorn and a share bag of chocolate.  Alternatively, once the kids are in bed it’s always nice to snuggle up to my husband and watch a movie.  If we are feeling social then I tend to grab the phone and invite a few friends over.  We love to sit around the tv watching movies and munching on snacks and drinking wine or hot chocolate or one of my homemade cocktails (I have enough alcohol to stock a bar it’s great! – surprisingly I don’t drink very often).  Again the expense is minimal if all contribute and this can often be a fun night in catching up and enjoying a great film.  I am hoping to have some friends over soon for one of these nights in – for my friends reading this, whatssap message coming to your phone soon!  PS. I have a new dessert you simply must try!!!!!!!!!!!

PPS.  Can you let me know which of these you want to watch???

Fun2

For any of my readers that might like to watch any of the above movies they are very well priced on Amazon.  I found The Hobbit for £4.49 on there, bargain!

Games Night at Home

This has got to be one of my favourite things to do along with watching movies with anyone that will watch them with me and dining in or out with friends and family.  Whether I am playing board games with the children or with our fabulous Marble Run (I love this it’s fabulous!!!!!) which is perfect for children and those like me that are very young at heart.

You have to see this in action it’s so much fun!

Want an adults night games night instead.  Not a problem again you can grab your board games and interactive games and have a great time.  My friends have various versions of Scene It and one recently bought a Disney one.  I can’t wait for her to bring it so we all have a play I think my chances are pretty good if the questions are about the movies and nothing too complicated!  That is definitely something that will make a fun evening in.  There are other versions of Scene It including a Harry Potter one, Friends, Music, Movies and others.

Baking / Cooking with Friends

As I mentioned we all have dishes we are fabulous at making and that our friends would love to learn to make too.  An evening in teaching each other how to make them would be something that I would really enjoy and would be beneficial to all.  I have been promising one of my friends that I would help her learn to make my pavlovas.  I will agree they are brilliant and that’s not me tooting my own horn – you simply must try one to fully appreciate how good they are.  These are a favourite amongst my family and I am always asked to bring one to family get-togethers.  Why not take a look at my Black Forest Fruits Eaton Mess, or my Eaton Mess with Pimms recipes to get a simple and delicious pavlova recipe.  Eaton Mess basically includes a broken up pavlova with some kind of fruit and cream added and is a lovely recipe.

    It is of course easier to see them being made than to follow instructions which are not always clear.  Having taught people / trained staff in the past I learnt that that the best way to learn is to do it yourself so having friends over or going to them and talking them through a recipe can be the best way to teach them how to make it plus it’s fun.  The best part is that they might let you try it after too, yum!!!!!!
 
What do you think of my low budget ways to enjoy January 2017?
Do you have any suggestions that you might add?

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to be the first to have all my recipes, reviews, competitions etc. delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MelaniesFabFinds&loc=en_US

Black Forest Fruits Eaton Mess

It’s the time of year when we are making or buying loads of foods and desserts to enjoy with friends and family.  I like homemade desserts rather than shop bought they taste so much better in most instances.  The stores are full of ready made desserts and in many instances you buy them super excited as they look amazing and then when you try them you are disappointing as they are not as great as you had expected.  Unfortunately, I am a victim of my own success in a way as I enjoy eating the desserts that I make as 99% of the time they taste great even if they don’t look perfect in my eyes.

For Christmas day I wanted to make something different so I made a Black Forest Fruits Eaton Mess which is was not only simple to make it also tasted delicious.  This Eaton Mess was combined with frozen fruits that you can easily find in supermarkets and are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C (helps fight colds and free radicals).

pavlova1

The pavlova base is best made the night before.

Serves approximately 8-10 depending on serving size.

Ingredients

For the pavlova base

5 egg whites

250g caster sugar

1tsp white wine vinegar

2 level tsp corn flour

For the cream

approximately 250ml double cream

1tsp vanilla essence

For the black forest fruits topping

500g frozen black forest fruits

3 tbs of sugar, you can add this gradually to get the sweetness you like (add more if required)

Method

Pavlova base

Place the egg whites, corn flour, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and whisk until it forms thick stiff peaks and doesn’t move much when you tip the bowl.

Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and make a round with the mixture about 8 inches in diameter.

Place this in the oven for 1 hour at 140 degrees then turn the oven off and leave over night to cool.

The cream

Combine the cream and the vanilla and whisk until thick taking care not to over whisk this.

For the black forest topping

Throw the contents of the black forest fruits container into a pan and gently heat.  Add in 1 spoon of sugar at a time and gently stir in.  Try not to mix this too much as the fruit breaks down.  Add more sugar if you require.  Allow this to warm through so it isn’t frozen then cool before putting the dessert together.

To assemble grab a serving bowl.  Break up some of the pavlova and cover the base of the bowl.  Pour a little cream and then the fruits of the forest over this then repeat a further 2 times so you have 3 layers.

pavlova2

If you like you can add on some chocolate shavings (whichever chocolate you prefer) as this looks pretty and also tastes great.

Enjoy!