Tuna Chilli Pasta

Monday 27 March 2017

This is another one of our quickie staple meals. You don't need many ingredients and you don't need much time. About the same time as it takes to boil a pot of pasta which is no bad thing. I first came across the recipe probably ten years ago in a little booklet of Italian recipes and it looked easy. It was. I now do it off by heart but it goes roughly like this.


Feeds roughly 4

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 jar of Albacore Tuna Fillets
  • Capers (optional)
  • Pack of green beans
  • 400g Penne Pasta (100g per person approx)
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)

  • Put a pan of water on to boil.
  • Pop penne pasta in to boiling water.
  • Whilst pasta is cooking, top and tail the green beans and cut in half lengths.
  • Pour the contents of the Albacore tuna jar in to a bowl including all the oil.
  • Grate the rind of the lemon in with the tuna. Squeeze in a little juice for extra citrus kick.
  • Add a couple of teaspoons of capers (or exclude if you don't like but they do add a little something).
  • Mix the contents of the bowl together.
  • When pasta is five minutes from being done, pop the green beans in with the pasta to cook.
  • When pasta and beans are cooked, drain and pop back in the pan.
  • Stir the tuna mix in to the pan of pasta and beans.
  • Mix and season as required.
  • Add chilli flakes according to taste or exclude if you prefer.

Serve with garlic bread and a little grated parmesan if you like. Enjoy!


Last Note :

  • Albacore Tuna is nothing like your regular tinned tuna in oil. The texture, colour and taste is totally different - totally worth getting for this meal. (available in Sainsburys and Tescos).
  • I have one boy who doesn't like capers or chilli flakes but these are ingredients which are easy to include or exclude as they can be added individually at the end if preferred.
  • Penne pasta is good for this dish - the green beans find their way in some of the pasta tubes - so they can be either a lovely or horrid surprise for unsuspecting kids.
  • I made the boys have an early dinner just so I could take pics of the dish in natural daylight.

Friday Five : 24 Mar 2017

Friday 24 March 2017

Crikey, another week gone and I've been quiet and not at all bloggy again. These wayward habits creep in so easily. But here goes ....

Friday Five (1 of 5) Currently Crushing On (1)

I like a nice hard wearing leather bag in the winter but I like a nice slightly slouchy soft fabric bag in the summer. I've finally decided to part ways with my old tatty bag circa 2007. There's going to be a bag shaped hole in my wardrobe and this one would soften the blow nicely though my bank manager would hate me.

Friday Five (2 of 5) Currently Crushing On (2)

Pink Vans. Pale pink suede Vans. Come to mama! I tried these on instore as I wasn't really too familiar with the fit of Vans and I have to say, they were okay. I thought they would be rather clumpy but no they were fine. I didn't buy them the day I tried them on but I've now got them buzzing around in my head. And there is a bit more sun these days and I'm wondering if these might finally knock this pink trainer thing on the head for me.

Friday Five (3 of 5) Sunshine.

(I fancy a new laundry bin)

I've been able to put the washing out on the line this week and then the hook came out of the fence and my washing tumbled to the floor. That aside, it's a sign of spring when the washing is back outside don't you think? Anyway, I have a friend who won't put his laundry outside as he says it looks common? I'm afraid I'm common. 

Friday Five (4 of 5) Stranger Things

Gap Cashmere Jumper (old)
Uniqlo Jeans
H&M Bag (instore but rose gold version here)
Yellow Bag (Ikea)

I must be one of the few people who can leave Ikea without spending a fortune. I bought a pack of six plain water glasses and a Peace Lily. 

Friday Five (5 of 5) Big Boned

Does my bum look big from this angle?

Basil's got a bit of a paunch. I took it him to the vets this week for his booster and whilst there he had a little health check. I asked the vet if he was overweight as the hubs keeps saying he's fat and the vet said he was at the top end of where he should be and he had a little tummy but nothing significant. I always knew he was big boned and besides there's more to cuddle when he lets me.

Seventies Girl

Sunday 19 March 2017

Genevieve Devine for Sainsburys (source)

Me, I'm a seventies girl. I was born in the seventies, I like the music and fashion from the seventies and I much prefer it to to all that followed in the eighties and nineties. So I'm whooping the whoop seeing this collection from Genevieve Devine (Graduate Fashion Week's award winner) who has produced a lovely 9 piece collection for Sainbursy which launches tomorrow. And yes I did say Sainsburys. Supermarket fashion has suddenly rocketed in my books. I spotted one of the lovely blouses in Grazia a few weeks back and immediately started googling to see what I could find out about the collection and was delighted to find the following.

Few pieces from the collection.

Guess where I'm off to tomorrow?

Friday Five : 17 Mar 2017

Friday 17 March 2017

It's still Friday with a couple of hours to go so I've made it in time for my Friday Five! Can I just say - hasn't the weather at the beginning of the week been lush? 

Friday Five (1 of 5) Plant Life

I had a little pootle through Matalan the other day to have a nosey for a few things I'd seen on line. I didn't find any of the things that I wanted but I did find that cute little hanging plant in a macrame holder up there for five squid. You can't say fairer than that and there's no guilt involved because I can't kill it. I could drop it though which I admit to having done as the little bowl can slip out of the holder if you're not careful. Other good faux plants which I spotted on my travels include these two from Sainsburys which are available in store. Both under £6 too!

Available instore at Sainsburys.

Friday Five (2 of 5) Mules

ASOS Lucky Bow Mules, La Redoute Tee, New Look Jeans (old)

Well I looked at all the options out there - floral, metallic, suede, pointy and non pointy and returned a couple of pairs that I ordered but eventually settled on these stripy ones. Comfy from the word off or as comfy as it gets when you do a circuit around the house for two minutes, I think that's my nod to the mule trend covered without breaking the bank. They go nicely with all the blues from my wardrobe which seem to surface when it gets warmer. 

Friday Five (3 of 5) Knowing Yourself

H&M Shirt (old)
New Look Stripe Jeans (old but similar here)

So I took the above picture earlier this week. That pic is probably most representative of my style. Kind of casual, kind of unkempt and kind of easy. I like a shirt and I like my jeans a little distressed and I like a pair of trainers. They are clothes which I never tire of. So in view of that, I made the decision this week to return the little Tu bardot top which I bought a couple of weeks ago as I knew it would never get worn because it would require me to faff with it when it pinged off my shoulders for the umpteenth time. That was a good feeling recognising what didn't work for me. The other top which I have to admit to not getting fully on board with is the white New Look broderie anglaise one seen in the last Friday Five. I fiddled with the high neck throughout the day and I felt too conspicuous with it being white. So that will have to go from the wardrobe. You live and learn. I'm keeping the black one though - that one I can handle somehow - it felt more me. Go figure!

Friday Five (4 of 5) When Leather isn't Leather.

I had a love in with Cos this week when I nipped in to the Leeds store. I could have bought all sorts and in amongst those all sorts was this lovely grained leather bag. I played with it a few times before I finally put it down. And then as I was hanging out in the H&M bag section, a little bag caught my eye which was not dissimilar to the Cos one. A fraction smaller but I thought it was pretty good and the faux leather was spot on. Don't believe me? The Toast bag with the brown leather strap is real leather. The H&M one isn't. Not bad eh? I love it when I do a spot like that! 

Toast Bag with the tan strap (old)
H&M Bag with the black strap (in store)

Friday Five (5 of 5) Pears

Aldi pears (39p each at time of publication) available instore

Aldi do really good loose pears. Not everything is good but the pears are good. Just thought you might like to know.

Friday Five : 10 Mar 17

Friday 10 March 2017

The weather is finally picking up. We've had ooh at least two and a bit days of sunshine this week and the world feels so much better. Agreed? Anyway, here's my Friday Five.

Friday Five (1 of 5) Birkalikes
Surprise success sandals of the last couple of years has been my white Birkenstock Arizonas. And having looked around at all manner of sandals coming in over the last few weeks, I found myself coming back to these Topshop Falcon sandals time and time again. I took delivery of them, tried them on, did the once around the room circuit, had a peek in the mirror to see they didn't look horrid on my feet and legs and popped them back in the box. That means they're good. If I dilly dally with something, then that means I'm not sure but these I just knew they were great from the off - no doubts. They have enough cushioning underfoot and if there is one thing I do know from experience, I hate it when I can feel the ground slapping a little too hard on my heels through paper thin soles. Oh yes, and  they go with so much, Didn't you know "tiger is a neutral? I didn't till I took delivery of these. #leopardisover

Friday Five (2 of 5) Round Bag

Last week I told you how I'd got the hots for Catherine's round straw bag. This week, I've spotted this one and I'm wondering if I can work a little magic on it to give it a bit of ooh la la. And there's a 30% discount till midnight on this bag so now's the time to hit the button and take a delivery. #buynoworcrylater

Friday Five (3 of 5) Slogans

You go and do your own slogan jumper and then realise you could have saved yourself time, needle and thread and an embroidery hoop by asking Lisa to do one for you. I spotted these slogan sweats on the IG feed of one of the ladies (Hi Gillian) I follow and went to have a gander to see who was making these sweatshirts. Basically, Lisa can hand embroider the slogan of your choice on a sweatshirt for you. She's just getting her business off the ground so there is no website as yet but if you want one, just send her a direct message via IG. #whenyoubuyfromasmallbusinessanactualpersondoesalittlehappydance

Friday Five (4 of 5) Khaki

Primark Khaki Skirt (in store)
Topshop Falcon Sandals

I bought a khaki pleated skirt this week after seeing Bean in hers. She's one cool little mother pukka and I love her Sunday Seven feature on her blog - it's a bit like this Friday Five but she does a coverage of seven cool covetable items each week. 

Everything Topshop bar the Veja's. 
(Pics from Bean)

I was originally looking at the grey version but promptly swerved to the khaki after seeing Bean's skirt. I rather like it. I have decided that I will be wearing more skirts and dresses this summer. You heard it here but don't hold me to it. #khakimallarkey

Friday Five (5 of 5) Late

Me with four of the late books.

I got a text to say that some library books were overdue today which resulted in a hunt around the house for seven books. Texts like that make me feel really guilty. A bit like when you get a text to say you are in arrears by £2.10 for your boy's lunch account. Anyway, I owed them 15p at the library for the late books. #pfffft

Anything rocking you in your world this week?

A Stitch In Time

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Just recently I got a little fixated on the Lingua Franca jumpers. What jumpers? These jumpers!

Available here.

You know how I love a slogan jumper. But but but .... they're not cheap! I know they're cashmere and I know some of the proceeds go to charity but they are still a little pricey for little old me. I did a little dig around and got a bit of the story behind the label and Rachel Hruska MacPherson ...  the lady who designed them.

Rachel and her jumpers (source)

In a nutshell, Rachel embroidered a jumper for herself with the word "booyah" on it and posted it on IG and started getting requests for the embroidered jumpers from friends. The initial slogans were based on hip hop lyrics but you can now commission personalised ones. I also love the fact that when she started, she sourced all kinds of cashmere jumpers and whilst going/stalking through her IG feed, it was quite interesting to see that Uniqlo, J Crew and Pringle jumpers can be seen on the labels. Basically any that she came across were all used. 

Anyway, you know how they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well I made my own version. With my own very apt slogan. It did take days of mulling over song titles and lyrics and captions and eventually I came up with .... "little but fierce". Ask my boys. When they won't knuckle down to their homework, I turn in to #tigermom  Normally I'm all sweetness and light but push enough buttons and then I'm "harsh" as my boys' friends like to say. I also didn't want to overstretch myself as this was my first embroidery attempt so three words was more than enough.

What did I need?

  • Suitable plain jumper
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery thread in colour of choice
  • Embroidery needle
  • Regular cotton thread and needle for marking out design on the jumper

What did I do?

Well, I basically tested out a few slogans on paper to see how the size of the wording and spacing would look. Then I used an embroidery hoop to hold the jumper firm and marked my design using  some cotton thread in a running stitch. I found it easier to do a running stitch outline rather than using chalk or a fabric pencil which didn't mark the wool well enough for me to follow the outline. And then I googled to see which was the best stitch to use. I started off trying out chain stitch but then changed to outline stitch which is a little finer and easier to work with for outlining words. And set to.

One thing I did learn along the way was to keep the lettering neat by not double stitching over an existing line and took the thread round the back and then picked it back up at the front where you expect it to continue. 

See how I pick up the stitching at the bottom of the b to link it to the u?
No double stitching allowed!!!

If that sounds all very easy, well it took me about five attempts and a lot of unpicking until I had something I was happy with. But now I know what I'm doing, I reckon you can do one of these in just over an hour if you don't make any mistakes and it's not a very very long slogan!

What do you think? I think I did alright! #blowingmyowntrumpet

Woolovers Jumper, Primark Jeans, Swedish Hasbeens for H&M.


Last Note :
  • My grey jumper is from Woolovers. I spotted them doing a sale on their site and some of their cashmere and merino jumpers were down to £20 which is when I bought mine. Last I looked, they were reduced to £10 but odd colours and odd sizes. But if you find something you like, well you can't lose for £10!
  • I recommend using an embroidery hoop to hold the jumper taut as you embroider. Don't pull too hard either as you don't want any puckering.

Friday Five : 03 Mar 2017

Friday 3 March 2017

I've been a bit quiet this week. First week back after school half term and it's taking me a little while to get my blogging mojo back. But here we are :

Friday Five (1 of 5) Espadrilles

Primark Espadrilles (instore)

Some things just don't change. I love espadrilles and usually buy a pair each year. This year, I went all magpie and bought these rose gold sequin ones from Primark. When you rub the sequins the wrong way, they show the silver side so you can wear them kind of matt or funked up. They also do a silver version which I might just have to go back for! 

Friday Five (2 of 5) Jam and Cream Scones

It's got to be clotted cream. Right.

I'm rather partial to a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam and last week I may have sampled the odd one or two whilst out and about. This week, I'm still on a scone cream and jam bender but it's courtesy of M&S. As I may have mentioned before, this is why I will never be a Victoria's Secret's underwear model.

M&S Delights

Friday Five (3 of 5) Supermarket Sweep

I actually quite like going to the supermarket especially if it's one of the bigger stores which has clothes. When I lived on my own, I used to go to the Asda near where I lived and instead of heading towards the food section, I always took a left to the magazines and the George clothing section. I sometimes forgot the food but I quite often came out with something non edible but wearable. Old habits die hard and I bought some more non-edibles but wearables this week from Sainsburys. First up ....

This is the prettiest little bardot top ever. I didn't have the highest hopes when I saw it given my success rating with these kind of off the shoulder tops but it was too pretty not to try on. The elastic isn't too tight across the top and it's not too pingy up off the shoulders. I'm itching for warm summer days as this is going to be perfect with my old denim mini. Normally I go for the plainer the better in these styles but look how "1970's Flake girl sitting in a poppy field painting a watercolour canvas" pretty this is! 

And next up .....

Look at that ruffle! This wouldn't look out of place in Zara or Mango. Anyway I'm on it like a car bonnet with all this ruffles stuff now. First the Topshop gingham ruffle skirt and now this cute little top which is actually super comfy and quite flattering considering it's front ruffledge around the boob area. It's longish in the body so I will either wear it tucked in or if I can be bothered to drag the sewing machine out, I'll lop a few inches off it and shorten it.

Friday Five (4 of 5) Obsessing

My current obsession is round bags. Not just any round bag but that bag up there. I want a round wicker basket and I want an outer cover like that on it. I'm not overly fussed on designer bags, I like what I like and currently, I like that bag up there. So I'm now trying to find the right round basket and then work out how to create a cover on it - hers is leather. Catherine works with leather. I don't. What am I going to do?

Friday Five (5 of 5) Birthday Girl

Ben chose that for my sis! Good lad.

It was my sister's birthday last week. There are 13 years and a week between us. Ben chose that card for her but I guess it applies to me as well. So that makes it my birthday today so I'm not cooking and cleaning or doing the usual. You don't have to do anything special for me or take me anywhere in particular - all I ask is that I don't have to cook and clean and I get a day pass to spend in the shops guilt free. And I get to buy my own present. That's it! 😆

Have a nice weekend all!

Susie So So