Homemade Food, Recipes

15 Minute Low Fat Garlic Mushroom Pasta

Fancy having pasta for dinner but want to keep it low fat, low calorie but filling and nutritious? This is the recipe for you!! Approximately this tasty dish is 306 calories per serving and makes enough for 2!

What do I need?

1 cal olive oil spray

250g chestnut mushrooms

200g spaghetti

half a bag of baby spinach

400g chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato pesto

handful of parsley leaves

3 cloves of garlic

1 red onion

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan (optional)

What do I do?

  1. Boil a large saucepan of water and add 4 grinds of salt and 4 sprays of olive oil, add the pasta once bubbling. Follow packet instructions for timing and set your timer.

  2. Heat a small frying pan with 5 sprays of olive oil 

  3. Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms and pop in pan on a medium – high heat and cook until the mushrooms have browned.

  4. Stir in the pesto and add in the chopped tomatoes, bring the temperature down to low – medium, simmer and add herbs, salt and pepper.

  5. Empty half a bag of spinach on top of the sauce and pop the lid on, turn heat down to low until the spinach has wilted.

  6. Drain the pasta and pop back into the saucepan, pour the sauce into the pasta saucepan and tear the parsley as stirring into the pasta.

Voila you’re done, serve up, sprinkle on some parmesan if you so wish and enjoy!!


Garlic Mushroom Pasta.. YUM!


Beauty and Skincare, Make Up Review

The Truth About KIKO Milano Make Up

KIKO Milano is a seriously understated make up brand. The quality is magnificent, the cost of products are absolutely ridiculous and it is Italian and everything Italian is amazing – the food, the men, the women, the language, the culture, the country…can you tell I am a fan, and Italian?

I discovered KIKO on holiday last year in Santander, Spain in a random shopping centre! I ended up buying a concealer as when trying it in store the texture and consistency was similar if not better than the Bobbi Brown Concealer.

This well loved concealer is definitely in my top 3 favourite concealers ever.


Not only is it extremely long lasting, this has lasted me a year and just reaching the bottom – perhaps not very hygienic  and time for a new one! It is extremely high coverage in close competition with the Lasting Perfection Collection Concealer and not at all drying on the skin. This in shade 03 close to a natural, soft beige colour.

On my first online purchase I discovered their BB Cream, I literally survive on BB Cream as my skin doesn’t take well to liquid foundation when worn often. You might think this looks very similar to the body shop all in one BB cream, and it is, with the same colour adapting technology. However it is a lot more moisturizing and is suitable to oily/combination skin, I found the body shop one a bit too dewy on top of natural dew.


On the bright side, the KIKO BB Cream has SPF 15 which is always a plus in my opinion, as often in the UK if it isn’t burning sunshine which it normally isn’t I would forget to apply sunscreen. In sale it was £2, at full price £7.

The SPF 30 BB Cream is also super but it is a little more like a lightweight foundation than a BB Cream – I have to apply this with a beauty blender to achieve even coverage. However it stays all day and protects from the sun – what’s not to like?IMG_20170830_155258

I have serious oily face problems, and often sweaty face problems particularly in summer and this powder product helps prevent my face from getting that natural dewiness without going patchy and somehow this product has worked its way into my daily make up routine.

sf.jpgIt was on sale at £4, otherwise sells for a pricier £13.90 and looks like it will last me a life time. It is the Soft Focus Foundation in shade 07 – Soft Beige. Admittedly this powder is a little dark for my natural shade therefore I only apply a tiny dusting using a big fluffy powder brush. This powder keeps my face mostly matte from 7am when applied to 6pm when I leave work – this means almost 12 hours of no oily worries. It comes with a handy applicator for on the go or you can use a brush which I prefer for a less orange effect. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for when this comes back in stock.

Another powder product find is this lovely blush in 03 Sunset Pomegranate, it is so pigmented and easily blendable this has been my go to pop of colour this summer. It is also in beautiful pearlescent packaging, with a compact mirror – perfect for on the go application.

Sadly I was not as impressed with the mascara I bought, there are 100s of other mascara options which I will try; however I was not impressed with this one – it was flaky from first use and then dried out very quickly and was quite clumpy!

It is definitely unforgettable but not in a good way!IMG_20170830_155748_099

Finally I purchased 2 lip products:

  1. The Jelly Stylo: It is fantastic at moisturising, but the colour is a little inconsistent on the lips but perfect if you want to, add a colour on top and have a glossy lip. Plus it’s vanilla scented.
  2. The Urban Sheen Lip Gloss For £1 this crayon like lip product adds a pretty decent intense colour; however it isn’t lasting on its own, but can be prolonged if used with The Jelly Stylo or a lip balm.

Kiko Milano Rewards:

Not only is KIKO make up a mostly well kept secret so is their reward system.

If you download the KIKO app and show the QR code when you buy instore you can receive reward points. If you buy online, you receive points instantly and if you review products you receive even more points.

  •  800 points = £5 voucher 
  • 1500 points = £10 voucher
  • 3000 points = £30 voucher

This doesn’t sound too bad to me?

Give KIKO ago, you won’t be disappointed particularly as they update their website / stores with hundreds of new products every week.


Food, Homemade Food, recipe, Recipe Ideas

Comfort Foods: Go Go Gnocchi


This recipe is one of two recipes that is my absolute go to meal if I want to eat something delicious, easy, carby, cheesy and more interesting; as much as I love a good ole mac ‘n’ cheese, which is an excellent go to if all you have in your house is pasta, cheddar, milk and flour!

Ever since I started making “Go go gnocchi” a few months ago, I have had so many questions about how to make it and I am always the over sharing type and want to feed you up as much as I feed up my family and I.

This is an absolutely great meal to make in large quantities for dinner parties or meals for the week!! At the end of this post I also recommend some gorgeous wines that go with the dish too.

Go go Gnocchi

Gnocchi is such an understated potato/pasta and when I tell my friends that you can make a gorgeous crunchy and creamy dish out of gnocchi they are like how??? “It always ends up a soggy potato dumpling”

Equipment: 1 large pan, 1 medium sized frying pan, 1 spatula/stirring spoon, chopping board, knife and a wine glass (with wine in it).

Ingredients: Generously serves 4 people.

Obviously you can change these up based on your preferences and amount of people you are cooking for.

2 x 500g packets of gnocchi

2 x punnets of chestnut mushrooms

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

130g pancetta

Two tablespoons of olive oil

175ml of water or 175ml of white wine (and a glass for yourself)

2 handfuls of frozen peas (optional)

300ml Creme Fraiche (half fat)

75g of parmesan or cheddar for a sweeter taste.


  1. Heat up a large  non stick frying pan and when it is hot, dry fry the whole packet of pancetta (approx 7 mins).
  2. Meanwhile chop up the onion and the garlic into fine pieces and heat up the second frying pan with both tbsps of olive oil. Then add the onion into the same pan as the pancetta and give a good stir.
  3. Whilst the onion cooks in the smokey bacon flavours, prepare the mushrooms, to do this wipe the mushrooms with kitchen towel and chop into slices and when ready pop in with the onion and pancetta and leave to cook (approx 8 mins).                     *You can wash the mushrooms in water, but wiping with kitchen paper keeps the flavour.
  4. Whilst you’ve been doing step 3 your second pan should be sizzling hot – pop both packets of gnocchi into the pan and keep on a high heat, make sure to keep turning the gnocchi pieces gently to avoid burning. *If your pan isn’t big enough for 2 packets add it in batches.
  5. Once your mushrooms look browned add the garlic, after 1 minute add the 175ml of water or 175ml of wine, bring down to a medium – low heat and pop the lid on to leave the sauce to thicken (approx 10mins). In the last 2 minutes add your frozen peas.
  6. Meanwhile keep gently turning the gnocchi until light brown and start grating the parmesan into a bowl.
  7. Once  pan fried gnocchi is ready add to the mushroom and pancetta sauce, give a good stir, bring down to a low heat and add the creme fraiche and remember to keep stirring. This is the part where you can season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Finally when you are ready to serve put half the bowl of parmesan into the sauce and stir, leaving a little to sprinkle on top. Then serve!

Voila! Fini!

This seems like a complicated recipe but once you have the hang of this 2 pot gnocchi dish it is easy peasy! It is not the healthiest of meals but I find if you use minimal oil (dry fry), use half fat creme fraiche and if you add the frozen peas it adds something a little “healthy” to the meal!

Enjoy with a sprinkle of parmesan and a glass of white wine, I like it with a Viognier or a Chablis! However it does also go great with a red wine, I’d recommend Nero di Troia a delicious indulgence from Puglia.

Thank you for reading!

Happy Cooking

Love Natalie x