As a busy working mum I’m always looking for balanced, healthy tasty midweek meals to add to our meal plan each week. One of those meals is one of my favourite dishes – Spaghetti Bolognese. Dolmio gave us the challenge to cook up a crowd pleasing Bolognese as part of their #ThankGoodness campaign. Dolmio Bolognese sauce contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.

They sent us a fantastic Tesco home delivery with lots of goodies as shown below 

Here is how we got on.

Our Midweek #ThanksGoodness Challenge with Dolmio

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For those of us with a sweet tooth the best part of a meal is often when dessert is served, be it a moreish profiterole stack, sumptuous Eton mess or dark, decadent black forest gateaux. It’s also no secret that most restaurants try to entice our taste buds with a tempting tasting boards, composed of three mini puddings or offer coffee with a little something on the side.

Happiness is a piece of cake

Pexels Credit: Antonio Quagliata

Desserts have been on our radar since the Tudor times where exotically spiced cakes, packed full of sugar, fruits and raisins were presented to show off supreme wealth.

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They say a bad workman always blames his (or her) tools, but there is some truth in the matter. Talent can only carry you so far – you need the right tools for the job in order to push the boundaries into something exceptional. The kitchen is no different – you might be the best at distinguishing thyme from rosemary, and you might know your Julienne from your batons, but without the best tools, it’s tricky to elevate your cooking to the next level.

Here are five kitchen essentials that no budding chef should ever be without.

5 Kitchen Essentials for budding chefs

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If you’re single: fear not. Even though you might not have a man in your life, there’s still plenty of room for delicious food. Invite your bestie over and pig out on something delicious. There’s so much to choose from.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate brownies - ideas for a proper pig out

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Chocolate brownies are one of the most decadent and delicious foods on the planet. And thanks to a bunch of enterprising vegans, they can now be among the healthiest. It turns out that you don’t have to make brownies with the usual combination of sugar, white flour and egg. Instead, you can use black beans (yes, you read that right), wholemeal oats and maple syrup and create the same effect. Beans, it turns out, are the new flour, and they’re a lot healthier too. In fact, beans have been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes following a meal, helping to protect your pancreas. It’s all good news for those of us who like a bit of custard with our dessert.

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As a busy mum who works full-time I have been reading up on how to quickly bake up cakes. I honestly didn’t know you can utilise your microwave to cook up many different things. I’ve only ever used mine for warming up beans or the odd microwave meal. I love the idea of a microwave chocolate cake!

I made a gluten free chocolate cake a while back for a birthday but that was in a normal oven.

But after looking at recipes on Pinterest many people do use the microwave for baking cakes. So I decided to give it a whirl!

I chose to start with a full size cake, duh! Not a mug cake, which I want to try next time.

Chocolate cake is a huge favourite in our house so that was the one to start with. I have listed the ingredients and method so you can try it at home as well if you wish.

Microwave Chocolate Cake

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