Maquarkaroni Cheese

Maquarkaroni Cheese – Cooking with Quark again

After my first successful experience of cooking with quark, I thought I’d try a different recipe…


I got the basics from The Lake District Dairy Co and made the ingredients fit my requirements…

For instance their recipe uses 500g of quark, I had a 250g tub which, as it was, made enough for 2 meals so I adjusted the other quantities. I may make a bigger one and see how it freezes, I don’t mind having the same meal 2 nights in a row, but, 4 might be pushing it!

I used:

100g of Tesco Free From Penne Pasta
150ml of A2 milk
A tablespoon of cornflour
250g of quark
100g of Lactofree mature cheddar (for the sauce) + 30g for the topping
100g of cherry tomatoes

I didn’t have any mustard and I’m not a fan of pepper so I used garlic granules and celery salt to season.

Free From Pasta

Maquarkaroni Cheese ingredients

I boiled the pasta as per instructions and then made the cheese sauce. Bearing in mind you can count the times I’ve made cheese sauce from scratch on one finger*, I was expecting lumps and gloop, but, it actually turned out really well!

*not even joking.

Put everything into a glass ovenproof dish then halved the tomatoes and scattered the remaining cheese on top ready to go under the grill.

My grill is bit on the pathetic side, power wise, and the Lactofree cheese doesn’t go as brown and bubbly as proper cheese so my finished version was still a bit pale, yours won’t be :) Maquarkaroni Cheese

 I wish I’d known about the low-fat non-tummy-irritant properties of quark before…next step…puddings! :) 

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One Photo No Words 19 October 2014

lisas-life one photo no words 19 October 2014

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lisas-life chocolate & banana muffins

Chocolate and Banana Muffins

In case you hadn’t noticed it’s National Chocolate Week so I scoured the internet for a new yummy recipe. Originally this was going to be involving almonds but then I spotted the fast-ripening bananas in my fruit bowl, so I present:

lisas-life chocolate & banana muffins

Before I start, many thanks to Nigella for another fault free starting recipe!

My ingredients aren’t so very different as this is dairy free to begin with, yay :)

lisas-life choc banana muffins 1

For 12 muffins I used:

3 very ripe bananas
125ml rice bran oil
2 large eggs
100g soft light brown sugar
225g Doves Farm gluten free plain white flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Once the ingredients are all mixed together, these muffins only take 20 minutes to bake at 200° meaning that you can prepare them after breakfast and have the first one with elevenses!

Lovely :)

lisas-life choc banana muffins 2

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Word Of The Week: Chocolate

What word would I choose to describe the week? Well…

On Monday I shared my new Chocolate Pinterest Board

On Tuesday I compared chocolate flavoured teas

On Wednesday I made a slideshow of Chocolate Labrador photos…

On Thursday I wrote some chocolate themed poetry

No choice really this week! :) 

lisas-life chocolate for WOTW

The Reading Residence

Sara’s prompt from Mum Turned Mom this week was ‘Joy.’ Fits pretty well I think! :)

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Chocolate Prose For Thought

Continuing my current theme for National Chocolate Week I had a little dabble with a new style of poetry called a Lanturne, so named because the words take the form of a lantern…


I also tried an acrostic: chocolate acrostic

Last, but not least, a little haiku…

lisas-life national chocolate week haiku

Prose for Thought
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Woof Wednesday: Walking In The Dark

I mentioned briefly last Woof Wednesday about a charity walk Stella & I did to raise awareness about walking your dog safely in the evenings now that the days are shorter.

That walk was actually 3 years ago which means we’re fast approaching the end of British Summer Time again so it won’t hurt to share some reminders from Dogs Trust: 

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has the following advice for dog owners and dog walkers:

  • Keep control of your dog and don’t let him off lead unless you are in a safe area which is well lit
  • Consider wearing high visibility clothing such as jackets, vests  or reflective strips on your clothes so you can be easily seen by motorists
  • A reflective collar and lead or a high visibility coat or flashing collar will also increase your dog’s visibility in the dark
  • Perhaps work out a winter dog walking route which, in urban areas, includes both pavements and street lighting
  • If there is no pavement, walk against the flow of the traffic and keep your dog on the side farthest from the road
  • Carry a torch which will help you be seen and also enable to you see to pick up your dog’s mess. Or, consider a head torch so your hands are free
  • Walking in groups can be safer than on your own
  • If possible, take your dog in the car to a place where you can walk away from the roadside. Many parks and sports fields have lighting but always check that dogs are allowed first
  • Make sure your dog is well trained and responsive to commands. For tips on training visit

Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin OBE comments:  

“With the nights and mornings getting darker earlier, it is important to keep both you and your dog safe when you are out walking the dog.

Across our 18 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin, we have an army of volunteers and dog walkers who come out in all weathers to help us walk the 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs we care for each year. Keeping them safe is of the utmost importance.”

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said:

“When walking, especially at this time of year, try to make yourself as conspicuous as possible and be aware that drivers may find it more difficult to spot you. Stay alert, don’t be tempted to dash across a road to save time.

“RoSPA also urges drivers to be aware that it may be more difficult to see pedestrians, especially in areas without street lights, so keep your speed down and give yourself plenty of time for your journeys.”

RoSPA has been campaigning for lighter evenings for decades, as all the evidence suggests that an extra hour of evening daylight would save at least 80 lives and prevent more than 200 serious injuries on our roads each year.



In other news, you may have realised it’s National Chocolate Week ;)

So, here’s a few cherished photos of my dear departed Brodie, the best chocolate labrador in the world…ever!

Lisas-Life Woof Wednesday National Chocolate Week

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Chocolate Tea – A Winning Combination

A while back, purely for my own amusement I shared my thoughts on a recent discovery of teapigs chocolate flake. teapigs chocolate flake

Then, just the other day, while browsing t’interweb for National Chocolate Week chocolate-y things for my newest Pinterest board, I found that Tesco had a version of chocolate tea in their Finest range. As luck would have it I was due an online grocery order so I swiftly added these to my shopping list!

The packaging is divine, but, as it’s Tesco, it is still basic teabags inside, albeit in a foil wrapper to keep them fresh. I do love the thinking behind the teapigs biodegradable tea temples and the touch of luxury, but, at almost £4 for 15 they are an extravagance against £1.49 for 50 of the Tesco version.

lisas-life chocolate tea


lisas-life chocolate cuppa









I’d love to say the teapigs has a far superior taste but, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t. It may matter if you’re a tea or chocolate connoisseur and can gladly afford the higher price, but, for those of us that do have to watch our spending, Tesco’s black tea with cocoa is a pretty nice alternative.

Teapigs remain a treat though and I’m looking forward to sending for a sample of their new chocolate and mint variety. After Eight in a mug anyone?! :)

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