This Bank Holiday weekend we've done some experimenting in the kitchen! J is big into Italian cooking at the moment (it's tough, supporting him with his hobbies...) and next up to try out was gnocchi. I have had one experience of making gnocchi before, which resulted in a saucepan full of watery bits of mashed potato and a frozen pizza saving the day. So it's safe to say I was sceptical but he pulled it off!

Rough process:
  1. Dice, boil and mash some potatoes
  2. Add in plain flour and an egg, mix together in bowl.
  3. Knead (this bit got a tad messy - have plenty of flour at the ready) then wrap in cling film and either pop in the fridge or use straight away.
  4. Take a small-ish piece of the dough (small handful) and roll into a long sausage, then using a knife cut into gnocchi around 2cm wide. Press slightly with a fork.
  5. Get a pan of water on a rolling boil then drop in a batch of your gnocchi (best not to chuck it all in at once).
  6. As soon as the gnocchi starts floating at the surface, you're ready to scoop it out. 
Serve and enjoy straight away - we had ours with a simple, rich tomato, basil and chilli sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan and a token sprig of photogenic basil. 

Not necessarily a 20-minute meal but worth a shot and a tasty change from pasta! Hoping to get back on my blogging game soon (have you seen the new banner header and pages buttons? I'm so proud of my incredibly basic IT skills!). 


Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

I received a sample of the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser in a Birchbox sometime last year and now that I have used it for a while (and progressed to the full-size bottle), I fully understand why everyone's been raving about it.

Applying a cleanser onto a dry face initially felt odd - if we're being honest I'm used to a mid-shower slap-it-on, wash-it-off cleanser but now I love massaging this creamy cleanser into my face each night. The muslin cloth, soaked in hot water was also a novel concept - it gently exfoliates whilst removing make up and leaves your skin feeling silky soft and squeaky clean. You get two muslin cloths with the 100ml bottle of Hot Cloth Cleanser and can pop them in the washing machine every few uses to keep them bacteria-free.

I'm fortunate to have fairly low-maintenance skin although it is sensitive so Liz Earle's 'naturally active ingredients' sit comfortably with me. The cleanser claims to be for all skin types though, and J has even had go (he has quite oily skin) and it's not caused any problems. I love the slightly herbal scent and considering the bottle seems to be lasting a long time,  £15.50 for the starter set (or £14.00 thereafter for the cleanser alone), is a good price. I feel as though I've added a luxury step to my generally mid-range skincare routine.