Saturday, 10 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
The original recipe calls for 175g of cheddar to be stirred through before serving, however as I was only having one bowl and saving the rest, I just stirred a sprinkling of cheese though after taking this attractive photo.
By the way, do you like our lovely bowls? We got them on our wedding list. Aren't they pretty?
Head over the Reluctant Housedad's page and check out the other one pot wonders in the linky.
I was not asked to review Ludlow Sauce and have not received any product or payment in return (Mrs Hesketh can verify!).... I just think it's really nice!
Sunday, 2 October 2011
You'd be surprised at how many recipes call for more than 5 ingredients, even the ones you think are really easy! But this is a great recipe from Nigella which fits the bill perfectly. I use it a lot when I have visitors over.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
I missed out on Recipe Shed last week because of a busy week and lack of inspiration. On Meal Planning Monday I lamented the fact that one of this week's dishes would have been great to link up to Recipe Shed last week, as it is a veggie dish. I realised tonight that it is also slightly spicy, so I am linking it up to this week's Recipe Shed, where the theme set by Reluctant Housedad is "Spices" :)
I have taken a *tiny* bit of liberty here as the "spices" in this dish are verging on negligable. But it does involve spices I use in practically every dish I make so I'm linking it anyway. Also the lovely Seren who always comments on my MPM posts said how nice it sounded so this recipe is for her as well.This is a big favourite of mine, loosely adapted from a Rosemary Conley recipe. I add lots of chilli flakes or use sweet chilli Philly because I like mine really spicy. The beauty of this dish is that you can tinker with the ingredients to suit your taste.
Garlic Mushroom Pasta
Cook some pasta - any type, I used wholewheat fusilli - according to pack instructions. As this is for one person, just cook as much as you would have normally.
In a small frying pan or wok, heat 1 TSP oil and fry off a clove of chopped garlic and 1 chopped spring onion.
Add some sliced mushrooms - I used half a packet of baby button mushrooms, I guess you just add as many or little as you like and fry off til softened.
Dollop 2 teaspoons of Philly cream cheese and stir to coat the mushrooms and spring onions. Add a splash of milk to make a creamy sauce, and a big pinch of chilli flakes. Simmer gently while the pasta is cooking. If it starts to thicken too much, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan, or add more milk.
Apologies for the crap picture. We have bought a new fancy-pants Canon camera with wedding present money so in a month or so my pictures will be MUCH more impressive! (We've made an executive decision not to use it til we're both in the country....!)
For more spicy recipes head over to Reluctant Housedad's blog!
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Cook enough spaghetti for 2 according to pack instructions
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a pan, and fry off 1/2 an onion and 1 chopped clove of garlic. Add some cubed salami (optional but REALLY tasty) and fry until golden.
Add 400g of chopped tomatoes and lower heat. Sprinkle in 1 tsp chilli flakes (or less if you prefer - I like mine spicy!) and 1/2 TBSP of sugar - this really brings out the taste of the tomatoes.
Simmer until the sauce is reduced, and take off the heat if spaghetti is still cooking.
Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain (retaining some of the cooking water) and add to the sauce. Add a dribble of cooking water to help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Toss the spaghetti and sauce together.
Serve with grated parmesan and some torn up basil leaves, if you have them (I didn't).
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Jewhurst and I made this a few weeks ago while he was staying over. The original recipe for this stew comes from the good people over at BBC Good Food, but after making it the first time Jewhurst remarked that it would be nice with some spuds in it as well, a la Irish Stew.
We had a little play around with ingredients and timings and came up with this:
Sausage Stew with Potatoes
Cook 1 onion and 4 chopped cloves of garlic in the same pan, adding splash of water if they start to catch.
Add a 350g jar of ready made tomato sauce (I used Dolmio), 450ml chicken stock, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, and 1tsp tomato paste. Bring to a bubbling simmer.
Add the chopped sausages and 500g potatoes to the pan (small baby new potatoes or larger ones cut in half), lower heat, and simmer for 40mins or until potatoes are cooked.
Enjoy with a plenty of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
If you have a sausage recipe to share, or are looking for inspiration, why not head over to Reluctant Housedad's blog and take a look?
Friday, 2 September 2011
Macaroni Cheese with Bacon
Cook 250g of macaroni (or in my case, fusilli) in a large pan of salted boiling water until cooked. Drain and set aside
Meanwhile, grill 4 rashers of bacon until crispy.
Melt 40g of unsalted butter in another saucepan, slightly larger than the one you have cooked the pasta in, and add 40g of plain flour. Stir to form a roux and cook for a minute.
Gradually whisk in 1 pint/600ml of milk, and continue to whisk for 10-15 mins until a thick sauce is formed. By the way, don't panic if it all looks like a watery lumpy mess. As my lovely Twitter friends assured me, just keep whisking and it'll be fine!
Add salt and pepper to the sauce, as well as a pinch of paprika.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to hot.
Remove the sauce from the hob, add 150g grated cheddar and 50g of Parmesan cheese (leave behind a handful to sprinkle later), plus the crumbled up bacon. Stir through the cooked pasta and transfer to a suitably sized baking dish.
Top with some breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese, and pop under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
(makes approx 22)
Crush 10 digestive biscuits into sandy crumbs; add 5 level TBSP drinking chocolate and 5 level TBSP of dessicated coconut
Melt 2 oz margarine and add to mixture along with a small tin of sweetened condensed milk*
Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and toss in some more dessicated coconut to creat a coating on the outside.
* My MiL makes a footnote at the bottom to say that you can't buy small tins of condensed milk, so she either doubles the quantity of coconut balls, or finds another recipe calling for a small tin of condensed milk!
If you have a hand-me-down recipe to share, or fancy noseying at other people's, why not head over to Reluctant Housedad's blog and take a look!
Friday, 26 August 2011
So a manic week has come to an end. This week I have, along with an amazing team of volunteers, been entertaining on average about 50 children every morning at Holiday Bible Club. I'm exhasuted! But I really wanted to join in with Reluctant Housedad's Recipe Shed linky this week, where the theme for the week is "Mince"
When I heard that it was mince my thoughts immediately went to the obvious recipes - cottage pie, lasagne etc. I am so glad I didn't go for that as the Housedad himself made the most amazing looking lasagne and Alyson has made a similarly delicious looking cottage pie. Both of which will be infinitely superior to my own versions. So I had a flick through my recipe file, dismissed meatballs as they were too much work for the end of a busy week, and opted for Tex Mex Tacos instead.
The recipe is originally from Good Food and is insanely simple. This recipe apparently serves 6, by which I think they mean 6 tacos rather than 6 people. I halved the recipe for just myself and I got 3 tacos out of it.
Heat a large frying pan until very hot, then brown 500g beef mince. Remove, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in the pan and add 4 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 tbsp dried orgeano, 2 TSP ground cumin, 2 TSP paprika, 1/2 TSP chilli flakes and fry until they release their aroma (you might want to lower the heat to make sure the garlic doesn't burn!)
Return the beef to the pan and warm through with the spices.
Warm some taco shells (2-3 per person) according to pack instructions.
To serve - fill the taco shells with the beef mixture, some sour cream, salsa, guacamole, grated cheese...... whatever takes your fancy!
Unfortunately I did not have sour cream in the fridge as I thought and next time I would definitely add it. Even though the cheese was a great accompaniment, the beef is a dry mixture with no sauce, so you definitely need something like sour cream or salsa to moisten it. Guacamole would add a nice creaminess to balance out the crunchy spice from the beef and tacos.
This would be a great dish for families or if you had friends coming over. You could just put the beef in a large dish, tacos on a plate, and toppings in little serving bowls. Perfect!
If you have a great mince dish to share then please join in with Keith's linky (just click on the Recipe Shed badge), and if not then why not check out the other blog entries and get some ideas! There are even some veggie options there!
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Both recipes are taken from somewhere else (BBC Good Food and Delia Smith respectively) but I tweaked them slightly to suit the Sargies products.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes - serves 12
(original recipe can be found here)
100g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 free range eggs
100g plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
75g lemon curd (I used Sargies Luxury Lemon Curd)
Preheat oven to 180 C
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until fluffy and combined
Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated and creamy
Fold in the flour and lemon zest until well combined
Spoon mixture into paper cases, then add a teaspoon of lemon curd on top of each
Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 mins until they are golden and springy, or until a skewer (in my case a piece of broken spaghetti) comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
It is here that I deviated from the original recipe. Where Simon Rimmer's calls for making my own meringue, I instead made a batch of Hummingbird Bakery vanilla frosting, substituting the vanilla for a squeeze of juice from the lemon I had zested earlier. I then crushed in some of Sargies Meringue nests to give the frosting texture and flavour and to add the key "meringue" part!
I asked my lovely friends Magda and Mark to have a taste and tell me what they thought. Unfortunately my style of questioning (akin to an inquisition I think) was a bit too much for him and he declared the whole process as "STRESSFUL! Really stressful!". He did say they tasted nice though...! In fact I think I'm lying there. I seem to remember him also saying "So where is the lemon in this stupid cake?!" but I will put that down to the stress of blogger interrogation...
As it happens, I had a taste of one myself and was impressed by how light and tasty they were. The lemon curd acted like a "drizzle" - moistening the cake yet retaining enough of its consistency to make a pleasing little filling in the middle which took me by surprise. The frosting complimented it well, and was a good use of the ready made meringues.
Lemony Eton Mess - serves 4
(the original recipe can be viewed here)
300ml double or whipping cream
Icing sugar (to taste)
Meringue nests (I used Sargies free range hand piped meringues)
3 tbsp lemon curd
Whip the cream to a soft, floppy consistency
Chop the strawberries into small but meaningful chunks
Set aside half, place in a bowl and sprinkle over some icing sugar.
Put the other half in a blender with another good sprinkle of icing sugar (to your taste - I like it sweet, you might like it sharp) and blitz to a smooth pulp
Sieve to remove seeds and pour 2/3 into the cream, folding gently to make a marbled effect
Add the lemon curd and gently fold through
Fold in the remaining strawberries and crushed meringue pieces
Drizzle with some strawberry puree before serving.
I loved this. It was light and sweet with a nice tangy bite from the strawberries. The lemon curd was a good addition - a subtle taste that didn't overpower the summery-ness of the strawberries and cream. It was also so easy to make that I have stored this away for use when I next have friends over for dinner.
Thanks again to Beth and Dave for sending me these products
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Before I start into this post I feel that I should explain my rather impromptu decision to make an Apple Crumble this weekend.
My mum always used to make a Chicken Waldorf Salad, which I absolutely love. (For those who maybe don’t know what a Waldorf Salad is, it’s basically chicken, celery, apples, in a mayo/sour cream sauce) She said she was making it recently, which inspired me to get the recipe and try it out myself… This was one of those times when you completely regret starting something! I messed up the sauce by getting the quantities wrong and making too much, I managed to salvage this by putting extra soured cream in to disguise the tanginess of the mayo. I turned to the apples which I was about to chop and thankfully glanced a the recipe again, the recipe called for dessert apples…..I’d bought cooking apples, and so the crumble was made to not waste ingredients.
I was very lazy and didn’t even go to my cupboard to get a recipe book instead I went online, did a little google and decided to try the BBC food apple crumble recipe. I had all the other ingredients in the cupboards so started giving it a bash.
The ingredients are as follows:
For the crumble
300g/10½oz plain flour sieved pinch of salt
175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar
200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
Knob of butter for greasing
For the filling
450g/1lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm/½in pieces
50g/2oz unrefined brown sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
I made mine with 4 medium sized apples, I didn’t weigh them, but there was an ample layer of apple, which I personally prefer in a crumble.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Place the fruit in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit.
Butter a 24cm/9in ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.
Serve with thick cream or custard.
I actually did step two first and peeled and chopped the apple into the Pyrex bowl. I wasn’t sure how they meant you to cut/chop the apples so I cut them into very thin slices, and then chopped the slices again into thin slivers.
I sprinkled the mixture over the fruit in the Pyrex bowl, which worked perfectly fine. The recipe called for a ‘pinch of ground cinnamon’, I put a good sprinkle in as I personally love it! It had a great taste and next time I would probably add a touch more.
I then went back to step one and made the crumble mixture. My scales aren’t 100% and I think in mine, I had a touch too much butter. The crumble wasn’t exactly crunchy throughout, it was more soft in places and almost ‘cake like’, as my husband put it, however, it didn’t take away from it and was still very tasty.
Overall, this was extremely tasty and went down a treat. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it and took the remainder to the in-laws to taste. I think if I was doing it again, I would definitely add in a touch more cinnamon but as mentioned that is because I love the taste. I would maybe use slightly less sugar throughout the recipe as it was quite sweet, so maybe cutting out some of the sugar in the crumble rather than less in with the apple mixture. I’d also advise putting the butter in, in stages as I can’t say whether the recipe tells you to use too much. – I think after this I’m going to ditch those scales and get some proper ones which actually work!
I’d highly recommend you try this simple, but yet classic dish! A tasty treat for a Sunday afternoon.My thanks to Karen for doing this post. The crumble does look amazing! (I'm also liking her crockery too!)
If you have a favourite recipe you would like to post on the Big Eejit email me (details on the Contact page) and let me know.