Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Tuesday, September 05, 2023

    Food of Colour

    There is nothing better than eating colourful food, I had some Lamb Sausages in my fridge and there was no way that I was going to eat them all in one go, so what's better than turn them into a casserole  

    I also had some vegetables, that need to be used up so I decided to combine all these elements and make this dish

    It will be dinner tonight and then some into the freezer, for another time

    It is very simple and basically takes very little time

     You will need 

     Sausages, I had 4 lamb and mint  in my fridge 

    1 onion finely chopped

    1 red pepper sliced

    1 yellow pepper sliced 

    2 sticks celery sliced

    Big handful of spinach, just tear it up

    Olive oil

    Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 packet of Mushroom Soup and 1 cup of warm water to dissolve

    Heat about tablespoon of Olive oil in a frypan to medium heat and add the sausages,                                                                      Fry gently till golden brown, remove and slice         

     Place in a casserole dish  
    Add chopped onion to pan, sauté till soft and starting to brown, remove and set aside 

    Add the peppers and celery to pan and gently sauté them, till just soft      

    Meanwhile mix the soup mix with a little bit of cold water to start it off, then add the warm water            Stir well

    Add to the vegetables in the pan, bring to a gentle boil and pour over the sausages in the casserole dish

    You can do this earlier in the day and just before you eat, place in a 180C oven and heat till gently bubbling

    I served it over mashed potatoes, but you could try rice or mashed potatoes 

    Friday, March 17, 2023

    More Tasty Morsels to Have With Drinks - Capsicum Confetti Blinis

     It is so good to serve tasty food when you invite people over for drinks

    One of my favourites is Blinis With Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon 

    Bu there are times when you have a friend who can't eat Salmon or any fish at all, so I devised this little topping and it is not only pretty but also very tasty

    I bought the Blinis, I used to make them but now you can buy them and keep them in the freezer, all ready when you invite people over for Drinks or Morning Tea 

    You will need

    Packet of Blinis,

    Cream cheese
    2 tablespoons Mayo
    Zest of 1 lemon
    Green, pepper
    Red pepper
    Yellow pepper
    Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

    Finally chop the pepper and chives and zest the lemon 
    Season with the salt and pepper
    Mix together 
    Blend the cream cheese and mayo together
    Defrost your Blinis and place on a plate
    Spread the Cream cheese and Mayo over each Blini
    and Sprinkle the Pepper mix over the top 

    I was helping my neighbour prepare these tasty morsels for Drinks here at The Village last night
    She suggested that maybe to make eating then easier we mixed the peppers in with the cream cheese mix

    Voila... what a good idea, not quite as pretty but equally as tasty, I have whipped up a few to take to my friends place for drinks tonight

    Then I had my granddaughters over for Morning tea, They brought Cup Cakes,
    For my contribution
    I made a sweet version of the Blini dish

    You need 
    Cream Cheese
    Freeze dried Raspberries

    I hauled out the Blinis from the freezer,

    Then spread them with the Cream Cheese,
    Pop on a few Craisins
    Crumble the Freeze Dried Raspberries over the Blinis and Voila
    Morning Tea

    Thursday, July 28, 2022

    Teriyaki Chicken Bowl

    Yesterday I was asked to make a Teriyaki Chicken and Vege Bowl for dinner
    So I checked on the net for a recipe for a Teriyaki Sauce and this was the one I liked best
    A lot of them used honey but that is not the favourite sweetener in this house so I used soft brown sugar

    The marinade was very simple and it was agreed this recipe was a keeper
    Lots of vege, succulent chicken and some sushi rice to soak it up

    For 4 people
    You will need
    1 1/2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs per person approx more or less depending on the appetite 

    For the marinade
    300 mls hot water
    30 grms soft brown sugar
    150 mls dark soy sauce
    30 gms freshly grated root ginger
    6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
    1-2 tsp chilli flakes optional, or adjust to taste

    2 cups sushi rice
    1 cup frozen edamame beans
    1 shallot peeled, finely chopped
    French dressing 
    Red Cabbage
    Sesame dressing

    To Garnish
    Roughly chopped fresh coriander
    Sesame seeds
    Sesame Dressing   This is essential, delicious               

    Grate the ginger 
    Finely chop the garlic with the chilli flakes 
    Mix hot water and sugar in a bowl
    dissolve and let cool a bit

    Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli flakes

    Add the chicken thighs to the marinade
    Put in the fridge
    Marinade as long as you can but if you are short of time it does need about 2 hours

    When you are ready to go 
    Heat the oven to 200C
    Remove chicken from the marinade
    Place in a lightly oiled roasting pan
    I sprayed a little oil on top of the chicken but that is optional 

    It will take about 25 - 30 mins till the juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with a skewer
    Leave to rest for about 10 minutes

    While the chicken is cooking, cook the sushi rice, to the manufacturers instructions
    I then brought the remaining marinade to the boil, 
    Simmered it for about 5 mins
    Skimmed off the scum and put aside
    This can be used for extra juice on the rice if you wish 

    Finely chop the shallot and add 2-3 tbs French dressing and let sit while the chicken is cooking

    Chop the red cabbage 
    Cook the Edamame beans and drain
    Slice the cooked chicken

    Time to serve
    Build your bowl

    Rice on the bottom 
    Sliced chicken 
    The vege
    Coriander and sesame seeds
    and drizzle over the beautiful Sesame Dressing 

    Dinner is served 
    Delicious, colourful and healthy to boot 

    Tuesday, April 05, 2022

    Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Bake

    I have been pet sitting and here is my little charge, she was my constant companion for the last 10 days
    her name in Lola and yes of course I sang the song many times during my stay 
    The Kinks have a lot to answer for
    I was cooking for one so I managed to make some of the food that I cooked "morph" into more than one dish.
    i.e. Chicken stock made from roasted wings became Chicken Soup which then was used to poach some Chicken Breasts, which then were turned into this Chicken and Vegetable Bake

    It doesn't look particularly attractive but it was very tasty and I got to use up the Vegetables that were sitting in the fridge

    So you will need

    Chicken Stock about  2 cups enough to cover the breasts 
    1 Chicken Breast per person
    50 gms butter
    3-4 mushrooms chopped
    I onion peeled and chopped
    1 carrot washed and chopped
    1 red pepper chopped
    1 yellow pepper chopped
    6 Brussels sprouts chopped
    Big handful of spinach  roughly chopped

    For the roux
    50 gms butter
    50 gms flour
    500 pls of milk
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper

    1 cup Grated Cheese (Spilt in 2)
    Fine breadcrumbs about 3 tablespoons 

    So first gently poach the chicken breast in simmering chicken stock
    this will take about 20 mins

    Set aside and let them cool in the stock this will help to keep them moist 
    Then cut into 2 cms pieces

    Meanwhile in another pan 
    On medium to high heat 
    Melt butter and throw in the mushrooms
    Season with S & P
    Saute and remove from pan

    Meanwhile in the same pan sauté the Onions, Carrots and Peppers and put aside

    Prepare the Brussel Sprouts and Spinach

    Wipe the pan and add 50 gms of butter
    Melt and add the Brussels sprouts , sauté for a few minutes
    Add the flour and stir well,
    let the flour cook out for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly

    Slowly add the milk stirring until the sauce is lovely, silky and thick 
    Meanwhile grate the cheese
    Add the1/2 the  cheese and the chopped spinach

    Add the rest of the vegetables and the chicken to the sauce
    Then lightly grease a baking dish and fill up your dish
    Sprinkle with the remainder of the grated cheese and then sprinkle fine breadcrumbs onto
    just to lightly cover
    Pop into 180C preheated oven and bake till cheese in melted and it is bubbling away nicely 
    Probably about 25 mins 

    Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the dish before it went into the oven and also when it came out so you will have to trust me that it looks and smell divine

    I dished up this helping and wolfed it down

    Monday, November 01, 2021

    Simply Spaghetti - Using New Season Asparagus

     The Asparagus season is here and it is beautiful.  Time for lunch
     I felt like a simple Pasta dish what a great way to hero the Spaghetti with Asparagus and some Tomatoes and Garlic

    You will need
    100 gms dried Spaghetti per person
    Olive oil 1 tbs
    Butter 1 tsp
    2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
    8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
    2 Asparagus spears (tough ends removed then sliced )
    Sea Salt and freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Parmesan Cheese - finely grated 

    Bring a well salted big pot of water to the boil
    when it comes to the boil add the Pasta
    after 7 Minutes, add the Asparagus
    Cook for another 3 minutes 

    In a pan add the Olive oil and Butter on medium heat
    Add the Garlic 
    Let it  cook gently till it becomes soft and fragrant - don't brown
    Add the Tomatoes and let simmer for a few minutes till they are just soft
    Meanwhile grate the Cheese
    Toss the Spaghetti and Asparagus into the Tomatoes
    Season well with freshly ground Black pepper
    Into serving bowl and top with the grated Parmesan Cheese
    Lunch is served

    Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    Croutons - What do to with leftover bread

    This is a bit like... as the saying goes "teaching  your Mother how to suck eggs" 
    But just another way to use up your leftover baguette.

    Yesterday I forgot I had bought a baguette to have with our lunch...silly me... so there it was sitting on the stairs. Shame to waste, so this morning I made croutons 

    So so simple, just slice the baguette,  lay them on a tray, spray with olive oil and 
    sprinkle sea salt flakes over them 
    As easy as that
    Bake in 160 degree C oven for about 15 minutes
    turn the tray around for even baking
    and back in for about another 5 mins

    They should be golden and crunchy 
    Pop them on a rack to cool

    Great with soup
    or with your favourite dip, in this case Hummus dressed with Lemon Olive Oil
    And a couple of leaves of Coriander and few littles of Fresh Chili
    Just to pretty it up


    Monday, September 20, 2021

    Fettucine Cabonara with a Green Twist

    What to do in Lockdown

    Why not make your own Pasta.  
    It's easier that you think. You can either make it totally by hand 
    More of a "cheats" way, use the food processor
    you still have to do some hard work kneading but it's all worth it in the long run

    I had a helper, Granddaughter Cleo was a dab hand at making the pasta
    Both methods are shown here, on this occasion...we did the Food processor method 

    Once you have made your Pasta, roll it into a ball
    Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour
    Take it out and start the roll process
    We have a Pasta Roller, that I purchased in another life

    Not only does it roll it out as thin as you would like it then cuts it into the required style
    Cleo and I decided that Fettucine was what we wanted

    Thought a form of Cabonara was just the ticket 
    When looking for the perfect recipe... I found Ina Garten's Spring Green Spaghetti
    So we adapted it to our taste and it was very tasty indeed 
    Cabonara is quite rich so the addition of the greens made it feel just a bit more healthy

    So once you have made the pasta, Grab a broom, wipe the handle and dust it with flour and hang the noodles over it, to dry out

    So its time to cook and assemble
    You will need
    Approx 400 gms pasta

    8-10 snow peas julienned lengthwise

    1 cup shelled fresh peas (1 pound in the pod), or frozen peas

    12 to 14 thin asparagus, bottom third discarded and tips sliced in 2-inch pieces

    2 tablespoons good olive oil

    5 rashers of Pancetta. (I used streaky bacon) 

    1/2 cup heavy cream

    2 extra-large eggs

    2 extra-large egg yolks

    3/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

    5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced diagonally

    1/4 cup minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

    Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil
    Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes
    Take out a cup of the water and set aside
    Add the snow peas, asparagus and the peas (I used frozen)
    Cook for another 2 minutes longer 
    Drain the pasta and vegetables together

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10- to 11-inch) sauté pan over medium heat,
    Add the bacon and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.
    Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside

    While the bacon cooks, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water and set aside to heat the bowl. Just before you drain the pasta, pour the water out of the bowl.
    Put the cream, eggs, egg yolks, freshly ground black pepper and some sea salt and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water into the bowl and whisk to combine.

    Immediately, add the hot pasta and vegetables and toss with tongs for a full minute or two, until the pasta absorbs the sauce.

    If necessary add enough reserved hot pasta water, to keep the sauce creamy 

    Add the 3/4 cup Parmesan, the scallions, chives, lemon zest and juice and toss well.

    Add the bacon and serve hot sprinkled with extra chives and Parmesan.

    Voila, dinner is served