Thursday, 28 February 2013

Missing Marmite

Last night I had intended to post about the Marmite Spaghetti I had for tea. However, good intentions do sometimes go awry, and I forgot to take a photo. It wasn't much to look at, just brown spaghetti, but it tasted better than it looked. I have had it before, but not for a while.

Please accept this photo of the porridge I had this morning as an apology for no Marmite pasta photo. I stirred in the last teaspoon or so of cranberry sauce I had, and raisins. Different, but delicious!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sumptuous Slow Cooking

I have several things to write about, but the main event tonight is slow cooking!

 I used my slow-cooker for the first time today, and it was brilliant! Long story short, I was going to make Rancheros Pie, but I made Tuna Arrabiata instead (watch for the pie next week). The tuna was very nice though so can't complain. All the preperation was, was less than 10 minutes of chopping and frying, then it was  into the slow cooker and leave it. Then I just cooked the pasta about 15 minutes before I wanted to eat. The sauce itself was full of flavour, with just the right amount of spice.

The smell while this was cooking was already amazing at this point!

Good luck!

It is there, I promise...


Even though the slow-cooker have only used it once, I love it! I think you will be seeing a lot more slow cooker dishes on here...

Now let's backtrack to lunch. Last night I came up with a little concoction I wanted to try, stemming from the fact that I wanted some crunchy cereal but didn't have any. It was (get ready): porridge oats, chopped brazil nuts and dessiccated coconut (all toasted), chopped poached apple, raisins and a teaspoon of runny honey. Even though it was random and made up, I really loved it! I will definitely be having it again, and will be playing around with some variations. It would also be good for breakfast or just a really nice snack!

The nuts and oats just before they were toasted.

A lot of my favourite things in a bowl!
Moving forward again. Biscuits. I felt like making some, pure and simple. I chose Rachel Allen's 'Basic Cookie' recipe, because I had all the ingredients, and it meant I would be able to tick off the second recipe of the book in order, as I have only done the first so far (Oat and Raisin cookies, see them  ). I only had half the amount of butter, but accidentally added the whole amount of sugar, flour and ground mixed spice (the variation I chose). The spice wouldn't have mattered too much, but obviously the others did! Thinking on my feet I added a little but of oil. The mixture was still crumbly, but then I had the idea of compacting the mixture into my tablespoon measure and 'turning them out'... It worked surprisingly well! The texture is strange in a good way, a little chewy on the outside, shortbread type most of the way through and the teeniest bit cookie doughy in the middle! I am thinking of writing a recipe book after university, and these may have to go in... no idea what I will call them, but they were yummy anyway!

One last thing... my pot lid lifter. My mum made it as a surprise for me when I nipped home for a few days, as I used the one at home all the time and don't have one here. I love it, it is so useful!


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunny Soup

When I went home for a few days, I plugged my ipad into the computer to get my music onto it, and subsequently ended up with all my iPod apps and all my mum's iPad apps as well! This included her Kindle app, which had several recipe books on it, one of which was Nigella Lawson's 'Kitchen'. I was keen to use one of the recipe books from the app, and I chose to cook Sunshine Soup from Kitchen.

I have had it several times at home, but have never cooked it myself. All that is required is to roast some peppers, simmer some sweetcorn and stock, and then blend. The peppers need to be roasted at gas mark nine, which my oven doesn't go up to, so I put it on the highest it would go (230 C , equivalent to gas mark 7) and put the tray right at the top. But then they ended up a little burnt! Which meant the soup didn't end up as 'sunshiney' a colour as it should have been. It still tasted pretty good though, so I can't complain too much!

3-leaf pepper hehe!

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Patriotic Post

Start singing the National Anthem everybody... I had Coronation Chicken for tea today! Well, Warm Coronation Chicken Salad to be exact. It was very very nice, I love all coronation chicken so that's not a surprise really.

The chicken was marinated in apricot jam, mango chutney and yoghurt (I think that's it!). Some of it was put aside, and was mixed with lime juice and zest for a dressing. Then it was simply a case of grilling the chicken and mixing it with the salad ingredients- salad leaves and mango! I did make one small addition though. I added raisins. You know I'm obsessed. But honestly, I do think coronation chicken should have raisins in!

It was also a very filling dish which is always a bonus.

Mango in disguise... can you spot it? ;-)

This salad would be delicious on it's own, the chicken is a bonus!

Look at that lovely char!

Nearly there...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Top Tortilla

I have a had these few potatoes for a while, and I wanted to use them before they went bad. I always have eggs in the fridge, so decided to make a tortilla for tea. I have made them to various recipes before, but this time I just made it up! It's really not difficult. Slice potatoes as thin as they will go. Cook them in a frying pan. Add beaten egg. Then, if you want, grill to finish, maybe with grated cheese on the top. Since my frying pan has a plastic handle, and I don't have any cheese, I skipped this bit!

I also got to uses my multpro machine, which was a bonus... I love it! It made it so quick and easy to slice the potatoes, and got them nice and thin which also cut down on the cooking time of course. quick things. It's tasty as well. Bonus.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Lovely Lovebirds

Finally, a craft post! I'm at home for a few days so have been able to do some crafting. My mum and I have a large collection of craft books, so it was hard to know where to start, but I chose to do something from 'Teeny Tiny Crochet' because I've never made anything from it before. As it's Valentine's Day soon, my mum suggested the Lovable Lovebirds.

They were super quick to make; I made two yesterday and two today. The lovebirds in the book had red wings, but I am going to do a few pairs with different coloured wings- still Valentine's themed though (red, pink, pink glitter and cream). I have done two pairs so far. I might not do the other colours this year, but they will be done! They are so cute, lovely decorations for Valentine's day. We also had the idea of using them as wedding decorations, with the heart-shaped wings in the colour theme of the wedding. Or maybe a cute gift for a wedding or anniversary? The possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cheerful Chicken

I called this post cheerful chicken, because the dish I made tonight was light, zingy, fresh and sweet, and it almost made me feel happy by itself! It was really quick as well, which made me even happier. The main part was Mustard Chicken, serve with leeks. I say the chicken was the main part, but the leeks were just as nice as the chicken! It was literally just a case of browning the chicken pieces, then adding sauce ingredients and stirring the yoghurt through just before serving. And the leeks can cook while you do all this! I used yoghurt instead of creme fraiche, as the recipe asked fore, as it's healthier, and for me it's cheaper!

This recipe was also good as it meant I could use this little bit of white wine that I've had in the fridge since befor Christmas... And it was pretty much the exact right amount! The sauce contained paprika as well, which I really like the flavour of. I used smoked paprika, but I don't think it would matter what sort you used. Also, this may be a childish thing, but I love to watch the meat change colouring the pan!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Perfetto Pizza

Perfetto is Italian for perfect, it's not that I can't spell! I like all pizza, but homemade is just delicious. My mum's is pretty much the best, but I like to think mine is pretty good too. I made it with a base that was frozen from the last pizza I made (as the recipe made four single serve bases), plus tomato pureé, mushrooms and mozarella. I would have put onions and pepper on as well but I had already used them for Freestyle Friday #6. It don't mind though, I'm still looking forward for it for lunch tomorrow. When I am on a long day shift, I have my main meal at midday, so this will be my motivation to get through the morning!

Cool Cookies

I have an extremely large amount of chocolate and sweets. Which is no bad thing at all, but sometimes you just fancy something homemade. I decided to make cookies for my colleagues, as that way I could have one (or two!), and not end up with lots of cookies to eat as well as the chocolate. I got a Rachel Allen book for my birthday last month, and I hadn't used it yet so decided on that book. And I have been wanting oat and raisin cookies for a while, so that was the recipe decided! And it meant I could tick off the very first recipe in the book. How satisfying.

There can never be enough dried fruit in the world (for my mum and I anyway!), so I will very much enjoy the cookie I try tomorrow. Plus they gave me an excuse to buy raisins. Raisins are always good.   I will let you know how they are received!

Freestyle Friday #6

You might remember the tofu fajitas I made this week? Well the ingredient list said tofu or portobello mushrooms, and courgettes. Well I got tofu and mushrooms, but no courgettes. Silly me. The fajitas were still good, but it meant I had 4 large portobello mushrooms to use up! And also some tofu, as I only used half a pack. Also needing using were various bits of vegetable I had, so I decided to stuff the mushrooms, 4 different ways. Number one was tofu mixed with curry paste, with a teaspoon of mango chutney on top. Two was chopped red onion and yellow pepper mixed with couscous. Three was more red onion and pepper, with spring onions and stir fry sauce. And four was capers and mustard... Weird, but they both worked well with the sweetness of the mushrooms.

With them I served the rest of the couscous that wouldn't fit in the mushroom, and carrot noodle pasta! I have seen in a lot of different places recipes using grated vegetables instead of pasta. As I have an excess of carrots, I decided to give it a go. It worked very well! As I have more carrots I'll definitely have it again. Next time I'll use the grate feature on my multipro, as it took quite a while to do just one carrot!

What I would change: I would cook the mushrooms a little bit first, or put the oven on instead of grilling them. Also, I would cook the carrot noodle pasta in salted water instead of plain.