Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lentils and Sausages

This recipe is from Apples for Jam. I was excited to try this recipe since I have all the ingredients in the pantry and fridge. I didn't have to go to the market. I've always wanted to try lentils but didn't know with what food to pair it with. This was delicious and we've all enjoyed it. Another dish that was perfect for a cold rainy day or a cold winter night. Very comforting. Going in family favourites.



Ingredients
1 1/3 cups green lentils
8 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
1/2 celery stalk chopped
1 clove garlic peeled and left whole
4 cups hot water
salt
4 italian sausages
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Method
Rinse lentils very well to remove any grit. Saute onion over medium heat with half the olive oil until its golden brown and soft. Add garlic and carrot and saute for another couple of minutes. Add the lentils, turning them through the mixture to coat well and then add 4 cups of hot water. Season with salt and bring to a boil then lower the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40 minutes until lentils are soft and very little water left in pan.

Meanwhile prick the sausages and fry them in 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil until they are golden brown on all sides. Adding more oil if needed. When they are done place them in a large serving plate and drizzle with some olive oil. For more heat some adults may like it with chili oil over theirs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angel hair pasta with, zucchini, mint, and feta

















It's raining again today. The same weather as yesterday and I love it. I have a new addition to my cookery books and it is such a nice day to stay indoors with a cup of warm apple cider and have a good read. While I was quickly flipping through the pages I found this recipe for Angel hair pasta with zucchini, mint, and feta. My son calls zucchini (comberpeel) as in cucumber. Sweet and funny really.

Tessa Kiros is the author of Apples for Jam. She was born in London. Her father is Greek, mother is Finnish and her husband is Italian. She has two little daughters and they look exactly like her. She grew up in South Africa. I love the fact that when she cooks the family are all involved and how wonderful it is to have a variety of food from different countries when their families get together for a meal. I enjoy reading this book as she writes about memories from her childhood and how the food come into place. She has her recipes in color groups which is why its called a Colorful Book.



This dish was yummy and comforting on a cold rainy day. I left out the mint because the family doesn't care for it. I did add more lemon on my own plate as well as my daughter's. Definitely going in the family favourite book.

Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 small zucchini finely chopped (I did 4)
2 cloves garlic peeled and squashed a bit salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mint (I left this one out)
3/4 cup small cubes feta cheese (I added more)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box (16 oz) angel hair pasta
olive oil to serve
grated parmesan cheese to serve

Method
Boil the pasta and while that's boiling saute zucchini and garlic together until it is tender.
Once pasta is cooked, drain not thoroughly and save a little cooking water. Mix pasta and zucchini together in a large serving bowl. If the pasta looks too dry add a little water and olive oil. Add the lemon juice as well. Rain over with feta and parmesan cheese.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Apple, Sausage and Herb Stuffing

Yesterday my daughter and I tested a stuffing recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Apple, sausage and herb stuffing. The first we've ever made and from scratch. I must say we're very proud of it. Our Thanksgiving at my mums side of the family are usually catered because of the very busy life they live. My sister hosted her first one last year and the food was delicious. This year it will be our first year to host.

We're all very excited for Thursday. We're making everything from scratch. This recipe is really good got the hubs palate approval. It has loads of flavour and moist. You taste a hint of everything, sweet, mild spice, fruity, and savoury.

















Melt butter in the pan and sauté the onions, apples, celery, carrots, until tender.

















 Add 2 tbs. fresh parsley (I used dried parsley)

















Cut round french bread into 1 inch cubes and toast in the oven at 300F/150C/Gas Mark 2 for 7 minutes. Set in a large  bowl.

















 Add in the onions, apples, carrots, and celery.

















In the same pan cook the sweet Italian sausage and combine mild Italian sausage and mix together.

















While the sausage is cooking add 1 cup cranberries and 1 cup chicken stock into the stuffing.

















Once the sausages are done add it to the rest of the stuffing. Mix well and place in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Sorry the photo's blurry my hands were shaking.


















Ingredients

2 granny smith apples chopped
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot stick chopped (I added this one in)
2 onions
2 tbs. parsley
1 tbs. salt
1 tbs. pepper
1 round french bread
1 package minced sweet Italian sausage
1 package minced mild Italian sausage



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin Smoothie

Winter is definitely right around the corner. Snow birds have arrived. What is a snowbird, you ask? I asked the hubs the same question. Well they are people mostly seniors and retirees  from the U.S. Northeast, Midwest and Canada who spend their winter in warmer climates.

They usually have a second home at these places they come to for the winter. The other day when we were at the hubs childhood neighborhood. We stopped by one of the grocery stores and the parking lot was full of vehicles with license plates from Canada, Alberta. The whole entire store were filled with seniors. Its because that part of the city has a massive snow bird community.

I love seeing them, have met a few and I just adore them. It's something about how grandparents makes you feel warm and cozy inside with their smiles, laughter, gentleness, kindness, easy going attitude and wisdom when they speak.

With that said, kiddies and I started to get a craving for something pumpkin because everywhere we went the aroma of pumpkin spice, ginger bread, and cinnamon was in the air. All I had in the freezer were some left over frozen pumpkin filling from when we made pumpkin roll.

We decided we would make some pumpkin smoothie. We found the recipe from Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen. I have to tell you we are not much lovers of pumpkin flavour but this was yummm.... We didn't need to go to the market because we had all of the ingredients. Thank goodness and I wasn't planning on going if we didn't.























Ingredients

1 can (15 Ounce) Pumpkin Pie Filling 
3 cups Whole Milk (more If Needed) 
1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt (up To 1 Cup) 
A Few Dashes Of Cinnamon 
Cinnamon Graham Crackers, Crushed

 

Method


Ahead of time, place pumpkin pie filling into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for a few hours or until frozen solid.
To make the smoothie, add milk, and yogurt to a blender. Drop in the frozen pumpkin pie filling and blend until the frozen filling is completely pulverized. Add more milk or yogurt as needed to get it the consistency you'd like.
Pour into individual glasses and sprinkle the tops with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately!

*Note: Make a lower-calorie smoothie by using unsweetened/unflavored pumpkin puree, nonfat plain yogurt, and the sweetener of your choice.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

 This is a yummy breakfast especially if you're in a rush. Keeps your tummy full without feeling heavy and tired. Gives you that bit of energy you need to conquer a busy day.

















 Strawberry and peach flavoured yogurt.

















1 yogurt any flavour you like
1 fruit and nut granola bar
A few fresh raspberries

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicum), and Pizza Crackers

The weather has been beautiful. We've got loads of chores to do before the holidays. My son and I have been keeping ourselves busy with cleaning, organizing, and gathering things to donate to charity shops. We have been making glass bead napkin holders as well. I'll say he's been doing a great job! He's enjoying it as well and at the same time teaching him patterns. My daughter made one last week and couldn't be bothered to make more as she is too busy with other things. 

By dinner time I was too knackered to do anything else so I've put together some left overs and came up with this. I don't have measurements for this recipe because I threw everything in and put it in the oven



















Ingredients

boiled white rice
cream cheese
heavy whipping cream
corn
celery
pepper to taste
breadcrumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4

Put ingredients in a small saucepan and melt together until rice is covered in cream.
Scoop the stuffing and fill up the bell peppers.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Kiddies didn't care for it. They've been snacking all day and were not hungry so I have put together some nibbles for them. It isn't dinner but they stuffed their little tummies with it along with strawberry applesauce.

Crackers with pepperoni and melted shredded cheese on top. Microwave for 20 seconds. Simple and delicious.

Pizza Crackers






Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chocolate Banana Muffins

It was a beautiful chilly day yesterday and the kiddies and I decided to bake something with what we had in our pantry. We had 3 overripe bananas which was the perfect amount for this recipe. We were going to make banana muffins and decided to look through Nigella's cookbook and found this! Chocolate banana muffins! A pair of ingredients that we love! Tea time...


















My son ran to the fridge and got some dark chocolate morsels and added it.  He says "For good measure." Lol.























INGREDIENTS

3 very ripe or overripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
100g soft light brown sugar
225g plain flour
3 x 15ml tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder, sifted (Ghirardelli my favourite)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 x 12-bun muffin tin

Add some bits of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chip morsels.

METHOD Serves: Makes 12

Preheat the oven to 400F/200°C/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with papers. Don’t worry about getting special papers: regular muffin cases will do the job.
Mash the bananas by hand or with a freestanding mixer.Still beating and mashing, add the oil followed by the eggs and sugar.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb together and add this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture, then spoon it into the prepared papers.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be dark, rounded and peeking proudly out of their cases. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before removing to a wire rack.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lola's Filipino Chicken Arroz Caldo (Chicken Porridge)

It's my ninth day of ear infection and bless that I haven't got a fever. The two little one's do. Left for the market early this morning to pick up ingredients for arroz caldo. This is my grandma's recipe. I will say that after it had finished cooking the kiddies and I had 3 bowls each. It was so good.




















Serves 5 (I've doubled up on the recipe made it for 10)

~We like it with loads of broth so I keep a few cans in the pantry. When the porridge starts to get too thick for me I add in more broth.

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
1 3 inch ginger thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional) I used soy sauce
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice
salt and pepper to taste
a package of chicken wings or 2 chicken breasts cut into pieces
green onions (optional) to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Chuck in and stir the onion, garlic and ginger. Chuck in the chicken wings. Cook and stir together for a minute and half. Put the lid on and cook for about 2 minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pot and rice, stir. Bring to a boil. Put the lid back on and cook for 10 minutes. Stir now and then to make sure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with green onion and serve with lemon wedges.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Tarragon

Last night's Fun Friday Supper was Chicken Tarragon with brown rice and green beans. For dessert Flourless Chocolate Cake. Another favourite of the family.


















 This dish is amazingly easy to make and incredibly savoury. The family have agreed this is going into our Family Recipe Book that I'm creating for our lovely kiddies. It will be filled with all of their favourite dishes and desserts. Another project of mine with the help of my kiddies. This is just a recipe book that will belong to the kids for fun. Something they would always keep as they get older.

(will post recipes in a moment) I get so busy with the little one's I have to stop in between blog and tend to their every need. I know all of you Mums and Dads would agree.

Right, here's the recipe

Tarragon Chicken

2 teaspoons olive oil (unless you have garlic flavored oil)
dash of garlic powder
cut onion into quarters and chop up 1/4 of it
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh white pepper to grind over
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon and a pinch for sprinkling

Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onions stir, add dried tarragon, stir again and cook for a minute.

Put the chicken fillet in the pan curved side down and cook for 5 minutes. If the onions look like their starting to burn scrape them from the pan and let them rest on the chicken.

Turn over the chicken and add the white wine. Let the wine bubble up then add salt. Put the lid on and cook on low for 10 minutes. Check the chicken if its cooked by slicing through the center. Making sure there isn't any pink. Cook longer if there is.

Remove chicken breasts to plates. Bring the liquid to a boil, add the cream and stir well, then sprinkle in the fresh tarragon, stir again and give a good grind of pepper.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and give the final sprinkle of tarragon.

Serves 2

I've doubled up the recipe to serve the 4 of us.




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Double Double, Toil and Trouble

My Witches Stew......heee heeee heeee (meant to be a witches cackle)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.


















Kiddies loved it!


Sauce

1 Eye of newt (onion, peeled)
1 Toe of frog (celery stalk)
2 tablespoons Slug cream (olive oil)
1 teaspoon Spooky sauce (dried thyme)
2 14ounce cans of Heebie Jeebies (diced tomatoes)
plus 2 cans of water
1 teaspoon Witch's wart (sugar)
1 teaspoon Potion (salt)


Brainballs

1 pound ground brain (chicken)
1 Tarantula (egg)
3 tablespoon Spider eggs (breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoon finely chopped eye of newt (onion) and toe of frog (celery) from the sauce ingredients
1/2 a teaspoon of spooky sauce (dried thyme)


Blitz onion and celery in a food processor. Save 2 tablespoons after its been mushed for the meatballs.

Warm the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion celery mixture with dried thyme at low heat stirring now and again for 10 minutes. Add the cans of tomatoes and water along with the sugar, salt and pepper. Let it come to a bubble then simmer down.

Meatballs

Put all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix together. Start rolling bite size meatballs and drop gently into the simmering sauce. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to your taste. You can add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce if you like.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Welsh Rabbit or Rarebit

I couldn't help but make this for breakfast. To me this is proper breakfast as well as snack. You can eat it any time of the day. I did without the cider and the Worcestershire sauce with two of the family members being allergic to seafood. It's a good thing that my 11 year old is learning to read food labels. I didn't know that Worcestershire sauce had anchovies in it.

Anyway the family enjoyed eating them for breakfast. The English mustard really wakes up the pallet. Little did the kiddies know that mustard was in it as they both don't care for it. Welsh Rabbit is basically cheese on toast. I twisted the recipe to be kiddie friendly.



This is my kiddie friendly version of the recipe.

2 English muffins
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
3 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon of English mustard

Slice the English muffins in half which makes 4 pieces and toast.

Melt the butter and blend the flour in until you've made a roux. Add the mustard and the milk once blended toss in the cheese and take the saucepan out of the heat until cheese has melted. Drape the cheese over the muffins and put in the hot oven to broil the top. Once the cheese starts to get brown toasted spots remove from the oven.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Petits Pois a la Francaise

This is the best tasting frozen peas recipe I've ever had. (will post recipe in a moment)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sticky Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Honey

Nigel Slater's Sticky Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Honey
Yummmmm.......

Recipe from Nigel Slater BBC Food

Ingredients
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 lemons, juice only
good squeeze or two of runny honey
dollop grainy mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 large chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
sea salt, to taste
2-3 preserved lemons
handful green olives, pits removed, sliced
small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves only

Preparation method

Preheat the oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Place the peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and grind until roughly crushed. Add these to a large bowl together with the lemon juice, honey, mustard and garlic and mix well.
Place the chicken thighs into a large roasting tin and pour the lemon and honey mixture over the chicken, leaving it to marinate for as long as possible. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste, then cook in the hot oven for 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking so that the thighs become lovely and sticky.
Meanwhile, cut the preserved lemons open and remove the soft flesh to leave you with just the skin (discard the flesh). Cut the skin into strips and toss together with the olives and parsley. When the chicken is ready, serve sprinkled with the olive, parsley and preserved lemon mixture.

How to remove sticky labels and odor from pasta and pesto sauce jars.

Have you ever wondered how to remove the sticky labels and odor from glass pasta jars? I have. First I soak up the jars and the lids in hot water. The label comes right off but the sticky annoying residue remains. I tried scrubbing it off with a dish sponge, my thumb, and its quite a labour only to have it spread around even more. I've searched online and read a few tips about it. I've read using acetone, WD 40, and lighter fluid will do the job. Well, I don't want to put my jars on fire. I want to clean them and reuse them to store my sugar, oats, rice, and spices...etc.

I used the peanut butter method. If I had known about this earlier on I wouldn't have had to put so much sweat into it. I've masked parts of the jars that had the sticky stuff with peanut butter. Left it on for a few hours. I got some paper towel to wipe off the peanut butter and the sticky stuff vanished along with it! As for the pasta and pesto odor in the jar and the lid, I soaked them in water with baking soda and the odor vanished as well!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crustless Pizza

 
(This dish is his specialty courtesy of Nigella.)





Tonight we made Crustless Pizza. It was quite easy that my 2 year old have done it all by himself. He poured all the ingredients in the bowl together. All I had to do was have everything measured out for him, supervise and put the pans in the oven. He loves being in the kitchen with me. He wants to help cook all the time. He made our pizza tonight. I also had to move the toaster oven out of the way for him because he said he needed more counter space...LOL. On the first photo you'll notice the toaster and the second photo it's gone...LOL. He's too cute and he did such a great job with stirring. He was very excited to taste his creation that he kept checking the oven window to see if it was done.  Soon as he heard the timer beep he called out for his sister. "Sissy dinner's ready!"

We made two batches for the two pans. We made four slices out of one pizza and one was filling enough. Our darling daughter ate 3 slices! Yummm...

Recipe
1 egg
2/3 cups of flour (pizza appears brown because we used whole wheat flour which is brown)
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400F mix egg, flour, milk, and cheese together.
Grease the pan and pour the mixture (you'll need 8 inch round).
Bake for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and add chorizo slices (we used pepperoni) sprinkle a dash of cheese on top and put back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes until cheese have melted.


Crispy Chicken Cutlet and Churros

Crispy Chicken Cutlet with Brown Rice
With my very own twist. I've tenderized the skinless and boneless chicken breast to a some what thin fillet. Coated it with egg whites, whole wheat flour, dash of whole wheat bread crumb and shredded reggiano  parmigiano. It was crunchy and flavourful you need not add salt. For our side we had one boil in a bag brown rice to serve 4. 1/3 cup each to be exact.

Dessert ~ Our Homemade Churros w/ Semisweet chocolate dip

These are homemade churros made with whole wheat flour. Flash fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. The dip is semisweet chocolate melted with cream and a bit of golden syrup. This was a hit last night. Kiddies loved it! Well, who doesn't love chocolate. Kiddies fancy dark chocolate as much as I do and they're much healthier for you.


Nigella's Churros recipe
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour which is why the churros look dark brown)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup boiling water
2 cups corn or vegetable oil for deep frying (I didn't have either so I used olive oil)

Once fried lightly coat churros with:
1/4 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon mixed together.

Chocolate Sauce
4 oz. of good quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet)
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
Melt in saucepan.


For more recipes click here

I've read that Dark Chocolate helps with lowering your cholesterol. http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spaghetti with Marmite

Spaghetti with Marmite and Grilled Chicken with herbs and spices.
Yummmmm....Everyone's plates were empty. The kiddies loved it : )

As a child I remember eating Marmite on toast. My gran (lola) and nanny would feed it to me every morning. What I looked forward to the most is when gran made French toast (eggy bread is what my son calls it) for breakfast. I can remember being woken up by the aroma of butter and egg being cooked from the kitchen. I remember the feeling of solace knowing gran was in the next room. She would have her floral dress on, her hair up on a pony tail ready to greet you with her smile once you walked in the kitchen. She loved being in the kitchen cooking and feeding everyone. It's what made her happy : )

Sunday, July 24, 2011

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON










  





















I love these wall arts. 

I remember my gran telling me during WWII she used to sew the military uniforms. She was born on March 1919 so she was 20 years of age at the time. She passed away this past February (2011) before her 92nd birthday. I can't even imagine all the history she had seen and experienced during her time. 

Since her passing have been a great loss, I've been trying to heal from it. I try not to let things bother me. In every situation Gran always Kept Calm And Carried On and Kept Calm and Cooked On. I shall be doing the same. I miss her terribly..