Salmon with Creme Fraiche

My hubby was suffering really badly from tooth pains the other week so I wanted to cook him something soft to eat for dinner. I had some salmon fillets and left over creme fraiche and found this recipe on the BBC Goodfood website which was really simple to follow.

You don’t need alot of ingredients, as long as you have the fish and creme fraiche, you can put any vegetables you have in your fridge. I cooked this with leeks, mushrooms and chives, and the great thing about this recipe is that you can just use the 1 pan to cook everything. It was really yummy and just what my hubby needed!!! I think for next time, if i am cooking this, i would use less stock as it turned out to be really saucy. Also, you can just use veg stock instead of chicken stock if you are vegetarian!

Vegetarian Dishes – Sept 2020- Best stuffed shells

As we are having our veggie day once a week, i don’t want to cook the same usual dishes all the time as i like to learn something new. I was searching online for inspiration of vegetarian recipes and come across this blog called Cookie and Kate. Once, I was on her site, i subscribed straight away to receive their new posts. I really love this website, her photography is bright and colourful, the recipes are so easy to follow and love that they include a video of how the food is made so you can have an idea if you are making it the same way. The only snag, is that you have to covert the ingredients into grams as they use cups and ounces in America but you can do the conversions easily on the mobile phone.

I have been meaning to try out her recipe called ‘Best stuffed shells‘ and was having a hard time to getting the ricotta cheese in the supermarkets. It has now been sitting in my fridge for awhile as i just haven’t had a chance to make it. My brother in law was coming round for dinner and it is a nice dish to share with people so took the opportunity to make this. Unfortunately, i just used up most of my spinach the previous night for dinner so i only had a handful left over. I then, decided to bulk this up with some mushrooms and leeks. The best thing about this recipe, is that you can fill it with anything you want so it doesn’t have to be vegetarian as you can add chicken pieces, bacon or chorizo etc.

I used a whole bag (500g) of the big shells and i had enough fillings to make 2 trays. I used a shop brought jar tomatoes and basil sauce for the base and had enough left to drizzle on top. I must admit, it is quite fiddly to stuff each pasta shell but it was worth it as it was really delicious! My hubby and brother in law was really impressed by the dish and the flavours. I was impressed myself!! I will definitely be making this again and probably experiment with the fillings.

Kate has got a book out called ‘Love Real Food’, this will be on my list to buy. You can find her best stuffed shells recipe on her blog. Watch this space as I will be making a few more recipes using her blog!

Home Made Beef Burgers

Before my brother in law turned vegetarian, he would make this for our family with his daughter. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver and uses Jacob’s cream crackers which i suppose would act like the breadcrumbs to make it crunchy on the outside.This recipe makes 6 burgers but they must be massive ones as i can make about 12 burgers (mini) with this mixture. I would normally wrap them up with cling film and then with foil and put them in the freezer.Ingredients:

  • 500g mince beef
  • 12 x Jacob’s cream crackers (smashed)
  • 8 x springs of fresh parsley (i take out the stalks as i don’t like the hard bit)
  • 2 x table spoon of Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1 egg

First, smash up the Jacob’s cream crackers into fine crumbs. Then with another bowl, mix the mince, parsley and mustard. Add the egg to bind the mixture and roll them into a round shape and season with salt and pepper. I like to add some dried herbs like mixed herbs and thyme. Drizzle them with abit of oil and put them into the fridge to firm up. Fry them up when you are ready to eat to how you like your burgers. Put them in burger/brioche buns and serve with chips and or salad or what ever side dish you want!

Party Cookies with the boys!

I love baking and now that the boys are slightly older, I can get them to help out with measuring the ingredients and mixing and rolling out biscuits without them eating all the raw mixture from the bowl if i am lucky! Lock down began for us in mid March and as one of my new goals for 2020 was to bake with the boys once a month! I love this time as i get to see the boys being cheeky with the ingredients such as the toppings or chocolates and the delight on their little faces when they have cut out their biscuits shapes or decorating.

I had this book for over a decade called ‘1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & tempting treats’ by Susanna Tee. There are so many recipes in this book with really simple ingredients and the instructions are easy to follow. I let the boys choose which one they want to bake and this time they have chosen ‘Party Cookies’ on page 113. I can see why they wanted to bake this as they were attracted to the colourful photography of the biscuit decorated with sweeties!

You don’t need anything special ingredients to bake this as you should have them in your store cupboard if you are a baker! Hope your kids don’t eat all the chocolates before you bake them! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 100g soft butter
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 x tbsp golden syrup
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 85g sugar coated chocolates like M&Ms/Smarties/Chocolate buttons etc
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4 and line several baking trays with baking paper. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy, then whisk in the golden syrup and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Add 75g of the flour and whisk it in and stir the chocolates and remaining flour so it’s all mixed. Then, with your hands, knead the mixture until smooth.
  3. Roll small pieces of the dough into balls to make approx 15 cookies and place them on the baking tray, spacing them well apart as they expand.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins or until golden brown, leave them on the tray for 2-3 mins and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vegetarian Dishes 2020 – August

We had some smoked haddock and it’s always nice to cook fish with fresh herbs as it taste better and looks more colorful rather than using dried herbs. The only fresh herbs that I had in my fridge was some chives which I was going to use in another recipe but did’t get a chance to cook it.

I looked online to see what you can cook with smoked haddock and chives and found this recipe from Olivemagazine.com. It was smoked haddock with chives, peas and crushed potatoes. So simple to make and you don’t need lots of ingredients. I find in general that with fish recipes, they are always kept simple with basic ingredients and fast to cook with little prep work!

All you need for this is some smoked haddock fillets, butter, small potatoes halved, a cup of frozen peas, chopped up chives and a splash of wine wine or veg stock. First, you boil the potatoes until tender and then add the frozen peas. Crush it gently and add some butter.

Next, heat the butter in the pan and fry the smoked haddock, add some pepper, i didn’t add any salt because it is already salty. Add the splash of white wine/veg stock and reduce it a little. And, stir in the chives. Then to plate up, put the potatoes and peas on first and then add the haddock and chive butter on top. It was delicious and probably took 20 minutes to cook this.

Vegetarian Dishes 2020 – July

Right, I am going to be on time for my vegetarian dish this month and will make an effort to keep up and not get behind!! As mentioned previously, I am not that confident in cooking vegetarian dishes so I try to use our ‘veggie day’ to learn something new!!I saw this recipe online and just by chance my husband brought 2 x avocados with his grocery shop. We never buy avocados as we don’t know what to do with it! Also, I am actually not a huge fan of avocados as there is something about the texture that i don’t like! But, I thought, might aswell give it try, you preach to the kids to try out new vegetables and fruits so there is no excuses for grown ups! Lol!The avocado pasta is so easy to make, i actually didn’t have most of the ingredients like basil and parmesan so just improvised with what I got! We had some prawns, mushrooms and tinned crabmeat (nearly expiring), I heated them up and then added it to the spaghetti. With the avocados, i just mashed it up with some olive oil, salt and pepper but I thought it needed abit of acidity and added some lemon juice. The sauce was quite thick so it just coated the spaghetti. Dinner turned out to be quite nice surprisingly! I would definitely make this again and use the avocados sauce as a base and experiment with different ingredients such as adding tomatoes or peppers etc. 

World Chocolate Day!

It was World Chocolate Day on Tuesday 7th July so I thought it would be good excuse to make something chocolaty with the boys! I finished work late so we didn’t enough time to make it on the actual day so we made it the next day!We decided to make a Chocolate chip traybake from BBC Good Food website. With this recipe, I adjusted the light brown sugar from 300g to 200g as I thought it would be sweet enough already especially if it has got icing on top aswell. The cake is very moist and not dry at all!It was really simple to make and the boys enjoyed all the weighing and mixing and eating the white chocolate chips! Although, I didn’t realize how big the cake is! In the end, I had to freeze most of the cake or otherwise we would be having chocolate cake for the whole month!! Hope you guys enjoyed World Chocolate Day! 🙂

Vegetarian Dishes 2020 – June

I wanted to be on time with my vegetarian dishes but just missed it! However, I will be on time for July’s Veg dish!!

Last year, I went on my 1st solo trip to Florence for my best friend’s 40th birthday. I have never been on a trip by myself before and I was petrified! My husband took care of the logistic details and even planned my sightseeing schedule! He loves to doing that kind of thing as normally on our hols, i would just go with the flow and let him organised the whole day!

I loved it in Florence, it was such an amazing trip and had the best time with my best friend, Gil who currently lives in Sydney! She wanted to go to Italy for her 40th birthday so they planned a trip with her husband and baby girl! Unfortunately, our whole family couldn’t go as it was too expensive and the boys still had school etc, hence why i went by myself! I will make a separate blog entry for this as i experienced so many yummy food and need to blog about my pasta making class!

I made a few food purchases and one was a packet of Nero di seppia risotto, which is squid ink risotto. I have tasted this dish once in Venice and just remembered it was so different but delicious.

All you had to do was to fry the risotto mix in oil and add hot water until it is fully absorbed which took approx 25 minutes. When I started cooking this, it was so weird seeing the risotto black, it looked like tar! I added some prawns, mussels, seafood sticks and leeks. I have never cooked anything like this before as it was so black!! Even all the seafood went black aswell! I must say it didn’t look very appealing and my boys were shocked that we were eating something so black. It actually taste much better than it looks, the sauce was so rich and even after adding a pint of water, it was still quite strong and flavorsome! If this was on a restaurant menu, I would definitely order it again!

Vegetarian Dishes 2020 – May

It was my husband’s turn to cook for veggie day. He wanted to cook some fish and looked online for some recipes. He saw one from cafedelites.com with pan seared salmon with lemon garlic butter sauce. He liked this one because it was easy to follow and doesn’t take that long to cook. Normally, if he is cooking, he does it super early ahead of our of dinner time as he takes ages doing all the prep work etc and the kitchen is like a bomb site afterwards so he takes awhile to clean it!! lol!

All you need for this recipe is skinless salmon fillets, lemon juice, olive oil, butter, garlic and parsley and ready in under 15 minutes, you really can’t go wrong with this unless you burn the salmon or something. It was so delicious that I  nearly forgot to take a picture of it – already half eaten!! 🙂 

 

 

Vegetarian Dishes 2020 – April

This is my go to easy vegetarian meal when i am being lazy which is a seafood linguine as i can make this for the whole family. My husband and I would have the seafood and then i will toss some of the linguine in butter for the kids.

I normally buy this mussels and garlic butter or white wine sauce in a box from the supermarket which cost £2-£3 and you only just need to heat it up in boiling water for 10 mins. 

When i cook the mussels in the pot, i will then add some prawns, crabsticks or crayfish to go with it or what ever i can find in my fridge/freezer to heat up and the linguine is coated in abit of the sauce. Sometimes, i would add mushrooms or courgettes to bulk it up. Very delicious!