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I bought Noble Nourishment :D  ‘Mon over to my new website;  if you could adjust your subscription settings, that would be fabulous! 

If you haven’t subscribed yet… well now is your chance ;)

To further entice you… I have just posted about my Steak & Guinness Pie.  Come have a swatch! x

Helllooooo :D

Hope you are all good!  How bloody quick are these weeks flying in?  I wish time would slow down a bit.  Anyone found the formula for squeezing extra hours into the day yet?  I’m honestly grudging the hours I spend sleeping, feeling I could be doing something more productive! 

“Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark-spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror.  It’s passing, yet I’m the one who’s doing all the moving.”  Martin Amis, Money

(Note – I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my To Be Read list after a quote like that!)

But that’s enough about me…

Last week, I spoke about the Honey Mustard Chicken recipe I made.  Here it is, in all it’s splendour.  It’s an excellent midweek meal, and one I have made twice already (in the space of about a month).  I got it from the BBC Good Food Website (see the original recipe here).

The thing I like most about this recipe (apart from the taste), is that I can bung everything into one dish and get on with other things.  The first time I tried it, I used parsnips, as per the recipe, and cooked it on the hob, in my big soup pot.  This time, however, I used carrots (there were no parsnips), and made it as a casserole. 

I only had 2 chicken breasts on this occasion (which was fine, as I was only cooking for two), but kept all the other ingredient measures the same.  I now have a lovely tub of honey mustard carrots in the freezer, which I will serve with the Steak & Ale Pie I intend to make tomorrow (and will post about next week!)

Heres is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

3 carrots, cut into even sized sticks

2 onions, diced

300ml vegetable stock (I used a veg Oxo cube)

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp clear honey

1 tsp dried rosemary 

First, I preheated the oven to 180 degrees.

In my casserole dish, I placed the carrots, onions and chicken.  I seasoned well with salt and pepper, and sprinkled over my rosemary.

In a jug, I mixed together the stock, mustard and honey.  The picture goes for your eyes, doesn’t it?

I poured the liquid into my casserole dish and gave everything a good stir.  It’s now ready for the oven; I let it bubble away for 1 ½ hours :)

I served this with some potato & swede mash and a helping of marrowfat peas.  Delish.

This is a good, hearty, cheap meal.  I’m sure you could serve it with something fancy (like my Boulangère Potatoes, perhaps? ;) Or what about couscous?) if you are out to impress.

Oh… remember when I said “that’s enough about me”?  I lied.  I just want to thank everyone who wished me luck on my Philosophy exam.  I passed! :D  Now, when I drunkenly ponder the meaning of life, I can pretend to have substance behind my words. ;)

Have a lovely week everyone x

Hellooo, how has your week been?

I was intending to post a Honey Mustard Chicken recipe, but I forgot my USB cable to get the photos off my phone (doh!  Next week, I promise).  No matter… I came across some pics of a Parmesan & Mushroom risotto I made a couple of months back.  How did that one manage to slip my bloggy grasp?

Risotto is one of my favourite things to make.  I don’t regard myself as a particularly excellent cook, but I can make a good risotto (so I’ve been told).  I think alot of people think it’s hard, when it’s not.  It requires effort, in the stirring, but it’s certainly not hard.  

As much as I love to cook, I’m notorious for overcooking pasta and undercooking rice; things that novice cooks are confident doing!  So I’m thrilled that I can at least get this right…

My friend Heather tried my Chicken & Chorizo and absolutely adored it… “De-fu**in-licious” were her exact words!  :P so I hope this one creates a similar response!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

300g arborio rice

250g mushrooms, sliced

100g parmesan cheese, grated (plus an extra handful for sprinkling on top when it’s ready)

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 glass white wine

1 litre chicken stock

knob of butter, for frying

I fried the onions in the butter until they went translucent (around 5 mins), then added the mushrooms.  After a further 5 mins, I added the risotto.  I like to toast the risotto slightly, before adding liquid to it (only for a minute or two).

I added my herbs and vinegar, then the wine.  Next, I poured in my first ladle of stock.  Stirring continuously, I let it absorb into the rice, before adding my second ladle. 

I repeat this process until the rice is “al dente” (around 25 mins).  There was still a ladleful of stock left at this point.  But I’d rather have too much stock than not enough!  I turned the heat off and added my parmesan, then stirred it all in to create creamy, cheesy wonderment… mmmmm.

I sprinkled with some extra parmesan and served with garlic bread for Michelle and her friend David, before they went to watch Kylie perform in the SECC (two nights in a row, might I add!).  I’m sure this is a good meal for soaking up the alcohol haha :)

This is a fabulous mid-week meal, but wouldn’t look out of place in a more formal setting.  If people want to think risotto takes lots of craft and skill… then let them (and prepare to impress!) ;)

Of course, you can substitute the chicken stock for veg if you want to make it Vegetarian, but unless they’ve invented Vegan Parmesan, that’s as far as it stretches (ok, I’m sure you could substitute for a Vegan cheese too; I can’t vouch for the taste though!)

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and I’ll see you next Wednesday! :D x

 

Helloooo :)

I hope you are all well!

In my last post, I spoke about how I would blog every Wednesday from now on.  And what happened?  I missed my first Wednesday!  Normal service has resumed, however.  I was just too busy last week, getting prepared for the T in the Park festival.  Yes, we had a wonderful time, thanks for asking! :D

(Everyone apart from my Bro, who is taking the pic!)

Today’s recipe is one that I made up myself, after browsing many (hundred) chilli recipes and deciding which ingredients I liked best.  I’m not a big fan of spiciness; this is a nice, tame version that would be good for children!

You may think I’m weird for what I’m about to say… but I’ve only ever eaten chilli once before.  Even then, it was only a small bit, with the kidney beans picked out.  I’m so sheltered!  Colin is a fan of chilli, so I made it my business to get it learned!

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

500g lean beef mince

2 large onions, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 sweet pointed peppers (any peppers will be fine though, I just thought they looked good)

250g mushrooms, sliced

2tbsp chilli powder

2tbsp dried oregano

1tbsp ground cinnamon

2tbsp paprika

3 bay leaves

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, drained

3tbsp tomato puree

1tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar

150ml (1/2 pint) beef stock (I used a stock cube)

1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

First I browned the mince, then added the onions.  After 5 mins, I then popped the garlic, mushrooms and peppers into the pot. 

Next, I added my herbs & spices, my tomatoes, puree, brown sugar, Worcester sauce and stock. 

I seasoned it well, with salt and pepper.  In went the bay leaves, then I simmered for 1 hour (stirring occasionally).

Next, I removed the bay leaves and put my kidney beans into the pot for 10 more minutes.

I served this with brown rice and a little side salad.  Very healthy indeed!  I could be doing with some healthy food after all that crappy (and hideously overpriced) festival food.

I really enjoyed this chilli, and would recommend it to anyone who is tentative, like me, about spicy food.  I have two tubs of it in the freezer, and I plan to have one of them over a baked potato, with a sprinkling of cheddar over the top… mmmh!

Next time, I’m going to replace the kidney beans with normal baked beans, like my big Brother’s girlfriend Lindsay does with her chilli.  Aside from that, the recipe will stay the same; Colin said it tastes like chilli, so thats good enough for me!

See you next Wednesday :) x

In my last post, I served my Balsamic chicken with Boulangère Potatoes.  It was divine!  As promised, here is the potato dish recipe, in all it’s glory.

Anyone who regularly reads my posts will know of my tottie addiction.  This is my healthy alternative to potato dauphinoise (wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have dauphinoise every day?  I’d probably never get fed up of it).

Recipes vary and can get quite fancy, but I prefer mines nice and basic.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1kg potatoes, sliced thinly

2 onions, sliced thinly

300ml chicken stock

salt & pepper to season

a couple of knobs of butter for the top (optional)

I went to town with my Mandolin slicer again!  Theres something very therapeutic about setting upon a mound of totties with a sharp blade…

My layer sequence was:

1/3 potatoes

1/2 onion

*SEASON*

1/3 potatoes

1/2 onion

*SEASON*

1/3 potatoes

I covered it with stock, until it almost came up to the surface, but didn’t quite reach.  I seasoned once again, dotted a few wee knobs of butter over the top and covered with foil. 

Then I put into a preheated oven (200 degrees) for 45 minutes.  I removed the foil, then baked for a final 15 mins.

If I were cooking for one, I suspect I’d probably still make enough for four.  I wouldn’t even make an accompanying dish; a tray of boulangère totties and a fork = One Happy Catherine.

It tastes even better the next day, if it manages to last that long.  It freezes well too!

Enjoy! :)

In other news, I have decided to only post on Wednesdays from now on.  This is so I can work on my writing commitments (which I have viciously bestowed upon myself), but I hope to still browse my favourite food blogs throughout the week (usually in the depths of procrastination; we may be seeing a lot of each other).

Till next Wednesday then! x

Hiya :)

This recipe was discovered as a result of my penchant for those “Daily Recipe” emails I sign up to.  Honestly, I get about 20 emails a day from the many recipe sites I browse.  So many, in fact, that it’s somewhat overwhelming and I don’t make the time to look at them all.

But this one stood out for me. 

It’s from the Food Network website.  Is anyone else addicted to their TV channel?  I could watch Barefoot Contessa all day (although Colin now hates Ina, after I told him about her refusal to take part in the Make a Wish Foundation – say it aint true, Ina :( ). 

This recipe, however, is from another TV Chef, Giada De Laurentiis.  She’s sickeningly beautiful and an amazing cook.  Not fair!  But I’ll forgive her, since this recipe was just too delicious.  And after reading all the rave reviews, I just had to try it.

This is my first attempt at using the Americanized “cup” method of measuring ingredients.  It was very simple :)

The recipe can be found here, but here’s my step by step account:

Ingredients (Serves 4, but I made dinner for 3 and froze the rest in a tub)

3 chicken breasts

1 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 tomato ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

I preheated the oven to 180 degrees, then roasted my chicken for 25 mins.

Meanwhile, I combined all the ingredients in a pot, brought to the boil then simmered for 20 mins to reduce.

I brought the chicken out of the oven, covered it in the Balsamic BBQ mixture, and returned to the oven for a further 15 mins.

I served this up with some boulangère potatoes (which I will post about next time!), and green beans.  It was scrumptious :)

Next time, I will definitely marinade my meat in this mixture overnight!  I completely understand why there are so many excellent reviews and I’m sure this will be a regular feature in my Meal Planning :)
 
Give it a bash and let me know how you get on!
 
Enjoy :)

 

This is my Daddykin’s favourite dish :)

The real, true, proper version (of which mines completely isn’t) he first tried in a gorgeous little restaurant in St. Anne’s, called Margherita’s.  We’ve been there many times and he never deviates from his Pollo Vesuvio, no matter how many times he says he will.  I can’t blame him; it’s gorgeous!

So gorgeous, in fact, that I just had to try to recreate it myself.  Their description of Pollo Vesuvio is “chicken breast cooked in onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, wine, brandy, cherry tomatoes, Napoli sauce, tabasco and cream”.

I refuse to buy a bottle of brandy, just to use a splash of it in a dish.  I don’t drink brandy, so I know the remains will just fester away in the back of my cupboard.  Therefore, the brandy is gone from my adaptation.  I also use tinned tomatoes for ease of use.  Here are all the things you’ll need to create this stupendous dish (my way):

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

4 chicken breasts, whole

2 onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 red peppers, diced

500g mushrooms, sliced

2 tin chopped tomatoes, drained

1 tbsp sugar

1 glass of white wine

Chicken Stock (1 cube mixed into 100ml boiled water)

1 heaped tbsp dried oregano

1 heaped tbsp dried basil

Tabasco, a generous dash (as much as you can handle!)

50ml cream (room temperature)

Grated Parmesan (a big handful – room temperature)

Make sure everything is all prepared before you start :)

Brown the chicken all over, in olive oil, then take out and set aside on a plate.

Fry the onions and garlic for 5-10 mins.  Add your red peppers and mushrooms, stirring for a further 5 mins.

Put your chicken back into the pan.

Add your chopped tomatoes, then sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over it (this will get rid of that tangy-ness of the tomato that makes the eyeball twitch).

Add the white wine, chicken stock, basil, oregano and Tabasco, then give it all a good stir.

 Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Turn off the heat, put your chicken breasts on their plates, then add your cream and grated parmesan to the sauce.  After a good stir, pour it decadently over your chicken breasts.  Mmmm.

Best served with tasty roast totties!

One of the great things about this dish, is that there is sometimes leftover sauce (which freezes no bother yay!).  Add it to some pasta and smoked sausage.  Tastiest.  Lunch.  Ever.

Have you ever tried to recreate your favourite dish from a restaurant?  There’s a starter dish I fancy trying, from the ASK restaurant.  It’s crostini with beef tomato, goats cheese, caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar, served with rocket.  LLARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Enjoy :) x

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