Archive for the ‘freezer friendly’ Category

Helllooooo ūüėÄ

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:


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‚Äôs now ready for the oven; I let it bubble away for 1 ¬Ĺ hours ūüôā

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 Boulang√®re Potatoes, perhaps? ūüėČ Or what about couscous?) if you are out to impress.

Oh‚Ķ remember when I said ‚Äúthat‚Äôs enough about me‚ÄĚ?¬† I lied.¬† I just want to thank everyone who wished me luck on my Philosophy exam.¬† I passed! ūüėĬ† Now, when I drunkenly ponder the meaning of life, I can pretend to have substance behind my words. ūüėČ

Have a lovely week everyone x


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Helloooo ūüôā

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! ūüėÄ

(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 ūüôā x

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In my last post, I served my Balsamic chicken¬†with Boulang√®re 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


1/3 potatoes

1/2 onion


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 boulang√®re¬†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! ūüôā

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

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Hiya ūüôā

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 ūüė¶ ).¬†

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 ūüôā

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 boulang√®re¬†potatoes (which I will post about next time!), and green beans.¬† It was scrumptious ūüôā

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 ūüôā
Give it a bash and let me know how you get on!
Enjoy ūüôā x¬†


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This is my Daddykin’s favourite dish ūüôā

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 ‚Äď room temperature)

Make sure everything is all prepared before you start ūüôā

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 ūüôā x

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This post is dedicated to my Glamorous Gran and namesake, Catherine Noble, who just turned 78 on Wednesday! 

(What… don’t all pensioners have drum-kits at their birthday party?)

My darling Grandmother is a wonderful human being, and I’m not just saying that out of some kind of grand-daughterly obligation. ¬†She’s the only person I know who can have such grace, style and elegance, whilst simultaneously taking the crown for the most riotous party animal I know. ¬† And, being from Glasgow, I know a fair few people who can handle their “bevvy”.¬†

For example, I remember we sat up all night, gabbing away at a family house party.  I had to give up at 7:30am, completely partied out.  Gran was (and is always) the last one standing, with not a hair out of place on her perfectly styled bouffant.

A lot of people (especially food bloggers) talk about how they used to bake cakes with their granny as a child, or learned everything they knew about cooking from them.¬† I don’t fall within that category.¬†¬† My Gran doesn’t have much time for cooking.¬† As someone who has a blatant food obsession, this should fill me with complete dismay.

But, aside from her home-made Tablet (which I must try soon!), I have inherited one gorgeous recipe from her.  Something that she used to make for my Dad growing up, which was then passed down to become a favourite of ours.

It’s a simple enough stew-type dish, but in order to make it sound more exciting to my Dad and his brothers when they were wee, she gave it the name: Americans.

I doubt that would wash with today’s youth.¬† Nevertheless, the name has stuck and is used regularly in our particular branch of the Noble family.¬† Please humour me and overlook the fact that there is nothing remotely American about the dish. ūüôā

Dad is a veggie-phobe, so the original version was just sausages, potatoes and Oxo¬†cubes.¬† I like to add carrots and onions to mines.¬† My brother likes to use Cumberland sausages with his and add mixed herbs.¬† Since I’m the one with the blog, I get to write about my version of events. Naturally. ūüėČ

Here are the ingredients, in all their splendour:

Serves 4:

12 skinless pork sausages, cut in half

3 carrots, sliced

2 onions, diced

3 large potatoes, cut into 3″-ish chunks

3 Oxo cubes

Dont cut the potatoes and sausages too small, or they will disintegrate.

If your sausages aren’t skinless, I would boil them¬†in water for 5-10 mins, then drain before adding the rest of the¬†ingredients.¬†¬†It will be really oily otherwise.¬†¬†You can use¬†beef if you like; I prefer¬†the pork.

Simply bung all the ingredients in a big pot, fill with enough water to cover it all, then crumble your Oxo cubes in.

Season with a little salt (the Oxo cubes make it salty too), give it a stir then bring to the boil.

Once boiling, bring it to a simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And that’s it!¬† It’s ridiculously tasty, especially with¬†lots of bread to soak up the delicious gravy.¬† I bought some of that “hedgehog” bread the other day, and it was perfect with this!¬†

It’s such a simple dish, which can be prepared in minutes and quickly fills the house with a wonderful, homely aroma.¬† Even though there’s¬†nothing particularly remarkable about the recipe itself, it was always regarded as a treat when Mum made it, when we were growing up.¬† Perhaps the Americanisation of it thrilled us as much as it did my Dad and his brothers!

It freezes really well, as long as you don’t make the pieces too small (then it would go a bit mushy!).¬† So if there’s a “Buy One Get One Free” deal in your local supermarket for sausages, I would thoroughly recommend doubling up the recipe and freezing half of it.¬† If you have a microwave in work, then this is a perfect comfort-food lunch to break up a busy day!

It’s one of those dishes that will most definitely result in you sneaking back to the kitchen every now and again, for a sneaky ladlefull or two!

And if you happen to find yourself feeling rather fragile after a certain someone’s 78th birthday party, it is fabulous hangover food! ūüėČ

Enjoy! ūüôā x

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When we were younger, Irene and I used to spend alot of time at our friend Maggie’s house.¬† Her mum made the most amazing Paprika Chicken dish, and even back then (when I was a¬†sulky teenager, with no interest in cooking), I knew I would want to recreate it myself one day.¬†

It’s been so long since I last had Maggie’s mum’s Chicken Paprika; I can hardly remember what it tasted like, but I do remember how amazing I thought¬†it was.¬† So, after extensive research on the many “chicken paprika” dishes that google provides, I settled on¬†a recipe from a contestant of the TV Show Come Dine With Me.¬† The recipe can be found here.¬†

I’ve made a few changes here and there.¬† I cooked mines on the hob, as opposed to the oven, and¬†I served mines with cajun spiced sweet potato chips & sour cream, instead of pitta bread & rice (oh, and despite the presence in the photo, I didn’t use mustard!).

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

3-4 x chicken breasts (I used 3 to feed 3, but theres plenty extra sauce for a 4th)

1 x red bell pepper, chopped

2 x onions, diced

2 tbsp x sweet paprika

2 tbsp x smoked paprika

6 x bay leaves

4 x cloves garlic, minced

250g x closed cup mushrooms, sliced

1 x tin tomatoes

300ml x boiled water with 1 chicken stock cube dissolved

4 x tbsp chicken seasoning

90g x plain flour

1 x tub sour cream dip (I used this one mmmm)

First I mixed the flour, chicken seasoning, salt & pepper into a bowl. 

I then coated each chicken breast in the mixture and browned it in the frying pan, with a little olive oil, for 5 mins or so. 

Once the chicken breasts were sealed, I put them in my mammoth pot, to wait patiently for the rest of the ingredients.

Next up, I fried the onions & mushrooms for 5-10 mins, then added the garlic and red pepper.

After frying for another few mins, I popped them into the pot with the chicken.

I added the tomatoes, stock, bay leaves and paprika to the pan, seasoned with salt & pepper, then gave it all a good stir.

I brought to the boil, then simmered for 45mins, letting the sauce reduce into a nice, thick consistency.

I served this with my sweet potato wedges and some sour cream dip (put on the table for anyone that wanted some).

This was sooooo good, the flavours are incredible.

As I said above, I only used 3 chicken breasts.¬† So I did what I always do with the remaining sauce…¬† froze it, then used as a pasta sauce!¬† Much better than any of the jar sauces, in my opinion!

Enjoy ūüôā

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