Wednesday, 30 January 2013

# 319 Spaghetti with prawns and bacon

This is a slightly modified version of a dish my mum served us when we visited her last Summer, hers was a lot more colourful than mine because she used a very fine, tricoloured spaghetti which I couldn't find in the supermarket but regular spaghetti works just as well.

The funny thing about this dish is that my mum had seen it being made on a cookery show and then adapted the recipe to her own taste and as I said mine has had a few changes too so quite possibly this recipe bears no resemblance to the original one at all!

Spaghetti with prawns and bacon

250g precooked and peeled defrosted prawns
6 bacon slices cut into strips
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 tub single or double cream
A few fresh coriander leaves
Olive oil

In a pan over a low heat drizzle a little olive oil, add the chili flakes and crushed garlic and let it soften for a couple of minutes before adding the strips of bacon. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes then add the prawns, coriander and cream and cook for only a couple of minutes more. Put the lid on the pan and remove from the heat.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until it's al dente and drain. Put the heat on again under the pan with prawns, bacon and cream and when it's bubbling add the spaghetti mixing well.

Serve immediately with a lettuce salad.



Monday, 28 January 2013

# 318 A visit to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

If you like embroidery and sewing in general or know someone who does the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery has an exhibition on called Stitching and Thinking.

We went to see it yesterday and although I was a little disappointed at the size of the exhibition I liked most of work shown.

If you've never been and you're not very far away this is a great place to visit even with the children as there's something for everyone. Entry to the museum is free and you can find more information here.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

# 317 Turkey Tikka Masala Curry

After a short interval when things seemed to be getting back to normal snow started falling again. We've been lucky here so far as we haven't experienced the huge amounts of snow and the disruption that comes with it that some parts of the country had but I can't wait for it to go away, I can't wait for the snow and ice to melt so it's safe to go out again. If you're not yet tired of seeing photos of the snow there's a few on my Flickr here.

Meanwhile hot, filling and comforting meals are the order of the day and this curry dish went down a treat the other day.

Turkey Tikka Masala Curry

1.200 kg diced turkey thighs (you can also use turkey breast steaks or chicken breasts if you want)
1 tub (300ml) reduced fat creme fraiche
3 teaspoons Tikka Masala Curry Paste (medium)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tin coconut milk
3 tablespoons single cream
Fresh coriander
1/2 onion, chopped
Olive oil

In a big enough food container mix the creme fraiche with the Tikka Masala curry paste until well combined, season with a pinch of salt but don't add too much as the curry paste is already salted. Add the meat, make sure it's well covered in the creme fraiche and curry paste mixture and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Drizzle a little olive oil into a pan, add the onion and soften for a few minutes before adding the meat. Cook the meat for a few minutes and then add the single cream, the coconut milk and the remaining creme fraiche and curry paste mixture. Cook over a low heat for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally until the turkey meat is cooked through. Add some chopped fresh coriander half way through the cooking.

Serve with white rice and/or steamed vegetables.



PS - This is one of those dishes I always make a double portion of. The amount of meat mentioned is enough for 2 meals for the 3 of us and there's still some leftover which A. likes to take to school in a pitta bread.

Friday, 18 January 2013

# 316 Snow

It's been falling nice and steady since the early hours of the morning and there's now a thick white blanket of snow covering everything, apart from the main road where it has turned to mush. A. is home because his school is closed as are many other schools in the area.

View from our back garden.

We did go out earlier because I'd ordered some fresh yeast from the baker's and didn't want not to turn up to collect it, in the end they didn't have it as it wasn't delivered to them! I took these photos on the way there and back.

That's the library building at the end of School Lane, closed today because of the weather.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

# 315 Marshmallow Crispy Cakes

A few years ago when A. was taking a keen interest in cooking I bought him this book from the charity shop. Unfortunately he's since lost interest apart from offering to lick bowls (when I'm making a cake) or doing what he calls "taste tests" :-)

This recipe is from that book and makes a delicious sweet treat to include in children's lunch boxes. Next time I make this I'll try adding other ingredients to see how well they work out, I'm thinking different types of nuts or maybe granola for a healthier option.

Marshmallow Crispy Cakes

250g toffees
50g butter
45ml milk
115g marshmallows
175g puffed rice breakfast cereal

Lightly brush a 20 x 33cm roasting pan with a little vegetable oil.

I lined mine with baking paper.

Put the toffees, butter, milk and marshmallows in a pan over a low heat and stir until the toffees and the marshmallows have melted. Add the cereal and stir until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared roasting pan, level the surface and leave to set.

I put mine in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

When cool and hard, cut into squares, carefully remove from the pan and put into paper cases to serve.



Monday, 14 January 2013

# 314 Mince and chunky chips pie

This is a dish I make sometimes when I have leftover mince beef, I want a comforting plate of food on the table and I am short of time.

Mince and chunky chips pie

Leftover cooked mince beef (recipe here)
White sauce (recipe here)
Potatoes cut in chunky rounds
Single cream
Pinch of salt

Fry the chunky round chips until they are slightly golden. Drain them on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

In an ovenproof dish pour a little single cream, just enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Distribute half of the chips to cover the bottom of the dish in a nice, even layer and cover with the mince meat, finish with another layer of chunky chips topped with the thick white sauce.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or so or until the sauce is a nice golden colour..

Serve with steamed vegetables or a green salad.



Thursday, 10 January 2013

# 313 Photo Friday: The lucky shot

It's been a while since my last Photo Friday challenge and even longer since this photo was taken way back in 2008 when we took A. to Legoland

I can't remember what kind of snake this was but it was big, A. didn't mind a bit and loved having it on his shoulders. Me, I took the photo quickly and had to get away as I'm really scared of snakes.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

# 312 Blue...

...skies as far as the eye can see make everything look better and brighter.

I don't know about you but for me there's nothing like a sunny day with a blue sky to get me going, so today I exercised, went for an hour long walk, took photos, dusted, hoovered, tidied up and cleaned, folded clothes and put them away, put washing out on the line, baked, sorted out A's desk, made soup, etc. I love days like this.

What have you been up to?


Monday, 7 January 2013

# 311 Flapjacks with marshmallows, salted peanuts and pistachios

Well, the holidays are over and it's back to school for most children in the UK which also means going back to preparing packed lunches!

I always like to include a little something for A. to have during his morning break so I make flapjacks quite often. Back in June I posted a recipe for flapjacks that A. brought home from school and that's the one I've been making ever since but the other day I decided to make a few changes which I think worked very well. A. certainly seemed to like them as they didn't last for very long. Hope you enjoy them too.

Flapjacks with marshmallows, salted peanuts and pistachios

2 cups oats
1 cup plain flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup golden caster sugar
1 cup salted peanuts and pistachios
Handful of marshmallows ( I used mini marshmallows because that's what I had at the time)
250g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 160 ÂșC/Gas Mark 4. Grease a foil tray or line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Melt the butter with the golden syrup and the marshmallows in a saucepan over a low heat and then add to the dry ingredients mixing well.

Press into the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully mark the squares with a knife. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and removing the flapjacks from the tray.