Wednesday, November 19, 2014


What's a birthday without a few pressies? A new cookbook (I need a new cookbook like a hole in my head I know!), a new book I've been wanting to read (The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell), some cross-stitch patterns, some hand cream of my favourite brand, a new CD (My Favourite Faded Fantasy by Damien Rice) and a bracelet from a friend. No, don't be silly, there's not a huge box of chocolate hiding behind the books - of course not!

Dinner, 19/11/14: Cottage Pie

Cooked by Geoff, which automatically puts it quite high up in my book. I like both Shepherd's Pie (with lamb mince) and Cottage Pie (with beef mince), so am happy to eat either one. In this instance, the beef mince was on special, and Geoff prefers beef, slightly. Not really a recipe for this - it just has carrot, celery, parsnip and onion cooked in with the mince (which is browned first) and some stock; then into the dish, mashed potato on top, and back into the oven to crisp up the top. A great dish to come home to, as it makes the whole house smell lovely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dinner, 18/11/14: Frazzled chorizo & rocket linguine

A quick weeknight supper, once again brought to you by your good friends at Good Food Magazine. Would my family eat without my subscription to Good Food? Probably not...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dinner, 17/11/14: Curried Vegetable Broth

This was a nice, easy, spicy vegetable soup. It would have been nice without the onions, but they did add an extra touch of something.... Recipe from Good Food Magazine, as is so often the case!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dinner, 16/11/14: Beef Stew

It's very tricky to take an attractive photo of stew, but this one isn't too bad - still in the slow cooker.  I love using the slow-cooker on the weekend, Sunday especially, as it seems to stretch the day out a bit if you don't have to get up from whatever you are doing and cook dinner, as the weekend is beginning to wind down. Particularly in the winter, I tend to use the slow-cooker a lot on weekends; this winter will be no exception, despite my kids fussing about "always having stew" (we don't - we have lots of other slow-cooked things, too, like curries and casserole...).

There's no recipe for this stew; it's stewing beef, which I coat in seasoned flour and then fry in a little oil, before placing on top of cut up potatoes, celery, carrots, and in this instance parsnips, as I had some spare ones. A bit of beef stock in for cooking, and Bob's your uncle. Or at least, Stew's your supper.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dinner, 15/11/14: Pork Satay, Stir Fried Veg & Rice

A new recipe, which Sarah chose, to use our pork steaks which were in the freezer. This one was easy - the hardest part was threading the pork pieces on the sticks. As it's November, we used the grill rather than the barbecue, but I'm sure it would do nicely outdoors as well.  The veg isn't a recipe, just some vegetables stir-fried, and some rice. There was a dipping sauce with the satay, which went nicely with the rice & veg as well. We didn't originally plan to have two meals in a row with stir-fried veg, but this meal got bumped from earlier in the week, due to no one being home for dinner on the originally planned evening!

Recipe was from Tesco Recipe Magazine, and is an example of the fact that it sometimes takes me absolutely ages to cook something, as I don't think I've shopped in Tesco in about 10 years...maybe longer.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dinner, 14/11/14: Shredded Chicken with Sesame Seeds; Stir fried Veg & Noodles




This was Ken Hom's Shredded Chicken with Sesame Seeds, with some stir fried veg & noodles of my own making. I thought we had had the chicken before, but I can't find it on my blog. Perhaps we just had something else with the chicken done by the same method of cooking it in hot water and then adding it to the sauce - makes the chicken lovely and tender. We thought this was fantastic, and will definitely have it again. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dinner, 11/11/14: Mushroom & sausage pasta

We have this dish, or a variation on it, quite often. I searched my blog for "sausage pasta" and came up with not only this, but about 7 or 8 other pasta and sausage dishes - some creamy, some tomatoey, some other stuff. Some with mushrooms, like this one, some without. It's such an easy, go-to type meal, that it's no wonder.  But it did mean that this recipe was already posted and I didn't have to scan it in!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dinner, 10/11/14: Spicy Corn Chowder, Biscuits

Another soup from the Covent Garden Book - this one was quite spicy (which is nice) as well as simple to make. We really liked the cream in it - I had forgotten to add it at first, so the first few mouthfuls had no cream, and the subsequent ones had a little - made a huge difference to the harshness of the chili flavour - really mellowed it out.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Dinner, 9/11/14: Lamb Rogan Josh, Courgettes

This was a Slow-Cooker sort of day, using a slow-cooker recipe for Lamb Rogan Josh (a lamb curry). I picked up a whole shoulder of lamb discounted in the supermarket as it was at it's sell-by date, so I managed to get this meal, plus some for the freezer (though not a full meal for 5), for quite a good price.  Plus, it smelled lovely all day while it was cooking.

The recipe is from the book I love (spelled with a heart) my slow cooker, by Beverly LeBlanc.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Dinner, 8/11/14: Mini Toads in the Hole, Spring Greens

Bonfire night fireworks tonight - even in the rain - but for some reason I always think of sausages as being a Bonfire Night kind of meal.  Tonight I decided to do mini Toads in the Hole - I used to make one big one, but I find it doesn't rise as well in the middle as single ones - probably to do with heat distribution. I make single ones in a muffin tin, and I used chipolatas - cut into thirds, with two pieces in each cup. I cook the sausages in a tiny bit of oil in the tins first, then add the Yorkshire Pudding batter when they are ready. 

I usually use Gary Rhodes' Classic Yorkshire Pudding batter, which I have scanned (badly - the book is too large to fit sensibly (and flat) on my scanner) below. I did adapt it to make more - I used 250g of flour, 2 eggs & 1 white and 400 ml milk. This made just the right amount of batter for 2 12 hole muffin tins. If you don't put sausages in them, they'll rise more than these did!