Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Roundup

  • 29th: leftovers, etc.
  • 28th: Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce, salad, bread
  • 27th: Coconut Chicken Soup
  • 26th: Steak and Ale Pie
  • 25th: Frozen pizzas (kids only - K&G went out!)
  • 24th: Jacket potatoes with toppings (Kate went out!)
  • 23rd: Red Thai Meatball Curry
  • 22nd: Spaghetti with lemon and olives
  • 21st: Courgette, Pea and Spinach Soup
  • 20th: Stir-fried Chicken with Soy, Honey and Cashews
  • 19th: Goat's Cheese and Pesto Canneloni
  • 18th: Vegan Lancashire Hotpot
  • 17th: Linguine Carbonara
  • 16th: Chickpea and Spinach Curry
  • 15th: Summer chicken one pot
  • 14th: Calypso Pork Chops; Coconut Rice
  • 13th: Artichoke, Bacon and Cheese Tart
  • 12th: Risotto alla Pomodoro
  • 11th: Rack of lamb, new potatoes, carrots
  • 10th: Chicken, Green Bean and Potato Curry
  • 9th: Macaroni Cheese with Broccoli
  • 8th: Thai Prawn Soup
  • 7th: Minty Lamb Flatbreads
  • 6th: Spaghetti with Pancetta, Butter Beans and Rosemary
  • 5th: Chicken soup with noodles and pak choi
  • 4th: Roast Chicken, roast potatoes, cabbage, gravy
  • 3rd: Black Pepper Tofu; sugar snap peas
  • 2nd: Fish fingers, oven potatoes, peas
  • 1st: Courgette and Tarragon Soup

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feb 28th: Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Recipe Source: Good Food Magazine, August 2001

Tasting notes: We've had this a number of times; it's quick and easy. I usually serve (tonight being no exception) it with salad and bread...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Feb 27th: Coconut Chicken Soup

Recipe Source: no idea, I'm afraid. Clipped it ages ago without crediting it. Not Good Food, for once - wrong font!

Tasting notes:  Tasty, not spicy despite the chili. We've had this before and had noted at the time that it would be nice with rice noodles as well - so this time I added some. Also added green beans again and a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, which I had left from something (Sarah's DT class cooking, I think). Yum.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Feb 26th: Steak and Ale Pie

Recipe Source: Hairy Bikers: Perfect Pies

Tasting Notes: Good. Nothing to say, really.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feb 23rd: Red Thai meatball curry (new!)

Recipe Source: Good Food Magazine

Tasting Notes: in the pan, this looked just like in the photo! But of course, once on the rice, the sauce doesn't really show.  This was easy and very tasty - a nice twist on the Thai curry. It was spicy, but not too much (I used a small amount of curry paste - about 2tsp). Only Sarah thought it was too spicy, everyone else thought it was fine. Geoff thought it needed a little fish sauce, to add saltiness/savour; Olivia thought it definitely didn't; the rest of us had no real opinion on that. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feb 22nd: Spaghetti with lemon and olives

Recipe Source; Good Food Magazine

Tasting notes: this is a fairly common supper in our house on those nights when we don't get back to the house until nearly six, as it literally only takes as long to make as the pasta does to cook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feb 21st: Courgette, Pea and Spinach Soup (new!)

Recipe Source: New Covent Garden Soup Book: A Soup for Every Day.

Tasting Notes. Nice. We liked the texture of adding the spinach leaves after puree-ing the rest.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb 20th: Stir-fried chicken with honey, soy and cashews

Recipe Source: Sainsbury's Magazine, not sure of date

Tasting notes: we've had this before; it's quick and easy and yummy.  I did serve it with rice, but it looked nice in the wok pan, so that's where I photographed it...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feb 19th: Meringues

Recipe source: none, really.  Use approx 1/3c sugar (I think it's about 80 grams metric) per egg white. You can add a small amount of vanilla if you like. And if you worry about them being stable, you can add a pinch of cream of tartar, but it's not essential. Whip egg whites to soft peaks, gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form, then dollop on a baking parchment lined baking tray and bake in a moderate oven (about 160C for my fan oven) for about 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the meringues for at least an hour in the oven, with the door closed. 

Variation: you can add a handful of chocolate chips or chunks to the meringues after beating but before the dolloping stage.

This is an excellent way to use extra egg-whites, for instance if you have made a carbonara in the recent past, which uses 4 egg yolks...

Feb 19th: Goat's cheese and pesto canneloni

Recipe Source: Good Food Magazine

Tasting notes: A firm family favourite. This time, we did it with homemade pasta. And apparently, I forgot to scatter the basil on top (looking at the photo) though no one seems to have noticed at the time!

Pasta la vista, baby

So we decided to dig out the pasta machine and have a go at making our own - I've owned the machine for years, but only made pasta once or twice way back when.  I made the dough and the kids did the rolling part (with the help of Olivia's friend Nina, who was also here at the time). 

It was quite a successful group effort, really - needs several pairs of hands, ideally. 

We then turned it into a yummy canneloni dish - not sure I'd want to make the pasta myself every time, though it certainly wasn't hard, and the kids enjoyed doing it. We will definitely give ravioli/other filled pasta a try though - I think that's something worth doing homemade...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feb 18th: Apple Crumble

no recipe, per se. I just use enough flour to cover the fruit, with enough butter or marg to rub nicely into crumbs. Some sugar.  And I usually throw some oatmeal into the crumble mix and sometimes, some chopped nuts. Then bung it into a medium oven until the fruit is soft and the crumble is crispy. Serve with cream, ice cream, custard  - whatever you fancy.

Feb 18th: Vegan Lancashire Hotpot

Recipe Source: The Modern Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer

Tasting Notes:  this is an excellent example of how something doesn't have to contain meat to be both hearty and full of flavour. We love this, and have had it a number of times since I first cooked it a year or so ago.  Sometimes I add mushrooms. I don't use as much olive oil as stated in the reipce.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feb 17th: Linguine Carbonara

Recipe Source:  Good Food Magazine, October 2008.

Tasting Notes:  This is a nice, easy, carbonara. Yum.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feb 16th: Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Recipe Source: BBC Vegetarian Christmas, 2003. 

Tasting notes:  We eat this a lot - it's a standby vegetarian curry, as it is easy, yummy, healthy and cheap. Although I've made the flatbreads in the recipe (and they aren't hard and are tasty), we usually don't bother as our local shop does really nice made-in-store flatbreads, so we usually just buy some fresh from them. We do add more potatoes and more spinach than the recipe calls for to bulk it up a bit. Plus we like more spinach.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feb 15th: Summer Chicken One Pot (new!)

Recipe Source: Good Food magazine, June 2011 Tasting notes: fine, but next time I would use more potatoes. Sarah liked the sauce, particularly (I used low-fat cream cheese because that's what I had & it worked fine).

Believe it...

You might wonder what a knitted Ferari has in common with 

a portrait of a South American tribal chief painted on a tortilla (I was going to show Jimi Hendrix painted on dried dung, but couldn't get a good photo of that),

a large collection of belt buckles, 

some sushi made from drier lint,

a segment of the Berlin Wall, 

the Flute of Shame (hung around the neck of bad musicians),

a wedding dress made from toilet paper

and the Last Supper painted on a dragonfly's wings....

The answer is, these items can all be found in the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum in London (other locales no doubt have similar treats in store, though I'm sure they vary from place to place).  Yes, there were also two-headed calves and replicas of extremely fat, extremely tall and/or extremely tattooed people, but I'm more of a fan of the quirky than the outright grotestque, so my photos concentrate on a different segment of the displays.

I have to admit, the museum was more interesting (to me) than I thought it would be. The kids and I spotted it when we were up in Picadilly Circus to see Les Miserables back in January and we thought it would make a nice half-term outing, something which would appeal to all the kids (not always easy with our age and gender distributions), so after searching out some vouches, off we went. And it was a nice few hours - quite a lot of interest in there for pretty much anyone, even those who might be a bit squeamish could find plenty to look at. I thought there was a good mix of types of display, both in terms of content and in terms of media - some photos, some original cartoons (or posters thereof), some video, some actual objects, a handful of interactive things. Not a cheap treat, but definitely worth considering if you need something to do which will interest both a 9YO boy and a 14YO girl, or a similar spread... (the 12YO girl was interested, too). Plus, I reckon dads in particular would enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb 14th: Calypso Pork Chops with Red, Green and Gold Rice (new!)

Recipe Source: Levi Roots, Food for Friends. 

Tasting notes:  The rice was lovely, despite no "gold" in it (the yellow pepper I had in the fridge was past it - mushy - ick!). I used a normal red chili, not a Scotch Bonnet. The marinade for the pork chops was sweet without being too sweet and cooked down nicely into a glaze. Good, would eat again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Feb 13th: Artichoke, Bacon and Cheese Tart

Recipe Source: Good Food Magazine, not sure of date

Tasting notes:  We've had this before and liked it; the same is still true. Neither of the girls really like quiches - Olivia doesn't like anything eggy and while Sarah will eat eggs in some forms, she doesn't really like quiche - so as they are both away, we took advantage of the situation to make a quiche. (Alex likes quiche, no problem.) There are leftovers, which will make a nice lunch.

A little baking

Olivia did a little baking today - it's only  mix, but they look yummy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Feb 12th: Risotta alla Pomodoro (Tomato Risotto) (new!)

Recipe Source: The Top 100 Italian Rice Dishes, by Diane Seed

Tasting notes: (photo taken before basil and parmesan were stirred in). Very nice, light, not overpoweringly tomato-y. I upped the rice a bit to 500g, which is what it takes to feed 5 of us, then realised that Sarah wasn't going to be eating with us (no problem -risotto for lunch tomorrow!) and upped the stock accordingly, but didn't change the amount of tomatoes. Added a little more parmesan and basil, too. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feb 10th: Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Curry (new)

Recipe Source: Good Food Magazine, not sure of date

Tasting Notes:  This was a last minute substitution for dinner - I had planned to cook a risotto, but realised I don't have any arborio rice, and it was cold outside so I didn't feel like going to the shops.  I had to find something I had all the ingredients for, in the house.  It was nice, a good, mild, child-friendly curry - you could make it spicier by using a different curry paste if you wanted to.