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Finally summer has arrived in England, the last few days have been absolutely gorgeous. Let’s hope it continues for the jubilee weekend ahead. Here is a recipe I thought would be a lovely refreshing drink for a BBQ or Jubilee party.
1 litre water
600mls pineapple juice
200mls cloudy lemonade
200mls orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Make a sugar syrup by combining sugar and the water in a pan and simmer for about 15 minutes until the has sugar dissolved, then leave to cool.
2. When cooled mix all ingredients together in a large container with a lid and place in the freezer.
3. It will be ready to serve in about 48 hours.
4. Stir and serve, garnish with mint.
This quick and easy version of Chicken Chasni has found it way to me all the way from the very lovely highlands of Scotland. My very dear friend Clare has finally passed this on to me after much pestering from myself. She had been raving on about this great curry dish that I had never heard of. I now know that this is a popular curry dish in Scotland. This recipe has done the rounds of her work colleagues and everyone loves it.
It does not taste like a typical Indian curry it has a much milder flavour and is more sweet and sour. I also added some pan-fried mushrooms to boost the veg content and a handful of chopped coriander, as a curry would not be a curry without it in my humble opinion, Mx
2 onions finely chopped
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of chilli powder or a fresh chopped chilli
4 chicken breasts or about 500g chicken thighs chopped into large chunks
180g mango chutney
100g tomato ketchup
100g chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh mint (or mint sauce)
5ml lemon juice
salt and black pepper
350g crème fraiche or single cream
Handful fresh coriander chopped
Slices of lemon
1. Spray a pan with oil and sauté the onions until golden brown.
2. Stir in the chicken, turmeric, chilli and salt and pepper, cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the mango chutney, tomatoes, mint and lemon juice, gently simmer until the chicken is cooked.
4. Slowly add the crème fraiche or cream, just enough to make it creamy, too much can make it too watery and gently simmer for another two minutes.
5. Stir in fresh coriander if desired, serve garnished with cream and lemon slices.
Here is a little something for a ‘Meat Free Monday’. Many moons ago I had a go at vegetarianism, I returned to my carnivorous ways 12 years ago when pregnant with my youngest son… it all started with one bacon butty. It was always the smell of bacon cooking that I found irresistible. Now I often find that meal planning revolves around the meat. It is easy to become set in yours ways and make the same old stuff. The whole ‘Meat Free Monday’ concept makes me consider a wider variety of healthier options for family meals.
The blogging community always delivers food inspiration and reminds me of dishes that I used to love to eat, or have never tried.
I digress… back to the tart, This particular dish was inspired by ‘Joy the baker’. I am so in love with her blog and I have her new book, a fabulous gift from by blogging partner Jo. After reading her last post I just had to make them. Her version used gruyère cheese, but I just had a mad craving for a goats cheese.
I made the fourth quarter of the tart with tomato purée, mature cheddar and tomatoes as my other ingredient began to diminish, any other fresh vegetables or dare I say cooked meats would be great on the tart (unless you are on board for Meat Free Mondays!), be creative, Mx
Bunch of Asparagus
1 egg beaten
Any filling you desire, tomatoes, cheese, herbs, mushrooms etc.
Ready-made puff pastry (the ready rolled sheets are best)
1. Roll out or unfold the pastry to desired size and shape.
2. Score a 1-2cm margin around the edges of the pastry then prick the inner section all over with a fork.
3. Egg wash the pastry so edges get lovely and golden and the filling stays put in the centre of the tart.
4. Lay the fillings to centre of the tart in any desired fashion.
5. Bake at 200C 400F gas mark 6 for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is crisp and golden.
It was my birthday earlier this week and have had the whole week off work. I mistakenly thought I would manage more blogging this week with all the extra time. How wrong can you be, it has taken me forever to get in the kitchen and put this post together. To be fair I have been busy catching up with friends and family, my little brother also came to stay for a few days. With all the trips out and general relaxation, baking has not been at the forefront of my mind… shame on me! My healthy eating has also taken a turn for the worst and the pink wine has been flowing. Back to reality, work and normal life tomorrow…
I have been thinking about and eating lots of food and after much deliberation I decided I would make one of MY favourites… lemon cupcakes! I love any kind of lemon cake, these cupcakes are delicious and I think they look sooo cute. They would be great cakes to make for a Jubilee party. This recipe is a combined adaptation of Nigella’s cupcakes with Hummingbird buttercream, I am not sure where the lemon curd idea came from I have been doing it for so long, Mx
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
125g self-raising flour, sifted
125g butter or margarine
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
lemon curd or lemon cheese
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g softened butter
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
few drops of yellow food colouring
25mls of milk
1. Preheat oven to 200 C, 440 , gas mark 6.
2. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
3. Cream the butter or margarine with the caster sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Then add the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each.
5. Then fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and lemon zest.
6. Gently stir in the milk and then spoon mixture into muffin cases.
7. Bake for 12-20 minutes.
When cakes are cooled make the butter cream by mixing together butter, lemon zest and yellow food colouring.
Then slowly add the milk until you get the required consistency more or less milk may be necessary.
Before Icing the cakes I remove a spoonful of cake from each cupcake and spoon in some lemon cheese or lemon curd. This adds a lovely lemony sharpness to the cakes and is very addictive. Then decorate as desired, I like to simply decorate with slithers of lemon zest.
Flapjacks are a favourite treat in our house and do not last very long. They are so easy to make and everyone always loves them. I find this recipe always turns out well, they are both chewy and crunchy. You could vary this recipe adding a handful of chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit, or a mix of all three. I prefer mine… just as they are, Mx.
75g plain flour
175g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F), gas mark 4.
2. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and golden syrup in a saucepan and gently simmer until melted and smooth.
3. Then mix into the flour and oats.
4. Spread the mixture into a baking tin approximately 10cm x 14cm.
5. Bake until golden brown between 20-25 minutes.
6. Cut into squares while it is still warm, carefully remove from the tray and cool on a wire tray.