Dinner Inspiration

When my OH started asking at breakfast time (before I had even had my first cup of tea – very brave of him), what I was planning to do for dinner that night, I knew I would need some assistance.  I have reached the stage now of repeating the same meals again and again, the old favourites like shepherds pie, pasta bake, fish fingers etc.  It is a cop out as I know there is a chance the kids will eat it, but also they are quick and easy to prepare.  Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of cook books, love reading them and saying ‘one day, I will make ….’, but ‘one day’ just never seems to arrives. So, when I spotted Spoonfed Suppers I was absolutely over the moon.

The brainchild behind this fantastic idea is Candy and she sends out a delicious and super simple recipe idea by email which give you all the inspiration you need.  Not only that, but she also sends an email with your weekly shopping list for the recipes she will send and a menu!  There is a list of store cupboard bits and bobs too, so you can be all prepared.

Its a bit of a no-brainer really, you must go over and sign up asap.

Image: Spoonfed Suppers

I finally won something – yippee!

I joined in with my first ever blog giveaway over at Housewife Confidential and happy days, I won!!! Had had a really pants day and when I saw the email from Kat telling me I was a winner, my heart went skippity skip. I am an avid cookbook collector and reader, not done much cooking as yet, but my time will come.

So, the prize is just fab – Tana’s Kitchen Secrets – once I have had a chance to thoroughly check out my prize, I will post a review for you all. Thank you for Kat and Housewife Confidential for my prize and for starting another addiction – entering giveaways!

Cumberland Cookies (or Gran's Cookies!) – Recipe Alert!

Another of my Gran’s recipes, which despite my terrible long term memory, I do remember having these delicious cookies at my Gran at the Seaside’s house.  They are quick and easy to make, but do remember to take them out of the oven when still soft otherwise you may break a tooth!!

Ingredients

2 cups S.R.flour
1 cup  rolled oats
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 teasp.bicarb of soda
1/4  hard margarine (Stork or similar) (I think its about 2 oz)
2 tabls. syrup
1 teasp. ginger powder
pinch salt

Put marg and syrup in pan to melt. Mix together in a bowl the flour, oats, sugar, ginger and salt. Add the bicarb of soda dissolved in a little warm water, and then add the melted margarine and syrup.  Mix well and roll into balls. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten a little with a fork.  Bake in a moderate oven about 15 mins.

Cold Tea Fruitbread – Recipe Alert!

This is such an easy recipe to make, but a goodie.  This came from my Gran and I remember her making it, so I hope you will enjoy it too.  Its really nice still warm and buttered along with a cup of tea and putting your feet up for 10 mins.  Also great for packed lunches and a quick snack.

Fruit Loaf :-

8 oz mixed fruit or just sultanas if you prefer
1/4 pint tea
4 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz S.R. flour
1/4 teasp. mixed spice
1 egg
1 tablesp. marmalade 

Leave fruit to soak overnight in tea.  Add all ingredients and mix well. Place in greased tin 325deg F. for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours.

Leftover Easter Eggs?! – Recipe Alert

Did you receive so many Easter eggs that you are struggling to finish them all?  “Don’t be silly!” – I hear you cry, but just in case you have a few left over my lovely friend, Alison, has donated this recipe to help you use them up by making something tasty. 

*****

Rainbow Bites

Prep – takes 10 mins plus overnight chilling

200g bar dark chocolate – but we use milk as dark is too bitter for us!!
100g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
100g marshmallows, big ones cut in half or use the mini ones
100g pink wafers, crushed
125g mini eggs

Line a 20 x 20cm square tin with a layer of greaseproof paper.

Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until melted together. Stir in the marshmallows and crushed wafers.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the tin and top with the mini eggs. Put in the fridge overnight to set. Cut into squares and serve.

*****

If you have any good recipes that you think others would like, please do send them to us and we will put them on the blog – along with a link if you have a website or blog yourself.

Baked Macaroni Frittata – Recipe Alert!

Ingredients 

1/2 tsp. olive oil
85g/3oz fusilli or macaroni
1 leek, thinly sliced
85g/3oz frozen or canned sweetcorn
85g/3oz frozen peas
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 large eggs
150ml/ 1/4pt semi skimmed milk
1 tblsp. fresh thyme leaves
50g/2oz grated cheddar
2 tbsp. parmesan, finely grated
 

1. Heat the oven to 190c / fan 170c /gas 5. Grease a 1.2 litre baking dish with the olive oil.

2. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water in a large pan for eight minutes.

Add all the veg and cook for another two to three minutes until the pasta is tender and vegetables slightly softened. Drain, then tip into the baking dish and stir together.

3. Beat together the eggs and milk in a jug and add the thyme. Mix the two cheeses together and add most of it to the egg mixture. Grind in some black pepper and a sprinkling of salt.

4. Pour into the baking dish, stir gently, then scatter the rest of the

cheese on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden.   Cool for a

few minutes, then cut into four and serve with a salad.

Sausage, Tomato and Potato Pie – Recipe Alert!

This is a perfect mid-week meal and is delicious reheated too, but you probably won’t have leftovers to find out!

Ingredients

300g potatoes, peeled and boiled.
150g. cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces and steamed or boiled
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
25g parmesan cheese, grated
450g good quality sausages
1 tablesp. olive oil
1 tablesp. freshly torn basil
2 tablesps. tomato puree
1 medium leek, washed and thinly sliced
2 cloves or garlic, finely chopped
100g cheese, such as strong cheddar
2 onions thinly sliced
black pepper
6 tablsp. natural full cream yoghurt
2 teasp. dijon mustard

Mash the potatoes and cauliflower together with the yoghurt, mature cheese, mustard and black pepper.  Season to taste – but you shouldn’t need any salt as the pepper and mustard give the mixture great flavours.

Grill the sausages until golden brown, then drain and dab with kitchen roll to remove the excess fat. Slice and set aside.

Gently fry the onions, garlic and leek in the olive oil until they turn golden brown and soft.  Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and fresh basil, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes.

In a large ovenproof dish, arrange layers of the sausage, tomato and potato mixtures, finishing with potato on the top.  Top with parmesan cheese and set aside until you’re ready to start cooking it (it can be stored uncooked in the fridge for 24 hours.) Preheat the oven to 190c and cook the pie for about 30 minutes, until piping hot and crunchy on top.

Chicken Lasagne to die for – Recipe Alert!

If you are on a diet or have high cholesterol, look away now as this is a seriously indulgent lasagne!!  We have this lasagne when some comfort food is in order, but also it works really well for a hot buffet at a special occasion and when you have friends over for a get together. 

Ingredients:

1 large uncooked whole fresh chicken (if your local supermarket has a rotisserie, then much easier to buy a ready cooked one)

1 large pot of double cream 284ml 

1-2  large onions (or however much you like)

Mushrooms (I like quite a few but again, depends how much you like)

Garlic (no more than one clove)

Mixed herbs

X2 small cans of Campbells mushroom condensed soup (small tins)

Fresh washed spinach

2 pots of grated parmesan  (100g x 2) 

Mozzarella cheese (you can use the low fat mozzarella but with this dish, it’s probably not worth it anyway!)

6-8 lasagne sheets (depending on size of your dish I suppose)!! 

 Method:

 Roast the chicken until cooked through & then shred all the breast meat and underneath until you have got all the meat off & put in a separate dish (if you buy a ready cooked one, just do the shredding part!!!)

Chop the onions and mushrooms while chicken is cooking.

Cook the onions, mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs until soft in olive oil & put to one side.

Then put the double cream into a large saucepan, then add 1 pot of the parmesan and the 2 cans of mushroom soup.  Keep stirring on a low heat until the mixture is smooth and runny and its all mixed in.

Now time to make the layers.

How to layer the lasagne:

 Layer 1:

Thin layer of onion/mushroom mix

Layer of fresh chicken

Spinach leaves

Creamy sauce

3 lasagne sheets (1 layer but you will need 3 which will be side by side)

Layer 2:

Layer of onion/mushroom mix

Layer of fresh chicken

Spinach leaves

Creamy sauce

3 lasagne sheets

 Then on top of last layer of lasagne, put rest of onion, then rest of chicken, then only a few spinach leaves and finish with the remainder of the sauce until everything is covered with sauce.  

Then lastly, sprinkle entire top with the 2nd pot of parmesan and slice mozzarella and randomly place on top.

Cook for about 45 mins or until top goes brown.

Do let us know what you think of this dish and we would love to see photos of your finished creations!

Lemon Crunch Flan – Recipe Alert!

This is a recipe from my Auntie Susan.  She makes it for our family get togethers and there are always ‘discussions’ over who deserves the last piece.  Enjoy.

Lemon Crunch Flan

For the flan case:

  • 4 oz digestive biscuits
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 level tablespoon castor sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/4 pint double cream
  • 6 oz can condensed milk
  • 2 large lemons

Crush digestive biscuits with a rolling pin.  Melt butter in a pan, add sugar then blend in biscuit crumbs.  Mix well.  Turn mixture into a 7 inch pie plate or flan dish and press into shape round base and sides of plan with the back of a spoon.  Bakes in a slow oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool.  do not turn the flan case out of the dish as it will crumble.

Mix together cream, condensed milk and finely grated lemon rind.  Slowly beat in lemon juice.  Pour mixture into the flan case and chill for several hours until firm.

Just before serving decorate the flan with a whirl of lightly whipped cream and lemon slices.

Serves 4 hungry people!

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