Sunday, 26 January 2014

What’s for dinner? week #5

What's for Dinner

Another busy week ahead. I’m out twice this week and Boyfriend will therefore be eating by himself. As he is not the best cook, I need to make sure I’ve got some meals ready for him in the freezer.

Recently, I’ve been watching a few food related documentaries and reading some nutrition books and I’ve realised we don’t eat as healthy as we thought so we’re now trying to make little changes. So this week, we’re trying to eat a bit less meat and a bit more veg.

Usually, my breakfasts consist of a green smoothie or porridge and my lunches are a salad, a soup or a sandwich. My colleague thinks I eat to much fruit a day (1 banana, 2 clementines & some grapes) so I’m going to swap some for veg (carrot sticks for now).

  • Monday: I’m going to my Clandestine cake club so it’s cake for dinner for me! Boyfriend will probably be eating a pizza – Not a great start for a “healthy kick” right? :s
  • Tuesday: I’m going to my photography class and will have a very early dinner. A salad maybe. Boyfriend will have some leftover stir fry.
  • Wednesday: I’m making a new recipe: Vegetable and coconut curry.
  • Thursday: Pasta bake + green veg.
  • Friday: Salad

Have a good week :)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Random Recipes #36–New year, New book

randomrecipes2

Can you believe that I didn't get any cookbook at Christmas? well, e neither. I think it’s the 1st time in million years. I did get a decorating book but it doesn't really count. I’ve got a new book since Christmas though: Boyfriend got me My little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo to celebrate my 7 years in England :)

Before receiving this lovely book though, I’d already been “assigned” my random recipe. It is from a little book I got for my birthday (it was in November so it’s still fairly new) from my friends: 200 mini cakes & bakes. I opened the book at a random page and I was very pleased to have fallen on “Real Chocolate Brownies”.

200 cakes & bakes

I LOVE brownies but I already have my favourite recipe, which is from Joy of Baking. It’s a very easy recipe and it’s always delicious. I was therefore curious to see how this one would turn up.

I made it 1st the day after I picked the recipe as I was meeting my friends who got me the book. My lovely friends got me a little Baking package for my birthday, with this boo, cupcakes cases, little tins…

I followed the recipe and cooked it for the time stated in the book but even though my cake tester came out clear, when I cut the brownies in little squares, it was under cooked. I know brownies should be gooey but this was too much.

I then popped them back in the oven for a while. Unfortunately I had a train to catch and wasn’t able to take them with me.

I ate some later though and they were delicious. I may have put too much coffee in them though as they stopped me from sleeping…no joke!

Brownies1 (Copy)

I made my 2nd batch the other day (without coffee). I cooked them a bit longer and they turned out ok. Not as good as my Joy of Baking recipe though.

Brownies (Copy)

***

I’m entering these Chocolate brownies into this month Random Recipes challenge “New year, new book” hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen

Sunday, 19 January 2014

What’s for dinner? week #4

What's for Dinner

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a nice weekend? I‘d planned on baking but I got sucked into Netflix this morning, then we went for a nice walk this afternoon and ended up in Nando’s for dinner. It was such a beautiful day for a long walk around the nearby pond.

Last week, 2 out of my 4 new meals turned out well so I’m quite pleased. This week however, I’m not introducing any new meals as we’ve got quite a busy week:

  • Monday: Chicken + pasta & cream + veg
  • Tuesday: I’m starting a photography class (which starts at 7pm) so I wont have time to have a proper dinner. I’ll maybe make a salad or an omelette. My OH will be eating a frozen meal (a lamb tagine I made a few weeks ago).
  • Wednesday: Not quite sure as as soon as I’m back from the gym, Boyfriend is going out with his friends. I’ll probably eat some of my fav comfort food or Bolognese.
  • Thursday: Pork + ratatouille & couscous. Again it will have to be fairly quick as I’m going to the gym and Boyfriend is going to his French class.
  • Friday: Few, we can relax so we’ll probably have a pizza night. My fav frozen pizza is the Dr Oetker Funghi.
  • Saturday: I think Boyfriend is going out again so I may treat myself to a nice slice of beef steak (he doesn't like beef). I usually eat it with chips and some homemade garlic & herb butter…Yum!
  • Sunday: Nothing plan yet. Maybe I’ll make an effort and do a roast dinner.

Hopefully I’ll find time to do a bit of blogging as I’ve got as few posts that need to be written :)

Have a good week!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

What’s for dinner? week #3

What's for Dinner

Hello! Hope you’ve all had a nice weekend? Mine was good. On Saturday morning, we usually stay home to relax and do a bit of tidy up. Then, we went out for a walk and a coffee and dinner was a Chinese takeaway with his parents. Today, I went out for lunch with my friends and now, I’m just going to do my online shopping and relax.

This week, I’ve tried 3 new recipes: Spicy spaghetti with garlic mushroom, Roasted peppers with haloumi and Nigella’s Lamb steak + roastini.

  • The spicy spaghetti with garlic mushroom was ok but next time, I’ll definitely add chicken to it.
  • The roasted peppers with haloumi was we can say a disaster. I’d never had haloumi before and I found it way to salty and of a weird consistency. Inside the peppers, I put cherry tomatoes, pesto & anchovies and I didnt really like it. Oh, at least I tried!
  • Last was Nigella’s Lamb steak + roastini. I’m not a big fan of lamb but that was a success. I used veg stock instead of the Port and it turned out absolutely great.

This week, we’re having:

  • Monday: Pasta bake + veg
  • Tuesday: Chicken with Saffron mash + veg
  • Wednesday: Fish tagine
  • Saturday: We’re going out for Boyfriend’s parents wedding anniversary
  • Sunday: Probably homemade chicken burger as I’m not having that tonight

So, that’s another 4 new recipes for me this week :)

Hope you all have a good week!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

What’s for dinner? week #2

What's for Dinner

Hello everyone an Happy New Year. I hope 2014 brings you and your loved ones lots of happiness.

I’m back with my What’s for dinner posts. I like writing them as I like to be organised for the week ahead and they help me write my shopping list so I only buy what I need for the week and it’s easier for me to stay within our weekly food budget.

So, what have I got planned for this week?

  • Monday: Spicy spaghetti with garlic mushroom. I’ll keep it vegie for me but will add some chicken for my Boyfriend.
  • Tuesday: Roasted peppers with haloumi
  • Wednesday: Nigella’s Lamb steak + roastini & green beans
  • Thursday: On Thursday’s I’m celebrating 7 years since I’ve moved to England so my Boyfriend is cooking for me.
  • Saturday: Nigella’s chicken fajitas
  • Sunday: I’m going out with my girlfriends to Olivo, a very nice Italian restaurant.

I’m trying to make more use of my cookbooks and this week, I’m making 4 dishes from 3 different cookbooks. 2 are from Nigella’s as I was watching her series on Food Network and those 2 dishes were featured and by chance, they are also featured on a book I own :)

Have a good week!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Comfort Food – Pasta

Comfort Food Challenge

Once again, I’ve had a long blogging break. I love blogging but sometimes, I just cant find the time to bake or I just cook the same not very interesting food or when I do something nice, I just don't have time to blog about it.

I recently saw on Twitter that Jo from Comfort Bites had come up with a very interesting challenge: Comfort Food. And this month’s theme is Pasta.

I love pasta. I could eat pasta every day, it wouldn’t bother me. And when I read her post, I knew straight away what I was going to make.

My dish doesn't have any name and it is the most simple thing you could ever make. What’s so special about it is that it takes me back to my childhood and when my Grandma (my Dad's Mum) was looking after my sister and I on Wednesdays.

I’m not sure if it’s still the case now but when I was little (and living in France), we didn't have school on Wednesdays. Instead, we had longer hours and went to school on Saturday mornings.

So, on Wednesdays, we were at my Grandma. I don't remember her being a great cook to be honest but she used the most simple ingredients/foods to make great stuff.

So, for my pasta dish you’ll need pastas – she used to use Lumache pasta but I literally only saw them in a shop for the 1st time yesterday and I went crazy! so as I didn't have Lumache, I used spaghetti but you can use anything you want. You also need some nice ham and boiled eggs. That’s pretty much it. Extremely simple!

What makes this dish though is the tomato sauce you add to it. This is very simple too but I love it.

First, we need to make a roux so in a small pan, melt some butter (if you let it burn a little bit, it gives a slight nutty taste to it).

Once melted, add some flour (ideally, you need the same quantity of butter & flour) but I never measure my ingredients for this sauce) and mix well.

Then, add some tomato purée. Again, I don’t measure it so just add enough for the paste to be pink-ish. Then, add some water from the pastas and mix until you get enough sauce but it’s not too liquid (we don't want soup!) Taste it and maybe add a tiny bit of sugar.

Once the sauce is at a nice consistency, add it on top of your pasta and voila!

My perfect comfort food! It’s so comforting that I even made it twice this week. My Boyfriend was on holiday with his friends so I only had myself to cook for. It’s a quick dinner, perfect to eat in front of the TV. And if you’ve got too much sauce leftover, just finish it with a piece of baguette ;)

Comfort Food - Pasta

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mini Chocolate & Coffee Cupcakes

Welcome for Day 2 of Cupcake week.

Cupcake week 2013

I didn't use to like the chocolate & coffee combo. I could drink coffee and eat cake but coffee cakes were never a favourite of mine.

Last summer though, when we were in Brittany visiting my family, we went to visit a little chocolate factory: Chatillon Chocolatier. After the visit, you obviously had to go through the shop and could taste lots of samples…paradise.

There, I tasted a little coffee flavoured chocolate in the shape of a coffee bean and it was a revelation. I was sold to the taste of chocolate and coffee together.

For today’s cupcake, I made a simple chocolate batter, in which I added an espresso. However, despite the coffee being quite strong, the coffee taste is not as prominent as I was expected. It has though enhanced the chocolate taste.

I topped the cake with some chocolate buttercream and added the cherry on the cake or more precisely, a coffee flavoured bean on top of each cake.

Choc&coffee4 (Copy)

Aren’t they pretty? They are delicious too!

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