Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stewed Fruit Dessert!

A dessert that I've used twice in two days is this Jamie Oliver stewed plum and peach malarky that is delissssh. Serve it with vanilla ice cream with the fruit still warm and bam, party.
Again, this is a variation with Jamie's depending on the ripeness of the fruit I could get or what I discovered I thought tasted better.

Serves 5
15 peaches
6 plums (I found them a bit bitter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 orange
sprinkle of cinnamon (I found it hard to find a stick of cinnamon)
1 tub of fab vanilla ice cream

*Halve and stone the fruits and put them into a large roasting tray.

*Drizzle over the vanilla and caster sugar.
*Add the zest from half an orange and squeeze in all the juice.
*Add the cinnamon and place on the bottom shelf.
*Leave for 15 minutes or until the fruits are all soft and juicy.
*Serve with vanilla ice cream and tuck in.
Yesterday's version

Again, enjoy! This dish is dead handy as you can pop it in the oven during dinner and it'll be ready in time for dessert. Mmmm....

L x

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vegetable Lasagne for Cat & LJ!

Today I had Cat and LJ over for a dinner and a hang out and I again took out Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. I'm ploughing through it at this stage and it's holding well!

Today it was the Summer Veg Lasagne, but after a late-afternoon trip to Tesco, I picked up nearly all of the veg I used- for actual pennies. My shopping for the meal for three (with another portion left over) came to about €25 which included all of the lasagne ingredients, salad, a baguette, fruit and ice cream for dessert. Amazing like.
If you're buying ingredients for the dinner you'll be making that night, buy the discounted stuff! You'll save loads of euros, obviously, and there's nothing wrong with them. Obviously scope them out before you buy them, but all of mine were perfect.
For the healthier option I went for a wholemeal baguette and to save some monies, bought a ready made salad bowl so I didn't have to get all the little ingredients. Plus all the chopping is done for you.
My recipe varied a bit from Jamie's cos I got the 'cheap veg buzz' and put in veg he didn't tell me to. And left some ones out cos I either couldn't find them or I found a cheaper alternative.
Also, Jamie's recipe is VERY generous with the ingredients, so this is my take on it. It feeds four.

small bunch of spring onions
1/2 a 30g tin of anchovies
5 cloves of garlic
250g asparagus
about 15 cherry tomatoes
500g frozen peas
fresh string beans
300ml veg stock
2 x 250g tubs of cottage cheese
300g fresh lasagne sheets
Parmesan cheese
sprigs of fresh thyme

*Preheat the oven to 200C.
*Pour the oil from the anchovies into a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Finely slice the spring onions and half of the anchovies and then add them to the saucepan.
*Crush the six cloves of garlic into the pan and fry for a few minutes ensuring that the garlic doesn't burn.
*Trim the pointed tips off the asparagus and put aside, then trim the woody ends from the other side and discard. Finely slice the stems of the asparagus into 1.5cm pieces before adding to the pan with a splash of water.
*After five minutes, add the peas and beans along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.
*Give everything a good stir and cook for a few more minutes.
*Take the vegetables off the heat and spoon around one quarter of the mixture into a deep dish. Top with a lasagne sheet and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Keep repeating these whilst adding chopped cherry tomatoes, until you finish with a layer of lasagne.
*Mix the remaining 250g of cottage cheese with a splash of boiled water and then spread over the lasagne.
*Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus tips then place onto the lasagne. Sprinkle over the thyme along with another good grating of parmesan and a final drizzle of olive oil.
*Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until the topping has browned.

Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil over the salad mix and tear up the baguette. Serve and enjoy!! We all tucked in and were feeling very full afterwards.

I'm going to write the dessert in another post, or this will be the longest one ever.

Big love!
L xx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fusili & Chorizo Sausage Dish

Hi there!:)

I'm sitting on my bed with literally a giant tub of the Glenilen Farm all natural yummy raspberry yoghurt with an episode of Criminal Minds. Great way to wind down the day! I'm also feeling quite tired anyway after a late BBQ last night with the Lukes and Caitlin with work this morning. It could very well be one of those nights where I'm asleep as soon as the fairy lights are out.

I'm on a bit of a health kick since I got back from a holiday in New York, so this next recipe was the first to get me back into the cooking buzz! I strongly debated ordering in against walking to Tesco with Luke in the misty rain, but I decided I'd had enough processed food and a bit of cooking would do me good. Plus, I missed cooking if I'm honest!

So, this is another one from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, but is just the main course, and the ingredients are all very handy. It's called "Pregnant Jools' Pasta" but it's still just as AMAZING even if you're not having a baby...

So, this version serves 2 people and all you need is:
-2 spring onions
-1 carrot
-1 fresh chilli
-4 good quality sausages
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-2 cloves of garlic
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-half a tin of chopped tomatoes
-some basil sprigs
-100g fusili pasta

*So all you need to do is roughly chop up the spring onions, carrot, chilli and sausage and blend them all in a food processor.
*When it's all blended well, tip it into a hot frying pan with some olive oil.
*Put on the pasta to boil for ten minutes.
*Keep stirring the sausage mix to make sure it all cooks. Add a tbsp of pasta water if you need to loosen it up a bit.
*Crush the garlic cloves into the sausage mix, the balsamic vinegar and chopped tinned tomatoes. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Tear in the basil and stir it up.
*Drain the pasta and serve with the sausage mix on top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Tesco had a two for €5 deal with their 'Finest' range of sausages when I made this the other day, so I used their chorizo ones and it was absolutely amazing.
Also, my food processor isn't great, so I chopped up the sausages separately as it really wasn't working out well. Jamie also calls for celery, but I don't think it was missed.
But DO make sure you have that most angelic of ingredients, the balsamic vinegar. It is so completely wonderful.
Anyhoodle kids, I'm going to bed, I'm absolutely shattered, but I hope you enjoy this one!
Night! L x

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lunchtime, Summer Style!

It's summer!

Well hello there!
I am currently roasting in this heat which has been bestowed upon us and shall pay no heed to the neighbour outside my window who is complaining over the hedge "Ah sure it's far too warm." With a heat wave about to start, he better get used to it.

Anyway, FOOD TIME.
Yesterday's weather was equally as fabulous, so I whipped out my incredibly handy Urban Cookbook which has really cool and handy recipes from around the world. So, to make the most of this sunshine, and to continue collecting my freckles, I made a wonderful lunch of chicken tenders, baby potatoes and a mixed salad. It's really quick and easy to make and can be mostly made with stuff you already have at home. YUM.
To make your own summer salad...
-Pre-heat your oven to 220C.
-Parboil your chopped (only into halves) baby potatoes. When they're finished, pop them onto a roasting tray and drizzle them with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Mushrooms also go well here too.
-Get a medium sized pan and fill it with about 3cm of sunflower oil. Heat the oil until it is quite hot.
-Get your chicken strips (Tesco handily sells chicken breasts already sliced perfectly for €4) and dip them in some beaten egg.
-Roll them in the batter mixture of 140g of plain flour, with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and the seasoning of your choice. I used smoked paprika and sesame seeds.
-Place the chicken strip into the pan and repeat with all the strips. The chicken will only take about 10 minutes, so make sure the potatoes are in the oven before you start this.
-Rotate the chicken strips and when they're golden brown, place them on a plate, ready to serve.

-I just got a bag of mixed leaves, cucumber (pre- E-Coli outbreak...) and tomatoes for the salad and gave it a drizzle of balsamic dressing.
-The potatoes will be done by the time you're finished making the chicken and the salad.

-Serve out the back in the sunshine with some lovely dips for the chicken. Tesco does a nice piri piri mayo.

Now, I know the frying of the chicken isn't the healthiest of options, but alternatively you could fry them quickly in a small amount of oil for a minute or two, then bake them in the oven too. I hope you enjoy it!
Also, a huge hello to the new people who are following my blog! Thank youuu!:) Let me know what you think of a few things!
Another post will follow soon! x