Thursday, 31 December 2015

Great New Years Eve Nibbles

I'm currently trying to think of a menu for tonight so I thought I'd share with you some ideas I was having.

First plan, pakoras.  These are great because I can cook them earlier then reheat them when I'm ready (much better than hot fat when prosecco might have been involved and smells much better.)

The only downside is what to go with them?  Have a sit down meal with dhal and chicken tikka or go for a full on nibble fest?  Well scroll down for some more suggestions but in the meantime, let's continue with the appetisers.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Leftovers pie

We all end up cooking too much on Christmas Day.  In a lot of ways I wished when I saw my groaning table I'd joined up with Spare Chair Sunday but I know that a lot of you are looking for something to use up those Christmas goodies.

I've not tried this with other stuffings but I'm sure anything meaty would work.  Sometimes I include the cooked butternut squash, sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I include other vegetables like peas or you could include left over vegetables too.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Green Bean and Crayfish Pasta

I love including a vegetable into pasta or rice dishes.  Rather than going for something wacky like cauliflower rice, which, let's face it, doesn't taste like rice, why not bulk out your starches with a vegetable?  I often put peas into rice and this pasta dish is no exception.  The quantity of pasta is quite small but that's because I've used green beans to bulk it out.

Of course your tastebuds aren't fooled that the green beans are really pasta (but why would you want them to when green beans taste so great?)  What it does is make the plate look like a big portion while only using 50g of dried pasta.  Result!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Top tips for Christmas Dinner Preparation

Save your sanity!  My Christmas lunch this year is only for three but I've catered for up to ten before without issues.  It is simple, it doesn't have to lead to you tearing your hair out.

Prepare as much in advance as possible...

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Goats Cheese and Pepper Frittata

I've said before that Frittatas are great for just using stuff up that's in your fridge but I wanted to make one which was a little bit more special, perhaps as a vegetarian Christmas lunch option.  You might even have the ingredients in your fridge already (or even if you don't you could adapt it) making it great for those "oh, son, you've brought home your new girlfriend for Christmas and you didn't tell me she was vegetarian" moments!

This makes one individual frittata.  As I cooked this in a small baking tin with reasonably high sides, the cooking time was surprisingly long.  If you have a shallower baking dish, the cooking time is likely to be shorter, possibly only 15 minutes even if you scaled up the recipe so just keep an eye on it.

Friday, 18 December 2015

My Favourite Christmas Films

I will be spending Christmas afternoon on my own this year.  Don't panic readers, I'm fine about it and planning a Christmas movie marathon to keep me going and away from (too many) mince pies.

Hmm... mince pies....

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Vegetable Bake

This delicious vegetable bake is flavoured with anchovies which might sound strange.  If you think you don't like the umami rich deliciousness of anchovies, it is worth giving this a go.  It just gives the whole dish a fantastic salty, savoury "seasoning" which would be sorely missed otherwise.

This is great as a light main course or could be a vegetable side dish, perhaps for grilled fish.

Monday, 14 December 2015

My favourite breakfasts

Breakfasts are the first meal of the day and I have to admit I almost never reach for a bowl of cereal.  Why?  Well not all cereals are created equal but sadly far too many are full of sugar, simple carbohydrates and not much else.  I like something which makes me feel good from the inside out.  I can't confess that this means it's always healthy but at least it always tastes great.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Christmas Present ideas for Foodies

Ok, well these are the great presents for me.  Here is a collection of things I've liked receiving over the years, like or would love!  Some of them may spark an idea, some are just boringly practical but also some of the best presents I've received.

An olive wood board.  One of my sisters bought me one for Christmas a few years ago and it's featured heavily in my blog since just like on this mulled grape juice picture above.  It's just lovely as a cheeseboard or just looks lovely as an extra mat for your table.  It's all wiggly and rustic and nice.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Cheese Straws

We're approaching party season.  Did you know how easy it is to make cheese straws?  Well these are totally irresistible.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Tomato and Goats Cheese Tart

This is a really simple tart with only four ingredients.  It would be great as a main course vegetarian dish or a starter.  The creamy, mild goats cheese complements the tomatoes so well.  I urge you to try it!