Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Weekly bake off : cupcakes

Mary Berry Cupcakes

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Meal planning w/c 27th February

Well, daddy is off to the US for a couple of weeks so it's planning for one pretty much !

Monday: left over roast chicken probably with risotto

Tuesday: Thai green curry mussels (these are Scottish mussels and will just need some bread with them!!)

Wednesday: Omelette Arnold Bennet (with smoked haddock)

Thursday: pizza

Friday: Sis and BIL arriving planning shepherds pie but dependent on shopping and time available !

Saturday: Sis and BIL still here so smoked haddock and leek risotto

Sunday: just me and the girls. We will probably go out for lunch so just something light for us.

I get my fish delivered every couple of weeks from the wonderful John at Delish Fish. It's very reasonable but because they are individually wrapped, I just pop them in the freezer and then take them out as we need them.

I'm really keen to make sure we have two portions of fish every week - most weeks we do more than that as you can see. If you need help adding fish to your family's meal plans, check out Fish is the dish

Monday, 20 February 2012

Meal planning - Monday 20th March

Ah well, another Monday another week.

I was thinking about this in bed last night and really should have got out of bed to tap it into the keyboard. But I was too lazy.... So here it is, a little bit late but my meal planner for the week.

Beef and chorizo stew with spatzle.
I went to Earthy yesterday and got some beef from Hugh Grierson. I then made a sort of sofrito with onion, red pepper, chorizo and pancetta, pan fried the beef mixed it all in my slow cooker with most of a bottle of red wine, 3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of paprika, one of smoked paprika and a good dollop of tom puree. Left it for 4 hours and, bob's your uncle !

Griddled halloumi cheese with beetroot and cucumber using a recipe I spotted in this month's Olive magazine.

Prawn noodle soup. My other half makes a mean dashi stock which we freeze in bulk. Then it's really easy to heat, add some prawns, noodles, spring onions, sugar snaps and red pepper. Ready in 10 minutes.

Girls night out - so a quick spagbol with the girls before I head out to the cinema

Dinner out at the Tower Restaurant before we have date night at The Museum of Scotland.

Thai green chilli Scottish mussels with homemade sourdough bread.

Final supper with daddy before he heads to California for a fortnight, so we'll have roast chicken with all the accompaniments. I might even let him cook !!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bucket list?

I'm not sure that I should cast this to the bloggersphere but I've been thinking about the things I'd like to do while I can still enjoy them.

Some people have family to do lists, other people have 'places to see before they die', mine is a kinda-combo of the two.

Here we go:

1. Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
2. See the Big 5 in africa
3. Watch the Opera in the open air in Verona
4. Walk (some of) the Great Wall)
5. Get to Everest Base Camp

These are mine - I'd love to hear yours!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Another obsession: food photography

I do feel sorry for my other half - we sit down to dinner and before he can "dig in",
out comes the camera and I make him wait....

It started when our DSLR popped it's flash and Him Indoors decided to make an investment in a new version. Here you are mum - you have the broken one.

Then I joined Blipfoto and started a journal. I was good to start with - but without a working flash it's difficult in the winter.

It developed into a work obsession. I work on the fantastic Fish is the Dish project where we are trying to encourage more families to eat more fish by showing them how easy it is.  With a small budget it was a case of do it yourself.....

I think I've improved hugely. This is tonight's dinner - smoked haddock and leek risotto. Easily cooked and thanks to a flash investment, looking quite good.

Other shots have been less successful but it's a learning process isn't it.

Last night we had pork stir fry in noodle broth - tasted ok but would have been better if we had used dashi stock and the photograph is decidedly mediocre.

I thought the colours would lift it but it is just a bit too boring.

The plates have become important. I am sounding even more sad than I did before but I invested in one black plate.

Food and fish in particular seems to benefit from strong colour around it and I am really enjoying playing with it. I thought the peas really seemed to burst out of the plate here and I am particularly happy with the cakes from the weekend.....

I am hopeful that I can continue to improve my photography skills, and if not at least I'll eat well !!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pan seared scallops with morcilla and risotto

Mummysknee was talking about her scallop and black pudding recipe - so gorgeous and so easy. 

Here's my take - a tale of three countries: - scallops from Scotland, Spanish black pudding and Italian Risotto.

The scallops were gorgeous - Scottish scallops compete with the coral (which some people don't like and discard but personally I think adds something to the taste).  They are easy to cook in a couple of minutes and have an amazing sweet taste. I'm not the biggest fan of our black pudding - I wanted something a little different and am lucky enough to live around the corner from a deli which specialises in Spanish sausages. They do an amazing spicy chorizo which is what I normally serve with scallops but Him Indoors decided we should try some Spanish morcilla- their version of a black pudding.

I wanted to make a little more of a meal of this and so served it with a white, plain risotto. It would have benefited from some truffle oil but Him Indoors had already used it.

The risotto was the time consuming part but once that was done, I heated a pan with a little oil in it until it was smoking hot ! The scallops where placed in a clock face (thank you Gordon Ramsay) then I placed the morcilla in the centre of the pan and began to turn the scallops. Once the scallops were all done, I added a touch of butter, let that froth then took it off the heat.

It was delicious, very easy and very tasty. The Spanish black pudding was a bit less sweet and more spicy than it's British cousin. Well worth a try. After all, you only live once.

*Apologies for the lack of photography, I seem to have misplaced my SD card !!! *