Tag Archives: Yummy Things

Carb Free Pork & Courgette Pasta

carb free pork and courgette pasta

Ok….before I get started…I have to tell you all that I am not a food nazi who hates carbs, in fact I love carbs more than is healthy….Full loaves of bread swiftly disappear under my watch as does mammoth amounts of pasta.

The reason I end up making a carb-free dinner is the abundance of courgettes I often find myself with at this time of year from my two raised bed veggie garden. I’m a bit slack at collecting the little blighters on a regular basis so I often find myself with something resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger in courgette form.

I have found however that courgette peeled with a peeler and flash fried in some sort of homemade dressing is a great carb replacement…and that folks is fact because even Mr Pigeon doesn’t complain about the substitution….and he’s pretty carb obsessed too.

This entire dinner takes under 10 minutes to cook so it is a great workday meal to throw on the table when you are too tired to think.

Ingredients (for two)

2 pork chops

1 large courgette (green or yellow…let’s not be fussy)

2 tbsps of French Dijon Mustard

A glug of cider vinegar

Go ahead and peel your courgette, skin and all. You want all that courgette-y-ness in a bowl ready to flash fry after you’ve done the pork chops.  You will need to pop your oven on to warm, this is just to keep your chops hot as you fry the courgette.

You will get to a point in the courgette where you hit seeds (if you let them get marrowy like I do) so stop otherwise it’ll be all pippy and horrid…I normally chuck the center in with the chickens as they go mad for it!

I love courgette as they taste of nothing and they can be melded into whatever you want in a dish. I make a mustard sauce for this dish as it goes well with the pork.

(Does it really count as a sauce if it’s two ingredients? Probably not…)

Pop the pork chops in a frying pan with a little glug of oil and get them cooking. They will only need about 4 minutes a side.

Whip up your mustard sauce by popping the mustard in a bowl, giving it a good stir and slowly adding cider vinegar until you have a runny dressing. I use a teeeeny whisk for this as I like to pretend I’m Nigella at this point….she always has a teeny whisk on the go.

Once your chops are done, pop them in your warmed oven on plates.

Throw all the courgette into the hot pan with all the pork juice and poke them around a bit until they are all covered and are heating through. Pour over your mustard concoction and gently mix. Poke about for about two minutes before getting your plates back out of the oven and serving up the veg from the frying pan.

Any sauce left in the pan can be drizzled on your pork chops and courgette on the plate and enjoy with a glass of something, whilst feeling smug that you aren’t having carbs.

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Ps: I’M BAAAAAAAACK!

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Blue Cheesed Butternut

There are few things in my kitchen that excite me more than when I am cubing up a butternut squash. I know that sounds a bit like I’m a mental person , but if I’m cubing a butternut squash then I’m prepping on of my favourite meals.

I think it is one of my favourites as it is so so simple. You whack it in , get on with some stuff in the garden or some housework and then eat it down wrapping yourself around the bowl as you scoff it.

All you need is a butternut squash, a good hunk of blue cheese, a handful of pine nuts and a splash of oil.

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Simply peel and chop your butternut squash into inch square chunks, drizzle with oil and bung in the oven to roast. I normally put them in for half an hour on 200.

My chooks love when we have butternut squash as they get all the seedy insides!

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Once roasted, sprinkle with bue cheese and pine nuts and devour with a spoon.

The salty blue cheese mixes so well with the sweet butternut squash. I normally use one butternut squash for two people, but I could be tempted to do this just for me and eat a MASSIVE bowlful!

Nomnomnom

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REVISIT: Autumn Fairy Cakes

 

Hi guys! I am back on Monday with some ‘live’ posts post wedding…yaaaay…here is a little cake based post that I will be making this week!

I love cake almost as much as I love books. FACT

My Autumn Fairy Cakes (or my AFC’s as I like to call them) are perfect for when the nights are drawing in and you need something a little heartier than a summer treat.

Give them a spin yourself!

ShinyP’s AFC’s

Ingredients (easily doubled or in my case TRIPLED!)

  • 6 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 4 oz Butter
  • 4 oz Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • A large handful of raisins

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190ºC.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together
  3. Add your eggs and beat furiously
  4. Mix in your flour and cinnamon, and then add the milk.
  5. Beat well and then chuck in the raisins.
  6. Stir and spoon into cake cases.
  7. Bake for 15/20 minutes till golden brown and risen.
  8. Devour alongside a mug of hot cider.

Bourbon Truffles

Last year for my hampers – I made these very yummy Oreo Truffles pictured above.

This year, I have found that my budget for Christmas has tightened (whose hasn’t?) can’t stretch to buying Oreos (come on.. a £1 per stupidly small packet?!) so I decided to experiment using that trusty biscuit barrel staple, the bourbon biscuit.

Ok, ok, I know it doesn’t look as exotic to us Brits as the Oreo, but it works just as well, and produces some pretty tasty results.

Ingredients

250g of Philadelphia or equivalent (I used Sainsbury’s own brand)

500g Bourbon Biscuits

400g of Milk Chocolate

Method

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor till they are a fine crumbly mix. (You can just put them in a plastic bag and attack them with a rolling pin if you are without a food processor)
  2. Mix the biscuits & Philly together.
  3. Roll small amounts of the mixture into little balls onto greaseproof paper or a silicone tray. (I wear CSI gloves for this because it stops them sticking to my hands which I HATE!)
  4. Chill for 30 minutes (minimum…I try to leave mine overnight)
  5. Melt the chocolate till molten (either do this on the hob or do it in small sections in the microwave)
  6. Cover the Philly/Biscuits balls with chocolate.
  7. Fridge till set.

They can be quite fiddley to put the chocolate on, but once you get into the rhythm of it, it’s quite therapeutic. I use two spoons, one table and one tea, I put the ball on the teaspoon and then I dunk the tablespoon in the chocolate. I then move the ball between the two spoons until it is completely covered before putting it back on the teaspoon (which should have less chocolate on it than the tablespoon) before placing it on a silicone tray/greaseproof paper.

Can take a while but the taste is TOTALLY worth it!

Enjoy!

How I Spend My Christmas Vacation

Today was the last day of term (I’m in tomorrow to do a care shift…but lets glaze over that shall we?), so work for me is finished! HUZZAH!

So from finishing one job, to starting another. Time to crack on with my christmas hampers.

My jams are already done, and my relishes are relishing. What I wait for ages to do are my sweet things as I’m always afraid my biscuits will go soggy and my truffles will get….well…. scoffed.

The first thing I’ll start making are my homemade chocolates. These are possibly the easiest of all my goodies to make, but this year I’m adding a little flavouring to make mint and orange delights.

Brrrrrrrilliant

 Last year, P had bought a penguin shaped ice cube silicone mould for making…you guessed it…penguin shaped ice cubes.

Due to being totally amazeballs and full of great ideas (check out MY SELF-ESTEEM!) I pinched it to make Choccy Penguins for my friends children and my younger brothers as seen last christmas here. Since last year, we have bought LOADS of different silicone moulds (IKEA you legend!) for my christmas chocolates and I’m most excited about using the heart shapes.

1: Take 200g of chocolate (any flavour, how about chilli chocolate for the menfolk? – I’ve done plain white & milk shapes as they are for children) – 200g does one ice cube tray. Keep the empty ice cube tray in the freezer till you are just ready to put the chocolate in it.

2: Break it up into squares and nuke in the microwave until completley melted. You can do it the traditional way over a pan of hot water, but I feel it takes too long when I’m in this festive rush! (At this point, stir in a few drops to taste, of peppermint or orange essence, if you fancy some flavoured chocs)

3: Using a teaspoon, scoop and dribble molten chocolate – it has to be runny or it will make silly blobs too quickly, into the mould…halfway you can add a nut, or a sweetie if you wish, dependent if you want them to have a centre. You could also do half white and half milk…etc etc, just stopping halfway through before adding the different layer.

4: Ensure you are as neat as possible as this will save you neatening them up after they come out the freezer. Clean up the edges with a flat butter knife. Give the mould a little wibble to make all the chocolate fall into the cracks.

5: Whack in the freezer for about an hour.

6: Pop out of the mould (you may have to be a bit rougher than you think) and place in bought or homemade bags or boxes lined with greaseproof paper.

Do try not to scoff them before you finish….mine get stored in our drinks fridge (that doubles as an end table) ready to go in their cute cellophane bags. I have to wrap them pretty quick else P thinks they are fair game and scoffs them all!

Buried in a book about food in books…

Sometimes I am highly aware that I am on another planet, and that my friends, family and P are all looking at me and shaking their heads.

I find this happens a lot when I read cookbooks like ACTUAL books.

I snuggle up on the sofa, cup of chamomile tea in hand, blanket wrapped around me and a big fat hardback with Nigella’s face plastered all over it. To me that sounds like bloomin’ heaven.

Imagine then, teamed with the knowledge of how much I LOVE children’s literature (Yes Ms Blyton and Mr C.S. Lewis, I am gawping at you AGAIN), that there is a cookbook all about the delicious foods in children’s books. I KNOW RIGHT?!

Who wouldn’t want to run around solving mysteries and then scoff macaroons like Fatty in Five Finder Outers? NOBODY. That’s who.

This amazing book is not imaginary. I was given it, earlier this month, as a birthday present by one of my wonderful best friends, Louise, and I had to try so hard not to sit and pour over the pages before I opened anything else!

Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats is written by Jane Brocket, and it is a must Christmas buy for those you know, who like me, can’t say no to Elevenses.

Midweek Munchies: Autumn Fairy Cakes

I love cake almost as much as I love books. FACT

My Autumn Fairy Cakes (or my AFC’s as I like to call them) are perfect for when the nights are drawing in and you need something a little heartier than a summer treat.

Give them a spin yourself!

ShinyP’s AFC’s

Ingredients (easily doubled or in my case TRIPLED!)

  • 6 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 4 oz Butter
  • 4 oz Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • A large handful of raisins

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190ºC.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together
  3. Add your eggs and beat furiously
  4. Mix in your flour and cinnamon, and then add the milk.
  5. Beat well and then chuck in the raisins.
  6. Stir and spoon into cake cases.
  7. Bake for 15/20 minutes till golden brown and risen.
  8. Devour alongside a mug of hot cider.