Saturday 28 December 2013

Post-Christmas leftover yummies

Some of you may recall that our household doesn't do roast turkey at Christmas, so we don't always have a lot of leftovers, but this year my parents were unable to fly south to warmer climes for the winter, so they came to join us on Christmas day. This made us 5 adults and 3 kids of varying ages, all of whom like their roast dinners.
It is quite hard to find a chicken that will feed that many, and particularly if you are looking at free range or organic. For that reason, I bought 2 chickens, and roasted them together, using some tandoori paste butter on one to baste the breast under the skin. Of course I wanted to get similar sized birds, so they would cook evenly, but this did mean we had a proper amount of meat left over. We decided to cut ourselves some slack and we bought in a lot of the accompaniments, such as the red cabbage, bread sauce, and yes, the gravy. (Don't judge!!) It was all really tasty, (thank you Sainsbury's, much tastier than Waitrose or M&S last year!) and it meant we had all the delicious pan juices to use another day. These were poured into a pyrex jug and put in the fridge to separate.
So 2 days after Christmas, I scooped the fat from the jug into a container, and melted some with some olive oil in my lidded sauté pan. I fried some chopped onion and garlic until soft and added some frozen veg. A sprinkle of marigold powder went in of course, and then some of the rich jelly stock from underneath the fat in the jug. Once that had melted, I sloshed in a little white wine, reduced it down slightly and then stirred in the chopped up leftover chicken as required. This then simmered to absorb the flavours for a few minutes, with the lid on. Right before serving, I swirled in a little soured cream. Yoghurt, cream, creme fraiche or plain cream cheese would do if those are what you have to hand, just a couple of teaspoons.
I then served this with rice and buttered greens.
Complete hit!!! Almost a free meal!
Oh and in case you are wondering, the full Christmas meal I did, including all the preprepared items costed out to £6.55 per head. Not bad for the fact of splashing out for the special day!!

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Gobble gobble turkey

I've been buying turkey meat recently and really enjoying it. It is cheap and tasty, especially if you go for the dark, leg meat.
I had used a lot of turkey as a student, but mainly white breast meat, and I really went off it. We never have turkey at Christmas, I find the roast bird dry and gamey, and not to my taste. But the dark meat is lean and succulent and cooks up very similar to goat or spring lamb.

Three recent dishes have been great successes; all very different, and none left ius feeling we were about to turn into a turkey...
I first made turkey mince keema a few months ago, the recipe is given in a previous post, but recently I used turkey leg mince to make a simple ragu for pasta. It was very tasty, with my usual addition ofaniseed flavour, in this case, a piece of cinnamon, and a drop of marmite.
The following weekend, I pressure cooked a turkey leg. I had to trim the bony bit to get it to fit well so I could brown it a little, then I added quartered onions, chunks of celery, lots of chunks of carrot, a bag of organic spuds from Abel and Cole, chopped up, a little wine, some stock. Really really basic and simple. But oh so delicious! The meat was so tender, just falling off the "dinosaur" bone. Littl'Un had a blast fishing out the bone and gnawing on it.
Today's turkey meal was made from a pack of pre-cubed leg meat. I know prediced meat costs more, but most weekdays, I save so much TIME with these, time I just don't have what with listening to Littl'Un read her reading book, and making sure Tiny doesn't get left out, and waiting to see if Big'Un needs picking up after school, especially when she's got rugby after school...So i choose to save money elsewhere, and on the days when I am not time-poor.
So I made a middle Eastern inspired stew type thing, using  chopped onions, ground cumin and cinnamon, tinned tomatoes, frozen griddled aubergine slices which I snipped up with scissors. Then I chucked in a tin of chickpeas and let it simmer while I toasted some couscous in butter, then cooked it in stock. By "cooked" I mean stir stock powder through and then add boiling water, simmer for 10 seconds and then switch off and steam for a few minutes. This whole meal was luscious and enjoyed by all. The meat was tender and soft and the aubergines were melty and a delicious extra dimension.
If you haven't tried turkey except at Christmas, give it a go! It's cheap, tasty and pretty healthy too!

Saturday 24 August 2013

raw tomato sauce for pasta and meatballs.

I often have a pack of organic meatballs (similar to the type you get in Ikea) in the fridge, they are so easy to zap in the microwave and I usually serve with spaghetti or rice or even in sub rolls with lots of salad, and everyone loves them and they are cheap, tasty and filling and not too full of silly nonsense. 

If I have a glut of tomatoes that need to be used, I often blitz up this sauce for pasta, and that makes this meal ready in no time at ALL.

Put the water on to boil.  Add your pasta when the water is ready. I don't have to tell you how to make pasta.  Yes, you can do this with gluten free pasta, any shape of pasta, wholemeal pasta - in fact I often use a mix of basics and wholemeal spaghetti.

Put all the tomatoes into the beaker for your stick blender, or into the jug of your blender, or bowl of your food processor.  Add 2-5 cloves of garlic, and at least a teaspoon, maybe more, of salt, depending on how many tomatoes there are.  Blitz it all up.  If you have some basil, add it if you feel like it.  A drop of nice olive oil and maybe of cider vinegar, or a pinch of brown sugar can all add a little zing.  Maybe you like spicy, in which case some chilli - powder, sauce, Tabasco, whatever will be good here too.

Pour the meatballs into a microwaveable dish and heat for as long as the packet says.

Drain the pasta, and serve the 3 together.  If you have some green veg you want to eat too, that would be nice, but you won't die if you don't have any.  Enjoy, it shouldn't take more than about 15 mins to get to the table.

foraging is fun in summer

We've been picking blackberries! We have lots and lots of them! Mainly we eat them as is, but we've also had crumble, sponge and now we've had salad and fool too!

I roasted a chicken (from the 3 for £10 promotion in Sainsbury's) with a little butter mashed with garlic and cumin, pushed under the skin of the breast.  I just boiled some salad potatoes and steamed some broccoli to go with the chicken, but I also made a salad using a bag of mixed watercress, baby spinach and rocket, added a handful of blackberries, and made a dressing of finely chopped shallots, cider vinegar, good olive oil and a squirt of SweetFreedom.  Of course I used the stuff in the roasting tray (I had the chicken on a rack) to make a nice thin jus (or gravy, as we call it!) Glorious glorious comfort food, and the dressing and the gravy mingled to make a luscious sauce with a tang and a good hit of savoury satisfaction.

For pudding we had two different fools.  So easy to do, and no time at all take, really.  I simmered a punnet of gooseberries in a frying pan with about 60-70g of golden sugar.  When they were bubbling, I mashed them lightly with a fork until really soft, then poured into a jug and put to cool in the fridge.  I quickly washed out the pan, and put in all the blackberries we had.  It was probably slightly more than the goosegogs, but I added the same amount of sugar and did the same. 

When we were ready for pudding, I whipped up a BIG tub of double cream in my Bosch, and divided the softly mounded up cream between 2 glass bowls.  Into one I gently folded the gooseberry mush, and into the other I mixed in softly and dramatically most of the blackberry mush. (I kept some of the quickjam as there was a LOT, and it will be nice in porridge!) The blackberry fool went such a gorgeous deep colour, but I was careful to keep streaks of white and swirls of purple still separate. 

Both were a total hit, and a really luxurious way to finish off a lovely summery family comfort food meal together.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Backwards jeera chicken in a hurry

Since the playground opened across the road from our house, and a few days of nice weather, it has been harder to get prepared and start cooking dinner early enough for the young hungry tummies in our house. I had planned to make a pot of saayi daal yesterday after a council fun day but stayed out too long and completely forgot that the lentils needed soaking for half an hour before cooking. So I thought I'd switch tactics and improvise with the food that had just been delivered which I hadn't yet planned or put in the freezer. I took a pack of chicken, thinking about the simple yogurty jeera (cumin) chicken but then remembered that that needs an hour of marinating. 
I already had the pressure cooker out in preparation to make daal, so I thought that might hold the answer...
I began by frying some garlic purée in the pressure cooker. I used ghee, but veg oil would be fine too. I then added both ground cumin and cumin seeds and a pinch of turmeric. I then fried the chicken (in this case chunks of breast, it had been on offer) until brown, with half a teaspoon of salt, and once sealed, I put the lid on and cooked it under pressure for 13 minutes. 
Meanwhile I put the rice on and cleaned and prepped a bag of spinach. I steam-fried the spinach with some mustard seeds and a pinch of garam masala. Don't do what I did and burn the bottom tho :(
Once the chicken was done, I released the pressure quickly and then bringing the heat back, but gently, I then stirred in some plain yogurt. This made a lovely creamy sauce to mix in with the rice, and the finished dish looked and tasted virtually the same as the original version.  Well improvised, and something I shall bear in mind in the future.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Birthday Mango Cake for Big'Un

We are currently a house of sickness, and I wasn't sure if I'd manage to give Big'Un a decent 11th birthday, but we just managed a day out, and came home in time to cook her fave supper of yorkshires and sausages.

While I had the yorkshires in the oven, I used the Bosch to make a quick cake mix, which I baked while we ate dinner.

I did an enriched sponge mixture - 3 of everything, - eggs, ounces of flour, caster sugar and butter, plus a spoon of baking powder. I spooned some mango puree from a can into the mix also, and baked it into my heart shaped silicone cake form.  I think that takes a normal 3 egg sponge mix, looks too small to fit a 4 egg mix.

When the cake was done, out and cool, I used the Bosch again to whip up some double cream, which was done beautifully in minutes, and then I swirled through some more mango puree*.

I splodged the cream onto the cake and served the excess cream alongside for extra dolloping.  We had received some fresh mangos from my aunty and also a couple from Abel and Cole, so Godpapa peeled the ripest one and we ate slices of the sweet fruit with the cake. They were the less sugary South American mangoes, so made a lovely fresh accompaniment to the cake.

Needless to say, it was a success!

*A note about mango puree - it's available from Indian shops in quite large tins.  I had opened the tin and used about 2 thirds the day before to make mango lassi.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Shrove Tuesday something different

I knew that we'd be going to the church pancake party at 5pm for our helping of lemon and sugar filled gorgeousness, and in fact I'd agreed to make a batch for serving to the families, and so I thought I'd get the kids to at least try to eat something savoury and more nutrient dense first, and I thought Papa and I could always eat a backwards supper and have our savoury course once the kids were in bed.  I also wanted to minimise the work for myself, so I decided we'd have savory pancakes - with a twist.

First off I sliced up some nice organic chestnut mushrooms and fried these in a pan with some butter and a glug of garlic oil.  I sprinkled in some tarragon after a while.  I left these slowly frying towards intense umami deliciousness.

I then made a triple batch of the following recipe which I have used for nearly 20 years, from the Good Housekeeping cookery book.  My cookery bible which was a 21st birthday pressie and is still my most reached for reference book.

4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
half a pint of milk.
drop of veg oil.

As I did a triple batch, I used a mix of full-cream and semi-skimmed milk, and water.  It worked absolutely fine.  I usually either whisk this by hand in a big jug, or whizz it up in the Bamix and its jug.  But for this large a batch I did it in the Bosch, though I wouldn't say it was especially quick or smooth. Perhaps I should have tried doing it in the blender attachment.

In the meantime I microwaved 6 or 7 lumps of frozen chopped spinach and put them in the Bamix jug. Once the batter was mixed, I took about a third out and added it to the spinach and then blitzted it all together.

(The rest of the batter was used to make the pancakes for the church pancake party.)

I then made 2 pancakes at a time for speed, just like ordinary pancakes, using a small ladle to measure out the right amount to coat the pan not too thickly, on a medium heat so it doesn't set so quickly that you can't tilt it to coat the base.

No, I didn't toss them. I have very weak wrists and need to save my strength in them for typing these blog posts or knitting! ;oP

I served these up with some of the mushrooms and a dollop of soured cream.

I won't pretend every one loved these, but I certainly did, and I'm sure many of my readers will too.  Yes, I know it's Lent, but who actually gives up the ingredients of pancakes in Lent anyway??!!

Cookies galore!

Yes, obviously, I've been baking a bit more than usual.  Cookies were the first thing I wanted to do, as the mixture is much stiffer than cake dough, which has meant I've avoided making them for a while.  My Bosch has made this all possible again so I wanted to test out cookie recipes to find some I could always come back to as reliable.
Here are my 3 best cookie recipes. I adapt them to suit what ingredients I have to hand or fancy trying.
Using a couple of these I created some rather popular marshmallow cookies.  The secret is to roll a ball of dough around a mini marshmallow, flatten slightly and then bake.
100g raisins
175g butter
175g light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
125g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
half teaspoon cinnamon
250g rolled oats
about 25-30 mini marshmallows
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Stir in the egg and raisins. Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Stir well, then add the oats. Using a teaspoon to measure the dough if you prefer, take a small piece of dough, push a mini marshmallow in and roll in the palms of your hands until marshmallow is covered. Place on lined or greased baking tray and flatten slightly, leaving plenty of space between cookies. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees, for 15-20 minutes. Leave on sheets for 2 minutes before putting to cool on a rack.
Kids and grown ups love rolling these!
I also usually use about 50-75g of whole oats to replace some of the rolled oats, to give it a bit more texture.
Basic cookie dough to make your own signature flavoured cookies.
125g softnened butter
75 g light brown sugar
1 beaten egg
175g self raising flour
half teaspoon baking powder
 175g *something to flavour*
You can do plain choc, or half white choc half cranberries, or you can do half chopped nuts & half milk choc, or whatever you want to add.
Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and and beat well. Add the flour, baking powder and flavour addition to make a stiff dough. Place spoonfuls spaced slightly apart onto 2 greased or lined baking sheets and bake at 180 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Leave to cool for 2 minutes on the trays then transfer to a wire rack.
Butterscotch Oat (Marshmallow) cookies
I've also baked this next recipe and I seem to recall we used butterscotch pieces in one of the batches.
125g softened butter
125g sugar
75g soft brown sugar
1 egg
135g plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
half teaspoon baking powder
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
85g oats
250g chocolate chips (which I did with half choc half butterscotch in one heavenly batch)
Put butter, sugars and egg in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bacarbonate of soda and mix well until well combined. Stir in the oats and choc chips. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a ball, flatten on the cookie sheet, repeat until all is used (we did the marshmallows with this recipe once too)
Bake for 5-10 mins at 190 degrees. Remove and leave to cool.
A hint - these are SO good slightly warm... Make many batches and give away to people. These make people HAPPY!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

garlic tofu and veg

Chinese food has always been a problem for me.  I love to eat it, especially good authentic Chinese food, having spent time in Hong Kong and Singapore, and also having grown up with a family friend who was a Hong Kong Chinese chef, and regularly entertained our family with lavish feasts.  However, I have had no concept of the basics of how to cook this particular cuisine, and so it has remained a bit enshrouded in mystery to me.  Last year I watched a good few episodes of Gok Wan's series on how to cook Chinese food, and although his premise was to "healthify" many of the traditional dishes, it still gave me an insight into the very different methods used to create the flavours and textures required.  Taking his basic advice and adding in a little experience from my recent Indo-Chinese experiment, I devised this ultra quick and tasty meal which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

1 pack tofu
1 tbs cornflour
2 tbs garlic oil
2 tbs kikkoman soy sauce
1tsp salt
ground black pepper
2 heads pak choi
1 cup of soy beans
handful of mushrooms

Start by dicing the tofu and placing in a dish to marinade.  Pour the garlic oil over and season with soy sauce, salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  Mix the cornflour with 5 tbs water in a cup and then pour this over the tofu too.  Leave to marinade.  10 mins is fine, longer won't hurt.

Chop the mushrooms and the pak choi, separating the green leaves from the white stalks.

Heat some more oil, groundnut or more garlic oil, in a wok and  using a slotted spoon to drip off excess marindae, fry the tofu in batches until crispy on some of the sides.  You can be careful and crisp all the sides, or just crisp some and move on, depends how much time you have, or what texture you are going for.  Remove with a slotted spoon when done and reserve on a plate.  Do not pour away the marinade though!

Next fry the mushrooms, soy beans and whites of the pak choi for a few minutes, and then add the leaves of the pak choi.  Once these are wilted, pour in the whole of the marinading liquid.  The liquid will thicken up and look glossy very quickly.  Stir it all around and switch off heat when desired thickness of sauce is acheived.

I preferred to keep the tofu separate, some for nibbling and some placed on top of all the veg.  I had steamed some rice simply to accompany this.

Big'Un scoffed 2 big bowlsful, Littl'Un made a valiant effort given she isn't very well anyway, and Tiny scoffed every soy bean he could find and even ate some of the crunchy pak choi stalks.  Naturally he loved the rice, and he even ate a bit of tofu, but he's never been a big protein eater in the evenings.

A big hit all round, and took around 20 minutes to make from start to finish.

Monday 4 February 2013

Oriental inspired chicken burgers and crispy noodle salad

I won't at all take the credit for this salad, my sister-in-law fed it to Big'Un when she went to Singapore last year, and she raved about it.  It was a hit with our lovely friend who came to tea and supper yesterday, and the Littl'Un loved it too, even though I was worried it might be too spicy for her.
The burgers were a hit with everyone, and Tiny ate more than Littl'Un, which was a great surprise!

I was given money for my big birthday this weekend, so I treated myself to a couple of new kitchen gadgets I'd been hankering after, so this meal was partly an excuse to play with them, to be honest!

Firstly I minced up a pack of chicken breasts (I had bought them in a multi-meat discount purchase, 3 for £10 or similar) and then I added in some shallots and spring onions (if I'd had more spring onions I would have just used those) and whizzed them up together. For this I used the SliceSy attachment for my Bamix, and it was amazing, I did cut each breast in half  and only processed 2 at a time, because I wasn't certain how it would cope, but I needn't have worried, I had perfect mince in seconds.

I enjoyed the lifting plate design to empty the SliceSy, and put the meat and onions into a pyrex bowl.  The blades really are sharp, I managed to cut my finger when really carefully drying the chopping blade! The kids luckily ignored my colourful language!  I'm glad it comes with a blade guard for storage.

I then added 2 tbs cornflour, 1 tbs dark soy sauce and 1 tbs kikkoman soy sauce and 1 tbs shao xing rice wine and mixed really well with a spoon.  I left this to marinade a little while I made the salad.

Using the shredding attachment on my Bosch Mixer, I very easily shredded up a mini white cabbage and 3 large carrots. My Sis-In-Law also suggests using mushrooms, red cabbage and spring onions too, but I didn't have them to hand, and it was still delicious.  I put about a third of the carrot/cabbage away in the fridge to make coleslaw later in the week, and put the rest in a salad bowl.  I called in Big'Un and made her smash up a pack of noodles, the kind that has a sachet of soup base or seasoning, I used this one which is actually marketed as to be eaten dry as a snack, but any would work the same.

The smashed up noodles were then emptied out into the veggies, and mixed in, and the sachet was opened and put in a small jug.  I then added olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and pepper to the seasoning to make a dressing.  This is then poured over the salad shortly before serving.  Not so long that it makes the noodles (or doondles as our household calls them) soggy, but long enough for the flavour to soak in.  Mix well and garnish with toasted almonds and/or sesame seeds.

While Big'Un was smashing out her troubles, I got on with frying the burgers.  I used 2 metal spoons to dollop and flatten portions of mix into a preheated oiled frying pan, turning after a few minutes.  I like these patties to be thin so they cook well but try not to dry them out.

I served this all with pitta pockets.  Some people stuffed salad in with their patties, others kept the salad for separate eating, some did both!

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Aldi half leg of lamb, slow cooked

I had been planning to do Littl'Un's favourite oxtail for some time, but the delivery at Papa's shop didn't arrive, and I was out and about at a knitting drop-in but not near enough to any larger supermarkets to go look for oxtail there, so I popped into Aldi and saw a great price on some nice looking lamb.

I seared the joint on all sides and then put it in my slow cooker.  I then quartered a couple of onions, added some olives that had been hanging around - some from the fridge and some from a jar at the back of the cupboard, and then I sprinkled over some ground cinnamon and marigold powder and finally added a tin of chopped tomatoes. I did swill the tin round with some red wine that was already open and set aside for cooking, but this wasn't exactly necessary.  I then put the lid on and set the cooker onto high, and then left it alone.

I was then out for most of the day, which is good as I do sometimes find if I'm in the house while the food is cooking all day I sort of "go off" the flavour from smelling it all day.  I left instructions with GodPapa as to what to do to make the accompaniment for the 2 littler children who were at home with him, as I realised Papa, Big'Un and I would be out past our usual supper time.

About 10 minutes before they wanted to eat, GodPapa toasted a premeasured amount of couscous in the pan in which I had previously seared the lamb joint.  He added some marigold, a can of chickpeas and then the same volume of water, or slightly more, brought it to the boil and switched the heat off, covering the pan.  After 5-6 minutes the couscous had fluffed up, and he stirred through some sour pomegranate seeds which had been peeled the day before but were too sour to just eat as a fruit.

The whole dish was comforting, hearty and bursting with flavour and incredibly low in actual work to cook it!  There was also plenty of meat left after we had all eaten our fill, which I'm planning to reheat and serve with tagliatelle and some extra veg.

Monday 21 January 2013

Indo-Chinese not so chilli paneer

I had been hankering after a dish I've had in a couple of Indian eateries which I had no idea how to begin cooking, and also I knew I'd need to calm it down for the kids, and my decreasing chilli tolerance.  I did a bit of a Google and found out it is one of the interesting and completely unique Indo-Chinese dishes I have experienced when visiting family in Calcutta.  There is a fairly large Chinese community in Calcutta, originally based in the tannery areas, and the combination of Chinese food and Bengali tastes and ingredients led to some very regionally specific dishes. This style dish is made with chicken or paneer or tofu, and is delicious and easy. It is becoming more common in some Indian (NOT the Bangladeshi type) restaurants, and would be found under the name "Chilli Paneer" and my recipe would be very easy to re-chilli.  I adapted 2 or 3 of the different recipes I found to suit my own tastes. Oh and apparently it is often cooked with green pepper, which of course I can't/don't eat, so I put sweetcorn in instead.  I'm sure other veg would work such as courgette, green beans, baby corn or whatever takes your fancy!

1 pack paneer (I use Long Clawson from the supermarket which is 227g I think)
3 or 4 cloves garlic (or 1 clove and 1 large cube frozen garlic puree)
1 inch ginger, grated (or 1 large cube frozen ginger puree - often in supermarkets with ethnic foods)
half a bunch of spring onions
1 small red onion
1 cup of frozen sweetcorn
2 tbs ketchup
2 tbs soya sauce - Kikkoman
1 tsp vinegar, malt is fine 
2 tbs groundnut oil or similar
salt, pepper, chilli flakes
1 tbs cornflour

Start off by dicing up the paneer and putting it in a dish in one layer.  Finely chop or grate 1 clove of garlic and spread over the paneer.  Season with salt, pepper and the chilli flakes to taste.  I used VERY little.

Put the cornflour in a mug and add 5 tbs of water.  Mix well and pour over the paneer, toss them around briefly and ensure it is still in one layer.  Leave to marinade for 10 minutes.

Use the 10 minutes to chop the spring onions separating the white and green parts to use separately.  Chop the red onion too.  At this point I defrosted the frozen ginger and pureed the remaining garlic also.

Now heat a nonstick frying pan or saute pan with 1 tbs of the oil and fry the paneer, reserving the marinade.  Make sure you turn the pieces so 2 or 3 sides are browned and crisp.  At this point, try not to have no one but BigUn looking after Tiny, and Tiny has a nosebleed and BigUn isn't sure what to do or your paneer might burn. Luckily, BigUn was fine...and so was Tiny, and so was the paneer...

Remove with a slotted spoonand set aside, and add the 2nd tbs of oil if needed.  Now on a lower heat, fry the red onion and the white part of the spring onion until the onion is soft and transluscent.  Now add the garlic & ginger purees and fry on a slightly higher heat until the garlic no longer smells raw.  Now add the sweetcorn (or vegetable of your desire!)  If you were wanting to spice things up, now would be a good time to add some chopped green chilli, or red chilli etc.

Add the ketchup, soy sauce and vinegar, and add the paneer back in.  Stir and coat well and add half a mug of water. Heat the sauce up and then add the marinade too.  The sauce will thicken up very quickly, but you can always thin it down or add more of any of the sauces to taste.  Add the green part of the spring onion to serve.

We had this with bought naan bread and pitta breads, it is dryish, but you could as easily toss it through some noodles.  Big Un split her pitta and stuffed it full of paneer and ate it faster than a blink! I will admit Tiny Un really didn't even try this, but he enjoyed his pitta bread.  I guess it wasn't a protein day for him! Can't win them all.  Papa loved it and said he could easily have eaten the whole panful...

So who's wondering about Littl'Un? Thank you for asking! She was at Rainbows and had had cheese on toast before hand!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Oat Frackles (strawberry banana)

The baby likes to copy his sisters and eat a banana, but after the novelty of the first time, he never has more than a few bites. I also noticed the strawberry melts in the cookie cupboard and thought they'd make a nice twist to a plainish idea. This is what I came up with, it was a great little midweek pudding.
Somewhere between a flapjack and a fairy cake with a cookie like crust.
A great way to use up some of that bag of jumbo oats I bought instead of regular porridge oats which no one will eat for breakfast cos they turn out too chewy and husky.

6 yellow scoops (my yellow scoop is a coffee scoop we measure the girls' porridge with, it's over a tablespoon) jumbo oats
2 heaped Chinese spoons SR flour (I have plastic Chinese spoons in my flour containers, a heaped spoon is about 2oz usually)
3-4 tbs sugar 1 mashed banana (minus the bit baby nibbled)
2 squirts stork liquid
Some strawberry melts

Mix all together, mashing banana as you go. Spoon into 12 fairy cake cases Bake 15-20 mins at 200 deg.