My Second DegustaBox

Arrived this week…

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I only have a couple of things left over from last months box and this months will probably be the same, but I’m enjoying getting the packages…its all a little bit exciting (how sad am i? lol).

Check out DegustaBox if you fancy giving it a go and if you like them on FaceBook you could get your first box for £4.99, which is definitely a barg! 🙂

Im off to try the Chai Latte Hot Chocolate…

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Peanut Butter Cookie Squares

This months Bake Club Challenge is “Square Bakes” 🙂

So after scrolling through dozens of recipes online, i decided to try Peanut Butter Cupboard Cookie Bars. Which turned out to be far more difficult than i’d first imagined. Im not the brightest button in the box when it comes to maths, so trying to calculate 1/3rd of a cup when you only have a 1 cup and a 1/4 cup measuring devices was more than my brain could take at times. But, i muddled through, and ended up with something edible lol

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Have entered into the Bake Challenge, won’t win of course, but enjoyed baking them 🙂

Only try these if you love peanut butter! Very sickly lol

Lamb On Skewers

or Arni Souvlakia, Elizabeth David tells me 😉

Her recipe is more of a recommendation than anything else…

“Cut a piece of lamb from the leg into inch cubes. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and Marjoram. Thread the meat on to skewers and grill them. Serve them on a thick bed of parsley or shredded lettuce, on the skewers, with quarters of lemon.”

Ok, to liven mine up a bit i used Halloumi & red peppers between the lamb, and served them with couscous that had Feta cheese in, Hummus, olives and pita breads.

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I thoroughly enjoyed it! (kids were unappreciative as usual lol). Perhaps one day i’ll be able to have them the Elizabeth David way…

“Eaten on the terrace of a primitive Cretan taverna, flavoured with wood smoke and the mountain herbs, accompanied by the strong red wine of Crete, these kebabs can be the most poetic of foods. Exquisitely simple…”

Mmmmmm….i can see myself there now *sighs* 😉

Soupe Catalane & Tiramisu

Last nights dinner was…interesting lol. I won’t say it was a complete disaster, I enjoyed it 🙂

Elizabeth David’s Soupe Catalane

  • 3 large onions
  • 50g chopped ham/bacon
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 small stick of celery, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 pints stock or water
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Slice the onions thinly and brown them in olive oil or bacon fat in the pan that you’re going to cook the soup in. Stir frequently to prevent them catching. When they start to brown, add the diced ham/bacon, the tomatoes cut in quarters and the chopped celery.
  2. Cook, stirring for a few minutes then pour in the glass of wine and let it bubble. Then add the stock, the potatoes cut into small pieces and season.
  3. Cook the soup for 30 minutes. Just before serving beat the egg yolks with a few spoonfuls of the soup, then pour over the rest of the hot soup and stir well. Add a good handful of chopped parsley.

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Ok, i don’t want to criticise Ms David, i wouldn’t dare…but…this was just a little bit…meh lol. I had to double the quantities (for my lot), but i held off from doubling the amount of onions (as it was i had to take some out during the simmering stage because i knew my lot would throw a hissy fit lol). I have to admit i added a clove of garlic, not sure why, but even with that addition it was still disappointing. My middle son summed it up by saying “so i have bacon, water and bread for dinner?” Ok, well it wasn’t exactly just water, the addition of the egg yolks didn’t thicken it (was that to do with my doubling quantities?) but did give it an added richness…rich bacon water lol….and the homemade bread was good 😉

Moving on lol…For dessert i made a Tiramisu. A Gordon Ramsey version called Easy Tiramisu. Yeah, i’ll go with that. It was quick, easy, and soooo YUMMY! 🙂

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Gordon’s Easy Tiramisu Recipe

highly recommend this one. My only criticism? I didn’t put the whole 50ml of coffee in the Mascarpone. I want my Mascarpone layer to be white, or whitish…not coffee coloured. I couldn’t find Marsala (thanks Morrisons!) so i used Saunternes instead, which was a great idea…will be doing this one again. Unfortunately we ate the whole thing last night so i have none for brekkie *pouts*

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I was out last night so didn’t get to finish the bottle of Sauternes, and I’m out this evening too. Lets hope it will still be ok on Thursday, if The Hubsters not beaten me to it 🙂

Im not doing very well with dinner successes at the moment am i 😦

Monday Meal Planning 24th March

Ive had my Nigella fix and I’m moving on…only had to abandon 1 meal last week from the plan…because The Hubster decided he wanted a Chinese takeaway on Saturday night…i wasn’t going to argue 😉

This week I’m getting familiar with Elizabeth David. She’s like the English version of Julia Child. Ive known about David for years, you couldn’t fail to, if you’re into food and are English…but I’ve shockingly, never, cooked any of her recipes 😦 I’ll be righting that this week!

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  • Monday – Mousaka
  • Tuesday – Soup Catalane with home made bread & Tiramisu
  • Wednesday – Lamb Kebabs & a tray bake (haven’t decided exactly what yet) for the Lurpak Bake Club
  • Thursday – Takeaway
  • Friday – Tagliatelle con Prosciutto & home made bread
  • Saturday – Scampi for me and The Hubster, Chicken in breadcrumbs for the kids, Potato Kephtedes and salad
  • Sunday – MOTHERS DAY! So who knows 😉

Please check out the other participants over at Mrs M’s to see what everyone else is up to 🙂

What will you be cooking this week?

 

Texas Brisket

Friday saw me going all Texan 😉 Well, nearly lol

Nigellas Texas Brisket promised so much. But, unfortunately, fell very short. Now that wasn’t Nigella’s fault…it was the lack of liquid smoke…although she did say in the recipe that you didn’t need it.

Nigella’s Texas Brisket

  • 3 medium or 2 large onions
  • 2.5kg piece of beef brisket
  • 4 tbls cider vinegar
  • 4 tbls soy sauce
  • 4 tbls liquid smoke
  • 4 tbls Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbls Steak sauce (i managed to get a Heinz one from Waitrose)
  • 4 tbls strong black coffee (espresso)
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 and get out a roasting tin for the brisket. It needs to be pretty deep, there was a lot of juice came out of mine.
  2. Slice the onions and arrange in the centre of the tin, to create an inion platform for the brisket to sit on.
  3. Place the brisket on top, fat side uppermost.
  4. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the brisket. Then cover with foil, sealing tightly and place in the oven for 3 and 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a board.
  6. Transfer the onions to a blender with a little of the meat juices and blend until smooth. Then add back to the rest of the juices in the tin. Stir to mix
  7. Slice the brisket and place the slices back in the tin. Serve straight from there.

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What you end up with is beef with a very tangy sauce. Especially as Nigella says to double the Worcestershire sauce quantity if you can’t find liquid smoke. No no no, i wouldn’t recommend that!

Will i be making this again? Probably not lol…but i might get some of that liquid smoke, just incase 😉

Franks in Blanks and Blueberry Muffins

Yesterdays dinner, Nigella’s Pigs in Blankets aka Franks in Blanks turned out to be a big hit with The Fam 🙂 Although i didn’t bother with the mustard dipping sauce (that she includes with the recipe) as i knew no one would like it lol.

Pigs In Blankets

  • 1 x approx. 425g packet readyrolled puff-pastry sheets (gives 2 sheets, each approx. 28 x 21cm), defrosted if frozen
  • 1 egg
  • 2 x 350g packet frankfurters (gives 20, but you only need 16)
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Roll out one of the rectangular puff-pastry sheets to make it just a little bit thinner, stretching the long side rather than the short side as you roll. Cut the rectangle into quarters, then cut each rectangle in half lengthwise, to give 8 small pastry strips in total. (Stay with me!)
  2. Beat the egg in a small bowl and paint each pastry section with the egg wash. Sit a frankfurter horizontally on the left-hand side of one of the pieces of pastry and roll it up until it just seals. Then do the same with the remaining 7 small pastry strips.
  3. Cut each rolled frank into 4 small pieces, pressing the pastry back around the sausage kitchen pickings | kitchen comforts if it comes loose. Then place on a baking-parchment lined baking sheet with the sealed bit down to prevent it springing open.
  4. Paint the franks in blankets with the egg wash, and put them in the oven for 15–20 minutes. The pastry should have puffed up a little and turned golden. You can get on with the other sheet of pastry while the first lot of franks are cooking and repeat the process with the remaining franks.

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I served them with salad, coleslaw, potato salad and buttered corn on the cobs. There wasn’t one left over!

For dessert it was Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins.

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g cornmeal
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 100g blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and line a muffin tin with papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, bicarb and sugar. In a measuring jug or bowl, pour the oil and buttermilk and whisk or fork in the egg.
  3. Stir the oil mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients – remembering that lumpiness is a good thing when making muffins – and fold half the blueberries into your thick golden batter.
  4. Divide this batter between each muffin case (they will be about two-thirds full) and drop the remaining blueberries on top; you should have about 3 for the top of each muffin.
  5. Cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, till a cake tester comes out cleanish (obviously it will be stained if it hits a berry). Leave the muffins in the tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins, in their cases, to the wire rack to cool a little (not too much) before you serve or eat them.

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They weren’t very sweet, which, initially i didn’t think was a good thing (warm from the oven). But when i had one for breakfast the following morning i appreciated the fact that it didn’t give me a sugar rush lol