Bread Bowls (Step 2)

After baking the bread, you have to let them cool completely. Next cut a circle in the top, pull the inside out and make it into breadcrumbs or something.

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Next make a soup to go in it! I made a corn and cheese chowder type thing and it was completely yummy!

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This was a mixture of onion, potato, pepper, sweetcorn, stock, grated cheddar , milk and flour along with some ground pepper and mixed herbs.
The boy loved this, as did I! The husband hasn’t had his yet but I’m pretty sure there will be no complaints!

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Gnocchi Gnocchi Everywhere!

A couple of nights ago, we had mashed potato at dinner, my husband makes the BEST mashed potato, so I cooked loads of potatoes with the plan of making a cottage pie one night, however, a sleepy boy has meant we avoided going out today and we haven’t yet restocked our freezer with meat yet since the move. So, this means no cottage pie for tea, however, there is no way on earth I was going to throw away the mashed potato that was in our fridge. This called for only one thing, gnocchi for tea! It’s a good job we all like it, as there was a lot of mashed potato, therefore, a lot of gnocchi was made.

Gnocchi is simple.

 

1. Weigh your mashed potato.

2, Add half the weight of mashed potato in plain flour.

3. Mix and knead this until it forms a dough, add an egg. If you have a lot of mash you will need more than one egg. You need a relatively firm dough, so that you can roll it easily. I tend to aim for something similar to scone dough texture.

4. Add any flavourings you want, today we added mixed fresh herbs from the garden to one batch and grated cheese to the other.

5. Roll the gnocchi dough into a sausage and slice into pieces around a centimetre thick.

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Herb gnocchi

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Cheddar gnocchi

6. Bring to the boil a large pan of water. Add some gnocchi, it tends to be better to cook in batches as too many in the pan just gets awkward.

7. Once the gnocchi rises to the top of the pan, scoop it out and drain it. Repeat the cooking until you have enough.

8. Toss in the sauce of your choice, tonight we will be having a combination of some in just butter and cheese and some in red pesto.

 

Today, the boy and I made LOTS of gnocchi, so we are freezing a large proportion of it, we lay them on trays so that they all freeze individually and them bag them up together once they are frozen. They cook slightly more slowly once frozen but the process is exactly the same, just wait until they rise to the surface, drain, coat in sauce and serve.

You can make crispy gnocchi, this involves frying it once it is cooked, then covering it in sauce, I will probably try that with some of the gnocchi we have frozen as I haven’t tried it before.

Kickin’ Garlic Sauce

When we go out as a family and end up eating at the Harvester grill near us, I always choose the kickin’ garlic sauce as my dip, even more so since being pregnant, it is so tasty, full of garlic and the heat from chilli it is perfect with chicken. Last night for dinner we had steak and chips, and I made a range of garlic filled dips and sauces to go with it, garlic filled as the boy isn’t a fan but is currently on cub camp! I attempted to make something similar to the sauce I love so much from Harvester and it turned out pretty well.

Ingredients

5 Cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced

2tbsp Olive oil

2tsp Lemon juice

1tsp finely chopped soft herb (I used lemon balm as we have masses of the stuff! but parsley or oregano, probably most softer herbs would be nice too)

Chilli to taste (I cheated and used a habanero sauce I had in the fridge)

Method

Whisk together the oil and lemon juice until they combine and thicken slightly, then add everything else! As simple as that, I made it in advance so that the flavours all mixed together and I couldn’t get enough of it, perfect with steak and chips!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

2016-27-3--11-55-03.pngDinner a few nights ago was homemade chicken nuggets, with it being the Easter holidays, my son is helping make dinner at whatever opportunity he gets. This was simple, chicken breast cut into chunks, breadcrumbs made from wholemeal bread and some dried herbs, my son was left with the job of coating the chicken in plain flour, then egg and then finally the breadcrumbs. These were fried to brown and then put in the oven until they were cooked.

It always has been, I guess it always will be, very satisfying when my son turns round and says things along the lines of “homemade food is so much better mummy, I’m glad we don’t buy the horrible ready made things, I like what we make and I enjoy cooking with you.”

Gammon with Pineapple Salsa

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My boys love gammon, they love bacon, they love sausages, perhaps we should invest in a pig farm as I’m pretty sure they would happily eat it every breakfast lunch and dinner if I let them! Gammon has been an absolute no so far this year, the smell and taste have repulsed me, it just wasn’t pleasant, they were getting withdrawal symptoms though, so I thought I would brave it again. Normally as a bog standard dinner in this house, it would be tinned pineapple cooked in butter and brown sugar just like my mum does, however, on our hunts through recipe books, me and the boy found a recipe that looked interesting, sounded good, and since he has decided he likes chilli and asks me to add extra if things aren’t hot enough, was good for all of us. Again, this comes from a BBC Good Food recipe book and there is a link on the website, gammon and pineapple salsa. We think we added a bit too much coriander, but it was still incredibly tasty and a nice change to the normal things we do with gammon.

Tortellini and Pesto Minestrone

My son had a parents evening the other day, appointment at 4.50pm just be awkward, dinner time! So a quick and easy dinner was a must, this recipe was a bit of a gamble as the boy is most definitely not a cabbage fan, he will eat it, but he would really rather not bother, this is an improvement on 2 years ago though when he would probably have completely turned his nose up at it and not eaten it just to annoy me! However, now, as a nine and a half year old who is currently grateful to just be being fed proper food again, he ate it, all of it, and the extra tortellini I left. I have two dustbins in my house, the boy and the husband are always happy to clear my leftovers just to save it from the bin! This is a good thing, food waste is atrocious, but that’s a whole different blog post!

2016-24-3--10-28-37This recipe was from a BBC Good Food recipe book again, however, unlike the sizzling pepper chicken salad, there is a recipe for this one on their website! So here it is, Tortellini and Pesto Minestrone. This recipe was ridiculously simple, the thing that probably took the longest was shredding the spring greens, but a bit more organisation on my part and this normally would have been done in advance. This to me is a perfect standby dinner, I always have frozen peas in the freezer, the pasta can be frozen and a jar of pesto in the fridge is a bit of a staple in this house. The boy suggested we could swap the spring greens for broccoli which I agree would work, just a slight adaptation in cooking times and we would be well away with a meal ready in around 10 minutes. We used Tesco Basics spinach and ricotta tortellini and in all honesty it was ok, not the nicest tortellini I’ve ever eaten, but when is store bought ever as good as homemade from scratch?

 

Sizzling Pepper Chicken Salad

Normally I cook absolutely everything from scratch, however, the last few months haven’t been that way, cooking has been a real challenge, either I can’t think of anything to make, or what I cook smells horrible to me or I end up pushing it around my plate and wishing I just hadn’t bothered. However, the other day I wrote a menu, I sat with the boy and went through some of our recipe books looking for the things that sound interesting.

Sizzling pepper chicken salad was the first thing on our menu, it’s from a Bbc Good Food Recipe book I have, I have looked but it isn’t on the website so I can’t link it here. The recipe was a mixture of boiled new potatoes, red peppers, chicken strips rolled in ground black pepper, cucumber and Italian salad dressing. After frying the chicken, add the potatoes to warm them and then pour in dressing so that you end up with a warmed mixture, pour this over the rest of the salad and there you have it! We added avocado and tomatoes and the Italian dressing was actually a home made mixture rather than something from a bottle with masses of added salt!

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For the first time in ages I had seconds of a meal I had cooked!! It smelt yummy, tasted even better and was decided to be as good as our family favourite of Warm Chicken and Bacon Salad which I haven’t made in ages, but will have to add to my menu!