Tag: cheese

My current favourites

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. Here are the things that are currently dinging my dong.

Favourites

ASOS 70s clogs
Do these need any words? They’re just lush. Which is why I got both colours! I’m hoping they’ll work with thick tights so I can wear them through winter too. They’re my favourite addition to my shoedrobe this year.

ASOS black clogs 2

ASOS tan clogs 2

Voucher websites
I’m perpetually skint right now, all my own fault (and with lots of good times to show for it!) so anything that helps me save cash is good. I have a couple of Groupon and LivingSocial deals in the bag that will help me on those weekends where it’s still forever until payday but I don’t want to stay home.

Ebay
More specifically, selling on ebay. I’m all for giving stuff to charity, but when there’s potential value in that stuff I need to at least try and sell it first. Especially when it’s never been worn. I have a credit card bill to pay, doncha know!

Pie
It’s rare that I eat pie due to the calorie content, but last weekend I bought these beauties which we had with mash and onion gravy. They’re from Higgidy – feta cheese, spinach and pine nut on the left, and chicken, ham and leek on the right. I’m going to make a pie at some point, with filo pastry to make it more healthy.

Higgidy pies spinach feta pinenut chicken ham leek

Higgidy pies spinach feta pinenut chicken ham leek

Substituting rice for cauliflower rice
Beat the carbs – lower fat and lower calories means you can eat more of it! (that’s how it works, right?) Plus it opens up more mid week dinner opportunities where you just need that type of accompaniment (I try not to eat carbs in the week).

Blue cheese
I used to hate this stuff as a kid. But now I love it! On it’s own, on crackers, on burgers. Yum. Check out this lamb recipe which it works with too.

Tesco flavoured sparkling water
Such a nice mixer for vodka (you didn’t think I meant to drink on it’s own, did you?!)

Tesco sparkling peach and passionfruit water mixer

Pansies
Now that the leaves on the trees are not long for this world, it’s important to have some colour through winter. I planted these pretty pansies on my balcony yesterday; they’re such cheerful little flowers that always look like they’re smiling!

Purple pansy balcony pot

What are you loving right now?

Eyeball meatballs and bloody tapeworms

This is a fun Halloween dinner if you’re staying in tonight. I first made it around 6 years ago, when we used to decorate the flat and have people round and stay up until stupid o’clock.

Ouch.

I messed with a tested method tonight and it didn’t work out, aesthetically, as good, but taste wise it was ace.

You will need:

Eyeball meatball ingredients

Meatballs (I used pre-made for convenience but of course you can make your own)

Cheese (I used blue stilton expecting veiny eyes, but last time cream cheese kept it’s state better)

Black olives

Tagliattelle

Tomato puree

The how to bit:

Pop your meatballs in a dish

Meatballs

Make an indent in each one (your thumb is a perfect size)

Meatballs with thumb holes

Shove some cheese into the thumb shaped hole

Meatballs stuffed with cheese

Slice some pitted olives into two and push each half into the cheese.

Meatballs stuffed with cheese and olives

Pop in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes

Baked meatballs

Meanwhile, add the tagliatelle to boiling water.

Make a tomato sauce to taste (I used tomato puree, garlic and chilli)

Drain the spaghetti and stir in the “bloody” sauce

Serve onto plates and top with the eyeballs

Eyebal meatballs and bloody tapeworms

Meatballs and tagliatelle

As I said it looked better last time – I used cream cheese which didn’t melt as much so there was still more of the look of the eyeball. But that’s ok because, y’know, blue cheese!

The olives / tomato / pasta / cheese combo is a beaut; Halloween or not.

Do you have any fun halloween foods planned?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Baked lamb with stilton and potatoes

I’m aware of the irony of posting a recipe just one day after moaning about my weight! But I promised it after last weekend, and if anyone wants to give it a try this weekend they’ll need some notice to get source the ingredients, so it’s really a public service…

Recipe

I’m a huge huge fan of lamb – if I had to go out on a lamb limb I’d say it’s my favourite meat.

Husband is not a huge fan of lamb. In fact he regularly tells me that he doesn’t like lamb.

Contrary to that is the fact that one of his favourite dishes when we go to Greece is kleftiko. Which is lamb based. And for someone who doesn’t like lamb, eating it three nights out of the seven we were there last year would indicate otherwise.

Despite this, when I bought some lamb escalopes a couple of weeks back, the usual “I don’t really like lamb” response was wheeled out. So I went looking for a recipe to shut him up change his mind.

One of his main gripes with lamb is that it’s tough. Which it can be if not cooked well, I will grant him that. This recipe involves cooking the lamb in stock quite slowly, retaining the moisture and making it really tender (using escalopes helps as well – I’ve also tried it with leg steaks as the recipe suggests but the end result wasn’t as good, you’d probably need to cook it longer and as this was an after work dinner I didn’t have time).

Here it is step by step:

Slice baby potatoes – I leave the skin on – and par boil until slightly tender.

Sliced and parboiled potatoes

Meanwhile, add the lamb to a hot pan with olive oil and brown – this should take around 2-3 minutes.

Lamb escalopes

Frying lamb escalopes

Put the browned lamb into a cooking dish.

Next, chop one red onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Red onion and garlic cloves

Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil left in the pan, until soft, then add to the lamb.

Make up around 3/4 pint of lamb stock (I used lamb gravy granules for a thicker sauce – and also because I couldn’t find lamb stock cubes). Add a few splashes of Worcester sauce to taste.

Worcester sauce and lamb gravy

Arrange the potatoes over the top of the lamb, onion and garlic, and pour the stock/gravy over the top.

Potatoes with gravy

Sprinkle with dried mixed herbs (anything that calls for dried herbs rather than fresh is a winner in my lazy time constrained books).

Sprinkled mixed herbs

Pop it into the oven for around an hour (you may want to stir the potatoes in part way through to keep them moist, otherwise they’ll roast on the top – but this is down to personal preference).

Around 15 minutes before serving, halve some cherry tomatoes – a small packet full is good – and pop them into the sauce. Return to the oven.

Baked lamb with stilton - cherry tomatoes

Here’s where I went off piste from the original recipe, and this is what makes it (in my opinion). Add cheese.

Stilton

I find that blue cheese works really well because the strength of flavour cuts through and gives a real depth to the dish. I used stilton here. I’ve tried it with feta and it wasn’t quite strong enough.

Baked lamb with added stilton

You don’t want it to melt completely, just soften up from the heat of the dish.

Baked lamb with melted stilton

I serve this with roast parsnips and crusty bread. The latter is essential to soak up all the lovely juices. Mediterranean or olive bread is great if you can get it. Otherwise crusty white will be lovely too. Just GET BREAD. I can’t state the importance of that enough!

This is rustic cooking at it’s best. No airs and graces; just good, honest, tasty food.

You’ll notice that I haven’t specified quantities on the lamb and potatoes. I’d say use your own judgement – and appetite – as a measure. I hate being told that a recipe will serve 4 people and then the two of us eat the whole lot and feel like greedy pigs! Know your own stomach! Just make sure that the stock covers the lamb and some of the potatoes (they will soften and sink as they cook anyway).

Ironically, husband declared that this dish reminds him of his beloved kleftiko. Which isn’t surprising when you consider the list of ingredients.

Turns out he’s an in denial lamb fan after all.

A hearty and healthy weekend breakfast or brunch

I always refer to this as an omelette, although it isn’t really because the cooking method is different. I suppose, technically, it’s more of a frittata. But who cares what it’s called as long as it tastes great?!

The basis of the recipe is always two eggs per person and then you can really add what you want. It’s a great way to use up leftovers.

Whisk two eggs in a bowl.

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Chop your choice of fillings fairly small – I used spring onion, cherry tomatoes and a mix of white and chestnut mushrooms.

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Add them to the whisked egg, mix in, and season.

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Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. I use a small frying pan/omelette pan so the finished result is nice and thick. If you use a standard frying pan you will get a thinner finish.

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Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly.

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The next bit is just a judgement call really – keep an eye on it until the egg looks like its starting to cook through.

At this point I add cheese, although you can put it right into the mixture at the beginning if you prefer. I sliced up a low fat babybel.

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To cook the top it’s easiest to just slide the omelette (I know I said it isn’t really an omelette, but I don’t know what else to call it, ok?!) onto a plate, then hold the pan over the top and flip it back in, uncooked side down.

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Cook for about a minute, just to set the egg, then fold and serve. Just look at that gooey cheese!

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I usually eat mine with a spicy ketchup for a bit of a kick – Heinz jalapeno sauce is delish. But it’s really just down to personal choice.

As for fillings, again use what you like. Ham works well, or you could use chopped up cooked sausage. Peppers for a bit of a Mexican spin. Spinach adds nutrients.

This also makes a great lunch or light dinner – just add a green salad or fries. You could use a different set of fillings like chopped chicken, sweetcorn, red onion, fresh chillies, even chopped up cooked potato.

Enjoy!