I will really post again soon. . . but for now I’m ill and Nicholas is ill. . . and life is just no fun. . .
::hugs:: for everyone else who was too sniffly to go play in the snow!
Today is a rather snowy day here. It snowed a bit yesterday afternoon and evening, but didn’t really get started until some time during the night. So far today I’ve probably spent far more time than I should gazing out the window and watching the snowflakes dance about.
There is just something so peacful about watching snow fall. It also means it’s a really good time to get some serious baking done! =)
The last couple days have seen a big change in Nicholas. For the last couple months he has been insisting that he’s not a big boy, he’s a little boy, and he wants to wear nappies. However, that all changed on Saturday when we were at Costco and found this adorable little kit called ‘The Potty Caddy’ which he is very, very excited about. He hasn’t managed to poo in the potty yet, but he’s gone pee in it a couple times. . . which is a huge step forward for us.
Which leaves me with the cake to talk about. . . On Tuesday I baked a cake because it was one of Rick’s friends birthday. Only Rick never called him, so it has been sitting in my kitchen (well covered) since then. So, I’ve decided that Nicholas and I are going to eat this one, and if Rick ever calls his friend about it, I’ll bake another one. =) So not only do Nicholas and I get to goodies we’re baking today, we get one of my favourite cakes as well. . .
Three blessings on this snowy cold day. . . =)
This is one of the recipes I’ve created since we’ve been in England that all of us really really like.
2-3 Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets (About 1 pound)
300g Carrots, diced (2 to 4 Carrots)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Leeks, cut into 2 cm (1 inch) lengths
1 Tbsp Flour
150 mL Chicken Stock (5 oz Chicken Stock)
284 mL Sour Cream (1 Cup Sour Cream)
1 Onion, diced
375g Package Puff Pastry
5 Mushrooms, quartered (If you wish!)
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season and steam with the carrots for 8 to 10 minutes. (Sometimes I simmer both the carrots and the chicken in my stock.)
Heat oil in pan over medium heat and cook onion and leeks for 2+ minutes until just softened.
Stir in flour and gradually pour in stock while stirring. Simmer 3+ minutes until thickened. Stir in sour cream.
Stir in chicken, carrots and mushrooms (if using). Add salt and pepper as desired and pour mixture into pie dish (casserole dish).
Roll out pastry. Cut out top in shape of dish, but about 1 cm (1/2 inch) larger on all sides. Cut out strips to place on dish rim. Lay pastry top over dish and flute the edges.
Let rest in refridgerator for 20 minutes to 24 hours. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C (400 F) for 40 minutes and enjoy!
So this is a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for awhile, but haven’t gotten around to fixing yet. It was on last week’s menu plan, but never got made, so it’s been scheduled to be attempted again this week.
2 Bulbs Garlic
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 & 1/2 L Water
250 g Fast Cooking Polenta
50 g Butter
50 g Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 Bunch Basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Wrap the garlic in foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Removed fro the oven and squeeze the garlic out of the skins.
Place the shallot, salt and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour in the polenta and cook stirring continously for 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, butter and parmesan. Cook for 2 minutes. Serve topped with basil. (It’s supposed to be very good with chargrilled vegetables.)
This is a child-friendly version of Paella, that I’m serving to Nicholas for the first time tonight.
15 mL Olive Oil (1 Tbsp Olive Oil)
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
250 g Chicken Breast, cut into chunks (8 oz Chicken)
1 Red Pepper, deseeded and diced (I’m going to chop some frozen slices I’ve got in the freezer!)
300g Brown Rice (1 & 2/3 Cups Brown Rice)
5 mL Tumeric (1 tsp Tumeric)
5 mL Mild Chili Powder (1 tsp Chili Powder)
750 mL Chicken Stock (3 Cups Chicken Stock)
1 Bay Leaf
100g Frozen Peas (2/3 Cup Frozen Peas)
2 Pork Sausages, grilled and sliced diagonally
100g Small Cooked, Peeled Prawns (1/4 lb Small Cooked, Peeled Shrimp)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy bottomed frying pan or pot, add the garlic and onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chicken and saute until browned on all sides.
Add the red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Rinse the rice, then stir it in with the tumeric and chili powder. Saute for 1 minute, stirring the mixture constantly.
Pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, stir well, and leave to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, covered until all the liquid is absorbed by the brown rice. (Keep your eye on this, the timing varies depending upon the variety of brown rice used!)
Add the peas, sausages, and shrimp to the pan and simmer covered for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Season, remove the bay leaf, and serve.
I’ll be posting our opinions and some pictures of this later today!
Unfortunately I have no photos of this dish. . . the night we had it was the evening Nicholas started really feeling not well at all. . . so taking care of my baby took precedence over taking photos of dinner.
Rick and I did both really like it. . . although Rick got some violent hiccups afterwards, which he tried to blame on this dish!
Last week my menu plan got a bit de-railed so this week I’m giving it another go! The soup I didn’t make last week due to a lack of courgettes/zucchini is back on the menu this week and I’m trying a couple other new things: Paella, Banana Rasin Bread, and Roasted Garlic Polenta.
Tuesday: Chinese Stir-fry with Prawns/Shrimp and Noodles (Black Bean Sauce for the grown ups and Satay Sauce for Nicholas) (Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies) Roasted Chicken and Gravy with Homemade Chips, Fried mushrooms for Rick and Sweetcorn for Nicholas and I (Snow Day meant we were all home!)
Wednesday: For Lunch:Ecuadorian Quinoa and Vegetable Soup (That didn’t get made last week!) and Fresh Homemade Bread For Dinner: Chinese Stir-fry with Prawns/Shrimp and Noodles (Black Bean Sauce for the grown ups and Satay Sauce for Nicholas) (Baking: Bread and Butter Pudding and a Birthday Cake for a Friend and Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Thursday: Sausages and Roasted Veg with Roasted Garlic Polenta
Friday: My Chicken Leek Pie (Baking: Crisp Apple Strudel)
Saturday: Baked Salmon, Homemade Chips and Veg from the freezer. . .
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with Steamed Veg, Potatoes and Gravy
To see lots of other yummy menus head on over to orgjunkie.com today!
So at last I’ve found a blueberry muffin recipe that I really, realy like. It’s not too sweet or too tangy, but just right! It’s from this cookbook:
The recipe follows below with some minor changes. . . =)
55 g Butter or Margarine (1/4 Cup)
225 g Plain Flour (2 Cups)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
55 g Caster Sugar (1/4 Cup Sugar)
150 mL Milk (5 oz)
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (I used 1 tsp!)
1 Medium Egg, beaten (1 Large Egg)
100g Blueberries (About 1/2 Cup)
Preheat Oven to 200 C (400 F).
Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
Make a well into the centre (center) and pour in the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cooled butter or margarine and egg. Fold mixture with spatula to combine and don’t worry about a few lumps. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins/molds. Bake in oven until risen and lightly golden. This took about 25 minutes for my big muffins and 20 minutes for my mini muffins. I then unmolded them and left them to cool on my wire rack.
I think Nicholas had about 3 mini muffins for breakfast the morning I made these!