My clever neice singing... well sort of!
Monday, 3 November 2008
4oz/115g butter, at room temperature
4oz/115g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
half tsp vanilla extract
4oz/115g self-raising flour Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
In the food processor or a tabletop mixer, beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
Turn off the motor and add the flour. With the pulse button, or brief bursts of the beater, mix the flour in, stopping as soon as it is blended.
Divide the mixture between the paper cases.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.
(recipe from the Times)
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
What you need for the chicken:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Thats the chicken, feel free to add some cloves of garlic around the roasting chicken if you like or some ginger syrup into the marinade.
Cajun spice mix 2 table spoons
Monday, 1 September 2008
We also had lunch at Soul (333 Union Street, Aberdeen) a former church with original stain glass windows is a good lunch spot, thought the staff aren't great!
One night we got fish and chips from the 'famous' Hilton chipper. I dont make it a habbit to get my tea from a chipper, but if the mood ever does occour this one is the BEST!
"Hilton Road chipper just down fae the six roads is one of the best chippers around mmmmmm....fine"
"The rosehill chipper in its hey-day was suuuuperb, but the back hilton chipper gets my vote..."
"Hilton Road Chipper [was my favurite] when I used to live in Aberdeen, top stuff there"
Just some views on Chip shops from the unofficial Dons Website!
But my favourite part of the visit was our day trip to Glasgow.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Monday, 4 August 2008
What ever you want to call them I brought a pack of our curly pink friends, a big pack of the small variety not normally known to produce as spectacular a result as their much bigger full-bodied cousines/friends/brothers/sisters? But they were perfect for this very quick and no-fuss recipe.
This Indonesian meal is traditionally eaten at breakfast in the far east. I wont be giving up my Cheerios just yet; I love to eat this dish served with some pickled beet root and a variety of chilly sauces!
Edit *Nasi Goreng paste of a good standard is available in most regular supermarkets now. Substitute it with the red Thai curry paste if you like and then also miss out the Oyster sauce using 2 teaspoons of fish sauce instead.*
1 chicken breast sliced thinly
1) Heat some oil in a large non stick pan and add the whisked egg. swirl around the pan so you get a thin layer of the egg, cook until just set then flip over for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan roll up and chop into ribbons.
Serve in big bowls with the ribbons of omelet strewn on top and a slice of lime.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
I really enjoy tuna steaks, firm, meaty and very easy to cook. A very sensible choice for the rushed cook, tune steaks cook well on a griddle or simply fry in a pan with a little oil just searing the outside so that you don't dry the fish out.
For this recipe:
First drop two large, skinned and chopped potatoes into a pan of salted boiling water and cook until soft (12-15 minuted).
Grind pepper corns on to a plate until it is lightly covered, then place the tuna steaks (brushed with a little light olive oil), on to the ground pepper until they are covered also sprinkle over a pinch of ground salt. Place a pan with a little oil in it on a medium high flame and add the steaks when the oil is heated. Cook this way for 2-3 minutes each side until the pink flesh has just disappeared.
Prepare the mash; Drain the potatoes when soft, snip into the pan two spring onions and some salt and pepper. Next add about 25g of butter and a little milk. Mash.
I made a little oriental style dressing to drip over the asparagus that I served with the tuna (you could use broccoli or green beans instead), by stirring together a little soy sauce, oyster sauce and garlic olive oil.
Monday, 9 June 2008
Dinner today was a delicious salad - made at break neck speed and with very little thought required.
After coming home exhausted from work I switched the 'Telly box' on and fell onto a couch. “A taste of my life” was on BBC2 with Sue Johnston who's comfort food of choice is a fish finger sandwich, the thought of this childhood favourite (doused liberally in mayo and tomato ketchup) really got me hungry. I knew then that if I wasn't quickly inspired by something else the chances were that I would be having fish fingers for my tea - not something I would usually advocate. No, I'm not against the occasional drop in standards in favour of an 'easier options' or in this case a 'comfort food' or treat but I don't like the idea of this becoming the norm.
Yes, little self control goes a long way, but when lacking and hungry I'm saved by the fact that I know that I can have something equally as tasty easily on hand in a matter of minutes.
I don't know if too many other people share my sentiment on this matter and in fact I am now forewarned by some of my work colleagues to "turn away now, Ballal" when discussing their dinner plans; "Chips AGAIN!??!?".
Ah yes, there are a few people that I would love to make a good salad for - A save from yet another ready meal/takeaway/general stodge - I could wear a green cape with the Letter S on my chest - but I'm beginning to think that if I acted on this nutritional mission I would probably be feeding half the office and lots of my friends. That's a lot of lettuce.
But you don't need super powers to make a 'super salad'; so do it yourself (you know who you are).
I cooked a small chicken (breast) on a griddle pan after brushing it with a little olive oil and rubbing on a Moroccan herb mix (go which ever way you like with flavour - but try and be consistent - unlike me).
The meat is very quickly done this way. I chopped it up and dropped it into a big bowl where your other ingredients will follow.
Your protein element could be prawns (ready cooked so even quicker) or squid or any other fish or meat.
I griddled some pepper strips and they too went in. Now all the 'cooking' part is over, anything remotely salad like can be thrown in. I used a can of mixed beans, pickled beetroot, sweetcorn, handful of cress leaves and stalk, cubed feta and bread croutons (instead of bread try grilling Pitta bread that has been slit in half (to get two full sized thin pieces) and when crisp, breaking into shards and adding to your salad). You could also use boiled baby potatoes for your 'carbs' .
Because my salad looked moist I didn't go to the effort of making a vinaigrette and instead just gave it a good glug of garlic olive oil over the top, a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon of Harissa paste as well as a good sprinkle of coarsely ground salt and pepper.
This is about the most effort needed for a winning work day salad. So next time you're doing your weekly shop plan for a couple of salads and finally rid your world of those villainous cravings and bad eating habits.
If you do just love fish finger sandwiches join the Facebook group :) http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=44884550346&v=info
Saturday, 24 May 2008
I mentioned that I would be cooking for some friends a while back, well it was a great success. I made my curry recipe that I posted a while back, every one said it was good, I served it with chapatis, yogurt mint rita, mango pickle and saffron rice. Mhairi had also brought some home made brochette which whilst feeling quite unsure about how my curry would turn out I felt quite reassured was there!
The trip was great fun, Martin and Linseys holiday home was amazing, I only wish I had more time to explore the surrounding country. I did take the opportunity to visit Loch Ness, which was absolutely beautiful in the spring time sun.
My kitchen for the weekend:
View from the house, notice the snow still on the surrounding mountains, apparently it was a good skiing year in Scotland:
Loch Ness visitors centre: (not much going on here...)
And if you like that sort of thing you'll probably like (Brave Heart):
There is a ridiculous entry fee to see the Urquhart castle ruin but the unrestricted views of Loch Ness are definitely worth it. The visitors centre also has very interesting displays and facts about the castle (which dates back to the year 1230 or further) as well as the mandatory, extortionate gift shop and cafe:
There's a poor guy in a prison (as if being a ginger wasn't bad enough!):
View of Loch:
The weather began to look a little moody so we didn't stay too long, but I would recommend a visit here:
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Heat a large, heavy-based lidded pan over a moderate heat. Add some olive oil and about 25g of butter. Generously season drumsticks with salt and pepper and when the butter is foaming, drop in the drumsticks, and fry until lightly browned all over.Cover the pan with a lid and leave the drumsticks to fry gently for 20-25 minutes, turning or shaking the pan regularly. At the end of the cooking time remove the lid and add a further 15/20g of butter, along with some minced garlic (2-3 cloves), a handful of chopped parsley and the juice of half a large lemon. Take the casserole off the heat and leave the flavours to infuse for a few minutes before serving.
I serve these drumsticks with sweet potato mash or couscous using the juices from the pan to top either.
Friday, 18 April 2008
This is the first time I'm making paella, though Ive ordered it many times at restaurants. I was at the fish counter in my local supermarkets this afternoon, I thought I would get some Squid, but unfortunately the lady before me brought the last lot, but this didn't put me off making my paella I got a few king scallop pieces, some live mussels and some interesting looking Tilapia fillets, unlike the scallops these were incredibly cheap I brought two sizable fillets for under a pound! (perfect for my trial paella) http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/5077/consumers-get-hooked-on-tilapia
The other ingredients that I purchased were a box of prawns (medium sized- but the bigger you get the better), an onion, yellow or red pepper, one lemon, bunch flat leaf parsley, paella rice, saffron,
You should also have seasoning, butter, olive oil, sweet paprika, 4x garlic cloves, fish stock, white wine vinegar, 2x tomatoes, frozen peas,
Chop the onion finely and the pepper in strips fry in some olive oil till soft but not darkened (about 10 minutes).
20 minutes or so into the cooking time you can add some peas to your paella, I also covered my rice with the prawns and gently pushed them down a little. Unfortunately I only had small prawns (though they were quite plum and meaty) but use large shelled prawns if available.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
I had wanted to make a chicken salad last night, just something very quick after a very large lunch. So I made a quick trip to Sainsbury's for a bag of salad, my new found and much loved marinated baby beetroot and a jar of roasted whole peppers (the latter was the incriminating item- complete with an unnoticed "Delia Cheats" sticker).
Determined to atone for my mistakes (and to find a better home for the 'Delia Cheat' ingredient than it had anticipated) I persisted with creating a salad and it turned out great!
No canned mince allowed!
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
How many people in the trees
Me and Ma on the leaning tree... which was leaning over the pond before Maarya got on it!
More tree.. ahh the tree time!
Looking for sheep MA
The front of the house
Maarya in the kitchen...