Tip of the day

Mushrooms have a reputation for spoiling quickly. However if you store them in a paper bag they will last longer. Paper bags are better for mushroom storage than plastic bags because they do not encourage moisture accumulation. If you must store your mushrooms in a plastic bag, wrap them in a paper towel before inserting them into the bag. Also only take the mushrooms you intend to use from the brown paper bag and clean them. Never wash mushrooms before storing them. Washing mushrooms before storage encourages mold growth.

Diabetic Bread and Butter Pudding

A friend of mine that I have been speaking to on twitter for some time now specialises in diabetic cooking. In fact he has launched his own choccie bar! Please take a look at his site http://www.thepoorchef.com/about-the-chef.html

It got me thinking that there must be lots of recipes for people with Diabetes out there. So here is a recipe for a simple bread and butter pudding.

You will need:

  • 10 slices of white bread cut into triangles
  • 50 grams raisins
  • 350ml skim milk
  • 75g unsalted margarine, softened (if you would like to make a standard bread and butter pudding you can use real butter)
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 4 packages artificial sweetener (if you would like to make a standard bread and butter pudding, you can use 25 grams of sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preparation Method:

  1. Beat egg, vanilla and sweetener together
  2. Arrange bread traiangles (buttered) into a dish
  3. Sprinkle half the raisins evenly over the bread, then lightly sprinkle with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Repeat this layer one more time or until the dish is filled, finishing with the raisins on top.
  4. In a saucepan gently heat the milk
  5. Pour the warm milk over the eggs mix and continue beating until all the milk is added.
  6. Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread until all the liquid is added
  7. Pop in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for about 45minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean
  8. Be careful not to overbake.

Vegetable Soup for a cold winters day

Usually for lunch whilst Im at work I reach for a packet of crisps or a limp sandwich from the petrol station. Not the snack you long for on a cold winters day. Today however I have home made fresh soup, lovingly made by my little sister.

You will need:

  •  2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 400g leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic 400g
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes, preferably organic
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation Method:

  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots
  2. Slice the celery
  3. Peel and roughly chop the onions
  4. Cut the ends off the leeks, quarter them lengthways, wash them under running water and cut them into 1cm slices
  5. Peel and slice the garlic
  6. Place a large pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  7. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon
  8. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened, but are still holding their shape, and the onion and leeks are lightly golden
  9. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm dice
  10. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from the kettle
  11. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the vegetables
  12. Add your potatoes
  13. Give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil
  14. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on
  15. Take your indredients and pulse/blend until smooth
  16. Serve in a bowl and garnish

Enjoy :0)

Beef Stew

This recipe was given to me by a friend of mine and I thought I would share it with you. Although I am writing this from the UK originally it came from a friend of mine over in NYC!

You will need:

  • 1/2 Spanish Onion Diced
  • 1 Bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon-(I used Trader Jo’s Green Fin)
  • 2 cups of tender baby carrots
  • 30 bite-sized chunks of red-skinned potatoes
  • 10 ounces of sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Pound of cubed Chuck Steak
  • 1 ½ Cups of dry Barley pearls
  • 3 4” lengths of fresh lemon thyme
  • ½ stick of salted butter-or 2 -3 tablespoons
  • ¼ to ½ cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 full dry Bay leaves
  • 1 full bulb of chopped fresh garlic
  • 1-2 level tablespoons of Himalayan salt
  • a healthy pinch of Turbinado or cane sugar
  • and as much or as little fresh parsley as you desire
  • 1 tablespoon of beef stock slurry
  • Corn Starch
  • Pepper or Peppercorns to taste

Preparation Method:

  1. I suggest gathering all of your ingredients and have them staged so you can incorporate them into a rather large stew pot made of anything but aluminum.
  2. Take your cubed beef-it could the quality and cut of your choice-but I do think something with a bit of fat on it is preferable.
  3. Begin by uncorking your red wine and turn on some music conducive to cooking and taste a small smidgeon and let the bottle air out a tad bit.
  4. Slice/dice and chop your veggies. Remove the tiny leaves from the parsley and thyme stalks.
  5. Set all things aside and on medium heat add your cubed beef and a cup of wine.
  6. Cover and turn the beef every few minutes or until the wine reduces to about half.
  7. Set the skillet aside
  8. Turn your flame on the stew pot, add 4 cups of water and throw in your salt
  9. When the water is near boiling its time to introduce your ingredients and then the beef as well as the reduced wine and cover with the lid slightly askew for steam to release.
  10. Leave for about 20 minutes
  11. Give it a stir and add your beef stock slurry and add half of the wine left in the bottle.
  12. Leave for a few minutes when the wine has given in to the same temperature as the rest of the incorporated ingredients
  13. I like to think after about two hours, it would be ready for a taste
  14. I gauge the final stage by the potato,   if the potato skin still has a snap when I bite the skin then I am ready for thickening the liquid.
  15. I thicken the sauce by ladling out some ,about a cup
  16. Then whisk corn starch in until itis the consistency of molasses and the lumps are smooth
  17. Then add it back into the pot and swirl about until you have a gravy thickness you fancy
  18. Add the rest of the bottle of wine and then bring to the same temperature as the other liquid -without evaporating the flavour-just very quickly at this point-you want to maintain the wine flavour.
  19. Let your stew rest and then take all the cubed beef out and separate until it’s all stringy bits and mix well into the pot so there is an even distribution of strands.
  20. Serve with a garnish of shredded cheese, a dollop of double cream a pinch of parsley
  21. Serve with a glass of red wine and a  crusty bread

Seafood Spaghetti

This recipe is one I came up with myself just by throwing ingredients in a pan! Not the most technical of methods, but it tastes lovely.

You will need:

 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g/14oz mussels, cleaned (discard any that don’t close when lightly tapped)
  • 200g prawns
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml/¼ pint white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Mascarpone – you can use Philladelphia cheese as a substitute
  • 200g/7oz spaghetti, cooked according to packet instructions

Preparation Method:

 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan until smoking hot, add the mussels and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until all the shells are open. Discard any that do not open.
  2. Add the shallot and garlic, turn down the heat and cook gently for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper and cook for 1 minute
  4. Add the prawns and cook for 1 minute (if pre-cooked, if you are using fresh prawns then allow 3minutes approximately)
  5. Add the wine and simmer for one minute, then add the herbs and cook for a further minute.
  6. I like to then add a dollop of Mascarpone (around a two table spoons). Allow this to gently melt into the wine sauce
  7. Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and stir well to coat.
  8. To serve place on a plate and dust with a little Parmesan

 

London in the Sun!

What a day today! After my mammoth mission of cooking an Indian Banquet for two last night, today I was up at 6:30 and went up to London for the Chinese New Years Celebrations. I thought tonight for a change I’d tell you about some of the sights as well as tastes of our great capital city.

The day started for the best breakfast after and early start of driving and bus journeys…… a breakfast stack! This was made of a sesame toasted bun with a sausage cut in half, a rasher of bacon, mushrooms, a hash brown and a fried egg on top. My sauce of choice was a good tomato ketchup!! Heaven in a bun. Of course this was washed done with a big cup in fact more of a bowl of coffee.

We then headed across to Trafalgar square where I bought sesame oil, chilli sauce all kinds of ingredients hehe. Sadly it was already very busy, despite having got up super early so we couldn’t really see a lot but we were able to soak in the atmosphere. I have lots of pictures.

From here we walked down to Buckingham Palace stopping at a wicked gallery, which had some amazingly old abstract magazines. Genius!! As my day job is working in media, I found it rather interesting, if only now we could have an art Deco design, well maybe I should suggest it for a new magazine :0)

I had never realised quite how pretty parts of Buckingham Palace are until today, I was able to get some lovely photographs of the beauty sparkling in the sun light. We were terribly lucky with the weather, a little cold but still a brilliant bright sun in the sky. We took a wander from here through St James’s park. The squirrels are so brazen! One ran right up the bench I was sat on! They don’t care who you are as long as you come bearing food hehe. I saw a beautiful heron as well and swans.

I often take trips up to London, just to walk around it helps me to reflect. Most of today I still had one part of my brain thinking “ooo I must blog to anyone who reads about London”. I thought that maybe you may like to see some of my day in pictures. So please take a look and share in my day with me.

:0)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And relax….

I can safely say that curry was amazing! So many flavours and colours. I have enjoyed every moment of cooking tonight. A perfect evening in my book!

I am going up to London tomorrow with some very good friends of mine and go and eat Chinese food somewhere in Town. I will try and log in and update with the day out. It should be a good day.

Now I am going to curl up on the sofa and watch some movies. What to go for? Spiderman? The Hulk? Iron Man? Bourne Supremacy?

I think I may need to accompany my movie watching with some ice cream.

I hope everyone has enjoyed my food tonight.

Good Night :0)

Previous Older Entries