hestia8: (Default)

2 tbsp olive oil
900 g minced raw chicken
225g rindless bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
450g leeks, sliced
225g carrots, diced
2tbsp tomato puree
450ml chicken stock 
12 sheets lasagne

For the cheese sauce
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp plain flour
600ml milk
115g grated mature Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp mustard
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the minced chicken and bacon briskly, separating the pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the crushed garlic cloves, chopped leeks and diced carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato puree, stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 

2. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and gradually blend in the milk, stirring until smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time until thickened, and simmer for several minutes. Add half the grated Cheddar cheese and the mustard and season to taste. 

3. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Layer the chicken mixture, lasagne and half the cheese sauce in an ovenproof dish, starting and finishing with the chicken mixture. 

4. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until lightly browned on top. 

Notes: this was lush but tbh a heck of a lot of effort for one person (I divided the amounts).

hestia8: (Default)
 Serves 4

3 aubergines, sliced
75ml olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 sheets lasagne
salt and pepper

for the cheese sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml milk
1/2 tsp hot mustard
115g grated mature cheddar
15g grated Parmesan cheese

1. Layer the sliced aubergine in a colander, sprinkling lightly with salt between each layer. Leave to stand for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. 

2. heat 60ml/4tbsp of the oil in a large pan, fry the aubergine and drain on kitchen paper. Add the remaining oil to the pan, cook the onions for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, herbs, garlice and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the hear and stir in the mustard, cheeses and seasoning. 

4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas mark 6. Arrange half the aubergines in the base of the dish, spoon half the tomato sauce over. Arrange three sheets of lasagne on top. Repeat. 

6. Spoon the cheese sauce over, cover and bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned. 

Notes: admittedly I did this one as more of an aubergine pasta bake because I didn't really have all the ingredients for the sauce, and also this way it was a free Slimming World meal. Still, it was yum.  
hestia8: (Default)
Another slow cooker dish. NB to do this one totally according to the recipe you'll need a rather big slow cooker. 

Serves 4

1.2 kg chuck steak (according to the internet this is braising/stewing steak in the UK)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 leek, white part only, cut into 1 cm slices
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 parsnips, quartered
300g orange sweet potato, cut into 8 wedges
1 swede, cut into 8 wedges
250ml red wine
60ml tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 tablespoon cornflour
175g frozen broad beans

Trim the beef and cut into 4cm cubes. Put the beef in the slow cooker, sprinkle over the thyme and season well with salt and pepper. Add the leek, celery, garlic, parsnip, sweet potato, swede, wine and tomato sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until the beef is tender. 

About 20 minutes before the end of cooking, combine the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste and stir into the beef and vegetables along with the broad beans. Continue to cook until the broad beans are cooked through, then serve. 

Notes: admittedly I didn't use about half the ingredients here because a) I was cooking it for Crishna and b) my slow cooker is quite small. Also I don't like leeks. BUT it was still yum, and didn't suffer for my mucking about with the recipe. 
hestia8: (Default)
A few recipe posts coming up :)

I did this last night, and the meatballs and sauce were lush. I'm not sure the rice should go in with everything else, though - mine came out like mush (this did not stop me eating it). 

Serves 4-6

500g mince
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps ground cumin
330g par-cooked short-grain rice (not sure what this is in UK)
375ml chicken stock
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
35g toasted pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

Put the beef in a bowl and add the allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1tsp of the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the spices and beef together well. Roll the mixture into small balls. 

Put the meatballs in the slow cooker along with the remaining spices, the rice, stock and tomatoes. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until the meatballs and rice are cooked through. Stir through the pistachios, currants and coriander before serving. 

Notes: I didn't have any currants or pistachios, so I didn't use them. This, in turn, made the dinner free on Slimming World in case anyone's interested. 

hestia8: (Default)
 So for once I actually followed a recipe without faffing with it... haven't had these yet but will be having them tomorrow and hopefully they will be as good as I hope.

Minted mojito ice pops

makes 6 (depending on the size of your ice lolly moulds)

Ready in about 15 minutes, 10-12 hours' freezing time

6 large limes
Large handful fresh mint
3 tbsp artificial sweetener
2 tbsp white rum
300 ml soda water, chilled

1. Finely grate the zest of 2 of the limes and put into a jub. Squeeze the juice of those two limes plus three more into the jug. Thinly slice the remaining line and set aside. 

2. Add the mint leaves, sweetener and rum to the jug, and, using a thick wooden spoon or mallet, muddle all the contents together until well combined. Add the soda water and stir well. 

3. Pour the mixture into 6 x 80 ml ice lolly moulds (think mine must have been slightly smaller as I got 7 out of this mixture). Insert ice lolly stick and freeze for 10-12 hours or until firm. 

1/2 syn each

I'll report back tomorrow on how they taste :D

ETA: THEY'RE AMAZING. SERIOUSLY. They might be a little sharp for some tastes (you could just up the sweetener), but oh my GOD. I somehow need to work out space in my freezer so I can make these again asap. 
hestia8: (Default)
Stencilled 'PRIVATE' on a post (I was in a font type of mood, I think this was during one of my 'madly downloading fonts' phases)
Periodic table artwork near my flat (this seems to change every year or so - I need to get some more photos)
Homemade seashell chocolate halves (I filled them with marzipan)
Also homemade peanut butter cups
Necklace in a Jewellery shop in Covent Garden which is called... *pause for me to look it up* ...Satya (they 'celebrate the adventures of lives lived fearlessly', apparently)
Roof window...somewhere (the trouble with having a gap in between taking and posting these things is that I forget where the heck I've been...)

Ah, hang on, the roof window might well be Finsbury Pizza Express where I went with L from work after we saw Avengers. HA!

Incidentally, recipe for peanut butter cups as everyone loves them (from a UK site):

325g milk chocolate (dark and white also work well)
260g smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
60g icing sugar

(NB I have seen US recipes advising the same amount of sugar as PB which I always find too sweet - I usually go for a quater - a third of the weight of PB)

Mix sugar, PB and salt in a bowl and put in the fridge for about half an hour - this isn't essential but will make it easier to handle.

Melt some of the chocolate in a glass bowl on top of a saucepan (with simmering water). Spread chocolate in to cups (I get cheap silicone ones from the pound shop), put in fridge to set.

When chocolate is set, take PB and split into small amounts to put in chocolate cups. Obviously you can decide for yourself what PB-to-chocolate ratio you want ;). Put back in fridge.

Melt more of the chocolate as the lid to the cup and pour on top. Put back in the fridge to set.

A lot of this recipe is trial and error and personal preference. I usually try to have some spare chocolate around (and I usually get the 30p bars from Aldi as it doesn't need to be high-class!) in case I use more than I originally intended (this happens every time).

Gosh I wish I had some right now.

May 4th - 9th )
hestia8: (Default)
 This is from the Wagamama - Ways With Noodles book. It's not a Slimming World-friendly recipe (due to the coconut milk) but I did it for Dad on Father's Day and it was supremely delicious. 

chicken curry noodles

serves 2

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
150g boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 courgette, diced
1/2 small aubergine, diced
2 spring onions, cut into 1 cm pieces
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon green curry paste
250ml chicken stock
175ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
100g medium egg noodles
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a hot wok over a medium heat and stir fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside. 

Add the remaining oil to the work and stir fry the courgette and aubergine for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. The aubergine tends to soak up the oil at first and then release it. 

Add the spring onions, stir fry for  minute and then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute and then stir in the curry paste. 

Pour in the chicken stock, coconut milk and fish sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the noodles and reserved chicken and cook for about 4 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Add the lime juice and check the seasoning. 

Serve sprinkled with the coriander and peanuts. 

NB - this book also has a recipe for making the green curry paste from scratch - I used shop-bought paste but here's the recipe if you can be bothered (I will get round to it eventually):

green curry paste

makes about 150g

6 green chillies, roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed, thinly sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1cm piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
bunch of coriander stems, finely chopped (leaves can be reserved for another dish)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, roasted in a hot, dry frying pan
2 garlice cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Blitz all the ingredients in a processor or pound in a pestle or mortar to a fine paste. 

This will keep indefinitely in the fridge. 

hestia8: (Default)
 Oh my goodness. Made these today and they're so good I am just going to share this recipe with EVERYONE. 

Apparently serves 4-6 but to my mind you'd need quite a bit of stuff served with it for that, unless I was making the meatballs too big. 


1 onion, finely chopped
80g pine nuts, roughly chopped 
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp chopped rosemary (I just used dried)
2 tsp fennel seeds, ground (left these out at Crishna's request)
55g fresh breadcrumbs (left these out because I didn't have any)
25g freshly grated parmesan
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
500g minced pork or beef (I used pork)


700g passata (I used passata with basil)
125 ml red wine (left out because I didn't have any)


Combine all meatballs ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands to make sure they're mixed well (ew). Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place on a tray (I got 21 out of this amount of mixture). Put in the fridge for 20 minutes. 

Put the tomato passata, wine and meatballs in the slow cooker on high for four hours, or until the meatballs are cooked through and tender. Serve with whatever you like (we had sweet potato wedges but this would be an amazing pasta sauce)
hestia8: (Default)
I made these for lunch, and they were rather delicious. Much better than I expected, which is why I’m sharing the recipe.

Ok, so there are a bunch of recipes around for this, with different ingredients. Here are some links, with my version below:

http://www.gourmetrecipesforone.com/blog/appetizers/couscous-and-feta-cakes/  (this was the original recipe I found)
http://greekgourmand.blogspot.com/2008/06/feta-fritters.html (this one is mashed potato, not couscous)

My version, based on me going ‘right, so I actually don’t want to use peppers and don’t have most of the ingredients, now what?’

80g couscous
200ml or whatever it was boiling water
1 egg
45g Feta
lemon zest
Herb mix
Teaspoon of pesto

Pour boiling water onto couscous and leave it to soak in. When cooled, stir in the cheese, egg and other ingredients. Heat a frying pan with oil/fry light, and shape the couscous mix into cakes (I got 5 medium sized ones, but in future would probably go for 8-10 smaller ones for lunch), and then fry for 3-4 minutes on each side.

June 2017


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