Saturday, 27 February 2016

Quick Cinnamon Pretzels

One evening I thought to myself.. I want some pretzels. I've never made them before, but I want them NOW. And what is a girl to do, but rummage through her baking cupboard for the ingredients and just get cracking! There are no complex ingredients here, all of the bits needed are readily available to buy in any grocery shop, and I keep all of them on hand in my kitchen.

Aside from being no-nonsense from an ingredients point of view, it's also quick as anything, because it doesn't require any rising time for the yeast. You just mix, kneed, shape, blanch, bake and dip. It literally took less than an hour to have a tray full of cooling pretezels ready to be demolised.

And that's important when you have a craving to satisfy. We've all been there. Don't pretend.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Garlic and Broccoli Chicken

So, it’s still pretty much winter, and that is really depressing. It leads me to want to cook nourishing, flavourful and overall COMFORTING foods. I love making foods which have their flavour base in other cultures, and this for me is as delicious as anything you would get from the local Chinese. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Chinese takeout, and we have a really great one about a 2 minute walk from our place (a double edged sword..).

I love this kind of simple, quick, “throw it all in and mix it around” type of dinner. For me, it is a perfect midweek dinner, and is jam packed with healthy flavourful veggies.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Mexican Style Pytt i Panna

Happy Valentine's day, my lovelies. This is not a themed post, however I think any date would be extremely happy with this cheesy, spicey, meaty, beany triumph served up for dinner! Equally, for the single among you, it is delicious eaten from a bowl, smothered in sriracha, in PJs in front of the TV. Seriously. It's amazing both ways.

I found this delicious-looking recipe a few weeks ago and it reminded me so much of pytt i panna that I had to give it a whirl (with my own tweaks!). Full disclosure – I had planned to make this way  earlier in the year, but have you ever tried buying turkey mince in early January (aka diet season)? Can’t be done.  The shelves are empty.

So, I had to wait a good few weeks to actually find the damn ingredients for this bad boy. I didn’t really know what to expect with this meal, but I love one-pot meals. So once everyone's diets had lapsed I managed to get the mince in my possession and I made it immediately!

This is an interesting concoction, like a Mexican-spiced pytt i panna mixed with lasagne. I am a big fan – it’s comforting, spicy, and packed full of my favourite things (sweet potatoes not least!). I also like the versatility, just put in the veggies and beans you like – I made it once with pinto beans and once with sweetcorn, and I think next time I’m going to put BOTH in. Whoa, calm down, son.

Easy to serve up, I have gone with salad leaves for a quick side, and paired it with guacamole the second time. Also would be amazing with baked sweet potato or served on top of a tortilla wrap.

I’m getting really hungry just typing this up. That’s how good this meal is.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Swedish Pancakes

I'm a little late for pancake day!! Sorry, guys. I was too busy eating pancakes to blog.

These are my take on the Swedish pancakes which my Scandinavian boyfriend loves, and says taste just like home!  Praise indeed. They are much more like a crepe than a pancake as I know it, fluffy and light, and these are best served folded in 4 or rolled up, and munched with cream and jam (and it would have to be lingonberry jam from IKEA for authentic Swedish-ness, but my boyfriend prefers regular strawberry).

I will hold my hands up and admit, there are a lot of things about Swedish cuisine that baffle me slightly. Their reliance on dill. The many types of fish, appearing everywhere.  Surstr√∂mming.  Also, they do eat Rudolph. But they really do have it right when it comes to breakfast foods. Waffles and sweet rice pudding to name a few of my personal favourites. And, while I'm not a crepe person, I am assured that these are excellent.

The other thing I want to make clear, these are a bit more fiddly than my other pancake recipe, and I want to assure you that the first one will probably turn out terribly. But that's ok. Offer it as a gift to the kitchen gods and move onto the second one.

My top tops for mastering this runny batter - use 1/4 a cup of batter (they need to be thin enough to cook quickly), use a small round pan so that it won't spread all over the place, and grease the pan thoroughly with olive oil or butter before you pour over the batter each time to allow the pancake to be flipped more easily.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs

Hello and welcome to “Adventures in Slow Cooking!” .. is what I feel like in my house these days, ever since I unwrapped my slow cooker on Christmas day. I can’t help it, I love experimenting with my slow cooker!

And I also have to offer up some apologies - I've neglected the blog the last week or so because I have been super duper cramming for an exam. It is now thankfully over, and I am making the most of my new-found free time! Basically, while I wait nervously for the result, I take my mind off it by cooking some delicious new foods. Win win.

I have long been told that my (vegetarian!) aunt has a great knack for making ribs in the slow cooker, and this was one of the first things I was keen to make in mine. You can of course use a “bought” BBQ sauce and that would make this recipe incredibly quick and easy (even moreso than it already is), but where is the fun in that?! You could also substitute the beer for chicken stock, or even water.

I’ve adapted the BBQ sauce recipe from a Jamie Oliver one, and I really love the depth of flavour and spice in it, alongside a tempered sugary-ness. I cannot stand sweet and sour/tangy, and this is more smoky/spicy with a hint of fruity-sweetness. I’ll be using this exclusively for any BBQ sauce related needs I may have in the future.

I served mine with a bunch of sweet potato fries and the end product was DELISH.

serves 2 hungry people