It's been a while

I love food. I love cooking and trying new recipes. I don't like struggling to find time to make content for my blog. I have plenty of photos and ideas, but the time to write them up recently escapes me. I have moved, had Christmas, aiding some people back to health and it has taken a back seat.
But it has been great to see that people are still looking at my blog and trying recipes that I have posted. Being invited to a new food event from Le Rustique (coming soon) prompted me back into sitting down and writing. The buzz of meeting new people, trying new things is something I want to share so hopefully you will be seeing more posts from me.

Making the most of Halloween Food

I'm not talking about things that look scary, gruesome or gory. I'm thinking of ways you can liven up the dinner table around Halloween. The 1st November marks the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrated with parties, friends and foods so I thought I would look at ways to create some Mexican flavoured dishes with the help of Santa Maria. ..

Pumpkin Fajita
Of course, around October time, you see plenty of pumpkins arrive in the supermarkets and what better way to make most of the season that to use it in a spicy fajita dish. If you can't get hold of pumpkin, these recipes would work really well with butternut squash as well.

1/2 Pumpkin
Chicken (optional)
Fajita Seasoning

1. Cut the pumpkin into 2cm cubes and coat with a little oil and seasoning mix. Put into the oven at 200c for around 30mins or until caramelised.
2. Cut chicken into strips and coat in the seasoning mix. Place into a grill pan for 10-15 minutes or until…

Hairy Bikers Beef and Guiness stew with Horseradish Dumplings

Dumplings are one of those naughty but nice things that make a stew evening more comforting. This Hairy Bikers recipe gives the option of steaming the dumplings on the hob or crisping in the oven and I would always recommend the oven method. With a stew that has a similar consitancy throughout, a little crunch always livens it up.
2 tbsp plain flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 kg stewing or braising steak, diced
2 tbsp dripping or vegetable oil
2 onions, thickly sliced
3 large carrots, cut into chunks, diagonally
3 sticks celery, cut into chunks
200g celeriac cut into chunks
A large sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves
500ml Guinness or stout

For the dumplings:
125g self raising flour
60g suet
1 tbsp hot horseradish sauce (or freshly grated horseradish)
Cold water to bind

1. Season the flour with black pepper and some salt, then toss the beef in it, dusting it off thoroughly.
2. Heat the dripping or oil in a large casserole and brown the steak thoro…

WIAW Bowls of Food

This week was all about the warming bowls of food. For breakfast, I cut through the cold weather with some porridge, banana and honey.
For lunch, I had a tomato and bean soup with some torilla chips on the side. They added a nice crunch and the soup was a little spicy so worked nicely together. Because the soup was full of beans, it kept me full for ages so I had my snack quite late in the afternoon.
For my snack I had a pink lady apple (the best variety in my opinion) served with some apricot yogurt, grapes and leftover homemade granola.
As I wasn't overly hungry when I got in from work, I spent the time making a risotto. I used onion, and leek as the base, then added courgette, stock, broccoli and peas. I finished it off stirring through some cheese and topping it off with parmesan and fresh pepper. Obviosuly I made a larger batch to allow me to have leftovers for work lunches the next couple of days.
Do you have those days where you just fancy bowls of food?

WIAW Noodle Soup

This week's food is definitely on the warming winter theme. I left the house earlier than normal and it was pretty frosty, so its no surprise when I got to work I opted form a comforting bowl of porridge. I had it with a dirzzle of honey, banana, dried apricots and chopped brazil nuts.
Lunch was some leftover sausage rolls made at the weekend for a picnic, but as I didnt fancy anything snacking, I bought a tomato soup. I tried dipping the roll into the soup and it was the best idea ever. Obviously sausage works well with tomato, but I didn't expect to like the meat/veg combo quite so much.
A colleague at work turned up with some chicken noodle soup and everyone followed suit and bought some from the local shops. As I prefer to make my own, as soon as I got home I made a large batch which will see me through the rest of the week. I fried off some chicken thigh with garlic and a little ginger. I found some reduced stir fry veg which i added to the pan with some stock and a littl…

WIAW Leftover Curry Night

This weekend I wanted to do a bit of cooking, so I made some cheese scones for homemade soup (obviously made from leftovers) as well as a delicious curry. It was a saffron chicken curry and suited my korma loving tastebuds.
As I wasn't travelling to work from my house, I had a different breakfast on Monday which was peanut butter on rice cakes with apple. I normally have banana but there wasn't any and I found apple just didnt have the same effect.
I had a late morning snack of rockie road as it was the Bake Off Sweep stakes treat they made. When your picked person leaves, you had to make something. It is quite interesting to see what non-cooks bring in.
Lunch was leftovers from the curry night. This was a vegetable masala which was great.
I also had a fruit snack in the afternoon.
Dinner was a pasta bake which made a big batch so the leftovers will suit me for a few coming lunches or dinner.
What did you eat this week?

Curry Night #09 Hairy Bikers Rajasthani Kesar Murg

I love a good korma curry but sometimes I would like to have something a little different. I came across this saffron chicken curry in the Hairy Bikers Great Curries book and thought it looked similar. And although the saffron is quite expensive to start- dont let it put you off. You only need a little bit as it goes a long way.
There was a lovely creamy element to the curry, similar to that of a Korma but with a little more spice. This fragrant curry is one I would definitely make again. I served it with some green beans and Peshwari Naan. 
This is the recipe adapted from the Hairy Bikers Great Curries Cookbook
6 boneless chicken thighs
150g plain natural yogurt
150ml double cream
good pinch of saffron
2tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
20g fresh ginger chunk grated
 50g ground almonds
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
6 green cardamom pods
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp flaked sea sa…