Salmon, Spinach & Feta Cheese Fishcakes

Salmon, Spinach & Feta Cheese Fishcakes

Salmon, Spinach & Feta Cheese Fishcakes

So far the summer holidays have not seen much sunshine! This annoys me somewhat as I am sure it does most parents to school aged children, because my plans of days spent outside with picnics has not yet really taken off! Still, there is still time and I am hopeful that the better weather will return and with it lots of outdoor fun.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin & Mixed Bean Chilli

Slow Cooker Pumpkin & Mixed Bean Chilli

pumpkinchillibadge

With pumpkins and squash in abundance in the supermarkets at the moment , I thought I would have a go at making something other than a cake or some soup with it. Having been sent a jar of ready made chilli sauce with cacao , I thought I would attempt my very first vegetarian chilli con carne.

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Vegetarian Pate Recipes (Review & Recipes)

When I was at BritmumsLive (yes this is an overdue post – ooops!) I met the people from Paragon Books and agreed to become a book buddy. I was sent away with two really lovely cookery books from their Love Food Cookbooks range. When I say lovely I really mean it. These two books are filled with beautiful photographs of the ingredients required, the method for each recipe and the finished meals.
 
 
I have been looking through these two books regularly since I obtained them back in June, as I enjoy sitting down at my kitchen table with a cup of tea and looking at each page longingly!! However, it was not until the weekend that I actually decided to try a couple of the recipes. Surprisingly, I opted to try out the vegetarian book which if any of you read my blog will know that my OH is a meat eater, and complains if I give him food which is meatless!
I decided to try out a two of the pate recipes featured in the book and both were very easy and straight forward to make thanks to the step by step photographic method. I have to confess that I may have slightly changed each recipe based on what ingredients I did and did not have but I do that with all my cookery books!!
 
The recipes mentioned below are taken from the Vegetarian book but with a couple of amendments (eg. using peas, using pitta bread instead of ciabatta and garlic & herb cream cheese in place of goats cheese in the broad bean pate)
Ingredients
(makes enough for 4)
 
150g vegetarian low fat soft cheese
350g fromage frais
115g blue cheese (I used stilton)
55g dried cranberries, chopped
5 tbsp chopped mixed herbs eg, parsley, tarragon, chives
85g butter
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
bread for serving – I used pitta bread
 
Method
 
Beat the soft cheese and fromage frais together and then add the blue cheese, cranberries and herbs and mix
spoon the mixture into 4 ramekins making sure to smooth the tops
Melt the butter gently and once melted skim any foan off the surface and discard
Carefully pour the clarified butter over each ramekin and top with some walnuts
Place the pate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until firm but I found it took longer than this.
Serve with your bread of choice
 
I dont like blue cheese so I made this for my OH who really enjoyed it
 
 
Ingredients
(makes enough for 6)
 
600g shelled broad beans
 (I used some peas too as I didnt have enough broad beans)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped mint
pitta bread, toasted
3 tbsp garlic and herb cream cheese
black pepper
salt
 
Method
 
Add the beans and peas to a pan of boiling slightly salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender
Rinse under cold water and then remove the skins from the beans
Place the beans, peas, oil, lemon and mint and some black pepper (to taste) into a food processor (or similar) and pulse to a chunky puree.
Toast the pitta bread and cut into slices then add the bean and pea pate to each slice and top with some of the garlic and herb cream cheese.
Serve straight away
 
This was really lovely flavour and even my OH the meat eater said he really liked it, so much so that I will be adapting it to add to pasta next time as a main meal.
 

Both books are a welcome addition to my kitchen and I plan to make many more of the recipes and the vegetarian one will help with my budget as many of the meals are low cost to make and of course very healthy. For more healthy options please see this list.

 
 
For more information reagrding these and other fabulous books by Paragon please visit their website
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Thank you xx

Italian Turkey Cobbler with Basil & Sundried Tomato Scones (Swiss Diamond Review & Giveaway)

I was recently sent a beautiful cookware item to review from the Swiss Diamond Store and of course typically we get a heatwave the day I decide to cook with it! Still, cook with it I did and I made a cobbler – not just any old cobbler but an Italian Turkey Cobbler with Basil & Sundried Tomato Scones no less and here is how I did it.
Serves 4 
(I made my scones quite big)
for the casserole:
2 turkey breast fillets, cut into bite sized chunks
4 rashers of smoked bacon, roughly chopped into strips
1 large red pepper, sliced thinly
1 large yellow pepper, sliced thinly
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 courgette, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs
1 tsp crushed garlic
a generous glug of wine 
(any decent one will do – I used rose as it was only one I had open)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 grinds of black pepper
1 tbsp basil puree
1 chicken stock cube 
for the scones:
45g unsalted chilled butter
85g wholemeal flour
75g parmasan cheese
6 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp basil puree
1 medium egg, beaten
50ml milk
a grind of salt
How To Make The Italian Turkey Casserole
pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
place your non stick pan over a moderate heat (it is recommended not to heat the casserole dish up over a high heat or leave it standing empty on a high temperature!) and add the oil then add the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions start to sweat
Add your turkey and bacon and stir to coat in the oil
cook for a few minutes then add all the other vegetables
take care not to scratch the non stick surface of the pan – use non metallic utensils to protect it and make it look new for longer
add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, pepper, basil wine and stock cube
bring to the boil, add your lid and boil for a few minutes to let the wine reduce in the sauce
Then transfer to your oven 
Luckily for me, this non stick casserole can be placed into a hot oven straight from the hob which is perfect for making delicious casseroles, sauces and roasts where the meat needs searing first. The dish is oven – safe up to a temperature of 260oC and can be used on both gas and electric hobs.
While this is cooking inside the oven, make your cobbler topping
Basil & Sundried Tomato Scones
Place the flour, salt, butter and baking powder into a bowl and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Then add the basil, cheese and tomatoes and using your hands mix all together with the breadcrumbs 
Add the beaten egg and milk, and using a knife stir to combine all the ingredients together
Using your hands form the mixture into separate mounds  (I made 5 but you could probably get 6 made)
Carefully remove the dish from the oven after 30 minutes of cooking, and remove the lid and place each scone on top of the casserole
Return to the oven without replacing the lid and continue cooking for a further 25-30 minutes until the scones are golden brown and have risen

Serve with vegetables and enjoy

 I only had 1 scone but the OH had two so you may wish to serve potatoes too – depending on how hungry you are or how many scones you like!

I have to be honest I have never made a cobbler before but it was really nice and so tasty and a lovely change from pasta or potato! This will be made again!

The non stick casserole has a capacity of 3L so will easily cook a meal for the whole family. The Swiss Diamond range incorporates the use of its own patented non stick coating which is reinforced with actual diamonds which gives the cookware its superb durability and resilience. Diamonds are used because quite simply they are naturally non stick, they conduct heat better than any other metal and this is why they have excellent durability! Who knew? I did not that’s for sure! Therefore, the Swiss Diamond range of products provide a lifetime of cooking excellence.

The non stick casserole also cleaned very easily which is always a bonus in my book! It simply requires a wash in hot soap water, taking care to always use a non abrasive cleaning sponge/cloth so not to scratch the non stick surface. Although the dish can go into a dishwasher occasionally, it is best if it is hand washed so as to preserve its non stick coating for as long as possible.

PRIZE DRAW

The generous people from Swiss Diamond have a  NON-STICK CASSEROLE – 3L (24 CM) (measuring 24cm) exactly like the one I have reviewed and cooked with for this feature, to give away. This beautiful and well made quality piece of cookware has a value of £119 and really is a pleasure to cook with.


All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning one is to fill in the form below.

The closing date is 12am Monday 22nd July, 2013.

Good luck

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

you can follow Swiss Diamond on their facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/Swiss.Diamond.International

I was sent the casserole dish for the purpose of this review. The recipe is my own and was created especially for this feature. All comments made are my own and honest.

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Thank you xx

Beetroot and Goats Cheese Quiche

I have only recently discovered fresh beetroot thanks to my friend who served it to me a short while ago.Previously I had only ever tried it from a jar and did not like it at all. However, fresh beetroot is surprisingly nice and I have been eating lots of it recently. 
A few weeks ago I had some friends round for lunch so looking through my fridge to see what I could make to eat I decided to make a beetroot and goats cheese quiche, and here is how I did it.

Serves 6 
Ingredients
1-2  tsp olive oil (depending on size of your onion)
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 packet of fresh beetroot (3-4 small beets), sliced
4 eggs
75ml milk
1 packet of goats cheese, roughly cut into chunks
1/2 tub of philadelphia garlic and herb cream cheese
grated cheese – about 2 handfuls
1 pack of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
butter for greasing
Method
Pre heat the oven to 160oC (fan) / 180oC and grease a 12″ x 8″ rectangular baking tin
Heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic and onions and saute for about 5 minutes to soften them
Cover with the pastry taking care to ensure the pastry doesn’t over lap the sides too high
Meanwhile lay the sliced beetroot over the pastry base
Then add the softened garlic and onion slices and the chunks of goats cheese
In a bowl beat the eggs and add the milk, cream cheese whisk to make a smooth ish sauce
Pour over the beetroot and onions and then top with the grated cheese
Cook the quiche for 35-40 minutes until set

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving
(can be eaten hot or cold)

serve with a mixed salad of your choice and maybe some bread

Perfect for al fresco dining, picnics or just indoors while looking out of your window into your garden while it is raining!! Delicious!
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Thank you xx