Marmalade Ham and Soup…

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I tried something new today, I cooked a ham joint for the first time! It was really easy, and really tasty.

You need…
•ham/gammon joint
•marmalade

•carrots
•onions/leeks
•celery
•mushrooms
•potato
•stock
•red split lentils

Put the ham in a large pot and bring to the boil. Drain off the water, then cover with fresh water before simmering for approximately 30 minutes per 500g but no longer than 2.5 hours. Remove the ham from the liquid, reserving the liquid for after. Remove any fat from the ham and generously smear on the marmalade place in a pre-heated oven (180c) and roast until golden. It took mine around 45 minutes.

For the soup, chop all the vegetables and place into the cooking liquid with the lentils. Add any extra water/stock to ensure they are covered. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft the remove from the heat and blend.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

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Merry Christmas…

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And a happy new year!!! I hope Santa brought you all everything you wanted. I know I’ve been very spoilt! Especially as the lovely Dan got me a pretty new iPhone for Christmas!! As ever, Lillee had lots of presents and now has them spread out all over my floor!

Hope you all have a magical holiday and I’ll see you in the new year!!

Emma-Jayne xx

Creamy Vegetable Pasta…

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In our house, pasta always goes down well. This dish is pretty simple and great for using odds and ends in the fridge, I’ve used everything from broccoli and sprouts to sweetcorn! It’s also really good for using up any leftover meat or fish. We usually have it with pork or chicken stirred through but its just as nice on its own, with salmon or any thing else you fancy!

You will need:
.500g of pasta
.1 onion finely chopped
.2 leeks sliced
.4 carrots diced
.1 courgette diced
.2 sticks of celery sliced
.10 mushrooms sliced
.a tin of sweetcorn drained
.250g frozen peas
.1 tbsp olive oil
.2 tbsp plain flour
.1/2 pint skimmed milk
.2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
.seasoning
.2 cloves of garlic

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook untill the onion is translucent then add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Cook for another 2 minutes then slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, while the sauce simmers stirring it occasionally to stop it sticking. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Season to taste.

Serves 6-8

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Fish Pie…

In my house, fish pie always goes down really well. Its one of Lillee’s favourites! Fluffy mash, chunks of fish and a creamy sauce what’s not to love? It’s such an easy dinner to make as well which definitely makes it a winner in my book!

For the fish pie…

  • about 500g of fish. I use pre-packed fish pie mix, and then usually add in a little of another fish depending on what I can get when I buy it! You can also add prawns, I would use Raw prawns and stir them in with the peas so they don’t go rubbery.
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint of milk
  • tablespoon butter
  • tablespoon of flour
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • extra milk and butter for mash
  • cheese(optional)
  • 200g of peas

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Put the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook until tender. In a separate pan, place the fish and cover with the milk and add a bay leaf. bring to a simmer for a few minutes but don’t over cook or the fish will be rubbery. At this stage, it doesn’t matter if the fish is a little under cooked as it will go into the oven yet. strain the milk into a jug, and place the fish into the baking dish breaking up any large pieces and removing the bay leaf. Stir in the peas then set aside for the moment. In the pan used for the fish, melt the butter then stir in the flour to create a paste. Cook for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the milk until it makes a thick sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously then season to taste. Pour the sauce over the fish and peas. When the potatoes are tender, drain and mash well. I use a potato ricer to make sure they are smooth. Stir in some butter and milk, and season to taste. If desired, you can mix in some grated cheese to make a cheesy mash. Top the fish with the mash evenly, starting from the outside and working inwards. Top with a little more cheese. You want to mash to be rough, as it’s the rough bits that will brown nicely in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden, and the filling is bubbling up around the sides.

Serves 4-6

Emma-Jayne xx

Roast Pork and Crackling…

So, this weekend I made a proper sunday dinner. Roast pork, crackling, veggies, sweet potato mash and gravy. It was really tasty so I thought I’d share my recipe for pork and crackling with you!

•olive oil
•salt
•leg or shoulder pork joint

Pre-heat the oven too 200 degrees celsius, then place the pork joint into a large roasting dish skin side up. Spray/drizzle over a little oil then sprinkle on plenty if salt. I promise the meat won’t be salty but you will need it to make the crackling crispy. Massage the oil and salt into the top and roast in the oven.

30 minutes per 500g plus an additional 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to rest your meat! I usually take the meat out and cover it with foil, then put my potatoes and veggies on the cook so its nice and tender.

The crackling can be hard so please be careful with your teeth!

Hope you enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Chinese Feast…

This was such a yummy dinner! We had chicken noodle soup, adapted from here, followed by chicken dim sum, adapted from Jamie’s 15 minute meals. It went down really well with Dan and Lillee, and so much cheaper and healthier than a takeaway! Try it to see what I mean.

Chicken Noodle soup…

  • 1 raw chicken breast
  • a pack of fresh rice noodles
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a little olive oil
  • a tablespoon mixed spice
  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 spring onions

Heat the oil in a large pan, then gently fry the garlic and mixed spice for a few minutes. Add the stock cubes and water and stir until dissolved. Put in the chicken, and leave for around 20 minutes or until cooked through then remove and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the noodles and soy sauce to the stock, then slice the chicken into strips and stir back in. Serve topped with finely chopped spring onion.

The Chicken Dim sum Is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and is actually the first one I’ve tried from the 15 minute meals book! although it takes a little longer than it would if you were a professional chef, the recipe can easily be made in under half an hour so it’s pretty fast!

Chicken Dim Sum…

For the buns:

  • 400g tin light coconut milk
  • 2 coconut milk tins of self-raising flour

For the chicken:

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 140g mixed mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp. hoi sin sauce (plus extra to serve)
  • 2 limes
  • 200g tender stem broccoli
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 limes

Put the coconut milk in the food processor with the flour and a pinch of salt, and blend until it becomes a dough. tip out and work into a sausage shape. cut into eight pieces and place each one into a double layered cake case and sit into one layer of the bamboo steamer. place on the wok over 5cm of boiling water with the lid on and leave to steam.

Cut the chicken into 1cm strips and toss with the mushrooms, hoi sin sauce, juice of half a lime and a little salt. Tip into the second steamer basket with the broccoli. Place under the first basket and leave for around 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan, and serve in a small bowl with the chicken and buns in there baskets. Serve a small bowl of extra hoi sin sauce and some lime wedges alongside too.

Hope you enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

July…

pimms

cleaning

lg's dinner

lost weight

me and lillee

sisters

salad in a bag

aimie and lillee

aimie cake

lillee on train

lillee slide

lillee slide 2

chicken salda

lettuce bun burger

I haven’t done a “my month” post in ages! I keep forgetting, and then its too late to post but never mind, I’m hoping to get back on track now! So really, this month have been about spending time together enjoying the sun and the good weather! My beautiful sister turned 13 so we had that to celebrate. We’ve also been on a few days out to the park, and to a steam rally! We had a lovely time and Lillee had great fun on the slides and going on a “train” (it was a traction engine ride) Hope you’ve all had fun this month!

Emma-Jayne xx

Look what I found…

  • Food in a jar? I’m loving the idea and I keep pinning different ideas… So, what better than chili and cornbread with the cooler weather we’ve been having this week?

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  • As we are now in August, and the “back-to-school-feeling” is upon me I’ve been trying to make things a little more organised around here…

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  • I LOVE this potato salad, every time we go on a picnic, Dan asks me to make it!

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  • I’m lusting after these right now, so hopefully when we go shopping at the weekend I’ll be able to nab them!

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  • I really like the smell of vanilla, and I love beauty products and making things…mix it all together and you get this yummy looking body scrub!

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  • I’m in the process of updating my wardrobe, so this fab shoe storage would be a really good thing for me to try out!

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Hope you enjoy browsing them! I certainly did and I can’t wait to try some of them out!

Emma-Jayne xx

Sunday Afternoon Baking…

This afternoon, myself and Lillee spent some time baking. We had a fab time making Red Velvet brownies! They came out all fudgey in the middle and really tasty! Mine don’t look as good as the original recipe, however I didn’t have enough food colouring and as I took them out of the tin it fell apart! But never mind they are still really nice and we had such a lovely time making them. I really reccomend this recipe as they were so easy but still effective!

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Emma-Jayne xx

Chicken Soup…

I LOVE chicken soup! When I was little, I used to beg my mom to make it for dinner when she made a roast chicken (which was quite often!) Eating it now always reminds me of being home with my family. Plus Dan and Lillee love it too so I get to make it as often as I want! We usually have it every few weeks, but it varies each time depending what ingreadients we have. There are no exact measures for this as I never use them. Just use what you have/what will fit in the pot! I make a big pot which makes around 6 servings each time.

I use:

•red split lentils
•chicken carcass and some leftover meat
•2 chicken stock cubes
•potatoes
•carrots
•onion
•mixed veggies(usually a combination of…courgette, mushrooms, leeks, celery, sweet potato, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, beans, lettuce, cabbage, garlic, aubergine…basically whatever I have that needs using! I personally don’t use peppers or tomatoes as I don’t think they work, but it’s up to you!)
•plenty of water!

To make it, I put the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and slowly bring to a boil. Leave it to boil for at least 5 minutes but you can leave it as long as you want.

Then remove ALL of the chicken, especially the skin and bones. Pass it through a sieve if your unsure, it isn’t nice to find a piece of bone plus it could break your blender!

Add the roughly chopped vegetables to the chicken-y liquid along with the stock cubes and any extra water if needed. Bring back to the boil before turning the heat down to simmer until the vegetables are tender.

When it’s cool enough to handle, strip the chicken meat from the bones and add to the soup. When cooked, blend untill smooth and serve with plenty of pepper!

If you want to, you can leave out the chicken and use vegetable stock cubes instead for a vegetarian version.

Or chop everything finely and don’t blend!

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx