Chopsticks and Cheesecake

Food, glorious food.

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Easy Peasy Breakfast Smoothie

NutriBullet, NutriBullet, NutriBullet. It seems like it’s been impossible to escape that word in recent months, with people going so far as to say it’s a life changing device.

Me, I’m not one for fads. But I am a complete sucker for kitchen gadgets and this was one I just had to see to believe. I love my juicer, but cleaning it out afterwards is sometimes enough to put me off making juice at all! Although the NutriBullet isn’t a juicer, it promised efficient and simple clean up, and that was enough motivation for me.

So I bit the bullet (see what I did there?) and got the NutriBullet as a Christmas present. Admittedly, it sat in it’s box until early February as I was still in Christmas eating mode but from my first use, it was true love. Believe the hype! Easy to use, easy to clean with great tasting results.

It’s not all perfection of course. Be careful not to overfill these bad boys, as there can be leakage. One morning a hazelnut got caught under the blade and filled my kitchen with the joyful smell of burning rubber as the motor smoked and attempted to burn out. Luckily I caught it in time but all in all, I would definitely recommend the NutriBullet to a friend.

This recipe today is aimed to help you ease in to the world of having liquid for breakfast if you’re still used to a bowl of sugary cereal or 2 slices of toast. You don’t even need a NutriBullet, just a good blender. I normally make my breakfast smoothies with an abundance of spinach (or other greens, as the NutriBullet booklet recommends), some lemon, a carrot, a banana, berries, soy milk and seeds. But the smoothie I’m doing here is perfect to ease you in to the smoothie zone and due to the addition of porridge oats, is sure to fill you up until lunchtime.

Feel free to alternate the fruit you’re putting in, as well as the type of yoghurt. Make it versatile to suit what you have in the fridge.

This is what I used:

  • 10 grapes
  • 10 raspberries
  • 4 large strawberries, chopped
  • a small apple, chopped
  • a small pot of Greek yoghurt (mine was strawberry flavour)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of porridge oats
  • a generous squeeze of honey ( I never measure this but around 1 tablespoon)
  • a few ice cubes
  • some water,  amount dependent on your desired thickness

 

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Step 1: Throw all the ingredients in to your Nutribullet or blender. Pour in some ice cold water, filling until the ingredients are just about covered.

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Step 2: Blitz and blend until smooth. Have a wee look at the results and add more water if the smoothie is too thick.

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Step 3: Serve! It’s as simple as that. This will make enough for one very large smoothie or 2 regular sized ones.

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This smoothie takes less than 5 minutes to whip together, so no excuses! And is surely a more sensible option than a sausage sandwich. If you’re hungrier than your average person, adding a banana to this smoothie will add some mileage.

As you continue on your breakfast smoothie journey, try to take away some fruits and add more greens, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, celery, etc. The more fruit you have, the more (natural!) sugar the smoothie will contain.  So have more veg than fruit if possible.

 

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Hope you enjoy,

 

P

 

xx

 

 

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Asian Turkey Burgers with Spicy Lemon Mayo

Let’s be honest. Turkey burgers often aren’t the most exciting things in the world to eat. Usually this is because turkey mince is quite lean with a low fat content, and it’s the fat that makes a juicy burger. But don’t fret, I’ve hit it out of the park with this one – finally, a turkey burger that doesn’t suck!🙂

The key to a non tasteless turkey burger is seasoning. If you form a patty out of plain ‘ol turkey mince, the cooked result will be very bland indeed! I chose to season mine the Asian way and the result is fantastic. Flavoursome, moist and most importantly, tasty!

Kick your week off with a healthier alternative to your average burger, here’s what you’ll need:

(Makes 3 generous burgers)

For the burgers:

  • 400g turkey breast mince
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce (I used hoisin and garlic, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning to taste
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling

To serve:

  • brioche burger buns
  • whatever toppings you’d like

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For the Spicy Lemon Mayo:

  • 3 and a half tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • the zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • a pinch of pepper

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Step 1: Blitz the scallions in a chopper. If you don’t have one, chop them as small as you can by hand!

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Step 2: Put all ingredients needed to make the burger into a large bowl (minus the sesame seeds).

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Step 3: Mix together well with a spoon…

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…. and pat down. Cover with clingfilm and allow the flavours to combine for at least 30 minutes.

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Step 4: Make the Spicy Lemon Mayo while you wait! Add the mayo….

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….the Sriracha sauce…..

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… and the lemon zest/juice along with a pinch of black pepper.

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Step 5: Stir it all up! Store in the fridge until you need it.

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Step 6: Shape the mince in to patties. Sprinkle with a few sesame seeds.

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Step 7: Transfer the patties to a pan that’s been heated by a little oil. You’ll find that it’s tricky to keep the patties together if transferring by hand, they won’t firm up until they start cooking in the pan. So I put mine in the pan with a fish slice!

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Step 8: Cook the burgers for around 5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through.

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Step 9: Lightly toast the buns and spread some Spicy Lemon Mayo across them. Throw the turkey burger in and voilà!

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You can of course, dress the burger up with lettuce, sliced tomato or any toppings you fancy! I prefer it plain so as to really taste the Asian flavours!

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Step 10: Enjoy!

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P

 

xx

 

 

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American Style Blueberry Pancakes with Raspberry Butter

Happy Pancake Tuesday!:)

Here’s a delicious pancake recipe I did a few months back that you should definitely try out today!

Chopsticks and Cheesecake

There’s nothing quite like pancakes for Sunday brunch. Even better when they’re served in bed! Whip these up for your other half today and you’re guaranteed to be in the good books! They’re real crowd pleasers for the kids too.

I used blueberries to flavour these pancakes, but they’re so versatile, you could use almost anything! Such as:

  • other fruits – strawberries, apple, banana, etc.
  • chocolate spread and chopped hazelnuts
  • pre- cooked chopped bacon pieces
  • goats cheese and rosemary

I used my raspberry butter and some maple syrup to top mine, but again, you can use your imagination with what you lob on top! if you don’t want to use fresh fruit in your pancakes, you can add them on the finished product at the end if preferred. Other suggestions:

  • crème fraîche
  • whipped cream
  • golden syrup
  • honey
  • yoghurt

The possibilities are endless!

Here’s what you’ll need for the classic blueberry…

View original post 452 more words

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Mini Sticky Toffee Puddings with Toffee and Walnut Sauce

So it’s January and everybody is on a healthy buzz, which of course is a great thing! But it’s so so cold out there, wouldn’t it be great to curl up this evening with a tasty indulgent treat?! You know you deserve it.🙂

People often think Sticky Toffee Pudding is a complicated dish, but it’s easier than you’d think! I’ve simplified it further in this recipe by dividing the mixture between six smaller pudding shaped ramekins.

Here’s what you’ll need!

For the pudding:

  • 175g stoned dates
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in 200ml of hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g of butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g of self – raising flour

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For the sauce:

  • 175g of soft brown sugar
  • 110g of butter
  • 7 tablespoons of double cream
  • 30g of walnuts

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Step 1: Chop the dates…

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… and dissolve the instant coffee in some hot water.

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Step 2: Add the chopped dates to the coffee and let it soak for in around 10 – 15 minutes. Then add the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract and bicarbonate of soda. Mix it all together well.

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Step 3: Put the sugar and butter in a separate bowl….

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…. and cream together until light and fluffy.

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Step 4: Beat the 2 eggs and add them to the mixture a little at a time. Make sure to beat again after each addition!

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Step 5: Sift the flour in to the mixture and fold in.

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Step 6: Fold in the date mixture.

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Step 7: Divide the mixture amongst the 6 ramekins, filling them about three quarters of the way.

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Step 8: Place them on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes.

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Step 9: Make the sauce while the puddings are baking. First, chop the walnuts!

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Step 10: Combine the cream, sugar and butter in a saucepan and place over a gentle heat until the butter has melted.

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Step 11: Add the walnuts and mix through. If needed, you can reheat this sauce on a low heat when your puddings are plated!

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Step 12: Once you’ve removed them from the oven, leave the puddings to cool for 5 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edges to turn them out on to a plate.

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Step 13: Plate the puddings individually and pour some of the toffee and walnut sauce on top.

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Be generous with the yummy, sticky sauce! Which could totally be eaten on its own, it’s THAT yummy!

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Step 14: Enjoy your mid – January treat!🙂🙂

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P xxx

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

Mushrooms. You either love ’em or hate ’em and I for one LOVE ’em! I might even go so far as to say this may be my favourite soup!

It’s getting colder out there and this is perfect for chilly evenings. Super easy to make too, give a try this weekend!

 

You’ll need:

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium onions
  • 50g of butter
  • 600g mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 litre of chicken stock (use vegetable stock to make the dish vegetarian)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cream

 

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Step 1: Chop the mushrooms, onions and garlic.

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Step 2: Melt the butter in a large saucepan at a low – med heat.

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Step 3: Add the chopped onions and coat well in the melted butter….

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…before crushing the garlic into the pot.

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Step 4: Stir for a couple of minutes until onions soften and have combined well with the butter.

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Step 5: Add the mushrooms. Combine well with the onion/butter/garlic mixture and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms reduce in size.

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Step 6: Add the flour and mix through thoroughly. Things might start to get a little gross and clumpy here but the end result is worth it!🙂

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Step 7: Add the chicken stock.

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Step 8: Bring the the boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for around 15 – 20 minutes.

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Step 9: Blitz with a hand blender and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the cream and stir through.

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Step 10: Serve with a drizzle of cream in top and some fresh herbs. I used a few parsley leaves!

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Step 11: Enjoy!🙂

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Seriously delicious stuff and so warming. It’s quite filling on it’s own but serve with some buttered crusty bread to make a meal out of it!

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Hope you enjoy!

 

P xx

 

ninefish


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Lemon and Butter Crusted Cod with Garlic Portobello Mushroom

Happy Monday! What a busy weekend for me, I had my graduation ceremony so am OFFICIALLY the proud owner of a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree! Woo hoo!🙂

What better way to celebrate that with this delightful fishy dishy – it’s light but tasty. Low in calories but so delish! This recipe serves 3 and here’s what you’ll need..

For the fish:

  • 3 cod fillets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2 slices of bread, chopped into breadcrumbs
  • 2 cream crackers, finely chopped
  •  2 tablespoons of butter
  • some chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • rapeseed oil, to brush

 

twofish

 

For the mushrooms:

  • 3 portobello mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a pinch of dried mixed herbs
  • rapeseed oil, to brush and drizzle

 

onefish

 

Step 1: Get to work on the mushrooms first. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Brush each mushroom with rapeseed oil and place in a baking tray lined with some tin foil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Crush the garlic and distribute evenly across the mushrooms. Drizzle some more rapeseed oil across the tray. Set aside to prepare fish.

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Step 2: Combine the breadcrumbs and cream cracker crumbs in a bowl.

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Step 3: Melt the butter in a microwave and combine well with the bread/cracker mixture.

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Step 4: Brush the cod fillets with some rapeseed oil and season well with salt and pepper.

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Step 5: Line a baking dish with tin foil and place the cod fillets in it, evenly spaced. Drizzle the lemon juice and white wine vinegar across them. Crush the garlic clove a scatter over the fillets also. Top with the crust mixture and scatter some chopped parsley across the dish.

eightfish

 

Step 6: Place the mushrooms and fish in to the oven and bake both for 25 minutes, until fish is cooked through and mushrooms are tender.

ninefish

 

 

Serve with a lemon wedge, a sprig of fresh parsley and some roast potatoes! Yum! Quick and easy, the perfect Monday dinner!

 

tenfish

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

P

xx

 

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American Style Blueberry Pancakes with Raspberry Butter

There’s nothing quite like pancakes for Sunday brunch. Even better when they’re served in bed! Whip these up for your other half today and you’re guaranteed to be in the good books! They’re real crowd pleasers for the kids too.

 

I used blueberries to flavour these pancakes, but they’re so versatile, you could use almost anything! Such as:

  • other fruits – strawberries, apple, banana, etc.
  • chocolate spread and chopped hazelnuts
  • pre- cooked chopped bacon pieces
  • goats cheese and rosemary

I used my raspberry butter and some maple syrup to top mine, but again, you can use your imagination with what you lob on top! if you don’t want to use fresh fruit in your pancakes, you can add them on the finished product at the end if preferred. Other suggestions:

  • crème fraîche
  • whipped cream
  • golden syrup
  • honey
  • yoghurt

The possibilities are endless!

 

Here’s what you’ll need for the classic blueberry kind:

  • 4 eggs
  • 170g flour
  • 1 and a half teaspoon baking powder
  • 180ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 – 3 handfuls of blueberries

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The amount of ingredients you use for the raspberry butter depends on your own taste – how much butter you like on pancakes, how sweet you want the raspberries to be or if you prefer a bite, etc. I’d generally advise you to taste as you go and add more butter, raspberries or sugar if needed! I used:

  • a large knob of butter
  • About 8 – 10 raspberries
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of icing sugar

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Step 1: I found a great tip online from Jamie Oliver and haven’t made American style pancakes any other way since. The tip is to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites rather than just throw the eggs in whole (you’ll see why in Step 2!)

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Step 2: Use a hand mixer and whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Doing this add to the general lightness and fluffiness of the pancakes!

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Step 3: Add flour, baking powder, egg yolks and salt to a separate bowl…

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….and whisk until a thick batter is formed. Stir in the vanilla essence with a spoon until well combined.

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Step 4: Pop the egg white into the egg mixture using a small bit a time…

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….and gently fold it into the mixture using a spoon.

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Step 5: Leave the batter to sit for a few minutes and make the raspberry butter. Squish your raspberries in a small bowl and combine with the icing sugar. Have a little taste of it – if’s it’s too bitter for you add a sprinkle more of icing sugar. If it’s too sweet, add more raspberries.

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Step 6: Melt the butter over a low heat.

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Step 7: Add the raspberry mixture and combine well. Keep the raspberry butter at a low heat while you cook your pancakes making sure to stir occasionally. Or if you like you could remove it from heat altogether and reheat once your pancakes are ready!

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Step 8: Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat. Use a ladle to spoon the batter on the pan, I usually use half a ladle at a time to get a perfect sized pancake!

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Step 9: Once the pancakes start to firm slightly, sprinkle your blueberries on to the uncooked side of the pancake. Flip the pancake over until golden on both sides. Repeat until all batter is used!

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Step 10: Plate your pancakes and pour the raspberry butter over the top.

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Serve along side some maple syrup, or whatever else you fancy!

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And lastly – devour!

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Hope you enjoy,

 

P

 

xx