Friday, 20 July 2012

Proper Rice Pudding - grandma style

Proper rice pudding, not any of the ambrosia rubbish, reminds me of both my grandma's. It's one of those dishes they both made when I visited whilst younger (well I still go to tea with my grandma, but now I also make her her tea as part of family meal night), and it would always be so delicious. Its creamy and sweet, and I've always been a fan of the skin on the top, some love it, others like my mum really hate it! 
So as part of family meal night, I decided to give it a go myself - and boy was it worth it.We had chicken and summer vegetable stew with cheese and leek mash, then followed by this bad boy.
My grandad actually said  it reminded him of how his mother (my great grandmother) used to make, which caused quite a stir with my grandma (in a funny way) whilst we devoured our molten hot pudding.
Scott usually joins us on family meal night but he's currently volunteering as part of the Olympics in London, and is away for two weeks, but I've been documenting Everything and  vice versa, so we can both keep up to date with what each other are doing :)
He sorely missed out on this weeks tea though....
 Ingredients :
Makes 4
 I did 4x the amount as we all eat big portions and it keeps in the fridge for a day or two

50g pudding Rice
1 pint of whole milk.
1 can evaporated milk (the small ones)
30g or one ounce of sugar
2 knobs of Butter 
Ground Nutmeg

1. Turn the oven on to Gas mark 3 
2. Grease an oven proof dish with butter, then wash the rice in cold water and drain thoroughly. Add all the ingredients to the dish and stir until everything is well mixed.
3. Cook for 30 minutes.
4. Now remove the rice pudding and give it a good stir. You may want to repeat this after another 20 mins or so.
Cook for another hour - or hour 1/2 depending on the texture of the pudding. I like having a browned skin on the top, but if you don't you could peel it off or stir it in to make it less noticeable.
And that's it! The instructions are simple, the only hard part is being patient whilst it cooks as it can take between 1 - 2 hours to cook properly.

 We had ours in Bridgewater bowls, and served with a good helping of strawberry jam. 

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sticky lemon and honey chicken - YUM

This is a recipe I use quite often for family meals. We are all chicken fans and its an ingredient you can do so much with, but this recipe seems to be a firm favourite. 

1 Pack of chicken breasts/ thighs or a combination
3 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
5 sprigs thyme
juice of 2 lemons
salt &pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then place chicken and the mixture in an ovenporoof dish (I use the cruset) and cook on gas mark 7 for 40 mins. 
Check the chicken at about 30 mins, and if the colour is pale, remove the lid to allow the honey to caramelise and turn darker.
I like to serve the chicken with cous cous, as I can use the leftover juice to flavour the cous cous (it's too good to waste).

 It is very simple to make, and tastes so gorgeous. The sticky honey and lemon is the perfect flavour combination, and although I'm not a fan of chicken skin, even I can eat it when it tastes this good!

My gorgeous man, Alfred

Just a little update of how Alfie, Alfred,Alfredo, Alfie Moon, Moon man (I like naming my animals with nicknames) is getting on :) 
He's just over 5 months and really settled into the family. I't embarrassing to admit, but I actually miss him when I go out for the day?! How sad is that!!! I just love cuddling him a 
and that awesome smell kittens and puppies have. 
The dogs are still not big fans, but he has been edging closer and closer to them, so it is only a matter of time before they make friends...
He loves drinking out of the fish take worryingly, and squeels every time he needs to go to the toilet which is very weird to witness...

 This was Alfie chewing and playing with the ball of wool I was using to knit something for my college work, I was half quite irritated and half in awe at how cute he was, so I let him pull and tug while I knitted a womb (long story).
 This picture really tickles me, it sums up hispersonality, Alfred the ninja cat. 
And lastly this cutie of a pic, my dad and Alfie having a snooze before we went out for a meal. 

Jazz up lunchtimes!

I love Hummus. I particuarly like Tesco's caramalised onion hummus, and went through a phase in Sixth form of eating a pot everyday with some cucumber and a stick of bread. Now I have it a lot less frequently as back in the day, but I have no started to try and make my own as a bit of an experimet. I waswatching river Cottage the other night and theres was an old version where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was talking about how we should try to experiment more with our lunches instead of opting for the standard sandwhich! I totally agree with this and have always enjoyed a selction of odd and deliciosu good opposed to a sanwhich (Not that I don;t like sandwchiches, I do, they can just sometimes be a bit monotanous) .
Making your own hummus is dead easy and you can jazz it up by adding caramlised onions, roasted peppers, lemon, chives, you name it!
Recipe from River Cottage
 Ingredient's :  
1 400g tin chickpeas
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tahini (i get mine form Morrisons)
70ml extra virgin olive oil
1tsp ceyene pepper
salt & pepper

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together except the seasoning then blitz to a puree in a food processor. Tip back into the mixing bowl, stir well and season. Spoon into a suitable hummus receptacle and serve with a good shot of extra virgin and an extra sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

Hummus can also be frozen so if you make too much you can always save it for another day :)

Caprese Salad

I've always been a lover of Italian food, and there's nothing that sums it up for me more than tomato, mozzarella and basil. This dish is THE simplest thing to make, but it's so delicious. Scott and I have been having it a lot recently ( a new food obsession) for dinner and as a starter for our main meals. 
1 Ball of buffalo Mozzarella
3-4 ripe room temperature tomato's
1 handful basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Cut your tomato's and mozzarella into thin slices, and lay them across a serving plate. Tear off some basil leaves and scatter over the top of the plate. Drizzle the salad with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, an that is it! No fuss, but delicious and quick to make.
Enjoy :)

A weekend in Abersoch

 Scott and I recently went to Abersoch and I haven't had chance 9with the tearoom and finishing college) to post the pictures! We had an awesome time as usual, and here are a few pics to summarise what we got up to in those few but precious days :) 
We both have matching crocs (not deliberately), though the size difference is considerable! 
 There are some cute beach houses down one strip of the beach, they're not as quirky as the others i've photographed before, but there's something pretty about the repetition of colour that these have !
 I'm not sure why I'm so ginger here... I don't think my hair usually looks like this?!
 It's nice to be able to paint my nails every once in a while, as I usually take it off for work (hygiene reasons) so if a have a few days off in a row I love to paint them again :)
 We had THE BEST TIME CRABBING. I love crabbing, fishing etc, and Abersoch has the perfect little harbour for catching crabs on a line. I caught about 7 while we were there, and also an eel surprisingly! Scott on the other hand (with his fishing line and sparkly fish things) didn't manage to catch anything ;)
  This was the little eel. I kept him in Scott's toolbox to photograph him as the crabs in the bucket kept trying to pinch him :(
 These are the beautiful crabs we caught. I uses pork sausage, and a net with a line to catch them. It's something i've always enjoyed doing, as my mum and I would go crabbing with nets  when I was younger and lift up rocks etc trying to find them.

Here are a few instagram pics of the holidays and mainly what we ate (as usual)

 My beautiful camera, and the pork sausages we used to catch the crabs ;)

 Costa have brought out a yummy new drink - Strawberry Lemonade which is similar to a drink they had in america when I went a few years ago. It is a bit sickly and synthetic, but nether the less very tasty!

 This is one of my favourite pictures of Scott! I managed to sneak it quickly why he was sorting the line out, and it really just summarises him 9the fishing, old man behaviour, Abersoch etc)
 I still maintain that I will one day own one of these....
 We had american style pancakes with strawberries for breakfast, which was delicious.

 On the way to Abersoch we stopped at Pen-Y-Bryn in Colwyn Bay for a bite to eat. We had the platter which was lovely, alongside a portion of schips and a steak salad. Very highly recommended!
And finally on our last night we had a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad (which has become a new food obsession for us both recently) alongside a chunk of tiger bread and some pastrami, once again we ate like kings :)