WWW. Meatballs and Ratatouille.

Sadly the pudding didn’t turn out quite as I wanted it to, so it won’t be featured. 😦

Meatballs and ratatouille.

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This recipe should yield even if the ingredients aren’t very high quality. We used reduced-price courgettes and peppers, boxed tomatoes, carrots past their prime and cheap frozen mince and it was still delicious.

Ingredients:

-500g mince

-2 eggs

-400g chopped tomatoes

-2 small carrots

-1 small courgette

-1 small onion

-1/2 yellow pepper

-1/2 green pepper

-1 clove garlic

-1tsp hot chilli powder

-2tsp salt

-some oil

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-frying pan

-small pot

Recipe:

1: Finely dice the pepper and garlic, roughly chop the onion, carrots and courgette. Boil until tender.

2: Mix the meat, eggs, chilli powder and 1tsp of the salt. Roll into 6-24 meatballs, depending on how large you want them.

3: Heat the oil in the pan. Add the meatballs in small groups, ensure they are sealed on all sides before adding the next group.

4: Once all the meatballs are sealed, add the veg and the tomatoes, followed by the remaining salt.

5: Simmer until everything is well-done.

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WWW. Chicken and Peas, Home-Made Ice-Cream.

Been a little run down lately and the FF is on hold until my arm is better, so here’s what we had on Wednesday.

Recipe 1: Chicken and Pea Fry.

An excellent way of using leftover chicken and veg or of just putting together a meal when you’re in a rush.

Ingredients:

-4 chicken drumsticks

-300g peas

-300g beans

(can swap peas and beans for legumes of any variety)

-5-6 leaves of lettuce

-4 medium carrots

-2 rashers of bacon

-30g butter

Utensils:

-chopping board and knives

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: Slice the chicken from the bone and roughly cube it.

2: Dice the carrots.

3: Heat the oil in the pan.

4: Seal both sides of each piece of chicken before adding the carrots.

5: Cook the chicken and carrot right down before adding the legumes.

6: Turn the pan to a lower heat. Slice and add the bacon and lettuce.

7: Once the lettuce is wilted, serve.

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Recipes 2 and 3: Strawberry Jam and Ice-Cream.

Jon doesn’t normally like strawberries or anything related to them, but he enjoyed this so that’s a success.

Ingredients:

-400g strawberries

-10tbsp sugar

-300ml double cream

Utensils:

-mixing bowl (microwave safe)

-funnel

-fork

-jam jar

-plastic tupperware (freezer safe)

Recipe:

1: Mash the strawberries.

2: Add the sugar.

3: Microwave until thickened.

4: Pour the excess fluid into tupperware.

5: Use fork and funnel to put the thickened jam into the jar. Secure the lid tightly and place in the fridge.

6: Mix the cream into the strawberry fluid. Freeze.

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FitFriday VIII. Not good.

Bicep is more miserable than last week. Not sure what’s wrong with it. Keeping it in a sling and taking ibuprofen, which seems to help, if only because I am discouraged from using the arm when it’s in a sling. Weights off the table. Still doing walking and everyday jobs.

On the plus side, slightly lower starch and losing that little bit of excess fat was made easier by a stunted appetite.

Seeing the doc on Monday, hopefully all will be revealed and I’ll soon be back to weights.

WWW. Liver, Meat and Potato Pies and Blackberry Pudding.

Pies are kind of hard to get right, but I’m really pleased with these ones!

And the pudding is hard-work, but not too complicated.

Recipe 1: Liver, Meat and Potato Pie.

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Ingredients:

I made two, but they would probably serve 8-12 between them.

For the pastry:

-600-700g flour

-250g butter

-100ml olive oil

-cold water

-a beaten egg white

For the filling:

-300g diced meat

-300g liver

-300g potatoes

-150g sweet potato

-1 small onion

-1 small pepper

-2tsp salt

-1tbsp pepper

-1tbsp herbs

-cold water

Utensils:

-clean surface and rolling pin

-1 mixing bowl

-chopping board and knife

-2 greased or non-stick pie-shape baking trays

-1 pastry brush or clean, stiff-bristled paintbrush

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, butter and oil thoroughly.

2: Add water until the mixture is stiff, workable, not crumbly and not sticky.

3: Put the pastry dough in the fridge.

4: Dice the meat and liver. Put to one side.

5: Dice the potatoes, mince the onion and pepper, thinly slice the sweet potato.

6: Take 1/4 of the pastry and roll it out. Once it’s large enough, lay it over the baking tray.

7: Press it into the edges and shape it to the sides of the tray. Cut off the excess.

8: Brush the base with egg white and bake at a high temperature until the glaze sets.

9: Layer the meat and vegetables in the pie and add the seasoning.

10: Pour a little cold water into the pie.

11: Roll out another 1/4 of the pastry, cut it to size and roll it over the pie.

12: Press it to the sides of the pie. Glaze all over. Make a couple of scores in the lid. Maybe decorate with spare pastry.

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13: Repeat for 2nd pie.

14: Bake at 160C for 45min and then turn up to 180C for a further 20-30min.

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Recipe 2: Blackberry Pudding.

A little technical, but worthwhile.

Ingredients:

3tbsp blackberry jam

-200ml double cream

-2 egg yolks

Utensils:

-jug

-blender or whisk

-serving pots

Recipe:

1: Mix the double cream and egg yolks in the jug.

2: Whisk or blend vigorously until the mix starts to rise and thicken.

3: Add the jam. Whisk even more vigorously.

4: Pour into the pots when thick but not stiff. Place in the fridge where it should solidify into a cross between a yoghurt and a mousse.

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Time-Saver: Microwave Jam.

Yup. Jam. In the microwave.

This is brilliant for several reasons. Firstly, it lets you easily use a small haul of fruit that you don’t want to eat raw, for example due to bitterness or dryness. Secondly, it takes no time at all: it means you can make a small amount of jam without feeling like you wasted the time cooking and washing-up. Thirdly, it’s delicious.

I made it because I wanted to see if it could be done and also had some crabapples, wild raspberries that were a little dry and early blackberries.

So here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

-fruit

-30g of sugar to every 100g of fruit

-any spices you may want

Utensils:

-1 small microwaveable bowl

-1 fork

-handheld blender (optional)

Recipe:

1: Mash or blend the fruit in the bowl.

2: Add the sugar, stir.

3: Microwave on the defrost setting. Keep an eye on it. It will probably take 10min for anything under 500g, but it could take less depending on your microwave!

4: When the fruit juices are looking syrupy and thick, but still pour confusingly easily, place the bowl in the fridge. Maybe let it cool first if you made a lot, so as to not disturb your fridge temperature.

5: Serve.

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WWW. Paella de Marisco and Apple Muffins.

Something Spanish and something from the recent Sainsbury’s “Live Well For Less” mag.

Recipe 1: Paella de Marisco.

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For a paella and a fish dish, this is cheap and fairly simple.

Ingredients:

Serves four.

-600g rice

-400-500g fish

-fish stock (if using canned fish you can make a simple stock from the brine)

-1 onion

-1 red pepper

-400g chopped tomatoes

-2tsp pepper

-2tsp salt

-2tsp paprika

-3 leaves sage

-1tsp coriander

-4tbsp olive oil

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-pot

-large frying pan or wok

Recipe:

1: Mix the fish stock with some water. Add the herbs and the rice and put on to boil.

2: Very finely dice the pepper and onion. Fry in the oil until softened.

3: Add the tomato to the pepper and onion and reduce.

4: Cut the fish into fork-sized chunks.

5: Season the tomato mix with paprika and add the fish.

6: Add the rice and stock. Salt and pepper. Reduce.

Recipe 2: Apple Muffins.

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Ingredients:

-2 large apples

-250-300g flour

-200g butter

-2 eggs

-4tbsp palm sugar or 3tbsp brown sugar and 1tbsp molasses or 4tbsp maple syrup

-2tsp cinnamon

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased or nonstick muffin tray with space for 12 regular or 6 large muffins

-paper cupcake cups (optional)

Recipe:

1: Core and very finely dice the apples.

2: Mix the flour and cinnamon in a bowl.

3: Add the butter and eggs and mix until crumbly.

4: Add the sweetener of choice.

5: Add water to make up the consistency.

6: Pour into the tray.

7: Bake at 160C for 20min or until golden brown.

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FitFriday. DOMS, Harvest, DOMS, Busy, DOMS, Wheat, DOMS.

So, between endurance stuff in the garden and shed and weights in the gym, I am sore all over. I would like at least an inch on each arm for this pain, but life’s unfair like that.

Got through a few weights sessions and we proved that I do better on long rest periods. With a week between them, I went from 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 at 27.5 followed by 6 at 25 to 9, 8, 8 at 27.5 followed by 8 at 25. Will aim for 12, 13 and 12 next time and then up the weight.

I’ve also been abusing the baking a little lately, and have got slight tartar buildup on a molar. Working at getting rid of it, but low-starch, low-sugar is in order, calorie levels be damned.

It’s looking like blackberry season will soon be upon us, the squash plants are flowering and the elders are full of green berries. The rabbits got at the last of our peas, so I’m setting traps later too. Revenge is savoury like a game pie.

Finally, with all the new students, sorting the shed and garden, harvesting/foraging and cooking, I’ve been a bit busy. But no worries, the WWW will be up tonight, that essay on university courses will be up on Monday and I have another list-y thing on the things I discovered through maturing early (mentally, that is). All in time to make freshmen and A-level students feel rubbish about their decisions. 🙂

Next week is more weights with weeklong breaks between each lift, more gardening and long blackberrying walks and fewer starches.