This post, my first for 2014 is a little indulgent, but hey ho, it is holiday season and I thought it would be fun to do a round up of some of the things I have been cooking over Christmas. Just in case you haven’t seen enough food over the last week or so!
This month I decided to participate in my first “I Made It” challenge which happens monthly over at Lavender and Lime. I think it’s a fantastic idea, getting us foodies into the kitchen and challenging ourselves with dishes we may never have attempted or mastered before. No prizes, the main goal is to have fun! Each month a new dish is chosen, and September’s challenge was hosted by Joanne over at The Food Crew. When I heard that Jo had chosen cassoulet as the dish of the month I was very keen to participate because I LOVE French food.
When it comes to cooking and baking I am definitely more of a “make it from scratch” kind of cook. There are of course some exceptions to the rule, prime example – puff pastry. I always use the ready made frozen variety and have not made it from scratch in about ten years! I recall making it as a student and it taking hours, and I rarely have spare time for that. The shop bought version is just fine for me! The other exception is curry pastes. There are some fantastic brands on the market that allow me to whip up delicious and satisfying curries in no time at all.
Just over a week ago I received the details of the 8th challenge in the Freshly Blogged competition which I have been participating in since June. Each week the contestants are given a list of ingredients and a few days to create, cook and photograph a dish using these ingredients. The public have a chance to view the recipes online and vote for their favourites, and each week a panel of judges send a few of the contestants to the chopping block, as it were.
Week 8’s challenge entitled “Eat Your Art Out” had me scratching my head for a while. The ingredients we were given were superb and well suited – a whole chicken, chorizo sausage, potatoes, onion, garlic, lemon and sherry. We were told, however, that the recipe and styling had to be inspired by art – an interesting twist!
The Freshly Blogged competition is in its 6th week already, wow! This week’s challenge was sponsored by Robertsons Spices and it was a double whammy with a brief that said that we had to create two dishes, both containing cayenne pepper and cinnamon. The other ingredients we had to use were chicken livers, cream and white chocolate, and we could also include any three fresh ingredients and two grocery items.
It has been a few weeks since the last “dinner in a flash” recipe post, and I hope you will agree that this one is a goody! This last week has been a whirlwind of appointments, errands and social get-togethers… nothing out of the ordinary now that I think about it! I’m sure most of you can relate to that feeling of being run off your feet, so, flag this recipe because it is perfect for those evenings when, after a crazy day, you want to enjoy a good home cooked meal but with minimal effort. And by minimal I mean you can have this dish on the table in less than twenty minutes – winning!
With a busy Easter weekend drawing to a close I hope you all had a wonderful time! I heard from a couple of you who decided to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into my chocolate hot cross bun recipe – I hope you enjoyed it! After a weekend of treats I thought I would post a lighter, healthier recipe for you all this week.
I am always on the look out for new supper recipes that can be rustled up in almost no time at all (anything under 30 minutes is ideal!). This is one of my favourites adapted from a recipe I picked up out of Olive Magazine U.K. a few years ago.