Israeli Cous Cous Salad

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For someone that is not partial to cous cous I had never tasted Israeli cous cous until a few weeks ago. Not very cous cous like but is actually little pearl like pasta. I found it to be filling and goes well with all sorts of vegetables. I am writing this post up as I wait here for my husband to come home and try this salad for the first time. I will let you know his verdict. I know it will be good 😉

Enjoy your day, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Israeli cous cous (cooked as per instruction on packet)
285g tinned sweetcorn
1 bag of baby spinach
1 large courgette sliced thinly
12 cherry tomatoes
6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
Cheddar cheese grated

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c, put the courgette, cherry tomatoes and garlic into a shallow roasting dish.  Drizzle over with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through and the courgette slices are soft and tender

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In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, the pre cooked cous cous, sweetcorn along with the roasted vegetables fresh out of the oven

Mix well, smash the cherry tomatoes a little to release some juice for flavour, season with salt and fresh lemon juice

Serve on a bed of baby spinach and sprinkle with cheese.  Feta cheese here would also be a lovely choice

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Waffling Away….

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Finally I was able to get my hands on a waffle maker.  I saw it sitting pretty in my parents kitchen and I knew I had to borrow it.  My 4 year old loves sweet waffles so I thought why not try some savoury ones.  But they weren’t for him! However my husband and I, just couldn’t stop eating them!

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I think what makes them so moreish is the melted butter that is added to the batter. Makes the waffles taste wonderful and crispy.  So simple to prepare but you will need a waffle maker.  Hope you enjoy them friends!

INGREDIENTS

1-3/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter melted
3 eggs
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

METHOD

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Add the melted butter, milk and eggs. Combine well. Throw in the cheese and give a final stir

Cook waffles in the waffle maker upon instructions

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Top with avocado, cherry tomatoes and more grated mature cheddar cheese!

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Aubergine & petit pois lasagne

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Lasagne originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and is traditionally known for the wonderful layers of ragù, bechamel sauce and parmigiano regiano with meat and vegetable layered within.

In this all vegetarian lasagne you will find that I have combined the tomato ragù with the aubergine and peas already and I personally adore the bechamel sauce with the cheese melted all over as the last layer. Which I must admit I do keep til the end when eating it.

My husband and I seriously love Italian food and that’s why we were led to Rome and Sardinia for our honeymoon. I have never tasted pizza and pasta so good as I did on the streets of ancient Rome. I must have been an Italian in my past life and now of Indian origin I think Im working through the alphabet lol!

I will definitely be exploring more Italian recipes as I go along in this very exciting culinary journey of mine…do come along for the ride!

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine thinly sliced
1 medium onion grated
1/4 tsp dried red chilli seeds
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
A little boiling water
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp salt
200g tomato passata
150-180g frozen petit pois
9 pre soaked lasagne pasta sheets *see notes*
150g cheddar cheese grated

For the bechamel sauce
30g butter
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
200ml milk
Salt to taste
Pinch of pepper

METHOD

• In a large saucepan heat up the oil throw in the onion and aubergine, sauté until tender. Sprinkle in the chilli seeds, oregano, salt and the garlic, pour in a little boiling water and mix

• Let it simmer for about 7 minutes and then stir in the passata and the peas. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame, then set aside

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• To make the white sauce. In a small saucepan melt the butter on a low flame, stir in the flour and cook through for a few minutes stirring continuously. Slowly pour in the milk whilst still stirring and leave on a low flame, keep stirring and once the sauce starts to thicken up, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir and take off the heat

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• In a deep rectangular baking dish place 3 pre cooked lasagne sheets then spoon out half of the aubergine filling and spread out. Another 3 sheets on top of the aubergine layer and then the remainder of the aubergine mixture.

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Last 3 sheets to be placed and then pour out the luscious creamy white sauce. Top off with the grated cheddar cheese

• Bake in the oven at 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4 for approximately 30-35 mincutes until the cheese is nice and crispy and golden

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• Slice into healthy size squares and serve with a salad of your choice

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Note* to pre cook the dried pasta sheets just put them in some boiling water with olive oil until they are a little softer.

Lovely treats…

We are having a very busy weekend, lots of fun and festivities.  Wedding, dressing up, eating and shopping!  My kind of weekend!  I was lucky to pick up a few treats on the way…

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Bargain buy £60 to £24! Wooohoooo!!! So pretty and a lovely light scent…

Lunch outside after a trip to the park.  Grilled halloumi cheese with salad encased in a warm flat bread and chunky chips!

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And to round it off,  a crisp mint flavourful box of chocolates!  I’ve been craving mint and chocolate for a while.  I think it will satisfy me for now but I will have to bake something minty and chocolatey soon too!

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Lunch, perfume and chocolates, feel like a princess! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, see you tomorrow, much love D x

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Corn On The Cob With Garlic Butter & Lime

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I always find myself coming back from my parents home with bags and bags full of food and goodies. My Mum and Dad can’t help themselves but to pack me up lots and lots of stuff! In my goodie bag this week I had some sweet corn and last night had the perfect opportunity to quickly cook and season it for a light dinner.

So simple as dimple as it may seem! ;)…my husband and I really enjoyed the sweetcorn dressed in a salty yet sour dressing with traces of garlic aroma and taste mingling away with the butter and lime

Quickly go get yourself some corn on the cob and try this today! Have a sweet and day! Enjoy! Much love D x

Lime & Garlic Butter Corn On The Cob

INGREDIENTS

2 corn cobs in quarters
2 tbsp low fat butter spread
1 level tsp garlic granules
1 lime
Salt to taste

METHOD

Cook the corn on the cob quarters in some boiling water 4 15 to 20 minutes or until the kernels are tender

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Meanwhile mix the butter with the garlic granules combine well as a little salt if you wish at this stage to it

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Once the corn is done, carefully spread the garlic butter all over a cob and then drench in fresh lime juice. Sprinkle more salt if you wish

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Sharing my lunch with you x

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I thought as I shared my breakfast with you all, it’s only fair to share lunch with you too my lovely friends x

A roasted aubergine and courgette lasagne whilst we were out and about in the city! Really succulent pieces of veg layered between thin pasta sheets. All smothered in a white sauce with a golden halo of crispy cheese! Omg! It was goooood!

Now what will be for dinner? And dessert?
Hope your having a great day! 🙂

Feel spicy at lunchtime!

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Baked beans…a very English ingredient! I can’t do without them and find it difficult when we go on holidays for a long stretch of time where they are not available!

When I was 12, we went on a school trip away to the English countryside for a week and I thoroughly remember the breakfast I chose every day! Yes you guessed it! Hot beans on toast smothered in lashings of butter! Yummmmmy!

However these days you can get the humble baked beans in many flavoured sauces such as chilli, barbecue, garlic and the list goes on. So I thought I would share my current spicy version that I am addicted to!

Many will “masalafy” them as does my mum when she makes a curry out of the baked beans, which I will share later. I just wanted heat and spicy baked beans to get the endorphins flowing. Great to perk you up at lunch time if you’ve had a stressful morning! Watch out! you may get hooked!!!

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin baked beans
1 hot green chilli
2 spring onions finely sliced
⅓ tsp paprika
⅓ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
½ tbsp sunflower oil

METHOD

• Heat the oil in a non stick saucepan, add in the chilli, spring onions and chilli flakes. Let oil infuse with these ingredients for a few minutes on a low heat

• Stir in the baked beans, paprika and cumin powder. Simmer on a low heat for a further 5-7 minutes. Finish off with a little lemon juice

• Serve on some potato waffles or on toasty buttered bread!

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For the love of South Indian food ♡

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A delicate chutney that I just put together by whizzing it up in the blender at the very last minute. I had made onion and tomato uttapa on the request of my husband but he always likes sambhar with it.

I had forgot to put the lentils on for the sambhar and already started making the fluffy soft uttapas..so ummm a chutney? Yes that would do perfectly.

I had to use coconut as it is a staple in South Indian food and I love it so! And yoghurt to give the dish a little sharpness. It went down really well and I couldn’t resist just eating the chutney by itself! What?! At least it’s healthy this time lol x

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INGREDIENTS

40g fresh coriander with stalks
35g desiccated coconut
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 green chilli
5 tbsp natural yoghurt
½ tsp salt or to taste

METHOD

• Whizz the coriander, garlic and chilli in a grinder/blender

• Once you get a coarse paste, pour in the yoghurt, throw in the salt and coconut and blend until just combined

• Whizz….blend…chutney done!

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Serve with your uttapas on the side or directly onto it and then fold the uttapa over so that the chutney does its thing and oozes out…
Enjoy x

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Hasselback potatoes to die for!

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I’ve been seeing these potatoes on pinterest for quite a while now and have been meaning to get round to making them. Finally the opportunity arose when my husband bought a whole big bag of baking potatoes. I thought it would be a lengthy process, especially in the roasting but found that these Hasselback potatoes are even quicker to make than the jacket potato.

I know that you can also melt cheese into the potatoes but I tried to keep them healthy. However if you want to go super healthy then use olive oil instead of melted butter in the recipe!

Such a wonderful crispy sensation when you eat it and sooo very delicious! I even managed to convert my younger brother who doesn’t like baked potatoes into loving these. He ended up having 2! lol. A proper comforting meal!

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INGREDIENTS

4 large baking potatoes
2 tbsp melted butter
Salt to sprinkle

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 210°c

• To prepare the potatoes ~ wash and scrub them, place a potato on a large metal spoon and slice from the edge, making cuts along the whole potato but at the same time making sure that you don’t slice the whole way through. The metal spoon will help avoid this problem

• Repeat above process for the rest of the baking potatoes

• Then place on an oven tray, paint the melted butter on the surface of the potato and a little into the cracks. Season with salt after buttering

• Put the potatoes into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, then remove and re apply some more melted butter

• Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until potatoes are really crispy and tender inside

•Serve with a juicy ratatouille and mature cheddar cheese. My ratatouille recipe will be up very soon!

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Buffalo Mozzarella & Cherry Tomato Bread

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I’m now going to be experimenting with lots of different types of bread! And this one was definitely a winner with my parents who managed to sample some. My Dad has already ordered this crispy flat loaf for me to make for him!

A bread recipe by the Silver Fox himself ~ Paul Hollywood. I adapted it to make a little less only because the way I bake, I have to have some control lol! I think I am slowly becoming a very keen baker and if I don’t bake within a few days, I have withdrawal symptoms! So no need to worry! more recipes are following soon!

The bread turned out really well with a golden bake and once again the Italian flavours mingle together oh so well. My husband and I shared it this afternoon, it was lovely and filling that we have skipped dinner as we are still very satisfied from the goodness that this bread has to offer!

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INGREDIENTS

250g strong white bread flour
4g salt
5g instant action yeast
200ml tepid water
1tbsp olive oil plus extra for oiling & drizzling
10 cherry tomatoes in halves
125-130g/1 ball of buffalo Mozzarella
Pinch of dried oregano

METHOD

• In a mixer with a dough hook or bread hook mix the flour, salt and yeast together, slowly add a little water at a time, mix on a slow speed. As the dough comes together pour in the rest of the water

• Mix for a further 5-7 minutes on a medium speed. The dough will be very wet. Add the olive oil and mix for a further 2 minutes

• Place the dough in a large oiled bowl to prove for one hour. Seal the bowl with some cling film and the dough should double in size at this stage

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• Line a baking tray with some parchment or silicon paper, tip the dough out onto the tray and stretch out using a spatula. Thickness to be about 2cm

• Preheat the oven to 210°c. Push the cherry tomato halves into the dough plus tear the mozzarella and push in between the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the oregano and drizzle a little olive oil

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• Leave to rest for a further 15 minutes and then bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until crust is nice and golden

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• Delicious on its own especially when warm or with some soup! Enjoy x