Quick Pizza For The Kids

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This margherita pizza can be cooked from scratch, faster than you can order one to collect! I found it especially handy for my 2 boys who love their typically “only cheese and tomato pizza”. I made this one this evening and we all devoured it with absolute delight.

I didn’t have time to take many pictures as it’s such a messy process with the dough but I found it very therapeutic. Especially kneading and pushing the dough into the tray to form the base. Hope you enjoy it. The olive oil also gives the base a scrumptious crunch. Have a beautiful day friends, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

200g plain flour
7g instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
125 ml warm water
Olive oil for baking

TOPPING

100g tomato passata
Pinch of dried oregano
Salt to taste
Grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 220°c, grease a large rectangular tray with the olive oil

In a bowl or food mixer, throw in the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together.  Mix well, slowly pour in the water.  Knead until smooth. 

Transfer into the greased tray and using your fingers press the dough into the corners, making a rectangular thin dough base

In a small saucepan heat up the tomato passata with the oregano and salt.  Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes to warm through

Spread the tomato sauce onto the pizza base, top off with cheese and place in the oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until based is nice and crispy

Recipe from BBC Good Food

A Spicy Masala Sandwich To End 2014

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This toasted tasty Chaat and Chutney masala sandwich we devoured for brunch on Christmas day.  Also my love of cheese came into play, with a twin serving of pan fried halloumi and mature cheddar cheese within the spicy hot double decked sandwich!  A creation only my husband could come up with.  He is not afraid of experimenting with strong flavours and spices.  He produces winning dishes all the time…Yes! I know…before you say it…I’m a lucky girl! 😉

You could really add anything to this sandwich as long as you incorporate the chutney and chaat masala.  The green, extremely spicy chutney came from my Mum’s kitchen and the masala is shop bought.  It really adds an Indian touch to the whole dish!

Wishing all a fantastic New Year!..2014 has been brilliant…we’re eagerly awaiting you 2015!!!

The INGREDIENTS we used

Mum’s Spicy Coriander Chutney
Chaat masala to taste
Pan fried slices of halloumi
Grated mature cheddar cheese
Slices of tomatoes
Wholewheat bread
Butter

METHOD

Place a buttered slice of bread in a panini maker.  Layer the tomato, sprinkle the mature cheddar cheese

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Place another slice of bread and spread the green chutney and shake on the chaat masala

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Take the pan fried halloumi and some extra tomato and layer onto the chutney base

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Finally top with the last slice of bread and toast for 5-10 minutes in the panini maker, until the bread takes on a golden brown colour

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Sneaky Mums & Their Recipes!

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So it’s official! I am like my mum and we are exactly the same!! Both of us were very cheeky and sneaky today in getting our children to eat goodness as they are unwell. One big child, being me and my little ‘un. My mum made me an extremely spiced ginger tomato soup to help my cold and I made chapati flat bread with broccoli and cauliflower to get vegetables into my youngest!

It worked, the soup was so refreshing and allowed me to breathe again properly after days of being blocked up. Whilst my little one munched away on the green chapati not knowing that he was eating lots and lots of vegetable goodness! Worked out for both parties!….

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INGREDIENTS

1 small broccoli in florets
1 small cauliflower in florets
1 clove garlic minced
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soft cream cheese
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
200g chapati flour
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp garam masala
1 heaped tsp cumin & coriander powder
Flour for rolling
Butter for spreading

METHOD

Boil the cauliflower and broccoli until tender.  In a food processor put the boiled florets with everything except for the flour

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Whizz into a thick paste, will look a bit like a pesto, gradually add the flour to form a soft dough

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Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat

Take about a tablespoon and a half of dough, roll into a ball, dust in some flour and gently roll out into a flat round approximately 6 to 7 cm

Place into the frying pan, wait for a minute or so until it bobbles, turn over and cook until both sides have a few brown spots. Make sure the flatbread is cooked all the way round

Serve with a little melted butter

I’m taking some over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday Party!

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Everyone loves roast potatoes! And Curry!…

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Everyone loves roast potatoes! And everyone loves curry, so this is what I decided to make and what a dish! Even though I say so myself! 😉 This particular dish left my husband eating out of the saucepan!

With the addition of roasted garlic this really is a treat. It is tangy, flavoursome and spicy! Perfect with some fresh crusty bread or pitta bread for a warm autumnal meal.

Brilliant if you have some roast potatoes left over from a Sunday roast. This way you can transform them into a different meal altogether!

INGREDIENTS

For the first part

1kg baby new potatoes
6 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp sunflower oil
salt to taste

For the curry sauce

1 tbsp sunflower oil
400g crushed tomato passata
1 tsp ginger puree
1 green chilli finely sliced
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
2 fresh tomatoes chopped
6 Roasted cloves of garlic
2 tsp cumin & coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste approx 1½ tsp

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180°c

Par boil the potatoes for 10 minutes so they soften a little. Drain them, coat in a little sunflower oil

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Place in a roasting tray along with the garlic cloves, sprinkle with salt and roast for 30 minutes

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In the mean time, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds, once they start to sizzle, throw in the fresh tomato with the roast garlic and ginger

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Sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tomato passata. Throw in the rest of the spices and seasoning. Cooked on a slow simmer for 10 minutes

Gently place the roasted potatoes into the curry sauce and smash them a little in order for the flavour to be absorbed

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Mix well and carry on cooking for a further 20 or so minutes

For flavours to absorb further need to sit for a while before serving

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Cavolo Nero Cheese Muffins

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Iron, Iron, Iron! My Mum seeked out some Cavolo Nero Cabbage for me and I was and am extremely grateful and pleased! Having never tried this type of black leaf Kale which is found in Tuscany, Italy, I really couldn’t wait to cook with it. Especially as Tuscany is one place that I want to travel to and see!

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I tried it raw and it didn’t have an overwheming strong taste, so I took a chance and wrote up a savoury muffin recipe alongside some sweet cherry tomatoes and strong mature cheddar cheese. Both my husband and I were taken a back! All these ingredients especially the cavolo nero gave us a completely new tasting muffin sensation. I know this particular bake will become very much a regular in our household, especially as our home was filled by such a scrumptious aroma whilst they were being baked. Enjoy! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

225g self raising flour
6 cavolo single leaves, remove stem and chop into strips
14 cherry tomatoes quartered
100g mature cheddar cheese
180ml milk
1 free range egg
50ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan with some olive oil

• In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients apart from the cheese

• Whisk the egg into the milk and pour into the dry ingredients along with the oil. Stir well to bring together

• Fold in the cavolo nero, cherry tomatoes and cheese

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• Spoon up to half of the mixture in each muffin hole

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• Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

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Melted Mozzarella…Need I Say More?

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A very light meal was made in the form of melted mozzarella bruschetta.  Oh my! what a yummy meal it was.  Not too heavy or light, absolutely spot on!
Mainly eaten as a starter but I fancied a few more pieces than you would have in restaurant.  The best thing about this version was the melted buffalo mozzarella!  Did I mention it was melted?!!  So very rich, gooey, stringy and delicious!  I was in cheese heaven!

Try it out at the weekend friends, have a good one! See you next week, much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

Fresh buffalo mozzarella in thin slices
Tomatoes diced finely
Red onion diced
Green chilli sliced finely
Salt to taste
Chunky pieces of toasted bread
Garlic butter Recipe here
Balsamic vinegar optional

METHOD

Place the tomato, onion, chilli in a bowl, season with salt.

Spread the toast with the garlic butter, top with the tomato mix and be generous with the mozzarella to finish

Heat in the oven or grill until the mozzarella has melted

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A Spicy, Sour, Stalk Salsa..My 500th Post!

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I steamed some broccoli for dinner yesterday and I was left there standing with a good looking raw broccoli stalk in my hands!  All that came to mind was a fresh tangy salsa.  I had some juicy plum tomatoes to use so this is what came about.

A salty, spicy and sour crunchy salsa to tantalise your tastebuds!  It did mine.  When I gave my husband some to try, he couldn’t figure out that I had used the broccoli stalk.  At first he guessed it was raw mango and then cucumber.  I told him, and he was pleasantly surprised.  So for all you non broccoli lovers out there…try this! You may enjoy it! 😉

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INGREDIENTS

Raw broccoli stalk, diced
Handful of baby plum tomatoes
Fresh lemon juice
Piri piri spice
A pinch of ground cumin powder
Salt to taste

METHOD

Take the diced stalk and place in a bowl.  Add all the ingredients and combine well.  Use the lemon and piri piri spice according to taste. I like mine very lemony and spicy!

Eat immediately or set in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. 

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A Chilli & Garlic Red Sauce For Ravioli

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I love pasta and find that making your own pasta sauce is very comforting.  You can add extra vegetables or make it spicy and vary it each time depending upon the type of pasta you are using.

My recent pasta dish allowed me to explore the simplicity of the red sauce.  All I wanted was a strong garlic and chilli hit to accompany some spinach and ricotta ravioli I had.  Which we polished off with a nice crisp glass of white wine.  A perfect sauce for ravioli..not too much going on in the sauce, just enough to add and bring out the flavours of the ravioli

I think I’m going to go and make some more! Ummmm…Have a relaxing weekend friends!, Enjoy…Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves crushed
500g crushed tomato passata
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 large chilli chopped

METHOD

Heat the olive oil along with the crushed garlic and chilli on a low heat for 5 to 7minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn

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Slowly pour in the tomato passata, season with the salt and leave to simmer on a low heat still

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I cover the saucepan and leave the sauce to cook through for at least 20 to 30 minutes.  If it gets to thick then add a little water to thin in down

Serve the sauce drizzled over a ravioli of your choice

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Taking some over to the weekly party over @ The Novice Gardener

Fiery Ginger Chickpeas

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Healthy, filling and tasty! What more do we want? I normally prefer the white chickpea but recently have taken to the dark brown variety. My husband loves them, so they were perfect to make as a side to the lentil dal and rice I had made yesterday for dinner. I had to spice them up obviously! As I do! But this time the real warmth and heat comes from the ginger. It adds an edge to them and makes them so moreish!

Give them a go friends and let me know what you think…Have a fantastic day, see you soon, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

1 tin dark brown chickpeas
1 tsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp piri piri mix or smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup tomato passata
Pinch of dark brown sugar

METHOD

In a small saucepan, heat the oil in a medium heat with the cumin seeds, piri piri or paprika, stir in the ginger along with the tomato passata

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Season with the salt and coriander powder, set to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes

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Garnish with some fresh coriander and serve with chapati or naan bread

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A Parmesan & Sundried Tomato Loaf

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Yesterday we came back from a weekend away, where we went to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.  I was so privileged to sit next to her and performing the role of Matron of Honour during such an important part of the Hindu wedding ceremony!  Thanks J! For the amazing opportunity…love you both J & C!

As we got home, I realised we had no bread in the house and the shops had closed for the day.  So out came my mixing bowl and bread ingredients and this is what I came up with…

The dough all mixed and kneaded, waiting to a well deserved proving rest

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All proved, doubled in size and ready for the oven

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Loaf of bread baked, sounds hollow, good crust…I’m happy 🙂

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The crumb….

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Recipe adapted from this “Bread Kitchen” recipe..have a look friends…