Beetroot Houmous

Just looking at this beetroot Houmous makes me feel insanely happy. The colour is so vibrant, it’s hard not to break into a smile just looking at it. It also tastes as good it looks and is so easy to whiz up.

Ingredients:

Half a tin of cooked chick peas (plus half of the juice it’s in)

150g pre cooked beetroot

1tbsp Olive oil

1tbsp Tahini paste

Juice of half a lemon

2 cloves of garlic

Seasoning as required

Method:

Quite simply pop everything into the blender and pulse for a few seconds. Add a bit more lemon if required and season to taste.

Bon appetite!

Lip-Smacking Lockdown Lemonade

So, during these worrying of times, we’re back with a lip-smacking bang to keep the kids thirst kept at bay. This really is a treat in our house, not for the every day but a recipe the children love to make on sunny days.

Inspired by Allegra McEvedy who has written a cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton, why not give the kids a lesson on the art of making Lemonade? It really is so simple and I can promise the results are totally worth it! My kids delight in reading out and copying down the ingredients and method, the measuring and weighing and the jolly good shaking!!! Most of all, they love the outcome and it certainly quenched our thirst during these warm days in the Uk. Let’s get going!

Ingredients;

3 lemons

2 limes

100g caster sugar

Method;

Start off by quartering the fruits and then let the kids squeeze out the juices into a jug. You should end up with about 150-200ml of juice. Place the skins to one side.

Next up, place the juice into a jar, add the sugar and 250ml water. Place the lid on top and get the kids to give it all a good old shake until the sugar dissolves.

Add 1 litre of cold water and the squeezed out lemon and lime skins. Give it all a jolly good stir!! Add ice and Enjoy!!!

Smashed Falafel Tortilla

Stuck in a rut at lunch time? Try this healthy chickpea recipe. Taking only 5 minutes to prepare and plate up, this lovely lunch packs the punches in the taste department.

Ingredients for the smashed Falafel;

Half a tin of chickpeas

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

Ingredients for the Coriander Sauce;

1 crushed garlic clove

2 handfuls of fresh Coriander, chopped with stems on

3 tbsp Olive oil

Sprinkle of Sesame seeds

Ingredients to serve;

Mini Tortilla wrap (s)

Natural yogurt

Finely sliced red onion

Method;

In a bowl, smash up the chickpeas with a potato masher and add the remaining ingredients. Place to one side.

Next up, bring together all of the Coriander sauce ingredients and mix well.

Lightly grill how ever many tortillas you want, and place onto plates when ready. Spread a generous amount of yogurt onto one side of the Tortilla and top with rocket and salad leaves. Spoon over some of the smashed chickpeas and drizzle the Coriander sauce on top and enjoy!

Adaptation of a recipe by @IvyHossack

Crust Topped Cod Fillets

If you are looking for a light and healthy yet tasty fish recipe, you’ve landed in the right place.

This delicious dish is unbelievably easy to prep and only takes 12 minutes to bake. Want to know more? Let’s go!

Ingredients:

2-3 Cod Fillets

2 slices of stale bread (crusts off)

2 cloves of garlic

Small handful of cornflakes (optional)

10 – 12 black pitted olives

2 sprigs of rosemary (off the stem)

1 tbsp Oregano

Salt & Pepper

1 egg white

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220•C (fan) and lay the fillets onto an oven proof tray. To make the crust, place the bread, cornflakes, garlic, 4 olives and herbs into a mixure and blitz. Season to your taste.

Next up, coat the top of the fillets with the egg white and crumble the crust on top. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Sprinkle the remaining olives and some fresh herbs around the fillets and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Serve with side of choice – we had mash & peas!

Bon appetite!

Pimms O’Clock

It’s the mid-summer, the days are long – perfect weather for sitting outside with a nice refreshing Pimms cocktail enjoying a good book?

Yeah, so I’ve got young kids who go outside, and they always try to kill each other on the trampoline, or accuse each other of various misdemeanours. So it’s usually something to keep my throat lubricated while shouting at the kids! You know how it is…

The Ultimate Salter Family Pimms Jug

Ingredients

  • 250ml Pimms no 1 cup
  • Lemonade
  • Ginger Ale
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Apple slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Slice of Orange
  • Fresh Mint
  • Ice

The thing that shocks people about this recipe is the addition of ginger ale into the Pimms. I don’t know if it’s my family thing, but let me gift it to you, as it really makes this cocktail pop.

Method

  1. Add halved strawberries to the jug with slices of cucumber and apple and pour the Pimms over the top. Let the fruit marinade for as long as possible (five minutes of so if you can). The fruit tastes amazing afterwards.
  2. Next add a generous handful of ice and pour over slowly at an angle (so not to mix) one part lemonade to one part ginger ale.
  3. Add the mint and orange wedges to the top.

It’s the kind of cocktail that you can just keep on topping the jug with ingredients as the afternoon progresses. Traditionally the herb used isn’t mint, but Borrage (grows wild everwhere), which goes better with lemon slices than orange.

Enjoy! James

Spiced Zahtar Chicken With Lentils

Whether you love or loathe Lentils, this dish needs to be tried. They are renowned for being a great source of fibre and they marry perfectly with this Middle Eastern dish of Zahtar spiced Chicken. If you currently loathe lentils, you won’t after this recipe.

Zahtar is a spice blend of the zingy scent of Sumac, Cumin, thyme (or you can replace with oregano, as I had to). It really is amazing!

Ingredients:

Zahtar spices:

1tbsp dried Oregano

1tbsp Ground Cumin

1tbsp Coriander

1tbsp roasted Sesame seeds

1tbsp Sumac

1/2tsp salt

1/2 Chilli powder (optional)

2/3 Chicken Breasts (skin off)

1 Lemon

2 Cloves of Garlic

Big handful of Parsley

110ml Water

5 heaped tbsp Lentils (cooked)

1 Chicken stock cube

1 Courgette

3 tbsp 50%Fat Creme Fraiche

Method:

Start by pounding the herbs and spices in a Mortar.

Place the chicken into a mixing bowl and rub in the Zahtar mixture. Grate on the zest of the lemon. Drizzle over some oil, mix together and cover. Leave to one side.

Preheat the grill on high, pop the chicken onto a tray and cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn halfway through.

Next up, roughly chop the parsley, cut the Courgette into quarters and finely dice the garlic.

Glug some oil into a saucepan and heat up. Add the courgette, garlic and 1tbsp of Cumin and gently cook for 2 minutes. Add the water.

Bring the water to boil and add the lentils and stock cube.

Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, adding a bit more water if required.

When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate to rest. Squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle over half of the parsley.

Stir the Creme Fraiche into the lentils mixture and bring back to the boil. Chuck in the rest of the Parsley and season well with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture between two bowls, and place the chicken pieces on top.

Enjoy lovely people x

Focaccia Stuffed With Pesto & Tomatoes

If you are looking for a food project this weekend, look no further as this is it. We’ve upped the ante by adding juicy cherry tomatoes and by slapping red pesto into a traditional Focaccia.

Ingredients:

500g Strong plain Flour

7g Sachet Yeast

1tsp Salt

3tbsp Red Pesto (see link https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/red-pesto-sauce/ for one of our recipes or shop bought is absolutely fine)

100ml Olive Oil & extra to drizzle (I used my herb & chilli infused olive oil https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/homemade-herb-chilli-infused-olive-oil/ for an extra twist)

5 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary, leaves picked

200g Cherry Tomatoes

Sea Salt flakes to garnish

300ml Lukewarm water

Method:

Pour 300ml into a jug and add the sachet of yeast, stir. Leave for a couple of minutes until it starts to froth.

In a large bowl, tip in the flour and add the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and then add 75ml Olive oil. Use a knife to stir the mixture, until a rough dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If necessary, sprinkle extra flour on the dough to prevent it sticking.

Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover and leave for 40 mins – 1hr to prove. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it onto a clean, floured surface and knead for a couple of seconds to knock the air out of it.

Shape the dough into a rectangle and roll out to roughly 20 x 10inches. Mix together the red pesto and sprigs of rosemary and smear over one half of the dough.

Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and pinch together to seal it.

Now put the bread into a roasting tin (lined with baking paper) and cover with cling film. Place somewhere warm for an hour to prove further. Preheat the oven to 220C, fan 200C, Gas mark 7.

When the bread is ready for the oven, drizzle over 2tbls of Olive oil and rub it in gently. Gently press the Cherry tomatoes into the dough and use your fingers to gently dent the rest of the dough. Pop in some sprigs of Rosemary. Scatter over the sea salt flakes. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for a further 20 minutes.

Place the bread into the oven, bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 200C, fan 180C, Gas mark 6 and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the bread has risen and looks golden. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut into slices or chunks and enjoy with your main of choice (we had steaks and a nice crispy salad!!

Bon appetite lovely people! X

Homemade Herb & Chilli Infused Olive Oil

This beautifully scented Olive Oil took minutes to make and was a team effort. My youngest happily gathered Rosemary from the garden whilst I did the prep work.

Grab yourself a clean glass bottle and top with boiling water. Screw the lid on and leave for a few minutes. Remove the water.

Lightly crush the Rosemary and garlic and pop into the bottle. Next up, grab whatever else you fancy (I used wedges of lemon, chopped and whole small chillies and peppercorns) and place into the bottle.

Use a funnel to pour in some Olive oil, screw the lid back on and shake. Voila!! All done!

I’m going to make a cherry tomato topped focaccia tonight so I can drizzle this all over it!! Nom nom, can’t wait.

x

Summer Berry Pavlova

Remember last weekend when it was summer? (temporarily) We had a lovely bbq over at our fab friends’ house – they were ‘doing’ the meat, so we said we’d bring something lovely for pudding.

What screams summer bbq more than pavlova? Loads of beautiful seasonal strawbs and raspberries loaded on a fluffy meringue base. Happy days!

My Middle Little loves a bit of baking, and so asked to make this for me. Why not? Love having a helper! It was so simple, the only job Middle needed help with was separating the egg whites from the yolks. Bonus was that measuring and weighing was also part of this week’s homework – serious mum points!!

We used this recipe from Jamie Oliver and as always made a few tweaks to suit the store cupboard. I’m a bit sloppy when it comes to presentation so it doesn’t look quite as polished!!

Ingredients

  • 6 large free-range egg whites 
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 400 g fresh strawberries and raspberries 
  • 200 ml double cream 
  • 200 ml fat-free natural yoghurt 
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar 
  • 1 vanilla pod

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2. Clean your mixing bowl with lemon juice and wipe away the residue. (This helps your egg whites to fluff up!). Put your egg whites in your mixing bowl and whisk them at a medium speed until they start to form nice firm peaks. (Mines 6/7 on the Kitchenaid).
  2. With your mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, spoon by spoon. Turn the mixer up to the highest setting and whisk for 7 to 8 minutes more until the meringue is white, glossy and smooth. If it feels grainy, whisk for a little bit longer, being careful not to let the meringue collapse. 
  3. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Plop most of the mixture on one sheet and smooth roughly to about 20cm in diameter. Use the other sheet and dollop tea spoons of the remaining mixture to create meringue drops for the top of the pavlova.
  4. Put both trays into the oven and bake for about 1 hour until the meringues look slightly golden and are fluffy in the middle. When they’re ready, open the oven door and leave in the oven to cool for an hour or so.
  5. Halve or quarter the large strawberries and leave the smaller ones whole. Mix them with the raspberries. 
  6. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  7. Spoon the cream mixture on top of one of the meringue halves and roughly smooth it out. Place the other meringues on top and press down gently to stick them together. Sprinkle half of your berries evenly around the cream mixture.
  8. Spread the remaining cream mixture over the top layer and sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Enjoy!

Happy bbq-ing lovely people!

Tahlia x

Summer Has Arrived! Roasted Gazpacho Soup – Served Hot With Croutons

It’s been a busy week, so much has been going on! As always, food is never far from my thoughts and I just have to share this recipe with you all.

I stumbled across a recipe book in the library by Miguel Barclay called ‘Super easy One pound meals’ and naturally, I had to see what it was all about! How have I not come across him before?

His concept is simple, he curates meals based from others recipes (some his own) & adapts them to come as close to £1 (per portion) as he can. After flicking through with my kids, we decided that tonight’s tea would be his ‘roasted Gazpacho Soup’. Me being me (and driven by what was in my cupboards/fridge) gave it my own twist. I’ll give you both recipes.

Here is a pic of Miguel’s recipe:

My take on the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 Red pepper, sliced

2 tins of Tomatoes

3 small white onions, roughly chopped

8 Garlic cloves, whole

Olive oil

Seasoning

Method:

Start by preheating the oven to 190•C/gas mark 5 and then place all of the ingredients into an oven proof dish. Glug a generous amount of olive oil over the ingredients and season well (I left out the salt).

Pop into the oven for 20 mins. Once roasted, transfer the peppers and onions (and any juices) into a saucepan along with the tinned tomatoes. Pop the garlic out of their cloves straight into the mixture.

Place on a gentle heat, until simmering. Use a blender (mine is hand held) to pulse it all together.

Add a bit of water if you feel the need to loosen it up.

Next up, roughly cube some bread (I left crusts on!). Drizzle some olive oil into a pan and add the bread once the oil is hot. Toss. You now have your croutons.

Plate the soup up, add some croutons on top and garnish with Basil.

I hope you enjoy it – it certainly got the thumbs up here 👍🏻