Tortilla Mini Pizza

Are you looking for a dinner time hack this weekend? If so, you’re in the right place!

These Tortilla mini Pizzas are yummy and perfect as a quick meal time solution – for both kids and adults.

Ingredients:

Pack of mini Tortillas

Tin of tomatoes – blitzed in the mixture

Cheese

Toppings of choice (I used Spinach, chorizo and Parma ham)

Dried mixed herbs

Pepper

Olive oil or low fat cooking spray

Method:

Quite simple grill one side of the tortillas and spread over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese, add your topping of choice. Season well and add the herbs. Drizzle over some oil and grill for a couple of minutes! Serve with a side salad and enjoy X

Christmas Preparations – Bread Sauce

Bread sauce really seems to divide opinion so love it or loathe it, here is a tasty recipe which can be made well ahead of Christmas Day and frozen until needed. As youngsters, my Mum always made Bread sauce from a packet mix, just adding milk. It became my little job to make on Christmas Day, I loved it! As an adult, I’ve learnt that it is so super easy & quick to make and the smells it creates are wonderful in the kitchen.

Give it a go! To serve eight, you’ll need the following.

Ingredients:

2 onions, halved

8 cloves

2 bay leaves

650ml milk

4 slices of fresh white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs

8 peppercorns

Grated nutmeg to dress

Method;

Start off by preparing the onions and bread crumbs.

Stud each half of onion with 2 cloves.

Place the onions into a saucepan. Add the milk, peppercorns and bay leaves and slowly poach on a low heat for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, drain the sauce through a sieve. Return the milk to the pan and add the breadcrumbs, stirring gently. Add a splash more milk to loosen, if necessary.

Transfer to a bowl, and grate over Nutmeg if using within the next 5 days. If you want to freeze it (it keeps for 1 month) leave to cool and place into the freezer. When required, defrost in the fridge for 24 hours, warm up in a pan and if required, loosen the sauce up with a splash of milk or cream (it is Christmas, after all!). Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and grate over the nutmeg. Perfect with Turkey. Bon appetite!

Easy Packed Lunches – Food That The Kids Can Help Out With

The theme this week is packed lunches. What do you put in your kids lunch box? We’ve always stuck to sandwiches, day in and day out for oh, about 7 years now. I’ve decided to change all of that and be a bit more experimental.

These gorgeous little pizzas/patties/pastries with toppings (not quite sure what to call them, if I’m honest) have gone done a storm at lunch time.

They are so easy to make – the kids got stuck in with their favourite toppings – and they cost pennies.

This time around I totally cheated and bought some ready made pastry (it was on offer for 90p – bargain!). We heated and thickened up a tin of chopped tomatoes, adding in some mixed herbs. Once the sauce had thickened, I took it off the heat and placed to one side to cool down.

The kids used scone cutters to cut out the bases, then we set about choosing the toppings. They went for green peppers, left over green pesto sauce (https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/basil-pesto-sauce/),sliced baby bells and Chiritzo.

Once all of the ingredients had been chopped and sliced, we set about spooning a blob of the tomato sauce on top of the pastry bases. We then sprinkled over the ingredients, made them look pretty and popped them into a preheated oven at 180•C for about 12 minutes.

As you can see, they look dreamy. Leave to cool down on a wire rack and enjoy! Bon appetite.

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking for tips and hints. Please do share any favourite Packed lunch ideas with us. Thank you x

The Scuffin Way – Healthy Packed Lunch Boxes

The summer holidays have come to an end and it’s back to making packed lunches for the little ones. It can often be challenging to think of different healthy foods to pack in their lunch boxes, this is therefore a great choice and it certainly ticks the boxes in terms of taste.

I hadn’t heard of Scuffins before, until I picked up a recipe book from a trendy young lady called Izy Hossack. They are the shape of a scone but with the texture of a muffin. They also taste pretty damn good and got a massive thumbs up from my kids, which is always a bonus.

I used Izy’s recipe as a guide, but made quite a few adaptations based on the quantity I needed and the fruit I had to hand. Let’s go!

Ingredients (makes 6);

30g Red Lentils

1 Egg

3tbsp Milk

40ml Olive Oil

1/2tsp Nutmeg

80g Plain Flour

30g Oats

1tsp Baking powder

150g Pears (Cooked) & Strawberries – cubed

30g Demerara Sugar

Method;

Kick off by preheating the oven to 180•C fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or use fairy cake cases.

Next up, put the lentils into a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and place back into the saucepan.

Stir in the egg, oil, milk, nutmeg and sugar and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients combine everything together.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out about 2tbsp worth onto either baking paper or into the cases (I tried both) until the mixture has been shared out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes, until spring and golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Bring Morocco To Your Kitchen

Whilst travelling around parts of Morocco, I totally fell in love with the cuisine. It’s not hard to do. Vendors, nestled amongst Artisans, sell the most aromatic and visually tantalising displays of herbs and spices, every spirally turn you take through the labyrinths of the Souks.

We tasted many a memorable dish, the best of them being cooked and served straight out of a families home in Marrakesh. We dined in their living room on the tastiest of mez dishes and the triumph of the night was their roasted chicken, served piled high with Cous Cous. Unforgettable.

This is a nod to my time travelling and I can guarantee it’ll leave your kitchen smelling divine. Your taste buds will be begging for more! The heady smells of the herbs and spices take me directly back to my wonderful days wandering the world. I hope it takes you there too !

The most amazing thing is, it is so easy to cook! Let’s go!

Ingredients:

Medium to Large Chicken

1tsp Paprika

1tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Ground Coriander

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Onion, quartered

4 – 6 Cloves of Garlic (or more – Garlic usage should come from the heart)

1tbsp Butter or low fat butter spray

2 cups of water

Seasoning

Spoonful of cooked chickpeas to decorate

Fresh coriander (optional)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180•C.

Put the herbs and spices together in a bowl, stir.

Put the chicken onto a baking dish and rub it with butter, or spray with a low fat option. Next up, work the herb and spice mixture into the chicken well.

Generously twist some pepper on top and sprinkle with salt.

Around the chicken add your crushed up garlic and onions. Add the water.

Pop into the oven for an hour, basting generously. After an hour, cover the chicken loosely in foil, turn your oven down to 160•C and cook for a further hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with the juices. Add cooked chickpeas and fresh chopped Coriander.

Plate up and enjoy with some Raisin and Paprika Cous Cous, topped with coriander.

In addition, how about adding some braised Courgettes and Carrots to the dish?

This went down Mighty well at home. Seconds all round!! Bonus.

Here at Mums In Real Life, we’re always seeking out tips and love to hear your tales. Please comment or email us at:

hello@mumsinreallife.co.uk

Wow! Who Knew About This Egg Hack?

Everyone loves a hack, right? We were super excited to find out about this cool tip for separating eggs. We’ve tried it ourselves and it really works. Take a look!!

Hope it makes your life just that teeny bit easier!

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

You Deserve Butter!

James’ Spiced Fruit Loaf

We did warn you that James is a serial bread maker didn’t we? Here’s his debut bread recipe for his divine fruit loaf. Definitely something for the weekend.

Packed with fruit and has a good hit of cinnamon this tea time treat is delicious with thickly spread butter.

Ingredients

  • 400g Strong white bread flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 40g Butter
  • 40g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g raisins
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 100 ml milk
  • 100 ml water

 

Bread Machine

This recipe works for both making by hand and in a machine. Obviously a bread machine is far easier but there is nothing quite like doing it yourself!

Depending on your bread machine either add the dry or wet ingredients first as they do differ. But either add all the dry ingredients then add the water and milk on top or the other way round. Make sure that you keep the salt and the yeast separated. Use either a sweet bread setting or if you are not sure then the standard medium sized loaf will do.

Press start and in a few hours……….ta-dah!

 

Made by Hand

Ok this is the longer, but ultimately more satisfying method!

In a food processor add the flour salt and yeast, add the yeast and salt to opposite side of the bowl. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, milk and half the water.

Mix at a slow speed for a few minutes until it comes together and is nice and elastic. Add the fruit and spice and mix again until combined.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm place (I have a nice warm cupboard with pipes in!) leave for 1 1/2 hours.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead it until all the air has been knocked out of it. Cut the dough in half and shape them into ball by tucking the dough underneath itself.

Place each loaf on a lined baking tray inside a plastic bag and leave to prove for a hour.

Once risen bake at 210°C for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy! James

When Life Throws You Lemons…Make Houmous 🍋

This beautiful Houmous is so easy to make & tastes delicious. It makes me smile. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

400g Tin of chick peas (rinsed and drained)

Juice of 2 lemons

5 tbsp of Olive oil

2 tbsp tahini paste

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Salt & pepper

Fresh coriander sprigs and Paprika to garnish (optional)

Method:

Tip all of the ingredients into a mixer and blitz. If necessary, add a few more glugs of olive oil to loosen it up.

Spoon into a bowl, add a splash of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with Paprika. Add a few sprigs of coriander to garnish. Enjoy!

Rhubarb & Summer Berry Crumble With Ice Cream & Custard

Here at Mums In Real Life, we love a good pudding. Cue Rhubarb coming into season and for us, this equates to happy days!

This Rhubarb & Berry Crumble hits all the right notes. It is also ridiculously easy to make!

Ingredients:

500g Rhubarb, cut into chunky cubes

Handful of frozen summer berries

2oz Demerara sugar

1tsp cinnamon

2oz chilled butter, cubed

3oz self raising flour

To serve:

Vanilla ice cream

Custard

Basil leaves to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160•C fan, gas mark 4. Place the rhubarb into a saucepan and cover with water. Add the sugar & cinnamon and stew on the hob for 15-20 minutes.

Once stewed, add in the berries. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Next, make the crumble mixture. Place the butter & flour into a processor and pulse until you get done breadcrumbs.

Once cooled, transfer the stewed fruit into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle the crumble on top.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool slightly and serve with a scoop of ice cream and custard. Garnish with basil.