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.
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
Quite simply pop everything into the blender and pulse for a few seconds. Add a bit more lemon if required and season to taste.
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.
2 onions, halved
2 bay leaves
4 slices of fresh white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs
Grated nutmeg to dress
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!
Our Christmas preparations are in full swing and we are loving it. Next up is Sloe Gin – we’re a few weeks behind in the Gin department but it should just be ready in time for Christmas Day, if not then definitely for the New Year. Fingers crossed.
100ml Caster Sugar
Wash the sloes and remove the stalks. Prick each sloe a couple of times & freeze the batch over night.
Once frozen, place the sloes into a sterile container. Add the sugar and gin and store in a cool, dark place. Every couple of weeks, gently turn the containers to mix it all up.
Once ready (normally 3 months), use a Muslin to strain the drink and store in sterile bottles. You could also decant into smaller sterile vessels and give out as Christmas presents.
Originating from maritime South East Asia, Laksa curry is a must for curry fans. It’s fragrant smells will drive you insane!
This is a really simple version that I put together on a week night. But just because it was quick (think 10 minutes) doesn’t mean it lacked in flavour! It packed the punches and hit all the right taste buds. I made up my own version of a Laksa paste, however they are readily available in the shops should this be your preference.
Ingredients for the Laksa paste;
4-6 small dried red chillies
1tsp ground coriander
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1tsp lemongrass paste
3-4 cm piece of ginger, shredded
2 cloves of garlic
1tbsp sesame oil
Ingredients for the Curry;
500g Salmon & Cod fillets, skin off and cut into chunks
200g Coconut milk
1 1/2 pints of Vegetable stock
1tbsp olive pil
1 onion, finely sliced
200g green beans, trimmed and cut into quarters
225g shredded white cabbage
3 tbsp Laksa paste
Handful of frozen sweet corn
2 bundles of dried soba noodles
1 spring onion, sliced diagonally
1 lime, halved
Method for Laksa paste;
Pop everything into a mixer and blitz for a few seconds into a smooth (ish) paste.
Method for Laksa Curry;
Warm up a large saucepan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the onion and cabbage for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the Laksa paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Next up, add the coconut milk, stock and green beans and season well. Bring up to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the fish chunks and gently stir the mixture.
Leave to cook for about 4 – 5 or until the fish is opaque to their centre.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to boil and add in the soba noodles.
Cook for 4 minutes and drain and return to the pan.
Once the fish is cooked, stir in the curry. Serve out into large bowls and garnish with sliced spring onions and halves of limes.
Here at Mums In Real Life we’re all about ease & lifestyle balance. During the week especially, with a busy household to keep in shape it’s often unrealistic to spend hours cooking. That’s what makes this dish so perfect. This light but warming recipe is ideal for summer evenings & is incredibly easy to make. It’s also very budget friendly, and tastes delicious. I found it on the Good Food website and have made a few tweaks.
I will definitely be making it again as it was so yummy! Here goes:
Ingredients (for two people):
2 Cod fillets sliced into large strips
400g Tin chopped Tomatoes
2tbsp green or black pitted Olives
1tbsp sun dried tomatoes
3 pieces of Pancetta
Freshly chopped Parsley to garnish
Salt & Pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 200•C/180•C fan/gas mark 6.
Place the tomatoes, olives and sun dried tomatoes into a bowl and season well. Give it all a good mix.
Transfer into an oven proof dish (I used 2 small oven proof dishes so we could eat straight from them) and lay the cod fillets on top.
Drizzle over some olive oil and place into the oven for 20 minutes. Just before they are due to come out, heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pan and crisp up the pancetta. Remove your cod bakes from the oven and top with Pancetta and freshly topped parsley.
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
250ml Pimms no 1 cup
Slice of Orange
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
1tbsp dried Oregano
1tbsp Ground Cumin
1tbsp roasted Sesame seeds
1/2 Chilli powder (optional)
2/3 Chicken Breasts (skin off)
2 Cloves of Garlic
Big handful of Parsley
5 heaped tbsp Lentils (cooked)
1 Chicken stock cube
3 tbsp 50%Fat Creme Fraiche
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.
According to experts, Orange is the happiest colour. It radiates warmth and energy and apparently, also helps stimulate activity and our abilities to socialise!! I do agree with this, bursts of Orange always brings a smile to my face.
I stumbled upon this Jamie Oliver marinade recipe and had to give it a try. It marries beautifully with chicken & was so quick and easy to make that my kids helped out. This is a perfect recipe is you want something quick and easy, or equally as good if you are cooking for the masses as you can scale up.
Zest of 1 orange
1 deseeded small chilli, finely chopped
1 1/2tsp Paprika
1 1/2tsp Dijon Mustard
1tsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to season
Pop everything into a bowl, stir and season to taste.
Set aside a couple of tablespoons for later, drizzle the remaining marinade over the chicken.
Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, then either bbq or oven cook the chicken. Once cooked, plate up & spoon over the remaining marinade.