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!!!

Prosecco Teriyaki Sauce

Do you have Prosecco left in the fridge? Give this easy Teriyaki sauce a go! It marries beautifully with Salmon.

Ingredients;

350ml Water

75ml Soy sauce

2tbsp Prosecco

4cm piece of Ginger, peeled and grated

80g Light brown sugar

2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

1tbsp plain flour, mixed with a small amount of water into a paste

Method;

Measure out and prepare all of your ingredients, then grab yourself a small saucepan. Place onto a low heat and add the sugar, water, ginger and garlic. Bring up to a simmer and leave to gently cook for about 5 minutes. Add the flour paste and bring to the boil, continuously whisking. Once you have a silky sauce, give it a quick blend with a hand held mixer (optional) and then mix in the Prosecco. Remove from the heat. If not using straightaway, once cold this can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!!!

Not sure what to cook? Try this simple quiche made from leftovers

Fed up with cold turkey? Try this super-easy quiche made from Christmas leftovers to solve the post-Christmas quandary of what to eat next.

Hello lovely people. Hope you had a fab Christmas, and I’m guessing like me you’re stuck in that strange time-warp between Christmas and New Year. Still scoffing Baileys and chocolate for breakfast? (Perfectly acceptable).

If however, much like me your jeans are at bursting-point and you’ve actually forgotten how to cook, help is at hand with this super-easy left-over quiche recipe. You can draw upon any leftover cheese board dregs and also use up that pancetta you forgot to fry with the sprouts on Christmas Day (ok just me then).

To accompany this, you can also whip up a lovely red cabbage coleslaw with your leftover cabbage and carrots to make a refreshingly light dinner (with no sign of butter or even a hint of chocolate).

Ingredients

For your pastry base:

Either make your own shortcrust (see Carly’s recipe here) or if you’re more like me – dig some ready-made out of the fridge.

For your quiche:

  • Grated cheddar cheese (about 75g/a grater full)
  • 6 eggs whisked
  • Splash of cream
  • Leftover Christmas stuff (I used a packet of pancetta, some broccoli, and a bit of Stilton
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • tbsp Dijon mustard (or similar)

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 160° and grease a quiche tin (I like Pyrex) with a little butter or spray oil. Roll out your pastry and push in to the dish. Pop in the fridge to chill for a few mins whilst you prep the filling.

Fry the pancetta in a little oil until lightly browned. Whilst this is cooking, mix your egg and cream with about 3/4 of the cheddar and season to taste. Set to one side.

Break off the broccoli in to small florets and pop in a microwave bowl with a splash of water and microwave to soften for a minute or so (it should just be nicely steamed but still crunchy).

Line your pastry case with baking beans and blind bake for 10-15 mins. Remove from the oven and remove your baking beans and let cool for a few minutes.

Spread the Dijon mustard around the inside of the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top. Push the cheddar lightly into the pastry.

Pour your egg mixture on top, and sprinkle over the Stilton and broccoli and fried pancetta pieces evenly, then bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and risen. The quiche should feel firm to the touch and have sprung up beautifully.

To create a coleslaw to accompany your quiche, you can chop some red cabbage, grate a carrot and finely chop half an onion (if you like your coleslaw with a bite). Mix together with a tsp of Dijon mustard and a couple of large tablespoons of natural yoghurt and some salt and pepper. Beautiful.

Enjoy! Merry twixtmas lovely people. Tahlia x

Cranberry Sauce – The Easy Way

So, we are 4 sleeps away until the big man arrives. We are all quite chilled here, the kids have been helping me out in the kitchen this afternoon. We’re having so much fun. Today we’ve made Cranberry sauce – it’s so easy, the kids actually did most of it. Of course, pick up a jar if you don’t have time to make up fresh. We don’t judge, whatever works for you! However, if you do have 8-10 mins then give it a go.

Ingredients;

350g Fresh Cranberries

200ml Fresh Orange hioce

150g Light Muscovado sugar

Method;

Place the sugar and orange juice into a saucepan and gently bring up to boiling point, stirring occasionally. Add the cranberries and reduce to a simmer.

Cook for 8 – 10 minutes until most of the cranberries have split. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Merry Christmas everyone, we hope your preparations are going well xxx

Christmas Tree Mini Pizzas

Ho Ho Ho….we had some neighbours round recently for Cheese and Mulled wine & the kids made these festive mini pizzas for their friends. They used cookie cutters for the bases. How cute do they look? Check out the link below for the quick no proving required pizza base:

https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/?s=Scone+base

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas xx

Something For The Weekend – Banging Burgers

Looking for something quick and easy to knock up this evening? Look no further than these Pork & Egg burgers. It’s been a busy week here at Mums In Real and as a result, I resorted to trying a food delivery company called Gousto. I wasn’t convinced as I like to make everything from scratch when possible, but a friend convinced me of the benefits. I’ve been very impressed! My order arrived in a big box, all of the produce was super fresh and from an environmental perspective, there was very little plastic. Big plus from me already!

The meal still needs preparing from scratch, Gousto (others are available) provide you with almost all ingredients and a step by step recipe card on how to prepare and cook the food. It’s also really easy to replicate (if you already have the provisions to hand) so I can use these recipes in the future. Also, my children had a great time looking at the recipes and helping me pick out 4 days worth of dinner. It’s a thumbs up from them! It really is a great alternative for busy parents and whilst I can’t see myself ordering on a weekly basis, I certainly recommend it. Plus I received a really nice wooden spoon, which I wasn’t expecting!

Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients;

500g Pork mince

2tsp dried sage

2tsp dried oregano

30ml soy sauce

50g panko breadcrumbs

20g fried onions (I used shop bought but these are easy enough to make from fresh)

Mustard ketchup

Salt & pepper to season

Method;

Mix the mince, herbs, soy sauce and breadcrumbs together and season well. Separate the burger mixture into 4 generous patties and place on a baking tray. Refrigerate for until needed (place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes as this helps them hold together when cooking).

When ready, place a non stick frying pan onto a moderate heat and drizzle with oil. Pop in your burgers and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes. Once cooked, place into a plate and cover. Meanwhile, add a bit more oil to the frying pan and cook the eggs.

Whilst the eggs are cooking, lightly grill the burger buns. Now plate up! Spread some sauce of choice onto the buns (I used mustard ketchup), pop in the burger and place an egg on top. Sprinkle the fried onions over the top and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Hassle Free Chicken With Chilli, Lemon And Mint

Every now and again I really get stuck in a rut at meal times. As you probably know by now, I love flavour. This is something that my kids don’t always agree with me on! And who can blame them right? I don’t remember eating the type of food I try to cook for them. Our meals were always the same most week days. I always knew Tuesday would be Lasagne, Friday would be fish fingers and we’d almost always have a roast on a Sunday. Nothing wrong with that. Absolutely not. It’s just not me these days.

So anyway, here I was feeling a bit stuck. Dinner needed to be quick and tasty. My fridge was also looking a bit on the bare side. I therefore decided to get some inspiration from my recipe books, and I came across this little beauty. To make matters better, I had all of the ingredients to hand. That is always a bonus. Especially when you live in the back end of nowhere.

This recipe is lifted straight from Nigel Slaters classic guide to comfort food. It really did hit all the right notes and was so easy to make.

Ingredients:

400g Chicken fillets

1 medium sized red chilli, seeded and chopped

1tsp dried chilli powder

2 pinches of saffron

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Handful of mint leaves (about 20)

4 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Halves of lemons to serve

Method:

Cut the chicken into finger size strips and pop into a dish. Blitz the fresh and dried Chillies, the garlic, saffron, most of the mint , olive oil and most of the lemon juice for about seconds until you have a lumpy marinade.

Spoon the marinade over the chicken strips and set aside for half an hour or so.

Next up, heat a frying pan (or you can use the grill) and lightly oil it. Add the chicken to the pan and gently fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown in places (make sure the chilli doesn’t burn). Season the dish with some salt and the remaining mint and lemon juice.

I served this (as suggested by Nigel Slater) with some well buttered couscous, flecked with coriander and coriander. I also added a blob of Creme Fraiche on top, which I mixed some finely chopped mint leaves into.

Bon appetite lovely people! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Salmon And Cod Laksa With Soba Noodles

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

1/2tsp paprika

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp turmeric

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.

Squash And Vegetable Soup

It’s that time of year when everywhere you look, pumpkins and squashes adorned the shelves in shops.

If you’re looking for something to do with them other than carving out ghoulish faces or pumpkin pie, look no further!

This delicious soup is hands down the tastiest thing I make at this time of year, and to make matters even better, my kids eat it! Surely that’s worthy of a parent point?!

Ingredients (serves 4 with plenty for seconds);

1kg Squash or pumpkin

2 carrots, cubed

2 large potatoes, skin on cubed

2 small onions, sliced

2 cloves of Garlic (or more, depending on taste buds)

2 pints of Vegetable stock

Sprigs of Rosemary & Sage

Seasoning

3 slices of brown bread

1tbsp olive oil

Method;

Start off by quartering the squash and carefully cut off the skin. Cut into large chunks, deseed and chuck them into a large saucepan.

Next, add the remaining vegetables and crushed garlic. Remove the herb leaves from the stalks and roughly tear up and pop on top of the vegetables.

Cover the ingredients with 2 pints of vegetable stock and bring up to boil on a medium heat.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for about 35/40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The next part is up to you and depends on your preference. You can eat the soup nice and Chunky as it is, or you can pulse it with a handheld blender for a few seconds. I chose the latter as my kids like their soups nice and smooth.

While the soup is cooling down, roughly chop up 3 slices of bread (crusts off) to make some croutons and place a large frying pan onto a low heat to warm up. Add a splash of olive oil and add the cubed bread.

Gently fry until the croutons are nice and crisp on each side, it should only take a couple of minutes.

Now serve up the soup and pop some crispy croutons on top.