Thursday, 27 December 2012

Turkey Hash

Aren't we all trying to find ways to use up the turkey right now?!  This is a take on a Nigella recipe - last year I followed it to the letter and while it was delicious, I had many more roast potatoes left over this year so added some of them in and I have omitted the black olives she suggests.

Ingredients (serves 2 adults, generously)
50g flaked almonds
1 onion, peeled & chopped
2 red peppers, deseeded & chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled & crushed
200g cold turkey, chopped or shredded
6 cold roast potatoes, chopped
2 tbsp soured cream
2 tbsp turkey stock
1 egg
Generous dash of Tabasco
75g grated Parmesan
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a frying pan but don't add any oil - put the flaked almonds in and toss until toasted.  Remove and set aside.

Heat some oil in the frying pan and add the onion and red pepper.  Stir until soft then add the garlic, shredded turkey and roast potatoes and cook until piping hot (around 5-10 mins).

In a bowl, whisk together the soured cream, stock and Tabasco sauce then pour it into the pan, giving everything a thorough stir.  Add the Parmesan, toasted almonds and fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Father Christmas Cone

Another of my dodgy craft attempts for you to laugh at!  But these were super easy and fun for the kids to make without too much help.

You will need:

Red card
Pink paper
Cotton wool
Googly eyes (optional!)

First, cut a semi circle out of the red card for the cone body and an oval / circle for the face out of the pink card.

Next, draw on the face.  We used googly eyes and red glitter glue for his nose but you could just as easily draw on the features using a pen.

Stick the face on to the middle of the red card.

Next, glue the cotton wool around the bottom of his face for the beard.

Now tape the cone together at the back and add cotton wool to the top of the cone for his hat.

Add glitter around the base of the cone for extra Christmas sparkle!

I think mine looked more like one of the wise men!  

This is the best one by a mile...proudly made by DS, aged 4.  

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Biscuits

I know most people bake gingerbread at this time of year but my kids love it all year round so it doesn't feel especially Christmassy to me.  Orange however does!  We had fun making these biscuits this week, with the added bonus of being able to hang them on the tree as ornaments.  You could of course ice and decorate them to make them look even more appealing.

140g caster sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract (I used orange blossom water instead)
1 egg yolk
150g butter, cut into small cubes
375g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Grated zest of one orange

Put the sugar, orange extract, egg yolk and butter into a food processor and "whizz" until combined.  Add the flour and cinnamon and whizz again until it becomes a dough.

Remove and knead in the orange zest, bringing the dough together into a ball.  Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for around 1/2 hour.

Roll out onto a floured surface and cut out your desired shapes - we used fir trees, baubles and angels.  If you intend to hang the biscuits, use a skewer to make a hole in the top of the biscuits at this point.  

Place on lined baking tray and cook at 190 / 170 fan for 12 mins.

Paper Gingerbread House

I keep seeing posts of fabulous gingerbread houses baked by inspirational blogger mums but I haven't been brave enough to attempt one yet so this paper house from Bora is the perfect substitution.  

I printed one each for the kids, cut them out and put an LED tealight inside before setting it beside their bed last night.  They loved it!

I printed mine on regular paper but they would be a little more robust if you used card.  These would also look cute hanging from your tree!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Everything Fried Rice

We've been dashing around this week & having easy snacks but as we were home today I wanted to make sure the kids had some goodness so I made this for lunch.  You can basically chuck anything you want in here - leftovers, hidden veggies, you name it!  It's a quick & easy throw together dish but still super tasty.

Ingredients (serves 2 adults & 2 kids in our house!)
175g rice
1 small onion, peeled & diced or 2 spring onions
Half a red pepper, diced
1 egg (beaten)
Cup of peas
Cup of sweetcorn
1 spring onion
1 chicken breast, diced or cut into strips
1 cup of frozen cooked prawns
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Cook the rice, drain & set aside.

Heat some oil in a frying pan.  Add the onion & red pepper and cook for around 5 mins.  Add the chicken, prawns, peas & sweetcorn (my peas were frozen, my corn wasn't - they were both fine) and the spring onion.  Cook for around 4-5 mins, or until you are sure the chicken is cooked through.  Add the egg and stir through.  Do this on a high heat but keep it moving - it will become like scrambled egg.  

When everything is cooked, add a large knob of butter, the cooked rice and the soy sauce, and stir everything together for 2-3 mins, still on a high heat & again keep it all moving. 

Serve immediately. although I can confirm this is just as tasty reheated the next day!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Cheese Straws

I made these for a little Christmas party with DD's friends today and they went down very well with the kids as well as the mums!  It was really a trial run for xmas day at my house...I sat & planned my menu last night and these are going alongside the canapes I'm serving.

Puff pastry - I used 1 rolled sheet from a box, around 300g
30g Parmesan cheese
60g cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons English mustard
Egg yolk
Dash of milk

Grate the cheeses and mix together in a bowl.

Unroll the pastry sheet and cut in half.  Roll one half out to around double its size (but not too thin).  Spread a teaspoon of mustard on and sprinkle half the cheese over, leaving a little space around the edges.  

Beat the egg yolk and milk together then brush the edges of the pastry, before folding it over in half and sealing it.  Cut it into strips and holding either end, twist each strip twice before placing it on a baking tray.  (You'll do yourself a favour if you line the tray with baking parchment, as the cheese oozes out and sticks!)

Bake at 180 for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Father Christmas Fruit Snacks

I made these for the kids last night as we were putting up the Christmas tree - hubby was busy putting the lights on, and they enjoyed these while waiting for their turn at the baubles!

If you haven't checked out Creative Kid Snacks before, they have some fabulous ideas to make food fun.  Mine are not quite as good as the original design but the kids loved them all the same ;)

You will need:
White marshmallows
Chocolate chips

Slice a chunk of banana, keeping it as straight as you can.  Cut a marshmallow in half and place one part sticky side down on a plate.  Put the banana chunk on top.  Add the other half of the marshmallow on top of the banana and put a strawberry on top.   (I used cocktail sticks to hold them up if they wobbled, and just removed these after the kids had looked at them and before they started eating!)

Melt the choc chips in the microwave, and dot on two eyes and a nose.  Add a tiny strawberry piece for the nose on top of the chocolate dot.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas Decoration

I have been looking for a decoration to go on top of my dresser cupboards in the dining room but everything was either too expensive, or not large enough to be noticed at that height so I thought I would fashion something myself.  

I started saving empty boxes of all shapes & sizes...boxes that contained shoes, meringues,  cereal, biscuits & cookware.  Within a few days, I had enough (wow, thank goodness we recycle!)  

I wrapped each box in different Christmas paper and tied them with coloured ribbon.  I wrapped a toilet roll tube and tied the ends with ribbon to make a cracker.  I didn't need to buy anything - I used scraps of wrapping paper from last year (it does pay to be a hoarder sometimes!) and pieces of ribbon from my sewing box.  

I arranged them on top of the cupboard and hey presto ;)  I didn't want them somewhere within reach as the kids would not be able to stop themselves tearing them open, even if I explained the boxes are empty!  But I think they look quite nice.  They are the first decoration I've put up this year, and now I'm feeling quite festive!

Strawberry Meringue Ice-Cream

I first made this for DS a few years ago after seeing it on I Can Cook (you see...*some* good can come of watching so much CBeebies!) and it was so delicious it became a staple in our house.  I serve it as dessert when we have guests, it is by no means just a kid's dish!  It is beautifully creamy and unmistakably homemade ;)

125ml double cream
2 heaped dessert spoons of natural yoghurt
2 level dessert spoons icing sugar
4 large strawberries
1 meringue next

Whisk the double cream until fluffy.  Add the yoghurt and icing sugar and whisk together until well combined, & set aside.

Mash the strawberries with a fork and remove any of the green stalks.  Add them to cream mixture.

Holding the meringue nest over the bowl, crush & crumble it with your hands into the cream & strawberry mixture - leave some larger pieces, you don't want it finely crushed.

Stir gently and transfer to a lidded Tupperware and freeze overnight.

Take the ice-cream out of the freezer around 10-15 minutes before you want to serve it.  Spoon into glass dishes and top with fresh berries.