Things are getting seriously frosty around here! They’re predicting snow for tomorrow but I seriously hope it doesn’t reach us, I am soooooooooooooooooooooo not prepared for it yet, plus I’d like my journey back to Ireland this weekend to be relatively hassle (i.e. snow) free, fingers crossed!
Anyway with this chilly weather warrants some spicy hot deliciousness to counteract. What better way to warm your bones than a hot bowl of chilli. It’s so simple and quick to make and you can spruce it up with so many sides, HELLO guacamole. My Dad i.e. Kenners seriously makes the best chilli EVER. I never order chilli when I’m out and rarely enjoy it at other peoples houses because my Dads is THE BEST. Even the Frenchman likes it and that is a serious testament considering he can not handle spicy food. The left overs make a stunning burrito for lunch the next day. My sister and I used to make chilli sandwiches with the leftovers, nothing to turn your nose up at.
I added some diced peppers into mine, to bulk it out and to sneak some veggies in. Adjust the spices to taste depending on how high you fancy going on the Schofield scale.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 a yellow, green and red pepper, diced
500g lean minced beef
250ml beef stock
350ml Passata or tinned tomatoes.
4 tblsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chilli seasoning ( I have omitted this on several occasions and it still tastes fantastic)
400g can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Heat the oil in a pan, on medium heat, and add the onion, garlic and diced peppers, cook until the onions are soft.
- Turn the heat up to high, add in the minced beef and cook until all of the meat has browned.
- Add in the cumin, chilli, cayenne, oregano, bay leaf, passata and beef stock an tomato puree, stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat and allow the chilli to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- After this time add in the kidney beans. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve it up
I serve my chiili with brown rice or a baked potato and a green salad. You can add all sorts of toppings to it, chopped avocado, sour cream, cheese, whatever you fancy
Anybody have any winter warming recipes??
I’m getting a reputation here in France for shoving vegetables into just about anything. If something doesn’t look green enough I’ll load in some frozen peas , definitely the best frozen veg ever.
I’ve already tested out my courgette cake and carrot cake on these poor souls and now it’s time for something new, beetroot cake! It’s MM’s birthday today and, unlike the land I come from, it’s up to the person who’s birthday it is to provide the cake and beverages. Have you ever heard such nonsense??? At this stage I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and roll with it plus any excuse for making a cake is all good with me.
My old manager (as in past tense not that she is old by any means) in England brought us in this cake one day and I HAD to have the recipe. I’m normally not really into using coco in cakes, melted chocolate all the way, but for this cake I will make an exception. They are ridiculously light and moist and just plain addictive. The addition of the orange definitely gives that “Terrys Chocolate Orange” feel and reminds me of Christmas. When I tasted this the first time it was covered in chocolate ganache, but as these French folk aren’t used to such random creations I’m taking baby steps. A chocolate frosting would be a welcome addition.
The original recipe is a cake so you can make one big one either, personal choice. Also I obviously had to change the quantities around a bit. I uped the quantity of the beetroot, the original didn’t seem near enough and also used chocolate chunks rather than chips.
230g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
Grated rind of 1 Orange
Juice of 1/2 Orange
150g Caster Sugar
125ml Vegetable Oil
250g Cooked beetroot, grated
200g Bar of Chocolate, chopped into chunks. (I used 60% Coco solids but you can use a milk chocolate either)
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Sift the flour, baking powder, coco and salt into a mixing bowl
- In a measuring jug place the oil, eggs, sugar, orange juice and orange zest and blend together.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (in the mixing bowl) and mix together.
- Fold in to grated beetroot and chopped chocolate.
- Grease a silicone cupcake tray or line a metal tray with paper cases.
- Fill each case about 3/4 full.
- Place in the oven and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
* I used a silicone tray for the cooking and transferred them to the metal tray purely for the photos.
These are really yummy and a great way to get some veg in. Even if it is masked in chocolate and sugar.
Anybody have any veggie cakes? Or anything sweet made with veggies??
Greatest sauce ever tasted! Desert Island sauce because, seriously, if I were to be castaway to an island (hopefully never) and could bring only one food item it would be this! I wouldn’t last very long what with only having a diet of fat, salt and a few vitamins but man would I be happy! It could make sand and driftwood taste like this heaven, when you’re on a desert Island that is no laughing matter (I imagine nothing is).
Excuse the photo but I didn’t want to
lick dirty another bowl and sacrifice losing any to the kitchen sink.
I’ve really been craving peanut sauce lately, I think I got the idea in my head and it wasn’t leaving until I wrapped my lips around some! The mother has, on several occasions, made this one from the ever trustworthy Ina Garten and then I saw this one which got all my salivary glands pumping! The second one is Paelo whiwch I’m not to savvy on and I was also not about to go pounding the pavement looking for coconut aminos, in France of all places!!I substituted for what was in good ol’ Ina’s and hey presto greatest sauce on earth! I would gladly eat this as a soup, although it is likely to lead to some minor digestive issues so I might avoid that for the time being!
65g Peanut Butter (unsweetened)
2 tsp Lime Juice
1 tsp Honey
I garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1tsp Dark Soy Sauce
60ml Coconut Milk
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Method (if there even is one):
- Mix all of the ingredients (except the coconut milk) in a bowl, then pour in the coconut milk while stirring to prevent any lumps.
I guarantee you once you tasted this you will find a way to out in on anything.
I made a warm salad out of line with spaghetti squash (roasted), raw brocolli florets, red and yellow pepper and scallions. I just mixed all the ingredients together and then popped it in the microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds.
The broccoli works so well and just sucks up the peanut sauce, oh to be one of those broccoli florets. Newt time I’m gona make a salad or just raw broccoli and peanut sauce.
Eat this and weap
Considering it’s only mid November and already the weather is completely BALTIC I’m guessing we’re in for a cruel winter. Trying to avoid comfort foods, like buttery mashed potato, was hard enough when I was living in the Isles but here in France it’s a WHOLE different ball game. Throw “raclette”, “tartiflette”, “boite chaud” (baked soft cheese) and fondue into the mix and it takes self control to a whole new level. What do all of these have in common, melted cheese of course! I don’t have anything wrong with melted cheese in fact I’m probably one of it’s biggest fans, my body however is not and likes to deposit said cheese straight onto my bum, tum and thighs. Thankfully it’s not cottage cheese so we’re all good there!
The point of the above is in Winter it’s hard to find something comforting and filling all at the same time without being too wicked. Especially when I’ve a hungry man to feed who could easily live if all of the above cheesy delights.
Minestrone is definitely one of these dishes. I have great memories of my Mom serving it up with thick slices of homemade soda bread warm from the oven and slathered in real butter, definitely the best way to eat it. I can’t/won’t make the soda bread simply because if I do I’ll feel compelled to eat the entire loaf and thus would defeat the purpose of this otherwise healthy meal.
Twiddle around with the recipe as much as you like. I loosely based my recipe on this one but threw in a few ingredients that we’re more reminiscent of my Mom’s recipe.
1tblsp Vegetable Oil
100g Unsmoked Lardons or bacon chopped into small pieces.
2 Small Onions, chopped
1 Large clove of Garlic (or 2 small ones)
2 Medium Carrots
1/4 head of Savoy Cabbage, cut into fine strips.
2 x 400g Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
1/4 Celeriac root (~170g once peeled)
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Few rosemary sprigs
1 litre of Chicken Stock
400g Flageolet or any other beans
50-80g Pasta, I use macaroni but any other small pasta will do.
Grana Padano or Parmesan to serve
- Chop the vegetables ( celeriac, courgette, carrots) into 1cm cubes.
- Place the lardons in a cool pot and out on the heat. Cook until golden. I so this so as to render some of the fat off but if you’re using lean bacon just fry it in a hot pan.
- Remove the lardons from the pot and place onto kitchen paper. Remove any excess grease from the poy but leave any of the crusty bits stuck to the base, they are TASTY.
- Pour the vegetable oil into the pot, allow to heat up and the throw in the onions and the garlic, fry gently until softened.
- Add in the rest of the vegetable, except the cabbage, and fry for about 10 minutes.
- Add in the bacon, bay leaves, herbes de provence, rosemary, chopped tomatoes, cabbage and chicken stock.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetable are tender.
- Once the vegetable are cooked add in the beans and the pasta. I use 3 minute pasta but if you’re using bigger sized pieces you may want to add them in sooner.
- Boil until the pasta is cooked and the beans are heated through.
- Place in a bowl and cover in grated parmesan (or grana padano) and enjoy
I actually would eat this without the pasta, I think i’d prefer it that way. However I think the french man would drop dead if a meal had no carbs. I’m not ready to kill him off just yet.
Enjoy being hugged from the inside out.
Anyone have any healthy winter dishes?
Okay so it’s not really bread, you caught me! They call it baked oatmeal in America. As I hail from the emerald isle I have an aversion to calling porridge “oatmeal”, it doesn’t sound right to me. Call me a creature of habit. Also when I think of porridge it’s runny and creamy, this is neither but it is still delicious
I found several recipes for baked oatmeal, all delicious in their own right but I was looking for something different. In fact I was looking for something that tasted exactly like a granola bar without the sugar and the fat……interestingly such a thing does not exist . What lakes a granola bar and to me is the the best part is in fact the sugar and the fat. I decided settling for a baked oatmeal would have to do and holy mother I think I maybe in love. I made this one up as I went along based on several recipes and also what I had/wanted. I omitted the egg which a lot of them contained because…..em…ugh??!!!
Banana, Date and Pecan Breakfast Bread
- 2 Bananas (1.5 mashes and the other half sliced into rounds)
- 100g Dates (weighed with stones removed)
- 50g Pecans crushed
- 250g Oats
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 150ml Milk ( I use semi skimmed)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Chop the dates into small pieces. Place in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add water as needed, you want the dates to become soft but still have a small amount of liquid to moisten the batter. Allow to cool slightly.
- Mash the 1.5 Banana in a mixing bowl
- Add in the cinnamon, vanilla extract, milk and cooled dates into the bowl and combine.
- Now add in the oats, baking powder and crushed pecans and combine the mixture.
- Place in a dish lined with greasproof paper. I use a small oval pyrex dish because I like mine think but you can use any dish or cake tin.
- Placed the sliced banana on top of the mixture.
- Pop in the oven for about 15-20minutes. Check it just like you would a cake. The time in the oven will vary depending on how thin or thick you’ve made it.
Once this is reading remove from the oven and serve hot. I dolloped a load of natural peanut butter (no sugar) on top and it was divine.
I sliced the rest of the batch up and put it in the fridge to eat later in the week. Great intentions.I ended up taking a slice straight from the fridge, slathered it with PB and enjoyed it with a nice mug of tea.It is “bread” after all an I do love fueling a good 5pm snack attack!
.There’s something about the gooyness and stickyness that the dates give it that make it so comforting this time of year, without being too sinful. How could that EVER be a bad thing.
MM is a serious addict of Madelines, hence the name duh. He literally buys kilo bags and horses though them without giving it a second thought. I worry sometimes that when I go away he survives of a diet of Madeline’s and biscuits, which I’m sure is not far from the what actually happens. I was reading “Elle a Table” ( my new favourite magazine) recently and they had a whole section on homemade Madelines MM has been at me for so long to make them I decided it was time to go out and buy the tray!
I bought a silicone tray because I knew the buggers would be difficult to get out of a metal tray and I wasn’t really willing to risk it.
So here is the recipe I used for my Madeline from “Elle a Table”.
140g Flour + extra for the tray.
1tsp “levure chimique” or baking powder.
25g Liquid honey
110g Unsalted butter melted , plus extra for greasing the tray.
(I know I used a silicone tray but I was NOT willing to shed tears over Madeline stuck in a tray)
- Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add in the sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture has turned pale and doubled in size.
- Add in the flour, levure chimique (baking powder) and honey and miw with the electric mixer until combined.
- Leave the mixture at room temperature for one hour.
- After one hour add the melted butter (still warm but not too hot). Mix with the electric mixer until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Leave the mixture again to rest at room temperature for one hour.
- After one hour Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease the tray with a little melted butter (make sure to get into all the cracks) then sprinkle the tray with flour and then tap out any excess.
- Place the batter into the tray, you want to fill the holes about 2/3 of the way. DO NOT OVERFILL THEM!!
- Place in the prehrated oven for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire rack.
Once MM came home he flicked through the other Madeline variations and pleaded for them to be dipped in chocolate. I was not in favour of this but decided to go with it because I am THAT nice. So then this happened……
I would definitely favour the naked Madeline. the chocolate just overpowered the light sponge and took away from their glory. Maybe using a darker chocolate would help but I prefer them plain.
I’m not sure resting the batter is completely necessary so I’m going to try a batch without resting and see if there is a difference in the texture/ flavour.
Anybody have any groundbreaking Madeline recipes they can share! I like the sound of rosewater, maybe extra ingredients in them rather than on them would work??
This pumpkin butter is seriously growing on me. I don’t so much like it on its own, bit of a funny texture for me, maybe next time I‘ll use a different type of pumpkin and see what happens. Anyways this morning I threw some into a batch of pancakes and it was seriously tasty stuff warm and spicy, hugging from the inside out, is there anything better??
I always use cup measurements for making pancakes. It’s one of very few recipes where I will use cups. I find it more relaxed than meticulously weighing ingredients out to the gram. BUT I really don’t like using them for other baking much I just feel like no two cups are the same, it makes me uneasy. But for pancakes I’m good. Call me crazy. I’ll add the metric measurements after the next batch I make. I would definitely try to make the batter the night before the flavour is definitely better the next day.
Pumpkin Butter Pancakes (Makes 8-10)
1 1/3 Cups Plain Flour
1 tbsp “Levure Chimique” or Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
¾ Cup of Milk
1 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
¾ Cup Pumpkin Butter
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowel
- Put wet ingredients into another mixing a bowel and whisk together.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Heat frying pan on Medium and add a small amount of vegetable oil.
- Pour enough batter into the pan for whatever size pancakes that you want I use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.
- The pancakes are ready to flip when bubbles form on the top and they are holding their shape when lifted.
- Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until browned.
I served mine with sliced banana ( no breakfast is complete without one) a scoop of pumpkin butter and some cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds. MM had his with Nutella, spot the native French. They were screaming out for maple syrup but I didn’t have any, definitely next time. There WILL be a next time.
Do you like my pumpkin carving skills? Initially he was supposed to look evil, then it all went terribly wrong .