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In Sickness and In Health

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar, having dragged my sick tired body out of bed. I have been floored by a horrendous virus. It literally knocked me sideways and I did not get out of bed for three days! Anyway I am actually out of bed. Its amazing, My lovely child minder (and nursemaid for the duration) is bustling around gathering coats ready for the school run.  Lola gives me a hug goodbye and then looks at me. “Mummy, when we get back from school can you not be wearing, socks, pants, vest…” she then gestures with a look of disdain on her face, “and this” “This” is a very comfy very oversized cardigan “Can you please wear a dress”

Having been told, I got dressed and stepped outside for the first time in days. It took me five times longer to do anything but I managed to shop for my Mexican Class.  I really enjoyed teaching this class. A really lovely couple who were enthusiastic and very able. We cooked an authentic chilli, no kidney beans in sight here, just good quality beef and a ton of Mexican dried chilli’s. Its so simple and so delicious when you make it you will not make chilli any other way.  We made salsa by charring the vegetables and the chillies and whizzing them with lime and garlic. Its surprising how different the salsas tasted when each person made their own. We also make Churros. Its a donut  Deep fried batter dipped in chocolate, how can that be wrong?

Due to my incapacitated state I haven’t really cooked anything this week. Next week I will be recipe testing and also baking a birthday cake for my childminder…Shhh don’t tell her.

I leave you with a recipe for chicken noodle soup..It was the first thing I ate when I began to feel better. It is totally simple and so comforting and f I am ever feeling, under the weather or in need of comfort this is the recipe I always turn to.

Have a wonderful week.

Rachelle x

A simple chicken quesadilla

Spicy charred veg salsas

Churros

 

 Chicken Noodle Soup

Not really a recipe more of a list of four things and you heat them up. Simple and restorative the best kind of healing food. This recipe is for one person.

Ingredients

  •  A handful of cooked chicken, shredded off the bone
  • Good quality chicken stock, but don’t beat yourself up if you use a stock cube
  • A handful of Gigli pasta noodles. You can use your favourite noodle.
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat up the stock in a small saucepan, add your chicken. When the stock is hot and simmering add the noodles. Simmer until the noodles are cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 


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Gone are the days…

At some point this week I might have said, “Gone are the days when I was happy”. Maybe for a brief moment the combination of exhaustion and emotional upheaval may have made me say such a thing. I have had a permanent knot in my stomach for a week or so now. All very handy for keeping slim though not so handy when you are cooking everyday for work and also for three phenomenal little eaters.  Those three mouths to feed have been the only reason I have managed to push aside the dramatic thoughts and keep on going.

Anyway navel gazing and worry has never been part of my philosophy.  You won’t get away with it in our house.  I was in a particularly difficult mood a few days ago. After telling Lola to sort her room out for the fourth time, she just rolled her eyes at me and said “God mum you are soooo shouty…I’m not deaf you know and also….what are you wearing?”  OK I was dressed in a very special outfit, I cant even begin to describe it, but lets say a lot of clashing colours and a hand made tank top were involved. It was a very fair comment!.

Its been a pretty quiet week or so work wise. I am preparing to write a column on Thanksgiving for next months edition of Fashion Affair Magazine and testing lots of recipes. Im feeling a Mexican inspired Thanksgiving may occur. I want to make a Mole so badly but can’t find my dried chilli anywhere. How weird they have all disappeared. Ho hum a trip to the Cool Chile Company is in order.

I made the most fabulous lemon meringue pie this week. Its a recipe that my mother always used from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. But I find its not lemony enough so I up the lemon juice and the cornstarch. My first attempt without adding more cornstarch was a bit of a runny disaster. It all got eaten though.

After making a filo pie on the Fabulous Baker Brothers. I was inspired to make a chicken, mushroom and leak filo pie. Filo pastry is fiddly but worth it and I love the  home made look of the pie.

I leave you with a my recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie and I wish you a happy rest of the week.

Love Rachelle x

Collard Greens

Thai Curry

Cinnamon Danish

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemony and yummy!

Ingredients

For the Pastry

  • 1half cups plain flour
  • half teaspoon salt
  • half cup of butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Put all the ingredients together and whiz in a food processor until they form a ball. A few short pulses should do it. Cling and put in the fridge for half hour.
Turn the oven on to 170 C.
Roll out the pastry and line a 9 inch pie dish with the pastry. Trim the edges and using a fork prick the pastry all over to stop it rising when you bake it. Line the raw pastry with greaseproof or foil and then fill the pie with baking beans (I use dried kidney beans).  Bake for 15mins and then remove the beans put back in the oven for another 6 mins or until the pastry is golden.
Remove and turn the oven up to 180C
For the Pie filling
  • 1half cups sugar
  • 9 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • 3 beaten egg yolks
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 baked 9 inch pastry shell
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
In a saucepan, combine 1 half cups of sugar, the cornstarch and the salt. Stir in water.
Bring to boiling over medium heat and cook stirring constantly, till thick, about 5 mins.
Remove from heat, stir small amount of hot mixture in the egg yolks, then return to remaining mixture in pan.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add lemon peel and butter. Slowly stir in lemon juice. Cool to lukewarm.  Pour into cooled baked pastry shell.
Beat egg whites with 1 teaspoon lemon juice until soft peaks form. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of sugar. Beating until stiff.
Spread meringue over filling. sealing in edges of pastry to avoid shrinking.  Bake in moderate oven, 180C for 12 to 15 mins or until the meringue is golden brown.  Cool before eating.

 

 

 

 

 


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Somewhere Between a Rock……

When a relationship breaks down. Does it revert to how it was at the beginning? At the start you ignore the little signs, because you want to feel in love, you want to make it work? Not major things, small little things that might have irritated you a in the beginning but you set them aside because of the bigger picture, romantic love… How come friendships seem to last yet relationships are so difficult. There are certain things that we don’t like, agree with, with our friends. We set them aside because we love them and understand them. But I guess we also don’t live with them and raise kids with them!

Its been a pretty hard week this week. The kind of week that I wish I could wrap up, chuck in the bin and forget about. In fact I think I might just do that!

I woke at 4.30 this morning, wrote an email to a lawyer (re separation)  then watched 20  mins of a rubbish film on Love Film drank a cup of tea and fell back to sleep. Woke at 8.20am!! In fact all of us did. Girls threw on their school uniforms, I ran around barking orders, “jumper, shoes, hair”!. Rufus ran around shouting “get dressed get dressed”. We were out of the house in 15 minutes. It is a record. OK breakfast was compromised and with the promise that they would not tell their teachers, they ate millionaires shortbread on the way to school. We all shared high fives at the brilliantness of our getting ready. Tilda even asked if we could do it again tomorrow…Uhhhh No.

Amongst the drama this week, I spent a day with the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry. They are shooting their new series for channel four and I assisted Anna Ford as a food stylist. Really lovely people and a great experience. I also taught a couple of classes, Caribbean and Thai, which is always a joy.

Meals this week consisted of a melting pot of Thai and West Indian ingredients.  I think my favourite was, chunky chips roasted with olive oil, bay, fresh and green peppercorns. I also made a rice noodle dish with chilli oil and shredded pork. To be honest the noodles were really just a vehicle for the chilli oil. I am totally addicted to it and eat it straight from the jar usually.

I also made a butternut squash and ginger soup. Totally healthy and delicious. You can find the recipe in this months edition of Fashion Affair Magazine along with a recipe for toffee apples.

Well here’s to a better week this week and and to sweeten up my week and yours I leave you with my recipe for Millionaires Shortbread.

Take Care

Rachelle x

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

 

Sauteed Jerusalem artichoke with garlic and callaloo

 

 

Almond and Salt Caramel Millionaires Shortbread

Born from a need to make people smile! This is an outrageously rich treat. The recipe makes a ton so make sure you have a lot of people you can donate too! Happy baking.

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 100g ground Almonds
For the caramel
  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tbs Maldon Sea Salt
  • 1 x 1Kg can condensed milk
For the chocolate topping
  • 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Method
  1. Set the oven to 160C/gas2. Lightly grease a regular size roasting dish. 20x30cms
  2. Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz together until they form a smooth dough .
  3. Press the mixture into the base of the Swiss roll tin and prick with a fork.
  4. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.
  5. To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, syrup, salt and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.
  6. Bubble the mixture gently for five to eight minutes, stirring all the time until thick and fudge-like. Pour over the cold shortbread in an even layer. Leave to cool.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate over the toffee and leave to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

 

 

 

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Morphy Richards

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