Me and Baby Got This Situation

Yeah sunshine. Actual real sunshine. Daylight, no grey, blue skies. It feels like Spring may have finally arrived! Whoop whoop. My god doesn’t feel like the longest winter ever?

I love London in the summer. I know it isn’t quite summer yet. Seriously 2 days of sunshine and I start planning picnics, friends over for BBQ’s.

The downside is the kids have already made me loose the will to live re: “Can I have an ice cream” Oh my god its only April! This is the constant mantra until September. Unfortunately for me, the Ice Cream van parks about 20 ft from my flat everyday come rain or shine.

As I am typing this TMC (The Middle Child) Tilda has sat next to me repeating over and over again the summer mantra. I say no she says (about 40 times) “Why?” By the 40th time I look up and say if you do not go away I will give your bike away to the first child I see when I leave here! She locks eyes with me and then backs off with a look that was far far beyond her years. It can only get worse!

Popcorn! I am kind of loving it right now. I am experimenting with various “dressings” Is that the right word? Do you dress popcorn? I have no idea but my popcorn is getting dressed at the moment. I don’t have a microwave and if I did I would still make my popcorn “old School”. My mum used to make it in a big heavy pan and throw butter and salt on it. Sunday night treat.

I was out out this weekend with my lovely friend and the kids nanny, Pavlina. I hadn’t really eaten before we went out. A few glasses of wine later and I am starving. Late night munchies have to happen.

I made this recipe up on the spot and my god it is soo good. Smoked paprika, butter, salt and sugar. I have no idea what to call it “Paprika Popcorn” I guess!

Enjoy and I leave you with a few pics from the weekend. Eton Mess courtesy of my lovely friend Sam Starbuck and the obligatory kids stuffing their faces!

Rachelle X
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Paprika Popcorn

(Serves 4)

Not really a recipe. I would serve this at a little cocktail party. Not that I ever host cocktail parties.

Ingredients

250g popping corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dressing

3 tablespoons butter

1 large pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 half teaspoons of smoked paprika.

Directions

In a large heavy cast iron pan with a lid, over a medium high heat add the vegetable oil and popping corn. Stir the corn so it is slicked in the oil. Put the lid on and wait for the popping to begin. When the corn starts to pop move the pan around on the heat, to make sure all the corn gets even heat and this minimises the corn over cooking.

When it starts to go quiet, take the corn off the heat and place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved in the mixture. Tip onto the warm popcorn and mis thoroughly. Apply to face! X

 

 

 


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Maybe I Think Too Much

Easter came and went in a haze of chocolate! My god the Easter bunny totally went for it this year. It was so cold I told the girls I was postponing any the egg hunt until the temperature rises above freezing! We are still waiting.

Three children house bound due to freezing temperatures and high on chocolate. Oh how relaxing and stress free this Easter was. Pavilina (my children’s Nanny and my saviour) hugged me goodbye on Friday and wished me luck. I needed it.

Lola and Tilda are at the age where they literally bicker and argue over everything and I mean everything. Then, when I get involved they both gang up on me and are best friends. But still at least I have The Ru. He is still too young to truly realise the house of cards he is living in….

Every Easter I cook lamb, I know the whole world does but I rarely cook red meat (as you may have realised). I probably cook lamb about three times a year. I usually opt for the shoulder cut. It is reasonably cheap  and when slow roasted, sublime. The recipe I pretty much always do is based on the Sky Gyngell’s. It involves anchovies, lemon rind, oiive oil, rosemary and garlic all mashed up in a mortar and pestle and smothered over the joint then covered and slow roasted for about three hours.

This year I opted for lamb shanks. Again the same principal as the shoulder, they need a long slow roast. I braised them with red wine, tomatoes, rosemary, lemon rind, whole garlic and baby onions and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron dish, lid on, oven 170C 3 hours. Bloody hell its delicious!

I also made my traditional chocolate easter cake. It is based on the Nigella, cloud cake. I use a butter cream icing dolloped on top and then decorate with baby chicks and easter eggs. I took great pleasure this year in decapitating one of the chicks and shoving its wiry neck into a chiselled out chocolate egg! Stressed me? No not at all..

I leave you with some pics and my recipe for lamb shanks..

Happy half term to ya’ll

Rachelle X
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cauliflower

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Braised Lamb Shanks

A bit of prep and then just chuck it in the oven. A perfect meal when  you have guests.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 lamb shanks
  • 4-5 small onions
  • 8 anchovies
  • 6 whole cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • Large sprig of rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large glass of red wine (for the pot and for you too)
  • Olive oil (for browning the lamb
  • Salt and pepper

Serves 4/5 people

Method

Turn the oven on to 170C.

Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy oven proof pan which has a lid. Turn the heat to medium and season the lamb shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the shanks in the pan sealing all sides and remove.

After you have browned all the lamb. Add a little more oil if need be and throw in onion, garlic, rosemary, lemon peel. Toss in the oil for a few minutes until fragrant. Pour in the glass of wine and tomatoes and really scrape the bottom of the pan so all the meat flavour is incorporated into the sauce. Add the lamb shanks and toss them in the sauce. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 3 hours. Check after 2 hours and give them a little stir. I then leave the lid off for the last half an hour to reduce the sauce a bit.

Serve with you sides of choice. I served mine with roasted  cauliflower with paprika and roast potatoes.

 


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