Easy Homemade Pizza

Easy Homemade Pizza – Hubby and Youngest appear to be revolting against my Low Carb diet and are now demanding (well, okay, subtly hinting) Homemade Pizza.

Decided to eat early as Youngest is off to cinema tonight, we are meeting friends and we have a early start tomorrow, we are off to the mainland tomorrow to clear Youngest’s Uni house, I am fully equipped with bin bags, bleach – biohazard suits 🤣🤣🤣 Wish us luck as the Ferries (yes all of them) are on a reduced service, so it might be a long day – can’t be a lot of areas that can be completely cut off at times – hey-ho 😉

I will make an easy Yoghurt dough base, with a homemade tomato sauce, topped with salami, bell pepper and red onion- a scattering of torn Mozzarella, Homegrown Basil leaves and a sprinkle of black pepper – 10 minutes in a blisteringly hot oven and a pizza to be proud of.

Get the oven on as high as it will go, I have put a pizza stone in there too, from cold to heat up.

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For the Dough I start with 2-to-1 self raising flour to greek Yoghurt, (whatever measurement you use double the amount of flour to Yoghurt) (I used a cup) a splash of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt – get messy and bring this all together into a lovely pliable, soft dough

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Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes and whilst that is happening, slice red onion, bell peppers, or whatever you like really. I tear up a ball of mozzarella and pick some fresh basil leaves, ready to go.

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The sauce I am using is a very quick Tomato sauce, gently fry onion, garlic, seasoned well, then add a good teaspoon of mixed herbs, a good squeeze of tomato purée, stirring and cooking down for a minute or 2 before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and a shake of balsamic – cook down slowly till thick and smelling gorgeous – this is a great sauce for Pizza, Pasta etc and freezes easily, so I make a big batch and freeze in portions.

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Cut the dough in half and each half shape into a rough circle as thin as you like it.

Carefully remove the pizza stone, sprinkle a little raw Polenta on it before laying a dough circle on top of it,

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quickly add a slick of tomato sauce, a few chopped Veg, I am adding torn salami slices then the mozzarella, black pepper a drizzle of olive oil and back into the very hot oven as quick as you can

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if you are very clever, dress the pizza on the side and use a peel to lay it in the stone whilst in the oven – Too tricky for me 😉

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After 10 minutes you should have a crispy base with a gooey melted top, shake onto a waiting cutting board and get the second pizza in ASAP – you could of course have 2 pizza stones to cook at the same time – or a large oven tray 👍

As the first customer is served, the second should be ready 🙄 Prego… (Your welcome) 😇

I am basically having what I had last night as there was a ‘spare’ gammon Steak 😉

 

Meat Free Monday – Spicy Sweet Potato Falafel In Lettuce Wraps and Red Cabbage ‘slaw

This recipe is winging it a bit, I have been craving Falafel and whilstbthey are gluten Free, they are not low carb, so I thought I would make some patties with Sweet Potato, herbs, spices and spring onion bound with some almond flour.

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Sweet Potato is approx 13g net carb per, so 300g of Sweet Potato is about 30g of carbs but makes 9 patties once bulked out with the other no carb items, so around the 4g per Pattie mark – I almost sounded like I know what I’m talking about – it’s all Google 🤗

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I popped a large sweet potato into the microwave and cooked it in high for 8 minutes, leave till cool enough to safely handle.

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The sweet potato flesh is mixed with a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander and as much Chilli as your taste buds like.

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Add a bunch of chopped fresh coriander,

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a bunch of finely sliced spring onions, a whole egg and seasoning.

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Get your hands in there and ensure it’s all mixed well, shape into patties, or cheat and use a machine like I did 🙃

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Pop approx 25g of ground almonds onto a plate, and lightly coat the patties – pop into the fridge to firm till ready.

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I gently pan fry these little beauties in a little Veg oil, they are fragile, so leave to form a crust before carefully flipping over.

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To go with these Spicy patties I am making a Red Cabbage coleslaw with very finely sliced red cabbage, a very little grated carrot, and very finely sliced red onion.

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Into a small jar add a good glug of red wine vinegar, a blog of honey, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and a good glug of olive oil – put the lid on shake well, season to taste

IMG_4487thoroughly mix though the veg mix.

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Mine are wrapped in Lettuce leaves with coleslaw and Greek Yoghurt dip on the side.

Hubby will have his in a fresh bread roll, wedges with coleslaw and a Greek Yoghurt dip.

 

Party Time… 🍸🍹

Just a brief one today, we have been busy getting stuff sorted for the party – I don’t think the queen has this much fuss – I know it’s self inflicted, no sympathy required 😋

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Hubby is on garden duty, the gazebo is up, chairs and tables ready to positioned, electric is available for the DJ boyfriend- neighbors have been warned/invited – thankfully  sadly this will all be over by 10pm at the latest 🤣🤣

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I have been baking, which is lovely on the hottest day of the years so far 🌋

As I said yesterday I use Nigella’s cupcake recipe, it’s simple and tastes great

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for 24 cupcakes I mixed 250g unsalted butter with 250g sugar and a blob of vanilla bean paste, till light and fluffy, add 4 eggs, one at a time to the mix, then add 250g of self raising flour about 1/4 at a time – add a little milk till the mixture is ‘dropping constantly.

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Spoon into the cases, don’t overfill them, half to 3/4 full is enough

IMG_4100Into a preheated oven (200) for 15 minutes, then leave to cool.

 

I made the icing sugar yesterday, the buttercream icing is simple, add 250g unsalted butter to the mixing bowl with a small blob of vanilla bean paste, beat till pale, then carefully add 500g of icing sugar, a bit at a time so it doesn’t look like a snow storm in the kitchen.  You can colour this at this point – I am making 2 batches, one natural, one pale pink.

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Spoon you icing into a large icing bag, with a star nozzle at the end, in today’s heat I popped this into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm a little.

IMG_4106I start with a blob of icing in the middle of each cake, and with a continuous swirl.

Decorate to suit – these are truly easy to make and look lovely, even if I do say so myself – great fun to make with kids 🤗

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The salads are finished off.

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The watermelon sliced and plated.

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The cakes arranged.

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Cocktails are go…

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Hubby is Grill King

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Lets Party……….

 

 

Party Prep 🥂

Tomorrow we are hosting a Birthday BBQ for our Daughter and her friends for her 21st.

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Today is prep day and we have been out shopping, the BBQ meat is from Iceland, as I saved some vouchers especially for this purpose- just the normal Burgers, sausages plus spices Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawns as they are her favourite – we are not going OTT. I have some Field Mushroom and Halloumi for the Veggies 😋

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I also got some frozen Macaron- they are so pretty and taste amazing and at this price I couldn’t make them.

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For a healthy sweet kick, sliced watermelon

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To go with savoury I am making 2 basic salads, one a giant Cous Cous Salad – I boil this in plenty of water for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and pop back into the pan with a good glug of olive oil to keep it from sticking together – I am leaving this to cool, and will add finely sliced spring onion, cucumber, red pepper and a whole pack of chopped coriander and mint, Stir though with salt, pepper and lemon juice till ‘right’

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The other a homemade coleslaw

IMG_4089I make this in the Magimix with the slicing and grating blades – I could make it in the Thermomix, but it Chops the veg and I prefer it sliced – this will be finalised tomorrow.

Instead of a Birthday cake, I am making 21 cupcakes, the base recipe I use is from Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book. These will be made tomorrow.

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I make my own icing sugar in the Thermomix a kilo of icing sugar costs £1.70 on Sainsbury’s website, a kilo of Aldi granulated sugar is 59p

IMG_4067I add 250g of sugar and a teaspoon of cornflour to the Thermomix bowl and whizz at speed 10 for 10 seconds, stop, shake the bowl, and whizz again for another 10 seconds – I pop a sheet of kitchen roll between the measuring cup and the lid to prevent a billow of icing sugar

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Repeat this till the sugar is used – hey presto – a kilo of icing sugar 🤗

I am keeping these simple with pale pink rosette icing with shop bought ‘toppers’

When Grace was tiny, she couldn’t pronounce ‘Grace’ and as everyone called her Gracie, she shortened her own name to Ce-Ce (see-see) that was lengthened to Cupcake – like Families do 🙄  So her birthday cake had to be Cupcakes 😇

IMG_4080For drinks, I said I would provide a toast drink, we are making Strawberry Dachari’s for those who like them from Homemade frozen Stawberry purée , vodka, Lime juice, crushed ice, whizzed up in the Thermomix 😉 Aparently Cocktails are very ‘in’, I personally would prefer an Expresso Martini 😇

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We also have a huge bottle of Prosecco to toast her with – I might even share it with others 🤣 Loads of soft drinks too

I am sure she will have a fab night, they are going onto a night club afterwards – we will be on Cleanup duty then flaking out 🤣 Just one more 21st to go (youngest) then they can arrange their own parties 🤗

Smoked Mackerel Pate, Homemade Hummus and Seeded Crackers – Lunchbox luxury

I like to have a few different options for Lunchbox Fillers, I like to keep them healthy but still good value. Over the winter I make these easy Seeded Crackers and soup for lunches, as the weather warms up, I make Dips and Pate to have with these crispy treats. Smoked Mackerel Pate and Hummus are 2 of my favourites.

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Smoked Mackerel Pate is really simple to make, mega tasty and great value. I use 2 of the 3 fillets of Aldi’s peppered smoked Mackerel – £1.35 (hubby will have the other with a slice of buttered bread 😉), this is mixed with a pot of cream cheese, a tablespoon of Horseradish sauce, the juice of half a lemon and a little seasoning.

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Mix this together On reverse speed 1 (I like it chunky), but you could just mash with a fork till you are happy with the consistency.

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Taste and adjust the seasoning

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Pop into the fridge in a sealed box till ready.

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The hummus is cheap and just lush – the best bit is you can alter the flavours to suit – this is the the way I like it.

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Drain a tin of Aldi chickpeas, 33p. I am using the Thermomix, but you can make it with any food processor, a blender or just a fork, it will be chunkier.

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To the chickpeas I add a peeled clove of garlic, the juice of half a lemon, a large teaspoon of Tahini and a good glug of olive oil, lightly season with salt and pepper.

 

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I whizz this at speed 4 for 10 seconds, scrape down the bowl and taste – adjust the seasoning to taste and whizz again for a few seconds till,you are happy with it – you may need to add some more olive oil, it depends on what consistency you like.

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You can add fresh coriander, or stir through Harrisa or Sweet Chilli sauce, there are recipes for butter bean varieties etc it’s a wonderful dip – and costs pence 👍

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The dough for the Crackers is very simple add 150g plain flour, 75g mixed seeds, 25ml olive oil, 175ml boiling water, a pinch of salt and mix together, this will be hot, so I start with a knife, then bring together with my hands.

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Pop the ball of dough onto a large sheet of baking parchment and put another in top, flatten out with your hands.

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Then, with a rolling pin, roll out as thin as you can.

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Remove the top layer of baking parchment and put into a preheated oven (170) for about an hour, then check, it may need another 10 minutes.

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When cooled, break into shards, like the trendy restaurants do and put into an airtight box till ready to serve.

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Perfect early summer lunch 😊 It looks a bit boring, but it packs a punch in flavour 😋

 

 

Meat Free Monday – Asparagus Pesto and cream cheese tart with new potatoes

Like many people, Mondays are always manic at work, so simple food that feels like a treat is needed.  Asparagus is in season and is delicious so an easy Asparagus tart then 😊

IMG_3524I am using Aldi prerolled puff pastry, which I lay on a sheet of baking parchment on an oven proof tray.

IMG_3526And their gorgeous Asparagus.

IMG_3525Leave about an inch gap around the edges and cover the base with cream cheese which has been mixed with about a third of a jar of pesto and a pinch of black pepper,

IMG_3528then trimmed Asparagus- mine were really thick, so I halved then lengthwise.

IMG_3530Top with grated cheese, I am using Manchego as it needs using up, but any strong hard cheese would be fine – drizzle with olive oil and season.

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Pop into a hot oven (200) for 20-30 minutes till golden and Crispy.

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Whilst this is cooking, boil some new potatoes and prep a salad, however you like it.

Cut and serve.

A simple Meat Free Marvel 😇

 

Eat the Rainbow Chicken Salad 😇

Well – it’s certainly warmed up, so to continue my fridge clearing and meal planning, we are having a salad – a super size, Eat the Rainbow salad – or Buddha Bowls as they are being called – not vegan, but could easily be, and perfect for late spring and summer.

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leftover Chicken, baby gem lettuce, Advacado, celery, cucumber, pepper, Sweetcorn, pickled red cabbage, boiled eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese dressing and grated manchego cheese.  Ohh and some Homemade Bread 😉

I am cutting the baby gem lettuce into 4 and laying in the bowls, then add the rest of the veg.

The left over Chicken goes on top with a side of my quick pickled Red Cabbage then add the dressing.

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A no cook wonder 😇

The bread is my usual Thermomix recipe – 300ml water and a pack of dried yeast into the mug and ‘cooked’ at heat 37, speed 1 for 2 minutes till bubbles appear from the yeast.

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Add 500g of bread flour, a pinch of sea salt and mix on dough setting for 3/4 minutes till done.  Turn out and leave to rise for at least an hour.

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I am splitting the dough in 2 to make 2 baguettes- one for tonight and one for Saturday night – preplanning 👍 Leave to rise again for at least 30 minutes then into a preheated oven (200) – I chuck a cup of water into a tray at the bottom of th oven to create steam, which makes it crusty

Salad, Homemade crusty bread with butter – bliss x