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 πŸ˜‹

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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 πŸŒ‹

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 πŸ€—

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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……….

 

 

Spicy Pork steaks Cauliflower Rice Rainbow Salad

Having a ‘doing day’ today, catching up on laundry,, cleaning and some admin for Hubby’s business. Waiting for Youngest to get home around 6 this evening and we will go and vote, Daughter managed to fight through the festival crowds to put her cross in the box this morning.

Needed something quick and simple tonight, so Marinated Pork steaks with a rice salad, mine using the remaining Cauliflower rice from earlier this week.

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I am using these Spicy Pork steaks from Iceland, we did hope to cook them on the BBQ Β  but I think hubby has jinxed the weather by buying his new BBQ – so apologies 😊

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The steaks will be just grilled.

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The rice salad, is simply a mix of cooked, cooled rice and chopped Veg

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Then finely chop a selection of salad Veg, I am using bell peppers, cucumber, spring onion, tomato and chopped coriander

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Rice version for Hubby and Youngest

Stir this through the rice, adding a little olive oil and lemon juice

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Cauliflower Rice version for me

Season to taste

IMG_3983Very simple, but tasty πŸ˜‡

 

 

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 πŸ˜‡

 

Saturday Supper – Steak, Dauphinois Potato and Homegrown Asparagus πŸ˜

Poor Hubby has had such a hard week, most of us love a short week, but he is particularly busy at present, so I am making his favourite meal tonight – Steak, Dauphinois Potatoes and Asparagus, ours has finally come through 😊

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I ordered a meat pack from Market Porter earlier this month, with 2 delicious steaks, having some Aldi Potatoes, I will make some Dauphinois Potatoes and use the first of our homegrown Asparagus, I also had some Homegrown Wild garlic which I completely forgot about in the fridge 😫

For pud, one of hubby’s favourites, Chocolate Fondants, I have made these a few times before, so I won’t bore you again with the recipe, but here’s the LinkΒ  to ‘one I made earlier’ 🀣

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To start, pre heat the oven (200) and heat the griddle ready for the steak.

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I use a bit of olive oil to dress the steak, with a pinch of ground black pepper.

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I very finely slice 2 potatoes and pop into a pan, add a crushed clove of garlic, salt, pepper and a pot of double cream

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heat till simmer in and cook till par boiled – then layer in a buttered oven proof dish – top with grated Parmesan and into the oven for 25-30 minutes till golden and bubbling.

Just before the potatoes are ready, pop the steaks onto the griddle and cook to your taste- we like them rare.

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Let these rest for a couple of minutes and cook the Asparagus on the griddle.

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Serve up and enjoy πŸ˜‡

 

Freezer diving – A Homemade Frozen almost ready meal…

My baby boy is home for Christmas and I am running round like a maniac trying to get everything sorted, so the last thing I needed was a hugely complicated meal to do.

So in my freezer I keep a couple of tubs of homemade pasta sauces, they taste great and have no weird additives and are cheep to make – what’s not to like πŸ˜‹

(Pics are from a previous batch)

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I make the sauce in the Thermomix, and start by peeling a medium onion and 2 fat cloves of garlic, tip these into the bowl and blitz for 5 seconds on speed 7 – scrape down the bowl, add a stick of celery, chopped into about 3 pieces and a small Carrot, topped and tailed but no need to peel, again, chopped into a few bits. Blitz again for a few seconds on speed 7, scrape down again and add a good glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, heat 100 speed 1.

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Next add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a good squeeze of tomato purΓ©e and a healthy shake of oregano, cook again at heat 100 for 10 minutes, speed 1.

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At this point taste and adjust the seasoning, it might need a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are acidic, but most tinned tomatoes aren’t. Β I blend for a few seconds at speed 4, just to mix in the veg, then either use immediately or pour into freezer proof jars or soup bags – mark up and bung in the freezer.

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For tonight, I am gently frying some Meatballs and some finely chopped onion, when the meatballs are browned, add the sauce, stir,cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Cook the pasta to taste, then add the strained pasta into the tomato sauce, stir through and plate up, adding grated Parmesan and maybe a glass of red wine πŸ€—