Cakes, Cooking with a toddler, Desert

Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?

What is Hygge? Is it baking Orange Shortbreads with Toddler “Blip”?

It’s funny to see how the Danish expression Hygge has become so popular all over the world.

In lots of magazines, and big furniture stores or even in super markets you will see different items or articles about hygge. This includes how to experience proper Danish hygge or creative the feeling of hygge.

Strangely enough a lot of it seems to turn its focus on tea candles and creating the right atmosphere in your house.

Sometimes when I read articles like this I feel exhausted by just looking at it, as it sounds like experiencing takes quite an effort, or does it?

It is true that you can create a lovely cosy atmosphere with blankets, candles and lots of lovely things, but this in itself does not mean you will have a lovely hyggelig time.

Continue reading “Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?”

Chicken, Meats

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom “Leftover” Pie (£1.45 per portion)

Now the other day me and Toddler “Blip” had the Lemony chicken pasta, well he just had the plain pasta as he wasn’t feeling too well. His chest sounded really wheezy, luckily,after a good night sleep he seemed better. I decided to keep him home from nursery though.

I know for a fact that I don’t like going to work, if I’m not 100% and therefore I don’t believe he would like to go to nursery before he is feeling well again. Luckily, he loves being home with me and Baby “Flipper”. I love to see them together and how much love they got for each other. Toddler “Blip” adores his little brother and can’t stop giving him cuddles and kisses.


It was Halloween not long ago and Toddler “Blip” was absolutely obsessed with it, therefore, the pie we ended up making was “Halloween” inspired. Saying that, it was the wrong pastry to use if wanting to decorate it (which I knew), but he had fun, which was the most important part.


What was even more impressive is that he was willing to try the pie after, and he ate quite a bit of it

This recipe can be made either from the leftovers, just add the nutmeg, mushrooms and bacon, and add the pie lid, alternatively make it from scratch following the steps below. 


Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

4 large closed cup mushrooms
3 streaky bacon rashers
Puff pastry
2 Onions, sliced
2 Leeks, sliced
2 Courgettes, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, Chopped
Thyme, 20 sprigs (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Chicken breasts
200 ml Chicken Stock
100 ml Crème Fraiche
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ – 1  Lemon depending on taste
Zest of one Lemon 

Method:

Start by thinly slicing the onions and put in a bowl. Then clean and slice the leeks into fine slices and cut the courgettes into 1 cm strips and add to the bowl and set aside.

Grate the garlic cloves and have it ready.  Also Pick the thyme leaves and set aside for later in the cook.  

Cut the mushrooms into slices.

Now, in a frying pan, fry the bacon until cooked but not crispy, take the bacon aside and fry the mushrooms in the fat from the bacon. Cut the bacon into 1 cm strips. Whilst mushrooms are cooking cut the chicken into 2 cm pieces.

When the mushrooms are cooked put aside together with the bacon. In the same frying pan add 1 tbsp of oil and cook the chicken for about 6 minutes or until brown all over. Then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Turn the heat to a medium heat on the frying pan and add the onions, leeks and courgettes to the pan you cooked the chicken in. Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Then return the chicken to your pan with the vegetables, the mushrooms and bacon, and add 200 ml of chicken stock to the pan together with 1 tsp of nutmeg, stir it and bring it to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat to low, add a lid and let it simmer for around 5 minutes with the lid then remove the lid and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until reduced to half (and the chicken is cooked through).

When the chicken is done, spoon in the crème fraiche and warm it through. Then add the thyme, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, if the mixture is too thick add a bit of water to it and mix well.

Then add the pie mixture to the a pie dish and roll out the puff pastry and place on top. Make a hole in the pastry to let out the steam. Cook in a 200C oven until the pastry is done.

I like to serve it with some vegetables on the side..


Bon Appetite – As my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per November 2017)

Mushrooms 30p
Bacon 11p
Puff pastry 55p
Onions 20p
Leeks 50p
Courgette 69p
Garlic 12p
Thyme 70p
Nutmeg 5p
Chicken breasts £1.89
Chicken Stock  5p
Crème Fraiche 28p
Vegetable oil 1p
Lemon 35p 

Total cost £5.80 or £1.45 per portion

Chicken, Meats, Pasta

Delicious Lemony Chicken and Leek Pasta (£1.46)

I love pasta dishes, but often only cook it for me and Toddler “Blip” as the husband is still doing his low carb diet. If I do cook it for the husband I would give him Courgette Pasta instead of the normal pasta.

The first time I cooked this I cooked it for 4 people and I wasn’t left with any leftovers. However, this time when I cooked it I didn’t half my portion and still cooked it for 4 people instead of just me and toddler “Blip”.  As you can imagine, I was left with lots of leftovers, which I turned into a lovely pie the next day.

Luckily, I did realise when I was half way through and cooked pasta just for me and Blip. I think sleep deprivation does get to me these days, I seems to be doing some weird things occasionally. But then this is, apparently, rather normal when you got a baby and a toddler, or so I’m told.

I like this pasta dish because of the lemony creamy taste, created by the lemon and crème fraiche. You can use any kind of pasta you like, I always keep my eye out for offers on different shaped pasta, because I like to change them. But you could use basic penne or fusillo pasta.

I know that it would seems logical to mix the pasta and the chicken/leek mixture together in one pot and then serve and if you know its all going to be eaten this is brilliant. But as we rarely will eat it all I keep them separately, also, Toddler “Blip” is much more likely to eat them if served separately  

Unfortunately, Toddler “Blip” has not been too well lately with his asthma, so he only ate the plain pasta. However, the following day he ate some of it the mixture in the pie. I don’t like to put too much pressure on him to eat, especially when he isn’t feeling well. I remember being a small kid and how awful it was when people tried to push me to eat more, I was extremely underweight though and picky!

I try to always encourage him to at least try the food I have made, which seems to make him much more willing to try new things.  


Lemony Chicken and Leek Pasta

Serves 4,

Takes around 35 minutes

Ingredients

400g Rigatoni, or pasta shapes of your choice (4 people)
2 Onions, sliced
2 Leeks, sliced
2 Courgettes, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, Chopped
Thyme, 20 sprigs (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Chicken breasts
200 ml Chicken Stock
100 ml Crème Fraiche
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ – 1  Lemon depending on taste
Zest of one Lemon
Grana Padano, Grated (for serving)

 Method:

Start by chopping up and prepare all your vegetables and get them ready for the cook.

Start by thinly slicing the onions and put in a bowl. Then clean and slice the leeks into fine slices and cut the courgettes into 1 cm strips and add to the bowl and set aside.

Grate the garlic cloves and have it ready.  Also Pick the thyme leaves and set aside for later in the cook.

Place a large saucepan of water on the stove, and add salt to the water to cook the pasta, place a lid on the pan and leave on medium heat. Don’t add the pasta until the water is proper boiling.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, start making the pasta sauce by cutting the chicken into 2 cm pieces. Take a large frying pan and heat 1 tbsp of oil on high heat, then add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes or until brown all over. Then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Turn the heat to a medium heat on the frying pan and add the onions, leeks and courgettes to the pan you cooked the chicken in. Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften, then add the  garlic and cook for another minute.

Then return the chicken to your pan with the vegetables, and add 200 ml of chicken stock to the pan, stir it and bring it to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat to low, add a lid and let it simmer for around 5 minutes with the lid then remove the lid and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until reduced to half (and the chicken is cooked through).

Now, cook the pasta by adding it to your boiling water and cook as per the instructions on the packet or until al dente. Then reserve a cup of the water and drain the pasta.

When the chicken is done, spoon in the crème fraiche and warm it through. Now, add the thyme, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  You can add a bit of the reserved cooking water if it has become too thick.

Serve on top of the pasta and with the grated parmesan on top.

Bon Appetite – As my grandad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per November 2017)

pasta 45p
Onions 20p
Leeks 50p
Courgette 69p
Garlic 12p
Thyme 70p
Chicken breasts £1.89
Chicken Stock  5p
Crème Fraiche 28p
Vegetable oil 1p
Lemon 35p
Grana Padano 60p

 Total cost £5.84 or £1.46 per person