Monday, 31 March 2014

Nasi Goreng for kids

Nasi Goreng is a spicy Indonesian Fried rice dish based on peanuts.  You can do as much of the 'faffing' in this recipe as you like but the basic idea is a paste, rice, some protein and some vegetables.  I've made this to be reasonably mildly spiced so kid friendly but up the chilli if just cooking for adults (if you like, it's still blooming tasty as it is!)

As spring is in the air, I even got outside for my lunch!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fruit Crumble Bars

I'd looked online for a fruit crumble bar recipe which I thought wasn't a load of faff.  I failed to find one so this is what I came up with.  It's simple and you could switch in whatever fruit you have in the fruit bowl looking past it's best.

Although plums aren't seasonal in the UK at least, they are in South Africa and the UK are a major export market.  Irrespective of what you think of imported fruit and vegetables, these plums were lovely.  Juicy, delicious and sweet but unfortunately my son on a whim has decided he doesn't like plums or maybe he's aware it's not UK plum season.  Who knows?  Stranger things have happened than my son deciding to put his foot down on carbon footprints.  Well he is 3.

Fruit Crumble Bars

If you are sticking to more locally sourced fruit, why not try using frozen fruit instead?  Raspberries might work well but will probably need boiling down more so they're not too wet.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spicy Chicken Goujons

After making my crunchy mackerel strips, it occurred to me the same treatment might work pretty well with chicken and, lo and behold, it does!  The sweet chilli sauce lends flavour and a lovely sticky base for the coating.

I've suggested serving with some gingery noodles but this would be just as much at home with salad or as a beer time snack.

I've not tried my son with this yet but I think he'll be a fan.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Fruit Cobbler

Cobbler.  It's such a long time since I've eaten one and I'd forgotten how lovely they can be.  Essentially it's stewed fruit topped with a scone like topping.  On a whim I decided to make this while making my Spanish style sausage and beans.  This fantastically tasty pudding then happily cooked away using heat in the oven and then was left cooling slightly while we ate our first course.

This was also devised as a way to use up some past their best apples and some frozen raspberries which had been kicking around the freezer for a while.  Not massively high in sugar either.  Probably around 60g, 2 ounces of added sugar in the whole dish and a fantastically warm cuddle of a pudding when spring has more than a hint of wintery bite about it.  This is great Sunday lunch fodder.

Fruit cobbler

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

An introduction to Mamacook

Hi All!  I'm on the scrounge again.  The Britmum's nomination process has started again meaning I'd really, really, like your help in trying to be nominated in the food category.

I know for non bloggers (and even some bloggers) the blogging awards thing seems like a waste of time.  It is really, you get nothing if you win apart from the honour of a little statuette and the ability to say you won.  That's it!  It seems kind of pointless apart from the fact it's not.  I put hours into my blog.  Blooming hours!  I don't make any money from it, I keep wondering if I should try but nowadays blogging is no sure way to make sufficient money for a career and anyway, I really enjoy my day job.

For those of you who don't know, I have a PhD and work in food safety so why I do Mamacook is to have a bit of a creative outlet in my life.  I keep going mainly because I keep having ideas!

Anyway, enough about me and onto why I think you should please nominate me!  If you don't ask, you don't get (and I did say please!)

I thought I'd do a bit of a tour around Mamacook and introduce you to some of the recipes I've posted in the last year, some of the photography I'm proud of and why I wrote each recipe.  I little insight into my mind.

My sugar free raspberry mousse was a return to the sugar free, baby friendly recipes I started with on my blog.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Apple and Almond Cake

A big hit with my 3 year old and grown ups, this is a cake which is equally at home with custard as pudding and as a cake.

The basic mix is based on a victoria sponge (so not sugar free) but by adding apples into the mix, this pads out the cake meaning you get something which feels special without needing layers of sugary icing or jam so still a treat but perhaps a less guilty one.

This makes one shallow cake, which I think is the best kind to have with custard or cream.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Healthy Fish and Chips for the Whole Family

Healthy fish and chips.  The mark of a good recipe is when you make it twice before posting it!

We should all eat more omega 3.  One of the best sources of it is oily fish but that can be a tough sell to adults let alone kids.  Mackerel can be fantastic and delicious, especially grilled on a barbecue but can be strong tasting and a lot of people aren't all that keen on the bones.

I introduced a way of cooking mackerel recently for reluctant adults, now I thought I'd look at kids.  Mackerel is such a well flavoured fish, it can stand up to some really strong flavours and it goes fantastically well with mustard.

The best ideas come to me at 5:30am when I'm lying in bed wondering why I'm not still asleep!  One morning, I had a bit of a brainwave; why not use mayonnaise as a way to adhere a coating?  If I used mackerel I could also mix in some mustard... and so an idea was born!

As I was starting to prepare this I had a sudden thought, why not make this a healthy fish, chips and peas dish?  Why not indeed!

Baked fish goujons

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spanish Sausage and Beans

I did think about calling this "Spanish Cassoulet" but, well it's not really but that's what it was inspired by.

For various reasons I'm currently running down my freezer and I had a pack of raw chorizo style cooking sausages in there.  I also had an enormous pack of dried haricot beans in the cupboard which have been there for more than a year (if you read my Britmums Cassoulet post you might see why!)  Anyway, I do love the combination of the sausage and beans in cassoulet and wondered if I could mix it up a bit.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Chorizo and Chickpea soup

This is a great 'cupboards are bare' recipe as you can get packs of chorizo which last in the fridge for ages or even freeze it (this is often what I do if I have a part opened pack).  Take a look at the 'make it thrifty' section for other ideas to keep costs down.

This is a bit cunning.  Only 90g of meat for 2-3 portions yet a soup which tastes meaty and flavoursome and 5 different vegetables sneakily inside; onion, carrot, pepper, tomatoes and chickpeas.  Trust me, you or any vegetable hating family members would struggle to notice all of them.  Hidden in plain sight...

Smoked paprika is a pricey spice but a fantastic one and a great way to 'extend' the chorizo flavour without using masses of it.  Look out for the 'sweet' versions as some can be very spicy but some are milder and full of smokey barbecue aromas.  I prefer the milder versions, especially when I'm cooking for the little one.

It feels like there's not long left for soup season, especially when the birds are starting to sing in the trees and the blossom is already here but I feel this recipe spans the seasons.  Still great when it's chilly but a reminder of warm summers just around the corner spent nibbling chorizo and chickpea based tapas.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Mild Chicken and Vegetable Curry for kids

My son has been off curries recently.  Nursery have tried but he'd been really reluctant.  Stupidly I then started to avoid cooking curries.  I always say the only way to ensure your child is fussy is to stop offering certain foods and there I was doing it myself!

As a child who grew up in the UK midlands, not liking curry is not an option!

So faced with some chicken and chicken stock which needed using up from Sunday lunch one week, I made this.  Nothing authentic about it but it was very tasty.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Best Pancake recipes

Pancakes; I'm a bit of a fan; in fact, one of my very early recipes was for a sugar free American style pancake recipe so I thought, with Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day or Mardi Gras) looming on 4th March this year, I'd tell you about my favourites!

Stack of pancakes

The point of Shrove Tuesday was to use up all of the rich ingredients in the house like eggs and sugar before the traditional period of fasting and reflection of Lent.  Pancakes though are a fantastic way to make food quickly and easily and make a meal out of eggs (mostly, see below!)  Eggs are a great way to include vitamin D into your diet which is often lacking in our bodies at this time of year (as I look outside to the frosty ground and sun shining weakly on my garden!)

All of my recipes are made without added sugar or are low in sugar unless you add some with the topping with syrups or icing sugar which makes them great even for babies.