Swedish Cream Sauce

A fabuliciouzly versatile sauce with countless applications!

An absolute must in your culinary arsenal.

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To have a variety of sauces up my sleeve has saved me so very many times from kitchen disaster! The ability to create a fam-bam pleasing meal from standard pantry & fridge items is both totally satisfying to me & their tummies!

For this gorgeous sauce, start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over low heat before adding 1 tablespoon of white flour & then whisk it until it turns a lovely golden colour, just to make sure that the flour is cooked out.

Next, pour in 1 cup of beef stock, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of thickened cream & a good splash of soy sauce. Give that lot a jolly good stir before seasoning well with salt & white pepper.

Turn up the heat to thicken up the sauce to your liking & use it any which way your imagination can dream up!

In the photo here I’ve teamed this Swedish Cream Sauce with pasta & meatballs. These basic meatballs I’ve shared before but just a quick reminder of what’s in these ones.

Into a bowl place 500g of either pork or chicken mince (whichever floats your boat) along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup, 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & then season generously with salt & white pepper. Mix it all up well with your hands then roll into balls. Heat up a little oil in a pan & fry them off until cooked through.

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Watermelon & Honey Slushie

Warmer weather on our mountain top gets us in the mood to party!

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Who doesn’t love a refreshingly cool fruity concoction on a warm day?! This combination of juicy watermelon with the sweetness of honey will definitely give your taste buds a tingle! And I’m sure that the booze hounds among you out there will very quickly work out how to sully this one 😉

It’s another easy 3 ingredient wonder of awesomeness from me to lift up your Summer!

Simply start with 6 crushed ice-cubes, add in some roughly chopped watermelon (about 2 cups worth which is a smaller wedge of the melon) & drizzle in a teaspoon of honey (I always use a local raw honey).

Grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz that lot into a fabuliciouzly cool slushie!

Spinach & Mushroom Cannelloni

Boasting Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomato & Mince,

this is not-your-average meat & 3 vege!

Yes I am well aware that Tomato is a fruit & Mushroom is a fungi, but let’s not ruin my joke here 😉

This is such a fabuliciouz mince bake meal that it’s sure to be just as big a hit with your fam-bam as it is with mine.

Bonus is, it’s deadset easy & you can even prepare the filling earlier to speed up dinner time.

Start by heating a good glug of oil in a large frypan & bunging in 250g of sliced up mushrooms to cook off. Then add in 500g of whatever mince floats your boat to brown. Remember to season the meat with salt & white pepper as soon as it hits the pan. Pour in an entire 700g jar of passata & give that lot a jolly good stir. Let it bubble away on a simmer for a good 10 minutes.

(Now this is the bit that you can pause at if you’re pre-preparing ahead, otherwise, press on.)

Meanwhile, pop a pot of water onto the boil & gently wilt off an entire 150g bag of baby spinach leaves. Drain them well & stir them into the sauce.

Grab your baking dish & ladle in some of the sauce over the bottom, then start filling your cannelloni tubes using a teaspoon to help you get the saucy goodies in there. Lay each filled tube, side by side, into the baking dish. Ladle all the leftover sauce on top of the filled tubes before spreading the contents of an entire 250g tub of mascarpone cheese over the top. Finally crown your culinary creation with a handful of whatever crumb floats your boat & a generous handful of parmesan cheese too.

Whack that lot into a 200c oven for 30 minutes.

Spiced Pumpkin Scones

Fabuliciouzly light & oh so devourish!

These scones, with a hint of something special, won’t last long enough for the lashings of butter to melt upon them!

Start off this culinary delight by peeling 1/2 a butternut pumpkin & chopping into rough cubes. Bung into a baking dish, sprinkle with cumin & paprika to your taste before drizzling over a wee bit of oil & whacking into a 180c oven to roast for an hour. Drain the excess oil off then mash it up & set aside to go cold.

In a mixing bowl, cream together 30g of softened butter with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been told to use a wooden spoon to do this so that’s what I shall pass onto you too 🙂

Next, throw in 1/2 cup of the mashed spiced pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, 1 beaten egg & 3/4 cup of milk. Give that lot a jolly good mix in.

Into the bowl plop 2 & 1/2 cups of self raising flour & mix together to form a dough then get your hands in there to knead it lightly. The mix will be awfully sticky so just wet your hands to pull bits off & roll into balls. Place the balls onto baking paper lined trays then lightly press down to flatten the tops & sprinkle with a wee bit of grated parmesan cheese.

Pop them straight into a 210c oven for 5 minutes before reducing the heat to 200c for another 5 minutes.

Be mindful of the hungry hoards thrusting their hands at the hot trays as you pull out your luscious scones!

Thai Green Chicken Curry

A fabuliciouzly quick & easy curry that’s sure to please the whole Fam-Bam!

This is another gem of a dish from my post ballet arsenal that I can not believe I haven’t shared with you all already! Forget stopping for takeout on the way home, you’ll have this whipped up quicker than the store can!

Simply pop a pot of water on to boil, salt & cook off some rice before draining.

While that’s happening, grab a medium pot & bung in 2 diced up chicken thighs then pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk. Get that onto a medium heat to cook off the chook.

In a small pot, pour in a 400ml tin of coconut cream & gently heat it up before popping in 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste along with a splash of soy sauce. Stir it well to incorporate & then add it into the chicken pot. Give the whole lot a jolly good stir.

Whack in the cooked & drained rice & dish up!

Now that’s the base recipe! Back in the day, before Mini-Me, I used to use 4 tablespoons of the curry paste which makes it really pack a spicy punch! Also, if you have a wee bit of extra time, load that curry up with a gazillion veggies for a more substantial meal.

Pan Fried Ricotta Gnocchi

Delightful wee pillows of fluffy potato that simply make you smile.

I’ve always loved making my own gnocchi. There’s something which I find just so satisfying about taking a humble potato & creating a fabuliciouz meal from it. Now that Mini Me & I are both Coeliac, I thought my “fluffy pillows” ,as she calls them, were yet another distant memory of our culinary past but NO! I have discovered a Gluten Free recipe which is a somewhat acceptable alternative.

Start by popping 3 large, starchy tatties into a pot of water & bringing to the boil. Make sure you leave their skins on so that no water can get into them. Once they’re cooked through, peel them whilst hot (careful not to blister the prints off your fingertips!) then use the fine side of your grater to mimic what a potato ricer would do with a nice fine shred.

Make a well (hole) in the centre & add 1 egg yolk with enough ricotta cheese to knead into a dough.

Heat some oil in a pan to shallow fry before pinching bits of the dough off to roll into balls then use your thumb to add a slight depression in the middle before placing gently into the hot oil.

Turn the gnocchi carefully to crisp up both sides before removing to drain any excess oil.

You can team them with your favourite pasta sauce or whack them through a fresh salad.

Strawberry Jam

My Fam-Bam loves my Homemade Strawberry Jam

declaring it to be sticky yumminess!

Honestly, making your own jam is dead-set simple! You’ll be amazed at how easy it really is using your slow cooker! Imagine the delight on your loved one’s faces when you give them a jar of your very own homemade jam, made with love.

So grab yourself a kilo of strawberries, give them a quick wash then chop the tops off & cut them up roughly. Bung them into the slow cooker along with a chopped up green apple, ensuring you leave the skin on (this is where the pectin is which is what sets your jam).

Pour in a kilo of caster sugar & 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Give that lot a jolly good stir & whack the setting on high for 4 hours with NO LID.

Then all you have to do is just give it a blitz with good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) & pour into sterile jars.

https://foodforage.net/2016/09/07/how-to-sterilise-jars/

Yep, that’s it! Homemade jam! YUM!

Yellow Fish Curry

A surprisingly easy curry to whip up in a flash!

This taste of Thailand will surely become a post ballet quickie favourite for my Fam-Bam!

Simply heat a glug of peanut oil (or whatever type floats your boat) in your wok over medium to high heat before adding in 1/2 cup of Thai yellow curry paste. Stir fry that until it’s beautifully fragrant, another way to tell it’s done is when the oils start to separate.

Bung in 1 cup of coconut cream & stir it through. Bring it to the boil, then reduce your heat to medium-low. Whack in a couple of diced fish fillets (I use Basa but love Barramundi too – any white fish will do) & just let that cook gently, giving it the odd push about the wok now & then.

When the fish is cooked through (it turns lovely white, sort of like a self timer!), turn the heat completely off & stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar & 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Serve it up with fluffy white rice & It’s Chompin Time!

Chicken & Mushroom Mac Cheese

If you’re watching your weight or counting calories,

look away now!

Nobody can ever accuse this one of being healthy but sometimes, you just really need a hit of comfort food no matter what the consequences to your hips!

Start off by popping a pot of water onto boil, add salt & cook off an entire 500g bag of macaroni pasta before draining & bunging into a large oven-proof casserole dish.

While that’s doing it’s thing, bubbling away, you can multi-task ~ Da Da Dum!

Heat a wee glug of oil in a frypan & add in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with 500g of diced chicken thigh to cook off. Once lovely & golden, throw in a punnet of sliced mushrooms too. I prefer Swiss Brown Mushies but use whatever type floats your boat. Once everything is cooked, add it into the casserole dish & mix through the pasta.

Then we move onto making the cheese sauce. Far from being something to be scared of, it’s actually pretty easy to make so take a deep breath & here we go!

Bung 2 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan over the lowest heat possible. When it’s melted, remove from the heat & stir in 2 tablespoons of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Pop back onto the lowest heat, stirring to cook off that flour – you’re looking for when the butter ‘remelts’. Finally, slowly add in 2.5 cups of milk (you’ve just made a classic white sauce) before dumping in an entire 450g bag of whatever multiple cheese blend floats your boat (now you have a cheese sauce). Turn up the heat to medium to thicken it up a wee bit then simply pour over the pimped up pasta in the casserole dish. Stir through thoroughly before crowning your creation with copious amounts of grated cheddar cheese & a scrumptious layer of shredded parmesan cheese as well!

Whack that lot into a 180c oven for 20 minutes.

Toros Testa (Farmhouse Pasta)

This Hungarian classic is Hubby’s favourite go-to quickie meal!

Creamy ricotta cheese delicately embraces freshly cooked pasta with a twist of fried bacon & copious amounts of rich sour cream.

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Bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt & cook your pasta off before draining.

Meanwhile, dice 8 rashers of bacon & fry off all that porky goodness – you don’t necessarily need a splash of oil on this one if you’ve got a non stick pan as there’s a good amount of fat in the bacon.

Next, stir your drained pasta through the bacon in the frypan, then crumble through 300g of fresh ricotta cheese over a low heat. Give that lot a jolly good stir to mix thoroughly.

Finally, bung in a 350g tub of sour cream, stir until the sour cream is warmed through & It’s Chompin Time!

How easy is that one?!?!?!