Sunday, June 25, 2017

Baked (Jacket) Potato Soup - for Leftover Baked Potatoes

I love eating jacket potatoes, especially in winter, but even in summer they can be a particularly nice lunch with sour cream and chives (or something similar), cooling tuna mayo or homemade coronation chicken.

Baked potatoes are also a great barbecue staple, cooked either on the coals or in the oven, as everyone can have their own and top it with whatever they like; they are great even just with butter. But it's easy to cook too many and have some baked potatoes left - here is a great recipe to use up leftover baked potatoes.

You can make a delicious soup with the potatoes that you can top with anything you like and freeze the soup for another day (or take it in a flask to eat at work).

If you want to make this soup from scratch, there's a quicker way than baking a potato in the oven for an hour or more, which you won't want to do on a hot day. Simply simmer a whole potato in a pan of milk for about 20-25 minutes until the potato is tender.

Mash the potato into the soup, or put the potato into a food processor with some of the milk and pulse, then return to the pan and stir in with the rest of the milk. Season to taste.

If you are using leftover potatoes, chop the potatoes and put into a pan of milk so the potatoes are just covered and bring the milk to simmering point. Remove from the heat allow to cool; put the potatoes and some of the milk into a food processor as before then return to the pan and stir through, and reheat if you are eating this now.

 
Serve the soup in bowls and top with whatever jacket potato toppings you liked - eg cooked diced bacon, sour cream and chive or a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Restaurant review: Cote Brasserie, St Christophers Place, London

I had a late dinner at Cote one evening with my mother-in-law after I had been to a KitchenAid cooking demonstration with chef Michael Moore. The demo didn't finish until 9 and even though I'd had a couple of bites to eat, trying some of the food that Michael cooked, it didn't really count as dinner.

We were near St Christopher's Place and my mother-in-law knew of Cote and wanted to go there - we passed some much more interesting restaurants as we walked, like Bone Daddies, but we were also with one of her work colleagues at the time so I didn't want to suggest anything else - I knew Cote would be comfortable, with plenty on the menu for everyone and in any case eating ramen (which Bone Daddies serves) is a pretty messy experience and probably not something to do with a work contact!

Because it was late I didn't want a heavy meal and also nothing that would take too long to cook or eat; there was a plats rapides menu that offered a couple of dishes that could be served quickly - I had the cod goujons for £11.95 which were essentially fishfingers but very large, chunky ones - nothing like the floppy flat ones you sometimes get in packets! It came with French fries- I declined the option of peas - and tartare sauce, and was very good. I recommend it if you are in the area, but next time I might try Bone Daddies!

 



Friday, June 23, 2017

Monochrome Fashion Mannequin Greeting Card


On a recent visit to a Hobbycraft I treated myself to a card making magazine which came with a whole sheet of unmounted rubber stamps relating to both DIY and tools and sewing equipment - a sewing machine, bobbins, knitting needles and wool and a wire mannequin.

I have a lovely turquoise wire mannequin I bought when I moved to my last house as I had a huge bedroom and was living on my own for the first time in years so could have a more feminine bedroom. Now that my husband and I own a house together - that is bigger but doesn't have a near-20ft long bedroom like I used to - the mannequin has been relegated to the spare room that I've nicknamed my craft room.

So I was immediately attracted to the mannequin stamp and stamped it in black ink just to the left of centre on a square card blank. Then I wasn't quite sure what to do!

Having started off with black ink against a white background I decided to go for a monochrome effect for the whole card, and remembered I had some black and white patterned papers. I cut off a strip and stuck it down the right hand third of the card - it looks a bit like flock wallpaper.

I used a 'just for you' stamp from the same set on white paper which I mounted onto black card, and secured to the card with two gold brads in the shape of stars. I really liked the finished effect and sent this to one of my best friends on her birthday.

I'm sharing this with Cardz 4 Galz where the theme is 'sew and sew'

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Slimming World Linguine with Crab and Chilli

This dish reminds me of something I would order in an Italian restaurant or better still, eat while on holiday somewhere sunny, ideally with a view of the ocean. It's actually based on a Slimming World recipe for the rather more prosaically named 'crab noodles' and is really quick to throw together.

Cook some linguine or spaghetti according to pack instructions; when is cooked, drain, and add some tinned crab (a small tin will do 1-2 people depending on how generous you want to be with the crab), a few dried red chilli flakes or a pinch of fresh chopped red chilli, some finely chopped red onion, a squeeze of lime juice, and the grated zest of the lime, and some fresh parsley on top. Serve with broccoli or a salad on the side. Delicious!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Restaurant Review: Wasabi, Borough High Street, London

Commuting is never fun though in the past I’ve quite enjoyed sitting on a train with a good book or a newspaper – these days however it’s a deeply unpleasant experience. My trains are frequently cancelled or delayed, and I’ve lost count of the number of times Southern has been on strike in the past 12 months.
 
It was one of those days where I had finished late at work, got to London Bridge station to find the train was cancelled and I had a 45 minute wait until the next one. As I wouldn’t get home until about 9pm and it was a nice evening, I decided to make the most of it and get some dinner.
 
Walking back down from the station I passed a Jamie’s bar, and stuck my head inside, but it was packed and I wanted to sit down. I meandered a little way along the street, noticing that all the bars and pubs were crowded and the only other options seemed to be the likes of Pret, or a little place I thought might be an Italian from the name but when I stuck my head in turned out to be a kebab shop.
 

Wasabi seemed the best option as it had seating, a choice of hot or cold food and would be pretty quick. As well as sushi Wasabi sells bento boxes, salads and dishes like sweet chilli chicken and rice. I chose a hot chicken katsu which came in a pot, with rice on the bottom, a piece of breaded chicken in a separate section on top and a container of katsu sauce, for you to mix together as you wish. I like the fact that you can add the sauce however you want it – it had quite a kick but I did end up using all of it.
 
It was very filling and really nice – on a par with somewhere like Wagamama so if you are looking for a takeaway chicken katsu curry you can eat at your desk back at work, I recommend this. I just hope that I don’t end up having to eat dinner on the go because my train is cancelled again!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dr. Oetker Popcorn Fudge Brownies

Monday, June 19, 2017

Meal Planning Monday 2017 - Week 25

We've just had the most amazing weekend away for our first wedding anniversary; just got home on Monday lunchtime with the rest of the day off with gorgeous weather to enjoy - why can't life always be like this?!

Monday
Lunch  back home in time for a late lunch from our anniversary weekend away so we will want something quick; beans on toast or similar will do.
Dinner – barbecue: whole roast chicken from the Weber course we did plus grilled broccoli with garlic and chilli
 
Tuesday
Lunch – wfh – salad with rest of chicken from Monday
Dinner – ready meal after circuits class
 
Wednesday
Lunch- sandwich – only have 10 mins to eat before I go to the school where I volunteer
Dinner- barbecued steak with potato wedges / baked potato with sour cream and chives and salad
 
Thursday
Lunch- chicken salad
Dinner- salmon and vegetables for me, chicken grillsteak and mashed potatoes for him
 
Friday
Lunch- chicken salad
Dinner- chicken goujons/ fish and chips
 
Saturday
Lunch- fresh bread, ham, cheese etc (as I will probably have to go food shopping today so can pick up some fresh bread)
Dinner- assuming the weather is still good, homemade pizza on the barbecue, with some sides. Followed by chocolate molten puddings also on the barbecue - both Weber recipes
 
Sunday
Lunch- fresh pasta (ravioli)
Dinner- Lemon chicken from a jar of sauce - as an experiment, if the hubby likes it I will make my own next time! With a naan bread for him, and rice (with veg for me).