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#BEDM – It’s Cinco de Mayo, Here’s My Recipe For Guacamole

By 5 May 2014 Food, Home Cooking, Life
cinco de mayo guacamole recipe

Today’s #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) topic is Cinco de Mayo! Rosalilium has challenged us to unleash our inner Mexican for the day.

I’ve never been to Mexico but love the food. One of my favourite foods is guacamole. I’ve always liked avocado ever since Granma dished it up with prawn cocktail in a fetching 1970’s glass dish shaped like an avocado (in the 90s, I hasten to add)! I know a lot of people don’t like it and I think it’s the texture that puts people off.

You can buy tubs of guacamole in the supermarket but it’s just not the same. Nothing beats a bowl of freshly made guac, and it’s really easy to make.

Guacamole recipe for Cinco de Mayo

Picture from Pinterest

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 green chilli
  • fresh coriander

The trick here is to have ripe avocados. It can be hard to find ripe ones in the shop so you might have to plan ahead and buy them in advance. You need them to be ripe otherwise you can’t mash them!

Get your avocados out of their skins and remove the stones. The easiest way to do this is to hit the stone with the blade of a sharp knife so the blade sticks into it and then you can just lift it out. Mind your fingers though! I take no responsibility for your inaccuracy with a knife!

Put the avocado flesh into a bowl and roughly mash it with a fork.

Chop up the flesh of your tomatoes, discarding the seeds. Add the tomato to the bowl and mix together.

Finely chop your chilli. If you like it hot, add more chilli, if you prefer it cool. Use just half. Without any chilli it’s just mashed avocado! I can’t normally eat spicy food but a green chilli in this mixture is just fine for me, and I’m someone who can’t even eat a chicken tikka marsala!

Stick your garlic in a garlic press and add it to the mix.

Finally add the juice of a lime and chopped fresh coriander. This gives your guacamole a lovely fresh taste and a bit of zing.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy šŸ™‚ You can adapt the recipe to suit you. Add more chilli, more garlic, add an onion if you want a bit more crunch. All sorts. I’ve even been known to make the mix to further by adding some sour cream, but shhh! don’t tell any Mexicans!

Now you can enjoy your guacamole with some simple tortilla chips or perhaps with some sizzling fajitas. Perfect for a sunny bank holiday Monday.

Enjoy!

Rachel x

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Recipe: Homemade Pizza (and it’s healthy!)

By 6 April 2014 Food, General, Home Cooking, Life, Lifestyle
Homemade pizza with smokey paprika tomato paste, parma ham, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatos and reduced fat mozzarella.

I LOVE pizza! But the problem with shop-bought or takeway pizza is that it’s normally covered in cheese and/or olive oil. Now don’t get me wrong, I love cheese too! But I’m trying to lose weight so that’s hardly ideal. There is cheese on this healthy pizza but it’s reduced fat mozzarella.

This recipe is really easy and there’s a definite satisfaction of making your own.

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C with your baking tray or pizza stone in it. (This helps to cook the bottom of your pizza.)
  2. Weigh out 200g of plain flour, you don’t need anything special; I use Sainsbury’s Basics, which costs just 55p for 1.5kg. Add half a 7g sachet of fast action yeast and a pinch of salt. Measure 200ml of tepid water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients, mixing as you go. You won’t need all the water so don’t add it all at once.
  3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, use plenty of flour on your worktop as I normally find it’s quite sticky.
  4. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for 20 minutes or so to prove.
  5. Turn the dough back out onto the worktop and knock out the air. Divide the mixture into two and roll out each half. It can be quite thin so just roll it to a shape that best fits your tray. Put each pizza base on a piece of baking paper so it’s easy to move and doesn’t get stuck to your tray or pizza stone. Belazu smoked paprika and tomato paste. Great for pizza topping.
  6. Now for the topping. About half a jar of Belazu smoked paprika tomato paste mixed with about a tablespoon of tomato puree is plenty for both pizzas. For a really smokey flavour you could just use the Belazu paste but it’s a little pricey so combining it with regular tomato puree that most people have in the cupboard at home makes it go further.
  7. Slice up roasted red pepper from a jar (avoid the ones in oil), a couple of slices of parma ham, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a ball of reduced fat mozzarella. I use the Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself one. Divide the topping between the two pizzas and arrange how you want. Thinking about it, it would be nice to add a few leaves of fresh basil too.
  8. Transfer each pizza onto the preheated baking tray, or pizza stone if you have one, and cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a fresh green salad.

This recipe is enough to feed four if you serve the pizza with lots of salad and perhaps some garlic bread, but really it’s best for two!

Shopping List

  • Plain flour
  • Fast action yeast
  • Belazu Smoked Paprika and Tomato Paste
  • Tomato puree
  • Karyatis Roasted Red Peppers (or similar)
  • Parma ham (San Daniele or any other cured ham would work just as well)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Reduced Fat Mozzarella Ball
  • Fresh Basil

The best thing about homemade pizza is that you can top it with what you like. Sweetcorn, mushrooms, pineapple – whatever floats your boat. It’s also not your normal ‘diet food’ so hubby will happily eat it too! This pizza still feels like a treat and it tastes amazing.

Do you make your own pizza? What’s your favourite topping?

Rachel x

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Baking Hubby’s Birthday Chocolate Cake

By 28 January 2014 Food, Home Cooking, Life
Mary Berry's Baking Bible

Thursday is hubby’s birthday. He’s finally catching up with me. I’m only three months older but he does like to joke about how he’s my toy boy!

To help celebrate the occasion I’m baking him a cake. This year I’m making him a chocolate cake, his favourite. It’s got to be better than last year’s attempt. I must have used the wrong recipe because the cake ended up about 2cm thick and then I tried decorating it with ‘writing icing’ that was too runny so it looked like a child did it!

I’m using Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, which I got for my birthday. I’m hoping the recipe will be pretty foolproof. It was definitely really easy to follow. All the dry ingredients into the bowl, make a well, and then add all the wet ingredients before beating it all together. The batter tasted amazing. One of the best parts of baking is licking the spoon!

I’ve just got the two cakes out of the oven (it’s going to have four layers sandwiched with chocolate butter icing!) and they smell divine! The whole living area smells all warm and chocolatey. Icing and layering the cake is my job for tomorrow. I’ve also ordered a printed icing topper to finish the cake off. Hubby is 28 going on 8, so of course he wanted a Superman chocolate cake! If he had his way, the cake would be shaped like the logo. The estimated delivery date for the topper is his birthday so I’m hoping it does arrive in time so I can actually put it on the cake. Otherwise, it’ll be going on a half eaten cake!

Mary Berry's Death by Chocolate Cake recipe

prepared cake tins

Licking the spoon

Freshly baked cakes

Once the cake’s finished I’ll post a pic. I can’t wait to try it. šŸ™‚

UPDATE

So here’s the finished cake! Unfortunately, the printed Superman icing to go on top hasn’t arrived. Luckily hubby was pleased with the cake anyway.

Finished Death by Chocolate Cake

What do you think?

Rachel x

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Tonight’s Dinner – Pork with Fennel, Rice and Spinach, Topped with Caramelised Onions

By 17 January 2014 Food, Home Cooking
Pork with fennel rice and spinach topped with caramelised onions WeightWatchers recipe

Check out this tasty little number! Would you believe this is a healthy, low fat dinner from a WeightWatcher’s recipe book?

Simply fry a bulb of fennel, add a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of raisins, 120g of long grain rice (preferably brown but I’ve got white to use up) and 600ml of chicken stock (I cheated and used a Knorr Stock Pot). Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

While this is cooking, slow cook a chopped onion in a frying pan. After 15 minutes or so, add four pork loin steaks to the frying pan with the onions.

Before serving the rice, stir in 150g of baby spinach until wilted.

Dish up the rice, then the pork with the caramelised onions on top. A squeeze of lemon juice finishes off the dish.

Serves 2.

This was the first time I’d tried this recipe and it was delish! I felt the pork was a little over cooked but I find it so hard to get it just right. It went from still raw in the middle to over cooked in about a minute! Does anyone have any advice on cooking pork loin steaks?

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