Chef in my Kitchen











{January 9, 2010}   Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you out there.   We’ve had a lovely time during the holidays with lots of snow.

It was snowing and snowing but we had some  shining days as well.  More snow is expected on the ground by the end of the week and the kids have been enjoying the holidays,  making snowmen, building snow castles and having snowball fights all the time.

The other good news that I would love to share with you  is that I am pregnant again.  The whole family is thrilled especially the little one who is anxious to have a new baby sister or brother.

The past three months were not very easy, especially in the mornings but that is behind me now and  I now seem to hungry all the time and keep eating all the time!!

Here is one of those snacks I keep craving all the time:

Three cake flavours:

I  followed  the basic recipe of Stephanie Jaworski from The Joy of Baking and divided it it three equal parts.  One was a pain cake and the other had cocoa and the third some nuts.  All were delicious.



{October 3, 2009}   Mushroom soup

mushroom soup

I love mushrooms of all types and what’s better to do when it’s cold and you have mushrooms?    Mushroom Soup of course.  I found this recipe here and must say that  it was easy to make and one of the tastiest mushroom soups we ever ate.

Preparation :  30 min

Cooking:   40 Min

Ingredients:

25g dried porcini (ceps)

50g butter

1 onion , finely chopped

1 garlic clove , sliced

thyme sprigs

400g mixed wild mushrooms

850ml vegetable stock

200ml tub crème fraîche

4 slices white bread , about 100g, cubed

chives and truffle oil, to serve

Method

  1. Bring a kettle to the boil, then pour the water over the dried porcini just to cover. Heat half the butter in a saucepan, then gently sizzle the onion, garlic and thyme for 5 mins until softened and starting to brown. Drain the porcini, reserving the juice, then add to the onion with the mixed wild mushrooms. Leave to cook for 5 mins until they go limp. Pour over the stock and the reserved juices, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins. Stir in crème fraîche, then simmer for a few mins more. Blitz the soup with a hand blender or liquidiser, pass through a fine sieve, then set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan, fry the bread cubes until golden, then drain on kitchen paper. To serve, heat the soup and froth up with a hand blender, if you like. Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter over the croûtons and chives and drizzle with truffle oil.


{June 2, 2009}   Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's pie

I usually make Shepherd’s Pie with leftover turkey and have also tried it with some leftover roasted chicken as well and it worked well.

This is a real family pleaser and our youngest child actually asks for this for dinner a lot so this time I tried it with uncooked chicken.  I adapted the recipe from here making some minor adjustments.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin pieces
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated Cheddar

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes until tender.
  2. Mash potatoes with butter or margarine and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Saute onion,  leek and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in chicken and saute, carrot,  parsley, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add half a cup of water, cover sauteing pan and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in flour.
  4. Transfer meat mixture to a deep dish pie pan or casserole. Spread potatoes over meat, and swirl with a fork.
  5. Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned.


{May 8, 2009}   Broccoli Gratin

I rustled this up a couple of nights ago  – a recipe I found on the net, which is very simple to make, and tasted fantastic.   It turned out to very light and delicious and the kids wanted more.

BROCCOLI GRATIN
Simply in Season
by Mary Beth Lind, Cathleen Hockman-Wert

Serves 4-6

5-6 cups / 1.25-1.5 L (cut in chunks)
Steam broccoli just until crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
In small saucepan sauté in 2 tablespoons oil until fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes.

1/4 cup / 60 ml flour
Sprinkle on onions and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes without browning.

2 cups / 500 ml milk
Whisk in and bring to a boil.

1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch each ground nutmeg and ground red pepper
Add and cook 5 minutes.

1 cup / 250 ml cheddar cheese (shredded)
Stir in and remove from heat. Combine with broccoli. Transfer to a glass-baking pan.

1 cup / 250 ml bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
1/4 cup / 60 ml Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
Combine and sprinkle on top of broccoli mixture.
Bake in preheated oven at 350F / 180C until thoroughly heated, 20 minutes.

I am sending this recipe to Sowmya, of  Creative Saga, who is hosting SWC – Cooking with Greens. I have seen this event on My Recipes & Events.



{May 3, 2009}   Apple crumble

apple-crumble

One of my all time favourite desserts is this recipe which is one of my mother’s recipes and she loves it so much.  Although my mother doesn’t use craisins or cinnamon, I have added some in the filling as my husband and children love it this way.  We ate this with some soft vanilla ice cream, but custard or whipped cream or even crème fraîche would work well, too.

Ingredients

For the crumble:

• 35g rolled oats

• 35g wholemeal flour

• 20g  sugar

• 35g margarine or butter
For the filling:

• 400 g cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered

• 70 g sugar, to sweeten

• 1 tablespoon water

• 2 T craisins

• 1 tsp cinammon

Instructions

serves 5
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Peel and core the apples, quarter and cut in to chunks.

Put the apples in to a pan with the sugar and water. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes and place in a small oven proof dish.  Mix in the craisins and cinnamon.

Place the flour and oats in a bowl and mix well. Cut the margarine or butter in to small cubes and add this to the oats and flour. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles an even crumb texture. Add the sugar and mix through.

Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the crumble is golden and the apple hot.

logo

This recipe goes to Ivy, of Kopiaste for her event Celebrating Mother’s Day.



{April 14, 2009}   Chicken and bow tie Pasta

bow-tie-pasta1

My children love pasta dishes but hate vegetables in them, so I adapted this recipe and they loved it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (8 ounce) containers chive and onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté garlic.
  3. Add chicken and sauté on both sides. Season with salt and pepper and add chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add pasta and stir in cream cheese until smooth.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.


risotto

Don’t let the title of my blog mislead you.  I am by no way a Chef, just a wife and mom trying to please my family.

This is my first blog post and I was motivated to start blogging from Ivy, at Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality. I have been reading her blog for a while and recently joined BloggerAid.

Ivy, together with two other lovely ladies, Giz, at Equal Opportunity Kitchen and Val, at More than Burnt Toast created this Social Network to bring awareness about hunger.  They are also going to publish a Cookbook by the end of the year and all money will be going to School Meals, a programme of the World Food Programme.

I bookmarked this recipe from Ivy’s blog and my whole family and I have been enjoying it as I have made it more than once.

I saw some events going on at BloggerAid and decided to write my first post and participate at these events.

Risotto with Shrimps and Mushrooms

Recipe adapted from Ivy’s blog

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  25 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams Arborio rice
  • 1 kilo frozen shrimps
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons, balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Chicken stock (about 4 cups)

Directions:

1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and sauté mushrooms.  Remove and set aside.

2.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent.

3.  Add the rice and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the wine and vinegar and mix.

4.  Season with salt and pepper.

5.  Add the tomatoes and mix and start adding the chicken stock gradually.  When it is absorbed continue adding and mixing.

6.  Five minutes before the rice is ready, add the shrimps and the mushrooms and keep adding stock and mixing.

7.  Remove from the heat and serve while hot.

I am sending this recipe to Srivali, at Cooking 4 all Seasons, who is hosting the event Monthly Mingle 31, Kids’ Lunches, event started by Meeta.

mm-kidslunches



{April 2, 2009}   Bare with me

under-construction-zoneSite still under construction…



et cetera
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