Food plan, week 5, 2012

Life seems to evolve around work, training, more work and more training, but today has come to a halt as Lukas has had an ear ache on and off for 3 days and now it’s become clear that it’s not going to blow over by itself, so I am staying at home from work so get him to the doctor.Today I am baking loads of bread: healthy buns, baked with wholemeal flour, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and oats as well as burger buns for tonight’s “take-away”. May also do a couple of loaves to put in the freezer for next week.

Food wise I have not had anything specific on the go since I (again) cooked an Indian feast for my family on Sunday – this time I added a home made mango chutney.

I added 4 spoonfuls of white balsamic vinegar and 3 spoonfuls of sugar to the recipe as I didn’t find the sweet and sour taste to my liking, But then it was great and what I like is that when you make it fresh, let it cool and eat it the same day, you can really taste the mangoes….

Next week is going to be a bit uninspired -am still working through the content of the fridge and freezer so it is what it is (and pay day is on Tuesday!!!)

Sunday: Pork roast with crackling and roast potatoes and carrots with honey and lemon

Monday: Matt and Lukas alone: tomato soup and mashed potatoes (Lukas’ recipe), I will have a sandwich when I come home.

Tuesday: pumpkin soup, click on the link to see the recipe I am going to attempt:

Wednesday: I am home late, so am hoping there is enough soup left from Tuesday or we will have beans on toast.

Thursday: Spaghetti bolognese or spaghetti and meatballs, served with salad

Friday: cottage pie served with broccoli, carrots and peas

Saturday:  Thai green chicken and vegetable curry, served with noodles or rice

Sunday: Broccoli and fish quiche, served with salad

Week 6: I am alone from Monday as Matt and Lukas are in the UK, so probably won’t do a plan as I haven’t got a clue where I will be and what I will be doing and probably won’t bother cooking for myself,

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Food plan, week 4, 2012

I am still trying to keep costs down (looking forward till next payday so we can have something a little bit more interesting). Still have a few things in the freezer which I of course will incorporate.

Sunday: chicken tikka masala and saag aloo with naan bread and onion bhajis and homemade mango chutney (at my sister’s – my brother has not yet had my Indian feast so will cook part of it.)

Monday: Chili con carne (big pot so there are leftovers for the next day) and red cabbage cole slaw. Served with rice.

Tuesday: I am at the cinema, (The Help (Niceville), in case you were wondering). Matt and Lukas: baked potatoes with chili con carne and cheese (or baked beans and cheese) and salad. Johanne’s packed lunch: Leftover chili con carne and pita bread

Wednesday: I am at a meeting all evening, Matt and Lukas: Chips and gravy with sausages, served with broccoli. Johanne’s packed lunch: pita bread with meatballs and vegetables.

Thursday: Rice pudding with sugar, cinnamon and butter knob

Friday: Homemade burgers.

Burger a la Ripon with homemade sesame seed bun

Saturday: Vegetable soup with whatever is left in the fridge – served with freshly baked bread.

Cooking with Noelia

Because of this blog, I have been asked to help out at events, which professional caterer and fantastic cake maker Noelia Albert is making the food for. I am really excited as she, being Argentinian as well as a professional chef, can show me new directions and also help me become a better cook – as well as earning some cash as well. And as Noelia is a great lady and we get along very well, it’s pretty much a win/win situation.

Tomato soup, a la Egg Café, Liverpool

Tomato Soup a la Egg Cafe

When I was 24, I went to the UK as an exchange student. I ended up in quaint little Ripon, in North Yorkshire with my friend Ingrid. The University there had 850 students and we had a great time (this is where I met my husband when he directed me in a play about voyeurism, but that is a completely different story).

Now, my friend Pernille also went on an exchange program in the UK, but she ended up at Liverpool Hope – a million miles from the tiny, close knit community of Ripon. The dorms there were massive, there were tons of people and the noise was immense. I don’t remember much of the trip I took there to visit her, as I seem to recall  it containing quite a lot of alcohol………. but there are two things that do stand out in my mind

  1. going on a pub crawl in Liverpool. It was -5 degrees, freezing, and like the good vikings we Scandinavian girls are, we dressed for the weather: a big coat, gloves, scarf and boots…. The pub crawl tool place in a square and I guess the Liverpudlian girls did not see the point in dressing up warmly. I still, 12 years later, remember a load of girls wearing less than I would wear on the beach in freezing condition. Oddly enough, we three Scandinavian girls, dressed in practical non flesh revealing clothes, got more attention than the bikini clad ones…
  2. The tomato soup at Egg Café: my friend had discovered this little, bohemian loft café, which served the most amazing vegetarian dishes. We especially fell in love with their tomato soup and since then my friend tried to recreate it. It is a good few years since she passed the recipe on to me and even more since we visited the café, and recipes develop,  but here is my attempt at making The Egg Café Tomato Soup:

Ingredients:

  •  1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely grated
  • 1 large, red pepper, charred on a high heat in the oven, skin removed and cut into small cubes.
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, cut into small pieces (optional)
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1,25 liters of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes (optional – the soup at the cafe was not hot – I just like it that way)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Fry the onions and garlic until soft, then add the other vegetables and chili flakes – keep stirring or the starch from the potatoes will burn. Cook this for a couple of minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and the chicken stock, stir and leave to boil for 15-20 minutes or till all the vegetables have gone completely soft. Season with sugar and blend with a hand blender till you get a thick, smooth soup (no need to thicken it as the vegetables provide the thickness)

Serve with crispy bacon and homemade garlic bread. I like to make my garlic bread like a pizza on my pizza stone – make a dough as you normal, roll it out thinly with a rolling pin. Make a mixture of butter, garlic and finely chopped parsley and smear it all over the base – cook on your hot pizza stone (if you don’t have one, you can use a hot baking sheet, dusted with flour) on high heat until brown and crispy. You can add a little grated cheese to make it even more delicious…..

A big hit with my family, is serving this soup with cheesy buns – you simply make normal buns, flatten them before baking and sprinkle them with cheese.

As it happens, the Egg Cafe still exists and seems to be thriving – memories fade and I have no idea if my soup at all resembles the original one, but I know it tastes delicious and that it’s healthy (if you choose to serve it without cheesy buns, garlic bread or bacon)

http://www.eggcafe.co.uk/

Food plan, week 3, 2012

Well, this week the theme is “inexpensive” as money needs to be spread thinly for the rest of the month – but that is an achievement in itself, one which I quite enjoy….. going to use as much as possible again from the freezer and fridge, and make some not-so-inspired-but-inexpensive meals, so here we go:

Sunday: Pork meatballs (frikadeller) with potatoes and a white cabbage stew

Monday: Matt and Lukas home alone: beans on toast. I will have some bread when I come back from training.

Tuesday: Tortellinin with bacon and tomato sauce, served with salad

Wednesday: Tomato soup with fresh bread

ThursdayBroth with vegetables, dough balls and meat balls (from last week, we got invited out for dinner Saturday, so we still have the ingredients)

Friday: Homemade pizza with whatever topping we have available

Saturday: Omelette served with salad and bread

Lunch inspiration for kids (and adults)

Lukas takes a packed lunch to kindergarten every day and it’s hard to keep coming up with new and interesting things to put in his box. But here is a list of the things I like to give him.

Most of the things are made in batches so I have it in the freezer and can take it out on the morning or the night before.

Sandwiches: 

Any kind of sandwiches made in homemade buns. I try to make the interesting with lettuce, vegetables and pickles.

Pasta salad with ham or tuna (or couscous salad or rice salad)

Boil some pasta, couscous or rice,  mix with peas, chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn, feta cheese and ham or tuna fish. I buy little zippy bags and in one of these I put some yogurt dressing so that the pasta doesn’t become soggy during the morning.

Pizza swirls with bacon or ham:

Make a tomato sauce out of 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, some garlic, some finely chopped onion and a packet of streaky bacon or ham, sliced finely. Season with oregano, salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Now make a normal, white dough or buy a ready made pizza dough. Roll it out to that it’s the size of a large, thin, square pizza. Spread the tomato sauce all over the base, add grated cheese. After this, you roll the dough to a long “sausage” and make slices so that you get pizza swirls. Bake the swirls in a 200 degree warm oven for approx 20 mins.

For a more healthy pizza, substitute some of the flour with wholegrain flour instead and leave the cheese out.

Mini pizzas:

Make the recipe as above, but instead of making swirls, you make mini pizzas and put any topping on they like – pepperoni, bits of sausages, ham, sweetcorn, vegetables, baked beans – the sky (and your child’s taste buds) is the limit!

Sausage rolls:

normal bread dough wrapped around small (or 1/2) hotdog sausages. These are not like the English sausage rolls which are made with puff pastry.

Pork meat balls:

1 lb minced pork, mix with 1 egg, a handful of breadcrumbs, a finely chopped onion, salt and pepper and a splash of milk. Mix and leave to stand for 1/2 hour. Shape into balls the size of a generously sized golf ball or into sausage shaped patties and fry on a pan for 10-12 minutes til cooked through. Lukas also likes them with a few dried herbs (thyme and oregano), a bit of garlic and some feta cheese crumbled into them. Can be made with mince beef, but they tend to get a little bit dry when they get cold. Can be used as they are or to put into a sandwich, wrap or pita bread.

Fruit and nuts:

Small bags of almonds, hazelnuts and dried fruit or fresh fruit chopped into bite sized chunks, or a fig bar.

Pita breads with filling:

Pita bread with lettuce, dressing and meatballs or other meat filling.

Wraps with filling:

Tortilla wraps with lettuce, sweetcorn, red pepper, mild salsa, minced, fried beef with ground cumin or bits of fried chicken.

Skewers

Marinate bits chicken or pork or other kinds of meat in either barbecue, soy sauce or just season it with salt, pepper and paprika (or whatever you like to do to your meat). Put them onto wooden skewers and fry them on a pan. Remember to soak the skewers for 1/2 hour first and to snap the pointy end off before putting it into the lunchbox. Lukas loves gnawing off the skewers.

Vegetables: 

Carrots, small tomatoes, chunks of cucumber and/or slices of red pepper

Other things:

A small block of cheese, any manageable leftovers, whole pickled gurkins

Food plan week 2, 2012

This week I seem to have a fridge which still has a few bits in it and last week I found an offer on minced pork so I bought loads for the freezer and when I was putting the meat in the freezer I noticed that it’s bursting with stuff (I obviously don’t look in there often enough). I will se if I can keep my shopping expenses down by using the stuff I already have.

I am also on a roll baking bread and have not had to buy a loaf in 2 weeks now! Am also in the process of baking a “my bread” again!

So, in the fridge I have: white cabbage, carrots, feta cheese, bacon, potatoes, leek, celery, eggs, tomatoes

In the freezer I have: Pork loin, 2 small pizzas, chips, green beans, breaded fish, non breaded fish, meat and dough balls (for soup), peas, kale, spinach, minced pork, chili sausages, chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, sweetcorn

Monday: Matt and Lukas are eating pizza, I’ll have some bread later after the gym (seems to be a theme going on here)

Tuesday: Dinner at my mum’s

WednesdayMinestrone soup with bacon, cabbage, green beans, carrots, tomato, celery, garlic, leek and home made bread

ThursdayGerman pot with layers of white cabbage and minced pork, (or minced pork rolled into pre boiled cabbage leaves) served with potatoes and white sauce

Friday: Chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and naan breads

Saturday: soup (broth) with celeriac, leek, potatoes, carrots and meat- and dough balls with homemade bread

Sunday: possibly guests for dinner: Sunday roast with pork, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, broccoli and gravy. (Omelette with bacon and tomato, if our guests can’t come)