You’ve just gotta love 24hr supermarkets…

…especially at this time of year:) its 5am in the morning of the 23rd and had the ENTIRE supermarket completely to ourselves so nice and easy to stroll around and finish the entire food shop without crushes, crowds or problems and with loads of staff eager to help (even if they thought I was mad) – just a shame they weren’t also in my kitchen to help with the unpacking too:)

Anyway – off to bed now that everything is squared away – I’ll do a fuller post in the (later) morning when I start some of the prep work:)

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Egg fried rice from leftovers, cheap and tasty

Ok so yet another busy day but barely stepped outside the door – loads of housework done so now all spick and span ready for food preparation and visitors for the big day:) Lunch was very tasty – something I normally reserve for a Friday night as its a nice simple, quick fish dish so I’ll wait till I do it again on a Friday and cover it there. So I’ll crack on with tonights dinner.

Egg fried rice with Turkey and Prawns

I had some rice and prawns left over from last night so, wanting something quick and easy I decided to do a fried rice. Chopped a large onion up and sliced up (I prefer it that way than crushed) 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed them together with a teaspoon of rapeseed oil and a small knob of butter. Once starting to turn translucent I added the left over rice and two packs of sliced up turkey sandwich slices (again from the reduced section at 19p per pack. At this point you can also add what else you want – sweetcorn, peas, mushroom etc – and I threw in a general tablespoons worth of soy sauce and black rice vinegar. Having given a good stir I left it too cook out for about a minute before stirring in 2 raw eggs (well stirred in to coat the rice etc) and the prawns cut up into halves (with a couple left over to decorate) Several good stirs and about 2 minutes later and it was ready to dish up, quick, tasty, cheap and cleared some more space out of the fridge ready for food prep tomorrow:)

Christmas countdown continues with…the sales and a curry

Not going to be a massive post today as it’s been a long (but productive) day Christmas shopping. Most non-food items ticked off the list ready for the big day and a few decent reduced priced kitchen items in the sales – the shops really seem keen to get you to spend money, any money, at the moment – some of the reductions pre-Christmas are nuts – and on top of that “Best-Buy” at Parkgate is closing down in early January so is having a massive “everything must go” sale – and there’s a new Poundland there too, and TKMax have a sale on and…and..and.. suffice to say its been a long, cheap, day and someday when I have more time and energy and less preparation for Christmas to do I’ll maybe get around to cataloguing the new toys.

So on the way home from successfully blitzing sales, and as is my usual habit, I check out the reduced section at Tesco Express and find it packed with value Jumbo prawns which lend themselves to a nice curry – ok so anything can be made into a curry but these are ready cooked and in the reduced section so I’m not expecting taste explosions without adding some more flavour to them so curry seems the perfect plan. (NB for the record I do a lot of my shopping from the Tesco value range so that is not a complaint about it – just that I KNOW having grown up on a small island with fresh seafood that these prawns are not going to ring my bell on their own. Once Christmas is out the way I think I’ll explore the value ranges more with you, remind me)

Anyway back to today – and on the way to the checkout and I’ve grabbed some value (see told you) naan bread and some value (double see) low fat yoghurt and its back to the kitchen for me.

Ok so Homemade Prawn Korma in quarter of an hour


I’m not going to tell you how to do rice or heat a naan bread so just do those in your own time to coordinate with the end of cooking. Also to note is I like my food spicy so adjust these measurements accordingly if you want to tame it down a bit…

Preparation wise mix about 300g of the low fat plain yoghurt with about a teaspoon of chilli powder, a teaspoon of ground black pepper and a teaspoon on ground cumin and lastly a teaspoon of turmeric – make sure its all stirred and mixed well and leave to sit while cracking on with the rest.

In a saucepan heat a small dribble of oil and throw in a teaspoon of whole cloves, another of peppercorns and about 4-5 cardamom pods (don’t forget to crack them slightly with the side of a knife blade) and toss them all around slighlty till they start to sizzle before chucking in a couple of crushed or finely chopped garlic cloves and a teaspoon of chopped chilli (I cheat and use the Tesco equivalent of lazy chilli) its in vinegar and gives a lovely bite to things.

Once that is all starting to smell nicely I dropped the prawns in to warm up (pre-cooked remember) for about a minute before adding the yoghurt mixture. After a good stair and another minute that should al be ready – if you’ve been paying attention and got your easy cook rice on to cook, and your naan in the over at the right time then that should have all taken around 15-20 minutes in total for a gorgeous Prawn korma at a cheap price – the prawns (albeit reduced) were £1.49 a packet of which I got 2 packets – the rest of the ingredients weren’t more than £2 between them so £5 total and 15 mins cook time for a lovely curry for 2 – can’t be bad.

So-Juicy roasting bags = lived up to their name

Not sure how wide spread these are so to start with I guess I need to explain these. It’s a two part packet as a way of cooking a dish – in this case Chicken with Herbs – whereby there is a oven proof bag to seal the chicken and herb rub in.

As I’m trying to empty out the pantry ready for Christmas I chose to use a reduced-price tray of chicken wings that were cluttering up the freezer (I do a lot of my food shopping from the reduced sections) which isn’t the ideal cut for this but worked pretty well. “Waste not, want not” and all that – 43p in the reduced section for just over 1kg of chicken – yes ok some of that weight is bones and water but at that price you can’t go wrong:)

It was literally as easy as 1…2…3 opened the bag, put the chicken in and sprinkled in the herb rub and placed in the oven as directed. Only slight query was the instruction to “use the tab to tie the bag loosely” which seemed a little vague – how loose is loose?

To accompany I’d picked up something new I’d seen in Tesco – Golden Wax Beans – it seems to be a new thing they are doing as it was quite a large jar (340g – enough for two) for only 50p and rounded off with some boiled (no salt added) small potatoes

All in all a delightful flavoursome meal and definitely will be trying the other flavours in the So-Juicy range too – very impressed with the flavour it packed in. Slightly less impressed with the beans but very pleasant and a cheap way of getting one of your five a day so would get them again too:) definitely an easy enough meal, and cheap as well, coupled with healthy and it ticked all the boxes.

To top it all off – having used the roasting time to read some photography blogs and swapping some lenses around some of the photos of the finished product are starting to look better too – now practice will make perfect:)

Calling all foodies in the UK and elsewhere

Ok so I’m having another push for interested Facebookers for by rapidly growing group called

UK Foodies

It has a close tie in with what I am doing here but allows much more interaction between members without being all about me and boring people with my health issues if they don’t want too:)

We’re all sharing recipes, food tips, ideas on ingredients, shopping tips – current discussion is best/favourite way of preparing potato mash:)

Please do have a look and please do join in:)

You know it’s Christmas when…

…the parcels arrive – ok, ok so its not technically a Christmas present and Sushi is not considered the most traditional of Yule Tide cuisine but I’m excited all the same and it’s been an eagerly awaited knock at the door from dear old postie:)

In fairness and all joking aside I was pretty impressed with the turn around in getting it out to me anyway we only ordered it at 12:30 on the Thursday 15th and it arrived early morning of the 17th so definite spot on at this time of year:) Fast delivery, securely wrapped and all intact – can’t ask for more.

Had planned on ordering sooner but we’d been distracted by the lead up to yesterdays events but now that’s out the way I’m ready to crack on. So I better explain – after many years of eating sushi all over the Far East and now, as you know, with a pressing need to be eating healthy food regularly I’ve been looking further and further into the opportunities presented by sushi and I’ve discovered a thriving community of home Sushi makers here in the UK and many more restaurants than I expected.

I even tried applying for an apprenticeship in one of the South Yorkshire sushi restaurants but was advised by the college that as I already have a degree I wouldn’t be eligible:(

That being the case I’ve decided to take the plunge in the home kitchen and, after research  found that SushiSushi are considered *the* sushi supplies shop in the UK and placed my order for an all inclusive 4 person kit (I do have a mish-mash of odds and ends from my travels but decided to start from the beginning) Yes you guessed it – its that parcel that’s just arrived so I’m off to have a read up and see what fun I can – its been a few years, wish me luck:)

 

 

Yes I’m a carnivore

Celebratory meal after this mornings MRI scan – I had a heart attack on 1st September 2011 and the scan was an interesting experience – 45 minutes of being encased in a snug fitting ceramic tube being told when to breathe in and out and hold your breath – not forgetting having my arm pumped full of dye half way through – but at least the dye was less uncomfortable than the one they use for the CT scans I have for my cancer follow ups – but we’ll leave the details of that till another day. The heart attack is part of the most recent encouragement behind my love of cookery and exploring healthy options – as per the Healthy Notes tab along the top of this.

Sometimes, when you deserve it, however its *got* to be ok to throw healthy caution to the wind and tuck into something that you love – for me one of those is a slab of rare sirloin with some green beans and boiled potato (did I mention the melted butter, black pudding and sautéed mushroom and onion?) either way – it tasted good and was very welcome after a long (nervously) awaited day:)