Meals in Minutes

I got a new cookbook. In fact, I got the all new Jamie Oliver Meals in Minutes cookbook!!!!!!! And I’m over the moon.

It’s a fantastic book with, as always, brilliant pictures. It is put together in a super unique way to. Rather then flipping through different meat, veg, salad, dessert sections and peicing together your own meal, all the recipes make up entire meals. The instructions are also laid out so by the time you are finished cooking, your entire meal is ready, hot and on the table (including mouth watering simple desserts and unique refreshing beverages!)

The book also includes fantastic advice on kitchen prep, a well-compiled list of kitchen musts, helpful hints on presentation, and always encouraging words on shopping for meat, eggs, poultry and fish. A ton of recipes also include instructional videos when you go to the website!

Jamie Oliver – Videos – Introduction to Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals.

I don’t know where to start with this one so I have decided it’s going to be a start from the first meal and work my way through, sort of deal.

My first Meal in Minutes?

Broccoli orecchiette, zucchini & bocconcini salad, and prosciutto & melon salad!


Now, I want to say right now, it’s not all good news for Mr. Oliver. His book, although being  “the fastest-selling non-fiction title of the year,” has been under fire. People are claiming that his meals are taking longer than 30minutes, sometimes up to an hour and a half. I love Jamie and so far, with the 6 Jamie Oliver cookbooks I own, the times I have been disappointed have been few and far between. So as well as cooking each and every meal in this book. I plan on posting the results to you as well as the total time it took me.

So if you aren’t sold on Meals in Minutes or if you just like spending time with me, keep reading The Supper Club!

And if you’re hungry, come over to my house.. there will be a meal waiting.

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My Obsessions Combine

Well, my obsession for certain British chefs and for fresh herbs at least.

When it’s summer (at least according to the calender) I am always in the mood for fresh flavors. My favorite are when things taste green… I hope that makes sense. If not, make this soup and you’ll understand. In the Fraser Valley we are lucky enough to be able to make a pot of soup any season (and yes, I consider us lucky to have the rainy days that we do because I am a soup lover, hear me roar!) So here is the recipe for the soup I made a couple of days ago, the soup that is almost gone, the soup that is a Jamie Oliver recipe from his food revolution, the soup that just so happens to be my favorite.

Pea and Mint Soup

Ingredients

olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

8 cups of chicken broth

5 1/2 cups frozen peas

a good handful of fresh mint

Instructions

Put your olive oil and chopped vegetables in a large soup pot over medium heat. Put a lid on, askew, and sweat the veg for 10 minutes. While this is happening, put your broth in a saucepot and heat till boiling. Add your boiling broth and frozen peas to the cooking veg. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add the mint. Blend. Eat and enjoy!

SUCH a simple and delicious soup. Top it with some grated ewe’s milk cheese, some mixed seeds or a nice piece of bread, add a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche, tear in some soft fresh herbs… in the words of Jamie O. “Pimp up your soup!” I served mine with Joy the Bakers Garlic Knots (which just so happens to be… OUR FEATURED FOODIE BLOG!!!!) … only I used my own pizza dough recipe and made little buns instead of knots. Delicious!

Simple Pizza Dough

Ingredients

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tbl. spn. olive oil

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water for a couple of minutes. Add salt and olive oil. Mix in flour until dough is soft and elastic. Knead for 10 minutes. Oil a bowl, plop in your dough, cover and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Punch it down and let it rise slowly in the fridge for another 2 hours.

At this point you can either wrap it up and freeze it till later or use it for whatever your heart desires!

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It’s thyme for some tropical fruit salad!

I am a fresh herb freak. I just love it. Picking lemon thyme and fresh mint out of my moms garden to add to this and that… heaven. Getting that green, fresh, herby smell on my hands. Happiness. It’s gotten to the point where I now get sent recipes for herb infused popsicles and create my own recipes for herby-citrus sugar cookies, peach-rosemary rustic tarts and, you guessed it, tropical fruit salad with fresh thyme!

The feature blog today is Simply Recipes with their recipe for Blueberry Peach Fruit Salad with Thyme.

This recipe looked fantastic and I had my heart set on making it. I went to the grocery store and bought my nectarines and peaches but when I got to the blueberries the outrageous price ($5.99 for a cup?!) quickly reminded me that it is not the season yet. Living in a place where, once a year, I can gorge myself on enough free blueberries that I don’t have to eat dinner has made me appreciate the berry season and snub paying for overpriced, mediocre product. I decided to use frozen blueberries from my freezer and work them into the dressing somehow.

That’s when it happened. I got home and… sensing that my fruit wasn’t ripe yet, cut into a hard-as-stone peach and took a bite. It was not ready. It was sour and hard and awful. It was time for me to create my own fruit salad. So, I did! And it turned out amazing. In fact, there wasn’t a leftover forkful at the end of the day.

Here’s the recipe… go forth and fruit:

Tropical Fruit Salad with Thyme

Ingredients

2  mango

2  oranges

2  bananas

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Instructions

Put your water and sugar into a pot on med-high heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Add frozen blueberries and bring mixture to a boil. Boil until reduced by half. Cool completely.

Chop up your mango, oranges and bananas into bite sized chunks. Put in a bowl. Add your ginger, lemon zest and thyme. Mix.

Add your blueberry-simple-syrup. Cool completely in the fridge (fruit salad just tastes better cold.) Enjoy!

p.s. Here’s a cool herb chart so you can love herbs too!

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Say Cheese

Hello. My name is Rebecca and I have a lactose intolerant husband.

I am also a cheese lover. In fact, lover doesn’t even begin to describe it… I am always in the mood for cheese, I will eat any type of cheese put in front of me and nearly always enjoy it, I will make a recipe just because it contains cheese, I will make cheese and crackers or apples and when I’m done.. the crackers and apples are left untouched. I will spend more on cheese then on shoes. I will get more excited when I see cheese than when I see celebrities. I am a gorge-myself-till-sick-and-then-eat-some-more cheese fanatic.

My favorite cheese is Roaring 40’s blue. I had it with quince paste at the Salt Tasting Room and we’ve been getting along ever since. I also love eating cheddar that has been aged for half my life, goat cheese with peppery mission fig compote (which I once drove an hour for and then, along with my sister, bought out the entire stores stock) and double creme brie with just about anything on or in or under it!

So, of course, as the evil gods of fate would have it… I would unknowingly marry a wonderful man who… after only a few months of marriage, revealed to me an intolerance so advanced he feels a gut-wrenching pain whenever a drop of dairy reaches his stomach.

For the past 3 years (yes, that’s the entire length of my marriage) I have been searching for delicious cheese that doesn’t contain lactose. I have had enough of mozzarella flavored soy loaf. I need something real!!!

So now that you know the back story I can properly explain what happened this past week and why I am so furious and heart-broken. I decided to make a pizza (spicy pepperoni, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, basil, CHEESE, and homemade olive-tomato sauce) for myself and some friends. I headed, husband in tow, to my favorite italian deli. We bought the spicy pepperoni and salty prosciutto. I decided to add some parmesan (because apparently hard cheese has less lactose than soft?) but the man behind the counter told me “no, no, we have some cheese that is not made with cow’s milk! It is ewe’s milk cheese. Try it!” and so, we were convinced. We bought some hard ewe’s milk cheese… it had a softer flavor than goats cheese… and brought it home to make our pizza.

That’s when my wonderfully brainy and computer savvy brother-in-law brought up this page on wiki which told me… SHEEP MILK HAS MORE LACTOSE THAN COWS MILK. More?! WHAT?! I was so very very excited to have a new cheese to share with the man I love and what do I find out… ewe’s milk  cheese is a tricky demon liar hiding extra lactose in every delicious bite.

The pizza was delicious… even with its soy loaf topping… and I am left still searching for the answer to my lactose free existence.

Sheep are evil.

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diet shmyiet!

For all of you who are on a diet (you know who you are… Amanda!) cut it out!!!! Okay okay, I applaud your efforts to try to look good and get healthy now that bathing suit season is upon us but…. let’s be real for a second… FOOD IS DELICIOUS. In fact, food is the most delicious thing that you’ve ever put in your mouth, I guarantee it.

This morning I was given some handy (and possibly life altering)  information that I am now going to use to make you drool, cook and gain some weight! I have in my hands a list of EIGHTEEN foodie blogs that I am going to be featuring recipes from. Prepare to get glued to the screen of your computer.

In order to ease you into it.. I’m going to start with a simple, fun blog with some delicious pictures called Everybody Likes Sandwiches. Good cooking. A gluten-free section. I can, and have, spent hours clicking through this handy little site which is how I found todays FEATURE RECIPE!

It’s cottage cheese cornbread and it’s not for the lactose intolerant (sorry husband.) Make it along side a bowl of spicy Red Texas Chili (which contains no beans… you’re welcome Alison) and you’ll be laughing! Cornbread and Chili on a sunny summer day, what could be better than that?!

My Spicy Red Texas Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Directions
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the beef cubes in the oil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the garlic.
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin and flour. Sprinkle over the meat and stir until evenly coated. Crumble the oregano over the meat and pour in 1 1/2 cans of the broth.
Add the salt and ground black pepper, stir together well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer, partially covered for about 90 minutes. Pour in remaining broth and simmer 30 minutes more, until meat begins to fall apart. Cool, cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve with cornbread for dipping and aged cheddar cheese for melting. Also GREAT on a baked potato.

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Sweetly Simple Coconut Cake (with Mango Filling!)

Bake a cake for your moms birthday! That’s what I did over the weekend and it went over like gangbusters! For all of you who tasted it and wanted a piece or for all of you who didn’t taste it (but like the sound of it)… here is the recipe!

Mango Filling

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup mango nectar

4 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup butter (cut into 8 cubes)

 

In a saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in nectar, yolks and vanilla. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, one cube at a time, until completely combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

 

The Simplest Coconut Cake

This cake originally came from a Martha Stewart cupcake recipe which I’ve slightly tweaked until it both tasted great and worked for a cake recipe!

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs and 4 egg whites

3 tsp  vanilla extract

2 cans of coconut milk

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and coconut. In an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 2 additions of coconut milk. Beat until combined after each addition. Bake in two 8” cake pans until golden brown and a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean!

I cooled my cake quickly, in it’s pans, in my fridge freezer. Make sure it is completely cooled before cutting open and filling with your mango filling!

I then iced it with a quick and fluffy seven-minute frosting recipe, from Martha Stewart, which I flavoured with coconut extract instead of vanilla! I’m pretty liberal with my extract and just ended up adding a little more and a little more till I thought it tasted coconuty enough!

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My Drunk Kitchen

Do you drink wine while you cook? I sure like to. And I attempt not to get drunk in the process but, let’s be honest… sometimes people get tipsy. It’s science.

I was recently shown these little videos that make me laugh so hard I literally just fell off the chair that I sit on at work while I write these blogs… and it’s a tall chair… and I have a bruise now.. and I think it was worth it. That proves how funny these videos are… or at least how easily amused I am. Or clumsy. What are we talking about now? These videos make me feel drunk… not that I know what that feels like… don’t worry Mom and Dad.

Anyway, watch this… and BE WARNED: there is swearing.

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