Another day, another Tuesday treat.

What a week! I had my second hen-do at the weekend & it was another wonderful affair with a cocktail making masterclass at Vodka revolution, dinner at Planet Hollywood & then a trip to a roller disco. I was once again humbled by wonderful friends. I can only thank them!

Sadly though it’s only Tuesday!! Thinking ahead this morning I got minced beef out of the freezer to use for dinner, which was undecided. During a very busy & extremely testing day I decided to have a go at a Mexican lasagne inspired by the lovely Nigella. This is my take on the recipe though.

You will need…
Minced beef 250g for 2 adults
One garlic clove (crushed)
One red onion (diced)
One red pepper (diced)
Oil
One tin of tinned tomatoes
One tin of sweetcorn
4 teaspoons of chilli seasoning
Fajita wraps

You need to…
1) First heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan before adding the garlic and onion. Fry this until the onion is softened.
2) Add the mince and brown gently.
3) Throw in the chilli seasoning. I used this which is ace.

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4) Add the pepper until soft.
5) Pour in the tinned tomatoes and sweetcorn and leave to simmer as you make the bechemel sauce. (see previous posts for my recipe)
6) Finally layer the mince mixture, wrap and sauce before covering with the sauce and grated cheese.

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7) Cook at 200°c for 10 minutes or until browned.

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Serve with garlic bread & enjoy.

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It was very tasty! Even the h2b who was dubious to start thought it was great.

Happy Tuesday!

A double dose of baking.

With only 4 weeks to go until the big day & a couple more pre-wedding celebrations to attend, this was my only free-to-bake weekend! So I’m making the most of it with 2 baking challenges.

This past week has really felt like spring has been on it’s way in. I didn’t even have to wear my coat out on afternoon break duty on Tuesday! There are also signs of spring on my drive to school now with crocuses & snowdrops emerging. Here’s hoping spring really starts to get underway!

Baking ‘attempt’ number 1.
Easter scones.

One of my best friends Holly came over this weekend a) so she could get a mention on my blog & b) to spend some time together. We’d decided during the week that we were going to do some Easter baking so Holly’s mission was to find an Easter recipe with a difference and she found these Easter scones which are a healthy adaptation to these Cadbury mini egg scones. We decided to follow the first recipe which was the healthy one. Now, I’m not sure at which point these potential treats decided to almost do their own thing & not work but they did. Just. It could have been the reading of the ingredients rather than the recipe *coughHollycough*, maybe our lack of baking soda which could not be found or maybe quite simply the baking gods were against us. Whatever the issue the cake biscuit bread creation was edible…although not a scone! I would definitely give this recipe another go as it was definitely us that were at fault.
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Baking ‘attempt’ number 2.
Apple strudel

My second attempt was to make an apple strudel for a mother’s day dessert. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts any occassion calls for a get-together in the Welstead household & Mothering Sunday is no exception.

After hearing a conversation about why we celebrate Mothering Sunday on the radio as I drove hone on Friday night, I wanted to find out more. The BBC Norfolk website had the best, most concise reason. Hopefully that’s solved any questions.

For the strudel’s pastry I cheated & bought Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets. Strudel is one of my favourite puds & so it needed to have perfect pastry.
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For the fruity middle I peeled, cored & finely chopped 3 cooking apples and then in a saucepan melted a small knob of butter with 2 tablespoons of sugar & 2 teaspoons of cinnamon until the apple was softened.
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When this was ready I put it onto the centre of the puff pastry and then cut the pastry either side into strips and folded them over at an angle.
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I glazed with a beaten egg & then cooked at 180°c until it was slightly browned.
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We served with custard or as a treat, clotted cream! Voila! One near baking disaster & one delicious dessert!

Happy Sunday, Happy mummy’s day to my wonderful mummy & my lovely mother-in-law to be & happy Spring!

It’s *only* Tuesday!

After a 10 & a half hour day at work & a frantic dash to Halfords for reflective strips for our science/D.T. lesson tomorrow, I finally arrived home! My plan had been to do some baking but instead I poured my efforts into making dinner. Excuse the poor quality photo, my phone isn’t great!

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BBQ gammon steak with sweetcorn macaroni cheese.

I started by making the BBQ sauce which consists of the following ingredients…
1 finely chopped red onion

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Dark brown soy sauce
Tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried chilli or pureed chilli
Olive oil

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How to…
1) Fry the onion in the oil until soft. 2) Add the rest of the ingredients (both sauces to taste) and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat.

Not specific enough, try this one by the lovely James Martin

I then put the gammon steaks in to gently fry for 2 minutes either side before popping them into the oven, with the sauce, heated to 200°c for 15 minutes.

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Alongside these I served macaroni cheese.

You will need…
Enough macaroni pasta to feed the number of people you have Cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
Milk
1 small tin of sweetcorn

How to.
1) While the pasta cooks melt the butter gently over a low heat & then whisk in the flour.
2) Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time until it makes a smooth sauce.
3) Add grated cheese & continue to stir along with the sweetcorn.
4) Pour over the cooked pasta, top with grated cheese & cook until the cheese on top has melted & started to brown.
Enjoy!

For dessert I cheated and had one of these Muller corners. They are really amazingly tasty!

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I hope you’re all having ok weeks it’s only 3 days until the weekend!

P.S. Well done to the h2b for his ‘Going the extra mile’ at work award. Very proud!

Snap happy!

It’s the weekend & only 5 weeks until I get married. Yesterday my friend Grace, our wedding photographer came down to talk wedding photos (& to drink wine, wear face masks & watch movies). As she’s a vegetarian I attempted vegetarian lasagne which is her favourite.

Ingredients
300g vegetarian mince
2 tablespoons of sweetcorn
1 pepper (any colour)
1 red onion (white is also fine)
1 cube of vegetable stock
1 dessert spoon of tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Dried rosemary
Dried thyme
Lasagne sheets
Olive oil
Béchamel Sauce
Milk
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon butter
Cheese

The recipe I followed was pretty much my normal lasagne recipe except I used meat free mince from Asda.

How to

1) Heat a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan before adding the chopped onion and cook until softened.
2) Add the veggie mince and fry for 10 minutes on a medium heat (I found it was really hard to know when it was cooked!)
3) Crumble in the vegetable stock.
4) Pour in the diced pepper and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat.
5) Squeeze in the tomato puree and add the tinned tomatoes with a sprinkle of dried rosemary and thyme before leaving to simmer while you make the sauce.
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6) Heat the oven to 200°c and in another saucepan melt the butter and remove from the heat.
7) Whisk in the flour until it forms a smooth consistency.
8) Put this back on the heat and add milk slowly, allowing it to mix in entirely. The first few times you add the milk it needs to thicken to a paste. Continue to add milk until it’s a thick sauce.
9) In dishes or a dish create a layer of the mince mixture, then lasagne sheet & then a spoonful of sauce & repeat until the mixture runs out or the dish is full. It normally creates a 2 layer delight.
10) When all the mince has been used, put one final lasagne sheet layer followed by sauce and grate cheese over the top.
11) Place the lasagne in the oven for 25 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to brown & the lasagne sheets are softened.

I served mine with mixed garden salad & garlic bread.
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I’ve cooked vegetarian a few times now but this was definitely the most successful. The meat free mince was a great alternative to beef mince & it was really hard to tell it wasn’t meat. It also felt healthier & wasn’t as filling oddly!