Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Korma

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Korma
Apologies for the lack of activity here. We have relatives staying from New Zealand and I'm just about to return to work from Maternity Leave so it's been a bit hectic around these parts over the last few weeks.

I have been using my slow cooker lots though and this veggie korma with sweet potato and peppers was a real hit with the kids. It couldn't be easier too - you just chop up the veg, pour over the sauce and cook on high for 5 hours! Serve with rice and naan breads for a filling and healthy meal.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Korma

SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO KORMA

| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 5 hours | Total Time: ~ 5 Hours|


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Red Pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 Garlic, chopped
  • 400g Coconut Milk
  • 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP Korma Curry Paste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Put the prepared sweet potatoes, red pepper, green pepper, onions and garlic in the slow cookers basin.
  • Step 2: In a jug whisk together the coconut milk, tin of tomatoes and korma paste and pour over veg.
  • Step 3: Cook on high for 5 hours.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 13th April 2016 |

Giveaway - Celebrate Thai New Year with Burts Crisps and South Devon Chilli Farm


 April is a month normally associated with showers, rain and just a glimpse of Spring, so you might not know that Thai New Year, Songkran is coming up from the 13th – 15th April. In Thailand, this means three days of festivals, spicy feasts and an almighty water fight in the streets.

To celebrate, Devon-based companies Burts Chips and the South Devon Chilli Farm have teamed up to offer one lucky person the chance to win an array of tasty goodies, including Burts Thai Sweet Chilli Chips and a delicious Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce from South Devon Chilli Farm – ideal for dipping the chips! Bursting with Asian flavour and Devon-grown spice, the hamper is perfect for adding some warmth into an otherwise wet month - and all prizes are not only delicious but also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

To find out more about Burts Chips visit the website at www.burtschips.com, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Instagram. To stay up to date with news on the South Devon Chilli Farm visit their website at: www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk

To be in for a chance of winning, simply answer the question below:

In Thailand, what is the traditional word used to celebrate Thai New Year?
A) Pathaya
      B) Songkran
      C) Sawasadee

One Pot Beef Keema

One Pot Beef Keema

I'm taking part in the Simply Beef and Lamb #LivePeasant challenge this week which aims to encourage every day home cooks like myself to embrace a more simple, rustic approach to cooking.

For one week I will be developing easy one pot, slow cooked recipes using Red Tractor Quality Assured Beef and Lamb...and we're starting with this tasty Minced Beef Keema which you can either cook in a slow cooker or a low oven. I love these types of meals as not only are they super easy to prepare, they also freeze well too. I sometimes make double and stash some portions in the freezer ready to pull out on a busy weeknight.

I served this Beef Keema with Rice, Naan Breads and Mango Chutney but any leftovers would make a great topping for jacket potatoes. I used Tikka Curry paste for this as the kids don't like things too hot, but if you like your food spicy, use madras curry paste instead and add a chopped red chilli with the onion, garlic and ginger. Lamb mince would also work well.

Don't forget to follow Simply Beef and Lamb on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #LivePeasant to showcase your peasant recipe creations. Will you take the #LivePeasant challenge with me?
One Pot Beef Keema

ONE POT BEEF KEEMA

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 6 Hours | Total Time: 6 Hours + |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1 Thumb Size piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 500g Minced Beef
  • 4 TBSP Tikka Curry Paste
  • 1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Beef Stock Pot
  • 100g Frozen Peas

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: In a large pan, fry the onion, garlic and ginger until softened.
  • Step 2: Add the minced beef and turn up the heat a little. Break up the minced beef with a wooden spoon and fry until brown.
  • Step 3: Add the curry paste, tomatoes and stock pot, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the peas for the final 30 minutes of cooking. If cooking in an oven place on the middle shelf for 1 hour (cover with lid)
  • Step 4: Serve with Rice and Naan Bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 22nd March 2016 |


Ham and Cheese Stuffed Waffles

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Waffles
Sage Appliances recently sent me 'the smart waffle' waffle maker to try out...and I have to say I think I'm in love! I wasn't sure there was room in my my kitchen for another kitchen gadget but I've had to make room. It's amazing!

The kids and I made some classic waffles first, the recipe for which came in the instruction booklet and they were a great success. The kids loved watching the excess batter collect in the moat that runs all around the perimeter but I've now learnt the exact amount required to prevent such spillages - it's easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth if any does occur though. The smart waffle makes 2 waffles at a time and they take about 2-3 minutes to cook for a light brown colour but you can make them darker or lighter as required by turning a dial.

After mastering the basics I decided to try something a bit different in the form of these savoury cheese and ham stuffed waffles. I was worried the waffles might stick when I put the cheese and ham IN the waffles. Thankfully they came out just fine and made a yummy lunch with a fried egg.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Waffles

CHEESE AND HAM STUFFED WAFFLES

| Serves: makes 8 waffles | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 115g Butter, melted
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 425ml Full Fat Milk
  • 8 slices Gouda Cheese
  • 8 slices Ham
  • Fried Egg and Rocket to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Preheat the waffle maker according to instructions.
  • Step 2: Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl then whisk in the melted butter, eggs and milk until you have a smooth batter.
  • Step 3: Ladle a quarter of a cup of mixture into each waffle mould (the smart waffle makes 2 at a tims), lay a slice of cheese and slice of ham on top then ladle over another quarter of a cup over each waffle mould and close the lid. Once waffles have cooked remove to a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used.
  • Step 4: Serve with fried eggs and rocket.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 14th March 2016 |

Disclosure: Sage sent me the waffle maker to review. All thoughts are my own.

Crispy Peanut Butter Bars

Crispy Peanut Butter Bars
A super easy crispy peanut butter bar that can be made and baked in less than 15 minutes. The hardest thing is waiting for it to cool.

These bars make great packed lunch treats for children and you could add a handful of dried fruit or seeds (apricots, raisins or even chia seeds) to give them some extra goodness.

Crispy Peanut Butter Bars

CRISPY PEANUT BUTTER BARS

| Serves: 12 bars | Prep Time: 6 minutes | Cook Time: 8 minutes | Total Time: 14 minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 75g Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 150g Oats
  • 75g Light Brown Sugar
  • 100ml Golden Syrup
  • 125g Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Grease and line a 30 x 20cm tin and preheat the oven to 160c (140c fan).
  • Step 2: In a large bowl mix together the rice cereal and pats.
  • Step 3: In a saucepan melt together the sugar, syrup, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Pour over the cereal and mix together.
  • Step 4: Press mixture into tin and bake for 8 minutes. Cool before cutting into slices.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th March 2016 |


Smoked Bacon and Tomato Lasagne

Smoked Bacon and Tomato Lasagne
A yummy frugal lasagne recipe which is perfect for the weekend! There's no beef mince in this, just a smoked bacon and tomato sauce, which cuts the costs down considerably. It also means preparation is a little quicker as there's no need to simmer the tomato sauce for as long as you would a ragu.

Have a good weekend whatever you're up to. I'm planning on lots of gardening so fingers crossed the weather holds. I'll be back on Sunday with my weekly meal plan.

Smoked Bacon and Tomato Lasagne



CHEESY BACON AND TOMATO LASAGNE

| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • For the Tomato and Bacon Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Oil
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 TSP Dried Oregano
  • Handful of Basil, chopped
  • 250g Smoked Bacon, chopped
  • 700ml Passata
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Puree
  • 1 TSP Sugar
  • For the Cheese Sauce
  • 50g Butter
  • 50g Plain FLour
  • 600ml Whole Milk
  • 200g Extra Strong Cheddar, grated
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 12 Dried Lasagne Sheets
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the bacon. Continue to fry until the bacon is cooked then add the oregano, basil, passata, tomato puree and sugar. Simmer on low whilst you prepare the cheese sauce. At this point PREHEAT THE OVEN to 190c/170cFan
  • Step 2: To make the cheese sauce melt the butter in  heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes then gradually whisk in the milk and stir until thickened.
  • Step 3: Take the white sauce off the heat and add in the cheddar and mustard.
  • Step 4: To assemble the lasagne spoon a third of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a lasagne dish about 30 x 30cm. Drizzle over a a quarter of the white sauce and place lasagne sheets over. Repeat this 2 more times and when you have put the final layer of lasagne sheets on, pour over the last quarter of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over the parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cover with foil if the top is browning too much.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 4th March 2016 |

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Creamy Squash Pasta

Sorry for the quietness around these parts. I've had a horrible flu type virus since I got back from Disneyland Paris which completely knocked me out (I blame the recycled air on the plane). Thankfully, I've woken up feeling lots better today so hopefully I'm over the worst of it! The last time I felt so rough was when I had Swine Flu about 6 years ago. Not nice! Anyway, on to the recipe......

This is a beautiful vegetarian pasta dish but was enjoyed by all the meat lovers too! The butternut squash makes a lovely silky smooth sauce for the pasta, with the sage, garlic and parmesan giving it lots of extra flavour. This is a pasta dish I could eat over and over again.

Creamy Squash Pasta

It does take quite a long time to make as you have to roast the butternut squash first, but I promise you wont be disappointed. Perhaps one to try at the weekend?

Creamy Squash Pasta

Creamy Squash Pasta

CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA

| Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, DO NOT PEEL
  • Small bunch of Sage 
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 25g Butter
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 25g Plain Flour
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • Ladleful of the cooking pasta water
  • 250g Spaghetti

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c (180C Fan). In a large roasting tin place the squash, sage and garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for around 45-50 minutes. Once cooled, puree in a food processor and set aside.
  • Step 2: In a large pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the flour then add the double cream, butternut squash puree and parmesan. Set to one side.
  • Step 3: Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to instructions. Once cooked, pour 1 ladleful of the pasta cooking water into the butternut squash sauce before draining the pasta and place the squash sauce back on a low heat. Mix in the pasta then serve with extra parmesan and sage.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 2nd March 2016 |

Marmalade Chicken

Marmalade Chicken

National Marmalade Week (organised by the World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain, Penrith) runs from the 28th February to the 6th March this year. To celebrate, one of the main sponsors of the awards, Mackays  asked me to develop a tasty recipe using one of their lovely range of marmalades.

We love marmalade here and my Marmalade Loaf is always a popular bake in this house but this time I wanted to create something altogether more savoury.

Marmalade Chicken

...and so this Marmalade Chicken recipe was born. It's a quick and easy meal for weeknight suppers taking less than half an hour to make. The marmalade caramelises as it cooks and produces a yummy sticky glaze for the chicken, which I served with rice and green beans. If you've got any half opened jars of marmalade crying out to be used then you need to try this recipe.

A big thanks to Mackays for sending me their range of marmalades to try and Happy National Marmalade Week!

Marmalade Chicken

MARMALADE CHICKEN

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 4 TBSP Marmalade
  • 300ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 TBSP Thyme
  • 1 TNSP Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 TSP Soy Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Fry the chicken breasts for 10 mins in a frying pan and turn half way. 
  • Step 2: Add all of the other ingredients to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Step 3: Remove the chicken to a plate then boil the sauce until it turns sticky and syrupy. 
  • Step 4: Return the chicken to the pan and serve with rice and vegetables.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 26th February 2016 |

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup

I've got an awful lot to thank my Mum for so when Waitrose asked if I would like to take part in their #ThanksMum campaign for Mothers Day I said yes without hesitation. In the run up to Mothers Day, Waitrose are asking their social communities to share the dish that their Mum cooks best and why it holds such special memories. Throughout the campaign, which runs from the 24th February to the 6th March 2016, Waitrose will be surprising participants with a number of gifts to make Mothers Day that extra bit special. Gifts include beautiful bouquets, delicious gift hampers and the grand prize of a day trip to Waitrose Cookery School in London, with their Mum. For information on how to enter have a look at their dedicated #ThanksMum page on their website.

My Mum has taught me so much over the years, much of which I'm only beginning to appreciate now that I've got a family of my own. Snapping up supermarket reductions, especially from Waitrose, is one that I've definitely taken on board! She follows the reductions lady around the store like a true professional and knows exactly the best times to go to catch a bargain. Mum is a retired Home Economics teacher (she taught in our local secondary school for her whole career having arrived in Cornwall as a  21 year old graduate from the Midlands), so food has always been a big part of her life. She bakes amazing cakes and traybakes - her Mars Bar slices are to die for, cooks homely comfort food for her family, makes a mean treacle tart (my husband loves her treacle tart) but the one thing that really stands her apart from other home cooks is her zero waste policy. Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is wasted. She finds ways to make the most unlikely ingredient combinations work, and usually pretty successfully....although I'm still not keen with sliced banana on my curry. Every week the limp fridge bottom veg are used in casseroles, curries and particularly soup. Her freezer is full of soup. If she has a few ingredients she's not sure what to do with, she makes soup. Soup is definitely her signature dish and it reminds me of her, in her cosy kitchen, standing by the stove in her pinny. So I just want to say #ThanksMum for instilling these frugal values in me.

This particular soup was born out of a need to use up some sorry looking sweet potatoes and red peppers, but the end result was anything but sorry looking. The soup turned out silky and smooth with a gentle warmness from the garlic and chilli. It made a lovely weekend lunch with some cheese on toast.

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup


SWEET POTATO AND RED PEPPER SOUP

| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 Red Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 TBSP Chilli Sauce
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Fry sweet potatoes, peppers, onion, thyme and garlic in a large pan  for 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the vegetable stock and the chilli sauce and simmer for 30 minutes on the hob, until the sweet potatoes are cooked through,
  • Step 3: Blend with a stick blender until smooth and serve with cheese on toast.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 24th February 2016 |



Giveaway - Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine


Fentimans, producers of fine additive free botanically brewed beverages, are just about to launch their first new product since 2013...and it's just a little bit nice! They kindly sent me some bottles of their brand new Sparkling Lime and Jasmine to try and also provide 6 bottles for a giveaway.

I've long been a fan of their Rose Lemonade and always pack a few bottles for our summer beach picnics, so I was really excited to be one of the first in the UK to try their new offering. The Sparkling Lime and Jasmine is a lovely refreshing adult soft drink, with the initial bitterness quickly offset by the botanical sweetness of Hyssop, Lime Flower and Juniper Berries.

For your chance to win 6 bottles of Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine just fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entries only please.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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