Tag: Dinner

creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Creamy garlic, Parmesan chicken

Difficulty:Easy

Time:30 minutes

Serves:4

Ingredients
6 chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
An onion
200g bacon chopped, or bacon lardons
400g mushrooms
1 cup cream OR milk (or half and half)
½ cup (120ml) chicken stock
½ cup Parmesan, grated
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Fresh shaved or grated parmesan, to garnish

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More family dinners

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut making the same dinners again and again so I’ve been trying to mix things up a little bit lately. Anyone with young children will know that this is a risky business so I tend to stick to safe ingredients like chicken and pasta. I found this recipe for creamy garlic parmesan chicken from Cafe Delights on Pinterest (my go to place for inspiration) and it was truly delicious. It’s always a bonus when you find something as tasty as this that the kids will eat too!

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C / 180F / 400F
Cook the chicken

Heat a tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides ( a few minutes on each side).

Transfer the chicken to an oven proof dish and pop into the oven to roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes (or while you make the sauce).

Prepare the ingredients for the sauce

Prepare the garlic, dice the onion and chop the mushrooms.

Make the sauce

Fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until they are soft and fragrant, stirring frequently. This should take a minute or so.
Add the bacon and fry until it is starting to go crisp.

Add the mushrooms and cook them for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

Pour in the cream (or milk – I used half a cup of each), the chicken stock, and parmesan. Simmer in the pan until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the chicken

Remove the chicken from the oven and add it back into the sauce. Cook for a another few minutes. Garnish with parsley and or grated parmesan (optional).

creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Serve with rice or pasta or vegetables.

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slow cooker beef ragu

Slow cooker beef ragu

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes plus 4 hours+ cooking

Serves: 8

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
2 carrots, sliced
1 pepper, chopped
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 splash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Italian herbs
1 tbsp oregano
100ml red wine (or water)

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We use our slow cooker a lot, especially in the winter. Beef ragu is one of our favourites because it’s so simple and can make a quick mid week meal served with pasta, or be turned into something a bit more special like lasagne, or cannelloni. Using the slow cooker is convenient, but also makes the sauce really rich and flavoursome. If you don’t have a slow cooker simply follow the steps below but cook everything together in one pan for 30 minutes+. This recipe normally leaves us with leftovers which we freeze for dinner another day.

Method

Heat some oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.


Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or so until it has browned.

Transfer to the slow cooker and stir in the carrots, peppers and tinned tomatoes.


Add the stock cube, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and herbs and 100ml of water (or red wine) and mix everything together one last time.

Cover with the lid and cook on low for 4+ hours.

slow cooker beef ragu
Serve with pasta or use the ragu to make a lasagne or cannelloni.

 

 

 

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bacon mac n cheese

Bacon mac & cheese

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the bacon sauce
1 medium onion
6+ rashers of bacon
2 tomatoes
1/2 tbsp BBQ seasoning
400g pasta

For the cheese sauce
40g (2 tbsp) butter
40g (2 tbsp) plain flour
500ml (2 cups) Milk
1 tsp Mustard powder
150g Cheese (grated)

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Slow cooker beef ragu

This is our favourite family dinner which i’ll always make if I fancy a no-fuss, quick meal. I used to have macaroni cheese as I child and this is based on that but this bacon mac & cheese adds some bacon and other flavours to make it more interesting and substantial.

Method

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Prepare the bacon sauce

Chop the bacon, onion and tomatoes.

Fry the onions in a little oil until for a few minutes until they have softened. Add the bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and BBQ seasoning and continue cooking on a low heat, stirring occasionally.


Make the cheese sauce

Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the flour and stir into the butter until it is well combined. Cook for a minute.

Add the milk a little at a time stirring continuously as it thickens. I normally start with a tiny bit at first and only add the next bit when that’s fully combined as I find it stops it going lumpy.
Add the mustard powder if you have any as it will bring out the flavour of the cheese more.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Combine everything together in one pot, stir, serve your bacon mac & cheese and enjoy!

bacon mac & cheese

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creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Difficulty:Easy

Time:30 minutes

Serves:4

Ingredients
6 chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
An onion
200g bacon chopped, or bacon lardons
400g mushrooms
1 cup cream OR milk (or half and half)
½ cup (120ml) chicken stock
½ cup Parmesan, grated
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Fresh shaved or grated parmesan, to garnish

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Chicken tangle pie

Homemade chicken nuggets

Carbonara cake

Brazilian chicken

More family dinners

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut making the same dinners again and again so I’ve been trying to mix things up a little bit lately. Anyone with young children will know that this is a risky business so I tend to stick to safe ingredients like chicken and pasta. I found this recipe for creamy garlic parmesan chicken from Cafe Delights on Pinterest (my go to place for inspiration) and it was truly delicious. It’s always a bonus when you find something as tasty as this that the kids will eat too!

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C / 180F / 400F
Cook the chicken

This is a step to do without the help of your little ones: Heat a tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides ( a few minutes on each side).

Transfer the chicken to an oven proof dish and pop into the oven to roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes (or while you make the sauce).

Prepare the ingredients for the sauce

Get your toddler to help you peel the garlic and onion. While they are busy doing that, dice the onion.

 

Give your child a blunt (butter/table) knife and get them to help you chop the mushrooms. Mushrooms are a really easy vegetable to do some cutting practice with. You can always finish off any unevenly sized pieces. It was the first time Lewis had done it and he really enjoyed himself!

Make the sauce

Fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until they are soft and fragrant, stirring frequently. This should take a minute or so.
Add the bacon and fry until it is starting to go crisp.

Add the mushrooms and cook them until they begin to soften.
If your little one is old enough and you trust them they can help you stir everything as it goes in.

Measure or get your little one to help you measure out the cream/milk and chicken stock. As we were just using a stock cube, Lewis also help unpeel and crush it.

 

Pour in the cream (or milk – we used half a cup of each), the chicken stock, and parmesan. Simmer in the pan until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the chicken

Remove the chicken from the oven and add it back into the sauce. Cook for a another few minutes. Garnish with parsley and or grated parmesan (optional).

creamy garlic parmesan chicken

Serve with rice or pasta or vegetables.

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carbonara cake

Carbonara cake

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes plus 35 minutes baking

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients
300g spaghetti, cooked
100g hard cheese, finely grated (eg parmesan, guyere, cheddar)
3 large eggs
250ml double cream
250g leftover ham (or we used bacon lardons)

 

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It’s not always so easy to get young children involved with making dinner for obvious reasons (knives, ovens, the cooker) but this dish is an exception. I based it on a dish from Jamie Oliver and so simple to make. It’s quick enough to be a mid week meal but a bit more special than plain pasta carbonara. You can cook the pasta and ham/bacon in advance to make it even quicker/easier. It was a first for us but we’ll certainly be making it again!

Method

Before you start, if you don’t have left over pasta and ham, cooked the pasta and ham or bacon and add to a bowl. Allow to cool down. I did this part in advance as there wasn’t much the kids could help with.

 

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a cake tin.

Get your children to help grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with oil (you can pour a little oil in and get them to brush it over all the sides.) Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over the bottom and shake it up the sides a little.

  

Add everything to your bowl

Get your kids to help you add the cream and cheese to the bowl of pasta. Break the eggs into a separate bowl first to give them a quick whisk before adding to the pasta. I normally get Hannah to break the eggs and Lewis mix them so they both get a turn at doing something.

Give it a good mix so all the pasta is coated.

  

Bake the carbonara cake

Add the pasta to your prepared cake tin and pat down with the back of a spoon.

 

Pop it on a baking tray into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. It’s ready when it looks golden brown and has cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out of the tin.

 carbonara cake

Serve with a lovely fresh green salad and enjoy!

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slow cooker sausage casserole

Slow cooker sausage casserole

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 4 hours cooking

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
1–2 tbsp sunflower oil
12 good quality pork sausages
Pack of bacon lardons
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
100ml red or white wine (optional)

 

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This sausage casserole is a delicious , hearty slow cooker dinner full of sausages, bacon, and tomatoes. It’s probably not one for teeny tiny chefs, but Hannah enjoyed measuring out everything and helping to make the sauce and learning from her Daddy how to chop onions.

Method

Brown the sausages
Heat and spoonful of oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 minutes. Turn them once in a while so they are brown on all sides. Add to your slow cooker.

Fry the bacon
Get your child to help add the bacon lardons to the pan (being careful not to get too close). Fry them until they are nice and crisp then add to your sausages.

Cook the onions and garlic
While the sausages and bacon are cooking get your child to help you peel the garlic and onions. If you have a garlic crusher, they can help you crush the garlic as well. If they are a bit older they may be able to help you cut the onion as well.

   

Cook the onions in your pan on a medium heat for five minutes or so until they start to soften.

Add the garlic to your pan and cook for a few more minutes until the onions are a golden brown.

Add the paprika. Hannah helped us measure this out. We put it in a small bowl first and then put it in the pan, as this was a bit easier for her to manage.

Prepare the sauce
Rather than add everything straight to the pan, we got Hannah to help measure out the dry herbs to a bowl and the wet ingredients into a jug. That made it much easier to then add it safely to the pan.

Start by getting your child to put the stock cube/pot into the measuring jug. Add the water and get them to give it a stir. Add the tomato puree (2 tbsp) and Worcestershire sauce (1 tbsp).

  

In a separate small bowl, get your toddler to measure out the sugar (1 tbsp), mixed herbs (1 tsp), bay leaves (2) and thyme (1 tsp).

  

Once everything is measured out, get your little one to pour the herbs and jug of sauce into the frying pan and give it a stir. Pour over some wine (100ml) or if you’re not using wine, just the equivalent in water. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

 

Add the sauce to the sausages and bacon in the slow cooker. Cook your sausage casserole a medium heat for 4-5 hours. If you are not using a slow cooker, pop everything in a flameproof casserole dish and cook on a simmer for 30 minutes or so, stirring from time to time.

 

Serve your sausage casserole with vegetables, rice or some rustic bread.

slow cooker sausage casserole

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homemade burgers

Homemade burgers

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes + 15 minutes cooking/assembling

Serves: 4 – 6

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
For the sauce
5 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot

For the burgers
700g steak mince
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 cheese slices
4 burger buns
4 lettuce leaves (romaine)
1 large beefsteak tomato cut into 4 slices

 

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We’ve never made homemade burgers before but we’ve got a burger cookbook and a burger press and the kids like getting their hands dirty so on a quiet afternoon in the Christmas holidays we decided to give it a whirl.
There are a lot of things little kids can get involved in with this dish from preparing and moulding the burgers to making the sauce. And they should enjoy eating them as well!

Method

Mix the sauce ingredients together
Get your toddler to help you measure the mayonnaise (5 tbsp), ketchup (2 tbsp), relish (1 tbsp) into a bowl. Add the shallot and mix together. Set aside for later.

  
Make the burger patties
Add the mince to a bowl, then get your toddler to help you measure the seasoning: ¾ tsp garlic powder, ¾ tsp salt, ¾ tsp pepper.

 

Using your hands, mix everything together then form 4 -6 patties of equal size (depending how big you want them). We’ve got a burger press so the kids enjoyed using that. If you don’t have one just press them together using your hands. Press your thumb or use a spoon to make a small indent in the middle of each of the patties to make sure they don’t form a dome when you cook them.

  

Cook your burger patties
Grill, fry or BBQ your burger patties on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Turn them once so they brown on each side.

 

Add a slice of cheese on top of each burger for the last minute or so of cooking so it melts a bit.

Toast the buns.

Build your homemade burgers 
Put your burgers together on the buns with the sauce, lettuce leaf, and tomato.

homemade burgers

Serve and enjoy!

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sticky soy and honey pork

Sticky soy and honey pork

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes + 10 minutes

Serves: 4

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
500g piece pork tenderloin
2 nests medium egg noodles
2 tsp sesame oil
Vegetables: baby sweetcorn, pepper, sugar snap peas (whichever ones you like)
small bunch spring onion

 

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I like to introduce the kids to new tastes and cuisines. It doesn’t always go down well, but this sticky soy and honey pork did – they both polished off, probably because the honey gives it a little tasty, sticky, sweetness. You can get your toddler to help prepare this in advance so you just need to cook it just before you serve it.

Method

Prepare the pork and vegetables
Trim any excess fat from the meat and cut into bite size pieces. I didn’t get Hannah to help with this, but if your child is older and confident with a sharp knife they could do this step.
If they can, get your toddler to help you cut the peppers and any other vegetables you’re using into nice strips. Hannah cut some of the peppers with a blunt knife, but had a bit more success helping me with a sharp knife (I put my hand over hers to help guide the knife, making sure no fingers were in the way.)

 

 

Prepare the sauce
Get your toddler to help measure the soy sauce, ketchup, honey and Chinese five spice into a bowl.

 

 

Add the pork and give it a stir so all the meat is coated.

 

Cook the noodles
Add the noodles to a pan and cook according to the packet instructions. (We just added boiling water and cooked for a few minutes.) Drain and keep back a little (50ml) of water.

Cook the stir fry
This step I mostly did on my own with Hannah watching as I don’t quite trust her around the hot pan.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the pork and sauce and cook for a few minutes until the meat has browned. Add the vegetables and spring onions and continue to stir fry. Add the remaining noodle water to help steam the vegetables.

 

 sticky soy and honey pork

 

Add the cooked noodles to the wok and stir so everything is coated in the sauce.

 

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vegetable spring rolls

Vegetable spring rolls

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes cooking

Serves: 4 as a side

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

50g vermicelli noodles
1 medium carrot (or 2 small), grated
3 spring onions, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely sliced
75g Beansprouts
Thumbsized peice of ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Chinese five spice
8 spring roll wrappers
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp water

 

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We’ve got a Chinese supermarket near us and when I was in there recently I came across some spring roll wrappers which got me thinking of another cooking project for Hannah. I thought vegetable spring rolls would be easiest as they don’t require any pre-cooking and found a Jamie Oliver recipe I was able to simplify a wee bit. We had them as a side with our dinner but they would make a nice lunch treat or snack.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan

Combine the ingredients in a bowl
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. We just cooked them on the hob for a few minutes. Once cooked let them cool then add them to a bowl.

Prepare the vegetables and add to your bowl. I did this part in advance as the kids can’t really help with chopping yet.

Add the beansprouts to your vegetables.

 

Peel the ginger then get your toddler to help you grate it into the bowl.

 

Get your toddler to help you measure the soy sauce and oyster sauce and add that to your vegetables. I normally hold the measuring spoon and get Hannah to pour the sauce into it or vice versa. Add the Chinese five spice. Give everything a good mix.

 

In a small bowl, spoon in the cornflour and water and mix together until you have a thin paste.

Make the vegetable spring rolls
Lay a spring roll wrapper down on a clean surface with a point facing towards you. Get your child to spoon 2 table spoons of your mixture on to the bottom corner of the paper.

Brush each corner of the wrapper with the cornflour mixture then start rolling from the bottom up. Try and make it quite tight (Hannah needed a little help with this). When the filling is covered fold the corners in to seal the edges then keep rolling until the top corner is sealed down.

 

Cook the spring rolls
Lay on a baking sheet. Continue until you have made all your spring rolls.

 

Pop them in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the spring rolls are golden and crispy.

An alternative way to cook these is to heat a litre of oil in wok or saucepan. Cook the spring rolls in batches for 2-3 minutes until they’re golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

vegetable spring rolls

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