Mr O is a bit obsessed with brunch. It’s basically his favourite meal. I think mostly because he gets to have a lie-in and still eat eggs. After we go out for brunch but it’s hard to keep me out of the kitchen and I have now perfected my own tasty brunch dish featuring eggs, chorizo, avocado and mushrooms and Mr O loves it!
Recently Mr O and I have been trying to eat more healthily as I gained back a little of the weight I lost and we’d both been indulging everyone of our food whims… which never ends well. This is recipe I put together by adapting a much more unhealthy one. It’s very tasty but also super healthy and I would highly recommend it if you’re trying to cut calories but not flavour. Read more…
My dad has been with his partner, Pat, for about sixteen years and although they’ve never gotten married, I think of her as my step-mum and very much part of our family. Whenever we stay with my dad and Pat we always have amazing food and she makes the most delicious salads so following our recent trip to see them I decided to replicate this one at home with a couple of tweaks. Thanks for the great inspiration, Pat!
Pat’s amazing salad
100g fresh crunchy salad leaves
200g baby plum tomatoes
200g smoked salmon
1/2 a medium avocado
50g feta cheese
3 spring onions
3 – 5 large, ripe strawberries
A handful of pumpkin seeds or salad sprinkle (optional)
If you are using the pumpkin seeds place them in a large frying pan in a single layer over a medium heat, shaking occasionally until they pop. Set aside.
Place the salad leaves in a large, attractive salad bowl.
Slice the mushrooms, spring onions, strawberries and avocado and add to the bowl.
Halve the tomatoes, cut the feta cheese into cubes and add both to the bowl.
Tear or cut the salmon into 2cm pieces and add to the bowl.
Toss well and then sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds or salad sprinkle.
Serve with a selection of salad dressings for people to choose from.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
Mr Osbiston and I were lucky enough to get a slow-cooker as a sort of late Christmas present and I’ve been having a great time experimenting with recipes. I love the fact that you can buy a cheap cut of meat, sling it in the slow cooker in the morning and then come home to a beautiful meal in the evening. My favourite recipe that I have tried so far has got to be this beef bourguinon that I adapted from hidden ponies. Absolutely perfect winter fare.
Slow cooker beef bourguignon
7g dried porcini mushrooms
600g stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes, any fat removed
100g pancetta lardons
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200ml red wine
1/4 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups baby button mushrooms, sliced
1.5 tablespoon cornflour
Add the dried porcini mushrooms to a quarter cup of boiling water and set aside for half an hour. In the meantime brown the beef in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. If your pan doesn’t fit all the meat you can do it in batches. Add the beef to the slow cooker and drain any fat from the pan. Add the pancetta to the pan and fry until crispy. Add to the slow cooker and drain any fat from the pan. Add the olive oil to the pan and then add the onion, garlic and carrot to the pain with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and cook until it starts to soften, 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid and chop (reserve the soaking liquid) Add the mushrooms and soaking liquid to the onions and carrots along with the wine, stock parsley and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol.
Add the wine mixture to the slow cooker, close the lid and cook on low for 10 hours or until the beef is very tender.
Now cook the sliced button mushrooms in the butter until brown and add to the slow cooker. Mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water and stir into the mixture in the slow cooker. Replace the lid, turn the slow cooker to high and give it another 10 – 15 minutes to thicken a bit before serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
Please excuse the less than sterling picture effort. I am not a skilled enough photographer to make stew look pretty.
Barring my fetish for cake (mmm… cake) most of the recipes I post tend to be on the healthier side, but every now and then a little indulgence is in order and this rich pasta dish does not disappoint. Definitely not for everyday eating but great for a special treat.
Creamy prawn and mushroom linguini
Adapted from chaosinthekitchen.com
120g uncooked linguini
6 tablespoons butter, divided
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
120g light cream cheese
300g cooked, shelled prawns
Put your linguini on to cook in a pot of boiling, salted water.
While that’s cooking, put a large pan over a medium heat and add two tablespoons of the butter. When this is melted add the mushrooms and sauté until soft and brown. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
In the same pan melt the remaining butter. Add the garlic, herbs and cream cheese and stir over a medium heat until mixed together. Don’t worry if it looks a bit weird at this stage.
Add a ladle full (about 2/3 cup) of the boiling water from the pasta pot to your pan and stir till the sauce is smooth.
Add the mushrooms to the sauce and simmer for 8 mins. Then add the prawns and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Mix the pasta and sauce together to coat and serve.
Serves 2 – 4
This is a kitchen staple in the Osbiston household and probably my hubby’s favourite thing that I cook.
4 rashers of smoked back bacon, fat removed and roughly chopped
50g mushrooms, sliced
2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of soft cheese e.g. Philadelphia but I buy the cheap supermarket brands
1 teaspoon of dried basil
75g cheddar cheese, grated
200g dried pasta – shells, fusilli or macaroni are ideal
Heat a medium sized non-stick pot. Add the bacon and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms have browned. Add in the tomatoes, soft cheese, basil and a good shake of the black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
About 10 minutes before the sauce is going to come to the end of its simmering time, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions but reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes so it’s still just a little chewy.
When the sauce and the pasta are both done, mix them together and pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees (190 for a fan oven) for 20 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread and a green salad. Serves 4.