Eek! 2 days until we go away on vacation and I am not packed at all. I am so nervous and excited at the idea of finally going away on vacation, but it will be the first for my husband and I as parents. We have no idea what to expect but we are excited to see how it goes.
In the mean while I thought I would share a simple meal I cooked this weekend in between shopping for vacation clothes. I love meals that are simple and yet feel somewhat gourmet. For this one I was inspired after I read a fantastic recipe from Damn Delicious. I don’t like hot dogs so I thought I would try it out with sausages.
Bacon Wrapped Sausage with Avocado Salsa
6 pieces of streaky bacon
1 large avocado, diced
2 medium size tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. coriander
6 sausage buns
I have been participating in the #SundaySupper movement started by Isabel, the FamilyFoodie now for a few weeks and I feel so blessed to be apart of a group of bloggers with such a heart for bringing families back to the dinner table with homecooked meals. Each week we pick different themes to share with our followers and this week has been a special theme, rather then a food theme we have all been asked to answer the question, “What does Sunday Supper mean to you?” Sunday Supper means the family coming together for not only a meal but to create memories that last a lifetime. Growing up I didn’t realize that I had something unique in that we ate almost every single dinner, including during the week, together. Family dinners at times were several hours long because long after the food was done we were often still gathered round the table playing games. One of our favourite was a game called, ‘Remember when’. During the game we would share funny stories that had either happened to us as a family or a bit of confession times as us kids told tales of adventures we had with my parents being none the wiser. We never felt scared to confess silly escapades because everything shared during ‘Remember When’ was safe. And my parents shared crazy memories from their youth as well. I don’t remember all of the stories but what I do remember is the laughter, there was so much of it. My favourite was when my dad would start laughing so hard that he would fall off his chair. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t always turn out the way we imagined it as kids but it is memories like this that help me remember that the best part of life is in the small moments. I hope that my husband and I can help create even more amazing memories like this with our family.
This recipe is a family special from my new family. My father-in-law always makes the pastry while my mother-in-law creates the filling and the rest of us anxiously await the moment when we can lick our plates. When I was first served it my husband and I were just newly engaged and I still felt I was trying to make an impression, so it took everything within me not to lick my plate, I instead requested some bread so I could clean my plate. My father is the king of pastry in our family and he taught me a new trick to make sure that the bottom crust cooks evenly something that up until now I had never mastered with meat pies.
Chicken Curry Pie
280g (2 1/4 c.) plain flour
70g (1/3 c.) butter
70g (1/3 c.) lard (shortening)
2-3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger (or fresh if you have it on hand)
3 Tbsp hot madras curry paste .
8 skinless chicken thigh fillets (about 900g) cubed
250mL (1 c.) chicken stock
200mL (3/4 c.) coconut cream*
salt and pepper
Pintrest is such an addicting site, one that I avoided for years. My mom, sister and others had gushed about how wonderful it was but I just couldn’t bring myself to go onto it. The reason for the avoidance is because when it comes to websites like that I have a very addictive personality and I knew that I could waste hours browsing. Well this year I signed up and all I can say is “Why did I wait so long!?” I have found so many ideas on the site, both recipe wise as well as travelling and crafting inspiration. Every once in a while I find an exceptional gem that really gets me excited and Dinners and Dreams is one of those gems. Nisrine Merzouki is a Moroccan expat who lives in the US. Not only are her recipes enticing but with the documentation of her recent trip back home I am even more anxious then ever to hurry up and go visit Morocco. I love North African food and her blog is a celebration of the food of her homeland so please show her some love and check out her wonderful blog.
Usually I find that I have to slightly alter a recipe to my taste or because of ingredients that I have on hand but Nisrine’s recipe is perfection as is. Both my husband and my daughter loved these delicious mushrooms and I had to fight them to save me some as I finished the rest of the meal.
Mushroom Skewers Recipe
1/2 Tbsp harissa
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
225g (8 oz) mushrooms, halved lengthwise
People often ask me if I miss home when talking about my move to England last year. The issue with that question is I have never had a home to miss. But as for missing something from the US, other then my family, I would say I do miss Mexican food. I have such a wide assortment of flavours and foods at my disposal here in the UK. I love the different tastes from the Mediterranean, from Africa and all around Europe. But one taste that isn’t readily available is food from the Western Hemisphere. It is one of my dreams to one day open up a restaurant here in Newbury that features Southern California inspired Mexican food cuisine so that I can start my own movement of bringing those far away flavours home. But until then I have to make do with my own home cooked meals.
Recipe adapted from About.com
Personal Sized Beef Tamale Pie
250g (1/2 lb) lean ground beef
1 small chopped onion
1/2 large red pepper, chopped
226g (8oz) tomato sauce
400g (14 oz) tomatoes, cut up
235g (8oz) whole kernel corn, defrosted
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
dash black pepper
113g (1/2 c.) grated Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
105g (3/4 c.) yellow fine cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
500mL (2 c.) cold water
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
113g (1/2 c.) grated Cheddar, for topping (optional)
This #SundaySupper is a second one with Katie Workman, author of the Mom 100 Cookbook. Author Katie Workman stresses one major thing in her new cookbook and that is that feeding our families doesn’t have to be stressful. Her recipes are all about simple, every day meals that help bring the family together. Sadly her cookbook isn’t going to be released in the UK for another month but I have had a great time following some of the recipes that my fellow #SundaySupper crew have been posting. This week I took one of the recipes that was featured a few weeks ago. I had to make some slight adjustments to the recipe because of what is available in my area, but this was a simple and great tasting recipe.
Lasagna Parcels with Turkey Meat Sauce
500g (16 oz) ricotta cheese
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
100g (1 c.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 no-cook lasagna noodles
450g (4 cups) mozzarella grated
12 strands of green onion strips
Turkey Meat Sauce (see recipe below)