Tuesday, 29 October 2013

#Spud - He's kinda a big deal

I am a big fan of comfort food and the nostalgia foods that remind you of your childhood.  One of these is the good old seventies hit, the mighty Chicken Kiev. The garlic butter oozing out from between the breaded chicken, that salty, buttery slightly synthetic taste. mmmmm. When I was at boarding school they loved to give us turkey kiev bites for supper on a Sunday, pair those with curly fries and you were onto a winner. 

Today, I am well aware that most of that 'chicken or turkey' kiev is probably highly processed and formed meat. Not that juicy breast you once thought but very likely it's brain.  This is why I now prefer to make my own kiev's. They are very simple and pair these with the mighty sweet potato chip, you are on to a winning combination.  These are also much healthier than shop bought because you can control what you are putting in to the dish. The sweet potatoes are really high in Beta- Carotene which is an important antioxidant, they are also stuffed full of potassium which helps maintain low blood pressure and keeping that heart healthy. Basically the humble sweet potato is one hell of a big deal.



This is what you will need to make these bad ass kiev's and Spud the Sweet Potato chips for 2 people.

  • 2 free range chicken breasts (skin removed)
  • Some garlic butter (I like to make my own by whizzing up butter, garlic and fresh herbs -also a winner on steaks)
  • Fresh bread crumbs
  • dried sage and thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • fresh rosemary
  • paprika
  • Some sort of green veg- I used Brussel sprouts because they are one of my favourite vegetable and i may have got a little over excited in Tesco when I saw them. Weirdo alert.
  1. Pre heat your oven to approx. 190c
  2. First off you want to prep your little chickies, cut a small slit into the top of the breast then carefully with a small paring knife try and make a hole within the breasts. Then stuff with the garlic butter till you can't fit any more in. Tightly wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge.
  3. Next, keeping the skin on your little Spuddys, you want to chop in to chip sized pieces and line a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with the rosemary and paprika. season. Pop in to your hot oven. 

4. In one bowl put the egg and whisk with a fork to break it up. In another bowl or plate put your bread crumbs, mix with the dried herbs and season. Dip your first breast in the egg so its all covered and then transfer to the bread crumbs. make sure that the entire kiev is covered in the crumbs and but on to a baking tray. Repeat with the other kiev. Pop in to the oven for approx 25-30 mins.


5. prep your veg, I quickly steamed the sprouts and added to some chopped fried bacon. 


5. After the chips being in the oven for 40-45 mins take out the chicken and the chips and plate up.





Aaaand enjoy! 

xxxxx

Monday, 28 October 2013

Are You Courgetteing Me? A Simple Supper

Midweek I like to cook quick, healthy suppers. Whilst cooking last week I thought why not start a series on  'Simple Suppers'. Recipes that use minimal ingredients but are still delicious and flavoursome. The recipes will hopefully be easy to follow and ones that any one can do. 

My first recipe I want to share is Courgette and Pancetta Spaghetti. 

When ever I eat pasta my stomach disagrees and swells, leaving me in pain and bloated. Not ideal at all.  I was reading a cook book by Gizzi Erskine and came across Spelt Spaghetti. Spelt is an ancient grain which has a very good flavour. It is high in fibre, has a higher content of protein and vitamins than wheat and although not gluten free, Spelt can be tolerated by some people with wheat allergies. So all in all an ideal alternative to the usual wheat pasta. Also as it is high in protein you need less as it fills you up quicker and for longer. 

Ingredients (for 2 very hungry / 3 not so hungry people)

  • a handful of spelt spaghetti (roughly the thickness of a £2 coin)
  • a small tub of half fat creme friache
  • 1 courgette (chop in half, finely slice one half, thickly grate the other) 
  • pack pancetta cubes
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • a good grating of Parmesan


Method

  • Put a pan of salted water on to boil and then add the spaghetti.

  • Fry up the pancetta, courgette separately and then combine in the pan.




  • Once the pasta is cooked (should take about 7-8 mins) drain and stir in the creme fraiche, lemon zest, juice (to taste), courgette and pancetta mix and toss to combine. 
  • At the very last minute add the grated courgette and parmesan and season to taste.
  • Serve on to plates and enjoy.




Let me know if you make this and how you got on.

xxxxxx


Sunday, 27 October 2013

A Photo Hunt and Some Falafels

On Saturday the lovely ladies at The Photo Hunt organised a blogger get together. The day comprised of running round Shoreditch in groups of threes and fours and taking some random and crazy photos. Think human pyramids with strangers, squeezing into phone boxes, piggy backs and pretending to be elephants. It was an absolutely fantastic way of meeting fellow bloggers with out any of that awkwardness. When we arrived back at our original meeting point for prize giving and a round up of the day we were treated to 15% off at one of the events sponsors: FalafelLicious.

The concept of this place is very simple, falafels and some god damn yummy salads.

You get given your soft centred, crisp falafels in a generous sized pitta and told to help your self to the incredible looking salads.



I started to look at the assortment they had. As I was carefully choosing my salads, my sister Lettie proclaimed that I MUST try the green beans as they were the best she had ever had. I was sold.
Stuffing them in my pitta, I also noticed a delightful looking beetroot salad, in that went along with about 5 other equally yummy things. I have had some really quite good falafels and some really awful ones in my time and these were bloody fantastic. Everything was so fresh and tasteful. All the salads are home made along side the sauces they have. I would be back here in a heart beat and I can only hope that they open west side because these are the perfect lunch pit stop. Everyone, I demand you go there if you ever go to the Box Park (next to Shoreditch High Street overground) you won't be disappointed.


The lovely Laura filling her pitta.





Some of the amazing help yourself salads.


Laura and Mr FalafeLicious himself


Lettie and her beans



I did try to stuff more in....but failed miserably :(



Incredible bright colours


Yum yum yum

xxxxxxx


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

5 Things that have made me smile this week

I know its only Wednesday and all but I felt the urge to share with you all, the 5 things that have made me smile.

1. Frances Quinn winning Great British Bake Off - Yay well done Frances! Any one who know's me knows I'm obssessed with the Bake Off. It has sort of taken over my life for the last 2 months, not that those around me have complained. I keep getting into these little obbsessions with baking things... Any one want to set up a 'Post GBBO support baking club' with me to help get through the hard times?

2. My Showstopper cake for the GBBO final last night, I took inspiration from last year's winner John Whaite and made his Hell and Brimstone cake from his book. Post to follow.

3. Stumbling across these bad boys. Yes I will be making these and yes I will probably eat all of them, maybe bar one for my boyfriend, Ted.

4. Seeing my bessie for the first time in 3 weeks last night. Love her.

5. Walking down the street and all the incredible shades of orange that are falling and settling on the ground. I love Autumn (minus the rain) and the thought of fireworks, kicking piles of crunchy leaves, cosy nights in, hot chocolates, cooking stews and snuggling up in scrummily warm jumpers and coats, the exciting thought of snow and Christmas is only TWO MONTHS away. Yipeeeeee.

Oh and a cheeky number 6.


I mean just look at that. How can you not smile. (Picture from Pinterest)

xxxxx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Breakfast: Healthy Muffins

During the week I am one of those people who likes to have maximum time in bed, therefore my morning routine is all about convenience. My skin care and make up routines are relatively simple and I very rarely change things up. I also like to have a quick but filling breakfast. My usual go to breakfasts at work consists of porridge with a drizzle of honey or cinnamon and raisin bagels with honey. I was getting in a rut, so one morning I was browsing my favourite foodie go to, the BBC Good Food website and came across these beauties.



Healthy nutritious breakfast muffins, crammed full of fruit and wholesome wholemeal. They are butter and sugar free but still sweet from the yummy blueberries and bananas. I was sold, I could grab one of these when I arrived at work and enjoy along side my Twining's Lemon and Ginger tea whilst going through my emails. It also meant I had, had one of my 5 a day with out even trying.

I have slightly adapted the recipe to include Coconut oil as it just so good for you and is my new obsession.

To make 12 of these delicious muffins you will need the following.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • 50ml coconut oil
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 4 tbsp runny honey (couldn't escape me the easily)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 tsp both bicarbonate of soda and baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 150g blueberries
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)

Pre heat the oven to 180c / gas 4 and line a muffin tin with 12 cases.

In a bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, tip the rest of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and blend together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until you have a smoothish batter. It should resemble something like this.



Don't overmix as this will make the muffins heavy and no one likes heavy muffins.

Divide the mixture into your 12 cases, sprinkle generously with your seeds and extra oats.


Bake for 25 minutes until golden and irresistible.




Leave to cool and enjoy, these little goodies last for about 4 days in an airtight container.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enjoy with a cup of tea.

Loves xxxx






Monday, 7 October 2013

Sunday morning pancakes

Imagine waking up to the smell of bacon wafting up the stairs and into your bedroom, the enticing sound of it sizzling in the pan. Now add into this tastebud tantalising equation, freshly flipped pancakes, Maple Syrup and there you have a recipe for the perfect Sunday Brunch. It's what Sunday mornings are all about.


                                                           Thick fluffy pancakes

                         
                                                       Crisp, salty streaky bacon


                                            Put your bacon and pancakes onto a plate...


Assemble, drizzle with Maple Syrup,

and Enjoy! 

Sunday Blues? What are they when you have this bad boy to enjoy.


Recipe for the pancakes found here. I find that the recipe actually only makes enough for two, but that depends on how hungry you are feeling!


                                             
             



Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Hello

Welcome to 'Food by Charlotte' a happy little place where I can show my adventures with one of my greatest loves- food. A mish mash of experimental recipes, scrummy food’s I encounter and just general yumminess.

Another food blog you say? Well yes but with my own unique chazzles twist. It's a tiny space of my own in the gigantic Internet universe to pop down my random and constant thoughts on food and food related goodness! :) 




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