Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marketing at Night

You know you want to....better than staying in for etvs chick flick ;)
What to expect: art, shoes, bags and FOOD! LOTS and LOTS of FOOD!!!!


See you there

That 4pm kinda hungry

you know the one that creeps up on you like a thief in the night which then somehow controls your tummy and turns it into a possessed cookie monster....
yes that one...
we all know it.

I'm trying to choose healthier 4pm snacks and came across the Nutriday biscuit range! it's heavenly!! So creamy and tasty that it feels as though you're having 'real dessert'. With flavours like milk tart and lemon meringue, you cannot go wrong! There are 2 other flavours available in the range. I generally do not like biscuit pieces in yoghurt or ice cream but this one is a winner!! Do yourself a favour and try all of them!

Bonus: It's low in calories and fat. Doesn't get better than this me thinks ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hearty Beef Stew served with Sweet Roasted Butternut

What better way to fill your tummy with a healthy hearty stew. Though this dish may take some time to make (read a lot of time) it is well worth the wait. 

We (I say we because in actual fact, T made this meal and I was there for picture taking and moral support) made this on one of our days off last week (we were both on leave for a week – more on that in another post wink wink). 

To get the best results, make this dish when you are sure have at least 2hours to spare OR if you are blessed with a slow cooker, you can throw it together before you leave for work and leave it on all day ;)

700g stewing beef
1 onion
1tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp thyme
1 ½ tsp steak and chops spice
1 bay leaf
1 can chopped tomato
3 medium sized carrots (roughly chopped)
2 potatoes (although we used more because its my thing – we used 5)
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Slice onions and brown over medium heat.
Add meat to pot and brown with onions (you can coat meat in flour prior to adding it to the pot to help thicken the sauce.)
Preheat oven to 180° C
Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and steak and chops spice to meat and onion mix. Cook for 2 minutes until garlic has cooked.
Add tomatoes, stock, potatoes and carrots and bring to the boil.
Place pot (lid on) in oven and cook for 2-2 ½ hours.
If you're at home making this dish, stir the pot every 45 minutes and add water as needed.

For last ½ hour of cooking, remove the lid from the pot to help thicken the stew.

2 medium sized butternut

Preheat oven to 180°C
Chop butternut in half (lengthways) and remove seeds – you should have 4 pieces of butternut.
Place butternut in baking tray and bake for an hour or until soft.
I chose not to add any sugar to the butternut as I'm trying to keep the calories down. If you would really prefer additional sweetener, drizzle some honey on the pumpkin.

To serve
Use a fork to fluff up the butternut while still in its casing. Take care not to tear to the butternut skin as this makes for a better display :)
Place stew on top of fluffed up butternut and serve!


Going the extra mile to plate the food well will be appreciated by your guests/family/better half/friend whoever you choose to share this meal with. And trust me, US, this meal is DEFINITELY worth sharing. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

"Hanging-onto-the-last-few-days-of-Winter" Mushroom Soup

I really am hanging onto the last few days of winter. Everytime I look at a social network or look at the ads on tv, it seems as though everyone everywhere is wishing away winter. I, unlike the majority, am in love with winter so will relish in these last few days. 

Soup is definitely synonymous with winter and I LOVE mushrooms so why not make mushroom soup. As much as I love mushrooms, I have never made mushroom soup, until tonight that is :)
This is a very easy recipe to follow and if you chop onions and mushrooms really fast, you can have the meal done in 30 minutes :)
This meal serves 2 people. Perfect in my household because its just myself and the love of my life :)

What's Needed
Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ small onion chopped finely
2tsp crushed garlic
2 trays of mushrooms (500g), sliced
3 tsp thyme (I used Robertsons)
1/2 white wine
¼ cup cream* Optional
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock. I made use of the woolworths powdered stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Bread, Olive Loaf, Plain Toasted Baguettes
How To
Heat a “glug” of oil – think a tablespoon
Add chopped onions and fry until soft and clear (this requires a low heat)
Add garlic and gently fry until fragrant (or slightly brown but not burned)
Remove from pan and set aside.

Add chopped mushrooms to same pan that you used to fry the onions and garlic in.
Fry for a few minutes until golden brown. Feel free to add a little more oil here if the mushrooms are sticking. High heat is needed for this.
Reduce the heat and add the onion and garlic mix to the mushrooms.4
Add thyme and wine.
Let the wine mix reduce a want the alcohol to essentially cook out but you do not want the mix to be dry. Remember this is soup you're making.
Add the chicken or veg stock and allow to simmer for 5/10 minutes.
Remove about 2 tablespoons from mix and set aside while you blend the soup mixture. Add the cream at this stage if you are including it.
When you're done blending the mix, return the mushrooms to the pot and allow to heat for a few minutes. 

Serve with garlic bread, olive ciabatta or plain toasted baguettes. 

Needless to say, I really enjoyed my meal, along with the warmth that came from my heater AND my hot water bottle!
Little secret: I ate about 5 pieces of garlic bread while taking pics..I'll work on my nutritional value tomorrow :)