Mexican Breakfast & Scanpan Giveaway!

Mexican BreakfastThis week I have been sent a new Scanpan lidded sauté pan to test out. Having loved their roasting pan so much, I was really quite excited to try it out!

On another note, the Mr absolutely loves Mexican cuisine and he found a fantastic one pot recipe from Jamie Oliver. Guess what? You need a lidded sauté pan to make it, it was meant to be!

So here is what you will need to serve 3 people:

  • 1 Small Onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, peeled & diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, deseeded & diced
  • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded & diced
  • 2 Fresh Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tortilla Wraps, to serve *
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese, to serve

*For a gluten free version either serve on it’s own or use gluten free wraps.

Once you have prepped all your veg, heat a large frying/sauté pan over a medium heat. Make sure you have a lid for it.

Add the olive oil into the pan followed by the onion, garlic, red pepper & bay leaves. Season with a healthy amount of salt & pepper and cook for about 15 minutes until soft & golden.

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican BreakfastAdd in the chopped tomatoes & bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

Mexican BreakfastGive it a taste, if you think it needs it – add in some more salt & pepper.

Lay the sliced fresh tomato over the sauce. Then make 3 wells, drop an egg into each one & sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.

Mexican BreakfastPop the lid on & cook over a medium heat for about 4-5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked how you like.

Mexican Breakfast

Spoon into the tortilla wraps & get it down ya! This is a seriously delicious breakfast & so easy to make. I love that it hardly makes any pots too! Certainly makes a change from that boring bacon & egg cob. Yes, it’s a ‘cob’ where I come from! 😛

Scanpan Giveaway

Right, onto the Sauté Pan. A few things to note, the first being just how fantastic the quality is! There’s a reason this retails at £149, you really do get what you pay for. For starters, it’s nice & weighty but not too heavy to pick up, just the right balance. It’s safe for use on pretty much all hobs and it’s even oven & dishwasher proof. Making it really versatile in the kitchen & easy to clean. Not got a dishwasher? It’s still insanely easy to clean. Even the really tough crusty stuff just wipes straight off!

Also, because of the multi layered base (made from ceramic titanium, aluminium & other metals) it distributes heat really evenly and quickly. So you’re not stood there for ages waiting for the pan to heat up, nor do you get any uneven cooking.

And the non stick coating really is amazing. Not only making light of the cooking & the washing up, but you can even use metal utensils on it. Yeah, seriously. They literally won’t touch it it’s that good!

Another thing I noticed whilst using it is, due to the sides being quite high, it pretty much stopped all spatter from getting out the pan. I hate having to clean the hob every time I use it, and now I don’t have to! Brilliant.

 

Want to win one of these incredible pans for yourself? To be in with a chance of winning – just do one, or all, of the following 3 things:

1. Like the KitchenMason & Scanpan UK pages on Facebook then share the photo on my timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @ScanpanUK on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinScanpan

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

It really is that easy!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Monday 18th May 7pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter afterwards.

I hope you enjoyed the post, and good luck!

Miss KitchenMason

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Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Even at 28 years old I still have to trick myself into eating healthy foods. I’ve dramatically improved over the years but I think a part of me will always be a fussy eater. With me, half the battle was texture & ‘eating with my eyes.’ This unbelievably delicious recipe solves both those problems in one fell swoop!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Seriously, what if I told you that you could get all the above veg into a fussy eater and they wouldn’t even realise? I kid you not! The trick? A food processor. Take out the texture & you are left with a visibly appealing sauce that is jam packed full of the good stuff AND tastes fantastic!

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 generous portions/1.5kg. (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

Top Tip! With it just being me and the Mr, I used 2 portions straight away and froze the rest in freezer bags for a later date.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Peppers, I used 1x Red 1x Yellow
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mushroom Ketchup, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor or Stick Blender
  • Large pot/saucepan with a lid

Firstly, prep your veg.

Slice the onion, celery, leek & carrot into pieces roughly the same size. Core and slice the peppers and set to one side.

Over a medium heat, add the oil into a large lidded pot/saucepan.

Add in the onion, celery, leek & carrots and cook for about 20mins until softened. Stir occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Add in the peppers and cook for a further 10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Tip in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and garlic powder. Generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Pop on the lid and allow to simmer for about 20mins until everything is nice and soft.

Then remove the lid and allow to reduce for 5-10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Lastly, give it all a good stir and leave to cool a little before either blitzing in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!See the difference pureeing can make? If I was still as bad as I was when I was younger – there is no way in hell I would have touched this before it had been through the processor! Now it looks completely unassuming and harmless. See?! A perfectly deceitful way of sneaking veg into those fussy eaters.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!As I recommended before, unless you are cooking for a lot of people anyway – this is a great  recipe to split & store in the freezer for those days when you just can’t be bothered. Making you much less likely to reach for the takeaway menu & far more likely to inject some goodness into you!

Top Tip! If serving with pasta, when warming through the sauce, add a little of the pasta water and stir it through. This will make it lovely and smooth.

In other news, If you weren’t already aware, me and the Mr are expecting our first child in around 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, our wonderful family & friends surprised us with an amazing Baby Shower!

Baby ShowerClearly this (and the large amount of cake!) made us extremely happy! I sincerely feel very lucky & privileged to have such a wonderful bunch of people in my life. Huge thank yous all round to everyone that was involved/attended. My mini KitchenMasonite is already so spoilt and she’s not even arrived yet!

Speaking of cake – I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my Dad. Why you ask? Well, my Dad has never decorated a cake in his entire life but he’s always relished a challenge…

Baby ShowerSeriously, he’s never made a celebration cake before. EVER. How unbelievably awesome is this?! Not only did it look incredible, it tasted incredible too. The vanilla genoise sponge was beautifully soft & light and the buttercream was so smooth – absolutely divine. Move over Mr Kipling, there’s a new cake maker in town!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato Soup with a Hint of Basil

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilNow, it may seem a little early for a soup recipe but in actual fact, it’s the perfect time of year to get started! With all the beautiful late summer veg in the gardens, it’s exactly the right time to start stocking your freezer ready for Autumn & Winter.

My lovely Gran is a very keen gardener. Every year she surprises me with how much she gets out of her garden! Recently, she’s had a lot of tomatoes ripening very quickly that she needs to get eaten. I thought I would help her out and turn all those beauties into a delicious soup for the both of us to enjoy.

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 portions.

  • 1kg – 1.25kg Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Tomato Purée
  • Generous pinch of Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves, each torn in half
  • 3 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1.2 litres Vegetable Stock *
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil

*I used 4 x Knorr Vegetable Stock Pots dissolved in 1.2 litres of boiling water.

Essential Equipment

  • Large pot with a Lid
  • Stick Blender or Food Processor

First thing’s first, you need to prepare your veg.

I removed the skins from my tomatoes. It’s totally optional but actually quite simple to do.

Simply fill a jug or bowl with boiling water and submerge your tomatoes for 30 secs or so. You should actually start to see some of the skins splitting.

Then, using a spoon – remove the tomatoes from the water and simply peel the skins straight off.

Tomato Soup

Tomato SoupBeing very careful, as they will be a little slippy, quarter the tomatoes and remove any hard bits of core.

Tomato SoupNow, peel & chop the onion, carrot & celery stick so they are all approx the same size.

Place the large pot over a low heat & add in the olive oil.

When you can feel the pan getting hot, add in the onion, carrot & celery. Give it a mix then cook over the low heat for about 10 mins until just starting to colour and soften.

Tomato Soup

Tomato SoupAdd in the tomato purée, the sugar, bay leaves & the dried basil. Give it all a good mix to ensure it’s all blended well.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilTip in the tomatoes and mix it all together.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilPop the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 10 mins. Once or twice, give the pan a little shake to keep it all well mixed.

 

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilNext up, add in the vegetable stock and give it a really good stir.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilThen pop that lid back on and simmer over the low heat for 25 mins. Give the pan a good shake a couple of times during cooking.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilGive it a nice mix then find and remove the bay leaves.

Pull all the leaves from the bunch of basil and add them into the pot.

Then, whether it’s using a stick blender or a food processor, get blitzing until it’s all nice and smooth.

WARNING do take care if the soup is still very hot and never over fill your food processor as it has a tendency to explode!

I’ve recently obtained the new Stellar Cookware Stick Blender and  it’s absolutely fabulous!

Stellar Stick Blender

It breaks down into 2 parts for easy washing and storage and has a very comfortable & ergonomic grip. It’s also incredibly versatile with it’s settings – having a dial at the top to adjust the power and a turbo button when you need a little extra oomph.

Stellar Stick Blender

And it made mincemeat of this soup! Definitely a lot easier than making a huge mess trying to pour it all into a food processor. My days of that are now well and truly over!

Tomato Soup with a Hint of Basil - Stellar Stick Blender

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilLast thing to do is give the soup another stir and have a taste. Add more salt & pepper if you think it needs it.

Then either, eat it now or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Alternatively you could allow to cool completely then pour into ‘pour and store’ bags and place in the freezer ready for those colder nights.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilThere’s just something about tomato soup. It’s always been my favourite, ever since I was a little girl. I have tried to be more adventurous and try different soup flavours but I always come back to tomato! A definite winner in my book.

What would be lovely is if you served this with a little cream swirled through to add a bit of richness. And a good chunk of crusty bread with lashings of butter smeared all over it! Aaaahh, I can foresee nights by the fire with a bowl of this deliciousness in the near future. Autumn is coming… get your freezer prepared!

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Back To Basics: Salad

Back To Basics- SaladContrary to popular belief – I do actually try and make an effort to eat well. I can’t live solely on Chocolate Mousse Brownies, Millionaire’s Shortbread & Doughnuts. Despite the fact that I really want to!

Even though I eat far more now than I ever used to, I still have to ‘trick’ myself into eating healthy things. Take this salad for example. It’s seemingly healthy from the outside (not all that appealing to me if I’m honest) but when you look inside? There’s smokey bacon and feta cheese. These two ingredients make anything taste a bazillion times better! Helping me get my “5 a day” (something I find to be unrealistic at best) and making me feel better when I do ram a slice of Ice Cream Cake down my pie hole.

In the spirit of trying to be healthy, here is what you will need to make my “How to train a fussy eater to eat salad” salad.

(Serves 2 as a side for a main course.)

  • 2 Slices Smokey Bacon
  • 1 Whole Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Sweet Bite Pepper (mini pepper)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes or 6-7 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Spring Onions
  • 200g Feta Cheese (I use Apetina)
  • Salt & Pepper

For The Dressing

Back To Basics- SaladFirst up – the bacon.

There are tons of ways to cook bacon but I find this way to be no mess, no fuss & almost embarrassingly easy. Naturally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Line a baking tray with tin foil and lay on the bacon strips.

2. Place the tray onto the middle shelf in a cold oven & turn up the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

3. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, (usually until you can just start to smell it) then turn each slice of bacon over and cook for a further 10mins or so until the fat is crispy. Yeah, non of that god awful stringy fat that a lot of people leave on – crispy. And don’t even think about cutting it off either – that’s where all the flavour is! Crispy.

4. Leave the bacon to one side to cool. When you have done, simply throw away the tin foil & put the baking tray back in the cupboard. No pots to wash either! Win.

Top Tip: When I am making a cooked breakfast on a Sunday morning, which almost always involves bacon, I cook a couple of extra slices in the same way as above. Once they are cooled, I chop them up and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days and then just toss them straight into this salad. Saves time & effort after a days work when, lets face it, we can’t really be bothered to to anything!

Onto the actual salad.

Back To Basics- SaladSlice the whole romaine lettuce into approx 1cm wide strips, then chop a couple of times in the opposite way to make the strips shorter. Dump it all into a large glass/serving bowl.

Slice the sweet bite pepper into small strips.

De-seed the tomatoes and slice the flesh into 1cm pieces. (If using cherry tomatoes, just quarter them & don’t bother de-seeding.)

Trim & slice the spring onions.

Top Tip: Find that you only use a few spring onions and the rest have gone bad by the time you go to use them? Simply trim and slice the whole bunch, allow to dry in the fridge for 20-30 minutes on a plate, then store in the freezer in an airtight plastic tub or plastic bottle. You can use them straight from the freezer in salads. As they’re cut so small, they defrost almost instantly!

Finally, cut the Feta cheese into cubes.

Place all the ingredients into the bowl with the lettuce & season well with salt & pepper.

Back To Basics- SaladTo make the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a small glass or mug, mix together and pour over the salad.

Using two spoons, toss everything together in the bowl to distribute the dressing evenly.

Then serve alongside some sort of chicken or fish, or whatever you like really!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s really not that difficult or expensive to make. And with the added bacon & feta – well, they say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, this is probably the savoury equivalent!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s also a great way to clear out your fridge of all those leftover vegetables you don’t have enough of to do anything with.

I Hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Spiced Scrambled Eggs

Spiced Scrambled EggsThis week I fancied trying something new for our Sunday morning breakfast. I came across this recipe on the good old BBC Good Food website and liked what I saw!

Here is what you will need to make enough for 2 hungry people:

  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1/2 large Red Chili, sliced
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • splash of Milk
  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes, seeds removed & quartered
  • Fresh Coriander, chopped
  • 4 Sliced of Toast to serve

Heat a little olive oil in a large non stick pan and pop your bread in the toaster ready for later.

Tip the diced onion, sliced chili & chopped garlic into the heated pan and fry for a minute or two until the onions have softened.

Frying the veg

Beat the milk into the eggs along with some salt & pepper then pour into the hot pan.

Making the scrambled eggsBegin moving the egg around until it is nearly cooked then throw in the chopped cherry tomatoes.

Adding the TomatoesContinue to cook until the eggs are the way you like them & the tomatoes are warmed through. Try not to overcook them though, you know this has happened when a watery liquid starts to seep out of the eggs.

Serve the eggs on the toast you made earlier & sprinkle with some freshly chopped coriander.

Spiced Scrambled EggsThen devour with a big cup of tea!

This one was a hit with me and the Mr. The tomatoes add a pleasant sweetness and the coriander gives a lovely freshness to the dish. All in all, a brilliant and quick breakfast recipe to add to the archives!

In other news this week, I have started to sell my cupcakes locally and have just published my new website Cakes by KitchenMason. You should go and check it out!

If you have any questions or would like to place an order, you can do so via the contact us page on the site or email me at cakesbykitchenmason@gmail.com.

Hope you enjoyed the post guys n gals!

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato Soup

Now the cold winter nights are drawing in, it’s nice to have a recipe to warm your cockles. What’s better than a home made soup?!

My Gran brought me LOADS of tomatoes from her garden so I thought I would put them to good use. I found a recipe over at the BBC Good Food website which I adapted so I could use what I already had in my cupboards. (I didn’t have any celery so doubled the quantities of carrot & onion.) I was pleasantly surprised with the results!

Here is what you need to make about 3 bowls full. (Easily doubled)

  • 600g Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Tomato Purée
  • Sugar, pinch
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock (from a cube is fine)

First, prep your veg. Slice the tomatoes into quarters & keep to one side. Peel the onion & carrot then chop into small, even pieces.

Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan. Then add in the carrot & onion. Sweat until soft – stir occasionally to stop them from sticking to the bottom. (Should take about 10 minutes.)

Add in the tomato purée and give it a good stir to coat all the veg. Then throw in the tomatoes & the bay leafs. Season with the sugar and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Pop a lid on the pan and let it stew over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are swimming in their own juices.

Gradually add in the hot vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling rapidly, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on again. Cook nice and gently for about 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.

Fish out both bay leafs, then carefully pour half the mixture into a blender and blitz until nice and smooth. Repeat for the other half. Then return it to the pan and season with salt & pepper to taste. If you are eating it straight away – bring to the boil and serve. If you want to save it for a rainy day, either keep in a sealed tub in the fridge and use within 3-4 days OR pour in a freezer bag/tub – allow to cool completely then pop in the freezer and use within a couple of months.

I really liked the crunchy texture the onions gave in this variation. It even got a thumbs up from the Mr! But if you don’t really want the crunch from the onion & tomato seeds, you can always sieve the soup before hand.

I LOVE home made soups in the winter. There’s nothing better than coming home from work in the cold, wintry weather and sitting in front of a roaring fire with a hot bowl of soup. Bliss!

Until next time my little snugglys!

Miss KitchenMason

Herb Crusted Fish & Crispy Chips

I’m not really brilliant with fish but I saw this recipe from the BBC Good Food site and thought, I’ve got to try that one! There’s an extra brucey bonus too as it’s low in calories!  Here is what you will need to make enough for 2 people.

  • 25g Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 x White Fish Fillets
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Corn Flour
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Advanced prep!!

If you have time, I highly recommend that you soak the sweet potato chips in water for a few hours once you’ve peeled & chopped them into thin sticks. You want to get rid of as much of the starch as possible. Starch helps to keep moisture in and when you are after a crisp chip, you want moisture out. 

Me and my other half were a bit greedy so we had 2 fish fillets each. Despite this, it still only came to 475 calories each for the whole meal! I chose to use Cod which, as far as fish goes, isn’t that “fishy”, which made me happy. Also, to help keep calories down, I used 1 slice of wholemeal bread from a smaller 400g loaf to make the breadcrumbs.

Preheat your oven to 200°C

Peel & chop the sweet potatoes into thin sticks. If you have time (as stated above) soak the chips for a few hours. When you’re ready, rinse the chips in water. You will notice that the water has become cloudy, this is the starch that was in the potatoes. Once rinsed, pat as much water off them as you can.

Put them in a bowl & add 1 tbsp of corn flour. Get your hands in there and mix until all chips are evenly coated. Next, add 1 tbsp olive oil and mix lightly again until evenly coated.

Space the chips out on a non stick baking tray. Try and get as much room between the chips as you can. If you put them too close or too many on the tray, they will steam and never go crispy. If necessary, use a second baking tray.

Put them in the oven for 20 minutes turning half way.

Blitz the bread in a food processor until, you guessed it, it resembles bread crumbs. Put them in a bowl and add the lemon zest, the parsley & plenty of salt & pepper. Mix well.

Top the fish fillets with the herb crust & put them on a baking tray.

Place the tomatoes on the same tray & drizzle everything with the 1tbsp of olive oil.

Put the fish & tomatoes in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the chips cooking time.

Then commence stuffing your face! Considering this is actually a very healthy meal, I was pleasantly satisfied! Not only was it very tasty but it was low in calories too. And if me and my other half hadn’t have been greedy and had 2 fish fillets each, it would have been even lower than 475 cals!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

Miss KitchenMason