Pasta – #chefdiljot

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Boil the pasta
Add in peas when the pasta is nearly cooked
Sauté the onion with garlic, then add tomatoes
Add any type of pasta sauce to the onions, garlic and tomatoes
Or alternatively chopped tin tomatoes with herbs (to make your own sauce)
Mix with the pasta when cooked  (I put pepper on my pasta and peas before mixing)
Done 🙂

Simple, easy and tastes good

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The Top 5: Blogging

Half Baked Harvest
Amazing food recipes, with a blog which is easy to follow and find recipes on. There are lots of varieties and choices, from vegetarian to snack food, cakes and healthy foods.

Man Repellar
Life advice and help for your fashion dilemmas. The blog posts are hilarious to read and also very down to earth giving a true point of view. This blog is also not just run by one person, so the information that is being given isn’t biased.

Anna Rike
Not so much of an informative blog, but the outfits that are put together have had lots of thought put into them and they work well.

The Blond Salad
Similar to Anna Rike’s blog but with a bit more variation. This blogger travels often and shows the outfits that can be worn in many areas.

The Beauty Department
Hair, make up, beauty blog. Advice and tips on the best and worst of items, products, hairdryers, and allsorts. From a NYE look to the running-errands look.

BONUS!!
OOTD Magazine
All things fashion, beauty and life related. A really good and interesting blog for any kind of reader, and one that you can always find yourself reading.

pasta bake...sadly not mine (Aldi's picture!)

My Pasta Bake Recipe

This is my mum’s and I recipe for an amazing Pasta Bake 🙂

INGREDIENTS

You can add pretty much whatever you want to this but my usual suspects are: 

Chicken

Peppers

Sweetcorn

Pasta

Sauce – any would be okay, the Dolmio Tomato and Cheese pasta bake sauce is particularly good

But I have also added on occasion:

Green Beans

Potatoes

Onions

Any leftovers I have in the fridge

METHOD

First boil the pasta and any meat and vegetables (if they require it) you want in the bake. Sometimes I fry the chicken, then when that has cooked I put in vegetables in there too – careful not to burn them.

Then add the sauce to the pasta (after draining it – duh) and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Then add in the pasta, vegetables and meat to the oven proof dish and grate tonnes of cheese on top!

Then place it in the oven at 150 for 20 minutes and ta daah!

Please note, that I would have added pictures for this blog, but it didn’t last long enough once I’d taken in out of the oven for me to take one. Take that as a good sign instead of a photo to convince you?

August Favourites

How is already September? It felt like May was just last week! Anyways, this is what I’ve loved in August.

Product Favs
The Body Shop – Tea Tree Toner
It’s really been nice to use on my face. I know its not this very product that determines my spot levels and although not a necessity, it’s been in my drawers and so I thought I’d get through it.

The Body Shop – Tea Tree Face Wash
So refreshing, you can really feel how it cleans. I like to use this at night because I like the fresh clean feeling before I go to sleep, knowing my face is free of the dirt build up during the day.

First Aid Beauty – Face Wash
This is so good! It doesn’t have a smell so it’s not going to be all up in your nose. It’s creamy and smooth, which is great for mornings.

L’Oreal – Volume Million Lashes (Extra Black)
This is the best mascara I have ever used. It curls, adds volume, and makes it look like I literally have a million lashes. I think the best thing is that it doesn’t clump up on your lashes, its super easy to take of but it’s so easy that it smudges if you rub your eye a bit. Its perfect

Nivea – Moisturiser
This is good. Its in my august favs really because I like the smell of Nivea products. But don’t take it in the way that it doesn’t do the job. it feels cooling on the skin which is nice after a hot shower and just keeps me feeling moisturised, smooth and smelling good.

Revlon – Vixen
When in doubt, use Revlon vixen. It’s my go to nail polish when I cant think of a colour to use. A basic deep red that I think everyone should have on hand (and nails). Its been doing in job in august by always being there for me, the multiple times I’ve needed it.

Food and Drink Favs
Sparkling Water
When I was younger, it was one of those things that I thought was just silly. Why have fizzy water that tastes of nothing when you can have Sprite and Coke… Well I now know that there are many reasons. It makes you feel so sophisticated when you drink it, its like “oh yes, sparkling water, yep, that’s what I’ll have…” You can imagine it, and it sounds great. There are other reasons like it’s good for you, proven to help lose weight, yada yada yada…

Goats Cheese and Spinach
I’ve never been crazy about a cheese but this month has been something new. I love goats cheese especially when its with spinach. Ive had pastry’s and pies, sandwiches and soups, all with goats cheese and I’ve really been enjoying it.

Song Favs
Kaava – Violin and Piano Cover
It’s an Indian song with violin and piano and the words taken out
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO96tV298UA

Mast Magan – 2 States
Locha-E-Ulfat – 2 States
Two songs from an Indian movie, they have lyrics in Hindi and although some may not be able to understand them, it’s like a love song, really cute ones. Google the meanings if you really want to… Even though they’re Indian, I have been listening to them so much since I watched the movie, and it’s calming and just nice to listen to while blogging…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWL-JxUGZc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9HttXFnfE4 

Fish Cakes!

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On Sunday evening I invited my boyfriend round for dinner and I wanted to cook him dinner. Oh I feel so domestic.

Although, despite my couple of months learning different skills for cooking and baking (of which i’m very proud), I have discovered the biggest cheat of cooking which I am taking full advantage of. Ready-made. I don’t mean ready made meals (although they are GREAT for uni hehe). I mean ready made fish cakes that you just whack in the oven. Life saver. They taste great, are easy to cook and make me look like I’m an amazing chef.

But chummy, before you think I’m a total cheat, along with these fish cakes I have become more inventive, well sort of, with food too. Example from Sunday is Cheesy Potatoes. Ah man these tasted good. Squash new potatoes with a fork (just once) and smother with cheese then microwave it for 15 seconds. Trust me on this chum, It is like food of the Gods. Although anything with cheese is food of the Gods.

But I did burn the green beans by leaving them on the hob too long. They were more brown that green really. So don’t worry, the old Emilly hasn’t really gone.

So to conclude my Learning to Cook couple of months. I’ve learnt how to make cookies, that Nigella’s cooking time for my oven is different, wearing an apron makes all the difference, how to cut chicken correctly and that I still have so much left to learn!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Hello there!

The other day we, meaning chummy and I, made Peanut Butter Cookies for my boyfriend’s birthday. I have to say the end result was SUPER peanut-buttery but luckily my boyfriend is obsessed with the stuff and said they were great. He said that sincerely, I promise.
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The ingredients, method and recipe was from http://www.nigella.com (found here: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/Gorgeously-Golden-Peanut-Butter-Cookies-5776)

But for those who can’t be bothered to click the link here are the ingredients we used. I had to switch from honey to golden syrup as I didn’t have any but It didn’t seem to make a difference.

Dry Ingredients
– caster sugar
– plain flour
– light muscovado sugar
– barcarbonate of soda

 

Wet Ingredients
– peanut butter
– butter
– eggs
– golden syrup/honey

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The method was really simple and easy to follow but the whole kitchen smelt of peanut butter so if you are adverse to the stuff, leave the house the day someone is making this.

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After that I put them in the oven to cook. Now I don’t know if it was my oven but I left them in there longer than Nigella said to. Probably a bad thing, I mean I once forgot to put sugar in brownies, but I put a knife in them and they really were not cooked. But they didn’t burn and they tasted okay. I then put a chocolate frosting on top with icing sugar, nutella and coco power and finished it off with sprinkles. Ta Daaaa!

 

Quick and easy breakfast ideas

Peanut Butter Bear
Recipe is self explanatory I think…
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Banana Egg Pancake
Since i’m trying to reduce the amount of bread and milk I have, I thought I would give this recipe a go.
– 1 mashed banana
– 1 egg
– toppings
Mash the banana, add in the egg, mix, cook, top with toppings and munch!
The good thing about this is that it doesn’t taste like an omelette or eggy, and it doesn’t taste like bananas either, it just tastes good… especially with a cuppa tea!
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Learning to Cook #2

During the past couple of weeks I have learnt a few new skills to do with Cooking which I feel make me look more professional in the kitchen despite the fact that in reality I’m still pretty close to my cooking knowledge before. My boyfriend will still only let my be in charge of stirring when we have cooked dinner. I’m still a long way off from being trusted with a knife if he has anything to say about it. One day…

1. Wear an apron. Sounds simple but an apron (no stupid puffy hats) with a few flour marks and a confident smile makes you look like a proper chef in the kitchen when friends come over.

2. When cutting chicken place the point of the knife just above the top of the meat on a chopping board, placing fingers either side of the meat with the knife over the middle of the chicken (fingers over knife just to clarify) and slice downwards in a confident (yet slowish) motion. This leaves straight bits of chicken and fingers are safely avoiding the knife.

3. If you are unsure on the seasoning front – don’t put nothing in the dish. Go with the mixed herbs jar.

4. Doing fancy icing on a cake requires time. Do not leave this 5 minutes before guests arrive. Practice the day before or if, like me you, don’t want to waste icing draw out templates on grease proof paper and then cut ready roll icing from those shapes.

5. The art of chopping vegetables fast is tricky. First rule is to fold back the first bit of your fingers (where your nails are) and hold the vegetable to try and limit fingers being chopped off (that wouldn’t be good). Second rule, start off r-eee-aa-l-l-y slowly and practice over time. I get bored of practicing but it will be worth it in the end!

Hope your cooking is going okay!

Risotto #2

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I never thought I could make risotto but look at this, a blog post on how I made risotto!

  • Firstly gently fry some onions and once browned add in the mushrooms.
  • Once the mushrooms have softened slightly (not too much as they will still be cooking) add in the rice
  • Add 2 stock cubes with hot water to fill a jug
  • Around half a cup at a time, add the stock to the rice mushroom mix
  • Continuously stir – don’t even think about stopping unless you want some lumpy rice mmm
  • I added tomatoes just before the last batch of water
  • Once all the stock water has been used and you’ve had a cheeky taste to make sure it’s cooked, add in the spinach
  • Mix mix mix
  • Add any cheese of your choosing – I chose Brie but I think parmesan would be good too (the brie was slightly overpowering)
  • Mix once more and serve!

Disclaimer – this recipe is from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3245/mushroom-and-spinach-risotto but I did add my twist on it.

I have literally no cooking knowlegde #learningtocook

I mean that statement isn’t totally true. I know how to make excellent beans on toast. I know roughly how to make a Shepard’s pie. However, I deem cooking knowledge and ‘know how’ as which garnish/sauce goes with which dish, how to do fancy frosting on a cake or how to cut vegetables super fast.

Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be trying to learn the little tricks of the trade and improve my cooking skills… or I shall hopefully look like I know what I am doing at least!

You will of course Chum, bring up my previous failed cooking attempts where I forgot to put in flour when I made brownies, or when I forgot to put sugar into the mixture when I made brownies a second time. Or when I accidentally turned the oven off while a third batch of brownies and my friend’s desert was also being baked.

I am currently compiling a list of skills I want to learn so if you have any suggestions please let me know and I will write and let you know all about it! Number one on my list is to make your last blog post Chum! It looked delicious!

Fingers crossed I don’t burn the house down!

Indian Cooking #1

Green Daal – Green lentils
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First boil the lentils (daal), cover with lid if needed
water(3) : lentils(1)
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Begin making the tharka (aka thurka) while the daal cooks
4-5 tbs of oil and add 1-2 grinded garlic cloves – cook until brown
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Add half an onion (grinded) and 1 tbs of cumin seeds (jeera) – cook until brown

 

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Next, 2inchs of ginger (grinded)
With the ginger add in the spices: turmeric (haldi), garam masala, and powdered chilli (mirch)

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Once the ginger has browned add in half a tin of tomatoes

 

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Add green chilli to taste

 

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While making the tharka keep checking the lentils to make sure they do not over

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Once they have been cooked (do not drain them), add in the tharka and mix.
Daal made!

There’s no end photo because i forgot to take one, but you get the idea

It can be eaten with roti (flatbread), naan or rice. It should be runny in consistency but can also be thick if preferred (add water to thin)