Tuesday 28 February 2023

Lentil and chickpea curry

 Scottish Urban Prepper on YouTube posted this the other day and we thought we'd have a go.

1 teaspoon root ginger peeled and grated (or ready made in a tube) I used 1/2 tsp dried.
150g split red lentils.
250 ml stock of your choosing. (We made 375 ml as I was using less coconut milk).
1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
1 tablespoon curry powder or paste (mild or hot) I used 1 teaspoon but it needed more.
1 can drained chickpeas.
1 can diced tomatoes.
1 can coconut milk (we used 1/6th as I am watching my fats).

Put everything into a pressure cooker or instant pot. Stir together. Bring up to pressure and cook for 8 minutes. Leave to naturally release its pressure.

Ours was a bit thick so we added a bit more liquid plus a tablespoon tomato puree. 

Served on a bed of rice for our main meal. I also made some tomato and cucumber to top it, steeped in lemon juice and a little sugar. Once topped, we pour the remaining juice over the top. We both enjoyed it and shall try it again, using what he did but still with less coconut milk.

It does indeed make enough for 4 people and the rest of it plus rice has gone into the freezer.

Sunday 26 February 2023

What a difference a day makes!

 Yesterday, we had brisk cold winds, sleet, rain and hail. Today, although only going to be 7C, the sun is out and warming us nicely. We will have tea on the patio!

We have walked Ruby, gathered more leaves for my raised beds and dug up two small rows of  carrots killed by the frosts. All before 9am.

Bed 3 is almost complete with trenches of leaf mould and kitchen compost. Just bed 2 then all 5 have been done. It does seem to be making a difference, more worms are in there.

I was asked for my recipe by Kathy, for the loaf cake yesterday. Nothing special. Just weigh 1, 2 or 3 eggs and use their weight to measure your fats, S. R. Flour and sugar (although we only use 1/3rd the weight of sugar as we don't like our cakes too sweet. You can add any flavouring you like, such as coffee or cocoa, 1/2 - 1 whole lemon or orange zest etc.

2 eggs works best in a 1lb loaf tin, lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in an oven about 30 - 40 minutes at 160C or so, until cooked in the middle. My air fryer has cooked them at either 30 minutes at 160C or 22 - 25 minutes at 190C, covered for at least half the cooking time. You don't need to cover in an oven. Hope that helps.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Smallest loaf cake ever?

Deciding to make a lemon sponge cake, I had a mental block. I should have used 2 eggs and that weight for everything else, except sugar. Nope!

I used 1 egg and the result is a lovely lemon sponge, but tiny:

We cut it into 6 slices and shall eat one slice each over the next 3 days. It is still nice despite being only 1" tall at both ends!

As I am still trying my low fat diet to slightly reduce cholesterol, that will be it for another couple of weeks. I also didn't top it with lemon and sugar to reduce calories.

Friday 24 February 2023

Car service, MOT, a mini shop etc

Car was in for its service yesterday, free thank goodness, although this is its last year under warranty. MOT all well although we will need to change both front tyres in the next few months. Not so much a lack of tread but both inside tyres have a lot of wear. Once changed, we shall make sure they blaance the wheels.

Once we had a courtesy car, we went to the shops to check out the old tomato situation at Sainsburys. All was fine there and the cashier stated that at the moment, they were not restricting what you could buy. Methinks that will change soon. They had everything but peppers.

Bought a few needed things and came home. We both felt like a protein based meal so I hard boiled some eggs and was surprised to find they were all double yoked!

I air fried some chicken drumsticks and thighs. Some flour, celery salt, pepper and paprika went into a bag and the meat tossed in it. A light brush of oil on the browning plate and in they went. 190C for 22 minutes, turned after 15 minutes. Didn't need any longer as their internal temperature was in the high 80'sF (need to be over 75 for safety):

Crispy on the outside, moist inside, lovely. Doesn't look much but we were both full.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Sunset and pantry corned beef hash

Captured this lovely sunset the other night:

Looks like a painting doesn't it?

I used up the last of the corned beef - cubed, plus a can of new potatoes - smashed, a can of beans, and a small diced onion, to make corned beef hash in the air fryer:

 It took 12 minutes from start to finish. Would have been even better with some diced tomatoes but there wasn't any, hey ho!


Monday 20 February 2023

Quick sunday lunch

Bought puff pastry, divided into 4 pieces. 4 tablespoons of leftover mashed potato, mashed into just under 1/2 tin corned beef (smaller end), pinch black pepper and 2 good teaspoons brown sauce. It made 4 pasties, 2 for yesterday, 2 for today:

Pasties cooked in the air fryer for 10 minutes on air fry, flipped carefully, 2 more minutes to cook the base, done. A big saving on using the oven. Again, the vegetables on the stove top, took longer to cook.

Leftover corned beef will be turned into hash for tea tonight. Cooked cubed potatoes, cubed beef, cooked together then a can of beans thrown in. Yum!

Thursday 16 February 2023

Another Wasgij puzzle this time a mystery version

 Mystery versions are 'what happens next' puzzles. Herewith the picture on the box:


The boy in the middle bounces a super bounce ball and chaos ensues:

We dropped off some jigsaw puzzles at the charity shop today then picked up two more!

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Pizza using ready made pizza dough

 I would normally make my own dough but wanted to try the ready made Pizza Express one. It was okay but I could have made it cheaper and probably with more taste. It was cooked in my air fryer and that was fine except for some juice that ran out from the cheese:

We had mushrooms on toast the other day, just 6 minutes in the air fryer:

Later that night for tea, I cooked strips of liver, onions and baby tomatoes in the air fryer, followed by gravy to warm through, it was lovely, just 10 minutes all in. Unfortunately, cooking the potatoes on the stove top took 35 minutes:( Could have done chips or roasties in less time in the fryer. Forgot to take a picture.

Finally, lunch yesterday was pizza bagels - yummy:

Just 5 minutes although the salami did blow around as there were 2 slices per half bagel!

Tuesday 14 February 2023

An annoying crochet mistake

It was three rows in around the edge of the blanket before I realised my mistake. At the corners I had been doing 1 treble 2 chains 1 treble stitch to turn the corner:

I should have been doing 2 treble 2 (or even 3 but am sticking with 2) chain 2 treble stitches:

Better late than never!

Saturday 11 February 2023

Busy doing nothing

 Crocheting the outer edge of my blanket is taking an age. I reckon it will take at least 2 weeks. I just keep getting cramp in my hand after about 3' of work so have to stop.

Herewith my progress, 2 rows of cream and just starting 2 rows of purple:

Once they are done, I am hoping there is enough of the peach to do at least one row, then I will repeat both the cream and purple. Mind you, I think I will only have enough cream for 1 more row.

We are busy doing another Wasgij puzzle!

Monday 6 February 2023

Back to cold nights then...

 Almost 10 days of cold nights to come. Sunny days but chilly nonetheless. 

Sunny or windy days means drying washing on the line, a bonus. Not much else to do outside though, just so uninviting.

A pot of carrot, lentil and tomato soup is on the go for lunch. I made our first cake in the air fryer on Friday, turned out lovely but definitely need to keep it covered for longer to stop it getting too brown. Going to try quiche tonight. Bought two 6” sandwich cake tins so shall try it in those.

After quite a few years break, I have decided to start again with crochet. I can only do basic stuff and have decided to add several rows onto my home made lap blanket. It isn’t quite large enough and my legs are chilly in the evenings.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Little changes .....

We are beginning to notice snowdrops popping up on our weekly walks. Catkins had emerged earlier but are now starting to grow in length and will shortly release their pollen. This morning at just after 7am, I heard the birds singing so that too is happening.

Winter has clearly not finished with us yet. Lots of cold and probably frosty days to come. Might still get some snow. Hail will wait until flowers are blooming before it decides to shatter them:(

We have decided now to switch our cooker off at the wall. It was mainly being used for its clock but we have bought a cheap replacement. It will only be switched on when we need to use the hob top. The air fryer, microwave, slow/pressure cooker have replaced it for the most part. The microwave is departing slowly, it will be replaced by an inverter microwave. The main difference being how it delivers power. 

A standard one, with a turntable usually, set at 70% will deliver full power for 70% of the time. This usually creates hot and cold areas to your food requiring you to stir it. An inverter (usually without a turntable) delivers a consistent 70% of power for the full cooking time, warming all the food at the same time.

When our washing machine gives up the ghost, we will get one with a bigger drum, that allows for a cold or very cool wash, also a short cycle. My machine will wash at 30C but its idea of an express wash is still 1 hour, way too long.

Little changes...