Pizza slice

My husband’s takeaway pizza recipe

My husband and I have a serious problem with eating pizza. It started when we were dating and he took me to Pizza Hut in the UK and introduced to me the simplicity of very good margarita pizzas. Before then I’d had the odd takeway pizza and really just ate the most debated pizza Hawaiian!

Now I still love a Hawaiian pizza don’t get me wrong but after a trip we took to New York I started to completely fall in love with pizza.

If you are ever in Manhattan we’d highly recommend a few places but I think my favourite was inside Penn Station called ‘Don pepi’ and they served me a “white” which I’d never heard of which didn’t have tomato sauce! Amazing.

close up photo of person holding pizza

Photo by Muffin on Pexels.com

The pizza I think my husband would choose especially in the UK is the ‘Croma’ piri piri. Gorgeous stuff.

Anyway the point is that we are pizza eaters and pride ourselves on it so we decided we’d try and make our own.

Ingredients:

Dough

Sauce

  • Tomato paste tablespoon
  • 2 cups passata
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 dash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garlic paste tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli flakes

Topping

  • Grated mozzarella
  • Sprinkle of oregano

Method:

  1. Add the dry dough ingredients to a bowl but keep the yeast and salt separate as salt can kill the yeast
  2. Mix and pour the warm water in to string with a metal knife (easier to clean)
  3. When it starts to come together start to knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Only add as much flour as you need to keep it from really sticking to your hands. It should be tacky
  4. Press into a pizza shape and let it rest for 30 minutes under a damp tea towel
  5. For the sauce add all the ingredients to a pan and stir on a low heat for about 20 minutes to simmer down.
  6. Take the pizza dough out and add the sauce and your cheese
  7. Cook on a high heat (220 degrees c) for about 8-10 minutes until golden brow
  8. Store your excess sauce in little pots for the freezer

 

Looking at other recipes I think our next purchase to enhance the process is a pizza stone. Link below to the one I just bought and I’ll feedback on whether it helps.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076F7B4CS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B076F7B4CS&linkId=49611d6127bbdac7a64ba5f8f407afbc

Trying Slimming World’s Chilli Chicken balls

So Slimming World isn’t really an area I know well or have ever really tried out. After I’ve released some of my favourite Keto recipes when I use that diet primarily to prep intensely for my holidays, I’ve been asked if I could test some of the Slimming World recipes for use throughout the rest of the year. Seeming like a very sensible idea and some of them look amazing I thought I would start with one that looked the most interesting and that was ‘Sticky Chicken Balls.’ The recipe is all over internet but I was recommended the following from Slimming Eats.

Recipe:

  • 455g (1lb) of extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken) or can use turkey
  • 30g (1/2 cup) of panko bread crumbs – 5.5 syns
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tbs of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

www.slimmingeats.com/blog/sweet-chilli-chicken-meatballs-oven-or-actifry

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • Circa 500g of extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken) or can use turkey. I used turkey as it’s much easier to find.
  • 30g (1/2 cup) of panko bread crumbs

(If you can’t find it you can get it at https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004SH0GPU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B004SH0GPU&linkId=58a5ce53a9cafaa8d86fb1961364d939)

  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tbs of chopped fresh cilantro (or Coriander in the UK!)
  • 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

 

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 3 tbs of sweet chilli sauce (Aldi make a good one)
  • 1 tbs of light soy sauce
  • 3 tbs of water

TO GARNISH

  • chopped spring onions

INSTRUCTIONS

I used the standard oven method.

  • Preheat oven to 200c/400f
  • Add the ingredients for the meatballs to a bowl, and mix until ingredients are just combined.
  • Form into 12 equal size meatballs
  • Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  • Spray over the top with cooking oil spray
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until they look lightly browned and firm
  • Whisk together sauce ingredients, add this to a frying pan with the meatballs and heat over medium heat until coated and sticky and meatballs are cooked through
  • Sprinkle with chopped spring onions

 

My Turkey was quite lean so I used a little less Panko breadcrumbs than they advise in the recipe. I also added a dash of chilli sauce to the balls before cooking which was nice as it gave them some moisture and extra chill flavour.

 

Overall they were tasty but a bit dry more me which makes sense as it’s a lean recipe. I think I’ll move onto the sticky chicken Slimming World recipe next as that seems to be really popular on ‘Youtube’ and looks like a bit more moist. If you have any recommended recipes from Slimming World I should try please do send me or any advice on how to enrich the recipe you’ve come across I’d be really grateful.

Chilli

Slow Cooker Super Easy Chilli

Inspiration this week came from an social media request to do a slow cooker chilli. I’ve tried quite a few slow cooker recipes recently and it’s really nice to use it again as it’s so practical. At the bottom of the blog I’ve included a link to one that’s fairly similar to mine. On slow cookers in general I’d also recommend buying some slow cooker liners for some recipes. Chill is fairly simple to clean up.

So onto the recipe. There’s a fair mix of spices here but I think it gives a really rounded flavour. However, if you really love garlic add some more or want it super hot add some more chilli or maybe cayenne too. It’s a fun recipe to play with. Remember you can always serve it will cold soured cream or nice cheeses if you’ve accidentally made it too hot, you won’t ruin the whole meal.

Ingredients:

  • 400g mince meat
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tsp onion flakes
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Dump everything into slow cooker
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours
Making chill

Making chilli

 

Chilli

Chilli Done

I love to serve my chilli with rice or chips but we particularly love it with soured cream on baked potatoes. See below for my slow cooker baked potatoes that obviously you can bake low and slowly in the oven whilst your chilli is cooking.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2019/05/30/slow-cooker-baked-potatoes-have/

If you don’t have a slow cooker here’s one I’d recommend:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002NPC0RG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B002NPC0RG&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=9b14d86bb2ac416a298be67eba96a8de

Tarragon chicken

Tarragon Chicken Pasta for lunchboxes

In an attempt to be good by not spending lots of money in my work canteen I’m working on collecting up recipes to take for my lunch at work. If you have any good recipes please do send them through to me to try. I can heat things up but do prefer the simplicity of cold lunches.

food healthy meal prep tupperwear

Photo by Keegan Evans on Pexels.com

Here’s my other recent example at a lunch attempt.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2019/06/10/healthy-lunch-boxes/

This week’s attempt is chicken tarragon pasta. I used soured cream rather than full fat heavy cream mainly because it was all I had in but the sourness really works.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast strips
  • Olive oil
  • Cup of peas
  • 1 tbsp Tarragon chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup soured cream
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 cups of pasta
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced

Method:

  1. Put a big pot of water with salt on to boil and then add your pasta
  2. In a frying pan add a splash of oil and add your chicken
  3. When it starts to brown add the onion and garlic
  4. Continue to cook until chicken is fully cooked and browned
  5. Add the wine and cook for about 20 seconds (to burn off the alcohol)
  6. Turn the heat down to low
  7. Add the peas; tarragon and cream
  8. Add a small splash of the starchy pasta water
  9. Cook for about another minute
  10. Drain the pasta and add it to the mix
  11. Stir up
  12. This should made make 2-3 lunch boxes (I have shared mine below)
Chicken before

Chicken before

Tarragon chicken

Tarragon chicken

Links to lunchboxes to buy:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06W2FZ7KL/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B06W2FZ7KL&linkId=2bbe04491823e4e9fa87a137414aae20

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GJFRQAM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00GJFRQAM&linkId=a21deae695b55918f0ed6dfe392e1d04

 

Before kebabs

Healthy Chicken Kebabs

Not really a recipe; more an assembly of ingredients but always lovely and super tasty.

I think I started eating chicken kebabs on holiday in European countries like Greece and Portugal. The novelty value of the stick was I think was tempted me.

Now I just love the charring you can get on the meat and how the vegetables cook and catch on the edges which tastes amazing. Also, there is something really practical about turning skewers over to cook them.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast cut into chunks (you can use any meats you like or fish)
  • Vegetables cut into similar sized chunks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Soak your wooden skewers in water for about an hour so they don’t catch fire
  2. Alternate pushing picks of chicken and vegetables on the skewer
  3. Drizzle with oil and salt and pepper
  4. You can then grill on a medium heat or I like to cook in the oven for about 10 minutes and then finish on the BBQ

You can keep these kebabs plain and simple which is great for getting kids to eat vegetables or you make spicy or serve with tasty sauces. Piri piri is a particular favourite of mine.

Or Hhere’s a few examples from my previous blogs.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2018/05/30/spanish-chicken-and-garlic-new-potatoes/

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2018/10/03/basic-homemade-hot-sauce/

Also, if you want to buy the skewers here a link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000G04M94/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B000G04M94&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=26ba70dbd01914150673d3be7f23e2c9

Before kebabs

Before kebabs

Cooked kebabs

Cooked kebabs

 

 

Steamed dumplings

Lamb stew and homemade dumplings in a slow cooker

This is the first time I’ve ever made homemade dumplings and I have to say I am completely in love them. Granted I absolutely underestimated how big these get after they’ve been steamed so if you try this I’d recommend one large or two small person. It does however now completely make sense that this was done in more frugal times in history to make a really hearty meal. Complete genius if you ask me.

Stew Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 500g lamb cubed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100ml of Guiness beer (or any dark beer)
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • 1 tbsp of plain flour
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 onion chopped and dcied
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200 ml of water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 splash of sunflower oil
  • 50g peas
  1. Add your lamb to a pan with the oil and brown on a high heat to get a good crust on the outside but not cook them through
  2. Add your onions to give them a little colour
  3. Add the flour to coat the beef and dump everything into a slow cooker. If you don’t have one I’ve dropped a link below to one similar to mine
  4. Add all of the other ingredients and mix. Set the slow cooker to low for 4-6 hours
  5. Stir occasionally
  6. 30 minutes before the end add the dumplings
Lamb Stew

 

Slow Cooker:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007XEJ322/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007XEJ322&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=6c3a8a40cc3a26687153625b622378aa

Dumplings Recipe:

  • 100ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powdr
  • 50g butter
  • 125g self raising flour
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. I cheat on rubbing in recipes and use my pastry cutter as it reduces the time your warm hands handle the mix which tends to help with most recipes and keeps your hands less sticky. See a link below of mine from Amazon.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and form into balls
  3. 30 minutes before the end of the stew cooking add gently to the top of the slow cooker and close the lid
  4. Serve!

Pastry Cutter

https://amzn.to/2×60600

Dumplings

Dumplings Before

Dumplings steaming

Dumplings steaming!

 

Buffalo Honey ‘copycat’ Boneless wings

Have you ever been to America and eaten the boneless buffalo wings in any of their famous restaurants? Myself and my husband literally adore them. Here’s a recent review I did of a ‘Wingstop’ that we stumbled across in central London and that’s the closest we could get to recreating the experience.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2019/06/03/wing-restaurant-review-wing-stop-london/

That experience inspired me to try it at home. They would very good but not 100% perfect, however they were better than any you can order my any of my local takeaways in the UK.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • Chicken breast strips
  • Cup of plain flour
  • Cup of milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Inch of sunflower oil in a frying pen
  1. Add all the dry ingredients into one bowl
  2. Put the milk in another
  3. Drop the chicken into the flower and then into the milk
  4. Drop back into the dry mix and lay on a baking sheet
  5. Repeat until all the chicken is coated and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  6. Heat the oil until when you drop some batter mix onto it the mix sizzles and starts to cook
  7. Fry the chicken until golden brow
  8. If you are worried it’s not completely cooked you can pop in the oven for 10 minutes to cook through

 

Sauce

  • One jar of buffalo hot sauce
  • 1/2 jar honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g butter (melted)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix
  2. When the chicken is cooked add to the bowl and coat the chicken by turning the sauce over the chicken
  3. Serve!

Some buffalo sauces to try out:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HGOJCXI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01HGOJCXI&linkId=bd5d73ecbcd3ce7f05d47b51e3c39ef0

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CWCNQRI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00CWCNQRI&linkId=f424cb3bd1c017dd3b47d078b0c58f24

My ‘saucing’ dish – the largest one

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01BPDXW8M/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01BPDXW8M&linkId=560865ee89f7887d0a7048841c6ebf41

 

My ultimate tip for making pasta sauces

Not a recipe but more of a tip that we now do every single time we make a pasta sauce or in fact a lot of other sauces but it’ll make more sense in the first instance with pasta.

We randomly received a free jar of jalapenos (three large ones to be exact) and were pondering what to do with them.

Pasta tip

We started with the obvious by adding them to fajitas and pizzas and then any other funky sandwiches we were making. I definitely think your resistance/ability to withstand the heat goes up the more you eat them.

Then one night we were doing our usual recipe after work making pasta sauce for our evening meal, to which we have progressively been making it more and more spicy (probably linked to the previous point!). We add a mix of chill power; onion powder, garlic powder and different types of paprika for a nice balanced background to the sauce. All credit for this goes to my husband who then proceeded to chop up some of jalapenos and add to the sauce.

The result is an immensely flavored sauce with loads of background.

A word of warning though.. do not add to many or you end up eating each spoonful with a dash or soured cream (not necessarily a bad thing!). I’d also recommend adding a little of the juice from the jar for a bit of background sweetness.

If you can’t get them in large quantities easily like we do try this link from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FEHRNK4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00FEHRNK4&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=33948d5ab4e3ac5bb2d88b4bbe1d3188

Personalised glass bottles for cleaning and bath products

I’m slightly obsessed with watching ‘clean with me’ vlogs at the moment. Does anyone else do that? A lot of these types of videos on ‘You Tube’ show recipes on how to make cleaning products. Now I’m not really (well yet) that into making cleaning products as I do like a good strong bleach, which I know isn’t great for you.

However, I am into the personalised bottles that you can decant your favourite cleaners into. I’ve also discovered the highly concentrated cleaners that you add water to to make up large batches at a much lower cost that buying over and over again. I do also like the idea of having pretty glass bottles on display and not constantly throwing plastic bottles away (into the recycling but you know what I mean).

So I started with some glass bottles I already had (old amaretto and gin bottles) and replaced the caps with some nice corks I had from my elderflower wine and beer making crafts (https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2017/03/09/elderflower-champagne/). I also had a really cheap hand cleanser that I peeled off the label from.

Next I’ went to eBay and ordered some personalised labels which were very cheap for use now and in future projects.

The labels arrived and I stuck them on my lovely recyclable glass bottles.

I filled with what I had already such as hand cleanser and bubble bath.

I have on ordered now some classic bottles to make up with some Fabulosa cleanser for both glass and around the house. When they arrive I’ll do another update.

See links to my Amazon products below if you are interested in doing the same:

Cleaning Bottles (on order)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071YPN12Z/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B071YPN12Z&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=05147042f7280214a426d96cc0c9d233

Cleaning Product

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KWLIHIE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00KWLIHIE&linkId=380b36dc98debf88fbc206f681619cd9

Corks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DDNWQYS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01DDNWQYS&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=e237ae8acec201b6b14b26d5fb1492ec

Homemade cat treats

Homemade Cat Treats (Tuna & Catnip)

We spend a lot of money on treats for our lovely cat Molly moo.

Picture for you:

IMG_9474

She’s a gorgeous short haired tortoiseshell.

I’m not overly precious about what I eat but I do care what she eats as it’s not like she can decide she doesn’t like or is allergic to things to and tell me!

Therefore, the recipe challenge for this week was to find a recipe where I could make and entirely control what she was eating. I figured it’s probably best to start slowly as cat food itself I presume is designed to give cat’s a balanced diet (or that’s what the vet said anyway).

I found a lot of recipes but equally I didn’t want to try something I know she’s never eaten before just in case.

So this is a combination of a few recipes I found and trusted:

Ingredients:

  • 200g of oat flour
  • 100g cornmeal
  • 1 large tin of drained tuna
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of cat nip

Method:

  1. The best way to make oat flour if you can’t find it is to grind down using a food processor some porridge oats
  2. Mix everything else in with the ground oats and keep blending until reach a relatively dry and non-sticky mixture
  3. I tried two methods of shaping which is rolling into little balls and pressing into a baking tin and cut into small squares
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 190 degrees c but make sure they are completely cooked so they will store nicely dried out

It was a good sign that Molly was walking up and down in front of the oven like she does when we have a chicken in the oven.

Initial thoughts are that she loves them but I think maybe they won’t last that long in the jar as they are made of fish. I’ll keep them for the next couple of weeks and feedback on how we get on.

Here’s a lovely jar you can buy to store them in:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B079CBR78J/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B079CBR78J&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=380724acbdb2db3d5e2b6c25b3bc0d2f

Jam jar labels:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009WNNET0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B009WNNET0&linkId=4432b0423636c1262fe823c3ddb129a6

Some Cat Nip:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00EMATHRG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00EMATHRG&linkId=e97d424a87bb05d34b08757247d588bb