Mid-Winter Blog 2020

Monday 27th January 2020

Writing this blog on a cold winter’s day in late January, it seems amazing that we have reached the year 2020, and by the time you read my next blog, we will definitely have left the EU!

So far, this must have been one of the wettest winters on record.  It seems to have rained almost continuously, since last November with copious amounts of grey, cloudy, depressing days, and very little in the way of sunshine.

 Outside my window, as I write this blog, is a dull, grey, rather depressing scene and it is raining again!  It has reminded me to take my vitamin D tablet!  So many Brits are deficient in the sunshine vitamin D, so it is a really good idea to take a supplement, particularly in the winter months.

My grandson, aged 25 starts working for the family business today, so very best of luck to Stewart.  Yesterday was his girlfriend’s 22nd birthday.  They chose to commemorate her special day by telling us all that she is expecting a baby!  Great excitement for the pair of them, and indeed also to me to discover that I am to be a great grandmother! The hard work starts now as we want to try to help them get a mortgage, so enabling them to get on to the housing ladder, even if on the very bottom rung!

A further piece of really good news for me, was to learn that the brand new, super glossy magazine Platinum, invited me to write an article for their February edition.  As asked I penned some words on how I try to life as a Super Ager!!   I was so proud to be featured in the magazine alongside several of the recipes from my new cook book. I love the photos of my recipes too, so thank you so much, Platinum.

For recipes, this time, I thought I would include some winter warmer dishes, the sort of delicious hot food, you really want to come home to on a cold winter’s night.  They are quite easy to prepare and cook and have lots of flavour, so enjoy:

Tom Kha Broth with Chicken (Thai soup)

1x 400ml can coconut milk

375ml chicken stock

6 slices fresh root ginger

Rind and juice ½ lime

450g chicken breast fillet, diced

100g mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tsp runny honey

½ Tsp Truly Lazy chopped chillies

To Serve:  Freshly chopped coriander

Method

  1. In a medium size pan, combine coconut milk, chicken stock, ginger and rind and juice of the lime.
  2. Add diced chicken breast, with the sliced mushrooms, fish sauce, honey and chilli.
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring.
  4. Reduce to a simmer, cover pan with a lid and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve in soup bowls, sprinkled with a little of the chopped coriander.

 

 

Easy Chicken and Butternut Squash Curry

Serves: 2

In a medium size pan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté one small sliced red onion, over medium heat for 4 minutes, until soft.

Add 1 Teaspoon ginger puree, 1 Teaspoon Truly Lazy Garlic, from a jar, and 100g Korma curry paste. I like Pataks, if you can find it.  Fry for one minute, stirring, until aromatic.

Add 400g cubed chicken breast, without skin, and stir fry for 5 minutes.

Add 200g chopped canned tomatoes and 200ml coconut milk.  Add a crumbled chicken Oxo and 100 ml water.  Stir well and bring to the boil.

Cover pan with a lid and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked and the kitchen is filling with amazing aromas!

Serve immediately, sprinkled with some freshly chopped coriander and steamed Jasmine Basmati rice.

 

Baked Bramley Apples with Almonds

Serves: 2

2 Bramley apples, about 150g each

2 Tbsps. orange juice

20g softened butter

2 heaped Tsps. Ground almonds

2 drops almond essence

2 Tsps. runny honey

 

  1. Stand the washed apples on a chopping board.  Using an apple corer or a sharp knife, remove core from each apple.
  2. Cut a small piece from the base of each core and use it to act as a bung in the base of each apple.  With a sharp knife, make a shallow cut right round the circumference of each apple, towards the centre.
  3. Stand each apple on an individual saucer that can be used in the microwave.
  4. Pour orange juice evenly over the apples.  Cover each apple loosely with cling film.  Microwave both apples together on Full power for 2 mins.
  5. Leave to stand while you prepare the filling.
  6. Put the butter into a mixing bowl.  Stir in the ground almonds and the almond essence. Divide the filling evenly between the apples.
  7. Top each apple with a teaspoon of honey.
  8. Cover with cling film and microwave on Full power for 4-5 minutes.  Allow to stand for 2 minutes before serving with custard or ice cream. 
  9. Note:  The cooking time may vary slightly according to your microwave.

 

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