Off to The Midlands

On 26th, 27th & 28th of September, This was dinner

I know I do it every time but I didn’t realise how far behind I was. Damn work, house work, family and other such crap that gets in the way of blogging 😉

We went away for the weekend to visit the in-laws and see the puppies for the first time since April. What a pair of gorgeous little nutters they are – that’s the dogs, not the family.

I took half a day off work and we got the train to Loughborough where we met Mr S’ mum for a quick pint in the White Hart then stopped off at the supermarket to pick up a couple of drinks for the evening. We were attacked by the dogs as soon as we arrived but it was nice to be hidden under two cuddly Shih Tzus. We went and picked up our niece a little later so it was Friday mad house as it’s a nightmare when her and Mr S get together!

Friday night we had an Indian takeaway. I had Chicken Dhansak with Peas Pelau. I’ve not had an Indian for such a long time as takeaways can be a bit hit and miss but this was gorgeous.

On Saturday we decided we were going to take the puppies for a walk around the village. We were absolutely hysterical with laughter as we all fought over who was going to pick up the erm, dogs business, and luckily our 10 year old niece was man enough to do it! Four times!

 

Puppy Selfie

We went out to a place called The Wheatsheaf in Woodhouse Eaves for a meal on Saturday night and it was very good. I had potted smoked trout followed by braised beef from the specials board and finished off with an Irish cream pannacotta.

Potted Smoked Trout
Potted Smoked Trout
Braised Beef
Braised Beef

On Sunday, Mr S senior made English breakfast and then we decided to pop in to Leicester as I need a winter coat. Bad move, you cannot buy a winter coat when it’s about 24ºc outside! That said, I’ve perused the internet this morning and can’t find one I like. Needless to say I went back empty handed.

We had lamb for Sunday dinner which was delicious. It was a very drowsy Lisa who turned up at the train station. I managed to perk up for the journey, we got home about 8pm very tired but had to start moving furniture around as we are having a new sofa delivered tomorrow. Yay!

Sunday Dinner

All in all, a lovely weekend and after losing Jarvis a few weeks ago, seeing the puppies was a nice bit of therapy.

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Chicken Dinner

On the 13th, 14th & 15th September, This was dinner

Winner – winner – chicken dinner as we say in our house. We went for a Saturday roast instead of a Sunday one. The stuffing and veg are cheats, I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen ALL day.

Preparation:

•  Oil & season the chicken

•  Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan

•  Prepare the Yorkshire Pudding mixture and refridgerate

•  Peel and cut the potatoes

•  Pop some goose fat in a deep baking tray.

•  Make up a pre-bought stuffing pack

•  Prepare some chicken stock

•  Boil the kettle

•  Get some chicken stock ready

•  Get some frozen veg, flour, butter, gravy browning, semolina & seasoning ready

TWD_1309_Chicken_Dinner

To make:

Roast the chicken, depending on it’s size, if you don’t have one, you won’t regret buying a thermometer.

When I’m making a quick gravy, I always melt some butter and add flour to make a roux then gently add my stock and plenty of seasoning. With chicken I add a dab (be careful) of gravy browning and then when Mr S carves the chicken up I add a couple of wings to help the flavour.

Cook the stuffing as you can foil this and it’s not taking up valuable oven space. When it’s done, pop the goose fat baking tray in the oven.

Boil the potatoes for about 8 minutes and drain then leave to steam a little. Toss in semolina and rough up the edges a little. Carefully turn them into the hot goose fat. They should take about 45 minutes to roast.

Pop some oil in a 12 hole muffin tin and heat, make sure it’s very hot and that you act quickly to pour the Yorkshire pudding mix in and get them in the oven immediately. These should take about 20 minutes.

Don’t forget to boil the veg.

On Sunday we ended up with an impromptu trip to Sheffield, eating at Anchorage. I would definitely recommend it, I had food envy though and wish I’d gone for the reuben – next time. I ‘might’ have had quite a lot of drinks too. Naughty on a Sunday but oh so enjoyable. Monday was a VERY long day at work though.

My Onion Rings

My Onion Rings

Buttermilk Chicken
Buttermilk Chicken

Mr S chose a very ‘wheaty’ beer which is not my thing so the waitress recommended this one, very nice it was too, and there’s an owl on it!

One of many beverages that day!
One of many beverages that day!

Mr S made a chilli on Monday, Charlotte (my cousin) was coming for dinner so it was a no-brainer – I don’t believe she eats anything else 😉  This is our go-to chilli, I’ve been making it like this since forever.

Preparation:

•  Finely chop and onion

•  Roughly chop some mushrooms

•  Get a dry chilli mix, some baked beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, good minced beef, rice, oil & some seasoning*

To make:

Heat some oil in a pan. Add the onion and soften.

Add the beef and brown.

Add the mushrooms then give it a good stir. Add the beans and tomatoes then a little water using the tins to get all the juice.

Season, cover and simmer for as long as possible. The longer the better.

Serve with whatever you fancy, we used rice.

Chilli

There’s plenty left for another serving.

* I’d put an extra chilli in too but our guest does not like things too spicy!

 

A Free Birthday Meal

It was a night out the day before my birthday and a group of us went to Zest. I must say it wasn’t as good as the last time I went and it was very rushed. The starters came before the drinks and I don’t think I had swallowed my last mouthful of starter and the main arrived. If you go, go when it’s quiet. That said, as it was my birthday, my meal was free! It was a great night. My cheeky husband’s comment on an Instagram photo posted by my sister was that it looked like ‘a bad episode of Loose Women’. How rude!

Meze Starter with Diane
Meze Starter with Diane
Zest 2
Piri Piri Chicken Burger

On my birthday (and the last day of my week off) I ended up with a chilli dog in The Courtyard which was very good for the price.

Chilli Dog

This was dinner…28th & 29th August 2014

Pea & Cheddar Omelettes

There’s not much to say about a pea and cheddar omelette is there? Its’ EGGS,PEAS and CHEDDAR with a bit of seasoning. Mr S said that the peas made them tear which is why the presentation isn’t up to much. Cook the peas before popping them in the pan.

TWD_1908_Pea_Cheddar_Omelette

Mr S met me from work on Wednesday and we went for out two free gourmet burgers from the Barley Twist in town. You should have seen the crestfallen look on his face when we were advised that they didn’t have any chicken wings. I’m surprise he didn’t turn into the Hulk and smash the table. Instead he had nachos and I had salt and pepper prawns which were pretty damn good. Mr S had a bacon and cheese burger, I just went with cheese.

TWD_2008_StarterTWD_2008_Main

This was dinner…19th & 20th August 2014.

Chicken, chicken, chicken & Ribs.

The first chicken meal – Bruschetta with Chicken Livers in Red Wine Sauce

Apparently, this topping was classic French ‘peasant food’ at its best which makes sense as these cost £1.20 for two tubs. In all honesty, neither of us were looking forward to these.

Trim the livers and place in a bowl, cover with milk and leave to soak, overnight if possible but if bot, a good few hours.

When ready to cook, toast some good bread then cut a clove of garlic in half and rub over the bread. Keep the garlic, finely chopping it.

Drain the livers and toss in seasoned flour. Pop some butter in a hot pan and once foaming, add the livers. Seal and brown for about a minute.

Pop finely chopped shallots into the pan and add the garlic and some thyme leaves.

Deglaze the pan with some red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add beef stock, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some tomato purée. Season and stir, keep stirring until it reduces a little.

Serve on the toasts. Scatter with a little parsley.

TWD_3107_Chicken_Livers

Not everyones cup of tea but they were really good.

This was dinner…31st July 2014.

Well, we find ourselves at the 1st August already. Time really does fly doesn’t it? Today’s chicken? Shop bought chicken burger. We were going to have a risotto but I couldn’t be bothered to make it when I got home from work and we already had these in.

TWD_0108_Chicken_Burger

This was dinner…1st August 2014.

Chicken number 3 was courtesy of Frankie & Bennys, a visit from the in-laws and my 10 year old niece, who I do believe, will be taller than me the next time I see her, was on today’s agenda.

We all shared the Big Frankie’s Platter which is billed as:

A giant feast of our house favourites; chicken strips, BBQ chicken wings, bacon & cheese and cheese & bruschetta potato skins, spicy onion rings, bread sticks and toasted garlic ciabatta bread.  Served with a selection of delicious dips and crunchy celery sticks.

Then I went with a Crisp Chicken Philly Burger:

Southern fried chicken breast strips served in our toasted sesame seed bun with mayo, crispy bacon, fresh baby gem lettuce and tomato topped with our jalapeño cheese sauce. Served with house fries and a pot of coleslaw on the side.

A chicken burger again? I couldn’t help it, it was the jalapeño cheese sauce that did it. I finished it off with the obligatory cosmopolitan. Mr S gave a group of girls a laugh when he walked out of the restaurant with my lime green satchel whilst I paid a visit to the ladies.

TWD_0208_FandB_Starter TWD_0208_FandB_Main

This was dinner…2nd August 2014.

On Sunday, a lovely sunny day, I had a hankering for corn so the risotto went out of the window, we walked to Morrisons and bought ribs, corn cobs and coleslaw. I didn’t particularly enjoy them, other than the corn which was delicious.

This was dinner…3rd August 2014.

Chinese Takeaway (A This Was Dinner Favourite)

On Tuesday we sold the car! We are car-less! Quite an amazing feat in the 21st century I know, but as I get the train to work anyway and Mr S is going to be working from home, it felt pretty pointless to have such a big car and all the expenses that go with it.

We live pretty close to town so walking has never been a problem for us, in fact, given the choice we would rather get a bit of fresh air than be stuck in a car.

That said – we celebrated by going for a couple of drinks and ending with a Chinese takeaway. I just checked and it’s over two months since our last one. “I don’t bloody believe it!”

TWD_1706_Chinese TWD1706_Chinese2

We went with deep fried squid, vegetable vermicelli and mixed satay.

This was dinner…17th June 2014.

A Ten Year Anniversary

The company I work for was celebrating its 10 year anniversary tonight so the majority of us went out for a meal in Antibos in Sheffield. That’s me out on a Friday night two weeks in a row!

I had a Roquefort Pannacotta ‘served with cherry tomatoes, caramelised walnuts, parmesan Tuile and finished with balsamic reduction’ for starters followed by sea bass linguine.

It was all very nice but as I live quite a bit away from Sheffield I left at 8.20pm when everyone was ordering their desserts as I needed to get a train home.

TWD_1306_Pannacotta

TWD_1306_Seabass

It wasn’t the wisest idea to go for linguine in public and to be honest I wished I’d had the calzone as it looked amazing but the food was excellent.

I didn’t end up with a hangover but I’m sure some of the dirty stop-outs did.

This was dinner…13th June 2014.