All posts by Sarah C

Taco Tuesday

A cold, grey day & Daisy’s first one back at school. What better way to cheer us up than tacos? Plus, my iron levels are low & beef tacos sound so much more appealing than some of the things the doc suggested I ate….  black pudding, liver, kidney, tongue(!) 

Beef Tacos

  • Large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 red peppers
  • Mince 450g
  • Tin of taco beans
  • 2 tins chopped toms
  • Plus 1 tin filled up with water
  • Tbsp tomato purée
  • Beef stock cube
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp cumin
  • Big pinch of paprika
  • Pack of corn taco shells

We served it with grated cheese & an avocado salad: 

  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2 little gems
  • Cucumber, peel off, sliced 

And a garlicky dressing: 

  • Olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Half tsp Dijon mustard
  • Tsp honey
  • Garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt & pepper

Taste & alter if it needs it. Sorry not very precise with the Olive oil, but I always do it by taste. Omit the garlic if you don’t want such a strong dressing. 

Method for beef tacos

 Soften the onion and peppers in the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the garlic, paprika, cinnamon and cumin and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the beef and stir until it has browned. Pour in tinned toms & taco beans. Once simmering crumble in stock cube & add the water, depending on how much more liquid it needs. Add the tomato purée & seasoning. Partially cover & simmer gently for half an hour. 

Tacos will require warming for 5 mins in the oven before serving. 

Fill the tacos with the beef & top with grated cheese. Serve with the salad. 

The Seaside Six

Last day of hols & teacher training day. We had Hannah & Beth, and Lucas & Isla for the day. What a shock getting up while it was still dark! Took a long time to get going but by 9.30 we were all in the car – me & 6 kids – like the Swiss Family Robinson. The boys were in the back, the girls in the middle & Daisy, as my right-hand woman, in the front keeping everyone amused. 

Not much cooking happened today but lots of fun was had by all. First stop: Sheringham Park where we met Auntie Barbs & Poppy. So lovely to have a dog on the walk. The kids were great racing ahead & finding the blue arrows which marked our route. As we dropped down to the right we had views of the sea then another walk upwards to the ‘temple’ (see pic above) where we stopped for much needed hot chocolate (that flask is getting a lot of use at the moment) & coconut macaroons & chocolate biscuits. As we set off for the return leg the sun started to break through the misty clouds. So lovely. At the car we said our goodbyes to Barbs & the dog & set off down the hill to Sheringham.

There we had chips & orange Capri Suns eaten on the benches outside the chippie. 

After, we hit the amusements each child with their own bowl of 2ps. Good fun but some disappointment & tears when we left, on account of prizes not won. The boys did well though – Ollie won a truck & Lucas a rubber crocodile. 

Next stop the beach which was lovely. Climbing over rocks, collecting stones, dodging the waves, rock pooling. Really nice. It’s great hanging out with kids. 

Tired & reluctant children on the way home. Somehow they twisted my arm into getting them ice creams in January! 

Cauliflower & Coconut Curry

Today is the last day of Tom’s Christmas hols (boo hoo!), so it’s been a day of painting windows & putting up blinds (Tom), taking down Christmas decks & sorting & tidying (me). The kids have played their part too. Ollie attempted to get the last of the chocolate decorations off the tree but pulled the whole tree over in the process showering the lounge in dried needles & soil. Daisy made a great fire starter when it came to setting the Christmas tree on fire ( a true pyromaniac, don’t know where she gets it from…), but she spent most of the rest of the day either pretending  she was blind (stumbling round the house/eating with her eyes shut etc), OR begging for another episode of Outnumbered…..

After a busy day of house stuff I made a hearty Cauliflower & Coconut Curry for Tom & I. The recipe is made up but was delish even if I do say so myself. The poor kids got cheese on toast & a yogurt.

Cauliflower & Coconut Curry

Ingredients

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (thumb sized amount)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Turmeric
  • 2tbsp curry paste (I used a Pataks)
  • Can of coconut milk
  • Same amount of water
  • 3tbsp coconut cream (optional)
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 tin of chick peas
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • Handful of coriander chopped

Serve with brown rice, poppodoms & mango chutney. 

Method
Fry the onion, ginger & garlic for a few mins. Add the spices & curry paste. Add the coconut milk & water. Add the florets of cauliflower (not too big). Bring gradually to the boil & simmer for 20mins. After 10 mins add the rinsed chick peas. Taste & season. I made mine a bit too spicy so I added the coconut cream. What delicious stuff! When the cauliflower is ready stir in the lemon juice & taste again. Hand blend a small amount of the curry to thicken.  Serve with the rice & scatter some flaked almonds & chopped coriander on top. We had no mango chutney, so out of desperation we tried tangy piccalilli. It worked a treat! Who’d have thought?!  

Hot Potatoes & Prison

3rd Jan

Woke this morning in the top bunk with a weather forecast from Tom of heavy rain all day. Should we still go on our walk across Mousehold Heath to the new cafe at the prison? The answer was a resounding YES from me. Being cooped up inside with four children all day is not my idea of fun. 

Tom set us up nicely with smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, while the kids fought over the last of the Variety Pack. Ollie obviously saw this fight coming because he’d been hugging the last box of Coco Pops since he first came downstairs. 

After a long period of getting everyone ready – finding lost gloves, thick socks, wellies & waterproofs – we finally set off for Gilman Rd which leads onto the Heath. There we met Helen & Anna, Bhud & Elena, Hannah, Iain, Ella, Tommy & Molly the dog. 9 adults & 7 children. Even though we only live round the corner, we don’t know our way around the Heath, but Elena is a Naarich lass so we followed her on an good route. Daisy was the only child who managed to come out in canvas shoes, and both her & Ollie were the only children to get stuck/lost. Elena to the rescue!

We were all relieved to see the sight of the prison through the rain. The Britannia Cafe is on the ground floor of Norwich’s Victorian red-brick prison which has the best views over The city. It is run by prisoners & they gave us the back room so the kids could relax (ie: chase each other) without getting in to too much trouble. Actually, they were all so tired & hungry when they arrived that they sat quietly at their own table. Tom & I enjoyed the delux Britannia burger & chips with cheese & bacon. Mine without the bun. 

After another walk back to the car in which Tom unfortunately fell/slid down a muddy bank with Ollie on his shoulders, we were all shattered. We got out of our muddy clothes & crashed on the new sofas & watched back to back episodes of Outnumbered (I couldn’t face another Disney Christmas film). Bit of a mistake as Daisy now thinks she is Karen & spent dinner-time questioning everything we said….

By evening we were peckish so Tom put in some potatoes to bake & I made a salad with the stuff that had arrived in the veg box. We finished off the Boxing Day ham & the houmous from yesterday. Quite a delicious rustle-up. 

After a game of Donkey & some warm milk & chocolate coins, it was time for the kids’ bed. Good night! 

Chicken leftovers: Quick Pasta Bake & Singapore Noodles                

2nd Jan. 

We have friends to stay. Jayme & Emily, Lucy & Becca. After a delicious lunch of roast chicken, salad, ciabatta,     chutneys, pickled onions (Daisy’s fav) & cornichons, we went on a brisk walk through Catton Park. It was beautiful with the sun going down over the park but it was cold! Fortunately Tom came well prepared with a blanket, biscuits & a flask of hot chocolate: 

After a stop at a playground & a dodgy pub on the way home, the kids were pretty hungry & in need of some quick comfort food at tea-time. I rustled up some pasta with the leftover roast chicken, plus some peas & sweetcorn from the freezer, then I made a cheese sauce, put it altogether in an oven dish & popped it under the grill with some grated cheese on top. Ready in 20 minutes! 

We finished off the evening with the kids by having a fire outside in the dark. It was great fun & we burnt the rest of the Christmas cardboard & the extra door architraves(!) All in the name of a good fire….. The kids, especially Ollie, helped feed the fire, then they sat on the veranda of the play house (quite a squash) drinking their warm milk. Happy kids! 

While the kids were in the bath I started on Singapore Noodles for us. Onion, garlic & ginger fried in Chinese Five Spice & curry powder, plus the rest of the roast chicken & lots of other veg stir-fried. I used mushrooms, red pepper & pak choi (it went a funny colour so wouldn’t use it in that way again). I added noodles, soy sauce, a squeeze of lime & crushed salted peanuts. A handful of coriander would’ve been perfect too. It was a version of Jamie Oliver’s Singapore Noodles from Save with Jamie but I was doing it from memory! 

Happy New Year 2015! 

Welcome to SNAP (my dad’s word for grub/food/snacks). This blog stems out of a love of all things food related. My aim is to take a photograph a day of something we’ve eaten, baked or made, for a whole year. It will probably only be of interest to me(!) but hopefully there will something in amongst here that you find interesting too.

This is my first pic of the year. It’s New Year’s Day morning. The kids are watching cartoons & I’m on breakfast duty. I’ve extended my lie in for a long as possible by telling Ollie to ‘have a chocolate off the tree’ when he said he was hungry (start the new year with a bit of good parenting…) now it’s time to feed them properly. Daisy’s ordered a Greek salad, as is her wont, & Ollie spotted the variety pack that was bought for visitors at the weekend. I’ve gone for hot water & a slice of lemon with a chocolate crispy cake. Delicious. The pot of tea is for Tom snoozing upstairs but I’ve lost the lid. Happy New Year!