The Easy Life of Food…!
I am blessed with three beautiful children, a girl and two boyz, this means a house full of teenagers, for some reason they do not live in the same time zone as us! Therefore once they are on holiday away from the confines of a normal timetable.. It becomes an epic to try and feed them all. So what can happen is the fridge gets raided at all times of the day and night, and their choice of food is what is ever easiest and quickest to quell their instant hunger! One will just fill up on cheese, another on crisps and biscuits and one on endless bowls of cereal… This is of course is fine for the occasional meal but not good on a daily basis… Particularly as their mother likes to cook!
So here is my tasty sausage and beans recipe, it can be cooked in advance left in the fridge and then reheated in the microwave at any time of the day …. And if you are going to serve this to adults look out for my tip below!
Sausage & Beans – My Way!
Sausages – any type you like
Onions – quartered
Squirt of Tomato ketchup
2-3 Garlic cloves
Salt & Pepper
This is a one pot cook, no ‘faff’ recipe. Cook the sausages in oil in the pan give them a good healthy colour, bung in the onions, and cook letting the ingredients stick a little to the pan, brings out the flavour. Don’t let the sausages and onion burn, when it looks like they are going catch, pour in a little water, stir making a sort of gravy out of the fluid. Once the sausages are cooked….
Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat through and Da-Da it is done!
This is how my children eat it!
In the mornings:- This could mean in the middle of the night in the wee hours!
Heated up with fried eggs on top… And crusty bread…
At Lunch or Dinner:- This is any time after 12 noon…
Heated up – Topped with grated cheese served with chips or fried potatoes and a crisp green salad…
Tip – Conversion for the adults!
Serve with roasted peppers and rice…. And for my husband …. Fresh chillies … You can of course roast chillies in the conventional way, heating them over a flame until the skins become black and then putting them in a plastic bag to remove their skin… But this is supposed to be an easy recipe … So for a quick flavoursome way of adding some heat… Cut the chillies into rings cover them with cider vinegar and add caster sugar to balance the flavours… Let the chillies rest for 20 minutes, to take on more of the flavour… Delicious sprinkled over the sausage and beans… This chilli recipe can be used with all sorts.. Really lovely with cheese …
To be honest with you … Anything goes with this recipe .. In terms of the ingredients … Whatever you feel in the moment.. I have ‘poshed’ it up on occasions for an easy adult supper… Adding chorizo sausage, chopped fresh herbs… Adding butter beans and kidney beans… If you reheat the recipe in the oven, it gives the flavours a much deeper expression. Just before serving sprinkle spinach over the top… Serve with crispy garlic bread and rice …. Delicious ….
And now for a Quick Desert …..
Banana Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
My son is either non stop eating banana’s or he leaves them in the fruit bowl to wither and go black! … Not to worry… ! This is the best way to deal with them…
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g butter or similar
250g caster sugar
4 black bananas – mashed into a bowl – Or what you have
2 eggs – beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g chocolate broken into pieces
Heat the oven 180C (350F / Gas 4)
Mix and mash butter, sugar, bananas, eggs, extract.. Don’t over mix.. This recipe is better on the rustic side! Add the dry ingredients and chocolate with a quick mix and pour into an oiled loaf tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the skewer test works! Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then turn out… If your children happen to be around you can serve it warm …
In the mornings:-
Serve with butter … With a cup of tea or coffee….
At lunch time or Dinner:-
Serve a slice with vanilla ice-cream …
This cake really lasts well … Well it would if it was not eaten so quickly!
Enjoy …. X
Caramelised Onion Tart
As I have said I loved to cook, I don’t mind what I cook as long as I am cooking….
I don’t eat meat and I can’t eat flour products …. But I don’t care because I can cook them! I have a keen sense of smell and that is how I flavour my food…. I then have a household of willing participants to check my seasoning … So all is well!
As you might imagine meal times are a bit of a marathon in this house as everyone has slightly different tastes and favourite meals … For me this is a good thing … It means that every meal time I get to cook many different meals .. Not everyone’s idea of fun … I realise … But it works for me!
This onion tart can be used for any season and is great if you are entertaining a vegetarian, just melt some goats cheese over the top for extra pizzazz. The tart works beautifully as an accompaniment to any meat dish and I also used it in packed lunches … So in brief it is a great all-rounder!
The best tip about making this tart is the painting of beaten egg over the base of the tart to stop it having a soggy bottom! A tip for all tarts if you ask me!
But no it is not one of my recipes it belongs to Delia! Here is the link:
CARAMELISED BALSAMIC AND RED ONION TARTS WITH GOATS' CHEESE – Just Google it!
The sauce in the picture is my recipe and it goes beautifully with this zinging tart.
Natalie’s crunchy mayonnaise
Judge the amount of ingredients to suit your needs and the amount of people you are serving.
You don’t have to use mayonnaise, sometimes I use yoghurt! Use what you have nothing is written in stone. Just mix them all to taste. Here is what I put in!
Good glug of Olive Oil
Dijon mustard tsp or so
Squeeze of lemon
Chopped spring onions
Cornichon – Gherkins
This sauce, is quick and easy and works so well, with so many other dishes. The caramelised tart is really quite sweet because of the balsamic vinegar. However if you use this sauce with another meal such as beef or fish, you can sweeten it with a dash of honey or even a squirt of tomato ketchup! Enjoy X
The Egg Game
Warning … This can provoke mass hysteria …
[You have been warned!! Tears have been known!]
The Origin of the Game
When I was young my parents made friends with a German couple and their children on a Holiday to San Sebastian … [Which incidentally I won in a raffle at my school, the two week holiday that is!] My ‘father’ who has a penchant for collecting people he thinks he can impress and influence, took a liking to this German family. Thus they were incorporated into his collection of miss-fits … Not because they were not nice they were .. But they just did not fit with him! Anyway I digress.. One Easter the German friends and their two children were billeted to Dutch Garden our family home in order to entertain my ‘father’..
They arrived to stay one Easter bringing very many generous gifts for all … One of which was a packet of thin papers in an envelope decorated with pretty shiny Easter eggs… It turned out that decorated real hard boiled eggs at Easter was a tradition for them. I was hooked from the off you dropped these pieces of paper in with the boiling eggs and they would turn the boiled eggs into the brightest full-on colours, which we shined, (back then), with bacon rashers.
I loved the look of them and they sat pride of place on the table until Easter Sunday came… Then we were introduced to the egg game … Which was basically to smash the eggs to see which egg remained intact at the end of the game … I know I am easily pleased! A simple person that’s me … Not!!
Over the years that followed I have played this game every single Easter .. However I have developed the game to make more sense for us …. This is how it works!
The aim of the game is the last person standing with an intact egg is the winner … (Intact means that one side can be cracked, so long as that egg has cracked both ends of all the other eggs.)
1. Hard Boiled Eggs are essential, at least 3 per person .. More if you like! (We have about 6 each!)
2. Decoration of the eggs … See notes …
3. Everyone chooses just 1 egg each at the start of the game. The rest remain in the bowl until needed.
4. A coin is flipped to see who goes first then all persons taking part stand in a circle.
5. The person who has won the toss, turns to the person on their right. Both hold an egg each, pointy end of the egg out.
6. The winner of the toss, has first hit of the other person’s egg. Just one hit at a time!... If the hitter cracks the other egg, (pointy end). The egg that is cracked has to be tuned to blunt side of the egg. The person that has cracked the other persons egg gets to hit their egg again. (So the second hit can be pointy to blunt end or any combination). Whichever egg has annihilated the opponent’s egg. (Both ends of one egg cracked). The winner moves onto the next person. The person that has lost this round chooses another egg, and waits their turn as the egg games goes around the circle of players.
… Are you following? The new opponent must use his pointy end first …
7. You follow this procedure until you have a winning egg .. Even if that egg has one end broken .. But has destroyed all other eggs at both ends ..
Okay it is a bit mad! But it is very funny and strangely competitive … For those of you that are going to complain that it is a waste of eggs .. Use the broken eggs to make egg mayonnaise sandwiches which you can enjoy later with your ‘High Tea!! …
Some Tips …
When my children were young they loved to decorate the eggs .. They used to drop them and crack them before we even started the game, so a good way for small children to decorate them is once boiled to put them back into the egg carton and get the children to stick transfers and stickers on the eggs. Then once they have done one side you can turn the eggs so they can be decorated on the other side.
Without the special egg colouring papers provided by the German friends. You can colour hard boiled eggs by using food colouring and vinegar with boiling water. If you want to be really arty-farty then you can decorated them in all manner of ways, we like to draw faces on them and personalise them…
The winner gets …
Well when the children were younger it used to be a chocolate egg as a prize to add to all of the other bits of chocolate they already had. Now they are all teenagers.. It is money!
So there you go …. The Paddick Family Egg game ….. Enjoy …
The Speed of Sound – Shut All The Clubs
For the second time NP/ME Style has had the opportunity of working with The Speed of Sound, we provided the background pictures for their heart felt writing about the loss of privately owned and council run venues across the country, which limits the stages bands can perform on.
The song Shut All The Clubs points out the sad fact that these valuable culture social meeting places are being shut down and bulldozed to make space for developments of flats, corporate buildings, restaurant chains and the ubiquitous coffee houses and designer celebrity ‘chef’ restaurants.
The song alludes to a time when these spaces had a personal identity within their community along with the people that inhabited them. Culturally now we seem to live in a world that is all the same, every town centre mirrors the last. The high streets are full of the same corporate companies all with their special personal relationship with the tax man!
We happily loaned some pictures that we had taken to be used in this video:-
The strange fact is that these pictures were taken in a derelict house that we demolished to build two new five bedroom luxury homes. It should be pointed out that the demolished property had been condemned and could not be rebuilt, so we believe like The Speed of Sound that if you are going to redevelop then it should be done with an eye for style that works within its surroundings, complies where possible with modern ergonomics, but overall maintains some character of its own!
It is inevitable that our urban environmental needs must change and be upgraded as time moves forward and modern life dictates a different pace and style of living. But do we really need to rape and pillage, architecturally speaking, our towns, cities and villages of their identity?
NP/ME Style likes all types of design as long as it is done well and considered within its surroundings, but I totally empathize with The Speed of Sound lyrics in Shut All The Clubs. Please let us all be individual and leave some doors open giving us an element of freedom and choice. Letting us breathe the fresh air of individuality!
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