A Strong Coffee

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Perfect Pasta Recipes Plus CookBlogShare Week #38

These perfect pasta recipes are sure to be a winner with all the family at dinner time.

Welcome to #CookBlogShare Week #38
#CookBlogShare has long been one of my favourite weekly cooking linkies. If you love cooking then it is a great place to share recipes and ideas as well as commenting on each others tasty posts.
There are three lovely regular hosts Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie, Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy and Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes There are also some guest hosts and this week sees my turn.
If you are new to this link party please take a moment to read the guidelines below.  Joining in is simple and you are welcome to share your old and new recipes.

Last weeks link up was over at Everyday Healthy Recipes. There were some great family recipes, including an Easy Fish Pie that I will have to try soon. However, there were also some perfect pasta recipes that caught my eye!

Perfect Pasta Recipes

First up is the lamb bolognase from Easy Peasy Foodie.

I love lamb, but I get stuck in my ways and wouldn't have even thought of using it in a bolognase as I always use beef. I think I need to open my mind a bit! I also love the idea of reducing food waste by using your left over roast in the dish.

My boys love salmon, so this spicy salmon spaghetti would be something they would like to try. I may need to be careful with the chili to start!

I think it is a great way of giving them the fish they love without hurting my bank balance too much. Trust me they would eat half a salmon in one sitting given the chance!

My husband is addicted to pine nuts so top of his list would be this Harissa pasta with roasted vegetables.

This would be a perfect quick and easy mid week meal.

Last but not least is Pea pasta from Proper Foodie.

To me this is like summer in a bowl. With fresh mint and garlic, I bet this tastes amazing.

So which will be the first recipe you will try?

Want to join in with Cook Blog Share this week? Here is how:
Link up your recipe, sweet or savoury, or any foodie post to the #CookBlogShare link party.  Just click the blue Add your link button below and follow the instructions.
Include this party’s link in your post (so everyone else can find it).
Add the #CookBlogShare badge to your post (see the NEW code below).
Cook Blog Share

Please comment on at least two other recipes.

You can also post your recipes on the Cook Blog Share Facebook Page. I’ll visit all the blogs participating in the link party and share your recipes across all the major social media channels.

If you tweet a link to your recipe to me, @astrongcoffee1 using #CookBlogShare I will retweet it. Please use #cookblogshare when sharing your recipes on Instagram,

For GDPR purposes, please make note that by joining in you are giving the #CookBlogShare hosts permission to use your pictures in a round up and on social media, if your recipe is selected to be featured! Thank you for sharing your recipes with #CookBlogShare!

Monday, 17 September 2018

Creamy Mustard And Sausage Pasta

If you regularly read my meal plans you will see that creamy mustard and sausage pasta come up regularly. It often appears on my weekly meal plan for 2 good reasons. One it tastes really good and secondly it is easily adapted for the boys. All I do is split the sausages and pasta in two and their “sauce” is creme fraiche and cheese.

If you are looking for a simple and tasty meal to make quickly after work then this is just the thing. This recipe will serve 6 people.

Creamy Mustard And Sausage Pasta

  • 300ml half fat creme fraiche
  • 450g dried pasta
  •  2 red onions
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard
  • A pack of 6 sausages - I used Tesco finest reduced fat
  • Grated cheese sprinkle on top

  1. Measure out the dried pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Finely slice the red onions.
  3. take the sausage meat out of the cases in little balls and fry with the onions.
  4. When cooked, drain the pasta and then add to the cooked sausage and onion.
  5. Stir in the creme fraiche and Dijon and wholegrain mustard.
  6. Serve the pasta and top with cheese.

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creamy mustard and sausage pasta. A easy and quick dish to make that can be adapted to please all the family.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Chelsea Bun Tear And Share

It is bread week. Hooray I thought! I like making bread. Then it came to Saturday evening and I was running out of time to be able to make anything!

I have made naan bread before which went pretty well.

So I did what any dried fruit hating person who could do with losing a few pounds would do. I decided I would have a go at baking Chelsea buns for the first time ever. This would make my raisin loving offspring happy and hopefully meant that I wasn't consuming too many calories!

As I hadn't a clue what to do, I generally followed the BBC Good Food Recipe. I say generally as I used caster sugar instead of the golden variety, and had a combination of different dried fruits.

So what did the dried fruit lovers of the house think? Well they liked it! Me? I picked out the dried fruit to give it a taste and liked it too. I can't help thinking that it would taste so much better with chocolate or cherries and marzipan inside. Watch this space!

Chelsea Bun Tear And Share

For the dough
  • 450g strong white flour
  • 2 sachets of dried yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 50g butter

For the filling
  • 25g butter
  • 100g raisins
  • 50g sultanas
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and sugar together. Melt the butter and add this and the warm milk and beaten egg to the mixture. Make into a dough adding a little water or more flour if necessary.
  2. Knead until smooth and then leave to double in size in a bowl.
  3. knead the dough and then shape into a rectangle.
  4. Add the butter (sliced) dried fruit and sugar and spice to the dough. Then roll it along its longest side.
  5. Pre heat the oven to 200C.
  6. Grease an 8inch tin.
  7. Cut the dough into 9 rounds and put in the tin. Leave for about 20 mins to rise.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the heat to 180C and bake for 10 more.
  9. Mix 25g caster sugar with some water and brush over your warm buns.
  10. Enjoy and share if you can.
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Click on the badge below to see what other bloggers have baked this week.
Casa Costello

Meal planning Monday

Well the first full week at school is over and I am one exhausted Mum/teacher/TA/blogger. If you haven't seen it yet, I have put together some top tips to make our mornings run smoothly. Meal planning has become essential, not for saving money, but for knowing what we are eating! This week I have changed it slightly as our main shop is coming today.

Thursday, reality will hit when we go and visit secondary schools. I can't believe that my eldest baby is in year 6 and off to secondary next year. As the other two will need to come too, it is a quick sandwich before heading down to what I am imagining to be an utterly packed school to have a look around. Wish me luck!

Sunday: Garlic, lemon and chili prawns. One of my all time favourite meals.

Monday: Chicken fajitas as the boys need a quick dinner before their karate class.

Tuesday: Garlic pork in black bean sauce.

Wednesday: Spaghetti carbonara

Thursday: A quick sandwich as it is secondary school open day.

Friday: Sweet and sour chicken

Saturday: Freezer surprise! I have a few meals in here that we could have depending how we feel.

What is on your meal plan this week?


Saturday, 15 September 2018

5 Top Tips For Making Breakfast Time Hassle Free With Nutella

This is a sponsored post for Nutella

jar of nutella

After a summer of lazy mornings, we are back to school with a bump. It is time to get organised so that breakfast time is hassle free. Getting three children up and ready for school as well as getting myself ready for work can be hectic at times. I have lost count of the number of times that I have asked middle man if he is ready to go, only to find him watching TV in his pants and a sock. I have decided that this year needs to be different and a more organised approach to our mornings is required. So here are my top tips that I hope will make our breakfast time hassle free.

1. Sort out uniform the night before.
clothes folded on a chair

Considering the washing machine seems to be constantly running, it never ceases to amaze me when the boys tell me at 7.30am that they don’t have the correct uniform. This year, they will be getting everything out the night before so if they need anything I can put a wash on before bed.

2. Use a family planner.

With 5 people in different places with various different clubs to go to, a family planner is the way to go. I am hoping that this will help me remember the numerous school slips that need returning as well as who has what club each evening.

3. No TV until you are ready to go.

TV is such a distraction. Everyone needs to be ready before it can go on.

4. Plan for some easy and balanced breakfasts.

Regular readers will know that I meal plan for evening meals, but it is also good to think about breakfasts too. Overnight Oats are a great idea to prepare the night before.

overnight oats

Nutella  on toast is a favourite in our house too. A 15g portion (one heaped teaspoon) is 80 calories. Nutella is a delicious way to spread a little happiness at breakfast.

Nutella on toast

5. Know where shoes and coats are.

Get the children into the habit of leaving their coats and shoes by the door when they come home from school so that they are ready to go in the morning. No more looking under the sofa for a stray shoe in the mornings!

What are your top tips for a hassle free breakfast time?

You can follow Nutella on Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Gooey Chocolate Brownie Recipe

This gooey chocolate brownie recipe is a real treat and the brownies can be frozen so that you don't end up eating your months calories in one sitting!

Gooey Chocolate Brownies

I can't believe that we are on week two of the Bake Off and I am already behind. In my defense I am a part time teacher and school has just gone back, but I must try harder next week. Luckily I had made these brownies in the summer and writing up the recipe has been on my to do list for some time. As they are baked in a tray and cut up, that is my definition of a traybake.

It is based on The Spicery's Chilli Chocolate Brownie Recipe.  If you haven't tried them then I would give them a go. They are amazing. Unfortunately, my boys don't like chili and I ate the entire tray myself, so it has to be these brownies from now on or my waistline will expand!

It is up to you whether yoy decide to add white chocolate buttons or not. I am not a massive fan of white chocolate and I personally don't feel that they add anything to the brownies. However, my husband and boys disagree. If nuts are your thing, then you could add them. Whatever you add, or don't, these gooey chocolate brownies are seriously moreish and won't be around for long!

Gooey Chocolate Brownie

Gooey Chocolate Brownie Recipe

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 150g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 110g plain flour
  • 220g golden caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate and butter in the microwave.
  3. Beat the sugar and eggs together, then mix this with the melted chocolate and butter.
  4. Fold in the flour.
  5. Line an 8 inch square baking tray with greased proof paper. Pour in the brownie mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then take out and leave in the tray to cool.
  7. Cut into sqaures and try not to eat it all by yourself. Easier said than done!

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Gooey chocolate brownie traybake

Click on the badge below to see what other bloggers have baked this week.
Casa Costello

Meal Planning Monday

This week saw the boys back to school and me back to work. Last weeks meal plan went slightly off course for two reasons. Firstly I didn't look at what I had taken out of the freezer. It was a surprise to me as well as the kids when we had beef stew rather than cottage pie! Secondly, I had forgotten how a full week at work would make me feel. (It has been well over 8 years that I have worked 5 days in a row - even if some of them were part time.) It was a shock to the system and when Friday was reached. There was no way I was cooking, so takeaway was purchased.

As this will be another busy week, I have tried to plan accordingly. And we will have cottage pie this time!

Monday: Quiche with tortilla crust.

Tuesday: Sausage and mash

Wednesday: Chili with jackets or rice

Thursday: Hoisin beef made in the slow cooker.

Friday: Cottage pie

Saturday: Microwave curry. The boys have a better social life than me, so we will eat in between taking them to parties!

Sunday: Lasagne and garlic bread

What have you got planned?