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Day #31 – Chicken Pie (Dairy-Free)

Today, Fantastic Mrs T is Sleepy Mrs T.

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Mr T has a cough and was coughing through the night. Baby Girl had her usual midnight party-for-two – her and I. And Princess and BoyChild were up at the crack of dawn, rearing to start the day. Probably due, in part, to the cupcakes hidden in the laundry. You want to see a Mum run really fast at 7am? Have a 3 year old boy open the laundry door, knowing there are 3 dozen cupcakes sitting there ready to go to Kindergarten for Grandparent’s Day. Run? Goodness me, I LEAPED!

Aunty M is still visiting and Mr T is on his late shifts, so we decided on Chicken Pie for dinner. Finding a dairy-free chicken pie recipe was a challenge so I just kind of made it up as I went along. Could have been a nice dinner of eggs for Aunty M and I, luckily it wasn’t.

Chicken Pie (Dairy Free)

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Chicken Breast, diced

Oil

Onion

Flour

Pastry

Stock (I used vegetable because I didn’t have any chicken left)

Mushrooms

Frozen Mixed Veges

Cook the chicken until browned through, then set aside. In the same pan, brown the onion for a few minutes. Add some flour in and then gradually add the stock, whisk until it bubbles and thickens, and then add some more. Do this until you have a nice onion gravy thing happening. Chop the mushroom and add this to the mix, and re-add the chicken. Throw the veges in as well and let it all simmer away happily. While this is going on, roll out your pastry and line a dish. Once the mixture is to your liking, put it into the pie base, and then cover with the other (rolled) half of pastry. Cook in the oven until pastry is brown and crispy.

Verdict

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Very yum. Colour me surprised. It was really quite tasty. Dairy Schmairy, you didn’t miss it in this pie.

Well done, Sleepy Mrs T. Well done.

…. now, where’s that chocolate gone …

 

“sleepy mum” picture – http://arisusa.deviantart.com/art/Sleeping-180329222?q=gallery%3AArisusa&qo=0

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Day #31 – Bacon Risotto with Homemade Chicken Stock

I made stock. All my by myself. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out. Why yes, I would love a medal for my efforts.

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Thank you. On with the show.

I was super excited when I got up this morning, the house had an amazing aroma of roast chicken after the stock had sat in the crock pot all night. If you ever want to give the illusion of cooking a meal when people visit your house, put a chicken carcass in the slow cooker! I turned off the slow cooker once I was up and let it sit for the morning to let it cool. I decided to make Bacon Risotto for dinner, using the stock I had made.

Chicken Stock

Chicken bones

Carrot

Water

Onion

Rosemary

Put the chicken carcass into the slow cooker and roughly chop a carrot and an onion and put them in there as well. Sprinkle over some rosemary and then cover with water, right up until the top of the slow cooker, leaving only an inch or so at the top. Cook on Low heat overnight (or, 8-10 hours if doing this during the day). When the stock is done and cooled, strain it to get rid of all the chunky bits and bones. Store.

Verdict

Yum. As I said, it smelt amazing. And so easy, I don’t know why I have never done this before. My only disappointment was that, in deciding to use the stock for risotto, I now have none left. I was so looking forward to freezing it for future use! Never mind, I guess I will have to do it again.

Bacon Risotto

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Bacon

Onion

Oil

Arborio Rice

Chicken Stock (+ extra)

Cheese

Cook the diced onion in a pan until cooked through and then add the diced bacon. When both are cooked, remove and set aside. In the same pan, cook the rice until it is browned and slightly transparent. Add 1 cup of stock and stir until completely absorbed into the rice. Add another cup, and once again stir. Continue this for around 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and creamy and the stock is absorbed. Once the rice is cooked to your liking, re-add the onion and bacon to the pan. It was at this point that I separated out a serving for the dairy-free people, then added in some grated cheese to allow it to melt through the rice.

Verdict

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Amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, it was really, really delicious. The stirring is an arduous task but I can’t take credit for that – Aunty M happily stirred the rice while I juggled the children away from the kitchen. Not a meal to make when home alone with three pre-schoolers! Very nice, and definitely something I will make again. I want to be more creative with the flavouring, perhaps a chorizo risotto would be nice.

Four more meals to go on our journey of No Takeaways. Mr T is counting down the minutes until he gets his Fish and Chip dinner!

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Day #30 – Rotisserie Chicken and Broccoli Pasta – and then, Stock

Mr T really wanted rotisserie chicken and coleslaw from the supermarket for his dinner tonight. Like, he really wanted it. I did consider for a fleeting moment buying the chicken and then passing it off as my very own roast, but no. That would go against everything this blog stands for! I can’t lie, I have the worst poker face around. Besides, since I began this daily food blog, one of the big things I wanted to try was using a chicken carcass to make chicken stock. My amazing friend (from whom this blog is largely inspired) does this, as do many other people, so I thought getting a chicken from the supermarket was a good excuse to finally try it. The idea of dealing with a chicken carcass made me feel a bit ill, but I’m going to put my big girl knickers on and do it anyway.

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When I say Mr T wanted chicken and coleslaw for dinner, he quite literally meant, just chicken and coleslaw. He has a cold, you see, and that is what he felt like eating. I got some broccoli from the supermarket for cheap today and wanted to incorporate that into the meal somehow. Also, I didn’t want a meal of chicken and coleslaw, so I decided to make a Chicken and Broccoli Pasta for myself. And then, attempt to make chicken stock.

Chicken and Bacon Pasta

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Chicken

Broccoli

Garlic

Chilli

Pasta (I used penne)

Oil

Crushed almonds

Put the pasta on to cook, by placing it into a pot of boiling water. In a saucepan, cook the garlic and chilli for a minute, then add the broccoli florets and sear on a high heat until cooked but still crunchy. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and then toss through a little bit of oil. Mix in the broccoli, garlic and chilli. Serve with almonds scattered on top.

Verdict

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I thought this was really nice! So simple and really quite delicious. I can’t ask the opinion of anyone else because no one else wanted any! Such is life. They all loved their chicken but I can’t take any credit for that one!

And, because I’m so proud of my effort, the stock is happily chugging away in the slow cooker. I can’t wait to see what it is like tomorrow, and I’m excited to cook with the stock tomorrow night – Mr T is working but my Aunty is coming to stay. I hope she likes risotto!

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Day #29 – Spag Bol (and a random Zucchini from the garden)

Princess brought home a zucchini plant from kindergarten a fair while back, and Mr T and her happily planted it in the garden. I am not a gardener. I would love to say that I were. I would love to be able to grow veges – goodness, I would love to simply be able to differentiate between weeds and plants worth keeping. But alas, I can not.

Yesterday, Mr T was watering his garden when he looked down and literally exclaimed, “what the heck is that?“. Princess carried it tenderly inside and said in excitement reserved only for little girls, “MUM! What’s THIS?! Wow!”. I told her is was a zucchini, and she yelled out the door, “IT’S A DOOKEENEEE, DAAAAAAD!”.

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Mr T informed me that he did not like zucchini. Not-at-all-not-one-little-bit. So, as I do with the kids, I hid it in the meal. Tonight I cooked Spaghetti Bolognese with a sneaky zucchini grated all up in there.

Spaghetti Bolognese

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Mince

Pasta Sauce

Onion

Garlic

Carrot

Zucchini

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Spaghetti

Cook the onion and the garlic for a few minutes and then add in the mince. Cook until browned thoroughly, then add in the pasta sauce. Grate the zucchini and carrot and add them in as well. This sauce is at it’s best if you can let it simmer over a low heat for a decent amount of time, the flavours infuse and are just devine. While cooking this, put the spaghetti into a pot of boiling water and let it cook until tender. Mix the sweet chilli sauce in just before serving. Add cheese on top if you prefer.

Verdict

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Really good. The sweet chilli sauce added a nice flavour and the zucchini and carrot added a subtle crunch to the meal, I really liked it. And, Mr T said to me, “this is really nice, what’s the taste in here?”. When I said it was zucchini, he said I was a Sneaky McSneakerson. Well, duh – I’m a mum, it’s what we do.

I consider that a real parenting (and wifey) win tonight. *takes a Sneaky McSneakerson bow*

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Day #28 – Corn and Bacon Fritters

Yesterday marked the end of Daylight Savings here in New Zealand so we had to put our clocks back an hour. So, the kids went to bed at their usual time of 7:30 pm and woke up at their usual time of 7:30am. Except, one didn’t – Princess was up earlier than usual, so, in conjunction with Daylight Savings, she was up at five thirty. Which wouldn’t be too horrific had BabyGirl (and I) not gone to bed at 2am. Yes, you are reading correctly. Needless to say, we have had some pretty tired and cranky kids today.

And, then we went to a friend’s birthday party, Master turned one! It was a fun and relaxing party during which we ate too much delicious food and the kids ate so much sugar that it was as though their entire souls had been replaced by a mash up of Road Runner, Damien from The Omen and … well .. someone really loud.

What do you feed your kids dinner on a day like today? Desperate to fill Princess’s tummy with something other than sugar before bed, she had a bowl of WeetBix for her dinner. She thought it was a hoot, having breakfast for tea, and she wolfed it down. For the rest of us, Corn and Bacon Fritters. I asked Mr T if he wanted anything with it and he said no, that was fine. Side bar: I think he is really missing fish and chips. Think? I know he is. Because he tells me. Regularly. But, we are on the home stretch now, only seven days to go!

Corn and Bacon Fritters

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1 440g Can Creamed Corn

3/4 C Self Raising Flour

3 Eggs

Bacon, diced

Cook the bacon and then set aside. Mix in a bowl the flour and eggs, and then add the corn. Add in the bacon and fry in oil until brown and cooked. The key to these coming out nice, is to keep the element on a medium heat – too hot and they burn, too cool and they don’t cook properly. Serve with tomato sauce (Mr T) or sweet chilli sauce (me).

Verdict

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Good enough for a Sunday evening, when we are too tired to care. All we are concerned about now is getting these “children” to bed. And by children, I mean Little Horrors. Whom I love. Dearly.

stressed-woman-cartoon

 

 

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Day #27 – Lemon Pepper Steak and Hedgehog Potatoes

Today, I nearly crumbled and got takeaways. Twice. First, about mid afternoon, when I had no idea what to cook and no energy to cook anyway. Second, while popping to the shop to get eggs for dinner and walking past the fish and chip shop. Those chips smelled so good! So. Good.

But, I didn’t. I marched myself back home with my eggs, and cooked Lemon Pepper Steak and Hedgehog Potatoes. Hedgehog potatoes are another thing I grew up on, I loved them as a kid. They are essentially roasted potatoes, but you cut them lengthways and then slice into them (without actually cutting them!). Eating them is cool because you can eat them square by square. Trust me, it’s a kid’s dream. I served this tonight with frozen mixed veges and frozen edamame beans. I love them, so nutty! Oh, and an egg each, because steak and eggs are a perfect pair.

Lemon Pepper Steak

Steak

Lemon Pepper

Simply cover the steak in the lemon pepper and then sear on a hot pan with oil. Cook each side until steak is to your liking, then rest it for ten minutes before serving.

Hedgehog Potatoes

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Potatoes

Oil

Cut the potato in half lengthways, then cut into the potato in lines, first vertically and then horizontally so you end up with lots of squares, but all still attached to the base of the potato. Wow, what a hard thing to describe! Determined not to confuse you, I’ve drawn up this handy diagram. If I confuse you more, I apologise!

Hedgehog Potatoes

Drizzle with oil and roast until cooked and crispy.

Verdict

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Amazing. I have never seen Princess finish a meal as well as she did tonight. She very diligently stayed at the table and completely cleaned her plate. The hedgehog potatoes were awesome, although I think I might try putting something in the cracks next time, like a little bit of garlic butter. Oh, my. That would be amazing. The steak was, hands down, the best steak I’ve ever cooked. It was so tender and juicy and the thing I like about the lemon pepper is, it gives a “kick” to the tender steak. What a great meal.

Take that, fish and chips.

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Day #26 – BootCamp For Mumma, Bacon Stuffed Baked Potatoes for Family

Tonight I had this new bootcamp that I have started going to. It’s on a Friday evening and and it’s hard work but good work. It’s so nice to get out of the house and do exercise, I highly recommend it!

It happens to start at 6pm so I need a dinner that is easy and done, yet also easy to reheat when I get home (for me). Since I had the Bacon Stuffed Baked Potatoes the other night, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. So, I thought I would make them again, this time Mr T would get some as well 🙂

And, as a change for the kids, I made them a Carrot Salad. Also, while I was preparing the meal, I turned around to see Princess peeling one potato. Not sure what to do with one potato (I was already baking the others by this stage), I decided to dice it and shallow fry it, making little chip things.

Bacon Stuffed Baked Potatoes

https://havekidstheysaid.com/2014/04/01/day-23-bacon-stuffed-baked-potatoes-and-eggs/

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As per this blog entry, except I baked them for a full hour in the oven, making them a lot easier to stuff. And the shell was a lot crispier too.

Carrot Salad

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Carrot

Raisins

Honey

Cheese

Grate the carrot and mix in the raisins and grated cheese. Pour in a little runny honey and mix up.

Mini Fries

Potato

Oil

Dice the potato into smallish squares and fry in a small amount of oil

Verdict

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Win on all accounts. The potatoes were a hit, Mr T liked them, and they were awesome reheated when I got home. Oh my, nothing beats bacon after a big workout *Homer Simpson drool*. The kids liked the carrot salad and they LOVED the Mini Fries.

Since I did a wicked awesome work out tonight, I totally deserve the caramel popcorn that I’m going to be all over once I get these kids to bed. And wash the smeared potato off my arms (such is the fun of dining with a baby on your knee).