Meatball sauce

So, today I was making meatballs in sauce and spaghetti for my family’s dinner. I have fussy children when it comes to onions and mushrooms. I am fed up of them picking them out and me making them eat one each. Well, today I had a plan. So my sauce was: 1 carton of chopped tomato’s, one onion, a handful of mushrooms, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, dried basil, half a tub of soft cheese, salt and pepper and finally I topped the carton of tomato’s with milk when I had emptied it. I put all this in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. When it was all softened I put all the sauce in the blender and whizzed it up. I could smell the mushrooms etc but the kids all ate it without a fuss. The hubby said it was the best sauce ever. Thumbs up all round I would say. xx

Amish Old fashioned potato soup

My in-laws went to see the Amish people a couple of years ago (something I have always wanted to do!) and got me a couple of their recipe books. It’s lovely as they are all hand written. Anyway, as potatoes are not overly expensive it’s a good idea,if you are on a tight budget to use them as much as you can.

Here is an Amish recipe for their old fashioned potato soup

3 cups diced potatoes

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup diced celery

2 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 tablespoon of butter

3 1/2 cups of milk or more if needed

Cook the potatoes,celery, salt and butter with water until soft. Add milk and eggs. Serve very hot. Very basic and simple the way they like to live.

Stale bread, things you can do with it.

This is from a reader’s digest book, How to do just about anything!

Slices without crusts Us to line a bowl, fill with soft fruit, top with more bread and press down with a plate and weight overnight for a summer pudding.

Dip in egg and milk and fry for French toast.

Layer buttered slices in a dish with sultanas and lemon zest, top with vanilla custard and bake to make bread and butter pudding.

Cubes Fry or bake in the oven, drizzled with oil, to make croutons. Add to tomato soup to create the Italian pappa al pompodora or to any vegetable soup to thicken it.

Breadcrumbs Mix with onions and herbs to make stuffing; fruit and nuts, such as dried apricots and almonds, can also be added. Mix with chopped herbs and use to top fish pies or other savoury dishes as an alternative to potatoes. Use, following flour and beaten egg, to coat food before frying.

Mix with sugar and lemon zest then layer with apples, dot generously with butter and bake in the oven for apple charlotte.

Seafood chowder

I really like chowder but don’t have it as I’m not sure the rest of my family will eat it. I might make it just for the grown ups one day.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp olive oil

1 leek, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

200g white fish, skinned

198g can of sweetcorn, drained

180g soft cheese, softened

275ml skimmed milk

2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish

100g peeled, cooked prawns

PLace  the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a meduim heat. When boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender.

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, and sweat the leek and garlic in the oil with the white fish placed on top, to steam for about 5 minutes. When the fish is cooked it should flake easily.

Drain the potatoes and add to the pan with the leeks,fish and remaining ingredients. Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soft cheese has melted, all the ingredients have heated through and the chowder has thickened. Garnish with a little chopped parsley.x

Serves 6-8