Sunday, 6 September 2015

What's for dinner?

Dinner last night (Saturday night) was based on a recipes in the latest 'taste' magazine.

I don't normally buy this magazine as I have enough cook books to last my family and I a long, long time. I bought this edition because the cover looked so appealing and I have a new oven which has got me motivated to bake again.

For mains I cooked 'throw-it-all-together' chicken dinner (p88) and for dessert I modified the recipe for 'Louise's baked pumpkin doughnuts'.

The chicken dinner recipe was pretty easy. There was a marinade of yogurt, coriander, ginger, garlic and chilli. I marinated the chicken for a few hours then stuck it in the oven. The butcher at the markets cut a whole chicken for me, which was nice of him. Any bits of chicken I didn't cook went to one very happy dog.

I served the chicken on a basic leafy salad with a yogurt, mint and lemon juice dressing for the adults, which a side of toasty Lebanese bread. For the no-veggies-for-me kids I turned the meal into a sandwich. 

Here's how it turned out.

The recipe for dessert was this lovely-looking oven baked doughnut. I didn't have a pan for this so used some mini-muffin trays instead. 

The premise of this recipe was to offer a 'nice', that is healthy, alternative to the 'naughty' recipe made by another chef. 

The recipe used pumpkin puree with eggs, brown sugar, olive oil and SR flour. To the cinnamon in the recipe I added ground cardamon and freshly ground nutmeg. I served my mini muffins on a bed of apples and whipped cream. 

I cooked the apples in butter, maple-flavoured castor sugar and pear schnapps . The pear schnapps intensified the flavour of the Royal Gala apples I used. I added the maple sugar to the cream as well. If I'd had pecans they may have gone in too.

Here's the result.

This is a recipe I will use again. The muffins were incredibly light. I did not expect that as I thought the pumpkin puree would be dense. It wasn't and the muffins were delicious. Don't think I need to bother getting a doughnut pan as the muffin pan worked fine, even for the normal sized ones I also made. 

Dinner tonight will be homemade hamburgers. Hamburgers are an easy way for the adults to get a veggie fix while the kids continue to avoid them. 

A note about children and vegetables

My kids are Moo* who is 18, a girl and at uni, and BoyBoy* who is 16, a boy and in Year 10 (* not their real names). We introduced them to a wide variety of fresh and homemade food from the time they started on solid food. We tried hiding vegetables, we tried getting the kids to help cook, we tried bribery, we tried guilt and tantrums (from the adults), we tried tantrums (from them this time), we tried getting them to grow their own food, we tried taking them to restaurants (they behaved well or were taken outside for some quiet time). 

Nothing has worked.

My kids are great with any legume you care to name. They love sweet potato. Carrots are Ok for both but not cooked, I think ? Peas are fine for one. Corn is fine for the other. Both will eat corn on the cob, but only one will eat it if it is boiled while the other can handle it either boiled or BBQ'd. Onions and anything in the onion family are out, out, out. 

My kids are also great with cheese. While BoyBoy isn't fond of parmesan he will enjoy goat. Moo likes any cheese except goat. Neither are into Blue but that I can live with.

On the plus side both kids are healthy, active, and mostly good company. The time for them to explore food and broaden their taste horizons will probably come when they leave home and are in control of the whole process. That's what happened to me.

At uni I acquired a social life that involved eating at different styles of restaurants and helping prepare food for others. My love for middle eastern food and my utter dislike of firm tofu probably date from those experiences. 

Anyway ....

I hope you like reading this blog. Comments are welcome.


Miss L

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