Quick Onion Pasta

Caramelised Onion PastaBeing a new Mum I am in desperate need of quick, easy & filling meal ideas. As you can imagine, I have very little time on my hands anymore – juggling my new responsibilities as a parent!

This gorgeous pasta dish only takes about 30 minutes to make & is incredibly tasty. Just what I’ve been looking for! (Recipe adapted from The Silver Spoon: Pasta cookbook.)

Here is what you will need to feed 2 hungry parents. (Easily doubled)

  • 40g Butter
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 200g Fusilli Pasta *
  • 15 – 20g Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper

* or any dried shaped pasta of your choice

First job – peel & slice the onions as thinly as you can.

In a large, non stick frying pan – melt the butter over a low heat.

Add the onion into the pan and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes until the onions have gone soft & golden brown. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat as this could make them crispy.

Quick Onion Pasta

Quick Onion PastaMeanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. When it is cooked, before draining, Reserve a little of the water for later. (About 100-200ml)

Add the thyme to the onions and season well with salt and pepper. Give it a stir.

Quick Onion PastaTip the cooked pasta into the frying pan with the onions & add the reserved water. Stir it all up and warm through for a minute. Season with more salt & pepper if you think it needs it.

Quick Onion PastaDivide between two bowls, top with a generous sprinkling of the grated parmesan cheese and devour!

Quick Onion PastaI don’t know about you but I am a huge onion fan. To me, any food that stinks is all good in my books! This really is delicious though and perfect for those of us with busy lives. Only taking about 30 minutes from start to finish to make, no excessive pot washing to do afterwards & those hearty carbohydrates keeping you fuller for longer – it answers all my prayers! A meal I am more than happy to add to my repertoire & one I think you should too :)

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Microwave Caramels!

Microwave Caramels!This recipe, as it did me, will surprise you. I genuinely had no idea you could make soft caramels like these at home! But get this, not only can you make them at home – they’re really easy, no bake & made in just 7 minutes in the microwave. I know right?! This is a dangerous recipe! (Thanks to Averie Cooks for sharing the original recipe – I officially love you!)

I will keep you waiting no more – here is what you will need to make about 36 caramels.

For the Caramel

  • 110g Unsalted Butter
  • 110g Granulated Sugar
  • 100g Light Brown Sugar
  • 165g Golden Syrup
  • 150g Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Coating & Decoration

  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  • Any Decoration of Your Choice (see suggestions later in the post)

Essential Equipment

  • 8 x 8″ (20 x 20cm) Square Tin
  • Microwave

Please note: the cooking instructions are based on an 800 watt microwave & the chilling time is at least 4 hours

Firstly, generously grease & line the base & sides of the tin with baking paper.

In a large microwavable bowl, melt the butter. (It will take approx 90 seconds.)

Microwave Caramels!Add in both sugars, the golden syrup & condensed milk. Give it a really good stir.

Microwave Caramels!Place into the microwave and cook on full power for 3 mins 30 secs.

When done, take a piece of damp kitchen roll and wipe away any crystals that have formed around the bowl. (This is important as these crystals can ruin the whole batch of caramel!)

Microwave Caramels!Put back into the microwave and heat on full power for a further 3 mins 30 secs. I recommend you watch whilst this is cooking as it will bubble quite violently & you don’t want your microwave getting covered in this stuff!

When cooked, add in the vanilla and give it a good stir. (Careful as it is very hot & might spit)

Microwave Caramels!Pour the caramel into the prepared tin and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes to cool a little before putting in the fridge. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Microwave Caramels!When the caramel has set (it will still be quite soft) carefully remove from the tin & place on a chopping board/mat covered in baking paper.

Microwave Caramels!Now you need to slice it. I would advise actually coating your knife with a little sunflower oil (or similar) as this stuff is SO sticky it will be very difficult if you don’t.

Obviously – please be careful when doing this as slippy fingers & sharp knives tend not to mix very well! 

I cut mine into a 6 x 6 grid to make 36 caramels but you can cut whatever size you like.

Microwave Caramels!You could actually leave them like this if you wanted to or you could coat them in chocolate like I did.

Simply break all the chocolate into a large microwavable bowl & heat gently in short, 20 second bursts (stirring in-between) in the microwave until melted and smooth.

Have a lined baking tray ready to put your covered caramels on to set.

Microwave Caramels!There are lots of methods of coating things in chocolate. You could rest each caramel on a fork and dip in then shake off any excess. Me? I used cocktail sticks to dunk the caramel into the chocolate and then shake off any excess.

When coated, place each caramel on the prepared baking tray & top with a decoration of your choosing. (Be quick before the chocolate sets!) You could use sugar strands, hundreds & thousands, a few flakes of sea salt or whatever takes your fancy!

The most important things to note are that the caramels will melt if kept in the warm chocolate for too long & if the chocolate starts to firm up – just pop it in the microwave for another 20 seconds to loosen it up again.

Other than that – go nuts!

Once you’ve coated them all, place them on the baking tray in the fridge to set/firm up for a couple of hours.

They will store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few months. (Not that they will ever last that long!)

Microwave Caramels!See – I told you this was a dangerous recipe! Hand on heart, every person that has tried these has proclaimed, “oh my god, they’re amazing!” They also can’t believe that they were made with next to no effort AND in the microwave. To be honest, I still can’t either – they’re fantastic!

You have to give these at try.

I would also like to take the opportunity to apologise for the lack in presence on both my blog & social media. If you weren’t already aware, I am now the proud mother to a beautiful daughter & life has all of a sudden become very hectic! I am trying to do my best to juggle everything & will post what I can when I can. After all – I’ve still got to eat!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies – until next time.

Miss Kitchenmason

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Still stuck on what to do for your Valentine this year? Why not give these gorgeously romantic, cheesecake filled, chocolate covered strawberries a try? They’re pretty easy & quick to make, so perfect for a last minute idea.  You honestly wouldn’t believe how delicious they are as well! I mean, chocolate covered strawberries are amazing on their own, but add vanilla cheesecake into the mix and Jiminy Cricket you’ve got heaven in a bite!

There are tons of recipes and methods out there for these little beauties but here’s how I did it.

(Recipe adapted from Make It & Love It.)

What you will need:

  • 160g Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese
  • 60g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 400g Punnet of Strawberries *
  • 150g Milk Chocolate
  • 50g White Chocolate (Optional)

*Double check the strawberries when you buy them. You want them quite firm but not green. (And obviously not soft & over ripe or they will be very difficult to work with!)

To make the cheesecake filling, either in an electric stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand whisk, whip together the cream cheese, icing sugar & vanilla extract until it’s light, smooth & holds it’s own shape.

Chill in the fridge until needed.

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries.

Give them a wash & dry them thoroughly. Any water left on them could make the chocolate seize so it’s worth doing properly.

Hull them as you would do normally, then hollow out a little more so you can fit in more of that gorgeous cheesecake filling! (Don’t go too thin though as it will make it difficult to dip in the chocolate later – as I discovered!)

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Strawberries tend to seep juice once they’ve been cut so I actually found it best to dab the insides with a bit of kitchen roll before filling. Also, due to the seeping liquid, it’s best to not make these more than a couple hours before you plan on eating them.

Load a piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing (I used a 2D drop flower nozzle) and add the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper & pop into the fridge to chill whilst we melt the chocolate.

Either in a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or a bowl in the microwave – gently melt the milk chocolate.

Remove the strawberries from the fridge and dip each one into the chocolate. Set back on the lined baking sheet.

When all the strawberries have been dipped, pop back into the fridge to set.

Or, if you like, you can go a little further with the decoration & melt some white chocolate in the same way as you did the milk. Then pour this into a piping bag, snip the end & pipe zig zags over each strawberry.

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Chill in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set. If you are short on time – pop them in the freezer and they will set quicker.

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Strawberries!Now you can enjoy them with your loved one. Who will be totally bowled over by how incredible these naughty little treats are by the way!

Seriously, don’t fill up on dinner when you have made these – you will want as much room spare in your belly as possible! No they’re not healthy and no they’re not low calorie – but what’s it all for if we can’t be a little mischievous every now and then eh??

Trust me, you NEED to make these. You will love them, your other half will love them & generally there will just be lots of cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate love in the air!

Hope you enjoyed the post lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet CupcakesValentines Day is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me – you’ll be wondering what on earth you can buy or make for your loved one. I have always been pretty useless at gift buying, but baking? Now you’re talking my language!

Here’s a great gift idea for you to have a go at. Red Velvet Cupcakes. Is there anything more Valentines than red velvet?? With a gorgeously decadent cream cheese frosting, these are the perfect indulgence for you and your other half!

Here is what you need to make 12.

(Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.)

For the Decorations *

  • White Fondant Icing
  • Red Fondant Icing (Or red food colouring gel)
  • Heart Shaped Cutters

* I recommend you make these 24hrs in advance if you can. This allows them to harden slightly instead of staying ‘floppy.’

For the Cake

  • 60g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 150g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg, Room Temp
  • 10g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Red Liquid Food Colouring OR 2 tsp Red Food Colouring Gel
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 120ml Buttermilk
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp White Wine Vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 125g Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese **

**Don’t use a cheaper alternative or a ‘lighter’ version. Your cream cheese frosting will end up potentially very runny/wet if you do. The only one I have found to be stable enough is Philadelphia, original full fat cream cheese. In the words of Joey Tribbiani – If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right!

 

For the decorations – If you are making the red coloured fondant yourself, just add some red food colouring gel to ready white fondant icing and knead until the colour is evenly distributed.

Then, on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, simply roll out the fondant to about 3mm thick & cut using heart shaped cutters of your choosing.

If you are sticking shapes together, just dab on a little cold water and press lightly together. They will stick when dried.

Once you’ve cut out your shapes, on a tray lined with baking paper, place them out at room temperature to dry for 24 hours.

 

Onto the cake!

Preheat your oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C & line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cases. (I prefer to use foil cases as they don’t seep grease.)

Either in an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy.

Beat the egg and gradually add this into the bowl. Mix on a high speed until well incorporated and smooth.

Red Velvet CupcakesIn a little bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring & vanilla extract to make a paste. If you are using a gel colour you may need to add a little water to loosen it.

You are looking for a deep red colour. (Remember that colours lighten once baked so don’t be skimpy!)

Red Velvet CupcakesAdd the paste into the butter mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then mix again to ensure the colour is evenly distributed.

Red Velvet CupcakesWith the stand mixer/electric hand whisk on a slow speed – gradually add in half the buttermilk and mix until smooth. Then sift in half the flour and mix again until smooth. Repeat until all the buttermilk & flour are used up. If needs be, scrape down the bowl to make sure all the ingredients have been evenly distributed.

Then add in the salt, bicarbonate of soda & white wine vinegar and mix on a medium/high speed until smooth.

Red Velvet CupcakesDivide evenly between the 12 cupcake cases. (They should be about half to two thirds full.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 25 minutes. To test, insert a skewer into the middle of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they’re cooked. If there is batter on it – they need a little longer.

Once cooked, allow to sit in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Red Velvet CupcakesMeanwhile, let’s get on with the cream cheese frosting.

Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and add the butter. Mix on a medium/slow speed until well mixed. (Or use an electric hand whisk & a large bowl.)

Red Velvet CupcakesAdd in the cream cheese & mix slowly to start with (until the icing sugar is no longer a risk of mushroom clouding your kitchen!) then mix on high until really light and smooth for about 5 minutes.

Be careful not to over do it though – cream cheese frosting is a delicate creature & will become very runny if you over mix it.

Red Velvet CupcakesChill in the fridge until ready to decorate your cupcakes.

Red Velvet CupcakesWhen you’re cakes are completely cool – load a large piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing & fill with the cream cheese frosting.

I used a 3M open star nozzle and piped frosting from the outside edge inwards.

Then simply top with your sugar heart decorations and et vous voila!

Red Velvet CupcakesI usually say not to put cake in the fridge as it will dry it out quicker – but due to the cream cheese frosting, I recommend it with this particular recipe. They should keep for 3-4 days in a cardboard cupcake box. (If possible, don’t store in plastic as the sugar decorations will sweat.)

And there you have it! Sumptuously tempting, red velvet cupcakes that are good enough to make anyone fall in love with you!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake!A couple of weeks ago it was my Uncle Robert’s Birthday and guess what he likes..? Carrot Cake! This is a recipe I have made many times before & one that me and my family absolutely love. Do not be deceived by it’s ‘healthy’ sounding name though, carrot cake is actually one of the most calorific cakes you can eat! But hey, if we can’t eat cake on our Birthdays then when can we treat ourselves? All things in moderation I say! (or in vast quantity – same thing right??)

So, here is what you will need to make 1 x large cake. (Serves approx 12.)

For the Sponge

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 200g Grated Carrot
  • 227g Tin of Pineapple Rings, Drained & Chopped
  • Zest of 1 x Orange
  • Zest of 1 x Lemon
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temp
  • 250ml Sunflower Oil

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 250g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 500g Full Fat Cream Cheese *
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract, Optional

For the Decoration

  • Sugar Carrots, Optional

Essential Equipment

  • 2 x 7″ Round Loose Bottomed Cake Tins

* I used Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese. Don’t use a low fat version as it will not hold it’s shape and may become quite wet & sloppy. 

Preheat your oven to 170ºC/Fan 150°C.

Grease the base & sides and line the base of both cake tins.

To make the sponge, sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & brown sugar into either a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer.

Carrot CakeIn a separate large bowl, mix together the grated carrot, chopped pineapple and the zest of the orange & lemon.

Add the eggs in and mix with a fork. Then gradually add the sunflower oil stirring constantly.

Carrot CakeIn thirds, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and, each time, mix only until just blended together.

Carrot CakeDivide the mixture evenly between the two tins and place into the lower section of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Carrot CakeCheck with a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If it has batter on it – it needs longer.

When cooked, allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before removing, peeling off the baking paper and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Whilst the cakes are cooling, lets make the cream cheese frosting.

Either using an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk – beat the butter until really soft and smooth.

Sift in the icing sugar and mix on a low speed to start with. Once there’s not a lot of ‘loose’ icing sugar, increase the speed & mix until soft and smooth.

Carrot CakeAdd in the cream cheese & orange extract (if using.) Continue to mix on a medium speed until you can’t see any more bits of butter and it’s lovely, light & smooth.

Keep covered and chilled until you need it.

Carrot CakeWhen the cakes are completely cooled, level them off with a sharp knife if they ‘domed’ in the middle.

Place the first layer on a cake board.

Load a piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing. (I used a 2D drop flower nozzle which enables you to create the roses.)

Pipe blobs all the way around the outside edge of the bottom layer, then continue with a spiral all the way to the middle.

Don’t worry if it’s not neat – no one is going to see this bit!

Carrot CakeCarefully place the second layer on top – bottom side up. (This will give you a perfectly flat top.)

Working from the outside in, I decided to pipe little roses on the top. (Do this by starting from the middle of the rose and working your way out in a spiral.) You could do whatever you like though.

Carrot CakeAt this point, you could leave it as it is. You could also buy little sugar carrot decorations from a cake shop to place on the top, or even make your own using ready made fondant and food colouring gels. It really is entirely up to you!

Carrot Cake!I usually say to never put cake in the fridge as it dries it out much faster. However, with there always being an exception to the rule – I actually recommend you keep this one in the fridge. The nature of cream cheese frosting is a delicate one to say the least, and the sponge is so moist (with the vegetables/fruit & oil) it will be absolutely fine.

Carrot Cake! Uncle Robert

Carrot Cake! Uncle RobertIt went down a treat with the Birthday Boy and my Aunt Naomi has already asked for one for her Birthday later this year! It’s always a definite hit in my family and a recipe I will continue to make for many years to come. I often find that people turn their noses up at carrot cake without even trying it. Well I implore you, give it a go – it’s not as strange as you think and is genuinely one of the most flavourful cakes you will ever eat. Go on, convert yourself!

And on that note, I bid you farewell until next time my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

Pancake Day & a Judge Giveaway!

Pancakes/Crepes & a Judge Giveaway!

Ok, we’re a few weeks away from one of the best days in the foodie calendar – PANCAKE DAY! This week’s post is super exciting for 2 very good reasons. 1 – There is not just one, but TWO awesome pancake filling recipes to wet your whistle. And 2 – I have teamed up with Judge Cookware to give you lucky lovelies the chance to win every tool you will need to make the perfect pancakes on the day!

Sounds good right? RIGHT! Well let’s get cracking then. Here is what you will need to make the most epic pancakes in the world! (In my opinion obviously…)

For the Pancake Batter

(Makes approx 8 x 17cm Diameter)

  • 100g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk
  • Butter (for cooking fat)

For the Bacon, Cheese & Chive Filling

(Enough for 4 Generously Filled Pancakes)

  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 90g Cream Cheese
  • 4-5 Slice of cooked Smokey Bacon, chopped
  • Fresh Chives, chopped

For the Strawberries & Cream Filling

(Enough for 4 Generously Filled Pancakes)

  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 227g Punnet of Strawberries
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Melted Belgian Chocolate/Icing Sugar, to serve (Optional)

 

Let’s start with the basic pancakes.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt.

Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg.

PancakesMix with a whisk and gradually add in the milk. Keep mixing until all the milk has been used and there are no lumps. It should be the consistency of single cream.

PancakesPour the batter into a jug ready for cooking. (This makes it WAY easier to pour into the pan.)

Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat.

Add in a little butter and allow to melt around the pan. Pour enough batter to cover the bottom, then swill the pan round quickly to even it out.

PancakesAfter a couple of minutes, ‘shake’ the pan to loosen the pancake and lift an edge to see if it’s nice and golden.

If it is, you can either be brave and flip it – or a total wuss like me & use a spatula!

PancakesAllow to cook for another couple of minutes until the other side is nice and golden too. Then either keep warm in some foil or eat straight away with your choice of filling.

Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.

PancakesSpeaking of fillings…

Bacon, Cheese & Chive Filling

Whip the double cream in a large bowl to almost stiff peaks then beat in the cream cheese. Add a little salt for seasoning if you like.

Top Tip! Over whipped the cream so it’s gone grainy? Just add in a little milk and fold through to bring it back.

Divide between your pancakes and top with the chopped bacon & chives.

Pancakes

 

Strawberries & Cream Filling

Whip the double cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl. Then sift in the flour and gently fold through.

Top Tip! Over whipped the cream so it’s gone grainy? Just add in a little milk and fold through to bring it back.

Hull & slice the strawberries and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice & give it a good stir.

Divide the sweetened cream between your pancakes and top with plenty of strawberries.

If you like, you could drizzle over some melted Belgian chocolate & dust with a little icing sugar for a really decadent finish.

PancakesSEE! I told you they were the most epic pancake recipes in the world! Just wait until you try them, oh my word… you won’t look back I promise.

Judge Pancake CompetitionNow, onto the equipment. I’ve gotta’ say – I’m impressed and I think you will be too!

The scales are very lightweight & really slim so take up next to no room in your precious kitchen cupboards. They’re also very accurate – exactly what you want in a set of digital scales.

The mixing bowl is also great. It’s nice and tall meaning you won’t splash your batter all over the place when using the balloon whisk. It’s lightweight too so easy on the wrists – giving you more elbow grease to work that whisk!

The glass jug does exactly what it says on the tin. With the measurements clearly visible on both sides & a comfortable handle, it’s a staple addition to any kitchen.

As for the frying pan and turner (spatula) – these two make very light work of pancake making! The non-stick coating on the pan is absolutely brilliant – not one single pancake stuck. The curved bottom shape also makes it perfect for pancakes allowing you to freely & easily move them without anything getting stuck in edges. The turner was the surprise win for me. It’s heat-resistant nylon end won’t damage the non-stick coating in the pan and it’s literally the perfect shape & size for flipping your pancakes. I will be using these two tools every Shrove Tuesday!

 

Fancy winning the whole kit just in time for the big day?

All you have to do to be in with a chance is one of the following:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason Facebook Page & Judge Cookware Facebook Page – share the photo pinned to the top of the KitchenMason timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @JudgeCookware on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinJudgeKM

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Monday 9th Feb at 7pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter shortly after.

 

Good luck everyone! Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Even at 28 years old I still have to trick myself into eating healthy foods. I’ve dramatically improved over the years but I think a part of me will always be a fussy eater. With me, half the battle was texture & ‘eating with my eyes.’ This unbelievably delicious recipe solves both those problems in one fell swoop!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Seriously, what if I told you that you could get all the above veg into a fussy eater and they wouldn’t even realise? I kid you not! The trick? A food processor. Take out the texture & you are left with a visibly appealing sauce that is jam packed full of the good stuff AND tastes fantastic!

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 generous portions/1.5kg. (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

Top Tip! With it just being me and the Mr, I used 2 portions straight away and froze the rest in freezer bags for a later date.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Peppers, I used 1x Red 1x Yellow
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mushroom Ketchup, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor or Stick Blender
  • Large pot/saucepan with a lid

Firstly, prep your veg.

Slice the onion, celery, leek & carrot into pieces roughly the same size. Core and slice the peppers and set to one side.

Over a medium heat, add the oil into a large lidded pot/saucepan.

Add in the onion, celery, leek & carrots and cook for about 20mins until softened. Stir occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Add in the peppers and cook for a further 10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Tip in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and garlic powder. Generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Pop on the lid and allow to simmer for about 20mins until everything is nice and soft.

Then remove the lid and allow to reduce for 5-10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Lastly, give it all a good stir and leave to cool a little before either blitzing in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!See the difference pureeing can make? If I was still as bad as I was when I was younger – there is no way in hell I would have touched this before it had been through the processor! Now it looks completely unassuming and harmless. See?! A perfectly deceitful way of sneaking veg into those fussy eaters.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!As I recommended before, unless you are cooking for a lot of people anyway – this is a great  recipe to split & store in the freezer for those days when you just can’t be bothered. Making you much less likely to reach for the takeaway menu & far more likely to inject some goodness into you!

Top Tip! If serving with pasta, when warming through the sauce, add a little of the pasta water and stir it through. This will make it lovely and smooth.

In other news, If you weren’t already aware, me and the Mr are expecting our first child in around 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, our wonderful family & friends surprised us with an amazing Baby Shower!

Baby ShowerClearly this (and the large amount of cake!) made us extremely happy! I sincerely feel very lucky & privileged to have such a wonderful bunch of people in my life. Huge thank yous all round to everyone that was involved/attended. My mini KitchenMasonite is already so spoilt and she’s not even arrived yet!

Speaking of cake – I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my Dad. Why you ask? Well, my Dad has never decorated a cake in his entire life but he’s always relished a challenge…

Baby ShowerSeriously, he’s never made a celebration cake before. EVER. How unbelievably awesome is this?! Not only did it look incredible, it tasted incredible too. The vanilla genoise sponge was beautifully soft & light and the buttercream was so smooth – absolutely divine. Move over Mr Kipling, there’s a new cake maker in town!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason