Spaghetti Bolognese & SORTEDfood Giveaway!

Spaghetti BologneseSpaghetti bolognese. We all love it but lets be honest, 9 times out of 10 – it comes out of a jar. And I must confess, I’m guilty too. So I went on a mission to find an easy solution, and there was only one place to look, SORTED food!

Over the years they have built up a HUGE recipe archive, a fantastically funny yet informative, step-by-step YouTube channel and even have their own kitchenware! So there was no question they would have an easy peasy & super delicious recipe for spag bol.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to serve 4.

  • 500g Minced Beef
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • Handful of Mushrooms
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Squeeze of Tomato Puree
  • 1 Glass of Red Wine
  • 1 x 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400ml Beef Stock
  • Splash of Milk
  • Splash of Worcester Sauce
  • 400g Spaghetti
  • 80g Parmesan Cheese to serve, Grated

Firstly, prepare your vegetables. Finely dice the onion, celery & carrot. Chop the mushrooms and crush the garlic.

Next, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and  season the beef with salt and pepper. (Before it goes in the pan.)

Add a little olive oil to the pan then fry the mince until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set to one side.

Spaghetti BologneseAdd the onion, celery, carrot & mushrooms to the same pan and fry for a few minutes.

Spaghetti BologneseThen add in the garlic, oregano, tomato puree and red wine. Stir to mix well and simmer for a few minutes to reduce.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseNext, add in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, milk and worcester sauce. Return the mince to the pan, season generously with salt & pepper and simmer over a low heat for a minimum of 1 hour – a few is better.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseWhen you are ready, cook the pasta in generously salted water according to the packet instructions.

Spaghetti BologneseDrain, toss with a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Spaghetti BologneseServe with a big dollop of bolognese and some grated parmesan.

Spaghetti BologneseAnd there you have it! Time, it would seem, does most of the hard work for you in this recipe. It’s not demanding in any way, in fact other than 10 minutes to get it going and cooking pasta at the end, it’s really not that taxing at all! And as for the taste? It’s gorgeous. The red wine adds a deep rich flavour to it and all that (now hidden) veg is great for you and your family! It’s a really good way to get some of the good stuff into those fussy eaters. (Trust me, I was one for years.)

Now, how do you fancy winning yourself some Sorted Food goodies?

I’ve teamed up with Premier Housewares who, alongside the great guys at Sorted Food, have developed a stylish, good quality range of cookware for the aspiring chef!

With everything from aprons to chopping boards, these guys have got all the basics you need for your kitchen.

Among them is a fabulous set of weighing scales…

Sorted FoodAfter using them, the first thing I noticed were that they react much quicker than other digital scales I have used, allowing you to be speedy AND accurate in your kitchen. Also, I like that it doesn’t come with the stereotypical bowl on top. I never use mine as I always just place the bowl or pan I’m using within a recipe on them, creating less pots for me to wash. This way, it also takes up less of your precious cupboard space too, bonus!

Also, a large lidded pan…

Sorted Food

These pans are great. Ceramic coated, aluminium pans that aren’t too heavy or too light – they’re just right. They can be used on all types of hob and have silicone coated handles giving you a good grip!

And lastly, a ‘pop up’ colander & steamer…

Sorted Food

This really is good! It goes completely flat for easy storage & simply pops up when you need to use it. It is great for draining pasta, potatoes or rice & works perfectly as an easy vegetable steamer by simply placing it into a pan, filling with water up to the base of the steamer and hey presto! Pop the lid on the pan – vegetable steamer.

Want to get your greedy mits on all 3 items? Well here’s your chance! The fabulous folks over at Premier Housewares have given me a set worth over £75 for one of you lucky blighters to win!

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance? It’s simple – just one of the following 3 things:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason & Premier Housewares pages on Facebook then share the photo pinned to the top of my timeline

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

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.

 

It really is that easy!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Saturday 8th November at 1pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter afterwards.

Good luck lovelies!

Nutella Cheesecake!

Nutella CheesecakeOk, this recipe is an absolute no brainer. It’s SO freakin’ tasty, ridiculously easy to make and a perfect, make ahead, dinner party recipe. There are literally no bad words to be said about this sensationally simple & delicious dessert. So! Here is what you will need to make 8 generous portions. (Or 4 if you are seriously greedy & pregnant like me hahaha!)

(Adapted from Rasa Malaysia a fabulous blog with loads of great recipes!)

  • 285g Digestive Biscuits
  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 x 400g Jar of Nutella
  • 90g Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 450g Philadelphia Cheese (Original) Room Temp
  • 65g Icing Sugar

Essential Equipment

  • 22cm (8 1/2″) Springform Pan
  • Food Processor

Note – Do NOT use a low fat or cheap version of the cream cheese. Only Philadelphia Original full fat will set properly. Trust me, I’ve tried!

First and foremost, lightly grease and line the base of the springform pan.

Then gently melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.

In a food processor, add the digestive biscuits, the melted butter & 1 tbsp of Nutella. Blitz until it forms a fine, sandy texture.

Nutella CheesecakeAdd in 25g of the chopped hazelnuts & blitz again until it just starts to clump together.

Nutella CheesecakePress the biscuit into the base of the lined tin. Press firmly & smooth out with the back of a metal spoon then place into the fridge whilst we get on with the filling.

Nutella CheesecakeEither in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or a freestanding mixer with the beater attachment – beat the cream cheese & icing sugar until smooth.

Nutella CheesecakeThen add in the remainder of the the Nutella and mix until you can’t see any more white & it’s nice and smooth.

Nutella CheesecakePour the filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth out as best as you can with a spatula.

Nutella CheesecakeSprinkle over the remaining chopped hazelnuts then pop into the fridge to set for a minimum of 4 hours. Overnight is better if you can though.

Nutella CheesecakeAnd that is pretty much it, I told you it was easy!

Nutella CheesecakeIt really is the perfect dinner party dessert. It only takes about 15 minutes to make then the rest of the hard work is down to the fridge. Allowing you to spend more valuable time with your guests, who by the way – will be BEGGING you for the recipe! I mean seriously, who doesn’t like Nutella??

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies – until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Thyme Baked Eggs

Thyme Baked EggsAs I promised on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I finally got round to writing up the recipe for this tasty little creature. It’s honestly one of the nicest breakfasts I’ve had in a long time. (and I go out of my way to eat a lot of nice weekend breakfasts!) The best bit is you can use whatever herb you like. Whether it’s fresh or dry, thyme, basil or chives – it’s bound to be an incredibly simple yet fantastically delicious breakfast!

Here is what you will need to make 1 portion. Obviously you can make as many as you like.

  • 2 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme *
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Eggs

Essential Equipment

  • Ramekin

* If you use a dried herb, use 1 tsp. If you are using fresh herbs, use 2 tsp.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Add the butter to the ramekin and, whilst the oven is preheating, pop it in and allow the butter to melt.

Thyme Baked EggsWhen it’s completely melted, remove from the oven and add in the herbs along with some salt & pepper. Mix it together.

Thyme Baked EggsCrack in both eggs, then top with a little more salt & pepper if you like.

Thyme Baked EggsPlace the ramekin onto a baking tray and place into the preheated oven for approx 12 – 15 mins until the white is cooked but the yolks are still a little runny.

If you like, you can serve with buttered ‘soldiers’ (toast cut into slices) or simply have on it’s own for a gluten free option.

Thyme Baked Eggs

Thyme Baked EggsIt really is that easy! There are so many reasons to make this breakfast. It’s no fuss, it’s cheap and uses whatever you have in your cupboards, the butter stops the ramekin from becoming a cleaning nightmare (as we all know egg can be) and it’s down right bloomin’ delicious! Do I honestly need to give you anymore excuses to try it?

Give it a go next weekend, go on, you know you want to :P

And on that note, I hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies! Until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsOk, I’ve been hammering the sweet tooth a little hard recently. Figured I’d change it up a little bit this week with these scrummy, savoury sensations! For me, rosemary always tastes so homely. Ok, that may sound a little strange but I feel it’s almost like the herb equivalent of that winter ‘sitting in front of the fire with a mug of soup’ feeling. I don’t know what it is but I just love it. Like a herby hug!

Anyway, they’re blooming amazing and obviously you’re gonna have a go at making them because they’re super duper easy & quick!

Here is what you will need to make approx 25 – 30.

(Recipe from the lovely I Bake He Shoots.)

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, Finely Grated
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Finely chop together the rosemary and chilli flakes.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsIn a food processor, add in the flour, butter, cheese, baking powder, salt & herbs.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPulse until it just comes together to form a dough.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsTip the dough out onto a sheet of grease proof or baking paper and knead gently into a log shape.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsUsing the paper as an aid – roll it up into a round log then press the ends in to fill any gaps.

Place this in the freezer for 25 minutes to chill.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsMeanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C & line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone baking sheet.

When the 25 mins are up – remove the dough from the freezer and slice discs approx 3-4mm thick.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPlace the chilled discs onto the baking tray, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading.

Put into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 mins or until just turning golden on the edges.

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsLeave on the tray for a minute or two to harden then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (That should only take about 15 mins.)

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsThese would make great nibbles if you’re having friends over for a few drinks, or the perfect accompaniment to any cheese board! Far better than most crackers you can buy in the shops that’s for sure.

And if you’re worried about the heat of the chilli flakes, it’s not hot I promise. It’s more like a pleasant, gentle warmth in the back of the throat as an after taste. They’re just… well, blinkin’ gorgeous!

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Rocky Road!

Rocky RoadOk, no one wants to put the oven on in the middle of a heat wave – especially me! I don’t do well with heat. Which probably explains how I’ve survived so long – being born and raised in the typically bad weathered UK.

However, this does not take away from the fact that I am always pretty anxious to bake something. So what’s the answer? Rocky Road! Other than melting some chocolate, there is no cooking involved whatsoever but I still get to eat a tasty, indulgent, home made treat at the end of it. Well I say that’s a win. So! Here is what you will need to make approx 8 generously sized pieces.

  • 165g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Milk Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 200g Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows
  • 10 x Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into 6ths (Optional)

Equipiment

  • 18cm x 28cm Baking Tray

First – lightly grease and line the base and two sides of the baking tray. (The overhang will act like a handle making it easier for you to pull out the tray before cutting.)

In a large glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt together the butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate & golden syrup.

Rocky RoadStir until smooth and completely melted then remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Rocky RoadPlace the rich tea biscuits into a large bag. Now for the therapeutic bit – bash the hell out of it with a rolling pin until you get a good mixture of chunky pieces and crumbs.

Back to the chocolate. Pour about 150ml of the mixture into a jug and reserve for later.

Rocky RoadThrow the crushed biscuits & the marshmallows into the bowl with the bulk of the chocolate and mix until everything is completely covered.

Rocky RoadTip the mixture into the prepared baking tray and press down as firmly as you can using the back of a metal spoon.

Then pour over the remaining chocolate and spread around evenly.

Rocky RoadAt this point you can leave it at that and place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set completely.

OR you could make it even more epic by scattering Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over the top, pressing gently then refrigerating in the same way. It’s entirely up to you.

Rocky RoadWhen it’s completely set, remove from the tray using the overhanging baking paper and slice into 8 large pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Well, that’s if you haven’t devoured the lot already!)

Rocky Road

Rocky RoadThere is no treat in the world that is easier to make, I promise! It’s also a perfect recipe to make with your kids while they’re off school and a great way to get them involved in the kitchen.

You could even mix up the recipe by switching out the rich tea biscuits for another biscuit, or adding in some chopped hazelnuts, or even using 400g of white chocolate instead of the milk & dark.

The possibilities are endless but it’s a great ‘throw it together’ no fuss, no bake recipe for you and your family!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s recipe my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsMy favourite biscuit EVER has got to be the Chocolate HobNob. Oaty biscuits are always so satisfyingly crumbly & crunchy, but with chocolate on the top? Hell yes, I’m ON IT!

This incredibly quick & easy recipe will have you joining the HobNobs addiction club in no time. Here is what you will need to make approx 16 sensationally chunky, chocolate dipped, gloriously golden, oaty pieces of heaven.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 125g Self Raising Flour
  • 125g Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 125g Porridge Oats
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g Milk Chocolate, cut into chunks (Optional)
  • 150g Milk Chocolate, for dipping

In a small saucepan over a low-medium heat, melt together the butter and golden syrup.

Set to one side to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats, salt & bicarb.

Chocolate HobNobsAfter cutting the chocolate into chunks – add to the bowl and mix. (You can leave these out if you want to.)

Chocolate HobNobsPour in the cooled butter and mix until everything is evenly distributed and it all comes together.

Chocolate HobNobsDivide the mixture into 16 equal pieces and roll into balls.

Chocolate HobNobsFlatten slightly and place as many as will fit onto a large baking sheet. Allow room in-between for spreading.

I lined mine with a silicone baking mat. In all honesty, it doesn’t really need lining – I tend to just do it out of habit.

Chocolate HobNobsBake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx 16mins until golden.

Turn the tray around half way if your oven doesn’t bake evenly.

Chocolate HobNobsAllow to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes to harden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process for the remaining biscuits.

When the biscuits are all baked and cool, (which won’t take long) melt the 150g of milk chocolate in either the microwave or in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

The next part is up to you. Some would ‘paint’ the chocolate onto the top of each biscuit, I prefer to just dunk half straight into the chocolate and put onto a wire rack over newspaper to set.

Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsTo keep these little beauties nice and crunchy, store in a metal tin lined with baking paper. Preferably at room temperature but if it’s too warm, in the fridge will work just as well.

And there you have it! Told you they were quick & easy to make. Addicted yet??

Hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

 

Back To Basics: Salad

Back To Basics- SaladContrary to popular belief – I do actually try and make an effort to eat well. I can’t live solely on Chocolate Mousse Brownies, Millionaire’s Shortbread & Doughnuts. Despite the fact that I really want to!

Even though I eat far more now than I ever used to, I still have to ‘trick’ myself into eating healthy things. Take this salad for example. It’s seemingly healthy from the outside (not all that appealing to me if I’m honest) but when you look inside? There’s smokey bacon and feta cheese. These two ingredients make anything taste a bazillion times better! Helping me get my “5 a day” (something I find to be unrealistic at best) and making me feel better when I do ram a slice of Ice Cream Cake down my pie hole.

In the spirit of trying to be healthy, here is what you will need to make my “How to train a fussy eater to eat salad” salad.

(Serves 2 as a side for a main course.)

  • 2 Slices Smokey Bacon
  • 1 Whole Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Sweet Bite Pepper (mini pepper)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes or 6-7 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Spring Onions
  • 200g Feta Cheese (I use Apetina)
  • Salt & Pepper

For The Dressing

Back To Basics- SaladFirst up – the bacon.

There are tons of ways to cook bacon but I find this way to be no mess, no fuss & almost embarrassingly easy. Naturally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Line a baking tray with tin foil and lay on the bacon strips.

2. Place the tray onto the middle shelf in a cold oven & turn up the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

3. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, (usually until you can just start to smell it) then turn each slice of bacon over and cook for a further 10mins or so until the fat is crispy. Yeah, non of that god awful stringy fat that a lot of people leave on – crispy. And don’t even think about cutting it off either – that’s where all the flavour is! Crispy.

4. Leave the bacon to one side to cool. When you have done, simply throw away the tin foil & put the baking tray back in the cupboard. No pots to wash either! Win.

Top Tip: When I am making a cooked breakfast on a Sunday morning, which almost always involves bacon, I cook a couple of extra slices in the same way as above. Once they are cooled, I chop them up and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days and then just toss them straight into this salad. Saves time & effort after a days work when, lets face it, we can’t really be bothered to to anything!

Onto the actual salad.

Back To Basics- SaladSlice the whole romaine lettuce into approx 1cm wide strips, then chop a couple of times in the opposite way to make the strips shorter. Dump it all into a large glass/serving bowl.

Slice the sweet bite pepper into small strips.

De-seed the tomatoes and slice the flesh into 1cm pieces. (If using cherry tomatoes, just quarter them & don’t bother de-seeding.)

Trim & slice the spring onions.

Top Tip: Find that you only use a few spring onions and the rest have gone bad by the time you go to use them? Simply trim and slice the whole bunch, allow to dry in the fridge for 20-30 minutes on a plate, then store in the freezer in an airtight plastic tub or plastic bottle. You can use them straight from the freezer in salads. As they’re cut so small, they defrost almost instantly!

Finally, cut the Feta cheese into cubes.

Place all the ingredients into the bowl with the lettuce & season well with salt & pepper.

Back To Basics- SaladTo make the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a small glass or mug, mix together and pour over the salad.

Using two spoons, toss everything together in the bowl to distribute the dressing evenly.

Then serve alongside some sort of chicken or fish, or whatever you like really!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s really not that difficult or expensive to make. And with the added bacon & feta – well, they say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, this is probably the savoury equivalent!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s also a great way to clear out your fridge of all those leftover vegetables you don’t have enough of to do anything with.

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

Miss KitchenMason