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!

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

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThis is a recipe I have been trying to master for a long time now and I think I’ve finally cracked it! It’s so cheap to make, so easy to make & unbelievably tasty! Have I sold it to you yet? Good! Let’s get started.

Here is what you will need to make enough for approx 6-8 generously sized sandwiches.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Paprika *
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 85g Honey
  • 2 tbsp/30ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1kg Boneless Pork Shoulder Joint (Fat on)

*If you can, use a good quality, smoked paprika – it will make all the difference.

Equipiment

  • Slow Cooker (mine is 3.3 litre)

Let’s start with the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic & thyme.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThen add in the honey, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce & olive oil. Give it all a good mix and set to one side.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkPeel & slice the onion in half then place at the bottom of the slow cooker, face down.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkSlice the pork joint in half and place on top of the onions. (Leave the fat on, it adds a great deal of flavour & is easily removable once cooked.) Then pour over the marinade. Try to cover as much meat as possible – it doesn’t matter if some of it falls to the bottom.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkLastly, pop the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat just falls apart.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkWhen it’s ready. Turn the slow cooker off and transfer the meat to a large bowl.

Remove the fat, then using 2 forks back to back – shred the meat.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDon’t forget about those onions! Take them out, finely dice them (be careful, they’ll be a bit slippy) and add them straight back into the meat.

Then pop the whole lot back into the slow cooker along with those gorgeous juices. Give it a good mix and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkIf there is a little too much juice for your liking – simply put the slow cooker on high but leave the lid off. Cook until it’s the consistency you want (it shouldn’t take too long) and stir occasionally.

Then serve warmed in crusty cobs or mini ciabattas with a generous helping of coleslaw. (Use gluten free is you are coeliac.)

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDidn’t I tell you it was easy? It’s the perfect addition to your summer BBQ. Spend 5 minutes preparing it in the morning then leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. Genius! I guarantee your guests will fall in love with both you and the pork!

Considering how heavenly this is, it really is SO cheap! I had all the spices in my cupboards already and the meat cost me less than £3. Now that’s the kind of maths I like to do. Bargain!

In other news, have I told you about Stellar/James Martin’s new soft grip tools range? No?Stellar James Martin Soft Grip Tools

Stellar James Martin Soft Grip ToolsBefore the cynical among you ask, no they’re not paying me to say this. I genuinely love Stellar cookware and have used their stuff since I’ve ruled my own kitchen! It really is fantastic quality. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from products that come with a lifetime guarantee though would you?

This range is no exception. Their soft grip handles make them extremely comfortable & safe to use. Not to mention how robust they feel in the hand. Just picking them up – you know they’re not the usual cheap cack you get from the supermarkets and that they’re definitely going to last. I for one, will be using them all the time! If you want to know more, check out the Stellar site HERE.

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

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate Orange Easter Biscuits

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsWe’re over half way through the Easter bank holiday weekend but I’m not done baking yet! I had an itch that needed scratching & a new toy to play with so I came up with the idea of these gorgeous little beauties. I’ve recently purchased these cute Biscuit Stamps (which I found at Aldi for £3.99 – bargain!) and I really wanted to give them a try. Plus chocolate orange is one of my all time favourite flavours… any excuse!

So here is what you will need to make approx 25 biscuits

For The Biscuit Dough

  • 250g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Good pinch of Salt
  • 200g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, beaten
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 450g Plain Flour

For The Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150g Milk Chocolate
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Extract (optional)

Equipment

In an electric stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk) beat together the softened butter, the salt & the caster sugar until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes or so.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAdd the egg to the mixture in two halves, mix well after each addition then stir through the orange zest.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsSift in the flour then mix on a slow speed until a dough forms and there is no flour visible in the bowl. (or use a spatula and mix by hand.)

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsInbetween two sheets of baking paper or clingfilm – roll out half the dough to a thickness of 5mm (1/4″) and place in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will make it easier to cut out later and they will hold their shape much better. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough.

When the dough has chilled, remove one half from the fridge and firmly press the stamp into it, repeat until you have covered as much dough as possible.  Then, using a 6cm round cutter, cut out circles around each stamp mark. If necessary, keep re-rolling the dough and repeat until it is all used up. You should get about 25.

Remove the other half of chilled dough from the fridge. This time, don’t stamp them – just cut out plain circles. Again, you should get about 25.

The dough will probably be quite warm and malleable by now so pop the prepared biscuits back into the fridge whilst we preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C and make the filling.

Finely chop the  milk chocolate and place into a large bowl.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsPlace the cream into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Gently bring it just up to boiling point (but don’t actually let it boil) then pour over the top of the chocolate.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAllow to sit for 2 minutes then stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it becomes thick, shiny & smooth. Then mix in the orange extract if using.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAllow to set at room temperature whilst we bake the biscuits.

Place some chilled biscuit circles onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat. Allow about 3cm between each biscuit for spreading.

You will need to bake them in batches but don’t worry, this will allow the ganache time to firm up :)

Bake for approx 12 minutes until just turning golden on the edges. You may need to turn the tray round half way to ensure an even bake.

When cooked, transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsWhen all the biscuits are baked and cooled, it’s time to make some sandwiches!

Load a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle (or just snip the end if you don’t have one) and fill with the ganache filling which should now be firm enough to just hold its shape.

Pipe blobs of the ganache into the centre of the plain biscuits then ‘squash’ down with a stamped biscuit until the filling is pushed to the edges.

Store in a metal tin in a cool, dry place.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsI absolutely adore chocolate orange. When making this ganache I always end up licking the bowl clean. But when it’s spread inbetween some freshly baked orange biscuits? Even better! I actually took some of them into the office and they went down a treat. There wasn’t a single bad word to be said about them, just lots of “Mmmmm!” and “Yummy!” noises.

The biscuit dough can actually be used as a base for other flavours. Simply swap out the orange zest for lets say, 1 tsp of vanilla extract or the zest of 1 lemon. Or even the zest of 2 limes then sandwiched with a white chocolate ganache. Hmmm, I might just try those!

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your Easter holidays my lovelies. Oh, and all those chocolate eggs of course!

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Easter Bakes Recipe Competition

Slow Cooker Tomato Chicken!

Slow Cooker Tomato Chicken!We’re in the frosty grips of winter, there’s tons of Christmas preparations to be done,  parties to attend, cards to be written, shopping to be bought and no time to do it all. So what do we need? Another no fuss, hearty and amazingly delicious slow cooker meal! And it has to be said… this is definitely my favourite so far.

Here is what you will need to feed 2 (easily doubled)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, skinless & boneless
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Jar of Tomato Based Sauce (I used Ragu’s Tomato & Pecorino Cheese Sauce )
  • 6-7 Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g-150g Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, optional to decorate

And before you say it… the jarred sauce? We all need to cheat some times!

Right on with the show.

First thing’s first, season your chicken breasts generously with salt & pepper. Tip half the jar of sauce into the slow cooker and spread along the bottom. Place the chicken breasts on top, add in the cherry tomatoes for good measure then cover with the remaining sauce.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenSlow Cooker Tomato ChickenPop the lid on and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.

See how easy that was?!

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenWhen the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a baking dish and pop the grill on a medium/high heat.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenNow for the beautiful part. Cover it in grated cheddar cheese…

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenPlace it under the grill and wait for the magic to happen.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenCOMMENCE DROOLING! When the cheese is bubbling and golden, sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with some crushed new potatoes doused in olive oil and butter.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenJust look how magnificent it is! That sensual, beautifully melted golden cheese cascading over the sweet, seductive tomato sauce on a juicy chicken breast… *Homer moment*

In all seriousness, this really is so simple to make, incredibly tasty and down right ruddy marvelous! If you find yourself short on time over the festive period, I would definitely dust off your slow cooker and give this one a go.

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason