I love bananas but by the time I try and go through the whole bunch, the last one or two becomes overly ripe. I usually pop them in the freezer to make banana cake at a later time but there is only so many bananas that you want to store in the freezer!
A few weeks ago, I accidentally invented a very simple dairy free banana smoothie and just loved it. I say accidentally because I didn’t know what I was doing and have never tried a smoothie.
Anyway, the recipe is below if you fancy having a go at it:-
Dairy Free Banana Smoothie
1 overly ripe banana
250ml cold dairy free milk (I used Alpro rice milk)
1.Put the banana and the dairy free milk in the blender, blitz well.
2.Pour it into a tall glass and enjoy.
*I have not added any sugar because banana when ripe is usually very sweet.
Recently, I reinvented the traditional corned beef hash. The Mhinisteir loves his corned beef and likes a bit of spicy food too so I decided to combine the two together. Using the ingredients that I already had in the pantry, I created my own version of spicy corned beef hash. I used M&S Prime Corned Beef. According to the Mhinisteir, they are so much better than the average ordinary brand. If you are like many in the country trying to keep your shopping bill down, this recipe might come in handy.
Spicy Corned Beef Hash (serves 2 or a very hungry individual)
M&S Prime Corned Beef, 205g
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger (you can substitute with ground ginger)
1/2tsp grated garlic (you can substitute with garlic granules)
2 birds eye chillies (add more if you like it spicier)
A couple of potatos (cubed)
Salt to season
1 tbs Olive oil
Chopped coriander (optional)
Chop the onions and chillies
Grate the ginger and garlic
Peel and cube the potatoes
Heat the oil in a pan.
Add onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and saute until the onions are soft.
Add potatoes to the pan and stir.
Cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes until they are soft or you can use parboiled potatoes to speed up the process.
Add the corned beef to the pan and mix well.
Season with salt. Please bear in mind that there is already salt in the corned beef.
On Sundays, the Mhinisteir has 2 warm croissants for breakfast instead of his usual soft boiled eggs and porridge.
Until a few weeks ago, his croissants came from Marks and Spencer via Ocado. All I had to do was to warm them up in the oven.
Unfortunately, the M&S croissants are often out of stock and so I have had to find an alternative; that is when I found Picard Frozen Croissants. At Ocado, it costs £3.99 for 8 frozen croissants. You put them in a hot oven at 180c for 18 minutes and voila! you have soft and buttery croissants to enjoy. The Mhinisteir tells me that these croissants taste much better than the M&S croissants. I can’t eat them due to my food intolerance.
As the weather gets colder, you might want to keep a bag in your freezer for that occasional treat.
On Sunday, we had pan fried wild Scottish venison haunch for lunch. As I was preparing the meal, I got transported to Scotland as it usually happens!!!
When we lived in Scotland, we ate a lot of venison as it is my favourite red meat. I prefer it to beef; I don’t like lamb as I find the flavour a bit too strong for me.
At least one of our parishioners was a ghillie (one who attends to deer stalking expeditions) which meant that we always had venison in our freezer! In bygone days when I was fighting fit, we used to entertain quite extensively but strangely, I have never ever served venison to any of my dinner guests.
As a host, I always like to ask guests before hand their likes and dislikes together with their dietary requirements and every single time, I was told that they don’t like to eat bambi!!!!
However, they had no trouble with the Scottish Salmon that I served which has made me wonder how is it that they had no trouble eating nemo but not bambi???😂😂😂
Have you ever used Brillo pads? For the uniniated, Brillo pads are steel wool soap pads. As for those who read the Private Eye, you will know that Andrew Neil of GB news fame is known as Brillo in that magazine!😁
Anyway, coming back to the real Brillo pads, they are used for scouring pots and pans. I have seen them in supermarkets and know what they are but have never used them until last week. My vintage Le Creuset pans were looking tired and needed freshening.
Now that I have used them, I am super impressed with Brillo pads; removing stains from the pan was a doddle and required no elbow grease.
I almost had a kitchen disaster last week while preparing to entertain a senior cleric. Regular readers will observe that these days I am often in the company of senior clerics!!!😀
The Mhinisteir was due to have a meeting with him at the Vicarage and since we all had to eat, we invited him to join us for lunch. I had only seen him from a distance at the cathedral so was delighted when he agreed to join us.
The lunch menu consisted of carrot and coconut soup, roast chicken sandwich, mini blinis with cream cheese and Scottish smoked salmon, chocolate cake and shortbread. All made by own fair hands!
I decided to prepare the soup a day in advance and as I set out my ingredients, I realised I had run out of chicken stock. Thankfully, I had Marigold organic bouillon powder but I had never used it before to make soup as previously I had only used either homemake stock or Kallo organic stock.
As per instructions, I put 4 tablespoons of the bouillon powder in a measuring jug. Just as I was about to pour some boiling water to make up the stock, it dawned on me that I had almost half a tin of bouillon powder in the measuring jug. I thought to myself that surely it can’t be right and decided to read the instructions again. 4 TEASPOONS not tablespoons!!!!! Oh my goodness, what a disaster it would have been!!!
Anyway, the soup turned out beautifully. The lunch too appear to have been a great success based on the thank you note we received.
For 2 weeks in a row, I have had to dump all the milk that the milkman has delivered as they had gone off!
I cannot explain why this is the case. The weather is still warmish so I always leave the cool bag out for the milkman to deposit the milk which he has been doing diligently. I wonder if this has got anything to do with the delivery problem experienced by most of the UK.
It happened again on Monday morning! As most of you know, spoiled milk smells quite nasty! I decided not to report this to milkandmore as it will quite frankly be a waste of my time.
Years of rural living has taught me to always have a UHT whole milk in the cupboard and so that is what I used.
I have a dairy allergy so it is only the Mhinisteir who uses milk. He decided that we should pause our milk delivery until the autumn when the weather will be cooler. He really liked the new organic UHT whole milk that I had bought from Ocado and suggested that we use that for the time being.
A bit more about the organic UHT whole milk. It is called MOO and comes from Devon. The producers have their own cows! How fabulous!
The Mhinisteir and I are often mistaken for vegans or vegetarians. Why? I have no idea!!!
We both eat meat. However, we only buy meat from a butcher and it has to be free range/ organic meat which means our food bill is slightly higher but then we rarely go out to eat.
We both love a good fillet steak. About 12 months ago, I noticed that my butcher in Scotland had started selling centre cut fillet steak, grass fed of course. It is pricier than ordinary fillet steak but the Mhinisteir just loves it.
I like my steak medium while the Mhinisteir loves his cremated!!!
Just before cooking, I rub the steaks with olive oil and season with salt (no pepper!) and pan fry them in a smoky frying pan for 5 minutes on each side. I do not add any oil to the frying pan.
The steaks always turns out wonderful! I serve them with handcut triple cooked chips, tomatoes, mushrooms, salad and peppercorn sauce.
For the first time last month, I tried samphire. I have seen them in supermarkets but wasn’t brave enough to experiment with them. I used to be very adventurous with food in my younger days but these days I prefer to play it safe. Maybe it’s because the Mhinisteir doesn’t like to experiment with new dishes.
The samphire duly arrived with my other groceries from Tesco. The very young delivery driver got quite excited when he saw the samphire. He started giving me advise on how to cook them, not that I asked!!! Anyway, he told me to steam and serve it with a good piece of fillet steak. I already had other plans. I was going to steam it and incorporate it in my pasta with Scottish smoked salmon and that was what I did. It tasted heavenly. By the way, the Mhinisteir had something else to eat!
The delivery driver told me to add rock salt but I didn’t as I read somewhere that samphire is salty.