Caesar Salad.

It’s now the new year, and for me, a fresh start. Last year was an interesting one let’s say, but I have a very good feeling about this year. I’ve set some personal goals, lots of which are related to fitness and health. So I thought what a perfect opportunity to share my favourite go to salad, when I’m feeling super heavy and just ‘ugh’.

I absolutely love this salad because it’s not just delicious, but also my favourite words… quick and easy. It’s bright, light, but stills fills me up the same as a pizza would!

You can be so flexible with this meal as well, you can have it as a side dish, or as a main, which is what I do, but you can change the protein, or the greens, and even the dressing! But I thought I would share my favourite ‘Classic Caesar’ salad.

I also used a store bought dressing because to me this meal is supposed to be easily put together and no stress, but you can make your own dressing if that’s what you’d prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 yellow pepper (or whatever colour you have)
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Caesar dressing (or make your own!)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes to season

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes and place in the oven. Unless you’re using leftover chicken!
  3. Dice your slice of bread into cubes and place in a frying pan of hot butter. Ensure every cube is evenly coated, and season if you wish.
  4. Once the cubes have a crisp coating, place them in the oven. Check on them and toss regularly, remove when golden and crisp and set aside to cool.
  5. Cut your your lettuce or greens of choice, and place in a bowl. Chop your cucumber and pepper and add to the lettuce.
  6. Mix well until combined. Add in your dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Once your chicken breast is cooked, dice it into small chunks and add to your dressed lettuce and combine.
  8. Add in the croutons and Parmesan cheese, mix is gently, and then serve!

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe!

Roast dinners are one of my favourite meals to eat! I look forward to them all week, and as stressful as they are to cook, I love it!

However, a Christmas dinner is very different… it feels like twice the work even when it’s only a couple of extra things to cook! This year, we spent Christmas Day at my parents house, so we had our own little Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve, which was wonderful! There was so much food, but it’s not Christmas unless you can’t move after a meal, is it?!?

This year, I had a chicken roast, and I cooked duck for Joey, both were amazing, and the potatoes were just incredible, so crispy, yet so beautifully fluffy inside! I think I’ve finally nailed a roast dinner! This was the first time I’d ever made Yorkshire puddings and I was so impressed! Normally we just buy the supermarket frozen ones but these were amazing and so so easy to make! What makes it even better and my favourite part, is I didn’t plan on making them, they were a spur of the moment decision, and all the ingredients were staples I already in my cupboard!

The most important trick I found to making sure they puff and rise is to have the heat high, and try (if you can) not the open the oven door! Although I had to open it to keep checking on the rest of the food! I also made these about half an hour in advance so I could time everything else, so I cooked them most of the way, and then just put them back in for roughly 5 minutes to crisp up again just before serving!

I also bought a Yorkshire puddings tin but you can also use a cupcake tin, they will just be a little smaller!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 70g Plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Sunflower oil, using when cooking

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/gas 8
  2. Pour about 3-4mm of the sunflower oil into each hole of your tray and place in the oven to heat up.
  3. Add the eggs and flour into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and all combined.
  4. Slowly add the milk and continue to beat until the mixture is all combined and you have a smooth silky batter. This is when I like to season with a little salt and pepper but that’s totally optional!
  5. Remove the hot tray from the oven and carefully pour the batter evenly into each hole – I find it best to transfer the batter the a jug to help with pouring! Place in the oven.
  6. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden and have puffed up.

Enjoy!

Chloe xx

Make your own Pasta!

Today I’m showing you how to make one of my favourite things… pasta! Pasta is one of my absolute favourite things to eat, and it’s so easy to make! I don’t have a pasta machine… yet, but I love this recipe because you don’t need one. It’s one of those things that feels so rewarding to know you’ve made yourself. Also the dough can be kept in the fridge until the next day if you’d like to prepare in advance, however you can also freeze the dough if you aren’t planning on using right away!

Freezing

  • If you wish to freeze the whole ball of dough, simply wrap in clingfilm, ensuring there is no air trapped inside and lace in the freezer. Make sure to take the dough out of the freezer at least 6 hours before you’re planning to use it and let it defrost on the worktop.
  • It is also very useful to freeze the precut pasta to make life even easier. You can either make the noodles, and cut them to freeze them immediately, or make an extra large batch the next time you make pasta and freeze the excess for another time!

Today I also made my favourite sauce to make this into a meal, which so yummy and easy! Its a multipurpose sauce which I absolutely adore, you can use it for pasta, pizza, bruschetta and so much more! So keep an eye out this week for the recipe!

The key to getting the pasta just right is making sure you roll it super thin and the dough is soft and smooth. It is important to make sure you have enough excess flour to dust the worktop and rolling pin each time to move the pasta dough so it doesn’t stick to the counter.

Ingredients:

  • 375g plain flour ( have extra to dust the worktop)
  • 4 large eggs, AND 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour and add the salt, tip into a mound on the worktop.
  2. Make a large well in the flour and add in the eggs and oil.
  3. Using a fork, whisk the eggs into the flour and keeping so until it starts coming together.
  4. When all of the egg is combined with the flour, use your hands to knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth. The dough may look very wet in certain areas, but the more you knead, it brings it all together.
  5. When the dough is soft and smooth form it into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
  1. Let this rest for at least an hour. This is now when you can refrigerate or freeze the whole ball of dough if you aren’t using immediately.
  2. Flour your worktop and cut the dough into thirds. Begin rolling them out one by one until they are paper thin, this may take a while. If your dough is struggling to keep its shape or keeps ‘snapping back’ just let it rest for an additional 10 minutes and try again.
  3. Once the dough is paper thin, try and fold the dough like an accordion! Make sure to flour each time you fold to prevent it sticking!
  1. Cut along the dough in strips, this forms the linguine! You can let the pasta dry out for 10 minutes if you have time to preserve the texture. This is also when you can freeze the cut pasta for use at a later date.
  1. Whilst the pasta is drying out, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Put the noodles in the boiling water and and cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain and serve with whatever sauce your like, or just butter!

Let me know if you try this recipe, and keep an eye out for my favourite sauce recipe coming later this week!

Chloe