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Posts from the ‘Create Food’ Category

Create Food : Becoming a pastry person

My Grandmother was a pastry person. Even when she went blind she could make, by feel alone, wonderful pies. Every Sunday teatime the family gathered for meat-and-tattie pie, custard pie (the secret to which was, apparently, the now unobtainable ‘steri’ milk), apple pie, rhubarb pie and often a guest pie as well. She was not a cake person. The legend is that even the ducks refused to eat her sponge cake.

And so another childhood myth* became an adult belief of mine: you are either a sponge or a pastry person, the difference being a lot to do with how warm your hands are. I rock sponges. Pastry? Ha! There is a fine line between pastry and homemade play-doh and I seem to cross it everytime. I am a cake person.

Or I was until Tesco’s forced me to rethink. My husband eats neither Christmas pudding or our family fall back Sticky Toffee Pudding ( only ever from this manufacturer). So he gets to pick his own Christmas dinner desert. This year: Bakewell Tart. Only Tesco substituted apple pies. His mouth said,”Apple is fine” but his face said, “Awh, but I wanted Bakewell..”.

So I decided. I believe that in life you can be and do who and what you want to be. You just need to learn how. And if learning how takes a while, then it takes a while and you just have to want to be/ do enough to stick at it. And how hard can becoming a pastry person be? Especially when you don’t tell anyone you are trying and have apple pies as back up?

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(Possibly less than) Ten Minute Dinners

We all have days when we have a jam packed day or simply want to spend all our time on creativity and need to get something tasty and vaguely nutritious on the table in as little time as possible. Here are two extremely speedy ideas:


Bacon pesto pasta


I favour bags of fresh pasta of any kind over the dried variety and they can be cooked from frozen. To add goodness serve with a salad from a bag. To speed up all cooking boil water first in an electric kettle rather than a pan and bring back to the boil.

Both recipes are for two people but easily scale up or down. None involve precise measuring. You don’t have time for that!

Bag 250g fresh pasta

2tbsp – 4 tbsp to taste pesto from a jar

About 6 heaped serving spoons of greek or natural yoghurt

4 rashers bacon

2 portions frozen peas.

1. While boiling the kettle and using scissors, cut two bacon rashers per person into small bite size bits discarding the fat. Put int a frying pan with a small dash of oil and leave to fry.

2. Pour kettle contents into a pan and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for the time on the packet. For fresh usually about four or five minutes

3. Put the peas in a microwave for about two mins. Stir the bacon so it does not stick.

4. When the pasta is done, drain it and return to the pan. Add in the bacon and peas, a big dollop of greek yoghurt and pesto to taste. Stir over the heat until sizzling ( about thirty seconds).

5. Serve.

To extend to a twenty minute or so receipe, replace the bacon with chopped up grilled chicken breast and serve with store bought garlic bread.



Chicken Chow Mein

This is quicker to make than it is to go to the takeaway for it!

2 nests of dried egg noodles

1 packet Blue Dragon chow mein sauce or similar brand

1 large chicken breast

Vegetables. I used a tin of bean shoots, a tin of water chestnuts, a half courgette and an orange bell pepper

1. Boil kettle, transfer water to a pan and bring back to the boil.

2. Heat small dash of oil in a wok or deep frying pan.

3. Quickly open cans and drain contents and chop any other veg. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to wok. After about a minute add all the veg then add the noodles to the boiling water for duration of time on packet instructions. Usually 4 mins or so.

4. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Add the packet sauce.

5. Heat the sauce through for a minute or so. Serve.

Thank you to reader Alison Reeves for this post idea. Please, if you have any requests for posts let me know.


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