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Cheesy Chicken with Spinach Lasagna for kids

This dish is great for those stubborn kids (the little sods) who insist they don’t eat vegetables or chicken.  Not only does this ooooooze cheese but has veg hidden deep inside.

* Photo below is the end result after its been in the oven.  I started cutting it into quarters and then realised that I had to take a friggin photo. That’ll teach me to not drink while I cook. Yeh… right.

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Ingredients

  • 9 or 12x dried lasagna (depends if you want to do 3 or 4 layers) 
  • 70g of unsalted butter
  • 5x cloves of minced garlic
  • 1x large onion diced finely
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (sieved)
  • 1x teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups of Chicken stock (I use the organic low-sodium range)
  • 2x cups of Full Fat Milk, or Soya Milk if there is an issue with dairy (one of my kids met have soya)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg plus additional to spindle on top of the lasagne before putting into the oven
  • 8x slices of mozzarella cheese (either ready cut into slices or buy a ball and chop up yourself)
  • 1x cup of grated parmesan
  • 1x teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1x teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Half x teaspoon of Basil
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 3 chicken breasts cooked for a maximum of 5 minutes and diced finely (you don’t want to over cook the chicken otherwise it’ll taste like rubber)
  • 1x bag of frozen spinach (500g)
  • 150g double cream
Directions
  • Preheat the oven (ALWAYS!) before you even start cooking a thing and definitely before you start drinking. Heat to 180 degrees C.
  • Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion in the butter until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook for approx 1-2 minutes more.
  • Add the spinach and keep cooking for another 4-5 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in flour and salt and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  • Mix in the chicken broth and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Keep stiring!
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Season with all the herbs, including ground nutmeg and black pepper.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Add 2x slices of mozzarella cheese, torn apart on top of each layer of pasta sauce.
  • Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the cheese sauce and spindle the finely chopped chicken on top of each layer (sauce, lasagne sheet, more sauce, cheese, chicken… in that order).
  • Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, layer with 1/3 of sauce.
  • Once layered 3 or 4 times, depending on how much pasta you want, add more pasta sauce to the top layer, sprinkle with parmesan, parsley and ground nutmeg.
  • Bake for approx 45 minutes.

* The cheesy Spinach sauce before layering onto pasta sheets.

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* The finely chopped chicken to sprinkle between every layer of lasagna.

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* The final result…

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* And one for the kids…

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END

Drink for Mummy – Triple vodka shot, with fresh orange juice and a dash of Ribena. Tastes fab, Minnie & Mickey approved, and no one will ever know you’re drinking on the job…

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Yummy Potato Pea cakes for the whole family

Now, if like me, you’re slightly obsessed with potatoes (fried, sautéed, mashed, latkes), then you should hopefully enjoy this recipe as much as my kids/Husband did.

I ate about 65 of these while making the damn things but they are sooo worth it.

Skill level: Even the laziest, stupidest, dumbest cook in the world should manage these yummy things.

Makes approx 20-25 cakes depending on how big you want them.

* Photo below is of the finished version.

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Ingredients

  • Big bag of frozen peas (500g). Take these out of the freezer before you start cooking so they defrost a little.
  • Garlic cloves x4 – minced.
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour (sieved).
  • Onion x1 – diced finely.
  • Vegetable oil – 1-2 tablespoons depending on how big or small your batch of pea cakes are.
  • Potatoes – 5x large King Edwards or whatever you can get your hands on, cut into cubes. This is to be mashed.
  • 1 cup of Gouda or cheddar cheese.  This is optional but made mine taste fabulous.
  • 3x large eggs.
  • 1 teaspoon of butter.
  • Dried or fresh parsley x half a teaspoon for dried, 1x teaspoon for fresh.

Directions

  • Put the potato cubes into boiling water (approx 4 cups of water) and cook until tender.  It should take around 15 minutes.
  • While this is cooking, put the butter in a separate frying pan and once it starts melting, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until it all starts to turn a nice golden brown. Approx 6 minutes, then add the parsley and take off the heat.
  • Add the peas to the now soft potato and cook for an additional 5 minutes so it is all mixed together.
  • Add the cooked onion/garlic mix to the potato/pea mix.
  • I then pureed the whole lot with my handheld blender as my kids HATE peas (or anything that resembles a vegetable. Little do they know they eat them the whole time).
  • Once pureed (takes approx 1 min), I add the eggs, flour, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, pinch of ground black pepper and mixed everything together.  If you want to add cheese, this is the time to add it to the mix!  If the mixture seems to soft, add a little more flour.
  • Wet your hands with some water and start making pea cakes, big or small (I made lots of small ones which were eaten in a millisecond). I lined a couple of big plates with baking paper and once the cakes were shaped, then could go into the pan.  Word to the wise, sprinkle a little bit of flour onto the baking paper first so the cakes don’t stick to it when you want to pick them up and cook them. If you have lots of cakes to cook, place one batch in the fridge while you cook the others.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and start to cook the cakes over a medium heat. Remember to do it in batches so they don’t stick together. If you’re not a fan of vegetable oil, use coconut oil or anything else that works for you.  The pan has to be oily in order to fry the cakes. * See photo below.

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  • Cook for approx 5 minutes or until golden. When cooked, place on kitchen tissue to drain any excess oil.  Serve with Mustard mayonnaise (mayo mixed with a little bit of Dijon), Ketchup or any other sauce your kids like.

Voila!! Now go get yourself a big glass of Vodka you sexy bitch..

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The best meatballs and tomato sauce recipe…. ever!

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Ingredients

  • ground mince beef (approx 500g) BUT the more meat… the merrier is my lingo!
  • 5 cloves garlic mince
  • 1x onion chopped finely
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan (add 1/2 cup more if you love cheese… it won’t hurt!!)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (dried
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (best you can shop buy unless you want to make your own…. I’m not even going to bother explaining how to do that in this recipe)
  • 2 cups water (freshly boiled)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste …liberally

Tomato Sauce:

  • Cooking time – 3 minutes maximum.
  • 400g chopped tin tomatoes
  • a big bottle of Tomato/garlic sauce (Dolmion/ragu/whatever label)
  • 1 onion finely diced and chopped so you can’t even see it! Fry this with a dab of olive oil and then add the garlic below for 2/3 minutes maximum.
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed and cooked for a few minutes with the onion.

How to cook:-

  • I personally like to fry the onion for approx 3 minutes until they are golden brown then add the garlic for less than 2 minutes under a mild heat.  Then take off the heat when all is golden and once cooled down mix with everything below.
  • mix the meat, herbs, seasoning, parmesan, breadcrumbs and onion/garlic in a bowl. Wrap into balls, the size of a ping pong ball.
  • Put in the fridge for ideally 30 minutes so they set a little.
  • Take meatballs out and place into pre heated oven at 200 degrees for max of 12 minutes or until they look a LITTLE bit brown but not crazy “I can’t cook” cooked (you don’t want to over cook!!!) ** Photo below is of pre-cooked rolled balls…

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  • Then you add the BALLS to your tomato sauce which is made up of tomatoes from a can (yes, I didn’t stand there, crushing them with my feet), also a bottle of tomato sauce you cheat with to make lasagne sauce (or any sauce with tomato and garlic ideally) and cooked onion and always garlic extra (2 more crushed cloves).
  • Photo below of cooked meatballs after being in the oven for approx 12-15 minutes at 180-200 degrees. Check the power of your ovens as some are better/stronger/wiser than others.

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  • Photo above of tomato sauce and meatballs BEFORE they mix!
  • Let it all simmer for approx 30/40 mins on a low heat, in a huge dish and then serve that amazing food with pasta, bread or just put on a stick (the only way I could get my 3 year olds to eat the stuff!).

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It tastes amazeballs and was eaten in under 5 minutes in our house (that’s including my 3 year old daughter who keeps telling us she doesn’t “eat meat” & The Captain who “hates the bolognaise sauce”.  He loved this so I clearly did something right…aside from give him three children, convert to Judaism, move to HK, accept his shit…. the list is endless really. He struck gold with this cookie to be fair…. ).

Anyhow…. enjoy the recipe x

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Bored

Im bored.

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This is my brief blog this week.

BOREDOM. BORED BORED BORED.

CANT DRINK.

BOREDOM.

For those internet trolls with nothing else to do but attack women…..GET A LIFE.  You’re vile, sexually aggressive comments, are a sexual, odd.  wierd gesture, which we will ensure we send on to your mama and the Police. No doubt you have records long enough to feed people.

Attacking NON DRINKERS is BORING. YES I SAID IT. I know it sounds bad AND I know I will be attacked by internet trolls for the comment but, IT IS BORING!!! PS.  For you trolls who LOVE to attack people like me (especially women on the internet….weirdoes) …get over yourself.  I can say what the fuck I want.  this is MY site.  If you don’t like it… FUCK OFF!!!  You are apparently over 18 years old so deal with it. Wierdos. Don’t read my site.

IM NOT DRINKING AND IM BORING THE SHIT OUT OF MYSELF!!!  ITS SOOOOO BORING NOT DRINKING. BORING. I can barely leave the house in case I inhale fumes which may tempt me to my nearest bar.

I am going through a period of boredom, and slight, I have to admit, annoyance with my kids, and anyone else’s that get in my way.  Again this is due to being sober……  They no longer do what I friggin want them to do and also have discovered how to hurt my feelings in the process (sods).

For example, my three year old turned around and told me she didn’t want me but Daddy to sit with her at dinner (unbeknownst to her that The Captain has the patience of a one day old puppy)  While he sat there screaming back and forth that plastic dolphins don’t fly and Mickey Mouse is in fact NOT real (yes, he also told them Christmas is bullshit)…..I walked away to continue with my food fest…

I had already spent hours in the kitchen cooking them fabulous food, and my 3 year old who is no longer a cutie pie but now a judgemental/arsewipe, 3 year old decided “I DONT LIKE CHICKEN”….. despite eating it earlier that day.  Because the display was different, this seemed to throw her off on her food. Then, my son decided to spit his food out as he chews it, so he had a pile of what was delicious  chicken splatted all across the floor..  Its at this point that I MUST leave the room before I go insane after having cooked for ages with a few different dishes to inspire them, and stab myself with a spoon (plastic kid friendly one from Ikea).

I take the kids to school. Come home and cook a lovely new dish daily, then head off to the gym to work off those post twins juggle belly hideous skin syndrome (plus ONE, as I now have three kids under 3), then collect the monkies from school while they scream at me continuously that one or, the other, is touching their car seat and why oh why isn’t the music louder?

By the time I walk through the front door of my home at 11.34am….. Im ready for a shot of vodka or a mass gym session.  So far Ive gone to the gym 5 times this week….. to escape the continues moaning of my 3 year olds.  It’s exhausting to take daily. AND, yes…. spoilt me…. I have help.

Today….. it was raining and everyone was tired or hung over (*Captain included) that I decided to cook while eyeing up a bottle of red Shiraz from Margaret River.  When the house is quiet…. and I’m left to my own devices…. I cook like a friggin happy demon…… recipes to follow soon (Spaghetti meatballs), prawn curry with brown rice, chicken roulette stuffed with spinach and parmesan and gouda….pork belly with roast potatoes, Stuffed potatoes with chives…. the list is endless and due soon.

In the meantime…. look at what I found in Watsons recently…..”Lamb placenta?”  WTF?

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Jewish Chicken soup…. because I’m a Jew in’it….

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So… I was told, being a previous “goy” or “persian shiksa”,  that to make a great chicken soup was like meeting your maker.  This was the ultimate ritual in gaining acceptance and respect within my husbands Jewish family (he lied to be fair as his family loves me and it was really just him doing yet another little “test” to see if I was worthy of his hand in marriage because he’s a meshugener (yes… arsehole).

So… in my attempt to become the ultimate Baleboosteh (“Mistress of the house. A compliment to someone who is a terrific housekeeper. “She is some baleboosteh!”)…. I decided to do some kick arse home cooking once again.  Plus I love to fucking show off so it didn’t really bother me. Oy Vey!

Anyhow back to the story…when I finally converted to Judaism (you know…. because I wanted the wedding ring, and kinda fancied our 66-year-old Rabbi who looks remarkably like the dark-haired guy with big lips from Flight of the Concords), that Jewish Chicken soup recipe was hanging over my shoulders like a bitch on heat.

I mean this soup, compared to normal chicken  soup or carrot & coriander, is like “penicillin with magical wonders and matzo balls that add some form of wisdom”.

So…. on my quest to make the ULTIMATE soup that made his whole family scream “Oy Vey this bitch is now part of our people”, that not only kicked my Mother-in-laws-ass (I like her BTW….gulp) the soup of all soups to show every other chicken soup… I decided to attempt to find out what was the cause of so much friday night “mishegas” (google the word because I’m still new to yiddish, 8 years later).

Heres what I discovered (aside from the fact that Im a fucking brilliant cook when I’m in the mood)

Skill level : If you can read a recipe & have a pulse, you can make this soup. BUT, you must pay attention to the seasoning AND the Matzo balls.  Also, keep an eye on your kitchen door as I noticed Matzo balls disappearing as I cooked them which made me concerned that maybe I had consumed more alcohol than usual.  Turns out, The Captains a fat bastard and likes these more than strippers on a friday night.

So…here we go BUT before you read on, I MUST advise you.  Just because i SAY this is the best chicken soup in the whole wide world does not mean I am open for any court judgements or libel claims in relation to my statements.  I am just stating this MAY be the best chicken soup in the world.  Get over it and now go cook the damn thing for your family.  If your husbands an arsehole, I suggest adding extra arsenic or some Xanax just to keep things mellow on a Friday night Shabbat dinner. JOKE.

HOW TO COOK THE BEST CHICKEN SOUP:

Ingredients for chicken soup:

  • 8 chicken legs /thighs/shoulders OR 3 whole chickens if you are making 3 big tubs of soup to freeze
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • bunch of fresh dill (or dry)
  • bunch of celery chopped into cubes
  • 2 bags of carrots (approx lbs chopped)
  • 7-10 parsnips washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1x huge turnip
  • 4x large cartons of organic chicken broth
  • 5-6 chicken cubes stock idea;;y organic
  • lots of water (approx one ltr)

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Directions on How to cook Chicken soup:

  •  Put the washed chicken legs, thighs body etc into 2 or 3 big pots, depending on how much you want to make.  My ingredients are enough to feed 12 people happily on a raucous friday night dinner.
  • Cover the chicken with water and salt, 3/4 full in the pot.  You need to leave space to add vegetables.
  • Bring the cooking chicken to the boil over a high heat and keep skimming off the foam (fat) into a separate bowl.
  • Add pepper, parsley, dill and celery to the cooking pots.
  • Cut all the carrots, onions, parsnips and turnip into chunks and put into the soup.
  • Boil all the ingredients for over 3 hours ideally. Add extra water if needed and keep skimming fat off the top of the soup.
  • Add 5-6 chicken Oxo cubes and 4 containers of organic free range chicken broth to all the pots.
  • After cooking, turn off the heat and sieve all the soup through a colander into a big bowl leaving behind all the yummy vegetables and chicken.  Now these leftovers can be put back into the soup although bear in mind most of their goodness is already in the water of the soup.  I sometimes make a chicken and vegetable pie from the leftovers which the kids love.
  • After sieving all the soup into a big bowl, the stock goes back into the soup pot with a handful of added lockshen (very thin noodles)
  • Bring the soup back to a boil and add some of the deboned chicken and vegetables for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Check seasoning and add more Salt & pepper if needed.
  • Add the matzo balls (cooked in the fat & soup mixture) which will only take approx 10 minutes to cook.

The soup is ready top go. Shalom and enjoy!

* A word to the wise… When you have small children, keep the soup traditional and as empty of the chunky veg as you can (unless your kids genuinely like lumps of carrot & onion, then knock yourself out).

Photo below is a mix of Skimmed chicken fat & clear soup to cook the matzo balls in.

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Photo below of Soup with the frothy fat that needs to be skimmed off.

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Left over Vegetables below to either return all to the soup, OR, add half to the soup OR all to a vegetable pie instead. Up to you.

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Clear chicken soup below without any vegetables or matzo balls.  My kids love it pure like this and my 11 month old has this with her rice.  Its full of vegetable and chicken broth.

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Is that a heart-shaped Matzo ball i see below me!?  Well yes it is…. because I’m fucking fabulous… plus it was the only way I could get my 3-year-old to eat one!

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The infamous home cookbook below….. if I lost this… The Captain would be screwed as it holds all my new Jew Crew recipes.

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The end result….. 3 large pots of chicken soup ready to freeze for any colds/coughs/hangovers/”I need soup” days etc….. just call me Aunt Ethel

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Ingredients for Matzo Balls:

1. 4-6 tbsps melted chicken fat skimmed from the soup

2. 4x  large eggs

3. 1 cup of matzo meal (add 1/4 more for matzo balls and a 1/4 less for airy.

4. 1 tbsp salt.

5. 4-5 tbsp of soup stock

To cook 10-12 the Matzo balls:

  • Beat eggs slightly with a whisk then add chicken fat to the mix and keep stirring.
  • Add the Matzo meal & salt.  Mix Well.
  • Add soup stock and mix.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or more preferably.
  • Matzo balls rolled with wet hands and placed on cooking paper, covered with cling film to cool for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
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  • Approx one hour before the soup is served, make little matzo balls by scooping a teaspoons worth into your wet palms and rolling them into a ball.  If your hands are wet tho swill make it easier to roll and less sticky.
  • You can then refrigerate them or put them straight into a pot of boiling chicken fat and soup combo to cook for approx 10 minutes.

Photo below of Matzo Balls cooking in at least 1 &  1/2 pints of chicken soup & fat.  Add more liquid if necessary.

IMG_0933** NB.  You can also make these balls and then put them in the freezer with a batch of chicken soup.  I tend to line a strong Tupperware box and layer out approx 10 matzo balls on each level.  They are easy to cook from frozen.

ps.  The photo at the top of Mickey & Minnie fornicating was thrown in for the hell of it…..

Easy Cheesy Veggie Lasagna

Four Cheese Lazy lasagna 

As some of you guys know, my kids are a pain in the arsehole when it comes to food. I find it even more infuriating than most as my Dad was a Chef who was passionate about food, and the Captain and I love food so much we would actually have sex with it, if we could.

So… on this basis, and off the back of my little monkeys still not eating their veggies … I’ve got creative once again, while swigging a very large bottle of Pinot Grigio (I can’t cook without a drink).

This recipe is enough for 6 grown adults and/OR 12 little people.

Ingredients:

  • One 250g pack of mild blue cheese
  • One 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese
  • One cup of Cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 lb of shredded Mozzarella
  • 250g Cream Cheese (Philadelphia was my preference)
  • Ix large onion
  • 5x chopped garlic bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley
  • Up to 12 sheets of dry lasagne
  • 4 Cups of Tomato sauce (shop bought for lazy me, so that was actually 2 bottles of Dolmio sauce with basil)
  • One huge pack (approx) 700g of mixed Frozen organic Vegetables
  • 75g butter (or 3 massive spoonfuls)

For the white sauce:

  • 4 cups of full fat milk
  • 500g double cream
  • 1 tablespoons of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 6 tablespoons of plain white flour (or brown) sieved through before adding to milk
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Cooking Method:

  1. Get the oven heated up to 220 degrees while you’re cooking away.  Put all your onions and garlic into a massive pot and start cooking those first with 3 generous nobs of butter (unsalted) until they’re golden brown.
  2. Once golden brown (after approx 5 minutes), add the frozen vegetable and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Hopefully you were clever enough to have taken the pack out of the freezer at least 45 minutes before so they had defrosted a little.

3. Once you’ve mixed and cooked, add the tomato sauce and stir for another 2 minutes.  Then take off the heat.

4. Get out your blender and puree all the vegetables and sauce until it resembles shit after a heavy night out on the town (yes, literally).

5. Once pureed (my kids won’t eat any vegetables if they know about it so I hide all their veg in most dishes), put aside the veggie tomato sauce and start on your white sauce.

6. Pour the milk, ground nutmeg, double cream and parsley into a pan and start heating up for approx 2 minutes.  Then start adding the  flour through a sieve to stop lumps and keep mixing throughout.  Give it another 3-5 minutes and once everything is mixed (add a longer   timescale if it’s not), then add the parmesan, cream cheese & blue cheese and cook for another 4/5 minutes.

7. Once the white sauce is ready, get a huge oven dish and start layering the vegetable sauce on the bottom (exactly like you would with a normal meat lasagna). Then add a sheet of dry lasagna, more vegetable sauce & a ladle of the white sauce around the edges. While doing this, also start adding shredded mozzarella cheese between each layer.  Yes, its very cheesy but it tastes sooo good!!  So for you idiots out there who simply don’t get it… (a) vegetable sauce (B) ladle of white sauce spread around the edges and, (c) then shredded mozzarella on the veg sauce before adding another sheet of lasagne, (d) start the process all over again.

8.  Once all the sauce is used up (ensure you have enough white sauce left for the very top layer though), put your final sheets of lasagna on top, spread white sauce over it and sprinkle with parmesan and any remaining mozzarella. Also sprinkle some ground nutmeg across the top and some parsley.

9. Pop the dish into the oven at 180 degrees for approx 45/50 minutes (or until golden brown).  See finished dish below……this is friggin delicious!!!

I promise you, the kids will love this and so will any adult who’s a cheese or pasta lover (and doesn’t have issues with calories).  As theres so much of this pasta leftover, I tend to cut it into portions and freeze the remainder.

Now for your prize below……. Job well done Mamma!

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 225g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3x eggs
  • 300g sugar
  • 300ml organic vegetable oil
  • 1 vanilla pod (scrape insides out)
  • 225g courgettes grated (approx 1 very large courgette)
HOW TO COOK
  1. Preheat your oven (ALWAYS!!!) to approx 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a loaf tin with a tiny amount of olive oil (put some on a thick kitchen tissue and rub it all over the base and sides of the tin) & sieve some flour to coat all sides.  This will ensure the bread doesn’t stick to your tin.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder, cinnamon, ground nutmeg & salt all into a large mixing bowl.  Stir all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and then your wooden spoon, stir in your oil, vanilla and courgette.
  5. Add the flour mix and stir until everything is combined but try not to over mix it!
  6. Pour the batter into your baking tray and cook for approx 1 hour 10 minutes.  If you have a strong oven, you may only need a maximum of 55-60 minutes.  Bake in the middle of the oven (never on the top shelf). To make sure the bread is cooked through, use a toothpick in the middle of it.  If the toothpick comes out clear (not sticky), you know your bread is ready.
  7. Once you have taken the bread out of the oven, let it cool for another 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack.

Job done.  If you can’t make this, then there is no hope for you and you’re clearly an idiot.

One word of caution. This bread can feel oily so if you don’t like it to be too moist, cut back on the amount of oil you use.  I also went organic with all the ingredients and my twins love this bread!  Yes, yes…. I’m fabulous.