Now I've written about guacamole before; but that was over 4 years ago and my slightly titivated recipe has since become our favorite. There really is no excuse for not making your own guacamole; it's so very easy to make and is nothing like the shop bought pureed green stuff you can buy in a supermarket. What's more, avocado is packed with nutrients - so go on and give it a go!
I've added red pepper as well as tomato since I love the extra bright red the diced pepper adds.
With Christmas and New Year parties coming up impress your guests with your homemade guacamole - Tortilla chips at the ready and dive in!
Okay folks; this is week 2 of a 4 week challenge given to me by Philips which was to swap a weekly takeaway meal every week for a month and to join in the #AirFryerTakeIn
Last week I made Ricotta and Basil Balls which I have to say were really easy to make and oh so good to eat!
Next up I made Mini Chorizo Empanadas which the recipe says are AirFryer Take In calories of 153 per one large empanadas (except they are not large nor are are they meant to be) since they're called 'Mini' compared to a Takeaway of (on average) 245 calories.
The AirFryer works by using very little oil and something called Rapid Air Technology. Rapid Air technology makes the hot air circulate very rapidly around the ingredients in the basket. This heats up the ingredients in the basket from all sides at once, making it a healthy, fast and easy method to prepare tasty food. Food prepared in the Airfryer is crispy on the outside and without being dry on the inside.
Frozen food is a life saver for those busy days when you just don't have time to cook. With the family patiently waiting for dinner to be on the table it's brilliant to be able to open the freezer and gather a few simple ingredients together. Along with a few store cupboard bits and bobs you can produce a tasty and filling quality meal in under 30 minutes - and that's from start to finish!
I hear you saying 'Under 30 minutes; yeah right, with all that chopping involved'?? But it's true, and whats more there's no need for a knife or kitchen scales anywhere in my amazingly simple and easy recipe. No peeling, chopping or weighing ingredients!
Having been asked to take part in the #PowerofFrozen campaign by Iceland Foods I took on their 'Cut the Hassle' recipe challenge and I came up this Spicy Beef & Bean Feast.
By using frozen food products that can be cooked straight from the freezer. There's none of the tedious peeling chopping since it's been done for you! Frozen food is not only convenient, but can actually save you money too; since you only use what you need from the packet and then just pop the rest back into the freezer.
My Spicy Beef can also be easily turned into a quick Chilli con Carne just by serving with rice instead of tortillas. Of course the amount of spiciness depends on your taste, you can add more or less chilli, it's entirely up to you.
Restaurant Bar and Mexican Grill Chiquito have just launched their new and very exciting menu. As this was my first time visiting Chiquito I wasn't sure what to expect; from the minute we walked through the door we were made to feel welcome. The restaurant had a lovely feel about it too and the decor and lighting were perfect.
I found out we were served by Rachael, so a bit shout goes to her as she was really friendly and very knowledgeable, explaining all the new dishes and helped us decide what to have. That said I wasn't there to review the restaurant, only the new menu, and what a tempting and mouthwatering menu it is too.
Although I took photos to share on social media, they certainly didn't do the food justice it deserves therefore the photos in this post have been kindly supplied by Chiquito.
Oh my goodness, the description of every dish on the menu sounded mouthwatering, it was seriously hard to decide what to have since we kinda wanted to try everything and Tex-Mex is my favourite kind of food anyway.
Now without sounding like an advert (that's not my intention) but it has to be said, the World of Flavours cookware range by KitchenCraft is, in my opinion simply stunning.
I love the style and bright colours, just look how good everything looks. Of course the build quality is excellent too.
First up is the Nacho and Dip Serving Dish which of course not only looks good but is practical too and certainly draws attention of guests.
Also part of the range is this gorgeous Burrito Dish - fantastic of course for baked burritos but if you fancy Italian then a nice big lasagne wouldn't look out of place.
I'm loving this Serving Bowl it's available in two colour options - this shown and lime green and turquoise. Please note the colours are exactly like the burrito dish above but since the sun came out when I was taking the picture, for the life of me I couldn't get the colour to show properly!
I wrote before about how easy it is to make your own tortillas with a tortilla press (also by KitchenCraft) and this Ceramic Tortilla Warmer is just the thing to keep them warm without drying out. Now, this can also double as a shallow casserole dish so it's fantastic value for money.
The World of Flavours range isn't all Mexican you can choose from Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, Oriental or Stateside.
Nacho and Dip Serving Bowl: 30cm is dishwasher safe and oven safe to 150C/302F
Burrito Dish: 27cm x 19.5cm x 6cm is dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 220C/428F
Serving Bowl: 18cm x 9.5 cm and is dishwasher and microwave safe
Ceramic Tortilla Warmer/ Casserole Dish: 23cm x 10cm and is dishwasher, fridge, freezer and microwave safe and is oven safe to 220C/428F
To see these and more great products and to find your nearest stockist pop over to KitchenCraft.
Thank you to Sarah at KitchenCraft for sending me these to review.
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
The lovely people at Knorr have just collected First Prize in the Sauce and Seasoning category for this year’s Product of the Year awards for their innovative Flavour Pots. To be honest I'm not at all surprised since flavour pots are a really easy way to infuse your cooking with the flavour
of fresh herbs and spices just by stirring one into your dish whilst cooking. Simple to use and with great results.
Along with some other bloggers we asked to join in the Knorr Flavour Pot – Product of the Year Challenge!
Flour tortillas aren't something I'd ever thought of making since you can buy them in just about every supermarket across the land. Plus I would never have thought I actually could make them look authentic.
So when I was asked if I'd like to review a couple more items from KitchenCraft browsing through their website, I fell in love with this World of Flavours Mexican Ceramic Tortilla Warmer - just look at the colour of this dish it's amazing. Low and behold, displayed right next to it was a Tortilla Press, now I just knew needed one of those too!
Saturday afternoon saw me busy in my kitchen making tortillas and yes out came the mixer!
Brisket of beef is a cheaper cut of meat that requires slow cooking and when I say slow cooked I really mean it! Yes 12 hours in a slow cooker is what's needed to get perfect melt in your mouth beef. I'd never cooked brisket before and fancied it would be rather nice cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce. The result we perfect and well worth the wait.
Once done, simply pile onto soft warm tortillas and top with a corn and black bean salsa.
If you cook a bigger piece of brisket than I did, once cooled it can easily be popped into the freezer making this meal perfect for an informal dinner party with friends or family.
I have to say I quite like the Old El Paso range of products and we particularly like their fajita packet spice mix. Me being me, I can't help but deviate from what you're 'supposed' to do and as the spice mix is included in their fajita meal kit I took it out and dabbled.
I cooked sliced chicken fillets in a little oil in a hot frying pan. The chicken becomes glazed and is smokey and delicious. Add sliced peppers and onions to the pan stirring for a couple of minutes and serve with shredded lettuce, cucumber and top with either soured cream or guacamole then tuck in.
One Pan Rice
Meals 'Chilli and Garlic' for Chicken - all you do is add sliced pepper,
onion and chicken. There's also a Family Friendly, Extra Mild One Pan
Rice Meal too which is great if you don't like it hot!
For a quick and easy meal, tacos or tortillas make a great dinner the whole family will enjoy. But how about holding a Mexican-themed dinner party for family and friends?
Mexican food is vibrant, colourful and tasty and can mostly be prepared in advance. There's no need for any fancy cooking equipment or amazing cooking skills, making it the ideal choice for a fun night in.
Meat, Chicken or Vegetarian?
Minced beef, thinly sliced
beef and chicken are all good choices. For vegetarians or for anyone
wanting to try to eat less meat, Old el Paso
have a seriously great recipe for spicy bean and cheese vegetarian
burger tacos – now how good do they sound?! All you need is their
Stand and Stuff Dinner kit which includes the spice mix. To make the
burgers you just need cheese, breadcrumbs, kidney beans and pinto
beans, red and green bell pepper, an egg and some freshly chopped coriander. Shredded
lettuce is good for serving and the whole meal can be made in 20
Another idea - Quesadillas:
Not only do they look good but they take minutes to make.
your ingredients, chopping and slicing. Pop a soft corn or flour tortilla into a really
hot frying pan and top with your choice of filling. Add another
tortilla on top like a sandwich, turn to cook the other side and serve.
Tortillas, Tacos or Wraps?
A hard decision to make, purely because there are so many choices available in the supermarket these days! Do you fancy crispy crunchy tortillas, flour tortillas, wholewheat tortillas or a lovely soft floury wrap? Fajitas are great and of course you can make them really mild for anyone that’s not too keen on spice and kids love them.
Once you’ve made a choice, you can fill your tacos, tortillas or wraps with meat and vegetables or just veg.
Salads and other bits and bobs:
Sliced bell peppers in any colour you fancy, onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and in my opinion, grated cheese as far as I'm concerned is a must!
Dips, salsas, sour cream and guacamole can be bought from the shop ready prepared.
Tequila sunrise is great since it’s so colourful and of course you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids using pineapple. Or what about Mojito which always goes down well.
Whatever you decide to serve, enjoy your relaxed night in!
Weight Watchers have launched a really good Supper Club app on FaceBook. There's a great range of recipes that are easy to make and don't cost much either but more importantly they are healthy and look delicious too.
The easy to follow Weight Watchers ProPoints plan means that being on a diet doesn't have to mean eating boring food.
It's very easy to browse the recipes - just pop over to the Weight Watchers Supper Club app and at the top of the page select 'Browse Recipes' where you'll find this recipe and many more.
Simply the best guacamole ever - once you make this you will never buy it ready made from a supermarket again. This recipe by Thomasina Miers from her book 'Mexican Food Made Simple' takes minutes to make and tastes amazing.
Flavours of lime and chilli with tomato, red onion are perfectly balanced.
Okay I know this sounds a bit odd, regular chilli made with the usual minced meat, but with the addition of banana, apples and raisins?.....
However, if you saw Thomasina Miers cooking this on her TV series
'Mexican Food made Simple' on Channel 5 then I'm pretty sure you'd want
to make it too. It was totally delicious, very hot but the heat is nicely balanced with the sweetness from the raisins. Yes I will make this again and again.
Ever made too much Chilli con Carne and then wondered what to do with the rest? I always make too much and have come up with all manner of things to do with it!
You can stretch it out further by adding a few other tasty bits and
bobs, such as tomato, spring onion, jalapeno peppers and cheese - you
must have cheese! This particular concoction of mine even uses up the odd tortilla wrap you might have floating about somewhere too!
Please note the serving dish you use must be able to go into the oven.
Eggs cooked in a spicy Mexican style tomato, pepper and bean chilli mixture served in individual bowls. Up to the point before adding the eggs you can make these earlier the same day - ideal if you have guests coming.
Huevos Rancheros is a classic Mexican breakfast dish of which there are many different versions - this is my experiment but it worked!
Crispy crunchy tortillas for dipping and a dollop of soured cream is all that's needed.
Salsa is the perfect side dish to my cheesy topped spicy potato wedges - recipe to follow. Slight cooking involved in this as you have to char your peppers! Roasting them till they're nicely charred results in soft, sweet and delicious peppers.
Of course roasted peppers can be used in whatever else you fancy - you don't have to make salsa with them.
A nice bit of charring going on there, I think you'll agree?
Salsa doesn't need to be really spicy hot - but personally I can't quite see why you wouldn't want it at least a bit spicy.
More economising going on here - I'm getting good at this! As I had some Chilli con Carne left over the other week Quesadillas came to mind. Of course it had been frozen once it was cold, popped it into a plastic tub and into the freezer it went.
So, you can either have the same dinner again a week or so later, only easier than the day you made the chilli.
Or of course, you can think up something else to do with your left over chilli.
For anyone wondering they are pronounced kay-sah-dee-yah
These are so easy to make and the filling can be almost anything you fancy at the time of making them! I chose spicy minced beef, salsa, grated cheese and spring onions. I put some extra bits in a dish - soured cream, some more cheese and salsa, shredded lettuce and some jalapeno peppers and chilies.
First of all - Get your self two frying pans at the ready!
You will need:
500g Minced Beef (buy one with low fat content such as 5% otherwise it will end up oily and horrid) Pack of Soft Floured Tortillas - I like the make 'Discovery'. There are 8 in a pack but I think you only want 6 for this amount of minced beef. 200g jar of Salsa 1 Teaspoon Paprika 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 1/2 a Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 2 Tablespoons of Water Spring Onions - sliced Grated Mature Cheese - a couple of good sized handfuls(sorry I didn't weigh the cheese) A little Vegetable Oil - for frying the tortillas
And any extra bits you fancy, such as soured cream and jalapeno peppers for serving.
How to do it:
Get everything at the ready first! Then fry your minced beef until it's on the way to being nicely browned. Sprinkle over the paprika, cayenne and chili powder. Add the water and give it a good stir. ***Remember you can always add more of the paprika, cayenne pepper and chili but you can't take it away! So go steady with the spices and have a taste.
Once it's cooked and tastes how you want it, turn the heat down really low to keep hot. Put your second frying pan on the heat with a little oil. Add one tortilla and put a third of the minced beef into the center of the tortilla (Or a quarter if you want to use all 8 tortillas).
Put some salsa on top of the beef and then some grated cheese, spring onion and chopped parsley. Now place another tortilla on top of that making a sandwich and press down on it.
After a minute or so the tortilla at the bottom will have started to brown - when it has it's time to turn the whole thing over. Using a pallet knife, place one hand on the tortilla and turn it over. Now cook for another minute or so and turn out onto a plate to cut into quarters. Now do the next one QUICK! Serve immediately.