Smokey Chilli Beef w/ Cornbread Dumplings

If you have a slow-cooker, then this recipe is perfect and will make your mouth water waiting for that tender meat to touch your lips. If not, then it’s equally as good in the oven or on the hob. You just have to have a little more time to keep an eye on it!

I chose to make this particular recipe because I love meat that falls apart and melts in the mouth, but I also love dumplings! I can pretend I’m eating a cross between bread and cake! The fact that they are cornbread dumplings makes the combination even better. I’m hungry again now…

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I’m distracted now by fluffy dumplings and beef enveloped in rich gravy *drools*

Having friends over for dinner is always the perfect opportunity to show off cooking skills without having to spend hours in the kitchen beforehand or during. Beef in the slow cooker first thing in the morning and then make the dumplings half hour before serving. Dinner is on the table and you’ve only spent 10 minutes away from the chatter and wine drinking.

This isn’t a recipe that I altered much at all. In fact, the only thing I changed was swapping chipotle chillies for regular Tesco ones because I had forgotten to buy any and grabbed an alternative on the way home! I also had to watch the spice levels because I was cooking for a friend who doesn’t like anything hot! I will definitely be making this again and ramping up the heat for more of a traditional chilli kick!

I highly recommend when making the dumplings that you use the strongest cheese possible to really get the flavour through. It’s worth every penny in each cheesy bite.

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Cheesy cornbread with beef gravy, a match made in heaven. There surely can’t be anybody who disagrees? The only problem I had was not putting enough fresh coriander in the mixture as I ran out! This also meant I didn’t have any to garnish the dish with before serving. If you grow it yourself, always check your plant has plenty of leaves!

The recipe is originally from Donna Hay. You can find the recipe here, https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/dinners/smoky-chilli-braised-beef-with-cornbread-dumplings If you are from the UK like myself, just be aware that it is an Australian site, so some of the ingredients vary in name J I have turned to Donna Hay a few times, but it’s thanks to Pinterest (of course) that I came across this dinner party and weekend comfort food gem.

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I know mine doesn’t quite look like the one above, but who’s got time to faff right?!

If using the slow-cooker like I did, follow all the initial steps like you would for the hob/oven, but turn the slow-cooker on to the medium setting for at least 6/7 hours (or until the meat is just firm enough to hold shape when stirred. At this point, I made the dumpling mixture, transferred the beef to an oven proof dish, spooned the dumpling dough on top and put it uncovered in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, so the final magic could happen. Voila.

Served with peas. Delicious. The recipe serves 8 but only one portion was left after 4 hungry adults and a small child had finished! Now that’s a good sign!

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Lovely to see you back again if you are a returning reader! And if this is your first time with me, thank you!

Until next time….

Love and Lemons xxx

https://www.pinterest.com/lemonskitchen/

My name is Emily Chapman…

… It has been 5 minutes since my last pin.

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My addiction doesn’t just appear after a long day at work and I’m trying to wind down. You can find me walking down the corridor at work checking to see if any new pins from followers have appeared. Or eating my breakfast at my desk looking for that night’s dinner inspiration. Even whilst cooking in the evening to see if there are some miracle fitness routines I can try out at the gym the next morning.

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It’s not always about the food. If you have had a sneaky peak, you will see that I love VW campervans, pretty houses, bohemia and much more. My life just seems to revolve around food 70% of the time! That percentage would definitely be higher if I found a job in the food industry! *Any job scouts out there…..?*

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There are worse things I could be hooked on…

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There are lots of exciting recipes lined up for me to sink my teeth in to, and as I am in full swing of my diet and nutrition course, they are going to be healthy! (Mostly!)

Some of the posts to look forward to in the near future include my recipes and outlook on Meat Free Week, which I am currently taking part in! Also, my Smokey chili braised beef with cornbread dumplings. And the kitchen is full of macaron shells ready for the final verdict and reveal at the end of next week!

Happy Tuesday to fellow foodies and Pinsomniacs 🙂

Love and Lemons xxx

https://www.pinterest.com/lemonskitchen/

Bacon & Cheese Twists…

… You can Thank me later 😉

At the beginning of this blog, I did say that healthy recipes would feature heavily. So far this has not happened, and I’m not sorry….

Having a treat should never be looked upon as bad, and you should never feel guilty about it. As long as you are able to stick to a balanced diet with the occasional indulge, there is nothing stopping you from diving in and enjoying some of the wonderful flavours and recipes that are on offer. I will never deny myself of foods I really want to eat. I just make sure that there is a plan for the rest of the week and pack my diet full of beautiful healthy nutrients. It takes a while to get the right balance, but when you have finally cracked it, you’ll never have to say no to that weekend pudding ever again. Don’t give up J And don’t cut things out thinking it will help. A happy relationship with food is healthy! Don’t make yourself miserable.

This leads me on to the mouth-watering, smoked-bacon wrapped, cheesy goodness of the straws I made last week. They had hardly cooled before eager mouths had devoured them and came back asking for more. There have been many requests to make them again, even from people who have just seen photos!

My Cheesy Bacon Straws

My Cheesy Bacon Straws

I only ate the 1… or 2 maybe… Honest! Everything in moderation.

If you have friends popping over last minute, or you don’t want to faff in the kitchen, then these cheese straws are perfect. You can make them well in advance as they keep in an air-tight container for a few days. There is no chance that they will last that long though! I challenge you to still have some left after a couple of hours! Also, if you are looking for a child friendly recipe for your little helpers, these are brilliant because they can get involved and help you create the twists by layering the bacon and cheese and twirling the pastry.

I must warn you, these are not for the light hearted. Be prepared to be whisked to a bacon and cheese smothered paradise from the very first bite. You’ll be inviting people over for dinner, just for the excuse to make these!

My mouth is watering just thinking about these! And I’m doing Meat Free week as well…. (Blog to come later). This is a form of torture.

Even though I found this recipe on Pinterest, I have been following this ladies blog for a while. The food she posts always looks incredible! There is a mix of everything from healthy to indulgent, and her photographs are beautiful! You’ll be seeing a few more recipes coming from this direction in the future. Thank you Half Baked Harvest for introducing me, and now the readers of my blog to Cheese Bacon Twists.

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Let me know if you give these a go! There is no need for me to post any recipe changes because they are perfect just the way the original recipe suggests. I did scatter a few dried chilli flakes in for a little kick!

The cheese I used was Tesco Vintage and the Cayenne pepper was substituted for smoked paprika 🙂

I hope you enjoy just as much as I did!

http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sweet-savory-cheesy-bacon-wrapped-puff-pastry-twist/?utm_source=feedly

Love and Lemons xxx

https://www.pinterest.com/lemonskitchen/

Chocolate, Cranberry and Port Bundt Cake

There didn’t seem a better way to introduce myself than with this flavoursome show stopper, but then I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and had to try again… so another recipe introduced my blog! Practice makes perfect though, so get ready for something truly indulgent and delicious.

This might not look like a masterpiece sitting in the middle of the table, but you’ll never look back once you’ve had a mouthful of the rich, chocolatey goodness.

If you read my opening post, you will know that the purpose of this blog is to share with you my addiction to food on Pinterest and how my life revolves around trying new recipes… And well… Just eating. There will be a mixture of savoury and sweet with a focus around ‘healthier’ food choices (as I am currently studying nutrition/diet/fitness). All recipes will be a result of the hours and hours spent rummaging through boards on Pinterest drooling and pinning the possibilities that are presented to me. I never want to wait… I have an instant need to eat it there and then.

I said the majority of my posts will be showcasing healthier recipes, but why not start with a few things truly decadent.  A Chocolate, Cranberry and Port Bundt Cake, fits the bill perfectly. I came across this recipe whilst browsing during a break at work. I love Port, so the idea of putting it in a cake really appeals to me.

Note: Not all the recipes I test come out exactly how they are supposed to! But I post my version and the original recipe, so you can choose what to follow 🙂 My recipes follow UK baking guidelines and UK available ingredients. Some of the recipes I recreate are American, so little details can alter (like this recipe!)

Credit to Bakers Royale. Without this Blog, I would never have discovered this wonderful and indulgent cake. *floats of into another chocolate and port filled dream world* (Photo above as you have probably guessed, is what lured me into making this cake).

The iPhone photo above makes my cake look irresistible right?! Ha! *rolls eyes* I promise the photos will start to improve once I manage my time better! And have patience to wait till the syrup soaks into the sponge….

The taste was delicious and it went down a treat. The recipe did not fail to deliver as the flavour was incredible. I had to refrain from eating more than my fair share. And I was even requested to make another one for an occasion later in the year.

The issue…. Substituting ‘cake flour’ for ‘self-raising’. In the UK, some of you may or may not know that cake flour isn’t readily available because UK food standards have banned it due to the way it is produced (bleached and heat-treated). As a result of swapping the flours, the texture changed and made the cake crumbly. It was in no way dry because the port reduction made it light and moist, but cutting an even slice like the original recipe photo suggests, became a little impossible. After some research on how to solve this, I realised that I should have used plain flour and not self-raising because the extra agents added in the self-raising made the mixture too delicate. It did firm up the day after though, so if you can hold out (which I found incredibly hard!), you’ll get a firmer, less crumbly cake.

Note: If a recipe states a certain size of egg and/or a particular temperature, always listen because even swapping a large egg for a medium sized one will alter the final result.

On my second attempt, I used plain flour and the texture was perfect. The flavour was more intense too, which is never a bad thing! It is delicious!

The original recipe asks for vegetable oil, but I substituted it for 100% cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Both oils are essentially the same thing but vary in quality. I believe cold-pressed is a purer oil and therefore much better for your digestive system. If you are going to use an oil other than vegetable/rapeseed, I recommend you use something that doesn’t have a dominant flavour. So ideally not olive oil as this will leave a distinctive flavour behind in the cake when cooked.

Nutrition: Rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat and high in mono and poly unsaturated fats, so a great choice over other fats and oils as it can result in lower cholesterol levels.

Apart from the issue with the flour, everything else was perfect. There isn’t any need to buy an expensive bottle of port as it’s the concentrated flavour you rely on once it’s been heated; and you can really taste it in the final product. There might be a few port related posts to follow…

If you would like this recipe converted in to grams and with my alterations, please let me know and I’d be happy to give it to you.

 

From Lemon with Love ❤ xxx

Lamb Burgers with Barley Salad

Lamb Burgers with Feta and Mint Pesto. Accompanied by a Pearl Barley Salad. Delicious!!

There’s nothing I like to do more when I get home from a long day at work, than throwing on my apron and get in the kitchen to cook up a feast. I think this might be the reason that supermodel body is still hanging in the wardrobe…

Having a friend over for the evening is an even bigger excuse to see what delights Pinterest can offer for dinner. I may have used the majority of my lunch break reading recipes I had pinned and deciding what would be suitable for a weekday banquet fit for the royals. It had to be simple but full of flavour, and a fairly quick dish to make so we weren’t eating at 11pm! And wow, I certainly found what I was looking for!

The Greek and Mediterranean cuisines have some of the freshest flavours in their dishes, which is why I turn to this way of eating on a regular basis when I want something that leaves me with a big satisfied grin and a body full of beautiful nourishing nutrients.

I have never made pesto with mint and feta before, so these were completely new flavour pairings to me. I couldn’t wait to dig in and try it drizzled all over a homemade, juicy lamb burger. After one bite, the room went silent and there was no talking until each plate was licked clean with approving faces pleading and hoping there was some left for a second round. A chef can’t get a better compliment than that!

As well as the burgers, I re-created a Pearl Barley Salad from a Pin I have. In order to access the recipe though, I found that you have to have a membership. What do you do in this situation? Get the membership just for that one recipe? Try and find another similar? No, you try and figure out all the ingredients in the dish by staring at the photograph for 5 minutes and use the foodie knowledge you have to guess the other ingredients. It may have been completely off from the original recipe, but who cares, it tasted amazing! (If I do say so myself). This is one recipe I will be making again and again to take for lunches at work. Quick, simple, nutritious, filling and DELICIOUS.

Pearl Barley Salad – Lemon’s Kitchen Style:

– Pearl Barley – 2 cups

– Celery – 1 stick chopped into small chunks

– Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp slightly crushed

– Lamb Stock (I used a Knorr Cube) – Dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

– Water – 5 cups, heated and slowly simmering

– Fresh Coriander – Handful, roughly torn

– Pistachios – Handful, Slightly crushed

– Pomegranate – Seeds from half

– Pepper to taste

Sautee the celery and cumin over a medium heat in a splash of oil (I use Rapeseed) until the celery starts to soften.

Add the barley and stir for a minute until coated oil mixture. Pour in the dissolved lamb stock and simmer, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been soaked up. Add a pinch of pepper to taste. (No salt needs to be added as the stock cube will already be quite salty).

Repeat this with the remaining water by adding a cup at a time until you have reached the desired barley texture. (Some people like it very soft, whereas I still like a bit of firmness). Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of water you are adding as too much will give you a sticky risotto like finish.

Mix through the fresh coriander, serve up and scatter with the pistachios and pomegranate.

Can be eaten hot or cold.

The photo above is the original pin/recipe from ‘Cooked’. Can’t tell the difference right?! Let me know what you think if you give it a go! It can be eaten with a wide variety of additions! Some chargrilled salmon would be a lovely accompaniment! But back to the main attraction… These wonderfully juicy lamb burgers! The recipe uses pitta bread for the ‘bun’, but to spice it up a little, I used sunflower, pumpkin seed and cranberry bread straight from the ovens at Tesco. It really gives a lift to any sandwich! I also didn’t bother to shred the lettuce and just threw it on in leaf form to give a more rustic look to the burger. Just take a look at that….

You can’t tell me you’re not looking at that wishing you were taking a bite right now… (Unless you are a vegetarian of course!)

The pesto can be made to your own specific tastes. As you can see from the original recipe photo below, there is a dominance of feta, whereas in mine, the pesto is a lot smoother and has a lot more mint packed in for a wonderful taste contrast with the lamb. If you would like my pesto recipe, just drop me a comment or message and I’ll add it to the post!

I really do hope you enjoy these just as much as I have 🙂 My end product looked nothing like the photo above, as you have seen, but a worthy adaptation in my opinion. Which one would you choose?!

Love and Lemons xxx

PS. The Williams-Sonoma blog is really worth a look! There are some amazing dishes there to sink your teeth in to! After looking at the desserts for 5 minutes, I need to go and bury my face into a cake full of rich, creamy dark chocolate ganache…

A Tasty Addiction…

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If you’re anything like me, you spend hours scrolling through boards on Pinterest and wishing you were in the virtual world of beautiful houses, gorgeous clothes, toned bodies and DELICIOUS food!

I’ve often passed a whole evening before forgetting that reality exists and drooling over wonderful photographs of mouthwatering recipes, or pretending that I can look like the women showing off their abs. Oh I’ll pin that for later….. Those are the words my boyfriend has heard many times. Or, wow you have to look at this! He’s stopped asking me what I’m looking at when the phone or Ipad appears… which seems to be on an extremely regular basis these days.

Even as I type this, Pinterest is open in a separate tab and I have flicked over twice. Obsessed? Must resist to look again…

Some of my Pinterest Boards

Food Pinterest Boards

Food is a huge passion of mine, so I couldn’t think of a better way to combine 2 interests! I am a firm believer that you always eat with your eyes first, so all the images I pin make your mouth water from the second you lay eyes on them. The angles, the lighting, the layout on the plate…. *sails off into a dream world again*

 If you take the leap and follow me on my journey, then you’re in for a treat! And you may even become an addict yourself!

Check out some of the things you’ll have to look forward to! I can’t wait to get stuck in and experiment with all the flavours and ingredients filling the spaces on my screen… In fact… I’m going to start right now…

Savoury recipes to expectJust some of the recipes to expect

From Lemon with Love xxx