One of H-for-Husband's "signature" dishes is doing an absolutely cracking Paella - on our Weber kettle BBQ. We have a pan that fits perfectly within the bbq and it produces the most fabulous tasting paella, complete with the lovely crunchy bits on the bottom (hands down the b.e.s.t. bit!)
H has honed the recipe down over many years now and in no time flat, can produce a fabulous dish for 4 or 6 or 10 people - the seafood version is the current favourite (above, with mussles, prawns, white fish and squid).
We hosted some friends recently to farewell a family who are moving to Melbourne and paired the Paella with Vanilla poached Pears - yummmmm!
I don't know about you guys, but my kids definitely get "sandwich fatigue" from time to time (as do I!). This leads to a bit of experimentation - some successful, some not so successful.
One of the hits has been Lasagna Cups. This recipe has been done the rounds of the web for a while now and I can see why - quick, easy and a good mix-up for the lunch box.
Here how we do ours.
1 pack of won-ton wrappers
Left over Spag. Bol. sauce
Get a 12 hole muffin tin and lightly grease.
Line 10 of the holes with a wonton wrapper (wontons usually come in packs of 30 and you need 3 per lasagna cup)
Place a heaped teaspoon of spag.bol. sauce on the wrapper. The sauce should not be over filling the layer or it will squoosh everywhere when cooking. A teaspoon may not look like much when you first put it it, but don't be tempted to over fill!
Repeat so you have two layers of meat. Wet the edge of the wrapper slightly with some water on your finger tip to help the layers seal.
Place the last wrapper on top. Put a teaspoon of ricotta, spreading across the top and sprinkle some grated cheese.
Into an oven at about 180/200 for about 20 mins or until golden on top.
The cooked cups store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
A typical Saturday morning breakfast for us during the winter sports season consists of a pile of hot, buttered toast, an egg (or two) and what the boys call "Italian Sausage" - basically the best pork sausages you can find, cooked off in a pan, add in some sliced onion, fresh oregano, passata and a hearty squeeze of lemon - just the thing little boys need to get them through a couple of hours running around a football field on a chilly winters morning.
But with the football boots put away for another year (phew!) and the mornings turning warmer, we can turn to a lighter, fresher start on a Saturday - hellllllllo summer!
If the wheels are going to fall off around here, it is usually at about 5:55pm. Dinner time for the boys is usually around the 6 to 6:15pm mark, so if things are not going well - peak hunger + tiredness + 3 boy-craziness usually hits just before 6pm.
I have to say the trampoline helps - light & weather allowing, I will usually send them all outside for a quick pre-dinner jump - if the afternoons looniness has been at peak setting some nights will see me eyeing of the wine glass in the cupboard, debating with myself....and then other nights I just say hang it, switch everything off on the stove and go and have a quick jump along with the band of crazies that are my sons.
Something I find myself wondering is how do those "smooth" afternoons happen?
You know the ones.....the ones were no one argues when you ask them to empty out their school bags and put their lunch boxes in the sink....they love their afternoon tea and are over joys with whats planned for dinner....and everyone does their home work when asked.....are they all share and take turns on the computer...and no one hits, or pinches, or pokes, or pulls.
What sort of alchemy produces "those" afternoons, when others can be an utter (to quote my father-in-law) fur-line-ocean-going-disaster from "Good afternoon, how was school today" to "Good night, sleep well"?
Is it routine?
Is it the stars?
I don't know what makes them happen, but I do know that if I worked it out, and bottled it, I would have a darn-sight more pennies in the bank!
You know when you make a recipe for ages, the kids love it, eat it up every time and then somehow, you're not sure how....you just kind of.....forget about it?
What happens there??
Well, the Bacon Bomb is a case in point!
Bacon Bombs were in pretty high rotation a few years back - small & tasty, they were a great "no cutlery" option for the boys, they were quick and easy to prepare and cook and got devoured every time....and then we just sort of....stooped making them.
From memory, they are a twist on a recipe from a Donna Hay Kids edition, but I think she used prosciutto (which I tried the first time, as wasn't such a hit, so I switched it to bacon).
400g mince (pork or pork & veal are good)
Bacon (depending on the size of the rasher, about 4)
breadcrumbs & fresh herbs (for the mince mix)
Combine ingredients for make your preferred mince (I tend to do fresh herbs, a egg, some bread crumbs, a little squirt of tom sauce and sometimes some cooked, diced onion)
Form mince mix into smallish patties, a bit smaller than the size of your palm
Wrap the pattie with a strip of bacon
Cook in non-stick pan over a medium/high heat until golden & crispy (turning once)
Tip: when you first place in the pan, put the patties down on the side where two ends of the bacon fold on each other - this will seal it and you'll then be able to turn without the bacon falling off
Monday: Bacon Bombs (more on these shortly!)
Tuesday: Zucchini Fritters with Bacon and Avo plus coriander/lime/Parmesan corn-on-the-cob
Wednesday: Chicken coconut curry with rice
Thursday: Slow roasted lamb shoulder with veggies
Friday: Easy Peasy
We are two school friends, who after twenty years, find ourselves with 5 sons between us. Separated by many sprawling Sydney suburbs, we catch up on the phone, more often than not the conversation kicks off with "what are you feeding the boys tonight?"