Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Its not you... (and a Grown-Up Eating Weekend... and a Recipe)

...and to be honest, its not really me either. I mean- not my intention that I should get quite behind with posts, not particularly my fault either, eh Blogger?!

Lets not bite the hand that feeds, but it was updating, and unavailable for a few days, and now it appears to have lost lots of my comments, including those I have made on other people's posts, and its no longer my friend :( So sorry if its been unusually quite at We Are Here, and thank you for your lovely comments, whether they are added to the main blog or not- they all come to my email address, and always give me smiles.

Putting the Grumpy Blog Lady part of me to one side now, its been a nice busy few days on the whole.
Where to start?
Well the children were with their dad for a couple of days, so Friday afternoon I went with my lovely fella to have a meal at his friend's house. A three course one no less. It made me feel all grown-up!

Bruschetta with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and basil,
Roast chicken with garlic and rosemary potatoes and carrots,
Eton Mess.


On the Saturday, we went to visit his sister who was doing The Moonwalk that night, on a 'wishing Good Luck' mission, to find that she was cooking a curry dish (King Prawns in a medium curry sauce), to take to the lane behind her house. Theres a wonderful little community spirit, alive and well, in their small corner of the world, and around 12 houses of neighbours get together a few times a year to do a 'bring and share' event. Four long tables were set out, and residents brought a curry dish, a chair, and a plate and cutlery.
There were lots of lovely things to sample, all for a small donation, to raise money for the Church Hall. Our timely impromptu visit meant that we were invited across to join them (the boyfriend being a fairly regular face around the area too...) Wow! Lots of lovely lovely things to try, and everything was homemade: pilau rice, chicken and beef dishes, bombay potatoes... and the puddings, including a 'Sweet Almond Slice', which was stopping eaters in their tracks, from a traditional Indian recipe, which I'm told was devine (I opted for the ice cream because I'm not much of a nut-eater). What a wonderful idea.

Onto another friend's house to watch Eurovision, which was highly entertaining as always!

On Sunday, my fella's mum made us a Tomato Tarte Tatin- something like this, only an Ainsley Hariett version I think. It was beautiful, served with a little salad, and on a warmish-tiredish-Sunday when all that it seems worth doing is relaxing, and watching a bit of Motorbike racing, it filled in the gap between breakfast and dinner. It reminded me of a recipe I used to use a lot, from dear Delia, but I think I'd watched it on the television and re-produced it with a limited choice of ingredients, and with vital components missing. I never looked it up, and I've probably done it differently every time. I'm not really a caramelised onion kinda girl, and when you see that this is the main ingrediant, it sounds a little off-putting... but its definately worth a taste. I used to use ghee instead of butter, and pizza dough instead of pastry sometimes, and I experimented with herbs and spices. The most important thing is the 'slow cooked' taste, and thats so true of tomatoes too. Lots of ingredients in fact- Such a lovely flavour!

Which jogged my memory, and jolted me into action somewhat.This weekend of lovely home-made creations made me feel annoyed at my recent limited cooking repertoire. When we were given some extra (uncooked) chicken fillets for Monday. I was determined not to cube it and stick it in a curry, or a mexican wrap. We looked through the cupboard, and had a look at some recipes for inspiration, and heres what we came up with:

Chicken with Tuscan Beans

2 medium chicken fillets.
2 tbs tomato puree
2 small onions
1 tbs lemon juice
1 whole lemon, sliced
2 cans mixed beans (we used chick peas and butter beans)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, and parsley
1 tsp mixed fajita-type spices
1 jar passatta
3 sploshes of Reggae Reggae sauce

Set Oven to a medium temperature.
Prepare chicken fillets by flattening out a little on a board- They need to be thin and able to 'roll up' with a filling.
Mix in a bowl: tomatoe puree, lemon juice, 3 segments of crushed garlic, fajita spices, and spread evenly over one side of the chicken pieces.
Roll up the chicken, pop into a greased oven dish, and add a chopped onion and a sliced lemon, and some thyme (sprinkle on and around)
Cover the dish in foil, check throughout cooking to make sure it is not drying out, and cook thoroughly for about half an hour.

Onto the beans...

We drained, washed (essential!! Think poisonous if undercooked, and nasty gases if left in their own liquid!) the beans, then gently boiled them in fresh water first.
Fry the onion, and more crushed garlic, and add the pasatta, reggae reggae sauce fresh herbs, simmer then add the beans.
Cook on a low heat (or even transfer to the oven- just make sure its in there a while!) for the duration of the chicken's cooking time, making sure to stir a little (and taste a little, adding this and that) regularly.

Serve up with a glass of something lovely, with some crusty bread and a fresh rocket salad (you'll have to imagine those bits- I was too busy eating to take photos once it was ready!)



  1. oooh, this looks really yum! I had a Eurovision party with the dog, and he slept through it. fun.

  2. So pleased you're back! So happy you were off doing such lovely sociable things! The chicken and tuscan beans looks and sounds delicious! x

  3. Love the exact measurements of 3 sploshes of reggae reggae sauce. xx.

  4. This post has made me HUNGRY! Sounds like a lovely few days x