Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Domino's Carnivale Pizza Party

As I write this, we have of course been eliminated from the World Cup 2014, after the worst performance in over 50 years.  Having read the title of my blog however, you can probably work out that I am a huge QPR fan, and having gained promotion to the Premiership last Month, via the play-offs, I shall continue to smile this Summer!

We have however been enjoying the Brazil World Cup for other reasons.  Experimenting with International fayre, and the odd Brazilian tipple.  I was therefore delighted to be asked to host a Domino Carnivale Pizza party, to coincide with the England game.

So, friends invited, house decorated, Caipirinha's mixed and Domino's ordered - I love their website where you can track your order through prep to delivery status, the kids were sat watching it progress too and getting very excited!

The new additions to the menu, as part of the Carnivale range include:

Fiesta Pizza - chicken breast strips, red onions, green and red peppers, seasoned with a fajita spice, with a drizzle of Mojito style dressing.

Rio Pizza - Pulled Barbacoa Beef, punched up with a kick of chipotle sauce, red onoins, green and red peppers.

Nachos - with Domino's secret recipe tomato sauce, topped with mozzerella cheese, with or without jalapenos, served with a tangy salsa dip.

Fajita Wedges - the favourite potato wedges baked with fajita seasoning, served with a tangy salsa dip.

We all had a bit of everything and everyone agreed that the spices were just right!  I particularly loved the nachos with jalapenos, and both pizzas were fantastic - it's a shame they may be only appearing for the World Cup?

The kids also had a bit of everything which was a turn up, but I also got them some little choccy bits for afters.

Shame about the result, but we still had a great party, with great company, food and drink :)

For more information you can read the Dominos Blog or follow them on twitter @dominos_uk - a proper account with real people yayyy!

So to France 2016 for the Euros then, Go Engerland and
Come on You Super Hoopserssssssssssssssssssssssss
Annie x

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Portuguese Piri Piri Pork Burger with Aioli

I was very excited to be asked to put together a football themed burger for, and having been given a choice, I chose Portugal as my country to represent.  There are some fab recipes on the page, and I will certainly be having a go at some of the others!

When you think of tastes for Portugal, Piri Piri chilli springs to mind, along with other herbs and spices, and definitely pork over beef,  Also, my lasting memory of Portugal was a garlicky mayonnaise they served with bread with each meal.  So I settled on a Portuguese Piri Piri Pork Burger with Aioli.

Armed with my shopping list I popped down to Waitrose to get said ingredients.  My first problem was that I couldn’t find any Piri Piri chillis.  However, I did find a pre-prepared rub in the Waitrose Cooks’ ingredients” section, which saved me from buying all the spices individually.  I did consider one of the many sauces you can get, but settled on the rub as it had the perfect blend I was looking for. 

I was also going to make my own Aioli, but again Waitrose already produce a garlic mayonnaise, so didn’t feel the need to re-invent the wheel.

Ingredients – makes 4 good size burgers
500g Waitrose lean, minced free range pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 free range egg yolk (we have our own chicken)
2 tsp Piri Piri Rub
(salt and pepper is already incorporated in the rub, so didn’t add any further)
Iceburg lettuce leaves
Vine tomatoes
Crusty rolls
Waitrose Garlic Mayonnaise
Small Portuguese flag – optional!

With your hands, combine the free range pork with the onion, free range egg yolk and Piri Piri rub.  If you’ve time to marinade then I would, but will still taste delicious if not.

When you are ready to cook, pre-heat your grill, or fire up the BBQ, and cook for around 6 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your burger.

Load your roll with the burger, lettuce, tomato and garlic mayo, and serve with some spicy wedges and salad.

Will of course be cheering on England, but will also look out for my new second team Portugal.  For├ža Portugal!!!!!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 26 May 2014

QPR Are Premier League :)

Finally, after a long, hard season, players injuries, and memories of previous years hurt and anger, we are Premier League.

We got through the play offs, drawing with Wigan away, before beating them at home in extra time. That home game was yet another game where we really shouldn't have won, if anything about football was fair, but we won, we pulled out a gritty, fighting spirit, though at the end of the day the score sheet will record 2-1.  I will forever remember the ground rocking, the fans in fine voice, the players determination and ultimately playing for the team.  That huddle...........nuff said!

The club itself has made huge efforts to reconnect with the fans.  A lot of us on twitter have met and have become one great family, and QPR have made sure they are on there too, posting pictures and videos and having live discussions where they listen to us on the phone and on twitter.  After the way previous owners have treated us, it has been brilliant to be listened to and appreciated.  Our new owners are just perfect for us, and admit that we are all learning together, but WeRTogether is what is most important.  The players we have now, and 'Arry, can't speak highly enough of them, and under previous regimes we've not that that.

Even little touches like supplying every single one of us with flags on our seats.  Before, during and after we waved those flags and made so much noise, it was brilliant, and I think it gave our fans an edge. AMAZING! To be honest it felt like a home game, our own fans chanting and our own songs playing - maybe Derby have the same songs I don't know, but it felt good.  We all know that Derby were the better side on the day, using the width and passing well, but we never gave up, even after going down to 10 men, we kept at it, and - as per many a QPR fans dream, Bobby scoring with his sweet left foot on 89 minutes.   There were screams, tears and much jumping and hugging and kissing - bruised and battered but worth every minute.  Then the agony - we'd no idea how much added time, and we battled wave after wave of attack - similar to the end of ET against Wigan - finally the whistle, and the dream came true.............

After the excitement of Wembley, the club were immediately inviting us down to Loftus Road the next day to start the promotion party.   We were allowed in free of charge, and got to see the players and owners and ground staff and it was brilliant.  I even dared go on the pitch, something I've not done since the plastic pitch - I got told off and not dared to venture on since.  Amazing!

Philip Beard told a story about how, after the game at Wembley, he found himself left with the Cup.  He decided taking it on the tube wasn't such a good idea, so he took it onto the coach, only to find that he had inadvertently got onto the Derby coach - priceless!

Uncle Tony gave a great speech to us all, he is such a great man who cares - people who say our club are greedy don't know us at all.  It may be fab to have money but it doesn't maketh the club!  Tony's words about the last time being in the Premiership - "last time we were Virgins, now we are not".  Again, brilliant.

Now I sit here, with my blue hair and blue nails, on my own as the family are in Germany - I was supposed to go but no way I was going to miss this weekend.   I have a smile on my face, and I have Saturday's game playing on a loop in the background.   And I can never be lonely, I just pop over to twitter and chat with da family!  Thank you QPRTwitFam, there's no-one else I'd rather have experienced that with,

Thanks for reading.
Annie x

Photos from left to right
1) Myself, blue hair
2) With the boys 
Barry Cope, Whitey @MatwhiteQPR, Ben Jammin @Ben_Jammin_85 , 
Moisty @MoistStrawberry, Me @annieqpr, Liam Bousfield, Fieldie @TractorBoy1987
Beer courtesy of Lidl, Chips courtesy of McDonalds
3) My right foot
4) Clint Hill lifting the trophy aloft, at the Loft but not in the Loft

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mushroom burger to die for............

I am entering the Betta Living Vegetarian Recipe Competition, with my super Mushroom Burger.

My husband introduced meat free Monday to me.  He often complains since that he would prefer a lamb chop with it, but rules are rules.

If you've never tried the mushroom burger I would urge you to do so, it is so tasty and meaty - ironically - and its a healthy twist on a favourite dish!

Mushroom Burger
Olive oil
Portobella Mushroom
Cream Cheese - I use Philadelphia Light
1 Garlic clove chopped
Roll of choice
Lettuce, tomato etc. or whatever you wish to load it with!

Brush the mushroom all over, lightly, with the oil, and place under a medium grill for 6 minutes each side.   Mix the garlic into 2 tbsp of cream cheese then place the mixture around the stem.   Put mushroom back under the grill for a further 6 minutes and its done.  Load it into a roll, with whatever you like, and enjoy! :)

Thanks for reading
Annie x

Schwartz Chicken Curry Recipe Mix for Slow Cookers

I was asked to review a Recipe Mix for Slow Cookers.  In my head I heard "packet sauce" which is not really my thing, but was willing to give it a try.  It was a real eye opener, as the "sachet" contained all the spices etc. required for a beautiful chicken curry.  Although I have a lot of spices to hand in my cupboard, it was simple, and a great idea to have in reserve.  For 80p (at my local supermarket) Schwarz has saved you the faff of buying in all the spices individually, and requires a lot less storage space too!  It also says mild, but it had enough of a kick to it to satisfy our taste.

1 packet of Schwartz  Slow Cookers Chicken Curry Recipe Mix
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
450g chicken, diced - I used thigh
400g tin chopped tomatoes
175g fresh spinach (I actually used a 200g pack)

1) Place onion, pepper, potatoes and chicken into the slow cooker pot.
2) Mix sachet contents with the chopped tomatoes and add to the slow cooker pot.   Stir through.
3) Cover and cook for up to 4 hours on High, or up to 8 hours on Low, or until meat and potatoes are tender and cooked through.
4) Remove lid, stir spinach through and stand for 5 minutes before serving.

They do say you can brown off the meat first if you like, but I was happy to put mine in knowing that it will be well cooked after 8 hours, and using chicken thigh works perfectly for a slow cooker curry.

Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and obviously made too big a deal of it as the kids, who had already eaten, decided to come and steal some of ours too!

My eyes have been duly opened.   I have also bought a Hot Chilli Con Carne recipe mix to try too - it wasn't required for this post, but after the success of the curry, I'm going to try a few more (it was fab by the way)!

Have also discovered a great new recipe website - you can never have enough right?

Thanks for reading!
Annie x

Disclosure:  This is a featured post, but written by myself after cooking the recipe up yesterday.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Slowcooker Vietnamese Yellow Coconut Chicken Curry.............

I've adapted this from an original recipe, to our taste, and it is so yummy.  As I write this has been cooking for 6 hours and the smells are amazing.............
2 tbsp Groundnut or Sunflower Oil
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Around 500g chicken thigh cut into pieces
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 thin green chillies (seeded if preferred), finely chopped
200ml Coconut Milk (I use reduced fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tbsp Yoghurt (I use Greek 0% fat total)
More yoghurt and chilli powder to serve (optional)
Handful of coriander leaves

I'm going to throw some cauliflower in in a minute too, last time I added 100g of spinach towards the end.....

1) Heat the oil in a pan, add the spring onions, garlic and chicken, and fry, stirring, for 3 minutes.  Tip into the slowcooker.
2) Add the chillies, spices and coconut milk to the pan, and bring to the boil.  Top over the chicken and season to taste.
3) Cover and cook on High for 2-3 Hours or low for 4-6 Hours.
4) Stir in the yoghurt, taste and re-season if necessary.  Serve over rice, with a dollop more of yoghurt and some chilli powder (optional), and coriander leaves - if you remember to buy them!!!!

Just beautiful, we are off to Vietnam in August, and if I find curries like this I will be a happy bunny!
Thanks for reading!
Annie x