Wednesday, 4 February 2015

In My Kitchen: Trying Something New

Joe and I are definitely creatures of habit. We love to cook and experiment - Joe's entries for the Great Swift Bake Off could be taken as proof of that - but when it comes to our everyday dinner we end up eating the same things over and over again. They're good things, we're not denying that; actually, it depends on your definition of good. All are tasty, not all are healthy!

This year we've decided we're going to cook more new recipes (note that: we are going to cook more new recipes). In January we managed that three times, enjoying spanish meatballs, Thai prawn, ginger and spring onion stir-fry and spiced chicken, roasted pepper and hummus flatbread wraps.

The meatballs were a definite hit. I always like the thought of meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, but often find the result a bit dry and bland. The use of the olives in these, along with a packet of well seasoned crackers instead of breadcrumbs (though not M&S for us) meant that they were neither. Hopefully these might make a regular feature. Unfortunately we weren't quick enough with the photos for this one.




The stir-fry wasn't quite such a success, though was better on the second night when the marinade had time to sit for a while so that might be the answer.The prawns themselves had good punch of flavour which promised well. the rest just needs a little tweaking to help it along.




As always we employed our bread machine to take care of the mixing and kneading with the flatbreads needed for our final recipe. We left the dough to prove for a couple of hours as Rosie recommends before ignoring her instructions and rolling them out with a rolling pin! We also added a tin of chickpeas to the chicken and peppers to be roasted off in the oven which works well. The only thing that could have improved this recipe would have been fresh summer salad leaves - but that simply means we'll be giving it another go in a few months.




Linking in with In My Kitchen run by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial


22 comments:

  1. Yum, I particularly like the sound of the spiced chicken flat bread. My bread machine has come to the end of its life so I will have to invest in another. I always used to use it for dough for rolls, flat breads etc. x

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    1. We love ours for turning out all sorts of dough, as well as proper loaves for packed lunches. We'd be lost without it now. The flat breads were rather tasty, and in the bread machine hardly any effort at all, just a bit of time to roll them out and cook them.

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  2. My breadmaker went to the great breadmakers in the sky a while back and I've never replaced it. That said I don't bake much these days but could have done with it at the weekend that's for sure the bingo wings got a definite work out when I was kneading bread by hand, where's Paul Hollywood when you need him. Both meals look delicious I get bored very easily with food and it's nice to try something a little different once in a while.

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    1. Kneading is definitely a good work out, maybe I should turn out the dough a little sooner and get my arms working too... then again the bread machine does such a nice job, particularly with sticky doughs.

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  3. The flatbread wraps look good. I regularly decide we need to try more new things instead of the same old stand-by dishes but I find something easy and tasty and make it so many times that everyone gets fed up with it. Feel like I need to pin a big note up in the kitchen reminding me to try new things.

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    1. I agree, we have some dishes that have been done over and over again. At least the change in seasons helps - just when I'm becoming bored of the same tasty stew Spring comes along and with it a different menu, though normally the same springlike dishes we made last year!

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  4. I tried to make something new every week in the first year of marriage - it was fun. I still make something new at least a couple of times a month, even if it's just a variation on something traditional. I love it!

    My secret weapon is a monthly subscription to Good Housekeeping, which has tonnes of new recipes every month - there's at least two or three things in every edition I cut out and keep. Also, I found this website - halfbakedharvest.com - such good recipes. Made the double bean burgers with avocado and basil cream the other day, and the squash, sprout and bacon pastabake last week - both amazing!

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    1. Thanks, I'll check out halfbakedharvest.com - might be what we need to try more new recipes. We're trying for roughly something new each week but not being strict about it which is feeling nice and unpressured but still giving us lots of opportunity for new recipes.

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  5. Since retiring I rarely cook unless it's a holiday. Putting a potato in the oven to bake is a big deal around here.

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    1. Sounds like a well earned retirement to me ;)

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  6. i like to try new recipes often. I don't actually cook a lot these days except for my blog as hubby and i don't eat large amounts at night, but i do enjoy making new things. the wraps look great.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. Theres something fun about trying new recipes isn't there - we're both seeming more excited about cooking on those nights.

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  7. Ha ha! Our parents lived for years on the same meat and 3 veg for years with a light variance to the meat. How lucky are we that this has evolved. Having said that we went for years with Monday night being chicken wraps when kids had set after school activities.

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    1. Things have definitely changed for the better, particularly with such a rich range of spices and flavours available to us. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Yes to chicken wraps. Looks delish. Thanks for the look at what's in you kitchen.

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    1. No problem, thanks for coming to have a look.

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  9. Yes, I'm a fan of the flat breads too. Seems you have a winner as far as your readers are concerned. Always good to mix it up and make life interesting. Thanks for joining in IMK. Fiona xx

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    1. They do seem popular, and for good reason - they're rather tasty ;) Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I find that meal planning is the key to trying new things. Otherwise you always resort to those favourites that you know work and are easy to throw together. Nothing kills inspiration like flicking through cookbooks at 6pm trying to find something to cook. When I plan we eat three or four new meals a week. When I plan ;) Snap on the flatbreads. They were on our menu last night as well. Welcome to IMK.

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    1. We do plan our meals one week at a time, but that normally happens in a rush just before going for this weeks food shop. I think taking a bit more time over it would certainly help a little.

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  11. I'm surprised the stir fry wasn't more of a hit, as it certainly looks fantastic! As do your chicken wraps! Thanks for joining in, Jenny! :)

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  12. Jenny, it was fun to read about your kitchen adventures! Good food and flavor result from intuitive tweaking. (Sounds like you have "the knack.") Welcome to IMK!

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