Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry

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My mother is one of those people who always has a fully-stocked kitchen. The fridge and freezer are always over-flowing, as are the cupboards. If there is a blizzard, my parents will not starve. If there is a tropical heatwave, there will be cool drinks. In a Nuclear Apocalypse, they’ll outlast the cockroaches. On judgement day, there will be nachos.

I’m not one of those people.

I plan my week’s meals, and I buy the ingredients for them. A week at a time. If I’m craving chocolate, I have to walk to the shops, and convince myself that I’m burning off the calories I’ll be consuming.

Once in a while, things go wrong – one of the ingredients will have gone off, I’ll have forgotten something, or I just (shock) won’t feel like cooking (most often, it’s more accurate to say that I won’t feel like cleaning up after). Those days are known as Eff-it days…. as in “eff-it, I’m having a take-away!” Those who know me, will know that this happened far too often.

Lately, I’ve been trying to lose some lbs and save some £££s, so the Eff-it days have greatly dwindled, to be replaced with what my friends Trudy & Julian call Ifits days – “If it’s in the cupboard, that’s what we’re having!”

So, despite my propensity towards Mother Hubbard-dom, I can honestly say that the beef itself is the only ingredient from Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry that wasn’t already in my cupboards. The whole Idea of this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be replaced by anything else!

So what are you waiting for? Get your sleeves rolled up, and get up to the elbows in the cupboard!

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Brazilian Bolinhos & Triple Fried Sweet Potato Chips

IMGP2940And so the World Cup is over, but I couldn’t let it pass without a Brazilian recipe! At least they’ve made it to one final =/

Over the course of the competition I’ve been perfecting a light Chicken Stew (moqueca de frango) and although it’s tasty and I can thoroughly recommend it… nothing I could do made it even remotely visually appealing.

So instead, we have these wonderful little parcels of joy! They’re perfect finger food, and will go down well as nibbles when you want to impress and offer something other than chicken nuggets and sausage rolls! They’re also suitable for vegetarians, but not in an overt way that might deter hard-core carnivores!

The recipe comes from Cabana The Cook Book – a wonderful book that I hope to review for you very soon!

But enough about that for now… let’s just Kick off, for one last time!


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Kerrieschotel

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Well, it’s time to shed a tear and bid a fond farewell to The Netherlands, my tip to have won the World cup 🙁

I’d hoped that today we’d be making this delicious curried-rice dish to celebrate their progression to the final, but it wasn’t to be! Instead, let’s take comfort in its fulfilling, satisfying, tasty, spicy yumminess.

Kerrieschotel roughly translates as “curried things’ and I believe it’s originally intended to be a meal made from leftovers, things you’d already have in the house. It has a nostalgic ‘World War rations” feel about it that is kind of rustic and romantic, but as my belly rarely allows there to be any leftovers, I’ve adjusted the recipe to a more “premium” from scratch, one-pot one. Therefore, this recipe isn’t quite authentic. In fact the whole thing is pretty much a tidy tweak. All will be explained in that section, but for now, get your sleeves rolled up, and get stuck in!


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Costa Rican Empanadas

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Carrying on with our World Cup theme, I thought it was time to celebrate another of the competition’s unexpected delights, through the medium of a culinary delight!

Costa Rica weren’t expected to qualify from their (apparently) tough group, but actually won it, with the poor late lamented England the only team to take a point from them. They beat Greece after penalties, and now find themselves in the quarter finals!

These Costa Rican Empanadas are the perfect snack to nibble on during Saturday’s match against the Netherlands (who I’ve been backing to win the whole thing). Whether they’ll be drying their eyes and saying goodbye, or dancing in the streets of San José, celebrating their first Semi-final, these will see you (if not them) through!


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