cooking

Californian Mum Cooks With Hello Fresh

Yes, I have been on another cooking day. Word is obviously out that my cooking skills need an update. Last week I attended an event at the HelloFresh HQ in East London, along with some other food and lifestyle bloggers/writers. We had an afternoon of cooking and eating. The latter of which happens to be something I excel in. HelloFresh made the cooking quite easy as their recipe cards are very detailed in explaining the steps to cooking each dish.

If you're not familiar with HelloFresh, they are a recipe box delivery service that offer healthy recipes made from fresh ingredients. Patrick Drake, the Head Chef and co-founder of HelloFresh, was at the event explaining how the business began in his home, in his kitchen. Now they have their own building, and an amazing kitchen where they can come up with new recipes.

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Cooking Mexican Street Food

I am not the best cook. I make about 10 meals which I rotate over a couple of weeks (luckily Husband cooks on the weekends). I can probably cook about 20 things, but a few of them are special occasion dishes that don't get made often. I've been wanting to add to my repertoire for ages, so last week I dragged one of my friends along to a Mexican street food cooking class at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School in London.

I love Mexican food, but other than cheese quesadillas, I would never dream of trying to make any. So it was a treat to have a professional chef, the lovely Gaby, show me how to cook. I say me, but there were eight of us in the class. We cooked in groups of two, which meant that we were able to take turns with chopping, etc. I chopped my first onion, which was very exciting (it's the kind of thing that I normally make Husband do). We made a chipotle chicken, various salsas and guacamole. And if that wasn't enough, we also made our own corn tortillas.

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Slow Cooking Made Easy

I'm not the most confident cook (although I enjoy baking). I make all the kids' meals, plus once a week I cook dinner for Husband. I would like to cook for him more often, but I am so tired once I have put the children to bed. I feel bad that Husband gets home at 7pm or 8pm most nights then has to cook our dinner. I had thought about trying to use a slow-cooker, but felt a bit overwhelmed about trying new recipes and adapting my current ones. So when Slow Cook Chef asked me to trial their services, I was intrigued.

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Clean-eating Kitchen

Welcome to another edition of Cooking with Californian Mum. I am not the best cook, but I have been working on it. I was recently given The Clean-Eating Kitchen to review. As I am trying to eat more healthy, I was keen to try this cookbook. At the weekend I decided to make myself scrambled eggs with spinach. I love eggs, and as they are a good source of Vitamin D, I am trying to eat them two or three times a week.

I adore scrambled eggs. But the two times I have tried making them, it has not ended well, and the eggs did not turn out very scrambly. But I followed this recipe exactly, and voila! Perfect scrambled eggs. They key is to keep it on low heat, and continue stirring for 4-5 minutes. The addition of spinach and nutmeg really enhanced the taste. And as I'm trying to eat more vegetables, this is now my new go-to lunch.

There are some other great recipes that I plan on trying, including The Healthy Breakfast Frittata, Courgette Fritters and Mushrom and Egg Cups. Yummm. And tomorrow night I will be making the children the Seared Wild Salmon. New Year. New healthier us. The Clean-Living Kitchen retails for £6.35 on Amazon UK.

Clean-eating KitchenClean-eating Kitchen
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

 

I was sent 'The Clean-Eating Kitchen' for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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I often post recipes/tutorials of food that I like to bake/make, so some people may think I am a good cook. I was even nominated for a MADS Best Food Blog. But I have a confession. I am actually not a very good cook. Some may even say I'm a terrible cook. Of course, if they did say that, I would take my whisk and throw it at their head. Anyway, last week, while my 5-year old Moozles was eating the pasta with pesto that I so quickly lovingly made, she told me that I was the 'best cooker ever'. I asked her what dishes she most liked. She replied, 'pasta with pesto' and 'hot dogs'. So you can see that I am no culinary master. By the way, I 'make' hot dogs on Fridays as I am tired and the kids think it is a fun dinner. So get off my back.

Anyway, Husband does a lot of the cooking, but I have a few easy dishes in rotation that help get me by. So I thought I would start a weekly post, as part of Tasty Tuesdays, to help all you not-so-great cooks out there. We'll first be starting with Quesadillas, which is a Mexican dish. Queso means cheese in Spanish. Being from California, we eat a lot of Mexican (authentic and Tex-Mex). This is a great dish to make when you only have five minutes to make dinner. Tortillas normally keep for about a month, so they are a great item to keep in your cupboard. I normally make with just cheese for the kids, but we sometimes add ham or else I use leftover chicken from a roast (which I shred and bind with mayo and cheese). When Moozles was two she called these Cheese Diyas.

Cheese Quesadillas (feeds two small children)
Two tortillas
Grated or sliced cheddar cheese

Add cheese to one tortilla. Lay another tortilla on top. Saute in frying pan on medium heat, no oil or butter needed. Flip over after 1-2 minutes. Do other side until equally browned. That's it.    

                                













Lunch or dinner is ready. Very quick, very easy. And if you want to eat it as a family, it tastes quite nice with a side salad. And we sometimes have guacamole and sour cream for dipping.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Chicken, not turkey
Being American, I normally roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Five years ago I was about to put the turkey in the oven and realised we had run out of tin foil. Our daughter was napping and Husband was at work so I couldn't go to the shop. After a little research on the web, I read about cooking the turkey upside down. I did, and it was a huge success. And ever since, I have cooked my turkeys and chickens upside down and have never had a dry bird.

Upside Down


I made a yummy roast chicken for dinner last night, and I made it the same way I make my turkey, so if that helps your Christmas dinner--you're welcome. I'm not going to go into all the details of how to cook a whole chicken. But I will give you my tips for making the chicken extra juicy. First, I rub it in butter, then add salt, pepper, Italian herbs. If I have them, I will put a half lemon and some garlic inside the chicken. I then rub some olive oil over the chicken. And then (this is the most important bit) I cook it upside down for the first 3/4 of the cooking process. I turn the chicken over for the rest of the time so the top browns. Sometimes I add bacon to the top of the chicken or turkey. But it ALWAYS turns out juicy and yummy.