Tomatoes, fried rice, noodle soup and banana bread

Not all in the same dish but all scoffed today. I’ve been stuck at home waiting for a delivery. Apart for moaning rather loudly, I used the time to do home food. We picked two very red tomatoes off my daughter’s tomato plant. She was given the plant as a tiny thing from Greenslade nursery and over summer we have watched it grow. It survived the move to Scotland and has in fact flourished with many new tomatoes appearing on the plant even though I’ve not been feeding it. The tomatoes at the bottom appeared rather early but took forever to turn red – mainly as I had them indoors and didn’t know they need to be out in the fresh air and sun to redden.

Anyway, here we are – a tomato salad according to my daughter consists of errr, ummmm, tomatoes!

She nibbled one before reminding us that she in fact, did not eat tomatoes (unbeknownst to her she does as mummy hides tomatoes in sauces). So hubby and I ate the “salad” with a sprinkling of sea salt. Not the tastiest tomatoes we have ever had but easily the best if you know what I mean.

Next step was egg fried mushroom rice and tofu for daughter’s dinner – so yum that I had to have a small bowl too. A good way to use day old rice. Easily made by frying spring onion and ginger in a large frying pan, adding mushrooms and cooking until they reduce, add the rice and stir carefully to prevent it all sticking together but to make sure all the rice is covered with the mushroom mixture . Push mixture to the side and add in the beaten egg mixed with a little toasted sesame oil, scramble it then combine with rice mixture and cook for a few minutes more. I added a little dash of dark soy to improve the taste and colour. She scoffed a lot with a side dish of fried tofu.

Dinner for hubby and I was a noodle soup. It’s an impromptu dish I’ve made a couple of times with what was available in the fridge. Today we had spring onions and ginger fried, added a thinly sliced orange pepper, some pak choy, sweetcorn (kernels not baby sweetcorn as i find that tasteless) and mange tout. The soup was made with a big glug of Gourmet Garden Thai Fresh Blends mix and about a cup of water. I cooked this for about 5 minutes on medium heat then added in fried tofu, and some thick straight to wok udon noodles and dark soy sauce. Cooked until the pak choy had wilted. At first I didn’t really like the Gourmet Garden taste – it was too bland especially compared to theĀ  Schwartz Lemon Grass, Ginger and Coconut tube I’ve used before. However, as it cooled, and with a dash of light soy sauce, it improved.

We would have had a lot more tofu for the soup but my little one loves the stuff straight out of the packet and just as much fried. She thought it was hilarious to sneak past me all afternoon nicking bits and stuffing them in her mouth.

The Gourmet Garden sent me hurtling back to my youth – while I was trying to google whether it is vegetarian, a restaurant came up called the Gourmet Garden in Hendon. I grew up in a flat that was directly opposite the restaurant and could see it and a lot more of the high street from my window. Silly things like this always bring a soppy tear to the eye.

This is turning out to be a long post and it’s not over yet. I’ve been promising to make banana bread for a few days. A lot of stay at home mums I know make banana bread and as long as you don’t have it every week, it’s bloody tasty. I’ve already scoffed a fifth of it – so a huge thankyou to my friend J.R. as she sent me her version of a Delia recipe. It’s fantastic. I’m going to have to work extra hard in the Zumba class tomorrow night!!

Banana cupcakes with lemon frosting

My daughter’s nursery were giving away spare bananas today. My goto recipe for overripe bananas is Fairtrade banana bread but today I felt like something a bit more glam (and fattening!) and so made some Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting recipe – the recipe calls for using a cake tin but as I’ve promised some cakes to another mum, I decided cupcakes were the better option – an added bonus is that they also cook slightly quicker. Note, this recipe is not that different from the Tesco’s banana cupcakes I have blogged about before – the only real difference is the lemon which work well as there is just enough of it to cut through the sweetness of the bananas without being overpowering. I also know that if I had left the bananas until they were really ripe and black and squishy, I would have gotten a stronger banana flavour but the call of cake was too strong to resist. If you do decide to give the recipe a go, ensure you mash the bananas first as you don’t want the sugar/butter/egg mix lying around too long as the egg starts to cook the other raw ingredients.

P.S. Sorry for the dark picture…I forgot the flash.

Rice krispie cakes and banana cupcakes

I wish I was like Rachel Allen or Jane Aster and could make up cake recipes. But alas, I have to turn to Google to find me the way. I’ve promised a friend who is having a charity tea party tomorrow to bring along some fairy cakes. I thought I’d also try out some rice krispie cakes. In my youth, I would buy flat chocolate covered cornflakes andchocolate rice krispies. But the Cookery Club cakes that I ended up making weren’t quite so chocolatey…next time, less rice krispies and much, much more choccy! I also noticed that I have a lot more than 12 bun cases full. I think my kitchen scales may be lying to me…oh how I wish that were true of the scales in my bathroom.

Cruelly, I decided to make the banana cupcakes whilst my hubby was putting toddler to sleep. So she’s got the smell of lovely cooking bananas to help her waft off to sleep. I used the Tesco Magazine Banana Cupcakes recipe. As you can see, they are slightly brown on the top (dare I say burnt) but tomorrow morning, before taking them to the party, I’m going to cover them in yummy buttercream. That’s if we don’t end up eating them all tonight. Scoff!!

Update: Woke up this morning to cream my cakes. The first batch of buttercream icing went wrong as silly me used caster sugar. The second batch was perfect and I had great fun with my new piping bag…not a professional finish but so much fun!