Weekend Wrap.

Sold!

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The sale of the house we have lived in for app 23 years has now become unconditional so we are having to face both preparing to leave and preparing the ‘old new house’ for living in. The list is endless and I seem to be adding to it every hour. With the move scheduled for mid January and Christmas slap bang in the middle we could be in for some long shifts. Oh well, keeps me off the streets!

Silver beet rolls.

At the end of another long day cleaning, painting and weeding I tried throwing a few items I had on hand together and was well rewarded. We traditionally have nibbles and drinks when doing the Christmas tree so this served the occasion well.

Picked some silver beet,

Silver beet

Blanched till just wilted, chopped finely and added to a bowl with some ricotta, feta nutmeg, spring onion and an egg. Added a small knob of grated parmesan cheese and mixed all together well.

Ready to roll

Spread onto sheets of puff pastry and rolled as for sausage rolls. Into the oven for 20 minutes and we had some lovely silver beet rolls to eat while we decorated the tree for the last time at this house, enjoyed along with a glass of bubbly of course!

Done!

Will have to get to the final of the Christmas decorating touches another night, after  I have rested up from this weekend’s efforts.

Xmas tree

Oooh, exciting PS! Picked 2 raspberries of the new canes I planted at the ‘new old house’. If I had to choose from all the things you can grow, raspberries would be in my top 5.

Small pickings

It really is very satisfying when things are at a pick-able size and you reap the rewards of patiently waiting and nurturing them into fruition . With broad beans now at their peak, I am trying to use them while they are still small enough to avoid the double peeling that larger ones need. Some of the beetroot is also ready to harvest and some young beets are following giving me  succession harvesting. Along with some silver beet, lettuce and young beetroot leaves there is a great base for a salad. I had to remove some rogue potato plants from a pathway so the young spuds were also put to good use. Fresh lemon juice, some marinated feta cheese and it was a great salad!

 

Warm Chicken Salad

I always seem to have run out of steam when its dinner time and I’ve had a busy day at work. I like to keep evening meals really simple to prepare, not taking up too much time to cook and to be relatively healthy. As usual I don’t really deal in measurements, it sort of evolves around how much is needed and adjusted accordingly. Too much and it ends up in a lunch box, too little and we can always have an extra treat after dinner! This was tonight’s fare.

Chicken ( cut into short strips), put into a bowl and pour enough sweet chilli sauce in to give chicken a thin coating, stir through and sit till ready to cook.

The other things I am adding to this salad tonight are some onion bread crouton, crunchy potatoes, cucumber, seared cherry tomatoes, beetroot, feta cheese and some fresh herbs. As my bok choy has bolted (if anyone has any solutions to this I’d welcome them), I am throwing in a few leaves and a few of the thin stems. I will quickly throw them in with the chicken for no more than the last minute or so. This changes according to what is available, which tonight isn’t all that much!

I had baked an onion and rosemary loaf of bread on the weekend so used a bit of that to make some crunchy croutons. Cut bread  into whatever size you like, put into pan with smallest amount of olive oil and keep turning until they are nice and golden and very dry and crunchy. Put aside.

Spuds – Wash, peel and cut into small enough bits that they will mix through salad well. I just bunged them into the microwave (covered) for about 5 minutes, waited till steam had evaporated and put them into pan with a ‘plop’ of olive oil. Turn and stir until they have reached the colour you want. There is no reason why both the croutons and the spuds could not just go in the oven and do their thing in there while you prepare other items.

Toss the halved cherry tomatoes into pan that is still hot and cook until they just start to soften, don’t overdo it! Put them aside.

Add chicken to pan and start cooking it off, not too hot, not too cool. Stir occasionally. While cooking tear lettuce into pieces the size you like, slice up some beetroot, finely chop some herbs (tonight mint and oregano), crumble some feta or goat cheese, slice some cucumber  and green capsicum and put with the croutons and spuds. I actually like to put everything into a bowl or plastic bag and swirl everything around to make sure flavours have combined well. When chicken is cooked add this and turn through the mix.

Looks a bit ordinary at this point!

Turn everything out onto serving platter, top with some more cheese, herbs and maybe some spring onion. Really does taste quite tasty!

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