Waste not Pudding.

My Mum is of the age where she was a child during the Second World War. She therefore had it drummed into her that waste was wrong, and you should eat what was put in front of you. I suppose I was therefore bought up with this attitude, and often remember getting in trouble because I refused to eat something that was on my plate – including at school where the headmistress sat me on her lap and forced mince into my mouth, to this day, I still can’t eat mince, and I’m not sure if it is I still don’t like the taste or the awful memory of what would not be allowed to happen these days.

M is fussy eater, and we have to be rather careful introducing new foods to him. It often seems we eat the same half-dozen meals because they are things I know he will like, but I know this isn’t really the case. As he has grown up, he is less bad, but still views new foods with great fear, and so I often get him into the kitchen to help so he can see what has gone into the dish as things he likes and I’m not trying to poison him!

At the weekend, we often have a treat to eat, and I will bake a cake or cookies, and I often ask the children what they would like – it saves waste if they have chosen, as I know it is something they are in the mood for. They will often choose muffins, and I have quite an array of recipes that I use. I think muffins are a great way of getting fruit into the boys without them really noticing. M will not eat bananas, he just doesn’t like the texture – something I understand as most of the foods I dislike are texture related. However, he will eat a banana muffin without complaint – as long as I don’t tell him they are in it!!

It does however seem that it doesn’t matter how much they want something, there are always leftovers. I am sure they almost do it on principle. This is where Waste not Pudding comes in. It is basically bread and butter putting, but instead of using bread, I use left over cake. It always goes down really well with everyone – except me who doesn’t like a baked milk pudding!

I just slice the stale muffins, or doughnuts, or cake, and arrange in a greased oven proof dish. How stale and what type of cake dictates if it needs anything added, for example a plain muffin or cake, might need a little jam spread on it, but one with chocolate chips or sultanas is fine just sliced. I suppose it would all be personal preference. For the amount of cake equivalent to 5 slices of bread, I use 1/2pint milk whisked together with 1 egg. I don’t usually add any form of sweetening, but it is up to you. I pour the milk and egg mixture over the cake and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes, pushing it down every now and again to make sure it soaks in evenly. It is then baked at 180c for about 45 mins.

Everyone thinks you have worked hard at making a nice pudding, but in fact you are just not wanting to feed the stale cake to the birds!

WasteNot Pudding


Neils Coriander Chicken.

Let me first explain the name of this dish. We call it Neils Coriander chicken, because it is one of the few dishes my Hubby can confidently cook, and it turns out right pretty much ever time – he is not the best cook, so it is impressive he has such a lovely signature dish!

The recipe evolved from an Ainsley Harriot recipe he found on the BBC Food website – goodness knows why he was looking there, but he was, and got it into his head he was going to make it. I kept well out-of-the-way, as I heard the banging and crashing and occasional swear word coming from the kitchen. Eventually we were called to the table, and what he put in front of us looked revolting! I can’t be any more tactful about this plate of bright green chicken that was served to us! It smelled amazing though, so we politely smiled and took a taste. Well, what can I say? They say we begin to eat with our eyes, well that wasn’t true here, as the flavours were amazing. It was a real wow moment. Everyone finished their plateful, and insisted he cooked it again – when I later looked in the kitchen and had to clean it, the though of him cooking again wasn’t such a good one.

Since then, he has made this dish on many occasions, and the boys happily help. It is a dish I am not allowed to attempt, as it is mans cooking – all they would need is a barbecue to be totally in their element!

you will need –
6 cloves garlic
4 tbs chopped coriander
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp castor sugar
2 limes – juiced
2 tsp worchestshire sauce
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs oil
4 skinless chicken breasts

Put all the ingredients apart from the chicken in a liquidizer and whizz to make a sauce.
Place the chicken in a flat bowl, and cover with the sauce.
Allow to marinade for no more than 2 hours.
Cook at 180c for approx. 35 mins – until cooked through.

Is that not really simple?
There are of course a few cheats that have been  added along the way.

If the quality of the fresh coriander in the shop isn’t up to much, then it works great with the preprepared chopped coriander in the jar. Same goes for using the pre-pureed garlic – the amount of garlic may seem a lot but it isn’t an over powering flavour when its finished. Also, honey is easily interchanged with the sugar, as it is just there to counteract the sharpness of the limes.

The original recipe had a lot more pepper in it, and it was quite overpowering, but reducing it to just a teaspoonful makes for a lovely balanced flavour.

The recipe is really easy to adjust for smaller of larger quantities, and I would say it’s definitely worth doing more than you want for a main meal, as it is lovely cold sliced into a sandwich with a pile of fresh salad!

If you try it, don’t be put of by the colour, just wait until your taste buds are hit by the amazing flavours.