Thursday, 28 June 2007

Emergency Trifle

A pretty ordinary Thursday for us today, with playgroup this morning. The highlight of which was a visit from some fire officers from the local fire brigade, who came to talk about fire safety, bringing with them a fire engine for the children to look at. As you can probably imagine, it went down very well.

In what can only be described as a fit of mad efficiency, I had prepared the boys' lunch before we left for playgroup so that I only needed to reheat it in the microwave when I arrived home with two over-excited and fractious little boys. There were some roasted vegetables left over from last night's dinner, so I puréed them to make a sauce and stirred in some cooked and cooled mini pasta shells. After lunch had been bolted down with amazing speed, they both went upstairs for a nap. Peace!

I made some flapjacks while the boys were asleep, trying a variation on my usual recipe. For some reason, a few of them were rather crumbly when I cut them up. I therefore had to think of something to do with a few handfuls of deconstructed flapjack. I can't bear to waste food, and the flapjacks were tasty, even if rather like muesli in appearance. Not really suitable for breakfast, though... A rummage through the kitchen revealed a couple of cans of peach slices in the cupboard and double cream in the fridge, so this trifle came to mind. I was worth the accident with the flapjacks, as the trifle was lovely. I am already thinking of trying it again, perhaps using one of those frozen bags of alleged 'fruits of the forest'.

Peach & Flapjack Trifle

2 cans peach slices in syrup
6-8 flapjacks, crumbled
284ml carton double cream
plain chocolate, grated

Put a layer of peach slices in a large bowl and scatter some of the crumbled flapjack over. Spread a layer of whipped cream over this, then repeat the layers. Arrange a few peach slices on top and grate over a little chocolate. Chill until you are ready to serve it.

Dinner tonight was a bit of an experiment too. Hubby doesn't go for blue cheeses, but I thought he might like the flavour in cooking, provided he didn't know what it was first. So, Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce it was. I used a bit of Danish Blue for the sauce today, but any hard(ish) blue cheese would do - Stilton, Dovedale, Perl Las, something like that. My undefeated favourite - Oxford Blue - would be wonderful, but frankly it's just too good to cook with. I had the Danish Blue in the fridge anyway today, ready to make a blue cheese salad for Saturday supper this week. My Saturday supper is becoming a little tradition now - when Karl's at work late on a Saturday (most weeks), I give the boys their tea, bathe them and put them to bed, then prepare something special and enjoy having the evening to myself.

Tagliatelle with Broccoli and (Blue!) Cheese Sauce

300g tagliatelle
150g broccoli, in small florets
75g blue cheese, crumbled
200ml crème fraîche
black pepper
fresh parmesan, to serve

Cook the pasta in viciously boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in a separate pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then drain. Heat the crème fraîche and blue cheese together, stirring until the sauce is smooth, then add the broccoli and plenty of black pepper. Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Scatter grated fresh parmesan over before serving.

Everyone loved it, I was very proud to see Christopher shovelling it into his mouth and telling me it smells good, I love it, and the like. He's a right little cheese-face, though, like his Mum (she of the nickname 'Mouse'), so perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise.

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