Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eking out your meat

Over the years I have acquired a knack for making what may seem like an undersized portion of meat stretch, and so I thought I would share some of these skills in the form of a recipe:

My take on a Beef Stroganoff:
(sadly no photo as was consumed before I remembered to get camera out so this photo of a cow will have to suffice for now)

Serves 4 comfortable portions for people with healthy appetites (tried and tested on my 2nd trimester appetite, 3 young men,  2 of whom could safely claim they are still growing, 1 of whom is my husband who eats anything and everything - nuff said)

- some stewing/braising beef (as much or as little as you want, today I only used 300g approx but you can use more if you want) (diced)
- a large onion
- 3 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
- half a standard sized pack of mushrooms (chunked up)
- a tin of some kind of beans (black-eyed beans goes best with this, but kidneys or borlottis would more than suffice
- seasoning
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 stock cube's worth of stock
- good couple of dollops of natural yoghurt

Optional cheeky extras to add vitamins/extra flavour or for extra bulking up
- swig of white wine (optional only because we didn't have any in the flat and it still tasted good).
- 10 new potatoes (I would use this if I was serving with rice)
- rasher or two of bacon (one for the meat lovers if you have it in the fridge)
- a couple of celery stalks (diced)
- a handful of spinach (frozen or fresh, either will do)
- a wee bit of dried parsley (because it's nice)
- a pinch of dried chilli (for a wee kick)

Brown beef with onions in a little oil and seasoning, add carrots and mushrooms (and potatoes if you are using these), then herbs/spices, stir frequently before adding stock (and wine). Leave to simmer for around 10 minutes then add flour and stir frequently till combined, add beans, simmer for another 5 minutes. Then take off the heat and stir in mustard and yoghurt.

Serve with desired carbs. Today's choice was mashed tatties.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The 20 week scan

As this post title might suggest, this is a pregnancy related post. On Monday there, Mark and I went to see the wee one again. There are many strange things about the whole "goingforascan" scenario.

1. It's a little like going to view a fish in an aquarium.

The first time we went, I definitely felt like it was actually our baby there on the screen but not that it was inside me and that it was always there just that we couldn't see it. When we left the hospital it was like we'd left the baby there in the hospital and we'd be going to visit again in a couple of months time. It was like going to Deep Sea World and watching the fish swimming around behind a glass screen, or visiting a friend. This time felt very similar, although with a steadily growing stomach and having been feeling the wee one (a lot) kicking and squirming around, the idea that there is actually something in there is hitting home more.

2. You can see EVERYTHING.

When I say everything, I mean internal organs: brain, spine, kidneys, lungs, heart, ribs, you name it. I've never seen anyone's internal organs like that before let alone my own child's. It was riveting stuff!

3. You have to look away at a certain point if you don't want to find out the sex!

That's right. Just in case you see anything...

4. The 20 week scan photo can generate a lot (and I mean A LOT) of speculation from friends and family.

Speculation as to what gender it is is the main one. Does it have baby boy features or baby girl features?Everyone has had vastly different opinions on this front. There has even been talk of a sweep stake amongst some of our friends as to whether it's one or the other! Whose features has it inherited is the other cause for speculation. Now I am fairly convinced that it has a nose very similar to Mark's and I'm not the only one. But my grandmother has taken it a step further. Yesterday I received a text from her in response to having seen the photo: "Beautiful baby! Mark's nose and chin, your mouth". Ha!

If anyone wants to add their own speculative opinion to the mix, have a look for yourself and feel free to comment!