We love cooking in this house! As you probably already know we plan one month of meals at a time which works brilliantly for us but I will admit that sometimes when we sit to plan we get a bit stuck trying to choose dishes and I’m sure everyone likes some new food ideas for dinner so I will compile some of our tried and tested ones below. (Another good tip for choosing dishes when meal planning is to keep the monthly sheets and look back at them for ideas).

It tends to be easier recipes most of the time but occasionally, usually at the weekend, we go for long recipes to replicate Chinese, Thai or Indian food that can take over an hour but it’s so worth it!

Let’s start with the dish that prompted this blog post:

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken


This dish takes quite a bit of time but let me tell you it’s AMAZING! It tastes just as good, if not even better, than one you’d order from a Chinese takeaway plus you know exactly what’s inside it! So if you can find the time for it, I’d recommend giving it a go.

This recipe is online but I’ll share our slightly different method below first:

Ingredients

For the chicken:

400g diced Chicken Breast

1 Egg

1 cup of Water

2 teaspoons of Salt

2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder

Sprinkle of White Pepper

1/4 cup of Cornstarch

1 and 1/4 cup of Flour

3 tablespoons of Veg. Oil

1 tablespoon of Cooking wine

1 tablespoon of Baking Powder

For the Sauce:
10 cups of water

2 Orange:

1 Lemon

2/3 slices of Ginger

1 and 1/3 cup of Vinegar

1 and 1/2 cup of Sugar

1 and 1/4 cup of Ketchup

Method: 

1. Start with the sauce, cut up oranges, lemon and ginger into slices. Add the water and fruit to saucepan and boil for 30 minutes

2. While the water is boiling dice the chicken, add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, sprinkle of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of cooking wine (we used rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of water then mix. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for half hour to an hour.

3. While that’s in the fridge and your oranges are still boiling mix the batter – add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, sprinkle of white pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of water and stir together with a hand mixer. Add 1 cup of flour and mix: then add 1/4 more flour and mix. Then add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and mix, then add 1 tablespoon of baking powder and mix. Set batter aside.

4. Now to finish the sauce, using a sieve pour the juice into a mixing bowl, keeping the fruit skins in the sieve, press fruit to squeeze out all the juice. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 and 1/3 cups of vinegar, add 1 and 1/4 cups of ketchup and mix. Add one cup of mixture for each person to a saucepan or more to your taste and simmer. For each cup added mix together 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water and add slowly to saucepan. Set aside to cool.

5. Remove chicken from fridge and pour batter mix in, then stir to combine. Heat up vegetable oil in wok or deep saucepan and add chicken using cocktail sticks to fry until golden brown. Remove from oil, leave to rest for a few minutes then fry for the second time to make it extra crispy.

6. Serve with plain or egg fried rice.

You can watch the video the original recipe here for a detailed demonstration of each step just in a different order. We use this order to maximise time! There are also lots of other Chinese recipes on there.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Video – Link

Chicken Pesto Pasta

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This one is one of my favourite quick and easy meals. If you like creamy pasta, you’ll love this!

Ingredients
500g diced chicken

350g boiled pasta

3/4 of a medium tub of double cream

3 tablespoons pesto

Half a block of parmesan

cherry tomatoes cut in half

salt and pepper

Method
1.Boil a pan of water and add the pasta to cook

2. At the same time fry the diced chicken with a bit of salt and pepper. Add double cream, pesto and parmesan and simmer.

3. Once pasta is cooked add to saucepan and simmer for another few mins.

4. Add cherry tomatoes and serve

Chicken in Broccoli Parmesan Sauce

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This meal was adapted from the recipe by the Aldi Lovers Guide to Cooking below – but instead of dicing the chicken I cooked seasoned whole chicken breasts in the oven first and just put the sauce on top. This was served with a small tray of Aldi ready roast vegetables which are  so simple and tasty!

Original Recipe – Link

Cajun Chicken and Halloumi

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This one is another easy recipe!

Ingredients 

500g diced chicken

3 diced peppers (usually one in each colour)

2 diced onions

1 cubed block of halloumi

1 pack of Homepride Cajun sauce

salt and pepper

Method 

Mix all the ingredients in the dish and put in the oven for 40 minutes!

Minted Lamb Pie

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I use the recipe below but only use shortcrust pastry on the top of and bottom instead of a mixture of puff and shortcrust.

Lamb Pie Recipe – Link

Meatball Pasta Bake

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Ingredients

1 pack of meatballs (or make your own using beef mince, seasoning and breadcrumbs)

350g cooked pasta

1 jar of Dolmio pasta sauce (or make your own using passata, onion, garlic and herbs)

Worcestershire sauce

1 diced onion

diced fresh mozzarella

parsley

Method

1. Boil pasta in a saucepan

2. Fry meatballs and onions until brown. Add pasta sauce and splash or worcestershire sauce and simmer.

3. Mix sauce and pasta together in a baking dish, top with mozzarella and bake for 20 minutes.

Minted Lamb Chops

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We use the recipe below and grill the lamb for 10 minutes on each side so it’s well done. Then serve with mashed potato, green beans and corn on the cob.

Lamb Chop Recipe – Link

Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie

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We use this recipe but have used shortcrust pastry for the top and bottom.

Chicken Pie recipe – Link

Chicken, Asparagus and Goats Cheese Pasta

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Ingredients

500g diced chicken

spaghetti measured for the number of people you’re cooking for, I use a spaghetti measurer for this as I’m rubbish at knowing how much pasta I need – I’ve got the glass effect one of this – Link

2 packs of asparagus tips cut into 2 inch bits

1 pack of fresh goats cheese

100ml of creme fraiche

salt and pepper

Method

1. Boil spaghetti in hot water

2. Boil asparagus tips in another small pan

3. At the same time fry chicken with a bit of salt and pepper until golden.

4. Combine pasta and asparagus with chicken, add goats cheese and creme fraiche, simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Pad Thai

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Mr Rackley’s signature dish! This is another long recipe but the results are worth it!

Ingredients

500g diced chicken

tablespoon of Vegetable Oil

tablespoon of Sesame Oil

tablespoon of Groundnut Oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of spring onions

50g of peanuts

1 diced onion

150g beansprouts

1 teaspoon of crushed red chillies

1 pack of rice noodles (asda does a fresh ready pack)

2 eggs

100g of cooked king prawns

fresh coriander

2 limes

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

4 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce

Method 

1. add all three oils and fry peanuts until brown, remove peanuts and crush them using a pestle and mortar (or put in a freezer bag and whack with a rolling pin!)

2. add chicken and garlic to the oil (the same oil you’ve just removed the peanuts from) and fry until cooked.

3. Add diced onion and a little chopped coriander. Then add rice noodles and mix. Add crushed red chilli and beansprouts and mix.

4. Add 3/4 of spring onions cut in to strips (save rest for garnish), fish sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Then add crushed peanuts and cooked prawns in.

5. Make a well at the side of the pan and add two eggs. Beat the eggs in the corner then fold in to the noodles.

6. Quarter 2 limes, squeeze juice in to noodles and add the lime itself in to the pan.

7. Finally, add chopped coriander and serve with more sliced spring onions, fresh coriander and crushed nuts on top.


Sausage, red onion and Wensleydale cheese tart! 

Recipe – Link


Thai green curry! This tastes so good! I cook the chicken until brown first, then start the method instructions to save time. 

Recipe – Link

More recipes to follow!

Love

Mrs Rackley xx

6 comments on “My Favourite Recipes”

  1. This might be a silly question 🙂
    What do you use to measure out 1/3 and 1/4 cup of water etc? Do you guess or measure exactly using a jug/spoon? Can you recommended any?

  2. Hi! Love all the recipes,Im going to try the sweet and sour chicken this Saturday as it looks so yummy! Just wanted to ask what type of vinegar you use in the recipe, I think Ive got some malt vinegar in the cupboard but wasnt sure if this is the right one? Thanks

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