Thursday, 14 April 2011

An easy and tasty lunch with friends

Some friends were coming for lunch.  

There wasn't much in the fridge (a lettuce, some cheddar, half a ball of mozzarella, half a tin of tomatoes and some bacon).  

I was out swimming with the little ones during the morning and then needed to head home to feed one and settle the other for a nap, so no time to roam around the supermarket.  

Instead we hopped out at the local co-op, grabbed some milk, some cherry tomatoes, a baguette and half a cucumber and then made our way home.  

While Little C sat chatting in his cot (not napping) I stuck Daisy in the sling and got busy.  Using the contents of my store cupboard I prepared a "tea-cup fruit loaf" (recipe below), and while it was at the cooling stage before going in the oven, made eight french bread pizzas and some salad.

Result - a yummy lunch with next to zero effort, to which the lovely Gemma, Louise and Steve added some crisps, some more bread, tuna etc.  Daisy and Little C did me proud and were duly admired and I had a lovely restful, sociable afternoon.

Tea Cup Fruit Loaf:
 - 1 cup sultanas, 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup currants, 1/2 cup soft brown sugar, 1/4 cup soft sunflower spread, 1/2 cup cold tea, 1/2 cup apple juice, 2 cups self-raising flour, 1tsp mixed spice.
  • Put all the ingredients except the flour and spice into a pan and warm over a low heat until the fat has melted.  Then bring to the boil and bubble for two minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  • Mix in the flour and spice and then tip into a lined loaf tin.
  • Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 1 and 1/4 hours.
  • Turn out from the tin, remove the greaseproof paper.
  • Serve sliced, warm or cooled and with or without butter.
For the French bread pizzas (vegetarian):
 - 1 baguette, lump of Cheddar cheese, half a ball of Mozzarella cheese, 1tsp Herbes de Provence, 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes.
  • Bubble the tinned tomatoes over a high heat for five minutes to reduce.
  • Chop the baguette into quarters and then cut each piece in half lengthwise.  Arrange cut side upwards on a baking tray.
  • Grate a chunk of Cheddar cheese and roughly chopped half a ball of mozzarella.
  • Spread the tomatoes onto the bread, sprinkle with the cheese and then a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence.
  • When friends arrive, put in the hot oven (hot because you're making the fruit loaf) for five or ten minutes and serve!
For the salad:
 - Romaine lettuce (allow 1 leaf per person), a handful of cherry tomatoes, about 10cm of cucumber, a spring onion per person, 1tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Chop the lettuce leaves and then rinse and drain.
  • Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then slice (about 1/2cm thick).
  • Trim the spring onions and cut into pieces about 2cm each.
  • Mix the spring onion, cucumber, lettuce and cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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