Pasta Bake and Mars Bar Cake

Today was wild. Apparently, thirty minutes away there was a mini tornado! After a quick run around outside this morning, everyone retreated indoors as the weather progressively worsened. And what do you do when you can’t go out? You bake.

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I made pastry last night in anticipation of whipping up a few apple-tarts this morning, but Grace declared today “Celebrate Daddy Day” and asked could she bake too. James was not to be deterred from anything exciting involving dough, flour, pastry cutters and the chance to make a fine old mess. Then Liam and Michael decided that they would pitch in too. So I was allowed to advise from the sidelines as Grace and Liam made apple tarts and Michael made mini tart-men (dough cut into man-shapes and filled with grated apple. Super finniky) P1010975(Graces’ apple tart is the one on the left, decorated with pastry shapes of flowers, men and hearts “for Daddy”. She spent the entire time, correcting me  as I explained what to do, telling me how “Ma” (my mother) did it, and did it properly at that. Epic fail on my part obviously!!)

James cut out men shapes too, and made dough “yourds” [swords] for them. Then waited by the oven door for them to bake (no patience) asking me every few seconds: ”Done?!” Eventually they were (longest ten minutes) and he huffed and puffed and blew them until they were cool, then gobbled them up with relish…20140212_140149

Grace drew a picture for Fergal for “Celebrate Daddy Day”:P1010976

We are getting married under an arbour and I’m holding the new baby. It gladdens my heart to see that I’m several feet taller than Fergal in this :-D

We stopped for lunch: I made this pasta bake last night, still had lots, so we had it for lunch. It was y-u-m…

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Chicken and Chorizo Pasta Bake 

(This is another feck-it recipe. I got together whatever I had, and improvised. As I encourage you to do too!)

2 large or 4 small chicken breasts (I had roasted two large chickens two days ago, and so had two large cooked chicken breasts which I used)

I chorizo sausage, chopped

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

Dash of oil

Cup of peas (I used frozen)

Approx 250mls of Creme Fraiche or Cream (Or natural yogurt if you were stuck)

100gms (I used half a tube) of tomato puree (Or a tin of chopped tomatoes, or a jar of passata)

Grated cheese (however much you fancy)

500g Penne Pasta

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Preheat the oven 180′C

Put the pasta on.

In a large saucepan, I added the oil, and, when hot, tossed around the onion. If your chicken is raw, cook it now first. Add the chorizo and garlic. 

Add creme fraiche/cream and puree, stir it all around. Add the cooked, drained pasta, and toss everything so it is well coated in the sauce. Put into an oven proof dish, stir in the grated cheese, bake for 15-20 minutes.

After lunch, I made a Mars Bar Cake as I bought some Mars Bars yesterday with this in mind (and we were celebrating after all). This is a Nigella recipe and is as moreish and delicious as you would expect!

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Mars Bar Cake 

(This fast started to turn into another Feck-it cake too: I found a few chocolate santas and some caramel Roses sweets that I threw in too. I tried to restrain myself there)

3 Mars Bars

2 Tablespoons of golden syrup

100gms butter (real butter please)

Enough Rice Krispies to coat

200g chocolate

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In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the Mars Bars, golden syrup and butter.   When they have melted, stir in enough Rice Krispies to coat, then press into a tin lined with greaseproof paper. 

Melt the chocolate and pour on top, spreading out evenly.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares and devouring.

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