Before you start reading this post, may I ask you to do Helen and I a huge favour please? If you enjoy reading our blog could you please take 5 minutes out of your time to vote for us in the UK Blog Awards? Here is the link and it’s also on the side of this page. Thank you very much indeed.
Sometimes cooking can be a real chore, but not any more! I get fed up having the same dishes week in week out, it gets rather boring. But some recipes have a long list of ingredients which tend to stay in the cupboard never to be used again, takes too long or involves lots of washing up afterwards! Well, ok lots of loading and unloading of the dishwasher maybe. Simply Cook kindly sent us one of their boxes containing four recipe cards and four smaller boxes with 3 pots of ‘hero’ ingredients within: olive oil, herbs & spices and pastes, all 100% natural and of the highest quality. Everything you need in fact for each recipe apart from the fresh ingredients of course where on average is only 4 or five, so not a long list thankfully. They give you alternative suggestions if something is a little unusual or which may be difficult to get hold of, ie., okra.
I was having a girly Friday night in at my Italian friend, Catia’s house. We normally buy a pizza from Waitrose and eat that whilst watching Friends on the television. She has lots of Italian cookery books at home and we keep meaning to make something from them but can never be bothered. After a long week at work all Catia wants to have is something quick. I suggested we make one of the recipes from Simply Cook as it looked like it would only take us around 30 minutes, perhaps a little less. Of course, we chose the pasta dish, Pan Fried Chicken Bucatini Amatriciana. It was very simple to prepare and cook, we chose to slice our chicken breasts mainly because I’d forgotten to take them out of my freezer early enough, but in fact I would do this again. We added the pot of herbs into the bowl of raw sliced chicken and stirred it so it was all coated. I couldn’t find any bucatini pasta but it said to use penne instead so I used my old faithful make of pasta, Cav. Giuseppe Cocco which is rather expensive but very nice. We weighed out 250g, ‘Mamma mia!’ Catia exclaimed – no, ok, she didn’t really – it didn’t look enough to satisfy our appetites but we stuck to the recipe all the same.
It was all very straight forward and we added the little pot of chilli flakes with caution – which it says to – just adding a few at a time and tasting it, then adding a few more until we had it to our liking. It certainly had a bit of a kick to it but it was a really tasty dish, we were most impressed and the pasta was enough for the both of us. The chopped basil on top added an extra nice fresh taste to the dish. I would most certainly like to try this again.
And here’s the finished dish –
So, that meal went down very well and I decided to cook another meal from the box the following night for my husband and I after a long day of cycling. This time it was Cajun Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash. Again, as I did before I sliced the chicken breasts instead of keeping them whole. Okra was required – whatever that is – and Waitrose didn’t have any so I bought baby courgettes as recommended by the recipe card. Also it said to garnish with feta cheese so I used goat’s cheese as that’s all I had and it went well. The flavours and smell of both dishes were superb.
Again, this dish was a winner, quite spicy but very tasty and easy and quick to make! It was washed down with a glass – or two – of Ricasoli’s Chianto Classico, from our favourite vineyard in Tuscany. Luckily it’s available from my local Waitrose!
Not so long ago we took a look at Bonjour French Food which was very good and I enjoyed cooking using their ingredients. They also send a box a month but which is more of a surprise as you don’t know what you will receive. With Simply Cook you can choose which recipes you’d like to have and also choose between vegetarian, healthy, meat, fish or gluten free. The Simply Cook box is £10 a month – which works out to just £2.50 a week – is designed for two people and delivered free, it should fit through your letter box quite easily like the Graze box. The website is very easy to use, you can decide which recipes you would like in your box each month. And guess what? Simply Cook are letting our readers have their first box for £5, that’s a a whopping 50% off! Just use our unique promotional code which is Taste2. How fantastic is that!
What are you waiting for?
Living life, loving cake and Simply Cooking