Friday, 12 December 2008

Walking off the pounds

I was so excited about starting this blog yesterday that I kept checking back to see if people were visiting, and to read the lovely comments. Not sure when (or if) the thrill will wear off, but I've already had my notebook out planning what creations I can share with you here on in.

I had a fab day today. I got to spend time with a friend and her little one over in the next town. Her youngest is sooo cute, and he and M got on all morning without a single squabble. I took the children for a walk in said friend's tandem pushchair and an elderly lady mistook me for her. When she realised that I wasn't who she thought I was, she blurted out, 'Oh yeah, the other lady is slim!'. I pointed out that she is also taller and very blonde. I guess we all look the same to Japanese baachans!

I knew today would be a busy one, so I got ahead of myself and prepared dinner last night. And I'm sure it tasted better thanks to this. Again, nothing fancy, just a pasta bake - but much, much tastier than the kind you pour out of a jar (well actually, there is a bit of a jar sneaked in here as a cheat, but next time I'll leave it out and play around with some herbs instead):

1 small onion, chopped
250g minced beef
1 green pepper (japanese peppers are small!)
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1 pack of mushrooms, sliced or broken into chunks (I used shimeiji, K's favourite)
250g jar of your favourite pasta sauce (I used MaMa Pasta Navi's Napolitan, the imported sauces were extortionately dear)
250g macaroni pasta
1 1/2 cups cheese, grated

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions. Meanwhile fry the onion in a little oil, then crumble in the beef and cook until it browns. Add the pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and sauce then allow to simmer for a short while. Stir in the cooked pasta and a cup of the cheese before transferring to an ovenproof dish and sprinkling with the rest of the cheese. If baking straight away it'll only need about 20 minutes at 190c. If you're preparing this ahead of time to reheat later, give it an extra 10 minutes.

Even W ate this with gusto. Hurrah, he ate green pepper and mushrooms (just don't tell him)!

1 comment:

  1. Please do post about what Japanese substitutes you use for recipes. Kunimi supermarket has no foreign brands so knowing good Japanese ones that work with foreign recipes would be good!! The pasta bake looks good and I will try this when we get back to Japan. I have never added cheese into the main bit before - only used it as topping. Yum.