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It’s been a busy week in the Balmain Kitchen, as I’ve had two lots of dinner guests over and been researching lots of new recipes, as well as fighting off a sore throat (again!) and recovering from the city2surf last weekend. It’s been a good one though, and both of my dinner soirees turned out to be successful and relaxing affairs with great company and what I hope was great food..although I have decided that there will definitely be a maximum of two guests in the Balmain Kitchen, as three man dinners are about as much as my humble abode can handle! The thing I’ve been quite possibly the most excited about this week however, is my new red chair! I braved Ikea on a weeknight to search out another chair ahead of my first dinner guests, and found the perfect little red chair which is made even better by the fact that it folds up so I can store it under the bed if I need to..but I like it so much that I keep it in the corner anyway!!

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Here’s my recipe for a dinner I made for my sister and cousin last night. It’s a simple, inexpensive and satisfying meal for lovers of bacon and mushrooms 🙂

Spaghetti w Bacon and Mushroom

8 rashers of shortcut bacon, chopped

150g button mushrooms, sliced

1 big handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

500g spaghetti

1 tbsp butter

1-2 tbsp olive oil

Cracked black pepper

Parmesan cheese, to serve

Serves 4-6

Cook the pasta until just cooked (try not to overcook it as you’re going to add it to the pan again later). While it’s cooking, fry the bacon pieces in some of the olive oil a separate pan until slightly crispy and remove. Add a little more of the olive oil and the butter, then fry the mushrooms and parsley until the mushrooms are slightly softened and brown. Return the bacon to the pan and some cracked black pepper and stir together for about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the spaghetti to the pot with the bacon mixture and the reserved cooking water and mix together over a low heat for about a minute or so. You can add some more olive oil if necessary but I wouldn’t overdo it otherwise your pasta will taste too oily..try a little more of the reserved pasta water or a squeeze of lemon juice if it’s looking a little dry. All you need to do next is serve it up, with some parmesan and more cracked pepper! Bon appétit!

For my other dinner guests, I tried out George Socratous’ Beef Stroganoff in the Jamie Oliver Magazine. You can get the recipe here. This one turned out quite well, and is a great staple meal for your repertoire of comforting mid-week dinners. The addition of lemon juice towards the end of the cooking stage helped to keep the dish nice and light and balance out the richness of the sour cream and brandy. Definitely a keeper recipe!

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Well, that’s the wrap of my week. I’ll leave you with some pics from my sleepy Saturday..

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Winter oranges and a smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese and baby spinach roll…delish!!

Until next time,

Trini xo

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