Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Whats For Dinner Tonight with Schwartz 2In1

Whats for Dinner tonight? Its a question I now slightly groan at, I consider myself a good 'from scratch' cook, its a hobby not a chore and I often wandered shops looking for different ingredients, look at prepared meals and working out  how to make it myself. 

Now I am crazily busy, drop dead exhausted most days, I care for my Grandma as many of you know, I adore cooking and before was often making meals from scratch. But I have to prioritise what I do and often making a big meal is abandoned.

Now I like to spend my time with my Granny and I have resorted to easier meals, sometimes just faster home cooked faves,but I also use packet mixes.

With my broken finger and just being told yesterday its going to be a minimum of 8 weeks with my hand out of full action, its definitely the time I need easy options.

Schwartz have always been in my cupboard, from herbs to spices, I love it when they come out with a new range, the new 2in1 packs really appeal. So when I saw the Britmums challenge to use them and feature here, I thought I would have a go.

Тhe new 2in1 range offers easy to use recipe mix sachets in one handy pack: one sachet flavours the main dish whilst the other contains а seasoning for a complementary side dish or topping. With 5 different varieties to choose from, and an easy recipe on the back of each pack, it’s a great way to try out new dishes or transform an existing family favourite.

I decided to start with the Garlic and Thyme Roast Chicken with Crispy Roast Potatoes,I could manage this one more or lesson my own, Chris did the peeling of potatoes and I was good to go. The seasoning is mixed with oil and spread over the chicken.

I decided the chicken breast and part of the legs should be skinned, I ditched the brush and used my hand to really rub in the mix, I then left it to infuse.None of these are needed if you are in a rush.

Chicken ready to pop in the oven,foil to cover for the first half, and then my trusty sous chef was left to peel the spuds! 

I parboiled the potatoes for 10 minutes then mixed the potato seasoning with oil, I used Extra Virgin oil as I find its fab and more healthy then popped into the oven to roast. 

The aroma that fills the kitchen is great, we were ravenous by the end. The chicken reminded me of a blackened chicken recipe I make, mine did look dark,but it was perfect.

The roast potatoes were done to perfection.
Just had to plate up,we ate this midweek meal with salad as we were also roasting in the summer sun.

This got an all round seal of approval, Paige said the only thing wrong with it was that she did not have two platefuls! The chicken was succulent,the seasoning being rubbed in and left to marinate really makes for more tender meat, I believe. The potatoes really crispy and just melt in the mouth fluffy inside, I use Maris Pipers for roasting, they just are delicious.

We had enough chicken for a few sandwiches next day, with a nice garlic mayo, just right for lunch in the garden!

On to the Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping, again Chris prepped the chicken and peppers needed for the mix, opened the can of tomatoes and did my heavy lifting, (I could get used to having an assistant for food blogging!)

The method again was simplistic,the grill was switched on to preheat, meanwhile the chicken is fried, I added the peppers after 7 minutes. Then the Mediterranean mix was stirred into the water and along with the chopped tomatoes added to the pan.

I decided to simmer this mix for about 10 minutes,this was to sweeten the tomatoes a little more. Then I mixed in the pasta, giving it a good stir, being a Mediterranean dish I popped in some left over Feta and a few olives just to add more flavour.
Then the final touch before grilling is to sprinkle over the Cheesy  Crumb topping and the grated cheese,being a fan of cheese I used more than suggested.

It looked and smelled really good,I am glad I added the extra cheese it gave it a boost and the cheese nicely melted through the tomato base.

We gave this one a thumbs up too, loved the chicken pasta base, the crispy Crumb topping had an strong ingredient that I could not quite work out and if I could, I would like less of it, it left a not awful but pungent aftertaste,it was possibly the onion powder, but I was the only person who felt this. 

I will make again and next time add red and green peppers to give a little more colour, maybe some courgettes as well.

I loved trying the range and am keen to make the other mixes now, see the link below for more details.

 “This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here


  1. ooh I've not seen these, must remember to look when I go shopping. It's nice to have a few 'easy' options on standby & these sound perfect
    Kirsten x

    1. They are rather good,I do tend to tweak the mixes and @Jo'them as my family say, its nice just to have a mix and not have to think too much about the preparation. Can't really go wrong with Schwartz when they blend their own range of herbs and spices!

  2. yum these look lovely- will look for them next time im shopping

    1. Thanks,I keep looking at those crispy potatoes and need to make more.

  3. Tasty shortcuts for quick meals. Thanks for the review.

  4. Looks lovely. Have never tried any of the Schwartz packets, but think I will now. Anything to make something a little different. I think I've gotten stuck in a cooking rut recently!

    1. Its easy to get stuck with favourites as you don't have to think,especially if you are busy. I find that packets give me inspiration to make variations without the packets in the future.Its also a good way of not having to buy all the spices needed for some dishes!

  5. Just where do you live - I'm coming round for dinner very
    Like you, I love to cook from scratch and delight in producing a good meal for a reasonable cost.
    Luckily I have the time now we are semi-retired.
    Husband likes to do his thing in the kitchen too so some nights it's extra nice having a meal cooked & presented in front of you.
    Tonight I'm cooking (Mathew), Chinese stir fry chicken breast, vegetables & noodles. I went to Chinese cooking classes several 'centuries' ago!!

    1. Ha, I will be round yours too. The chicken sounds good.

  6. Went shopping last night and we picked few packs. We will give it a go

  7. Love cooking but my problems sometimes - what to cook for dinner that's different???