Parmesan and Basil Omlette

Parmesan & Basil Omlette

4 tiny pekin bantam eggs
1 small egg courtesy of chicken little
1 large egg from Daisy
2 handfuls of grated parmesan
1 tablespoon of basil leaves ripped up
salt and pepper
a splash of milk

I have to say if was very yummy indeed and my son even comented on how lovely it tasted… miracles never cease ūüėČ

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

 lbp

I got an absolute bargin at my local garden centre yesterday, I picked up 3 x bags of seed potators for 50p each!    I will do a write up for each one individually, so here is the first one.

“Excellent resistance to the major potato diseases including blight scab and virus Y, it also has strong resistance to eelworm. The variety also gives very high yields even in soils with low fertility.”

“This means that in most seasons it can be grown without the use of chemicals and with little fertiliser making it easy to grow and ideal for organic culture.”

“The pink-splashed tubers are very attractive with tasty creamy flesh which is moist and firm meaning Lady Balfour is best suited to boiling and roasting.”

  • Yield: High
  • Shape: Oval
  • Skin: White/Purple eye
  • Flesh: Cream
  • Cooking: General Purpose – good for boiling, baking & roasting
Plant : April/May
Harvest : August/September 
Planted : Sunday 26th April 2009

Banana Bread

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I had some bananas in the kitchen that were starting to go spotty, and knowing that no-one would eat them, I decided to make Banana Bread with them… then everyone would eat that ūüôā

I have featured a banana bread/loaf in my blog before, but it was a different recipe…so thought I would give this¬†one a try, it is from the following¬†book …

Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible – ISBN 0-297-84363-X

Here’s the ingredients : –

  • 225g/8oz Self-Raising Flour
  • 3/4 level tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 100g / 3 1/2oz Vanilla Caster Sugar
  • 100g/ 3 1/2oz Unsalter Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp good Runny Honey
  • 100g / 3 1/2oz Sultanas
  • 450g / 1lb Organic Bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork.
  • 2 Eggs
  • The Juice of a Lemon

Method :

  • Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C / 350 Degrees F / Gas Mark 4
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and add the mixed spice, salt and sugar.
  • Add the butter, beat in all the remaining ingredients and pour the batter into a greased loaf tin.
  • Bake for one hour, then turn the heat down to 270 Degrees C / 325 degrees F / Gas Mark 3 for a further 10-15 minutes.
  • Check with a skewer which should come out clean.¬†¬† Cool in the tin on a rack before turning out.¬†¬† Eat warm with creme fraiche or on its own.

Gingerbread Muffins

Ingredients :

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • Half a Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 and a half Teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • quarter teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Egg
  • 50g dark muscavado sugar
  • 50g light muscavado sugar
  • 150ml full-fat milk
  • quarter teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons black treacle.

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to has mark 6 / 200 degrees C.   Line a 12 bun muffin tin with muffin papers.
  2. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg in a large measuring jug then add the sugars, breaking up any lumps.
  4. Add the milk and vinegar then measure in the oil with a tablespoon.
  5. Use the same oily spoon to add the syrup and treacle so they don’t stick to it.
  6. Whisk the mixture to combine and add to the flour and spices.
  7. Stir until mixed but still fairly lumpy – the mixture may be more runny than you expect for muffins – but you need the dense stickieness of gingerbread, rather than a cakey crumb.
  8. Spoon or pour the mixture into the muffin papers and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are dry; the muffins will still feel squidgy when you take them out of the tins to cool on a rack.
  9. Note that because the mixture is moist, these muffins will not have the hump topped look of shop-bought ones.   But unlike other muffins, these still taste gloriously good a couple of days after baking.

Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson Feast Book ~ isbn 0-701-17521-4

Butternut Squash and Almond Cake

I bought a butternut squash at the farmshop this week and fancied trying something a little bit different…

This recipe requires one half of the squash, I made soup with the remaining half.

The other good thing about this cake is it’s flour-less, so if you have a gluten intolerance its great, not so good if you have a¬†nut allergy.

Butternut Squash and Almond Cake

  • 1/2 butternut squash (medium-sized)
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g fine sugar
  • 100g butter (or equivalent)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • Butter for greasing
  1. Peel the squash with a potato peeler. Chop off the stalk and flower end. Chop in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Steam in a steamer (or in a large sieve above a pan of boiling water) until soft – about 10-15 minutes. Make sure it’s dry before you use it in the cake.
  3. Mash the squash until pureed. Let it cool until its warm, (if using freshly-cooked squash). If using leftovers, cold is fine.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  5. Cream the butter and the sugar together, until light and fluffy. 
  6. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar, with 2 tablespoons of the ground almonds and the baking powder. Beat well.
  7. Add the squash and beat well to combine.
  8. Mix in the rest of the almonds. The mixture should be thick, but if it’s too thick to stir, add some of the liquid from steaming the squash (cooled), a couple of tablespoons at a time. (Use milk if you don’t have any steaming water left).
  9. Grease a 7-8 inch cake tin. Put the mixture in the tin and spread it out evenly. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 45 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Note: if the cake starts to brown too soon, lightly cover it with foil. You might need a longer cooking time, depending on how much squash went in and how your cooker “does” cakes!
  11. Delicious as it is, or serve with cream or custard.
  12. Its delicious served on its own, but serving it with apple and blackberry syrup turned it into something really special.

Apologies for the lack of photographs .. my camera is still out of action (hoping santa will bring me a new one).

Chocolate and beetroot brownies recipe

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I watched¬†these being made the other week whislt watching the River Cottage tv programme and thought I would give them a try.. I have to admit that I am not a lover of beetroot, but then that’s probably because I associate it with the pickled stuff that comes in jars, tasted it once when I was a youngster and its kinda stuck in my head that I dont like it..

Time to give it another try, if Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall can convert non-beetroot lovers that it is a truely versatile veg then I think I should give this glorious purpley-red globe the benefit of my doubt !

The photograph unfortunately is not mine….thanks to my springer spaniel, my camera is well and truely knackered!! ….¬†its from the website where the recipe¬†is¬†(link at bottom of the page)

Ingredients

  • 250g/10oz good, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 250g/10oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 250g/10oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour (we used wholemeal self-raising)
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, peeled and grated

Method: How to make chocolate and beetroot brownies

1. Preheat oven to 180¬įC/350¬įF/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin of approximately 20 x 30 x 3cm and line the bottom with baking parchment.

2. Break up the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into cubes then mix them up a bit in a heatproof bowl. As the oven begins to warm up, put the bowl onto one of the shelves for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter starts to melt. Stir, and put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Gently fold in the flour then the beetroot ‚Äď be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. A knife or skewer pushed into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them! Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

Hugh’s tip:

Be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

Recipe Link to the Channel 4 Food Website

Couscous and Sausage Salad

The kids had been up at their grans for their tea tonight, so I didnt need to cook this evening for them, and I fancied something light to eat.

I had been flicking through a mag that I had picked up at my local supermarket and this recipe caught my eye, a quick check to make sure I had all the ingredients, yep, had everthing… and off I went ūüôā

  

Couscous and Sausage Salad..

(For a veggie meal, you can use Feta instead of sausage)

  • Serves 4
  • Ready in 25 minutes
  • Price Per Serving ¬£1.60

Ingredients :

  • 400g Sausages
  • 200g Couscous
  • Juice and zest of¬†1 unwaxed¬†lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used about 12 cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 Spring Onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves (I didnt put them in)

Method:

  • Grill or fry the sausages until cooked, then thickly slice
  • Pour 250ml boiling water into the couscous in a bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes
  • Whisk the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil and season, then stir into the couscous (after its 10 mins cooking time)
  • Stir in the tomatoes, spring onions, parsley and mint
  • Add the sausages and serve.

 

 

 

Choc Chip & Flax Seed Shortbread

INGREDIENTS

 

8 ozs (225g) Plain Flour
4 ozs (100g) Cornflour
4 ozs (100g) Icing Sugar
8 ozs (225g) Butter
A handful of Chocolate Chips
A small handful of Flax Seeds (Linseeds)

 METHOD

 

 

 

Chop butter into small pieces, and place into processor with sieved flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Whizz until it gathers into a ball.

either….

Turn the mixture out onto floured surface, work in the choc chips and flax seeds¬†and roll out to ¬Ĺ inch thick. Cut into rounds with pastry cutter and place on a greased baking tray.

Or

Roll into a large sausage, work in the choc chips and flax seeds until evenly incorporated throughout the dough, roll out into a large sausage shape and cut into thick slices (my preferred option its quicker!)

Just thought i’d mentioned the Flax seeds again… they’re a gorgeous colour ūüôā¬† as well as being healthy and good for you!.¬†¬† I only found out last week that they are also known as Linseed’s, just goes to show you learn something new all the time ūüôā

Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350f/ 180c / Gas 4 till firm and light brown. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while warm.

Tip ‚Äď to keep shortbread fresh and crisp, place in a plastic bag when cool and then in an airtight tin.

Update : When my OH got in from working, he had a cup of tea and one of my choc chip and flax seed shortbread rounds… “oh” he says… “these wee seeds just look like dog fleas” !!?!?!?!

Dog Flea’s indeed… !! he did enjoy the shortbread tho, until on his last mouthful crunched a seed in between his teeth and it put him right off … guess i’ll leave the flax seeds out the next time… either that or rename them ūüôā¬†¬† “Choc Chip¬†‘n’ Dog Flea Shortbread” LOL

Pecan Shortbread

 

INGREDIENTS

8 ozs (225g) Plain Flour
4 ozs (100g) Cornflour
4 ozs (100g) Icing Sugar
8 ozs (225g) Butter
A handful of pecans plus extra to place on top

 

 

METHOD

Chop butter into small pieces, take a handful of pecans and place into processor with sieved flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Whizz until it gathers into a ball.

either….

Turn the mixture out onto floured surface and roll out to ¬Ĺ inch thick. Cut into rounds with pastry cutter and place on a greased baking tray.

Or

Roll into a large sausage fill a plastic bag with some demorara sugar put the shortbread sausage into the bag and coat the outside edges in the sugar.. remove and cut into thick slices (my preferred option its quicker!)

   

   

Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350f/ 180c / Gas 4 till firm and light brown. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while warm.

Tip ‚Äď to keep shortbread fresh and crisp, place in a plastic bag when cool and then in an airtight tin.

Join in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Join in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

I can’t believe a year has passed since¬†we held¬†this event… a¬†very worthwhile cause, and a charity dear to my own¬† heart,¬† losing my¬†mum to this dreadful disease¬†4 years past.

Tomorrow at work, we are holding another Coffee morning in conjunction with the Macmillan Cancer Apppeal for the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning.

This is a great way to raise funds,¬†it gets the troops at work eating good, wholesome, additive free, home baking whilst contributing to a good cause¬†ūüôā¬†¬†¬†

I have been happily baking away in the kitchen all evening and hope to get some pictures and recipes up soon.

I just need to keep the vultures (Hubby & Kids) from hovering around the kitchen long enough to get the goodies safely put into containers to take to work tomorrow morning!

UPDATE :

I have to thank Sam @ MacMillan Cancer Support, who contacted me though¬†my blog and left some lovely comments… ūüôā

Sam also left me an information video¬†on the fundraising¬†work that MacMillan Cancer Support carry out… Please take time out to have a look at this very worthwhile cause.¬†¬†

MacMillan Cancer Support