Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Gingerbread Blondies

OH MY GOODNESS! If you don't want to be severely tempted by something that is so dangerously delicious that any diet plans you have now or for in the near future will immediately be thrown out the window . . . LOOK AWAY NOW!



OOOPS! Too late eh? Sorry about that folks. We were having guests for lunch the other day and I wanted to bake something that was unusual and delicious and I remembered this recipe which was in a cookbook of mine entitled Gingerbread ( by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn) for Gingerbread Blondies.  It had been a very long time since I had baked them and tis the time of year that hearts yearn for warmer food, comfort food . . . autumn food.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Chili Cheese Dog Bake

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I love hotdogs.  I know they are not exactly gourmet food, and I know that they are a bit garbagy junk foody with what goes into them.  I don't care what goes into them.  I like them.  They taste good to me, and they have their place in my kitchen, as a once in a while treat. When I was a child we often had hotdogs for supper on Friday nights and my mom made the best hot dogs on the planet.  People used to vie for an invitation to dinner on hotdog night, no word of a lie!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Super Swiss Roll, The Betty's Way

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Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Six of their delicious hints and tips and recipe on how to make a really super Swiss Roll!

Super Swiss Roll

INGREDIENTS (serves 6-8)

4 eggs (medium)
100g caster sugar  (1/2 cup)
100g plain flour (3/4 cup)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g strawberry jam  (about 1 cup)
200ml double cream, lightly whipped (3/4 cup)
Caster sugar (for sprinkling)



METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted). Grease and line the base and sides of a baking tray with baking parchment. Sprinkle caster sugar over the paper.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and creamy.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the mixture is cool and forms a figure of eight when the beaters are lifted out of the bowl.

4. Sift the self raising flour into the bowl and with a metal spoon quickly and carefully fold into the mixture.

5. Spoon into the prepared baking tray. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden and ‘springy’ to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes.

6. Place a clean tea-towel on the bench and top with a piece of baking parchment. Turn the sponge onto the baking parchment. Carefully remove the baking parchment from the sponge.

7. Roll up across its width enclosing the baking parchment as you go. Place on a wire rack and leave to get cold.

 8. Unroll the sponge and spread with the strawberry jam and the whipped cream. Re-roll. Trim the edges. Dust with sifted icing sugar.


NOTES IN THE MARGINS

Super Swiss Roll

ZONE THE MIX Use a glass bowl - it’ll keep the batter at the right temperature. Whisk until you’re able to make a full figure of eight in the mix. Use a large metal spoon – the flattest you have. Hold your baking paper in place with few dots of mixture. Don’t pour the mix – ‘zone’ it and then join the mixture together for an even covering.

MAKE ITS MEMORY Invest in an oven thermometer for accurate temperature readings. Sprinkle sugar on some baking paper so your sponge doesn’t stick to it. To release the sponge from the paper it was baked on, wet your hands and massage the back of the paper. Score a little wedge in the sponge and roll it to make its ‘memory’. Do this while it’s warm – it will remember that form and roll more easily later. Allow to cool. See the recipe card for Bettys Baking Secrets Week Three, Perfect Piping, for our tips about whipping cream.

CHEF’S PERK Apply your jam first – it’s a barrier to the cream which can dissolve your sponge. Loosen your jam by working it with a teaspoon so it spreads more freely and doesn’t tear the sponge. Zone it and join the dots (like you did with the sponge mix) for an even spread. Don’t spread to the edge – it will spill out when you roll. Whenever cutting cake use a serrated knife – saw and let the knife do the work. Remove the ends for a neat presentation – they’re the chef’s perk!

For more Bettys Baking Secrets, including our own recipes and secret tips for piping, visit www.bettys.co.uk/bettysbakingsecrets.

Pear, Vanilla & Cardamom Jam

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When the children were growing up I used to make up bottles and bottles of jams, jellies, pickles and conserves every year.  It was just a matter of course and something which I really loved to do and it all got used.  The end of August and months of  September/October my house was filled with the smells of a great harvest being put up for the winter months.  It was a glorious smell.  A Home Sweet Home kind of a smell.  Not to brag or anything but one year I did up 52 quarts of Dill Pickles and yes . . . .  every single pickle got eaten!


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Cheese Slaw

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Cheese Slaw isn't something I had ever tasted before moving over here to the UK.  I hadn't even really considered it.   I think it was my friend Jo who mentioned it one day at work when I was working at the Manor and my interest was piqued.  Cheese  . . . in coleslaw?  It just had to be good!  I often add chopped dried fruits to my coleslaw, which gives it a lovely hint of sweet.  Cheese makes it a bit more savoury.  It's very moreish!

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I made this the other day when we had the Missionary Zone Leaders over for supper.  I always like to have some sort of salad when we feed the missionaries.  The girls always like a leafy salad, but the guys are always a bit more fond of coleslaw.  Not sure why that is, but, meh . . .  what can I say!

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I didn't really get  a lot of photos of it.  Todd hates me taking food  photos when we have people over.  But trust me when I say this is delicious.  I am not fond at all of storebought coleslaw.  It's too bland for my taste and too gloopy.  I like my coleslaw to have a nice flavour and plenty of texture.  Bland coleslaw is a no no for me.  Suffice it to say there were no leftovers the other day.  One of the guys said to me . . .  "Did you make this coleslaw?  It's the best I've ever eaten."  I was quite happy to respond in the affirmative!

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*Cheese Slaw*
Serves 4 to 6 

This is delicious and a bit different than regular slaw.  I like a nice quanitity of cheese in mine, but you use as little or as much as you want.  

3/4 pound (12 ounces) white cabbage, cored, trimmed and finely shredded
(I like to shred by hand.  It takes longer, but I like the texture better)
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsley grated
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely grated
165g of good quality mayonnaise (3/4 cup)
55g of salad cream (In American you can use Kraft Coleslaw dressing)
1 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
fine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
120g of coarsely grated cheese (1 cup)
(I used a mix of strong white cheddar and red leicester)  

Shred and grate all of your vegetables, and toss together in a large bowl.   Whisk together the mayonnais, salad cream, cider vinegar, sugar, celery salt and salt and black pepper to taste.  Pour this ovr the vegetables in the bowl, tossing to coat.  Stir in the cheese.  Cover and chill in order for the flavours to meld together for at least an hour.  This keeps well for a day or so.   (If you have any left that is!  It goes very well with cold slices meats and in sandwiches too!)

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Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Magic Chicken Pie

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This is a delicious dish that I like to make every now and again. Todd really loves it, but then again he is somewhat of a pie man.  I like to make my own pies and whilst this isn't like your traditional type of pie, it is still very satisfying and quite, quite tasty!


Monday, 26 September 2016

Caprera, where good food is more than just a label

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I wanted to tell you about a new online marketplace where ‘good food’ is more than just a label.  It is called Caprera.


‘Finest’, ‘Extra Special’, ‘Taste the Difference’. Is a clever label all it takes to convince us about the quality of the food we eat? When we buy ‘British’, ‘farm-raised’ produce, are we happy to settle for this vague idea of where our food comes from? We all like to believe that we are discerning shoppers, choosing only the freshest and the best of what is on the shelf. However, the truth is that most of us purchase without truly giving a second thought about quality and traceability, and are content to accept things at face value. We never stop to consider that being the best on the shelf does not necessarily qualify as being good to begin with. Is there really any way to be certain about how “good” ‘good food’ actually is?

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Caprera aims to change that. It is the largest network of independent food and drink producers in the UK. After a successful trial period, the marketplace has now officially launched, targeting UK consumers who care about the quality and traceability of their food, and who know that this is not something they can get at supermarkets.  

For Caprera, careful sourcing does not mean compromising on convenience. This is great news for the busy modern-day consumer, who wants all the convenience of getting his food in one place. In addition to offering delivery throughout mainland UK, the online marketplace also offers a single delivery system. This enables customers to order a variety of products from multiple independent producers throughout the UK, yet receive it all in one convenient delivery.

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According to Caprera’s founder and CEO, Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi, “For too long, ‘good food’ has been reduced to nothing more than a slogan that supermarkets exploit for their own commercial benefit. We believe that customers deserve so much better, and we want them to realise this. We want ‘good food’ to actually mean something again.”

Caprera sets high standards for its producers, all of whom are vetted and handpicked against select criteria. They operate a series of strict policies that includes a ban on the use of artificial substances, GMOs and synthetic growth hormones. This allows the online marketplace to guarantee that all their products are grown and produced by independent producers who mindfully source their ingredients and reject mass production.

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By offering an affordable, convenient way to access traceable, quality food; Caprera is looking to change customer expectations in terms of what should and what really shouldn’t be classed as good food. The site can be found at https://caprera.com/.

Note - I am hoping to try the site out for myself in the near future and will be able to give you my own personal view of the service and products.  Watch this space!

Lamb and Damson Stew

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Here in the Western world putting fruit in with meat isn't something which we do very often . . .  however having said that we do like our pork with applesauce and our cranberry sauce with turkey . . .  but fruit in a stew, its not a really common thing.  In the Middle East it is a fairly common thing . . .  just think of a Tagine with apricots or dates . . . really delicious dishes.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Peanut Butter Cake 4 One

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It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic and I would be lying to you if I didn't say that it has been a real struggle.  Coping with this along with Diverticulitis, IBS and other health issues means that putting anything into my mouth is a bit like playing Russian Roulette.  No fun.  It definitely hasn't been easy.  I have managed to keep the Diabetes under control and take myself back to pre-diabetic glucose levels . . .  the other things I never know from one day to the next what is going to set things off.   I just think I got a handle on it and bingo!  Surprise, surprise, something else will trigger an attack.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Cherry Kuchen

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They have some lovely frozen cherries at the grocery shops and I often pick up a pack and stick them in the freezer so that I can bake a pie or something when the mood strikes.  The other day I decided to bake a delicious Cherry Kuchen with some.  We both love Kuchen/cake.   Kuchen is German for Cake.  In any language it is delicious.  This recipe is loosely based on one which is in my old red plaid covered BHG cookery book.  I have adapted it to make my own cherry filling.  You can use a tin of cherry pie filling instead of the freshly made filling, but I love the homemade cherry filling best of all.