Category Archives: Recipes

I’m not dead…and I made a cake to prove it!

Wow, I never meant for that to happen!

I don’t even have any proper excuses to be honest, just that life got in the way!

I’m still working in the same place, still knitting and sewing whenever I can, I’ve almost finished my BSL Level 1 – check out this woman signing Cee Lo Green – it’s ace but is NOT safe for work!

My camera’s still broken 😥

And most importantly, I’m still cooking, doing my bit for feminism , Nigella!

In a bid to put off my BSL revision for a little longer, tonight I made a cake I’d been dreaming about for a while. I got the recipe from the the beautiful Joy the Baker, whose blog I stalk obsessively read 🙂

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread

Before

Doesn't it look like porridge with strawberries?!

After

Little overdone but still yummers!

In terms of difficulty, it’s pretty easy but it involves a lot of little tasks and a helluva lot of washing up. It’s worth it though, especially if it’s OH’s turn to do the washing up. 🙂

It is a delish banana cake, with lovely tiny strawberry yumminess dotted in it. Perfect energy food for late-night sign language exam cramming!

Speak soon, I promise!

x

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Filed under Baking, Food, Mr Pavlova, Recipes, Sewing

Baking is Easy

One of the reasons I started this blog is because I talk about food a A LOT. I am one of those preachy people. I’m constantly telling people “Ooh you should cook this, or try this ingredient blah blah blah.” I imagine it is very annoying. For example, when people say they don’t like vegetables, I feel compelled to convert them, insisting that it is just fussiness that they’ll grow out of once they discover the yumminess of the butternut squash. Most of the time it doesn’t work and they continue to avoid their greens like the plague. No doubt they’ll come hobbling back one day with rickets and scurvy begging me to make them a nice veggie quiche.

Anyways, I think some of my foodie talk has paid off, cause one of my friends asked me to give her a bakery lesson. Of course, I agreed straight away. A whole day devoted to talking about cake, eating cake and showing off? Yes please!

Here’s the Victoria Sponge my friend made:

And here‘s the recipe we used. I say we, but I didn’t actually do anything except tell my friend what to do. She didn’t really need my help, she just wasn’t confident in baking due to the fact that the last time she had tried making a cake was for my 18th birthday (8 years ago) and that had gone so horribly wrong that she had to buy me a cake instead. I didn’t mind –  the bought cake was nice and it was shaped like a caterpillar, bonus!

Anyway, I digress, the Victoria Sponge was superb and now my friend can bake. She’s so confident in fact, she’s told me she is going to attempt another cake for my birthday, in two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Beetroot Soup

So,

I’ve been putting off using the free beetroot that I thought was a turnip cos I didn’t know what to do with it. In the end I decided to make a beetroot soup. Here‘s the recipe I based it on. Except I didn’t weigh the onion or beetroot (that’d be weird), I just used 1 of each. When I was blitzing it with the hand blender, it looked like a lovely frothy raspberry soup, it’s such a pretty colour. Anyway, here it is:

I’d never had beetroot soup before and it was surprisingly tasty. Mine was quite peppery (cos I added loads of pepper, duh) which I liked. It’s not my favourite soup but nonetheless a very healthy wholesome meal.

Oh, and it didn’t make my wee go pink as I expected, which was a bit of a disappointment.

See you later. x

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There’s Only One Thing Better Than Food…

…and that’s free food!

I did a friend a favour a couple of days ago -I didn’t expect anything in return but ended up leaving with two big bags of fresh veg from her friend’s allotment. Result.

So I bought some lamb chops yesterday and was ready to make a mega cheapo Lancashire Hotpot using my free courgette, potatoes and turnips. That was until I cut into the turnip, and it turned out to be a beetroot! Oops! Anyway, here it is:

Put some lamb chops in the bottom of a casserole dish then layer with thinly sliced potatoes, then a layer of chopped courgette and green beans. Season the veg with salt, pepper and mixed herbs (I would have used rosemary but didn’t have any). Repeat the layers ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour over a pint of beef stock (only stock I had!), add a bouqet garni, brush the top with melted butter and season. Bung it in the oven for 2.5 hours on 170 C, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 mins on 220 C. Remove the bouqet garni and devour the hotpot in true Lancashire style, with a flat cap on and a whippet by your side. Yum.

Now I just need to know what to do with the beetroot!

P.S. WordPress doesn’t recognise the word ‘courgette’! Grrr it’s a bloomin British zucchini! Rant over.

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Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding

I’ve just received my free copy of Olive magazine. Here’s the details to get your copy if you’re interested. I’m not certain that this offer is still available so please don’t hold me responsible if it isn’t!

There’s loads of lovely recipes in this month – but the one that jumped out at me was the Lemon self-saucing pudding. I love lemon flavoured puddings, and I’ve not made a dessert in a while so I thought I’d give it a go. I thought it might be tricky as it is a bit souffle-like but it is super easy. And super yummy. Here it is…

And here is the gooey lemon curd bit underneath..

The recipe says use a food processor, which I don’t have, but elbow grease will suffice. Also, you may have noticed that I forgot to dust it withe the icing sugar. That’s ’cause I’m too greedy to wait. I’ve just eaten mine with single cream but it’s so tasty I may have to go back for seconds, or even thirds. Or I may just polish the whole thing off. OH is out, he’ll never know..

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The World Cup Is Over (for England, anyway)

So the World Cup is over. Yes, there may be two weeks to go but as far as England are concerned it’s over. Sigh.

And so my World Cup themed food must also come to an end. I meant to update after each game but I have been struck down by a particularly awful case of the sniffles and haven’t had the energy to blog so here’s a quick update.

England Vs Slovenia

I was a bit lost when it came to Slovenian food but thankfully my friend Zowie came to the rescue. Zowie is one of my bestest friends. She also happens to be a strict vegetarian. However, she’s the kind of ace vegetarian who doesn’t snarl when I order a double cheeseburger and who suggests yummy recipes like Goulash.

I changed the recipe a bit but I’m feeling too lazy to write it out so if anyone wants my recipe specifically then please ask. Here’s how it turned out:

It was yum, but the way I made it, it was quite liquidy, a bit soupy. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be more stewy than soupy but it tasted good and we ate it with bread to soak up some of the liquid.

England Vs Germany

As I was all bunged up with a cold last night I could not be bothered cooking (I was going to make fancy potato pancakes with sausages as well, honest) so the OH did Frankfurters. Bit of a cop out I know. And we had to eat the German food, after Germany had thrashed us 4-1(2)!

Ah well, there’s always the tennis.

And so, as I was sofa-bound most the of the weekend, I’ve had chance to do a lot of crafting. Inspired by my new favourite blog Ruffles and Stuff, I decided to give one of my dull cardigans a makeover. For the tutorial, click here.

Here’s my boring old cardy before…

And after…

I shortened the sleeves, added a lacy trim, then added some buttons I’d covered in fabric. It was a pain in the bum to make. I’m not a very patient or methodical crafter. Once I’d attached the buttons, I tried to fasten the top and realised the buttons were too big for the buttonholes. So I took a pair of scissors to the buttonholes. I don’t recommend this kind of botched approach but it suits me. So, it may only last a few days before it falls apart but until then, I have a lovely new top!

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England vs Algeria aka Lamb Tagine with Flatbreads

Yesterday England played Algeria, so continuing with my World Cup food theme I needed to make an Algerian dish. I decided on lamb tagine, which may be more Moroccan but hey, they’re both in North Africa and I’m sure they eat it in Algeria too. My sister gave me a rough idea of how to make it but I also had a look online for a few recipes as I’d never made it before. I didn’t find any recipes which I fancied so I used this one as a guide but changed it quite a bit to my liking. I love courgettes so that was used as my main veg, I also put in dried apricots as advised by my big sis, and I’m glad I did as they were so yummy, they just melt in your mouth when they’re cooked. Here’s the recipe:

Olive oil

3 courgettes, chopped

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, diced

Some fresh ginger, grated

3tsp ground cinnamon

3tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper

Some lamb (I bought a half shoulder, removed the fat and cut it into chunks)

2 tbsp tomato puree

3 tins chopped tomatoes

3-4 tbsp honey

Some dried apricots

Some raisins

As usual, I didn’t weigh/count everything (I ain’t counting raisins for nobody, sorry) so here’s a pic to give you a rough idea of quantities, if you’re the picky type.

First I fried the onions, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in olive oil for a few mins, then added the meat for a few more mins. Then I put this, plus all the remaining ingredients in a casserole dish. I then added a bit of boiling water to the pan used for the onions etc as the spices had stuck to the bottom. Using a wooden spoon, I loosed the spices and added this liquid to the casserole dish. I then put the lid on and put it into an oven (preheated to 160 C) for about 2 hours. For the last hour, I removed the lid, as advised by Rachel Allen.

To go with this I made flatbreads, again an idea my sister gave me. For this, I thought I’d better follow a recipe so I used this one. I was surprised how easy they are to make and quick. Next time, I might try putting cheese on them or make flatbread pizza. Everything tastes better with cheese. Mmm.

The food was great, the tagine was lovely and sweet (maybe a little too sweet, a bit less honey next time) and there’s enough for tonight’s tea, and maybe even tomorrow’s. So overall, the meal was a great success, shame I can’t say the same about the football 😦

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