Saturday, 21 May 2016



As promised, I have a few new recipes for you today :)
Hubby had control of the remote this afternoon, and he switched it over to Martha Bakes.  I think he was hinting!  I have to admit, though, it did give me some inspiration.

I made two batches of cupcakes today.  A lemon meringue cupcake (yes I've done this before, but this is a new recipe), and a red velvet cupcake.
At first glance, my lemon meringue cupcakes looked to be an epic fail - this is what happens when you haven't completely dried your bowl before whisking eggs, and when you get a smidge of egg yolk in there.  But!  They were amazing!  Or in the words of my daughter, "these are the goodest cupcakes ever!"
As for the red velvet, I may have overdone the cocoa, so they're not quite as red as they should have been, I have adjusted my quantity, so you should be okay with this one.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

100g butter
1/2C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2C flour
2Tbsp cocoa
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1tsp cider vinegar
2/3C milk
1tsp red colouring paste

Beat butter with sugar and vanilla.  Add egg and beat well.
Sift flour and baking powder with cocoa and add this, start beating slowly, while adding the milk and soda/vinegar mix.
Add colouring and give one last beat.
Scoop tablespoonfuls into cupcake cases and bake at 200C for 15 minutes
Allow to cool.

Cream cheese and raspberry icing - I borrowed this idea from Martha

125g cream cheese at room temperature
50g butter, softened
approx 1 1/2C icing sugar
1 1/2Tbsp raspberry jam - pushed through a sieve to get rid of seeds.

Beat cream cheese and butter, slowly add icing sugar until combined.  Beat vigorously for a minute of two.
Swirl jam into the icing and using a knife, spread on top of the cupcakes.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

100g butter
1/2C sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
1Tbsp lemon curd
1 1/2C flour
1tsp baking powder
2/3C milk

Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla together.  Add egg and beat again.  Add lemon curd, and give it a quick fold through.
Sift flour and baking powder into the mix and slowly start to combine, while adding milk.
Spoon tablespoonfuls into cupcake cases and bake at 180C for approx 20 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meringue topping

3 egg whites
1C sugar
1tsp vanilla
1tsp cornflour
1tsp malt vinegar

Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl :) until thick.
Slowly add sugar while beating continuously.
Mix vanilla, cornflour and vinegar together and pour into mix.
It should be glossy.

make a small hole in the top of each cupcake, and place a dollop of lemon curd on top - some in the hole, and the rest on top.  I placed a blob, though if you had runny meringue like me, maybe spread the curd across.
Pipe (or spread/pour) your meringue over top of each cupcake.
If you have a fancy blow torch thing, by all means use one of those, otherwise, put cupcakes under the grill for a minute, or until just starting to brown.

*Those lumps in the centre are the lemon curd*

There you go!  Two yummy cupcake recipes that I guarantee your family will love!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The humble potato

Today, I am going to give you some yummy potato recipes!  These are some of my fave recipes to make.  They always go down a treat with the family :)

The roast potatoes are a product of Jamie Oliver's influence.  Now in the recipe, I have said to use the microwave, but if you prefer, you could just par boil in a saucepan.  You can also mix it up with your flavourings - olive oil/duck fat/bacon fat, fresh herbs, garlic, balsamic vinegar, chicken stock cube crumbled - whatever you fancy!

The next two recipes are using both leek and potato.  A soup and a potato bake.  Both are delicious!  In fact, I have made both of them this week - that's how good they are!

Super easy, crispy roast potatoes!

Wash potatoes and prick all around each one. Place into a microwave safe bowl. 
*try to use ones of similar size.
Cover with cling film and pop in the microwave for approx 10 minutes (this will vary depending on size of potatoes)

Meanwhile, switch oven to grill and turn it up high. 
Place a heatproof dish in oven to preheat.
When potatoes are done, put them in the preheated dish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and some rosemary sprigs.  A clove of garlic, crushed is nice added too.

Pop in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
You will get lovely fluffy potatoes with a crispy skin.

You're welcome!

Cheesy Leek and Potato Bake

Two large potatoes
One leek
300ml cream
1 cube chicken stock
pinch of sage
grated cheese

Slice potatoes into 5mm slices and place in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C
Slice leek.
Heat a dollop of butter in a frying pan, add leek to the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened.
Drain potatoes, and add to the frying pan, giving a light stir.
Sprinkle with sage and chicken stock cube (crumbled), then pour cream over top.
Let it heat through and then tip into a baking dish, top with grated cheese and pop in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Leek and Potato Soup

One leek
Two large potatoes
4-5 cups of chicken or turkey stock
Pearl barley
Tin of lite coconut cream

Cut leek and potatoes into 1cm chunks.
Heat up a large saucepan and add a smidge of butter.
Add leeks, seasoning with a little salt, and pepper.  Give them a few minutes, and then add the potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 5-10 minutes.
Add whichever stock you are using.  I happened to have some turkey stock in the freezer, so I used that.
Add pearl barley.
Bring to the boil and let it simmer on a low heat for a few hours.
*Soup is always better when it has cooked for a long period of time.
Around quarter of an hour before serving, add coconut cream - you can also use regular cream, or if you are intolerant, you can omit altogether.

Serve with some garlic bread, or buttered toast :)

There you go!  I hope you enjoy these recipes!  Have a great week, and happy cooking!

Don't forget to follow me on FB :)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The good stuff

As promised, here are a few more recipes from my FB page that I was too lazy to put on my blog!  Now I have a few minutes to spare, so thought I'd share :)
I have for you, a super delish pumpkin pie spice cake (care of Martha Stewart), a slow cooker Butterscotch self saucing pudding (care of me), and a winter warmer, chicken noodle soup!

Butterscotch self saucing pudding (slow cooker)
Grease bowl and turn to high
75g butter
1/2C brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1 1/2C flour
2tsp baking powder
3/4C milk
Cream butter and sugar with vanilla and salt. Add flour and baking powder. Mix then add milk.
Spread in the bottom of slow cooker bowl.
In a bowl mix 1 1/2C boiling water with 25g butter and 1/4C golden syrup. Pour over top.
Put lid on and leave on high for one hour, then turn to low for another hour.

*It will look like there isn't any sauce, but it is sitting underneath 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cake (Martha)
1Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (see below)
2 1/2C flour
2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2C sugar
125g butter
1 can pumpkin puree*
*I just cooked up some pumpkin and mashed it
Combine first four ingredients, whisking to distribute evenly.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar, add melted butter and whisk again.
Add pumpkin and whisk again.
Add dry ingredients in two halves, careful not to overmix.
Pour into 20cm square cake tin - greased
Bake 45-50mins at 180C until skewer comes out clean.
Ice with frosting once completely cooled.

half tub of cream cheese
60g butter
beat together then add 1/4C agave syrup/honey
I also added a little icing sugar to thicken it a bit more.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix - make up and keep in airtight container for making gingerbread etc
4Tbsp cinnamon
2Tbsp ginger
1Tbsp nutmeg
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp ground cloves

Chicken noodle soup!
You could use leftover roast chicken, but I just cooked up a couple of chicken breasts, then shredded them (this way you can also add extra flavour, by rubbing spices into the meat before cooking.  Garam Marsala or Five Spice are good).

In a large pan, fry diced streaky bacon (3 rashers) until crispy.
Scoop out and set aside. Keep the juices in the pan and use it to cook 1 carrot, 1-2 potatoes, 1 leek all chopped to about 1cm
Cook for about 15mins.
Add 1ltr water mixed with two chicken stock cubes.

Throw in shredded chicken, bacon and add 1 tin coconut cream and 1 tin creamed corn. Stir and boil.

Before serving, add noodles of your choice and stir through.  I like to use udon or hokkein noodles.

There you go my lovelies!  I hope that gives you some inspiration for the weekend :)  Happy cooking!

smile emoticon

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Personal Faves

I thought it might be a good idea to write out a few of my fave recipes that I have only posted to my FB page.  This way, you can find them easier :)
First up, my homemade BBQ sauce recipe.  Not only do I like the flavour of this sauce, I also like knowing what has gone into it.  There can be a lot of additives to store-bought sauces.  This recipe will make a few small bottles (approx 250ml size).

Homemade BBQ sauce 😀
3C water
3Tbsp tomato paste
8Tbsp raw sugar
1C apple cider vinegar
1/2tsp garlic powder
1tsp Manuka salt
3Tbsp golden syrup
1/2tsp sweet paprika
4Tbsp soy sauce
2Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4tsp cinnamon
Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced and thickened.
You can also mix a little cornflour with cold water to add to thicken the sauce.
Pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge.

Now for my absolute fave burgers!  You all know how much I love Jamie Oliver, and this is where I got these recipes - though I've changed them a smidge.
Firstly, you don't need to add anything fancy to your meat, just shape it into the size you want - without over-handling it.  Season with salt and pepper.  That's it!  (this works for both beef and lamb)
I like to use a cast iron griddle pan for these.  Make sure they are nice and hot and oiled before you add the meat.  With a lamb burger, I just cook on each side until cooked through.  With beef, I like to turn them a few times, adding a brush of American/hot dog mustard to each side once browned.
After both sides have been coated in mustard, add a slice of cheese and cover with a lid or some tin foil to help it to melt.  If you can get a really good smokey cheese, that's even better!
While the meat is cooking, you want to finely slice some red onion and place in a bowl with a pinch of salt and a splash of raspberry vinegar (red wine vinegar works too).  Give it a bit of a scrunch and leave to sit.
In a large bowl, combine about 1/2C good mayo (I like to use Best Foods) with a splash of peri peri sauce, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of BBQ sauce.  Give it a mix.
Finely chop some lettuce - good old iceberg lettuce is fine - and add this to the mayo mix.  Mix it all together and place a decent splodge onto the bottom of each burger bun.
*this will have a slight kick, so children may want a more plain mayo mix
Place your meat on top of the lettuce/mayo mix, top with some of the red onions, a slice of tomato and then the top of the bun - already smeared with BBQ sauce.
*If making lamb burgers, a slice of apple under the meat is super tasty! 

Now for a dessert!  I made this for a friend's baby shower and it went down a treat!  It is super sweet, so you don't need a lot.
Two sheets of puff pastry
1 block of caramello chocolate

Lay a sheet of puff pastry on the counter.
Place the chocolate block in the centre.
Place marshmallows on top.
Cut slits in the sides of the pastry and fold across each other like a plait.
Place the whole thing on top of another sheet of pastry and fold up the sides to prevent any leakages.
Bake at 180C until puffy and oozy.
*This can be a bit messy to eat!

So there you have it!  A few of my faves :) I will try and post a few more like this over the week.  Have a good one!