Tuesday 16 December 2014

Pesto and Tomato Swirl Loaf

I know I have a little bit of a wheat intolerance and I probably shouldn't spend my time making bread but it's so fun. I've said it before but I'll say it again it's like magic.

I love tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato marinade, tomato stew and the best thing about pizza? the tomato pizza sauce. Pretty much anything with tomatoes and I’m down, tomatoes and Christmas...but that’s unrelated. Considering this is my first time making a loaf of bread, I'd say I'm pretty proud, it bounced back and was bloomin' tasty. It's easy and quick to make aside from the rising time and the flavour is delicious. We ate this for dinner with tomato soup and it definitely pairs well but you could have it toasted, buttered, dipped in sauce or just straight up from the loaf which is probably the one I'd vote for.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Apple Butter with Vanilla Pancakes

After we plucked our apple tree we had an abundance of apples all lined up in bags in the garage. Although it's not near as bad as when we had two apple trees I figured I needed to do something with them, we couldn't just freeze them all, our freezers would be overflowing with fruit and they're already full of boxes of blackberries.

I'll be honest Apple butter is kind of just fancy apple sauce although it is definitely worth the few extra hours you have to leave the hob on. This recipe is just perfect autumn breakfast....or lunch, maybe dinner? or a snack. Maybe just eat it for all meals, there's carbohydrates, protein and fruit you're all set.

I got a little carried away with this recipe, the pancakes were actually sort of an afterthought, in the days leading up to making this they were always a shall I shan't I, and I'm glad I shalled! These pancakes are the perfect mixture between crepe and pancake, although I didn't purposefully make them this way is was a pleasant and welcome oops, maybe I'll make them like this more often they just seem lighter this way.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins Dipped in Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar

I've had a few ideas for pumpkin bakes this year but it took me a good few weeks to open my can of pumpkin. I have to trek all the way to a large supermarket which so far has been the only place I've found it and I figured I should make the most of it and use it all up in a short amount of time. Well that didn't pan out, two weeks later the leftover pumpkin is sitting in the fridge in a little pot, now I'm not sure whether it's edible or not; I'll have to give it a good whiff. But I'll most likely have to go and get some more because for the past few months I've been dying to make the pumpkin pudding muffins I made last year

Friday 31 October 2014

Toasted Wensleydale, Grilled Vegetable & Plum and Apple Chutney Sandwich

Okay, I couldn't wait any longer, I had to open one of these bad boys, it's not quite as enjoyable as opening an airtight jar with the satisfying pop, although the chutney is better. Three weeks I think it's been, I just had to and we already managed finished a jar, I think that took two days; that's a new record. The chutney tasted perfectly fine to me, I guess it just goes to show you don't have to wait a month although if you're sensitive to vinegar I guess it's better to be safe and wait it out, I'm a little bias and actually quite like vinegary chutney, but it wasn't noticeable at all.

I met a friend in the morning for coffee and after walking the 3 miles home I sat in the kitchen kind of wanting a nap, I've been so tired recently, and decided to make this sandwich, I usually just stick to wensleydale and chutney but figured I'd crank up the nutrition a little, even thought it's a toasted sandwich I kept the cheese solid, which is completely preference I much prefer my wensleydale fresh from the fridge as I think the texture goes better with the chutney.

I ended up making these sandwiches again the next day with a friend, we watched a weird Kristen Wiig film with chutney dripping out our sandwiches.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

Autumn is upon us, well, sort of, it's still relatively warm here and we keep getting threatened with heat waves which is very un-autumny and I am not impressed. I like layers and coats and arm warmers and England's having none of that.

Have you ever had one of those day where you just struggled to photograph something? I suppose that only applies if you take photos of things but I'm sure you've felt the same about something else; this was one of those days. It had been a long day in the kitchen and I was tired and uninspired, the food was so worth it in the end though. Doughnut muffins are one of my favourite things to make...and eat, they're just so moist and delicious, they're so much easier and quicker to make than doughnuts and the coating of cinnamon sugar really doesn't hurt.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Sticky Almond Swirls

Twice last week my friend and I walked from the neighbouring town to where I live with coffee and almond croissants we spent the 3 miles nattering about anything and everything while people ran past us, we even saw a man with a prosthetic leg cycling with a friend....should we feel guilt about drinking coffee and eating almond croissants?...we did walk 3 miles. Anyway, a few days before we ate almost croissants I was craving marzipan and the croissants kind of pushed me over the edge. I wanted an alternative that was sort of similar but healthier? whether I achieved this or not I have no idea but I had the theory right, less fat in bread than pastry CHECK that's enough health-ifying for me for one day.

This is one of the easiest doughs I've ever made, so simple quick and easy. Theres no airing cupboard in this house so I'm lucky we're having a warmer than usual September so I can still put the dough on the windowsill instead of having to put it in the tumble dryer. Just to clarify I don't put the dough in their and leave it on. I'm quite new to the whole bread making thing but it may just be my new favourite thing.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Rhubarb and Gingerbread Man Crumble

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a few months, is that bad for me to admit? I've sort of been on an independent post strike when it comes to this but I've finally decided it's time, I guess at least now it's a little more seasonally relevant.

About four months ago I came up with the idea for this crumble and I immediately wrote the blog post, it was funny, witty and down right entertaining, just let me toot my own horn about how amazing this post was, I used the word christmas more than 6 times there where hot chocolate and mini human references, let's bear in mind it was June while I was writing it, and now it's all gone. In my ever so tired state I don't know what the heck I did but it's disappeared and just as I managed to delete my entire post which was 98% finished auto-save stepped in to punch me in the gut. How can you own a computer that can literally track everything you do and remember stuff even when you've deleted it, yet randomly be able to press a few buttons and my work just goes down the drain, I'm sure someone's sitting on the other side of that screen yelling at me how to get it back but nevermind.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Cinnamon Popcorn

Autumn is the season for curling up on the sofa by the fire with a cosy blanket and coffee in hand. And we all know what goes well with snuggling up on the sofa, movies, more movies and snacks, always snacks! A spontaneous movie night with a friend led me to make this in all its cinnamon glory, you can't go wrong when it comes to cinnamon...unless there's not enough, then that's just all kinds of wrong.

It's only recently that I discovered baking popcorn after flavouring it so it's not sticky and soggy and it makes a world of difference. I might be three thousand years late in discovering this I'm not sure, I don't think I really know anyone who makes their popcorn from scratch, if this is old news to you just carry about your day as you were but if not you need to come to the realisation...and fast, that this could change your life. If you want some advice on the perfect popping technique go here. I also have a recipe for Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn which is processed sugar free and just as delicious.

Friday 3 October 2014

Triple Chocolate Chickpea Cookies (Grain Free)

Strawberries, greek yogurt and triple chocolate chip cookies is something I quite frequently eat with friends, especially in summer. I do have a favourite triple chocolate chip cookie recipe but it involves A LOT of chocolate and when you just want to make dessert you don't want to have to go out buy 1lb of chocolate and then bake. It actually only occurred to me recently that I can just make a batch freeze the dough in portions and just bake them quick when we want them, however I thought I'd go one step further, if you're going to make cookies, why not try and make them healthier.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Orange Spiced Cheesecake

There's a possibility I might be making orange spiced everything this autumn, I've cottoned on to the idea and I want to put it in everything. When I mentioned I was going to make an orange spiced cheesecake I got a few oh's and um's people weren't that enthralled by the idea and slightly apprehensive. It's safe to say I was on the right track for the season, it basically tastes like christmas in a cheesecake, I realise it's a little early for christmas for some people but I say it's never too early.

I love this type of cheesecake with jelly in, it's lighter and more refreshing than a lot of cheesecakes, it doesn't feel like it's weighing you down after a meal or filling you full of cream. It's one of those desserts that makes my mouth water while I'm still eating it, the only bad thing about it is you feel like you could eat the whole thing, I wouldn't advise it!

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Eton Mess with Rosé Soaked Strawberries Topped with Chocolate and Nuts

Is it just me or as a kid did you think eton mess was a made up name for something your mum put on the table for dessert and a cover up for it being a bunch of stuff cut up and bunged in cream. I always assumed she was saying "eaten mess", maybe it was just me.

This is eton mess the way my mum makes it...enhanced. She always used half cream half greek yogurt, which tastes so much better than all cream, it takes away some of the fattiness. I made hazelnut meringues which compliment the flavours so well and I don't drink but soaking the strawberries in rose wine makes this so much more mouth watering. It sweetens the strawberries so if they're a little out of season it's still tastes just as good, it's really worth not skipping this step.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Hazelnut Meringues with Drizzled Chocolate

I never really thought about making meringues before, I've made lemon meringue pie and things involving meringue but I never thought about making them to eat but this will definitely not be the last time. Give me a second to just drool over the flavour of hazelnut.... okay I'm good.

I am not the neatest person when it comes to food preparation, I always say I'm a little slap dash, I have the precision and creative ability in me to potentially make something look like it rolled out of a French patisserie with a gold halo surrounding it but I don't always have the patients and I'm much more interested in the flavours and getting to test it out after I'm done. I made these while a friend was over, mostly on purpose because although she barely bakes she loves piping, and me? depending on my mood I might just slap it on a tray and shove it in the oven....lovingly though. I'll just put a disclaimer here: be aware of piping these with a plain nozzle how you would typically ice a cupcake which is 50% icing, our first few attempts looked a little bit like a tray full of poop's, I suppose this disclaimer is also useful if you want your meringues to look like poo's.

Enough poo talk, these meringues are crunchy and chewy and the hazelnut, did I mention the hazelnut? If you think "ehh I'll just buy them" you need to make them anyway, once you've made them you'll be kicking yourself because you haven't done it till now, all those years with mediocre meringues that you'll never get back. I mainly made these to put in eton mess but with the leftovers we ate them with greek yogurt and fruit, all I can say is TASTE SENSATION and strawberries make everything taste better.

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