Tuesday, 8 July 2014
I probably should've left it a bit longer but the tension was killing me, and I really wanted to pull it up.
But there you go, hello and look at my radish!
Friday, 13 June 2014
I love making pizza, and it's a great way to get kids interested in their food. They can roll out the dough and pile it high with stuff, just be careful of mozzarella because it spreads and will drip-drip-drip into a gooey mess at the bottom of your oven (I say this with experience). This is a slightly spruced up margarita as it involves a bit more cheese - first a thin dusting of hard cheddar (I used Morisson's Welsh Cheddar), the added morzarella before topping with crumbly feta (or Morrison's 'salad cheese'). Then topped with basil when it was cooked.
You will need to make 3 large ones:
200g plain flour
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt.
1) Sift the flour into a bowl and then add sugar and salt, incorporate the milk bit by bit into a well in the centre and bring together the form a dough. You can warm the milk up, but I always forget and it doesn't do me any harm.
2) When it's a ball of dough, turn onto a floured surface and knead, knead, knead. It will take a good 10-15minutes, but it will be worth it. It's ready when the dough feels smooth and is stretchy.
3) Roll out the dough to the thickness of a 2pence piece, or around 5mm, thin enough to cook quickly, but also take the weight of your toppings.
4)place on a tray and begin by adding tomato puree, leaving a crust around the outside, then lay on the rest of your toppings.
5) place in an oven around gas mark 6 for 10-12 minutes, until your cheese is gooey and your dough looks crispy. Serve and enjoy.
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
I only met her once or twice as she died when I was quite young, and even then the memories are mainly of permed hair, hospital beds and cheap sandwiches. She was an English woman married to a stout ship builder from Port Glasgow and responsible for one of the hardest cakes I have ever tried to master - the chocolate button cake.
120g self raising flour (plus an extra couple of tea spoons)
150g caster sugar
3 small eggs or two large
60g chocolate buttons
2) Add 2 of the eggs one by one until you've made a runny eggy paste
3) Now add the flour and beat until its all incorporated. You can use a mixer if you have one, but I don't so I use a wooden spoon (true to the vintage theme).
4) now toss your buttons in flour until they're coated and stir them into the mix
5) if your mixture looks too stiff add the final egg and give a good beat.
6) I place in a large cake tin and bake for 30mins, slicing in half to sandwich. But you could divide into two tins and bake for 20minutes, either way it's at gas mark 6, until golden brown. To check the cake's done insert a knife in the middle if it comes out clean (bar a bit of chocolate), it's done.
7) Leave to cool in the cake tin and then turn out to cool a little longer.
8) Decorate as you see fit.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
It's also much cheaper than I thought it'd be. I generally have white wine vinegar in the cupboard and to make a small jar used around half of 59p 250ml bottle. Add to this the 45p for a bag of mixed chillis, plus 13p for two loose jalepenos and you fall way below the old el Paso price.
You will need:
White wine vinegar (cider vinegar is also apparently very good, according to my dad - don't hold me to that)
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt
1) Begin by sterilizing your jar, you can do this in warm soapy water, or the oven. It's worth looking up different techniques for this as I'm no expert.
2) Chop your chillis however you choose and place them in the jar. Then cover in vinegar to see how much you need, pour the vinegar into a saucepan.
3) Add the sugar and salt to the vinegar, then bring gently to the boil. When the vinegar has been boiling for a minute or two, pour it over the chillis. Leave for a few mins before placing the lid on the jar. Be careful adding hot vinegar to the jar if you haven't got a funnel kicking around. To be honest, I can't really remember why I have a funnel kicking around.
The astute of you will have noticed a huge burger in that picture at the top. I had 500g of pork mince that needed to be used up so I added 2 handfuls of bread crumbs, a tsp of paprika and 2tsp of mustard and kneaded it all together. I then made 4 patties and put in a medium oven for about 30minutes. They are the best burgers I've ever made, the breadcrumbs keep the juice in and they're just the right level of spice. You could of course fry or bbq them, but if you want them out of the way the oven is your friend.
To make the coleslaw I simply slice and onion, peeled a carrot and added 4tsp of yogurt.
Then I stacked everything onto some delicious buns and added some chillis. Perfect summer food.
Friday, 30 May 2014
And before I knew it things were sprouting up all around me, my chillis grew despite my need to uncover them every 5minutes to see if they'd germinated; the sage sprouted forth like little Audrey IIs and the spring onions have just started to sprout despite being in an ice cream container.
It hasn't all been happiness and rainbows - my sage now only has one stork as the others mysteriously dropped off, I also planted my chillis like an idiot, so I'm going to have to try and separate them into different containers. But the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, and it shows what you can grow on half a kitchen windowsill.
My next dreams are a little more ambitious, carrots in old mouthwash bottles, empty mince tub lettuce, and I'm sure there will be some catastrophic failings in there, but hey - I'm learning. If you don't have a garden through cautious wind to the seed packet instructions and shove some seeds in some compost and pop it on the windowsill.
I do actually have a garden, although only half of it is mine, and the half that is mine is used as a back passage for the late night drug dealers and assorted night goings on that I'd rather not know about. Only the other night a torch light shone on me as I was watching TV, and a potential burglar was left disappointed that I was in. What chance would a spring onion have?
My point though, is that when 6 spring onions can cost up to £1 and you can get over 50 seeds for 50p, why wouldn't you want to grow your own?
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
However, any Irish genes that stay from the time my ancestors crossed the sea to Scotland have left a slightly racist love of potatoes, soda bread and a good sing song.
It remains perculiarly hard to get good soda bread or soda farls in England. But its so quick and easy I never want to pay ludicrous prices for it again, It is quite possibly the easiest bread I've ever made, and for 21p a small loaf can be yours.
If you don't believe that butter milk is cheap you can get enough to make this recipe 3 times for 50p in Waitrose. That's right, Waitrose.
You will need:
250g self raising flour
100ml butter milk
Pinch of salt
1) Begin by sieving your flour and adding your salt into a mixing bowl.
2) Next create a small well in the middle of your flour and slowly pour in the butter milk stirring as you go.
3) when it's come together roughly, turn onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or so. It needs very little, and the trick is to work quickly so the buttermilk and raising agents in the flour can work in the oven.
4) Place on a baking tray and make a deep cross about 3/4 of the way down with a knife, brush with milk (I forgot the milk, yours will be more golden than that) and bake at gasmark 6 for about 30minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.
Friday, 16 May 2014
My weight has always fluctuated, but I've decided enough is enough. No more large portions, no more picking at leftovers, no more *gasp* chocolate.
Chocolate is my nemesis. I can demolish a large bar in minutes, chocolate mousses are inhaled and chocolate biscuits just disappear. It's all (mostly) chocolate's fault.
But a couple of other things made me realise that it isn't always chocolate's fault. I found out that cooking lessons aren't compulsory at my old school, for any age. This shocked me more than I thought it would. Sure, my dad taught me how to cook, but I learnt the technical processes at school explained in simple ways (gelatinisation in bechamel sauces are because flour molecules pop, in pastry the butter makes a rain coat for the flour). If you don't know how or why things work, will you be quite so experimental in the kitchen?
Today is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day. A time to make us think what is in our food. When I cook food, I know what's in it. I think. But I don't, I couldn't tell you how many calories are in a piece of lamb, or homemade bread, or how much vitamin d is actually in kale. It comes down again to education, we need to learn about food at all ages. I will certainly be watching much more carefully what I put in my food. In the meantime, goodbye, chocolate, I'm going to miss you.
Saturday, 10 May 2014
Just over a month ago, this blog was just a twinkle in my eye. Now there are quite a few of you and I'm incredibly grateful that you exist, sitting there reading this.
To show you how grateful I am, and to celebrate the launch of my mailing list (it's going to have how to tips and not on the blog exclusives) I'm giving away 50free homemade cakes.
That's right, I want to make you cake.
All you have to do is sign up to my mailing list before the 20th May and 50 people will be chosen at random to receive a free cake.
If you have dietry issues, don't be put off. If you win, I'll sort something out for you when the time comes.
Friday, 9 May 2014
|it has to be said, Terry is more baker than train driver.|
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Sunday, 4 May 2014
Saturday, 26 April 2014
About 150g leftover chicken
5tbsp mayo (you can mix mayo and natural yogurt for a lighter taste)
1tbsp spiced fruit chutney
2tsp curry powder (I used medium)
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Monday, 21 April 2014
|as a side dish with jerk chicken schnitzel and new potatoes|
|The leftovers after feeding four.|
Thursday, 10 April 2014
- Cut your veg into equal chunks so that it’ll cook evenly, and cut your onions into half-moons, and boil for 20minutes or until the veg is soft.
- Add a splash of milk and mash well, grate the cheese and add this with the mustard and stir well. I also had some leftover roast chicken in the fridge, so I threw that in as well.
- Roll out your pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and using a cutter (a small plate or large bowl is ideal), cut a circle.
- Spoon the filling on one half of the circle, leaving a rim around the outside. Using a splash of water wet rim and fold, securing using a fork or your fingers.
- Repeat, until you run out of pastry or filling, then decorate. I used a few sesame seeds and cut to allow the steam to escape. Then brush with beaten egg (or milk) to create a beautiful shine and bake for 25mins or until golden at gas mark 6.
Sunday, 6 April 2014
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
|Yes, this is a different colour onion.|
I was making something else at the time!