Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Meat Free Monday, one year old already


Well done the McCartney's... We're not a meat free household, just making small changes where we can.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Spelt flour makes a pretty good chocolate brownie


Hello...! I know it's been a while.... :) Sharpham Park produce really fantastic things. I know this because my friend has been using spelt flour and other things for a good few years. Now produced by Sharpham Park and fairly easy to get hold of. Until this weekend I'd been a bit scared of using it myself but mid way through making brownies yesterday I realised we didn't have any normal white flour so I opted for the bag of Sharpham Park that's been sitting in the cupboard waiting for its debut in our kitchen. Check them (Shaprham Park) out because I'm scared no more. I'll be using spelt flour a lot from now on. Here's the recipe below... I'm a bottle of vintage cava down and out of the habit of blogging so don't trust me on the how to as I still need to proof read this............. Missed you...

Chocolate Brownie using Spelt Flour
100g butter
150g caster sugar
100g muscavado sugar
175g plain chocolate
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 large (ish) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g organic refined spelt flour (Sharpham Park)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Heat the oven to 175C (no fan!!). Grease and line a brownie pan or medium size springform cake tin. In a pan gently heat the butter, sugars, chocolate and golden syrup until all melted and smooth. Take the pan off the heat. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk until frothy. In a separate bowl put all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine and aerate. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture, don't mix but add straight to the dry ingredients, then mix well until all combined. Pour the mixture into the pan/tin. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Let it cool for a bit before eating it all!! I would suggest legging it with the whole thing hidden under your top to the furthest point from the house, better/easier still if there's a shed or tree to hide behind. Blame it on the dog when you return and the whole thing is gone. Besides you can always make more.
Taste and texture are the most important things for us in a brownie and this got A+++ !! From the neighbours too who got to try it, when after raving about the new brownies I'd made I stupidly said you must try some. I had to give some up... We must learn from my mistakes... Sod instilling in the kids that sharing is a good thing.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The elusive perfect life...

Whilst I might sometimes feel that our life is far from perfect, wading through the quagmire of crappola. I should stop, smell the flowers and realise, remind myself even, that our life is indeed perfect.

The boys ate leftover chorizo and wild mushroom risotto, added to which I cooked them a beautiful sirloin steak to share, 2 mins each side and then cut into strips...

I'm now making bunting out of old clothes, much better that it can come out for every celebration, seen and remembered, instead of packed in tissue and kept in the attic room... THIS IS A GOOD TIP!

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger recently, there's a lot going on... Next week I'm going to allow myself time to read what you've all been up to. Having taken a sneaky peak today I know I'm going to have to set aside a good few hours. Big loves to you all! xxxx

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Up - Disney Pixar style - a preview screening.

It's weird. I have another blog, by another name that I've never written anything on... There are times when I want to write but I don't want to write about food so then I'm torn do I just write it all here or do I start writing on the other blog... Just a thought..................

In the meantime this isn't food but for those in the South East of England, today was glorious. And (sorry I know you're not supposed to start with and) on this glorious day we had free tickets to see a preview of the latest Disney Pixar film Up at The Empire in Leicester Square. We were up early, driving to the nearest town to get the 8.30ish train to London. We arrived in Leicester Square to a smallish queue of people who presumably had also got free tickets (courtesy of The Times Culture+ club). Five minutes later we were glad of our early start because there were hundreds of people behind us. I'm also thankful for the little Italian coffee shop that I quickly ran to for my morning caffeine fix.

Anyway UP, the film was beautiful, even better for being in 3D. Apparently it's the first animated 3D film to open the Cannes Film Festival. I cried a couple of times. Okay so those who know me wont find that hard to believe as some say I cry at anything, equally that I laugh at anything too and laugh we did. Though I have to say even Hubs had a tear in his eye in some parts so it must have been moving... Not that he doesn't have a heart you understand. Anyway when it comes out try to see it and if you don't get to see it at the cinema then get it the moment it comes out on DVD. Some people have said that children might not enjoy it... Well our 4 and 7 year old boys LOVED it and were still talking about their favourite parts of the film at bedtime.

Those same boys have had a great half term holiday and made us really proud with their impeccable behaviour today. They're at such a great age, really good fun and just lovely to be around. I'm saying that at the end of half term too. A lady on the train even commented on how gorgeous and well behaved they were. Part of me thought should I say "Oh they have their moments." But then I thought no, I'm just going to accept her compliment and say thank you, because I agreed with her. Proud parents in the Little Foodies household tonight.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Duck is not frugal food

Normally a medium size chicken can feed all of us and with a little stretching any last minute stragglers that turn up at feeding time... Plus the usual extra meals, possibly a sandwich or two, chicken stock or soup the following day. Duck just doesn't cut it and whilst very tasty I don't think we'll buy another whole duck. It barely fed the 4 of us, maybe it was just a weedy duck.... It also coated the oven in fat despite having 3 layers of tinfoil covering it. How did that happen? Possibly when Hubs took the foil off to crisp the skin... yes, that could have been it. That could also have been when the house had a thin veil of smoke wafting through it too... Good, think I've definitely talked myself out of ever buying a whole duck to roast again.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Cheese and Chive Omelette


Long ago I had to be in the mood for an omelette but now I quite like them for lunch and experiment with various different flavours. The household favourite is definitely cheese and chive. We always cook each omelette per person separately, then there's no arguing about doneness or who has the bigger portion.

Cheese & Chive Omelette (for 1)
2 eggs
splodge of milk
2 oz grated cheddar
handful of chives chopped (even better if you can pick straight from the garden)
a little oil for the pan

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and turn the grill on. When the frying pan is warm pour in the egg. Move it around with a fork a little until it starts cooking, then leave for a minute. Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped chives over the egg, leave for a further minute then if you only have one omelette to cook put this under the grill (if your frying pan can take it). Or transfer/slide the omelette to a baking tray which can go under the grill, cook until the cheese has melted. This is a great plan I've come up with if you've got several to cook as I can use the frying pan to start another omelette. This way I can normally sit down to eat mine just as the first person is finishing theirs... hmm.

Also we don't like our egg runny in omelette, I think you need to experiment to get it right for you. We also don't add salt or pepper, we add it if we want it at the table.

Chives are Small's favourite thing at the moment. We have to stop him eating them from the front garden on the way to the car or otherwise it absolutely stinks the car out. He takes umbrage if we say it stinks. Stink being a bad word in his mind. He corrects us, saying that chives smell they don't stink!! He does make me laugh.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tinks the frog DOG that has totally captured my heart.


I LOVE OUR LITTLE PUPSTER! The PupMeister, the Puppaluppy, she's one of a kind and has very much captured our hearts. Well, at least she's captured the hearts of Little, Small and myself. Hubs is yet to be captured, gumpy git! She had her little lady op yesterday, on the day I chose to take my God-daughter to see Marley and Me. If I ever had any street cred with that girl, I certainly don't have any now. I cried like a baby and 10 minutes after the film had finished and we were sat in my car I was still crying! Like I said... bad timing, Tinks was with the vet having her ladyhood taken away. Part of the agreement we signed when we adopted her from rescue. Harumpf......

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Soon there will be a DIET in the meantime, Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake


This is the first time I've made cheesecake and I think it was a resounding success! It's always been one of those things that I was a bit afraid to make, something about the water bath I guess.

Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake from Olive Magazine via the BBC GoodFood Website.

I did a couple of things differently, used vanilla extract instead of a seeds as we didn't have any vanilla pods, made a crushed digestive biscuit base, and I didn't make the candied lemon peel to go on the top after reading comments from readers on the BBCGoodFood site.

Smoked Salmon Mousse - low (er) fat


Smoked Salmon Mousse
1 1/2 x 200g packs of light Philadelphia or other cream cheese
250ml half fat creme fraiche
250g smoked salmon
3 spring onions washed and chopped
Handful of fresh dill washed and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper

Put everything in a processor and blitz until smooth, scoop into whatever you're serving it in then cut up thin strips of smoked salmon and place on top with a tiny sprig of dill. Chill in the fridge until you're ready to serve. It's better if you can make it a few hours before serving to allow the flavours to meld together. We served with french toast.

This could serve 6 people as a starter, possibly more if you were serving alongside other nibbles.

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