ALL · Cakes and Biscuits

Smarties Easter Tray Bake

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Happy Easter Sunday Everyone!

I wanted to bake something nice for my mother in law as she’s had a bit of a rough time recently, and as her favourite sweet is Smarties and it’s Easter Weekend, this is what was produced.  Think slightly caramel sponge flavour with a super crunchy smartie frosting. Yummy!

Perfect with a lovely cuppa.

 

Makes 12 large slices (or 24 smaller ones)

60g Butter, softened

250g Brown Sugar

1 tbsp vanilla essence

3 eggs, 1 egg yolk

250g Self Raising Flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

For the Frosting

60g butter, softened

200g icing sugar

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp milk

1 bag of Smarties eggs

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 deg. Line a 9 x 9 baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Add the butter to a large bowl and add in the brown sugar, mix together until light & Creamy.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix through. Add in the flour, salt & baking powder, gently fold in until everything is combined. Spread into your baking tin. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  3. Meanwhile to make the frosting, cream the butter in a bowl and add the icing sugar (beware your worktops and everything around will be covered with icing sugar…lol!)                                                                                                    20190419_105924
  4. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Using a rolling pin gently break down the smartie eggs until you have small pieces then add to the frosting mix and mix through. Refrigerate until needed, this helps thicken the frosting up.                                                                                        20190419_110510
  6. Once your cake has COMPLETELY cooled, top with frosting spreading evenly.    20190419_134337
  7. Cut up into squares and serve. Yummy!

(These can be kept up to 4-5 days in fridge or 2 days at room temp.)20190419_142441

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ALL · Bread · One Pot Wonders · Snacks and nibbles

Egg & Spinach Egg Baskets

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Monday morning breakfast was a case of trying to use up leftovers. I had some fresh bread and spinach that needed to be used, so decided on some easy breakfast cups. Quick and easy to make. There are so many flavours you can use for these too.

Made 3 with left overs

1 piece of bread per cup – crustless

Eggs

Baby Spinach

Cheddar Cheese (low fat – optional)

Salt & pepper to season

chilli flakes – optional

1 tsp paprika – optional

1 tbsp butter – melted

 

  1. Firstly preheat your oven to 180 deg.
  2. Brush your bread with the melted butter both sides and cut diagonally, place the bread into the muffin tin overlapping and making sure the bottom is covered.
  3. Bake the bread in the oven for 5 minutes and remove
  4. Place the spinach & cheese with seasoning and chilli into the cups and then crack the egg into them. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for a further 15 minutes.  A bit less if you like your eggs really running.
  5. Scoop out with a spoon and devour! Yummy.

 

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ALL · Bread · fish · Healthy Eating Ideas · lunch/ light bites · sauces & dips

Chickpea Flatbreads with Roasted Tomato & Walnut Sauce

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Oh yum, this little Sunday lunch dish was super tasty and healthy too. Original recipe was adapted from Love & Lemons. I was trying to use up what I had in my fridge so roasted tomato sauce it was to go with. Topped with some fresh scottish mackerel this was so tasty and flavoursome.

 

For the Flatbreads:-

Serves 2

200g Gram Flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Dried Parsley

2 tsp Dried Coriander

1 tsp Ground cumin

1/2 tsp Chilli powder or crushed chilli

2 tsps Lemon juice

6 tsps extra virgin olive oil

300ml water

 

  1. In a large bowl, mix everything together, chickpea flour, salt, garlic powder, dried herbs, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes.                                                                                                          20190414_131455
  2. Preheat a pan on the hob to a high heat with a little oil, pour half the mixture into the pan and cook for a few minutes until you see the mixture starting to rise. Flip over and cook for a further few minutes until slightly browned.
  3. Serve with roasted tomato sauce, top with strips of cucumber and some smoked mackerel. Yummy!

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For the Roasted Tomato & Walnut Sauce

12-15 cherry tomatoes – halved

1 tsp ground garlic powder

2 tsps powdered sugar

2 tsps sea salt

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsps Walnut Oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

 

  1. Roast the tomatoes under the grill or in a pan until soft and slightly browned.
  2. Place all other ingredients into a food processor, add the roasted tomatoes and blitz until you get a smooth puree.

 

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ALL · chicken · dinners · Healthy Eating Ideas · Meat Dishes · One Pot Wonders

Chicken Enchilada Rice

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I got this recipe from Food for Fitness , a great site for everything healthy and fitness. I’m still on my journey to find a better balance of nutrients and this little dish packs loads of protein. At only 500 calories approx per serving it’s perfect for a tasty healthy dinner.

And my favourite part, yes it’s one pot cooking (if you’ve a oven ready hob pot). This is still on my wish list.

 

Serves 2-3

2 large chicken breasts – chopped into bite size pieces

1 onion – finely chopped

1 red pepper – chopped

1 garlic clove – chopped

50g chorizo – chopped

100g brown rice

300ml chicken stock

10-12 cherry tomatoes – halved

70ml tomato passata

200g tin kidney beans

50g low fat cheddar

1 tsp coconut oil

Mexican seasoning mix – (1 tsp chilli powder or flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 12 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 12 tsp dried oregano, 2 tsps paprika, 1 12 tsps ground cumin. 12 tsp sea salt)

1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg.
2. In a pan heat the coconut oil, add the chicken and season with salt & pepper, once browned remove and set aside.
3. Then add in the garlic, onions, pepper & chorizo, cook through for about 5 minutes.
4. Add back the chicken with the mexican seasoning, tomatoes, passata, rice, stock and kidney beans, mix everything through.                                                              20190413_163811
5. Cover with a lid and cook in oven for about 20 minutes. Or transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with foil.

6. Remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese over the top evenly, return to oven and cook for a further 25 minutes.
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7. Serve. Yummy!
ALL · Bread · Hotpoint Oven & Combi Oven Recipes

Soda Bread

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Easy & Quick Soda Bread. Sometimes you want homemade bread but don’t have time for the proving part, well this is made and baked in just 35 minutes.

Soda bread is risen with bicarbonate of soda, which, mixed with buttermilk, produces a distinctive and delicious flavour.

 

Makes 1 loaf

150ml White bread flour

150ml Wholemeal bread flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

30g butter

300ml buttermilk

 

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg.
  2. Lightly flour a baking tray.
  3. Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and add the butter, rub to make breadcrumb like mix.
  4. With your mixer on slow setting start to mix and add the buttermilk little at a time until you have a soft dough, you don’t want it too sticky or too moist.  Be careful not to over mix though.
  5. Form the dough into a round ball and place onto the baking tray, gently with your hand, press down to flatten slightly and with a sharp knife make a cross shape about 1-2cm thick into the dough.                                                            20190407_132000
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly. Serve.

 

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ALL · chicken · dinners · Healthy Eating Ideas · Meat Dishes · One Pot Wonders · Soups and Stews

Slow Cook Pulled Chicken & White Bean Stew

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Oh this was rather tasty too, another recipe spied on the Eating well website. Again I slightly adjusted flavour to my own liking & this was very filling and healthy.

 

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts

1 can 400g cannellini beans – drained

400ml chicken stock

1 white onion – sliced

1 carrot – sliced

1 yellow pepper – sliced

100g kale

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp Italian Herbs mix (thyme, basil, oregano,red bell pepper, marjoram, sage, parsley)

1 tbsp lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions and pepper
  2. Add the chicken breasts and brown all over for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the beans, chicken stock, seasoning, rosemary, italian herbs and mix, bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer. Simmer with lid on for about 4-5 hours.
  4. 1/2 hour before serving take 2 forks and shred the chicken, next add in the kale and continue to simmer.
  5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into pan mix then serve with some lovely fresh bread.

 

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ALL · beef · dinners · Healthy Eating Ideas · Meat Dishes · One Pot Wonders · pasta · Soups and Stews

Beef Ragout

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Oh yummy! I’m still trying to look for alternative healthier options to my meals and this recipe I came across on Eating well website. A few tweeks to suit our own tastes and voila it was super tasty and quite filling too.

 

Serves 2

400 g Scottish Steak (cubed)

1 red onion – cut into wedges

1 clove garlic – minced

400ml Beef Stock

1/2 cup of Red wine

70g sugar snap peas

1 red pepper – sliced about 0.5cm thick

8 cherry tomatoes – halved

Cornflour to thick sauce – I used about 2 tbsps

1 tbsp tomato paste

Salt & pepper to taste

80-100g pasta (I used wholewheat as a healthier option)

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan, add in the steak and brown, season with salt & pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon once browned all over.
  2. Fry the onions and red peppers with the garlic and tomato paste.
  3. Add back to the pan the steak, red wine & beef stock bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer and slow cook with lid on for about 4-5 hours.
  4. Just before serving cook your pasta as per packet instructions, drain then add the the pan along with the sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. If sauce is still watery, make up your cornflour and stir in until you achieve the desired thickness of sauce.
  6. Season some more and serve.

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