Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies

Hello! I found this in my drafts it is about a year old now! Molly looks so little! I remember these biscuits, they were delicious and I have made them a few times - I made them for a cookie swap that I was involved in last year . The recipe is from Nigellas Christmas book.
Molly thought they were good!

Cranberry and White Chocolate chip cookies
Makes about 30
50g Plain flour
half a teaspoon baking powder
half a teaspoon salt
75g Oats
125g butter
75g dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tsp vanilla extract
75g Dried cranberries
50g Pecans roughly chopped
150g White chocolate chips
 ·         Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment
·         Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and rolled oats into a bowl
·         Put the butter and sugars in another bowl and beat togeher until creamy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract
·         Beat in the flour, baking powder , salt and oat mixture, then fold in the cranberries, pecans and chocolate chips.
·         Roll tablespoonfuls of dough in your hands to make balls and put on the baking tray and squish the dough with a fork.
·         Bake for 15 mins.
·         EAT!
This is taken from Nigella Christmas book

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Flamingo party for a 4 year old

So Molly has turned 4 and wanted a flamingo party! Ok that is different! I thought she would like a Princess or Frozen party ! Those are her 2 main loves at the moment but she decided on Flamingos after seeing them at the Zoo over the summer.

So I went into overdrive mode and scoured pinterest and Google for ideas and surprisingly there are lots of 4 year olds having Flamingo parties!

I bought Flamingo napkins and straws and then made some Flamingo bunting and Flamingo Cake. We also had a few inflatable flamingos around the room. We played pin the tail on the Flamingo! Flamingo musical statues and the good old Pass the Parcel which I always find quite stressful remembering who has had a go and making sure no one is left out!! This time I was prepared! Every time a child took off a layer I gave them a sticker (flamingo of course!) Genius! worked a treat, I also used this technique for other games and they were all covered in stickers by the end of the party!.

I like any excuse to make bunting as I find it so satisfying! I made lots of it but forgot to take a photo of it strung up..

The best bit for me was getting Molly involved in making the party bags. I took the idea off of Pinterest and used a pink cupcake case and then painted pink on for the rest of the Flamingo. Molly loved it and we were a proper production line as we made 17 of them! Across the middle I wrote the name of each child .

 Inside the party bags were the usual stickers, sweeties and bubbles - I added a cookie mix and cookie cutter for the little ones to make at home .

And finally the cake!!! Now I thought this was going to be easy..... It sort of looks like a Flamingo... Molly was thrilled with it so that is all that matters!

 And here is the birthday girl blowing out the candles

Molly had a lovely time with all her friends and some really thoughtful presents so of course we had to make thank you Flamingo cards.... Again Molly loved helping with her handprint! So pleased how they turned out....

I wonder what she will ask for next year.....

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

My discoveries at the Summber BBC Good Food Show

I was lucky again with the Good Food Show and won tickets!! I was so excited as I really loved the Winter show so had been entering all the competitions I could find to get tickets!
I went with a friend on a Friday this time - Stephen took the day off and looked after the monkeys!! We got there early-ish which was great as it can get so busy that you can't get to the stalls that you want to. I did a bit of research before hand this time on Twitter to see which companies would be there. The bargains I got from the Winter Show were fabulous.

I wanted to get a bottle of gin ( I know my priorities!) and was looking forward to sampling a few of the Gin stalls - I had in my mind a Damson or Rhubarb gin but when I tried this little beauty I just knew I had to have it!

It is similar to Pimms but not as sweet  - it is infused with Earl Grey Tea, borage, lemon verbena and other botanicals. sounds odd but oh it is delicious - served with lots of ice and lemonade.

The only other item I was specifically looking for was something called Brownie Butter.I had seen a lot of coverage about it on Twitter and was very curious  Eventually after looking at the guide a million times and not seeing the stand we found it - It is made by a company called Gower Cottage Brownies It is a business run by Kate who has sold hundreds of Brownies from her place in Wales. The Brownie Butter  didn't fail to disappoint! It is heaven I could (and did) eat it straight from the jar. It didn't last long! We had friends to stay and used it on vanilla ice cream - everyone agreed it was delicious - glad I only bought the one jar!!!!

One of the things I love most about the Good Food Show is stumbling across something delicious! This is one of those very things - Tortilla mix! Sounds odd but it was yummy. I love a Spanish Omelette and frequently buy the ones that are ready made as proper Tortillas take a long time to cook - all the potatoes and onions cooked in olive oil on a slow heat so that they caramelise does take a while. There is a small business called Zantiago who have slowcooked the onions and potatoes for you so all you have to do is add the eggs! Easy peasy. I cooked this for my 3 year old and 1 year old and they loved it! Unfortunately you can currently only get these in a handful of places in London but they are looking to sells in Delis around the UK.

The other item that I tried but didn't buy at the show but have subsequently is this delicious Ice Cream from a company called Oppo

There are 3 flavours - Salted Caramel with a hint of Lucuma, Madagasca with a hint of Baobab and Mint Choc Swirl with a hint of Spirulina. I tried the Vanilla one at the show and was amazed at how delicious it was and the whole tub only has 82 calories in! They are sugar free ice creams with only natural ingredients to make them taste so sweet. The Salted caramel is absolutely delicious and has a Maple syrup taste to it the exotic sounding  Lucuma is from Peru and is shaped like a melon with golden flesh and a big stone inside. In The Vanilla is has Baobab which is an African plant the pulp is sweet and has a slight tang and according to their website is somewhere between a caramelised pear and a grapefruit! Finally in the Mint choc ice cream is the weirdly named Spirulina! This is a leaf from the South China Sea and provides the deep green colour to the ice cream. I am looking forward to trying this one next - I am sure it will be as delicious as the others.
Finally as we left the Good Food Show there was a Goody Bag with all of these delicious things inside! What a treat!!!!

Overall it was a fantastic day and we didn't even get a chance to visit the BBC Gardeners World show that was in the other hall! Would have liked to have a 2 day ticket to come back again!!! And we didn't watch any of the Chefs in the Super-theatre perhaps I will do next time!!
Really looking forward to the Winter Show now! There is so much to see and EAT!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Custard Creams and Bourbon Biscuits

I am so slow at blogging! These biscuits are from a couple of months ago - as some of you are aware I belong to a baking group which I love - it is a group of amateur bakers and we meet once a month. Each month has a theme and we are all encouraged to bring a bake sweet or savoury on that theme. Aprils' theme (yes long ago! have been to 2 since then!!) was Best of British I thought long and hard and decided to make Bourbon Biscuits and Custard Creams. I always tend to do a sweet bake ! We also try and make something at each meeting and we made scones. I do love a scone and I don't tend to make them but I had forgotten how delicious they were and have vowed to make some more!

At the time of this event we had moved out of our flat and were renting a friends house for a few weeks whilst we waited to move into our 'Forever Home' which meant that all of my cookbooks were in storage!!!! This was an absolute nightmare for me as I love my books and hate to be parted from them ( we also didn't have a dishwasher which was another crisis! Washing up!!! ) So that meant that I had to use the good old internet for a recipe. 

I decided to use a recipe from a blog as this gives you more of an idea on how to make them and they tend to let you know of any tips and hints. So the recipe I chose for the Bourbons is from Choclette who blogs at Tin and Thyme I am a regular reader of hers and it was lovely to be able to use one of her recipes. In her recipe she adds A Wee Dram to them but I didn't have any alcohol so mine were plain! I also didn't have a special cookie cutter so had to do hearts
They were easy to make thankfully as I was on a bare minimum mixer/utensil mission as it was all in storage! I didn't realise that Golden Syrup was used in these so had to buy some and it came in this lovely commemerative tin which was an added bonus.

 I made a lot of them as there are a lot of people at the baking club and they all like to try everything! I had to do them in batches as there were so many of them and burnt some of them as I wasn't used to the oven!

The custard creams came from Nigellas blog  They were also incredibly easy to make and again I didn't have the correct cutter so they became hearts too.
Both of the biscuits were British to the core using Golden Syrup and Birds Custard.
They tasted delicious and were eaten by the group with glee . I didn't realise just how easy they were to make and I have put the cookie stamps on my Christmas List so that I can make some more.

And not forgetting my homemade scones!!

Monday, 18 April 2016

A Bundt Cake

On my food lists of things to do this year was to make a Bundt Cake - I love how pretty they look and all the delicious flavours you can use to make them. I have been slightly put off by the price of the tins but I was very lucky to have won a Bake Box which is a box full of  everything you need to make some delicious cakes , in the box was a silicon Bundt dish!!! I was so excited to have won a competition and then to have a Bundt dish in it - well I was over the moon! All the things in the bake box are amazing and the recipes are all things that I have wanted to make but always looked a little too daunting. The recipes are easy to follow and include the specialised equipment that you would need.
So first off it was the Bundt Cake!!!

The recipe was an easy one - my big concern was how was it going to come out of the mould without breaking!!!

But I followed the recipe to the letter and it said to oil the mould and to leave the cake to cool for 30 minutes before you turn it out and look ! It worked!!!  was sooooooo pleased with myself and delighted at how it turned out - I love it! I decorated it with a white chocolate icing and some pomegranate seeds.

No stopping me now... going to look for another Bundt recipe!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Rolo Chocolate Brownies

Oh I do love a brownie - the squidgier the better!I have yet to replicate the perfect salted caramel brownie that I had from a local bakery here in Leamington called Haddie and Trilby.
For Valentines day I thought I would have a go at a romantic Rolo Brownie - one of my favourite bloggers is Holly Bell one of the GBBO contestants and in her blog she is always doing a special take on Brownies - Mars Bar Brownies , Oreo Peanut Butter Brownies , Double Decker Brownies, PBJ brownies  and a festive one Mince Pie Brownies so that made me think that I should have a go with one of my favourite and romantic chocolates... The Rolo. I used a tried and tested recipe for Brownies from Rachel Allen and just added Rolos.....
They turned out delicious - lovely and goey with a chocolate overload!! I will make these again.

I used 3 tubes of Rolos..... Doesn't look like a lot in the bowl.... I may have had a couple just to make sure they tasted ok!

All melted and ready for the cake tin....

 All ready for the oven - (I made it look all lovely and neat with my Rolos and then forgot to take a photo until I had poured over the second half of the batter!)

Close up of Rolos.

One left - just for me !!!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Vanilla Cupcakes with Nutella buttercream

Oh these were divine!!!
I made them for Mollys pre-school fundraiser - they were a mixture of my award winning cupcake recipe courtesy of Mary Berry that I found on the Mother and Baby website
 ( still very excited to have won and still people stop me in the street to say they have seen me in the paper!) and the Nutella icing was from one of my favourite blogs Holly Bell - Recipes from a normal mum

I am getting much better at piping! I love it! Helps if you have a big nozzle I have found.....