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.....

Monday, 15 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 15th February 2016

Another successful meal planning week! I have signed up for the free month delivery saver from Tesco and I love it - I try to be ahead of myself and plan meals but I am normally sat on a Friday Night only just deciding to do an online shop and the delivery charges can be £6 for next day ( which is always when I need it !) for me that is a lot so this saver is great as you only pay a monthly fee and with the option I have chosen you can order anytime and its free. Love it!! I will continue with it after my free trial as shopping with these 2 monkeys is still annoying!
Back to meals! Last week the Smoked haddock and mushroom pie was my favourite and I forgot to do the Piri Piri prawns so make sneak these in at the weekend. As it was valentines weekend we ate a lot so trying to do a healthy one this week and all my recipes are from this months Weight Watchers magazine.

Monday - Chestnut mushroom and chickpea curry.

Tuesday - Baked Cod with a red pesto crush, New potatoes and green beans

Wednesday - Roasted Mushroom Pasta

Thursday - Ginger Salmon with spicy dhal

Friday - Sausage and lentil braise.

Its making me hungry already....

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

February Foodie Penpals

This month my parcel came from Lithuania! I love getting any food parcels but it is always exciting to get one from a country I am not really familiar with.
My Pen Pal Greta sent these lovely things .....

There were some lovely items - there wasn't anything that I didn't really like....

 Aha - No not the Norweigian pop band! When I first opened these I expected them to be cheesy like our version of Wotsits but they aren't they are a sweet version of Wotsits - The children love them!
 I love that Greta has sent a cake mix what a clever idea! I might send one in my next foodie box! - I haven't made this yet but really looking forward to having a go.
Some lovely sachets of herbs that Greta says are lovely for soups and some fruit bars which were delicious a bit fudgy but have no idea what were in them!
I thought the children would like these as they are rice cakes and they love them normally but neither were keen - they had a yoghurt coating on in fruit flavours I liked them so I have eaten them... all!
These 2 packets were the best of the parcel - the yellow ones look like shreddies but tasted like custard creams - they vanished in hours! The Karuna were some lovely squidgy chocolates and also vanished fast.
Finally some cheese! I haven't had cheese in a parcel before and this was a lovely treat - tasted a bit like a very creamy version of parmesan if that makes sense!

Overall one of the best food parcels I have had yet! But I say that every time!! Next months parcel is coming from Germany! Can't wait!
If you would like to join have a look HERE

Monday, 8 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 8 Feb 2016

Ooops I seemed to have missed a week of meal planning - Last week just seemed to have run away with me! I can't even remember what we had to eat! So today is the start of a new week ... Its an exciting foodie week - Chinese New Year , Pancake day and I have my Monthly baking club which this month is all about Chinese New Year so lots of eating this week! Oh and top of that I have promised to bake some cakes for Molly's pre school on Thursday.... And if  I can will sneak in some brownies for my sewing group on wednesday...! Think I need a lie down just thinking about it all!
So here is this weeks Meal Plan

Monday - CHINESE NEW YEAR!  I'm going to cheat and get a meal deal from a supermarket!

Tuesday - SHROVE TUESDAY! - Stir Fry (bought all the bits for this before I realised it was Chinese new year!) Pancakes for pudding!

Wednesday - Smoked Haddock and Mushroom Pie - from Nigel Slater

Thursday - Baking club for me and we always eat lots so I shall go there hungry and nibble all the yummy bits all evening!

Friday - Jacket potatos - Sweet jacket potatos with Piri Piri prawns

Hopefully this is what is happening this week with some yummy cakes and bakes thrown in as well.
I have joined up with At Home with Mrs M - if you would like to have a nose as to what everyone else is making this week then have a look HERE

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Home made Granola!

Homemade Granola is the best and so easy to make and best of all you can add whatever you like to it. I have been put off from making granola as I thought it was a time consuming waste of time - how wrong I was!! There are lots of recipes these days but I adapted a recipe from Rachel Allen - Home Cooking -  Crunchy Granola - I followed the principles of what to use but changed most of the ingredients and halved it as I was making it for presents.

All mixed and ready for the oven

Ready to eat!

Makes about 750g
You can double the quantities for a larger batch.

75g Butter
75ml Honey
1tsp Vanilla extract
150g Rolled Oats
75g Pecan nuts - roughly chopped
25g Almonds- roughly chopped
75g mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds
50g Desiccated coconut
150g Mixed dried fruit - I used Sultanas and dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 170C ( 325F) Gas mark 3

Place the butter , honey and vanilla in a small pan and heat gently until melted.
Mix the oats, nuts, seeds and coconut in a separate boll. Pour over the melted butter and honey mixture. Stir well making sure that all the oats are covered in the honey/butter mixture.
Pour the oat mixture on a baking tray and place in the over for 20 mins making sure you toss the mixture with a spoon every 5 mins so that it is all toasted.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray stirring every now and then.
Once cool transfer to a large bowl and add your mixed fruit. Pour into an airtight container and store for up to 2 months.