Monday, 18 July 2016

Quick Currant, Almond & Coconut Cake

3 or 4ozs. Demerara Sugar
3 ozs. of Suma Olive Spread (dairyfree)
1oz. butter - - (or 4 ozs of Suma Olive Spread in total)
1/4 tsp. Almond essence and 1/4 tsp.Vanilla essence
2 eggs
3 ozs. Self-Raising Flour
1 oz.  Ground Almonds
approx. 3/4cup of Currants - (doesn't have to be exact)
Approx. Tablespoonful Desicated Coconut - (also doesn't have to be exact)
Paper Liner for ease - or - grease and flour baking tin.

1. Cream the sugar and fat together with the essences.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating together with a tablespoon of the flour*
3. Add the currants to the remaining flour and Ground Almonds and mix in well.
4. If the batter is a little heavy, pour in some slightly cooled boiled water, and stir/beat until you have a good cake consistency.  Dont overbeat the cake batter.
5.  Pour into your baking tin, sprinkle with the Desicated Coconut and
Bake at 160/180 deg.C, for approx. 45 mins.  
Test with a skewer in the centre, to make sure it comes out clean and the cake is cooked through.

Cool and eat.

*adding a small amount of flour with the eggs, stops the mixture from splitting.
If your cake batter does split, a small amount of boiling water, beaten in, usually does it.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Basic Cake Mix - very easy - all-in-one

Ingredients for Basic Cake:

2 eggs (weighing approx. 4ozs.)
4 ozs. Self-Raising Flour + 1 tsp. baking powder
4 ozs. butter
3 or 4 ozs. sugar (depending how sweet you want your cake) 
vanilla and/or almond essence

Flavouring of choice ie: 
handful of floured dried fruit, ground almonds, crushed ginger biscuits, blobs of jam, chocolate - optional choices You can just have the cake plain with just vanilla and/or almond essence.

1. Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl and whisk well together. Add your flavourings of choice.
If the mix is a little stiff, add a little-at-a-time hot water - straight from the kettle, just to make it into a nice creamy batter.
2. Place the mixture into your greased/lined baking tin and bake for approx. 30-45 mins.
3. Test with a skewer to see if cooked through, then cool the cake.
4. Slice and eat  :o)

Method 2:
The cake will also have a different texture if you cream the fat and sugar first, then add the eggs, one at a time, (and a little flour).  Add the remaining flour, and add some hot water if the mixture is still too stiff.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Quick Cucumber Soup

1 large cucumber (approx. ..... more or less is fine)
1/2 white onion
large clove of garlic
small head of lettuce - little gem or round lettuce is fine.
1 large white potato

salt, pepper, vegetable or chicken stock - enough to well cover.
1 - 2 tblspns. Sunflower oil 
a knob of butter

1. Prepare Veg: 
You dont need to peel the cucumber, just remove the ends and cut the rest into small chunks,
peel potato and cut into small chunks
peel onion and chop small
remove garlic skin and chop

2. Microwave:
Place all the veg in a large microwave bowl, plus some sunflower oil and the knob of butter.  Cover with a plate.
Zap until the veggies have softened.

3. Add your Stock to well cover the veg, and zap for about 5 mins. Test to see if the veg are cooked and soft enough - if not just zap for another 5 mins or so.  Cool slightly.
Liquidise or use a hand blender if the soup is very hot.
The soup should be a nice creamy texture to the thickness you like.
Add milk or more stock if it needs thinning down.

Add a little cream to serve - either hot or chilled.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hemsley & Hemsley Southern Fried Chicken

I've just started watching these two cooks, and like their recipes a lot.  They use healthier alternatives to - sugar and fats, and have some very good ideas.

Here's one of their recipes for a Southern fried chicken - - (baked and not fried )

Oven: 180 deg.C / 356 F / Gas 6
1.1/2 cups of ground almonds (180g.)
2 eggs
6 pieces of chicken (drumsticks and thighs)
1 tblspn. ghee or coconut oil
Sea Salt and black pepper - to taste

3 tsps. hot smoked paprika or 2.1/2 tsps. smoked swet paprika with 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1.1/2 tsps. ground cumin]
1/.1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsps. dried oregano
3/4 tsps. onion powder (optional)
3/4 tsps. garlic powder (optional)

1. line  baking tray with parchment
2. Mix the ground almonds and spices together
3. Beat the eggs in another bowl.
4. Dip the chicken pieces in egg, then coat with the almond crumb mix.  Lay the pieces on the baking tray.
5. Gently melt the ghee and use a spoon to drizzle over the chicken.
6. Bake for 45 mins until golden and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Looks delicious - and a lovely idea for crumb coating - - - and also the fact that it's baked!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dartmouth, Devon - - - beautiful

Devon Cream Tea - very yum - - - - - (jam or cream first?)
beautiful freshly caught fish
Dartmouth in Devon - to get to the other side - you can either drive or take the Ferry

Quick Leftover-Chicken Curry .... (or using raw chicken)


1/2lb. - 1lb. leftover cooked chicken - cut into chunks - 
(6 chicken thighs - using uncooked/raw chicken)

1 large white onion - chopped very fine, or blitzed in the processor
couple of cloves of garlic - ditto above
1/2" piece of root ginger - peeled/chopped small - ditto above

2 tbls. sunflower oil (or vegetable oil)

couple of tablespoons of water

2tsps. ground cumin
2 tsps. ground corriander
2 tsps. turmeric
2 tsps. garam masala
6 tomatoes roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
300ml. water
salt and black pepper

Optional:  molasses

Steamed basmati rice to serve.

1. Heat the oil and fry over the onion, garlic and ginger, for 3 - 4 mins. -  until they begin to soften. Stir frequently so it doesn't brown.
Add 2 tbls. water to make a textured paste.
2. Add the spices - stirring frequently, until the paste begins to golden.
3. Add the tomatoes, 300ml. water - season well with salt and black pepper, bring to the boil and add the chicken pieces and lemon juice.
4. Cover and cook on a medium heat - stir occasionally so it doesn't stick -
25-30 mins if using raw chicken,
10 - 15mins. if using leftover cooked chicken.

5. If you like things a little sweeter, add some black molasses (a good tablespoon) -
once the curry is cooked.

Add some chopped corriander on top to serve.
Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

For a smaller amount of leftover chicken - just adjust the amounts accordingly.

Friday, 6 May 2016

using up bananas ......

Try Banana Brown Betty - 
really easy and a sweet way to use up overripe bananas ............


  • 1 cup orange juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 small firm bananas, cut into chunks
  • 6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • In a large frying pan, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, sugar and butter. 
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until light caramel in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  • Add bananas and stir gently to combine.
  • Spoon half of banana mixture into six 6-oz. ramekins, (or one large buttered and bread-crumbed dish.)
  • Top with remaining banana mixture. 
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons remaining orange juice over each.  
  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, orange peel, cinnamon and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Place ramekins in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. 
  • Bake at190/200 deg.C approx.for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Serve warm or eat cold for breakfast :)
  • 6 servings. 
  • original recipe

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Chicken Casserole - all - in - one - pot (very easy)

Selection of mixed veggies (peeled and chopped): carrots, onion, celery, tomato, garlic, parsnip, potatoes,
(quantities are not really important - use what you have)
Fry over in a little sunflower oil until just beginning to soften.
Remove from heat, or keep on a very low heat.
Fry over chicken, skin side down first, until skin is just golden,
turn and fry other side just for a minute or two.
Add to veggies.
Add 1/2pt. veg stock with a little Apple juice added.
Season + some dried herbs of choice.

Place, covered, in the oven
about 180/90 deg.C for approx. 1 hr.
Test to see whether chicken and veg are cooked through.
Should then be ready.
3 chicken breasts (with skin)
selection of roughly chopped veg. (see above caption)
1/2pt. vegetable stock with a small amount of apple juice added
seasoning (S & P), plus dried herbs, coriander (green), oregano.
Oven: 180/90 deg.C
Timing: approx. 1 hr.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Potato & Mushroom Croquettes


Potato and Mushroom Croquettes

1.1/2 lbs potatoes - (not waxy ones) - peeled and chopped
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
1/4 lb. mushrooms (chestnut pref.)
1 tsp. oil
1 tblsp. water
salt/pepper - to taste
1 cup of matzot meal (or cornmeal)
oil for frying (shallow)

1. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.
2. In a separate pan - pour in the oil and water, heat, and cook the mushrooms for about 3 mins.
3. In a large bowl mix the mashed potatoes, chopped onions and mushrooms, (add the cooking liquid, if any, a little at a time for right consistency), seasonings and matzot or cornmeal.
4. Form into croquettes / patties.You could also finely coat the outside with meal - or flour if not using for Passover.
5. Fry for about 8 mins on each side.

serve hot as a main with salads or a side veg. with meat or poultry.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Cheesecake 'Lite'

This recipe only uses 8ozs.(225g.) of cream cheese and no butter - (it does have sour cream in it though.) When baked, the cake does sink - (well, mine did!) - even if you cool it in the oven, but dont worry.  I topped mine with sour cream, while still warm - and chocolate buttons), so it didn't look too bad - and doesn't taste too bad either :)   It's a much lighter cake, than the usual solid cheesecake.

This is a fairly basic recipe, but you can add anything else to it that you fancy - i.e. jam/lemon curd over the biscuit crumbs, fruit on top ..... your choice.

Grease and line your tin.

Oven:170deg.C - bake cake for approximately 1hr. but check, and use foil if top browns too quickly

1. crumbed Digestive/Chocolate Digestive Biscuits for base
- I dont add melted butter to my biscuit base.
Place evenly at the bottom of your baking dish.
2. Then in a large bowl - mix together .....

8ozs. (225g) cream cheese
5fl.ozs. sour cream
1 tablespoon of cornflour
3ozs. sugar (caster preferably)
few drops of vanilla essence
1 tablspn. lemon juice
2 egg yolks (keep the whites separate for whisking) 
Whisk these ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

3. Whisk the egg whites together with a pinch of Cream of Tartar.   
Whisk the whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into the cheese mixture.  Bake.  

Cool in the oven - though cake may sink anyway!
While the cake is still slightly warm, once you've put it on a cooling rack, add some sour cream on top, and some chocolate buttons - if you fancy :)
Cool then chill the cake.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Slow Roast Miso Pork Shoulder

1 x 5lb. approx. (but can be smaller) Pork shoulder
 .... (I think the US call it a 'Butt' :) )
piece of ginger root - peeled, crushed or grated (amount to taste)
several crushed garlic cloves (again, to your taste as to how many)
3/4 cup of miso (liquid) (I used a packet soup mix)
1 cup of sugar (1.1/2 if you like it sweeter)
3/4 cup of Soy Sauce

1. In a saucepan - mix the miso, sugar and soy together, add the ginger and garlic and bring to the boil - let it cool.
2. Place the meat in a roasting tin and pour the sauce over the meat.  Cover with foil.
At this stage you could leave it in the fridge till the next day.
3. Roast on a high heat for about 45 mins., - to an hour, then reduce the heat to around 150deg.C and just let it cook until it's very soft.  Test it with a skewer.  You can remove the foil 20mins or so before serving.

The sauce is delicious too!
I served the meat with baked rice and potatoes, plus a shredded lettuce salad with just a little sushi or mirin seasoning.

I strained off the liquid, leaving the meat covered in the oven,  and brought it to the boil in a saucepan, spooned some over the meat before serving, and served the rest of the sauce separately in a jug.
You can store the left over miso sauce in a jar in the fridge, and use when re-heating the meat, in the oven.  

I think the photo looks a little creepy - but the meat does taste delicious. :o)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Courgette and Cheese Loaf - lovely

75g (3 ozs.) butter
200g (7 ozs.) courgettes (remove ends but no need to peel)*
225g (8 ozs.) self-raising flour
1/4tsp. salt
1/4tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1tsp. mustard powder (ready mix is ok)
125g (4.5ozs.)  mature cheddar cheese - grated
3 large eggs - beaten
3 tablespoons of milk

Oven:  180/90C approx.
Line a 2lb. loaf tin with baking paper or a liner - (optional)

Dry ingredients:
Sift the flour, salt, cayenne, mustard powder into a bowl and stir in the grated cheese.

Melt the butter and cool slightly - (dont let it re-solidify)

Either grate the courgettes or food process them and add them with the butter, eggs and milk to the mix, then add the flour. Gently combine the ingredients.  It's quite a thick, gloopy mixture.
Place into your tin and bake for approx.45/50 mins. until the top springs back and beginning to brown.

Cool - except - it is delicious while still warm - with butter of course.

* You can buy the ready shredded courgette in packs.