Friday 26 April 2024

microwave speedy omlette - leftover yolks

 Speedy Microwave Omlette - made with leftover yolks

This little omlette will take less than two minutes to make - and straight into your plate.

I used a soup bowl as it has a lower level.

I used 3 or 4 egg yolks - you can store these safely (covered) in your fridge for a couple of days - but do check for freshness before using.

I whole egg

small amount of water (or milk)

seasoning and teeny knob of butter

Whisk all ingredients together and pour into your 'bowl'

Cook on high for 1.40 to 2 mins (or until all omlette is cooked through).

Watch this carefully.

(It cooks from the outside in).

You can add grated cheese before serving.

No dirty saucepans to wash up either!

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Celeriac Soup Quick - made in the microwave

                       this is a lovely, creamy, warming soup for the Winter - 
               I'm afraid by the time I took this photo - there wasn't much left!

1 celeriac peeled, cut and roughly chopped
1 large carrot - peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion or 1 large spring onion - peeled and chopped
1 stick of celery - chopped
1 clove of garlic (or to taste)
Approx. 1 tablespoon of powdered chicken or vegetable stock 
Small drizzle of sunflower or olive oil (add a little butter if wanted)
Place all chopped vegetables in a large microwaveable bowl with the stock powder and drizzle of oil, mix tog, so veg are coated -
zap on High until veggies are beginning to soften.
Add boiling water to well cover and zap again for approx. 10 mins.
Add more boiling water to bowl, adjust seasoning and zap until veggies are well cook and the soup tastes good (!)  Leave to cool a little.
Liquidise, adding milk or more stock to thin - adjust seasoning.

Monday 4 December 2023

Boiled Fruitcake Recipe - stores well.

Oven: preheated to 325 F : 170 C - for approx. 1 hr.

1. Ingredients

1 cup of water

2 cups of raisins

1 cup of demerara sugar (or other)

1/3 cup of shortening or butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp.allspice. 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 cups of self-raising flour

1 tsp. baking powder


1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


In a saucepan combine the ingredients in red.

Bring to a boil for 3 mins and let it cool.

Once the fruit mixture is cool/cold you can add 2 beaten eggs - though you can make this cake without eggs.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and bi-carb and stir gradually into the cooled mixture.

Beat the batter until smooth and stir in the nuts - if using.

Bake in a greased 9" cake tin (or lined with paper liner) - in middle of oven.

Test with a skewer which should come out clean, when done.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

One Pot, very easy soup - microwave



l spring onion - chopped (peel off any manky bits and cut off the root)

1 large carrot peeled and sliced

1 small/medium potato - peeled and small cubed

1 stick of celery - remove some of the strings if poss, and chop 

1 large piece of garlic - peeled and chopped

few fresh tomatoes

salt, pepper, little olive oil, knob of butter, chicken stock (or equivalent)

handful of (novelty) pastas 



1. Place all chopped veg in large microwaveable bowl, season to taste and add knob of butter and olive oil,  season well - turn veggies over to mix together.

2. Place on high, stirring occasionally, until veg are almost cooked. (Sauteeing veg.)

3. Add enough hot stock to well cover, and cook for another 5 mins or so.

Add more stock - for the quantity of soup you want - and add the small pastas.  Stir.

4. Cook again on high until the pastas, and veggies are well cooked and soft.

Add more stock if wanted.

I remove any floating tomato skins.

I like my soup quite thick with the ingredients, but enough soup too! 

Add grated cheese if wanted.



You dont need to be exact about either quantities or timing.




Monday 26 June 2023

Quick (Chicken) Soup in the Micro

Ingredients: for approx 2 - 3 servings.

2 sticks of celery - chopped roughly

several white part of spring onions (scallions) chopped roughly

1 large carrot - peeled and cut into rounds

clove of garlic

leftover cooked chicken carcass/pieces if wanted.

small amount of sunflower or olive oil

chopped corriander to serve (if wanted)

In a microwaveable bowl place the chopped vegetables, sprinkle with a little oil and shake to cover veg, and zap for approx 10 mins.

- just until veg are beginning to soften.

Add the chicken carcass if using, and enough hot stock to well cover.

Zap for at least another 10 minutes, but you may want to cook longer - this is fine.

(You cant really spoil this soup.)

Remove the small pieces of chicken from the bones and put back into the soup.

Season to taste, and add chopped corriander to serve.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Date & Apple Breakfast (cake)



OVEN: 180 deg.C or 350 deg. F - for approx 30 - 35 mins. till 'cake' is golden brown.


6ozs. porridge oats (rolled oats) (175g)

2ozs. wholemeal flour (50g)

1 tsp. baking powder


4 ozs butter (or margerine) melted (125g)

4 ozs soft brown sugar (125g)

3 tablespns golden syrup


8ozs. apple - dessert or cooking apple, cored, peeled and chopped (250g)

8ozs. de-stoned dates, chopped

both these can be chopped together in a food processor. 


Grease a small loaf tin.

1. Add the cooled liquid to the dry ingredients, and mix WELL with a wooden spoon.

2.  Place half of this oat mix (approx. 4 ozs) into the base of your tin - press down evenly

3. smooth the filling ingredients over next, and and place the remaining oat mix over the top - smooth nicely down, pressing gently.

4. Bake until golen brown. Cool, then cut into slices

 - it is also very nice eaten warm. 

this recipe is taken from The Apple Cookbook edited by Nicola Hill


(please note the photos are not taken by me but were downloaded from general images)




Thursday 19 January 2023

Air Fryers - comment.


I am a convert to low fat air fryers!  I bought a small one some time ago from Lakeland, and hadn't bothered to use it much. However, recently I have been experimenting with it and find it terrific.  (This can also be bought from Amazon)


I have cooked a six-chop rack of lamb, chicken, fish, vegetables - inc potatoes, and tried a cheese cake.  All cooked pretty simply without any fussy stuff added - except seasoning and maybe some dried herbs (and a teeny bit of oil of course).

The recipe I found for the cheesecake was ok, but it didn't have flour in and found the cheesecake nice tasting, but quite soft.  I yet have to try it out with flour.

This little machine must save on energy use as it cooks fairly quickly, and much faster than an oven would take to heat up and then bake or roast.

Try one!

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Chicken casserole - really easy - All-In-One Pot dish

Ingredients and method:

Use enough veggies for the amount of chicken you use.

Use any mix of veg to your taste.

I've used:

Peeled and sliced carrots : celery : spring onion : sweet potato/es - season.

Handful of (basmati) rice - if wanted

Lay two chicken breasts on top of vegetables - season.

Layer of thinly sliced peeled white potatoes on top - drizzle a little vegetable oil over the top of them - season.

Clove or two of chopped garlic (skinned)

Cover well with stock or water.   

Make sure all ingredients are well covered .......... and a bit extra is fine.

Place lid on casserole dish. 


Oven 190 deg.C - until liquid is bubbling, then you can turn it down and leave it to cook for at least 1.1/2 hrs. (longer is fine).  Just check you still have enough liquid.

Remove the lid and raise the heat a little to brown the potatoes.

This chicken casserole can be pre-cooked and zapped in the microwave to reheat.

Will keep refrigerated for several days - (if you haven't already eaten it all!)








Sunday 3 October 2021

Tomato Sauce - Microwave'd .... (Tomatoes from the garden)

This sauce is really easy. 

 Just remove any stalks and cut tomatoes in half or quarters. 

Place in Microwaveable Bowl Add: sugar to taste (or honey), large clove of crushed garlic, dried basil, dried oregano - (to taste) - and some olive oil. 

Add a small amount of water and zap on High until tomatoes are very soft. 

Mix together and zap again until desired texture. 


 Add some fresh chopped basil leaves - if wanted. Stir in.  

TASTE for seasoning. 


This stores pretty well, covered,  in the fridge, but can also be frozen. 

Use as required with pasta or minced meat.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Ricotta Cheesecake - easy

Oven: Moderate - 160/180 deg. C 


500g (1lb) ricotta cheese 

100g (3 ozs) white sugar 

grated rind of 1 lemon 

4 egg yolks and 2 egg whites - stiffly beaten .... (keep other two whites, covered in fridge, for another cake :o) ) 

60G (2 ozs) flour 

150g (5 ozs) dried fruit of choice - I use sultanas floured with a little of the flour

 biscuit crumbs 


1. Sieve the ricotta, lemon rind and sugar into a largeish bowl and beat till smooth. 

2. Add the yolks one at a time - beat in 

3. fold in the floured dried fruit 

4. fold in the stiff egg whites :

either grease a deep oven dish with butter or use a cake liner inside the dish

5. Add the crushed biscuits to base - quantity isn't crucial. 

6. Pour the cheesecake mix over the crushed biscuits, smooth over. 

7. Bake aproximately for 30 mins (test to see if cooked through) 

8. Cool on wire rack. Can top with soured cream while warm - though not essential.

Monday 21 September 2020

Honey and Banana Cupcakes (or large cake)

Oven: 180 deg. C Cupcakes approx 15-20 ins Larger cake: bake until top is firm to the touch, then test with skewer -(just in case!) 240g flour 1 heaped tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger : 1 tsp baking powder : 1 ts[ bicarb of soda : 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (demerara is fine): lus little extra for sprinkling 2 eggs lightly beaten 180 ml runny honey 180 ml. sunflower (or similar) oil 240g mashed ripe banana (or applesauce) 140g raisins - optional 12 hole muffin tin or one large cake tin, greased and lined Mix dry ingredients together ina large mixing bowl Add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth (dont overmix) Fold in the raisins, if using Fill themuffin tins about 3/4 way up and sprinkle with a little of the brown sugar This is a lovely moist cake and keeps well in an airtight tin. Can use a buttercream for topping.

Thursday 16 January 2020

Dont waste your leftover biscuits - Basic Cheesecake Recipe

If you have any leftover sweet biscuits that are just hanging around (!) - any assortment will do - dont wast them - you can blitz them to crumbs* and use them on the base of your cheesecakes.  I dont add butter to mine, but just lay about 1/4" - 1/2" on the base of my buttered dish before pouring over the cheesecake mixture ....... We're really only interested in the cheesecake and not the base!

Oven: 180deg. C
Basic Cheesecake Mixture:
400g. - approximately 1lb. Philadelphia cream cheese (other cream cheese is fine)
beat until smooth (ish)
Add: 110g - 125g. sugar
2 beaten eggs,
grated zest of 1/2 - 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix together well.
Then: In a small bowl, about a tablespoon of either plain or self-raising flour.
Throw in couple of ounces of sultanas (or dried fruit of choice - amount isn't crucial as long as it isn't too much!), and coat well with the flour.
Add to the cake mixture. 
Combine well and 
Pour over your biscuit crumb base and bake for at least 1 hr. check after 45mins. to see if nicely 'set'.
Cool in the oven, with the door open, then cool at room temperature 
If this is topped with soured cream - it should be stored in your fridge.
I do usually store cheesecake in the fridge anyway - as our kitchen is always very warm. 

*place any unused biscuit crumbs in small container/bag and store in freezer.

.... Also your cheesecake may well sink as it cools - but dont worry - you can pour your sour cream into it, and just leave a nice margin all the way around.

Sunday 10 November 2019

Chicken - using the whole chicken without wasting any!

1 whole chicken

1. carcass and any bits, plus any veg you may have eg. carrots, garlic, celery, onions, leeks etc.   
Peel the vegetables, then either just cut in half or leave whole.  
Add a couple of bay leaves, garlic  (if wanted), and some fresh parsley or corriander.
Enough water to well cover - plus some more. 
You can add some stock powder or cube at this stage - (or even later - wont really matter)
Bring to boil, skim well, then simmer until - at least - carrots are soft.  
You can leave this to simmer for a while - shouldn't  come to any harm - will just reduce the stock.
Dont forget to skim your soup well - this makes for a lovely clear soup

Make a casserole with  4 portions:
Fry over chicken portions in some sunflower or veg. oil and a small knob of butter.  
When skin is turning brown, turn portions over to just seal them.  
Place in casserole dish.  
Add your chopped vegetables to frying pan - and saute until softened.  
Add a can of tomatoes, seasoning and any herbs you fancy.  Replace chicken in pan.
Simmer gently until chicken is cooked through - at least 30 mins or longer - test. Shake pan from time to time, to stop the chicken sticking to the base.

 I made a simple chicken provencale with tomatoes, onions, celery and garlic.  
This can also be frozen, once cooled.

Chicken Breasts - roasted.
Oven 180/190 deg. C
In a roasting tin place a sliced onion, some garlic (if wanted), thinly sliced celery and carrot.  Place chicken breast on top.
You need not put any vegetables in at all - just roast with a little covering of oil/butter, and a small amount of water in base of tin.
Baste from time to time.
Roast until cooked through - test with skewer or thermometer. 
The chicken breast can be kept, covered, in your fridge and used for salads, sandwiches, chopped and added to cooked pasta etc.

Saturday 2 November 2019

Autumn Apples

We have an absolute glut of apples this year.  The early ones were quite wormy, but the later ones just fine - though it is still a bit hit and miss when cutting them open!  However, there are tons of apple recipes, but our all-time favourite is still stewed apples - with or without dried fruit - served hot or cold with custard or cream, apple cake and apple crumble.

Quick Apple Crumble
Approx. 500g. apples
Core, quarter and peel apples, cut quarters in half.
Place them in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over sugar (preferably demerara) to taste.
Add some dried fruit, eg. raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, blueberries etc. - a mix of these are nice.
However, just sultanas or raisins are good too.
Some apples may need a little water in the bottom of the baking dish ..... others not.

100g flour
pinch of salt
75g sugar
75g hard butter
75g porridge oats
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

If using a food processor, blitz the butter and flour till breadcrumbed, and add the rest of the ingredients - blitz to blend.

Sprinkle over the apples and bake approx.50 mins or longer.
Oven: 190 deg. C (Gas 5)



Wednesday 30 October 2019

Butternut Squash Soup - delcious and SO easy!

Oven: 190/200 deg. (high-ish)
1 butternut squash
cloves of garlic - to taste
olive or sunflower oil
knob of butter (if wanted)
Maple Syrup
salt and pepper
small amount of water for roasting tin

1. The hardest part of using a butternut squash is the peeling**!  I dont peel mine, just cut it up into chunky  slices and remove the seeds*.  This isn't that easy either - but is manageable.  Use a spoon to remove the seeds.

**Ready-peeled supermarket squash is not very tasty.

* you can use the seeds too - just roast them with a little salt or fry them over.  Store them in a lidded jar.

2. Place your butternut squash pieces in a roasting tray, with some water in the base, and drizzle some oil and maple syrup over the veg.  Add the garlic pieces - peeled or unpeeled and seasoning.

3. Roast, turning the pieces over after about 20 mins - skin side up until the skin starts going golden/burnt (!) and the flesh is soft.

4. Leave to cool a little, then using a small kitchen knife, peel off the skin and place veg pieces in a liquidiser with the remains of the liquid, garlic etc., from the roasting tin.

5. Using some extra stock - vegetable or chicken - Liquidise - until the mixture is creamy smooth, and you like the texture of it.  
I dont like my soups thin, so I usually make them the consistency of say double cream.  Taste for seasoning.

6. When serving, serve hot - and  you can add, sour cream, sweet cream, little knob of butter, chopped fresh corriander - - - etc.

This is a completely delicious soup.

Thursday 8 August 2019

Tomato Tart

Oven: 200 deg. C
Cooking time: 30 - 45 mins. (approximately)

Pastry Base:
1.1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp. caster sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4ozs. unsalted butter - cold and cut into pieces (or grated)
6 tablespoons of iced water

1. Make your pastry, wrap in klingfilm and chill for about 30 mins ..... (the pastry that is!)

Tomato Topping:
1.1/2lbs. of small tomatoes - halved OR large tomatoes sliced
black pepper, added before putting tomatoes on top of Filling.

2. Place tomatoes in a sieve or colander and sprinkle a little salt over.  Leave while making the Filling.

1 cup of natural bio plain yogurt
1/2 cup of double cream
1 large egg - beaten
1 or 2 cloves of crushed garlic
Dried Basil - to taste
1/3 cup of Parmesan or Pecorino - grated
1/2 tsp. salt if needed, black pepper and good pinch of cayenne

3. Mix all ingredients together till creamy, and leave in fridge while rolling out pastry base.
4. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface, to fit your tart tin, with an overlap.
5. Remove Filling from fridge, mix together again, and carefully spoon into pastry base.
You may have some left over, but you can carefully spoon it over the tomatoes.
6. Drain your tomatoes on some kitchen paper and place - face up - on top of the Filling.
7. Pour any excess Filling over, adding a little more grated cheese if wanted.
8. Fold overlapped pastry in, and bake for 30 - 45 mins - (approximately).

Pastry will have become golden, and very slightly away from edge of baking tin, and, of course, the Filling will be 'set'.

Recipe tweaked from original by David Liebovitz.

Stewed Fruits and Crumble


This time of year is great for using soft fruit.
I tend to microwave any fruits I have leftover - or just 'slightly' over-ripening, with a little water (if necessary) and either sugar, honey or maple syrup.
Blackberries - rinse well if from your garden
Apples - peeled and roughly chopped
Plums - halved and de-stoned
Cherries- de-pip
peaches/nectarines etc. - you can skin these if required and roughly chop
Once cooked, add your sugar to taste.

Delicious served hot or cold with cream or custard :o)

You could also make the stewed fruit into a crumble:

Crumble Mix:
100g flour
50g butter - cold
50g demerara sugar
Add bits of butter to the flour and with fingertips crumble into 'bread crumbs'
Add the sugar
Sprinkle on top of cooked fruit - add a little ground ginger or cinnamon if wanted.

Porridge Oats can be added to the crumble mix, as extra or part of the flour.

*Link: BBC: Frozen Fruit Crumble

Monday 8 April 2019

Pesto Sauce - extremely easy - and delicious! (made with cashew nuts)


1 Bunch of basil leaves
clove of garlic (if wanted) 
a handful of plain (unsalted) Cashews ...... OR Pine Nuts
grated parmesan or pecorino
Olive oil or Rapeseed oil
sea salt and black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in your blend/chopper.
You may want to finely chop the cashews first in your 'chopper' to make them a little finer.
Store in a lidded jar in the fridge. 
(I usually rinse the jar with boiling water before pouring in the Pesto Sauce) 

  (this lovely pic is from

Thursday 14 February 2019

Chickpea Curry - Mild (with or without spinach)

approx. 4 tbl. vegetable oil
2 medium red onions - peeled and chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic (your choice) - peeled and grated
2.1/2 cm  piece of fresh ginger - peeled and grated
2 small crushed chilli
1 tsp. ground corriander
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (Jeera)
1 tsp. salt
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 or 2 tins of chickpeas - drained and rinsed well

3 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves (if wanted)

1. heat the oil preferably in a wok and add the onions and fry till they are a light golden colour.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook through for a minute or so.
3. Add the salt and spices and cook for another minute.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook gently for about 5 minutes - stirring as it may stick - if it does, add a little water.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 mins.
5. Add the chickpeas and stir well ensuring they are coated with the sauce.
6. Turn up the heat then cook for 5 - 7 mins. (or a little longer) - stirring continuously.  (Add little water if needed.)
7. If using the spinach, stir it in, cover and leave to wilt.

Serve with steamed or boiled Basmati Rice.

This recipe has been slightly tweaked, but is originally by Parveen Ashraf ...............  - who has some super recipes on her website.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Kitchen Pot Pourri

These herbs have been picked from the garden and dried - then crushed up.
Bay Leaves
Oregano (Marjoram)
(and a bit of Fresh Basil (dried too) )

Place in a pretty bowl
It smells lovely - and can also be used as mixed herbs in some recipes.
Crush the mix to release a super scent.
An added bonus is that it also seems to keep flies away!

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Philly Fritters

60g Plain Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 large eggs - separated
100g Philadelphia Cheese (with Chives is good too)
2 tblspns semi-skimmed milk
1 tin of sweetcorn - rinsed and drained - (approx. size 198g.can)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

2 tablspns. sunflower oil

1. Mix the Flour, baking powder and paprika into a bowl.
2. Beat the Egg Yolks and Philly and add to the flour.
3. Add the Milk, Sweetcorn and Onions and mix together gently until the flour is incorporated.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the sweetcorn mix.

5. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and drop in large spoonfuls (approx.tablespoon) of the
6. Cook until just going a nice golden brown and flip on to the other side and cook too. (Approx 30 - 40 seconds).
7. Remove from the pan on to a sheet of greaseproof paper or similar.

These fritters can be eaten straight away, reheated in the micro or  kept covered and zapped the next day.

Serve with, chutney, sweet chilli sauce, or anything you may fancy!

This recipe originally comes from The Kraft Philadelphia CookBook.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Fly Repellent Herbs - from your garden

As the weather here in the UK has been SO hot - it's obviously best to either keep food in the fridge, or if it's out in the kitchen, - keep it covered with a tea towel.  There are just lots of flies around at the moment, and they seem to zoom in at the slightest whiff of 'food'!  Even grease on a paper kitchen sheet seems  to attract them :o(

I found a super article online about herbs that you probably have growing in your garden, and these (hopefully) will deter flies if you strew some around on your work surface, or hang them up in a bunch in the kitchen.

Useful herbs include:
Mint, Catnip
Tansy - this resembles marigold flowers
Bay leaves

To check on the full uses for these herbs - click on this link

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad

This is such a simple salad but completely delicious and refreshing.

Watermelon - peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces - (remove pips!)
Feta Cheese
Fresh Basil leaves
Little dried basil

A Good Olive or Rapeseed Oil

There are no particular quantities for this salad - make it as it pleases you - but with lots of melon!

1. Place the melon into your serving dish.
2. Crumble the Feta over the top
3. Add chopped Basil Leaves
4. Sprinkle with Olive Oil
5. Mix - gently - and sprinkle a little dried basil over the top of the salad and a few more fresh basil leaves.

Additions: (optional)
little salt and black pepper
finely chopped spring onions
small drizzle of honey 

Monday 2 July 2018

Mixed Bean Hummus

I've had a can of mixed beans in my larder - (for a while now!) - and suddenly thought I could try and make a hummus with them.  It turned out quite nicely!  You dont have to be exact with the quantities - just make it to your own taste.

Ingredients: -
into the liquidiser ......

1 can of mixed beans - rinsed well and drained
clove of garlic
lemon juice - to taste
handful of chopped fresh corriander, and a little dried corriander if you have it.
tahini paste - (about a tablespoon / ish)
little salt and black pepper
Olive Oil - enough with the lemon juice to make a nice paste
few finely chopped olives - (black are good)
Pinch of paprika

Whizz ingredients together until as smooth as you can get it.
Taste for seasoning and texture.

Pour into a pretty dish and sprinkle with a little paprika, olive oil and the chopped olives.

Cover with klingfilm to store in fridge.

Sunday 10 June 2018

Vegetarian Pate - Faux Gras

I saw this Faux Gras pate recipe/video on Facebook - LINK
(I have slightly tweaked the recipe)

It does look like a meaty pate - but I cant say it will replace fois gras - but it's pretty nice. 

2 tbls. olive oil
1 small onion or shallot - chopped
2 garlic cloves
Gently saute the above until softened, (not browned.)

Add and saute:
approx. 18 button mushrooms
dried herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage - 2 tsps. of each - I used some fresh herbs too.
+ 2 tbls. cognac 

Blend these in your liquidiser/blender.

2 cups of cooked brown lentils (canned is ok)
2 tbls. soy sauce
1 cup of toasted walnut - blended
2 tbls. beetroot puree - or a few slices of cooked betroot (either wash off the vinegar or use plain cooked beetroot - it's mainly used for colour).

Spoon into a sterlised jar, and top with either melted butter or softened butter.
Cover and chill well in fridge.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Very easy (all-in-one) Marmalade Sponge Cake

When I've got oranges (or similar) that are just not quite nice enough to keep in the fruit bowl - I boil them up with some water and sugar, until the fruit is very soft, and make a sort of marmalade/compote.  I keep this in sterilised jars and use it - either like jam, or in cakes - this is the marmalade cake version.  

You can use actual bought marmalade (or apricot jam is very nice) - and it gives the sponge a very nice flavour.  Keeps well too.

180 deg. C - approx. 1 - 1.1/4 hrs. 
6 ozs. self-raising flour (or plain flour and 2 tsps. baking powder)
6ozs. sugar
6ozs. Flora (see pic) - make sure you use the 'baking' one
3 medium eggs - lightly beaten
3 tablespoons of marmalade or compote
1/2 tsp. baking powder and a pinch of salt. 

Mix all the ingredients together - dont overbeat - just till nice and smooth.
Pour into your greased or lined baking tin.
Check with a skewer (or listen in!) to see whether cooked through.
Cool - and eat!

Monday 30 April 2018

Courgette (zuchini) Veggie Loaf

This is a really tasty and easy to make loaf/bread - without yeast.
(The measurements of the celery, onion and coriander/parsley dont have to be exact)

Oven: 180190 deg. C - approx. 1 hr. - *test with a skewer about 45 mins. in to baking time.
approx 4 sticks of celery 
1 onion - skinned
small amount of oil for sauteeing veg.

1 lb. (approx. 500g.) self raising flour or plain flour with about 8 tsps of baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 fl. ozs olive oil
handful of chopped coriander (or parsley)

1/2pt. milk less 2 tablespoons
1 egg

1. Put (A) the celery and onion in a food processor and whiz together - (not too mushy) 
or chop fairly finely.
2. Saute the veg in the oil until translucent - remove and set aside.
3. Place (B) ingredients into a bowl.
4. Mix the egg and milk (C) together and add to the flour mix.
5. Add the sauteed veggies.
6. Mix gently together, then knead lightly on a floured surface.
7. Knead into required shape, place on a greased surface and bake.*

This can be served warm or cold with butter - delicious.
Store in a plastic bag - (reuse a plastic loaf bag is fine).  This should keep well for a few days - if it's not eaten beforehand!

**Note:Chopped Bacon can also be added.

Saturday 3 March 2018

Banana Fairy Cakes (cupcakes) - easy all-in-one recipe

 These little cakes dont look that pretty :o( 
- my icing skills aren't that brilliant as I was in a hurry - 
but they taste delicious! and are easy to make.

Makes 12 fairy cakes - which are a bit smaller than cupcakes
Oven: 180 deg.C - approx. 20 mins.  - check with a skewer to make sure they are cooked through - they should be a golden colour.

12 portion tin with paper cases.

4ozs. caster sugar
4 ozs. butter - softened
4ozs. self-raising flour
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 VERY ripe banana
2 eggs

Place all the ingredients in a processor (or use a hand mixer) and mix thoroughly.
Fill each case approx. 3/4 full
When cool you can ice them:
approx. 140g. icing sugar
1 tablspn. of lemon juice + enough water to make a thick'ish paste - not so liquid as the icing will slide off the cake.  Although it may seem like a of of icing, I used all of it.

Store in an airtight tin.  They should keep at least 2-4 days.  The icing helps keep the cakes a little longer.

*original recipe measurements in grams: 
100g caster sugar
100 grams butter
140g self raising flour

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Saturday 10 February 2018

Baked Custard

Baked Custard doesn't really sound that pretty or appetising, but I have recently made some, and it was demolished in pretty quick time!  
It's lovely served cold with fruit salad or any other fruits
You can either make it in small ramekins or one large dish.

Always place the custard dish in a bain-marie - larger tin with very hot water in, about halfway up, so that the custard steams a little ...........

3 large eggs
1/3 cup of sugar - caster or demerara 
1 tsp. vanilla essence
pinch of salt

2.1/2 cups of very warm Full Fat Creamy Milk - this has the best taste
pinch of either ground nutmeg or cinnamon 

1. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and frothy - it wont be thick, but still liquidy.
2. Very slowly whisk in the warm milk a little at a time - so as not to scramble the eggs.
3. Add the cinnamon or nutmeg to taste.
4. Pour into a very lightly greased bowl and bake for approx. 30mins to 45 - until the custard is 'set'.
5. Leave to cool then refrigerate - covered.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Date Syrup Cake - quick, easy and yummy

Oven: 170 deg. C
Bake: approx. 30mins/45 mins. or until cooked (!)

Ingredients - small cake:
60g butter
125 g date syrup **

100g plain flour
1 large teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar#pinch of salt

125 ml milk
1 beaten egg

1. Melt the butter gently with the date syrup. Stirring. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
2. Sift together all the dry ingredients

3. Beat the egg and milk together.
4. Add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients, then gently stir in (or electric whisk) the butter and syrup. This should make a nice gloopy mixture. *

4. Pour into a baking tin (6" x 8" x 1.5") - use a paper liner, which saves you greasing the tin. 
5. Test with a skewer to see if cooked through.
6. Cool on a wire rack.  

*You could add some sultanas or raisins to this cake.  Dredge some flour over them before adding in to the mixture.* 

**This is also the recipe for a gingerbread cake, so you could replace the date syrup for golden syrup.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Fairy Cakes/Cupcakes

I've been experimenting with a few 'fairy cake' recipes, and found this one, from the Hairy Bikers, has the nicest texture and keeps the best, so you dont have to eat them all 
on the same day!

Oven: 180 deg. C
Ingredients: - makes 12
7ozs. (200g) self-raising flour
1 tsp. bi carb.
3ozs. (75g) caster or golden caster sugar
3.5 ozs. blueberries (optional)
1 unwaxed lemon zest - finely grated
2 free range eggs - beaten
1/4 pt. (150 ml)  low-fat natural yogurt (or double cream)
2 tblspns. semi-skimmed milk (or little more if needed)
2 fl.oz. (50ml.) sunflower oil

Lemon Icing:
3.5ozs.(100g) icing sugar
4 tsps. fresh lemon juice

1. preheat oven. and line a 12 hole muffin/fairy cake tin with paper cups
2. Sift the flour and bi-carb and stir in the sugar, (blueberries) and lemon zest.
3. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, then beat in the yogurt, milk and oil.
4. Stir into the flour and mix together - lightly.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the paper cups and bake for 16-18 minutes until the cakes are well risen and golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. Ice with the lemon icing when cool.

Sandwich a dollop of lemon curd in the centre with a blob of batter on top.  (These are technical terms! :o) )
You could also use jam.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Cake Pops - with leftover (Christmas) cake - no cooking

·        400g/14oz Christmas Cake
·        100g/3½oz Dark Chocolate
·        100g/3½oz White Chocolate
·        sprinkles, to decorate
  • 12 round lolly sticks. 
  • Method
1.      Break the Christmas cake into pieces then blend in the food processor for a few minutes to turn into crumbs.
2.      Divide the mix into 12 and shape into balls. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.
3.      Melt the chocolates in separate bowls, over pans of simmering water or in a microwave.
4.      Make a hole in each ball with a lolly stick, then dip the end of the stick in the melted chocolate and place back in the hole. Repeat with the other sticks and leave to set for about 30 minutes.
5.      Re-melt the chocolate if necessary, then, using a teaspoon pour the chocolate over a cake pop, holding it over the bowl. Work quickly to get a smooth finish. Tap the cake pop on the side of the bowl to get rid of the excess chocolate, then stick into a piece of polystyrene or upturned colander while you coat the rest of the pops.
6.      Once the chocolate has set slightly, but is still sticky, coat in sprinkles then leave to set completely.

Recipe Tips

Use an upturned colander or a polystyrene block to keep your cake pops standing while they set - just make sure your lolly sticks will fit in the colander holes before you start.