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Friday, 26 December 2014

Spiced Cranberry Chutney



This is the last Foody Friday regular recipe post, but never fear I will continue to post interesting recipes which I make. (See FOODY FRIDAY news) But for the last one, it had to be a good seasonal one . . .

For Christmas this year, I was inspired to create some foody presents. I googled some fun recipes and decided to have a go at Delia's Spiced Cranberry Chutney recipe . . .

Delia's Spiced Cranberry Chutney recipe


I was pleased with the outcome although I think I should have allowed it to simmer for slightly longer than Delia suggested as one batch I made has come out a little too liquid, but it's really delicious chutney and makes a wonderful Christmas present for friends and family.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Vanilla Fudge


Vanilla Fudge




Ingredients: 

700g soft light brown sugar
370ml double cream
250ml milk
225g butter










Method:

Stir constantly until the butter has
 melted and the sugar has dissolved
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a deep pan and heat gently.
  2. Stir constantly until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved.
  3. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly until the liquid gets to 116C (using a sugar themometer)
  5. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Beat with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes until it starts to thicken and loses it's gloss.
  7. Pour into a tin, lined with greaseproof paper.
  8. Leave to set at room temperature for a few hours.

Suggestions:
  • Sprinkle some white chocolate stars or nuts on top.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Snowman Soup



I do love a bit of Christmas Creativities :)

Snowman Soup



You need:

Snowman chocolate mould (each mould needs to hold approximately 25g chocolate)
Small plastic cellophane bags
Lollipop sticks
Pre-wrapped candy canes
The Snowman Soup Poem


Ingredients:

150g cooking chocolate
50g mini marshmallows
a sprinkling of cinnamon



Method:

  1. Boil a pan of water.
  2. Break chocolate into a glass bowl.
  3. Sit the glass bowl over the pan of boiling water.
  4. Stir the chocolate until it has melted and is smooth.
  5. Spoon the chocolate into plastic mould until full.
  6. Push the mini marshmallows & lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate.
  7. Place in the fridge for a few hours for it to set.
  8. Turn out the chocolate snowmen from the mould and place in a small cellophane bag with a candy cane and tie.
  9. Attach the Snowman Soup poem and give to your friends and family.

Snowman Poem


If you're in need of a festive cheer
Cos it's cold outside have no fear

Heat one cup of milk, good sir
Dunk your snowman, have a stir

As you watch the snowman drown
You will see the milk turn brown

This might make you stop and think
Perhaps I'll go and have a drink

As you slurp your snowman soup
You might find your eyelids droop

As you're nicely warmed inside
Snuggle in your duvet and hide

Then the chill will be no more
You will be warmed to your core

Lots of love from ??



Attached snowman poem
Snowman Soup



Friday, 12 December 2014

Chorizo & Couscous Stuffed Marrow



Another fun and delicious stuffed marrow recipe, although I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of it...

Ingredients:

1 large marrow
100g couscous
175ml boiling water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped finely
100g feta, chopped into cm cubes
100g chorizo, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried coriander


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Slice the marrow in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds and place onto a baking tray.
  3. Place couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling water and lemon juice.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan and gently fry the red onion for a few minutes, then add the chopped chorizo for a few minutes.
  5. Add the fried onion & chorizo to the couscous with the red pepper, feta and herbs and stir in well.
  6. Spoon the couscous mix into the centre of the two marrow halves, squashing it together with the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the marrow is soft and tender.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Gingerbread

Ingredients:

350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Sieve dry ingredients together.
  2. With your clean fingertips rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix in the sugar.
  4. Beat the egg and golden syrup together.
  5. Add to the mix and stir together to form a dough.
  6. Knead until smooth.
  7. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to Gas 4 or 180C.
  9. Roll out the dough, using flour to prevent sticking.
  10. Use cutters to make gingerbread shapes (Ikea sell gingerbread house cutters to make a gingerbread house!).
  11. Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tin and bake for 15 minutes until golden.
  12. Leave to cool on tray for 10 minutes.
  13. Decorate with icing and sweets.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

FOODY FRIDAY News



Ok, so I have decided that my last official FOODY FRIDAY post will appear on the blog on Friday 26th December.

Why?

Well, I am finding so little time to write posts these days and the pressure of having to write a recipe each week is quite demanding, especially since a beautiful little boy entered into our lives this year.

I regularly use my FOODY FRIDAY posts as my personal online recipe book, so I will keep sharing new and interesting recipes I make and enjoy, mainly for my own future reference. But please keep following me and the posts for recipes but there will not be a regular Friday recipe slot . . .


Friday, 28 November 2014

Carrot, Cumin & Coriander Salad



Carrot, Cumin & Coriander Salad

Ingredients:

3 carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander


Method:

  1. Peel the carrots & chop off the ends, then using either a grated or vegetable peeler, grate the carrots.
  2. Add the oil, lemon juice, cumin and coriander to the bowl of the grated carrot and mix together well.
  3. Serve immediately as an alternative salad side dish to a meal.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Marrow


This is a great Autumnal meal to make for the family, it's warming, healthy and nutritious. Stuffed marrow reminds me of growing up at home when my mum would make delicious stuffed marrow with a fresh home grown marrow from the garden.

When I told my husband we were having stuffed marrow for tea, he stuck his nose up but when he tried this recipe he loved it and wants me to make it again.

Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Marrow


Ingredients:

1 large marrow
450g turkey mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1tsp mixed herbs
1tsp dried crushed chillies
1 carrot, chopped finely
75g frozen sweetcorn 
1 green pepper, chopped finely
1 tin of tomatoes 
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 100ml boiling water
100g grated cheese
Olive oil


Method:


  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6 or 180C.
  2. Fry the turkey mince in a little olive oil until just browning.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, chillies & herbs. 
  4. When the onion is soft add the carrot, pepper and sweet corn and fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft and the liquid in the pan has reduced.
  6. Slice the marrow into inch thick slices and cut out the seeds in the middle.
  7. Place onto a baking tray and stuck the Bolognese mix into the centres of the marrow rings. 
  8. Top with grated cheese and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the marrow is tender and the top is golden brown. 


Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes and gravy if you wish.



Friday, 14 November 2014

Rocky Road Fudge


Condensed Milk




Ingredients:

400g dark/milk chocolate
400g can of condensed milk
30g butter
110g icing sugar
200g chopped glace cherries
150g mini marshmallows







Melt chocolate, butter and
condensed milk together in a pan


Method:

  1. Break chocolate into pieces.
  2. Melt chocolate, butter and condensed milk together over a low heat in a pan, stirring until smooth.
  3. Add icing sugar, whilst stirring.
  4. Add in the 2/3rds of the chopped cherries and mini marshmallows and mix in well.
  5. Line a tin with greaseproof paper and press the mixture into it.
  6. Scatter over the leftover marshmallows and cherries and press into the surface.
  7. Leave in the fridge to cool and set for a few hours.
  8. Slice into small pieces.


Suggestions:
Add biscuits pieces or nuts to the mix.
Place in an empty jar with a decorated label or ribbon to give to someone as a present especially at Christmas.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Cherry and Mixed Peel Madeira Cake





Ingredients:

190g butter
190g caster sugar
4 eggs
300g self raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
90g glace cherries
60g mixed peel






Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170C or Gas Mark 3-4.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together.
  3. Wash, dry and roll the cherries in the flour.
  4. Slowly add the beaten eggs with a tablespoonful of flour to the mix, whilst continually stirring together.
  5. Add the essence and the rest of the flour and mix well.
  6. Add the cherries and mixed peel and again mix well.
  7. Place into a greased cake tin (square, round or rectangular) and place in the middle of the oven.
  8. Bake for 75-90 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from tin and place on a wire cooling rack.

NB to ensure the cake is cooked through, stick a skewer into the middle of the cake and it should come out clean.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A Fluffy Farewell

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to this little old fellow today . . . 


In memory of our loyal rabs . . .


Rubbing his eyes

Curled up on the sofa with us

Meeting Bailey

We will miss . . . 

. . . the chewed wires
. . . my chewed boots & shoes  
. . . your cheeky nature hiding under furniture
. . . you leaping onto the sofa next to us
. . . the cute way in which you cleaned yourself
. . . running around the living room trying to catch you
. . . your soft silky fur
. . . and your constantly twitchy nose!

Miss you Dusky Doodles

Friday, 31 October 2014

Celebrating Halloween Differently

Halloween = All Hallows Evening


A light in dark places
Halloween is celebrated on 31st October on the eve before All Saint's Day on 1st November. It is originally a Christian celebration to remember those dead saints and martyrs who came before us.

Unfortunately I feel that Halloween has become quite a dark festival where we celebrate "death" and things associated with darkness. We dress up as skeletons and vampires, paint blood on our faces and think about dark things. After nightfall in the UK children knock on their neighbours doors asking for sweets and money, threatening to trick you if you do not give them a treat. 

I do not like the intimidation that comes with people knocking on your door threatening to trick you if you do not give them a treat, although that is not the case for everyone but we all know there are some that will throw eggs at your windows and doors or do something unpleasant to trick you. In previous years, my husband and I have gone out on Halloween to avoid the pressures that trick or treaters bring. I also do not agree with celebrating darkness and negativity, so this year instead of buying sweets and chocolate to give out I bought nightlight candles.
The candles leading to my house

But why candles I hear you ask?

Well, I want to promote light in dark places. I am a Christian and believe that Jesus is "the light of the  world". I have been giving the children candles saying to them "I do not celebrate darkness but am giving you a candle to light at home to remember that there is also light in the world".

I also lit candles up to the door of my house to guide the trick or treaters to my house in light, rather than in darkness.


New Homemade Enchiladas Recipe



Fry the meat and vegetables with the spices

Ingredients:

450g beef mince
1 onion, chopped finely
400g mushrooms, sliced
1 courgette, sliced and quartered
1 red pepper, chopped finely
1 carrot, cubed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 beef stock cube
200ml boiled water
1 tbsp tomato puree
8 tortilla wraps
200g grated cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180C.
  2. Fry the beef mince with the chillies, corianders and cumin for a few minutes until it is nicely browned in a large wok. 
  3. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms, courgette, carrot and pepper, fry for a few more minutes until beginning to soften.
  4. Mix the stock cube with the boiling water and add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Mix together well and add to the wok.
  5. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are all nicely cooked through.
  6. Place a large spoonful of the beef mix into each wrap, folding and placing into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  7. Add the grated cheese to the top and cook in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned on top.

Serve with nachos, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Autumn 2014

My family and I went on a day trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few weekends ago, when we left home the weather was glorious so we arrived had lunch and then guess what...
...yeah, the heavens opened!!! 

After a little while it seemed to dry up a little, so we still managed to enjoy a bit of a walk around though it was muddy and wet. Here are some of the photos I captured...








Friday, 24 October 2014

Winter Porridge



As the winter draws in what is nicer than a warming winter porridge to fill your morning tummy. Very easy and quick to make it warms you from the inside out.

For one serving of porridge

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of oats
1 cup of cold water OR cold milk (for the creamier taste) OR a mix of the both
Sprinkling of sugar (amount to your taste)

OPTIONAL: jam to put on top, golden syrup, dark brown soft sugar, demerara sugar

Method:

  1. Place the oats in the bottom of a small saucepan and pour over the liquid.
  2. Place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the porridge is boiling and has thickened.

Serve with a sprinkling of dark brown sugar, jam, golden syrup on top to make it even more delicious.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Black Forest in Germany Summer 2014

This summer we visited the Black Forest region of Germany near to Titisee to see my younger brother and his family. Here are some long awaited snaps from our travels...

Breitnau, the village we stayed in

Luke rowing across Lake Titisee

A view from Breitnau

Beautiful Alpine flowers

Lots of firewood

A Black Forest View

The Worlds Largest Cuckoo Clock

The Cuckoo appears on the hour and half hours

Crazy Golf in Titisee

Titisee Town from the Lake

Floating in a Boat on Lake Titisee

Black Forest Gateau...the real one!

Our fabulous residence for the week

Scenic waterfalls

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