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Friday, 25 July 2014

Honey Cupcakes



Ingredients: 

200g self-raising flour
150g soft margarine
110g light soft brown sugar
2 medium eggs
4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water
icing sugar to sprinkle over afterwards








Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180C.
  2. Place all the ingredients (not the icing sugar) in a mixing bowl and mix together.
  3. Line a bun tray with paper cupcake cases.
  4. Place 1 large tsp of the mixture into each bun case.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  7. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Pepper, Onion & Chorizo Puff Pastry Pizza


Ingredients: 

A very big Pepper, Onion & Chorizo Puff Pastry Pizzas
Ready made puff pastry (or if you want to have a go at making your own you can find a recipe at FOODY FRIDAY: Easy Puff Pastry)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of basil
1 crushed clove of garlic
2 peppers, sliced thinnly
2 red onions, sliced thinnly
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
125g goats cheese, crumbled
125g chorizo, chopped finely (Optional)
Olives (optional)
Grated cheddar cheese (quantity to desired taste)
Olive oil


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 7 or 220C.
  2. In a pan place the tin of tomatoes, crushed garlic and basil, bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced to a thick paste (~20 mins of simmering).
  3. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface to small squares about 10cm x 10cm or round 10cm in diametre (your preference) and approximately 0.5cm thick.
  4. Place the pastry squares or rounds onto a baking tray.
  5. In a tbsp of olive oil gently fry the peppers, until soft & transfer to a bowl.
  6. In the same frying pan add a little more oil and fry the red onions with the brown sugar to caramelise and until soft.
  7. On top of the squares or rounds of pastry spread the tomato paste evenly leaving a centimetre around the edge bare.
  8. Sprinkle on top the peppers, onions, chorizo, olives and top with cheeses, to your desired taste.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the pastry edges have puffed up and are golden brown and the cheeses have melted on top.
ENJOY with a seasonal salad!

TIP: do not try to make pizzas bigger than 10cm in diametre as the pastry in the middle tends to get quite soggy and make sure the tomato sauce is not too watery!



Monday, 14 July 2014

Sunset at Otley Chevin

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a romantic date at Otley Chevin with the sunset. We chose a great evening and saw an amazing sunset...












Friday, 11 July 2014

Blackberry & Apple Tarts


Blackberry & Apple Tarts

Do you enjoy foraging in the autumn for blackberries?

When I was a child we always had a family day out picking blackberries. It was always great fun, but it is not something I have been organised to do since I left home.


Ingredients:

225g blackberries (frozen or fresh)
40g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange rind
250g ready made puff pastry
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced




Before heading into the oven

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190C.
  2. Place the blackberries, caster sugar, lemon juice and orange rind into a pan and heat gently until the fruit is mushy. Allow to simmer until the mix is syrupy.
  3. Roll out the pastry to <5mm thick and using a pastry cutter, cut out 12 rounds.
  4. Place the pastry rounds into a greased bun baking tray.
  5. Spoon about 1.5 tsp of the blackberry mix into each pastry case.
  6. Place a piece of chopped apple on top of each tart and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  7. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

NB If you have some leftover pastry, blackberry syrup and apple chunks you can make a flat tart but just fold over the edges to make the crust thicker.




Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Strawberries & Lavender in my Garden

Ok, so I am a rubbish gardener....I hate getting my hands mucky, but I decided I had to do something with the cat-poo (not my cats!) infested pebbles & overgrown weeds in the pots outside the front door.


A few days ago, I impulsively bought some strawberry and lavender plants which I wanted to plant in my pots...

Strawberry plants in their pot

Lavender in my wheelbarrow

As you can see in the latter photo I have also scattered dried chilli flakes & lemon juice to try to deter the cats from pooping there. I have also read that cats don't like lavender so hopefully that will help as well as I am fed up of coming out of my house to be blessed with the smell of cat poo.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Le Tour de France in Yorkshire

Over the past months, there has been a huge hype about Le Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, especially for those of us who live in this fine county.

We ventured out with some friends of ours to just north of Skipton to watch the events unfold...


...there was a random guy dressed as a chicken riding a tiny bike whilst his mates ran alongside him...


...we found a spot where we could sit on the side of the road...


...it was Jennie's birthday so the whole crowds sung "Happy Birthday" to her...



...we were all watching and waiting for the cyclists...


...with our flags from Morrison's...



...then the bikes came past pretty quick...



...then we hung out in Skipton at the big screen to watch the rest.


...all around it was a great day out.   :)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Bacon & Cheese Potato Skins


Bacon & Cheese Potato Skins

Ingredients:

4 large baking potatoes
150g Raclette cheese, grated (Raclette cheese is difficult to get your hands on in the UK but any flavourful cheese will do, mature cheddar, edam etc)
150g bacon lardons
1 egg, beaten
black pepper
chilli flakes
oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200C.
  2. Brush oil over the potato skins and pierce. 
  3. Place onto a baking tray and bake the potatoes in the oven for an hour turning in the middle so that their skins are crispy and centre is soft.
  4. Allow the potatoes to cool a little before halving the potatoes and spooning out the potato flesh, leaving approximately 0.5cm of potato flesh around the skin.
  5. Fry the bacon until crispy.
  6. Mix together well the spooned out potato with the 3/4 of the grated cheese, crispy bacon, black pepper, chilli flakes and beaten egg so that it makes a thick but gooey mix.
  7. Spoon this back into the potato skins and sprinkle the left over cheese on top of each potato.
  8. Bake in the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese has turned golden brown on top.

Serve with baked beans or a green salad to make a delicious meal.

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