Friday, 27 May 2011

Fabulous pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

We are huge fans of pancakes in our family! I am now quite practised and can definitely make time for pancakes for breakfast, even in our very last minute family. Oscar was happy this morning as he managed to eat 6 pancakes!
If you are particular about your ingredients, pancakes can really be a really nutritious meal! What makes our pancakes completely delicious is the chocolate sauce.
The leftovers we have for pudding - a Pancake cake!
Chocolate Sauce
(I always make this 1st - very quick)
50g Butter
50g Xylitol or raw cane sugar
25g Cocoa powder
3 tbsp of Rice Milk
Chuck all ingredients into a little saucepan and gently heat and mix really well with wooden spoon (if like me, you do not sieve the powder then you may need a little hand whisk to bash out a few little lumps!).
All done, pop into a jug
250g Plain flour (I always use gluten free stone ground flours)pinch of pink Himalayan salt
2 free range eggs
500ml of milk (I use rice milk)
Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil
pop flour and salt into a mixing bowl - add the eggs and half the milk. Mix with an electric whisk, bringing all the flour in from the edges, then add the rest of the milk and make sure the mixture is well whizzed up.
Heat a good quality, non stick little frying pan (poor quality frying pans, see their death with pancakes!) with a little rapeseed oil - needs to be really hot - drain off any spare oil into a pot for use for other pancakes.
Pour half a ladle full of pancake mix into the frying pan, swirl around & immediately lift edges with spatula - and now for the fun bit - Toss Your Pancake! Or you can of course flip it with the spatula if you are feeling a scared! Look even Kate has given it a go!
Pop onto the plate of the best behaved child 1st and let them get messy with Chocolate Sauce, raisins and lemon juice (if they fancy). Be creative use any additions you fancy I also love maple syrup and banana!
With the leftovers, either save for tomorrows breakfast or even better make a Pancake Cake.
Pancake Cake
left over cooked Pancakes
left over Chocolate Sauce
Put first pancake on plate, spread Chocolate Sauce over it. Lay next pancake straight on top, spread Chocolate Sauce over it and so on and so on till all ingredients are used up. Pop into the fridge and take out when ready to eat.
Cut into cake slices and serve.......soooo delicious!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Ultimate Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes!

My lovely friend had her birthday Sunday evening - I did not have a chance to get her present in time...aaaarrrggghh!
So a delicious baked pressie was my answer. I was also very limited on time, having had a friend staying for the weekend!

So I opted for cupcakes, as they cool really quickly! I think this made about 16 (a few disappeared very quickly - a perfect pudding for the kids!). But this recipe is great for a 7 inch sandwich sponge cake.

Ultimate Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
(this is an award winning recipe by the way!)

200g Butter
200g Raw cane caster sugar
200g Flour (I used Doves gluten free plain flour)
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
3 lemons
100g raw cane caster sugar

Butter Icing
75g Butter
175g Icing sugar
2 tbsp Lemon juice

Beat the butter and then slowly add the sugar and keep beating until it drops off a spoon - this can take up to 10 mins. The most important part of making a really good light cake is beating the living day lights out of the butter and sugar. Then beat in each egg, one at a time. Beat in until mixed, do not beat too much as can curdle (if it does curdle just add a spoonful of flour).

Finely grate one lemon and juice juice all the lemons.

Then add the flour, lemon zest and baking powder, and gently beat in. Finally add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and beat in gently.

Then half fill cupcake papers in a cupcake baking tray and pop into preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 mins, they are ready when they pop back when gently pressed. Take them out & put them on a cooling rack.

Mix the remainder of the lemon juice (saving 3 tbsp for icing) with the 100g sugar, then spoon a spoonful onto each cupcake - to give the cakes the delicious crispy drizzle topping!

They should cool pretty quick 10-20mins. So prepare the icing by beating the butter and then slowly add the sugar, finally add the lemon juice (I used 3 tbsp, but taste and add to your preference!) Pop into an icing bag and do your finest icing pattern - once the cakes have cooled!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Incredible Chicken Kebabs and Home-Baked Chips with Mini cupcakes for Pud

Hey if you are ever at a loss at what to do with a free range chicken - then try this lovely recipe. I marinade in one of Jamie Oliver's - they are so quick and easy and create fabulous flavours.

Incredible Chicken Kebabs

1 free range chicken
2 handfuls of fresh rosemary
2 lemons
6 garlic cloves
10 lugs of Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
Pestle and Mortar (or bowl and end of a rolling pin)

Cut off the breasts and leg meat off the chicken (save the rest to make into a soup the next day).
Then cut into strips about a thumb width and pop into a bowl (not metal).

Peel garlic and crush roughly in pestle and mortar, put into chicken bowl. Then using a potato peeler peel the lemon peel into strips, then cut in half and squeeze juice squashing with hands over the chicken. Then I always pop the lemons into mortar to scrape up last remnants of garlic! Pop into the chicken bowl then add the Rosemary and cold pressed Rapeseed oil. Now get your hands messy and mix all the ingredients wells.

Leave to marinade for as long as possible. Then get kebab sticks - I used wooden ones and then thread the chicken onto sticks to make 8 kebabs. The weather was really poor so I popped them under the grill instead of on the BBQ & I always do it on tin foil to catch the delicious juices. Squeeze all the oil and flavour out of the marinade over the chicken kebabs.

Grill on high, turning every few minutes until cook through - about 10-15 minutes.

Once cooked, plate up and remember to pour over the juices caught in the tin foil!

Home-Baked Chips

I really never buy freezer chips, but what I do do is buy sacks of potatoes, so that we always have loads! Then I quickly peel the potatoes, and depending on how long I have cut them into chips.

Big hurry - very small squares
Mid hurry - very thin chips
Less hurry - big chunky chips

I then place them individually onto a stone baking tray (I am a big fan of pampered chef, but you can also use baking tray!). If your tray is not big enough then just pile them in. Drizzle with cold pressed Rapeseed oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper & other other herbs you might fancy. With the chicken I just used salt and pepper on chips.

Bake in hot oven for 15 mins - 30 mins depending on size of chips and strength of your oven! With a stone I do not turn over chips - however you may need to with a baking tray.

Serve your yummy chips with your kebabs and a cucumber and tomato salad.
We had a little boys over for tea and it was a full success!

Mini Cupcakes

Cake mix
200g Gluten free flour
200g Butter or dairy free marg
200g Unrefined caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk/rice milk
1 tsp Vanilla essence

Butter icing
350g Icing sugar

160g butter
2 tbsp milk/rice milk
vanilla essence
red colouring

If using butter, beat butter until starts to become fluffy then slowly add sugar and keep beating until it literally starts to fall off the spoon. This is the most important stage, my butter was still a little cold so it took about 10 minutes to get to the right consistency - this is really the most important part of the cake!

Then beat in the eggs one by one and then slowly whisk in the flour. Add the 2 tbsp of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla essence, whisk in.

Pop a full teaspoon of cake mix into each well of a tray for mini muffins (mine has 24 muffin holes and this mix made about 36 cakes). Bake in oven at 180C for 7-10 mins, they are ready when they spring back to your touch.

After a few minutes turn them out onto a cooling rack. By the time you have made the icing the cakes should be cool.

Again if using butter, beat until starts to go fluffy then add a bit at a time the icing sugar. Then add the vanilla essence and milk.

Put half into piping bag and pipe onto mini cakes, then add a few drops of red colour to the rest of the icing and mix, repeat until you have a lovely pink colour and then pipe onto the rest of the cakes. Makes it look like you have make 2 different types of cakes. Any cakes where the piping has gone wrong, cover with sprinkles or chocolate gratings!

Watch out these are so delicious and so easy to pop into your mouth, they can disappear very quickly!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Very Quick Meatball Spaghetti and Banana for pud

I knew that I had a lot to squeeze in this afternoon when the kids were home, so this very quick meatball dish is ready to go into oven in 10 mins and leave for as long as you want really and then another few mins to cook the pasta - then just out of the oven and enjoy!
700-1kg lean good quality minced beef
(alternatively, most supermarkets make meatballs for you, just check ingredients)
Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
2 tins of tomato
fresh or dried herbs
bay leaf
Water & some buillon stock powder
splash of Lea & Perrins
Sugar (I use Agave nectar)
Now for the messy play with the kids. To make the meatballs literally grab a bit of beef and squash really hard into balls - you choose the size! Pop balls into frying pan of warmed rapeseed oil - fry until balls are browned. Then put meatballs into casserole dish or I use pampered chef stoneware - throw in tomatoes, sprinkling of herbs about 1 & 1/2 tsp(I try to use fresh herbs, however sometimes dried have to be used!), bayleaf and add enough water with sprinkling of stock to loosen the mix and a good few lugs of Lea & Perrins.
Pop into the oven about 180C and leave to bubble away, when you take out of the oven taste the tomato sauce and you will probably need to add a tbsp of sugar or to taste. When you are ready to feed the family. Boil up some pasta/spaghetti - I used King Soba organic buckwheat noodles and steamed some peas!
Everyone loved this and the boys faces were a picture of tomato splashes and smears!
Banana and Custard for pudding
I try not to use pre-prepared foods, however there was just no time to make custard this evening - so I used Alpro Soya Custard, even my gluten and dairy loving husband loves this custard!
1 banana per person
1 carton of Alpro Soya Custard
Chop banana & pour over cold custard. Phew now get the kids into bed and put your feet up!!!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Night in with smoked haddock and Hugh's chocolate mousse!

Obviously on a chocolate kids last night so hubbie and I made the most of an evening alone with delicious meal that I threw together in half an hour! We were quite unpc and had a delicious bottle of red with our fish, but helped to enjoy our chocolate mousse!Smoked Haddock on Leek Colcannon Mash

Potatoes (you choose how hungry you are!)
Leeks (I used one per person - for 1 of our 5 a day!)

Butter (unpasteurised if poss*)

Cold pressed rapeseed oil

Milk/Rice Milk (or water, but use bay leaf & peppercorns too)

Slab of Naturally Smoked Haddock

* I get mine from Winchelsea Farm Kitchen

Peel potatoes & cut up small to cook quickly - boil until soft. If you are having some veg - we had broccoli, put the steamer over the about 5 minutes before potatoes are ready.

Cut up the leeks into thin rings & fry very gently in cold pressed rapeseed oil until really soft & sweet.

Cut up haddock into big slabs, (depending on how refined you are!!) I also remove the skin as I am not a fan & pop into frying pan mostly cover with milk - if it is really quality naturally smoked haddock - then no need for any other flavourings. (if using milk, add a bay leaf and some peppercorn) Simmer gently for 10 Min's until delicious! Keep milk drained off for the mash and also the soup below.

Now it should all be starting to be ready - once potatoes are soft, drain water, add a big slab of

butter, lots of Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt), pepper and mash, then add a big lug of the fish milk. Then mix in the soft, sweet leeks.

Have some warm plates on hand (if like me you always forget, get them under the hot water tap for a minute or so till they are warm), pile a big dollop of mash in the middle of the plate & lay gently a couple of slabs of haddock on top. Then finish off with your veg. This really looks delicious and even better tastes fab......very filling so do not over fill your plate....leave room for some chocolate hit!

Hugh's Chocolate Mousse

I am going through a Hugh fan currently & while writing this blog, Jamie and I are eating the left overs from yesterday and we defo think this is the best choc mousse ever!!

200g really good quality dark choc (Hugh uses 100g dark, 100g milk)

75g butter

Vanilla extract, 2 capfuls

4 eggs straight from our chicken run!

25g sugar (I used xylitol)

melt choc and butter in bain marie (bowl over saucepan of gently boiling water).

whisk egg yolks with sugar until goes pale and thick.

whisk egg whites until makes soft peaks.

Mix egg yolk mix into choc and butter mix and then gently fold into egg whites. Either put into a pretty bowl or put into individual bowls. Pop into the fridge, if you can wait!

Beware this recipe is beyond delicious!!

Leek and Potato soup using leftover smoked haddock milk!

2 leeks

bunch of spring onions (can use onion, just needed to use up my spring onions!)

Extra virgin Coconut oil or Cold pressed local Rapeseed Oil

6 small to medium potatoes

small handful of freshly picked thyme (I used our lemon thyme purely because it looked so

Bouillon stock - good quality

Pink Himalayan Salt

Milk from cook haddock

Cut up leeks into thin rings, thinly slice and put into saucepan with coconut oil, put a lid on and let is sweet on a gently heat, stirring regularly. Peel and cut potatoes into small pieces and add to the saucepan with the thyme - let it cook for anther 10 mins (if you have time if not just a couple of minutes).

Add enough water to cover the veg plus an inch or 2 (depending on how thick you want your soup!). Add a good sprinkling of bouillon powder over the whole saucepan. Let us gently simmer until the potatoes are very soft.

Whizz up the soup with a handheld whizzer or whatever you use. Then add the remainder of the milk from your haddock.

The result is a delicious traditional Leek and Potato soup with an incredible twist of smoked haddock - must have been good even the children loved it!!