Tag Archives: Cooking

Swirling emotions and soup

3 Feb

I’ve been sitting here trying to work up the motivation to post but my mind is all over the place. I’m super tired because I was in the prayer room at church at stupid o’clock this morning and it’s only a few hours until I see my sweet hubby again after his interview.

[THANK YOU to all who have been praying…it’s going okay, but it’s been hard going, as expected. I’ll post more when I’ve actually been able to speak to him properly]

Instead of writing something meaningful I’ll simply share this soup recipe that Josh made last week, and hope to see you back tomorrow for a five fact Friday.

Broccoli Soup with goat’s cheese
(adapted from a recipe bbcgoodfood) Serves 4-6

1 tbsp Olive Oil
900g Broccoli
50g Butter
1 Large onion
1l veg stock
600ml full fat milk
100g soft goat’s cheese

1. Chop the broccoli stalks and florets, but keep them separate. Melt the butter in a pna, then add the onion, broccoli stlks and fry for 5mins until soft. Add the florets and stock, then the milk. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

2. Blend in a food processor or hand blender. [hopefully your blender won’t break at this point, showering you with soup, like mine did].

3. To serve, reheat if necessary and scatter with goats cheese.

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Sunday Joys – choppers and meal planners

30 Jan

Hello! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

We’ve been fairly quiet. I worked yesterday and taking it easy today with my hubby (Yes, I know it’s a shock – I’m actually seeing Josh on a Sunday as he’s not preaching or working!).

I thought I’d just log on to share two small JOYS of my week with you…

1. Pampered Chef Food Chopper


I went to a Pampered Chef Party [a bit like a Tupperware party for cooking equipment] back in October/November time and I REALLY liked the look of this then. It’s quite expensive so I waited for Christmas and got it from my lovely in-laws.

I LOVE IT. It’s basically got a zigzag blade that cuts when you hit the plunger and it’s amazing for things like onions which need to be finely cut. When cooking things with lots of chopping it makes things considerably quicker and does a better job at dicing than I ever would. It’s also good for chocolate so you don’t get melted chocolate all over your hands while chopping!

2. Meal Planners.


I found this amazing meal planner online while reading another blog. I keep it on my fridge so I can remember what ingredients I have stored in my cupboards and what meals I was planning to make. I can also scrawl things to buy on the list as the week goes by so I don’t forget when it comes round to shopping day.
I realise that I could easily recreate this on my own with a pen and a scrap of paper, but this is pretty!

What are you up to today?

Banana and Toffee Cupcakes

24 Jan

A couple of weeks ago I bought ‘Cupcakes’ by Sue McMahon for my friend for her birthday. She’s just got into baking and this book stood out from others in the book store as it was filled with recipes that I thought she’d actually cook. Do you ever find that with recipe books? There are only a couple of recipes you’d actually attempt and the rest are too complicated or are filled with random ingredients?

Anyway, I was saying to Josh how good it looked and how many of the recipes I would like to try and so being the sweety he is he bought it for me as a surprise! AND he used one of his own Christmas vouchers so we wouldn’t break our new year resolution. Lovely, lovely man.

I’ve already made a few of the cupcakes [much to Josh’s delight – I’m not sure how altruistic the gift really was!!!!], and would definitely recommend this book.
This week I made banana and toffee cupcakes. The cupcakes include mashed banana and I wasn’t sure if I really liked them at first, but they have been growing on me.
I think I boiled the toffee for too long too as it doesn’t look like the picture in the book. It’s still very tasty though.
Let me know if you try them and if you like them.

Toffee and Banana Cupcakes

For the toffee topping

–          100g butter
–          125g condensed milk
–          50g caster sugar
–          1 tbsp golden syrup (and one extra for eating when no-one is looking)

For the cupcakes

–          100g butter, softened
–          100 soft light brown sugar
–          2 medium eggs
–          100g self-raising flour
–          1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Make the topping:
Place the butter in a large bowl and melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in the other ingredients and cook the topping for another 4-7 minutes in the microwave. I let mine boil for quite a while and I think I did it too much, so keep an eye on it and stir after every minute.
Leave the topping to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 190⁰/375⁰F/Gas 5

3. To make the cupcakes, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and flour and beat until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the mashed banana.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Leave the cupcakes to cool and then spread the cooled toffee topping over them, and scatter over some chocolate sprinkles.

Can’t cook, or won’t cook?

22 Jan

I’ve  just been making some toffee cupcakes [a new recipe – I’ll post it if they turn out okay!] and got to wondering about people who can and cannot cook.

So, I’ve got a question for you to answer down in the comments section…

Do you think you can cook, and if not, why not?

I really appreciate my mum teaching me to cook. I’ve grown up eating good home-made food and I’ve been cooking on my own since I was about ten years old. I wouldn’t say I’m an amazing cook but I can confidently put a meal together for guests and I enjoy making new things.

However, I know people that get in a cold sweat when they think about preparing a meal and don’t have the first clue about how to cook certain things, or about portion sizes.

Why do you think this is? Surely anyone can follow a recipe? Maybe it’s just a case inexperience? Or are there simply just people who cannot cook?

I look forward to hearing what you think…!

Raspberry and White Chocolate Trifle

10 Jul

Trifle

Just a quick and simple post because my brain is completely fried from learning Welsh and I can hardly string a sensible sentence together (Welsh is going well by the way. It’s hard but I’m loving it).

This recipe is amazing. It’s fairly simple to make but looks impressive and tastes great! I think I originally got it from a BBC Good Food Magazine so I’m not taking any credit! The only change I have made is that I use good quality raspberry jam (heated up) instead of coulis because no where seems to sell it in Aber. I also didn’t use the kisch because I couldn’t be bothered to buy any!!!

White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle 

225g white chocolate
4 egg yolks
50g sugar
300ml milk
300ml double cream
1 large swiss roll
2 tbsp kisch
450g raspberries (I used less than this – about 300g and it was okay)
8tbsp raspberry coulis

  1. The day before serving put 50g of the chocolate in the fridge then roughly chop the rest. Cream together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Put the milk and cream intoa pan and bring almost to the boil, then pour this onto the egg mixture, stirring all the time. Put the mixture back into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon on a low heat until it thickens.
  2. Take the pan from the heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir in to melt and leave the custard to cool.
    Then cut up the swiss roll into finger-thick slices and place them round the base of a serving dish (it looks more impressive if you use a glass one!) and sprinkle with the kisch. Cover with 300g of the raspberries and the coulis, the pour over the custard and leave to set.
  3. When you are ready to serve, decorate with the remaining raspberries and grate the rest of the chocolate over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Beautiful Bream

14 Jun

You wouldn’t think that cooking Bream could cause such confusion as it did on Friday night. Trying to organise people to come and help us eat it was a nightmare! People could come, then they couldn’t, then they might be coming, and then other people turned up instead. It isn’t normally that hard to give away free food.

But when we finally got round to eating it, mmmm it was good. I’ve never eaten Bream before so it was good to try something new. It was more meaty than fish such as Sea Bass but still flaked off the bone and melted in the mouth.

 Olives, parsley, oil and garlic

I boiled 800g of small potatoes and then cut them into slices and mixed it with 2 handfuls of black olives, some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and half a bunch of chopped parsley, and put it in the base of two medium dishes.

 Bream - before cooking

I then placed the parsley stalks in the cavity of the fish, seasoned it and placed one in each dish before drizzling it with oil.

 I put it in a hot oven (gas mark eight) for 15 minutes and then added a small glass of white wine to each dish before roasting it for another 15 minutes.

Roasted Bream

We served it with crusty bread, goats cheese, salad and dressing.

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This a really, really easy way of cooking fish but it looks impressive when you bring the whole fish to the table to serve from the dish. We certainly got the thumbs up from our guests.

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Frugal Meal #2 Oaty Top

19 Apr

This recipe originally came from my good friend Beth. She was the first person I met at university and we lived with each other for two years.

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When she came to university Beth was a vegetarian, but only because she had been brought up one and she thought she didn’t like meat. In true first-year-of-university style we undertook the task of curing her of her vegetarianism…and how did we do that? We stole her life sized stuffed dog called Cheriton and sent her a ransom note saying she must eat meat or the dog got it. Bless her, she loves that dog so much the next Friday she was down at McDonalds chowing down on a BigMac with the boys. 

Read the rest of this entry

Frugal Meals #1 The easiest tomato soup you’ll ever make

16 Apr

Now I’ve managed to pull myself out of my winter stupor enough to be interested in cooking decent meals again I’m determined not to break the bank with organic food. Therefore, as always I’m on a mission to buy and cook good, wholesome, healthy, organic meals each day on a budget.
It’s not going to be easy as food prices have gone up noticeably in our local shops (I paid £2.69 for one organic red pepper the other day!) so that means I have been busy rummaging through my emergency ‘frugal meals’ recipes, and thought I would let you in on the best over the next few weeks.

soup

More…I want to know how to make this soup!