Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on how large the cupcakes are. Then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To finish off our baking-fest me and my sister made some cookies with a basic cookie dough but adding chocolate chunks and smarties. YUM! The only thing that remains is to find hordes of people to consume the massive amounts of baking we have done today.
Monday, 22 March 2010
We then went for a spot of shopping followed by a wander round Fortnum and Masons and we each had yummy marshmallow, and eyed up the beautiful looking cakes.
On the second day me and the Style PA stumbled upon a little market tucked away by Brunswick Square near Kings Cross station. We had the best raspberry and chocolate brownies! I could happily have munched my way through some of the Oreo cupcakes, freshly made churros, and a selection from the stalls that offered food from around the world. The market is in the Brunswick Centre coutryard every Saturday and I recommend it if you in the area and fancy a tasty lunch on the go, they served a wide range of foods ranging from: Spainish, Hungarian, Thai, Chinese, and more!
I love how old books quite often have inscriptions and notes inside them like little clues into history. I bought the book above "Princess Ottilia" published in the 1890's from a little antique book shop in Rye and it sent me on a little quest... I spent ages trying to read the inscription and I took it to my mum, who is researching our family tree and has had more practise at reading the writing from the 1800's. After deciphering the writing and a little detective work, it turns out that I might even be related to the owner of the book! It was given to a young girl who lived on the outskirts of London in the 1890's. It was given as a prize at the local baptists church for a competition. There was only one girl living in that area of London at that time who it could possibly have been! Needless to say me and my mum were rather excited about it. What are the chances of wandering into a little bookshop a few towns along from where you live to stumble upon a book that was owned by one of your ancestors?
Another little beauty of a find; today I bought a book from the 20's called "the Weekend Book" for 50p. It is a lovely, and at times hilarious, window into the past. There are suggestions for the best poetry to recite to your family on the weekend, songs to sing together around the piano and parlour games. It also gives information about what birds will be singing in your garden, and star constellations that will be seen at different times of the year... even how to avoid "breaking the law" whilst walking in the countryside (bizarre). But my favourite section is the "food and drink" section with tips for the housewife to treat her family on the weekends and how to entertain guests.
"Weekend cookery should be either very quick, a good meal produced in half an hour, or very slow, put on before you go off to tennis or to lazing" (the second sounds more like my weekend!)
Thursday, 18 March 2010
4 ounces of self-raising flour
4 ounces of butter
4 ounces of caster sugar
2 large eggs2 ounces of dessicated coconut
6. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden in colour.7. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. If you are icing the cakes make sure that they have totally cooled first, especially if using butter icing, or the icing will not set properly.
200g unsalted butter
85g caster sugar
85g soft brown sugar
225g self-raising flour
100g roughly chopped chocolate
85g roughly chopped glacé cherries
85g dessicated coconut1/2 tsp of salt
3. Roughly chop the chocolate and cherries, and add them to the mixture along with the coconut flour and salt. Mix the ingredients until it turns into a thick cookie dough.
4. You can either use non-stick baking sheets or (as I usually prefer to do) just grease 2 baking trays.5. Spoon the cookie dough onto the baking trays in large balls: this recipe makes roughly 20-24 cookies. ensure that the cookies have lots of space between them as the dough spreads out to over twice the size once it is in the oven.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until they start to go golden. Ensure that the cookies are still pale and soft in the middle and the edges aren't too dark in colour as it is very easy to overcook them.7. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and they will firm up. Then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
In my opinion cookies are always best when they are still warm from the oven and squidgy in the middle. store the cookies in an air-tight container and eat within a week.Alternatively you could try nutty cookies by exchanging the cherries and coconut for chopped nuts and a generous dollop of peanut butter!
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
For Christmas I got a food processor... and it is most definitely one of the best Christmas presents I have been given! I have been loving making my own soups that are easy to make, cheap, tasty and healthy. So I thought I would share my favourite recipe with you.
Broccoli and Goats Cheese Soup
3 large heads of Broccoli
2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tsp of garlic purée)
1 red onion
2 vegetable stock cubes
200ml low fat crème fraiche
1 pack of soft Welsh Goats cheese
2. Chop the broccoli into smaller florets and remove the thicker stems.3. Dissolve the vegetable stock cubes in 500ml of boiling water and add to the onions and garlic.
4. Add the Broccoli to the saucepan and simmer on a low heat until the broccoli is tender. It doesn't matter if all of the broccoli is not submerged, just pop a lid on the pan and stir occasionally.
5. Depending on how thick you like your soup, (I like mine quite thick) drain about 100ml of the stock off of the broccoli and transfer to the food processor and blend to the desired consistency.
6. Return the blended broccoli to the saucepan, add the goats cheese in small pieces until it has all melted. Then add the crème fraiche.7. Transfer into bowls (or containers to freeze) add black pepper, serve with a bread roll and enjoy!
This recipe makes 4 servings of soup at 250 calories per bowl... or three generous servings! and is it perfectly fine to freeze; I freeze three of the four servings and they keep really well and are easily thawed and reheated, or simple popped frozen into a pan and gently heated until it has melted and piping hot.
For variations, you could use double cream instead of creme fraiche, or exchange the goats cheese for stilton or another cheese of your choice.Also… not only do I get to enjoy the yummy broccoli soup, but my pet rabbits get to take advantage of the leftover broccoli and discarded stems.