23rd February 2016 Helen 4Comment

My search for tasty and easy food has seen breakfast time over-hauled.   We’ve not entirely abandoned our Breakfast Frittata, but in search of a bit of variety two or three weekday mornings we’ve been testing a few Granola recipes.  Here’s this weeks medley: a warming Coconut, Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola. Served…

Coconut, Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola
Print Recipe
A naturally sweet and crunchy Coconut, Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola
Servings Prep Time
20 servings -ish 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 servings -ish 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Coconut, Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola
Print Recipe
A naturally sweet and crunchy Coconut, Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola
Servings Prep Time
20 servings -ish 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 servings -ish 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings -ish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients well in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (this should take max 1 minute) and pour it over the dry ingredients, stirring it up well.
  4. Tip into a large baking dish and put it in the middle shelf of the oven.
  5. Stir every ten minutes to ensure it toasts evenly and doesn't burn.
  6. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Store in an airtight container and enjoy with Natural Yoghurt. Sweeten with honey, maple syrup, agave nectar to taste or add a sprinkling of dried fruit (like Goji Berries).
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3rd February 2016 Helen 5Comment

This really simple vegetable dish is what it is: Greens & Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing. It was knocked up in a bit of a rush the other night making it up as I went. It’s a mix of those lovely flavours that just go brilliantly together plus one of those cans of beans…

Greens and Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing
Print Recipe
A quick and good looking vegetable dish. Perfect with pasta or fish and easy to split between two meals.
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Greens and Beans with Garlic & Basil Dressing
Print Recipe
A quick and good looking vegetable dish. Perfect with pasta or fish and easy to split between two meals.
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Rinse the courgettes and chop off either end. Cut into long strips with a knife or (even easier) with a potatoe peeler. Prepare the asparagus by chopping off the bottom end and rinsing.
  2. Heat a skillet (or normal pan) with 1 tbsp olive oil to medium high heat.
  3. Season the courgettes and cook, tossing lightly, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a serving dish.
  4. Add the asparagus spears to the pan ( there should be no need for more oil unless the pan is very dry). Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in the dish with the courgettes.
  5. Add the drained beans to the dish and gently mix to combine.
  6. Using a pestle and mortar - or just mixing in a bowl, blend two good tablespoons of oil, the basil, a sprinkling of salt, the lemon juice and the crushed garlic cloves. Drizzle over the vegetables and mix lightly.
  7. Serve up and enjoy.
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31st January 2016 Helen

In my teens, every Saturday morning my mum would make up a large pot of soup that we’d all dip into as we came and went during the day.  Though she made her soups from scratch, I have particularly fond memories of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken…

Cream of Mushroom Soup - served up with crusty bread rolls
Print Recipe
A lovely creamy mushroom soup that's fast and easy to make and can double up as a sauce for a pasta bake.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Cream of Mushroom Soup - served up with crusty bread rolls
Print Recipe
A lovely creamy mushroom soup that's fast and easy to make and can double up as a sauce for a pasta bake.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Rinse and chop the mushrooms and celery thinly.
  2. On a medium heat, melt the butter and add the vegetables. Cook for five minutes stirring as needed.
  3. Add the flour, two or three shakes of tabasco sauce (more or less can be added later to taste) and cook for a further five minutes stirring frequently. If the floury mix starts to stick add a small amount of water.
  4. Add the stock, stir well and leave to cook on a simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Add the cream and cheddar and stir to mix.
  6. Using the stick blender or liquidiser, blend to smooth. Season to taste and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Your leftover soup can us used in a pasta bake (link to recipe follows as I make and photograph it!) This soup also freezes fabulously.

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28th January 2016 Helen 12Comment

I love my food. I like eating it, talking about it, making it and thinking about it.  I look like a woman who loves her food. That’s ok with me. Ish. I’ve a good kitchen – perfect for making nice things. Cupboards full of good ingredients and three shelves of…

9th October 2015 Helen 5Comment

A recipe for homemade Blackberry Cassis. This is our second season making Cassis.  We made a batch in January using a mix of frozen blackcurrants and blackberries as a first step in defrosting the freezer and moving house. It was stupid timing to find ourselves squeezing fruit at 2am amidst packing…

A Recipe for Homemade Blackberry Cassis
Print Recipe
A seasonal recipe fpr Blackberry Cassis that you can make using fresh or frozen berries - and that you only have to wait two weeks before tucking into.
Servings Prep Time
many people 2 hours for a batch
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 weeks
Servings Prep Time
many people 2 hours for a batch
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 weeks
A Recipe for Homemade Blackberry Cassis
Print Recipe
A seasonal recipe fpr Blackberry Cassis that you can make using fresh or frozen berries - and that you only have to wait two weeks before tucking into.
Servings Prep Time
many people 2 hours for a batch
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 weeks
Servings Prep Time
many people 2 hours for a batch
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 weeks
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Weigh and wash berries. Using roughly 600ml of wine for each 500g of fruit, put the fruit in a lidded glass or plastic bowl and soak in the wine for 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Set up your sieves with a coarse sieve placed over a bowl / jug for a first filter; a second smaller sieve (if possible) over a bowl; and finally a muslin cloth draped over the top of a narrower pot,bowl or jug (see picture).
  3. Puree the wine-berry mix in a food processor / liquidiser.
  4. Strain the liquid mix through the sieves - going from larger to smaller, and finally strain it through the muslin. Use the spatulas to press the fruit and speed the process up.
  5. Weigh the final amount of liquid and add an equal weight of sugar in a large heavy bottomed pot. Note: Now is not the time to get squeemish about your health.
  6. Bring to a gentle simmer over a medium to low heat stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for an hour - not allowing the liquid to come to the boil.
  7. Meantime, sterilise glass bottle, jars or whatever glasswear you have in a very hot over (240 degreed) for about an hour. I liked the small maple syrup bottles for pressies and the larger glass bottles with resealable stoppers for us! When sterilised, turn off the oven and leave the glass in it to cool.
  8. Take the liquid off the heat and allow to cool. Measuring one part vodka to three parts syrup, bottle the liquid. Store for two weeks before drinking. Then enjoy on it's own or with sparkling wine - made up ith about 2 tablespoons of Cassis per glass of bubbly - or just to your own taste.
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1st July 2015 Helen 10Comment

Nicola at Simply Homemade is hosting a great blog linkup on healthier breakfast choices and I’m delighted to add our morning favourite – a Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata, to the mix. As this is a great recipe for using up those leftover bits and pieces I’ve also added this…

Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata
Print Recipe
A fast and tasty healthy breakfast option, that would also do for supper or tea.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Potatoe, Chorizo, Onion and Cheese Frittata
Print Recipe
A fast and tasty healthy breakfast option, that would also do for supper or tea.
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Servings Prep Time
2 hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids) 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time
10
Ingredients
Servings: hungry adults (with some stolen by the kids)
Instructions
  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. On a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes to the pan and cover loosely with a saucepan lid. Stir occasionally to avoid them sticking.
  3. When the potatoes are slightly cooked (about 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the chunks), add the onion. Pan fry on a medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chorizo and cook lightly for about a minute to release the oils.
  5. Mix the eggs, milk and seasoning. Preheat the grill at a medium setting.
  6. Make sure the potatoe, onion and chorizo mix is spread even across the pan. Add the egg mix and sprinkle the cheddar evenly across the top. Cook on the pan for one minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and put under the grill. Cook for roughly 5 minutes or until the egg is cooked through.
  8. Remove and allow to cool slightly before eating. If storing, allow the Frittata to cool completely, and cover tightly with clingfilm, before storing in the fridge. The Frittata can be eaten cold or hot (4 minutes in a 800W microwave) as preferred.
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