One of my daughters is always dashing around, frequently doesn’t have breakfast and often ‘picks something up’ on the way in to work when she gets her daily caffeine hit.
I know you can buy breakfast bars etc. but when I have looked at the ingredients I can’t really say I would want to start my day in this way.
So, I had a session experimenting at the weekend and created a muffin – full of breakfast ingredients. Tasty, filling and nutritious.
Preheat oven to 180c / Gas 4 Lightly grease a muffin tin
1 cup of rolled oats 1 cup of milk 2 eggs (1 if using non gf flour)
1 cup of gf plain flour 1tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar / muscavado sugar 1/2 cup stewed apple 1/2 cup raisins
Put the oats, milk and eggs in a bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Finally add the sugar, apple and raisins. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
I served them with Greek yoghurt and a dollop of apples sauce.
…my daughter took a couple to test – had them for ‘breakfast on the go’ – thumbs up from her 🙂
I was making the Christmas cake last week (late, I know but circumstances have meant it has taken me longer to get around to it) when a friend came to visit. All the ingredients were in the bowl and the final mixing was taking place. I invited my friend to have a stir and make a wish. This intrigued her. She had never heard of this tradition – something I have done since … well since I can remember. In fact we used to queue up to stir the cake and make a wish at my primary school. Interestingly another friend arrived shortly after and promptly stirred and made a wish – she too followed has followed this tradition.
This brought the conversation around to other food traditions – such as using the top tier of a wedding cake as the Christening cake. Again, first visitor had not heard of this. I wonder whether this is dying out with the advent of cupcake wedding cakes etc.
I don’t think I have made these up and I don’t think they are traditions peculiar to our family household…unless you tell me otherwise! I know we do have our own traditions – one of my daughters has to have mint jelly with her Christmas dinner and has done so since being very young (now 28).If I was to forget this – well – I don’t know what would happen.
Just wondering what foodie traditions you have in your household…?
Chatting with a friend the other day, we started to discuss the seasons – random I know – and tried to pick a favourite.
I found this really difficult but in doing this task I realised that my love of the different seasons revolves around food choices!
Spring: I love spring – the fresh colours – vibrant greens of new buds, blossom laden trees – replaced with fruit in the autumn, blankets of yellow for daffodils. Planting of vegetables under glass ready for the frosts to stop. Hens, ducks and quail come back in to lay.
Summer: fruit sorbets / nice cream. Arrays of salad vegetables. New potatoes…yum
Autumn: the amazing palette of colours and the trees enter their quiescent phase for the winter. This is when I really wish I could paint. With autumn comes such a marvellous bounty of fruits and vegetables and the sound of the tractors harvesting wheat, barley, maize. hay for the animals etc. Nights turning cooler – one pot suppers / casseroles / fruit crumbles / jam/ liqueur and chutney making / freezer filling.
and then there is winter…curtains closing early, log fires burning, mulled wine, fruit cakes, mince pies, rich food and of course – family gatherings.
If I had to choose one…probably autumn.
How about you?
Prepare a 2 lb/ 900 g loaf tin
Preheat the oven to 180c / gas mark 5
170 g Self raising gluten-free flour 120 g light muscavado sugar 2 or 3 tbsp poppy seeds
140 g softened butter 4 eggs ( 3 if using non gf flour) 1 tsp baking powder
Juice and rind of 2 lemons – juice of 1/2 lemon for cake and 1 1/2 for drizzle topping
80 g sugar for topping (mix the sugar and lemon from 1 1/2 lemons together)
Put all of the ingredients for the cake (except lemon juice, rind and poppy seeds) in to a bowl and mix well. Add the lemon rind, juice from half a lemon and poppy seeds and combine. Put mixture in to the prepared tin and bake for about 35 mins – until skewer is clean.
Whilst the cake is still hot and in the tin spoon the lemon/sugar mixture all over the top of the cake. Once cool, remove the cake from the tin.
A delicious dish that is assembled and then baked to heat through and crisp up the topping. Takes about 35 minutes from starting to eating 🙂
Ingredients: Broccoli, cavolo nero kale, large cod fillet, cheese sauce, plain tortilla chips, grated cheese and black pepper.
Steam the broccoli and kale. Gently simmer the cod in milk. Make a cheese sauce.
Once all cooked or made then assemble:
Put steamed broccoli and kale across the bottom of an oven proof dish
Break the cod fillet in to large pieces and arrange
Cover with the cheese sauce
Sprinkle crushed tortilla over the top and cover with grated cheese and black pepper
Bake in the oven until heated through and top crisp
1.Put steamed broccoli and kale across the bottom of an oven proof dish
2.Break the cod fillet in to large pieces and arrange
3.Cover with the cheese sauce
4. Sprinkle crushed tortilla over the top and cover with grated cheese and black pepper
5. Bake in the oven until heated through and the topping is crisp
I served this with gf tortilla wraps smothered in garlic butter and baked till starting to crisp.
650 g blackcurrants -washed and drained
750 ml red wine
500 g sugar
100 ml brandy
Put the blackcurrants in to a large bowl and partially mash them. Add the red wine. Cover the bowl and leave for 2-3 days at room temperature. Stir and mash each day.
Strain the liquid through a colander and then a sieve and place the liquid in to a large saucepan. Add the sugar and warm to dissolve stirring continuously. Allow the liquid to heat up but do not boil. Keep the liquid hot for 15 mins stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Stir. Bottle and seal.
Enjoy – this is delicious on its own, with a sparkling wine or drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
What do you do with the sad brown banana left in the fruit bowl? Bake with it!
The natural sweetness of the ripe banana reduces the amount of sugar needed in the mixture. Fresh raspberries with their tangy flavour compliment the banana extremely well.
Preheat oven to 180c /gas mark 5 Makes 16 muffins
220 g gluten-free self-raising flour
140 g coconut sugar (or light muscavado)
180 g butter – softened
1 ripe banana – mashed
100 g fresh raspberries
Put the flour, butter, sugar and eggs in to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mashed banana and mix till combined. Add the raspberries and mix gently. Spoon in to the muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 mins until cooked.
A deliciously simple desert that reminds me of autumnal suppers as a child.
Take a large cooking apple and remove its core. Place on a oven proof dish. Stuff dried fruit of your choice into the hole and place a heaped teaspoon of set honey on top. Bake in the centre of the oven- gas mark 5 / 180 C until the apple is soft. I served this with a generous pouring of cream. If you wish to play around with the flavours and make it a grown up pudding – a drizzle of a liqueur on the dried fruit before cooking is a tasty addition.
Personally I like the simplicity of the flavours as it is.
Someone said to me over the weekend, ‘You never get anything for nothing.’
To which I responded, ‘Blackberries!’in probably a very annoying manner!
But it’s true…if you know where to look at this time of year nature provides an amazing array of gorgeous fruits to harvest. Riding through the forest this weekend I passed elder trees with boughs hanging from the weight of berries – jam, chutney and wine. The hedgerows were bursting with blackberries – perfect on their own or sublime when combined with apples. Old twisted and gnarled damson trees seem to survive on some otherwise inhospitable land – perfect for crumbles, chutneys, damson cheese / jelly / jam and of course drowned in gin and sugar and left for the next 3 months to create a warming and festive liqueur.
An afternoon stroll along a country path can reveal: sloe, bilberries, plums, and hops.
I love this time of year – so much, for nothing. 🙂 All the fruit gathered and sitting in various receptacles in cold rooms in the house is then followed by hours of baking, cooking, freezing and of course the delight of eating these autumnal flavours throughout the following year.
Damsons and cooking apples from the garden
So…when is it a biscuit or a cookie? These do not have the crack / snap of a biscuit but instead have the delicious chewy and slightly bendy quality that I think a cookie should have (apologies to all biscuit and cookie aficionados). If left in the oven longer I am sure they would have been more like a ginger thin. The stem ginger chunks give a lovely warmth.
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4 Makes 18 cookies Lightly grease/ line a large baking tray
350 g self-raising gluten-free flour 150 g dark muscavado sugar
100 g butter 1 large egg
4 desert spoon golden syrup 2 tsp ground ginger
5 pieces of stem ginger coarsely chopped
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and melt on a low heat. Remove from the heat and mix in all the other ingredients. Spoon the mixture on to the prepared tray – allow for spreading. Bake for 10-15 mins. Leave to cool before removing from tray.