Date and Peanut Cookies

image

Sometimes the boys have “gone off” dried fruit and any sign or a raisin, date or sultana has caused protest.

This is a sneaky way of getting  the dried fruit in with no one knowing! I have used raisins, sultanas, dates and apricots in this recipe, all work well.

These are very quick to make in a food processor.

This recipe makes around 30 cookies.

Ingredients

100g dates, chopped

100g peanut butter

100g butter

100g caster sugar

100g brown sugar

1 egg

220g self raising flour

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets and set aside.

Measure out dates, peanut butter, butter, sugars and egg.

Pour into food processor, process to mix well and chop dates finely.

Add flour and mix to a dough.

Roll into walnut sized balls, place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 20-25mins.

Cool for five minutes on the trays and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Store in an air tight container.

image

Advertisements

Smoked Salmon Kedgeree

image

Kedgeree used to be served as a breakfast dish in the country houses of England.

Traditionally, smoked haddock or cod would have been used, I use smoked salmon for speed and the fact that I often buy it when it’s “on special” to pop in the freezer for this quick dinner dish.

This reheats well the next day in the microwave so is great for work lunch boxes, it is gluten free and if you want to make it dairy free just omit the yogurt and milk and add a little more stock at the end to loosed it up.

Serve with lemon wedges and something green.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2 onions, peeled and finely sliced

50-75g butter

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 cups Basmati rice, washed

3 cups vegetable stock

400g smoked salmon, cut into strips

6 eggs, hard boiled and quartered

lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons natural yogurt

3 tablespoons milk

small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

lemon wedges to serve

Method

Heat the butter in a large casserole or frying pan that has a lid.

Over a medium heat cook the onions until soft golden brown and beginning to caramelise.

Add the rice and cook for 1 minute.

Pour in the vegetable stock, bring up to the boil and cover.

Allow to simmer for 12mins.

Turn heat off and let the rice sit for 5 mins, do not take the lid off!

In a jug combine the yogurt, milk and lemon juice.

After the rice has sat for 5 mins add the smoked salmon and eggs, stir gently and pop the lid back on. Leave for 3 mins.

Now add the yogurt mixture and the parsley, stir to combine. Cover again.

After 2 mins you are ready to serve with lemon wedges.

 

 

Rice Pudding

image

Old fashioned maybe but well worth making.

Try to have this in the oven when you have a slow roast or something similar in, saves on power and you get two courses instead of one!

This serves four, consider doubling it for cold rice pudding the next day.

Gluten free, egg free and wheat free.

Ingredients

75g arborio rice

55g caster sugar

20g butter, chopped into small pieces

1.2l full cream milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade.

Grease an oven proof dish.

Pour in the rice, sugar, butter, milk and vanilla, stir well.

Pop in the oven uncovered.

Stir every half hour for 1 hour and then leave to its own devices for 30mins.

It is ready when the rice is really creamy and there is a light brown skin over the top.

Honey Muffins

image

As a rule I don’t ice muffins, pure laziness on my part and I don’t have any artistic talent when it comes to decoration.

However, these muffins are elevated to another level with a wee dollop of icing if I am feeling very loving towards the boys!

Un-iced muffins are dairy free. They freeze well too.

This recipe makes 18muffins.

Ingredients

110g plain flour

110g self raising flour

Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

160g light brown sugar

90mls vegetable oil

250g honey

175mls hot water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Line two muffin trays with cases.

Weigh out flours, bicarb, cocoa and sugar.

Pour flour mix into the food processor and give it a  whizz to remove any lumps.

In a jug measure oil, add eggs and pour in honey. The oil going in first makes it easier to pour the honey out at the end.

With processor running add oil mixture followed by the hot water. You should have a very runny batter now.

Pour the batter into the muffin cases, around two thirds full.

Bake for 30-35mins.

Remove and cool on a wire tray

Honey Cream Icing Ingredients

250g cream cheese, I use Philadelphia

4 tablespoons honey

Method

Cream the cheese and honey until smooth.

Using a round bladed knife or palate knife spread onto each muffin.

 

 

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes

image

This really is a ten minute meal, five ingredients and you have pasta with a beautiful sauce and minimal fuss.

Full of fresh tomatoes, I use cherry tomatoes here, kids love cherry tomatoes for some reason! The recipe works just as well with Roma tomatoes, just deseeded them and cut into chunks.

To make it vegetarian just omit the anchovies and for gluten free use  gluten free spaghetti.

This serves 4-6 depending on appetite and side dishes. I like to serve it with a green salad but the boys would rather it is served with garlic bread!

Ingredients

500g spaghetti, regular or gluten free

splash of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

4 anchovy fillets, drained

400g cherry tomatoes

salt and pepper

Method

Bring a large pan of salted water up to the boil, add a splash of olive oil and pop the spaghetti in.

In a large frying pan heat a splash of olive oil over a medium heat, once hot add the garlic and cook without letting it burn, for 1min.

Add the anchovies and stir in, they will break down to nothing.

Now, add the tomatoes and stir well.

Over a low heat let the tomatoes warm up and begin to let their juice run. You don’t want them to collapse completely, rather, a few are mushy but they still hold their shape.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

Pour the pasta and liquid into the tomatoes, season and stir through. There won’t be lots of liquid, it should be enough to coat the pasta.

Serve in warmed bowls.

Easy Chocolate Cake

image

This recipe originated from my Mum. The recipe came with her new food processor some 30 years ago and, since making it the first time, it has been a family favourite.

It is very easy to make and can be made into muffins or loaf tin cakes depending on what you are after.

This recipe makes 2x 21cm diameter cakes or 24 muffins.

I sometimes omit the syrup and add 2 tablespoons of Horlicks instead. This gives it a lovely hint of malt, topped with malty butter icing and Maltesers and you have our regular birthday cake, as requested by the boys.

Ingredients

330g plain flour

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

2 level teaspoons baking powder

250g caster sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup

4 eggs, beaten

275mls milk

275mls vegetable oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 170degrees Centigrade.

Grease and line two 23cm cake tins.

Measure flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder and sugar into the food processors bowl, give it a whizz to mix and get rid of any lumps.

Add syrup and eggs.

Start the processor and slowly pour the oil and milk in, you should have quite a runny batter now.

Pour the batter into your prepared tins and bake for 35-40mins.

Remove from oven, pop out of their tins and remove baking paper, allow to cool on a wire rack.

Sandwich cakes together with raspberry jam and ice.

Icing Ingredients

50g butter

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons milk

140g icing sugar

Method

Melt the butter in a pan.

Add the cocoa powder and blend well.

Pour the milk in, add the sugar and mix well.

Cook over low heat for 1 minute.

Set aside to cool in the pan

 

 

 

Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

image

This is a really handy curry to have, the flavours are gentle and it goes well with dhal and bread or rice. Kids love it, especially served with mango chutney and insisting that they eat it with their hands!

I tend to serve white Basmati and paratha bread with this.

For the Coeliac in the family I also cook some pappadums in the microwave. That way, I too, can eat with my hands using pappadums instead of bread.

Ingredients

750g waxy potatoes, Kipfler are good, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tablespoons ghee

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 onions, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

half a teaspoon chilli powder

1 cup water

2 tins cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

150g spinach

juice of a lime

small bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves,chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start with a large frying pan with a lid.

Heat the ghee over a medium to hot heat.

Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they pop add the onion, garlic and ginger, lower heat to low/medium and cook until the onions are soft.

Next, add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, and chilli, stir in.

Mix the potatoes in and pour the water over, stir well and cover.

Simmer for 20mins, stirring occasionally.

Check that the potatoes are cooked, remove the lid add the drained chickpeas and cook off any remaining liquid.

Now add the spinach, stir well through.

Once the spinach has wilted add the lime juice and coriander.

Mix well and serve.

Feeding a hungry family!