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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lemony chicken and leek

I had some chicken left over the other day from a roast dinner and I fancied something different so I made this recipe up and it was gorgeous! To my surprize the kids also enjoyed it.

You need

1 leek
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow pepper
1 carrot
400ml creme fresh
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon
zest of about quarter lemon
about 10 mushrooms
Leftover chicken!
Butter / margerine - an ounce or two
Chicken stock - about a cup full

Chop onion and garlic up finely and cook gently in the butter or margerine until soft.

Chop leek, carrot, mushrooms and pepper and add to the onions and garlic keeping it over a medium heat. ( need to cut the carrot up quite thin!)

Cut lemon zet up very finely and add to the pan along with the lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Add the stock to the pan and continue to cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until the stock has reduced.

Add the chicken and creme fresh and cook until hot.

Serve with scrummy Basmati rice.

Picture to follow!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lancashire Hotpot

I wanted to make something different for the kids to try, I found a Lancashire Hotpot on the Internet. This dish incorporates lambs kidneys, which only one of them liked! But at least they have tried it.

Its a recipe by James Martin Lancashire Hotpot and its delicious.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mini pizza's - great party food

I have been making these for quite a while now, thought I would share them!

This mixture makes about 15 5 inch pizza's

Bread Dough (base)

9 fl oz warm water
1lb strong bread flour
2tbs milk powder
2tsp caster sugar
1tsp yeast
1oz butter
1 tsp fast action dried yeast

I usually put all of these ingredients in my bread maker but you can mix them by hand, just put all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix to a dough and then knead well, leave to prove for about 45 minutes.

When dough is ready cut and shape into mini pizza bases, cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove again in a warm place for about 40 minutes. Make sure you grease the tray's you put them on really well.

When they have risen after 40 mins or so you can add the toppings:

Cheese - Lots of!!
Tomato sauce or tomato puree or both.
Mushrooms, peppers, chilli, peperami, anything you like really.

I use tomato sauce and tomato puree together, put on the cheese, I find mature is best for this.

The ones I made last night were really tasty, I used mushrooms, chilli and sweetcorn.

Also taste great cold!

Pics to follow soon!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Here's another one, this time its Garfield

My son is mad on Garfield so this seemed perfect, and we made this one by ourselves!!

What an achievement!!!

Details to follow soon!

Birthday cake fit for a princess!!

I have turned my hand to birthday cakes for my kids!!

I had a bit of help with this one

This is made using a madeira sponge cake.

Here is the basic recipe for an 8 inch round cake;

350g / 12oz self-raising flour

285g / 10oz caster sugar

285g / 10oz margerine

5 Eggs

45ml / 3 tbsp milk


Pre-heat oven to gas mark 2 / 150 C / 300F

Grease and line the 8 inch round tin.

Sift the flour into the mixing bowl and add the other ingredients.

Mix together on a slow spead either in your mixer or I used a cheap hand mixer from TescosLike this one!

Increase the speed and beat for 1 minute

Spoon the mixture into the greased tin and smooth down the top.

Cook in the centre of the oven for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hrs

There are a couple of ways to test if it is cooked - if you depress the top gently it shoud spring back up, or to be really sure you could insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean then you know that it's cooked.

Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

We put jam and buttercream in this cake.

Butter Icing

250g / 9oz unsalted butter (softened)

500g / 1lb 2oz Icing sugar (sieved)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp hot water


Place butter in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy

Carefully mix in the other ingredients an beat well.

If you mix it for long enough the mixture should turn almost white - this is perfect butter icing!!

I made too much of this but it kept really well in the fridge - you just have to remember to let it get to room temperature before you can spread it!

Now you need some ready to roll icing (I used 1 1/2 packets) - this is the fun bit!

To colour my icing I used food colour paste which I bought from an ebay shop Words and Wishes
You basically start with a small amount of paste and your icing and you just have to work it in and add more colour if you need it.

Keep a bit of the icing white to cover the sides of the cake first.

Its a bit like playdough but stickier and very tasty!!

The sides of the cake were covered in white icing first to ensure that no air could get into the cake and spoil it

When you have your desired colour roll it out to the correct size, this has to completely cover the top and sides and have a bit extra.

The top of the cake was cut of so that it was flat, then it was cut in half and on one side jam, on the other butter icing, the cake was then put back together and put in the fridge for an hour to harden the icing and make it easier to work with (this prevents the top of the cake from sliding around when you are putting on the roll out icing!).

Next the cake was completely covered in butter icing. The white icing was rolled out big enough just to cover the sides.

Then the pink icing was rolled out to drape over the cake like a tablecloth, trimmed to the right size and decorated around the edge. You can buy paddles to smooth down the icing which are very useful.

Next we put jelly tots around the edge of the "table" - these are stuck on with the buttercream.

Now for the mini cakes

I just used a Victoria sponge recipe for these:

4oz butter
4oz SR flour
2 eggs
4oz caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well

Add the vanilla extract and the flour (sieved) and fold in gently.

You need some very small fairy cake cases and you literally put a teaspoon of mixture in each one and bake in a moderate oven 180C for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.

When they are cooked and cooled you can decorate them however you want to - I used glace icing - (just icing sugar and a few drops of water mixed to a nice paste) and various sweets and cake decorations - the Barbie cake decorations were liked very much!!

When the icing on the little cakes has set you can start putting them on the cake, I stuck the bottom layer of cakes on with butter icing but the rest were just balanced together.

My daughter loved it!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Caramel Bites

You will need;

11" x 7" tin - greased

For base
4 oz margerine
2oz caster sugar
6oz SR Flour

For filling
1 small tin condensed milk
2tbsp golden syrup
4oz caster sugar
4oz margerine

For topping
1 large bar of chocolate!

Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4


Rub margerine into flour and sugar until it resembles a sticky dough.

Press the mixture onto the greased tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the filling - put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a moderate heat until the sugar had dissolved. Now turn the heat up to high and boil the mixture for 6-7 minutes stirring continuously. This mixture should thicken and darken.

Now spread the mixture over the base and leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water.

Now spread the chocolate over the caramel.

Cut into bite size portions before the chocolate sets.

These are little chewy pieces of heaven!!