Pavlovas are very easy to make and the ingredients are cheap! You can use any fruit what want, I used strawberries as these are in season. Don’t worry if your meringue cracks, this happened to me. Once you cover your meringue with whipped cream and fruit you wont notice the imperfections :)
This week the weather has been brilliant. At the weekend we planned to have a BBQ, we left it to the last minute as usual and had to wonder round the shops looking for rolls, burgers and picking up the last few packets of sausages.
I made these delicious cupcakes using a carrot cake box mix from Betty Crocker. Topped with cream cheese frosting these cakes are so moist, light and they wont last very long! You can find the recipe here. I used the box mix and only added the essential eggs, water and olive oil (instead of vegetable oil), but they would taste lovely with the added crunch of walnuts or raisins too. The recipe made 17 large cupcakes with a good dollop of cream cheese frosting and decorated with a sprinkling of silver balls.
This cake tasted amazing! It was so moist and sweet just like a cherry bakewell tart. The recipe is easier than you think, you literally shove all the cake ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Bake, then smother in jam, icing and roasted almonds. A perfect cake for birthdays and special occasions, you will definitely impress everyone with how lovely it looks and its wonderful taste.
This recipe is ever so simple! Using only 5 ingredients (you can add/subtract other ingredients if you want) these are so yummy give you that energy boost before a workout!
You can buy all these ingredients in bulk which saves you even more money. These ingredients only cost me £6 and made 16 bars! I still have a few ingredients left over the next time too. These bars are so delicious, they taste just like flapjacks with its crunchy texture and the apricot and coconut are made for each other. I hope you enjoy eating these!
Ingredients (makes 16 bars)
2 cups (325g) Dates
1 1/4 cups (250g) Apricots
1 cup (150g) Linseeds/Flaxseeds
1/2 cup (100g) Sunflower Seeds
2/3 cup (70g) Dried Grated Coconut
Blend all the ingredients together.
Press into a lined baking tray.
Refrigerate until the bars are solid.
Cut into bars and eat!
Keep these bars in the fridge for freshness and to keep them solid :)
It was my birthday the other day so I celebrated by making a magic custard cake!I was very intrigued by the cake as I couldn’t understand how the cake mixture could form a custard center. I thoroughly enjoyed it with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Recipe here: http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/magic-custard-cake/
I was very spoilt over my birthday period as my boyfriend cooked me a lovely dinner (pictured above). Turkey steaks wrapped in sage leaves and prosciutto ham, with mini roast potatoes, peas and a white wine sauce.
On my actual birthday I went out for dinner with my family at the Buddha, my local Chinese buffet restaurant. The food was amazing, I ate so much I was so stuffed and tired afterwards. I was very embarrassed when my mum planned for them to bring out my birthday cake. The restaurant was packed with people eating and then the lights went out and everyone stared at me as the man brought over my cake. On a better note I received a lucky Buddha charm that my cat likes to wear as a necklace and I got a sheep birthday cake.
This recipe is easy to make and tastes delicious! You can also marinade the chicken the night before for a more intense flavour.
Ingredients (Serves 5)
10 chicken drumsticks
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
thumbed sized piece of ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves
half a small onion
3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat
half tsp dried thyme
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground allspice
Instead of making your own jerk marinade you can use 5tsp of jerk seasoning and mix with oil to form a paste.
400g long grain rice (not the easy cook type)
1 pint of boiling water
200g frozen peas
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp chinese five spice
2 tbsp soy sauce
To make the Jerk Marinade blend all the ingredients together to form a thick paste.
Alternatively mix 5 tsp jerk seasoning powder with oil to form a thick paste.
Marinade the chicken drumsticks in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7. Once heated cook the chicken in a deep pan for 1 hour 20 minutes or until cooked.
To make the vegetable rice boil the kettle then chop the mushrooms, pepper and onion and fry on a high heat for 3 minutes.
Turn down the heat and add the crushed garlic, Chinese five spice, rice and soy sauce.
Sizzle for 2 minutes then add 1 pint of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rice is cooked, stirring every so often to stop the rice sticking to the pan. Add the peas half way through.
Ready to serve.
Jerk Chicken Marinade Recipe by BBC GoodFood: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2369635/jerk-chicken-with-rice-and-peas
The Hairy Biker’s Old Fashioned Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Ingredients (serves 4) (435 calories per portion)
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp dried thyme
4 chicken leg quarters
2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 rashers of rindless smoked back bacon, cut into 1cm-wide strips
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
150g small chestnut mushrooms, wiped and sliced and quartered if large
500ml bottle of dry cider
300ml chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube
2 bay leaves
400g Chantenay or other small fat carrot, trimmed and peeled
2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 2cm slices
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
I removed the celery and added sweetcorn, because I love sweetcorn in stews!
Mix the flour and thyme with a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper in a large strong freezer bag. Strip the skin off the chicken legs and put them on a board. Break the joint of each leg by bending it in the opposite direction. you may hear a small crack. Cut each leg quarter in half with a sturdy knife to give 8 chicken portions. Using a good set of kitchen scissors, trim of any visible fat.
Put the chicken potions in the freezer bag, a few at a time, and shake well until they are evenly coated in the flour. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until golden brown all over. As they are browned, transfer the chicken pieces to a large flameproof casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / gas mark 4.
Put the bacon, onions, celery in the pan used for browning the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, then tip everything into the casserole dish with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle in any flour remaining in the freezer bag and stir well.
Pour about half the cider into the frying pan and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to lift any sediment from the bottom. Simmer for a few seconds, then pour into the casserole. Add the rest of the cider and the stock, then stir in the carrots, (sweetcorn if you are using) and bay leaves and bring to a simmer on the hob.
Cover with a lid and cook in the center of the oven for 1 hour, then remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the leeks. Pop the dish back in the oven for a further 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened. Serve with some green beans or spring greens.
Spiced Apple and Blackberry Pie with a Crispy Topping
I made this pie using a pastry casing and a crunchy crisp top using oats. Serve the pie hot out of the oven with a large dollop of custard or cold vanilla ice cream if preferred.
For the pastry bottom:
1 large egg
milk (just enough to create a soft dough)
For the filling:
300g cooking apples
110g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
30g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed Spice
For the crisp topping:
80g cold butter, cut into chunks
60g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / gas mark 5.
To make the pastry, using your hands crumb the butter into the flour. Add the sugar, mix in the egg with enough milk to form a soft dough.
Roll out the pastry dough and place into your pie dish, cut around the edges to remove any access dough.
Bake in the oven with baking beads until the pastry is golden.
For the filling, peel and core the apples. Put the butter and sugar into a pan over a medium heat, when the mixture turns a light caramel colour stir in the apples and cook for 3 minutes. Add the blackberries, cinnamon and mixed spice and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
For the crisp topping put all the ingredients into a bowl. Using your fingers mix together until coarse crumbs form.
Pour the fruit mixture into the pie dish and sprinkle the crisp topping evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping has browned and is super crispy.
Baileys, Chocolate and Peppermint Cream Cheesecake
I love making cheesecakes and this basic cheesecake recipe is my absolute favourite. All you have to do is decide what to put in the cheesecake. Here’s my Christmas cheesecake with a digestive biscuit base, peppermint cream layered on top, finished off with a creamy and smooth baileys mixture with plenty of grated dark chocolate and some more sprinkled on top. You can make this cheesecake without the peppermint cream too! I can’t wait to eat this on Christmas Day!
Ingredients (large cheesecake, serves 12)
For the cheesecake:
400g digestive biscuits
125g melted butter
600ml double cream
1 can condensed milk
150g dark chocolate
For the peppermint cream:
170g icing sugar
1/2 egg white
1 tsp peppermint flavouring
Crush the biscuits. Melt the butter and add to the biscuits. Mix well and flatten into a tin and put the tin in the fridge.
For the peppermint cream, whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form. Sieve in the icing sugar, add the peppermint flavouring and mix thoroughly.
Spread the peppermint cream mixture evenly over the cheesecake base. Put back in the fridge.
Whisk together the double cream, condensed milk and baileys until thick.
Grate the chocolate and mix most of it into the cheesecake mixture leaving some for the topping.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin. Spread evenly and sprinkle with the leftover chocolate.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For best results leave overnight.
These sweet treats are perfect for kids parties, buffets or as a treat in the evening. All you need are 3 magic ingredients: chocolate, marshmallows and sprinkles.
Simply melt the chocolate over the hob or in the microwave. Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate and then decorate with sprinkles. If you have any melted chocolate leftover you can make chocolate cornflake/rice crispie cakes.
Cafe Bridge is a charity run coffee shop in Andover. They held a Christmas Extravaganza this week that supported local businesses by inviting them to sell their handmade products. Stalls included jewellery by Rebecca Cook, Christmas cards and decorations, chocolates by Caroline from PartyCoco, knitted products and crafts by Shirley Campion, and cosmetic brands including Julia Jarman representing Avon and Janet Kirkum representing Body Shop. Desora Mobile Beauty were also here giving beauty treatments.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my vanilla latte. The coffee is amazing, they are now using Peaberry coffee who roast locally in Andover.
Events like these are perfect for getting inspiration for Christmas present ideas.The chocolates looked amazing, I now want to make my own chocolate truffles. They will make a great gift with a bottle of wine!