Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chocolate Muffins

Seriously, these are fantastic! I challenge you to try them and see for yourself. Store them in the freezer, and then warm in the microwave. They’re scrumptious when heated, but if you’re on the run, they’re also great at room temperature.

Prep time: 
125 g
 self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder
25 g cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract
75 g caster sugar
1 large egg
100 ml milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil

150 g chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 200 C and fill a 12 muffin tray with paper cases.

2. Sieve the flourbaking powder and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Mix the vanilla extract, egg, milk and oil in a small bowl.

3. Add the liquid mix to the sieved ingredients and mix together.  Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of sieved ingredients and mix until combined, but still lumpy.

4. Spoon into the muffin cases and sprinkle more chocolate chips on top and cook for 20 mins or until risen and springy.

5. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Serves: 12

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Honey Mustard Chicken with Pine Nuts & Goat Cheese Recipe

Stocking up on the bare basics is a must if you love to cook a lot. Dried pasta, rice, tinned plum tomatoes, vegetable/chicken/fish stock, anchovies, oil. nuts and dried herbs to name a few examples are essentials that every kitchen should have.

It´s only the middle of the week and already down to basic ingredients in the fridge.  So keeping it simple and based on the fact that I had chicken breast, rocket leaves and goat´s cheese, I was glad I came across this recipe.  It asked for the above three ingredients along with a few of the kitchen pantry essentials. This really makes a great light supper with a short ingredients list, short preparation and short cook time.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min

chicken breast. skinned and sliced into strips
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp grain mustard
140g goats' cheese
110g toasted pine nuts
bunch of rocket leaves
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and ground black pepper

1. In a bowl, mix the honey and grain mustard and add the chicken strips. Stir the chicken strips to coat them with the honey mix.

2. Place the chicken strips in a frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side

3. With a ratio of oil to vinegar, 3:1 and some salt and pepper, dress the rocket leaves with the dressing.

4, Place the rocket leaves on the centre of each plate and then stack the chicken strips on top. Crumble the goats' cheese over the top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

5.Lightly drizzle some extra honey around the outside of the salad and serve.

Serves: 2

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Beetroot, Banana & Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

They may be still in season and there are many options preparing dishes with beetroots. For me they never had that much of an appealing flavor on their own. I always found them rather bland but this is where food pairing comes into play. Our sense of smell plays a larger part than actual sense of taste with food and the delightful sweet smell drew me to this morning booster.  The scent of the fresh strawberries masks the blandness of the beets.  

I took a shortcut on this one to save prep time. I bought precooked beetroots which could be stored in the freezer. It gave me piece of mind that I have I have beets all week long for smoothies, quick breakfasts or as an addition to a lunch, like a fresh sandwich like grated beets, grated carrot and baby spinach on wholegrain bread, a main meal such warm lentils with beetroot and ricotta.  

Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins 

2 small beets, Cooked, peeled and chopped roughly
125 g strawberries
1 banana
240 ml milk
150 g ice

1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender.

2. Blend until smooth.

Serves: 2

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vietnamese Style Chicken with Lemongrass & Toasted Cashews Recipe

I cooked this for the first time this afternoon and the ingredients work incredibly well together. Life is full of polar opposites like man and woman, black and white, day and night, hot and cold - the list is endless. The ingredients here follow the Yin and Yang philosophy explaining why the contrasting textures and flavors worked out so well as a whole unit. 

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

1 tbsp vegetable oil
50 g roasted unsalted cashews
2 small dried chilies, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped 
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 bunch of spring onions
chicken breast
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
120 g basmati rice
275 ml chicken stock

1. In a bowl add the sugarsoy sauce and fish sauce 

2. Heat a wok or heavy based pan. Add a little oil, once sizzling add the dried chillies, followed by the garlic.

3. Slice the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Add the chicken in small amounts and stir-fry until golden. Remove the chicken from wok.

4. In the empty wok, add the cashew nuts and stir fry, followed by the lemongrass. Add the bowl of sauces, then the chicken stock. Stir fry until the sauces are covering the chicken.  Add the remaining ingredients including the spring onions and stir fry for a further minute.

5. Serve with basmati rice 

Serves: 2

Friday, February 24, 2017

Saffron Orange Cake Recipe

I always found cooking and baking therapeutic. I use them as a form of meditation. I get great satisfaction from cooking for others whether it be a three course meal or bikini a cake and enjoying it with them over a coffee. .

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr

250 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp saffron threads
3 eggs
155 g icing sugar
250 g self-raising flour
250 g ground almonds
125 g unsalted butter
icing sugar, to dust

1. Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC.  Lightly grease a 22cm/9 inch round cake tin.

2. Combine the juice, zest and saffron threads in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Leave to cool.

3. Beat the eggs and icing sugar with whisk or electric beaters until creamy.  Sift the flour and carefully fold into the egg and sugar mix adding the almondsorange saffron and butter until the mix is smooth.

4.  Spoon the mixture into the lightly greased tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the baked cake.

5. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.  Once cool, dust with icing sugar.

Serves 8