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Jammy Donuts

19 Apr

The recipe for ‘Jammy Donuts’ Muffins in Baking Magic (by Kate Shirazi) took my fancy recently. I suppose they’re kind of like baked donuts? No doubt healthier than their cooked-in-oil counterparts, but every bit as delicious.



300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar (and extra for the tops)
250ml buttermilk (I used milk mixed with a little natural yogurt and it was fine)
1 beaten egg
50g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, butter and vanilla, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix together gently.

Spoon a small amount into each muffin case. Make a small indentation and add a teaspoon of jam, then cover with more mixture.

Bake for around 20 minutes.

The recipe suggests sprinkling caster sugar over the muffins when they are still warm, but I found that the sugar didn’t really stick. By using a little water brushed over the tops, I got a much better donut-like effect.

‘Baking Magic’ is currently £9.59 with free delivery on Amazon – right here.

Perfect Poached Eggs on Toast

26 Feb


My tips for the perfect poached egg are:
1. Get the water in the pan boiling.
2. Put the egg into the water IN THE SHELL for 30 seconds, rolling it around gently, then take it out.
3. Get the water boiling again and break the egg in – try not to break the yolk (the best bit!).
4. Simmer for 2 minutes (which should give you enough time to sort the toast out!)
5. Use plenty of salt and pepper.

Vegetable Lasagne

19 Feb

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 diced onion
5 garlic cloves
handful of chopped mushrooms
tin of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
half cup stock
sprinkling of herbs – basil and oregano
1 tub ricotta cheese
cheddar or similar cheese – about 2 thumbs worth
splash of milk
lasagne sheets (fresh or dry works)

Make your tomato and vegetable sauce (the bit that would traditionally be the meat sauce), by frying the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the mushrooms and fry until softened.
Add the tin of tomatoes, salt and pepper, stock and herbs. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

While your sauce is simmering away, you can make the ricotta sauce. I like this sauce as it’s quicker than making a white sauce. Tip the ricotta into a bowl and grate the cheddar into it before giving it a stir. Add milk until it has a white sauce consistency. It’s as easy as that!

Layer up your lasagne using the sauces and lasagne sheets. I always start with the tomato sauce, then pasta.. and then I forget which order everything else goes in! For this one I layered tomato sauce, lasagne sheet, ricotta sauce, tomato sauce, lasagne sheet, ricotta sauce. You can keep on layering if you still have enough sauce left.
Then grate some parmesan on top.

It will need to go in the oven at 190°c for about 45 minutes. you can grill it slightly to get a crispier top.

I served mine with some spinach and ermm.. some other leaves.

Quick and Healthy(ish) Pizza

24 Jan

Sometimes I want pizza, but I don’t have any frozen ones, and I just can’t be bothered to make dough. Here is the solution, it’s healthier and it only takes about 12 minutes (2 minutes assembling and 10 in the oven!). The result is a thin, crispy based pizza.

Tortilla/wrap – I had some lovely Mediterranean ones..
Pizza sauce (I’ll add a recipe for this soon, it’s always good to have some on standby in the fridge/freezer) – you could use some passata
Any extra toppings (use what you have/like)

Add a dollop of pizza sauce to your tortilla/wrap. Spread it around.
Grate cheese on top.
Add any toppings.
Cook in the oven for 10 minutes on 190°c.

Inspired by Shakshouka

23 Jan


Inspired by a post about shakshouka I saw last week, I decided to use what I had to make my own version.

2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
About 300g mince
200g passata
Tin of butter beans
Quarter tsp dried chilli flakes
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of cayenne chilli pepper
Beef stock cube
Salt and pepper
2 eggs

In an ovenproof dish, fry the onions and the garlic until soft.
Add the mince and brown it.
Add all of the other ingredients minus the eggs.
Add a mug of water.
Stir and simmer for around 20 minutes until quite thick. Adjust the spices and seasoning to your own taste.
Break the eggs on top. Put into the oven on 190°c and cook for about 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are cooked.
Serve with rice or couscous.




Spicy Chickpea Snack

22 Jan


A tin of chickpeas/400g of dried chickpea soaked overnight and boiled until soft (I cook mine on high in the slow cooker for 2 hours)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Your favourite spices
Salt and pepper

Rinse your chickpeas and dry them with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
Add to a bowl with the olive oil and your choice of spices (cumin is good with chickpeas). You want around 1-2tsp but it depends how spicy you like your food!
Stir well.
Pour out evenly onto an oven tray.
Cook at 230°c for around 30 minutes.

Double Recipe – Cranberries

21 Jan

I had some cranberries left over in the fridge and needed to use them up, which is where the following two recipes came in. They both use the same ingredients, and one follows the other really easily!

Firstly, frosted cranberries.
Add equal parts sugar and water to a pan and heat them until the sugar has dissolved. You could also add extra flavours at this point, maybe orange or lemon – just add some juice to the water. Allow the mixture to cool a little before adding your cranberries (it might be easier to do this in batches).
Stir so that the cranberries are covered, before removing from the pan with a slotted spoon and placing onto a cooling rack. (Don’t get rid of your sugar syrup if you want to try the following recipe). Allow them to dry for 1 hour.
Spoon into a bowl/plate of sugar (whichever you like, they’ll give slightly different effects). Let them dry a little, it shouldn’t take long. They look so pretty! They can be used as cupcake decorations, on a cheesecake..
They’re also good with cheese and crackers to ‘poshen’ them up! Which leads me to the next recipe…


Cranberry jam/compote/sauce/chutney
Pour cranberries into a pan and add a little of your sugar syrup.
Allow to simmer gently, adding more syrup if it starts to look a little dry. You can help with the mushing-down process by using a potato masher to squash the berries down (be careful, they pop!) and putting the lid onto your pan. When it’s all soft, it’s done! You can add more syrup to get the consistency that you want. You can use this in porridge, rice pudding, on toast, or as a chutney on cheese and crackers – spread some brie onto your crackers, add a little of the cranberry chutney and pop a couple of frosted cranberries on top.. Mmmm!

Easy Cauliflower Cheese Soup

13 Jan

Forgot to take photos, oops! Use your imagination if you will, it’s a smooth cream-coloured soup with grated cheese on top!

1 onion
1tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cauliflower
3 medium/large potatoes
2 bay leaves
pinch of thyme
chicken stock cube
cheese of your choice, however much you like!

Chop your onion and fry in the olive oil until soft. Add crushed garlic.

Add all of the cauliflower in florets, along with the potato (peeled and in rough chunks).

Add the bay leaves, thyme and the chicken stock cube (crumbled). Pour on enough boiled water to cover everything. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes (everything should be soft).

Season and blend.

When serving, top each bowl with a layer of grated cheese.

Chipolata and Beetroot Casserole

11 May


Fry chipolatas to give them some colour.
Remove chipolatas and put into a slow cooker.

Chop 2-3 beetroot, 2-3 carrots, 1-2 red onions, 1-2 garlic cloves (numbers depending on your preference) and fry in the pan that the chipolatas were in, until they are tender. Add half a glass of red wine, a splash of balsamic vinegar, 2 bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to remove the alcohol.

Pour vegetables onto the chipolatas and add half a glass of apple juice and a big spoonful of wholegrain mustard. Season as you like.

Cook on high for 4 hours.

Fish and Chips

11 May


Batter recipe:

100g self-raising flour + 150ml cold water + capful of cider vinegar + pinch of salt.


Coat fish in batter and fry.