I’m still here!

Hey, to anyone out there that reads this, my foodie thoughts and recipes. I’m sorry I’ve not written a post in what seems like forever… I’ve been really busy lately. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I had an idea that I’d host a Christmas party or a gathering, if you will, at our newish house. This has made me go on a crazy mission to get the house decorated and decluttered, so that I can feel proud to have guests round (not that I don’t now, I just want it to be perfect!)

So basically, I’m painting pretty much the whole house (with a small brush :-/) putting up shelves, filling jars to go on the shelves, painting furniture, hanging pictures, emptying cupboards, taking a load of stuff to the tip or to a charity shop, taking up carpet, sorting out the food cupboards, oiling the worktops, making up flat pack furniture….the list is endless. I’ve even made some hanging heart bunting and some coasters made from twigs! All this for a party! Crazy? Yep! Anyway, I see it as somewhat of a challenge to myself to complete it all by the beginning of December. Only a few weeks to go then….

Oh yeah… I’ve also lost my (third…) camera lead so I can’t upload photos at the mo 😦 I’m trying to hunt it down though, do not fear. 

Anyway, I’m still cooking, just not extravagant stuff. Mainly stuff that I can just throw together and takes little time.

So please, stick with me and I promise I’ll be back soon! Maybe even with pictures of the finished house.  Hope you are all keeping well. See you soon x

Advertisements

Strawberry jam pie pops!

I needed another treat to take to the party I went to at the weekend. Googling ensued to find something that wouldn’t melt in the car. I already had cheese twists and cookies so wanted something different. I decided to look at a favourite website of mine http://www.bakerella.com It’s a fantastic website and I love looking at the many recipes. Eventually, after spending many minutes drooling;  I came across these: http://www.bakerella.com/easy-as-pie/ pie pops. They look so cool, right?! I had to give them a go. 

All you need is pastry, a filling of your choice (I used strawberry jam), whisked egg, lollypop stick and sugar. Easy peasy.

I used this simple shortcrust pastry recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/shortcrustpastry_1278

I rolled it out and cut out circular shapes

On a lined baking tray, place a circle of pastry and gently push in a lollypop stick

Spoon a little jam into the middle of the circle and brush the edges of the circle with the egg

Place another circle on top of the jam and press down the edges. Crimp along the sides with the edge of a lollypop stick  and brush the top with the egg

Repeat with the rest of the pastry

Cook for approx 20 minutes on gas 6 or until golden

When they are cooked, sprinkle on a little sugar. I also wrapped them in cellophane to keep them fresh

They must be good as there were none left! I think I’ll try with a savoury filling next time, as I definitely have to make more!

The best big, fat, chewy cookies ever

These are THE best cookies, I’ve ever made. People said to me when they tried them that I should sell them, they’re that good. There were resounding ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ when they were being gobbled down.

Here’s the recipe http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4807/best-big–fat–chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies.aspx

I used milk and white chocolate chips for a hit of two lovely chocolates. They are soft, chewy, sweet and are by far, my favourite cookie, homemade or shop bought. You must try them!

If you try these (which I really think you should!) You will not be disappointed, I promise*

*Please don’t hunt me down if you don’t like them! 😉 Though I think you will…

Psychedelic biscuits!

Here’s another batch of food I took to the party. They look so vibrant and appealing that everyone will want one. Both adults and kids of all ages loved them and went back for more…and more…and more!

I used this basic recipe but divided it into two and made one half in one bowl and the other in another bowl.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3468/basic-biscuit-dough

In one of the bowls (before I added the flour) I added some red food colouring gel and in the other, blue gel (the gel is so much better than the ‘normal’ liquid food colouring, as you only need a tiny bit to make the vivid colour)

When the dough is made and has been in the fridge for a bit, divide both balls of dough into two

Taking one half of the red, roll it into a rectangle on a floured surface. Then next to it roll out the blue to the same shape and size

Put one on top of the other. Roll gently so they merge slightly

Gently roll into a sausage

Carefully cut into thin biscuits

Repeat with the other halves of the dough

Cook at gas mark 4, on a grease proofed tray for approx 12 minutes 

This picture shows how bright the are. They taste a bit like shortbread and look cool! 

Cheese twists

I went to a party at the weekend and wanted to take some food along. I was thinking and looking on Google for things to make that would be easy and would travel well, as it would take 3 hours to get to the party. Then I came across cheese straws. I’d never made them before but they looked pretty simple, and they wouldn’t melt or anything in the car, so they seemed like a good idea.

I looked at loads of different recipes and adapted them to make my own version.

Ingredients:

Ready made puff pastry 

Egg white

Parmesan- about 5/6 large tablespoons

Black pepper- to your taste

Paprika- to your taste

Cayenne pepper- to your taste

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6. Put grease proof paper on an oven tray. Roll the puff pastry on a floured surface into a rectangle about 0.5 cm thick

2. Brush all over with the egg white

3. In a bowl, mix grated Parmesan with the pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika

 

4. Sprinkle over half of the cheese mix and spread over to cover the pastry sheet and gently press down so it sticks to the pastry

5. Turn the pastry over and repeat the above. Cover with egg white and spread the cheese

6. Cut the pastry into strips about 1 cm wide

7. Taking one strip at a time and twist the strip, pressing the ends down gently so it doesn’t unravel

8. Place on the tray and cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown

9. Cook all the remaining twists 

These are SO simple to make yet taste amazing, they went down a storm. Definitely worth a go!

(I’m sorry I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, doh! Just imagine the twists a little golden brown and delish and there you have it!)