Quiche with sweet potato ‘pastry’

I love it when an experiment works! I’d had an idea of trying out mashed sweet potato instead of pastry. I’ve been thinking about it for days…

Here’s how it went.

Ingredients:

4 small sweet potatoes

4 eggs

Salt and pepper

Paprika

Smoked bacon

Red onion

Peas

pine nuts

Asparagus

300ml double cream

Stilton

Hard Italian cheese

1. Wash, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Put in a pan of water and boil until soft.

2. In a cup, mix one of the eggs with salt and pepper and some paprika.

3. When the potatoes are soft, mash together with the egg. Leave to cool.

4. Fry the bacon in pieces until crispy. Then add the onion, peas and pine nuts. Once cooked, leave to one side.

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5. Grease a loose bottomed quiche tin with butter. Tip the mash into the tin. Carefully, with the back of a spoon, spread around the tin, covering it all equally and up the sides too.

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6. Cook in a pre heated oven on gas 7 for approx 20 minutes or until hard.

7. In a bowl, add the remaining 3 eggs to the cream. Season and crumble in 2/3 of the Stilton. Mix well.

8. Pour the cream mixture in with the bacon and bits.

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9. Once the case is hard, pour in the cream mixture carefully.

10. Arrange the asparagus on top of the mixture. Sprinkle over some more pine nuts, the remaining Stilton and some grated hard Italian cheese. Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes on gas 6 until a knife comes out clean.

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Hurrah! It worked! I was so happy (saddo) it was also mega delish served with salad and balsamic vinegar. So much so the husband wants to take leftovers to work.

Cheese and jalapeno pretzels

I’m going to Florida in March. Since we booked it, I’ve been dreaming of having a cheese jalapeno pretzel. Even though it’s not long until we go, I couldn’t wait any longer! I had to have one!

I scoured around the web and combined recipes. Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients:

220 g white bread flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp yeast

2 tbsp margarine

Grated extra mature cheddar cheese (just grated loads as you can never have too much cheese!)

2 jalapenos washed and diced

160 ml milk

Rock salt to sprinkle over the top

Method:

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and yeast. 

2. Put in the margarine in small bits. 

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3. Rub the dry ingredients and marge together to make fine breadcrumbs.

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4. Add the cheese, jalapenos and milk and stir.

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5. Add more flour if too wet.

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6. Knead a few times.

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7. Divide dough in half and taking one half, roll into a 12×8 inch rectangle.

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8. Cut dough lengthways into 8 1 inch strips.

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9. Roll out a bit further with the palms of your hands. Then repeat with the other half.

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10. Twist into a pretzel shape. Wet the ends with milk to stick to the rest of the pretzel.

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11. Leave to rise slightly for 30 minutes. 

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12. Grease a couple of trays and turn the oven onto gas mark 6.

13. Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil.

14. Taking a pretzel, carefully place it on a large spoon and hold it in the boiling water for 5 seconds.

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15. Place on the greased tray and sprinkle over some rock salt.

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16. Repeat with the rest and cook for approx 20 minutes or until golden.

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Next time I think I’ll brush them with either milk or egg to give them a glossy finish. 

The mixture of cheese, jalapenos, salt and bread is amazing!! I know these are going to be a firm favourite in this household! They’ll tide me over until we’re in America 🙂

 

Make your own pizza!

Pizza is a favourite take out meal of mine. I love the massive carb and cheese fest. What’s great about making your own though, is that you can have it exactly as you want. Triple cheese? No problem. Different meats? Great. Chocolate spread? Whatever floats your boat. 

I’ve found a great recipe for a simple dough base- http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4683/pizza-margherita-in-4-easy-steps

You can put things into the dough too, for example; I put some garlic granules. You could use cheese or herbs etc.

Then I simply put it together how I want. 

Firstly though, as I want a deep pan base, I let the dough rise for a good couple of hours. Then I let it to rise again after the toppings are on. For a thin and crispy base, you don’t have to let it rise. So it makes a great quick and easy meal. 

After letting my dough rise, and kneading it again, I pushed it into my pizza pan. Then I choose my sauce to be a mix of tomato puree and BBQ sauce (remember to not spread all the way to the edges, you want a crust)

Grated Mozzarella was liberally spread over the sauce, then on goes:

Sliced tomatoes

Pepperoni

Onions 

Sweetcorn

And a sprinkling of basil

Then ‘cos I want more cheese in my life, more Mozzarella and finally mature cheddar. 

It was cooked on gas 6 for about 30 minutes.

Here’s the beast! 

Come to Mama!

I was forced to share shared it with the Husb’ and I’m gutted there was only 1 piece leftover 😦

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!)

 

Sweet and spicy soup

Cold, miserable day outside? Check!

Need warming up? Check!

Want comfort food? Check!

Have soup!

This is such an easy yet satisfying soup that will warm your cockles and fill you up, leaving you feeling happy.

Makes a huge saucepan, enough for 4 and leftovers.

Ingredients:

2 butternut squash

2 carrots

2 parsnips

2 chopped onions

4 garlic gloves, finely sliced

1 tbsp butter

2 green chillies, finely chopped

Olive oil

Turmeric

Salt and pepper

2 vegetable stock cubes

Creme fraiche

850ml hot water

Chives

1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 6. Peel and chop the butternut squash, carrots and parsnips into large chunks. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle over some oil. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, turning half way through

2. Whilst the veg is cooking, in a large saucepan, sweat the chopped onions with the garlic and chillies until soft.

3. When the veg is soft, add them to the pan of onions.

4. Make up the stock with the hot water and 2 stock cubes and salt & pepper. Pour over the veg in the pan. Stir in 4 tbsp of creme fraiche and a good shake of turmeric. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

5. Reheat when ready to serve

6. Swirl over some creme fraiche and sprinkle over some chopped chives

The sweetness of the butternut squash and the spiciness of the chillies make this dish divine! Serve with some buttery crusty bread! Delicious.

Spicy fries with a sour cream and chive dip

We love a good tv snack here at RDK towers :p and what with the weather being quite frankly, rubbish! What’s better than a hot tv snack?!

What we need is a big bowl of comfort. This is where spicy fries come into place.

What you’ll need:

Potatoes (I used 3 for 2 people)

Handful of flour

Cajun spice mix

Smoked paprika

Turmeric

Ground cayenne

Chilli powder

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Sour cream

Chives

1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 6. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into thick wedges. Put in a pan full of water and boil for 4 minutes

2. In a large bowl, put in the flour and all of the spices and mix together

3. When the potatoes have cooked for 4 minutes, coat thoroughly with the spice mix and leave to cool slightly

4. Put the fries on a baking tray and cover the fries in a little oil. Cook on the top shelf of the oven on gas mark 6 for approximately an hour, turning every so often until golden and crispy

5. When the fries are cooked, in a small bowl or ramekin, pour in some sour cream and mix in some chopped chives

Nom nom, a great snack to share whilst watching trashy tv.