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.

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Fruit smoothie

As I’m on a health kick I have swapped chocolate, cake and cookies for fruit. So to get a lot of fruit intake (fruit is not my first choice to eat in winter!) I decided to make a smoothie- with the help of one of my lovely new shiny Christmas presents, a blender (a food processor came with it too :) ) 

It was really simple, all I used was:

1 punnet blueberries

1 punnet strawberries

2 small bananas

2 large tbsp low fat Greek yogurt

Enough milk to cover the fruit

2 tbsp honey

All you do is wash the fruit, chop, pour, blend and enjoy!

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This was enough to make about 3 large glasses full. 

As an aside….

I have made another blog (I am keeping this one too :)) which is basically me keeping a diary. You can view this if you wish (I’d really like that ;)) here: http://greywallspinkheart.wordpress.com/ 

You can keep track of my (hopefully!) weight losses there in time to come 🙂 RDK will be for the food side of my life (a massive part then!) and the other place, will be everything else 🙂 

x

New year, new me!

Well hello there 2013! You sure sneaked up on me! I hope you all had a great Christmas and a happy New Year. 

As always and as I’m sure many MANY people do, I make the same New Years resolution every year since I can remember: Lose weight! 

So, I am going to be eating more healthily. I’ve had enough of all the so called miracle diets, which never work, right?! I’m going to do which I know will work, it’s simple- eat less and move more!

From now on then, you’ll see less on my plate and what is there, will be (the majority of the time- as you shouldn’t deprive yourself, right?!) healthy stuff. 

I hope that next New Years, I won’t have to make the same resolution as I do every year. 

I’ve done ok so far but I haven’t taken any pictures yet but I will from next week. 

Wish me luck!

Christmas gifts

Last year, I decided to make hampers for family. I went WAY overboard and was really stressed on Christmas eve making a whole heap of stuff. Everyone loved them though, so it was worth it and it made me happy. But this year, with me already being really busy decorating etc, I want to make things in advance. Things that can be stored in a cupboard or in the freezer. I’ve made a list of the things I’d like to make, and have just made a couple of the things on it. Summer fruit jam and mincemeat. Some of the mincemeat will be used to make mince pies and the rest will be given in hampers. 

I used this recipe for the jam: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/711653/summer-berry-jam 

Here the jars are in all their glory-

I used this recipe for the mincemeat: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4829/sandham-family-mincemeat

I used brandy instead of whiskey as that’s what I had in.

More to come…

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 😦

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

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!