Thursday, 31 March 2011

Kugelhopf!

I was looking forward to trying this one, despite the fact that it contained fruit, if nothing else than for the name! A kugelhopf is a traditional breakfast bread from the Alsace region of France. It's main flavours are apricot and almond. Thanks to my friend Dawn I could make it in the right shape too using a bundt tin. I had a piece while it was still warm, and it was delicious. Most of it went to Wrexham Symphony Orchestra and apparently there was a hot debate about whether is should have been served with butter. Officially it is a bread and contains yeast, but I thought it had a nice soft texture and didn't really need the butter. But I had eaten it warm, maybe cold it needs that moisture, plus I wanted to send it in one piece rather than pre sliced, which is what I had done with the tea loaf and buttered it. In the making of this though, I got slightly distracted. I'd made the loaf and left it to rise on a nice sunny windowsill and a friend come round for a catch up. I completely forgot about it! I think it was left to rise for about two hours! Well, it was definitely well risen which probably helped make it quite light. Maybe I should try and forget about breads more often.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Empanadas

I have to be honest, I've been putting off blogging about these. In the original recipe they are filled with pumpkin and sweet chestnut. To start I'm not a huge fan of sweet chestnut so that put me off a bit. The pastry sounded really good, it's got polenta in it. So I made them for a saturday lunch, with a mince filling, using some leftover bolognaise sauce. They looked good, but they didn't taste great. Maybe if I'd made the effort to make the original recipe it would have been better, I don't know but we're not in a rush to make these again. If anybody makes these what would you recommend as a filling, I understand that they are mexican, so I would expect something spicy and bean filled. Maybe we'll give it another go sometime.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Honeycomb toffee and what to do with it!





I was really excited about making honeycomb, I'd seen Nigella do it and thought it was the most amazing and easiest thing I'd ever seen (I know, simple things). Alongside I thought it would be great to make with Zoe, it would be magic. However, these things never work out how you'd hope. I boiled my sugar but must have taken it too far, then it was Zoe's job to put the bicarb into the mixture. Now once she is given a job that is it, there is no changing her course or direction and I had spotted that the bicarb needed sieving, but the spoonful was already in her hand and with a pan of boiling sugar in one hand and her in the other this was no time to start an argument so we added the bicarb and well, ,......nothing, not the exciting flourish I was hoping for and Zoe was not impressed. My second mistake was to pour it onto a baking tray instead of a square dish so we ended up with chewy, bitter honeycomb and big lumps of bicarb. So, as suggested by Lorraine on her programme I hid it in food, mainly in
Lime and Ginger Possett with a honeycomb topping. Another easy make, lime zest, ginger syrup and cream so me and Mark enjoyed another quick pudding with a scattering of honeycomb. She suggests eating the possett with shortbread, and I'm assuming this is to add texture, but the honeycomb worked well. So good news all round.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Palmiers





Not only do I need to thank Lorraine for this cracking little recipe, but also the lovely Anna Andrews. Officially they are meant to be made with a tomato filling, but Anna had mentioned that she'd made them with Nutella instead, what a fantastic idea! So I had some puff pastry in the fridge leftover from my tomato tart so I made mini palmiers. They were pretty good, made so many though, we couldn't eat them all. Next time I will have to put more Nutella in them because all you could taste was pastry and I covered them with icing sugar to try and sweeten them up. But definitely one of the easiest things to make in the whole book, especially if you cheat on the filling, jam ones could be good, or caramel....mmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Why do I make my life so difficult!





Hiding underneath all this buttercream is a red velvet cake, now in the book Lorraine makes a three tiered celebration cake. Well I made a celebration cake and the top was Red Velvet once I'd persuaded the receiver that she would love it. I don't know why I put myself in these positions of stress. A good friend of mine invited me along to her daughters christening, but instead of presents she asked people to take along food, so I straight away offered to make the cake. I always plan well in advance, buy all the necessary ingredients and tools, boards, boxes, icing. But nothing can prepare for a) my son suffering from a stomach bug and b) the bottom layer of sponge not working. The red velvet layer worked really well, baked and iced no problems, unfortunately I didn't have a sponge recipe big enough in Lorraine book to follow so I used an old reliable which failed, twice, it just would cook in the middle so I changed to good old Mary Berry for the final attempt and thankfully it worked, but needed a lot of support as it was such a light cake. Drama over, but it meant I had a lot less time to ice it, and was really sad that I didn't get to go to the christening or taste the cake (great excuse to make another!) thanks to great family who helped with the children and my poor husband who I had rolling out icing and cutting out flowers. Thank you so much.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Another romantic but stressful meal


Mussels in sherry with Chorizo Fougasse
My favourite makes from the book are where I can combine two recipes in one meal. The problem we had with this one was the mussels, I was going to buy them from a fishmonger but I was in tesco and they had some so I bought them, probably much cheaper. But that came at a price, half of them we couldn't even cook because the shells had cracked, or were open. Suprisingly we still had enough to eat. They were a quite meal, fry on challots and sherry and stick them in the oven for 8 minutes. Tasty, but have to say I prefer a good old white wine sauce. But the bread, now that was good. We love Chorizo in our house and is was brilliant in a bread. This loaf was lovely and light and really tasty. It was really easy to make, I don't know how Lorraine manages to make breadmaking so easy, in the past its all been about kneading, rising then knocking back and rising again, it would take hours!! Her breads are no where near as daunting.

Stilton and Ale/Cider Rolls







Another food which won’t be at the top of the list of pretty things. These are stilton and ale bread roles, although I used cider instead of ale. We had these with a big bowl of soup and even Zoe had some. The dough rose really well so they weren’t too heavy although they didn’t last very long and half of them ended up with the ducks.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Tomato Tart Tatin





This is one the dishes where I was struggling to decide when to serve it. I tried to convince Mark that it would be similar to a pizza but he wouldn't have it. So instead I made a mini one for my lunch. I was really impressed, a lot of the time I struggle to have time to make something for lunch and end up eating toast while I feed the two children. But this was really easy, cook off the tomatoes in an oven proof frying pan  and then give it a puff pastry lid, brush with egg and stick it in the oven, so for a quick lunch it's quite easy. I did make the mistake of not draining some of the tomato juice out before it went in the oven so the pastry did end up a bit soggy. Tasty lunch and I feel that I've eaten something at least a little healthy, well sort of!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Boozy Coffee Cake





This has to be one of my favourite makes so far. This is one of the first proper cakes I've made from the book and my heart is in cakes. I made this to take along to Crafty Tots but this was strictly for the grown ups. It made me feel quite dizzy just licking out the buttercream bowl. There is only two tablespoons of baileys in it but boy does it pack a punch. The cake turned out really moist and luxurious. Even Mark who doesn't like coffee thought it was really tasty. This will definitely be on the list of make again, once I get this book finished, might be a while yet as I slowly approach the halfway mark.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Fruit Cake





As I've said before I don't like fruit cake. So the entire cake was donated to Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. This would have been a pretty boozy cake but the only Rum we had in the house was half a bottle of Cuban Rum from our honeymoon so I had to make up the difference with tea, well you don't want a bunch of drunk musicians on your hands!! You have to soak all the fruit overnight in the the boozy liquer, then mix with a dark cake batter and bake for hours!!!

Now I have to admit that I didn't taste this, I cannot bring myself to do it so I will have to rely on the opinion of Mark, and the orchestra, who reported back that it was good. So I'm going to believe them.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Baked Potato





I know, it's not very pretty, but Monday lunchtime with a toddler is never the easiest of things and it was a case of, damn I've got to take a picture of this. In the book it is a baked potato with roquefort cheese, but as usual I didn't have quite the right ingredient in the house so I used white stilton. You bake the potato, scrape the contents into a pan (with the skins back in the oven) mix in the cheese and then put back into the crispy skin. Well, it was ok, I'm sure if I'd used the right cheese it would have been better, but I had Zoe screaming 'I don't like it'.... as usual, so I didn't really savour it and it became pure fuel which is never a good way to treat food.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The scary stuff!

When I started this blog I promised myself I would make a post a day, so I would have to keep up with the baking. Well, things took an unexpected turn this week. My smiley little 8 month old boy has not been his usual self and has come out with a stomach bug, alongside that I've been making a christening cake for a friends daughter which seems to have taken up all my time, between loads of washing and keeping Zoe occupied. Well the cake is now finished so I can carry on (pictures will follow).

Now any eagle eyed bakers who read this blog might have noticed that there has been a distinct lack of a certain baking item. Pastry. Pastry and I do not get along, despite me knowing all the rules, keep it cool, down make it when your in a mood (thats a struggle in its self sometimes!) don't mess with it too much, has to chill in the fridge etc. I've even got half a dozen books dedicated to this tricky substance, but every attempt I make usually ends up in pieces and me in tears.

Now, as Lorraines book has quite a few pastry recipes I had to face up to it and start afresh and keep calm, so I put on some nice calm music, the children were out and the back door was open. Well, I surprised myself, and this is the dish I am most proud of since I started.
Quiche Lorraine, made with smokey bacon, onions, creme fraiche and eggs, with of course shortcrust pastry which was blind baked. This is the first ever pastry case which has survived my handling. I was so excited when it came out of the tin and didn't collapse on itself. I may even be a convert to making my own quiches from scratch from now on. The filling was so easy to make and the longer it stayed in the fridge, the better the flavour became. Can definitely recommend even if your a bit of an anti pastry, go on, give it a go, if I can do it then anyone can!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Battenburg Cake

Now I love Battenburg. One of my strongest childhood memories is having battenburg after school. What made it even better was that my sister didn't like it so there was always plenty to eat. Now Battenburgs have to be eaten in the right way. Remove the marzipan, because thats the best bit, so you save it for later. Separate the cubes of cake and I always eat the yellow first followed by the pink and then enjoy the marzipan. Bliss! What I never realised before is that its apricot jam holding it all together, and it tasted pretty much the same.

The reason I made a Battenburg was for Mark, he had an orchestra committee meeting and I usually make a chocolate cake, but it had to be something from the book, and I'm looking forward to her chocolate cake so he had to choose something else. But the moment that made my day was the round of applause I got from Zoe when I showed it to her. 'Well done Mummy'. The picture doesn't really show you much in terms of scale, so compared to a Mr Kipling version, it's about 50% bigger, a mammoth battenburg!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Extravagant meal for two!

I can't really call this a romantic meal for two because we had to coordinate the cooking around getting the children to bed so that Mark could eat everything before he went to the pub. Thankfully everything was pretty simple and could be prepared ahead of time and shoved in the oven.

Starter: Scollops with butter, chilly, and lime.
These were really simple, but we only had one each, and I wish we'd had more they were so delicious, but at 99p each, I have to set limits! It's basically chop chilli, a bit of butter on each and zest a lemon (I used lime) and bake for 8 minutes. Perfect!
Baked Plaice: Now, I'll admit these don't look very pretty but they tasted good. They are Plaice with anchovies wrapped up inside them and cooked with garlic, white wine and lime zest. We had them with potatoes and peas, I know aren't we exciting!

Apple and Blueberry Crumble: Officially this should have been a rhubarb crumble but neither me or Mark are big rhubarb fans so we switched to apple. It's packed full of fresh ginger too which was fab. I love crumble and I made little individual ones, well they wern't that small but hey, it's mainly fruit right? Something I'm beginning to realise that although the recipe says one thing, it's ok to change things to suit you. At the beginning I promised to myself that I would follow everything to the letter but it can't always be done that way, if you don't like something, change it. I'm sure any cookery book writer would be proud that their readers felt confident enough with their recipes to adapt them to their own tastes and it is something that I'm doing more of. I was always a follow the recipe girl, but the more I make I feel more confident to adapt things and so far it seems to be working. I hope you don't mind Lorraine!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Grandma's Shortbread

There are certain ingredients in the cupboard that I will always assume I have plenty of, so this recipe had a slight variation. It was meant to have just plain flour and rice flour, but I ran out of plain, my endless supply finished!!! I had to use self-raising. The other variation was the rice flour, I forgot to buy any so I replaced it with semolina which I've used in shortbread before. They tasted fine, but did look a bit strange rising in the oven. We had a couple of friends around with their new baby, so it meant we could share it around. Lucky for me there were still a couple of pieces left over for my afternoon cuppa the next day. Next stop is to stock up on plain flour, and along with that unsalted butter, I think we've gone through about 12 blocks so far.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Family Lunch

Baked Camembert with roasted garlic, served with breadsticks.
I am a huge fan of baked camembert already and slowly I am converting mark to this delicacy. This one is cooked alongside a whole bulb of garlic. There is a great restaurant called the White Horse in Churton and for a started they served artisan breads with roasted garlic, and it was delicious, the garlic ooozed out of the skins and was a beautiful puree. Mine however, was not like that, I over did it and we were lucky to get a couple of scrapings and the whole house stank of garlic for the rest of the afternoon. However, the breadsticks made up for this. They were so easy to make, stick everything in the kitchenaid with a dough hook, mix for 5 mins and shape into sausages and twists. Let them rise and then bake for 20 min. Everyone in the family had these, including Henry, so I will definitely be making more for him to knaw on in future. As usual Zoe was very suspicious of anything new, she is a huge cheese eater and we finally managed to persuade her to dip her breadstick but she'd already decided she didn't like it, so Mark and I polished it all off. It's just as well I'm doing all this running because my waistline is taking a serious beating at the moment, it's all worth it though.

A Meal for Friends...





Pork with Dry Cider. There are a few things in the book, when you look at them you cannot justify cooking them for yourselves so when I had a couple of friends round for dinner it was the perfect reason to cook the dish, Pork in Calvados. I did it with dry cider because I couldn't justify spending £12 on a bottle of calvados for one meal. Now in the book she talks about cleaning bones and stringing up the joint, well I just rang the butcher (on the day!! massive panic!!) and he did it all for me. I have to say this is a really good joint, easy to cook and delicious. Although I think she does go a bit overboard on the apples. The recipe states that you should cook an apple sauce as well as serving it with caramelised apples, I just did the caramelised apples and it was plenty. Just looking at the picture above, we've really got to replace those yellow plates.

Of course the best part of dinner is pudding!!! I love pudding, I would have pudding for starters, mains and dessert if I could. This is a dark chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. Made with philadelphia cheese, dark chocolate, digestive biscuits and cream with an offering of fruit. I made this the day before and put them in the fridge and completely forgot that the chocolate would harden. So most of our time was spent trying to crack through the chocolate.

Gorgeous meal shared with great friends, what could be better?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Flapjack

Every week Zoƫ, Henry and I go to Crafty Tots, a great group which is run by Mums and the children have a short craft, have a run around, play and then we all get to eat cake. Everyone at this group (there are about 6 at the moment) are fantastic bakers and its always exciting to find out what people have made. My offering this week was flapjack. This is one of those great recipes where you bung it all in a pan, mix and bake. I think I might have overbaked it a little as the outside was pretty tough going but the inside was still gooey, and the recipe calls for a pinch of ginger, but I had one of those horrible moments where the lid fell of the ginger pot and turned into a tablespoon, oh well, I thought, I like ginger. This turned out seriously gingery, so of course Zoe loved it, I think she managed to get through two pieces, so she didn't need much dinner that night. The other children were so enthusiastic though as Nat had whipped up some seriously good chocolate chip cupcakes, which were definitely the cakes of the week. Yummy.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Banana and Pecan Thingy.

One of the best things about being able to make cakes is giving them to someone else to enjoy. I make a few cakes for birthdays and christenings and they are always my favourite types. Its all going back to that need to feed people and of course see them happy. I'm sure any psychologists reading this would scream the need to please people/ middle child syndrome!!! This cake, well the majority of it was given to a cake loving friend. She has very kindly offered to eat cakes so that Mark and I don't have to eat everything in the book, now isn't that nice!!!! It does mean that she'll get things with pieces missing, well I have to try them first. This cake was pretty tasty but I ran out of time to add the rum syrup (sorry Ruth!) which I think would have really added to it. I hope it was enjoyed.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Macaroon Debacle

First of all I must start with a confession. The macaroons in the picture are from January and I will explain why. I was given a macaroon book for christmas after watching endless cookery programmes in which they are featured and I was desperate to give them ago. Throughout January I was plagued by them, they just didn't work, eggs were too cold, underbeaten, wrong sugar. But I wasn't to be beaten, then for my birthday I gave Lorraines a go as I'd just bought the book and woohoo they worked and boy are they tasty, just melt in the mouth!

So when I came to make them as part of this project I was going to use them as an entry into the Great Royal Bake off, and make cake sized ones. It's safe to say it didn't work and I am ashamed to say I didn't take a picture. I am sure there are some you who are fed up with everything working and me banging on about how tasty everything is and how easy. Well I got this one wrong. But at least I know where I went wrong, you have to create a sugar syrup and pour it into your beaten egg whites, I made the mistake of not keeping the eggs beating while I added the syrup, which cooled instantly and created sugar strings on the whisk, which felt like bits of plastic bag which had been stuck in a hedge for a while and I had to pick them all out.

Somehow they survived this and I piped them out and baked them anyway, but instead of taking them out when they looked good I waited until the timer went and they went brown (instead of the purple colour I'd dyed them). So all in all a disaster, but I promise in future to show them instead of ignoring them and putting them in the bin.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Baking Madness!!!

Now usually I blog about one dish I've baked per day and I'm about ten dishes ahead of the blog, but today I thought I'd tell you about my mammoth baking weekend which left me feeling all baked out.

Saturday Lunch: Toad in the Hole
These took a while to make because you have to cook the sausages first and then they take another 20 minutes to bake. Lorraine suggests eating them with gravy but just ran out of time and I did buy a bag of salad to eat with it to make it slightly more healthy but that got forgotten, oh well! They went down pretty well, and they became sausage cakes, according to Zoe.

Saturday Dinner: Trout en papillote with Sauternes and Almonds




I have to admit there were a few ingredients missing, the sauternes for starters and I refuse to pay £3.50 for a single fennel! Apart from that it was delicious, it has toasted almonds in it which I wasn't expecting to like but they were really tasty.

Pudding: Melting Puds
Any fan of Masterchef will know that these are the curse of the kitchen and they made me really nervous. These were cooked for a couple of minutes longer than suggested because they were really wobbly and what this photo doesn't show you is the whole thing collapsing seconds later. I was really looking forward to eating these more than anything else in the book and they didn't disappoint. I do wished I'd spent a bit more on some decent chocolate instead of Sainsbury's basic!, but saying that they still tasted pretty damn good.

Sunday Lunch: Omelette
I know, its an omelette, but this is no ordinary omelette, it's a lot more complicated. You have to separate eggs and whip up the whites then fold them into the mixture and bake it in the oven. This omelette was to serve 4, but of course we decided we might as well split it between the two of us. OMG I have never felt so full, so quickly and I was full for the rest of the afternoon. It was nice, but I'm quite happy to make normal omelettes.

Afternoon snack: Peanut butter cookies
Zoe wanted to make something and this recipe was chosen because we had everything we needed in the house. Lorraine definitely knows how to make cookies and shes generous. This recipe made 12 but they were huge!!! They are about 5 inches in diameter and like the chocolate cookies nice and gooey in the centre.


Sunday Dinner: Pastilla Pie
Now this is interesting. It's a Morrocan chicken pie made with honey, cinnamon, coriander and ginger. The chicken mixture is wrapped in filo pasrty and dusted with icing sugar. It took a few bites for my mouth to understand what the hell was going on, but then you get used to it and it's quite tasty. I think I will make it again because it was really easy. Arrgh just remembered the strange bit, before you put the lid on you whip three eggs and pour it over the chicken, so when your eating it you do get these strange bits of scrambled egg.

Sunday pudding: Ricotta Cake
Mark chose this cake for pudding, for the simple reason it was at the top of the list. Its ricotta with orange and cardamom. It's a proper dessert cake, really moist and a bit like a cheesecake. I didn't put at much orange zest in as the recipe said (4 oranges) and I wish I had because then it would have been really good. It's a good pudding to make, just mix it all together and stick it in the oven. This was another case of sharing the love. There were quite a few recipients, Kathryn who had no choice was given a couple of slices and a few cookies, then my parents had a couple of slices and a third of the cake went to school, and after all that there was still two slices left for me and Mark on Monday night. The cake that keeps on giving.


Since I started this project I have baked something from the book everyday, as you can imagine I was all baked out on Monday and I have to say I'm still not quite recovered. But I can now say that I'm at least 20% of the way through. Phew!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pizza with a couple of bits missing.

Officially the title of this dish in the book is Prosciutto, mozzarella and Fig Pizza. Well, we managed the prosciutto and mozzarella but left out the figs. Were not big fig eaters and when you're not going to eat it then you can hardly expect a toddler to. I have a breadmaker and we make our own pizza dough quite often. This method was much quicker with the kitchenaid but I think I prefer our own. This recipe uses olive oil and the flavour was really strong. The bases didn't really crisp up as much as normal either. Tasty but I think I'll stick to the other recipe.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Mascarpone and Brown Sugar Scones


Now one of the best features of these scones is the fact that they are fruit free. This is also one of the bakes where Zoe could help me, well she cut out the scones and had a go at rolling out the mixture. The mascarpone makes these scones sooo soft, really yummy and my topping of choice is lemon curd. Mark of course had butter with a pile of sultanas on the top, we have very different ideas of how scones should be! These scones had a really nice flavour and of course were pretty easy to make. Things are so much easier with a food processor, no rubbing butter and flour together until your thumbs fall off!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tea Loaf/ Squished fly loaf!


Now let me make this clear, I don't do fruit cake! Why spoil a perfectly lovely cake by sticking a load of dried fruit in it. So the Tea Loaf needed some people to love it and therefore eat it, because it just wasn't going to happen in our house, no matter how hard Mark worked at it. So this loaf was donated to the members of Wrexham Symphony Orchestra who will now become regular receivers of fruit cakes for the foreseeable future. Thankfully there aren't that many fruit cakes in the book. I was good though, I did taste, but I'm not converted. However, in terms of baking this is a loaf not a cake so it contains yeast and it needs kneading. To me this seems a lot of effort when you could just make yourself a nice Bara Brith. This loaf has no tea in it either, it is so called because you need a decent cup of tea to drink with it.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Thy Daily Bread

Before I started making this bread I thought 'fantastic, if this goes well I could make fresh bread everyday', well its safe to say that hasn't happened but the bread was still pretty good. All this baking has been made so much easier thanks to my brilliant Kitchen Aid which was a birthday present a couple of years ago and is worth its weight in gold. Basically it does all the kneading and mixing for me which makes this so much quicker to make. The bread was good but came out pretty dense, again. Maybe I should put in the effort and hand knead it, but hey I've got two children to look after and this is taking up enough of my time as it is. Can't beat the taste of fresh bread and it was perfect a day later to make eggy bread.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Yummy double chocolate chip cookies!





For a long time I have been searching for the elusive cookies recipe, crunchy on the outside gooey on the inside. Well, I have finally found it and they are huge!! It's a shame I can't show pictures to scale, these are at least 5 inches in diameter. The problem we are finding with this baking endeavour is eating all the results, I'm desperate to loose baby weight and Mark has been on a diet since 2009! So apart from having a few tastes it would be ridiculous to eat everything ourselves, these cookies therefore had to be shared. I had a friend round the day these were baked and knowing her husband loves cake and biscuits they were sent on their way. Plus I have a terrible need to feed people whether they need it or not! There have been a few other recipients of the baking but I will fill you in as we go. But these cookies are definitely going on the bake again list.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fish Pie and the case of the missing eggs!


Well this was an interesting one. Get the boring stuff out of the way first, pretty basic fish pie made with Salmon and Haddock poached in milk with thyme and peppercorns, then strained and make a white sauce, add prawns and cover with mash potato and breadcrumbs, delicious! The interesting bit is that halfway through the recipe I suddenly had to boil eggs and remove the shell, quarter and put aside, and then that's it, no other mention of the eggs. Are they a little snack to eat halfway through cooking? Luckily we live in a modern age and I Tweeted Lorraine herself with this little problem, and she replied!!!! I was so excited, she apologised saying that it was a publishing error in earlier books and had all been sorted out in recent editions. I don't know where people find the time to reply to stuff on Twitter, if you follow a stream people will be tweeted every few minutes and replying to questions from Joe Public, unless its all a complete ruse and she has banks of assistants typing away on her behalf. I like to keep to the version that she herself took the time and was distraught that anyone would find the mistake.

And the case of the missing eggs, stick them in the sauce she said, well by the time she'd replied the pie was in the oven, so I enjoyed my little eggy snack.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Quick Roast Chicken

Well, this probably won't be one of the most interesting posts I make, after all its roast chicken. Nice, but its roast chicken. Chicken joints cooked with lemon zest, garlic and thyme. Lorraine seems to have a thing for thyme, lots of her recipes use it, luckily we have an incredible amount growing in the garden, one of the few things I managed to keep alive. Instead of roast potatoes though, you roast Butternut Squash along with the same ingredients. It was a nice change and a lot easier the potatoes as there is no need to cook first. Just to make it even more exciting, I steamed some cabbage in butter to go with it, which was actually really tasty!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Oh so easy Soda Bread

 There is something incredibly satisfying about making bread, it must be from Caveman days 'I can feed my family'. This bread was very easy to make, from start to finish it took less than an hour, and that includes 30 minutes baking time. No fussing about letting it rise. I have to say though its a pretty dense bread, you won't be going hungry after eating it. Also because it has Treacle in it, Mark described it as being cakey. We had it with a big bowl of soup so it worked quite well. Zoe wasn't impressed though and just nibbled around the edge. Safe to say the ducks will do well out of it, that's if they can catch it before it sinks to the bottom of the lake. Looks good though!