Citrus Yoghurt & Black Sugar Pudding


I was really excited when The Good Table dropped onto my doorstep and I have really enjoyed reading it, but it has taken me months to get around to making something from it. I don't quite know why. So I am glad to get started and this was an ideal dish to start with. Simple and very quick to put together after a hard day at work. Just layer it up and pop it in the fridge and by the time you have finished your main course it is just perfect. A nice light end to a meal.

In fact that is what I like about this about this book, it is full of comfort food that anyone can make, nothing fancy, just simple recipes full of fabulous flavours to tempt anyone lucky enough to pick it up and turn the pages. There is even a chapter on toast or as Valentine puts it "Toast as a Vehicle".

* Boiled New Potatoes with Stinking Bishop & Spring Onions
* Artichoke with Poached Egg & Hollandaise Sauce
* Ceps & Apples in Puff Pastry
* Mushrooms Baked with Hazelnuts & Pecorino
* Tomatoes with Dijon Mustard & Cream on Toast
* Pear & Chocolate Frangipane Tart
* Barbecued Pineapple with White Rum

Tempted yet?

When I reviewed Jamie's Great Britain, I received a lot of positive comments about the fact I gave a recipe count of the dishes suitable for vegetarians, so that is something I intend to take forward with this and future cookbook reviews.


The Good Table
by Valentine Warner
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (5 September 2011)
ISBN: 978-1845335403
Veggie Recipe Count: 84
Note: Several of the dishes not included in the count could also be easily adapted to suit vegetarians.




print recipe
Citrus Yoghurt & Black Sugar Pudding

January 26, 2012

A simple dessert that can be whipped up a couple of hours before you need it and left in the fridge. So quick and easy. The muscovado sugar makes a sweet syrup which cuts through the tang of citrus. Just scrumptious!

Oh and you can reduce the quantities quite easily, it doesn't have to be exact to be yummy. Just throw it together and then marvel at the flavours.
Ingredients
  • 1kg greek yoghurt
  • finely grated zest of 3 large unwaxed limes
  • finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed oranges
  • finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 150g muscovado sugar
Instructions
1. Put the yoghurt in a bowl and mix in all the zest.2. Take a glass serving dish and put just under half the citrus yoghurt in the bottom, then evenly scatter over half the sugar. (Muscovado tends to get little hard lumps in it, so really try to crumble them out between your thumb and finger.)3. Add the rest of the yoghurt in dollops over the sugar and them gently spread it out with the back of a spoon so as not to drag the first layer of sugar around too much.4. Scatter the rest of the sugar on the top and place the puddin, covered, in the fridge for up to a couple of hours but no more.5. Serve alone, or with biscuits, or poached fruit - or both, God damn it!
Details
Total time: Yield: Serves 6-8





Disclosure Statement: I received this book free from the publisher to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
19

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes


I don't often make cupcakes. I am not a huge fan of them to be honest, although they do look so pretty and tempting. However, a while back I bought a set of large piping nozzles from Lakeland and I wanted to try them out.





I got in touch with Prezzybox and asked them if they could send me one of their Mini Cupcake Makers to try and before I knew it, it had arrived, all pink and pretty.

Cooper was very excited to try it out. Every time I turned round he would be following me with the box. He couldn't wait for the weekend to come and the making of the cakes.

The Mini Cupcake Maker is super easy to use. When you take it out of the box, give it a quick clean then wipe it over with the smallest amount of oil and switch it on to heat up. This takes about 5 minutes. Then spoon your cake mix in, until each well is 2⁄3 full (there is no need to use cases, although you can if you wish). Shut the lid and leave the cakes to bake for 8-12 minutes and voila. The cutest little cupcakes that just slide out of the wells.

I used the recipe on the box for my first trial, just adding a little vanilla for extra flavour. I was very pleased with them. A good basic recipe to start with. I piped orange flavoured butter icing onto the cupcakes once they were cool. What a diffence it makes using a decent sized nozzle. It make icing the cakes a breeze. The icing wasn't perfect, but much better than my previous attempts.





print recipe

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
A good basic vanilla cupcake mix.
Ingredients
  • 125g soft, unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Add your butter and sugar to a stand mixer and mix until pale and fluffy. (You can do this by hand or use an electric hand whisk)2. Add the vanilla, milk, eggs and flour and mix until combined. Do not overmix as this will result in a heavy cupcake.3. Spoon some of your cake mix into each of the wells until they are about two thirds full.4. Bake for 8-12 minutes until a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.5. Slide out of the wells and leave to cool on a rack before icing.notes: If you are baking these cupcakes in an oven. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake at 325f/160c/140c fan/gas 3 for about 16 minutes. Do the skewer test with these too.I have given the time for one batch of cupcakes using the cupcake maker.
Details
Total time: Yield: 18 mini cupcakes





print recipe

Orange Butter Icing
Fresh orange juice and orange peel give this butter icing a lovely subtle orange flavour.
Ingredients
  • 150g soft, unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • finely grated peel from 1 orange
Instructions
1. Whizz the butter in a stand mixer (you can also use a whisk or an electric hand whisk) until really soft.2. While the butter is whizzing gradually add the icing suagr, orange juice and peel. Whizz until smooth.3. Pipe onto your cupcakes preferably using a disposable piping bag (less washing up) and a large nozzle (gives a more professional finish).4. Top with a wee chocolate decoration or any other decoration you prefer.
Details
Total time: Yield: enough for 18 mini cupcakes




The Mini Cupcake Maker from Prezzybox, comes in at a bargian price of £19.95. They also have a large selection of other Cupcake Goodies.


Disclosure Statement: I received this mini cupcake maker free from Prezzybox to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
28

Super Mud Smoothie


Cooper loves smoothies, but this one was for both of us. I wanted to start adding vegetables into his smoothies, to up the nutrients. I decided to start with spinach.

I made this smoothie and added yoghurt and milk. I always have a tub of Total Greek Yoghurt in the fridge for Cooper and last minute desserts and they do a 0% fat version, if you are watching your weight. I don't think you can get a better yoghurt. I am rather addicted to it.

I am going to try this smoothie as a pure juice drink next time. I don't know why I didn't pour myself some to try before adding the yoghurt and milk, but it is possible that Cooper may well have been urging me to hurry up at this point.

This smoothie is a sludgy colour, but don't let that put you off, it is very tasty and so good for you. A great way to start the day.




print recipe
Super Mud Smoothie

A sludgy coloured smoothie. Packed with nutrients and flavour. The secret ingredient is spinach, but you don't taste it among the other flavours. A sneaky good-for-you drink, tested and approved by my two year old.
Ingredients
  • 150g raspberries
  • 50g spinach
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
1. Squeeze enough oranges to a cup with juice.2. Wilt the spinach. I like to pop the spinach in a colander and pour over a kettle full of boiling water, then pour cold water over the spinach to refresh it, then squeeze out the excess water before drying on a clean tea towel.3. Add the orange juice, spinach, raspberries and banana to a food processor and whizz until smooth.4. Add the milk and yoghurt and whizz until combined.5. Strain the smoothie through a sieve to catch any large pieces of spinach.6. Enjoy.
Details
Total time: Yield: 3 glasses





I am submitting my smoothie to a new foodie challenge from Ren over at Fabulicious Food. Ren came up with the idea for a weekly event called Family Friendly Fridays, to highlight family mealtimes.
17

Skinny Topcorn


This month Metcalfe's Skinny Topcorn is arriving on the shelves of Caffe Nero coffee shops across the UK. To celebrate this, those kind folks at Metclafe's sent me a rather large box full of popcorn to nibble on.

There are four flavours to sink your teeth into. Here is what the company says about each flavour and what I thought:

Wasabi - Popcorn with a twist. Our wasabi flavour adds a tangy, sweet, mustardy kick to our Topcorn. Mild but enjoyably confident.

Energy Values (kcal) per pack - 121
Fat (g) per pack - 6.5
- of which saturates (g) - 0.7



This was the flavour I liked the least. They weren't as strong in flavour and heat as I expected, but they still weren't for me. I think this is a niche flavour.




Sea Salt - Popcorn lightly tossed in natural Sea Salt; a timeless classic that is still as popular as ever.

Energy Values (kcal) per pack - 115
Fat (g) per pack - 6.5
- of which saturates (g) - 0.7





These were nothing exciting. Very pleasant and the quality of the popcorn does shine through. I would happily munch on these.




Sweet n' Salt - We didn’t want to make you choose between salt & sweet. These two taste bud tinglers have been mixed for maximum flavour, it might sound wrong but it tastes so right.

Energy Values (kcal) per pack - 123
Fat (g) per pack - 6.2
- of which saturates (g) - 0.4




Now things start to get interesting! These are so, so good. You are first teased with sugar and then in moves the salt. The sugar isn't teeth-achingly sweet, but just right as is the hint of salt. I am intrigued as to how they manage to keep the flavours separate like that, but the maybe that is just how the tongue experiences the two flavours. Answers on a postcard!



Chocolate Crackle - Thin strands of delicious chocolate crackle drizzled over our sublime skinny topcorn. Made possible by our hand built warm chocolate drizzling conveyor. We’ve got a new improved recipe that is extra delicious but with 65% less fat!

Energy Values (kcal) per pack - 212
Fat (g) per pack - 2.9
- of which saturates (g)- 0.4


I knew these would be my favourite as soon as I spotted the bag. What could be better than chocolate drizzled popcorn? I immediately warned off everyone, the chocolate crackle popcorn was mine!

You can also buy skinny topcorn online here or from these retailers.


Pop over to Little Tums so see my toddler Cooper in his first video post making his own snacks. Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.
20

Mini Savoury Mince Pies (veggie)


These simple little mince pies are great for lunch. Cooper enjoyed one with baked beans, but we just chomped into them without the beans. They would actually be quite good with a layer of beans or mashed potato on top of the mince filling.

You can use ready-made pastry or homemade pastry. It's up to you.




print recipe
Mini Savoury Mince Pies (veggie)
These are a veggie version of meat and vegetable pies. These mini pies are great for lunch or just as a snack. They are also the perfect size for little ones to hold.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large flat mushroom, chopped
  • 100g frozen veggie mince
  • ½ pint/ 1 cup vegetable stock (1 cube)
  • ¼ pint/ ½ cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 block shortcrust pastry
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. 2. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent.3. Add the carrot and cook gently for a few minutes until starting to soften.4. Add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes.5. Add the veggie mince and stir well. Mix the cornflour with a little of the stock and mix in.6. Add the rest of the stock and the wine. Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until the gravy has thickened. Season and set aside to cool.7. Roll out the pastry and cut out 24 circles. Line a muffin tin with 12 of the circles and fill with mince filling. Wet the edge of the pastry and top with another pastry circle. Pinch together to seal. Make a little cut in the top of each to let out steam. 8. Brush each pie with milk or egg wash and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Details
Total time: Yield: 10 - 12 depending on size



29

How to add a recipe index to your blog

I have a question for you. Are the recipes on your blog easy to find? Are you relying on people using the search button or clicking on labels? If you are, it may be time to add a recipe index to your sidebar. It really is the best way to display all your recipes.

I have passed this code on to a few bloggers who have asked for my help, but I thought it would be a good thing to share at the start of a new year. I am taking inspiration from Jeanne (Cook Sister), who reminded us during her talk at Bite N Write that we should all support each other and share knowledge, not keep it to ourselves. A good adage for bloggers, especially food bloggers. We have such a supportive community.




To add an index to your sidebar:

1. In blogger: Open the Design Tab and in Page Elements click on Add a Gadget. Select HTML/JavaScript. It is probably laid out a little differently in Wordpress.

2. Copy the code below and paste into the box. Replace the red text with your own information. Save once you have finished. I have tried to make it as simple as possible. It will take some time to index all your recipes, but you can just do a few at a time and add more as you go.

Code to copy and paste:


<div class="clear"></div>
<div id="HTML2" class="widget HTML">
<h2 class="title">Recipes (or add your own index title)</h2>
<div class="widget-content">

<select onchange="self.location.href=''+this.options[this.selectedIndex].value+''" style="width:222px" class="tinyselect">
<option value="" /> name of first category ie pasta
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe

</select> always end each category with this

<select onchange="self.location.href=''+this.options[this.selectedIndex].value+''" style="width:222px" class="tinyselect">
<option value="" /> name of second category
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe

</select> end of category

<select onchange="self.location.href=''+this.options[this.selectedIndex].value+''" style="width:222px" class="tinyselect">
<option value="" /> name of third category
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe
<option value="recipe url" /> name of recipe

</select> end of category


</div></div><strong></strong><strong></strong> this is the end of the index


3.Add as many recipes and categories as you like, just make sure you start each category with:

<select onchange="self.location.href=''+this.options[this.selectedIndex].value+''" style="width:222px" class="tinyselect">
<option value="" />

and end each category with:

</select>

I hope you give it a go. Do leave me a comment and let me know how you get on. If you have any problems, just drop me an email.

Thanks to Angie, who kindly helped me with my code originally.

Sharing the blog love
81

How to add code to a post as text

I came across a problem when I was publishing my first 'how to' post' (How to add a recipe index to your blog). The code I was publishing for other bloggers to use was turning into it's function (ie a drop down list style index) instead of just text for bloggers to copy and paste.

After a search on google proved fruitless, I popped onto twitter and put out a call for help. Monica over at SmarterFitter was able to help me and with a wee tweek it eventually worked.

Here is what to do:

1. Each time you have a < in your code, replace it with

2. Each time you have a > in your code, replace it with


Another tip from Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours:

If you are emailing people html, send it in a wordpad document. A wordprocessor can add formatting which can stop it working.
9

Banana, Coconut & Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

Banana, Coconut & Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

We recently had a family day out with friends to Stirling Castle. I wanted to bake something to take with us, but it had to be something easy to nibble on as we explored the castle and the castle grounds.

Scottish Flapjacks


Flapjacks seemed ideal. I wanted to make them with banana, so I scoured the internet for recipes and read a few to get an idea of how much to use, then set about experimenting.

I'm happy to say the first batch came out beautifully, well at least if you ignore the fact that I poured in the liquid while it was still hot and melted my chocolate chips. Doh!

Melted chocolate or not they were a hit especially with the toddlers.

Note to self, wait until the wet ingredients have cooled before pouring into the oat mix, then add the chocolate chips last!






print recipe

Banana, Coconut & Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

Written by

January 11, 2012

These are the chewy type of flapjacks. If you prefer a crisper flapjack you simply bake them for longer, but I love them just the way they are.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 cups porridge oats
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
1. Heat the oven to gas mark 3/325f/160c/140c fan.2. Grease a tray or brownie pan.3. In a large bowl mix together the oats, sugar, coconut and chocolate chips.4. Mash a banana until it is squidgy and soft.5. In a small pan, melt together the butter and golden syrup and mix in the banana.6. Leave the melted butter mixture to cool slightly and then mix into the oats. I was too impatient and my chocolate melted. Whoops! It still tasted good, but choc chips would have been nice.7. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out near the end and test with your finger, it should be slightly springy if you want a chewy flapjack. Leave it in longer if you want a crisper flapjack.8. Cut into squares while still warm.9. Enjoy!
Details
Total time: Yield: 24 squares of flapjack


Stirling Castle

Scotland



Stirling Castle sits on a huge volcanic rock overlooking the River Forth at the point where the lowlands of Scotland and the Highlands of Scotland meet.

It's stood there for centuries and has been both a royal residence and a stronghold for soldiers. 

Two famous battles took place in or near the castle. The famous battle of Stirling Bridge (the first battle for Scottish Independence for Scotland in 1297 where William Wallace and his men defeated the English invaders) and the Battle of Bannockburn (where Robert the Bruce and his men took back the castle from the English monarch King Edward II in 1314.  

When the Scots weren't fighting for their independence, Scottish royalty visited the castle to hunt and hold court. It was also the meeting place for the Scottish government, which now sits in Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle was also the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots and her son James the 1 and  VI,  who was the first King to rule Scotland and England. The castle later became a military castle housing the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

I hope you enjoy my photos of the castle.



















Back to baking.

Try these next

chocolate and banana flapjack cookies


If you like these flapjacks, try my chocolate and banana flapjack cookies.
28
Back to Top