Saturday, 5 January 2013

Yoghurt Cake

This cake is so easy to make and children will love to help in the kitchen. It is called yoghurt cake as it uses a 125ml yoghurt pot to measure out all the ingredients.

Yoghurt Cake
1 x carton natural yoghurt (also works well with flavoured yoghurt - just choose your favourite)
1 x carton sunflower oil
2 x cartons sugar
3 x cartons SR flour
3 cartons mixed ried fruit
3 eggs

1.  Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper
2.  Pre-heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3
3.  Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well creamed together - use either a wooden
     spoon or electric mixer
4.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for one and a half hours until the cake is risen, golden and springs back when touched.  a skewer inserted should come out clean.
5.  Leave in the tin to cool
6. Store in an airtight tin  - will keep for a few days

You could vary the ingredients and add cocoa to make it chocolate, or add different mixed fruits with some nuts. 
Whatever you choose enjoy this quick and easy cake to make.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Fake-Away Chinese Food

Love Chinese food? but hate that false taste with high fat, high sugar and salt, then make your own in just 15 minutes.  I love this easy recipe and you could make the sauce to go with any meat or fish you like.  I use Chicken as it is low in fat.

Sweet and Sour Chicken - (Fake-away)
1 tabsp. oil (I use olive oil, but you can use veg oil)
1 onion - peeled and diced
1 green pepper - de-seeded and sliced
1 yellow peper - de-seeded and sliced
thumb piece of fresh ginger - peeled and grated
1 can pineapple pieces
1 can water chestnuts - cut in half
2 chicken breasts - cut into chunks (I use scissors, it's easier)
100ml pineapple juice - drained from can
150ml water
2 tabsp. tomato sauce
2 tabsp. brown sugar
2 tabsp. white wine vinegar
2 tabsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornflour
Rice - I use sticky Jasmine or Egg Fried Rice (bought from supermarket)

1. Drain the juice from the pineapple into a bowl, add the water, tomato sauce, white wine vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar.
2. Mix a drop of water and the cornflour together to make a paste, add to the bowl and mix well.
3.  Heat the oil in a large frypan and fry the onion and peppers for 3 - 4 mins
4.  Add the chicken and continue stirring until changes colour and starts to brown - don't over cook
5.  Add the grated ginger, water chestnuts and pineapple - stir well
6.  Add the sauce mixture and continu to stir until it starts to boil.
turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 8-10 mins until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has started to thicken.
7.  Microwave the rice according to the instructions - I use 1 tub or 2 if we are really hungry.

Place the rice on a plate and heap the Sweet and Sour over it.

This is such a great recipe and I know what all the ingredients are.  You can of course make your own rice, but I buy it on a Friday night ready for our Fake - Away.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Cheese, Leek and Onion Pasties

So much rich food over the past week that I thought I would share this recipe with you.  Make it from those store cupboard items and eat cold as a snack, or serve with a green salad.  Whatever you choose enjoy!

Cheese, Leek and Onion Pasties (makes 8)
400g potatoes - peeled and roughly chopped into small chunks
300ml cold water
vegetable stock
2 me3dium leeks - trimmed and cut into 5mm slices
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
500g white bread mix
100g mature Cheddar cheese - grated
black pepper

1.  Put the potatoes into a large pan with the cold water, crumble over the stock cube and bring to the
     boil and cook for 5 minutes.
2.  Add the leeks and onion and continue to cook for a further 5 - 10 mins until the vegetables are
3. Leave to cool
4.  Make the pastry by following the instructions on the packet of bread mix - until you reach the
     stage of shaping the dough.
5.  Divide the dough into 8 pieces, flatten out and into rounds.
6.  Stir the grated cheese into the vegetables, add some seasoning to taste.
7.  Pre-heat the oven to Gas 6/220C
8.  Divide the vegetable mixture onto the shaped dough.
9.  Brush with milk and seal the edges.
10  Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and hot inside.

Serve warm or cold

I sometimes use packet pizza mix, which works just as well

Monday, 31 December 2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Titanic Belfast

The Peace Wall - Belfast

Titanic Belfast Exhibition Centre - Belfast Harbour

The two cranes at Harland and Wolf shipyard

What a wonderful weekend. We decided to visit Titanic Belfast after watching a programme on TV and of course it is a hundred years ago that the great ship sank on her maiden voyage to New York.We sailed from Cainryan on the West coast of Scotland straight into Belfast harbour by Stena Line.We managed to get a great deal: our price of £23.00 per adult included the ferry crossing, coach transfer to the exhibition and the entrance fee to Titanic.Our crossing was flat calm with the sun shining - a rare treat on the Irish Sea.On our approach to Belfast Harbour the first thing you see is the two giant cranes from the Harland and Wolf shipyard - they have been there forever and are a landmark to Belfast. The coach took approximately 10 minutes to the exhibition centre and as you approach you see the most amazing building - built to represent the Titanic.We had timed tickets, which means you can enter at the specific time and are then free to wander around, taking your time to see everything - lots to see and do.the tour starts in Belfast with the planning of the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympus and includes what life was like for the workers in 1900. The Titanic took 2 years to build and fit out before her launch in 1912. The exhibition contains photographs of the people who sailed and worked on the ship. Perhaps the two luckiest workers were fireman who missed the departure as they were drunk in the pub and a photographer, who was offered a passage but decided at the last minute to leave the ship and go home. The whole exhibition offers the greatest insight into the life of the Titanic. The last room to visit shows her as she is to-day, lying on the seabed. Photographs and images from a camera that were takern earlier this year. I really felt I was there, experiencing the sights and sounds as she wnet to her watery grave.The coach collected us again at the said time and we were taken on a tour of Belfast city. It muist be some 20 years since I visited the city and so many changes - new buildings and a more peaceful place. We visited the Peace Wall which still stands and thousnads of people from all over the world have written messages of peac over the many piees of art work. Still a bit spooky with the electric gates that close every evening and at the weekends, but peace is uppermost in everyones minds and who knows one day the wall may come down.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Hello and I am back

Oh! boy have got alot of catching up to do. Home for the summer and just never got back to blogging. Missed everyone who dropped by and now I have to make time for me and for you. The Village Show leaflet dropped through my letter box last week. This is our annual village show where everyone can enter their crafts, baking, garden produce and almose anything really. I have decided to enter some of the categories for fun and will attempt to make a bag, a floral decoration in a jug, bake a traybake and some brownies and maybe have a go at a limerick. I have been searching for ideas how to make fabric flowers as I feel they will go well in a jug. So better get back to being creative and will post my ideas once everything is completed. Hope you all have a great weekend and good to be back.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Lemon Marmalade

The first ever national marmalade week is being celebrated here in the UK. It kick-starts in the Lake District on 25th February for two wweeks. Not wanting to miss an opportunity I am making Orange Ginger Marmalade and a new Lemon Marmalade. I will be selling them at school to help raise money for our new Fairtrade Tuckshop.
Lemon Marmalade

900g lemons
3.4litres water
675g sugar per 450g pulp

Wash and dry the fruit. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Remove the pips, inside skin and pith. Tie these in a piece of muslin.
Cut the peel finely or coarsley according to preference
Put the peel in a large bowl with the bag of pips and the juice. Add the water and leave to soak overnight
Weight the preserving pan and make a note of the weight.
Put the soaked peel, pith and pips into it with the water and juice
Bring to the boil and simmer until the peel is soft and the contents of the pan have been reduced by half - approx 1 hour
Lift out the bag of pips and pith squeexing it against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon
Reweigh the pan and subtract from this weight the original weight of the empty pan to calculate the weight of the remaining pupl.
Add 675g warm sugar to each 450g of pulp, stir until all the sugar has dissolved
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the marmalade is set when tested on a cold saucer.
Remove any scum and leave to cool slightly
Pot and seal whilst still hot

Makes about 6-7 jars.

Something a bit different try to celelbrate marmalade week.