I have only recently discovered the joys of a slow cooker – the ability to just throw everything into a pot, abandon it and come back hours later to a delicious meal. Slow cookers aren’t just good for meat and stews though, you can cook a lot of things in there that you maybe wouldn’t think to; things like brownies, macaroni cheese, porridge, steamed puddings and cheesecake…….
Archives for November 2015
I can’t believe that Christmas is less than a month away already…November disappeared in the blink of an eye and now Christmas is nearly here and I don’t even know what we’re doing for it yet; I am feeling decidedly non-festive and more than a little Grinchy… So I decided to do a spot of festive baking in an attempt to make myself feel less unenthusiastic about the whole thing. I made these delicious orange and anise snowflake breads; and while I didn’t end up feeling any more festive (I think more mulled wine may be needed), they were incredibly tasty and satisfying and would be perfect as part of a Christmas breakfast or brunch….
It is no secret that I love tea; I drink about seven cups of tea a day but barely notice most of them as I am so busy doing something else at the same time; but sometimes it is good to stop for a moment, take a step back from whatever it is that you are so incredibly busy with and breathe. Take ten minutes for yourself to relax, regroup, savour the tea and come back to whatever you were working on refreshed and focused….
I have been craving doughnuts for several months now, but held off making them until there was an occasion where there would be enough people to eat them all; the problem with doughnuts is that they really are best eaten on the day they are made after which they start to go a bit dry. So when some friends finally hosted a party I took the opportunity to make some to take along….
Vegetarian cottage pie (or shepherds pie, either name works seeing as there is no meat in it to distinguish between them) is a meal that I make fairly regularly as it is so simple, hearty and healthy. Lentils make a great (and very healthy) replacement for meat in a lot of recipes, particularly in warming Winter ones such as stews and pies; and I always have a stash of several different varieties in the cupboard. Although I often cook with dried lentils, they can take a while to cook and some varieties need to be soaked overnight before you can cook them so I also keep tins of pre-cooked lentils for when I want to make something a little more low-effort. I used a tin of lentils in this cottage pie, they really help to bulk it out and make it far more filling than it would be if just made with veg….
Toffee apple gingerbread loaf cake – Soft, moist spiced gingerbread loaf cake with apples and sticky toffee sauce, perfect for bonfire night.
I don’t think that I have ever been to a bonfire night celebration as an adult, though the holiday is tinged with nostalgia; as a child I remember being bundled up warm and heading out as a family to watch the local firework display and burning of the guy; or building a bonfire in the back garden (check for hedgehogs!) and fashioning a guy from old clothes and newspaper and then gleefully setting fire to it… …
I often buy bananas with the intention of letting them go brown and overripe as I love to bake with them; they are horrible to eat as they are, but mash them up and mix them into cake, or milkshake, or pancakes and they become something truly delicious. The smell of banana bread baking is utterly irresistible; when I don’t want to wait for banana bread to bake though, banana pancakes are the next best thing. They are super quick and easy to make, taste amazing and are much healthier than cake!…