Recipe Recomendation Thursday: Single Serve Jumbo Cookie

Now I know that it looks like I’m only posting sweet recipes. I promise you I’m not. I posted a savoury one last week for honey buffalo chicken sliders from Recipe Tin Eats, one of my favourite blogs for savoury recipes. 

  Unfortunatly that post has somehow fallen off the blog and vanished. Suffice it to say this is an excellent, easy, slow cooked recipe which was equally as good when stirred through pasta with a bit of Parmesan. Yum!
Anyway, today’s recipe recomendation is a whole lot more last minute. For when you just need a cookie. And oh boy are these cookies good. You can make them with ‘healthier’ ingredients or not; I’ve tried both versions (though used plain flour, not almond flour for both) and they were equally delicious. 

 

I promise they didnt look this aneamic in real life!
 
When warm out of the oven these babies are gooey and crumbly and gorgeous. They are similarly wonderful when cold. Cafedelites has turned up trumps with this single serving recipe which is quick, easy, cheep and delicious. The Boyfriend and I made them two days in a row…

Note: do sprinkle the sea salt over the cookies at the end of cooking, it makes all the difference! 

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Recipe Recomentations Thursday: Banana choc chip cupcakes with chocolate and peanut butter swirled frosting

I thought I’d start off this post series which a recipe that really needs no introduction other than its title… 

Make these, love these, savour them.

And fear not all you bake-fobes the boyfriend has never made cupcakes before and he made and iced these all by himself as his first attempt!

These cupcakes are divine, the frosting is delicious and the recipe makes 18, so plenty to share. (Ha!)

On the cost front the peanut butter is rather expensive, but it’s still cheaper (and tastier) then buying from the shops!

Washing up was slightly more than for an average baking recipe due to the extra icing, but it wasn’t difficult to do as we went along.

If you fancy something sweet – but not overwhelmingly so- this weekend, make these!

Banana chocolate chip cupcakes with peanut and milk chocolate frosting from Sally’s Baking Adddiction

Homemade Tortilla Crisps

Oh ladies and gentleman, am I coming back swinging!

This is a belter of a recipe! It’s totally awesome; here’s why:

  • It’s cheep
  • It’s easy
  • It’s quick
  • It’s crazy amounts of tasty
  • it is just so so good!!

 

Yes my wonderful friends, I am talking about a recipe for homemade tortilla chips/crisps / Doritos / yummyness defined, made for smothering in the molten loveliness that is cheese. My mouth, it waters!

I cannot overstate the ridiculous ease of this recipe and if you do your kneeding / rolling on a chopping board you only have to wipe it down, no extra cleaning of flour from on top of (and under) everything.

 

With no further ado you will need:

  • Plain flour (quarter of a cup packed with flour will roughly serve two people – or one Girlfriend Gardener!)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Boiling water

 

The method couldn’t be simpler:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. About a tablespoon at a time add the boiling water and stir in with a knife till the dough looks like a collection of large crumbs with a small amount of unbound flour left.

Tip the mixture onto a worksurface or large chopping board and mix roughly till a smooth, soft dough forms. (I make my dough more on the slightly sticky side as I’m lazy / constantly behind schedule and like to roll it out immediately so need it to be more pliable without resting.)

Flour your worksurface and pull off a piece of dough roughly the size of a golf ball. Dust the dough lightly with flour and roll out to about 1mm thick (thinner of you can stand the constant sticking!). Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat a dry frying pan on high till you can feel the heat of you hover a hand over its surface. Toss in a tortilla. After a minute or so you should see teeny tiny bubbles forming or drying of the top of the bread, flip it now!

Wait for the other side to cook (usually it will suddenly puff up), and if there are still uncooked patches, flip one last time for a few seconds before removing to a chopping board. Repeat with remaining dough.

Slice the tortillas into whatever shapes your heart desires (I went for a rectangle and triangle combo) and lay on a baking tray.

Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and chilli powder if desired and place into the oven.

Check the pieces regularly from about 3 minutes onwards as they can suddenly burn. Once crisp and slightly puffed, remove from the oven and serve as desired.

Enjoy!

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I served these babies with this delicious taco soup from Recipe Tin Eats alongside fresh coriander, homemade yoghurt and a chopped avocado. Totally, utterly YUM! If you make one thing this week, let it be Recipe Tin Eats’ pulled pork carnitas and the soup. The Boyfriend has declared it a weekly requirement!

I even ended up building  a tortilla crisp Stonehenge…

Please excuse the lack of prettiness on this one.

GG, over and out xx

Tasty Ass Burgers and Sweet Spud Wedges

Its come to that time of year again; when I need a big pot of bolognese or soup or stew bubbling away as a constant, reassuring, warming presence. 

It’s Autumn. The changing colours make it official, and it’s been happening for some time now, but my little brain was too engrossed in surviving work to really notice it. Untill now. This week I have cooked up a storm of hearty, wholesome dishes. But amidst the soups, fresh pastas, stews and cooked breakfasts, one dish grabbed my taste buds, screaming for attention. Tasty Ass Burgers With All The Trimmings. Oh momma they were good! 

Did I mention that I made the recipe up entirely and had never made a burger before in my life?

Oh yeah…


On with the recipe.

I served my Tasty Ass Burgers with:

  • Balsamic Baby Kale (Covelo Nero)
  • Skinny Sweet Spuds
  • Avocado Slices
  • Goats Cheese and Tomato With Balsamic Glaze and Maldon Sea Salt
  • Baby Leaf Salad and Ketchup
  • Soft Wholemeal Buns that I couldn’t be bothered to make 

Today I’m posting the recipe for the burgers and spuds.

Spuds:

So easy that I’m vaguely embarrassed to call it a recipe.

Ingredients 

1 -2 Sweet Potatoes per person

A few spritzes of spray oil (I used a coconut blend spray from adds)

Salt (I used Maldons Sea Salt ‘cos I was feeling posh, but you can use any.)

Pepper and any spices of your choice to taste. (The burgers were so flavourful that I left my spuds naked – nought more than salt and pepper!)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200 C.

Chop your spuds into skinny wedges and arrange them on a baking tray before giving a few spritzes of spray oil. (Alternatively you could just coat them in a drizzle of the oil of your choice.) 

Sprinkle with salt.

  
Stick them in the oven. Forget about them for half an hour or so, then panick and shout at -ask politely- The Boyfriend to remove the tray from the oven, flip the wedges, spritz with a little more oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return to the oven till well coloured with a few blackened spots. (About 15 minutes)

  
Tada! Tasty wedges. Serve with ketchup (nom!) for dipping.

Tasty Ass Burgers:

Maaaaan, these were so tasty and delicious, especially when topped with home grown kale, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, a tomato circle and a slice of goats cheese. Heaven.

The burgers are perfectly freezer safe when raw and wrapped in cling film. I reckon they’ll be good in there for about 3 months.

This recipe made 6 fat burgers.

Ingredients:

750(ish) grams of minced beef (I think ours was 15% fat, but you can use any)

Half an Onion (I used white, feel free to use red) finely chopped

One Egg

A handful of breadcrumbs 

2-3 cloves of garlic finely minced

A pinch of dried Porcini mushrooms, rehydrated as per pack instructions and finely chopped (these adds umami yummyness; feel free to add more. I added only a liberal pinch as we can’t afford to buy these regularly, and a pinch really is plenty)

Half a teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt (or any salt, for that matter)

~ Quarter of a teaspoon ground pepper (to taste)

A fistful of marjoram, thyme and chives, finely chopped

Method:


Bung all of your ingredients into a large bowl.

  Please excuse the blurry pictures!

Now roll up your sleeves and get your hands into that mix! Give it a really good squidge with your hands, and sort of squidge and kneed untill it feels fairly consistent  in texture throughout. (Bar the odd chunk of onion)

 

Squidge!

Turn on your George Foreman grill thingy, whack a pan on the hobb over a high heat or stick the grill on. (I used the George foreman pressed thingy grill for mine).

Put a piece of cling film down on your work surface.

Divide the burger mix into 6 equal(ish) chunks, and shape each one into a patty, laying it on the cling film when done.

  
Grill your burgers. (Mine went into the George Foreman one at a time) for about 5 minutes or so, flipping half way, to get a blackened(ish – you don’t want a charcoal burger!) top and base, and a tender, juicy inside. 

If you can, let the burgers sit for five minutes to relax. (I popped mine on the bottom shelf of the oven, which was switched off but still warm from the spuds.) In the meantime you can prep your ‘trimmings’.

(I couldn’t resist a few fancy pants swizzles of balsamic glaze)

  

Serve and fill your boots! (Please do try these with kale, goats cheese and balsamic glaze, it’s fit!)

  
I hope you’re having a great week in your kitchens and your gardens.

  
GG, over and out xx

Potstickers

I am a sucker for comfort food, and potstickers are the perfect comfort food; flavoursome, meaty little dumplings that can be steamed, fried, boiled or (according to my local takeaway) grilled, you can choose the blanket of loveliness that you’ll  wrap your tummy in.

I use this recipe, and have done many times. You can play about with it a bit and it never fails. (I’ve only made the pork one, can’t afford shrimp!)
For the love of good food, please find a spare hour or so to make these, the recipe makes loads, so you can freeze any extra for another day.
My cupboards were fairly bare when I made these, so I improvised my dipping sauce with Japanese Rice Wine Vinegar, Soft Brown Sugar and Reduced Salt Soy Sauce, all to taste. (Just dip a spoon in and adjust till you think “yum!”)  

 

Spiced Plum Sauce

I made this delicious plum sauce over the weekend to accompany a roast dinner. This would be fantastic, I think, with any rich meat such as duck or goose, but the spiced tartness cut equally well across the flavour of roast chicken and veg.

Now is the time to head out to pick wild plums if you have five minutes spare. The bush I picked my handful of plums from was almost like a steroid-spiked sloe, but any plums will do, preferably on the tarter side. 
Method:

Just cover the base of a saucepan with water and add in a handful or so of plums. Heat on high for a few minutes till the skins split. 

Pass the plums through a sieve back into the pan. Add to the plum purée one tsp of cinnamon, two cloves, a bay leaf, one tbsp of dark muscovado sugar, one tbsp of light brown soft sugar and return to a simmer for a minute or two, stirring. Remove from the heat and serve. (Don’t forget to catch the cloves and bay) 
I, for one, will be freezing more plums to cook on Christmas Day with my roast.
I hope you’re having a great week,
GG 

Sloe Gin and Elderberry Vodka Recipe

My goodness, what a weekend I’ve had! It’s been wonderfully manic.

Speaking of wonderful, I have made Sloe Gin and Elderberry Vodka – and very excited about them I am too. So excited in fact, that I couldn’t wait untill I’d tasted them to tell you how I made them. (And what would be the point? By the time christmas comes around all of the sloes will be gone and you’ll have to wait a whole YEAR to make this wonder of wonders and delight of deliciousness.) Ahem… Anyway, so as I was saying, if you want to wait how my batch turnes out before you try these recipes you could simply pick the Sloes and Elderberries now, freeze them, – which wonderfully saves you having to do the arduous pricking I explain later by splitting the skins for you – and make this in the new year. Then you can drink these beauties next winter; which is actually a rather good idea as they only get better with age.

I do apologise for all my rambling, only the thought of these treats has me a little exciteable. You see, I’m trying to make both for the first time. I love Sloe Gin; it’s delicious and wonderful and just what you need in the depths of winter. However it’s the Elderberry Vodka that I am really looking forewards to tasting. My Czech grandmother makes a medicinal liquer from the berries which is delicious enough to make me happy to have a cold. I have been known on occasion to even FAKE a cold (I’m a terrible person, I know) to get this delightful drink into contact with my tastebuds. The elderberry liquer of my childhood is sweet, and sticky, and earthy and round and warm despite being served at room temperature on a tablespoon. It’s what medicine SHOULD taste like. And to boot, it’s super high in antioxidants. Drinking it should be mandatory.

I suspect that the alcohol my Grandmother uses to make this is the ledgendary Slivovic (Fire water, according to Dad). With a dire shortage of the stuff in the UK, I had to settle for plain Vodka, and hope it worked the same. In the absense of a recipe for either of these drinks, I also had to sort of ‘wing it’, researching the recipes on the internet first, and then making random informed decisions as I went along.

The process for both drinks is exactly the same and entirely interchangeable, so I’m presenting them together:

Berry Liquer:

  • Pick berries of you choice.
  • Buy liquer of your choice. (Gin and Vodka seem popular)
  • Remove berries from any remaining stems and ensure they are clean.
  • Decant about 1/4 of the liquer from your bottle into another container. (You could make this container a ‘humble jumble lets see what happens if we mix all the leftovers pot’ like I have, or you could drink the excess…)
  • If using sloes, you either freeze them overnight to split the skins, or prick them all over to the same effect, If using any other berry (use your judgement here; if you’re using plums or gooseberries for example I suspect you’d have to split their skins too) then just use as they are.
  • Add the berries to your liquer (or if using fancy pants jars or mason jars, add the berries first and then cover with liquer) till they fill about 1/3 of the bottle. Leave room at the top of the bottle, as you need room to shake the contents and add syrup in a few months time.
  • Pop the lids back on (I disenfected mine in boiling water first), and leave somewhere dark for at least 2 – 3 months, shaking every day or so.
  • After 2 – 3 months, open your bottles and strain out the berries, returning the liquid to the bottles.
  • Make a syrup with equal parts sugar and water to taste in a pan. Cool slightly and then pour through a funnel into the bottle and shake well. Taste and adjust
  • Leave for another week before tasting, just to be certain. No one will blame you if the entire contents of the bottle vanish over the course of that evening….

I’ll update you around christmas time as to how this has turned out.

Happy Gardening!

GG x

Gutted!

Today I had grand plans for posting my first recipe – czech mince stuffed peppers -adapted from a blog Id stumbled across a few weeks ago. 

I had earmarked the three beautiful peppers from Dads polytunnel for this recipe and gleefully anticipated it, one of my many favourites my grandmother makes.

  
I prepared the ingredients, taking care to quarter the amounts in the recipe.

  
Then I judiciously stuffed the peppers, neither overstuffing nor understuffing:

  
I rammed them into the pan (so they don’t flip) and popped the lids on. They looked adorable. I was delighted.

  
Then for a brief boil followed by two hours of simmering. The smell that permeated my teeny tiny flat tantalised my taste buds.

When my alarm rang to signal the end of cooking time I zoomed downstairs and ladled a pepper into my bowl, drooling with anticipation. 

  
Then I took a bite. Ow! Waaaay too hot. I pottered for a minute or so before returning for round two. Ding Ding! It didn’t look like the peppers my grandmother makes, the inside was darker then usual, but I pressed on, trying to ignor the slightly weird smell floating to greet my nostrils. The second bite was not as hot as the first, but it was not as tasty as if anticipated either. I tried again, surely I’d just tasted wrong. Nope. Defiantly not an appealing taste. I tasted the skin alone; maybe the peppers had something wrong with them? The pepper skins were melting and delicious. I tried the meat – surely the meat couldn’t taste bad! -But it did. It was vile. I tried a bite with toast and even THAT didn’t improve the flavour.
In the end I had a piece of toast. 😦

So no yummy recipe, no cheerful blog post. Gutted.
Tomorrow I’m making sloe gin. You simply can’t go wrong with fruity alcohol. Shame I’ll have to wait till Christmas to drown my sorrows.