Whether you call it French toast or eggy bread, in our house it has become a Sunday morning breakfast feast. Something my husband loves to do with our boys on a Sunday morning, while I go out running. However this weekend I decided that I would treat everyone to a round of eggy bread - my way.Read more
Hand up who likes a good old Sunday Roast? Now hands up, who always has a lot of leftovers? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you are among the majority of the households who serve up a roast dinner on a Sunday and who always have enough leftovers to do at least 2 other meals.Read more
You know you have those days when you get home and just don't want to stand in front of the cooker for the whole night. Well I had one of those nights last night.Read more
Now if you ask me my dad makes the best bread and butter pudding (and if you ask him about it, he is guaranteed to shrug his shoulders and say “it’s a Delia recipe, it’s nothing”).Read more
Our M&S delivery was met with the usual buzz of excitement and lots of cooking ideas flying around the room. I came away with onions amongst many other goodies, with thoughts of French Onion soup.
Onion soup? Where has the onion soup gone? I hear you cry. Well don't worry, I did make it, but I also made a gluttony of cakes. So as it's Friday, I thought you would rather hear about cakes than soup (after all calories don't count on a Friday, or any day ending in Y for that matter!).
I am not usually a cake fan. Well when I say cake fan, I mean that even though I love cake, I would definitely have a good cheese board over a pud any day. However I made an exception and made 2 cakes, which I hope will go down well with the crowd I have them in mind for.
My first cake on offer is a bit of an experiment, so fingers crossed it will go down well. As well as the onions, I picked up some luscious looking pears. I remembered seeing a cake recipe the lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall made for one of his books I have sitting in my book shelf. So after digging it out, I started my cake making mission. It is actually an easy one to do and for once I even had help making it (but do have my suspension my commis chef had ideas of bowl licking rather than giving me a hand).
Pear and almond pudding cake
150g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g self-raising flour
75g ground almonds
For the caramelised pears:
3 pears (reasonably firm, but not rock hard)
25g unsalted butter
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease a 20cm-diameter springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Peel, core and quarter the pears, then melt the 25g butter in a large pan over a medium high heat. When it starts to bubble, add the sugar and stir gently until it has dissolved into the butter. Add the pears and cook gently, turning once or twice, until they have softened and are starting to colour – 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and ground almonds together. In another mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Then beat in one egg at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mix with each egg to stop everything curdling. Fold in the remaining flour mix until everything is combined.
Scrape into the prepared tin. Arrange the pears on top, but leave any pear juice behind.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Stand the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, then release the tin.
In a household full of fussy eaters yet short on time, it's easy to become trapped in a cycle of eating the same things over and over again.
Potatoes are something that usually go down well here,( and something that The Big Red Bus Club get most weeks in the M&S deliveries!) with everyone having their own favorites. Roasts always go down well but time restraints mean these are often a weekend treat. So here I've listed some of our midweek favorites.
Mash is a huge hit with the kids can be pretty quick and can be a great way to use up fridge ingredients.
Instead of using butter why not try using mayonnaise, milk, cream, grated cheese, garlic, or cream cheese.
-Chop the potatoes into small chunks so they boil quicker
-Make extra, it stores well in the fridge and re-heats well. It can also be used to make fish cakes another day.
-Bulk out with other veg. Carrots or Cauliflower are favorites here
Jacket potatoes are a favorite for me as everyone can have different toppings, yet I don't feel I have made several different dinners.
-Pre cook the potatoes in the microwave or slow cooker first, then crisp up in the oven for 10-15 minutes to save electricity.
-Cook extras, they freeze and reheat really well
-Sweet potatoes make for a healthier alternative and cook quicker.
Nothing beats home made chips! You can oven cook, shallow or deep fry for delicious results.
-Leave skins on to save time and for extra fibre.
-If I have recently made roast potatoes I use this dish and oil( I don't wash it up unless I have burnt dinner too much!) to make extra crispy Wedges.
- If frying, blot the cooked chips/Wedges with kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.
Pan cooked Potatoes.
These beauties are so versatile that you can use any potato and season in so many different ways that they will go with any meal.
Boil chopped potatoes until tender. Add a small amount of hot oil to a pan whilst you drain the cooked potatoes. Add potatoes to the pan, season and stir regularly to prevent burning.
-Add a sprinkle of dry polenta for extra crispness.
- Experiment with Seasonings; salt, paprika,fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and lime,
-Add double cream, cheese and garlic for a luxurious treat.
-Once cooked add a small amount of butter and mix.