Monday, 29 July 2013

A delicious chocolate, nuts and seeds flapjack

I think I may have found my new favourite cake. 
This cake is a yummy combination of both naughty and healthy ingredients! It is undoubtedly better for you than a chunk of chocolate cake, but equally as delicious, and even helps you stay fuller for longer (which I need!!) 

2.5  tablespoons golden syrup
3.5 tablespoons clear honey
200g unsalted butter
370g rolled oats
60g soft brown sugar 

Mix the honey, syrup, butter and sugar in a pan. Careful not to burn the butter! Once everything has melted nicely together, mix in the rolled oats. You want to make sure they have all been coated well in the sticky mixture. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and spread the mixture over the paper. make sure you flatten it out to the edges.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on gas mark 5 or until the flapjack has lightly browned on top.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely.

200g Dark chocolate 
1 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp butter
1 handful pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 handful dried cranberries
1/2 handful dried currents/ yellow raisins
1/2 handful chopped almonds

Mix the chocolate, sugar and butter together.
Spoon over the cooled flapjack. Then sprinkle over your desired topping! Leave to cool on the side, or pop it in the fridge until the chocolate sets. And thats it! Delicious, healthy, sticky flapjacks :)

Lidl do a really good range of nuts and seeds so you don't have to spend the earth to use nice ingredients!

Here's my special plate again ;)

Grilled breakfast banana's with honey

Heres a yummy and healthy breakfast recipe which I found in one of my favourite cook books -
'Miss Sophie Dahls Voluptuous Delights'
Sophie Dahl wrote a wonderful cook book and presented a cooking programme a few years back. I loved her styling of the food and the stories behind each recipe! I just wished there were a few more photographs in the book, as obviously food is so visual and we all like to see the end result! This is an incredibly simple recipe with only two ingredients!

1 Ripe banana
2 teaspoons honey

Peel your banana and slice it in half lengthways. I lined my grill with aluminium foil to prevent the honey dripping. Place the bananas on the foil and drizzle a teaspoon of honey on each side of the banana.
Grill on high for 5 or so minutes, or until the honey has caramelised and the bananas are soft and gooey.
I served mine with apricot and passionfruit yoghurt (Lidl again...) and some chopped nectarines as they were going soft and needed eating up! But they went really well with the dish!

  Breakfast is one of my favourite meals. I love bacon, eggs, toast, fruit , everything but cereal! I don't know what it is about cereal but it just does nothing for me! So I love when I find a new and easy breakfast recipe, and this was a real treat!

Dipped Marshmallows

Chocolate dipped marshmallows are a really quick and easy dessert to make, especially for little ones. They cost next to nothing to make, and there are very few ingredients.
Soft fluffy Marshmallows
chocolate for melting
Seeds, chopped nuts, sprinkles, or whatever you fancy

Place some baking parchment on a tray. Melt your chocolate over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave. Pierce the marshmallows with your cake pop sticks and dip them into the chocolate. Let the excess drop of the marshmallows and either roll them in the sprinkles or scatter the sprinkles from above onto the marshmallows.
Place upside down onto the parchment and put them into the fridge until they are set!

The candy sprinkles are great for kids, but I liked the cranberries and seeds! 

I love this little japanese plate I found in a charity shop. It has a pretty little scene with a house and garden, and the wonderful pearly orange sky and blue ground.

Elderflower and blackcurrent Pimms

I've recently tried the new Pimm's flavour 'blackberry and elderflower'. I must say, I really wasn't impressed. I'm not the biggest alcohol drinker out there, but I do like a Pimms in the summer! This Pimm's however was very artificial tasting, and didn't remotely taste like the fruit on the label! The colour is magnificent though, a rich purply pink thats look even better when diluted with a little lemonade. We had ours served with fresh lemon slices and strawberries, and a lot of ice too!

The best part of the evening was the yummy scones from The 'Sugarplum Tearoom'. We had some samples to try (oh it's wonderful living next to a tearoom) so we had them with blackcurrrent jam, salted welsh butter and clotted cream. AMAZING!
I love how fresh and pretty the fruit and ice look in the jug.
My grandparents joined us outside to try the scones. It's always more entertaining when my Grandad's at the table. They both enjoyed the scones and they are a tough crowd to please!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Homemade Burgers

With all this lovely weather, we've been making the most of the BBQ and eating outside! Here we had burgers with homemade burger sauce, soft white rolls, home grown salad and sliced tomatoes. They were delicious!
Burger Sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2.5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 thinly sliced gherkins
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and smother over your burger!

It's almost healthy with the salad and tomatoes??
It's not a burger without a slice of plastic cheese! It's terrible but at the same time just so good!!!

Gooseberry and berry crumble

The gooseberries Scott and I picked from the pick your own field came in handy for crumble time! I've recently planted a gooseberry push that I bought from Lidl but that wont be ready until at least next year, so until then its back to the pick your own! :)
I decided to pair the gooseberries with some frozen berries as I love the vibrant pinks and purples from the berries, and the tartness of the gooseberries.
The great thing about frozen berries is that you can have them in your fridge for the times when you havn't got fresh fruit and you want to make a crumble, or when you have a fruit that you don't want to use on its own! They're also really good when blitzed in the food processor with yoghurt and honey to make a sort of instant ice cream.
1 large handful gooseberries
2 handfuls froen berries. I find strawberries dont work as well so try to avid them if possible!
2 tablespoons sugar
knob butter

Crumble Topping:
150g flour
125g chilled butter
35g Demerara sugar

Put your gooseberries in a pan with the sugar and simmer until soft. Add the berries once the gooseberries are soft. Cook for another minute then pour the fruit into your crumble dish.
Rub the butter and flour together until they resemble fine bread crumbs. Add your sugar to the the flour/butter mixture. Sprinkle over the fruit, make sure you don't press it down as this will effect the texture. Cook on gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes or until the crumble is lightly brown and the fruit is bubbling at the edges.
This was by far the best crumble i've made. The best combination of tartness and sweet. We had ours with cornish ice cream but you can have it with whatever you like or even on its own.


We love Abersoch.
It's just such a great pace to get away from it all and have some proper holiday time! We stay in Scotts' families caravan, near a little beach called Porth Ceiriad which has a lovely sandy beach thats quieter than the Abersoch beach!
They have these wonderfully coloured beach houses and sheds.

Scotts had to wear his glasses a lot recently as his eyes have been so sore from all the pollen, he gets bad hey fever and it irritates his eyes. 

 I am a terrible hoarder and like to keep and collect EVERYTHING. I found this little fishing weight and fish shaped fishing bait thing (not too sure what they're called?!) on the beach and so now that too has come home with us, much to Scott dismay :)
 The ice tea from Lidl is really good, especially with a few slices of lime.

I love the colour of this little boat on the harbour. And the bright orange painting on the railings in Pwllheli (below).

We had a little go at the self-timer... The lighting was terrible as it was about to rain so it didn't work like i'd hoped, but we'll give it another go soon!

 I love my vintage satchel form Leicesters vintage market!! It has gone everywhere with me recently.

 I like Coffee shops. The problem is, I don't like coffee. Starbucks is by far superior in the drinks department, though costa in my opinion wins based on cakes. Starbucks cakes are horrifically artificial and dry, yet Costa have an interesting selection of giant teacakes, tiffin, linzer biscuits and giant bourbon biscuits. The drinks I find are really sickly and synthetic though, I recently had the strawberry lemonade which was way too sweet, and for me to say that it must be bad! We tried a raspberry and orange ice drink which was better than the lemonade, but still a little too sweet! Starbucks cool lime refresher, frappacinos etc are really tasty and can generally be tailored to your tastes which I like. I do find myself walking into Costa to get a cake, and then back to Starbucks for my drink and to sit down (and awkwardly try to eat my costa cake).
 My favourite cake in Costa is the tiffin! It's a yummy mixture of crushed biscuits, melted milk chocolate and raisins.
 Scott really likes the jammy linzer biscuits! I love how the jam oozes from the biscuits. These are my second favourite ;) so we shared a little of both :)

Quick Strawberry and toffee flan

Here is a pudding i've made lots of times before. It requires very little time or effort which is very handy if you need a pudding in a hurry, and is a favourite of my Grandad.
1 Ready made flan (or homemade)
Fresh fruit. I chose strawberries
1 pint double cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
a jam of your choice

Spread a thick layer of jam onto your flan dish. This helps take the edge of as it can sometimes be a little dry! Whip your cream along with the icing sugar until your have a thick but not overwhipped consistency. Spread this on to of the jammy flan. Chop your strawberries and scatter them over the cream. If your using raspberries or blueberries you dont have to chop them just sprinkle them all over!
I topped mine off with a few sprigs of mint that we had growing in the garden.

For the sauce:
80g light brown sugar
40g dark brown sugar
200ml double cream
60g unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup

Melt the butter in the pan, add the sugar and syrup. Careful not to burn the butter. Keep stirring the mixture for a few minutes and then add the cream. And it's done! 
Pour over the flan or over your individual slices, depending on what you prefer :)
I used Lidl's Morello Cherry jam.
 The mint adds a little contrast to the red strawberries. This is a great dish if your having an unexpected friend over for tea or for just making something a little special for a weekday meal!