Tag Archives: easy

Speedy Rice Pudding

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You know when you get a craving for rice pudding, or rather one of your brood does, there is no way you want to wait three plus hours for the oven(or even longer the slow cooker)? Well, this is the recipe you need.

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You need ONE of these, whatever your vessel of choice, cup, mug, vase…

In this case, for two toddler sized bowlfuls or one big adult one, I used:

1/3 cup of arborio rice

1 tbsp butter (this was Moose Maple Butter-tasty stuff!)

5 x your 1/3 cup (or 1 & 1/2 cups) milk

1/2 of your measure of sugar

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What to do:

Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat until foaming.

Add the rice and stir to coat the grains, cook for a minute or two.

Add milk, stir.

Cover with lid and cook on a low flame for 25-30 mins(you can lift the kid and stir half way through to make sure the rice is not sticking)

Once the rice is thickened, creamy and cooked stir in the sugar to melt.

Serve.

🙂

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Meatloaf Rocks!

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That’s probably the cheesiest blog title I could write isn’t it? But it is very early in the morning l, and it does convey how I feel about this yummy, versatile, easy-peasy food(conveys none of my true feelings on the singer, but that’s more about my dislike of soft rock ballads and less about the man).

If you’ve never tried to make meatloaf I would urge you to do so, even cooked(and eaten) only once you’ll fall in love. There are so many ways  to “pimp” your loaf(spices/herbs in the mix) and SO many ways to eat it(think sandwiches, a slice as a “burger”, or a snack in your hand at 3:24am, not that I’ve done that one. Ever.)!

I’d marry meatloaf if I could. See? Told you it’s power is immense!

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Here’s what you need for two BIG loaves(you can stash one in the deep freeze so I recommend making this much):

2lb of turkey mince(you can use other meat too, go on knock yourself out!)

1 onion chopped as fine as you can manage

5 slices of white bread made into breadcrumbs(I use the shop bought “plastic” stuff here but if you’re a baker of artisan bread use that)

1/2 cup of porridge oats(I used Scottish oats from Stoats)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup mushrooms chopped small

1 cup of Parmesan grated

1/2 tsp salt

Good grinding of back pepper

4 eggs

8 slices or so of GOOD bacon(regular rashers or streaky is fine the important thing is to have good bacon. Seriously I tried inferior stuff and it was less than impressive. I used Cure & Simple’s Old Fashioned)

For the topping:

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1/4 cup of breadcrumbs

 

Here’s what to do:

Preheat oven to 180/350

Fry chopped onion until soft and translucent(if you’ve minced it, save time and skip this step).

Add herbs to onion.

In a large bowl put breadcrumbs and  oats, pour over milk and set aside for 5 minutes.

Put your favourite song on the CD machine/record player/iPod/gramophone and dance around the kitchen.

Next add to the breadcrumb/oat mix the mince, tip in the cheese, salt and good grinding of pepper, throw in the onions, crack in 4 eggs, do a little dance, get down tonight!

Squish together with your hands(that you’ve washed) to combine, don’t go too mad here, overworking is the enemy of a nicely textured loaf!

Form into a loaf shape.

Lay bacon over top.

Place in oven for 35-40 mins.

While the magic is happening make the topping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Wow, hard work right?  you deserve a cup of coffee! 🙂

Take the loaf from the oven and spread the sauce in a line down the middle(lengthways).

Put back in the oven for 15-20 mins.

After the time is up, take meatloaf(loaves) from oven. Cool a little before cutting as this makes slicing easier(the next day is even easier still)!

Serve with mash and veggies, that kind of thing.

Eat.

Go out and buy an engagement ring & hire a tux/white frock.

 

🙂

 

 

Crazy Good Hot Chocolate Mix!

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This is a great gift! Who wouldn’t love you forever if you gave them a jar of yummy chocolatey creamy hot chocolate mix? Nobody that’s who, especially if you put cute mini marshmallow in it too!

I love good hot chocolate. But rarely does a coffee shop get it bang on. My brother(with my help as taste tester-yay! best job EVER!) found the perfect chocolate for his customers. This mix(tested/tweaked extensively by me for your pleasure) evokes the same memory I had back then, tasty, rich and creamy. YUM!

If you can get your hands on Nido full fat dried milk please do, otherwise a tin of Marvel(or similar) will suffice(and me a tad healthier).

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What you need:

This amount of mix makes between 9-10 mugs of hot chocolate.

1 cup Dried milk powder

1/3 cup Cocoa

1oz Chocolate pudding mix(such as Jello)

1/2 cup Sugar

39g Chocolate(of at least 70%) I used one Taza Stoneground Organic Orange Chocolate disc  from  The Stateside Candy Co online

A few drops of Orange oil(available in most supermarkets)

What to do:

First grind your bar/block of chocolate. I used my trusty coffee grinder for this but you can use your processor too. You want it as fine as a powder (“fine” on my grinder).

The next part is so easy that I’m not even going to add photos or even much in the way of instructions.

Stick the ingredients in a food processor(even easier if you are already using one!) and whizz to mix up.

Seriously, this is the easiest “recipe” ever, but brilliant all the same. There are endless ways to tweak the mix, and with the variety of Taza flavours it could get very interesting !

To make up the hot chocolate put two well rounded tbsp in a mug add little hot water(yes really) and mix to a paste. Make up to a full mug with warm milk OR if you’re feeling virtuous and healthy(ish) you can make up with all water.

Remember to attach a note if you’re gifting this(unlike me, who got all caught up in how brilliant this was and then had to text everyone afterwards. Don’t be me.) & then make up another batch(or three) to gift to yourself!

🙂

Biscoff Cinnamon Apple Rolls

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You just know these are going to be good right? I mean good even before I tell you they are super duper easy peasy to make and quick to boot. For minimal effort(doesn’t take long to stew apples  does it?) you get maximum results. Even if it is using ready made pizza dough I don’t care. Sometimes life is just too short to make your own dough!

BOOM! <as the kids these days say! 😀

 

What you will need:

For the dough:

one tube of JusRol pizza dough

 

For the cinnamon filling:

1/2(ish) a jar of crunchy Lotus Biscoff spread

 

For the for the apple filling:

Here’s the hard part make some stewed apples! 2 Bramley apples chopped plus 1-2 tbsp water and 1-2 tbsp light brown sugar(depending on your taste). Place everything in a small pan and cook over low heat until apples are soft and tender.

However, if you have been making apple butter(or have scored a jar from a kindly neighbour/relative/friend) then this would be perfect here!

 

 

What to do:

To make the rolls open the tube of dough and roll out.

Spread half of the dough with Biscoff and then the other with stewed apple(or apple butter). Remember to leave a gap at the top edge so your filling won’t squish out!

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Carefully roll up.

Cut into two inch pieces, this size makes a perfect two bite roll, and place into a baking tin(or a muffin pan).

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image <this is a photo of the Biscoff spread only rolls so don’t write to me and tell me they look odd, I know. I forgot to take a picture of the apple ones! oops

Brush with a little melted butter and bake at 200c for 12-15mins.

Remove from over and cool before drizzling with a little icing.

Chomp.

🙂

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^that is a photo of the Biscoff only rolls again, but they are so pretty I had to show you! I rolled these from the short end(left to right) this time which made lots of lovely cinnamony layers-yum!

 

Depression Cake(otherwise known as Vegan Choc Cake)

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Wow! You know sometimes you’re surprised by just how well a thing turns out? Like the Impossible Pie? This is one of those times…just wow! This  has to be the ULTIMATE make do & mend recipe(I can’t wait to share it with Jen and everyone on Thursday’s Twitter meet #makedoandmendhour)! Created during the Depression era in the US when expensive items were hard to come by, this egg/butter less cake is a godsend to Vegans or those with an intolerance to eggs/dairy! I trialled a number of vegan recipes when I worked baking for the coffee shop, oh how I wish I had this recipe then!

I wondered for a long time about this cake, not convinced it could ever be good with no eggs. Having now made it you can trust me when I say this cake is not only good for a vegan but a good one for EVERYONE!  It’s an easy recipe is a great activity for kids(I let my toddler help) I plan on letting my eldest try it out next, I figure everyone needs to know how to make at least one great cake!

I tweaked the recipe slightly as I didn’t have any vinegar(usually a Depression Cake has vinegar as it reacts with the baking soda to cause a rise in the cake) but did have some flat-ish cola! It works really well as the “acid” part needed for the reaction.

I used a rectangular cake pan but you could use an 8″ round too.

 

What I Used:

1 & 1/2 cups plain flour

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp baking soda(bicarbonate of soda)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of flat-ish cola(if yours isn’t flat open the can into jug half an hour before needed and stir it about every now and then to get rid of some bubbles)

1/4 cup oil

 

What I Did:

If you Google this cake the method is usually to dump the dry in a cake pan make wells(one for oil, one for vanilla and one for vinegar) but I decided that I’d rather do it this way…

Sift the dry together into the pan, then in a jug measure out the wet, THEN pour that over the dry.

Mix with a fork(plastic one is best if your pan is non-stick) until no floury bits are visible.

Bake at 360/180 for 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frost with your favourite frosting(I made buttercream) or glaze.

 

Eat, all the while marvelling at how good the cake is and wondering why we even bother with eggs in cakes at all! 🙂

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Ps. If you don’t have cola but do have vinegar you can just use plain water in place of the cola and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar!

*EDIT* I have since tried to make the cake without sieving the ingredients(like recipe on the net said) I also used cold coffee in place of cola(water) DO NOT DO THIS!

If you want the very best cake you can make use what I did and use a sieve to combine the dry ingredients. This might be a frugal recipe but there’s little point in making it not taste the best it can taste, what’s thrifty about a cake that you’d only eat if you had to as opposed to one you’ll make just to eat it? 😉

Granny’s Shortbread Recipe

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This is my Granny Rose’s recipe, it’s basic, in fact so much so I’m pretty sure it is the same one almost everyone’s Scottish gran knows. Homebaking doesn’t get much simpler than this traditional biscuit, and it’s a great first recipe for baking with wee ones! 🙂

It goes by ratio. 6:4:2

6 of flour(plain/all purpose)

4 of fat(I use unsalted butter but you can use margarine)

2 of sugar(caster/superfine)

I also use a pinch of salt in my shortbread

 

Whatever your measurement is (grams or ounces) follow this formula for traditional Scottish shortbread.

Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until creamy then beat in the sugar until light & fluffy.

Add in the flour(and salt) little by little until you have a dough.

Work the dough on the work surface to bring together then, either roll out and cut shapes or press into your tin(or mould like me).

Place on a baking sheet if making biscuits, prick all over with a fork and bake at 180(gas 3) for 35-40 mins or until golden.

If your shortbread starts to look too dark, cover with a piece of foil!

Remove from the oven and whilst still hot dredge with more sugar. Mark the pieces, if you have baked in a tin and leave to cool completely.

 

You can of course do all this in a machine, but Granny Rose always gives me a stern look when I mention such things, like that one time I suggested SEMOLINA(makes a grainy, crunchy, rather pleasant non-trad[in her eyes] biscuit) in the shortbread recipe! 😉

 

By the by….Saturday (17th May) was World Whisky Day so in light of that fact I made “shortie” in my thistle mould to go with a wee dram at night, suitably patriotic don’t you think? … Slainte!

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Toffee Apple Cake!

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I had a Wright’s (<click here to see their site & more delicious bread and cake mixes) cake in the cupboard, I actually bought it with the intention of making a cake with the wee one. Oops!

 

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It’s ok though, he was busy with the play dough I had made, we’ll bake a cake another day 🙂

I wanted to bake something that was not just the regular toffee cake and I had some bramleys kicking about that I felt I should use up. Simple, let’s make a toffee apple cake!

Easy, tasty and quick what more could you ask for? By the way, this is MUCH yummier than you imagine a packet could ever taste, nobody will ever guess it was from a mix, honest!

 

What I used:

1x Wright’s Toffee Cake mix
3 medium Bramley apples, chopped and then stewed in 1tbsp water until soft
40mls Rape seed oil
100mls Milk
80mls Water
1/4 tsp Vanilla paste
1/4 tsp Baking powder
Small handful of pecan nuts, chopped
 

For the top:

4-5 Pecans, chopped
1tbsp Demerara sugar

 

What I did:

First off  stew the apples, until soft but not completely smushed*, set aside to cool

Tip baking mix into large bowl

Add other ingredients(and apple)

Pour into 9″x9″ lined pan

Sprinkle on the topping

Bake at 350(180) for about a hour or until a toothpick comes out clean

Remove from oven ad place o rack for 1-15 mins before turning out to completely cool

Eat! 🙂

*actual technical baking terminology

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My Favourite Cake(ever)!

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This really is my all time favourite cake recipes. It’s lovely, even my Granny Rose likes it, high praise indeed! It’s not too sweet, it’s just right. Be sure to add the cinnamon sugar to the top it really does add a lovely wee crunch! 🙂

I was given this recipe while on holiday in the beautiful Perthshire Highlands. The lovely lady who gave me it told me it was given to her by Scot Herbs. I was curious about the use of the herb rosemary in it(if I’m being frank, I thought it was a bit weird sounding).  Worry not though Dear Reader, it’s fabulous!

Here is the recipe, tweaked slightly(and added measurements in US cups[SO much easier than grams, right?] to my taste but click here for a link to the original Scot Herbs recipe!

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Blueberry and Rosemary Madeira Cake

 

What I used:

250g(1 cup/2 sticks) Soft Butter

200g(1 cup)  Sugar/white super fine

3 Large Eggs

300g(2  1/2 cups)PlaiFlour/all purpose

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract Paste

2 tsp Fresh Rosemary Needles, chopped finely(I use a pair of scissors for this)

4 tsp Milk

Two handfuls of frozen Blueberries

 
Cinnamon Sugar(for top)
2 tbsp Demerara Sugar
A  big pinch of cinnamon 

 

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What to do:

Preheat the oven to 170oC/Gas Mark 3.
Grease and line a loaf pan, or if you’re like me cheat and use a liner(life’s too short to always grease pans)
Cream the butter adding the sugar until it is pale and fluffy
Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour after each egg.
Add the vanilla.
Fold in the rest of the flour and chopped rosemary needles
Thin out with the milk
Fold in half of the frozen blueberries
Pour into  loaf pan
Add a few more berries on the top(helps so that not all of them are at the bottom of the cake)
 Sprinkle the spiced sugar over the top
Bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hour or until a toothpick comes out clean

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It’s got good staying power this cake if, like the Scot Herbs site says, it lasts that long! Freezes well too. 

🙂

 

American Eggs from The Silver Spoon Italian Cookbook

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This month saw the glorious return of the @belleaukitchen #randomrecipe challenge, hurrah! (incidentally, he’s teamed up with  Ros  and  Caroline from AlphaBakes for this one.)

 

 

I picked, the quite cool sounding American-Style Eggs from The Silver Spoon cookbook.

Looking at the ingredients list I was feeling rather underwhelmed, the curse of choosing a recipe by chance I guess… *shakes fist at Dom and the girls

Now given that there are only 3 constituent parts of the “recipe” it’s hard to not feel somehow it’s a bit cheeky to even call it one,  but considering the age of this Italian cooking bible I guess we can let off the writer for what basically amounts to bacon and egg, with a tomato on the side.

I’m not about to write out all the steps for frying an egg, or the steps for frying pancetta, OR the steps for grilling a tomato, I’m pretty sure Dear Reader, that you know how. I have however posted my photograph and now leave you with the thought that, even though ridiculously easy, the recipe for American Eggs is proof positive that sometimes the simple things are the best. It was DELICIOUS! 🙂 

 

Pancakes-Scottish style!

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This recipe is so easy that I can’t really understand why I don’t make more pancakes. My Granny Rose always had pancakes ready when we came home from school, and if she had been busy, you could be sure there would be some in the freezer. Incidentally Granny Rose never had a really had a proper recipe for so this is the one from my go-to book.

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They are simple, tasty and much better than a chocolate bar for the kids when they fancy a munch(yeah, ok me too!) In other words: the perfect snack!

You will need:

8 tbsp self raising flour

3 tsp(level) baking powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

1 egg

1/4 pint + 5 tbsp of milk(perhaps a little more depending)

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Here’s what you do:

  • Put the flour, salt, sugar & baking powder in a bowl.
  • Crack the egg in
  • Add milk
  • Beat

Cook on a med hot girddle or heavy based frying pan until you can see bubble forming on the surface of pancakes(not bursting though). Flip them babies over and continue cooking until golden.

In our house these are generally eaten when cold with butter and jam. Yum!

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