Tomato and corriander sauce

More tomatoes from the allotment what to do with these ones well I think coriander and tomato sauce.

I weigh out 1.3kg of tomatoes. I then chop them up and take the centre bit out. I then peal a chuck of ginger and grate t into a pan. I then grate 1 garlic clove onto the pan I add a splash od olive oil and cook for a minute. I then add the tomatoes into the pan and bring them to a boil. I then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the sauce thicken up.

Now the sauce has thickened up I add a bit of salt and pepper to the pan stir it in. I then get a handful of fresh coriander and chop it up. I add it to the pan and stir it in I cook it for a few minutes.

I have sterilized the glass jars in the oven (20 minutes at 100oC) I pour the sauce into the glass jars. Put the lids on tight and turn them upside down too great a vacuum seal. I leave them upside down till they are cool enough to handle.

All done I can’t wait to try this either over pasta, as a base for a curry or a base for a soup.

So, to sum up

1.3kg tomatoes

1 garlic clove

a small chuck of ginger

Salt and pepper

Handful of fresh coriander

So, until next time happy baking.

Bramble, apple and vanilla jam

Guess what more jam. I might as well do lots of different ones as it keeps it interesting over winter, so I don’t just have the same jam all winter. Can anyone tell I like making jam of all different kinds. Plus, jam can be used in lots of things: cakes, jam tarts, ice cream, on toast, on rice pudding and lots more.

I weigh out 530g of brambles and pop them into the big preserving pan. I then weigh out 500g of apples (dad brought a lot more back from the allotment) I chop the apples up and take the core out. I then put the chopped apple into the pan. I chop a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan and chuck in the skins. Now I measure out 50ml of water and pour that into the pan. I bring it to the boil then turn it down and let it simmer for 30 minutes to soften the fruit.

Time is up now. Now my lovely friend who use to be the head of science got me some coffee syrups at Christmas and I just found them again in the cupboard and there is a small bottle of vanilla syrup so I pour that into the pan. Yes, the full bottle as I want to be able to taste the vanilla. I mix it in. I then weigh out 900g of sugar and pop that into the pan. I turn the heat up and bring the jam to a rolling boil and leave it on a rolling boil for 10 minutes.

Times up. I get the big glass bowl out put the nylon sieve over it and then put the muslin in the sieve. Now I ladle some of the jam into the muslin and sieve out all the skin and the evil bramble seeds that get stuck in your teeth. I keep sieving it till it all gone out of the pan. Now I Jar it up. it fills one jar and I can’t wait to try it.

So, to sum up

530g brambles

500g apples

900g sugar

50ml water

1 lemon

50ml bottle of vanilla syrup

So, until next time happy bake

Damson, plum and apple jam

Yesterday dad came home with a huge bag of apples and guess what more plums. So, more jam you can never have enough jam. All this jam will get me through till next year and I will give a few people jam as presents at Christmas.

I weigh out 1kg of damsons. I then slice them in half leaving the stones in and pop them into the pan. I then weigh out 1 kg of plums and cut them in half leaving the stones in and put them into the pan. Now I weigh out 1kg of apples and I slice them up and take the cores out. I pop them into the pan. I slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan I then chuck in the lemon skin as well. Now I measure out 100ml of water and pour it into the pan. I put the pan on the heat and bring it to the boil then turn it down and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft.

Times up fruit is soft. I weigh out 3kg of sugar and pour it into the pan. Now I slowly dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved I then turn up the heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Once it is at a rolling boil, I leave it for 15minutes

Times up I turn the heat off. I get a large bowl and put a nylon sieve over the bowl and put the muslin into the sieve. I then sieve the jam to get all the stones and skin out of the jam. I then put the jam into sterilized jars, and I’m all done. I can’t wait to try this new jam.

So, to sum up

1kg damsons

1kg plums

1kg apples

3kg sugar

1 lemon

100ml water

So, until next time happy baking.

Bramble, plum and Damson jam

Since I picked a lot of plums and damsons I thought I better make jam. I also have some brambles from the allotment so I will add them into the jam. I’m experimenting a lot more this year with different jams and cordials as all the fruit is ripening early. Then plums and damsons are a good 2 weeks earlier then last year and the brambles are early by about a month so experimenting time.

I weigh out the brambles and they come to 525g I pop them into the pan. I then weigh out 1kg of damson. Before I put them in the pan I half them and leave the stones in. I then put them all into the pan. I then weigh out 1kg of plums. I half them and leave the stones in. I then put them into the pan.

I measure out 100ml of water and pour that into the pan. I then half a lemon and squeeze the juice into the pan and add the lemon skins as well. Now I bring the pan to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until all the fruit is soft. Now I weigh out 2.5kg of sugar and pop it into the pan. I dissolve the sugar. I then turn the heat up and wait for it to start a rolling boil. I turn the heat down a little bit just so it doesn’t boil over. I leave it on a rolling boil for 15 minutes.

Times up I turn the heat off. I get a large bowl put a sieve over it and then put muslin cloth in the sieve. I then ladle the jam into the muslin cloth and sieve out all the stones, pips, and skins. I keep doing this until there is no jam left. I sieve my jam as I done like bits in it. I like a smooth jam. Now I put the jam into the sterilized jars and the jam is done. I can’t wait to try it. What combination or flavour should I do next?

So, to sum up

525g brambles

1kg plums

1kg damsons

1 lemon

100ml water

2.5kg of sugar.

So, until next time happy baking.

bramble, plum and damson cordial

Yesterday I went out to go damson and plum hunting as all the fruit on the trees near me is ready early this year. I get to the tress and guess what the plums are ready, and the damsons are ready. I pick two big bags full and there is still lots left may have to go back and get more to make different things. I bring them home and wash them and dry them all this takes a while. I then put them in to bowls.

Next day I have some brambles from out allotment which I need to use up and I have all these plums and damson to use so I think cordial, as my cordial stash is going down fast. I weigh the brambles and they come to 500g. I pop them into the preserving pan. I weigh out 1kg of damson. I cut them all in half as you can get some bad ones and ones that have little worm in them, I really don’t want them in my cordial. Yes, I leave the stones in the damson as damsons are clingstone fruit, which means the flesh clings to the stone making it hard to remove. I put the damsons into the pan. I then weigh out 1 kg of plums. I half of them again as you get the odd bad one and I don’t want it to ruin the cordial. I leave the stones in the plums as ill just sieve them out later. I then weigh out 2kg if sugar and pop that into the pan. I measure out 2.2litres of water and pour it into the pan I then and the juice of a lemon and chuck the lemon into. I bring it to the boil then simmer for 20minutes.

After 20 minutes I mash the fruit up. I then cook it for a further 20 minutes. I get a bowl put the nylon sieve over it and place the muslin cloth inside the sieve it the sieve the cordial to get all the bits and stones it. In the bowl in left with a lovely deep red liquid and it smells lovely. Now I bottle it all up into sterilized bottles and label it up. I now have to wait till it cools before I try it. I do one part cordial to 4-part water.

So, to sum up

500g brambles

1kg damsons

1kg plums

2kg sugar

2.2litres water

1 lemon

So, until next time happy baking.

Courgette and tomato Chutney

Since we have lots of tomatoes and lots of courgettes to use up, I thought I would make courgette and tomato chutney. Now I’m hoping it is going to be nice as this is the first time, I have ever made it.

I get 4 long courgettes and one round courgette I chop the top and bottom of them all. I then chop them up into very small pieces. This recipe is all about cutting the veg up into small pieces so be prepared to be chopping for a while. I put music on to help make it a bit more fun. Now I chop up 15 medium/ small tomatoes up into tiny pieces. I then chop into tiny pieces the two red onion, the two brown onions and the 4 peppers. I put all the veg into the preserving pan. I then run out to the garden and chop three sprigs of rosemary and 4 sprigs of thyme. I bring them in the house wash them then finally chop them up. Now I pour a whole bottle of red wine vinegar in and 250ml of cider vinegar. Into the pan. Now I weigh out 500g of soft brown sugar and chuck that in.  I put the pan on the heat. I dissolve the sugar and then let the mixture boil. I then leave it on a rolling boil for 50 minutes of till it is sticky. I stir it every so often, so nothing sicks to the bottom.

One hour is up and I then put into the sterilized jars and label it up. I will leave it for a month before I try it. I’m looking forward to it as it smells nice and looks lovely.

So, to sum up

4 long courgettes

1 round courgette

15 medium/small tomatoes

2 red onions

2 brown onions

4 peppers

4 sprigs thyme

3sprigs rosemary

350ml red wine vinegar

250ml cider vinegar

500g soft brown sugar.

So, until next time happy baking.  

My tomato passata

The tomatoes from the allotment are ready and there are quite a few and so I thought I would make passata. Now I don’t like shop bought passata it tastes strange but I’m hoping that I will like homemade because I know exactly what is going in it. Passata is basically raw sieved tomatoes but I’m going to roast mine so that the passata is even sweeter. Plus, I’m adding a few extras to enhance the flavour  

I weigh out 1.5kg of tomatoes. I then half them and put them into 2 roasting dishes. Next, I get 250g of onions which is 3 white onions and a banana shallot. I quarter them and put them into the roasting dish I next peal 4 garlic cloves and chuck them in the roasting dishes. I go out the garden and cut 4 sprigs of thyme. I bring them in, and I wash them I then pop them in the roasting dishes. I add salt and pepper. I then drizzle olive oil over everything. I have pre-heated the oven to 200oC. I roast everything in the oven for about an hour.

One hour is up. I then take the roasting dishes out and scoop the contents bar the thyme springs into a liquidiser. I wizz it all up until its smooth. Now I could sieve the passata to get out and seeds or skin that hasn’t been liquidized but I think the liquidizer has done a really good job, so I just bottle it and label it. I can’t wait to try it. Now my passata is not the bright red that the shops is because I used different coloured tomatoes and not just red ones. This should keep for 6 months in a cupboard as long as the jars are sealed and are sterilised.

So, to sum up

1.5kg tomatoes

250g onions

4 garlic

4 sprigs thyme

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

So, until next time happy baking.

Onion and courgette pakoras

The onions are ready in the garden, and we have lots and I mean lots of courgettes (all different shapes and sizes) from the allotment to use. I thought why not use one of the courgettes up by grating them and making them into pakoras.

I go and pick 6 onions out of the garden. I bring them in the house I wash them and trim them. I then chop them up into smallish bit. I then get one of the courgettes out of the fridge and grate it.

I then weigh out 340g of gram flour put it into a bowl. I then measure out two tablespoons of curry powder, one tablespoon of home-made gram masala, 1 ½ teaspoons of hot chilli powder, 1 tablespoons turmeric, one teaspoon coriander leaf, one teaspoon ground coriander and one teaspoon asafoetida. I put them all into the bowl and mix everything together. Now I add the onions and the courgettes to the bowl. Normally I would add water to help bind everything together but because courgettes have a high-water content I don’t need to. I mix everything together using my hands (yes, your hands will get covered in the mix). Once it is all mixed together, I leave it for 15 minutes.

Times up. I pour the oil into the pan I use rapeseed oil. I heat the oil up. I then put some of the mixture into the oil and cook for around about 4 minutes.  I take them out and pat them dry. And pop them onto a plate. Now in the pan I have used I can get 4 spoonsful of the mixture into cook at a time. I keep going till all the mixture is used up.

I try one and they are really good. Just enough spice to hit the back of your throat.

So, to sum up

1 courgette

6 white onions

340g gram masala

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon home-made gram masala

1 ½ teaspoons hot chilli powder

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander leaf

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon asafoetida

So, until next time happy baking.

Veg noodles

At the moment since it is so warm, I wanted a lighter lunch for work and so I thought noodles. Since lots of veg is now starting to get picked at the allotment I thought veg noodles sounded good.

I chop 1 red onion and two white. Put a splash of ground nut oil and sesame seed oil into the pan. I heat it up and then put the onions in to cook. I cook them on high for a few minutes and then on low for 10 minutes. while they are cooking, I chop up one green chilli, a yellow pepper, a small courgette, and some very big spinach leaves.

I then grate in 1 clove of garlic and add the chilli into the pan and cook for a few minutes. now I add the peppers, broccoli spears and courgette to the pan to cook for a few minutes.  I add a good handful of peas and mangetout to the pan. I then add the spinach. I measure out 1 ½ tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1 teaspoon crab apple chilli jelly and put them into the pan. Now I pour some boiling water over the noodles to soften them. I then drain them and add them to the pan. I cook for a few minutes and lunch is done. So, looking forward to it.

So, to sum up

A few broccoli spears

1 yellow pepper

Handful peas

Handful mangetout

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon crab apple chilli jelly

A few big spinach leaves

1 small courgette

1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce

1 green chilli

1 red onion

2 white onions

Vermicelli noodles

So, until next time happy baking.

Rhubarb, strawberry and cinnamon jam

We got a lot of rhubarb from the allotment and a few strawberries and so I thought why not make rhubarb and strawberry jam.

I wash and trim the rhubarb. I then wash and hull the strawberries. Now I chop up the rhubarb into small chunks and I weigh it and it comes to 1.7kg it’s a lot of rhubarb. I then weigh the strawberries and they come to 304g. I put both the rhubarb and the strawberries into the big bowl I then add a tablespoon of cinnamon. I weigh out 2kg of sugar and pop that into the bowl. I cover the bowl over and leave it over night

Next day I pour it all into the pan and I add the juice of two lemons. I then heat it up and leave to simmer for 30 minutes for the rhubarb to soften. Once it has softened, I then bring it to a rolling boil for 15minutes.

Times up I turn the heat off and I sieve the jam as I really don’t like bits in jam. I then put it into jars that I have sterilized and the jam it done. It smells very nice

So, to sum up

Juice of two lemons

1.7kg rhubarb

304g strawberries

2kg sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

So, until next time happy baking

Cherry Cordial

To make Sunday a really good day I go out cherry picking again. It’s a bit windy and I may get slapped in the face, by the cherry tree branches a few times, but it is worth it to get fresh cherries and to then make them into cordial.

I get the cherries home. I take all the stalks out of them. I then wash them and weigh them, and they come to 908g not to bad.  I put them into the pan. Yes, I left the stones in life is way too short to stone all of them. I then measure out 800ml of water and pop that in the pan. Now I weigh out 500g of sugar and that goes into the pan. Now I bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for 15 minutes. I then mash the cherries up and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Now I strain out all of the cherries and the pips. And I am left with just the juice. I pour it into bottles, and it is done I can’t wait to try it once it has cooled. One part cordial to 4 parts water well thats how I like it but that is up to you

So, to sum up

908g cherries

500g sugar

800ml water

So, until next time happy baking.

Chicken pesto hotpot

I get the slow cooker out again and make this week’s work lunch in it. I do like the slow cooker.

First boil the kettle. Fish some sundried tomatoes out of the jar and put them in a bowl. I then pour boiling water over them to rehydrate them.

I scope out a spoonful of the oil in the sun-dried tomato jar as it is full of herbs and has lots of flavour to it and this will add flavour to the chicken and to the dish. I put the oil in to a pan. I cut up 3 chicken breasts into chunks. I chop up two white onions. Now I heat the oil up and pop the chicken and the onions into the pan. I brown the chicken and the onions and then pop them into the slow cooker pot.

I chop up a red pepper and orange pepper pop them in the pot. I then slice up 8 white mushrooms I pop them into the slow cooker. I measure out two tablespoons of crab apple chilli jelly. I then add salt and pepper. Last week I made some spinach pesto and I put into too little tubs. There are about two tablespoons in each tub. I put one tablespoon in the pot. Now I add a tin of chopped tomatoes. I boil the kettle measure out 300ml of water and dissolve a turkey oxo cube in the water. I then pour it into the pot. I grate two garlic cloves into the pot. I chop up the rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes and pop them into the pot.

I get two potatoes out of the garage these are from our allotment. I scrub the mud off them and because they are so fresh the skins come off as well. I slice the two potatoes thinly and place them on top of the stew. Now I spread the other tablespoon of pesto over the potatoes. I put the lid on and turn it on low and cook for 7 hours.

Times up and it smells amazing I can’t wait to have it for lunch this week.

So, to sum up

3 chicken breasts

1 turkey oxo cube

Small hand full sun-dried tomatoes

8 white mushrooms

2 garlic cloves

1 orange pepper

1 red pepper

2 tablespoons of spinach pesto

2 large potatoes

300ml water

Oil from sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons of crab apple and chilli jelly

2 white onions

Salt and pepper

So, until next time happy baking.

Beetroot chutney

In the garden we are growing some vegetables, one of them is beetroot. A few years ago I made this chutney and I loved it. So, I thought i would make it aging since we are getting a good crop of beetroot for once.

Mum picked them and washed them and put them in a large pan for me so that I could make chutney while I was at work. I fill the pan full of water and I put them on to cook. I wait for them to boil I then turn them down and leave to cook for about 30 minutes or until they are soft.

Once they are soft, I drain them and let them cool for ten minutes. I then take the skins of them and cut the top and the root off. I then chop them up and put them into the preserving pan. I forgot I weighed them, and they came to 670g. now I get 7 small red onions and I chop them up. I grate 15g of fresh ginger into the pan and two big garlic cloves into the pan. I then measure out 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds and pop them in. I now weigh out 400g of demerara sugar and pop that in. A few weeks ago, I made chive blossom vinegar and tonight I’m going to use it in the chutney. So, I pour 250ml of chive blossom vinegar into the pan and then measure out 50ml of apple cider vinegar and pour that into the pan. I put the pan on the gas, and I dissolve the sugar. I then turn the heat up and wait till it boils then I turn it down to simmer for 30 minutes.

Times up. I now I put the beetroot chutney into jars and leave it for a month in a cool dark cupboard. I cant wait to try it.

So, to sum up

 670g beetroot

400g demerara sugar

15g fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

50ml apple cider vinegar

250ml chive blossom vinegar

So, until next time happy baking.

Strawberry muffins

So I come home from work and there are more strawberries. What to do with them. There isn’t enough to make jam or cordial but there are enough to make muffins.

Oven on to pre heat to 180 degrees. I weigh out 460g of self-raising flour, 460g of butter, 460g of sugar and put it all in the mixing bowl. Now I measure out 1 teaspoon of almond extract and pop that in. Now normally I would use vanilla extract but one of the people that im going to give one of the miffins to hates vanilla extract well anything vanilla but loves almond so almond it is. I then crack 8 large eggs in and mix it all together till I get a smooth batter.

I place the muffin cases into the muffin tins. I put a spoon ful of mix in the bottom of each of the cases and then I put a strawberry in each of the cases. In some of the cases the strawberries are small so I put two or three in. now I cover them all in the rest of the cake batter. I pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Times up and they are done. Now I don’t like strawberries unless its strawberry jam, so I get dad to try one and he says they taste really good. Now how many should I share. This recipe make 24 muffins

So, to sum up

460g self-raising flour

460g butter

460g sugar

8 eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

Some strawberries.

So, until next time happy baking.

Cheese and chive scones

In the garden there are still lots of chives that need using up and so I go and cut a bunch off. I bring them in the house and wash them

I weigh out 200g of red Leicester cheese and I then grate it. I put it to one side. I weigh out 600g of self-raising flour and pop it into a bowl. I then measure out 2 teaspoons of mustard powder and two teaspoons of paprika and pop them into bowl. I measure out ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and add it to the bowl. I add a pinch of salt and mix everything together. Now I weigh out 100g of butter and pop it in the bowl. I rub the butter and the flour mix together until it is like breadcrumbs.

I add the cheese and cut up the chives into the bowl and mix it all together. Now I measure out 100ml of milk and crack 4 eggs into the milk and mix it together. I pour the milk egg mix into the bowl, and I mix everything together. I get the blue mat out and put a little bit of flour onto it. I pour the mixture out and flatten it out till its about 5cm thick. I line two baking trays with grease poof paper. I get the cutter and I start cutting the scones out I put them all on to the baking tray. I brush them al with a little bit of the egg and milk mixture that is left in the jug I then pop then in the pre-heated over 220oC for 20 minutes. all done they look and smell amazing. Now do I share these with the people at work or keep them all to myself.

So, to sum up

4 large eggs

200g red Leicester cheese

600g self-rising flour

2 teaspoons paprika

2 tsp mustard powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper

100g butter

100ml milk

Pinch salt

45g chives

So, until next time happy baking

Chive pesto

The chives have gone wild this year and I have so many of them I thought I would give chive pesto a go.

I cut all the chives in the garden I wash them and then dry them. I then weigh them, and they come to 250g wow that is a lot. I then chop them up.

I get a bag of almonds and I lightly toast them in the frying pan. I put them to on side. I then slice up two garlic cloves. I chop up 150g of cheddar cheese. I know its is meant to be parmesan, but I ran out so I’m using cheddar it’s my recipe I can do what I want haha. I also wash ten sage leaves that I picked out of the garden.

I measure out 125 ml of chive oil and pop it into the mini chopper. I also measure out 100ml of olive oil and pop that in. I then put all the rest of the ingredients into the chopper and wizz it up. I have a little try and it tastes really good. I am putting it all into little tubs to go in the freezer to use at a later date. Im thinking pesto stuffed chicken breast with bacon wrapped around and a salad or pesto stuffed dough balls what do you think?

So, to sum up

250g chives

165g almonds

10 sage leaves

150g cheddar cheese

2 garlic cloves

125ml chive oil

100ml olive oil

So, until next time happy baking

Mustard sauce chicken and spinach

Lunch number two for the week. Now I still have some left-over spinach so, I’m going to use it in this dish. I’m going to make a mustard sauce chicken with spinach.  

I chop up two white onions, tow white mushrooms and two chestnut mushrooms. I then put some chive oil into the pan. I cut up 1 ½ chicken breasts into chunks. I put the chicken, mushroom and onions into the pan and slowly cook.

While that is cooking, I make the mustard sauce, I grate 50g of cheddar cheese. Weight out 50g of butter and 50g of flour. And measure out 500ml of milk. I put the butter into the pan, and I melt it. One melted I put the flour in and make a roux. I then slowly add the milk. Whisking after each addition of milk. This takes a while. One all the milk is in the pan; I keep whisking until it starts to thicken. I then add ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper One it has thickened I add three tablespoons of homemade mustard and the cheese I whisk it until it is smooth. Sauce done.

Now I quickly shred the handful of spinach leaves and pop them into the pan with a pinch of salt. I mix it all up and cook for a minute or two. Now I pop the chicken mix into the dish and pour the sauce over it. I mix it all together and that is lunch number two done. It tastes really nice.

So, to sum up

1 ½ chicken breasts

2 white onions

2 white mushrooms

2 chestnut mushrooms

Handful spinach leaves

Salt

Mustard sauce

3 tablespoons homemade mustard

50g flour

50g butter

50g cheddar cheese

500ml milk

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

So, until next time happy baking

Cherry, strawberry cordial

Today I want for a little walk to go see if the cherries were ready to pick and guess what they were. Foraging season has officially begun for me. I’m really happy that the cherries are ready to be picked as earlier this week when I was shopping, I saw boxes of cherries and I nearly bought some to make cordial with, but I didn’t I must have known that the cherries near me would be ready to pick.

I pick a good bagful of cherries I bring them home and I then take all the stalks out which takes forever but its sunny in the garden, so I don’t mind. Now I take them in the house and was them. No, I do not take the little pips out I leave them in as I will strain the cordial and life is too short to pit so many cherries. I weigh the cherries and it come to 2.2kg I’m impressed at how many I have picked. I put the cherries into the pan. I then have 950g of strawberries and I pop them into the pan. Now I measure out 3 litres of water and pop that into the pan. I weigh out 2.8kf of sugar and pop that into the pan (do not skimp on the sugar as it acts as a preservative). I think I need a bigger preserving pan.  It all just fits in. I turn the gas on high and wait for the pan to boil. It takes a while. Once the pan has boiled, I then turn the heat down and let it cook for 20minures. To soften the fruit.

20 minutes are up. I now mash all the fruit in the pan to get as much flavour out as possible. I then cook the cordial for a further 15minutes. Now time to sieve it all. I use a sieve and I line it with muslin so no bits get into the cordial.  Once it is all sieved, I then put it into sterilized bottles and seal them up. now this made about 5 litres of cordial. I can’t wait to try it.

So, to sum up

2.2kg cherries

950g strawberries

3 litres water

2.8kg sugar

So, until next time happy baking.

Chicken pesto pasta

Yesterday I made spinach pesto and today I am going to use it. Pesto and pasta go well together so pasta pesto dish it is.

I put some homemade oil into the pan I then cut up 1 ½ chicken breasts and pop them in the pan to cook. While that is cooking, I slice up 2 white onions and then pop them into the pan.  I cut up 3 rashes of bacon up (since it was in the fridge and needed using up) and pop them into the pan. I cook the chicken, bacon, and the onions on a low heat.

While that is cooking, I weigh out 100g of wholewheat pasta and I cook it. Pasta cooked I pop it into a dish.

I have about 20 pea pods from the garden, and I pod them and then pop them into the pan with the chicken. I then get the small tub of spinach pesto and pop that into the pan and cook for 2 minutes. now I pour the chicken pesto mix into the dish with the pasta and mix it all up. I have a quick taste and it tastes amazing. So, looking forward to lunch this week.

 So, to sum up

1 ½ chicken breasts

Small tub of homemade spinach pesto

20 pea pods for the peas

3 rashes of bacon

2 white onions

100g wholewheat pasta

Chive oil

So, until next time happy baking

Spinach pesto

What a week so far this summer we have had about 15kg yes 15 kg of strawberries so far. Now if you’re wondering what we have done with them well some have been eaten with cream and ice cream. Quite a few got made in to strawberry and vanilla jam, strawberry, and cinnamon jam. The rest got used in Strawberry cordial and strawberry and vanilla cordial. I have round about 10 jars of jam and 8 litres of cordial. All of the above recipes are in the blog.

On to what todays recipe is. So, we got a lot of spinach from the allotment today and I won’t use it all up in my lunch for work this week and I thought why not make pesto with it. I can then use it in a lot of different dishes. Might even do pesto cheese on toast.

I wash the spinach. I then take the mid rib out of the leaves as the leaves are quite big. The spinach weighs about 230g. I then weigh out 4g of basil leaves put them to one side. I weigh out 65g of parmesan. I lightly toast 100g of pine nuts in a pan. Now I measure out 75ml of homemade marjoram oil and pop it into the mini chopper. I then measure out 75ml of olive oil and pop it in. now I put the pine nuts into the chopper along with the basil and spinach. I roughly chop the parmesan and 1 garlic clove and pop them into the chopper. I add one green chilli (I leave the seeds in). Now I Wizz it all up together until its nice and smooth. The bright vibrant green colour looks amazing, and I taste a little and it tastes lovely. Now this has made quite a bit, so I spoon it in to tubs and I freeze threes of the tubs and I put one in the fridge to use tomorrow. In the fridge it should last a few days in the freezer about 2 months.

So, to sum up

230g spinach

100g pine nuts

4g fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove

75ml marjoram oil

75ml olive oil

65g parmesan

1 green chilli

So until next time happy baking

Slow cooker pasta bolognese

I haven’t had the slow cooker out in a while so, I thought I would get it out and cook a pasta Bolognese in it. Also, I have jam to make strawberry jam and a rhubarb and nutmeg jam so slow cooker good idea I can chuck it in and leave it to cook for a few hours.  

I go up to the top of the garden and cut a few stalks of celery and a few sprigs of marjoram

I boil the kettle and pour hot water over a handful of dried mushrooms to rehydrate them. I cut up 3 white onions. I pour a bit of marjoram oil into the pan. I then add the onions and 500g of beef mince to the pan and brown the mince and onions. I slice up 3 chestnut and 2 white mushrooms. I then slice up the celery. I cut the red pepper up into chunks. I half the 12 cherry tomatoes. Now I put all the vegetables into the slow cooker. I then weigh out 100g of red lentils and pop them into the pan. I now add the mince and onions. I measure out 1 tablespoon of Worchester sauce, 1 tablespoon of crab apple and chilli jelly (its back chemistry teacher) and three tablespoons of tomato puree I pop them all into the slow cooker. I then grate 2 garlic cloves into the slow cooker. I measure out ¼ teaspoon basil and ¼ teaspoon of thyme and pop them into the pot. I take the marjoram leaves of the stalks and pop them in. I then chop up the rehydrated mushrooms and pop them into the pot. I put some salt and pepper in. I use the water from the rehydrated mushrooms and measure it in a jug it comes to 250ml I add an other 100ml of water to the jug and then I dissolve 1 beef and 1 turkey oxo cube in the water along with 1 red wine stock pot. I then pour the stock into the pot. I put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours.

I weigh out 200g of whole wheat pasta and 30 minutes before the 4 hours is up, I pop the pasta in to cook. 4 hours up and it is done. I spoon it out into a dish and then I grate parmesan cheese on the top and I also shred a slice of Emmental cheese on the top. So, looking forward to my lunch this week.

So, to sum up,

3 chestnut mushrooms

2 white mushrooms

3 white onions

500g 5% fat mince

A few celery sticks

1 red pepper

12 cherry tomatoes

Handful dried mushrooms

1 tin tomatoes

100f red lentils

1 tablespoon crab apple and chilli jelly

3 tablespoons tomato puree

1 tablespoon Worchester sauce

Salt and pepper

¼ teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon basil

Few sprigs marjoram

Parmesan cheese

Beef oxo

Turkey oxo

Red wine stock pot

1 slice of Emmental

So, until next time happy baking.

Coconut cupcakes

I had some roasted coconut and coconut cream left over after I did the coconut cake and I thought why not make coconut cupcakes.

I pre-heat the oven to 180oC. I put the cupcake cases into the cake tins. Now I weigh out 230g of self-raising flour pop it into the bowl. Weigh out 230g of sugar and 230g of butter and pop them into the bowl now I add the roasted coconut which weighs 60g and the coconut cream which weighs 100g, I add these to the bowl. Now I weigh out 40g of desiccated coconut just to make sure the cakes taste like coconut and add it to the bowl. Now I add 4 large eggs to the bowl. I mix it all up. I then use an ice cream scoop and fill the cake case ¾ full.  Now I pop them in the oven for 20 minutes

20 minutes up and the cakes are done they look and smell amazing. I let them cool a little and have one and they are really good. Now the next day I take a few to work. The chemistry teacher does not like coconut, but she gives the cakes a go and she really like them. Now the lovely teacher who gave me a lemon tree has one and she says that the cake is define. Now the boss technician says the cake reminds her of coconut ice and the chem tech says that they are really good. So, I’m guessing that the coconut cakes will be made again at some point maybe with dark chocolate icing on top.

This recipe made 17 cup cakes.

So, to sum up

230g self-raising flour

230g sugar

230g butter

100g coconut cream

60g roasted coconut

40g desiccated coconut

4 large eggs.

So, until next time happy baking

Totally Nuts about coconut cake

A few weeks ago, I got asked to make a coconut cake by one of the lovely TAs at work. I agreed. I really still don’t think I’m good enough to make cakes for people, but everyone seems to think I am, so I gave it ago.

I line two 20cm cake tins (can you really call them cake tins when they are silicone) put them to one side. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. I the block of butter out and put it to one side as this needs to soften and will be used in the icing later.

I get the spreadable butter out of the fridge and weigh out 225g and pop it into a bowl. I then weigh out 225g of sugar and pop that into the bowl I then beat it till it is fluffy and pale. I then add 1 egg mix it in then another and mix it in. Now I separate the egg yolk for the egg white and just put the egg white into the bowl.  I mix it in. I separate another egg and just put the egg white in again and then whisk it in. I get the can of coconut cream 160ml and pour that into the bowl and mix it in.  I now weigh 225g of self-raising flour and I sieve it into the bowl. I then fold it in using a metal spoon. I weigh out 70g of desiccated coconut and fold that in. using an ice cream scope I evenly measure out the batter into the tins. I put them in to the oven for 25 minutes.

Cakes are done. I take them out of the oven leave them in the tins for 5 minutes and then I turn them out on to wire racks to cool.

The cakes have cooled, time to make the icing. I get the block of butter put it in to the bowl. I open a can of condensed milk and pour that into the bowl. I then add 100g of coconut cream. I melt 300g of white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second bursts. I pour the white chocolate into the bowl I then whisk it up until it is smooth light and fluffy. I put a little bit on the cake board in the centre and then pop one of the cakes on. I then put a few big spoonful’s on to the cakes and smooth it down I then put the cake on top. I do a crumb layer by adding icing with an angled spatula and then scraping it off with my cake scraper till is smooth. Now I put the cake and the icing in the fridge for 30 minutes. I don’t want the icing to become too runny.

I take the cake and the icing out of the fridge. I put the icing into the piping bag and pipe the icing all the way round the cake. Now I get the cake scraper and I smooth the icing with it. Now the icing is smooth on the sides. I put a big blob of icing on the top and smooth it with an angled spatula. Cake icing all smooth.

I roast 130g of desiccated coconut in the oven. It only takes ten minutes. I then let it cool for a minute or two. Now I pick the roasted coconut up and gently pat it onto the sides of the cake. I keep doing this until all the sides are covered. Now I put some more of the icing into a piping bag with the star tip and do eight swirls of icing round the top. Now I sprinkle the roasted coconut in the middle and in any gaps. Last thing to do is to sprinkle some desiccated coconut over the swirls and the cake is done.

I take it to work, and the TA is very happy and says it tastes amazing. She also says I should set up a cake business but I’m not that good. I still think I’m rubbish at decorating cakes but I will let you decide if I am or not.

So, to sum up

The sponge

1 160ml coconut cream

70g desiccated coconut

225g self-raising flour

2 eggs

2 egg whites

225g butter

225g sugar

The icing

100g coconut cream

300g white chocolate

1 tin condensed milk

250g block butter

Decorating

Sprinkle of desiccated coconut

130g roasted coconut

So, until next time happy baking.

Potato wedge dill bread

I have some dill left in the garden after I made dill oil the other day and I was looking through cookbook and found a potato and dill bread recipe, but I have very slightly changed it.

I weigh out 20g of fresh yeast and put it in a measuring jug and add 50ml of warm water I stir till it dissolves. I then weigh out 100g of malt house flour and 400g of strong white flour. I pop them into a bowl and mix them together. I the weigh out 10g of salt and pop that in the bowl. I make a well in the opposite side to the salt and pour the yeast mixture in. now I measure out 400ml of warm water and pour it in. I mix it all together and then put a tea towel and leave it to rise over night.

The next day I go out into the garden and cut a few stalks of dill. I bring them in and wash them, dry them and then I pull the leaves off the stalks. And put the leaves to one side. I tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and flatten it out and pop the dill into the middle. I then fold the dough over the leaves and kneed the dough for 5 minutes. I then cut the dough in two and make them into ovalish shapes.  I put them onto baking trays and cover them over and leave them for 2 hours.

I get 8 new potatoes I put them in to a pan of water and cook for 10 minutes. I then drain them and let them cool. I then cut them in to quarters which makes them wedges. I then add some butter and oil to the pan and heat it up I then put the potatoes into the pan and grate a garlic clove in. I cook them until they brown. I take them out and let them cool.

Time is up. I uncover the dough. I then press the potato wedges into the dough. If there are any left (which there were) I dipped them in BBQ sauce and ate them (don’t tell anyone). I then put the bread into the oven which I have pre-heater to 230oC and cook for 30minutes.

Breads done I can’t wait the try it.  

So, to sum up

100g malt house flour

400g strong white flour

20g fresh yeast

50ml water

400ml water

10g salt

8 new potatoes

1 garlic clove

Bit of butter

Splash of oil

So, until next time happy baking

Hoisin chicken and rice

I tried this recipe out a few weeks ago and I was very impressed as I was not sure if I would like hoisin sauce. I had asked a few people what it tasted like, and they said its sweeter than soy sauce and so I thought I would give it a go. I now like hoisin sauce. So now I’m thinking what other recipes I can do with hoisin sauce. If anyone has any good ones, please tell me

I started this last night as I wanted the chicken to marinate for a long time, but you could just marinate it for 30 minutes or a few hours. I measured out 4 tables spoons of hoisin sauce and pop it into a bowl. I then get a small piece of ginger peel it with a spoon and then grate it into the bowl. Now to get the squeezy bottle honey out of the cupboard (I very nearly pick up the golden syrup but realise its the wrong bottle). I measure out one teaspoon of honey and pop it in. I mix it all together. I then cut up 2 chicken breasts and mix them in the sauce making sure they are all coated. I cover it over and leave it in the fridge overnight.

I measure out 2 cup full of rice and pop it into the pan I then add 4 cup full of water. I add a pinch of saffron to the pan and I cook the rice until its nice and fluffy. While that is cooking, I chop up 2 chestnut mushrooms, two white mushrooms and 1 white onion and pop them to one side. Rice done I put it to one side

 I go into the garden and pick a bunch of shallots. I bring then in peel them and wash them. I then chop them up and put them to one side. I put a splash of ground nut oil and sesame seed oil into the pan I pop the marinated chicken in and 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and cook it for 10 minutes I then throw in the shallots and cook for a further 5 minutes. Chicken done. I pop it into a dish. Now in the pan I have cooked the chicken in I cook the mushrooms and onion for 10 minutes. I then add the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes and it done I pop it into the dish with the chicken and mix it all up. now I can’t wait for lunch.

So, to sum up

2 chicken breasts

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1 piece of ginger

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 white onion

2 chestnut mushrooms

2 white mushrooms

2 cups of rice

Bunch of shallots

Sesame seed oil

Ground nut oil

So, until next time happy baking

Sage oil

As I said in my last post the sage has gone crazy in growing and so since I have done sage blossom jelly why not use the sage leaves and make sage oil. So that it can be poured over roast chicken or pork or turkey. Pour over tomatoes to roast.  The list is endless.

I go in the garden and cut the sage. There is still a lot left so will have to come up with something else to make with it. I bring the sage into the house and wash it. I take the leaves off the stalk and leave them to dry. As I don’t want any water on the leaves and when the leaves are in the oil, and they are still damp it can cause bacteria to grow. It takes a few hours for the leaves to completely dry.

The leaves are finally dry. I have sterilized a bottle. I stuff all the sage leaves into the bottle. I measure out 400ml of olive oil and put it into the pan I put a little bit of cracked black pepper into the oil. Now I gentle heat the oil up. I want it just warm, and I don’t want to cook or burn the leaves. I just want the leaves to realise the oil in their leaves. I then pour the lightly heated oil into the bottle and let it cool I put the lid on and I will leave the bottle on a cool dark cupboard for a few weeks. I will get it out a few times a week and give it a shake.

After three weeks are up I will strain the oil and re bottle it. I can’t wait to try it.

So, to sum up

400ml olive oil

A good bunch of sage leaves

A few cracks of black pepper.

So, until next time happy baking.

Sage blossom Jelly

Last week I noticed that the sage had gone crazy and was out in bloom. So, I wondered to myself I know you can eat chive flowers can you eat sage flowers and guess what you can and so my quest of finding sage blossom recipes started. I came upon a sage blossom jelly recipe and thought that sounded interesting. Now me being me didn’t follow the recipes so much as I made it up as I went along. Also, I didn’t have any liquid pectin and so I used an apple to get the pectin from. Really should remember this year to make crab apple pectin.

I go out into the garden I cut off all the sage flowers (I’m sorry bees you now need to find new flowers). I bring them in and wash them. I pick the flowers off the stalks. I then weigh them, and I get 73g of flowers. I put them into an oven proof dish and then boil the kettle. I measure out 500ml of boiling water and then pour it over the flowers. I leave to soak for 3 hours.

Times up I put some muslin over a sieve and put the sieve over a jug. I then pour the flowers and water into the muslin to strain out the sage flower water and leave the flowers in the muslin. I squeeze the muslin to get the last bits of the water out. now I pour the liquid in to the pan and I chop up an apple leaving and the skin and leaving in the core. This goes into the pan I then cook the liquid And the apple for ten minutes until the apple is soft. Once the apple is soft I then mush it up using a potato masher. I then but the jelly bag together and pour the contents of the pan through the jelly bag. I leave it to drip for a good hour.

Time is up I get the liquid and I weigh it and it comes to 370g. I pour it into the pan. I then weigh out 270g of granulated sugar and pop that into the pan. Now I bring it to a rolling boil for 5-7 minutes. I then pour it in to steralized jars. So that is the sage blossom jelly done. Now if you are wondering what you can use in for use in in a chicken and stuffing sandwich. Glaze root vegetable with it to give them extra flavor. Add it to gravies and sauces. Using it to baste roast chicken or pork.

So, to sum up

73g sage blossom

1 apple

270g sugar

500ml water

So, until next time happy baking

Vanilla muffins with biscoff icing and white chocolate icing

Last night was the big cake night. I was asked a few weeks ago to make a biscoff cake for a someone at work for her daughter’s 16th birthday. I shared the practice one on the blog and thought I had better put the actual cake up. Everything was going to plan until the white chocolate butter cream decided not to play ball. It was warm in the kitchen and the butter cream got warm. So, I pipped it on, and it was just so, so soft. So, I used the scraper and did a second crumb coat of white chocolate and put the cake and the icing in the fridge for 30 minutes for it to firm up. when I got it out of the fridge it played ball and it all went smooth sailing after that. I took it to work and the lady who ordered it was very, very happy. So here is the photo.

The other reason for writing this blog is because I had some biscoff butter icing left over and some white chocolate icing left over and thought I would make vanilla muffins with icing piped on top.

I weigh out 230g of butter and pop it into the bowl I then weigh out 115g of vanilla sugar and 115g of soft brown sugar. I pop them in the bowl. I whisk them up until pale and fluffy. I then add 4 large eggs and whisk these up. I then weigh out 230g of self-rising flour and pop it into the bowl and mix the flour in. I then put the muffin cases into the muffin tin. I use a ice cream scoop to equally divide the mixture up into the 12 muffin cases. I pop them into the oven for 20 minutes which has been pre-heated to 180oC.

Muffins are done I leave them on a wire rack to cool. I then decorate them with the biscoff and the white chocolate icing. I played around with different icing tips so they are not brilliantly decorated but they will do. Now do I take one in for the chemistry teacher and the lovely teacher who gave me a lemon tree. I probably should also take one in for the chemistry technician and the physics technician.

So, to sum up

230g butter

115g vanilla sugar

115g light brown sugar

230g self-rising flour.

The biscoff icing

1 tin of condensed milk

250g butter

300g biscoff spread

The white chocolate icing

300g white chocolate

1 tin condensed milk

250g butter

You will have left over icing if you if you make it up just for these muffins

So, until next time happy baking

Chicken meatballs in a tomato mascarpone sauce

Since all the herbs and vegetables are growing really well in the garden, I thought it was about time I used some of them especially the spinach as I prefer it when its small leaves rather that the larger leaves.

I wonder up to the top of the garden and cut all the spinach leaves. I then cut some parsley. I look for the basil but it is still really small so I will leave that to grow some more. Now I cut some two sprigs of dill and I cut some marjoram. I bring them all inside the house and wash them and dry them.

First, I make the sauce as this take the longest to do. I quarter 5 tomatoes. I then chop up three onions. I get the sun-dried tomato jar out of the cupboard and I take a spoon full of the oil out put it into the pan. I then get a spoonful of sundried tomatoes and pop them into the pan. I pop the onions in, the tomatoes in and 10 cherry tomatoes. I then grate 3 garlic cloves into the pan. I add the parsley with the stalks and also the dill leaves. Now I cook it on a low heat for an hour.

While the sauce is cooking ill make the meatballs. Now my niece comes in to help thought I had got away with her not noticing that I’m cooking but no. she gets her little step. She tears up a brown slice of bread and a white slice of breads and puts it into the mini chopper for me. We then wizz it up until it becomes breadcrumbs. I then chop up the big handful of spinach leaves and my niece put the spinach leaves into the bowl and then puts the breadcrumbs in for me. Now we pick the leaves off the marjoram and pop them in the bowl. This is where my niece leaves me and goes off to colour in, it ok we will bake banana muffins later. I then roughly chop up 3 onions and pop them into the mini chopper and wizz them up. I then put them into the bowl. I grate 3 garlic cloves into the bowl. I add so salt and pepper. I grate 40g of parmesan into the bowl. Now I add 500g of chicken mince to the bowl and crack two large eggs in. I get my hands in the bowl and mix everything together. Now I make the mixture into balls. Earlier I had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, and I saved the frying pan which has the bacon fat in so to add extra flavour to the meatballs I fry them in the bacon fat until they are golden brown and nearly cooked all the way through. I do this in three batches as all the meat balls don’t fit in the pan. My mixture made 20 meatballs, but you can do them smaller or bigger. Once the meat balls are all cooked, I pop them into a large oven proof dish. And pop them to one side for a few minutes while I finish off the sauce.

The sauce has coked nicely. I pop it into the liquidizer and wizz it up until it is smooth. Now I put it back into the pan on a low heat I add 250g of mascarpone cheese and add some chilli salt. I mix until the cheese has melted into the sauce. I cook for a few minutes. I then transfer the sauce in the dish with the meatballs in and pop the dish into the pre heated oven on 2000C. I then cook it for 30 minutes.

All done I have a little taste and it tastes really nice.

So, to sum up

The Sauce

5 tomatoes

10 cherry tomatoes

2 sprigs of dill

A small handful of parsley

3 white onions

250g mascarpone

Chilli salt

 3 garlic cloves

Black pepper

Spoonful of sun-dried tomatoes

Spoonful of sun-dried tomato oil

Meatballs

500g chicken mince

1 slice white bread

1 slice brown bread

Handful baby spinach leaves

Small handful of marjoram

Salt and pepper

2 large eggs

3 onions

3 garlic cloves

40g parmesan

So, until next time happy baking

Harissa paste

I have recently ran out of harissa paste and need to make some more. Harissa paste is a north African spicy paste which goes very well on chicken, and I like to spread it on lasagne pasta sheets to give the lasagne an extra kick or add a teaspoon full to a pasta sauce.

I get 90g of chillies. I use red and yellow (I have no idea what type they are). I cut the stalks off. I then peal 5 cloves of garlic. Now I measure out four teaspoons of cumin seeds, four teaspoons of coriander seeds and 4 teaspoons of caraway seeds. I dry fry all of the three different seeds until I hear them start to pop. This takes a few minutes. be very careful not to burn them. I let them cool for a minute or two.

I get the spice grinder out and I pop the seeds into the grinder I also add ½ a teaspoon of Himalayan salt (pink salt) to the grinder. I then wizz it up until it is all a powder. now I add two teaspoons of dried mint (if you don’t have dried mint fresh mint works just as well) to the grinder and wizz it up.

I measure out 150ml of light-coloured olive oil. Now I get the mini food chopper out and I put the garlic in and the chillis in. I then add the mixed spices. I wizz it up till it forms a paste. I add a little bit of the oil to the food chopper and wizz it up. I keep doing this until all the oil is used up. I place it in to jars that I have sterilized the jars. I then pour a layer of oil over the top of the paste to seal it in. I then put the lid on. Now the paste should be kept in a cool dry place and will last about 4 months. Once opened place in the fridge.

So, to sum up

90g chillis

5 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons cumin seeds

4 teaspoons coriander seeds

4 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 teaspoons dried mint

150ml olive oil plus extra for sealing

½ teaspoon Himalayan salt (pink salt)

So, until next time happy baking