Category Archives: Baking / Cooking

Warming the Dark Nights with Chocolate Chip Shortbread

There’s nothing better for a warming snack in the dark evenings than shortbread. Add to that some chocolate chips and yum! Can’t wait. 

What you’ll need to make it is:

175g Plain Flour

125g of Butter

50g of soft brown sugar

Lots of chocolate chips!!!

Sieve the flour and then add the butter as small chunks. Rub the flour and butter together until they’re fine bread crumbs.  Add the sugar and chocolate chips and mix together.

Press into a grease lined tin.

Cook for 20 minutes.

When finished sprinkle with castor sugar, cut while still got and leave to cool.

Simples.

I used a 3 x mix to fit the tin. It’s really nice I have to admit and I’m fairly sure that it won’t be around long!

Enjoy

Simon 🙂

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Breakfast at Simon’s – The Homemade Way

I always like to try new things in the kitchen, so when Master Chef had the competitors making breakfast I had to try it.

The first thing to do is get a pan full of water on the boil with a good dose of vinegar, not salt! Finely chop an onion, and grate enough pre cooked potato for the hash browns.

I cooked the onion to soften it, then put it with the potato and mixed this with and egg to bind the lot together. 

Streaky bacon works best, put this on with no oil in the bottom, unless it’s a crapped out pan like mine. Get the bacon until it’s just short of crispy then remove from the pan, and may it in kitchen towel to remove the oil.

Make the hash browns into cakes, then add butter to the pan and place them in and allow them to cook until brown. The butter helps them brown.

Note for the eggs, is the pan has booked and is simmering away gently, then it’s ready. Crack the eggs into the water and leave for about three minutes then remove and drain. 

Put the lot together and here you are! Homemade breakfast and it’s rather yummy!

Simon ☺️

Pizza – Foodie Experimentation

I’ve had a bread maker for years and meant to make homemade pizza. The other week I had a lash, so I followed the instructions to make the dough.

Excitedly I tried in much vain to pull it into any kind of shape busy seriously the bugger was having none of it.

Eventually I got it into shape, with Pasata, which cost less than £1 and cheese and meatballs and a few dried herbs my creation was ready. After fifteen minutes in the oven I got this out:

Needless to say it didn’t last that long. Some turned their noses up saying it was weird or the base wasn’t right, but everyone’s an expert.

I thought it was amazing, so I’m doing it again sometime. Maybe then I’ll get it right!

Simon ☺️

Yummy Christmas Pie

A boxing day treat for all (and a little late now – sorry) is to make pies from the leftovers. I haven’t worked the I make, the first is a pie with leftover turkey and gammon, with some white sauce and a few other things (down to personal preference) like mushrooms and stuff in. Make a big pie  shop bought pasty, coat the top in egg (use this to bind the edges too). And then cook for 30 minutes.

The other pie is genius, I got it from Paul Hollywood and it’s basically a pie with stuffing, turkey, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, whatever is left over in it. I made both of these and they’re simply out of this world and make a great little boxing day tradition. 

Using ready pastry takes the stress out and makes for a great Christmas pie!

Don’t get too hungry now!

Simon 😀

Christmas – How can it be different?

I’m cycling this post again… some of you may remember it!

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Yup, it’s nearly here… Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. It does have one problem for me, it’s inside, all day and it never changes. well it didn’t change until a few years ago…

Part of the issue was my family and I were never with the ‘in’ crowd, so never got invited round for Christmas. So every year Christmas consisted of:

1) Tear paper off anything present like.

2) Start Christmas dinner.

3) Cook Christmas dinner while trying to get kids not to open the rest of their presents.

4) Christmas dinner cook drags.

5) Christmas dinner finally done, serve, eat and drink.

6) Clear up after Christmas dinner while feeling like I want to sleep.

7) Kids open more presents, TV etc until the end of the day.

OK – I admit, I’m exaggerating a bit. The thing is though, dinner was taking up a lot of time.  A dinner?!?!

So, it was agreed that Christmas dinner would be on Christmas eve and on Christmas day we would go… to the beach. Yes, the beach, in England, in Winter. It was great! Seriously, we watched a load of people run into the sea (some of them wearing bikini’s even… not all women either but I digress).

Instead of closing the door and shutting the world out – we went to the world at a time when it’s quiet. It was fun! I’m not saying you should be as mad as me and dash to the beach, whether wearing a bikini or not, but doing something different is refreshing and I’m sure it can be for some of you out there.

Happy Christmas.

Simon 🙂

Tuna and Cheese Melt Baguette Slices

The other night it was a case of the munchies – but what to have? My idea was little short of genius, yet simple.

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Taking slices of baguette I mixed up some Tuna and Mayo and spread this onto the slices. Topped them with cheese and grilled for five minutes (or whatever).

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The result was, well you can see for yourself and they tasted better than they looked, particularly with some salt and pepper. Yum!

Simon 🙂

Mouth watering Monday – Chocolate Chip Muffins

Since Monday is usually a pretty boring day of the week and everyone needs cheering up, I thought I would blog about my chocolate chip Muffins. This is a great recipe that that make a muffin very close to what you get at the super market… but better! You can of course eat them warm, however I feel they’re best left overnight at least. They become all moist and sticky like a muffin should be.


 

Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 100g Butter or Margarine
  • 225g Castor Sugar
  • 300ml Greek yoghurt
  • 5tbsp Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 275g Self raising flour
  • 175g (at least) of Chocolate chunks or chips

 

 

  1. The method is simple – cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, yoghurt, milk and mix together well.
  2. Sieve the flour in and fold in to the mix until combined.
  3. Add the chocolate chips (or other sweet and fun treats) and mix in.
  4. Spoon into individual muffin cases and bake at 190C for around 25 minutes.

 

The cooked muffins shown were pretty much perfect, but check with a fork to make sure they’re cooked. These are usually forgiving to being overcooked a little, especially when left overnight as again they moisten up.

 

Have a go, let me know what you think of them!

Simon 🙂

 

 

Cadbury’s Chocolate – An open letter to the company that screwed it up

This is an open letter to whoever is now running Cadbury’s. Well done, you did it didn’t you – you set out to achieve what you wanted to do all along didn’t you? Ruin our great British chocolate and ruin a fantastic brand. I’m not saying that everything you’ve done is a disaster, as I do quite like the bars of bubble chocolate, but it’s the tradional stuff that you should have left alone.

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The biggest example of this is the Creme Egg, it was great before you came along and some fiddly fingered little know it all (they think) comes along and changes the recepie. They then change the pack sizes from 6 (or multiples thereof with some 3’s admittedly) to 5. Ok, I know I’m late on the bandwagon here but I wanted to make sure that you understood that I’m not happy along with many, many others.

I don’t know if you’ve heard a saying “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it?” if you have then what in the world made you think that the Creme Egg was broken? The simple answer to this is that this is about corporate bullshit coming from people that are probably on another continent and profit. Why?!? What made you think that adding a dash or corporate with a touch of bitter at a higher price into one of our beloved products was going to make us want it more – please, don’t insult our intelligence, we’re not mugs!

By the way, the new advert that you have out that frequently interrupts my Spotify listening isn’t working – stupid words coming from a young lady like flavour-lishious are not making me want creme eggs or the like, I for one don’t like the new Creme Eggs. If you have half an ounce of sense you’ll put all the tradition Cadbury’s products back to how they were when you took over and then do somehitng you don’t want to – LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!

Simon 🙂

Pineapple Upsidedown Pudding

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This is a favourite of mine, a winter pud thats classic. As you can see i went too big for the plate. The way this is made is that the pudding dish needs greasing, then melt 2oz of butter in a pan. When melted add 2oz of soft brown sugar and melt together, add this to the pudding dish.

Put the pineapple rings (I had chunks) into the dish on top of the butter / sugar mix.

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Next cream 8oz of butter with 8oz of sugar together until light and fluffy. Then mix in 4 eggs.

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Finally add 12oz of flour and fold in until mixed, If the mix is still a bit dry use some milk. Pour the mix over the pineapple and bake at 180C for about 1 hour. This is a big one, so you can halve the ingredients, but the cooking time stays the same.

Once the pudding is baked turn out onto its serving dish. Cut up and serve with icecream or custard.

This is my first post of 2016, happy new year to all…

Simon ☺