Tag Archives: Baking / Cooking

Making a Yule Log that’s to die for!

The Yule log was originally a huge (and it must have been huge) log that was selected to burn in a house over the Christmas period. The tradition is that once this log was lit it must not go out until burned up. These days the Yule log is smaller and more edible. If you’re twiddling your thumbs, wondering what to do in the few days before Christmas here’s an idea for you – make a Yule log! This is a chocolate Swiss roll covered in chocolate butter icing and it’s a bit delic!

The recipe for the swiss roll is:

Ingredients:

3 Eggs
75g castor Sugar
60g Self Raising Flour
20g Cocoa Powder

Line a 8″ x 12″tray with greaseproof paper, preheat oven to 200C.

1) Mix eggs with electric mixer for two minutes.

2) Add castor sugar to eggs, mix with electric mixer for about 8 minutes until the consistency and colour of whipped double cream.

3) Sieve flour and cocoa powder twice.

4) Gently fold in flour an cocoa powder into egg mix. Ensure it’s well mixed.

5) Pour mix into tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

6) Once baked, turn out onto a clean tea towel. Cut the crispy edges and roll up in the tea towel inside it while still hot. Leave for about 1 minute.

7) Unroll and fill with jam, cream or both.

 

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Once this is done make chocolate butter icing by mixing butter with icing sugar and cocoa power. I almost always wing it with butter icing and make it to look and taste. Once you’ve made this and smooth this over to make it look log like. Then decorate festively however you like! This is sweet and yummy, best with double or clotted cream it’s a heart attack in a bowl.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Simon 🙂

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Yummy Christmas Pie

With Christmas nearly here and loads of ideas flying about I thought I would repost one of my now well liked traditions – After Christmas pie!

A boxing day treat for all is to make a pie from the leftovers. There’s two pies I tend to 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. It should be easy to make a big pie, I use shop bought shortcrust pastry, roll it out then place into the pie dish. I fill it with all the turkey, gammon and all then cover it up with more pastry,  coat the pastry top in egg (use this to bind the edges too). And then cook for 30 minutes.

On top of this is the Christmas leftovers pie, which 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 boxing day meal that’s simple after the rigor of the roast the day before!

Don’t get too hungry now!

Simon 🙂

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 🙂

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!

turkey

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 🙂

Planet Simon Weekly Roundup

So it’s the end of yet another week, the weekend is here and I’m hopeful of some fun and merriment to be had.

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But what happened this week on Planet Simon?

Minion Thoughts

Minions

 

I’ve started putting up some amusing minion thoughts to lighten the blogging time line a little. I added a few thoughts this week:

Minion Thoughts – Spiders

Minion Thoughts – Some People are Missing a Screw

Minion Thoughts – Insomnia

 


 

Writing

Part 6 of my lateest Scifi Story came out on Thursday – it’s not part of the blog battle as the rules are changing but even so, part 6 came out with more to follow:

The Titan Mystery – Part 6

 


 

Space and other Stuff

 

This picture showing the dew drop of Encaladus against Saturn shows in spectacular detail the sacle of the Saturn system.

The Dew Drop of Saturn

With a rundown from NASA on what’s gonig on in space in May.

What’s going on in space in May

 

Moving on from the vastness of space I thought I would share with you all my munchies idea this week – I liked them and it seems you guys did too!

Tuna and Cheese Melt Baguette Slices


 

Other bloggers

As usual some other bloggers and pages feature on my weekly roundup. Sacha posted a piece for writing inspiration on some spooky dolls. It also featuires a flash fiction piece I wrote last week:

https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/04/writespiration-88-its-a-dolls-life/

Lucy’s post on being a writing thrill seeker also caught my attention:

https://blondewritemore.com/2016/05/04/signs-you-are-a-plot-twist-thrill-seeker/

Go and have a look at their blog, there is much to entertain you!

At the moment things are slow – there’s all new stuff coming up in the pipeline that I’m hopeful will be interesting, entertaining, funny, scary and everything else. So watch this space!

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 🙂