Friday, August 18, 2017

Breakfast Muffins

This recipe is based on BBC Good Food Breakfast Muffins. Due to limited ingredients, there were are number of substitutions. This is the recipe I actually made.

1 ripe banana, mashed
2 large eggs
150ml pot yogurt
50ml oil
100g apple sauce 
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g SR flour (Dove Farm Gluten-Free)
50g rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling
2 Tsp  sugar
1½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tsp mixed seeds, plus extra for sprinkling.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin.

In a large jug, mix the mashed banana, eggs, yogurt, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, oats, seeds and seeds. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix briefly until you have a smooth batter – don’t over mix as this will make the muffins heavy. 

Divide the batter between the cases. Sprinkle the muffins with the extra oats and the seeds. 

Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and well risen, and a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. 

As the yogurt and apple sauce available to me were both sweetened, and I don't like honey, I decided to use 2 Tsp of sugar in the muffins.  The flour and oats used are both gluten-free.  

Ooh my! These are good. So moist, tender and tasty.  It was a little weird having a mild hint of strawberry through it. I think next time I will use either a plain yogurt, or add fruit of that matches the flavour of the yogurt. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cakes and Desserts for Breakfast?!

I am totally bemused and puzzled by American breakfast foods. What's with all of the sugar first thing in the morning?!

This morning, I fancied making something different, and decided to try a Cinnamon Roll Muffin recipe from 'Cooking Light'. I should have stopped on my first read through of the recipe. It didn't feel right. And, there was nothing 'light' about these muffins. They were dry and heavy, and absolutely laden with sugar. A recipe is not 'made light' by eliminating the fat and replacing it with sugar!

It's far better to have a wonderfully tasty muffin or cake once in a while than boring dull, heavy, dry travesties every day. This gets to the root of a what a treat is. It's not an every day item. It's something that wonderful sinful, lush and delicious, full of the 'eat occasionally' ingredients.

The one part of the recipe I did like was the cinnamon centre. I'll take that bit of the recipe and use it with one for tried and true muffins.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lemon Chicken

This recipe is from Confessions of a Fit Foodie. The quantities have been changed into metric, and salt removed. Each person can then add salt to their own taste.

20g butter
1 Tsp oil
4 boneless chicken breasts
120g flour (I use Dove Farm Gluten-free flour)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
120ml lemon juice
1 Tsp lemon zest
120ml chicken stock
1 lemon, sliced

Mix together the flour, garlic powder, and pepper. Lightly coat each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess.

Over a medium heat, melt the butter and mix in the oil. Brown the chicken on each side, and cook for 3 minutes on either side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice and chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan and top with lemon zest. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken a bit. Top with lemon slices and simmer for 5 more minutes.

This is excellent!  We all enjoyed it and wish to add it into our regular menu. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Grey Wrist Warmers

Company: Regia
Yarn: Black and Blue Color
Composition: 75% wool, 25% polyamide
Colour:  8841
Dyelot: 20369
Pattern: as detailed below
Needles: 2.5mm
Amount used: ~30g

When my wrists get cold they become very sore. Wrist warmers are a wonderful way to prevent soreness.

Cast on 56 stitches. Join. Work in 2x2 rib for 20 rounds.

Week 33: Kids' Closets

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #33: Kids' Closets
Tuesday: Declutter kids' closet hanging clothes
Wednesday: Declutter kids' closet shelves and drawers
Thursday: Declutter kids' closet floor
Friday: Declutter kids' bedroom dresser
Saturday: Continue to declutter kids' clothes
Sunday: Declutter hangers

This is here for completeness. My children are fully grown.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cheddar and Chive Scones

225g SR flour (I used Dove Farm Gluten-Free)
50g butter
15g chives
100g Cheddar cheese
1 egg
1Tsp wholegrain mustard

Pre-heat the oven to 220.

Rub the butter into the flour. Snip the chives into the bowl and grate the cheese. Break the egg into a jug, beat it and then top up to the 150ml mark with milk. Add the wholegrain mustard.

Mix the milk/egg mixture into the flour. If you are using wheat flour, roll out and cut into 9 scones. Place onto a greased baking sheet. If you are using gluten-free flour, spoon out into a buttered a muffin tray. Bake for about 10 -12 minutes.

A tasty addition would be little chunks of bacon. These should be cooked and cooled before adding to the mixture.

A serving suggestion is to split the scone, and add salmon and cream cheese.

Bored! (not really)

I was watching a Vsauce video on youtube about being bored. Michael (the presenter) mentioned the Boredom Proneness Scale. It took the test and it concluded "You have a 0% chance of being bored out of your skull."

This sounds about right to me. The only times I can remember being bored are when I am recovering from illness. There is a feeling of 'I want to do something, anything, but I don't have enough brain power to work out what I could do." Occasionally, I can think of activities, but I don't have the strength, patience, or brain power to carry them out. I now have a little file on my computer desktop entitled 'Open when bored'. It has a number of ideas for beating boredom. I really do need constructive outlets, otherwise I am a danger to myself and others.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sweetcorn and Potato Chowder Thought

I tried to make the chowder as written, but didn't have several ingredients. Instead of nutmeg, cumin and sage, I used a little ginger, mixed herbs and garlic. This gave a good taste, but I'll add the specified ingredients to the shopping list.

My one reservation with the recipe is that the chowder is too thin. I like my soups good and thick, packed with veggies and full of flavour. To thicken it a bit more I added some frozen mashed potato. Next time, I'll blitz about a third of the soup just before the sweetcorn is added.


Second day soup is so much better! This will have been helped by adding the nutmeg and cumin seeds. I did buy sage, but I forgot to add it. We'll see what it's like when all of the ingredients are used.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sweetcorn and Potato Chowder

This recipe is from Barbara Cousins' website.

2 Tsp oil
2 large onions, diced
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
900g potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1.75 L stock
2 Tsp gluten free flour
550 ml unsweetened dairy free milk
650g sweetcorn
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sweat the onion until it begins to soften.

Add the herbs, spices and potatoes and sweat for another 2 minutes, then add the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked but still holding their shape.

Mix the flour and milk. Add to the pan along with the sweetcorn. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly and simmer for 2 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Healthier Eating - the Veggie Edit

For a while now I've been wanting to eat more vegetarian and vegan foods. My problem has been as I can't eat gluten-stuff and chillies. Eggs need to be cooked into food. Cake is fine; quiche isn't. Dairy has to be used sparingly. I am not a fan of olives, mushrooms or avocados. This has rather limited my choices.

But, look!  There's a recipe book for veggie stuff that takes this into consideration! Some of the recipes are vegan, some use dairy substitutes. I'm looking forward to some experimentation.