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Pancake Deja Vu

10 Feb

Another classic Pancake Night round Alice Can’t Cook Towers.
It’s the same every year so I won’t elaborate but the pictures tell the same old story:
CAKEFullSizeRenderIMG_5809Not sure why I keep bothering, why I think every year might be different? But I have to, I love pancakes, really love them. One year will by MY year…

For the full terrible pancake story read about the night I live tweeted Pancake Night 2014 from my kitchen with the usual results here!

 

Witches Hats on Trial for Halloween

1 Nov

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I love Halloween, I love it!

I probably love it more than the rest of the family sadly but they usually humour me. I’ll happily take on anything related to the season and so was happy to be sent these fun little Witches Hat Cake Pops by Asda. I have had great successes in the past with these baking kits (no really they work for those of us who aren’t natural bakers!) but was even more delighted to discover that no actual baking or cooking was involved. Nope, you didn’t even have to turn the oven on but you could still make something quite sweet and impressive and of course fun for the kids to make too.

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All these little hats needed was some butter from your own kitchen and you’re off. Mix the cocoa crumb with softened butter and then shape into the provided wafer cones. Fashion some of the mix into the hat brims (not as easy as described) and leave to set in the fridge with the little skewers inserted into them – the box is a handy holder here.

Then spread with melted chocolate before adding some little edible white stars and abracadabra – Halloween witch hats that taste surprisingly lovely and it looks like some actual effort went into them, when it didn’t.

Now that’s magic!

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Some Summer Holiday Success

4 Sep

Thank goodness it’s all over, am I right mums?
Yes the little loves are finally back to school and no more days spent looking for something to do.
Of course some of those long summer days had to involve cooking – it’s a conspiracy, adverts everywhere talking about easy recipes you can make with the kids, bored children wanting to ‘make cakes with mummy’, it drives me mad but we did partake.

And so here I share with you two actual things that worked out for us this summer holiday!
First up we made these weird ice cream cone cupcakes that came from a £2.50 Asda ready made kit. The fun was more in the making of them because they actually tasted SO SWEET they were inedible. The dog however absolutely loved them:
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And then there was the advert on the TV suggesting we could freeze yogurt into cold, fruity treats, it seemed far too simple to be true, but it really was. My son and I spooned out little dollops of a rather boring strawberry yogurt onto some foil and popped them in the freezer with some toppings, he chose tic-tacs and I chose raspberries.
Going in:
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And here are they are after about an hour in the freezer:

 

 

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The tic tac ones worked better than the fruit ones because frozen raspberries aren’t great – who knew?

The process of freezing made a rather dull fat free yogurt taste weirdly luxurious and creamy.

I became so happy with my new simple summer holiday cooking (or freezing) that I went a bit mad and made loads. After the initial tasting session my son got a bit bored and declared he didn’t want them anymore and so I now have lots left over. Which reminds me I am glad once more the holidays have finished….

 

 

How can Italians stay slim?

5 Aug

I’ve just returned from a weeks sojourn in Southern Italy, staying in Sorrento and visiting the wonderful island of Capri. We were surrounded by incredible scenery and very rich and beautiful people. We also ate a lot of amazing Italian food.

In fact I did little more than indulge in all of my favourite things – pasta, pizza, Peroni, Prosecco, panini and other things beginning with P – for the full seven days. And of course throw in the odd Insalata Caprese which is hardly a salad really when it is served up with huge succulent pillowy mozzarella balls the size of my fist.

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 (This is a litre of lager, I could have drowned a puppy in it)

It got me thinking though as I shovelled yet more delicious, perfectly made (moist yet crunchy) pizza into my mouth how did all of the Italians surrounding me manage to stay so damn slim when every restaurant table groaned with baskets of bread and bottles of scrumptious olive oil before you’d even opened a menu?

Of course I realise that Italian people don’t always eat what we believe to be ‘Italian food’ – same as the lovely Chinese family I used to work for never ate the takeaway food they sold – but there’s just so much of it and it’s just so good.

But I did come home with a little theory, I am so stuffed with delicious carbs that after a week of it I felt like I wanted nothing more than to eat just green leaves for the rest of my life. In fact if I ever see another pizzeria again it will be too soon. Maybe I’ve started to think more Italian, yes it’s great eating but not for every day right?

italy1(the view from a local restaurant, made me want to eat more)

 

This is NOT ice-cream

19 Jul

I found a recipe on the internet that said you could make easy ice-cream just using some ‘on the turn’ bananas. Simply cut them into chunks and freeze them, and when you wanted some fruity ice-cream just push them through a blender and voila. Cold treats with ease.

I gave it a go, I had browning bananas which I froze ready for the big day – as the weather has been so hot I thought my son would appreciate some ice-cream and so into the bullet blender they went. (I love my bullet).

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Of course me being me I could’t resist adding a little something extra to it (also not believing frozen bananas ice cream make) and so a couple of strawberries, syrup and a squirt of squirty cream.

After what seemed like endless blending – frozen bananas do NOT give up to the blades that easily – I ended up with this:

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Watery pink liquid with a lump of frozen banana in the middle. Son didn’t like it, I didn’t like it. And it certainly wasn’t ice-cream. Sad face.

Predictable Pancake Night – a story told on Twitter

5 Mar

And here is how the story unfolded…

Thanks for reading.

Minecraft Pizza! An education and an abomination.

30 Jan

Son and I got a kids cookery book for Christmas. I tried to hide it, but was reminded of it recently when my son suggested we cook more together. I held his little face in my hands not wanting to let him down, not wanting to remind him of our previous disasters. Hope always springs eternal in the young… so with a heavy heart I got the book out and said we could try to make anything he liked in it.

Happily he chose creative pizzas, I was relieved  because all that means is making shapes out of food on ready made bases. Phew, baking bullet dodged.

Sadly it wasn’t totally without trauma.

First up the Clockface Pizza – telling the time with food – what could be more educational? These pictures need no explanation but just imagine two happy human faces putting this little beauty together:

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 Son happily ate all four quarters telling the time as he did so. Look, it even looks a bit like the picture in the book!
Pizz3Fired up with success and enthusiasm for this creative pizza making lark I then boldly told my son we could try any design he liked. To hell with the constraints of the book what would HE like to see on a pizza. The answer was Steve from Minecraft. What? Steve, you know from Minecraft? Right find me a picture. He did and so not without some trepidation we got stuck in…

For the uninitiated Minecraft is made up solely of squares and blocks, rather at odds with the roundness of pizza and its toppings.  I knew our happy pizza making days were at an end – before they had even really begun…

This is what Steve from Minecraft looks like:
mine-craft-steve-headsteve-head---minecraft-mask---myteespot---your-t-shirt-store-b2e0cutdAnd this is what he looks like on a pizza:

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Son was so distraught at the abomination, the desecration of the venerated Steve that he refused to eat it and went off to play Minecraft instead. He asked me not to write about the experience and hasn’t asked to cook with me again.
He has a point. But I challenge any mother to make Steve out of pizza and not scare people?
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It’s the eyes right? They’re watching you, little pizza eyes… don’t have nightmares ok?

 

Happy Halloween: Those Jelly Worms Don’t Work

31 Oct

I’ve been hearing a lot about these ‘Jelly Worms’ recently – a great looking pile of bloody worms that are really made from jelly shaped by bendy straws – it’s the sort of photo recipe that is shared on Facebook a lot. Oooh look at this simple, fun idea that anyone can do and will really make your Halloween go with a swing kind of thing…

It had been suggested to me by various people that I at least give it a go. And so I did, last night on the Eve of All Hallows Eve I prepped my items.
Sadly Toys R Us didn’t sell normal straws, they only had these massively long novelty neon ones which seemed a rather expensive investment for Jelly Worms, but beggars can’t be choosers etc.
As they were far too long for even the longest non-arthropod invertebrate I had to chop them all into three. And because it was nearly Halloween I DID IT WITH A BLUNT CLEAVER. Well this was only because my kitchen scissors were in the dishwasher but it did add a certain frisson to proceedings:
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Sausage Surprise! (No Surprise)

19 Sep

In celebration of Jean leaving EastEnders this week I made my very own take on her signature dish of Sausage Surprise.

I don’t know what the dish or the surprise is so I just did what I usually do when I have some sausages and can’t be bothered:

  • I put them in a bowl with a tin of tomatoes and then put them in the oven for an hour.

surprise Continue reading

A Little Pasta Philanthropy

5 Jun

There are some good people in the world, people who take note of the plight of others and act upon it.
People who read my blog and think they might be able to help me out – or even help my son out and save him from badly presented and probably unhealthy dinners!

Look, I wasn’t the one who nearly served my boy up raw turkey rasher sandwiches because I thought they were ham ok?
It was my husband (true story).

little2 But anyway… those kind folk at Little Dish felt that I could maybe do with some help and sent me this rather nice hamper so that we could try out their new fresh filled pasta and sauce range.

I couldn’t really go wrong as the pasta is added to boiling water and the sauce (which is full of hidden vegetables but actually tastes just like lovely tomatoes) is warmed up on the hob.
Continue reading

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