Nutella Biscuits

For my February’s half term bake with the kids, we decided to make some Nutella biscuits as you only need a few ingredients. I saw this recipe from the Bigger Bolder Baking blog which seemed easy to follow and you only need 3 ingredients! My older son, Dee loves Nutella so he was super excited to make this but Gray didn’t want to touch it! He doesn’t like to get his hands messy especially when it’s chocolatey! I only let Dee have Nutella toast 3 x times a week or otherwise he would have it everyday for brekkie! πŸ™‚

Pre heat the over to GM4. You will need a cup of Plain Flour (150g), a cup of Nutella (240g) and 1 egg. Mix it altogether, if it is too dry, you can add some more Nutella to the mixture. Roll them into small balls and put them on the baking tray and flatten them slightly at the top. Bake them for 8 – 10 minutes and let it cool for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a baking rack. I over baked our cookies as they turned out quite crunchy so next time, I won’t leave it so long in the oven as it still looked abit raw after 10 minutes but maybe when it cools down, they will harden. I think from this batch, we made about 20 cookies! Enjoy as we all did! πŸ™‚

CNY Bake – Walnut Cookies!

Chinese New Year – Bull started on the 12th February and normally last 16 days. My mum normally makes the traditional ‘Nian Gao’ but she didn’t feel like making it this year because we couldn’t celebrate with all of our families due to the UK lockdown. I wanted to bake something for CNY so I made some ‘Walnut cookies’ from Rasa Malaysia’s Blog, it has been awhile since I have been to her blog as I used to receive her email newsletters but maybe when the GDPR kicked it, I forgot to opt in again! Normally, I would make peanut cookies but the boys are allergic to peanuts so I tend not to use them in baking or cooking anymore just to be on the safe side. Luckily, it is not too serious because if they do touch it or eaten peanuts by accident, their mouth would be abit swollen and they would develop hives which would be itchy, but I would just need to give them some Piriton medicine and they will be fine! πŸ™‚

These cookies are so easy to me and most of the ingredients, you should have already got in your store cupboards. The dough is very soft so when you roll it into balls, it gets quite crumbly, but you will just need to roll it more and eventually, the texture would be smooth! I did weigh each ball in the end because when i was doing it free hand, it was like the size of a golf ball! Lol!

In the end, one batch of this recipe makes 30 cookies. They were super delicious, very nice crumbly melt in the mouth texture! My mum was well impressed as she mentioned that it could’ve been brought from a Chinese bakery shop!! πŸ™‚

Feb 21 Veg Dish – Pancake Day – Korean Side Dishes

Happy Pancake Day! As it’s Pancake Day, I thought I would write up the recipe for the Kimchi Pancakes and Cucumber Salad for my vegetarian February dish! πŸ™‚ Last year back in February, I went to a Korean Cooking course and loved it! I leant a couple of dishes and thought I would try making some of the side dishes by myself. I love attending live cooking lessons and meeting new people in the classes. Also, the teacher gives you great cooking/baking tips and you learn so much rather than through a virtual experience. Hopefully, when the COVID-19 situation calms down and we can be more social and events can take place, I would love to attend more lessons to gain more cooking/baking skills. At that moment, i have got so many gift experience vouchers that I am unable to use due to all the lockdown and restrictions we had last year so hopefully later on the year, we are able to use them!

I made two sides: Kimchi Pancake – Kimchi Jeon and Cucumber Salad – Oyee Muchim. Both of these are very simple to make and doesn’t take long to prepare! The recipes are using basic ingredients that you can find in your store cupboard, the only thing that you need to buy is the Kimchi which can be found easily in the World Food section in the grocery stores. I am pleased to say that both dishes were delicious and flavorsome and it turned out really well!

Kimchi Pancake ingredients – Half cup chopped kimchi, half cup chopped spring onions, half cup batter (made of 1/3 plain flour, 1/3 corn flour, 1/3 panko breadcrumbs), 1x tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 sugar, half cup of cold water and 1x tbsp vegetable oil. You might want to have a sprinkle of sesame seeds to finish on top.

Dipping Sauce – Mix 1x tsp of soy sauce, 1 x tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1x tsp spring onion and 1/4 tsp sugar.

Method: Put in and mix all the ingredients in a bowl except the oil. Heat the oil in pan, once well heated, pour and spread the mixture. Press thin and make a round shape and flip it over when the bottom is well cooked. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve with the dipping sauce.

Cucumber Salad ingredients – Half a cucumber, 1x tsp soya sauce, 1/2x tsp sesame seed oil, 1/4x tsp sesame seeds, 1/2xtsp chilli powder (you can add more chilli if you like it hot), 1/2x tsp minced garlic and 1/2x tsp chopped spring onions.

Method: Cut the cucumber into half moon shape, 5mm wide and put into a bowl. Mix everything together except for the sesame seeds as you want to add this at the end when you are serving your dish. It is best to make it in advance so that you can chill this in the fridge and for the cucumbers to marinade. You can always add more to the marinade so just taste it and see what you need to make it delicious! πŸ™‚

Valentine’s Day Bake!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!! πŸ™‚ In the UK, it is lockdown for us so no restaurants are opened for sitting in, only take aways are allowed! I decided to go with the good old fashion steak for dinner with asparagus, mac and cheese and some torte made by mother in law!

I picked up the Asda Good Magazine – Feb Issue last week and they included dessert recipes for Valentine’s. I was going to make their Red Velvet Brownies. At first, I was going to make this with the boys but reading the whole recipe, you had to melt the white chocolate twice and there was alot of mixing. I just thought they wouldn’t have the patience and I didn’t want them to be near the hot bowls. It would be better for me to do it myself and I will bake with the boys next week because it’s their half term!

The recipe can be found here, I changed the quantities of the caster sugar, so only using 150g caster sugar as the bake would be sweet enough with the white chocolate and I ended up using the whole bottle of the red food gel as it was only tiny!

I was pretty happy with the appearance of the brownie before baking as it looked pretty with the swirls! So, when it came out of the oven, the white chocolate looked brown, don’t know if I over baked it as it didn’t look like the picture from the magazine! Lol! I was hoping that it would taste better than it looks! I actually baked it for longer because after 35 minutes, it still looked abit raw!

The boys loved the brownie, it was crunchy at the top and moist inside! You can only have 1 piece as it is quite rich! πŸ™‚ I think next time, i will make it with even less sugar and try to swirl the white chocolate more into the mixture so it doesn’t just stay at the top! πŸ™‚

Croissant Bread Pudding

My parents in law went to Costco and they brought us a big box of pastries which only cost a fiver! So cheap but there were so many! I managed to give some away to my friend and we ate some ourselves aswell. But, only me and my husband was eating them as the boys don’t like it unless its from ‘Costa’!! Lol! I find that they go stale quite fast and I didn’t want to throw them away as it seems such a waste!

I found a recipe from a blogger called – Unicorns in the Kitchen which is like bread and butter pudding but made with croissants instead so that I can use up all the stale croissants. It was better than I expected, even my husband was surprised! You can find her recipe posted here. So simple to make as all you need croissants, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, sugar and chocolate chips. I didn’t make the Sun Butter drizzle in the end as I thought it would be sweet enough especially with the chocolate chips! It was very delicious and yummy and if i had left over croissants again, I would definitely use this recipe again!

Jan 21 Veg Dish – Aubergine Arrabbiata Stew

My husband got me the monthly subscription of the BBC Good Food Magazine for my Xmas present. I love looking at cooking magazines and recipes books and especially the ones which includes beautiful photos so that you can see what the dish looks like.

-I decided to make the Aubergine Arrabbiata Stew from this month’s issue. The recipe is originally promoting the chicken version but you can use the same recipe with aubergines instead.

Ingredients: 2 x tbsp olive oil, 1 x onion thinly sliced, 2 x aubergines cut into 3cm chunks, 2 x garlic cloves crushed, 1 and half tsp chilli flakes, 5 x tbsp sun dried tomato pesto, 250ml vegetarian stock, 1 x can chopped tomatoes, 5 x thyme sprigs,tied, 2 x tsp sugar and and half small bunch of parsley, finely chopped.

For the dumplings: 80g cold butter, cubed, 150g self raising flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 80g parmesan or cheddar grated, 50-60ml milk.

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large shallow casserole dish. Fry the onions on low medium heat for 7 mins until soft and turning translucent. Fry the aubergines for 7 mins. Tip the garlic and chilli into the casserole and fry for 1 min. Stir through the pesto, pour in the stock and tomatoes, then add the thyme, sugar and some seasoning. Turn the heat low and cover with a lid. Cook gently for 40 mins. Remove the thyme and check the seasoning.
  2. Heat the oven to GM6 (200C). Make the dumplings by putting the butter, flour, and salt, then rub with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the cheese and pour 50ml of the milk, use a cutlery knife and mix together until you have a soft dough. Add more milk if it’s too dry. Bring the dough together on a work surface and divide into 8 balls.
  3. Arrange the dumplings over the stew. Put the casserole in the oven and bake, uncovered for 25 mins or until the dumplings are doubled in size and golden brown. Scatter the parsley and serve.

This was a delicious stew to make, really flavorsome! I didn’t think my dumplings will turn out ok because it had a weird texture to it! It was really yummy as it was soft and fluffy inside and slightly crunchy at the top! My husband was super impressed as he thought I brought the dumplings from the shop. We ate this stew with some bread! And, next time I will serve it with some green veg!

1st Post for 2021 – Beef Stroganoff

Happy New Year! This is my 1st post of 2021! Hope you are all well? I will be sharing what I have been cooking and also my husband and I decided to keep our resolution from last year of having a ‘Veggie Day’ once per week. I am excited to learn about new vegetarian dishes every month. In addition, he has mentioned that he will be cooking more this year so let’s see what recipes he comes up with!!!

From our Xmas dinner, we had some left over from the beef joint so I was looking online on what I can cook. I came across this blog – Natasha’s Kitchen and she had a recipe for Beef Stroganoff. I have never made it before and just by chance, I had some double cream and sour cream left over from the Oreo Cheesecake recipe so it would good to use it all up.

I like her blog because it is very clear and includes a video aswell so that you can follow it through. I find it more easier following the video because you can see what they are doing visually and the text instructions makes more sense and you check if the technique is correct or not! Her blogs also includes really attractive photos and tips as well so I am sure I will be referring to her blog again for future recipes! πŸ™‚ She also give you 5 tips to be better cook when you submit your email address so I am excited to see what I can learn!

I made this with pasta, I think it will go well with rice because it has a nice creamy sauce. I felt like I was eating steak as I sliced up the meat quite thick! My poor mum took ages to chew through the meat! Next time, I will definitely slice it up thinner! Lol! It was delicious as the sauce didn’t feel too rich and it was super fast to make, less than 30 minutes!

Our Xmas Dinner!

This year’s Xmas is very different for us as we are all celebrating within our own family units and not joining our extended families as our area went into Tier 4. So, this means that we can’t join any other households and can only have our support bubbles. Normally, for our Xmas celebrations, we would go to my husband’s family house for dinner on Xmas eve. Then, on the Xmas day, we would all go over there in the morning for a nice fry up breakfast and the kids would sort out all the presents into piles for everyone! Come evening time, we would head towards my brother in law’s house for dinner! It was so strange to celebrate by ourselves as we always had a large gathering.

So, we kept the tradition, I cooked some sausages and eggs in the morning and in the afternoon, i was prepping for our Xmas dinner. My brother in law was joining us for dinner and as mentioned previously, he is a vegetarian! I didn’t want to buy a meal for him as i wanted to make something special for him. I did have a look at the vegetarian festive dinners and alot of recipes involved pastry which is not my strongest point of cooking!

After a couple of days looking online, decided to make a nut roast for him, I found the recipe online – Felicity Cloake which seemed quite simple to follow. Gosh, i am shocked at the amount of chopping you need to do! It took me and my mum over an hour trying to prep the nut roast!! Whereas, our dinner was a roast beef joint from Jamie Oliver’s recipe, where you just chuck everything in the oven dish and put the meat on top and leave it to cook in the oven for just over an hour! I think in hindsight, next time, if i had to do a nut roast again, i would prep the day before as i didn’t realize so much chopping was involved and also the different stages for the ingredients!!

Our dinner turned out perfect! The beef was cooked beautifully and just right – medium to well! I am so glad the nut roast held it shape when it was turned out from the loaf tin, i was feeling so anxious about it incase it ended like a pile of vegetables and not cooked!! Everybody loved it!!

For dessert, i made a baked Oreo cheesecake! I normally make a chilled Oreo cheesecake and seeing i haven’t made a baked version in years, I thought it would be nice to do a baked one!! It was so yummy, creamy and rich, i will write up the post later on!

I hope you had a nice Xmas celebration! Hopefully, next year, we can all go back to celebrating with our families and friends and a have a big festive feast!! πŸ™‚

Xmas Gingerbread Men!

I feel it’s not Xmas unless you make a batch of gingerbread men biscuits! Normally, before the boys break up for their school’s holidays, I would normally make a batch of festive biscuits and give it out to the kids in their class. Unfortunately, with all that is happening with COVID-19, we can’t bring any treats for the kids now. So, at the end of their school day last week, I just gave out chocolate to the kids as a little treat.

I love the smell gingerbread men from the oven, it makes the home feel like Xmas! The boys measured all the ingredients, rolled out the dough and we used Xmas cutters! As the kitchen was quite warm, when the biscuits were baking, they were huge as the dough spread out!

We asked Alexa to put some Xmas pop music on and we decorated the biscuits on our dining table!! The boys were already munching them before the icing set! πŸ™‚ Enjoy and I hope you do some Xmas baking too! πŸ™‚

Wishing everyone a Happy Merry Xmas! πŸ™‚

I always use this recipe from the BBC Food website and I just added 1xtsp of vanilla extract. Ingredients:

350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g/4Β½oz soft butter
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup & 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Method

1) Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2) Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together and vanilla extract, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or atleast until it feels firm and not soft.

3) Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4) Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/ΒΌin thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

5) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations, if using.

My Favourite Breakfast

I discovered ‘Overnight Oats’ a couple of years ago and it is my favourite breakfast!! So quick and easy to make and once you have got the basic ingredients, you can choose what you like to go in it and your choice of toppings!

I just use my half a cup measurer and a table spoon to measure out all the ingredients!

Ingredients – Half a cup of oats, 2-3 x tbsp chia seeds, 3-4 x tbsp of coconut Greek yoghurt (you can use any yoghurt, greek is best if you want it to be creamy), half cup of almond milk and a squeeze of honey. Just mix it altogether and cover and leave in the fridge to set.

For the toppings, I like to add freshly cut fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Also, you can add a handful of mixed seeds or granola for a cruchy taste!!