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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Apologies.. it has been a long time since I’ve written a new post. I’ve been busy finishing up my PhD and unsurprisingly didn’t have any spare writing time. I’ve now pretty much finished it and have started work full-time. I’m planning to return to my blogging and enjoy cooking again. Earlier this week I had a craving for blueberry muffins so on Friday I bought some blueberries on my way to work and today I made some yummy blueberry muffins. I used the site NutritionData.com to calculate the nutritional information which I must admit was much worse than I had thought. I did use reduced-fat butter so the numbers should probably be a bit less than those quoted for my muffins. Feel free to use margarine or other reduced fat spread.


Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pans or use paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix in.

3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk. Mash 1/2 cup berries and stir into batter. Fold in remaining berries.

4. Fill muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes to remove from pans.

Per Muffin: 222 kcals, 9g fat(5g saturated), 4g protein, 36g carbs, 718g sugar, 0.6g salt.

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I discovered this recipe from Masterchef: the Best of British Cooking a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a new favourite. Although it says it serves four people I always have leftovers which are great reheated in the oven or microwave the next day. I typically use more garlic than is called for here and substitute black pepper for white. I haven’t managed to take a picture of it yet since I’ve always made it for guests and didn’t want them to wait while I faffed with photography.


Dauphinoise Potatoes

Serves 4.

3 cloves garlic
1 tsbp sea salt flakes
300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
300 ml (1/2 pint) milk
freshly ground white pepper
1 kg (2 1/2 lbs) potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
butter, for greasing
50g (2 oz) grated Parmesan

1. Crush the garlic into a paste with the salt. In a large pan, combine the garlic paste, cream, milk and white pepper.

2. Add the sliced potatoes, turning into the cream mixture to ensure all the slices are evenly coated. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the mixture has thickened.

3. Butter a ovenproof dish (9×13 or bigger). Gently pour the potatoes into the dish and level the top. Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and place in a preheated oven at 150°C (300°F) for about 1 hour, until the top is nicely golden.

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This is a recipe from my friend Liv for the easiest, yummiest chocolate pudding. I might even call it her signature dish. It’s hot and goey and chocolatey. What more could a girl ask for?… but some ice cream on the side. Easy enough to whip up while your main course is cooking and impressive enough for friends, family or guests.


Hot Chocolate Pudding

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup self-raising flour (see note below)
1 tbsp cocoa

Topping:

½ cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 ¾ cups boiling water

1. Preheat the oven the 180ºC.

2. Melt the butter. Add the milk and egg and stir well.

3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well!

4. For the topping mix the sugar and cocoa and sprinkle evenly over the pudding mixture.

5. Carefully pour the boiling water over the pudding.

Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins.

Serve with ice cream.


Self-raising (or self-rising ) flour is white or wholewheat flour with leavening agents already added. If you don’t have self-raising flour add the following to the dry ingredients above:

  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch to ½ teaspoon salt

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Gratineed Gnocchi with Spinach and RicottaI made this yummy recipe from Gourmet magazine the other night with a pack of store-bought gnocchi in my cupboard. I had been struggling to come up with what to do with them and was drawn to this recipe because it wasn’t gorgonzola or tomato based as most gnocchi recipes seem to be.

I followed the recipe on the Gourmet site except for two substitutions. I used a few tablespoons of single cream topped up with milk because I didn’t have any double cream on hand and because it was healthier. This did make it a bit more watery though and I had to cook the cream sauce for a bit longer. I also didn’t have any mozzarella, strangely I find it hard to get in the UK because all the stores seem to have is fresh mozzarella, so I substituted some grated cheddar.

The recipe says it serves four, but I had half of it the first night with a green salad and the rest for supper the next night.

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This year I was determined to have a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Usually I get all wrapped up in Freshers’ week activities and forget that Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up. Everyone always asks me why us Canadians have Thanksgiving on a different day than the Americans. So here goes..

In Canada we celebrate on the second Monday in October and unlike the Americans who remember the safe arrival of the Pilgrims, we give thanks for a successful harvest. More detailed explanations can be found on Wikipedia and here.

Since Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, I wanted to make use of as many locally sourced products as I could. I bought a locally grown free-range organic chicken from a new deli and shop in Cambridge called Origin8 which specializes in local, organic meat, game and produce. From the market in the city centre I got local onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, apples, parsnips and a little pumpkin for a homemade pie, and from the garden outside I picked fresh sage. The wild rice was imported (by me!) and was my token representative of the Canadian harvest.

I stuffed a 1.6kg chicken (the biggest they had) and had lots of stuffing left over that I baked in aluminum foil alongside the chicken. I roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips drizzled in olive oil and minced garlic. Unfortunately fresh cranberries are only available at Christmas in the UK, so I had to settle for cranberry sauce from a jar, but all in all, it was a fabulous dinner enjoyed with good friends.


Wild Rice Stuffing

Preparation time: 20 mins.
Makes about 6 cups.

2 1/2 cups dried multi-grain bread, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups wild rice, cooked
1/4 lb butter, melted
1/2 cup water or stock
2 small apples, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/8 cup walnuts

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bread, onion, sage, celery and wild rice.

2. Combine the melted butter with water or stock and gently mix into the bread mixture.

3. Add the apples, raisins and walnuts and toss.

4. Carefully stuff the chicken or turkey taking care not to pack too tightly – otherwise it will get sticky. If you don’t want to stuff the bird, or have extra stuffing that doesn’t fit, bake it in a covered casserole dish or aluminum foil for about an hour.

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Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa

I’m moving out of my flat in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to use up some of my many opened bags of grains in the cupboard. I have paella rice, risotto rice, wild rice, basmati rice, long grain brown rice, buckwheat groats, quinoa, millet and bulghur. I made kasha for breakfast the other day and today I decided it was a day for quinoa so I had a quick search on 101cookbooks.com for quinoa. I have previously made Heidi’s Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad and it was fab so I had high hopes for the Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa. And let me say, it did not disappoint.

I substituted some green beans and a courgette for the asparagus, toasted some pine nuts and for the dressing I used lemon juice, parmesan and freshly ground pepper. I wouldn’t normally think to put potatoes with quinoa, but the textures and flavours in this recipe combined wonderfully. I’ve just eaten a big bowl for supper and am looking forward to eating the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. It was one of those meals where I constantly thought” wow how good is this”. Thanks Heidi for another great recipe. You’ve really perked up my day.

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Pork Stroganoff

Tim made this Pork Stroganoff recipe for me last week from the BBC Food website. We didn’t have any blue potatoes, so he used some white ones in the pantry. He also added some sliced runner beans which went very nicely. I find that pork can often be quite dry when cooked, but I liked this recipe because there was lots of good sauce.

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Mustard-crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

I came across this Bon Appetit recipe in my weekly Epicurious Recipe Flash a few weeks ago. I’m always looking for new tofu recipes and I had some wholegrain mustard in the fridge that I needed to use up so I thought I’d give it a try. I made sure to dry the tofu well as recommended by lots of the reviews on the Epicurious site to make sure the mustard would stick. Some of the mustard seeds did fall off, but I just poured the crispy seeds from the pan on top at the end and they were great. I thought this recipe would have a strong mustardy taste, but there was actually very little mustard flavour in the end. I thought the lime juice went really nicely with the kale but next time I would put the kale in nearer the end. By the time the sweet potato was cooked the kale was overdone. The recipe says to grill the tofu for 2 minutes on each side but I found that to get a nice crust on it took at least 5 minutes a side. Although the recipe says it makes four servings, I only had enough kale and sweet potato for two servings using their amounts.

In short, interesting flavours and good way to eat kale, a source of calcium, iron and lots of other minerals.

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I was feeling particularly hungry this morning so I decided to make kasha for breakfast. Kasha has been a part of Eastern European cuisine for many centuries, although in Slavic languages it refers to a porridge made not only from the buckwheat groats used here, but a whole family of porridges made from wheat, buckwheat, oats, millet, rice, potatoes, etc.
This is another recipe rom my mom’s cookbook and it reminds me of her.


Breakfast Kasha

Breakfast of the giants on the Russian steppes. A very complex carb!

1 C kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 C boiling water
1 C raisins (opt.)
2 bananas, sliced (opt.)

1. Mix dry measured kasha with beaten egg in a saucepan. Bring water to a boil in kettle and add to pot. Add fruit if using.

2. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 20 minutes. If it is too hot use a diffuser or waffle to keep it from boiling over.

This is enough for 2 breakfasts. Refrigerate half (well-covered) for the day after tomorrow or find someone to share it with.

Cover with milk and brown sugar or maple syrup or honey, etc.

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This is a seriously easy cake. I think it took me almost as long to lick the bowl out afterwards as it did to make the cake. For anyone who thinks they can’t make a cake, give this one a try. Don’t be put off by the vinegar, it really does work in this cake.

From my mom’s cookbook:
Another recipe hurriedly recorded over the phone and made right away to an appreciative group. That Melissa, what a resource!


Melissa’s Easy Chocolate CakeChocolate Cake decorated for Liv

Makes two eight inch rounds or one large rectangular.

Melt 1/2 C butter and/or margarine

Add 1 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease pans.

Sift into a bowl:
3 C flour
2 C sugar
6 TB cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 small tsp salt

Add 2 C cold water to butter mixture. Pour this into dry ingredients and stir well.

Pour into 2 greased layer pans or 1 greased large pan (10″x14″).

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Icing #1:
This takes less time to make then going to the store and buying commercial goop.Cream together 4 TB butter and 1/2 C honey. Add 1 tsp vanilla or 1/4 C cocoa and 2-3 TB milk. To thin, add a little milk; to thicken, add powdered milk. Make it any colour you like.


Icing #2:
Cream well 1/2 C brown sugar and 2 TB butter. Add 2 TB warmed milk and beat. Add icing sugar until right consistency (up to 1 1/2 C). Add vanilla or other flavouring.

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