Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lemon Curd & Chocolate Brownies

I think I may have a slight addiction to all things lemony! Limoncello, curd, tart, cake, cupcakes, impossible for me to resist any of these things once the word lemon is in front of it. I am enjoying throwing together a batch of brownies and experimenting with different additions. This was a "sure we will see what happens" kind of recipe and it turned up trumps! The lemon curd kept the brownie very moist and gave it a nice tang. Hope you enjoy them!

For these delicious squares you will need;

175g sugar
175g soft butter
150g self raising flour
125g drinking chocolate
4 eggs
100g dark chocolate, in pieces
6tsp lemon curd

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line/grease a brownie tin.
Mix together the sugar, butter, flour, drinking chocolate and the eggs until you have a runny mixture.
Fold in the chocolate pieces.
Pour into the brownie tin and swirl the lemon curd through the mixture.
Bake for 45 mins or until there is a slight wobble in the middle.
Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning upside down onto a wire rack and peeling off the parchment paper.
Turn onto a bread board once cooled and cut into 16 squares.
Dredge with some icing sugar and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sticky Orange & Rosemary Chicken.

Chicken features on the dinner menu here a couple of times a week. It's probably the only dinner that no one turns their nose up to and usually there are clear plates all around. It's nice to pimp up a simple dish to make it even tastier and this does just that.

You will need;

A selection of drumsticks, thighs and wings, preferably free range.
100ml sweet chilli sauce
1 orange
Few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place chicken pieces in a roasting dish and cover in the chilli sauce, rub in.
Slice up orange into wedges and squeeze juice over chicken before throwing peel on top.
Scatter the rosemary sprigs on top.
Place in the preheated oven until cooked through, approximately 40 minutes.

Serve with home made wedges, some nice green salad or whatever else takes your fancy. Now that is fast food my style!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Greek Lemon & Rosemary Tarts

Ooh I love a nice tart! A family favourite was a traditional apple tart with the top layer of pastry removed to sprinkle on another layer of sugar! Am shocked that I only ever have had two fillings in my teeth. :-)

I have a penchant for lemony desserts, I love the tang of the lemons fighting against the sweet flavours. This is a great recipe and unusual as it sounds the rosemary in the pastry is a fantastic complementing flavour.
This recipe makes four mini tarts so increase/decrease as needed.

For the pastry crust you will need:

60g butter
50g icing sugar
Tiny pinch of salt
125g of flour
1 egg yolk
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
2tbsp water

Cream the butter,sugar & salt together.
Add in flour and egg yolk and rub until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the rosemary.
Add just enough water to form a dough.
Place onto a floured surface and pat into a sausage shape.
Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate.

For the lemon filling you will need:

125ml Greek yoghurt
50g caster sugar
1 egg
60ml lemon juice
1tsp lemon zest

Combine the yoghurt and caster sugar together and mix well.
Whisk in the egg yolk.
Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Line the four tart tins with the pastry. I cut slivers of the sausage shape and press the pieces together in the tin before trimming the excess.
Prick the bases with a fork and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes before pouring the lemon filling in and return to oven for approximately 20 mins.
There should be a slight wobble to the centre.
Leave to cool before decorating with some lemon and rosemary.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read my blog. I enjoy updating it so much and I really appreciate all of your support and encouragement along the way. xx

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Three B Pasta! Tagliatelle with bacon, blue cheese and broadbeans!

One of the great benefits of my new running regime is being able to indulge in carbohydrates without the added guilt. Pasta is a runners friend and this fact pleases me greatly. Probably healthier to have with a tomato based sauce but we all need a treat every now and then!

For 2 greedy adults you will need;

200g dried tagliatelle
2 thick rashers, cut into bits
200g broadbeans, peeled weight*
50g blue cheese, I used Cashel blue
1 fat clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml of Avonmore cooking cream

Boil some water and put the tagliatelle on to cook, according to pack instructions.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the minced garlic.
Add the bacon bits and fry until slightly crispy.
Add in the broadbeans and stir well.
Add the cooking cream and the blue cheese and simmer on a low heat.
Drain the tagliatelle and add it to the pan. Give it a good stir before piling onto warmed plates.
Serve with garlic bread, roasted vine tomatoes, green salad or just on its own.
Delicious, creamy, flavoursome and quick!

* I couldn't lay my hands on any fresh broadbeans so I used canned ones. Not as vibrant in colour as the fresh but not a bad substitute. Use the fresh ones if you can.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Healthy Pot Noodle

I recently bought the book "River Cottage Veg Everyday" by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and already it has taken pride of place in my cookbook collection. I fully admit to being a meat lover, I like nothing better than a big juicy steak or a plate of lamb chops to up my protein and energy levels but after seeing all the lovely recipes in this book I can see how people survive without meat. I won't be turning vegetarian anytime soon but I have loved the recipes I have tried.

This is a gorgeous quick & fresh lunch dish that I amended slightly to suit my tastes, that is the great thing about being confident in the kitchen, anything goes!

To serve two people you will need;

2 nests of quick cook noodles, I used Sharwoods fine egg noodles
1 vegetable stock jelly
1 carrot peeled and then sliced very finely
12 sugar snap peas, finely sliced
4 scallions, finely sliced
6 baby corn cobs, finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp of curry powder
4 tsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime

Put the noodles, carrot, sugarsnaps, corn, chilli, ginger and scallions into a pot. I used two small kilner jars, which worked out perfect.
Place stock jelly and curry powder in a jug and pour on 3/4 pint of boiling water. Stir well and pour straight on top of the noodle mix. Cover and leave for 8 - 10 minutes stirring once or twice.
Add the lime juice and soy sauce and serve immediately.

What a great little dish to throw together in minutes. My boys are big fans of any noodle dishes and they devoured these little pots of goodness. I am always droning on about the benefits of feeding your children healthy meals and plenty of fruits and vegetables but that's our job as parents. The children are rarely sick and I put a lot of that down to their diet. No better children to devour a packet of sweets in minutes but I don't mind that as long as they getting their vitamins and minerals through their meals I know I doing a good job!

Thanks for reading & happy cooking! xx