Saturday, 15 December 2012

Stilton and spinach strata

As Stilton is in abundance at this time of year, in cheeseboards and gift sets, this is a perfect way to use it.

15g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
2 leeks, white and pale green part only, trimmed
1tbsp sunflower oil
160g bag baby leaf spinach
175g bread or bread rolls, preferably unsliced and a day or two old
150g Stilton, crumbled
50g mature Cheddar, grated
4 large free-range eggs
600ml semi-skimmed milk
2tsp Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
2. Cut the leeks in half lengthways and rinse under running water. Slice finely and pat as dry as possible with kitchen paper.
3. Melt the butter and oil in a pan, add the leeks and stir to coat. Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts.
4. Cut the bread into 2cm cubes and put most of it in the base of the dish, reserving some cubes for the top.
5. Put the vegetables on top of the bread in an even layer. Scatter on the Stilton and then the Cheddar.
6. Lightly beat the eggs with the milk and mustard, then pour over the cheese topping. Scatter on the remaining bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
7. Remove the cover and bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden and the inside is set.

Serves: 4
Ready in: 1hr 40mins
Price per serving: £1.10

Per serving:

Calories - 546
Fat - 33.6g
Sat Fat - 16.8g

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Mince pies

These mince pies will keep in an airtight container for two weeks, or you can freeze them instead.

2 level tbsp caster sugar
450g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
Good pinch salt
250g salted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
50g Trex Pure Vegetable Fat, chilled, cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks from large eggs

1. Dissolve the caster sugar in 3tbsp hot water. Leave to cool, then chill further in the fridge. Sift the flour and salt into bowl. Add the butter and vegetable fat and rub in with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix the yolks with the sugared water and add to the bowl. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture clumps together to form a dough.

2. Gather the pastry dough with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out 28 x 8cm rounds and 28 x 7cm stars. Gather the leftover dough, roll out and cut out more shapes.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Use the rounds to line the holes of two 12-hole tins, easing them to fit in snugly. Fill each hole with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat from a 822g jar. Dampen the edges of the pastry shells, place the stars over the mincemeat, and press their ends against the shells to seal.

4. Bake the mince pies for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave in the tis for 10 minutes, then ease them out with a round-bladed knife and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Give them a light dusting of icing sugar before serving - hold the sieve above the pies and gently tap its sides.

Makes: 28
Ready in: 1hr 20mins plus cooling
Price per mince pie: 14p

Per serving:

Calories - 212
Fat - 11.4g
Sat Fat - 6.1g

Tips for making sweet shortcrust pastry.

Warm hands? Your ingredients and hands should be nice and cool when handling pastry o it might get crumbly and difficult to roll. Run them under cold running eater for a minute.

Hot kitchen? A steamy kitchen can have the same effect, so put the bowl of rubbed-in flour in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding the egg yolk and sugared water.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas pudding ice cream

This creamy ice cream has all the taste of a traditional Christmas pudding and can be frozen in ramekins.

150g sultanas
100g dried cranberries
150g glacé cherries, quartered
150g ready to eat dried apricots, cut into pieces the size of a sultana
6tbsp Cointreau
100g pistachio nuts
150g dark chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
3 large eggs, separated
75g icing sugar
300ml double cream

1. Put the sultanas, cranberries, glacé cherries, apricots and Cointreau in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Soak for 1-3 days.
2. Line 10 ramekins with a double layer of clingfilm. Chop the nuts.
3. Break the chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water - don't let the bowl touch the water. Remove the bowl.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a level tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each.
5. In another bowl, whip the cream until it just holds its shape. Beat the yolks with a fork to break them up.
6. Fold the fruit and soaking liquid, nuts and yolks into the cream using a large metal spoon. Gently fold in the whites, turn into the ramekins and cover. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Serves: 10
Ready in: 4hrs 40mins plus soaking
Price per serving: 80p

Per serving:

Calories - 509
Fat - 27.5g
Sat Fat - 13.8g

Toffee & pistachio meringue

Walnuts or pecans can replace pistachios. This dessert can be frozen for two weeks in a plastic container.

4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar, plus 100g for the toffee sauce
115g pistachios, finely chopped
75g unsalted butter
450ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 130C/110C/Gas1/2. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Draw a 21cm diameter circle on each, then turn the paper over. Whisk the whites to form glossy peaks. Add the sugar a heaped tsp at a time, whisking until stiff again after each one.
2. Gently fold in the pistachios. Put a small dab of the mixture under the paper in each corner to help it stick to the tray. Spread the mixture on the trays to make two rounds, using the pencil marks as a guide.
3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until pale coloured and crisp. To test if it is cooked, peel off the paper at one edge - if it peels off easily the meringue is cooked. Cool on a wire rack.
4. Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Heat 100g caster sugar in a small pan with 2tbsp water until the sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until golden brown, then remove straight away from the heat and add the butter and a small pinch of salt. Add 75ml of the double cream and stir until it's evenly mixed. Set aside until cold.
5. Lightly whip the rest of the cream until it holds its shape. Fold in the toffee sauce with a spoon so that you have a swirled effect.
6. Spread on one meringue and top with the other.

Serves: 12
Ready in: 2hrs
Price per serving: 32p

Per serving:

Calories - 398
Fat - 29.7g
Sat Fat - 16.5g

Celebration salmon

You can use Prosecco, Cava, Champagne or any dry sparkling wine for this wonderful sauce - plus you get to enjoy the rest of the bottle with your meal!

10g butter, plus 25g extra
480g lightly smoked salmon fillet
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
200ml Prosecco
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g plain flour
150ml single cream
1tbsp dill, chopped, plus 4 sprigs to garnish
Brussels sprouts and roast new potatoes, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a roasting tin with 10g butter. Add the fillets and put a parsley sprig on top of each one. Gently pour on the Prosecco - it will foam up at first. Then cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
2. Discard the parsley. Lift the fillets out and put them on a plate. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm. Reserve the Prosecco juice.
3. Melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and cook the shallots, over a medium heat, until soft, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for a minute, whisking with a wire whisk. Remove from the heat and whisk in the juice. Return to the heat whisking until thickened. Simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Whisk in the cream and chopped dill, then season and reheat. Pour over the salmon and garnish with the dill sprigs. Serve with Brussels and roast new potatoes.

Serves: 4
Ready in: 50 mins
Price per serving: £2.74

Per serving:

Calories - 456
Fat - 27.6g
Sat Fat - 11.5g

Monday, 10 December 2012

Cheese & vegetable pies

The cheese pastry in these pies make them taste really special but if you're short of time you could use ready to use ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry instead.

150g butter, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing
300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
A pinch each of dry mustard powder, cayenne and salt
50g extra mature Cheddar, finely grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1tbsp mild olive oil
1 small leek (white and pale green part), finely chopped
160g baby spinach
150g frozen petit pois
200g plain soft cheese
1tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 medium egg, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Grease the holes of a four-hole Yorkshire pudding tin with a little butter. Sift the flour, mustard powder, cayenne and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese and egg, then mix to a firm dough. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of cold water.
2. Make the dough into a flat slab, then wrap it in clingfilm and chill for 20-30 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the leek over a medium heat, until soft. Add the spinach, stirring until it wilts.
4. Tip into a large bowl stir in the frozen petit pois. Stir in the soft cheese, parsley and sage, the season well.
5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 4 x 12cm-diameter rounds and use to line the pudding-tin holes. Cut out 4x 10cm-diameter rounds for lids and cut a star out of the centre of each one.
6. Divide the filling between the tins and dampen the edges of the pastry with a little water. Put the lids on top and pinch to seal the edges.
7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves: 4
Ready in: 55 mins
Price per serving: £1

Per serving:

Calories - 767
Fat - 49.7g
Sat Fat - 28.4g

Cherry almond trifle

Make this the day before then add the toppings on the day. You can also use Madeira cake instead of baking the almond cakes or muffins

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Put 4 paper muffin cases or 6 paper cupcake cases in a muffin tin or bun tin. Put 50g softened butter, 50g caster sugar, 50g self-raising flour, 1/2 level tsp baking powder, 1 large egg and 15g ground almonds in a bowl and beat until creamy and mixed evenly. Divide between the paper cases and bake for 15 minutes for the cupcakes or 20 minutes for the muffins, or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly. Cool.
Stone 250g fresh cherries and put in a pan with 100ml cherry juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.
Cut the cakes in half and sandwich with 3tbsp Cherry Conserve. Break the cakes into pieces and put in the base of a large trifle bowl.
Mix together 2tbsp cherry brandy and 4tbsp or the cherry cooking juice. If you don't want to use brandy, replace it with more cherry juice. Drizzle over the cake. Drain the cherries and scatter evenly on top.
Put 250g mascarpone in another bowl and stir to soften. Gradually add 500g custard until evenly mixed. Spread on top of the sponge and cherries.
Whip 450ml double cream until it just holds its shape and put on top.
Put 25g flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and cook over a medium heat and toss until golden. Tip on a plate to cool.
Decorate the trifle with the flaked almonds and more fresh cherries.

Serves: 12
Ready in: 1hr 10mins
Price per serving: 59p

Per serving:

Calories - 450
Fat - 36.7g
Sat Fat - 22.1g

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Stilton and nut bites

Great for cheese lovers! Store in an airtight container and keep for up to two weeks.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line three baking paper. Sift 175g plain flour, a pinch of cayenne pepper amd dry mustard powder, plus pinch of salt into a bowl and stir. Rub in 125g cubed butter.
Add 50g grated Stilton, 75g extra mature Cheddar and 75g finely chopped walnuts and stir to mix evenly. Beat 1 large egg and add half to the walnut mix. Mix with your hands to make a dough. Shape into 40 small balls. Put on the trays, leaving a small gap between each one, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
Brush the tops with the rest of the beaten egg, then sprinkle with 2tbsp poppy seeds.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool the bites on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes: 40 bites
Ready in: 40mins plus cooling
Price per bite: 7p

Per serving:

Calories - 50
Fat - 3.5g
Sat Fat - 2.1g

Spiced mix nut selection

These spiced nuts are perfect for parties - keep them in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Mix 50g caster sugar with 1 level tsp salt, 1/2 level tsp ground cumin, 1 level tsp chilli powder, 1/4 level tsp ground allspice and 1/2 level tsp cayenne.
Whisk 1 medium egg (white only) in a large bowl until foamy. Add the spice mix and whisk until just evenly mixed.
Add 500g mixed raw nuts (such as almonds, pecans, macadamia and cashews) and stir to coat. Lift the nuts out using a spoon and spread out on the trays.
Bake for 35 minutes, then stir around on the tray using a large spoon to break them up. Take while doing this as the coating will be very hot. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully lift the paper and nuts onto racks to cool completely.

Makes: 500g
Ready in: 1hr 35mins
Price per 12g serving: 40p

Per serving:

Calories - 50
Fat - 3.5g
Sat Fat - 2.1g

Or try...
For a sweeter variation, use double the amount of sugar and use spices such as ground cinnamon, ground allspice and ground cloves.

Chocolate truffles

Make two variations - one dark chocolate, one white. They'll keep in the fridge for four days or in the freezer for two months. You can leave out the alcohol to make them kid-friendly.

For dark chocolate truffles, chop 225g dark chocolate (50% cocoa solids) and put in a bowl. Heat 150ml double cream until just simmering. Immediately remove from the heat and pour onto the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Stir in 2tbsp Drambuie (or Tia Maria, Cointreau or brandy) and chill for 2 hours.
Put 4tbsp cocoa on a plate. Using 2 teaspoons, shape the mixture into small balls and roll in cocoa. Put on another plate and chill.

Per serving:

Calories - 76
Fat - 5.6g
Sat Fat - 3.4g

For white chocolate and coconut truffles, make the truffle mixture as above using 225g white chocolate and 75ml double cream.
Stir in 2tbsp of white rum (or Malibu) and 40g desiccated coconut and chill for 4 hours.
Put 4tbsp desiccated coconut on a plate. Shape the mixture into balls as before and roll them in the coconut to coat. Put on another plate and chill

Per serving:

Calories - 77
Fat - 5.5g
Sat Fat - 3.5g

Makes: 24
Ready in: 30mins plus chilling
Price per truffle: 12p

Christmas Leftovers

A few ways to use up your christmas leftovers, all with butter for extra calories.

Christmas Bubble & Squeak

Mash together any leftover vegetables from christmas dinner with a spoonful of butter, some chunks of Christmas ham and a grating of any cheeseboard leftovers. Shape into burger sized patties, melt a little butter in a frying pan and cook on both sides until golden and heated through. Delicious with a poached egg, for brunch or supper.

Parsnip & Roasties soup

Gently cook a diced onion in a knob of butter, add your leftover roast potatoes and parsnips along with any other vegetables remaining from Christmas dinner, cover with veg stock and simmer. If you have leftover gravy you can add that too. Add in a good grind of pepper then whizz until smooth. Serve with chunks of bread and butter and if you have some Christmas cheese to use up, grate a little on top.

Panettone & Butter pudding

Spread wedges of Panettone with butter and nestle them in an oven dish. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk and sugar and pour over the Panettone. Bake in the oven until golden and crisp on top.

Refrigerator Cake

Melt leftover Christmas chocolate together with butter and honey and combine with unused mixed nuts, such as brazils, hazelnuts and almonds, broken up biscuits and chopped glace cherries. Press it all into a brownie tin and chill before cutting into squares.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Lets make... stained-glass biscuits

These stained-glass biscuits aren't the most calorific recipe I've posted on Calories and Creon but they are fun to make which, especially for a CF child, makes them more fun to eat. Plus they can be used to hang on the christmas tree... I'll bet they'll all be gone by the big day though ;)

300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 level tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
175g butter, cut into cubes
100g golden syrup
24 Fox's Glacier Fruits

1. Preheat the ovento 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line three baking trays with baking paper. Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl.

2. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.

3. Add the golden syrup and mix with a knife until big lumps form. Using your hand, finish mixing to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin, then roll out the dough to about 3-4mm thick. Cut out large stars and rounds with cutters. Use your smallest cutters to cut a hole in the middle of each biscuit.

5. Gather up any leftover dough, then roll out and cut out again. Put the biscuits on to the baking trays using a fish slice to support them. Use a skewer to make a small hole in each if you want to hang them.

6. Put the sweets in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to break them into smaller pieces. Children may need an adult to help as they're hard to break.

7. Put the broken sweets in the biscuit holes. Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they start to brown and the sweets have melted.

8. Cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Per serving:

Calories - 273
Fat - 12.3g
Sat Fat - 7.6g

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Adding even more calories to Christmas Dinner

OK I know it's only the 2nd of December but I found these few tips for using butter to add extra flavour (add calories) to christmas dinner so I thought I would share.

Make Sprouts Special

Quarter your sprouts and pan fry them in a knob of butter. Heat the butter until it's bubbling, add the sprouts and cook until they're tender inside and browned on the outside, then season. Add some Walnut or Chestnut pieces as well, for an extra festive flavour.

Moreish Moist Turkey

Keep turkey succulent and moist throughout cooking. Mash half a pack of room temperature butter together with thyme, a crushed clove of garlic and the grated zest of a lemon. With the Turkey's legs pointing towards you, gently loosen the skin around the cavity. Ease the butter under the skin, spreading it over the breasts. It will flavour the turkey, keep it moist during cooking and leave a layer of herbs under the skin that looks quite special when you carve.

Smashing Mash

Peel and chop your carrots and swede, then cook together in boiling water until tender and mash with a knob of butter. Spread them into an oven dish and lovingly top with a combination of breadcrumbs and grated parmesan then dot with a little more butter. Pop it under a hot grill until the top is golden and crisp. Try this with parsnips, squash or sweet potato too. You can make this the day before and reheat it in the oven to save time on the day

Homemade Brandy Butter

This is simple and quick to make but adds a special something to mince pies. Simply beat together half a pack of room temperature butter, slightly less weight of icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence then whisk in a few tablespoons of brandy a little at a time. Add more sugar and brandy to your taste. Serve with warmed mince pies. You can try this with any liqueur you like.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Guest Blog - Smart Snacking :)

Everyone with CF knows the relationship with food is very much a love/hate thing so here is a guest blog from the lovely Laura with a little guide on how to pack in the high calorie snack when not really feeling the love!

I think we all have those moments when we don't want to eat anything, but know we should. Too full, too sick, too fed up. Me? I love food, I love eating, but I just can't fit in as much as I used to. The thought of calories and my high calorie diet fill me with a serendipitous joy - sometimes (when other tedious ailments aren't plaguing my mind) I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Who wouldn't want a high calorie diet?! I have the keys to the gates of Eden where all that forbidden fruit is mine to pluck whenever I desire - a guilt free, fatty paradise. 

I wake up, plant myself at the table in front of the TV, and embark on a long and idyllic journey through the Eden that no doubt every person would wish to visit. Hey, I live there. My favourites at the moment are toasted sandwiches filled to the brim with cheese and ham and more cheese, smothered in butter (both sides), fried, the gooey-er the better. Popping candy chocolate spread is like a new years eve party in my mouth, every day, minus the hangover. Bacon drenched in maple syrup on top of eggy or fried bread, butter with toast, sugar with tea. Double cream cheesy carbonara, with a McDonalds starter. Chicken dippers, garlic baguettes, re-fried chips. Sausage in batter on a whim. Spam. When I do calories I aim to do them on an Elvis Presley scale. My mum bought me an Elvis cook-book once, I should really look that out again... 

But we all know that sometimes it just isn't that easy. Whatever your reasons may be, sometimes we just can't stomach stuffing in those calories. The very thought of food makes you growl and moan - our great pleasure has transformed into a source of relentless torture. But like the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future, an amalgamation of your parents', your dieticians' and your consultants' voices start to haunt your sweetly saturated mind - "you must have more calories, keep snacking, gain weight!", enough to make you puke and run and hide in a salad bar - definitely NOT go buy a big fat Turkey like Scrooge. 

I've been trying to find food that I can eat despite feeling like I'm about to burst, which is becoming increasingly more often much to my despair. My mind is pulling me towards the fridge, yet I can hardly get up off the sofa as I feel so deceivingly stuffed. It is a conflict I don't really understand and utterly boggles my mind, but that still causes me endless grief. My well trained CF appetite is unrelenting in its will to get me munching, but this tiny frame and squished stomach is just not allowing me the space to fulfil these gluttonous dreams. So to banish those haunting, niggling voices in these desperate times, I've compiled a list of snack food that is packed full of calories, but don't fill you up like an expanding sponge! These slip down with unnoticeable ease, and even though they may not be on the same Presley type scale, when not functioning at your best they still pack quite a punch.  

-Crispy bacon (300 cals a pack)
-Coke (142 cals per 330ml can)
-Old Jamaica Ginger Beer (211 cals per 330ml can) Fizzy drink with the most cals I've found
-Mattesson's Fridge raiders (140 cals a pack) - airy, light and mushy! 
-Mini pepperamis
-Mini babybell
-Mr Kipling slices (The country slices and lemon icing ones are yum)
-Cashew nuts - all nuts are jam packed with cals, great to nibble
-Sainsbury's peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips - (200g pack has 928 cals. Not kidding!)
-Milky Ways - the mush inside makes them not too dense.
-Milky bars - lovely and thin
-Maltesers - have one, have many!
-Mars Refuel Milkshake - (400ml bottle = 340 cals) Thinner than most other milkshakes, and the sports top makes it easier to slurp/sip.
-McDonalds chips - (Small 230 cals, Med 330 cals, Large 460 cals) So many cals, but hardly any substance...!
-Taramasalata - (A quarter of a 211g pot of Tesco's tara has 275cals) So many calories even a little is perfect... Have with strips of pitta bread for something light(ish).

Just um, don't forget the creon eh, otherwise you may end up more like Elvis than you had planned to. We all know where he spent his last living moments... ! 

Follow Laura's journey on the waiting list for a liver and pancreas transplant on her blog, Ludicrous Bunglings.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Creepy graveyard cake

It's fun making this from scratch, but to save time, you could use Malted Milk biscuits for the headstones

Serves 20

515g butter, salted
300g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
300g self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk
150g plain flour
15g cornflour
15g cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
75g plain chocolate for cooking
300g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Chocolate sprinkles
White piping icing
Ready to roll icing

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line a 23cm x 32cm roasting tin with baking paper. Beat 250g butter until really soft. Add 250g caster sugar, the eggs, self-raising flour, baking powder and 2tbsp of the milk. Beat together until evenly mixed and creamy.

2. Put in the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack.

3. For the biscuit headstones, mix 115g butter with 50g of the caster sugar. Divide into two equal portions and add half the plain flour and the cornflour to one portion, and the rest of the flour and the cocoa to the other. Mix until just evenly blended. Pat each piece of dough into a flat block, wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

4. Roll out each piece of dough between two sheets of cling film, to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out rectangles and crosses. Lift onto baking trays and bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

5. For the chocolate butter icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl by standing over a pan of simmering water (the base of the bowl must not touch the water). Cool until tepid and still a liquid. Beat 150g butter until soft and then gradually add the icing sugar. Add 2tbsp milk and the melted chocolate, and beat until light and creamy.

6. Spread the top of the cake and three rectangle biscuits with the chocolate butter icing. Sprinkle the biscuits with chocolate sprinkles and put on the cake to represent graves.

7. Dust two light coloured biscuits with cocoa and one dark one with icing sugar. Pipe 'RIP' and put on the cake, along with worms made from the rolled out icing. You'll have biscuits left over, which can be served separately.

Per serving:

Calories - 451
Fat - 25.2g
Sat Fat - 15.4g

Pumpkin, pine nut and honey cake

This is a lovely moist, spiced cake that freezes well without the icing

Serves 12

225g self-raising flour
1 level tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
175g butter, softened
100g light soft brown sugar
100g clear honey
2 large free-range eggs
150g pumpkin or butternut squash (weighed without seeds and skin), grated
100g pine nuts
50g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a 23cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon together.

3. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the honey and beat again.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mix with each.

5. Fold in the rest of the flour, the grated pumpkin and pine nuts. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top.

6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack.

7. Mix the icing sugar with 1.5tsp water and drizzle on top.

Per serving:

Calories - 318
Fat - 19.2g
Sat Fat - 8.4g

Tuna and sweetcorn shells

Serves 4

200g conchiglie pasta shells
50g butter
50g flour
Pinch of cayenne
600ml skimmed milk
6 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
100g Red Leicester cheese, grated
400g Skipjack Tuna Steaks in Brine, drained
325g sweetcorn, drained
100g frozen peas

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Grease an ovenproof dish and a sheet of foil large enough to cover it. Cook the pasta shells for 2 minutes less than instructed. Drain.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Away from the heat, gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and bring up to the boil, whisking all the time until thickened. Remove from the heat, add the sundried tomatoes and season.

3. Off the heat, add half the cheese and stir until melted.

4. Stir in the pasta, tuna, sweetcorn and peas, then put in the ovenproof dish. Sprinkle on the reserved cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and the cheese is melted.

Per serving:

Calories - 644
Fat - 23.5g
Sat Fat - 12.6g

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Macaroni with double cheese

A twist on the classic dish - the vegetables will help towards your five a day.

Serves 4

200g macaroni
200g small cauliflower florets
200g broccoli florets
50g butter
50g flour
Pinch of cayenne
600ml skimmed milk
1 level tsp Dijon mustard
75g extra mature Cheddar, grated
50g Stilton, crumbled
4 tomatoes, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Grease an ovenproof dish and sheet of foil large enough to cover it. Add the macaroni to a large pan of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than instructed. Drain.

2. Add the cauliflower and broccoli to a large pan of boiling water and boil for 4 minutes. Drain.

3. Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking, until the sauce has thickened. Add the mustard and season. Remove from the heat.

4. Set aside 25g of the Cheddar. Add the rest plus the Stilton, and stir until melted.

5. Stir in the pasta and veg and 3tbsp water, then put in the dish. Sprinkle with the reserved Cheddar and top with the tomato slices. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Per serving:

Calories - 573
Fat - 24.1g
Sat Fat - 14g

1 of your 5 a day

Sweet potato and goat's cheese salad

A substantial salad with a combination of flavours that tastes as good as it looks.

Serves 4

50g pine nuts
2 small red onions
400g sweet potatoes (peeled weight) cut into 1cm cubes
2tbsp olive oil
1 level tsp soft brown sugar
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
70g wild rocket
200g goat's cheese
4tbsp Balsamic glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Put the pine nuts on one and cook for 5 minutes until golden (time it, as they burn easily). Tip onto a plate.

2. Halve the onions, peel and cut into thin wedges. Put in a large bowl with the sweet potatoes, oil and sugar and toss to ensure they're evenly coated. Spread out on the other baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10-15minutes, then leave to cool slightly.

4. Share the rocket between four plates. Add the warm roasted veg, cut the cheese into small pieces and scatter on top with the pine nuts. Drizzle on the balsamic glaze and serve.

Per serving:

Calories - 381
Fat - 22.1g
Sat Fat - 9.7g

2 of your 5 a day

American apple pancakes

Peel, core and coarsely grate a Bramley apple.
Sift 250g plain flour and 2 level tsp baking powder in a bowl. Add 40g caster sugar and a pinch of salt.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and gently whisk in 2 eggs and 300ml of milk until you have a smooth batter.
Mix in the grated apple and fry the pancakes in a little oil until they ate golden.
Serve with maple syrup.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Peanut butter rice crisps

Peanut butter rice crisps

Grease and line an 18cm shallow square tin.
Melt 50g butter in a pan. Add 180g mini marshmallows and heat, stirring, until melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in 100g peanut butter until evenly mixed. Add 75g Rice crispies (or a store's own brand) and stir gently until they're all coated.
Put in the tin and level the top. Leave until cold, then cut into squares.

Makes 16

Per serving:

Calories - 116
Fat - 5.9g 
Sat Fat - 2.4g

Salmon and asparagus mini pies

Salmon and asparagus mini pies

560g salmon fillets
1½tbsp lemon juice
2tsp Blue Dragon fish sauce
150g asparagus
4tbsp creme fraiche
2-3tbsp chopped fresh dill
Finely grated lemon zest ½ lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
500g pack ready to roll shortcrust pastry
Flour for rollin out

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Put the salmon fillets on a large piece of foil. Mix 3 tbsp water with the lemon juice and fish sauce, pour over the fish, then season. Fold up the foil to make a parcel but leave room inside for the air to circulate. Transfer to a baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the unopened parcel.
Meanwhile, bend the asparagus until they snap and discard the tough ends. Put on another sheet or foil and sprinkle with 2tbsp water. Make a parcel with the foil and put on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and cut the asparagus into 1cm pieces.
Drain the salmon cooking liquid into a jug and reserve. Skin and flake the salmon and mix with the asparagus. Mix half the liquid with the creme fraiche, dill and zest. Add 1 egg and whisk with a fork until evenly blended.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out 8 x 8cm and 8 x 11cm rounds. Use the larger rounds to line the holes of a muffin tin. Fill with the salmon and asparagus mixture , then pour in enough sauce to come almost to the top.
Put the smaller rounds on top, pressing the edges together. Beat the other egg and use to brush the top of the pastry. Make a small hole in the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Makes 8

Per serving:

Calories: 360
Fat: 23.6g
Sat Fat: 7.2g

Honey and walnut cake

Honey and walnut cake

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Line a 20com shaloow tin with baking paper. Put 100g walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Chop roughly and set aside.
Melt 175g butter in a pan. Add 100g clear honey and 100g caster sugar, heat gentlly, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then pour into a bowl and leave until lukewarm.
Lightly beat 3 large free-range eggs and add to the honey mixture using a wire whisk to make sure they're evenly mixed in.
Gently stir in the walnuts and 225g self-raising flour. Pour into the tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool on a wire rack. Cut into slices to serve.

Serves 12

Per serving:

Calories - 248
Fat - 15.9g
Sat Fat - 7g



300g new potatoes 
150g frozen peas 
25g butter
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1tbsp chopped fresh thyme
150g hard goat's cheese, crumbled
8 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten and seasoned

Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, then slice thickly. Boil the peas for 2 minutes and drain.
Melt the butter in a nonstick frying pan and cook the spring onions until soft. Add the potato and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway through. Add the peas and thyme and stir briefly.
Pour the eggs into the pan, then sprinkle in two thirds of the cheese. Cook over a low heat without stirring, until the egg is set except for a thin film in top.
Transfer to a baking tray, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and grill until the top sets. Slide on to a plate and leave to cool.
Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4

Per serving:

Calories - 453
Fat - 30.9g
Sat Fat - 14.3g

Artichoke dip

Artichoke dip

Drain a 400g can Green Giant Artichoke Hearts and put in a food processor with 150g Plain soft cheese, 1tsp lemon juice, 4tbsp Mayonnaise, 2tbsp Greek style yogurt and small crushed garlic clove. Season well and whizz to a purée.
Serve with carrot, celery and red pepper sticks and breadsticks. For a more filling snack serve with pitta bread.

Serves 4

Per serving:

(without pitta bread)

Calories: 238
Fat: 22.2g
Sat Fat: 11.5g

Please note the nutritional values given will be slightly lower than the actual values as this recipe orginally used fat free and low fat versions of products but I replaced these with normal versions to increase calorie and fat contents.

Posh fish finger butties

Posh fish finger butties with mushy peas and potato wedges

To make fish finger butties:

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Break 100g of ciabatta (preferably tow days old) into bits and put into a processor with the grated zest of 1/2 an unwaxed lemon, 1/2tsp smoked paprika, a good pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Whizz into fine crumbs. Put in a shallow dish.
Lightly beat 1 large free range egg with 1tbsp olive oil and 15g melted butter and put in another shallow dish. Put 3tbsp flour on a plate.
Take 4 x 125g pieces line caught cod loin and coat one piece in the flour, shaking of the excess. Dip it in the egg mixture, then the crumbs, patting the crumbs on firmly. Put on a baking tray and repeat with the other pieces of fish. Discard any leftover crumb mixture.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Split 4 Ciabatta rolls in half and fill with the fish, salad leaves and mayonnaise. Serve with mushy peas and potato wedges.

To make mushy peas:

Put 350g frozen peas in a pan with 1/4tsp sugar and 2 mint leaves. Cover with boiling water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1-2tbsp liquid.
Whizz in a processor together with the reserved liquid and 4tbsp reduced-fat crème fraîche to make a rough purée. Season to taste.

To make the potato wedges:

Cut 3 baking potatoes into wedges. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 minutes. Drain.
Return to the pan and stand over a low heat for 1 minute to allow any moisure to evaporate. Tip into a bowl, add 1tbsp oil and toss to coat.
Spread on a baking tray and cook at 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 for 35-40 minutes.

Serves: 4

Per serving:

Calories - 834
Fat - 36g
Sat Fat -12.4g

Sausage Meatballs

Sausage Meatballs

This is a great appetizer or snack. It can easily be frozen into individual servings that can be reheated at a later time.

Prep time: 30 minutes


1 lb. pork sausage, raw
3/4 c. all purpose baking mix
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. onion, chopped finely


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Form mixture into 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) balls.
Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Center temperature of the sausage balls must exceed 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73 degrees Celsius).
Serves: 12

Serving size: 3 sausage balls

Nutritional analysis (per serving):

278 calories
12 g protein
23 g fat
571 mg sodium
151 mg calcium

Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.

Variations and suggestions:

This dish can easily be frozen before or after you cook it. Make some today and freeze half of the batch to serve at a later date.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hedgehog cakes

These triple-choc cakes will be a hit with everyone


100g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1 level tsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter, soft
125g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
3tbsp milk
100g dark chocolate, broken up
200g icing sugar
140g chocolate buttons
8 glacé cherries, halved


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Put 16 paper cake cases in bun tins. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together.
2. Beat 125g butter in a bowl until softened. Beat in the caster sugar, flour mixture, eggs and 1tbsp milk.. Divide among the cake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Leave to cool.
3. Melt the dark chocolate squares in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Leave to cool until cold but still liquid.
4. Beat the rest of the butter with the sugar, chocolate and 2tbsp of the milk until smooth and creamy. Spread thickly on top of the cakes.
5. Arrange the chocolate buttons on top. Put a cherry half on each cake for a nose.

Per serving:

Calories - 309
Fat - 17.6g
Sat Fat - 10.8g

Sunday, 2 September 2012


I'm really sorry I'm being a bit lazy and can't be bothered to type this recipe today so I just snapped a piccie, I hope it comes out clear enough to read. This also shows where I find most of the recipes, I grab the free magazine most months and post any recipes that have a red/high for the fat content!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Honey fork biscuits

Sunflower set honey has a mild, flowery taste and is great for spreading. The biscuits will keep (without the filling) for 5 days in an airtight container.


100g butter, softened
25g caster sugar
2tbsp clear honey
150g self-raising flour
4tbsp sunflower set honey
1tbsp icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Mix the butter, caster sugar and clear honey in a large bowl until evenly mixed.
2. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix to form a stiff dough. Roll the dough into 16 balls and put on the baking tray leaving a gap between them.
3. Flatten the biscuits slightly with the heel of your hand then press firmly with a fork to make ridges.
4. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
5. Just before serving, sandwich the biscuits together with the sunflower set honey and dust with icing sugar.

Per serving:

Calories - 218
Fat - 10.5g
Sat Fat - 6.5g

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Enchilada Casserole

This scrumptious meal is loaded with calories, protein, and sodium.

Prep time: 40 minutes


1 (10.75 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 (15 oz.) can of enchilada sauce
2 c. cooked chicken breast, diced
1 c. cheddar cheese
3½ c. tortilla chips, crushed

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour the mixture in a greased 1.5-quart casserole dish.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Serves: 3

Serving size: 2 cups

Nutritional analysis (per serving):
681 calories
51 g protein
35 g fat
1977 mg sodium
368 mg calcium

Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.

Variations and suggestions:

Serve with rice and sour cream.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Long overdue update!

I am very sorry for the long gap in recipes! I have lots of recipes saved on my laptop but I no longer have internet access from it. I will get them up once I can get it connected, I just keep forgetting to take it anywhere with WiFi!

I do have a recipe for you today from the lovely Laura's (@mapleleith for those of you on Twitter) blog. Don't just check out this one post though, check out her entire blog, you won't regret it :)

Monday, 4 June 2012

Cheese and cauliflower souffles

Cheese and cauliflower souffles 


200g cauliflower (trimmed weight), cut into small florets
150ml semi skimmed milk
25g butter, plus extra for greasing 
25g plain flour
1 level tsp Dijon mustard
100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 large eggs, seperated
4tbsp double cream

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Grease 4 ramekins with butter and line the bases with discs of baking paper.
Add the cauliflower to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes, until tender. Drain thoroughly and mash with the milk.
Melt the butter in a pan. Remove from heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Return to the heat and cook over a low heat for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the cauliflower puree
Return the pan to the heat and cook until simmering, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the mustard and 75g of the cheese. Season and stir until the cheese melts. Add the egg yolks and stir until evenly blended.
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until they form a stiff glossy peaks. Fold a quarter into the cauliflower mixture to make it looser, the gently fold in the rest.
Spoon into the ramekins and bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up and golden on top. Leave to cool.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Run a knife round the edge of the souffles, turn them over and put on the baking tray. Cover with clingfilm and chill for up to 24 hours.
To serve, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Remove the clingfilm and sprinkle the souffle tops with the remaining cheese. Drizzle on the cream and bake for 10 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Per serving:
Calories - 342
Fat - 28g
sat Fat - 15.9g

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Salmon and Spinach Lasagne

4 salmon fillets
360g baby spinach
Pinch of grated nutmeg, optional 
360g Parsley sauce
4 sheets of fresh egg lasagne
25g Cheddar, grated
Salad, to serve.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Put the salmon on a large sheet of foil, season and sprinkle with 4tbsp water. Wrap to make a parcel, sealing the edges lightly but leaving room inside for the air to circulate. Bake for 15 minutes. Discard the skin, flake the fish and mix with the cooking juices.

Rinse the spinach, then put in a wok or large pan and stir-fry until it wilts. Drain in a colander and press with the back of a spoon to extract as much water as possible. Chop roughly and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, if using.

Heat the parsley sauce and mix three-quarters with the salmon and spinach.

Layer the lasagne with the salmon and spinach in an ovenproof dish. Finish with the reserved parsley sauce.

Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with salad.

Serves: 4
1 of your 5 a day.

Per serving

Calories: 509
Fat: 29.2g
Sat Fat: 7.8g

Rhubarb and Strawberry Eton mess

A pudding perfect for this summery weather we are currently having in the UK.

400g rhubarb
2 1/2 level tbsp caster sugar
400g strawberries
300ml double cream
1/4tsp Vanilla extract
300ml rhubarb yogurt
8 meringue nests, broken into large pieces

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Wash the rhubarb and cut into 2cm pieces. Put in a roasting tray and mix with the caster sugar. Cover with foil and nake for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender but has kept its shape. Leave until completely cold. Drain of the juices and reserve.
Cut the green tops off the strawberries and halve or quarter them, depending on their size.
Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until it just starts to thicken and hope it's shape. Take care not to overwhip or let it become stiff. If you're using an electric mixer use it on a slow speed. Add the yogurt and continue to whip slowly until it holds it's shape.
Stir the broken meringues into the cream mixture, then fold in three quarters of the fruit, taking care not to break the meringues too much. Spoon into six glasses and put the remaining fruit on the top. Serve within an hour.
Drizzle on a little of the reserved cooking juices just before serving.

Serves: 6

Per serving:

Calories: 426 
Fat: 27.4g
Sat Fat: 16.7g

For a quicker dessrt replace the rhubarb and sugar with 250g Raspberries as they do not need baking.

Special cauliflower cheese


1 large cauliflower 
50g butter
40g plain flour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
1/2tsp English mustard
1/4 level tsp cayenne pepper
75g extra mature Cheddar cheese, grated
75g Gruyère, grated
25g Parmesan, grated 
40g white bread (slightly stale), made into crumbs
1 level tbsp seasame seeds
1 level tbsp sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Break the cauliflower into large florets. Add to a large pan of fast boiling water, return to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10mins. Drain.
Melt the butter, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute, stirring.
Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Heat again until simmering, whisking constantly. Add the mustard and cayenne and simmer for 1 minute.
Take off the heat. Set aside 25g Cheddar, then add the rest of the cheeses and stir until melted.
Put the the cauliflower in an oven proof dish, then pour over the sauce. Mix the reserved cheese with the breadcrumbs and seeds. Sprinkle over the cauliflower and bake for 10-15mins

Serves 4

Per serving:
Calories - 500
Fat - 32.7g
Sat Fat - 18g
One of your 5 a day.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Steak Wellington

Steak Wellington


50g mushrooms, chopped
1 level tsp oil
1 level tsp butter
300g Beef Fillet steak
50g Brussels Pate with Garlic
250g ready to roll puff pastry
Flour, for rolling out
1 medium egg, beaten
New potatoes with chopped parsley, courgette and carrot ribbons, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Heat the butter and oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the mushroom, then gently fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they have shrunk and all the juices run out. Continue to cook until all the juices have evaporated. Tip into a bowl to cool.
Cut the steak into 2 even sized pieces. Heat the pan, add the steak and cook for a few seconds on each side to brown the outside- the meat should still be raw. Put on a plate and leave to cool.
Mix the pate with the cold mushrooms. Spread on top of the steaks. Cut the pastry in half and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Place a piece of steak, pate-side down, in the centre of each half.
Dampen the edges of the pastry with a pastry brush, then fold over to enclose the steaks in neat parcels. Place the parcels on a baking sheet with the folds underneath. Brush with beaten egg, then bake for 18-20 minutes until golden. Serve with new potatoes sprinkled with chopped parsley, and carrot and courgette ribbons.

Serves: 2
Ready in: 50mins
Calories per serving: 880
Fat per serving: 49.9g

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Shortbread Kisses

After whetting your appetites with all those pictures of lovely food here is a recipe to make some 'Shortbread Kisses'

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Put 50g salted butter (at room temprature), a few drops of vanilla extract and 25g caster sugar in a bowl and mix with a spoon until evenly blended.
Add 75g plain flour and 1 level tbsp cornflour and mix with a spoon to make a dough. Bring the dough together with your finger tips, but try to handle it as little as possible. Shape into a flat cake, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 mins - no longer or it will be too hard to roll out.
Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface. Unwrap the dough and put on top, then cover with another sheet of clingfilm. Roll out the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top sheet of clingilm.
Cut out pairs of shapes using cookie cutters and place onto the prepared baking trays, leaving a small gap between each biscuit. Gather up the leftover dough and roll out again to make more biscuits. You'll make more biscuits than you will need for this dessert but they'll keep for up to a week in an airtight container.
Bake for 10-12mins until lightly tinged at the edges. Leave on the baking trays for 10mins, then carefully lift them off an put onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Just before serving, whip 75ml double cream until it just holds its shape. Take 8 biscuits and sandwich together with 2tbsp strawberry preserve and the cream. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and serve with strawberries and blueberries

Per serving:
388 calories
30.7g fat
19.1g sat fat

Some of the best food of my life

I think I can safely say that while I was on my holiday I had some of the best food in my life and the sandwich and the ribs are by far the best sandwich and the best ribs I've ever had by far!!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cheat's moussaka


400g new potatoes
1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
500g extra lean steak mince
400 can chopped tomatoes with garlic
3tbsp tomato ketchup
1 level tsp dried oregano
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 lamb or beef stock cube
1 aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
4 level tsp cornflour
400g Greek style yoghurt
2 medium eggs
25g Parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, slice and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion, stirring often. Add the mince, stirring to break up the clumps, until browned.
Add the tomatoes, tomato ketchup, oregano and cinnamon, then crumble in the stock cube. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the aubergine, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix 2 level tsp cornflour with 1tbsp water and stir in. Heat until thickened.
Put in an ovenproof dish. Cover with the potatoes.
Stir the rest of the cornflour into the yoghurt, add the eggs and lightly beat to evenly mix. Season, pour on top of the potato and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the topping is just set and golden,

Ready in: 1hr
Serves: 4
2 of your 5 a day
Calories per serving: 560
Fat per serving: 28.9g

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Minty Guacamole


Red Onion
Fresh British mint


... slicing an avocado in half, then remove the stone and scoop all the flesh into a bowl. Mash well and add 1 tablespoon finely sliced red onion, 2 finely chopped sprigs of fresh mint and the juice of half a lime. Mix all the ingredients together and season with a little salt for a fresh twist on a dip that's a great way to start a barbecue.

Why not try... serving this creamy guacamole with mini toasted pittas or toasted bread - great for a barbeque or picnic.

Per serving*:
107 cals
7.4g fat
1g total sugars

* one serving is based on 36g avocado, 4g red onion, 3g fresh mint, 1/8 lime and 16g bread.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Spicy cauliflower fritters

Sorry it has been a while since I last posted, have been rather busy whilst feeling rather rubbish. Anyway here is a recipe for some spicy cauliflower fritters. I hope you enjoy :)


1 cauliflower
2cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
1/2tsp crushed dried chillies
3tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for deep frying
1tbsp lime juice
1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
200g self-raising flour, plus extra for coating
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp ground turmeric
1 level tsp ground coriander
Pinch of salt
300-350ml beer

For the sweet and sour dipping sauce
4tbsp tomato ketchup
3tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3tbsp mango chutney
2tbsp lime juice

Break the cauliflower into 2cm florets - they all need to be about the same size so that they cook evenly.
Whisk together the ginger, chillies, 3tbsp oil, lime juice and chilli sauce. In a bowl, gently mix the florets in the marinade. Put them in a freezer bag and seal. Leave to marinate for an hour, turning the pieces occasionally to ensure they are all coated.
To make the batter, sift the flour, cumin, turmeric and coriander and salt into a bowl. Gradually whisk in 300ml beer. It should be the consistency of double cream. Add the extra beer if necessary to thin it.
Drain the marinade from the cauliflower. Dip the florets in flour to lightly coat.
Half fill a deep fryer or a large saucepan with oil and heat to 180C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 60 seconds
Dip the florets into the batter a few at a time and fry for 4-5 mins until crisp. When cooked, drain on triple-thickness kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the next batch.
Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and serve with the fritters.

Serves 4

Per serving
Calorie - 488
Fat - 21.2g
Sat Fat - 2.7g
One of your 5 a day

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Calves liver with swiss chard, rosemary garlic chips and mustard mayonnaise

This isn't really a normal recipe I would look for on Calories and Creon, I haven't chose it because I think it looks high calorie or has a red for fat on the nutritional 'traffic light' system, I've chose it because it has liver in and today is 12years since I had my liver transplant, in the hospital, more than once when I asked what was for dinner the oh-so-funny reply was 'liver' so I thought I would stick a cheeky liver recipe in today ;)


For the rosemary garlic chips
For the mustard mayonnaise
For the calves' liver

Preparation method

  1. For the rosemary garlic chips, peel the potatoes and cut into 1.5cm/½in cubes. Place into a heavy-based pan and cover with the two oils. Slowly bring to a simmer, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the potato is just tender.
  2. Add the rosemary and garlic, increase the heat and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the potatoes are pale golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  3. For the mustard mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolk and mustard together until smooth and well combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, starting with a drop at a time and moving to a thin, steady stream, until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
  5. For the calves liver, pick the leaves from the chard and blanch the stalks in a pan of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes, until tender. Add the chard leaves and blanch for one minute, or until wilted. Drain and pat dry on kitchen paper. Slice the stems into batons and set aside.
  6. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add the sunflower oil. Add the liver slices and fry for 1-2 minutes, then turn over. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add half the butter to the pan and transfer to the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the liver is just cooked through but still slightly pink in the middle.
  7. Remove the liver with a slotted spoon and set aside to rest. Drain the butter from the pan, then return to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, then add the remaining butter and stir until melted and combined with the vinegar. Add the liver back into the pan to warm through before serving.
  8. Heat a little olive oil in a clean frying pan, add the chard and fry for one minute to warm through.
  9. To serve, arrange the chard in the centre of four serving plates and top each serving with a slice of liver. Drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Arrange the potato chips around the plate, dotting the mayonnaise in the space between each chip.