Category Archives: Recipe

Oatbran fruit muffins – low cholesterol

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I’ll share what we’ve been up to someday soon, but for now let’s feed our bellies with goodness!

As I’ve already mentioned, my hereditary cholesterol is causing me issues and it’s likely to be be even worse after this next baby, so when baking I am trying to use only cholesterol-friendly ingredients.

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This has been easier said than done and to be honest I am resenting it! However, my guardian angel Smitten Kitchen, recently posted a recipe that was screaming to be adapted for me. So that’s exactly what I did!

Fat free greek yoghurt has replaced buttermilk, and cholesterol lowering oatbran and spelt flour are also used.

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These are absolutely suitable for breakfast, or snack time, and especially child-friendly given the minimal amount of sugar used.

They aren’t beautiful, but then very little of what I bake is (it’s not my highest priority), but they are wholesome and it makes me feel like I’m still allowed cake. Almost.

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Oatbran and fruit muffins
makes approximately 10 using small cases

Ingredients

300ml fat free yoghurt, thinned with 15ml milk
1 large egg
80 ml oil (such as vegetable, safflower, sunflower or olive oil)
50 grams lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or zest of citrus fruit of your choice
90 grams oat bran
125 grams spelt flour (can substitute plain flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
several teaspoons sugar – for topping the muffins
3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (just about anything but citrus or pineapple will work, I used 10 strawberries but have previously used frozen raspberries and blueberries successfully)

Method

Heat oven to 200 degrees C and line tray with muffin cases.

Whisk yoghurt, milk, egg, oil, brown sugar and any vanilla or citrus zest you’d like to use in a small bowl. Whisk oatbran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined.

Spoon 1 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 1 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly). Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with about 1 teaspoon each.

Bake muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out almost clean. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

The muffins keep for 3 days at room temperature, longer in the freezer.

Enjoy!

Bake

xoxo

Berry Breakfast Pots

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Over the past few weeks months that I have been suffering with the dreaded “morning” sickness, there hasn’t been much that I can eat before 11am.

This is not good news when you either have a toddler to entertain, or an employer to convince you are capable ;)

Thankfully, I have found something that keeps me going, tastes delicious, and is low in bad cholesterol. WIN!

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I guess this is a form of bircher muesli, and can be made with a hundred different ingredients (oats with different dried fruits, seeds, nuts, fresh berries, any type of milk or yoghurt, even fruit juices) but I have loved my simple version!

Please make this the night before and leave it in the fridge for the next day if you can, it’ll soften the oats and taste even better.

Apologies for the photos – I can’t find a way to make it look appetising, but looks aren’t everything guys.

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Be warned – your boss may ask you why you are eating taramasalata (seriously?!) or ice cream in the office ;) Being pregnant probably didn’t help me there!

Berry Breakfast Pot
serves one

Ingredients:

100g yoghurt (I used 0% fat greek yoghurt, but go for the good stuff if you don’t have cholesterol issues!)
handful frozen berries (you may want to add some honey/maple/agave or some sugar if you find the berries too tart)
3 tablespoons muesli or oats (more or less is fine – see what you like most)
optional extras – seeds, nuts, dried fruits of your choice. Granola on top?

Method:

Add ingredients to a bowl or pot with lid (if you are transporting to work!).
Leave overnight in the fridge for best results.
Serve. Simple.

p.s. You can buy similar “breakfast pots” at most coffee chains but your homemade version will cost you a fraction of the price and have an awful lot less sugar too! Hooray!

Enjoy!

Bake
xoxo

Banana, chocolate and cardamom cakes

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One of the (several) cookbooks I received for my birthday/Christmas was something I never would have chosen for myself – Fruit by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Despite my hesitations (not even sure why) we have made at least 3 recipes from the book already, with great results. Most are simple (we aren’t talking Ottolenghi here) but with out-of-the-ordinary flavour ideas.

We had more bananas turning very ripe in the fruit bowl, and we thought we’d try something new. As usual, I changed a few ingredients to suit what we had at home, and loved the results.

[Need some more recipes for ripe bananas? Try these naturally sweetened treats – loaf cake and baby friendly snack bars!]

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The original recipe (can’t find online, but similar to this one) makes a large loaf, but we wanted some smaller cakes that could be taken to work or shared with C – as you can see, he was delighted :)

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Banana, cardamom & chocolate muffins
makes approximately 18 small cakes

Ingredients:

100ml coconut oil, melted to liquid (or sunflower oil)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
150g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
75g plain yoghurt
200g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Method:

Preheat oven to 180degC

In a large bowl or mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar, then add the eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, yoghurt and cardamom. Add this to the coconut/sugar/egg bowl and thoroughly combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and gently stir to combine.
Stir through the chopped chocolate.

Fill muffin/cupcake cases 2/3 of the way and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cakes are springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Bake
xoxo

 

Butternut squash risotto with chorizo and halloumi

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I made this risotto last night with leftovers I found in my fridge, out of pure desperation. Risotto is so simple, can be jazzed up with whatever you have at home (frozen peas, roasted vegetables, goat’s cheese…) and C simply loves it, for now! Hence it’s my go to dish when I have two hungry boys to feed.

It doesn’t take as long to make as you would expect, either. With the pre-roasted butternut squash, I am sure we were sitting down to eat in just over half an hour, which isn’t too bad for a last minute meal (and better than ordering takeaway or popping a ready meal in the oven).

The portions below may seem small (the packet suggested 100g rice per person) but the squash is pretty filling and the chorizo makes quite a rich addition, we were pleasantly stuffed!

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Butternut squash risotto with chorizo and halloumi
serves 2 and a half

1/2 butternut squash, peeled, diced
Olive oil

2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
small knob of butter
glug of olive oil
100g risotto rice
generous glass of white wine
450ml vegetable stock

1 small chorizo, sliced and fried for a few minutes each side.
wedge of halloumi (optional) – about 75g, sliced, diced and fried with chorizo

small handful of grated parmesan
dash of double cream (optional)

Method:

Lightly coat the butternut squash in olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200degC for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
I prepared mine the day before – use it in risotto, throw in a quiche or with pasta etc.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes, until softened.

Add the risotto rice and stir to coat with oil/butter. Pour in the glass of wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has almost all gone, turn the heat down to low and pour in a cup or so of stock. Stir every now and again.
Repeat until rice has plumped up and is soft, you should use more or less all of the stock, depending how al dente you like your rice.

Add the chorizo, butternut and halloumi and stir to heat through. Finish with double cream and the cheese, as little or as much as you like.

Serve and enjoy :)

Bake
xoxo

Spiced coffee and chocolate wholewheat shortbread

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When I found out about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I thought it was one of the best ideas I’d ever heard: bake cookies, send them to 3 food bloggers, receive 3 dozen cookies in return.

That’s my kind of fun :)

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What’s even better about it? It’s not just another reason for food bloggers to bake, the purpose is to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We’ve managed to raise over $13,000 so far this year thanks to the expert organisation from Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.

The cookies I made (recipe below) combined some of my favourite things in the world – coffee, chocolate and festive spices.

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Baking these cookies during December is the perfect way to prepare for the Christmas season, as is gifting them to people you don’t know.

I actually knew of two of the three people I sent cookies to – Kate (The Little Loaf) and Iris (Whatever Gets You Through The Day) are two of my favourite UK bloggers (which made me extra nervous!).

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Once my cookies had been carefully packaged and posted, I had the excitement of waiting for my cookie gifts. Poor Shake had to stare at the packages each day until I returned home from work to open them (not convinced I could have waited if I had been in his shoes…).

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Our first treats were addictive heart-shaped cinnamon sandwich cookies (with cinnamon icing inside!) from Lucy. Thank goodness we love cinnamon in this house, but honestly they were so delicious and perfect with a cup of tea.

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The following day we received two deliveries – sour cherry and almond shortbreads from Jennie and coconut oatmeal cookies from Jen. Both were incredible and we were thrilled to have a real variety of flavours and textures. You should really check out their blogs for the recipe details, I recommend all of them wholeheartedly!

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My recipients sent some lovely feedback about the cookies, and I’ve been itching to share them with you, but the rule was we all post our recipes today! So, without further ado here you go:

Spiced coffee and chocolate wholewheat shortbread
makes approximately 36 small shortbreads

Ingredients

220g unsalted butter – at room temperature
100g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds of 1/3 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon four spice (mine was from France and included cloves, nutmeg, black pepper (!) and cinnamon)
2 teaspoons finely ground fresh coffee (you could substitute 2 tbsp instant espresso, but it won’t be quite the same)
220g plain flour – I used wholewheat, because I prefer it
100g dark chocolate chips/chunks

Don’t preheat the oven just yet – the dough needs to chill before baking.

In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar for at least a few minutes, until thoroughly combined.

Add the vanilla, spices and coffee and mix again for a further minute or two so that the mixture is evenly speckled with coffee and spices.

Now add the flour and mix slowly, only until it has disappeared into the dough but has formed a ball – you don’t want to overwork it.

Lastly, stir through the chocolate chunks.

Lay a large piece of clingfilm on a flat surface and turn out the dough. Top the dough with another large sheet of clingfilm and start working with the rolling pin.

I warn you, the dough is sticky (but delicious).

Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/4inch thick and relatively rectangular. Transfer to large dish or tray and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Once refrigerated, preheat the oven to 170degC.

Use a sharp knife to cut out your shortbreads. Mine were approximately 2inch by 1inch rectangles. I’m not especially good at being consistent, so some were larger than others ;)

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 8 – 12 minutes, depending on size and shape made. You want slight colour around the edges.

Don’t panic if they are still very soft, the shortbread hardens as it cools.

Enjoy :)

Bake
xoxo

 

Fig crumble cake

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I am ashamed at how long it has been since I last posted a recipe, but life is oh so busy and toddlers don’t have any much patience for photography or washing up ;)

As soon as I saw this post I knew I wanted to make this cake. A late afternoon walk through town and past the market resulted in a bargain bundle of figs – fate! The cake had to be made!

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I tweaked the recipe, but mainly just because a sweet friend gifted me some plump vanilla beans that I can’t resist throwing into everything I make at the moment. I’ve made the cake without it and it is still delicious, but I think it’s extra special with.

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If you are like me, you might have a bag of ready made crumble topping in your freezer.

No? Well, maybe consider making some. It takes no time at all and freezes well, plus you’ll be halfway to an impromptu dessert. What more could you ask for ;)

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Fig crumble cake
serves 8

For the cake:
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
1 large free range egg
90ml milk (your choice, I used whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
325g fresh figs (about 5) halved
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Seeds 1/2 vanilla bean

For the crumble topping:
30g wholemeal spelt flour
30g ground almonds
50g golden caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, chilled & diced
20g rolled oats

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200degC. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer (or by hand) until light and fluffy.

Beat the egg into the milk and add the vanilla extract. Slowly pour into mixture whilst stirring.

Sift in the flour and baking powder then stir carefully to combine before spooning carefully into the prepared tin.

To make the crumble, use your fingertips to mix the flour, almonds, sugar and butter until crumbs forms. Stir through the oats and set aside.

Place the figs cut side up on top of the cake batter. Mix the maple syrup with the vanilla seeds and drizzle over the figs.

Scatter the crumble mix over the figs and bake for 30-40 minutes, when the crumble is nicely golden and the figs are jammy and soft.

Note: The second time I made this I added an extra fig and the cake was extra jammy and moist. It was easier to remove from the tin once cool.

Enjoy!

Bake

xoxo

Baked Vanilla Apricots with Rosé

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What’s the difference between a recipe and a method? This isn’t a joke, nor a trick question, but what comes to mind when I think about these apricots.

There is so little to be said and done here that I am almost hesitant to share. But Molly did, so here is my take on her apricot recipe/method/whatever:

  • Gather apricots
  • Slice in half, remove stone
  • Dip cut side into sugar of your choice and lay with sugared side up in a baking dish
  • Split vanilla pod, scoop and scatter the seeds over the apricots (or use vanilla sugar, as I did)
  • Grab a wine glass, fill with wine (I used this – it was GOOD), pour into baking dish
  • Place dish in preheated oven (180 deg C) and bake for about 35 minutes (or as Molly so perfectly puts it, until the apricots feel “heavy, slack, almost jiggly, like a slightly tired water balloon’”. Excellent!
  • Serve your apricots (warm or cold) with yoghurt, ice cream, nothing at all, but please don’t forget to splash some of that wine syrup over them.

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Enjoy!

Bake

xoxo

Mackerel, Lemon and Dill Potato Salad

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Now that I am working again, albeit part-time, I need to get my act together and organise our meals more efficiently.

To give us a little bit of credit, we do plan the meals we are going to eat during the week, but I never know what I’m going to make each day. This can result in a last-minute-hungry-toddler-hungry-parents panic (omelette!).

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This is my current favourite one dish meal (that can be stretched to two meals) and is even better the following day for lunch at work, with some lettuce and cucumber mingled in, or some sliced avocado.

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I’m not sure why this happens, but we always seem to have a huge bundle of potatoes leftover from the veg box, so this recipe is killing two birds with one stone (or as my Norwegian sister-in-law will tell you, “Two flies, one smack” ;) ).

Mackerel, lemon and dill potato salad
serves 3 (and a toddler) generously

Ingredients

750g salad potatoes – boiled until tender, then diced
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tin (125g) skinned and boned (msc, please) mackerel in olive oil (reserve a little oil for the dressing)
handful of dill, chopped well
salt and pepper to taste
optional extras: avocado, cucumber, green peppers, asparagus

Method

In a large bowl or dish, combine the mayonnaise, Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic and mackerel (with a little of the olive oil).

Add the dill and potatoes and gently stir to coat generously.

Taste and season accordingly.

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Enjoy!

Bake
xoxo

 

Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes

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We are celebrating the first rhubarb in our fruit and veggie box this week!

Whilst I would happily eat it slightly stewed and definitely sharp, Shake needs it somewhat sweeter and hidden. C is yet to voice his rhubarb opinion ;)

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These muffiny/cakey treats are a good compromise for us. Rhubarb is kept tart but complimented with fresh ginger and (I recommend!) ground cardamon.

After exploding butter in the microwave twice I never thought I’d get my act together. Instead, I went old school and melted the butter on the hob.

I like being old school.

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If you don’t have/can’t find oat flour (like me), make your own! It takes two seconds with a blender and those oats are good for you :)

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Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes

Makes about 20 small cakes

Adapted (considerably) from a recipe in Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
Ingredients

Dry:
90g Oat flour (I simply blended the oats, but left it a little chunky for texture)
75g plain flour
45g whole wheat flour
100g sugar (I used light brown)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Wet:
80g butter, melted and cooled slightly
170ml whole milk
120g (greek) yoghurt
1 egg

knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

125g roasted rhubarb (see below)

Roasted rhubarb:

Slice and dice rhubarb (about 3 stalks) into desired size.

Place in ovenproof dish and cover with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of sugar.

Roast in oven at 180degC for about an hour. You want the rhubarb to keep its shape still but be soft.

Leave to cool before using in cakes.

To make cakes:

Preheat oven to 170degC

Blend oats, if necessary. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add back anything left in the sieve to the bowl.

In another bowl combine the wet ingredients, whisk briefly.

Add grated ginger to wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients and roasted rhubarb into dry ingredients bowl and gently stir to evenly combine.

Spoon mixture into cupcake cases (I use these) and fill about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
Bake
xoxo

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