Spinach and Green Lentil Dhal


Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped  
  • 1 tbsp olive oil  
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced 
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 8 Curry leaves  
  • 200 g green lentils rinced  
  • 750ml water  
  • 150g spinach  
  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp sea salt  

Toppings; 

  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • Chilli flakes 
  • More yoghurt  

Gram flour flatbreads;  

  • 100g Gram flour  
  • Big handful spinach roughly chopped 
  • Big pinch sea Salt  
  • Splash olive oil  
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar  
  • 200ml water 

Directions

  1. Firstly add the oil to a large frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds. When they start to pop add in the cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli flakes. Stir for a few seconds then add the onion. Fry for aprox 8-10 minutes on a low to medium heat until soft and browning. 
  2. Add in the garlic and stir for another few minutes on a low heat. 
  3. Now add the lentils and water. Simmer for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.  
  4. Blitz the spinach in a food processor until roughly chopped up, now add the spinach, simmer for a further 5 minutes  
  5. Stir in the coconut yogurt/milk and season well. 
  6. Top with garam masala and more coconut yogurt.

To make the flatbreads;  

  1. Add the gram flour and seasoning to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add in the water, olive oil, spinach and vinegar. Mix to a smooth batter.
  2. Set aside for 10 minutes.  
  3. Add a little oil to the base of a non-stick small frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and swirl around the bottom. 
  4. Cook on a medium heat for approximately 2 minutes until there are bubbles in the bread and you can lift over to flip easily.  
  5. Flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds to a minute 
  6. Remove from the pan and place on and cover with a clean cloth to keep warm.  
  7. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. 

Recipe from https://www.rebelrecipes.com/green-lentil-spinach-dal-with-spinach-flatbreads/

Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

Method

  • STEP 1Pour 350ml water into a small saucepan with the sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 5 mins more or until glossy and slightly thickened. Combine the cornflour with 1 tbsp water and quickly whisk through the sauce. Whisk through the rice wine vinegar. If it’s still too thick, add a splash more water. Pour into a clean jar and leave to cool at room temperature.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/teriyaki-sauce

Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 1 red onion sliced ( ready sliced pack from asda)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic in oil
  • 400g rump steak
  • 250g pak choi ( or green cabbage)
  • 100g tendersteam broccoli lidl kingsheath
  • 2 tbsp or more of teriyaki sauce
  • 1 small red chilli chopped (optional) lidl kingsheath

Method:

  1. In a large wok heat the oil add the onion and garlic and stir fry for 1 min
  2. Brown the meat. Cook then remove from pan.
  3. Add the pak choi, broccoli and teriyaki sauce
  4. Cook on high heat for 2 mins, toss frequently
  5. Serve with white rice

Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 600ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp veg oil

For the filling:

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts (approx 100g each) cut into bitesized chunks.
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 225g button mushrooms
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 600ml (1 pint) chicken stock (1 stock cube)
  • 100ml low-fat creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Method:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Drop in the egg. Add half the milk and beat, gradually incorportaing the flour, to form a smooth paste. Beat in the remaining milk.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large heavy based frying pan. Pour in a ladle of batter. Leave a coup on mins to cook then flip over and cook the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
  3. To make the filling, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic; fry until golden. Add the chicken; cook until sealed. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Stir in flour and thyme. Season.
  4. Gradually stir in the stock and cook until thickened. STir in the crème fraîche and most of the chives. Dived the mixture between pancakes. Roll up and serve sprinkled with chives.

Hand embroidery

Inspired by a wedding gift I brought for my friend I wanted to try making my own. I really wanted to make some beautiful embroidered roses and to my surprise it was a lot easier than what I thought it would be. I used a wagon wheel stitch to make the flowers and lazy daisy stitch for the leaves. Even though the stitches themselves were not too hard to do, it was a challenging piece as I was embroidering a ready made pouch so was contricted in terms of movement. The red pouch was acually a party favour from another friends bridal shower!

Photo 1 is the gift I commissioned for my friend’s wedding. I’m glad I got it made as I would’ve struggled with the writing. The second photo is the pattern I wanted to try and recreate.

Here are the results.

As you can see I struggled with this. The distribution of yellow french knots is uneven and the knots themselves are not that neat. The green leaves are not dark enough can barely see the ones in the middle.

Lime Posset

A rich, old english dessert which packs punch. With a pot of cream lying around in the fridge I thought we’d give these a go.

I’ve always seen these on Come Dine with Me and wondered why the contestants always made these, well they are very easy to make! The most classic flavour is usually lemon but here we have gone for lime as that is what I had on hand. A posset is essentially a citrus flavoured cream. It’s as strange as it sounds and the combination rich and refreshing at the same time.

Serve in small espresso cups with plenty of fruit as it extremely rich and has lots of fruity flavour!

Ingredients

yield just over 2 small tea glasses

Method

  • STEP 1Put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until just boiling, then boil vigorously for 2½ mins, while stirring constantly. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and most of the zest and divide between 2 small pots or glasses. Chill for at least 2 hrs (or overnight if you’re making ahead), until set.
  • STEP 2To serve top each posset with a few raspberries and the remaining zest.

Nest time I want to try these with passionfruit

Orginal recipe from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/lime-possets-raspberries

Lentil Hotpot

Ingredients

250g puy lemtils

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic

15g dried mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)

2 red onions

2 carrots

1/4 celeriac (about 200g)

pinch red chilli flakes

1 small beetroot peeled and diced

80g pickled walnuts (about 2 1/2) plud 1 tbsp vinegar

250ml veg/chicken stock or lentil broth

2 tsp cornflour

2 tsp dijon mustard

500g potatoes peeled

100g brie

rapeseed oil.

2 tbsp fresh rosemary or use dried

cheddar/ hard cheese for grating on top

Method:

  1. Put the lentils in a pan with one bay leaf, the two whole garlic cloves, and a big pinch of sea salt. Cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins until tender, skimming off any skum. Drain and rinse the lentils and set aside, discarding the bay and garlic.
  2. grease a 20-24cm pie dish and heat to 170degrees celsius. Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 200ml boiling water. Allow to sit for at least 5 mins.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan/skillet.Add the other bay leaf, the onions,carrots, celeriac, chilli and a good pinch of salt. Season well with back pepper and fry, stirring for 10-12 mins, until the veg are softened,aromatic and starting to colour.
  4. Add the chopped garlic, beetroot, drained lentils, the mushrooms and their stock, the pickled walnuts with their vinegar and the stock to the ragu. Stir to combine, then cook for three to five more mins until the moisture has reduced a little. Stir in the flour and the dijon mustard and stir to combine.
  5. Cut the potatoes into match sticks, combine with the rosemary, season with salt and pepper and coat with rapeseed oil.
  6. Pour the lentil mix into the greased pie dish. Rip up the cheese and press it into the ragu. Spread the potatoes in a single layer(important so they cook evenly) on top of teh lentil mix and bake for 40-50mins, turning the dish halfway through, until the potatoes are cooked through, golden, crsipy, and the lentil mix is bubbling. Serve with a bitter leaf or tomato salad.

Recipe from The Times by Rosie Birkett

 

Macarons with cardamom ganache

Ingredients:

For the shells

175g icing sugar

10g cocoa powder

100g egg whites ( 2 large or 3 medium) at room temp

45g granulated sugar

For the ganache filling

25 cardamom pods

300 ml double cream

300g 70% chocolate

Method

1.Preheat oven to 150degrees

2.To make the shells, sift the icing sugar and cooca powder together, then stir in the ground almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add half the caster sugar and continue whisking, When the egg whites are firm add the remaining caster sugar and whisk it in until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites and fold them through carefully and thoroughly. This is called the ‘macaronade’.

3. Spoon the macaronade into a large piping bag. Once filled snip off the end.

4. Leave the baking sheets to one side for at least an hour before baking- you can leave them overnight if needed. This allows the macarons to develop a skin, which prevents them rising with a crack in the top and encourages them to create a ‘foot’, which is characteristic of the way finished macarons should look.

5. Bake the shells for 12-13 mins until they are well risen , crisp and have well-defined ‘feet’. Allow them to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets.

6. To make the ganache filling, crush the 25 cardmamom pods in a pestle and mortar to reveal the seeds inside. Add to a small pan with the 300 ml double cream and place over a low-medium heat to heat through without boiling. Take it off the heat and then leave it to infuse for half an hour.

7. Break the 300g dark chocolate into small pieces so that it has the best chance to melt evenly and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream back up until it is just steaming, then pour the cream through a strainer onto the chocolate, gradually stirring the chocolate as it melts, to create your ganache.

Would probably leave the cardamom out of the ganache next time.

Mint Chocolate Cake

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Ingredients:

Mint choc icing 

  • 1 packet of bournville
  • 250ml(small pot) double cream
  • 1 1/2tsp Dr oetekor American peppermint extract
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Cake

Method:

1.Make the ganache the night before by heating the cream in the microwave and then adding choc pieces so they melt together. Once all are combined add the mint. Leave to cool at room temp.

2. Preheat oven to 150degrees celcius, and prepare tins.
3. Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
4.In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
5.Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
6. Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
7.Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. A total of 30-35mins.
8.Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes do not store in fridge or will become hard and dry!

Recipe needs work. Was not a fan of the cake but others seem to like it

uniced cake freezes really well. We cut up into slices and defrosted them in microwave for 30 secs and it turned out good.