Thursday, 28 January 2016

Home made Granola!

Homemade Granola is the best and so easy to make and best of all you can add whatever you like to it. I have been put off from making granola as I thought it was a time consuming waste of time - how wrong I was!! There are lots of recipes these days but I adapted a recipe from Rachel Allen - Home Cooking -  Crunchy Granola - I followed the principles of what to use but changed most of the ingredients and halved it as I was making it for presents.

All mixed and ready for the oven

Ready to eat!

Makes about 750g
You can double the quantities for a larger batch.

75g Butter
75ml Honey
1tsp Vanilla extract
150g Rolled Oats
75g Pecan nuts - roughly chopped
25g Almonds- roughly chopped
75g mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds
50g Desiccated coconut
150g Mixed dried fruit - I used Sultanas and dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 170C ( 325F) Gas mark 3

Place the butter , honey and vanilla in a small pan and heat gently until melted.
Mix the oats, nuts, seeds and coconut in a separate boll. Pour over the melted butter and honey mixture. Stir well making sure that all the oats are covered in the honey/butter mixture.
Pour the oat mixture on a baking tray and place in the over for 20 mins making sure you toss the mixture with a spoon every 5 mins so that it is all toasted.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray stirring every now and then.
Once cool transfer to a large bowl and add your mixed fruit. Pour into an airtight container and store for up to 2 months.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 25th Jan 2016

Well last weeks meal plan didn't work very well at all! It just takes one thing to break the routine and it all falls apart! I was feeling lousy coming down with a cold for a few days so just made really easy pasta and sauce meals and had a cheeky takeaway one night so this weeks meals look slightly similar to last week! I am taking it easy and not being too adventurous! Will try better next week!

Monday - Nutty Green Roast ( from last week! and from Fay Ripley cookbook)

Tuesday - Spaghetti Bol ( meat version for me and Veggie for Stephen)

Wednesday - Risotto (with what ever vegetables that need using up)

Thursday - Salmon and Leek lasagne ( again from last week really looking forward to this!)

Friday - Quorn Pasties (based on a weight watchers recipe)

So that is my week - I still feel a bit pathetic but hoping to come back fighting fit next week and maybe do a little baking!!

If you would like to join in or would like to have a look at what people are eating this week have a look here .

Monday, 18 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 18th Jan 2016

I love it when a plan comes together! Last weeks meals were fab - all went to plan but not necessarily on the days that I planned them. The Mexican Bean Lasagne was delicious and I used some of the ratatouille that I had made the day before in it as well. I did one online shop and only visited a supermarket once to get milk - result!! I am terrible for just popping in for a pint of milk and then £20 later.....
This week I am using some recipes from Fay Ripleys cookbook - Fay Makes it Easy

This is a fab book with lovely easy family friendly meals and there are a lot of vegetarian and meals that can be easily adapted to be vegetarian. I have chosen 3 meals from her book this week.

Monday - Pasta with prawns in tomato sauce.
Tuesday - Salmon and Leek lasagne ( from Fays book.)
Wednesday - Baked Bubble and Squeak - (Fays book)
Thursday - some sort of risotto with veg from the bottom of the fridge!!
Friday - Nutty Green Roast Veg ( from Fays book)

For the weekends I normally just 'wing it' - Saturday Stephen cooked a curry! Fab- he even went and bought all the ingredients. He didn't look in the cupboard before he went so we have a few duplicates of spices but I didn't have to cook so I am not bothered!

I have joined in with At Home with Mrs M and if you would like to join or have a nosy to see what people are having this week have a look here.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Disaster with Silicone moulds!!

I promised myself that I wouldn't make a lot of sweet things this month as I may have overdosed on sugar and puddings in the last few months! But I couldn't stop myself the other day saying that I would bring some cakes to a playdate that Molly was invited to. My reasoning behind this is that I can bake and then share the goodies so that I don't eat them all. So I decided to make some cakes using my new Hello Kitty mould that I bought ages ago

 - I had heard that getting the cakes out was a problem so I did my research and sprayed with oil, let them cool in the mould upside down so they would come out and this is the result.....

oops not good! So having spent the afternoon making these I only had a limited amount of time to make something else - shortbread - easy and quick. I found this Nigella Vanilla shortbread recipe that is in her Forever Summer book - they are easy peasy instead of putting them in a tin like Nigella does I  made heart shapes out of them.

They are delicious - they melt in your mouth and are lovely and crumbly. Would be lovely dipped in chocolate and given as presents.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday

I feel Its about time I got a bit organised! So new week and new me - I've planned this weeks meals with my faithful Weight Watchers - The Complete Kitchen cookbook. It is currently £6.99 at the Bookpeople at the moment.

Weight Watchers: The Complete Kitchen - Hardback - 9781471141508 - Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Of all the Weight Watchers books I have ( there are a few!!) this one is my favourite - It is a lovely hardback book with good quality pages ( this is important to me!) and really nice pictures and the recipes are lovely There are 9 chapters covering all meals of the day including - Weekend Suppers, The modern Vegetarian and Sweet Endings.They are easy meals to make with simple ingredients you have already in stock all with a healthy angle. So here is my weeks plan....

Monday - Ratatouille with Smoked Trout

Tuesday - Potato and Pea samosas with salad and New Potatos

Wednesday - Quorn and Leek Pie with mash

Thursday - Quorn Pasties with roasted veg

Friday - Mexican Bean Lasagne

And somewhere in there I shall sneak a sponge pudding in! There is a lovely easy microwaveable one in the Kitchen cookbook that only takes a few minutes. Its back to healthy eating for me....

I have joined in with At Home with Mrs M and her meal planning monday - if you would like to see what everyone is having click here 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

I love the mini videos that people have been posting about food - especially the speeded up ones ! This is from one of those that was posted on my Facebook page recently - Easy peasy  no measuring and takes minutes to make and looks fantastic.

Basically it is a sheet of puff pastry - I spread over some sundried tomato and parmesan cheese - added another sheet of puff pastry  - marked the shape of a Christmas Tree - covered with egg wash and put in the oven!
It was delicious - you can vary the filling , Pesto, different types of cheese or Nutella to name but a few. I took it to a friends party and had lots of lovely comments. I love it when you can make something easy and looks fantastic..