Butternut, Spinach and Feta Quesadillas

I adore butternut… and have a tendency to roast it and then add it either to salads (spinach leaves with feta) or into a risotto – but I haven’t yet got creative enough to expand to making it an addition to a macaroni cheese or something….

I have had this recipe from the BBC Good Food Magazine sitting in my “to make file” for years (it is from the October 2017 issue)! And I finally plucked up the courage to make it recently! Definitely a brilliant quick dinner dash idea if you have the butternut already cooked!

BUTTERNUT, SPINACH AND FETA QUESADILLAS

8 small flour tortillas
150g baby leaf spinach
350g chopped butternut (roasted)
100g feta (crumbled)
2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • Divide the butternut, feta and half the spinach over the tortillas and season well
  • Fold the tortillas over and place onto a baking tray
  • Drizzle the olive oil over
  • Place a 2nd baking tray on top and push down (to keep them flat
  • Bake with the tray on top for 5 minutes at 180C
  • Then bake for a further 5 minutes at 180C without the tray on top
  • Serve with remaining spinach leaves

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Chicken and Mushroom Lattice Pie

I am looking for a crowd favourite as we are hosting some friends for dinner in June …. a dish that can be prepared in advance, placed into the oven and then served up to make friends happy.

Pies are always a great “make ahead” idea as you can put everything together earlier in the day and just bake on demand!

This recipe was in the Delicious Magazine (no idea which issue but must have been 2019) in an article all about pies!

I confess that I didn’t make my own pastry – but rather resorted to shop bought … and also only put the pastry on top of the pie as opposed to top & bottom. Something I would definitely rectify in the future. As this was a “test” recipe, I halved the quantities somewhat and it still worked quite well. I also omitted the horseradish as I am not a fan.

The pie is gorgeous and I adored it! While HIM preferred my sweeter Chicken & Leek pot pie filling, he still said it was a good one! A definite make again!

CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM LATTICE PIE

500g mushrooms (thinly sliced)
2-3 pieces of cooked chicken (Shredded) – I used breasts
1 Tablespoon sea salt flakes
50g plain flour
100ml Port
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
60g Parmesan (grated)
1 Tablespoon soured cream
2 teaspoons mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
240-280g shop bought pastry

  • In a large mixing bowl, place the sliced mushrooms, chicken and sea salt. Leave for 10minutes
  • Add the flour and mix to coat
  • Add the port, parmesan, mustard and soured cream and mix again
  • Place inside a greased pie dish
  • Cut your pastry into long strips and create a lattice affect as a topping
  • Bake at 200C for 1 hour (in the last 15minutes, I brush the pastry with an egg to give is some more colour)

Quick Cupcakes

My oldest daughter is almost at the end of her first year of pre-school (she is 3,5 years old) and of course, the school indicated that they would have a little fair to raise some money and of course celebrate the year together… asking parents to assist in some way or another. The best that I could offer was to bake something.

I had seen an interesting “Traybake” recipe in the May 2019 issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine… and on closer inspection, realized that it was essentially a basic cake mixture which I would then make but bake as individual cupcakes.

WINNER.. I just hope that those 3-4 year olds have a discerning palate like me, as these were fantastic and light!

BASIC CUPCAKES

150g butter
150g sugar
3 eggs
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • Cream butter together with the sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition
  • Sift the flour and fold into the mixture along with the vanilla essence
  • Divide mixture into 12 greased papercups
  • Bake at 180C for 15 minutes

 

Carrot and Halloumi bites

I drool over recipes that have halloumi in them, but never feel confident to cook with it myself. Mainly as I know how easily it can turn into a piece of rubber!

But in the April 2019 issue of Olive Magazine , they showcased some gorgeous recipes from Sabrina Ghayour, one of which was her Carrot, Halloumi and dill balls and I was sold!!

We enjoyed these one evening as a pre-dinner snack with a drink … and happily devoured every last morsel! (I replaced the dill with fresh parsley as I didn’t have any of the former and the latter was growing in abundance on my kitchen window sill! I also omitted the cumin seeds)

A definite make again!

CARROT AND HALLOUMI BITES

2 carrots (peeled and grated)
250g Halloumi (grated)
1 egg
small bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
4 Tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon paprika
vegetable oil for frying

  • Put all the ingredients (except the vegetable oil) in a bowl and mix together
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Once combined, use 2 teaspoons to make a small “ball” – I didn’t use my hands as the mixture is quick sticky and the teaspoon amount was just the right volume.
  • Once all the mixture is in “ball” shapes, carefully lower into hot boil (fry in batches) for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a paper lined plate (to absorb any excess oil)

Chocolate Bread and Butter pudding

Time flies… especially when there is a 9week old baby who thinks 3/4am is an appropriate time to start the day (and refuses to return to sleep)… very much like the older one. Meaning that some days pass by in a haze and before I know it, the days at home has turned into months!

While my mom was here to help with the newborn (and more importantly to help me)… we used up some of the leftover baguettes from Graces Baptism by making a “Bread and Butter Pudding”…. but like most things in my life… I am a fan of Quick & EASY!

Mom actually found this quick tip while google-boxing recipes…. Don’t butter each slice of bread, but rather melt the butter and pour it over the bread chunks!!!

Add some chocolate chips to the mix, bake and be happy as a pig in mud with this comforting dessert!

CHOCOLATE BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

1 baguette
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 cup of milk
1 3/4 cups cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips

  • Cut bread into cubes and place in a shallow baking tin
  • Pour melted butter onto bread and mix
  • In a bowl, mix together milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt
  • Pour over bread, stirring to coat along with chocolate chips
  • Chill for 1 hour
  • Bake at 180c for approx. 40-50minutes

 

Clafoutis

I have never made a clafoutis before and to be absolutely honest, I have never tried one (that I am aware of) or even considered making one before.

But as I was leafing through the Pick n Pay Fresh Living magazine from my mom visiting from South Africa – I saw this recipe (July 2018 issue) and decided that it looked super easy and delicious, so it went into my *make* pile of papers.

It is normally made with fresh cherries – but you can also use a stone fruit … fresh or canned – like I did! I also added Raspberries and their tart freshness really complimented the sweetness of the peaches and the baked custard.

CLAFOUTIS

4 Tablespoons cake flour
160g sugar
4 eggs
160ml cream
250ml hot milk
1 can (400g) peach halves (drained)
200g fresh raspberries

  • Combine flour and sugar in a bowl
  • Whisk together eggs and cream
  • Gradually add the milk to the mixture
  • Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth
  • Pour into a greased ovenproof dish
  • Bake at 170C for 40-45 minutes

Cinnamon Buttermilk Crepes

Having used some buttermilk for my Granny’s Rusk recipe, plus some in the Irish Coffee cake… I still had some left in the bottle… so I googled for some inspiration and was very happy to find what I was looking for in these Buttermilk Crepes.

Slightly thicker than what I would consider to be “crepes” but delicious nonetheless and because of the cinnamon – I really feel that it is important to change the name!

A good “go to” recipe for breakfast and Girl #1 devoured them with Nutella, while I opted for sliced banana with caramel sauce!

Cinnamon Buttermilk Crepes

2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 and half cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons butter (melted)

  • Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Then add sugar
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon and baking powder
  • Whisk dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture and stir in melted butter
  • Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat
  • Using a soup ladle, pour into centre of a pan
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping over for a further 1 minute

My Grans Rusk Recipe

Everyone has amazing memories of their childhood, right? And I have my fair share of food related ones!! Particularly those of my granny … from her amazing venison pie to her chocolate coconut biscuits… and of course her rusks!

For those who are not accustomed to the concept of “rusks” – it is essentially a type of biscotti – a dried cake/biscuit that you dunk into your tea/coffee (and can rarely stop at one!)

Sadly, my Gran, who turned 91 this week has spent the last 10 or so years suffering from dementia – but this recipe is a shout out to her!

RUSKS

1.250ml Cake Flour
15ml Cream of tartar
12,5ml Salt
500ml Sugar
250g Butter
250ml Buttermilk
10ml Bicarbonate of soda
1 egg

  • Sift flour, cream of tartar and salt
  • Add sugar
  • Rub butter into mixture until crumbly
  • Take 25ml Buttermilk and mix with Bicarb and add to dry ingredients
  • Beat rest of the Buttermilk with egg
  • Mix together to make a dough
  • Divide dough and roll into pieces
  • Bake at 200C for 30min
  • Slice and dry in a low heat oven (90C) for 2-3hr until hard

Chicken and Butter Bean Stew

Every once and a while I make a little trip to the British Shop in Everberg called Stonemanor … mainly to stock up on decent pork sausages, good cheddar cheese and of course a range of English food magazines!

Flipping through the March 2019 issue of the Waitrose and Partners Magazine, I found inspiration for a Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew. However, when it came to actually making the stew, I realized that the Chorizo that we did have in the fridge was old therefore it became a Chicken and Butter Bean Stew instead!

Also, I used deboned / skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs (as it was easier and less time consuming to shred etc.) and I didn’t have any celery – although I can believe that this would add a little extra. Next time, I would definitely include the chorizo or at least some bacon as it needs the extra “meaty-ness”

1 word => “YUM”

Chicken and Butter Bean Stew

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
4 chicken breasts (skinless / deboned)
1 onion (diced)
4 carrots (diced)
500ml chicken stock
500ml passatta
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tin of butter beans (drained/ rinsed)

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and brown the chicken.
  • Remove from the pan
  • Add the onion and carrot to the same pan with a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft
  • Stir in the garlic and smoked paprika and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the stock, passatta and beans
  • Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes
  • Return the chicken to the stew and cook for a further 10minutes

Irish Coffee Cake

St Paddy’s day has come and gone (our priest had even predicted Baby Girl #2’s arrival to be on that date… but she waited another week to join the world)… but I still had a can of Guinness in my fridge in the weeks after her arrival, just waiting for a worthy recipe!

Opening up the April 2019 issue of Olive Magazine… and there it was => “Irish Coffee Cake“… featuring not only Guinness Beer but also a good measure of whiskey as well!

I made the cake recipe as it was – but for the topping, I decided that a cream-cheese frosting could also work (and was in line with what I actually had in the fridge!).

OMG – Winner Winner!! This cake is super moist (and if it doesn’t get devoured in one go, can last for 4days easily). The smell and lingering taste of whiskey is noticeable, but not such that you would put down your fork and stop eating…

A definite make again.

IRISH COFFEE CAKE

50ml Whiskey
150ml strong black coffee
100ml Guinness Beer
250g Butter
75g Cocoa powder
400g sugar
3 eggs
150ml Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
285g Flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

TOPPING
200g cream cheese (room temperature)
150g icing sugar (sifted)

  • Place whiskey, coffee, Guinness and butter into a pan and heat until butter has melted (but liquid is not bubbling)
  • Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and sugar
  • Beat in eggs, followed by the buttermilk
  • Add the vanilla, flour and bicarb and beat until smooth
  • Bake in a 23cm greased tin for 50-60 minutes at 180C
  • To make the topping, beat together cream cheese and icing sugar and spread over cooled cake