Hummingbird Cake

I loved the name of this cake… but even more so – it combined my favourite things – namely pineapple in a banana bread type cake recipe!

I found the recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (June 2019 Issue) and although their recipe called for a cream cheese frosting – I kept it simple with a basic icing drizzle (although I can imagine that the cream cheese frosting is amazing!…. Next time for sure!)

This cake keeps well (if it lasts that long) – so a another definite winner!

Hummingbird Cake

225ml vegetable oil
300g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
300g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (or grate some whole nutmeg)
2 very ripe bananas (mashed)
3 medium eggs (beaten)
150g pineapple chunks (drained from a can and chopped

  • Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and baking powder
  • Stir through the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the mashed banana with eggs and oil until well combined
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients
  • Fold everything together until combined
  • Then add the pineapple and mix through
  • Place in a greased / parchment lined baking tin
  • Bake at 35-45 minutes at 180C  or until skewer comes out clean
  • leave to cool on the rack for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely

 

Pimm’s Strawberry Jam

I have always been a sucker for a good scone with jam and cream… (want a great scone recipe? Check it one of my favourite tried and tested one’s here).

What is better than home-made jam??? Homemade jam with alcohol 🙂 (just kidding – because the alcohol is actually cooked away during the process and you are just left with the taste… )

I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food magazine (July 2019 issue) and made a few pots (which disappeared quite quickly when we gave a few to friends)… and it was YUM!

A definite make-again!

Pimm’s Strawberry Jam

500g strawberries (stalks removed / cut into quarters)
500g jam sugar
1 lemon (juiced)
1/2 orange (zested and juiced)
150ml Pimm’s

  • Put strawberries into a large pan with sugar, lemon and orange juice
  • Stir to dissolve sugar while bringing to the boil
  • Continue to boil until it reaches 105C – stirring occasionally for another 20 minutes
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, add in the orange zest and the Pimm’s, then leave to cool for 15minutes before placing into sterilized glass jars.

Courgette and Bean Dip

I am so behind on blog posts it is crazy!!! This is what happens when you have a baby (#2), go back to work full-time in a completely new position and try to balance everything while still maintaining some form of marriage, friendship, family, etc.

I have still been cooking and trying out new recipes – I just haven’t had a moment to sit down in front of the computer and actually pen a bit more than a few words on instagram… but I am going to try to get back into the swing of things… so here goes!

This dip is AMAZING… and probably even better than Hummus… yes, I said it! The recipe comes from the BBC Good Food Magazine (July 2019 issue) and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Courgette and Bean Dip

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 courgette (finely sliced)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
400g tin of cannellini beans (drained)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
170g greek yoghurt
2 Tablespoons fresh mint

  • Heat oil in a frying pan
  • Fry courgette and garlic until courgette are tender
  • Set aside a couple of tablespoons (to top the dip)
  • Put the rest into a bowl with beans, lemon juice, yoghurt and mint
  • Blitz with a hand blender until smooth
  • spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining courgette
  • Best served chilled (so I put ours in the fridge for about 2 hours) with pitta crisps & cruditĂ©s

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

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

 

Frozen berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

Coming back from holiday means that desserts still need to be tasty but obviously more healthy and if possible, lower in calories…. right??

I was making my favourite beef stew for sunday lunch and I needed something sweet to serve afterwards… so back to my trusty pile of food magazines and lo and behold… I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (July 2018 issue) for “Frozen berry & gingernut yoghurt pots”… except I didn’t have gingernut biscuits, so I substituted them with coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits that I had brought back from South Africa) and I used paper ice-cream cups as the basis.

Frozen Berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

100g tennis biscuits
387g condensed milk
250g red berries (raspberries and strawberries)
250g purple berries (blueberries and blackberries)
500g Greek yoghurt

  • Place biscuits into a food processor and blitz into crumbs
  • Add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk and blend to make crumbs
  • Divide biscuit crumbs between 8 paper cups, pressing down with a back of a spoon
  • Put half the yoghurt and condensed milk with the red berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the biscuit base)
  • Put the remaining yoghurt and condensed milk with the purple berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the red berry mixture)
  • Freeze for at least 4hours before serving

Prawn Jambalaya

I hadn’t really heard of the term “Jambalaya” before, but Wikipedia informs me that this is a dish from Louisiana with French & Spanish influences – so think Paella influence. Normally meat with vegetables & rice… however mine was made purely with prawns and no other “meat” as such.

I found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website while doing a google-box search for a prawn recipe and adapted to my own store cupboard ingredient. Although it was a tasty dish – I am not sure that I would make it again. Firstly because the recipe makes enough for 4 portions and because we are only 2, the rest was “leftovers” for the next day – and I am not a huge fan of reheating prawns.

Having said all that – I repeat that it was still tasty!

Prawn Jambalaya

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced
200g rice
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon piri piri
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
2 garlic cloves crushed
300g prawns (thawed if frozen)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan
  • Fry onion & celery for 5min
  • Add rice, spices, garlic, tomatoes & chicken stock
  • Cover with a lid & simmer for 30min until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (add more liquid if needed)
  • Stir in the prawns – until cooked through
  • Stir in parsley & serve

Goats cheese and chive soufflĂ©

This is probably considered a *cheat* post – but in my defense…  I had watched the same episode of Hairy Bikers making these Goats cheese & chive soufflĂ©’s as my friend… and I was in her kitchen at the time of their making (I even beat the egg whites…before they were folded in) … NOT to mention the speedy consumption of the finished product.

But I have to confess that they were not made in my own kitchen by my own 2 hands, but instead by my wonderfully talented friend Sarah…

The recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website here

And is a definite crowd pleaser! These were made into individual dishes (6 portions) and in my humble opinion was a better idea than in one dish… as they have a tendency to collapse after a certain amount of time – plus plating from one dish isn’t as pretty!

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Goats cheese & chive Soufflé

300ml milk
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of thyme
300g goats cheese
50g butter
50g flour
4 eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons of chives (finely chopped)

  • Using baking parchment paper, create a collar for each of your butter greased ramekins (remember to butter the parchment paper too!)
  • Place milk with onion, bay leaf & thyme into a pot. Bring to a simmer and then leave to cool for 15min. Then strain into a jug
  • Cut the rind off the goats cheese and slice into smallish pieces
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and then gradually add the milk stirring between addition to create a smooth but thick consistency
  • Leave on the heat for a further 2 minutes before stirring in the cheese
  • Whisk egg yolks and stir into milk mixture until smooth
  • Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture (starting with 1 ladleful)
  • Pour into your greased ramekins & bake on a preheated baking tray for 20-25min at 220C

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Poached pears

While dad was visiting us in Belgium (all the way from sunny South Africa)… he mentioned poached pears… which got me thinking that I had never made this simple but delicious dessert before… so I decided it was high time that I did!

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I used the BBC Good Food Website to find a poached pears recipe – and adapted it slightly by adding in some orange juice (for a bit of extra sweetness :))

Would I make it again – definitely… served with a good scoop of vanilla ice-cream – a yummy dessert!

Poached Pears

4 pears
1 bottle of red wine
225g sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod (or because I didn’t have one, I just put in a good glug of vanilla essence)
300ml orange juice

  • Peel the pears, slice off the bottom so that they all sit flat and leave the stalk on
  • Gently lower into the liquid in the pot and make sure that they are fully covered by liquid (if not, add more red wine or orange juice)
  • Poach on a medium heat for 40-60min until the pears are soft (cooked through) but not yet mushy!
  • Remove from the pot and continue to simmer the liquid to make a syrup (reduced by half)
  • Serve with a good dollop of ice-cream and some of the syrup!

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

This past weekend, I didn’t feel like the normal weekend breakfast… I was all smoothie-ed out, wasn’t keen on toast or porridge or  cereal … or fruit … or… but I was feeling up for something on the sweet side…

So I decided a little bit of baking was an order… because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a freshly baked muffin still warm from the oven for breakfast, eh??? (Especially when ones husband wakes one up at 7am on a Sunday morning concerned that one has overslept and will be late for work… forgetting that it is Sunday… and you have the whole morning still ahead and you can’t go back to sleep!)

I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food Website and have to admit that it was super easy to make and ready very quickly.

Would I make it again? Yes – but this time I would use normal chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate chips that I had used – as the darker the chocolate, the more bitter the taste. (HIM likes them sweet)

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

300g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g butter, cold & cubed
100g sugar
150g chocolate chips
2 eggs
225ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • sift flour & baking powder
  • rub the cold cubed butter into the dry mixture to create crumbs
  • Stir through the sugar & chocolate chips
  • Beat the eggs with the milk & vanilla essence separately, then add to the dry mixture
  • Briefly mix (not too much – just enough to make the mixture wet)
  • Bake for 15-20min at 200C

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