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

 

Meatball and feta Traybake

This is without a doubt one of those quick meals that is also easy AND tasty! Hurrah for small mercies, right?

I found the recipe in the Olive Magazine (May 2019 issue) and although they have chorizo and pork mince and they make their own meatballs – I went the lazy route and just opened up a bag of pre-made frozen meatballs and it worked well in our family 🙂

This is a great Mid-week recipe for a busy family! (and only one “pot” to wash up at the end – another hurrah!)

Meatball and feta traybake

400g Meatballs (I used pre-made frozen ones… like Ikea’s)
500g baby potatoes (cut in half)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
200g baby tomatoes (cut in half)
200g feta (crumbled)
Flatleaf parsley (handful / chopped)

  • Toss the potatoes in the olive oil and scatter on the bottom of a non-stick roasting tin.
  • Roast for 20 minutes at 200C
  • Add the meatballs and cook for a further 15 minutes
  • Then add the tomato & Feta and cook for a further 10-15 minutes (or until the tomatoes start to soften or the feta is starting to melt and turn a pale golden)
  • Remove from oven and scatter parsley on top

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 & crudités

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

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

 

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