• Food and drink

    How to make eggnog

    How to make eggnog is a common question at Christmas and I have the answer. In case you were wondering, I add rum to this recipe!   Ingredients   6 happy eggs 60g caster sugar 600ml milk 1 tbsp vanilla extract ½ tsp grated nutmeg 150ml plain yogurt Method You will need a cooking thermometer for this recipe.   Don’t be scared of raw eggs in eggnog; we gently cook them in this recipe.   Place 4 happy eggs, 2 happy egg yolks, caster sugar and milk in a saucepan. Heat slowly whilst stirring continuously; bring the temperature up to 72°C then remove the saucepan from the heat and keep stirring…

  • Food and drink

    Chocolate roll cake recipe

    I have very fond memories of my late Mum’s chocolate roll cake so will be giving this recipe a try this year.     SERVES 6   Ingredients   Chocolate Roll 75g caster sugar 3 happy eggs 2 happy egg yolks 75g plain flour (sieved) 25g cocoa powder (sieved) Zest of one orange   Chocolate Filling 6 happy egg whites 30g caster sugar 120g 72% dark chocolate 20g butter   Candied Kumquats & citrus sauce 10 kumquats 150ml water 100g icing sugar   Method   Chocolate Roll Preheat your oven to 200⁰C/400⁰F/Gas Mark 6. Grease a Swiss roll tin, then line it with baking parchment. In a large bowl, whisk…

  • Food and drink

    How to make mince pies

    How to make mince pies is the question on our lips at Christmas. An easy recipe for mince pies   150g butter 250g plain flour 50g ground almonds 50g caster sugar 1 orange pinch of salt 1 happy egg 1-2 tsp cold water 280g/10oz good quality mincemeat   For the topping: 100g butter 75g plain flour 100g caster sugar 1tsp cinnamon powder 1 nutmeg   Method Place butter in freezer overnight. Preheat oven to 180°C. Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Using a cheese grater, grate the butter into the flour and add caster sugar, almonds, and salt; zest the orange and add, then gently stir with a wooden…

  • Food and drink

    Coffee and Walnut cake recipe

    When my mum died, Dad gave me a folder full of recipes that she had kept. Some of her notes are now showing signs of damage and age so I thought I would start putting her recipes online to refer to and perhaps someone might want to have a go at them too and let me know how they get on. My mum was a great cook both a family one and as a paid cook for a variety of organisations not to forget her famous baking for church and community events. You will have to do conversions as she worked in ounces and I am not going to change…

  • Food and drink

    Pumpkin soup recipe

    Pumpkin soup recipe Serves: 10-12 Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 24 minutes Ingredients 2-3 tbsps of olive oil 2kgs pumpkin, peeled and chopped into approx 2.5cm chunks 1.2ltrs fresh carrot juice or water 2 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pots 50g finely grated Parmesan cheese 100ml double cream Black pepper Serve with: Freshly grated Parmesan to sprinkle over the soup and a twist of freshly ground black pepper Method 1.Heat a large heavy casserole dish on the hob. Add in a splash of olive oil, spread evenly in the dish and then add in the diced pumpkin. 2.Cover the dish and cook over a medium heat for 10–12 minutes, stirring now…

  • Food and drink,  Seasonal

    Stuffed pumpkins recipe

    Stuffed pumpkins recipe Stuffed Pumpkins Ingredients 2 x 700-800g pumpkins, halved and pips scooped out 75g couscous 2 tbsp SuperValu olive oil 1 SuperValu leek, washed, trimmed and sliced 175g SuperValu chestnut mushrooms, chopped 50g SuperValu pine nuts 2 tbsp SuperValu parsley, chopped 100g SuperValu feta cheese, crumbled Freshly milled black pepper Method Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/ Fan 170°C/ Gas Mark 5.  Place the pumpkin halves on a baking tray and cook for 40 minutes.   Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over 100ml cold water and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a pan and cook the sliced…

  • Food and drink,  Seasonal

    Spider Cupcakes for Halloween

    I love spider cupcakes for Halloween. Gruesome food ideas always entertain the children. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Serves: 12 Ingredients• 175g (6 oz) Stork tub • 175g (6 oz) golden caster sugar • 300g (11 oz) self raising flour, sieved • 3 medium eggs • 5 tablespoons milk • ½ teaspoon baking powder • 100g cooked pumpkin or butternut squash, mashed • 50g chocolate and hazelnut spread • Zest of 1 orange • Topping • 115g icing sugar • A little orange juice • 55g (2 oz) plain chocolate, melted or use chocolate and hazelnut spread • Liquorice sweets and laces to decorate Method 1. Place…

  • Food and drink,  Seasonal

    Witches Fingers Breadsticks with Blood Dip

    Witches fingers are a must-have for any Halloween party. Perfectly tasty and gruesome treats. Makes: about 32 Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour rising Cooking time: 12-15 minutes Ingredients:   225g strong plain white bread flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon caster sugar ½ teaspoon fast- action dried yeast 1 teaspoon Very Lazy Garlic Paste 1 tablespoon Very Lazy Basil Paste 1 tablespoon olive oil 150ml warm water 1 egg, lightly beaten 25g freshly grated Parmesan cheese 32 blanched almonds Little paprika For the dip: 125g soft cream cheese 150g roasted red peppers, from a jar, drained 1 tablespoon tomato purée ½ teaspoon Very Lazy Piri Piri chillies with…

  • Food and drink

    Pumpkin and sweet potato soup

    Pumpkin and sweet potato soup combines two of my favourite things for a taste sensation. Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 700g (1/b 6oz) pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 1.2 litres (2pts) water or vegetable stock 200ml (7fl oz) Alpro Soya Original alternative to milk 4 tbsp Alpro Soya Alternative to cream For the breadsticks: 4 assorted part baked bread sticks 2 tbsp olive oil Method 1 Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften. 2 Add the pumpkin and sweet potato and cook for…

  • Food and drink,  Seasonal

    Oozing eyeballs with spaghetti worms

    Oozing Eyeballs with Spaghetti Worms Serves: 4-6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 30 minutes 500 g minced turkey 3 tablespoons pesto sauce 25 g fresh white breadcrumbs 1 egg, beaten salt and freshly ground black pepper 50 g Mozzarella cheese, from a block, cut into thin sticks 350 g jar Newman’s Own Basilico sauce 4 extra large pitted black olives, sliced into 12 300 g dried spaghetti 1.Preheat the oven to 180˚C, Gas mark 4. Place the minced turkey in a mixing bowl, with the pesto sauce, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Shape into 12 meatballs and place on a non-stick…

  • Food and drink

    Vegetable tart recipe

    This classic vegetable tart recipe combines fresh and colourful vegetables, a creamy filling and a delicious sauce that makes for a splendid supper to enjoy outside on a warm summer evening! Vegetable Tart Serves 4 – 6 Level of difficulty: Easy Preparation time: 35 to 40 minutes Ingredients Butter for greasing 1 sheet of puff pastry 1-2 spring onions, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings 2 peppers, de-seeded and cut into small cubes 1 head of broccoli, divided into small florets 1 large tomato, cut into quarters, remove seeds and dice the flesh or 7 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 2 tablespoons olive…

  • Food and drink

    Almond Brittle Cake recipe

    Almond Brittle Cake recipe Calories per serving: 623 Fat per serving: 35.5g Serves 12 Ingredients 150g (5oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer 175g (6oz) caster sugar 3 large eggs, beaten 150g (5oz) self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 75g (3oz) ground almonds 2 tsp milk Almond Brittle vegetable oil, for greasing 100g (4oz) granulated sugar 100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned) Almond Butter Icing 225g (8oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer 450g (1lb) icing sugar ½ tsp pure vanilla extract 2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins Method Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Grease the cake tins with a little Kerrygold…

  • Food and drink

    Gravy recipe – red onions and sherry

    Caramelised red onion and sherry Christmas gravy recipe You will need: 100ml sherry 500ml good quality liquid chicken stock 3 tbsp The English Provender Co. Caramelised Red Onion Chutney Method: Place the sherry in a pan and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the stock and reduce on a high heat until you are left with about 100ml. Stir in the chutney and serve. How do you make gravy? As with most things food-related I have strong memories of my mother’s kitchen. If you had asked her what the secret to her luscious gravy was, she would have said to always use meat juices and add plenty of onions. Gravy was…

  • Food and drink

    Roast poussin recipe

    Roast Poussin recipe If you are not planning a large Christmas lunch, why not opt instead for a special dinner for two; serve these quick to roast baby chickens with delicious blackberry sauce flavoured with orange rind, winter spices and just a hint of redcurrant jelly. Serves 2 Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes 2 x 500g (1lb 2oz) baby poussin 40g (11/2oz) butter Salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 fresh bay leaves 4 rashers streaky bacon 175g (6oz) shallots, peeled, halved if large 450g (1lb) baby new potatoes, washed 2-3 tbsp olive oil Sauce ½ orange 6 tbsp red wine 2 tbsp water 1 tbsp redcurrant…

  • Christmas,  Food and drink

    Christmas Stained Glass Cookies Recipe

    Stained glass cookies recipe Stained Glass Cookies Delicious buttery biscuits, with edible sweetie stained glass. These edible decorations make the perfect gift and are ideal for hanging on the tree. Great for getting the kids involved, all you need are clean hands and a little imagination! A magical treat to enjoy at Christmas. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Makes 10-15 biscuits Ingredients 220g butter, softened 100g Whitworths for Baking Light Soft Brown Sugar 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon 50g Whitworths for Baking Crunchy Demerara Sugar A selection of fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in different colours To decorate 50g Whitworths for…