Friday, 26 October 2012

Baby biscuits #1

Miss Maisie loves food and hasn't refused anything yet! Now that she is on three meals a day the next problem was suitable snacks. I don't want to give her sugar or salty snacks with any additives.

So, I came across this easy peasy biscuit recipe here and made them for the first time this morning.

They are a huge success! They take less time than getting packed up to go to the shops to buy sugar loaded baby rusks so give them a go. I'll try them again and experiment with flavours.

Heat oven to 180c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Wizz a couple of handfuls of oats in a food processor. Mash a banana.

Add oats to the banana to make a thickish paste then shape on the baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes or so. The longer you bake them the harder they get.

Cool and enjoy.

Seriously, that's it!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Sweet peas (at last)...but no strawberries

Its been a pretty rubbish summer and the sweet pea refused point blank to flower. However thanks to a few days of warm weather at the end of September there are approximately 15 blooms. Hurrah!

They're now in a vase in the living room and smell fabulous.

The strawberries are worse. Masses of flowers and zero fruit. The plants aren't even putting out runners to get new plants for next year.

Its as well we're not trying to be self sufficient!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Irish marrow chutney

This is my favourite! It's won prizes at Saintfield Show and it is great on a bacon sandwich. However it varies year on year as inevitably I don't have some of the ingredients.

This year I used courgettes from my chum's garden, as well as apples from the orchard. And I pretty much followed the recipe as I remembered to buy all the other ingredients!

The recipe is adapted from Home Preserves by Jackie Burrow (St Michael Cookery Library 1979).

3lb marrow (or courgettes or both), chopped
3lb apples, peeled and chopped
8oz onions, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4oz sultanas
4oz raisins
4oz dried apricots
1 tbsp ground ginger
2oz ground almonds
4 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp ground chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
11/2 pints malt vinegar
4lb sugar
5 tbsp whiskey

Hint: if you are putting in a glug of your hubby's Glenfiddich, make sure he's not watching!

Put everything into a large pan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours until thickened. Stir occasionally.

Spoon into sterilised jars while hot and seal.

Let the chutney mature for a few months before enjoying.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Earl and Lady Grey Tea cake

There's something about warm fruit loaf with butter.... And this is my current favourite.

It's adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Great Britain".

I have made it with both Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea.

Earl or Lady Grey tea
400g dried fruit
1 large egg, beaten
300g caster sugar
400g self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Make the tea with 300ml boiling water and add to the fruit. Leave to steep overnight.

In the morning, add all the other ingredients and mix. It will be very dry but don't worry.

Spoon mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees for about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Let it cool for as long as you can then enjoy buttered with a cup of tea.