Monday, 27 October 2014

Monday Bake - Millionaire Shortbread

Minibakebakegirl and I arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday.  We stayed at BestFriends on Saturday night, BestFriend and I had our usual horror film fest - watching Wolf Creek and Friday The 13th (2009).  We also watched Just Friends which is really funny!

We went for a walk on Sunday at Harlaw Reservoir near The Pentland Hills.  The weather wasn't great so we mostly walked through the woods where it was a bit sheltered - it was very windy and it certainly woke us all up.

Today Sister, BrotherinLaw, Minibakebakegirl and I went for lunch at The Fountain.  This has has a complete revamp from the dodgy looking pub I remember from when I lived in Edinburgh!   I had the steak ciabatta, MBBG had a cheese deli board - we really enjoyed it. For pudding us girlies had Lucas ice-cream - an Edinburgh Institution!

Last week I made Millionaire shortbread, it does take a bit of effort to make due to it's three parts, especially the 'stirring the caramel' time but it is worth it.  When it changes to the golden caramel colour I do give a bit of a whoop!!  I always associate eating this at BestFriend's Aunt and Uncles firework party along with BestFriend's Mum's Slab cake - which I still need to get the recipe for!

You can find the recipe here.

Yum - my work colleagues enjoyed it!

Hope to see you next week,

This weekend's top three Spotify songs:

1. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? - Paula Cole
2. Waiting for Tonight - Jennifer Lopez
3. Just A Girl - No Doubt

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Monday Bake - Ham, Corn and Chilli Muffins

Hubby has grown lots of chillies at the allotment this year.  He grew some ghost chillies and sent them to Nephew2 at Uni as he is a big chilli fan! I've used some in my cooking but as there are so many I decided to dry the rest.  So I currently have two window sills full of chillies on trays, drying out to then be blitzed into flakes for storing.

On Sunday I made some savoury muffins.   (I keep saying I need to do more savoury bakes on here!)

This is a Hairy Bikers recipe that was in a Saturday magazine a few weeks ago - it makes 12.

Oil for spraying
1 tsp lemon juice
250ml semi skimmed milk
250g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder (I also added 1 small fresh chilli chopped up finely)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
50g parma ham - finely chopped
100g canned sweetcorn
2 medium eggs - beaten
25g grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/GM6.  Line a muffin tin with paper cases and lightly spray each case with foil.  Add the lemon juice to the milk and leave to stand for 5 minutes.  It will thicken slightly and become similar to buttermilk.

Sift the flour, baking powder, smoked paprika and chilli powder into a large bowl.  Add the dried oregano, chopped ham and sweetcorn, then mix everything together well.  Add the beaten eggs to the buttermilk and stir.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients.  Stir just enough to combine, keeping the mixing to a minimum.

Divide the mixture between the cases and then sprinkle some grated cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked.  Leave to cool.

I added slightly more cheese than the recipe stated.  They were delicious but did stick to the cases a wee bit.   I think I would try making them next time in my silicone muffin tray and not use any cases.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Acceptable in the 80's - Calvin Harris
2. The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
3. American Boy - Estelle

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Monday Bake - Brandy Snaps

On Wednesday I watched the final of the Great British Bake Off (a little bit later than planned due to a school trip meeting at Minibakebakegirl's school - the teacher did state that she would whizz through the info so everyone could get home to watch GBBO!)

I have really enjoyed this series - there were several bakers I really liked and I was happy with who won.

I decided to set myself a technical challenge this week and make Mary Berry's Brandy Snaps from The Great British Bake Off How To Bake Book (from Series 2).   Unlike the bakers in the tent I did have the full recipe!

My first four were too big.  I did find it easier to roll the mixture into little balls once it had cooled a bit instead of dropping the hot mixture on the baking sheet to bake.   And once baked you do need asbestos hands to wrap the still warm snaps around the wooden spoon handle.

We had them for pudding - yum!  Whilst eating them we were discussing why they are called brandy snaps when they don't contain brandy.   Wikipedia states: "Brandy Snaps are first known from a reference in John Trotter Brockett's glossary of Northcountry words of 1825, with a suggestion that the name comes from 'branded' as in burned"  which makes sense!

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. God Only Knows - BBC Music
2. Easy Money - Johnny Marr
3. Juliet - Lawson

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Monday Inspiration - Pumpkin and Ginger Loaf

On Saturday I went to see The Woman In Black with FriendD.  This is an excellent play, with just two actors and minimal props it really creates a creepy atmosphere with several jumpy moments (someone did scream at one point!)   The Fortune Theatre has to be the smallest theatre I have been in, which I think added to the spookiness!    

The weather in London on Saturday was a bit miserable - it rained non-stop until we went to see the play - so it wasn't really wandering round London weather but perfect sit and chat over a few glasses of wine weather.  We did see the floating building in Covent Garden - which is really clever.  We couldn't see any information around it so we had to google it: it is an installation by Alex Chinneck called Take My Lightning But Don't Steal My Thunder.  It's going to be there for 3 weeks.

Hubby had brought several pumpkins back from the allotment last week.   In this month's Good Food magazine there is a recipe for squidgy pumpkin and ginger loaf.  It turned out really well. I took some into work on Monday not telling them what the secret ingredient was.  I had a slice today with some butter - it is deliciously squidgy! 

With the pumpkin seeds I rinsed and dried them with some kitchen roll.  Then I mixed them with 2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce,1 tablespoon of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.   Spread them out on a baking tray and baked them in the oven at 140c/GM1 for 1 hour. Once completely cool these are a yummy savoury snack.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
2. Rio - Duran Duran
3. The Reflex - Duran Duran