Another soup recipe - as delicious as the Minestrone, but much simpler and quicker to make. When you've only got half an hour, this recipe is for you ... especially if you've got a lemon tree and spinach growing in your garden! The brown (sometimes called green) lentils don't take long to cook, and the lemon gives it a lovely freshness.
I cooked this for the first time last night - dinner for guests. It was truly delicious and easy to make, and the house smelt fantastic! You can't usually go wrong with a Jamie Oliver recipe and this is no exception. Love the anchovies in the sauce, they really add a dark, almost mysterious flavour! (They 'melt' into the sauce so don't listen to anyone who says they don't like anchovies - not relevant for this dish.) I wasn't able to marinate overnight, only an hour or two. And, after 90 mins in the oven, the chicken was literally falling off the bone. I used Maryland pieces (they're cheap!), jointed them and trimmed off the excess fat, but you could joint a whole chook if you could be bothered, or chicken chops (on the bone) would work just as well. I've got leftovers in the fridge, and am busting to tuck in for dinner tonight! Buon appetito!
Here's the hot chocolate recipe (also from the novel The Lost Recipe for Happiness) that I mention in my earlier recipe post - Tansy's Churros. We served the hot chocolate with the churros - for people to dip or drink or both! Yummmm ...
A beautiful, thick, hearty Italian lentil soup - perfect for this very cold winter weather we're having. Only a few ingredients, minimal chopping, and the addition of the bacon bones gives it a lovely flavour. I would head to the butcher for my bacon bones (or ham hock) - they tend to be tastier than the ones I've bought at the supermarket. Takes about 90 minutes to cook to get those lentils nice and tender, but well worth the wait. Buon appetito!
Okay, 'healthy' is in the eye of the beholder! But these Apple & Oatbran muffins at least don't have toooo much sugar, are made with oat bran, no flour, and are gobbled up by the 11 y.o. and his friends (and us!). They have a real 'grainy' texture which I think is lovely. I usually make these muffins for Milo's lunchbox during school time, they freeze well. I don't make them too big, more like cupcake size - they are certainly not the size of the great big muffins you can buy in cafes!
Yesterday was 'disaster day' in my kitchen, which has prompted me to share another recipe (it's been too long!). My son's 12th birthday, a chocolate cake was required, but I wanted to do something a bit more special (and bigger) than my 'plain and simple' chocolate cake, but not too 'muddy' or 'fudgy' - he's not keen on anything too rich. So I pulled out David Herbert's recipe that I'd made for my Mum's birthday in 2008 - yes, I made a note on my recipe which I do sometimes to remind me.
There are many things to like about this recipe - my favourite thing is that the ingredients are listed by weight rather than 'cups' - it's so easy to measure 250g sugar, re-set the digital scales to zero, then add in 280g of SR flour, etc. Much easier than measuring cups, half cups etc. In fact, if you've got a recipe that uses cup measures, it's a good idea to measure properly then weigh, and make a note on the recipe of the weights - to make it simpler next time.
This cake has a lovely lightness to it - David says it's because of the bicarb soda. And it's deliciously chocolatey, but not too rich. He just chucks everything into the bowl at once and mixes it for a few minutes with an electric hand-held mixer. I wasn't sure my cheap as chips mixer would cope with this, so I did the more traditional creaming of the butter and sugar, then adding the eggs, then the rest. Do what you like to ice it - I just used an icing sugar, lots of butter, dash of hot water mixture, which worked well. Although his icing on this recipe is very lovely.
My first attempt at this cake yesterday was a disaster. Cake tin too small (although I did measure it and it looked okay - can I blame the recipe?), so the cake spilled over and landed on the bottom of my oven. Grrrr. Second attempt - in a slightly bigger tin - worked well, although it was a tad sunken in the middle. Maybe my oven temp was a bit low second time around? But it was tasty, and there's not a crumb left today. (My other disasters included breaking a bowl, over-melting the butter so it was 'runny' not 'softened', cutting my fingers (two of them!) on the broken bowl, dropping a bowl of melted chocolate into the bowl of flour - poof! flour everywhere! - and I cut into the cake on the sides as I ran a knife around it in the tin to loosen before tipping it out. It was very nearly a trip to the shop to buy a last minute cake!!)
But all's well that ends well ... and I urge you to give this lovely chocolate cake recipe a try.
I'm always looking for (relatively) healthy options for my kid's lunchbox. But forget salads, wraps and ricey things - he won't have a bar of them. These ham and cheese muffins have zucchini hiding in them (make sure you don't let the kid see the recipe!!), and I've swapped one of the two cups of SR flour with wholemeal flour. Very yummy, passed the taste test with the kid, and I've individually wrapped them and popped them in the freezer ready for the morning grab to fill the lunch box. Give them a try ...
What better reason to add another recipe than someone asking for a chicken recipe! Here's a great, easy roast chicken dish from Nigella Lawson. Chicken, garlic and lemon - how could you go wrong?!
The photo accompanying this recipe in The Australian Weekend Magazine caught my eye ... yum! I usually have my asparagus very plain (lightly steamed or a quick toss in the frypan), but these flavours are exceptional! Served this last night with fish fillets. Loved it. So quick, so easy ... sensational.
Another David Herbert winning recipe - love this. It says use fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries. I've only ever used frozen - and I've used both types of berries. I think this might be the perfect cake - especially as a dessert cake. Texture, flavour, crunch on top ... just lovely. And - don't tell David - I cooked it in spring!