Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding

Yesterday I made a Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding. It was a great success and I wanted to share it with you.

I had a couple of of Hot Cross Buns that were a little stale and I decided that they would be good in a pudding.

I found a bread and butter pudding recipe and adapted it, here’s what I did;

I sliced the buns into 3 slices, so I had 6 slices of of Hot Cross Buns. I layered these into a well buttered dish and drizzled melted butter on them.

For the custard mixture, I whisked 2 eggs with 225ml of whole milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.

I poured the custard mix over the buns and allowed to soak for 20 minutes. I then drizzled a little golden syrup on top and finished with a sprinkling of nutmeg.

This baked in the oven at 180c until it was golden and had a firm wobble.

I really enjoyed this dessert, it was a lovely tasty treat. I love to eat Hot Cross Buns at this time of year and I am looking forward to doing more Easter cooking and baking. I enjoy Easter as a religious festival and find it such a poignant time of thought and reflection.

Hopefully I will be able to share some Easter Crafts soon.

Thanks for reading,

Katie

Favourite Food Dishes from This Week

This week I don’t seem to have taken many foodie photos. So I’ll just do a roundup of favourite meals I cooked this week. (They are the ones I have taken photos of)!!.

Bean Enchiladas
These were full of flavour and delicious. For the filling I used a tin of mixed beans, diced green peppers, sweetcorn and passata. I seasoned this with oregano and paprika. When the filling was cooked I added in some grated cheddar. I spooned the filling into wholemeal wraps and rolled them up. I placed them into a tin, poured on passata and topped with grated cheese. These baked for about 20 minutes. I served them with sweet potato chips.

Squash and Chickpea Stew
This meal was from a recipe book – Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The dish is really full of flavour and packed with great I ingredients such as butternut squash and red lentils. The flavourings in this are cinnamon and ginger which gives it a nice warmth. The stew went really well with couscous.

Simple Green Veg Pasta
Sometimes the simplest meals can be the tastiest and most comforting.  There are days when I crave more green veg. I decided I would make a pasta full of greens so cooked some courgette, green pepper, leafy greens, frozen chopped spinach and peas. I added garlic, basil, oregano and black pepper to the veg and then poured in passata. I mixed this in with some cooked pasta shells.

Baking
My best baking this week was the mini quiches for packed lunches. These looked and tasted really great, they were filled with grated carrot and mushroom. I also made a simple sultana and mixed spice sponge cake and made some pear and nutmeg rock cakes. Not much to look at but tasty treats!

That’s a roundup of what’s been cooking this week!

Hope you have enjoyed some great food,

Katie

Healthy Lunchbox Treats

My 3 year old daughter has just started going to nursery 3 days a week and takes a packed lunch.

I am quite excited by this as it means I get to come up with different lunch ideas for her!

So, I have lots of ideas in my head but for just getting started this week I kept it simple with soft cheese sandwiches and used a sandwich cutter to make them into dolphin and whale shapes. Using shaped cutters really make things fun for young children. One day this week I cut some small pieces of cheese with a little heart shaped cutter. My daughter was amazed and wondered how I had made the cheese heart shaped!

I make sure my daughter has fruit and vegetables in her lunch. On Monday this week she had tomatoes, a piece of fresh fruit and a box of raisins. On Tuesday she had tomatoes, a banana and a jelly that I made up from jelly cubes and set berries in. I made it up in individual tubs for her so she has one left for tomorrow! The jelly was a big hit and she was excited by that.

I had mentioned to my daughter about making mini quiches for her to have in her packed lunch, so that was this morning’s baking project! We made pastry and cut into circles and placed in a muffin tin and baked. For the filling we chose to use grated carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes. I used thyme to add flavour and made up a basic two egg and milk mixture and poured this into the veg filled pastries. I added cheese on the top. I had some mixture left over so I poured this into some silicon cake cases and added tomatoes and cheese to make a couple of crustless quiches. We had these for our lunch today and my son loved the crustless quiche!

I have to say the mini quiches are a little rustic looking but it’s home cooking. I’m not aiming for perfection – I just want to make tasty and healthy food for my family.

So in tomorrow’s lunch box I will be packing a mini quiche, some slices of salad veg, a fruity jelly and a piece of fresh fruit.

I look forward to coming up with different ideas for new and exciting lunches.

What do you like to put in your packed lunches?

Katie

Roasted Vegetables in Yorkshire Pudding

As a family our meat consumption is quite low. We often have meat free weeks which we all really enjoy.

We like to eat Toad in the Hole which is sausages in Yorkshire pudding. I wanted to make a vegetable variation of this without using meat free sausages. Personally I am not a fan of meat alternatives and would rather eat vegetables and pulses instead of something that is trying to be like meat.

I decided I would roast some vegetables and then top them with Yorkshire pudding batter for a tasty dinner. So, here’s how I made it..

My ingredients were;

For the roasted veg*

– 1 large parsnip
– 1 quarter of butternut squash
– 1 sweet potato
– 1 tsp dried thyme
-1 tbsp oil

For the Yorkshire pudding batter

– 3 eggs
– 4 tbsp plain flour
– a pinch of salt
– 2 tbsp water
– milk
– vegetable fat

1.Peel and chop the veg into large chunks and mix with oil and thyme in a large baking tray with deep sides.

2. Roast the veg for about 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, turning once half way through.

3. For the batter, crack the eggs into a jug and whisk, then add the flour and keep whisking until it’s smooth. Add the water and then add a little milk at a time until it is the consistency of double cream.

4. Add vegetable fat or more oil to the vegetables and turn the oven up to 230 degrees Celsius.

5. Once the fat is melted and hot pour on the Yorkshire pudding batter and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until it is browned and well risen.

And there you have it, Roasted Vegetables in Yorkshire Pudding. I chose to serve mine with boiled new potatoes, steamed Brussels sprouts and gravy.

* I used parsnip, butternut squash and sweet potato but all sorts of vegetables could be used. Roasted pepper would taste great, swede could be used and even garlic cloves would taste good roasted. Choose your favourite vegetables.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Let me know if you tried this!

Katie

February 2021 Review

February has been a good month for me. A I have achieved and discovered lots of different things. So, what has been going on in February? I shall break this down into categories…

Blogging
February has been a great month for me in the blogosphere! I have written quite a lot of posts this month and achieved my best ever views, best monthly views and got over 200 followers. I really enjoy blogging and like to post about a range of different things, especially food!

Health and Wellbeing
This month I had a bit of an epiphany about my self care. I decided that I wanted to start getting fit and being more active and also to take care of my physical appearance. I just want to look after myself all round to make me feel happier, more confident, fit and energised… You can read about my health and wellbeing post here.. 3 Things I am Doing for my Self Care and Well Being.

For the last week I have been practising yoga at least once a day for 15 minutes at a time. It has been really relaxing and feels great to use muscles that don’t normally get used!

I also bought myself some new make up and have started to wear it daily just to give myself a confidence boost.

Sowing and Growing
I started off some tomato, chilli pepper and aubergine seeds at the beginning of the month. Lots of them germinated which is great but I have managed to get them jumbled up when moving into bigger pots so I have no idea which seedlings are which! Ahh well! It will be a surprise to see what fruits they grow!! I sowed two types of tomato and two types of chilli so it will be a while before I figure out which types they are!

I didn’t have any plant pots so I have been inventive with my recycling. A lot of my seedlings needed potting on into bigger pots so I have been using tin cans, butter tubs and other various plastics that would have otherwise been put in the recycling bin.

Walks
February has seen two extremes of weather. At the beginning of the month we had a very cold spell and had a little flurry of snow. This week has been a lot milder with beautiful clear blue skies and sunshine. I have been out for a walk every day this month and have taken some lovely photos of forests, the beach and the harbour. I even managed to spot some seals which was lovely to see.

Crafts
The cross stitch towel project isn’t far off from being finished so hopefully by the end of March it will be done.

With my daughter I have been doing paper mache to make the Easter story scenes. We have made a tomb and stone and the hill and crosses. We are in the process of getting them painted.

Bible App
I have been following reading plans on the app and have been reading daily. I have almost completed The Essential 100 plan which covers 50 passages from the Old and New Testaments each. It’s really great to get an insight to the whole Bible.

Family Life
My 3 year old daughter started nursery for the first time this week and will be going 3 days a week as of March. This is a really exciting time for her and she absolutely loved her first day at nursery. I will be sending her with a packed lunch so looking forward to creating healthy lunches for her. My nearly 1 year old son has started to take his first couple of steps so it won’t be too long before he is properly walking!

As a family we have also been enjoying spending time outdoors by going out on walks together. It’s

Food
We have eaten lots of great meals, soups and cakes this month and I am really pleased with my home cooking achievements. I love cooking and being able to make tasty meals for my family.

Plans for March
I am hoping for another great month!

I have more seeds to be sowing and hope to take good care of my seedlings to establish strong plants.

I would like to complete my cross stitch and perhaps start on some different sewing projects using the sewing machine.

I want to continue with my daily yoga and will hopefully start to feel more fit and energised from it. Also I want to focus on healthy eating and make sure I drink plenty of water each day.

I shall have a little more spare time with my daughter being at nursery 15 hours a week so I will be able to have Mummy and Son time and also focus on housework routines and perhaps be able to plan better.

My son turns 1 in March so I am planning on a little birthday tea just for the four of us.

And finally, I hope to keep on with blogging and improve my blogging skills, entertain and maybe even inspire you with my blog content. As always there will be cooking and baking and hopefully some new and exciting things!

Thanks for reading all this,

Hope you had a great February and I wish you a happy March!

Katie

What We’ve Been Eating This Week

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I do like to blog about food! Good food makes me happy and I love to cook and provide food for my family.

So, what have we been eating this week?

I made a couple of blog posts mentioning the pressure cooker chicken, after I made the pie(,Chicken and Mushroom Pie ) I still had some meat left so decided to make a pasta bake. Alongside the chicken I added courgettes and yellow peppers. I added a tin of tomatoes and some frozen spinach and lots of dried basil and oregano. I stirred in a little soft cheese for creaminess and poured into an oven proof dish. I grated on lots of cheddar and baked until golden.

Another meal we enjoyed this week was a risotto with adzuki beans and spinach in. I served this with garlic bread made from slices of cornbread topped with a mixture of garlic puree, butter and dried oregano.

Tonight we ate oat and chickpea balls in a tomato and basil sauce with pasta and greens. A definite comfort food winner…..Oat and Chickpea Balls

I also made pesto pizzas this week which I wrote a separate blog post about… Pesto Pizzas

I have been having more salads at lunch time and made a crunchy salad wrap for one lunch which was really tasty. Today I baked a broccoli, green bean and pesto quiche topped with feta. This was an excellent lunch time meal. I made a basic shortcrust pastry and baked, then I spread green pesto on top. The filling was made of cooked broccoli and green beans topped with an egg and milk mixture. I then added crumbled feta and baked until set.

This week my only baking has been cinnamon, sultana and apple muffins. These are full of flavour and low in sugar so great for all the family.

I have been having more soya milk in my breakfasts and also used it in the muffins just to slightly reduce my dairy consumption. I also made a smoothie which myself and my children enjoyed…. It was made from one banana, a large handful of frozen berries, vanilla soya yoghurt and soya milk. A very tasty and refreshing mid morning snack!

So that’s what we have been eating this week! Hope you have had a great week.

Katie

Smoked Mackerel Sunshine Salad

I know we are in the depths of Winter and the temperature here today didn’t get much higher than freezing…But I made a salad for dinner. I guess it’s not what you imagine eating on a cold winter’s day but it was a tasty enjoyable meal.

I wanted to have a fish meal this week and so my husband bought a packet of smoked mackerel in the weekly food shop. I decided I would serve it alongside a salad.

I made a couscous with peas and sweetcorn in and flavoured it with red pesto. This went in the centre of the plate.

For the salad, I chopped up lettuce, cucumber, red pepper and tomatoes and added these around the couscous. The salad was then topped with cubes of cheese, wedges of boiled egg and slices of mango and apple.

I then placed the pieces of mackerel on top of the couscous to make quite a decorative looking meal. The plate of food looks colourful and appetising, just what’s needed on a dull winter’s day.

I write quite a lot of blog posts about cooking and baking and wondered if anyone would like me to post them in recipe format with ingredients and instructions? It is definitely something I could think about doing in the future.

Hope you had a lovely Thursday night dinner.

Katie

Kitchen Creations This Week

With it being Valentine’s Day at the end of the week I thought I would so some love themed baking. I decided I would make some heart shaped biscuits with a jammy centre.

I made a chocolate biscuit dough and a plain biscuit dough and cut out heart shapes. I rolled the leftover dough together to create some marble effect biscuits.

Once the biscuits were baked and cooled, I sandwiched them together with apricot jam. Lovely, sweet heart biscuits!

I made soup again today for lunch, this time it was Curried Carrot, Potato and Butternut Soup. A tasty lunch for the family. I garnished the soup with trimmings from the carrot tops that I set in water a couple of weeks ago to re sprout!

Tonight’s dinner was a Spaghetti dish with peas, bacon and courgette in a cheese sauce. I made a thick cheese sauce which I added to fried bacon and courgette and then stirred in cooked spaghetti and peas. A filling and comforting meal.

So, that’s some of my kitchen creations this week so far.

Katie

Parsnip and Chickpea Curry with Homemade Naan Breads

Tonight on the menu was a homemade veggie curry. I had saved some parsnips that I wanted to use in the curry and used those and chickpeas as the main ingredients. I used a basic mild curry powder and garlic puree to flavour the curry along with chopped tomatoes and spinach. This made a really tasty curry that was mild in spice and full of flavour – perfect for all the family.

I knew I wanted to serve this curry with bread rather than rice so found a recipe in one of my books for naan breads. I only had wholemeal bread flour so I made wholemeal naan breads. These worked out really well and were enjoyed by all.

This turned out to be a light and healthy dinner full of flavour and goodness.

Hope you had a lovely Monday night dinner.

Katie

Chicken Pie for Dinner!

As a family we keep our meat consumption quite low. This week the only meat we purchased was a large chicken. I can easily cook 3 meals out of this so it is definitely worthwhile and good value for money.

Last night I cooked a roast dinner, which we all enjoy. I only used one chicken breast so had plenty left over for 2 more meals.

So, that’s where tonight’s chicken pie came from! I diced the other breast of the chicken and cooked with leeks and peas. I made up a white sauce and mixed this all together.

For the pastry, I made a basic shortcrust, enough for a double crust pie. I lined the dish with pastry, poured in the creamy chicken pie filling and topped with the remaining pastry. I even made a little pastry chicken to top the pie!

I served the pie with mashed swede and broccoli. This was an enjoyable meal for all the family and I also had fun making it.

Hope you had a great Tuesday Dinner

Katie