It has been rainy today, dull and grey – so a perfect day to spend time in a warm kitchen baking goodies!
I made hot cross buns (or hot non cross buns as I like to call them, we didn’t pipe crosses on to our buns, the recipe suggests Darwin fish but we couldn’t manage that!) from a recipe I found on Gastronomy Domine (my first food blog find!) and potato and sour cream bread from my newest blog find – The Knead to Bread.
I’ve never baked my own hot cross buns before, and I have been missing out all this time! They take a while to make, because you need two long proves but they are worth it at the end. The house smells amazing even now, and they are so much softer and fresher than the supermarket version.
We had potato and sour cream bread rolls with chili con carne tonight. The rolls were great, I though they would be stodgy like I imagine potato bread to be, but they are light and fluffy. Again, they take a long time to make but they are worth it in the end. We have 12 rolls and a loaf too!
Lately I’ve been cooking a lot with chocolate – brownies, biscotti, more brownies – I was really craving oatmeal raisin cookies after this blog post on Smitten Kitchen. I tried the recipe from Friends (I’m not sure if it was an official Friends recipe though, lol) a couple of years ago and they were indeed the best oatmeal raisin cookies ever. I don’t know why it took me such a long time to make them again, they are perfect cookies.
I used the recipe from A Spoonful of Sugar in the end and it turned out some gorgeous cookies – crumbly, chewy and crispy.
The only thing I’d change about this is the amount of sugar, as they are a bit too sweet, even for me. I think next time I will go down to 200g in total of brown sugar. The mixture was quite dry anyway so I think taking out the sugar will help next time.
The beauty of this recipe is that it makes LOTS of cookies, my batch made about 45 – probably more if I hadn’t made the first batch bigger than I should have, the cookies spread out quite a bit when they bake.
I froze half of the mixture. To do this form into dough balls, freeze on a tray and then chuck them in a freezer bag – you can cook them from frozen (I’d double the cooking time for this). I like doing this, nothing cheers up a bad day like fresh cookies made with no effort.
I think next time I am going to experiment with a bit of lemon zest or maybe cranberries and raisins.
I found another great food blog!
I don’t often find great food blogs and my list of favourite food blogs is very small. So I am pleased about Bread and Honey. Wonderful recipes and great photographs. And great name too. My tummy is rumbling at the thought of the chicken and dumplings recipe, probably due to the snowy icy weather, I need comfort food.
photo by Bread and Honey
Check out the blog and get in the kitchen!
At last, the much promised crispy pork noodle recipe 🙂
During our visit to Jimmy’s farm just after the New Year we popped into their butchers, they are famous for their rare breed Essex pigs. I’ve been hearing lots about cheaper cuts of meat such as oxtail, pork hock and pork belly (don’t worry this isn’t going to be a post about the ‘credit crunch’ or whatever else you would have heard it called recently) so we came back with some wonderful pork belly and also some ‘Suffolk Farmhouse’ sausages. The pork belly was a very reasonable £3 for 2 large slices, probably about 400g.
The pork noodle recipe is taken in part from Jamie Olivers cookbook, Jamie at Home, which was a much awaited Christmas present. We are planning on getting stuck in to some proper vegetable growing in the summer and it has some great tips.
This recipe requires wonderful long slow cooking of the pork belly in a spicy marinade, so the otherwise tough cut of meat tenderies and becomes melt in the mouth and very aromatic.
2 slices of pork belly- remove some of the rind, debone and cut into chunks
For the marinade:
2 tbsp clear honey
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp cranberry sauce (leftover from Christmas, not very authentic but lovely!)
1 clove of garlic
small onion, roughly chopped
small piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1/2 fresh or 1 1/2 tsp dried chil
Juice of half a lime
For the noodles
Medium noodles (I get mine from the chinese supermarket, which are so much tastier than the supermarket ones, Sainsburys do stock a brand ‘Clearspring’ which is good too)
Limes to serve
Whizz up the marinade ingredients in a food processor, pour over the pork, make sure it is thoroughly covered. If the mixture seems a little thick or dry, add a little bit of water. Put into a low oven (gas mark 3) for 1 hour and 30 mins.
When the pork is ready, heat up some sunflower or vegetable oil in a wok and cook the noodles.
Fry the pork and the marinade in the wok until the pork is crispy on the outside.
Then add the noodles, coriander and mix well.
Serve with spring onions on top and lime wedges on the side!
I am not responsible for any diets broken by this blog post.
Today I made double chocolate chip cookies, I have recently managed to perfect making brownies, after several failed attempts in the past, so I have been a bit brownie made recently and fancied a change.
I know these are still chocolate but cookies are something quite different 🙂 They are much better with tea (or milk of course) too.
These are adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe (I can’t bear Nigella Lawson herself but she does have some great recipes) which was really really heavy on the chocolate. I admit to having to tone it down a little bit – for the sake of my health and the fact that I didn’t have 500g of chocolate, which is what the recipe required. Instead I used 100g of chocolate and about 75g for the chips. I used chopped up dark chocolate rather than cooking chocolate chips as I prefer to use proper chocolate.
These are great soft cookies and they are so chocolatey but not too cakey and bakey so they aren’t too dense. These are the best ones I’ve ever made. The only problem with these is that you have to wait at least 5 or 10 mins for them to crisp up a bit and the chocolate to set before stuffing your face.
If you have broken your diet with these, you probably won’t care anyway because they are too good.