Friday, 14 May 2010

Spicy Bean Pie

I have joined the Weight Watcher programme, so for now, most of my recipes will be suitable for the Weight Watcher points plan. I just have to work out some low fat cake recipes, now that is going to be a challenge!

I am going of track now, as I will be doing very few baking or preserve recipes, they will be mainly meals now for us poor people on a diet! Hope you enjoy the new style recipes......

6 points for the total recipe (veggie version)

1 carrot
½ butternut squash
1 red pepper
1 onion
1 small can baked beans
½ pack quorn fajita strips (or use a chicken breast if not veggie)
30g half fat cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon madras spices
couple of squirts of fry light

1.Peel and chop the butternet squash and carrot. Boil in salted water until cooked.
2.Lightly spray a non stick pan with fry light. Chop the onion and pepper and fry with the curry spices l until soft. If you are using chicken, cook the chicken with the veg.
3.If using quorn fajita strips, add to the veggie mix and cook for a few minutes until warmed through.
4.Mash the carrot and butternut squash together and drain off any excess water.
5.Heat the can of beans in a microwave. When hot put into an ovenproof dish.
6.Add the quorn and veg mix to the ovenproof dish and lightly stir to mix with the beans.
7.Top with the mash, and sprinkle with the grated cheese,
8.Grill until cheese is bubbling.

This is a large portion. If you are greedy you can have the lot, or split it into 2 portions and serve with extra zero point vegetables.

Freezes well.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Breakfast Bars

I have just started at Weight Watchers as my weight has steadily increased since I have been living in the country. It is all this socialising we do, it all involves food! Anyway, it is time that I got back in control once more. I did it before nearly 20 years ago, so I am giving it another go. It will be a challenge for my baking.

This is a recipe I have adapted from an original Weight Watchers recipe from when I was last on it, and it has always been in my repetoire ever since. I have brought it up to date a little, and have worked out the points value for you if you too are on the Weight Watchers points plan. Even if you are not, it is a great thing to keep in the freezer for those days you oversleep the alarm and need to grab something quick!

Breakfast Bars
makes 8 bars

8 teaspoons low fat margarine
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 oz porridge oats
4 oz dried skimmed milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 fl oz skimmed milk (0 % fat)
8 oz sultanas

1.Pre heat oven to 180c. Lightly grease a 9 x 7 inch baking tin.
2.Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
3.Add all the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, then add the milk. Mix well to combine.
4.Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.
5.Bake for 30 mins, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 mins before turning out on a cooling rack.
6.Allow to cool completely, then cut into 8 portions. Wrap each bar in cling film. Can be frozen.

Calories per bar: 275
If you are on the Weight Watchers plan, each bar contains 3.5 points.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I have been asked for a sticky Gingerbread recipe. This is the one I have used for many years, and indeed is the one that my Mother used, so it is well tried and tested, and has always been one of my favourites.

It comes from the "Bero Flour Home Recipes" book. I have not adapted it in any way.

serves 12

8oz Plain Flour
pinch salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2oz soft brown sugar
4oz margarine
6oz black treacle
2oz golden syrup
1/4pint milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
2oz sultanas (optional)

1 Heat the oven to 150*c, 300*f, gas mark 2 and grease a 7 inch square deep cake tin.
2 Seive together the flour, salt, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the sugar.
3 Melt the margarine, treacle and syrup gently. Gradually beat in the milk and allow to cool.
4 Add the beaten eggs to the melted treacle mixture and mix well. Stir this mixture into the flour and add the sultanas if using (I don't)
5 Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 1hour 15mins.
6 Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. Tastes nicer if left for at least 24hours before eating as it goes nice and sticky then.

Cheese Whirls

I cannot lay claim to this being my own recipe. The original recipe was in todays "Daily Mail" suppliment. However, this is an adaption of the original due to my own personal tastes, and the experience I had making the recipe as originaly written.

If you do not like Marmite, or cannot get hold of it in your country, try using Gentlemans Relish, Worcester Sauce, or a nice bottled brown sauce, such as HP sauce instead.


makes 12 – 15

6oz plain flour
salt and pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder (or use wasabi powder)
2oz butter
2oz grated mature cheddar cheese
1 large egg
marmite/vegemite (or worcester sauce)

1.pre heat oven to 180*c/gas mark 4
2.Lightly grease a baking sheet
3.Sift the flour with the salt, pepper and mustard powder into a bowl
4.Rub in the butter.
5.Add the grated cheese and stir into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed
6.Gradually add the beaten egg to the mix to form a dough. (if more moisture is needed add a few drops of milk)
7.Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick oblong.
8.Spread with the marmite.
9.Roll up from the long side to form a Swiss roll.
10.Cut into thick slices and place on the baking tray.
11.Brush with milk.
12.Bake until golden in colour and firm to the touch.
13.Allow to cool and eat within 3 days. Store in an airtight box.

The tray will be very greasy when this comes out of the oven. Remove from tray as soon as they come out of the oven. They will be too greasy if allowed to cool on the baking tray.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Jam Muffins

Well I know it's been a while since I last updated my blog, I've just been so busy with life!!
Here is my latest offering. This recipe came about all because I found a half eaten jar of my homemade Goosberry and Elderflower jam in the back of the store cupboard, and the fact that we had run out of cake (a huge sin in our house!)

Jam Muffins

10oz Plain Flour
1 level tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3oz caster sugar
8fl oz milk
4oz butter (melted and slightly cooled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8oz good quality jam or conserve

1.In a large bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.
2.In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
3.Sift the flour mix into the bowl that contains the wet ingredients. Quickly mix together with a fork, until the batter is mixed (small lumps don't matter, it shouldn't be smooth like a Yorkshire batter mix)
4.Spoon approximately 1 third of the batter mix into the muffin cases. Then spoon the jam into each partially filled muffin case. Spoon on the rest of the mix into the muffin cases making sure the jam is covered.
5.Bake in oven at 200c, 400f, gas mark 6, for 20 – 25 minutes until well risen and brown.
6.Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Spicy Carrot and Almond Relish.

On Saturday I also made a batch of this lovely sweet, sticky and mildly spiced relish. I cannot claim this recipe as my own, although it has been adapted very slightly from the original recipe, but only because I didn't have any coriander seeds or fresh ginger in the house!

Spicy Carrot and Almond Relish
makes 1 1/2 lbs

1 tspn Garam Masala powder
1 1/4lb carrots, grated
1 tspn ground ginger
7 oz caster sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
4 fl oz white wine vinegar
5 tbspn water
2 tbspn runny honey
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 oz flaked almonds

1. Put the spices, sugar, lemon rind and grated carrots in a bowl and mix to combine.
2. Put the lemon juice, vinegar, water, honey and salt in a jug. Stir until the salt has dissolved. Pour over the carrot mixture. Mix well, cover, and leave in the fridge for 4 hours.
3. Put the carrot mixture in a large pan. Slowly bring this to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins until the carrots are tender.
4. Increase the heat and boil for 15 mins, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick. Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking.
5. Put the almonds in a frying pan and toast over a low heat until golden. Gently stir the almonds into the relish.
6. Spoon the relish into warmed sterilized jars. Cover and seal.
7. Leave for at least a month before using. Once opened store in the fridge.

Beetroot and Apple Chutney

On Saturday, the man-who-is-not-my-husband came in from the garden with a large basket of beetroot that was the last of what we had growing in the kitchen garden. As it is not really the time for many salads, it was time to do something else with them!
I still had a bag full of apples in the larder, so I just had to make a batch of chutney!

This is my recipe.

Beetroot and Apple Chutney
makes 7lbs

2 lbs uncooked beetroot
1 lb eating apples
1 lb cooking apples
1 lb onions, finely chopped
2 pints distilled malt vinegar
1 lb granulated sugar
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tspn ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt.

1. Peel the beetroot, then chop into 1/2 inch (or even slightly smaller) cubes
2. Peel, core and cube the apples into the same size cubes as the beetroot.
3. Finely chop the onions and the garlic.
3. Put the vinegar and sugar into a preserving pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the beetroot, apples, onions, garlic, spices and salt to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beetroot is cooked.
5. Increase the heat and rapidly boil for approx 10 mins, or until the chutney is thick and no liquid remains. Stir frequently as the apples have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, but be careful when you do this as it bubbles fiercely when stirred!
6. Spoon the hot chutney into warm, sterilized jars (a jam funnel makes this easier) cover and seal the jars with lids.
7. Label the jars when cold. Then store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before eating. Once opened keep in the fridge.

Great with a strong cheese, or with a salad.

Happy eating!