Category Archives: Store Cupboard

Jammy oats

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I’ve got back onto the baking train. But I don’t know if I ever got off. It’s more like, I fell asleep on the train, drooled for a bit, and woke up with a dead arm.

I wont lie to you and I wont be modest: I’m good at baking, I did a lot when I was 15 but I got a bit sick of eating baked stuff, and I probably will again this time round, but whilst I’m awake on the train, I may as well bake as much as possible.

Got a great raspberry recipe here if you like raspberries, or jam, or oats. Or jammie dodgers. These taste a lot like Jammie dodgers, so they have that real nostalgic feel.

I was inspired by this recipe, however, I didn’t have half of the healthy/vegan ingredients she had. So mine are a lot easier to make with regards to seeking out ingredients. And they probably taste a lot more indulgent (and thus nicer).

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Ingredients-Yield-9 BIG Squares

-1.5 cups of oats

-1 cup of flour

-1/2 tsp bicarbonate or soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 egg

-1/2 cup of brown sugar

-1/2 cup of butter melted

-1/4 golden syrup

-2 tbsp milk

-1 cup of raspberry jam (or a jam of your choice, I used naturally sweetened St. Dalfour raspberry jam).

-2 tbsp sesame seeds/dessicated coconut, or a mixture of the two.

Method

-Preheat your oven to 180 c./gas mark 5 and line a 9 x 9 square baking tin with greaseproof paper. Failing that (cos I did) just line a regular-sized baking tray, but be prepared to use your hands to form a square.

-Mix together your dry ingredients (oats, flour, sugar, bicarb and salt) in a large bowl.

-In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients but not the jam (egg, syrup, butter and milk).

-Mix together the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl until sticky and well-combined.

-Now smooth your mixture into your square tin, if you’re without a square tin, form a square with your hands, making sure the mixture is about 1/2 inch high and homogenous.

-Spread the jam over the top of your square and sprinkle your sesame seeds/coconut.

-Bake for 30 minutes until firm and jam has relatively set.

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Filed under Baked goods, Store Cupboard

Merry Noël (Christmas Crackers)

Hello. I haven’t written in a long time because I am lazy and fresh produce in France is actually not great and I am lazy. Thus cooking creatively isn’t high on my to do list. I still like food though so don’t worry. I have had a lovely first semester in France, it’s been great, I’ve met great people and the weather has been great. What I have realised mostly this semester is that the French are slim because the food is too expensive. It’s been hard going from Leeds to Montpellier, where sweet potaotes are about 2 € per ‘patate’. Mayynnnn.

017Christmas in France is not necessarily the same as Christmas in the UK. I feel they do the façade  they do the lights and the Christmas market. BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME. That’s why I am very happy to be back in London and celebrating Christmas here being jolly and eating. It sounds so cliché, but now it feels like Christmas.

If you were ask me how France has changed me, I’d say that I am now a cheese and coffee snob.  I nothing-ed coffee before I came to France, but now I have an obsession with good coffee. No instant please. I loved cheese beyond all measure before I came to France, but the obsession has since increased. To share this obsession, I brought back more than 1 kg of French cheeses, including this one, a Brie with a line of 5 berries down the middle. I love cheese.

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SO THEREFORE, it only seemed suitable that I made crackers for the cheese. I made poppy seed crackers. And because my sister can’t eat flour I also made oatcakes. Yummy. Everyone please have an amazing Christmas, or enjoy your holidays!

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Poppy Seed Crackers-makes 20 crackers-adapted from this

Ingredients

-1 cup of plain flour

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp sugar

-1 1/2 tbsp cold butter, diced

-1 tbsp poppy seeds

-5 tbsp milk

-Salt crystals

Method

-Sieve the flour salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.

-With your fingers, crumble together this mixture with the diced butter until it resembles very fine breadcrumbs.

-Add the poppy seeds and milk, and with your hands, start to knead the mixture together to form a soft dough ball.

-Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

-Pre-heat oven to gas mark 2/300f/150 c and line a baking tray or perhaps two with baking parchment.

-After an hour, unwrap dough and lightly dust a surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough until about 5 mm thick, then cut shapes. Place shapes on baking sheet, brush lightly with milk and sprinkle salt crystals on top.

-Place in the oven for half an hour, making sure to keep an eye on the crackers. Once browned and the base feels firm, take out and leave to cool.

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Oatcakes-makes 20 oatcakes

Ingredients

-200g rolled porridge oats, processed to make oatmeal.

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

-2tbsp butter

-1/4 pint of boiling water

Method

-Mix together the ingredients apart from the water.

-Add the 1/4 pint of boiling water slowly whilst using a spoon to bring the ingredients together to form a moist ball. DONT do what I did, and be abstemious with the water, use all of it otherwise the ball will fall apart.

-Wrap in cling film and place in fridge for at least an hour.

-Preheat oven to gas mark 5/375 f/190 c and line two baking trays with baking sheets.

-After at least an hour, unwrap dough and place on a surface dusted with porridge oats. Using a rolling pin also dusted with oats, roll out the dough as thin as possible, being careful not to break the dough too much.

-Cut your shapes and place on the baking sheet. Brush with milk (if at hand) and place in oven for 30 minutes, or until the cakes are hard and starting to brown a tiny bit. Take out and leave to cool.

 

 





 

 

 

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Filed under Bread, Pastries and Pizza, Snacks and Starters, Store Cupboard

Gold Granola

LOOK I’VE MADE AN OLYMPIC-THEMED DISH. I love the Olympics. It took quite a few days for the Olympic mood to kick in, but now I’m in love. It’s ironic. We’re watching athletes throw up and rip their muscles apart (well, except for shooting and archery-WHAT NON-SPORTS), claiming that we love sport…yet we do all this while sitting on the sofa and doing nothing all day. I have managed to keep a good balance, I do a good run/swim/gym as soon as I get up and, being slightly employed/unemployed, I can just sit on the sofa and knit all day with whoever wishes to join me. It’s a shame, I guess, that I didn’t get tickets, but I’m living in the goddamn city. You can definitely feel something in London which I doubt you can get elsewhere in the country. Maybe it’s because I live at the bottom of Ally Pally, where the Dutch team are located, so every night when I look out my window I see this bright orange-illuminated building. Or maybe it’s because everytime you step outside EVERYONE is sporting some sort of national sports jersey. It seems everyone also has a union jack flag just sticking out from their rucsacks. Hmmm, who needs tickets?

I have seen many a granola recipe in my time. I have EATEN many a granola recipe in my time. But MAKE granola? Mehhh, it was never very high on my to-make list. But granola is so pretty when it’s made and just sitting in a jar. It then also looks really nice as a present.

I was always quite turned off it because of the high sugar content, because it’s made of maple syrup, most of the time. However, I (my parents) purchased some agave nectar because I wanted to try and do some healthy baking. That is what made me want to make my own granola. Turns out it is probably the easiest thing in the entire world. And my mum EATS IT (my mum rarely eats anything). I’ve made two batches in the space of 1 week! It’s getting hoovered up. So a healthy granola that is ridiculously healthy? I give it the GOLD MEDAL.

Ingredients-Yield is about 1.25 litres (adapted from this)

-3 cups of porridge oats

-1/2 cup of agave nectar

-1/2 cup of almonds

-1/2 chopped walnuts

-1/2 cup of dried apricots

-1/2 cup raisins/sultanas

-1 scant tsp of salt

Method

-Preheat oven to 300 f, or around gas mark 5. Line a large baking tray with grease proof paper.

-Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure it is very well combined.

-Spread out onto the paper, making sure it is as spread out as possible.

-Put in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Be careful not burn.

-Take out from oven when it looks like most of the porridge is browned.

-Leave to cool, and then put an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Healthy Sweets, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

CHIPS.

 

Soooo chips.  As a child, it was all about chips. At a restaurant, I would always have chips. I was that annoying child at a very reputable restaurant…getting just a plate of chips.

Now I have to admit now, that these were not for me. These were for my dad.  My overdosing on chips as a child has meant that I don’t really eat them these days (it’s the same with crisps and juice). I also see little point in having white potato, when you could have sweet potato, whose complex carbohydrates are much more preferable. But my dad doesn’t like sweet potato.

But of course I had a try of these potatoes, as I do with all my dad’s veggie friendly accompaniments, and they were delish.ous.

 

What I love the most about them is that they’re just SO  FRICKEN EASY.

Ingredients-serves 2

-4 large king edward potatoes, around 600g

-2 tbsp oil

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp dried oregano

Method

-Pre heat oven to gas mark 7, 220 c.

-Chop your potatoes in to chip shapes. This involves chopping potatoes in half lengthways, and then halving each half. And then chopping each sigment into thirds. If that doesn’t make sense, just use your initiative.

-Place potatoes on a baking dish, pour over oil, salt and oregano and stir together thoroughly to make sure all potatoes are covered.

-Place in the oven, for about 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are brown on the outside, and when you poke a fork through a chip it is soft.

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Montpellier and Cooking Up My Bookmarks: Soda Bread

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I’m moving to France in September. I have a flat all sorted and I’m RIDIC excited. I just went to Montpellier for 4 days to flat hunt, and I just fell in love. I’m so excited to get there. I mean,  who wouldn’t want to live in the South of France? For one thing, it’s hot. And I always say that I’m a reptile. A cold-blooded reptile. I am always cold and can just bake in the mid-day sun with no shade.

Secondly, it’s FRANCE. It’s the home of bread, cheese and wine. We had amazing cheese and bread and wine. True, there were some difficulties being pescetarians, erring on the side of vegetarians, but we survived.

Montpellier was diverse and, luckily, quite sporty. I went for a 33km bike ride. And I gotta tan. Some photos. Sorry they’re so awful, I was travelling only on hand luggage, so sadly I couldn’t bring my canon:

 (it doesn’t look very hot here, but it was)

ANYWAY, onto food. I made bread. I don’t think it was my greatest success, but it’s soda bread which has that densey, cakey flavour. It’s made with oats as well. GORGE. VOILA (Thats French you know).

It requires buttermilk, but I’ve made soda bread with normal milk, and this time I used normal milk PLUS lemon juice. This is from my bookmark at Eat Live Travel Write, but I altered it slightly because I added porridge oats.

Ingredients

-2 Cups of plain flour

-1 cup of porridge oats

-2oo ml of buttermilk, or normal milk with 2 tbsp of lemon juice (left to sit for 10 minutes)

-1 tsp salt

-1 heaped teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda

Method

-Preheat oven to gas mark 8, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

-Sift the dry ingredients(not oats) together in a bowl and THEN add the oats, then 3/4 of the milk.

-Mix together with a fork until it begins to bind. Once binding, add a bit more milk, Dust your hands with flour and knead the mixture. It should be on the sticky side, if not add the milk. Dont knead for too long. For more advice on this part of the process, go directly to the bookmark above.

-Either divide into 4  and turn into rolls, or simply plonk the dough on the paper (did I just say plonk?). Cut a cross through the top(s). And cook for about 50 minutes, when you tap the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow.

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Cooking Up My Bookmarks: Quinoa Chili

I should be working right now. I should be reading about hagiography in the Merovingian period. I should be reading about bishop-saints, and how they were represented throughout the course of the middle ages. I should be reading about how the rising non-landed plutocrats of Victorian Britain were undermining the British aristocracy.

Instead I made chili. Chili with quinoa. Doesn’t it look really meaty? It does, doesn’t it? You’d be fooled into believing that that’s mince meat in there. I got my inspiration from this source, but I adapted it slightly.

It was delicious this was. It was bizarre when I was eating it because it definitely didn’t have the texture of meat, but it didn’t feel like it was trying to be something it wasn’t. It was very…wholesome? Satisfying? idunkno.

I would write more, but I’m a bit worried about my work. I hate exams.

Ingredients

-1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa

-1 red onion

-1 clove of garlic

-1 carrot

-1 green pepper

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp gr coriander

-2 tsp cumin

-1 tsp cocoa powder

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp chili

-1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained

-1 x 400g tin chickpeas, barlotti beans or black beans, drained

-1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

-2 tbsp tomato puree

-200 ml water

Method

-Cover your quinoa with water, bring to the boil and cook for fifteen minutes or until it’s soft (when eaten).

-Meanwhile, cook your vetegables in some olive oil in a large saucepan and add some salt.

-Once vegetables are soft add remaining ingredients, bar the quinoa.

-Bring the mixture to the boil and add the quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes and take off the heat.

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Filed under Grains, Mexican, Pulses, Quick, Store Cupboard, Vegetarian

How to be Healthy: Motivation Beans

FIRST. A big thank you to The Healthy Foodie for mentioning me in her amazing blog. I check this woman’s blog everyday for inspiration. She makes good pizza, and thus she can’t do any wrong. I recommend you take a lot. But first…

It is so hard to find motivation to cook an amazing, overwhelmingly good meal.

I’m only human. I’m only a student (at one of the top 100 best universities in the world). I’m only a ‘NO-MEAT ATHLETE’.

This last one means that more than ever I have to cook proper food. Personally, I cannot afford (physically) to eat foods that are lacking in things. I am currently undergoing a cross-training regime, where I lower my mileage a bit in the week and replace it with swims. I have also started cycling to uni. Cross training, according to my osteopath, is vital to avoid injury. And I’m doing anything to avoid that beast.

BUT I DIGRESS. This post is about motivation. Motivation is SO hard to fathom. In my opinion, we’re all lazy. It’s just how well you’re able to overcome the laziness, doing sport makes you a lot more productive with your time. But even I’ll come back from about 5 to 7 (to occasionally 9!)  hours in the library, and then I might have been swimming or running in the day and the last thing I want to do is cook. I can’t be bothered to wait around. I’M HUNGRY and TIRED. GIVE ME FOOD AND LET ME WATCH SOME SCANDINAVIAN THRILLERS AND READ MY KINDLE. But as I said, I can’t afford to put ready meals in the oven, what nutrition will they provide?

Celebrity chefs are constantly releasing ‘easy’ and ‘quick’ recipes to draw you in. But I have no financial incentive like them, I’m giving you these recipes out of the goodness of my heart .

So what are these motivation beans? Ha, they’re just beans. But they’re so fricken cheap and easy to make. Why have a fried egg on toast when this bean recipe takes quicker, tastes better and is not made of a chicken’s period? hehe.

I call them motivation beans because they motivate you to do a bit of cooking, be healthy and end your day on a high.

The psychological effect of these beans is GOOD, cos they take two secs, but when you’ve made them you’re all smug like ‘Look what I just made, Jamie’s 30 minute meals can SUCK IT’.

ANYWAY, here you are. Enjoy. Be motivated.

Ingredients (serves 2)

-Half a red onion, chopped

-Two cloves garlic

-1 salt

-2 tsp of dried herbs

-1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

-1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

-1x 400g can of butter beans, drained and rinsed

-6 olives  chopped (optional)

-100ml of water

-1 massive handful of spinach

Method

-Fry the onion and garlic in some olive oil and add the salt so that it doesn’t stick to the surface of the pan.

-Once softened, add the the remaining ingredients BAR the spinach.

-Once the beans exterior have started to brown off, and the mixture is very hot, add the spinach.

-When the spinach has wilted, the beans are ready. If it is all a bit dry, add a bit more water! Enjoy

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Filed under How to be Healthy, Pulses, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian