Recipes

#TastesLikeNoUdder Challenge with Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative

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We are lucky in this house that no body can any allergies or intolerance, however I know that many of you do and of course it is always good to try alternative dieters and healthy eating.

Vita, challenged Bloggers to come up with a breakfast recipe with Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative. A smooth and dairy free alternative to milk. It is quite thick unlike some coconut milks therefore can easy be used as a milk substitute in recipes.

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I decided to try and make a Breakfast French Toast.

  • Using a shallow dish, mash a ripe banana and a small handful of the blueberries with a fork. Add about a pint of Coconut Milk and give it a little whisk.
  • Add half a teaspoon of Cinnamon mix in.
  • Cut bread into triangles and leave to soak up for about ten mins.
  • Add some oil to a pan and allow to heat. Then add the  triangles pouring the rest of the mixture on top.
  • I added some chopped Mint from the garden which brings out the flavour quite nicely.
  • Fry on both sizes until just crispy.
  • Finish with a little more cinnamon / mint and serve with some more Blueberries.

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Matilda and Daddy loved it. So it was fab to have a go at a new healthy Breakfast. Search the # online and the Vita website for lots more ideas.

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https://www.vitacoco.com/uk

“This recipe is an entry into the Dairy Free Style Your Breakfast challenge with Vita Coco and Foodies100. See more great breakfast ideas at http://vitacoco.com/uk/

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#ThankGoodness BritMums along with Dolmio challenge.

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BritMums along with Dolmio challenged Bloggers  to create a #ThankGoodness mid-week meal from a shop of simple ingredients found in a lot of kitchen cupboards.  A simple, and good meal with a jar of Dolmio Bolognese.

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We made the Classic Bolognese with our sauce however then tried to come up with some alternative ways to use that other than the with classic Spaghetti. Nothing wrong with Spaghetti of course too.

 

Bolognese Yorkshire Puddings

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Roasted Carrots / Courgettes / Aubergines

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Bunny Chow – Dolmio Way. A South African dish, normally an Indian fusion with a curry inside a cut out loaf.

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This made a great family meal, all really quick and easy to do mid-week too. Matilda loved it. Especially pulling at the bits of bread and dipping in. Defiantly a jar of Dolmio is something good to have handy to use.

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Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. In fact, a jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and that’s before you add any further veg to the meal!

“This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio.   www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.”

https://www.facebook.com/mumandmatilda/

Mid-week Meals – Old El Paso

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Fancy livening up your mid-week meals with a little Mexican Fiesta in your own home. Yesterday was no only Halloween but the start of the Mexican holiday “Day of the Dead” or Dia de Muertos. For them it is a time to remember those that  are sadly no longer with us, but rather than a time for mourning, it is a celebration of their lives.

I was given the opportunity to try out some products from the Old El Paso range with the idea of creating meals that are quick and easy for week days when time is even more precious. Being a Mum of a nearly two year old with a hubby that has different hours each week I still find it difficult to come up with alternatives for dinner.

We try to stay clear of ready meals but kits like this mean you can have a quick meal and still add fresh ingredients. We made a couple of meals taking less and than half an hour each.

Smoky BBQ Chicken Fajita – fry off thin strips of chicken, add an onion and pepper to the Old El Paso sauce. Then pour it all into the wraps, it really is that simple.

Their Stand-n-Stuff kits come with little boats, like tacos however soft like wraps. They can be filled with almost anything you like.The kits come with 8 soft tacos, a seasoning and a salsa. We filled ours with minced beef, peppers, red onion, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and grated cheese.

Check out the Old El Paso website for lots of interesting ideas and recipes  – www.oldelpaso.co.uk. Many of the sauces come in varying strengths too so you can choose how daring you want to go!

  • I was given these products to test and review and give an honest opinion.

Redcurrant and Raspberry Jelly

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The Redcurrants are “Red-y” to be picked. Hooray!

A few weeks ago I picked my redcurrants. And when a neighbour gave me the offer of theirs I jumped at the chance! I left with a big bag Raspberries too. Therefore I decided to make some redcurrant/raspberry jelly (no bits!)

Here is the method I used:

Ingredients

  • 1kg Redcurrants
  • 500g Raspberries
  • 2lt Water
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 Oranges (optional).

Kit

  • Big pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Muslin / Jelly bag
  • Jars (makes approx 5 large jars).
  • Wax seals / jam jar lids
  • Jam thermometer (optional)

Separate the stalks from the currants and raspberries as much as possible. Add the fruit to a large pan with a little water.

Cook on a high heat pressing the fruit down with the back of the spoon to release the juice. 

Once the fruit is almost a pulp (about 15 minutes).  Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Put the pulp through a jelly bag into a large bowl (this could be done overnight) to allow all the juice to drip.

Once you have the liquid, add this back to the pan with approximately 500g of sugar for every pint of liquid. I also added the juice of two oranges for flavour. Cook on a low heat stirring in the sugar until it is all dissolved.

Slowly turn up the heat to rapid boiling point and cook for another 25 minutes to the setting point. If you have a jam or sugar thermometer, the ideal temperature should be around 105C.

Sterilise your jars in the oven, about 10 minutes and fill them to near the top with the jam. Cover with a wax seal / cellophane or the jam jar lid.

 

Elderflower Cordial – be quick before it is gone.

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This weekend I made a batch of Elderflower Cordial. I love making this or Elderflower Champagne in June. It’s now readily available in the shops but its so easy and cheap you really should make it yourself. Jamie even thinks it might help his hay-fever, we are thinking it may work in the same way local honey is believed to.

All you need is : 

Elderflower heads  – About a carrier bag full. Try to pick the flowers when it is sunny as they are more fragrant.

1.5 lt Water

1 Kg Sugar

2 Lemons – quartered and zest’ed with a potato peeler. 

Optional other fruit Pineapple / Orange / Lime and citric acid.

Equipment : A large pan,  potato peeler, jug, muslin or sieve and empty clean bottles, swing tops are best or plastic.

  • Place the sugar in the bottom of the pan, along with the lemons and zest. Give the lemons a little squeeze as you add them.
  • Pour over 1 lt of boiling water and stir.
  • Give the Elderflower heads a shake (to get rid of any bugs) and place on top of the sugar. Pour over the remaining 0.5 lt as cold water.
  • Leave over night to infuse, stirring once or twice.
  • In the morning, give the lemons another squeeze and strain it all through muslin into the bottles.

You could add limes, pineapple or orange they all work well.

The cordial is lovely just with water, lemonade, orange juice  or even as a mixer with a cheeky vodka. Add to an ice cube  tray with a little water for refreshing / cooling summer drinks.

The Elderflower has been out for a few weeks now and in some places already turning to seed. So be quick before it is gone. If you miss out then the Elderberries will be out later in the year and make a lovely jelly or wine.

Jamming – Blackberry and Apple Jam

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This was just a small batch to try it out so only makes a couple of jars. You can double up to make 4/5 Jars or more depending on how many blackberries you can find.

Ingredients

  • 400g Blackberries
  • 400g Apples (peeled, cored and diced)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 150ml Water
  • 750g Jam sugar

Kit

  • Big pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Muslin
  • Jars
  • Wax seals / jam jar lids
  • Jam thermometer (optional)
  • Cook the blackberries and apples on a low heat until soft , this takes about 20 minutes. Add the sugar, then stir in until all dissolved.

Turn up the heat, so boiling. Stir now and then, for about 25 minutes.  If you have a jam or sugar thermometer, the ideal temperature should be around 105C.

DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO LICK THE SPOON!

Sieve the contents through muslin and remove the large pieces of apple, add the rest of the pulp (depending on how many lumps/pips you like).

Sterilise your jars in the oven –, about 10 minutes, fill to near the top with the jam. Cover with a wax seal / cellophane or the jam jar lid (either/or not both).

Decorate once cool!

Blackberries and apples were both foraged, therefore I only brought the lemon and jam sugar.

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Lady Marmalade – Apple and Orange Marmalade

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I love marmalade and none of this without shreds nonsense! So to try a slightly different marmalade I decided to make one with apple and orange.

There are lots of recipes for these. I combined my favorite bits from them all.DSCN0741

I definitely wanted one with lots and lots of shreds!

Ingredients

  • 4 Oranges
  • 1 Lemon
  • 400g Apples (once peeled and cored)
  • 900g Jam Sugar
  • 4 table spoons of soft brown sugar
  • Water


Kit   Makes about 4/5 Jars (depending on the size of your jar.

  • Big pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Blender or food processor.
  • Scissors
  • Potato peeler
  • Small muslin square
  • Jars
  • Wax seals or jar lids
  • Jam thermometer (optional)

Peal the 4 oranges and cut the rinds into shreds, then cook in a pan with 600ml of water, for about 20 minutes.

TIP : use scissors instead of a knife. This bit can be quite time consuming and you’ll be there for a long time!

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Cut the oranges and lemons into wedges, any pips tie up in the muslin. Add all this to another pan with 800ml of water. Cook for about an hour. Top up with a little water and stir once in a while to stop it sticking to the bottom.

TIP : save a tiny squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl. This will help stop your apples going to brown for the next bit.

Cut up your apples into small cubes. Once the oranges have cooked for an hour, add the apples to the pan. Reduce to a low heat until soft , this takes about 20 minutes. Take out your muslin with the pips.

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Allow to cool a little, then in small batches whiz in a food processor or blender. Add a tiny bit of water to help loosen.

TIP : Watch out for escapee pips.

Return all this to the pan, with an additional 200ml of water, the rinds (including the cooking water), jam sugar and soft brown sugar. Put on a low heat then stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

Turn up the heat, so boiling. Stir every now and then, for about 25 minutes.  If you have a jam or sugar thermometer (posh) , the ideal temperature should be around 105C.

DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO LICK THE SPOON!

Sterilise your jars in the oven for about 10 minutes, fill to near the top with the marmalade and cover with appropriate top.

Serve with toast and plenty of tea!

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