Cook, Bake and Eat do Ready Steady Cook #6

So we’ve been a bit rubbish haven’t we? It’s been almost four months and we haven’t shared any Ready Steady Cook shenanigans with you – oops! Please forgive us. We can’t really say anything other than things have been busy and we’ve just been rescheduling challenge #6 again and again. We promise to do better from now on though – and do yell at us if we fail in that respect. You have our permission! Anyway we are now back with a bang and a truly scrumptious recipe, enjoy!
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The ingredients that Lau chose were: beef mince, parmesan, kidney beans in a chilli sauce (a mistake buy it has to be said), bread and sweet potatoes. Quite a good mix of ingredients if you ask me and I honestly couldn’t wait to get creating a delicious dish. After much deliberation I finally decided on a meatball bake which it turns out is delicious and easy to make. My two favourite things in a recipe!
So how do you make it I hear you ask, well here goes. First off you will need the following:
  • 450g beef mince
  • 2slices of bread
  • 2eggs
  • 1giant sweet potato
  • 1tin of kidney beans in chilli
  • half a jar of passatta (200g)
  • 20g grated parmesan cheese
  1. Pulverise two pieces of bread into breadcrumbs then combine them in a large bowl with 450g of mince and two eggs.
  2. Leave them in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours so the mixture is easy to work with, then form them into meatballs. In terms of size you should aim for about twenty small ones – think Ikea meatball sized!
  3. Pop the meatballs in the bottom of your casserole dish and bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 180 until they are almost cooked all the way through.
  4. Meanwhile peel and slice your sweet potato into slices about 2cm thick.
  5. Add them to a pan of boiling water and bring to the boil.
  6. Once the water’s boiling cook them for another ten minutes or so until a fork goes in easily.
  7. Drain the potatoes and slice each thick slice into two or three thinner slices.
  8. Next mix your tin of kidney beans with 200g of pasatta.
  9. Once your meatballs come out of the oven pour the tomato and bean mixture over the top of them so it’s spread evenly.
  10. Layer the sweet potatoes on top and then sprinkle with 20g of grated parmesan cheese
  11. Return the dish to the oven and cook for half an hour until the dish is piping hot.
  12. Eat and enjoy!

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I honestly was so pleased with how this turned out – it really was so scrumptious and it makes a change from using mince for spag bol, chilli or lasagna. Plus it’s perfect for rainy, dark and depressing days – so why not give it a try. We’d love to know how it goes down in your house!
– Fi xxx
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Coffee and Walnut Cake

It’s time for another cake recipe. Yep, it’s been all about the sweet stuff recently! I’ve been talking about making a coffee and walnut cake for ages and ages, mainly because it’s my youngest sister’s favourite cake ever.  Plus I now like coffee which means it’s a cake that I want to actually make (and then eat now), whereas previously I just wasn’t bothered! So with Easter upon us, and knowing that Becca would be home with us for the celebrations, the four day weekend seemed like the perfect time to get baking. Trust me guys this is a good recipe that you can make with your basic store cupboard ingredients. It’s super easy with as it’s just a slightly amended Victoria sponge cake, but it looks gorgeous and tastes so good.

Ingredients – 

For the cake
175g softened butter
175g brown sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp strong coffee powder (i used espresso granules) mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and then cooled

For the Icing
100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
9 walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two circular baking tins
2. Cream together the butter and sugar

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the vanilla and whisk again

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then gently fold into the mixture

5. Add half of the coffee mixture and fold in again
6. Now divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 mins

Once the cakes are cooled it’s time to make the icing.

cooling cakes

7. Beat together the butter and icing sugar into a smooth icing
8. Add in the remaining coffee and mix well. Have a taste of the icing and add more coffee as needed – we added about half the same again as we like the taste of coffee a lot!

coffee buttercream
9. Use half the icing to sandwich the cakes together and then spread the remaining half on the top. Now top with your walnut halves.

cofefe and walnut cake

Happy Baking. Lau xxx

This recipe originates from The Baking Book by Dorling Kindersley.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous Sunday morning and that the Easter bunny was super kind to you. I’m rather happy to be tucking into an absurd amount of mini eggs this morning – whilst still in my pajamas of course. Lucky me!

As it’s Easter, and that’s a LOT to do with family and chocolate – at least if you’re not religious and me, I thought I’d share a chocolatey recipe that is one of our family’s favourites – the humble peanut butter brownie. I made these yesterday for a barbecue and surprise surprise we’ve got only a couple left – they’re that good. We’ve mentioned these in the past but never shared our slightly amended version of the Life is Peachy recipe. So we thought it was high time we did – enjoy this Easter gift!

Ingredients

  • 150g Dairy Milk chocolate
  • 100g smooth peanut butter
  • 175g margarine
  • 325 caster sugar
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs

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Melt the chocolate and margarine and then stir in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth

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Add the caster sugar and combine
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Now add the self-raising flour and mix thoroughly

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Crack the eggs in and combine until smooth

ready for the oven

Pour into a greased brownie tin and bake on 160 degrees for 40 minutes. Then EAT them all at once (go on you know you want to!)

A New Favourite Brunch Place

A few weeks back we took our little sister and some of her friends to our favourite brunch place in Clapham Old Town, Del’Aziz, and we crossed our fingers that they’d all love it as much as we do… and the result? They adored it too! Hooray! Don’t you love it when that happens? There’s nothing worse than when you go on about somewhere you love – Five Guys – and people hate it? It makes me question whether or not I should be friends with these people, what about you!?

Anyway let’s take a moment and discuss the delicious food of Del’Aziz. First off, if you walk past their window you’ll be assaulted by an amazing array of scrumptious looking cakes, including meringues that are the size of my face! Really there is something for everyone in that display and I don’t know how I’d ever make a choice, hence why I steer clear of the cakes! Opposite the cakes you have the most amazing deli counter with salads and quiches and wondrous sandwich fillings, all with a middle-eastern/eastern European twist.

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Now to the food, I’ve tried a number of things off the menu including scrambled eggs with mushrooms, the poached eggs on toast and the eggs Florentine, all of which taste amazing. As for the other items – the berber pancakes, the egg and bacon bap, the muesli and The Frying Pan, they all look unbelievably good. I just need to try them all sometime soon I think… It’s most definitely one of those places where it takes four hours for you to make a decision on what to eat.  But one thing you always have to have is a smoothie – like the one below which is called the Monkey Shake, Packed full of banana, orange and blueberries it’s the best way to start a weekend! IMG_2208

Have you ever been to Del’Aziz and if so what did you have, what should I try next time? Or is there a new place you’d suggest I try in London town? We’re all ears!

– Happy brunching, Fi. xxx

Delving into our childhood recipes

This battered book is my mum’s trusty recipe book. (Isn’t the cover just awesome?!).

Mum's recipe book

As a child the sight of this book being pulled off the shelf and my mum flicking through it in the kitchen would instantly make me smile. It meant I’d get to crumb flour and butter in a bowl, flatten batter with a fork or lick the bowl clean!

This book is synonymous with fun times spent with my mum, sisters and, if I was extra lucky, my Nanna and/or Grandma.

This is one item I’d run back into a burning building for. It represents
hours spent with my mum having so much fun and generally making a mess.

I spotted this on my mum’s shelf on a recent trip back home and it sparked all these memories and got my thinking about some of those recipes from my childhood – Victoria Sponge, Scones and Hungarians – and when I last made any of them. When I realised it was a while back I decided to start a regular post on the blog and share these recipes with you all. It’ll be great to take a trip down memory lane to the family recipes of my childhood and I can’t wait to see what recipes I’ve forgotten! So starting later this month we’ll be sharing recipe number one. I do hope you’ll join us and enjoy the Harvey/Evans family recipes.

Do you have something similar that you remember from your childhood or hope your kids remember from theirs?

– Fi xx

Baking for Easter

Easter is quite possibly my favourite time of the year as it seems to signal the start of the summer and outside dining. I love the opportunity to get together with all the family and chill out in the garden, plus it brings with it the possibility of a barbecue as well as a fabulous roast dinner on Easter Sunday. Never mind the easter egg fun.

This Easter my sisters and I have decided to cook out amazing pulled pork at some point over the four days for the parental units to enjoy. Plus I’m planning on trying out a coffee and walnut cake as I’ve never made one. But before that point we get to make all the yummy sweet stuff that contains easter treats. You know what I mean, all the creme eggs and mini eggs that appear in the shops as soon as Christmas is over. Well it would be rude not to include those in some sort of baking wouldn’t it. So that’s what this post is all about – Baking with Easter sweets!

Hopefully you are all well aware of the awesome mini egg blondies that we made last year. If not then what are you waiting for? Check them out right here, right now. So these have been made again because they are just totally awesome and Fi has an actual real life obsession with mini eggs.

So yes, we made mini egg blondies, but we also decided to try making creme egg brownies. Now different versions of these have been all over the internet and on twitter, so it really was high time we had a go ourselves. They honestly couldn’t be easier – mostly because I used a packet brownie mix – sometimes you just have to cheat!

Here’s what you do –
1. Create your normal brownie batter – I used the Ghiardelli brownie mix because it’s totally awesome.
2. Throw in 10 mini creme eggs to the mix.
3. Pour the whole lot into the brownie tin.
4. Chop another 8 mini creme eggs in half and lay these gooey side up on the top of your batter.
5. Bake as per normal brownie instructions.

Creme Egg Brownies Creme Egg Brownies

Creme Egg Brownies

See, easy peasy and don’t they look amazing? I promise you guys, these actually taste like heaven. Seriously the gooey levels are epic in this. These beauties ended up at work and they all disappeared in record time. I think that’s a good sign, right?!

Now you give them ago and let me know what you think.

Lau xxx

Our brand new picture wall!

So today’s post is a little different as I’m sharing a non food related post with you. WTF I hear you shout! Well yes I am sorry it’s not food related but it is a good ‘un so I hope you’ll forgive me and indulge me on this post! Anyway Let’s get back to the post, a DIY one in fact, that I’m sharing with you today. For this post we need to travel from the kitchen to our living room, home of the bright pink owl cushion and the £5 wallpaper!

We’ve had a picture wall in there since we first moved into the flat but over the last couple of years some of the frames have broken and as we’ve taken the frames off the wall to dust them or change the pictures we’ve failed to replace them correctly and so it was starting to look like a total mess. So a change was needed. We brainstormed a lot if ideas and realised we needed something that would allow us to change the photos regularly, add more photos easily and most importantly something inexpensive as we hope to move soon and need to save the pennies. With this in mind whatever we did had to be movable to the new house and ‘go’ with that decor too. Not much to ask for right?!

After some thought we settled on a washi tape frame with the sophisticated combo of paper clips and string. It sounds a bit crap right? but with the addition of photos and fairy lights I think you’ll agree that we totally nailed it! And it meets all our important criteria, huzzah!

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So what do you think, do you like it and have we inspired you to rethink your photo wall/display?