About Fi at this and that blog

Reader, runner, baker, Londoner, (very) beginner crafter, film fan, blogger. One half of www.thisandthatblog.co.uk

A healthy make-your-own chinese takeaway

Both Lau and I are huge fans of Chinese food, but sadly we can’t seem to find a decent one that will deliver in London. We keep trying new delivery places in the hopes that we’ll find the one, but so far no luck. So when I stumbled across a healthy version of a sticky ginger chicken dish in my well-loved Fay’s Family Food cookbook I knew I’d need to give it a whirl. And the result? The most simple and delicious, relatively healthy (compared to a takeaway anyway) chicken dish I’ve ever made. I loved it so much that I think it’ll become a speciality for me. So if you fancy a scrumptious Chinese meal, follow this recipe!

3tbsp of diced ginger in syrup
3 tbsp of runny honey
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
8 skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves crushed
2 limes – the zest of both and the juice of one
1 head of broccoli
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds (we used dried coriander as that’s all we had)

All you do is pop the chicken in an over proof shallow dish and marinade in the ginger, honey, soy sauce, garlic and lime and leave for a few hours in the fridge.

Then once you’re ready to eat just pop it in the oven on 210°C for 30-40 minutes until the chicken’s cooked.

It’s best served with rice and the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten:
Pop the florets of broccoli in an oven-proof dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with coriander, mix it up and pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 210oC. I honestly can’t tell you how scrumptious this brocolli was!

I guarantee you’ll love this meal and want to cook it all the time rather than ordering a takeaway! If you make it let us know what you think of it!

– Fi x

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The perfect flapjack

Greetings chums and how are you this fine day? Before I launch into the actual how to of this recipe I should probably let you in on a little secret…I’ve never made flapjacks before (despite the fact I adore it and think that it’s legitimately allowed as a breakfast food – it’s the oats). ‘Why?’ I hear you cry? Well I’m ridiculously worried I’ll suck at it. The consistency of a flapjack is so vitally important that I fear I’ll never be able to achieve the perfect chewy yet soft consistency that I favour. And I’d be devastated (and not to mention severely pissed off) if I spent all that time making them only to realise as I took that first bite that they actually tasted a bit shit really. So with that concern in mind I’ve always stayed clear of them. Recently I made flapjacks for the first time ever so I thought I’d share the brilliant recipe with you!

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They were piping hot but I still nibbled at them!

At the weekend I had a massive flapjack craving and thankfully the ingredients were in the cupboard so I thought I’d give it a whirl…and they were magnificent! Just the perfect consistency, thank goodness. They were chewy and soft and golden and just delicious. There’s a chance I might have eaten five in one go…they were that good it would have been rude not to! The recipe’s below in case you fancy giving them a whirl – you won’t regret it I promise! Flapjacks rule!

IMG_3174A half eaten flapjack

The all important ingredients:

  • 350g butter
  • 1tbsp/15ml golden syrup
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 450g jumbo oats

And the super-simple recipe:

  • Melt the butter
  • Add the sugar and golden syrup and bring the mixture to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and add the oats. Stir together well
  • Pour into a lined baking tray and spread out evenly
  • Bake for 25 minutes on 180oC (until the top turns golden)
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute before cutting into squares
  • Then leave the flapjacks in the pan for another 15 minutes before separating them and moving them to a wire rack to cool
  • Eat and eat and eat until they’re all gone – hooray!

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Ready and waiting to be eaten!

Have you ever made flapjacks and were you successful with the consistency?

– Fi x

This recipe was originally posted on The Adventures of Fi.

The land of frites, pancakes and bagels

Last month we were extremely lucky to spend a long weekend exploring the beautiful city of Amsterdam. As well as doing all the touristy stuff – Anne Frank’s House, the Van Gogh Museum, a canal boat trip, searching for tulips, etc – we had a few foodie things we wanted to tick off our list whilst there.

We obviously had to experience frites and mayonnaise, which is practically an obsession in Amsterdam. On pretty much every street there’s a small takeaway shop selling them in paper cones – so cute! We didn’t go for the paper cone serving option, mainly because we were in torrential rain all weekend and paper and water aren’t the best mix! Instead we opted to shelter in a small pub during torrential rain and have them then. Let’s be honest we weren’t even slightly disappointed – the combo is a winning one!

One surprising thing we discovered whilst there was a cafe chain called Beans and Bagels, which as the name suggests is all about the coffee and bagels. I’d recommend this to anyone fancying a simple and filling breakfast. We got coffee and bagels (with numerous toppings) for about 10 euros which wasn’t bad considering how much we had. Also it introduced me to the idea of cream cheese and chocolate sprinkles on a bagel – genius!

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Before I mention the best foodie thing about the whole trip   I need to mention the sheer amount of cake and coffee stops we had on our weekend – it was almost obscene! But hey a good tourist survives on a full stomach so multiples coffees and cake – in particular this banana bread, which lets be honest is basically a breakfast food is essential!

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The absolute crowning glory of our trip occurred on our final day when we trekked across the city to experience one of the most highly recommended pancake places, at least according to the internet and multiple guidebooks. We were not disappointed by The Pancake Bakery in the slightest. Not only was the restaurant cute and quirk, it also happened to make the most amazing pancakes. They were huge and the toppings weren’t just toppings they were embedded in the pancakes, yes embedded in the pancakes. I really have to try this out myself one day! After much deliberation I settled on a banana, apple and raisin topping, with lashings of maple syrup and molasses – delicious. Lau went for bacon and apple and our friend had a random concoction of onion, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. I definitely think mine was the most superior pancake. Hands down.

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So that was our Amsterdam culinary experience – anything you would have suggested/added from your own travels there?

– Fi xx

Chocolate Crunch

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So here it is our inaugural childhood recipes post. I hope you’re all ready and raring to go and intrigued about the recipe that’s coming your way!?

The very first recipe in the Gnome Gnotebook is something called Chocolate Crunch, which I confess I have no recollection of ever having made in my life, which means sadly I can’t share any wondrous stories of baking this as a child. A slight fail on the first recipe we have to make in this new blog series, but I’m not one to cheat and ignore this recipe. Instead we got stuck into the recipe on Saturday and gave it a whirl.

The result? Um totally delicious and I’m devastated that I have never tasted this wonderful chocolate crunch before. It really is delicious (in both its raw and baked forms) and I will most certainly be making in the future! It’s a simple tray bake recipe and tastes like chocolate biscuits. Always a winning combination.
If you fancy giving it a whirl yourself you will need:

  • 1lb plain flour
  • 2oz cocoa
  • ¾lb margarine
  • ¾lb caster sugar
  • A dash of Vanilla essence

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And it couldn’t be easier to create this scrumptious baked item…

  1. Melt the butter and vanilla essence in the microwave until it’s of an oil consistency
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in another bowl and then stir in the melted ingredients.
  3. The mixture should form a biscuit type mixture.
  4. Press the mixture into a greased tin so it’s about half an inch thick
  5. Bake on 160°C for 15 minutes until the top is no longer wobbly!
  6. When the tray bake has cooled, remove from the tin and cut into squares and eat.

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This truly was delicious and so simple to make, so I can see I’ll be making this an awful lot in the future!

– Fi xx

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

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