Today’s post is basically about what we’ve been up to lately. The last couple of months have absolutely flown by and I feel like we’ve lots track of things quite a bit here. So with that in mind I decided to share all the foodie wonders that Fi and I have experienced lately. It’s mainly pictures, because let’s be honest pictures are the best!
Lunchtime park picnics from Pret
Pimms – the perfect summer cocktail
Afternoon tea in the garden – chocolate cake, marshmallow crispy, coffee and walnut cake, banana muffins and chocolate chip cakes.
Borough Market treats
Homemade Chinese chicken
Raw Cookie Dough
Double chocolate chip cookies
Lunch at The Pepper Tree in Clapham
Homemade turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Sunday breakfast at The Delaunay
So there we go. You’ve all been caught up on our recent foodie lives. Wasn’t that just a bundle of fun? All I know is that I am now hungry from looking at all that food!
So confession time. I have a tendency to get into a bit of a rut when it comes to breakfasts and I become obsessed with one breakfast for weeks at a time. It usually revolves between Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Sainsbury’s Oat and Raisin Granola or a Porridge pot with sultanas and banana. It gets so bad that sometimes I have to remind myself that other breakfast foods exist other than my current item of choice as otherwise I’ll be eating the same breakfast for two or three months at a time!
Recently I realised I was in a granola rut, yet I didn’t want to pull myself out of said rut completely, I just wanted to change the type of granola I was eating. Namely I wanted to make my own. Now I’ve made granola in the past (read about that here) and it’s really easy, so lord knows why I stopped making it but having decided to mix things up I stumbled across this recipe for peanut butter granola. My first thought on this? Oh my. I mean wow I love peanut butter but would never have considered it for a granola recipe. But as soon as I heard of it I was sold!
Having tried the recipe I have to say it’s the granola recipe to beat all the granola recipes ever. It’s so easy, so cheap and so delicious that I defy you not to love it! The combination of nuts and oats is just ingenious and it reminds me of oat and fruit cookies, you know those really brilliant ones that you used to get in Starbucks in the US. Simply amazing.
Do try it and may I suggest you add sultanas to the trays about half way through cooking as they really do add something amazing to the recipe. Then the only thing you have to work out is what to eat it with… My current favourite is simply with milk but natural yoghurt and raspberries is a close second! Enjoy.
So every now and again I have this grand plan that I’m going to eat copious amounts of fruit instead of the usual crap that has infiltrated my diet. When this happens I head off to the supermarket and stock up on apples, bananas and some more exotic looking/sounding fruit and make a pact to switch the chocolate for the fruit. And then 24 hours pass and my enthusiasm wanes and the bananas go brown before I remember they even exist. When this happens I tend to whip up my standard banana cake with cream cheese frosting, courtesy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Cookbook that I’ve had for eons. But a few weeks back I decided I needed to try something new and step out of my comfort zone – I’m not a fan of such things if I’m honest! So I decided on a banana and walnut bread. Yes big things happening over her, I’ve added walnuts and made a bread instead of a cake – get me. Give me a day or so and I’ll be taking over the world with giant leaps like this!
So back down to it I decided on a recipe from DK’s Step-by-Step Baking book and I’m glad it’s the one I chose as it’s super-easy and has helpful instruction pictures. Phew! So here we go, here’s the recipe. First off you’ll need…
375g strong white bread flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
125g walnut pieces (chopped)
3 ripe bananas (chopped, oh and peeled obvs!)
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
125 ml vegetable oil
200g granulated sugar
100g soft brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Now down to the method (it’s easy I promise!):
First off preheat the oven to 180oC and grease your loaf tins (2 x 1lb loaf tins)
Sprinkle flour into the tins and tap to remove all the excess flour
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and mix together.
Mix in the walnut pieces and create a well in the center
Mash the bananas with a fork until they create a smooth paste and add to the beaten egg with the lemon zest
Add the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and stir together
Pour 3/4 of the banana mixture into the well in the flour and stir well
Gradually blend in the dry ingredients, adding the remaining banana mixture until the mixture is smooth
Spoon the mixture into the tins
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the loaves start to shrink away from the sides of the tins and a skewer comes out clean
Enjoy your banana bread and you know it’s fine to have for breakfast as it’s a bread AND it contains fruit – winning!
Both Fi and I are a little bit obsessed with granola. We love the crunchiness, the fruit and the idea that it’s slightly healthy (unless you have a humongous bowl of course)! Fi’s favourite way to eat it is with cold milk and slices of banana while I enjoy it with Greek yoghurt – it takes away some of the crunch you see. Either way it’s pretty much a staple in out flat. Personally I get bored of having the same things too much, so when it comes to granola I have to constantly change what we purchase so that I don’t get bored. We flit between supermarket own brands, Jordan’s and Dorset Cereals as seriously I have no idea what I’d eat each morning if this crunchy goodness suddenly became too boring. In the past we would start talking about making our own granola every now and again but we really got anywhere with it, as it was always easier to just buy one of our usual bags. Until that was we stumbled across a post by Miss Thrifty about making granola, well we thought, clearly now is the time to try this out. So we did, and promptly lamented over the fact that we hadn’t got around to making it earlier. You see it was soooo good, really easy and we’ve not bought the shop bought kind since. This recipe is based mainly on the one that Miss Thrifty suggested (see it here), with only a few changes.
250g Rolled Oats
5 tbsp Golden Syrup
75g Chopped Hazelnuts
75g – half dried cranberries and half raisins
4tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Warm Water
5 tbsp Sugar
For the fruit and nuts just use whatever is in your cupboards, the first time we made it this is what we had – leftovers from some biscuits we had just made of course!
Preheat the oven to 120°C
Mix everything together in a bowl
Tip the mixture into a baking or roasting tray and spread out into an even layer
Bake for 1 hour, making sure you take out and mix every 15 mins – this is to ensure you don’t get flapjack. You want it to be a golden brown colour – basically it needs to look baked like granola!
If you do try this out then let us know what flavour combinations you go for as we’re always up for trying something new