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

Advertisements

A little February round-up

So another month has flown by and we’re now about to embark on March – what the actual what is going on with that?! How on earth is this year going so fast – crazy times indeed! As is the CBE way we need to round-up all our cooking, baking and eating loveliness in one post, so here goes!

We started this month with an awesome long weekend in the Peak District, which basically revolved around food… We started with a Wagamama’s, where we all tried something new, all of which were scrumptious. My dish was the Chicken Teriyaki, scrumptious! This was swiftly followed by (in no particular order) homemade lasagna, American sweets, coffee in our wellies, pulled pork, cooked breakfasts and pancakes, homemade veggie soup, doorstop sandwiches, a chinese takeaway, crisps, biscuits, bourbon brownies and a rediscovery of scrumptious Shreddies. It really was an amazing weekend of food stuffs!

Apart from a weekend of food in the Peak District our foodie month has been made up of:

  • Cooking a ham, chicken, leek, mushroom and mushroom soup pie
  • Blending tonnes of smoothies
  • Treating ourselves to a cooked breakfast (for lunch) after epic runs
  • Sampling our very first Chicken Balti Pukka pie at the football
  • Baking chewy chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies (recipe here)
  • Eating out at Bill’s, Wahaca, Nando’s, Del’Aziz and Camellia’s Tea House
  • Tucking into the biggest roast chicken with all the trimmings courtesy of the parentals
  • Being good and taking salads for lunch
  • Remembering how perfect an iced coffee can be with our first ones of 2014

Phew, what a month for food – no wonder I’m so exhausted after all of that lot! What about you what have been your top food moments from the last month?

– Fi xx

Fabulous Fudge

So let’s talk about fudge, lovely creamy, crumbly, delicious fudge. I’m a big fan of this stuff, and like to ignore that fact that I’m essentially eating a vat of butter with each mouthful as it’s just so darn delicious. The taste alone is reminiscent of childhood day trips when you’d be rewarded with the crinkling sound of the paper bag as it was unfurled and your Mum proffered you the bag to choose your very own piece. What dreams are made of I’d say.

As much as I love fudge (all flavours, I’m not picky) I’d never considered making it myself. I assumed it was so super-duper hard and complicated that it would involve some form of life endangering sugar boiling. Apparently that’s not the case, who knew?! Certainly not me, but thankfully the Domestic Sluts sorted me out, and when I finally got round to making fudge just before Christmas it was a revelation. Honestly one of the simplest things to make, and not only is it delicious but people also think you’re some sort of domestic marvel – when in reality all you’ve done is melted and stirred some ingredients. Bonus!

I made two types of fudge for Christmas, a plain fudge (recipe below) and this mince-pie fudge and both were marvellous, although possibly sweet enough to send you into a sugar coma after a couple of crumbs – so you’ve been warned. One thing I would say is that you should stir the fudge until you get a really golden colour as I stopped a little too soon on the plain fudge recipe and it didn’t quite set properly.

You can check out the plain fudge recipe I used below or read the original recipe that Domestic Sluttery posted here.

  • 230g slightly salted butter
  • 453g caster sugar
  • A tin of condensed milk
  • Melt the butter
  • Add the sugar and mix together.
  • Add the condensed milk and stir continuously for 10 minutes whilst bringing to the boil. Once its bubbling, turn the heat down and stir for another 10 minutes
  • Pour into a greased brownie tin and leave to cool.
  • Cut into squares and EAT!

See easy peasy – right! I bet you can’t wait to give it a whirl. I enjoyed making eating the fudge so much that I’m now trying to decide on what flavours to make next. Currently I’m torn between this layered mint chocolate fudge or this Peanut Butter Fudge one. I also saw someone tweet about a Malteaser fudge recently, which sounds intriguing I just can’t remember who it was! What do you think, any thoughts on what flavour I should try next?

– Fi xx

p.s. I’m a bad food blogger and failed to take ANY pictures of said fudge. What a fool I am!

Cook, Bake and Eat do Ready Steady Cook #5

Hello lovely people and welcome to the first round of Ready Steady Cook in 2014. This time it was Fi’s turn to choose the five key ingredients that I had to cook with. For some reason I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this challenge – I think because I didn’t do much cooking in December, so I was itching for a chance to get going. The five ingredients that Fi picked are below…

 

broccoli / cod / passata / brown rice / bacon lardons

As soon as I saw these ingredients I was grinning as it seemed like the perfect chance to create something warm and delicious for dinner. So that’s exactly what I did on the first Sunday of January. Aside from the ingredients that Fi gave me I also used 1 red onion and 3 tablespoons of double cream as we had some in the fridge already.

Here’s what I did to create cod with bacon and tomato sauce on brown rice.

1. Fry the chopped onion until slightly soft, then add the bacon lardons (NB we only used half of the bacon in this pack) and continue to fry. While this is cooking, cook the broccoli in the usual way. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C and place the cod in some oiled foil ready for the oven.

2. Once the bacon is cooked add the carton of passata sauce and some herbs. I went for some mixed herbs as I wanted an italian flavour to the dish. I don’t have amounts as I just did it by taste and smell as I went along (sorry). Once you’ve started the sauce you can cook your rice – I did this in the microwave as I could leave it alone for 18 minutes, only stirring every now and again. Once the rice is in put your cod in the oven for 17 mins.

3. Once the sauce has thickened add in the double cream, this makes the sauce really creamy, but isn’t strictly necessary. We had some leftover in the fridge so I figured I may as well throw it in! Leave the sauce to simmer until your fish is cooked.

4. The rice, cod and sauce should all be ready at around about the same time, so now just construct your plate of food and enjoy!

Just a quick note to make – This gave us twice as much sauce as what we actually needed, so next time we would use half the amount of passata, the bacon and the cream.We’ll definitely be making this again as it was scrumptious!

Lau xx

p.s. Check out the new banner that Fi made for this series in 2014. I love it 🙂

Chicken Liver Pate

A couple of weeks ago we were back at out parents house for a catch up after they had been away and they were preparing for a dinner party with friends. As is the Evans family way we pitched in and gave them a hand with the preparations before we headed back. This reminded me of the good old days when we used to always cook dinner together, it was so nice to be all cooking together again! As for what we made it was a bit of a mix – I helped Dad with the Chicken Liver Pate (who knew it was so easy), whilst Lau prepared the veg for the lamb course, baked bread and helped Mum with the crumbles – you can check out the finished products below. Don’t they look professional?

The recipe I wanted to share with you today though was the one for the pate as it was truly delicious and it’s something I always choose when out at a restaurant but had never considered making myself until that weekend. It really was easy to do – if you don’t mind touching squishy chicken livers or using an obscene amount of butter!

  • First off you’ll need:
  • 225g chicken livers
  • 225g butter (at room temp)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2tsps dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp powdered mace
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

and the recipe you should follow is…

  1. Melt 25g butter in a thick frying pan and fry the chicken livers over a medium heat for about 5 minutes (until cooked)
  2. Transfer to a blender, leaving the juices in the pan
  3. Add the brandy to the pan and pour all the juices into the blender
  4. Melt 150g of butter and add to blender along with the mustard, mace, thyme and garlic
  5. Add seasoning and blend until a smooth puree
  6. Pour everything into an earthenware dish about 425ml in capacity
  7. Melt the remaining butter (about 50g) and pour on top of the pate mixture
  8. Leave to get cold before covering with foil and popping in the fridge for at least 24 hours

See I told you it was easy! I’m so glad I’ve now tried it. I will most definitely be trying this again as it was honestly so delicious. Rumour has it that the dinner party guests were so full of this that the pudding had to be kept for another day – win!

– Fi x

Christmas planning and recipe love

Happy Sunday you lovely blog readers, how are you all today? I hope you’ve got a relaxing day planned today? As for me I’m currently embracing Christmas head on with a trip to the Spirit of Christmas, aren’t I lucky! A whole day spent looking at Christmas decorations and sampling festive food is my idea of heaven so as you can imagine I am about four-foot of the ground right now!

Anyway back to today’s post of joy, I thought I’d pop in to share some of our favourite things this month, it’s weird that at the moment all I seem to be ‘liking’ on Bloglovin’ is post after post related to food – it’s actually quite obscene. I’m not sure why now more than ever, maybe it’s something to do with the turn to autumn and wanting to eat everything to keep me alive during hibernation or maybe it’s just there’s just a plethora of amazing recipes out there right now! My current favourites are; this Cinder Toffee, this yummy looking squash and mushroom pasta and these squash and mushroom tarts (ye, clearly I’m obsessed with this flavour combination right now)! Then there are these apple almond muffins, these marshmallow cups, this peanut butter snickers pie with salted caramel and of course there had to be a brownie recipe in there – look at these hot chocolate ones. You’re salivating right?!

Now I haven’t got round to trying out any of those recipes yet, but give me time and I’m sure I will! But I have tried these amazing double chocolate biscuits and these super healthy oat and banana bites. Not only are they both amazingly delicious they are also both easy peasy to make – so you must give them a whirl. I have to say that Emma‘s triple chocolate cookies are the most american tasting cookies I’ve ever made and I’ve been striving for that perfect cookie for a while! Three cheers that I’ve managed to find a recipe eventually!

20131013-133637.jpg 20131013-133526.jpg

As is only logical being a BIG fan of Christmas I’ve started to think about what Christmassy delights I want to make this festive season. Here are my current top five – at the moment anyway – it’s bound to change soon! What is on your list?

Rudolph shortbread biscuits - decorated with melted chocolate and red dragées. From www.mojewypieki.com

reindeer cookies (source)

Christmas cupcake wreatha Christmas cupcake wreath (source)

DIY Gingerbread cookie garland.

a gingerbread cookie garland (source)

Melted Snowman Christmas Cookies #christmas #cookies #yum

melted snowmen cookies (source unknown)

20121211-220001.jpg

our reindeer cupcakes – they were so good after all!

One final thing to share with you in today’s post and that’s the wonderful chocolate moulds that exist over on Baked by me, they really are amazing! I basically want to buy them all, so make sure you’ve got some willpower when you head that way for a peruse on the site! I think my current favoruites are the parcels, the winter penguins and of course the owls; oh and then of course these buttons – so cute!  Finally anyone else what a chocolate pizza?

Fi xxx

October Foody Wonders

As another month draws to a close it’s time for the inevitable foody round up on this here bloggedy blog and let’s be honest it does seem to all be about the food recently, I think that’s due to the change of weather. After all all you want to do when it gets darker is snuggle up on the sofa with warming food and a hot chocolate, or is that just me?! So yes it’s fair to say that we’ve embraced that this month, particularly with the addition of Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates at Starbucks. Um can we just take a moment to ponder at the geniusness of this idea, someone knight that person ASAP. What a clever person!

20131013-133345.jpg

Anyway enough salivating let’s move on to the foodie delights that we experienced a couple of weeks ago in The Peak District as that was all kinds of awesome! We tucked in to Mum’s much lauded over homemade lasagne and of course exclaimed over the amazingly delicious proper Bakewell Tarts (we were in Bakewell after all so it would have been rude not too!). We also ate at a couple of delicious little spots whilst in the wonderful peaks; the first place that deserves praise is the picturesque Beehive pub which we stumbled upon after visiting the otters in Chapel-en-le-Frith. It was a lovely quaint pub with local beers and the most fabulous food. I had a platter which featured smelly stilton and the most delicious chicken liver pate I’ve ever experienced and Lau had a crunchy and creamy jacket potato piled high with prawn mayo – delicious! If you’re ever in that neck of the woods you simply HAVE to experience it. The other brilliant restaurant we experienced was a restaurant in Bakewell itself called The Pointing Dog and Duck. We had a three course meal, plus cocktails there on the Saturday night and the food was simply divine and incredibly good value too! I think the high points were the individual chicken, leek, mushroom and ham pie, the mojitos and the duck and potato hash which also included a deep fried egg. Simply a-maze-ing!

20131027-135341.jpg wpid-20131017_193652.jpg

20131027-135408.jpg

So enough of the Bakewell reminiscing for one post! We have also been busy bees in the old rhubarb and custard kitchen and we’ve made the following: Oat and Banana Bites, Triple Chocolate Cookies, Pinwheels, sausage casserole (yes again!), Welsh Cakes (my favourite), Chocolate Tea Loaf Cake, Marshmallow Brownies, Peanut Butter Brownies (oh no scratch that earlier comment, maybe this was my favourite!) and our third RSC challenge. Phew what a lot of things! And unsurprisingly most of them are sweet things, oh well what can I say we both have serious sweet tooths!

20131029-083238.jpg 20131029-083304.jpg 20131027-135529.jpg 20131027-135510.jpg 20131027-135315.jpg

This month I also FINALLY experienced the wondered of Five Guys (not once but twice) whoopee! And can I just say – it absolutely lived up to my expectations it was scrumpdidliumptious and I can’t wait to go again. Their fries are delicious and so moreish and the addition of mushrooms to the cheeseburger? Bloody genius even if I do say so myself! We also discovered the GBK app this month so have been making the most of the free bits and bobs with that.Oh and Lau’s been revisiting our travelling month with the L&P from GBK, as she basically existed off of that when we were travelling!  Plus we were lucky enough to eat out at Bill’s (yes I may also have gone here twice, oops), Wembley for burgers (twice here as well – the second time was for the American Football and unsurprisingly they had upped the size of everything for the visiting fans), Nando’s (it had been far too long!), The Rochester Coffee Company, Manor Farm Barn and Le Pain Quotidian for a lovely breakfast treat. Note to self we should most definitely have shared one basket rather than having one each. But hey it was all delicious so I don’t regret any of it!

20131027-135325.jpg wpid-IMG_20131016_202225.jpg  wpid-FB_IMG_13820962283458081.jpg

 

Oh and I forgot to mention we tucked into a lot of seasonal delights, first up were the Screme Eggs, perfect Halloween fodder and then there were some Mousse Snowman – they’re new so had to be tasted! Then Lau discovered the wonders of Oat so Simple porridge pots, perfect when you’re in a rush but don’t want to be tempted by a chocolate croissant at your desk. Have you tried any of the flavours yet? I think the Apple and Blueberry is my current favourite, although it is a tough call!

wpid-IMG_20131008_183350.jpg wpid-IMG_20131025_210726.jpg 20131027-135547.jpg

So there we have it a month of wondrous food, what lucky people we are and I wonder what delights we’ll receive in November. Personally I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the wonders of Christmas goodies. Can you really beat mince pies, gingerbread men, Starbucks Christmas drinks and sticky ginger cake? No I don’t think so either!

– Fi xxx