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Brownies May 16, 2011

Posted by Val in Baked goodies.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Now I started these brownies with every intention of making them as Nigella does..but yeah…methinks my skills have kinda rusted because I haven’t baked since January…

Atmosphere:

  • Pour yourself a glass of your favourite drink (wine..so mellow)
  • Put some good music on (Was dancing to some Groove Armada- Song for Mutya as I beat the eggs)

Moving on..let’s get baking shall we?

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter
  • 225g chocolate
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • 150g of almonds and 100g of walnuts (I didn’t have these to hand so didn’t use them)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.

  • Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.

Melted the butter and chocolate. Excuse the lumpy texture

Took the chocolate and butter out of the hot water and let it cool on the counter.

  • Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one.

  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squidgybellied squares.

Ok so instead of making said 16 squares I went and cut some gigantic 8 squares #notgreedy.

Note to the reader:

  • At some point (30 min later) I looked at the above recipe, looked at my mix, and saw it wasn’t setting and decided to add 225g of flour…didn’t have self-raising or any baking powder in the kitchen..but I figured since they were brownies, they didn’t need to rise.
  • Nigella makes cooking look so very sexy..and so effortless (how does she do that?)

Anyhu it worked out…the brownies kinda have a cake(y) texture but they are delish. They provided that chocolate buzz I was after and were kinda sticky..

Now we just need to practice some more..

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Cinammon French Toast May 27, 2009

Posted by Val in Breakfast.
Tags:
3 comments

Woke up to find the boiler not working! Yes again! Frustration doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.

Anyhu…moving on, spent last night watching food programs (yes insomnia is cruel..but watching someone cook some yummy food is even worse..sigh). So I saw a recipe for Banana French Toast..which made me seriously drool and promised myself to make some in the morning. But errm, I kinda forgot I don’t have any bananas, so ordinary French Toast would have to do..jazzed up with a bit of cinnamon.

Ingredients: (Serves one)

  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk
  • drop of vanilla essence
  • cinnamon
  • bread (I used whole meal bread)
  • Pinch of sugar

French Toast

To make:

  • Beat the egg together with the other ingredients.
  • Place bread on a plate.
  • Pour the egg mix all over the bread and wait for the bread to absorb the liquid, turning it frequently.
  • Pour a little oil (I used sunflower, but I’ve seen people make this with butter or margarine or whatever oil rocks your boat) on a pan and fry the soaked bread at low heat.
  • Plate up, drizzle some honey if you wish…and enjoy!

Toast

Had my toast with Ketepa tea…sigh! Comfort breakfast indeed.

Playlist:

  • Caught up- Musiq ft Aaries
  • Rightness- Jill Scott
  • I got you babe- UB40
  • Can’t take my eyes off you- Lauryn Hill

Smoothie to beat the Monday blues April 27, 2009

Posted by Val in Smoothie.
6 comments

Cold grey weather, rain and hailstones…yuck! So here’s a bright and sunny smoothie. (Ok it is bright and sunny to me)

orangepeargrapeapricot-yogurt2

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

  • 1 orange
  • 1 pear
  • small handful of grapes
  • 1 small tub of apricot yoghurt ( I thought that using apricots and natural yoghurt would be yummy..hmm shall try sometime)

Playlist:

Boyfriend No. 2 (remix)- Pleasure P. ft Ludacris

Roasted chicken breast with pancetta, leeks and thyme April 25, 2009

Posted by Val in Chicken.
5 comments

I got this recipe from Jamie’s site (I adore this man why lie).  Earlier this week I was watching “Come Dine with Me” and one of the participants prepared a pasta dish with pancetta and it looked so yummy! So I decided to make a pancetta dish this weekend. This chicken recipe is simple, and you can substitute a lot of things and add on whatever spices and vegetables you fancy.

Here’s the actual recipe:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  • Put 1 chicken breast, skin removed, in a bowl.
  • Trim and wash a large leek, remove the outer leaves, then slice it into 0.5cm/¼ inch pieces. Add these to the bowl with the leaves of a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a good glug of olive oil, small knob of butter, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a small swig of white wine and toss together.
  • Place your leek and flavourings from the bowl into the tray, then wrap the chicken breast in 6 or 7 slices of pancetta. This will not only flavour the chicken but also protect it while it cooks.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, place a couple of whole thyme sprigs on top and cook in the middle of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.

image0142

Mixing the cut up vegetables, sprinkling on some black pepper, salt and olive oil.

image0143

Chicken wrapped up in the pancetta and placed on top of the vegetables. I poured the marinade ontop and drizzled a little olive oil, black pepper and thyme.

image0144

Yummy! The chicken, baked veg and salad.

Val’s twist:

  • I marinaded the chicken before-hand with a mix of garlic, ginger, juices of lemon and lime, lemon zest, sweet thai chilli, soy sauce, black pepper and rosemary. It smelled quite nice. ( I rarely cook chicken without squeezing at least a lemon on it..the smell of raw meat does NOT appeal to me in the least!)
  • I added some carrots, mushrooms, chives and coriander to the leek mixture. (Truth be told, I needed to use up these vegetables ama I’d totally forget about them and they’d end up getting spoilt).
  • When cooking I omitted the butter. (It def makes it taste divine..but this is me who is trying to avoid the extra calories..
  • You can substitute the pancetta for normal bacon, ham, whatever you like…
  • Had a simple green salad on the side (cucumber, tomatoes and salad leaves)

Playlist:

  • My old piano- Diana Ross
  • Last night a DJ saved my life- Indeep