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3 June 2014

My own recipe

for my final assessment on cooking, i decided to make something fair trade. i decided on making an energy bar, inspired by the health bars called "nakd". All my family love them and always have them after something tiring or when they need an energy boost, my mum has them with a nice cuppa tea! i thought i'd share the recipe and wondered if you could all try making them and give me feedback on how i could improve! its uses lots of fairtrade ingredients, if you are all for that!! Ingredients: 500g of dried fruit- (i have made several combinations but the best so far has been dried apple, mango, figs and dates!) 1 big banana or 2 small ones 200g oats 1) Preheat the oven at 170 fan oven. 2) Blitz all the dried fruit and oats together until smooth. 3) Add the banana and mix in with oat and fruit mixture. 4) Now, you may want to bake for 10-15 mins and then cut into slices. but i like to mould the mixture with fun shapes in cookie cutters and then bake until firm but not to crunchy, a bit like a frusili, if you have ever heard or had them! These bars are brilliant because they are easy, fun, energising, tasty and great for the chance to use local fruits, nuts and seeds! ENNNJOOOYY! please try them and leave comments! what flavours did you try?! :) my other flavours have been currants, sultanas, cranberries, almonds, walnuts and whole pumpkin seeds. I did do another, but i have forgotten! very sorry! I'm thinking of doing a bakewell style bar with cherries, ground almonds and almond essence and fresh, pressed raspberries, instead of banana!
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18 May 2014

baking from scratch

Our household was deprived of cake and we all needed some quick! so i had a flick through the recipe book of great british bake off winner; Jo Wheatley and found a wonderful recipe of lime and coconut cake. its is squidgy, squadgy, stodgy and full of rich yummy goodness of fresh lime lime juice and zest and made from duck eggs from my ducks! you may nor be able to see in the photo, but the duck eggs make our cakes a very bright, rich yellow and make the cake go more delicious and stodgy. Some people prefer a light and fluffy cake, but i think that a bit of stodge brings out the flavour, and adds texture. It might just be the influence from my family, but we all do like a squidgy cake!!!
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10 May 2014

The challenge of leftovers - bread and tomato soup?

A recent e-mail from Foodcycle, a National campaign to limit food waste, has requested recipes for a cookbook to be sold to raise money for charity (image 1). Below is my contribution that I discovered recently as a means of using leftover hard cheese rind (always seems such a waste!), although this isn't strictly vegetarian as requested I tweaked it a little and left the cheese as optional. Bread and tomato soup: From the Tuscany area of Italy this is a great recipe for using up a few leftovers such as old stale loaf bread, fresh or tinned tomatoes, cut herbs, and even hard cheese rind. Though it is an hour cooking time you can walk away from the pot for large chunks of time while the smell fills your kitchen! Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Serves: 4 Ingredients: 400 g of ripe tomatoes (peeled, de-seeded, and coarsely chopped; or roughly 1 tin of tomatoes) 1 celery stick (chopped; or substitute with 1 small white onion, chopped) 1 garlic clove (chopped) 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper 2 slices of stale bread (cut into small cubes including the crusts; although not sliced white packaged bread!) A handful of basil leaves, or alternatively flat leaf parsley or coriander (torn, at end of cooking) Recipe: Add the tomatoes, celery stick, garlic, olive oil and 1.2 liters of water to a pan with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with no lid for around 30 minutes (adding leftover hard cheese rind here if using), then add the bread and simmer over an even lower heat for 30 more minutes with no lid. Note that at this point you essentially have a tomato soup you could just go ahead and eat, but it's also a useful way to use up bread. Taste and season to your liking then serve in warmed soup bowls topped with the punchy herbs, tear these by hand at the last moment so that the oils aren't lost on the knife blade. Notes: To easily peel whole tomatoes gently score a knife across the bottom and top in a criss-cross fashion and place in boiling water for 20 seconds, wait for them to cool then peel away the skin. You can add leftover hard cheese rind at the simmering stage to add flavour (e.g. parmesan or pecorino, buy vegetarian or only use rennet-based cheese for non-vegetarians).

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