Tuesday, 30 April 2013

# 346 Caramel and chocolate flapjacks

The name alone makes my mouth water. These flapjacks look good, taste indulgent and are easy to make although just a little time consuming, but well worth it.

The recipe is from an old cut out from a free ASDA magazine but I've made a few changes, the recipe below is my version.

Caramel and chocolate flapjacks

225g caster sugar
225g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup + 1 tablespoon honey
350g porridge oats
100g roasted and salted cashew nuts or peanuts
1/2 tin of Nestlé Carnation Caramel
200g dark chocolate + 25g butter

Preheat the oven to 150 ºC. Grease and line a shallow cake tin (I used a brownies pan) with baking paper.

Put the caster sugar, butter, golden syrup and honey in a pan. Stir over a low heat until the butter melts.

Remove and stir in the oats and the cashew nuts. Put in the tin, smooth with a spoon and bake for 35 minutes. Cool in the tin.

Spread the caramel on top and chill for 1 hour.

Break the chocolate into squares in a heatproof bowl with 25g butter and stand over a pan of simmering water until melted. Stir and spread over the caramel. Chill until set then cut into squares and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.



Monday, 29 April 2013

# 345 Dyrham Park

I've blogged about Dyrham Park before. I think this is one of our favourite National Trust properties, the house is beautiful and  has lots to see, the garden is lovely, there's a huge deer park with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and it's only about half an hour away which means we can stay in bed a little later than usual, have a leisurely breakfast, prepare a picnic and get ready to leave without having to rush.

I've just uploaded a few more photos to my Flickr here, if you'd like to see them.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

# 344 Lemoney yoghurt cake

I made this cake the other day to use up some leftover natural yoghurt (I always buy the big pots) and also a lemon from which I'd used the zest for another recipe. The resulting cake was lovely and light, very lemoney and quite moist, the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

Lemoney yoghurt cake

1 cup natural yoghurt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

In a bowl mix the eggs, sugar, yoghurt, vegetable oil, salt and lemon juice until well combined.Add the flour and baking powder and mix again until well combined then pour into a tin greased and lined with baking paper.

Bake in a pre-heated oven to 180 ºC for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through. If the top starts to get brown before the cake is properly cooked, cover with baking paper or aluminium foil so it doesn't burn.



Wednesday, 24 April 2013

# 343 Knowing the place where you live

When I go for a walk I usually follow the path through the churchyard, past the church and the church tower.

Last Friday me and a friend were lucky to have been given a private guided tour of the church which dates back to the 13th century and it's beautiful, I loved the stained glass windows especially. I didn't take any photos then as I felt it would be rude to do so while our guide was talking but I'm planning on going back again to try and take some photographs.

The "cherry on the cake" though was an unexpected climb to the top of the church tower to see the view. And what a view it is, well worth the difficult climb and descent.

Berkeley seen from the top of the church tower.

There's more photos on my Flickr here if you'd like to see them.


Monday, 22 April 2013

# 342 Greek Cooking Blog Event: Orange Koulourakia

Rose from Ferns at the Balcony is hosting a Greek Cooking Blog Event until April 25th. There's still a few days left if you'd like to join this fun challenge, just check her blog for more information on how to do it.

I chose these lovely orange flavoured twisted biscuits known in Greece as Koulourakia. They couldn't be easier to make and so delicious you'll soon find yourself baking more.

As you can see from the photos I dipped a few in melted dark chocolate which my son loved but personally I prefer them plain. If you'd like to try these for yourself you'll find the recipe here.


Friday, 12 April 2013

# 341 Pineapple Cake

I love everything about this cake. I love the fact that it doesn't require a long list of ingredients, that it's so easy to make and that it's so moist and light.

The base recipe for the cake batter can be found in every packet of Stork. Hope you enjoy it.

Pineapple cake

175g caster sugar + a little extra
175g butter, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g plain flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
Pineapple pieces
3 to 4 pineapple syrup

First prepare the cake tin by greasing and lining it with baking paper. Grease the baking paper and cover the bottom with a thin and uniform layer of caster sugar.

Drain the pineapple pieces on some kitchen paper and then lay them out any way you want on the bottom of the tin.

Now prepare the cake mixture as follows.

Cream the butter and the sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs little by little while beating the mixture. Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and baking powder a little at a time and mix with a whisk until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a pre-heated oven to 170 ºC for 20-30 minutes.

Check to see if the cake is cooked through and remove from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin to a wire rack. Very carefully peel off the baking paper making sure the pineapple stays in place. While the cake is still warm drizzle some of the pineapple syrup over the top, 3 to 4 tablespoons of the syrup is enough.

Cool completely before carefully transfering it to a plate.



Wednesday, 10 April 2013

# 340 A book recommendation

This is not a book review as I don't know how to do those but I just wanted to recommend this book in case you want a quick read and need a good laugh too.

The book I'm talking about is this one here.

It reads very quickly and it's so funny you can't help but laugh out loud at some of the strangest things people actually say and do in this case in bookshops. Apparently there's a 2nd book coming out soon and I can't wait to read that one too.

Have you read it?


Monday, 8 April 2013

# 339 Chicken baked in beer and mushrooom soup

This dish is my own invention and because it worked so well I thought I'd share it with you. Hope you enjoy it. You can use beer with or without alcohol and I imagine onion soup would work as well as the mushroom soup I used.

Chicken baked in beer and mushroom soup

Chicken pieces
Plain flour
Olive oil for frying the chicken
1/2 can of beer
2 to 3 tablespoons mushroom soup powder
Pinch of salt

Pour some flour in a zip lock bag, drop each chicken piece into the bag and shake to make sure it's well covered in flour.

Fry the chicken pieces in a pan with a little olive oil until golden brown. You may need to do this in batches to make sure the chicken fries instead of stewing.

In a bowl mix the mushroom soup powder with the beer, season with a pinch of salt.

Place the fried chicken in an ovenproof dish, pour the beer and mushroom soup mixture on top and bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with white rice and/or chips and a salad.



Pssst - I don't know if you've noticed but I've added a link list of all my recipes published on this blog. I thought this would make it easier to look up any recipes you may want to try.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

# 338 March photo scavenger hunt

I did slightly better for this month's scavenger hunt but I'm still missing 3 photos. Most of the pictures below were taken especifically for this challenge instead of being, as usual, library photos. This challenge is hosted by Greenthumb on her blog Made With Love.

I have a few recipes for cakes and puddings that list semolina as one of the ingredients and as I've never tried it I bought a packet the other day to see what it's like. Have you tried it yet?

My son loves these, we bought him 5 for £1. Bargain!

I'm sure some of you will recognise this photo from a previous post. The people with the high visibility jackets were part of the removal team and made sure everything was OK.

The only thing I could come up with for 3, this is a measuring scale on the side of the stream near Berkeley Castle and it measures the water level.

Empty batteries from the WiiFit being recharged.

Stream near Berkeley Castle.

2 for 1 here, a gate open to a green field.

My favourite type of footwear: trainers .

Local bridge.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

# 337 Easter weekend

Long weekends always throw me off balance a little so this week has been a slightly strange one. Things should get back to normal on Monday with the 3 of us back to our usual routines although I'll miss having A. around during the day.

This is our 3rd year as National Trust members and as the weather was good (not raining or snowing) over the Easter wekend we decided to make the most of it by visiting some nearby NT properties.

On Sunday we went to Newark Park, a property we've been to before but not recently and were pleasantly surprised. A few more rooms are now open to the public and you can actually go in and have a look around, only one room remained roped off.

Next day we went to Lodge Park for the 1st time but it was so bitterly cold and so windy no one was staying for very long.

Still a lot of snow up in the Cotswolds.

We then decided to go and try Snowshill Manor.

If you've never been this really is worth a visit but make sure you get there as early as possible. Entry into the house is by timed ticket and the later you arrive the longer you'll have to wait. We got there at about 1pm and our tickets were timed for 2.45 in the end we had a walk around the gardens and then decided to skip the tour of the house and head home in search of some warmth and a hot tea.

You can see a few more photos of all these places on my Flickr account here if you lile.