photo m

Pages

28 Feb 2012

Laura Ashley - Pocket Friendly Afternoon Tea



gifs make


I'm guest posting over at the wonderful Laura Ashley today. Go have a spy and see why Afternoon Tea doesn't have to break the bank!

26 Feb 2012

Chipotle Chicken Soft Tacos

Hi, my name is Katie and I'm a Mexican food addict!  I'm not ashamed to admit it, I think Mexican food is the bees knees!  Upon hearing this confession you'd probably expect me to tell you I whip up huge feasts of burritos, enchiladas and crème caramel all washed down with a margarita or two, frequently.  Well, I'm sorry to say it's just not true!  I never really had the time to throw myself into the mouth watering, slow cooked dishes I've come to love.  Often recipes instruct you to pop a shoulder of pork in the oven and leave it there for 8 hours.  Well, I don't know about you but I'm a bit of an ants in the pants Annie!  Tell me I have to stay put and watch pork roast for 8 hours and I'll want nothing more than to run through the fields chasing butterflies.  Screw the pig, I want to frolic!  How did I rectify this conundrum I hear you ask?  Easy, I bought a slow cooker!


Best investment ever!  I really can't recommend these little contraptions enough.  I always thought slow cookers were for mams and stews, I was so wrong.  Plus, if you get a slow cooker, you can make this totally kick ass chipotle chicken.  I'd do it if I were you!




Chipotle Pulled Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
1 large onion, diced finely
2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce chopped (get these in a can from bigger supermarkets or if you're from Newcastle, Mmmm.. stock a fab range of Mexican ingredients)
1tbsp honey
2tbsp dark brown sugar
1tbsp smoked paprika
1tbsp sweet paprika
1tbsp chilli flakes
50ml white wine vinegar
2tbsp tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes with chillies
2tbsp worcestershire sauce
1tsp salt

Method:
Add all the ingredients, apart from the chicken, into your slow cooker.  Stir until smooth.  Add the chicken and stir again to cover.  Place lid onto your slow cooker, turn to low and cook for 8 hours.  

After 8 hours remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat with two forks.  Add shredded meat to the sauce, stir until coated and serve with homemade guacamole, soft tacos and crumbled feta cheese!

This recipe is so versatile, you could use it to make enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas or even just slapped in a floury bread bun.  You won't be sorry!



20 Feb 2012

Turkish Delight Vodka

Remember this...


Wanna know how I turned this innocent bottle of vodka into something special, like this?


It's so simple, a child could do it.  A child probably shouldn't, but you get the drift!

So, you have turkish delight and you have vodka.  Why not put them together and make something so deliciously naughty with next to no effort?!  All you do is wash the sugar from 100g pink turkish delight chunks and pop the little blighters into your voddy!  Dissolve 1tbsp caster sugar in 2tbsp rose water and add that too.  Pop the lid on, nice and tight, give the bottle a bit of a shake and find it a home in a little dark cubby hole.  Shake the bottle once every few days until the turkish delight has dissolved and strain the rosey vodka through a sieve lined with muslin.  Decant into a pretty bottle and there you have it!

No need to buy flavoured vodka ever again.  Fancy something fruity, pop some berries in there.  Something sweet, how about a crushed up Dime bar?  How about bubblegum?!  The possibilities are endless.  Just don't drink it all at once.....

18 Feb 2012

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

Last year, for my Birthday, I received five bottles of gin.  Yes, that's right, five! One bottle of Hendricks, two bottles of Tanqueray 10, one bottle of Gordons and one bottle of pink gin.  That's a whole lot of G&T's, in fact, it's enough to keep a girl in G&T for almost a whole year.  With my Birthday fast approaching I'm down to my last bottle of Tanqueray and readying my cocktail cabinet for this years onslaught.  So, you should know by now, I'm just like every other cliched blogger in the world, I'm a G&T kinda gal.  With ice and a slice, of course.  I came to gin early in my life, at the ripe old age of 18.  My local student club night, Get Ya Skates On, served a double G&T for £1.50.  My poor student bank balance enjoyed this deal and thus, a lifetime relationship was born.  Here's to ten more years.


I can't actually believe it has taken me this long to include my favorite tipple in a cupcake recipe.  Maybe I thought it too sacred or maybe I didn't want to waste good gin on what could turn out to be a rancid failure, I don't know, but five bottles of the stuff means I can afford to be a little dangerous.    I used the premise of my Margarita cupcakes to create this recipe, they turned out amazingly so surely it should work with gin.  It does!


Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour
25g plain flour
2 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla
3 tbsp tonic water
2tbsp gin
zest of 1 lime

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180C - 160C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
In a large bowl sift together the flours and baking powder. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and mix until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Add the flour mixture in one go ensuring all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Stir in tonic water.

Fill the cupcake liners to 2/3 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Pierce the top of each cupcake five times and using half of the gin, brush over each cake. Leave to cool.


For the frosting mix the butter and icing sugar together until pale and creamy.  Add the remaining gin to the frosting and mix to combine.  Pipe a generous swirl upon each cake, grate over some lime zest and top with a marshmallow ice cube and a wedge of lime.

14 Feb 2012

Margarita Cupcakes

When it comes to eating out we're faced with quite a choice of cuisines.  We have Itallian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and even Mongolian but for me there's only one choice, Mexican!  I adore Mexican food, give me a taco over a pizza any day of the week.  One of the big attractions to Mexican food has to be the cocktails, more specifically an ice cold Margarita.  To me, there is nothing better than a frozen Margarita on a hot day, actually there is, five frozen Margaritas on a hot day ;)


When I received an order through Pet Lamb for some cocktail themed cupcakes for a hen party I just knew it had to be Margarita!  Tequila, lime and cupcakes, you just know that's gonna be a good night!  Sadly I didn't have any Tequila handy (I may or may not have killed my last bottle at Christmas, oops) so I grabbed a bottle of ready made Margarita mix, poured myself a glass and set about making some boozey cake.


The sponge is really quite subtle, I used a vanilla base brushed with tequila but boy does the frosting have an amazing kick.  Laced with tequila, lime juice and zest you could just eat it with a spoon.

Margarita Cupcakes

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour
25g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla
3tbsp milk
4tbsp tequila
juice of 2 limes

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180C - 160C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
In a large bowl sift together the flours and baking powder. Set aside. Mix tequila and lime juice in a small cup and place in the fridge for later.

Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and mix until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Add the flour mixture in one go ensuring all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Stir in milk.

Fill the cupcake liners to 2/3 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Pierce the top of each cupcake five times and brush your tequila and lime over each cake. Leave to cool.

For the frosting mix the butter and icing sugar together until pale and creamy.  Add the remaining tequila and lime to the frosting and mix to combine.  Pipe a generous swirl upon each cake, grate over some lime zest and top with a wedge of lime.

13 Feb 2012

A Recipe For Love

With Valentines Day fast approaching I've found myself in a bit of a tizzy.  So much to do with so little time to do it, running two businesses while trying to maintain a blog and a social life can be quite the task sometimes.  When I was contacted by the lovely Ben from Blend about creating a recipe to celebrate the upcoming release of Katie Fforde's new book A Recipe for Love my first reaction was Eeeeek!!  Valentines is in three days and I've got to find time to bake up something sumptuous!  Then I got to thinking, so many of us run such hectic lives; wouldn't it be great to be able to bake something delicious in no time at all?  So I did, and it was fabulous!  Not only does it look like something you could pick up in your local French Patisserie but it's so super simple to make, anyone could do it.


I already had a batch of sweet pastry chilling in the fridge from a past endeavour but if you don't feel like making your own you can always use store bought, just makes things that much quicker.


Chocolate Raspberry Tart


Ingredients:

375g ready rolled desert pastry

250g raspberries

1tbsp caster sugar

200g good quality dark chocolate
250ml double cream

50g butter

30g liquid glucose



Method:

Pre heat your oven to 170C and find a fluted 20cm tart tin.


Unroll your pastry and use to line your tin and trim any ragged edges.  Place a circle of baking paper over your pastry and fill with baking beans.  Any old dried beans will do if you don't have baking beans.  Place tart in the oven for 20 minutes then remove the paper and beans and allow to bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool completely.  


Pick out a few of the best looking raspberries and set aside, you'll use these for decoration.  Mash the remaining raspberries with the sugar and spread over the base of your cooled tart.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan bring the double cream to the boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and add your chocolate.  Stir to melt slightly then add the butter, piece at a time stirring constantly till melted and smooth.  Squirt in the liquid glucose and mix till combined.  Pour your ganache over the raspberries making sure you don't over fill the tart.  Any left over chocolate can be chilled and used to make chocolate truffles!



Allow the tart to cool and set in the fridge.  Serve at room temperature piled high with raspberries and dusted with cocoa!

9 Feb 2012

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have to admit, I have baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my time, and I mean a lot, but I've never found one that has made me stop and smile.  My idea of the perfect cookie is a big fat morsel, a crispy shell hiding a warm gooey centre, I'm talking barely warmed through.  Everything I tried were just too thin, too crispy or too greasy, not what I would ever call a decent chocolate chip cookie, or even a decent Frisbee for that matter.  That was until I discovered the queen of the kitchen, Nigella Lawson, had created a recipe which is portioned out using a quarter cup measure.  Now that's my kind of cookie!


This was everything I've been waiting for!  I am now a mere twenty minutes away from my perfect cookie, or even ten if you follow my lead and freeze half of your dough!  Just roll up that delicious cookie dough into a sausage, wrap in paper and freeze.  Just knowing I've got a little stash of these beauties just waiting to be baked is so comforting, and perfect for any unexpected guests who just happen to drop by.



Nigellas Chocolate Chip Cookies
(From Nigella Kitchen)

Ingredients:
150g soft unsalted butter
125g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg, fridge-cold
1 egg yolk, fridge-cold
300g flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 x 326g packet of milk chocolate morsels or choc chips

Method:
Preheat the oven to 170C.  Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Melt the butter and let it cool a bit.  Put the brown and white sugars into a bowl, pour the slightly cooled, melted butter over them and beat together.  Beat in the vanilla, the cold egg and cold egg yolk until your mixture is light and creamy.  Slowly mix in the flour and the bicarb. until just blended, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the cookie dough into an American quarter-cup measure or a 60ml round ice-cream scoop and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, plopping the cookies down about 8cm apart.  You will need to make these 2 batches, keeping the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge between batches.

Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks.

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg