Category Archives: Foodie Fridays

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I’ve been getting notifications that people are subscribing to Diary of a Domestic Goddess, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m no longer using this blog. Not using it at all. There won’t be any more posts here, so there’s no point in subscribing.

Instead, why not pop along to my NEW blog, where I AM posting. Pretty much daily. Honestly, it’s a great blog, you should go visit it. And maybe subscribe to THAT one instead. You can find it here:

Kincavel Korner

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How do you get fussy kids to eat vegetables?

… Bake them into muffins!

Yup, you heard me. Lovely, yummy muffins. With carrots and courgettes in them. Trust me on this, they’re lovely!

I used the recipe from the CBeebies show I Can Cook and can highly recommend them as both kid-friendly and appealing to grown-ups alike. On this occasion, I multiplied everything by four so I could get two dozen muffins in two batches for Xan’s birthday party. And I’ll admit I threw in a few extra big, fat, juicy raisins for good measure too.

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Tip-Top Marshmallow Hats!

After the Great Cake Pops Disaster, I decided something a lot more simple and easier to make was on the cards for the party (I’ll be making other things too, but we’ll get to those later).

To my mind, there’s nothing simpler to make than marshmallow hats. After all, they consist of only three ingredients – marshmallows, melted chocolate and Smarties. What could be simpler? I was certain I could make these for the party without messing it up!

I was still wary after screwing up the seemingly simple task of melting chocolate yesterday, so I resorted to a super-duper mega-high-tech method instead – I chopped up the bar of chocolate into really small pieces, and popped them into a small bowl, boiled the kettle, filled a large mug with boiling water, and sat the bowl of chocolate on top. Result! Perfectly smooth melted chocolate and no having to throw out four bars’ worth of mess – hurrah!

While the chocolate was melting, I cut a piece of greaseproof paper and lined the bottom of my roasting pan with it to cut on any more mess from chocolate drips. Then I simply dipped the marshmallows in the chocolate and topped each one with a Smartie.

Don’t they look lovely?

I am now wondering, however, why most of the Smarties were pink and purple with only one or two of each of the other colours? I wanted a whole rainbow of marshmallow hats, but they’re definitely dominated by the girlier shades. I’m sure I remember a more even spread of colours when I was a kid, and I particularly mourn the orange ones (there were only two!) as they were always my favourites.

Anyway, they are done. I’m just waiting for the chocolate to set so I can pop them all in an air-tight container till Sunday…

The Great Cake Pops Disaster

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I’m a busy Mum whose son turned three recently and is having a birthday party on Sunday and I enjoy baking.

You’d think this was a great mix, especially when I get inspired by lovely things I see online. Like cake pops. Little balls of cake on sticks, coated in chocolate and then decorated with all manner of things. Every time I see a blog post about these little morsels, they look so simple and everyone extolls how easy they are to make.

Stupidly, I took them at their word. And that’s how The Great Cake Pop Disaster came to pass.

Directions for making cake pops:

  1. Bake a cake. Just a plain Victoria sponge cake. Easy.
  2. Break up the cake into chunks while young son looks on with horrified expression on his face at the seemingly wanton destruction of perfectly good cake. So far, so good.
  3. Use my blender to break down the chunks of cake into crumbs while son screams, “No! My cake! My cake!”
  4. Open a large jar of Nutella. Oh, Nutella, you gorgeous jar of choco-nutty deliciousness, you!
  5. Add very generous dollop of Nutella to the cake crumbs and mix well till it all start sticking together nicely.
  6. Roll into chocolatey-cakey balls and try not to start singing Chef’s Song out loud in front of son who is too young to know about South Park.
  7. Poke little holes in chocolate balls (you’re still humming Chef’s Song, aren’t you?) with a lollipop stick and melt the chocolate.
  8. Dip the ends of the lollipop sticks in the melted chocolate and then stick them in the chocolate balls (yup, still humming that tune!) and pop them all in the fridge so the chocolate will anchor the sticks in place.
  9. Look on in dismay as a drop of water gets into the chocolate and ruins the whole lot of it – all four bars. Kick yourself as you dump the irredeemable mess in the bin.
  10. Melt another lot of chocolate – one bar at a time just to be sure you don’t waste four bars like last time – and dip your first cake pop in.
  11. Try not to swear as it breaks and falls off the stick into the chocolate.
  12. Try not to swear again as each and every one of the cake pops comes off its stick in the chocolate.
  13. Sacrifice your pastry brush in the hopes that brushing the chocolate on instead of dipping the cake pops in will make a difference.
  14. Fail in the trying-not-to-swear stakes as you realise you’ve ruined your pastry brush and the cake pops are STILL all coming off their sticks.
  15. Carry on painting the chocolate onto the cake pops and pulling out the sticks to drop them in the rainbow-hued sugar strands.
  16. Panic when you realise you’ve run out of sugar strands and still have half your cake pops to cover.
  17. Dig around in the baking cupboard and actually cheer when you find a bag of desiccated coconut and use that for the rest of them.
  18. Pop them all in the fridge to set and give the broken ones to hubby and child to polish off.
  19. Decide you’re never making cake pops again as they’re just too much hassle.
  20. Finally clean up the mess that is covering the entire kitchen.

I really hope the kids at the party appreciate the damned things.

We’ve decided to call them truffles.

Foodie Fridays

Foodie Fridays is a weekly meme hosted by Diary of a Domestic Goddess.

The aim is to share a recipe or a favourite food each week so that everyone else can try it.

If you take part, please leave a link in the comments!

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Last week I was far too busy for any blogging at all, so to make up for it, I thought I’d give you all another of my favourite soup recipes. Seeing as how the weather here has been as far from the expected for summer as possible, soup seems to be particularly appropriate to warm us all up again while the rain pours down outside! This recipe will serve four people as a starter, or will do two or three very generous servings as a meal in itself. It’s a delicious, silky-smooth soup with a hint of sweetness and spice that will delight your taste buds and even kids who won’t eat their veg will enjoy it. It’s also really cheap to make, especially if you generally have squash and sweet potato in your kitchen – you don’t have to buy in anything special for this one!

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • small drop / spray of oil
  • 1 pt water
  • 1 stock cube
  • Salt and pepper to season to taste

Directions:

  1. Finely slice the shallots and mince the garlic, then lightly saute in a little oil in a large pan.
  2. Peel, de-seed and roughly dice the butternut squash
  3. Peel and roughly dice the sweet potato.
  4. Add butternut squash and sweet potato to the pan with the balsamic vinegar, ground mixed spice, stock cube and water.
  5. Simmer till vegetables are tender, then use a hand blender or food processor till soup is smooth, adding more water if required to reach desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with crusty bread and / or croutons.

Notes:

  • For added depth of flavour, roast the butternut squash, shallots and garlic (it takes longer, but you can now skip the sauteing)
  • For added indulgence, serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
  • I tend to use a ham stockcube as I love that added depth of flavour, but it tastes just as good with a chicken or vegetable one.
  • If preferred, you can leave out the balsamic vinegar – I just happen to love the stuff and always have it in my kitchen!
  • For an extra kick, try adding a dash of Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce.

Foodie Fridays

Foodie Fridays is a weekly meme hosted by Diary of a Domestic Goddess.

The aim is to share a recipe or a favourite food each week so that everyone else can try it.

If you take part, please leave a link in the comments!

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At the weekend, we discovered that my sister had squillions of blackcurrants ready to pick in her garden. Since she doesn’t like blackcurrants and I’m no fan of eating them as a fruit, something had to be done. There was NO way we were leaving them all to rot on the bush or get picked over by the birds, so I came to the conclusion that I had to learn to make jam. Immediately.

So we picked 6 lbs of blackcurrants and then figured we could, in good conscience, leave the rest to wildlife as there was just no way on the planet we could pick them all (we were literally just reaching into the bushes and stripping off handfuls of berries, some almost the size of grapes!).

During my quick research, I discovered that blackcurrants are naturally high in pectin, so I wouldn’t need to add any. All I needed was the fruit, sugar and water – I was assured that I could not possibly fail with blackcurrants as it ALWAYS sets. This made me feel a whole lot more confident, as I’ve never made jam, and I hadn’t seen anyone make it since I was a very small child!

I knew I had to make the jam in several batches, as none of my pans were big enough to deal with all 6 lbs of berries, plus the water, plus the sugar that was required. Just as well, really, or I might have risked ruining the entire lot!

The first simple recipe I found called for 2 lbs of blackcurrants, 3 lbs of sugar and 1.5 pints of water. I found this recipe rather too sweet for my tastes and the jam set extremely thick, so I decided to tweak it a little. The second batch had 2 lbs of fruit, 2 lbs of sugar, 1.5 pints of water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. This tasted way better. The third batch was made with 2tbsp of lemon juice, but I found this made no significant difference to it (although I have a marginal preference for the second batch, the recipe for which is below).

Kell’s Simplest Possible Blackcurrant Jam
Ingredients:
(makes 4 x 1lb jars jam)

  • 2 lbs blackcurrants
  • 2 lbs white granulated sugar
  • 1.5 pints water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Simmer the blackcurrants in the water for around 45 minutes till the fruit is soft.
  2. Add lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes and test to see if it will set (drop a little on a refrigerated plate – if it wrinkles when you push it around, then it’s ready!)
  4. Pour into still-hot sterilised jars (boil jars and lids for 10 minutes) and seal immediately if using screw tops, or top with wax paper disks and let it cool before sealing with cellophane toppers.

The jam should be kept in a cool, dry place (and refrigerated after opening) and should b good for 6-12 months.

I plan to go back to my sister’s house to pick all her blackberries for jam when they’re ripe, and a colleague of my hubby knows where there are cherry plums almost ready for picking. I can see my jam-making continuing for many years to come!

Oh, and I’ll be getting hold of a jam funnel ASAP, as I made a bit of a mess trying to pour the jam int othe jars!

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Foodie Fridays

Foodie Fridays is a weekly meme hosted by Diary of a Domestic Goddess.

The aim is to share a recipe or a favourite food each week so that everyone else can try it.

If you take part, please leave a link in the comments!

—————————————————————–

I’m rather late today with my Foodie Friday post because, well because I was out having a picnic. No, the weather wasn’t glorious (come on, this is mid-July in Scotland – LOL!), but it wasn’t raining ,so we decided to go anyway.

So I thought I’d use picnics for my Foodie Friday focus this week!

The fact is, I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches, especially when they’ve gone limp and getting squashed whilst being lugged around en route to a picnic site. So I work around it – I rarely make sandwiches at all for eating al-fresco! Occasionally I’ll stuff some mini pittas or make some wraps, but more often than not, sarnies ain’t on the menu when I’m eating outdoors.

Instead, I favour finger foods. There are countless traditional staples such as sausage rolls and Scotch eggs, but I prefer to be a little more exotic. And because the weather isn’t always as warm as it could be in the summer, I don’t always just pack cold food!

In fact, today, I took spiced pumpkin parcels, feta and spinach borek, and spicy chicken empanadas. And they were all warm.

The trick is to cook them at the very last moment, so they’ll be ready just as you’re about to set off. Then you just wrap them in tin foil and pop them into a thermal bag (the same kind as you use to keep your food cool on hot days, only you don’t bother putting in the freezer packs). You should now have at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to your picnic site and set up. Your food will be at an edible temperature  – it won’t burn your fingers but it won’t be cold either.

So next time you’re having a picnic, try mixing things up a little by adding some hot food to your repertoire. It makes a nice change, and if the weather’s not hot, at least your tummy will have something warm inside it to boost your temperature!