Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Fruit Smoothies Ideas

One of my favourite things to drink is fruit smoothies. I totally love them and could drink smoothies all day long. I put anything and everything into my smoothies depending on what is in the kitchen! I like to be creative and explore which fruits complement each other and the different colours they create.

Last night I threw a chopped pear, 2 clementines and the juice of one lemon, some pineapple slices and a banana into the blender and whizzed them all together for about a minute. The colour of the juice was a lovely deep yellow like golden sand on a paradise island. It tasted amazing as the lemon juice gave it an extra kick!

Try being adventurous with your smoothie making by adding all kinds of different fruits such as watermelon, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries-whatever you like. Also try adding honey, seeds, yogurt, milk and even oats. All you need is a blender and your imagination!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Mars Krispy Cakes

I decided to treat my family to some baking over the weekend so I made some really easy Mars bar Krispie cakes. My nan used to make these all the time when I was little and when she died I was given all her cook books. I found this recipe in one of them.

All you need is:
3 Mars bars
3oz Margarine
4oz Rice Krispies

Simply over a low heat melt the margarine and add the chopped up Mars bars. Heat until all the mars bars are melted and then stir in the Rice Krispies until they are all covered in chocolate.

Empty into a tray and leave it in the fridge to set. Slice into squares. Eat!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Victoria Sponge Cake

Rather than buy your friend a boring birthday present why not do something extra special and bake them a cake? This one is really easy to do! I made it for my friend at the weekend and it tasted delicious! You can decorate it with lots of ribbons, sweets or chocolate or however you like really.

You will need:

250g (8oz) butter or margarine
250g (8oz) caster sugar
4 eggs
250g Self Raising Flour
2 tablespoons of hot water

For the filling
3 tablespoons of jam

75g (3oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) icing sugar
Vanilla Essence

Line and grease two 7inch cake tins and heat up your oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Mix together butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of floor with the second and last egg to stop the mixture from curdling. Fold in the rest of the floor and then add the hot water.

Split the mixture between the two tins (to get it exact weigh the two tins on the scales and adjust the mixture as necessary!) and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it looks golden in colour and a lovely cake smell is filling your kitchen. Never open the oven door within the first 10 mins of baking a cake as it can prevent the cake from rising properly.

Remove the cakes from the oven and empty onto a wire rack and leave to cool. To make the buttercream simply put the butter into a bowl and beat until it looks creamy, sift in the icing sugar gradually and the vanilla essence and keep beating until its all mixed together.

Then take one cake and spoon on the buttercream. Then spoon on the jam (I used strawberry jam for mine). Gently place the other cake on top and sprinkle on some icing sugar. I iced my cake and covered the edges with smarties but whatever you like!

Don't forget to lick the bowl! Yum!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


So I arrived home last night after a long day at work and decided to bake some flapjack. My mum always used to bake flapjack when I was little and I have grown up loving it. I love the texture of all the oats with the sweetness of the honey and the beautiful golden colour that shines out from the baking tin. Heaven! Flapjack may contain sugar and butter making it a slightly naughty treat but all those oats provide an excellent source of carbohydrate plus they contain protein, iron and zinc. So there’s no excuse not to get in that kitchen and get baking.

Here’s what you will need:

-100g butter
-100g sugar
-5 tbs honey
-375g porridge oats
-75g raisins
-2 eggs

It’s so simple to make. First grease your baking tray with extra butter or margarine and heat up your oven to 180C (350F) gas mark 4.

Melt the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan until it looks a lovely creamy texture. Take off the heat and add the porridge oats and raisins, stir well, and then leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before lightly beating in those eggs.

Pour into the tin and even out. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until it’s a lovely soft golden colour. Leave it to cool, slice into squares and eat.

If you really want to spice things up a bit try adding chopped cherries, grated orange or lemon peel or even grated coconut. And if you really want your flapjack dressed to impress then melt some dark chocolate and dip in the top of the flapjack or drizzle the melted chocolate from a spoon over it. Delicious!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Extra, Extra, Read all about me...

I love cooking. I love baking cakes and fresh bread. I love home made hot chocolate by the fire on a cold blustery night. I love fruit smothies on a fresh summer’s morning. I adore roast dinners. I love munching on green salad’s and crunchy vegetables especially raw carrots and peas. I like baking biscuits and muffins and cookies. I love any thing with chocolate. I adore home made soup after a hard days work. I hate olives. I like coffee. I like tea even better (being a true English girl!). I love wine and gin with slices of lemon and lime. I hate beer. I love pasta especially spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce and lots of it. I like spice. I like international food. I love toffee apples and mince pies. I'm not keen on brussel sprouts. I do like fish and I love prawns. I like all sweets, colourful ones, fizzy ones, chewy ones, toffee ones, ones that fizzle, sour ones, chocolate ones, liquorice ones, mmmm…..

So as you can tell I love food and I love cooking. I thought I would start this blog and share with the world my love of cooking, baking and eating. Everyday I am going to write about the recipes I’ve tried and how they have worked out, I may even post up photos of the food I have cooked, if you’re lucky! I am definitely not the best cook in the world (you should see some of my cooking disasters like the day I once made a cake with salt instead of sugar because the jars were labelled wrong!). Every week I am going to make a variety of different foods from cakes to cookies, soups to smoothies, pasta dishes to rice dishes.... I will write daily about my cooking experiences, memories of growing up with food and share my travelling tales of all the wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful foods around the world that I’ve been lucky enough to try. So after me everyone, “I am Nigella Lawson”, “I am Nigella Lawson”, “I am Nigella Lawson….”