Toad-in-the-Hole is such a childhood classic – but I didn’t ever have it has a child! I make it now as a quick Sunday Lunch or family dinner for us now so it’s part of my kids childhood. While we used to have a big […]
If you are looking for an Easter gift which doesn’t come with loads of packaging – a total bugbear of mine – and is cheaper than your average egg while being just as beautiful, then this Easy Make Easter Egg Bark is the seasonal make for you.
It’s so simple to make children can do it themselves as a lovely gift for teachers or grandparents. The swirling is the bit which makes it look so fancy-pants and yet all you need is a cocktail stick or kebab stick to draw the colours together. Feel free to go as crazy as you like with the sprinkles and toppings!
Easy Make Easter Egg Bark
- 200g white chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- 100g milk chocolate
- sprinkles and Mini Eggs
- 2 food colourings, pink, purple, green and blue all work especially well
- you will need a wooden kebab stick or a cocktail stick too
- Step 1 Line a brownie tin (30cm x 20cm approx) with greaseproof paper or a silicone liner, I prefer the reusable liner, ready for the chocolate.
- Step 2 Melt the dark and milk chocolates in separate bowls then divide the white chocolate into three small bowls and melt. I prefer to melt my chocolate in the microwave (1min on full then stir and repeat as needed for 20seconds at a time).
- Step 3 When all the chocolates are melted add a little food colouring to two of the bowls of white chocolate. All colouring is different so you will have to mix to get your preferred colour but I would use the tip of a teaspoon to add a tiny bit at a time, mixing well as you go. You only want a little so the colour is a pastel shade.
- Step 4 With all colours ready simply blob them into the prepared tin.
- Step 5 When they are all used up, keeping the tin flat, give it a horizontal shake so that the blobs level out and there are no spaces.
- Step 6 Now the fun bit! Using your wooden stick drag it in swirly motions through the coloured chocolates. This makes the pretty design. When you are happy with it add the mini eggs and sprinkles all over.
- Step 7 Leave to go cold or chill in the fridge. When it is set, remove from the liner/paper and break into pieces before placing into presentation bags.
Everyone has ‘their’ soup. The one which makes them feel like they are supping a great big cuddle, to lift their spirits when they are ill, which makes a quick lunch that more poignant. For me it’s a classic Cream of Tomato Soup. It was the only soup I ate as a child (or was actually given!) and when I was stick would drink it hot with slices of cheddar cheese melting pleasingly on top.
But in these sugar conscious times a tin of soup is not quite the innocent treat it once looked! So, wanting to give my kids the soup of my childhood, I decided it was time to make my own version. Which is how this vitamin packed Easy Healthy Cream of Tomato Soup came into being.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is something which usually ends up in the bin – and as a waste-phobe I love it’s used. The green stalk and the ends which connect to the tomato from the vine are all used and give the soup a vibrant, fresh taste.
It has a real depth of flavour and if you don’t like your soup with a creamy edge then just leave out the crème fraiche. It’s great to freeze ahead for a quick lunch or dinner, just as easy as opening a can of soup.
Healthy Cream of Tomato Soup
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 2 trimmed sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 6 large on vine tomatoes, roughly chopped and with the green bits
- 1 tin of tomatoes in juice (do not drain)
- a handful of washed basil leaves
- 1.5l vegetable stock
- 100g crème fraiche or Quark
- Step 1 Place all the vegetables into a large pan with the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock.
- Step 2 Bring to the boil and simmer for around 15mins until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Cook for a while longer if they are not.
- Step 3 When cooked, add the tinned tomatoes and their juice and the whole basil leaves.
- Step 4 Remove from the heat and add the crème fraiche and stir through.
- Step 5 Allow to cool a little before blending until smooth.
- Step 6 Return to the pan and adjust the consistency with a little water if it’s too thick, season to taste and warm to serve.
One of my friends ribs me over the fact so many of my cakes have some vegetables hidden in them. But I can’t help it! I love the texture and the natural sweetness adding vegetables to a cake brings. And it’s less that I’m hiding […]
Where I live is currently under a blanket of snow – which is pretty unusual for the UK and frankly the country is not coping! But we are hunkering down with plenty of comfort food to warm up between sledging and snowman making. And this […]
The most nutritious jam you will ever make!
Strawberry jam (or strawberry jelly depending on where you live) is a childhood staple which travels with us from childhood. But in these more sugar conscious times the fact that even many homemade versions are 50 percent has meant the sweet treat has slipped off some peoples toast and is no longer being dolloped in porridge. There is a solution though which is sugar free and boasts a dose of omega-3, fibre, protein, calcium and magnesium as well as a host of B vitamins and minerals. Plus this Sugar Free Strawberry Jam takes less than 10mins to make from start to finish so what’s not to love?
What I love most about this chia seed thickened jam is how quickly you can throw it together. It’s fine to use frozen fruit just a well. It’s a brilliant option if you need some jam for a cake and you don’t have time to nip to the shops. In the summer I am a big one for jam making and it can be a pretty efficient process if you get organized first. But this is a fab way of getting the thick consistency of jam with more of the fruit and no added sugar. When mixed with a liquid the chia seeds plump up and thicken the juices of the fruit. The blitzing helps break up the seeds a little so they plump up quicker.
I think this is sweet enough with the juice of the strawberries, but if you need to add a little honey or maple syrup to taste. Even though this is a sugar, you won’t use anywhere near the amount found in a traditional jam. You are also adding the nutritional benefits of the seeds, great if you have fussy kids because suddenly a jam sandwich isn’t so bad after all! Once made this will keep in the fridge for a week (if you haven’t eaten it all before then) and is so handy to add to porridge and puddings as well as spread on toast or rice cakes.
Sugar Free Chia Strawberry Jam
- 200g frozen strawberries (or fresh!)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- maple syrup or honey to sweeten
- Step 1 Slightly defrost the fruit and blend, with any residual water, with the chia seeds. If you need to add a splash of water if needed.
- Step 2 Pour the fruit and seed mix into a small saucepan and bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat, stirring regularly, for 5mins until thickened.
- Step 3 Remove from the heat and carefully taste to see if you want to increase the sweetness. Add maple syrup or honey to taste, remembering a little goes a long way!
- Step 4 Allow to cool before storing in the fridge for up to a week.