I love the ready mixed packs of quick cook grains you can buy so easily in health food shops now. They are brilliant for throwing together a hearty salad when friends are visiting for you want an easy dinner and plenty of leftovers for the […]
Hi, I’m Caroline’s daughter and if there’s one thing I love it’s a hearty Mac and Cheese! A few days ago I was in a café choosing my lunch and I ordered macaroni cheese. It tasted great but was really expensive. So, I thought to myself why pay when I can have it at home? The thing is my mum never makes me macaroni cheese. But that didn’t stop me – I made up a simple Mac and Cheese recipe! Why don’t you have a go too it’s really yummy?
Perfect Macaroni Cheese
- 200g dry macaroni
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 1/2 tsp English mustard
- 200g cheese, grated (I used cheddar and gruyere)
- Step 1 Cook macaroni according to packet instructions.
- Step 2 Place the butter, flour and milk in the saucepan, they should all be cold.
- Step 3 Put on the hob at a high heat and whisk constantly until it comes to boil, then turn heat to low.
- Step 4 Keep stirring and whisking until it reaches your desired consistency (it took about 4 minutes for mine).
- Step 5 Now add the mustard and stir well.
- Step 6 Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until it’s melted.
- Step 7 Now add in the macaroni, combine well and serve.
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 […]