Perfect Panini Pizza

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Hi, I’ve just made the easiest, tastiest, lunch ever: Perfect Panini Pizza. It’s so simple, yet so delicious.

Perfect Panini Pizza
Perfect Panini Pizza

 

Our daughter is at home, working hard on study leave. It’s exam time people! That means lots of study and lots of brain fuel – FOOD!! So in an effort to make lunchtime fun I decided to turn 2 panini rolls (ciabatta rolls would work fine too) into something other than a sandwich! Not that sandwiches aren’t good, but I wanted to change things up a bit and treat Star to a fabulous lunch. Perfect Panini Pizza totally hit the mark!

Perfect Panini Pizza - fuel for studying!
Perfect Panini Pizza – fuel for studying!

 

I’ve made pizza using baguette before, but I’ve always found it really, really hard to stop the curved edges of the baguette from toppling the whole pizza over, dumping the topping as it rolls. Now I’ve found a solution – Ciabatta bread. It’s flat!! I know right!! Takes me a while to catch on sometimes (always!!!!). But I got there in the end and ooh what a delicious result.

Perfect Panini Pizza - totally scrummy!
Perfect Panini Pizza – totally scrummy!

 

The best thing about this recipe is that you can top your pizza with whatever you have in the fridge. I’ve used Salami, but ham, peppers, olives, sweetcorn, really the list is endless. If you try this please let me know what toppings you try?

Recipe :

1 Panini roll/1/2 ciabatta loaf per person

Olive Oil

Tomato Salsa – or tomato pasta sauce (in a jar!)

Mozzerella Cheese – or any other good melting cheese

Salami – or any topping of your choice!

Method : Preheat oven to 200C/185C fan

I specifically haven’t given quantities for the ingredients above as it really depends on how many pizzas you are making and how hungry the people you are making them for are!!

Here is how I made our Perfect Panini Pizzas :

Take two panini rolls....
Take two panini rolls….
Slice in half, place on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with Olive oil.
Slice in half, place on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with Olive oil.
Spoon over some bought tomato salsa/pasta sauce, so it just covers the bread. Don't overdo it or your pizza will be soggy.
Spoon over some bought tomato salsa/pasta sauce, so it just covers the bread. Don’t overdo it or your pizza will be soggy.
Lay slices of mozzarella over the top......
Lay slices of mozzarella over the top……
Then top with slices of salami.
Then top with slices of salami.

 

Bake in the oven for 20 mins until the base and edges are all crispy and the cheese is gooey and melting over the sides!

Remove the pizzas from the oven and get ready for the best lunch ever!!!!
Remove the pizzas from the oven and get ready for the best lunch ever!!!!

 

Star and I thoroughly enjoyed our Perfect Panini Pizzas and had fun deciding what other toppings we’d like to try.  The perfect break from studying. Rested and refuelled.

I’m sending lots of love to all students and school children ( it’s SATS week ) who are studying and taking exams at the moment.

What is your favourite refuel food?

Sammie x

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Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

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Hello there people! The sun is shining and that makes me smile. It’s amazing how a little sunshine can improve our mood, as can the right food! Ooh that rhymed!! I have another fabulously easy side dish recipe for you today Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges.

Yummy Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges
Yummy Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges.

 

Perfect on their own or as a side dish these Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges are a tasty alternative to oven chips. They are quick to prepare, need no attention whilst they bake in the oven and have a finger licking garlicky flavour.

Also, why is it food tastes better when eaten with our hands???

Sorry I’ll get back to the point – which is – these baked beauties go with just about anything: Roast Chicken, Fish, Quiche, Steak, Sausages…. The list is endless. Try them and let me know what you had them with?

Delicious just on their own, or dunked in a dip of your choice!
Delicious just on their own, or dunked in a dip of your choice!

 

Recipe : Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges Serves 4-6 as a side.

1.5kg/3lb Baking Potatoes – scrubbed and dried

2-3 tbsp Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil – I use Kentish Oils

4 Garlic Bulbs – crushed/finely minced

1 tbsp Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Preheat oven to 200C/185C fan.

Cut each baking potato in half lengthways. Cut each half into wedges, approx 1/2 inch wide – try to keep all the potato wedges a similar size, this will ensure even cooking. Place all the potato wedges onto a large baking sheet/roasting pan.

Drizzle over the Olive Oil.
Drizzle over the Olive Oil.
I bought this pot of fresh Thyme from the supermarket and keep it on the kitchen window!
I bought this pot of fresh Thyme from the supermarket and keep it on the kitchen window!
Sprinkle over the Thyme and minced Garlic and then mix thoroughly so that each wedge is coated in oil, garlic and thyme.
Sprinkle over the Thyme and minced Garlic and then mix thoroughly so that each wedge is coated in oil, garlic and thyme.

 

Ensure the wedges are spread out evenly and then place in the oven.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until golden and cooked through (I usually test larger wedges with a knife).

Note : I give the tin a good shake halfway through cooking, to ensure they don’t stick. Also, if they do start to stick, use a fish slice to separate them and flip them over.

Hot Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges - straight from the oven.
Hot Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges – straight from the oven.

 

Serve immediately with a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges - delish!
Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges – delish!

 

Also I make these using fresh, minced Rosemary in place of the Thyme.  I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite – both versions are equally delicious!

I hope you enjoy trying and feasting on this dish.

Sammie x

 

 

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Strawberries And Cream Cake

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Hi, thank you for stopping by to look at this scrumptious Strawberries And Cream Cake! I hope the sight of it puts a smile on your face. Strawberries in Spring remind me of the promise of sunshine, picnics in the park and days at the beach. Ultimately I think that strawberries are a celebration of warm, sun drenched days, to be shared with friends and family.

FF Strawberries And Cream Cake

Because this cake is so easy to make and looks so beautiful, it easily turns any occasion into a Feast! Since I found strawberries on special offer I baked this cake. Because, they were so sumptuous they deserved celebrating!

FF Strawberries And Cream Cake
Strawberries And Cream Cake

Sometimes during Summer when it is hot, too hot for cake (yes there is such a thing in my world), we eat strawberries as they are, warm from the sun, or refreshingly churned into the most delicious ice cream, see my Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream. While cooler days allow for the indulgence of cake, with vanilla whipped cream and ruby red strawberries.

Recipe : Strawberries And Cream Cake serves 8

For the cake:

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temperature (plus a little extra for greasing the tins)

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

225g/8oz Self Raising White Flour – alternatively use the same quantity of Plain White Flour plus 2tsp baking powder

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

For the filling:

450g/1lb Strawberries – hulled and sliced, save 1 pretty strawberry for the top

400ml/3/4 pint Double Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – alternatively use vanilla extract

1 tbsp Sugar

Method : Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

While using the ‘All in one’ technique for this cake, which usually involves placing all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisking, I have added an extra step.

Making and baking the sponge cakes

  • First of all grease 2 x 7in (17.5cm) sandwich tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.
  • Next add the butter, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and eggs; Note – I always crack eggs into a separate bowl first, any shell is easily removed and one bad egg cannot spoil the cake batter. Also sift the self raising flour (or plain flour and baking powder) into the same bowl.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together until just combined and smooth. Take care not to overmix the cake batter, as this can result in a heavy sponge.
The All-In-One-Method is a whizz
The All-In-One-Method is a whizz.

 

  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 prepared sandwich tins. Smooth the top of the cake batter using the back of a spoon.
Place the tins into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Ready for the oven
  • Place the tins into the centre and lower parts of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • The sponges are baked when they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. Also an inserted skewer will come out clean.
  • As soon as the cakes are baked remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in their tins.
  • Turn the cakes out on to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before filling and decorating. Carefully remove the baking parchment.
Cooling cakes, waiting to be transformed....
Cooling cakes, waiting to be transformed….

Filling and decorating the cake

  • As soon as the cakes have cooled they can be filled and decorated.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste until the cream holds it’s shape. Also, take care not to overmix as this can cause the cream to split, creating butter!
Spread half of the cream onto the bottom cake layer, flat side up.
Bottom half of the cake
  • Place one cake sponge on to a plate or board, flat side up.
  • Spoon half of the whipped cream on to the cake and spread so that it almost comes to the edge.
  • Add a layer of sliced strawberries on to the cream.
Arrange the sliced strawberries over the cream.
Strawberries and cream
  • Now place the other cake on top, flat side facing down.
  • Cover the top with the rest of the cream and decorate with sliced strawberries, placing a whole strawberry in the middle.
FF Strawberries And Cream Cake
Strawberries And Cream Cake

Place the finished cake into the fridge for 1 hour, as this allows the cream to firm up and makes slicing easier.

I serve this cake sliced and placed on my best china, with a cup of tea served in a cup and saucer. You may slice and serve this cake however you wish.

Both cake sponges can be made a day ahead, cool and store in an airtight container, using baking parchment to separate them. Yet the cake is best assembled on the day of eating.

As with all cream cakes they are at their best on the day they are made. Wrap any leftover cake in cling film, alternatively place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Eat within 2 days of assembling.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Strawberries And Cream Cake you may also like these:

Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake 

FF Strawberries And Cream Cake
Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake

Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova 

FF Strawberries And Cream Cake
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Heart Pavlova

Double Strawberry Almond Muffins 

FF Strawberries And Cream Cake
Double Strawberry Almond Muffins

 

While I love baking, sharing my finished bakes gives me the most pleasure. Since, I delight in seeing the anticipation and a happy face as someone enjoys something I’ve made. Finally, remember, before slicing into this cake I urge you to take a photo! Because, when you look at this cake in the deepest, darkest, depths of an icy winter, it will remind you that sunny days are ahead. Hope is powerful, even when it is in the form of cake!

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Sausage Plait With A Twist

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So today I have another super easy, recipe for you, my Sausage Plait With A Twist. What’s the twist? Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh thyme that lift the flavours of this savoury pastry to the next level.

Pinterest sized image of sliced sausage plait with descriptive graphics.

 

The addition of sundried tomatoes and thyme to pork sausage meat gives this sausage plait a deep savoury flavour. Ideal for a mid week meal, perfect for a buffet and portable for picnics!!

Lattice puff pastry topped savoury sausage meat pastry.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

I have used a special roller to create the lattice pattern on the top of the Sausage Plait. I bought it 20+ years ago. I’ve just had a quick peek on Amazon and they sell them for about £5. Which is probably about what I paid all those years ago!

Pastry Lattice Cutter
Pastry Lattice Cutter

 

So, if you bake a lot of pies and tarts then I would say this is a good buy. Likewise, the diamond effect on the pastry below was achieved by lightly scoring the uncooked pastry, on a slant, one way and then the other. When baked it produced a pretty, diamond effect pattern and I didn’t need a Lattice Roller. And this technique also works for any Sausage Plait.

Diamond effect puff pastry sausage plait.
Diamond effect on the puff pastry is very effective.

 

So, whichever method you use, your Sausage Plait With A Twist is sure to go down well with everyone who tries it. Served hot or cold, it is completely delicious. Why not bake my  Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread? It is the perfect, picnic accompaniment. As is my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad. While these Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars are a delicious sweet treat that won’t attract every bug in a 10 mile radius.

Recipe: Sausage Plait With A Twist serves 6

500g/1lb Block Puff Pastry – defrosted if frozen – I use  Just Rol not the all butter version.

500g/1lb Pork Sausage meat – use the best quality sausage meat

15 Sundried Tomatoes (drained if in oil)

1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves – simply strip from the stems, or chop if very new green growth

1/2 tsp Black Pepper – freshly ground

1 Egg – for egg wash

Method : Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5, 375F

Making The Filling

  • First of all, chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly, so there are no big pieces.
  • Place the chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add the thyme, sausage meat and black pepper.
  • Using your hand, squish (technical term) all the ingredients together until well combined.

 

Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausagemeat.
Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausage meat.

Assembling And Baking The Sausage Plait

  • On a floured worktop roll out the puff pastry so that it measures 30cm x 35cm (10″x12″). Trim to neaten the edges.
  • Now place the pastry onto a piece of parchment paper that is the same size as your baking sheet. Since this will make transferring the sausage plait MUCH easier. MUCH! I speak from experience!!
  • Place the sausage meat mixture evenly down one side of the pastry, leaving a 1 inch (2.5cm) border.
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll.....
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll…..
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.

Finally you can see how much easier it is to assemble the sausage plait on the baking parchment.

  • Place the sausage plait into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until golden brown.
  • The sausage plait is baked when golden in colour and any juices run clear.
  • As soon as it is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Such an easy dish to make, yet super impressive to look at and eat! It can be served hot or cold and is ideal for picnics and buffets as well as dinner time.

Cool completely and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Sausage Plait With A Twist you may also like these:

Spicy Sausage Rolls

Spicy sausage rolls freshly baked and cooling on a rack.
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche 

Baked quiche on a baking tray.
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Red Onion Sausage Plait 

Sausage plait on a baking tray with fresh tomatoes and a jar of red onion marmalade from Hawkshead Relish.
Red Onion Sausage Plait

I really enjoy creating recipes for my family and for you to try on this blog. Especially recipes that are diverse. While this sausage plait is tasty served with salad and new potatoes for dinner, it also is great to slice and pack up for a picnic too. Because, in my opinion, diversity in recipes allows me to have more options for both mealtimes and buffets, when entertaining a crowd of people. Most importantly it’s easy. And we all love an easy recipe, right?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

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Hi, I’ve done it! I’ve managed to make  Lemon Shortbread Cookies that are utterly delicious. Light, lemony and crumbly, yet also taste like shortbread!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

 

I can’t tell you how good it feels to get back to baking since my recent stay in hospital. I’m not out of the woods yet, but at least I’m on the right path! Baking relaxes me, allows my creative juices to get flowing and produces something scrummy to eat afterwards. Not bad eh?

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Buttery, lemony, light Lemon Shortbread Cookies. The perfect biscuit, in my book anyway. I encourage you to try this recipe if you are a fan of lemon and shortbread. I think you get the picture – I LOVE THESE COOKIES!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Lemon Shortbread Cookies

 

Recipe : Makes 20-24 Lemon Shortbread Cookies

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temperature

1 Large Egg Yolk – free range – the white can be frozen for up to one month

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1tbsp Lemon Zest – finely grated (approx 1 medium lemon)

1/4 tsp Salt – I use Maldon

300g/10oz Plain White Flour

Extra Sugar for sprinkling – I use granulated sugar

Making And Chilling The Cookie Dough

Whisk the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.

Add the room temperature egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Add the flour and mix (I do this by hand) until all the ingredients are just incorporated and the cookie dough comes together.

Place half of the cookie dough onto a piece of cling film.

Wipe the worktop with a damp, clean cloth. Lay the cling film on top and it will stay in place!

Place half of the cookie dough onto a piece of cling film.

Using your hands shape the dough into a log. Wrap tightly in the cling and repeat with the other half of the dough.

Finally, place the cookie dough logs into the refrigerator and chill until firm. Usually one hour.

 

These cookie dough logs need to be refrigerated until firm - approx 1 hour.

Slicing And Baking The Cookies

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven, gas mark 4, 350F.

As soon as the dough logs are chilled remove from the refrigerator, place on a board and unwrap.

Using a sharp knife slice the log into 1cm – half inch thick rounds.

 

When firm, slice the log into individual rounds.

Place the cookie dough rounds onto a non stick, or baking parchment covered baking tray and lightly sprinkle with sugar.

Place the uncooked Lemon Shortbread Cookies onto a non stick baking tray and sprinkle with sugar.

 

Bake the Lemon Shortbread Cookies for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and set.

As soon as the cookies are baked remove from the oven and sprinkle over a little more sugar.

Leave to cool on the tray for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling rack.

These cookies actually improve on keeping, in an airtight container, if you can wait.

Now think of someone you know, who loves lemon, pop some cooled cookies in a cellophane bag, tied with pretty ribbon and make their day!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies you may also like these:

Cranberry Oat Cookies 

FF Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Oat Cookies

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

FF Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

 

As well as coming up with new recipe ideas and flavour combinations I really do enjoy baking for others. Whether it is a planned, family occasion, or a surprise, making something that I know others will appreciate and enjoy is a constant source of pleasure. An unexpected gift is a wonderful way to show someone that you care and food ALWAYS tastes better when it’s shared.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Keep smiling, Sammie x.

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

 

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Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

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Hi, have I got the easiest, tastiest, make ahead side dish for you? Oh yes I have! Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo. Also, this dish does not disappoint as it is delicious.

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

While I’ve said this is a side dish, it’s also vegetarian and makes a fabulous light lunch. Likewise, adding a few shavings of Parmesan would add extra oomph for lunch, served alongside some crusty, crunchy bread.

I’m getting hungry!

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

While I’ve used red onion, peas, sweetcorn and red bell pepper in this dish – but feel free to switch up the veggies (celery is also good) with whatever you have on hand. Most importantly, I would say that this Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo is best served at room temp, or even warmed – BUT NOT COLD! Because, no matter how much lemon/oil you add, when served fridge cold the Orzo clumps together and not in a good way! So there you go, an easy recipe that doesn’t take up any room in your fridge, or require any last minute fiddling. Yay!! Because, we like easy!

 

Orzo with vegetables and a lemon and garlic dressing.
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

 

Recipe : Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo serves 6-8 as a side dish.

500g/1lb Packet Dried Orzo – available from most supermarkets I buy mine from Waitrose 

Juice of 1 Large Lemon

1 x Small Red Onion

150ml/5fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 x Garlic Cloves – crushed

200g/7oz Frozen Peas

Medium Can Sweetcorn

Fresh Basil

Sea Salt – I use Maldon and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Making The Vegetarian Orzo Dish

First of all put a large pan of water on to heat up for the Orzo.

Place the lemon juice and finely diced red onion into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together. Also leaving the onion in the lemon juice will remove the acrid taste!

As soon as the water in the pan is boiling add salt and then the Orzo. Cook according to the packet instructions, taking care not to overcook or the Orzo will simply clump together!

While the Orzo is cooking gently heat the Olive Oil and garlic together, for approximately 2 minutes on a medium heat. This allows the garlic to infuse the oil. And also the garlic is lightly cooked. Pour the garlicky oil over the onions and lemon juice.

Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil - add salt and pepper.
Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil – add salt and pepper.

 

Drain the Orzo as soon as it is cooked and pour straight into the bowl. Using a large slotted spoon immediately toss the Orzo in the oil/lemon juice, this will stop the Orzo from sticking together.

Place the frozen peas (I used petit pois) in the bowl and mix in with the hot Orzo.

Add the sweetcorn (drained) and the diced, red, bell pepper. And mix together with a fork, then taste for seasoning.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper as necessary.

Take a handful of Basil leaves, roughly chop and sprinkle over.

Finally, cover with cling film and serve at room temperature.

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

 

This side goes fabulously with fish – Salmon especially, Chicken and Pork. Likewise, it makes a fab alternative to roast potatoes and hot veggies for a Summer roast, Also, it completely seals the deal as part of a buffet or served at a barbecue. And with very little effort needed!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo you may also like these:

Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

FF Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw

FF Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw

Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad 

FF Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad

Enjoy feasting on this scrumptious dish and may we have many sunny days ahead to spend with friends and family, having fun round the BBQ!

Also, making sure there are hidden ‘Super-Soakers’ primed for action if it gets too hot – or boring!!!!

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Easy Tex Mex Chicken

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Hi, have I got the easiest, quickest meal for you? Yep, I have – Easy Tex Mex Chicken!

Easy Tex Mex Chicken tipped into a pan, ready for the oven.
Easy Tex Mex Chicken tipped into a pan, ready for the oven.

I am talking 5 minutes prep in the morning. Leave in the fridge all day and then throw in the oven for 45 mins before you want to eat. I told you it was Easy!! This delicious dish is fab served in Tortilla Wraps Fajita style, or alternatively, as I have, with potato wedges – well if you’ve got the oven already on…..

Oh my, this Easy Tex Mex Chicken served with wedges - delish!
Oh my, this Easy Tex Mex Chicken served with wedges – delish!

 

Recipe : Easy Tex Mex Chicken serves 5-6

750g/1.5lb Boned Chicken Breasts (approx 5)

1 Large Spanish Onion

3 Peppers – the colours are up to you!

1 Packet Fajita Seasoning – alternatively use 3 tsp Fajita seasoning

2 tbs Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil – I use Kentish Oils

Method :

Pat dry the chicken breasts using kitchen paper.

Drying the chicken makes a real difference to the cooked dish.
Drying the chicken makes a real difference to the cooked dish.

 

Cut up the chicken into bite sized chunks (I used scissors) and place in a large, freezer bag.

With these 3 ingredients Easy Tex Mex Chicken is just that, EASY!
With these 3 ingredients Easy Tex Mex Chicken is just that, EASY!

 

Pour a couple of glugs of Olive Oil over the diced chicken then tip in the contents of a Fajita mix.

Massage the seasoning into the chicken.
Massage the seasoning into the chicken.

Next it’s time to get chopping!

Ooh so pretty. Choose whichever colour peppers are your favourite and...
Ooh so pretty. Choose whichever colour peppers are your favourite and…

 

Chop the Peppers and Onion so they are about the same size.
Chop the Peppers and Onion so they are about the same size.

Pop the chopped veggies into the freezer bag with the seasoned chicken and smoosh about a bit so they are covered in the spicy oil.

Easy Tex Mex Chicken in a bag!!
Easy Tex Mex Chicken in a bag!!

 

I prepared the Easy Tex Mex Chicken in the morning and then stashed it in the fridge until dinner time.

To cook, tip the contents of the freezer bag into a shallow oven proof dish. Place in a preheated oven 200C/185C fan and cook for 45 minutes.

Easy Tex Mex Chicken with softened peppers and caramelised onions - delish!
Easy Tex Mex Chicken with softened peppers and caramelised onions – delish!

 

To serve either warm some soft tortillas and load up fajita style, or, as I did tonight simply popped in some Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges . Since the oven is on it makes sense.

Well that’s dinner sorted!!

Enjoy how easy this feast is!

Sammie x

 

 

 

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Extreme Chocolate Cookies

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Hi, have I got a treat for you today – Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Also if you love cookies and need a chocolate fix then these babies are definitely for you!

Extreme Chocolate Cookies

 

I’ve been unwell lately, including a 2 week stay in hospital (I’ll save that for another post). Since having been home for 2-3 weeks now, today was the first day I really had the energy to bake. So, unashamedly I decided to make these Extreme Chocolate Cookies for our gorgeous children and my wonderful hubby, who has taken THE BEST care of me. I really do love that man.

Rows of Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Is there a better sight?

I know that I’ve said it before, but baking or cooking for others, especially my family, is one of the ways I like to show my love for them. While chocolate is not my go-to favourite Cookie. Since I favour nutty, fruity, oat cookies. Yet I obviously had to try one of these and they are my favourite chocolate cookies to date!

Extreme Chocolate Cookies

 

Recipe : Makes 18 Extreme Chocolate Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Dark Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/4 tsp Sea Salt -I use Maldon

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz White Chocolate Chunks

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chunks

Method : Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Making the cookie dough

  • First of all, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the whisked butter/sugar.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the whisked butter/sugar.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  • Next, chop up the white and milk chocolate into chunks.
These chocolate chunks are what make the cookies EXTREME!!!
These chocolate chunks are what make the cookies EXTREME!!!
  • Add the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and chocolate chunks to the bowl.
Once combined these ingredients make Extreme Chocolate Cookies!
Once combined these ingredients make Extreme Chocolate Cookies!
  • Mix all of the ingredients together until just combined.

Shaping and baking the cookies

  • Take approximately a tablespoon of mixture, roll into a ball shape and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat until all the mixture is used.
These cookie dough balls are about to be squished!!!
These cookie dough balls are about to be squished!!!

 

  • Wash your hands, they WILL look like you’ve been making mud pies! Now using your fingers squish the cookie balls, they will still spread a bit whilst cooking.
The finger marks leave a pretty pattern even once baked!
The finger marks leave a pretty pattern even once baked!
  • Finally place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins. I rotated my baking sheets halfway through the cooking process so that the cookies baked evenly. This is fine with cookies NOT cupcakes!
  • As soon as the cookies are baked remove from the oven and allow the Extreme Chocolate Cookies to cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
Extreme Chocolate Cookies

While the cookies cooled I sent the children a text (at school – rebel mummy!!!) and put the kettle on for a lovely cuppa!!

Finally I can’t tell you how good it feels knowing I’m getting back to being me. Sooo good.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Extreme Chocolate Cookies you may also like these:

Bakery Style Soft Triple Chocolate Cookies

FF Extreme Chocolate Cookies
Bakery Style Soft Triple Chocolate Cookies

Sour Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

FF Extreme Chocolate Cookies
Sour Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramac Caramel Cookies

FF Extreme Chocolate Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies

Am I alone? Why do you bake? I’d love to hear what motivates you?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or replicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich

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Hi, sorry for not posting recently, had a spell in hospital but home now and couldn’t eat the rest of this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich without sharing it’s deliciousness with you all!!

Oh my, this Herk Pulled Pork Sandwich may be the best sandwich I've ever tasted, in like, ever, in my life, since I was born. Did I mention it's soooooo good???
Oh my, this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich may be the best sandwich I’ve ever tasted, in like, ever, in my life, since I was born. Did I mention it’s soooooo good???

 

I had already eaten half – I’m sorry was very hungry- of this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich, when I had an epiphany!! It was sooooo good, I stopped eating, grabbed phone, attempted to take photos – I was in bed, so apologies for crumbs and general absence of food/photo styling – then quickly polished the last half off!!

Please note the Watercress was ABSOLUTELY not arranged for effect - it had simply fallen out of the other half I'd already eaten!!!
Please note the Watercress was ABSOLUTELY not arranged for effect – it had simply fallen out of the other half I’d already eaten!!!

 

So, we had shoulder of pork, cooked with a couple of bottles of cider, for dinner on Sunday. It was delish with mash and veg! Will post recipe when I cook it again, promise. Anyway, cooked low and slow, pork shoulder makes the best pulled pork. It was quite a large joint and made fab Fajitas for dinner on Tuesday. Rummaging around in the fridge today I realised there was still some meat left and so, not wanting any to go to waste, turned it into a fab lunch.

Ooh check out my funfetti painted nails!!!
Ooh check out my funfetti painted nails!!!

Here’s how I did it:

I used leftover pork (shoulder, roast leg or tenderloin would also work), but you can easily buy packets of pulled pork in the supermarket. Just make sure the pork is already cooked.

It’s hard to give amounts as it depends in how many Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwiches you are making and how big those sandwiches are going to be. I used sourdough bread, unbuttered and allowed a generous handful of both pork and watercress for each of the two sandwiches made.

I chopped up the pulled pork and heated it up with a good dollop of Levi Root’s Reggae Reggae Jerk Sauce until bubbling and completely reheated. The Jerk Pork was then generously place onto the bread, topped with watercress and another slice of bread.

Hey presto, one of the best hot sandwiches I’ve ever eaten was created. The best way to use up roast pork leftovers. Delish!!

Now I’ve shared the 4 ingredient recipe, feel free to add, embellish (I’m thinking panini/melted cheese/jalapeño’s) the possibilities are endless. If you make this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich please share your detectable, taste bud tingling results with me?

Hot, moist, peppery, meaty - Jerk Pulled Pork Sandwich - a must try for leftover pork!
Hot, moist, peppery, meaty – Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich – a must try for leftover pork!

 

Note: I came up with the idea, my gorgeous hubby takes all the credit for ‘pulling’ it all together.

Happy Feasting and I’m hoping to get back to baking ASAP.

Sammie xx

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns

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Hi there, have I got a FEAST for you, Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns. Delicious, easy to make and very more-ish!

The best Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.
The best Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.

Ooh are these yummy! Made with all butter puff pastry these Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns could not be easier to make and disappear fast as soon as they’re out of the oven.

The perfect portion of deliciousness! Gooey chocolate inner, crispy, crunchy, nutty topped buns.
The perfect portion of deliciousness! Gooey chocolate inner, crispy, crunchy, nutty topped buns.

It may be worth making a double batch of these, as they make the perfect portable gift, just make sure you have enough to go around as well!!!

Yum, yum and yum!!
Yum, yum and yum!!

Recipe : Makes 12 Buns

For the topping :

100g/4oz Brazil Nuts

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – melted

75g/3oz Dark Brown Sugar

For the Buns :

1 Packet 450g/1lb All Butter Puff Pastry – thawed if frozen.

1tbsp Melted Butter

1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

100g/4oz Dark Brown Sugar

225g/8oz Milk Chocolate Chips

100g/4oz Brazil Nuts

Method :

Preheat the oven to 200C (185C fan).

You will need a deep muffin/cupcake tin to bake these buns in. No pre-greasing of the tin is required.

The topping of these Chocolate Chunk Brazil Nut Buns is actually placed in the bottom of the muffin tin. When the buns are turned out, the bottom becomes the top!!!

For the topping mix the melted butter and sugar together. Add in the roughly chopped Brazil nuts.

The roughly chopped Brazil nuts, on the left are for the topping. The finer chopped nuts, on the right, are for inside the buns.
The roughly chopped Brazil nuts, on the left are for the topping. The finer chopped nuts, on the right, are for inside the buns.

Place about a teaspoon of the butter/sugar/nut mixture into each muffin holder in the tin.

This sweet, nutty mixture will become the topping for the Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns!
This sweet, nutty mixture will become the topping for the Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns!

Now for the buns :

My package of puff pastry came in 2 blocks. If you have 1 block, roll out the pastry to twice the width.

One half of the pastry block. Placed on a floured surface.
One half of the pastry block. Placed on a floured surface.

Roll out the pastry to 26cm/10″ wide by 29cm/11″ long.

Brush the rolled out pastry with melted butter.
Brush the rolled out pastry with melted butter.

Grate the nutmeg directly over the buttered pastry. If using ground nutmeg, sprinkle evenly over the pastry.

Freshly grated nutmeg is sooo much better if you have it.
Freshly grated nutmeg is sooo much better if you have it.

Sprinkle first the sugar, then the chocolate chips and chopped Brazil nuts evenly over the pastry (only use half of the amounts if rolling out half of the pastry, as I have).

An even layer of sugar, chocolate and nuts spread over the rolled pastry.
An even layer of sugar, chocolate and nuts spread over the rolled pastry.
Roll the pastry tightly and evenly.
Roll the pastry tightly and evenly.
Use both hands to ensure the pastry is evenly rolled.
Use both hands to ensure the pastry is evenly rolled.
Finishing with the pastry seam underneath.
Finishing with the pastry seam underneath.

Trim either end and then cut the pastry log in half.

Divide each half into 3 (for half a pastry block), or 6 if you've rolled out the entire 450g pastry block.
Divide each half into 3 (for half a pastry block), or 6 if you’ve rolled out the entire 450g pastry block.

Place each nutty, chocolate portion on top of the butter/sugar/chopped nuts in the muffin tin.

Ooh only 30 minutes away from baking deliciousness!!
Ooh only 30 minutes away from baking deliciousness!!

Place the muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven, look at how scrummy these Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.
Remove from the oven, look at how scrummy these Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then place a baking tray over the buns. Flip the muffin tin over and prepare to be amazed!

It works every time! Perfect Brazil Nut topped buns.
It works every time! Perfect Brazil Nut topped buns.

Allow to cool as the chocolate and sugar in the centre are very hot. The perfect time to put the kettle on, invite round family, friends and neighbours and prepare to FEAST on these amazingly yummy Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns!

The best Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.
The best Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns.

If you try this recipe I’d love to here how you get on and your thoughts?

Sammie x

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