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Mint and Chilli Haloumi Burger

Adapted from a Joe Wicks recipe

This is one of my all time favorite lunches or dinners. Quick to prepare and really delicious with the mint and chilli. ❤❤

 

Ingredients

130g haloumi

1/2 red capsicum (pepper) roasted skin removed and seeds

Handful rocket or lettuce

Fresh mint, chopped finely

Fresh chilli sliced

Burger roll

3 teaspoon olive oil

3 teaspoon light mayonnaise or greek yoghurt

4 teaspoon olive oil

 

Method

Dry off the haloumi with kitchen paper.

Place in a bowl with the olive oil, chopped mint and chillies.

Massage so the haloumi is coated.

Add the remaining olive oil to a frying pan and on medium heat add the haloumi and cook until golden brown and softened . Add the half capsicum in the last minute to heat through.

Build the roll by spreading the light mayonnaise on each side, then the rocket/lettuce, the red capsicum and finally the haloumi. Add more chopped chilli if you like it spicy.

 

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BLT Salad wth Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

2 large heads mixed green lettuce

300g lean bacon

3 cups tomatoes, chopped

2 cups croutons

Ranch Dressing

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons sour cream

1 clove garlic, grated

1 bunch chives (50g) chopped finely

Salt and black pepper

Milk

Method

Mix all the ingredients together well and add a little milk at a time to reach the desired pouring consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Croutons

4 slices wholemeal crusty bread (a few days old works best)

Dried mixed herbs

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Method

Chop the bread into bitesize pieces, place in a bowl and add 4 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs and a teaspon of salt, less if you like less 😊

Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat all the bread, dont add too much, use your hands to mix well.

Lay in a single layer onto a baking tray and bake on 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes, turning half way, or until they are golden brown dried out and crunchy to touch. Remove from the oven and cool.

Cook the bacon in the oven until crispy, remove from the oven, drain on kitchen paper, chop into pieces and remove any excess rind/fat.

Assemble the salad and drizzle with this delicious ranch dressing. Serve immediately.

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Birthday Cake ❤

Circus Meringue Kisses

152g egg whites

304g caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 100°C. Line a baking tray with wax paper.

In a stand mixer add the egg whites on medium speed for a few minutes until they whiten up and start  to stiffen.  Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and increase the speed to high. Keep adding the sugar and once all has been added keep whisking until all the sugar has gone. This can take 10 to 15 minutes but be patient as if all the sugar isn’t gone the meringue kisses will not work.

Do the finger test each few minutes. Rub the meringue between the thumb and finger, if you still feel sugar, keep going until you can’t.

Take  paint brushes and your chosen colours and a plate. Tip on your gel colours onto the plate keep separate, you don’t need much.

Fold the piping bag in half and add a round tip. Paint long strips of the colours you want into the piping bag then gently drop in the meringue.

Pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes on 100°C. They are ready when they lift off the paper easily. Turn off the oven.

Leave to cool in the oven and then store in an airtight box.

Sponge Cake

Ingredients

625g softened butter

625g caster sugar

10 large eggs

625g self raising flour,  sifted

8 tablespoons milk + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

White Chocolate Ganache Drip

1/4 cup heavy cream

220g white chocolate

Method

Melt the chocolate and cream together on 20 second bursts in the microwave . Once melted place into a piping bag ready to go.

 

Buttercream

450g unsalted butter, softened over(80g fat content)

8 tablespoons milk mixed with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1020g icing sugar, sifted

4 gel colours (blue, green, yellow, pink)

Method

In a stand mixer add the butter and whip for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.

Add half the icing sugar, scrape down the bowl and mix again for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl again and add the other half of the icing sugar and whisk again for another 5 to 7 minutes.

This is a long time but be patient, this is really important for an amazing smooth buttercream.

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, around 5 to 7 minutes in a stand mixer.

Add the eggs one at a time whisking well in between each one.

Add the sifted flour and mix again in the stand mixer on low speed so it doesn’t fly out everywhere. Add the vanilla extract into the milk then add to the sponge mix and mix again to combine.

Divide equally (I use weighing scales but you can guess) into your 9inch  cake tins (depending on how many tiers 3 that are cut into 6 or 6 single tins)

Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Trim and cut the cakes to 8 inches ( I use a cake ring for straight edges on each cake and a knife to level the top of the top layer)

Stack each tier using buttercream and add a crumb coat over the whole cake. Level off and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden up.

Add a top coat of icing, level again and place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To separate the colours, take 4 equal amounts of the buttercream and place into 4 separate bowls. Add a tiny drop of gel colour for each one and mix thoroughly so the colours are evenly mixed and no streaks.

Start at the bottom and add a good layer of each coloured buttercream blue then green then yellow, for the pink add it to the top of the cake first then smooth down towards the yellow, carefully.

Time to level it out, use your scraper in one movement and turn the turntable in one whole move. Wipe off the scraper and do it again until the icing is flat and even. If holes appear, fill them and keep levelling until flat. Take care not to press to hard as you will remove too much icing.

Using a paintbrush, blow small amounts of silver glitter around the cake. Place back in the fridge whilst you make the white chocolate ganache for dripping down the cake.

Drip the white chocolate Grenache down the sides of the cake, careful not to dribble to much. Add the rest to the top of the cake. Decorate with pink pearl balls and those beautiful meringue kisses.

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Deep Fried Manchego ❤

There are few things in life that can make you smile from the inside out, but melted cheese is one of those things for me. Couple it with sweet chilli sauce and a glass of bubbles and it’s game over, so naughty but ridiculously good. DO IT 😍

 

Ingredients

6 slices Manchego  cheese, rind removed

Canola oil

Sweet chilli sauce

Wholemeal breadcrumbs (homemade or packaged is fine)

3 eggs, lightly whisked

8 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper

Method

Slice the manchego into triangles and remove the rind.

Dip into the flour, then the egg then the breadcrumbs , repeat this process twice.

Heat the oil to around 180° and fry gently until the breadcrumbs are brown and crispy and the cheese is just starting to melt through.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with chilli sauce and a glass of bubbles.

Amazing!!!!

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Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cup pearl couscous
1 jar chargrilled red capsicum, chopped
2 cups baby spinach , chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups assorted baby tomatoes, different colors, sliced or quartered
150g feta crumbled

Dressing
1/3 cup mild olive oil
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Pinch sea salt

In a jar or bowl mix all ingredients together and pour over your salad.

Method
In a frypan add the olive oil and couscous, stir on medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes until the couscous turns golden, stir constantly.
Add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid has absorbed and the couscous is cooked. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
In a bowl mix all the herbs and capsicum and tomatoes, stir to combine then add the slivered almonds. Add the cooked couscous, I use my fingers to gently separate any clumps
Mix together then pour over the dressing. Mix to coat everything and serve.
Goes well with most meat and fish or a stand alone, its delish 🙌

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Thai Carrot Soup

Ingredients8 carrots roughly chopped3 large onions, finely chopped2 stalks lemon grass, bruised1 x 400g tin coconut milk1 red chilli, sliced seeds too.2 tsp ground cumin40g fresh ginger, grated2 tsp turmeric1 tbsp greek yoghurt4 tsp fresh coriander, chopped2 taps coconut oilMethodIn a large saucepan, add the oil, carrots and onions and cook on medium to soften a little, 5 minutes or so.Add the lemon grass, cumin, turmeric and coconut milk. Add enough water to cover the carrots and simmer until the carrots are soft.Use a blender or stick blender to blitz until smooth, add more water if too thick, until you get your preferred thickness for the soup. It should not be too thin, it is a hearty soup.Serve with the yoghurt and coriander (optional)

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Baguette

Baguette

Ingredients
1 1/2 tbsp dried yeast
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cup of warm water
3 1/2 to 4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil

Method
Preheat the oven to 230°C.
Add the dried yeast and honey to the warm water and set aside to activate.
In a stand mixer add the flout and salt. Slowly add the activated yeast mix and knead for 6 to 7 minutes until soft and elastic.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough in to rest until it has doubled in size, cover with cling wrap and place somewhere warm for around an hour and a half.
Knock out the air and shape 2 baguette loaves. Place on your lightly floured tray and add the cuts diagonally across the top. Cover and leave to rise again for 30 to 60 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap the base.

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Punjabi Vegetable Samosas

Ingredients

Samosa pastry
1.5 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons veg oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Water

Filling
3 tsps ghee or veg oil
1 tsp each of cumin and coriander seeds
1 small onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons chopped green chillies, seeds removed
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, ground cumin and dried mango powder
1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
350g potatoes, (I like to leave the skins on but you can remove if you like) boiled until cooked then chopped small
1 bunch fresh coriander and stalks, chopped finely.
Extra vegetable oil for frying.

Method
To make the pastry add the flour into a bowl, add the salt and the vegetable oil.
Rub the flour and oil through your fingertips until all the flour has been coated (this is important) and resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cumin seeds .Add water a bit at a time to form a ball of dough. This will be a firm dough so not to much. Roll in cling film and leave on the bench to rest for 30 minutes

In a frying pan add the vegetable oil, cumin and coriander seeds, fry on medium heat for 10 seconds. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes to soften. Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh coriander and cook until everything has been coated, slightly crushing the potatoes as you go. Add 60ml water and cook until all the liquid has gone, 5 to 6 minutes.
Set aside to cool

To make the wrappers, divide the dough ball into 4 then half again. This gives you 8 pieces that will give you 16 Samosas.
Roll each piece into a ball and cover in cling film to prevent drying out.
Roll a ball into a round shape, nice and thin then cut it in half, roll each piece again before shaping as they shrink a little.
Take one of the long sides and wipe water along the edge with your finger. Bring the other side over and place on top, press down to seal. This forms a cone shape as per photo. Fill just to the top, don’t over fill. Use water again to seal.
Repeat until all are filled.
Fry for a few minutes in vegetable oil and serve with mango chutney and a few coriander leaves.

It is well worth the extra effort to make your own pastry, trust me! I did make a few with filo and spring roll pastry but they were not nearly as good and retained more oil. Give it a go, you will be glad you did.

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Crispy Turkey Sushi

Crispy Turkey Sushi

Ingredients
Sushi rice (prepared as per packet instructions) and cooled.
Nori sheets
Japanese mayo
Gem lettuce
Turkey breast steaks x 2
Panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, whisked (add a splash of milk or water to go further)
Plain flour, seasoned.
Veg oil
Sushi mat

Method
Too make the crispy turkey, take the fillets and place into the seasoned flour, then into the egg, then cover in the panko crumbs. Repeat this twice for each fillet.
In a medium frying pan add enough vegetable oil to shallow fry the crumbed fillets.
On medium heat fry for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through and crispy.
Drain on paper towel and leave to cool.
To assemble the sushi, lay your nori sheet, shiny side down on the sushi mat and with wet hands take your prepared rice and spread across the sheet of nori, leaving a gap at the end to make rolling easier.
Add a line of Japanese mayo to the edge closest to you then add some gem.lettuce leaves and sliced crispy turkey. Roll tightly, add water to the edge left free of rice to seal.
Slice in half, serve with soy sauce.

This is the hand rolled method, if using a sushi maker follow instructions.

Two turkey fillets, 5 nori sheets made 5 large sushi and cut in half made 10. This depends on the size of the fillet used.

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Smoked Salmon and Avocado Sushi

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Sush

Ingredients
Cooked sushi rice
Nori sheets
Smoked salmon (smoked salmon trimmings are cheaper and work just as well)
Avocado, soft and easily sliced
Wasabi

Method

Place the nori sheet on the matt, add a line of wasabi paste on top of the rice layer, then add the avocado and salmon and roll. Place in fridge for an hour then slice and serve with soy sauce.

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Hollandaise Sauce

You can but this ready made at all major supermarkets , but it really is simple to make it yourself. All you need is 10 minutes a good whisking arm and a little patience and what you end up with is a smooth, silky and rich hollandaise.

Ingredients
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method
Simmer water until only just a simmer, add a large bowl on top ensuring no water is hitting the base of the bowl.
Add the 2 yolks and 2 tablespoons of water into the bowl and with a metal balloon whisk, continuously whisk for around 3 minutes until doubled in volume, thick and leaves a ribbon when you lift the whisk.
Start to add the butter a cube at a time and whisk until incorporated, continue a cube at a time until all the butter has been added.
Remove the bowl from on top of the pan and add the chopped parsley 2 tablespoons lemon juice and season. Stir well and serve.

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Lamb pittas with Tzatziki

Ingredients
Pita
1 cup plain flour
0.25oz dried yeast
1 cup warm water (250ml)
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsps olive oil
200g Slow cooked pulled lamb
Salad leaves
Sliced onion
Grated carrot

Method
In your stand mixer bowl add 1 cup of plain flour, the 0.25 oz yeast and a cup of warm water. Whisk together and leave for 20 minutes until bubbles start to form and the yeast is activated.
Add the 1 3/4 cup of plain flour salt and olive oil and mix using a dough hook until the dough is elastic and pulls aw as y from the bowl, around 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and lightly grease it. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for 2 hours until double in size.
Push the air out of the dough and on a lightly floured surface, divide into 8 equal pieces.
Roll into balls by tucking the dough from the sides and pull underneath.
Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll into a circle and leave to rest for five minutes, repeat until all the dough is used.
Lightly grease a fry pan and add the pita, cook for 3 minutes each side or until you see a golden color.
Cool on a rack and repeat for all the dough to be finished.
Now they are ready to stuff.

Tzatziki
150g greek full fat yoghurt
1/2 cucumber, grated and water squeezed out
3 tsps chopped fresh mint
Black pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and mix, season to taste.

Add the pulled lamb to the tzatziki and mix until all coated, now assemble the pitta.

This recipe takes a little time but once you do it, you will never buy pitta bread again, its very versatile and just endless possibilities to fill it with, treat yourself.

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Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

Thanks to once upon a chef.

Ingredients
380g plain flour
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsps ground ginger
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
310g brown sugar, dark
320ml molasses
2 large eggs
320ml boiling water
110g melted unsalted butter

Method
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Line your loaf or square cake tin with wax paper.
Mix together the flour, salt , ginger, cinnamon, cloves and bicarbonate of soda together and set aside.
Next in another bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, boiling water, molasses.
Stir together and let cool a little before adding the eggs or they will cook like scrambled eggs.
Once the eggs have been added and mixed, whisk the wet mix into the dry until all combined.
Bake for approx 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool.
Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and great coffee .
Or keep some to make an amazing gingerbread trifle if you can

I doubled the recipe as I am making the trifle for Christmas but my mum is visiting from the UK and she loves this cake!

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Cinnamon Buns

Dough
1 cup warm milk
1tablespoon dried instant yeast
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
3 cups plain flour plus extra

Filling
1/2 cup salted butter softened
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

Icing
1 tablespoon milk or orange juice
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
In a stand mixer add the warm milk, yeast, salt, caster sugar, butter and egg. Mix on low speed to combine then add the flour 1 cup at a time. Change to a dough hook and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. This can also be done by hand. The mix should be tacky and soft but not sticky.
Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover for an hour or until doubled in size.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling together and set aside.
Mix the icing and set aside
Once the dough has risen, knock it down with your fingers to remove the air and place onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll into a rectangle approx 12cm by 20cm and spread the filling all the way to the edges.
Roll tightly from the longest edge to form a sausage shape then cut into 12 equal circles.
Place into a 20cm round tin that is lightly greased and cover again and leave to rise for another hour.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, oven depending until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
Pour over the icing whilst hot and leave to cool.

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Jam Drops

A Donna Hay recipe

Ingredients

250g, unsalted butter, softened

3/4 (165g) cup caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 1/4 (335g) cup plain flour

1/2 cup strawberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with wax paper.

In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy for 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the vanilla, egg yolk and lemon zest and mix to combine.

Add the flour and mix again until well combined.

Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Use a teaspoon measure or weighing scales and roll into balls around 15g each.

Press down lightly with your fingers and then use the top of a wooden spoon handle to make a hole in the middle, be careful not to go all the way through.

Use a teaspoon measure or a piping bag and fill each hole with a little jam.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked but not browned.

Place on a rack and leave to cool, if you can!

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Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup 100% peanut butter

1 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and sugar together and mix.

Sift the flour and baking powder together then add to the peanut butter mix.

Add the water and bring to a dough.

Rest in cling wrap in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I weighed my cookie dough so each one was 15g, but just use a teaspoon per cookie if you are time poor.

Roll into balls and place on the prepared tray leaving space for them to spread out a little. Press the top with the prongs of a fork, gently.

Bake for 20 minutes, then cool on a rack.

You may want to double this recipe as they are very moreish and not overly sweet.

Yum.

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Rhubarb, Apple and BlackBerry Crumble

Ingredients150g (1 cup) plain flour100g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar50g (1/2 cup) rolled oats100g chilled butter, cut into cubes50g (1/2 cup) dessicated coconut4 stalks (500g) rhubarb, chopped into chunks2 large granny smith apples, peeled, quartered then halved200g frozen blackberries1/2 cup caster sugarWaterMethodIn a large saucepan add the fruit, caster sugar and just enough water to cover it all. Cook on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes until the fruit is cooked but firm to touch.Drain and leave to cool.To make the crumble, add the flour, oats, coconut and brown sugar into a bowl, mix with a spoon to combine, then add the butter and rub it in using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes, or until it has browned on top and the juice from the fruit starts bubbling up the sides 😍Serve with ice cream or the beautiful vanilla custard we made earlier.What a winner, delish.

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Vegetarian Korma

Thanks to Joe Wicks

Ingredients
50g raw cashew nuts
1 garlic clove, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
100g quorn fillet, chopped to bite size pieces
20g grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
25g greek yoghurt
2 poppadums
1 teaspoon chopped fresh coriander

Method
Add the cashew nuts to a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes .
Add the coconut oil to a frying pan on medium heat then add the onions, cook for a few minutes until softened . Add the quorn and fry until browned a little.
Add the ginger and spices and half a cup of water. Stir to combine, reduce the heat a little.
In a food processor blitz the soaked nuts and water together and pour into the frying pan. Bring up to a simmer and cook for another five minutes.
Serve with the yoghurt on top and sprinkle over the chopped coriander. Add the cooked poppadums.

This is delicious, quick to prepare and great to cook in batches and freeze.