All posts tagged: Cooking

Brownie on a plate

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies are hugely popular in the Letstrythisathome house.  They’re incredibly easy to make and pretty much foolproof, even with ‘help’ from the smallest chefs in the family.  The last time we made some, Chief Stick Collector announced that the mixture looked like Nutella.  Lightbulb moment! We added a large dollop of Nutella to the mixture, and waited even more impatiently than usual to see how they would turn out. Chief Stick Collector and Bird Girl were confident. I was tentatively hopeful. A very rainy Sunday afternoon was not the time to have to go out for more ingredients to make a replacement batch if it had all gone wrong.  But luckily, the random addition turned out to be not just as good as the original recipe, but, we thought, an improvement.  Light and flaky on the top but just the right amount of gooey inside, and really chocolatey.  This is now our go-to recipe for brownies. Ultimate Chocolate Nutella Brownies Ingredients 275g (10oz) butter, softened 375g (13oz) caster sugar 4 large eggs 75g (3oz) cocoa powder …

Honey Oat Muffins

    We have been looking for a muffin recipe that feels a bit more healthy.  I know muffins aren’t supposed to be a health-food, but these ones, with the addition of oats, and using vegetable oil instead of butter seemed a bit less ‘naughty’ than others. Although, we discovered that they taste delicious if you slice them open when they’re still a little warm from the oven and spread butter on them.  It defies the whole point of the healthier muffin, but if you’re that concerned about avoiding snacks, just call it lunch! The original recipe came from our BBC Good Food 100 Cakes and Bakes book, but we tweaked it by adding dried apricots in place of some of the raisins and soaking the remaining raisins in orange juice. We made two versions from the same batch of mixture – regular size and mini-size. Honey-Oat Muffins Ingredients 250g plain flour 85g porridge oats 1tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp salt 45g raisins, soaked in 100ml orange juice …

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

When it’s cold out, a good bowl of soup can be really satisfying.  This one really hits the spot, and it’s so simple to make. The addition of ginger boosts the warming quotient, and the coriander adds a subtle spice without being overpowering. I love this made with chicken stock, for a really rounded flavour, but vegetable stock works well too, to make this a vegetarian dish. I originally came across a version of this recipe in a book called ‘Easy Entertaining’, but the original used allspice berries instead of ginger and coriander.  I definitely prefer the ginger and ground coriander for the warmth and more subtle flavour; but if you’re making this at Christmas time, the allspice is a good seasonal variation. I’m lazy, and think life’s too short to toast your own pine nuts, so I buy ready-toasted ones, but by all means toast your own if you have the time or inclination! This works well with a scattering of fried bacon or pancetta as garnish, but again, only if you have the time …

Roasted Vegetable and Halloumi Pasta

Do you always manage to eat your ‘5 a day’?  Count them up.  Be honest now – I’m pretty sure a glass of wine doesn’t count as one portion of fruit! When I feel like I’m edging into vegetable deficit, I make Roasted Vegetable and Halloumi Pasta.  It’s a really easy way to slam-dunk your 5 a day in one go, but the addition of the halloumi cheese stops it feeling too sanctimonious! What’s more, once you’ve chopped everything up, you can really just leave it in the oven to cook itself while you have that glass of wine, just for good measure. Roasted Vegetable and Halloumi Pasta Ingredients (serves 4) 1 Aubergine 2 Courgettes 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper 1 green pepper 500g cherry tomatoes 2 leeks 250g block halloumi 1 clove garlic 1 dsp balsamic vinegar 1 dsp olive oil 2 bay leaves 1 tsp dried basil 400g pasta shapes Directions Preheat the oven to 170c (fan) or 180c otherwise. Slice the leeks into 1cm rounds, chop the other veggies and the halloumi into …

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I have recently been thinking of cutting back on the amount of red and processed meat that we eat, not least after watching the recent BBC documentary investigating the relative health-and environmental impacts of eating various kinds of meat protein. But Chief Stick Collector and Bird Girl definitely fall into the carnivorous camp, and love their bolognese sauce and beef meatballs.  Vegetables are either just about tolerated (on a good day) or outright refused (unless hidden incognito in something else!).  So the question was whether I could replicate one of their favourite beefy meals with something else? Step forward Turkey Mince.  The challenge? Make some meatballs with turkey mince that were not only edible, but tasty. A bit of internet surfing revealed a large number of recipes for turkey meatballs, but none seemed exactly what I was looking for, so I mixed and matched and added and subtracted and threw in a variation of one of our favourite tomato pasta sauces, and ended up with the recipe below. The results? Well, the children loved the sauce …