Sunday comfort food.

I’m sorry for bombarding you with blog posts today. This will be my last, promise!!

The husband and I gave in to the Sunday feeling and we’ve spent the afternoon on the sofa watching films – A Fantastic Fear of Everything, Jeff, Who Lives at Home and finally, The Muppet Movie. A perfect trio of films and a double bill of Jason Segel *swoon*. Ahem.

Anyway. So part of our perfect Sunday is a roast. Last month Chris (maybe I should actually use his name!) picked up a huge joint of pork in Asda reduced to half price. It was about a kilo in weight so we split it into two bits and froze both. I love saving money! It was quite a fatty piece of meat but for the £4 it cost us it was good value for money.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my parents bought us a slow cooker as a wedding present and it’s been the best gift we’ve ever recieved.

image

It’s a Breville, 3 litre slow cooker & has 3 settings: low, high & auto. It’s easy to use & easy to clean which is perfect for us!

We put half of the pork (500g) into the slow cooker with 2 old apples that had gone a little soft, 1 litre of pork stock & a table spoon of apple sauce & cooked it on high for 4 hours.

image

image

The pork was so tender when it came out that it just fell apart! We used the liquid from the slow cooker with gravy granules to make gravy and thus meant we had no waste. The gravy tasted very sweet and had a great apple tang to it.

image

We served it with the traditional trimmings for a roast: stuffing, vegetables, yorkshire puds and (for some reason quite disappointing) roast potatoes.

image

It was amazing even if I say so myself and even though I’m quite sleepy, I feel ready to do battle with whatever next week throws at me.

I also, finally shared my blog on my Facebook page and have recieved some lovely messages from friends – Thank-you Kirsty & Jessica! They made my day.

It just goes to show, it’s the simple things in life which can make the real difference. I hope you’ve had great weekends & are ready for the week ahead, whatever it may bring.

Baking therapy part 2

As I sit and watch the Muppet movie I thought I should post the phots of my finished cupcakes.

These are the carrot cake cupcakes frosted with mascarpone with a hint of orange.

image

I also dcorated them with sugar balls. For the frosting I used 3 tablespoons of mascarpone, the juice from a quarter of an orange and roughly 3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Of course each ingredient is variable according to taste & I tried the frosting as I went along to get the balance right between the sweet and orange flavours.

These are my peanut butter and jam cupcakes frosted with peanut butter mixed with more mascarpone.

image

I used 3 tablespoons of mascarpone with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I used smooth as I don’t like crunchy but I imagine that the crunchy stuff would add a really good texture.

My husband wants to add some chocolate sauce to his too so we’ll see how that turns out!

I hope you’re all having lovely weekends! It’s not quite Monday yet!!

Baking therapy

It’s 11am on a Saturday & I’ve not only been to the supermarket for baking supplies but I’ve baked 2 batches of 2 different cupcakes & completed the housework. Waking up at 4 this morning may have had something to do with this though…

My first idea was for peanut butter & ‘jelly’ cupcakes. I spent a fair amount of time researching recipes & eventually decided on this one from Hello Magazine.

Instead of injecting the jam as the recipe suggests I decided to layer it between 2 spoonfuls of cake mixture.

image

These are the finished product. Tomorrow I will mix mascapone with peanut butter to create a frosting.

For my second batch I decided upon carrot cake cupcakes as my wonderful friend & colleague Jo loves carrot cake.

I used the BBC website for this.

image

Grated carrots – such a fun job!

image

The dry ingredients.

image

The mixture – I used muscavado sugar as I’d run out of caster sugar!

image

The finished products waiting to be frosted.

It was a really easy recipe to follow & the results were light, fluffy cakes. I’ve made up an orange mascapone frosting to top them off which I made from mascapone, juice from a quarter of an orange & icing sugar to thicken & sweeten.

A very successful morning of baking & for me therapy! Happy weekend.

Mid-week pick me up!

It’s Wednesday & we’re halfway through the week. I’m sat eating Hershey’s cookies ‘n’ cream kisses & watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’. Bliss! A rare night off from working as well means I’m feeling quite chilled & I got out of work on time to pick the husband up & cook dinner!

Dinner tonight was home-made chicken kievs, sweet potato wedges & cauliflower & broccoli cheese.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon of butter
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Black pepper
2 rashers of bacon
Breadcrumbs
2 sweet potatoes
Cajun seasoning
Olive oil
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Cheese
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon butter
Milk

The how to…
1) Make a slit in each chicken breast & with a rolling pin, flatten the chicken a little.
2) In a bowl mix the butter, garlic, lemon juice & pepper.
3) Place half the mixture into a bacon rasher & roll it up before placing it into the chicken. Repeat for the other breast. Secure with cocktail sticks, cover in breadcrumbs and wrap in foil. Cook for around 30 minutes at 200°c.

image

image

4) Meanwhile, peel & slice the sweet potato. Cover in oil and season with enough cajun seasoning to your taste. Cook these for 20 minutes.
5) Boil the cauliflower & broccoli chunks for 10 minutes or until softened.
6) In a saucepan, melt the butter & then add a tablespoon of plain flour & stir until it forms a thick paste.
7) Add the milk gradually & whisk until it becomes a sauce. Add cheese and pour over the cauliflower cheese. Grate cheese over the top & cook until the cheese has browned.

image

image

The butter had seeped into the chicken & seasoned it with a buttery, garlic taste. The husband was very impressed! I even washed up!