Ok, so maybe exercise isn’t all that bad for you…

I have just completed my 4th session with my personal trainer. Today we moved onto our outdoors stuff which consisted of a 60 second light jog, interspersed with a 90 second walk and I’m quite proud to say I didn’t keel over! All in all it was 6 minutes of jogging and 7 of fast paced walking but I did it!

Over the weekend it was my mum’s birthday meal (it’s actually her birthday today and I’m taking her out for the day) so regular readers of my blog will know we always cook a special meal for the birthday person, this weekend was no different.

As I’m trying to get a bit fitter I opted for a mezze board starter with a lie fat fruit roulade for dessert.

For the mezze board I made a feta cheese, cucumber, red onion and tomato salad with pastrami, prosciutto, humous (reduced fat), Mediterranean bread (from Tesco) and some fried halloumi. It wasn’t the healthiest option but was light and very tasty.

Excuse the poorly taken picture.

IMG_0724.JPG

For the dessert I followed this recipe to make a mango, passion fruit and raspberry roulade. it was beautifully light and I managed to roll it!

IMG_0722.JPG

IMG_0725.JPG

So, I take back my statement about exercise, but not about baking! Happy days!

Time flies when you’re having fun.

It’s the end of half term & I don’t know where the week has gone! Inbetween school work & catching up with people the time has just flown by!

Yesterday we went to an art gallery before coming home for a movie marathon. For dinner I served Mongolian beef and followed this; Mongolian Beef slow cooker recipe. I fried the beef in the cornflour until it was browned & then added it to the rest of the ingredients. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time I boiled noodles and added them to the slow cooker.
image

The beef with the cornflour.
image

The rest of the ingredients.
image

The Mongolian beef in the slow cooker.

image

The Mongolian beef with noodles.

It was really warming & the ginger taste really shone through! We served with prawn crackers & Chinese snacks.

Happy Saturday!

Time goes by so…quickly!

It’s been a while since I blogged but I have no idea where that time has gone! Inbetween school, a social life & wedding organisation (2 months & 1 days today!) I haven’t baked or cooked anything that was notable.

Today’s blog post is a wedding related one. The h2b & I spent yesterday making our wedding favours. For 61p per person we created these:
image
Inside is a gladioli bulb in a small compost pot & on the outside is a recipe from a friend or a family member. The bulbs, tissue paper, cupcake boxes & pots were all bought in bulk from Poundland & the paper, laminator, pouches, guilotine & cartridge ink were all added to the cost. It may seem cheap but our wedding budget is only £5000 so we are doing all we can to keep it classy but to keep costs down.

We’ve still got a long way to go before they are complete but we’ll get there I’m sure!
image

A little of what you (fondant) fancy.

I admit it. I have a problem. I love baking for other people!

After my tea cake escapades yesterday I was feeling a little guilty about how I hadn’t made enough for the staffroom. I had enough to give to my 2 taste testers (Trisha and Becki) and my family-in-law to be, but not enough without leaving us devoid of any.

On the drive back from my h2b’s gan gan I decided I would attempt some fondant fancies… The lessons I learnt from this? Follow the recipe!!! I admit that I tend to glance at recipes, pick out the key bits and then freestyle. This was my downfall today.

For the cake I used my usual sponge cake recipe: I weighed 3 eggs then used this weight for the self raising flour, butter & castor sugar.

I began by beating the sugar and butter before adding the beaten eggs (with a teaspoon of vanilla extract) and sifted flour a little at a time. I use a metal spoon as I heard from somewhere that a metal spoon creates a reaction to make the sponge airier. It always works for me! I then baked for 20 minutes in an oven set at 180 degrees Celsius.

This is where I went wrong. I made buttercream icing using butter, milk and icing sugar and royal icing using food colouring, icing sugar and water. I then cut the sponge without measuring and made clumsy looking squares.

I put a blob of buttercream on each before coating the sponge squares with the icing.

20121111-174853.jpg

I then drizzled with orange icing. The h2b laughed at how ‘cute’ they were!

20121111-175249.jpg

I doubt Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry would even want to taste them!

They’re not perfect and I’m still not sure they’ll even be taken to school, but I tried and definitely decided that next time I will follow this recipe as Mary Berry definitely knows best!

Savoury muffins part 2

I finished yesterday’s blog post with the promise of savoury muffins. I return, via a trip to Heathrow having dropped off my future brother-in-law, having fulfilled this.

Meet my breakfast muffins.

20120826-144502.jpg

I made the base for the muffins following this recipe: Base for savoury muffins

Helped my the husband to be who was my very able assistant in this, I then added 2 rashers of bacon (diced and fried), a tin of beans (150g tin) and 5 cocktail sausages (cooked and quartered).

20120826-144803.jpg

20120826-144829.jpg

20120826-144838.jpg

It sounds odd & extravagant but the small quantities of each ingredient meant that each of the 12 muffins I made had enough of each without being too much.
Once the mixture was combined I topped half with mushroom slices and all with a small amount of grated cheese.

I baked them for 20 minutes and then poked them with a knife to check they were cooked all the way through. I was a little worried by the bean juice but surprisingly they were exactly the right consistency!

20120826-145415.jpg

20120826-145424.jpg

This success has definitely proved that I am able to add my own twists to recipes.