The Get in my Face Chocolate Banana Balls

Yep, get in my face and balls have appeared in the same title.

This is totally ripped off  adapted from a recipe in the cookbook Hungry? The innocent recipe book for filling your family with good stuff by the Innocent Smoothie People but I use less ingredients because it’s cheaper.

The recipe is supposed to use three ripe bananas, but I didn’t want to deplete my newly replenished stock of bananas so in the spirit of ‘Waste Not Want Not’ I used some frozen bananas I had stored in the freezer.

This did mean I had to do a lot of processing to ‘mush’ them when ripe bananas would be ready to go.

INGREDIENTS

2.5 Cups of porridge oats

3 Bananas, ripe, unless you want to use frozen and work hard at it

100g melted butter/margarine

1 cup of mixed dried fruit

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Vanilla paste/extract/essence

 

METHOD

Obliterate your bananas into a pile of mush in the mixing bowl.

Add the melted butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and whirl into a mixed frenzy.

Add the oats gradually, you’ll want it stiff but soft if that makes sense, you may need less or more oats.

When you feel happy with the mix add the dried fruit and mix together.

Roll into ball shapes and place on a baking parchment lined baking tray.

I put them in the oven at Gas Mark 4 as I was concerned because I had used frozen bananas that it might ‘melt’ and it seemed to work as they came out happy 25 minutes later (you might want to flip them half way through).

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Tart Me Up or Down Easy Macaroni Cheese

It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe, and this is a household favourite, to the point that I haven’t thought to include it till now because everyone has a Macaroni Cheese recipe, this is mine.

To an extent it could be considered healthy because it uses cottage cheese for part of the recipe, I have adapted this from a Slimming World recipe I found online.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

300g Macaroni (but you won’t explode if you use another pasta)

a 200g-300g tub of cottage cheese, use a basics own brand unflavoured one.

300ml Vegetable stock made up to your desired flavour intensity.

2 eggs.

130-200g cheddar. You will be fine with 130g but I have been known to go up to 200g.

TART ME UP OPTIONS

Herbs: Chives, Oregano, Italian Seasoning and Paprika were all added to mine, but do what you like.  Don’t worry if they are out of date, it really won’t matter, they just might not be as strong.

Breadcrumbs.

A 125g packet of Mozzarella, cut into little strips.

Secret Jillett family addition. When my Dad first started cooking for us after my mum left he was known to add a crumbled pack of crisps to the top of a cheesy pasta dish. Don’t knock it till you try it. But be warned, it may catch fire under a grill. That was an interesting day in the Jillett household.

METHOD

Put the pasta on to cook.

Make up the stock, add the cottage cheese and give it a wee stir.

Grate your cheddar.

Preheat the oven. I’ll be honest, I rarely do temperatures on my oven and instead cook everything on Gas Mark 7. I AM AN ANIMAL. You are not. Gas mark 5-7 will cook it fine.

When the pasta is done drain it and over a very low heat add the stock/cottage cheese mix, add the two beaten eggs, and about half the grated cheese.

You may find the mixture splits, this is purely bad aesthetically and will have no negative bearing on the dinner. It will still be lush and yums.

Add the cheesy, eggy pasta mix to a nice big dish and add your tart me up additions if you are doing so (in the picture I have used all of them), if not just add the other half of your grated cheese.

Cook for about 25 minutes until it is as crispy as you like.

Dance around the kitchen to Absolute 80s. If you are not doing this when cooking then you are living wrong.

 

 

How to use up leftover Easter goodies #1 Chocolate Brownies

According to my new-favourite-show-on-TV ‘Good Food, Save Money’ on ITV children end up with 8-9 Easter eggs on average on the Easter Weekend.

That is a lot of chocolate. Now you could eat it all in it’s original form and feel very, very sick, or you could do some therapeutic baking and make delicious melt in the middle brownies.

Alas, this is not my recipe. I was going to have a go at making my own but remembered in a little food notebook I had a recipe given to me by one of my brother’s friends for what was absolutely the best chocolate brownies I have ever had.

The difference was I used 3/4 of my Easter Egg stash in the making of these.

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The secret with this recipe is to take the brownies out of the oven when you believe they still need cooking. There should be a little wobble in the middle. This is semi-liquid delicious, you don’t want to overcook that.

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I won’t copy my friend’s recipe on here as I am yet to ask her permission for it, so will instead leave you with another picture of the deliciousness.

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Really all you have to do is replace the chocolate that any brownie recipe calls for with broken up and melted Easter eggs.

I added a bit of golden syrup when melting the chocolate eggs as that got it going a bit better.

The AAA Therapy Cake

Hi guys,

Today was a beautiful sunny day in the South West of England and South Wales, and I spent my morning at a Job Interview.

Naturally for someone who finds talking to their friend’s difficult enough at times, I find Job Interviews a wee bit scary and traumatic.

There was only one thing to do and that was bake my stress away.

This is probably why I am overweight.

Oh well.

The cake today was baked in order to use up two jars of apple sauce that were preventing my cupboard door from closing and had been for about 7 months ever since I first bought them.

I bought them to make a recipe called ‘Triple Apple Cake’ from a recipe book I have on my Kindle called ‘Insulin Resistance Diet Plan & Cookbook: 101 Vegan recipes’ by Patricia Karnowski which I bought in a panic one day when I was convinced I had PCOS. Turns out I only sort-of have it.

My recipe was ‘adapted’ from their recipe. In that it closely follows it and then I throw a whole bunch of things into the mix.

My recipe is crucially not Vegan, so if you want the vegan recipe I’ll explain where I deviated from the original recipe.

Also the recipe book uses Cups as measurements, so I have done similar. If you are adapting then make sure you check the measurements against liquid/dry.

THE AAA THERAPY CAKE

INGREDIENTS

(These ingredients all feature in the original recipe, but I used different amounts)

1 apple, sliced very thinly (you could use more, the original recipe uses three but my bowl was looking crowded)

1 Cup of dried apple rings cut into very small pieces.

1 1/2 Cups of apple sauce-here I used my two 185g jars of apple sauce which are from the Morrison’s Savers range as one jar equalled roughly 3/4 of a cup.

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 1/2 cups of oats – my oats were premixed with skimmed milk powder, which I do to make instant porridge ala Jack Monroe, this may or may not have had some factor on my end cake. I think you should be fine with just oats.

Vanilla – I used a very generous ‘splodge’ of vanilla bean paste

lots of cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg. I personally think things can’t have enough cinnamon or vanilla and nutmeg, but use your own tastebuds.

THIS IS WHERE THE RECIPE DEVIATES

2 tablespoons of greek yoghurt

1 egg

1 cup of self raising flour

METHOD

Chop the apples (both dried and fresh)

Put all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Add the applesauce and the beaten egg and yoghurt. Mix until it all looks lumpy and sticky (this shouldn’t take too long)

Squish into a greased cake tin, I used a loose bottom big bad boy.

Put in the oven at gas mark 5 for about 40 minutes until you do the skewer test and it comes out clean.

Please don’t ask me what Gas Mark 5 is on a proper oven, I do not know 🙂

When it is ready try to contain your hunger and leave it to cool for 5 or so minutes on a wire rack. When it is still fairly warm cut yourself a piece, have a cup of tea, and add a squirt of that weird toffee sauce in your cupboard that you can’t even remember where it came from.

Take said cake into the living room where the Artist Boy is painting and say ‘Look! Whilst you were ‘creating’ so was I!’

 

Leftover Vegetable Cheesy Scones

Remember that glut of veg I bought last Monday?

Well I didn’t want the Swede to go to waste, so I decided to make some vegetable scones from them. I found a recipe on the BBC food website by Greg Wallace from the Eat Well For Less show banner, that called for around 200g of mashed swede and 50g of other leftover cooked veggies.

My swede was B I G so even shaving some of it off for our Sunday dinner I still had 300g of it. I boiled it along with a very small sweet potato that was about 80g and I was planning on changing the rest of the ingredient measurements to reflect these changes in amounts, but in the end I kept the flour, baking powder, salt and milk measurements the same and I feel that my scones were all the better for it. In fact the milk amount seemed far too much!

I’m sure Mr Wallace will tell me I did everything wrong but I thought they were delicious.

As usual I was generous with the grated cheese.

I like my food ‘crispy’ which I know is more carcinogenic, even before the news report this year about ‘golden food being bad’ I knew that so I will leave it to you as to how well done you like them.

I will be having some in my lunch box tomorrow.

I reckon any combination of root veggies would make a good scone. They were yummers!

Pancake Day! Chickpea Pancakes and Broad Bean and Feta Salad

So it’s Pancake Day today and I have a confession to make.

I don’t like pancakes.

When I say that, I mean those Crepe-y type things that Pancake Day is all about.

I don’t know why but they just taste like a greasy mess to me.

Yet I like savoury pancakes, and I have a packet of  Gram Flour in the cupboard that isn’t exactly going out of date soon, but is taking up a lot of prime cupboard real estate.

Both the Chickpea (and cumin, lots and lots of cumin) pancakes and the Broad Bean and Feta salad are from one of my favourite cook books, which is Beyond Baked Beans: Real Veggie Food for Students by Fiona Beckett. When I was at University my second year house mate had a copy of this book and I frequently borrowed it. I love cook books. I read them as if they were novels rather than reference books.

As neither are my recipes I won’t copy them here, but I’m sure a variation recipe would be easy to find. I would recommend the book as an investment. Don’t let the fact it’s aimed at students put you off, it’s essentially just cheap and simple food with an occasional la di dah recipe thrown in.

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Instead I will tell you how I learnt the hard way to follow the advice every foodie says which is:

READ THE RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH FIRST.

Do not do as I did and:

  • Feel certain that I knew what all the ingredients were.
  • Realise I had forgotten the Feta and had to go to the shops to buy some.
  • Then read the recipe a little bit more once I had returned from the shops and realise I needed eggs.
  • Go to the shops and buy eggs.
  • Come back home, starving, desperate to eat and discover I had to let the batter sit for 10 minutes before I could cook it.
  • Cook the salad long before the pancakes so that the salad that was supposed to be served warm is actually served cold.

Luckily the food was worth the wait.

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I also made Bread Rolls. My very first attempt ever at making bread and they were…ok. A little hard, more like the bread equivalent of a rock cake but they were still delicious warm from the oven slathered in spread.

I have come to love my cooking sessions and find something relaxing about creating in the kitchen.

There was once a point in my life when my mental health prevented me from doing anything more taxing than making a bowl of cereal.

I know the act of cooking may seem like a non-achievement, but I feel very fulfilled.

I don’t like to tempt fate but this is the happiest I have ever been.