I always say this, but when I cook with my children, I have to be in just the right mood. A laid-back, chilled-out, hey-it’s-fine-to-wreck-the-kitchen kind of mood. Because cooking should be fun, right? For all of us, kids and parents alike. Which also means I won’t be too precious about what the end result actually looks like.
Take these Halloween iced buns for example. Who in their right mind wants to eat something smothered in black icing? Well, my daughters it would seem. Especially when covered in hundreds-and-thousands and oozing with green jam – or green snot as my two like to call it. Delightful pair. Continue reading “Green goo iced buns for Halloween” →
It’s safe to say autumn has arrived here in the UK. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Plus all those glorious pickles, chutneys, jams and all manner of preserves.
That’s why October’s theme for The Spice Trail simply has to be Preserves & Pickles. This month I’m looking for your pickled pears, onions or even eggs, your piccalillis and preserved lemons, chunky chutneys, fruit-laden jams, jellies and marmalades. All are welcome – just so long as they also include a healthy pinch of spice!
And what would go better with all those pickles and preserves than a tasty hunk of cheese? One lucky winner this month will receive a fabulous Cheese & Olives hamper from Serenata Hampers. Featuring a trio of beautiful cheeses (Abbots Choice Cheddar, Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton and a Wensleydale with cranberries), specially selected garlic and chilli olives and crunchy oatcakes, this hamper offers a superb collection of delicacies for all real food lovers.
How to enter The Spice Trail
- Display the The Spice Trail badge (above and also available here) on your recipe post, and link back to this challenge post.
- Up to three recipe links accepted per blogger, so long as each one fits this month’s theme and features at least one spice.
- Feel free to link up recipe posts from your archive, but please add the information about this challenge to the post and The Spice Trail badge.
- Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Friday 31 October 2014.
- If you tweet your post, please mention #TheSpiceTrail and me @BangerMashChat in your tweet and I’ll retweet each one I see.
- As entries come in, links to these will be added to the bottom of this page.
- At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe and the winner this month will receive a Serenata Cheese & Olives hamper.
- The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries.
- Entries from bloggers all around the world are accepted, but unfortunately the prize can only be shipped to a UK address.
- All entries will be added to The Spice Trail Pinterest Board.
I’m really looking forward to seeing your entries, and do watch this space for the round-up of September’s A Taste of India challenge.
- Tomatillo and Tomato Chutney from Mrs Portly’s Kitchen
- Simple Beetroot Pickle from Bangers & Mash
- Green Bean and Caramelised Onion Chutney from The Gluten Free Alchemist
- Carrot and Green Chili Pickle from Home Cook Food
- Apple and Sprouted Chickpeas Pickle from Home Cook Food
- Sweet and Spicy Lemon Pickle from Home Cook Food
- Mango and Chilli Chutney from Bangers & Mash
- Fiery Pineapple Chutney from Lapin d’Or & More
I adore smoothies. They’re so easy to make and, for me, they constitute the perfect breakfast on those days when I don’t really fancy eating all that much. They’re great for kids when they’re feeling poorly and off their food. And this particular super smoothie, with the addition of oats, is an ideal post-run drink to give me a much-needed energy boost when I’m absolutely exhausted.
Peanut butter and jelly (jam to us Brits) is the most wonderful combination. I think I could probably live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if I could get away with it. It also works really well in this super smoothie. With the oats and banana it makes for quite a substantial smoothie; pretty much a meal in a glass.
While I’d usually use milk and yoghurt in my smoothies, I’ve come up with this recipe for Blue Diamond using their unsweetened Almond Breeze almond milk. It’s free of sugars and has less than half the calories of skimmed dairy milk and half the calories of soya milk, which makes it a great alternative for those wanting to avoid dairy and/or live a healthier lifestyle.
Peanut butter and jelly super smoothies
Makes two glasses
1 banana, peeled and roughly chopped
200g strawberries, hulled
60g rolled oats
3tbsp peanut butter
3tbsp strawberry jam
275ml Almond Breeze almond milk
Simply place all the ingredients in a liquidiser or smoothie maker and blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses and enjoy as a super healthy start to your day.
Disclosure: I was provided with a free sample of Almond Breeze so that I could develop a recipe for their competition.
Food is such a fantastic conversation starter the world round, isn’t it? As a freelancer I’m constantly in and out of different work locations getting to know new groups of people, and I find that food is always a common denominator. Or maybe it’s just me?
Anyway, I’m working for a few months in the marketing team at Bath Spa University where I sit next to the lovely Stef and we talk food quite a bit. It was Stef who passed on this easy peasy idea for livening up manky (or was it skanky?) Digestive biscuits lurking in the bottom of the tin: turn them into strawberry cheesecake biscuits – genius!
That same day, knowing I didn’t actually have any biscuits (neither manky nor skanky) at home, I stopped off on my way back to pick some up just so I could give it a go. I opted for Hob Nobs instead of Digestives as I thought these might be more reminiscent of the cheesecake base.
Stef wasn’t wrong – these really are good. A great way to use up old biscuits or a ridiculously simple sweet treat when you don’t have the time or energy to make a proper pudding. And they take only a minute to make.
No recipe required here – simply take your biscuit of choice and spread with cream cheese, then top with strawberry jam or any other flavour jam you happen to have at your disposal. My girls, Jessie and Mia, made them with me after tea and they were a big hit all round.
I’m only at Bath Spa for a couple more weeks, so I’ll need to get Stef to share the rest of her cheat’s repertoire with me before I move on…