Friday, September 7, 2012

Yummy Chocolate Brownies.....

We have tried endless recipes for chocolate brownies, which are always a favourite in our house, but recently we came across this one in a christmas magazine that one of the kids had, it is easy, quick and not expensive to make, the kids loved it and they never last long! Sometimes I add in chocolate chips before cooking and also top it with a chocolate topping, sometimes I just leave it plain and dust it with icing sugar or cocoa powder, anyway you like it it's good!
Here we go then:

175g (6oz) margarine or butter
350g (12oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essecnce (or extract)
3 eggs
125g (5 oz) plain flour
1 level teaspoon of baking powder
50 g (2oz) cocoa
A rectangular tin 22 x 30 x 2.5 cm lined with greaseproof paper (or  sprayed well with cake release spray)

1   Heat oven to 180C (350f) Put margarine or butter in a saucepan and melt on a low heat (or you could just melt it in a bowl in the microwave) Pour into a large bowl and add in the sugar and vanilla, mix together well.

2   Break the eggs into a small bowl or a mug and stir together with a fork to mix, add to the sugar and butter mix a little at a time, beating well between each addition.

3   Sift the flour through a sieve into the bowl with the other ingredients, add the baking powder and cocoa powder and mix all together well.

4   Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top a little then bake in the oven for approx 40 mins, when cooked the mixture should have risen and have a crust on the top but still be soft in the middle. cut the cooked mixture into squares and cool on a wire rack, this recipe makes about 15 large brownies or 25 small ones which are plenty big enough for kiddies!!!

5   Enjoy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If Life gives you Lemons......

If life gives you lemons then you want to make this!

Lemon Curd......

4 large lemons
1 lb (450 g) caster sugar
6 eggs
4 ozs (112 g) butter

Wash the lemons and remove very thin strips of rind from two of them.
Cut in half and squeeze out the juice, removing any pips.
Put the juice and rind, beaten eggs and other ingredients into a double saucepan (or heatproof-bowl over a hot pan of water) on low heat and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
Continue cooking until the mixture thickens.
Remove the rind.
Turn into hot clean jars and seal at once.
Makes about 2 lbs (900 g) of Lemon Curd.

But what I also Love to make with lemon's is this: 
(Donal Skeehan's Lemon Drizzle Cake)

Makes approx 30 slices
225g caster sugar,
250g self-raising flour,

1 tsp baking powder,
4 large free-range eggs
225g butter, at room temperature
3 tbsps milk
Zest of 3 lemons
For the lemon drizzle:
200g icing sugar,
Juice of 1 lemon,
Zest of 1 lemon
heat the oven to 160°C. Line a rectangular baking tin (30cm x 23cm) with parchment paper. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well with the back of a spoon. Add the eggs, butter, milk and zest and beat with a hand mixer until well combined for about two minutes. *I use my food processor for this bit and I find it works fine.*
Pour the mixture into the lined tin, place in the oven on the middle rack and cook for 35 minutes until golden brown on top and risen. Turn out on to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
Whisk together the ingredients for the drizzle and spread over the top of the cooled lemon cake. Slice into 30 pieces.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jam Roly Poly and Elmo Cupcakes......

I came across this recipe on another blog a while ago. I can't recall whose blog it was so if it was yours, thank you, it brought me straight back to my childhood, my mum used to make this for us along with jam puddings real childhood 'nursery food'! I don't have a picture of this as I have not made it yet but do have pics of the elmo cupcakes that I made with the kids this week......Hope you like the recipe and that it will bring you fond childhood memories also......

Jam Roly Poly
8 ounces self raising flour
2 ounces Demerara sugar
3 ounces suet (I use vegetable suet)
1 ounce butter, melted (on defrost in the microwave for a minute or so)
5 fluid ounces milk
Quarter teaspoon salt
Half teaspoon baking powder
Beaten egg and 2 teaspoons Demerara sugar for brushing on top before cooking.
Approx. half a jar of jam – your choice of flavour. I have to have raspberry!

Preheat the oven, 200C, Gas 6
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, suet, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Gently melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients with the milk.
Stir the mixture with a plastic spatula until it binds together (this takes very little effort, don’t overwork it)
Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and rolling pin (or wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin)
Place your pastry dough on the floured surface ready to roll out.
Cut a piece of baking paper to lie on top of a baking sheet.
And now roll the pastry dough into as near a rectangle shape as you can … don’t worry too much about the shape but you are aiming for the same sort of shape as your baking tray.
Now spread your choice of jam over the pastry, leaving a one inch border all the way round – this helps to stop the jam squidging out when you roll it up.
Now the slightly messy part …. roll the pastry up, not tightly and very gently, almost lifting each time you roll to prevent major leakage of jam! I roll the long side, some people roll the short side, it depends on how think you want your slice of pudding!
Transfer the roll carefully to the lined baking tray.
Beat the egg and brush over the top of the roll, then sprinkle with the two teaspoons of Demerara sugar – this will give the roly poly a lovely crunchy top when it’s cooked.
And now to bake it … cook for 10 minutes at 200C, Gas 6 and then turn your oven down to 180C, Gas 4 for a further 20 minutes until the roly poly is lovely and brown and crunchy on the top.
Nearly time to enjoy your delicious old fashioned pud, just the matter of custard to sort now. If you are a purist, you will make custard with a double boiler and egg yolks, if you are a half purist, you will make custard with Birds Custard Powder and boiling milk, but if you don’t have the time or inclination for that, ready made will suffice …..!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lemon Curd Muffins.....

Lemon Curd Muffins - Makes 12 Muffins
200g/7oz self-raising flour
100g/3 ½ oz golden caster sugar
1 large egg
75ml/3fl oz sunflower oil
150ml/5fl oz milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
60ml/12 tsp lemon curd
For the sugar coating:
60ml/4 tbsp lemon curd
50g/2oz golden caster sugar
Heat the oven to 190oC/375oF/gas 5.
Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. Sieve the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar. In a large jug mix together the egg, sunflower oil, milk and vanilla extract using a fork. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently together until just combined. Put a teaspoon of mixture in the base of each paper case. Top with 1 tsp lemon curd. Top with the rest of the muffin mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and firm.
For the sugar coating, microwave the lemon curd on high for 1 minute until melted. Put the sugar into a shallow bowl. Brush on top of each muffin and dip the tops of each one in sugar to coat the tops.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seáns Birthday

Happy new year everyone! 2012! Can u believe it? I have just made it one of my new year's resolutions to start blogging again, as I had reason to look at my blog the other day and it made me smile to look back at the picture's of my kid's and see how much they have grown, the time flies by so past and in this digital age I for one find that I don't print my pictures but instead leave them sitting forlornly on a disc which is just so sad, so it is nice to look back and see how much they have grown. I also have to admit that I was shocked to notice that my last post was WAY back then in 2010! alot has happened since then, My Dad passed away in May 2010 and that made me feel very depressed and not in the mood to share my thoughts with anyone, also with the recession the past couple of year's have been tough, not so much money around, little or no work to be found and living on a very tight budget, so I am going to also use my blog as a tool to plan my weekly menus and add some new recipes, it's always a handy place to keep things!
My son Seán was 5 on the 8th of Jan this year but his best friend was also 5 the day before and held his party that weekend, so I decided then that we would have ours the following weekend and so we did, Seán was in his element and had a great time, he was so happy to have all of his friends at his house and delighted with all of his pressies! My sister also brought us this great drinks fountain at Christmas as an extra present and it was a great addition, the kids loved it, we also dug out our chocolate fountain which we got a few years ago but it is always a great success! They all had a great time anyway so that's what counts!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Gravel Poets

A friend of mine is in this band,they have just produced their first album, I'm loving this song, if you like it please check them out on you tube as every impression made on their video counts for them!