Monday, 30 June 2008

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies ~ Sweet and Simple Bakes!

This month’s bake over at Sweet and Simple Bakes was a recipe for Double Chocolate Cookies that no true cookie lover would be able to resist! I found this recipe to be wonderful and one that I will definitely be making again and again whenever that fix for double choc cookie arises. If you would like to recreate these wonderful cookies, you can find the recipe here.

Perfect accompaniment to a cold glass of milk!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Introducing my beautiful baby niece Maya! ~ Apple and Blueberry Cake

I would like to apologize for not having blogged much recently, it's been a busy time for my family and I recently. My beautiful baby niece Maya arrived into the world on Sunday 8th June at 7.34am!! She is absolutely precious and looks just like my sister.

I feel like I haven’t baked anything in weeks but I did bake my favourite Chocolate-Lime cheesecake by Nigella Lawson on Sunday for Father’s day but naughty me didn’t take pics! My parents are over from Spain and have been staying with my sister and helping out with the baby but this weekend they are coming to stay with us, as it’s my son’s 16th birthday (still can’t believe my son is going to be 16). So I decided to bake this Apple and Blueberry Cake, a simple but yummy cake to have for when they arrive, plus my dad adores apple cakes so I can’t let down mi papa! ! I am sure this cake will go down a treat.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Banana White Chocolate Muffins

A great portion of my life is spent baking with bananas, especially when they go ripe, as I hate to throw away food and my boys would much rather me make up some home-baked goodness that they will no doubt enjoy than to see good ripe bananas go to waste. This recipe is excellent when time isn’t on your side, you won’t believe how quick they are to mix up and bake! In no time you have delicious yummy muffins to enjoy at breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Banana White Chocolate Muffins


3 very ripe bananas

125ml vegetable oil

2 eggs

250g plain flour

100g caster sugar

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

150g white chocolate (or butterscotch or dark chocolate morsels)

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers.

Mash the bananas and set aside for a moment.Pour the oil into a jug and beat in the eggs.

Put the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the beaten-egg-and-oil mixture, followed by the mashed bananas.

Fold in the white chocolate morsels, then place equal quantities in the prepared muffin tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Baked Pasta with Sausages, Tomatoes and Cheese

Pasta plays a big part in our weekly meals and I often love trying out and introducing new pasta dishes to our table. I had some lovely Italian sausages begging to be used in the fridge, so my loyal friend Google went into action to find me the perfect pasta recipe to incorporate those yummy sausages into. I came across this recipe on Myrecipes, where it immediately caught my eye and I knew this was the one! This pasta dish is simple and quick to make but its pure comfort food and just the kind we love. I added a splash of red wine and oregano for that added flavour and let it simmer for longer. If you love your pasta and are looking for an easy quick meal that your family will appreciate then look no further. My son and hubby really enjoyed and loved this dish and so did I. I will definitely be making this again and again!

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomato, and Cheese

1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links (I used pork Italian Sausages)

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Cooking spray (I used butter)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
3. (I added 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.) Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes (I simmered my sauce for 25 minutes), stirring occasionally.
5. Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray or butter. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I had to post this pic of my beautiful princess Coco. This is how I sometimes find her, on her back in all her fluffy glory! Yep, she definitely has a good life ;o)

After having a break from baking last week I was sure my boys were starting to miss their home-baked goods and I couldn’t have been more right! The Apricot Seed Bars I made yesterday have been devoured in less than 24 hours; do you reckon they missed my baking? So being the good mummy and wifey I have baked them these Apple & Cinnamon Muffins. I wonder how long they will last?! I am sure they will be a great success, they really are wonderfully delish. If you have some spare apples sitting in the fruit bowl, this is the perfect recipe to make use of those apples. These muffins are beautifully moist from the grated apple and personally I think apple and cinnamon flavours work great together. I love how the topping adds that extra crunch. This muffin recipe is a "must try".

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

275g (10oz) plain flour
4 level tsps Baking Powder
75g (3oz) caster sugar
2 medium sized eggs
225ml (8floz) milk
110g (4oz) butter (melted)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
75g (3oz) cooking apples (peeled and grated)
1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp Demerara sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6 and place 12 Muffin Cases in a muffin / deep cupcake tin.
Sieve the flour and Baking Powder together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, milk, butter and Vanilla Extract.
Fold flour etc. into the egg mixture; add the apple and cinnamon and mix gently to form a lumpy batter.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, sprinkle on the topping and bake at the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Apricot Seed Bars~BookMarked Recipes Event

It seem's like ages since I last baked or blogged. Sorry for not having been around much lately but recently I have been feeling run down and lost my baking mojo. I woke up today and decided that I had to bake something for my boy's who have missed my baking. So this morning whilst drinking my cup of tea I came across these Apricot Seed Bars, an easy and rather healthy recipe that I've had bookmarked. These bars are packed full of dried fruit, seeds and home-baked goodness. They would make a perfect energy snack if you’re hiking or biking or just need an energy boost fix during the day.

The lovely Ruth from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments has a wonderful blog event which she hosts every Monday called BookMarked Recipes, where you bake or cook a book marked recipe from magazines, cookbooks, online recipes etc. I love the concept of an event that encourages you to try out recipes that you've had your eye on. So I am submitting my Apricot Seed Bars!

Apricot Seed Bars

Makes 20 Bars

¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
¾ finely chopped dried apricots
¾ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ flax seeds
¼ sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350oF/180oC
13- by 9-inch cake pan, greased

In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth and creamy. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in rolled oats, apricots, cranberries, sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until top is set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars.

Recipe source: Bars & Squares..more than 200 recipes by Jill Snider