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cooking

  • InRecipes

    Triple Chocolate Brownies.

    When Wren Kitchens got in contact and asked if I’d like to share one of my favourite recipes as part of their ‘Little Kitchen’ campaign I immediately thought of my triple chocolate brownies which are dangerously tasty and perfect for making with your little ones.

    For Wren, the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is where families like my own experience some of their most memorable moments. Wren Kitchens’ new ‘Little Kitchen’ campaign aims to explore a number of different theories around ensuring the little ones are getting all the goodness they need. As part of this, I have been involved in the Little Kitchen e-book (going live in April) which contains a series of recipes, fun activities and presentation ideas for involving kids in the kitchen.

    Bella really enjoys helping me in the kitchen and I try to encourage her to get involved as much as possible. She insists on doing little things like buttering her own bread or pouring her own cereal daily and I think that its so important to teach children about how food is prepared from a young age.

    I love to bake with Bella at the weekends when we have a bit more time on our hands. She likes measuring out all the ingredients by herself and then helping me to stir the mixture. Her favourite part is definitely eating the ingredients as we go though I’m sure 😉

    This brownie recipe is my all time favourite and I have made this countless times over the years and trialled various different versions. Today I’m sharing my classic triple chocolate recipe which always goes down a treat but if you are feeling a bit more adventurous you can easily switch it up by a bit by adding in some of your favourite chocolate. Terry’s chocolate orange chunks or rolos are both super tasty 😉

    Ingredients

    • 200g dark chocolate, I normally use the supermarkets own brand
    • 175g unsalted butter
    • 325g caster sugar
    • 130g plain flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 100g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
    • 100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

    Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees / gas mark 3 and line a 33cm x 23cm baking tray with parchment paper.
    2. Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth.
    3. Remove from the heat and add in the sugar and stir until well combined.
    4. Stir in the flour and mix well.
    5. Add in the eggs one at a time and stir until thick and smooth.
    6. Finally add in your chocolate chunks and stir until they are evenly distributed through the brownie mixture.
    7. Pour your brownie batter into your prepared tin and bake in your preheated oven for around 40-45 minutes. Your brownie should be flaky on the top but still soft in the centre.
    8. Leave the brownie to cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting into chunks. Dust with icing sugar to finish!

     

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    Please make sure to send me a photo if you make them, I’d love to see!

    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo

    This post is part of Wren Kitchens #LittleKitchen campaign. Please note that I was not paid for this post. You can view the Little Kitchen ebook here.

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  • InFamily, Recipes

    Mars Bar Chocolate Muffins

    As promised in my last post, here is the recipe for the muffins Bella and I baked on Saturday. This is my usual chocolate muffin recipe but instead of the white chocolate chunks I normally use, I added in chunks of mars bar and let me tell you, they were incredible. After Christmas the only chocolates left in the celebrations tin were mars and milky ways so this was the perfect way to use some of them up!

    Bella absolutely loved helping me bake these and was ever so careful with each step of the recipe. Although I think she may have enjoyed scoffing the mars chunks and then the finished products even more 😉 We’re definitely going to try and do more weekend baking together as we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins)

    • 200g caster sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 130g plain flour
    • 50g cocoa powder
    • 2 tsps. baking powder
    • a pinch of salt
    • 160ml milk
    • 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
    • 160g unsalted butter, melted
    • 200g chocolate chunks of your choice

    Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees / Gas mark 3
    2. Put the eggs and sugar into a free standing mixer (I use my Kenwood K Mixer) and beat using the paddle attachment until pale and well combined
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt
    4. In a jug, combine the milk and vanilla essence
    5. Gradually add these two mixtures alternately into the egg mixture, little by little. Beat until all the ingredients are well combined
    6. Stir in the melted butter and mix well then add your chocolate chunks and stir until evenly dispersed through the cake batter
    7. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are two thirds full then bake in your pre heated oven for around 30 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched.
    8. Leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before transferring onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

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  • InRecipes

    Chicken Pesto Pasta

    You know when you just throw what you have left in the fridge into a pan and hope for the best? Well that’s pretty much what I did with this recipe a few weeks ago. And I was pleasantly surprised when it tasted bloody lovely! and It’s now one of our favourites. Comfort food for me, is a big old bowl of pasta. And I love that I can enjoy this without all the guilt. This pesto pasta dish still tastes super creamy but with a lot less calories. It’s also super quick and easy to make and very family friendly!

    Ingredients (Serves 4 but can easily be halved and is 3 syns per portion on Slimming World)

    • 2-3 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks (you could replace this with any variety of sausages, bacon or even pork loin)
    • Half a pack of mushrooms, cut into slices
    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
    • A handful of baby leaf spinach
    • 1 tub of lightest Philadelphia
    • 3 tbsps. of green pesto
    • 300g – 400g Penne pasta depending on your usual portion size

    Method

    1. Cook the penne pasta as normal
    2. Whilst your pasta is cooking, spritz a non stick frying pan with some fry light and cook your chicken over a medium to high heat
    3. Add in the onion, mushrooms and pepper and fry off until soft
    4. In a bowl mix together the Philadelphia cheese and the pesto, add 1 tbsp. of water to loosen the mix slightly
    5. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan then mix in the chicken, onions, mushrooms and pepper mix followed by the spinach
    6. Stir the pesto Philadelphia sauce through the pasta then serve with lots of ground black pepper and a side salad / extra veg if you wish!
    7. ENJOY!

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    Harriet XO

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  • InMama

    My Goals For The New Year

    I have been thinking a lot recently about things I’d like to achieve next year so even though it’s a bit early I thought I would get them written down and share them with you.

    I love January purely for the fact it feels like a fresh start, a completely clean slate and a chance to start over. For the past few years I have set myself that same cliché New Year’s resolution; lose weight. I can happily say that over the past two years, I have actually done so.

    That one will still continue on into 2016 but this year I wanted to set myself more goals for the year ahead. I think it’s so important to have goals and to challenge yourself. I’ve decided to try and be realistic and only share 5 things I’d like to do in 2016, I do also have a few other goals for the coming year but they are more personal.

    I’m writing these goals down here because apparently  (Thanks Charlie for this one!) if you write them down you are 50% more likely to actually stick to them! So here goes…

    1. As I mentioned above; lose weight. I’m starting this year over a stone lighter than last and I’m so much closer to my goal weight which has made me feel more determined now than ever before. I will get there this year, sooner rather than later hopefully!
    2. Read a book a month. Pre Bella I absolutely loved reading and it’s something I really miss. Since becoming a Mama I’ve probably read one book, possibly two max?! This year I’m going to try really hard to set aside more ‘me’ time of an evening and read more.
    3. Try a new recipe a week. Josh and I both love cooking but I tend to do most of the cooking in our house as he works long hours and if it was up to him we’d eat super naughty calorific food every single day and I’d be the size of a house 😉 I follow Slimming World and there is some really tasty looking recipes on their website that I’m very excited to try out.
    4. Move more! Earlier this year I got really into exercising and I stupidly let this slip as the weather got colder and the nights got darker. I’m planning to start off with a couple of exercise classes a week and try and squeeze in some kettle bells workouts at home too. I’d love to also run a 5k or maybe even a 10k before 2016 is out.
    5. Take more photos and document more for my family. I’m no photographer but I have always taken loads of photos on my iPhone and I have to regularly off load onto my mac as I take so many. Although since I got my DSLR I have been really enjoying taking ‘proper’ photos on it and I really wish I’d got one sooner so I could have taken better photos of Bella’s first two years. I know I’m going to get so much use out of it over the years to come. I plan to try and print more photos off and document more of the things that I really don’t want to forget, either here on my blog or on paper. I feel like Bella is changing every single day and I’m worried that I might just blink and miss it all!

    What are your New Year’s Resolutions and Goals for 2016?

    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo

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  • InRecipes

    Easy Chicken, Bacon & Spinach Risotto


    I love cooking but hate cooking under pressure which 9 times out of 10, is the case in our house. Normally I’m in a rush to get dinner on the table quickly after work in time for us to eat together as a family before Bella’s bath & bedtime routine. We’re currently on holiday in Norfolk so I have been thoroughly enjoying cooking at my own pace and not having to rush around like a lunatic. So today I thought I would share one of our firm family favourites; risotto!

    This recipe is super easy and SO versatile. Instead of bacon you can use chorizo and swap the milk for passata for a tasty tomato risotto. Alternatively if you prefer fish you can replace the chicken and bacon with prawns or smoked haddock. I also often add in mushrooms and sometimes peas. The possibilities are endless! I hope you enjoy this recipe post and do let me know if you try this yourself!


    Ingredients (Serves 4 and is approx 450 calories per portion)

    • Small knob of butter
    • A dash of olive oil
    • 1 large leek or onion, thinly sliced
    • 300g arborio risotto rice
    • 700ml of chicken stock
    • 250ml of milk
    • 2 x chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    • 2-3 rashers of diced smoked bacon or 1 pack of pancetta cubes
    • 3 tbsp crème fraîche or natural yoghurt
    • A couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach

    Method

    1. Heat your olive oil in a large non stick saucepan on a medium-high heat and cook off your chicken pieces and bacon until cooked through.
    2. Add the butter and sliced leeks into the pan and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the leeks are soft. Add the rice and stir for a further 2 minutes.
    3. Add the milk and stock to the pan, bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low (this is crucial or the risotto may stick). Let the risotto cook for 18 minutes until the rice is tender.
    4. Fold in the crème fraîche and spinach (the heat of the risotto will wilt the spinach perfectly), season with plenty of black pepper and serve! You can serve the risotto on its own, with a sprinkle of grated cheese or with extra veggies our favourites are asparagus or tender stem broccoli.
    5. ENJOY!

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    Thanks for reading,
    Harriet

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