Bread and butter pudding recipe

Bread and Butter Pudding

When I discovered that I could use stale biscuits or dry white cake to make bread and butter pudding, I shouted hallelujah. This recipe is a way of using up those baked goods that are too yummy to throw away but stale to eat. The recipe in the picture, I used left over rich fruit scones.

Bread and butter pudding recipe

What you need.

1 egg yolk

I tbsp sugar

½ pint milk

Biscuits/ cake

Currants

What to do

  1. Dissolve the sugar in the milk and simmer till bubbling but not boiling. Keep stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Beat egg yolk in a mixing bowl and add the warm milk to it.
  3. Butter your cake or biscuits.  If you are using cake, cut it up your cake into small pieces.
  4. Lay them down into a buttered baking dish
  5. Sprinkle with currants in between.
  6. Pour the milk mixture and let it soak for half an hour or so.
  7. Bake in moderate –to-hot hot oven for 30-40 until pudding has risen and set.Bread and butter pudding recipe

Serve with Ice-cream or double cream.

Do you have a left-over recipe you’d like to share here?

Yvonne xxx

granola recipe

Home-Made Granola

We don’t really eat a lot of cereal in our house. When we do, we go for brands buy like Rude Health  or even better, we make ours. When we make granola,  I find it fun to make with the girls (it is not as messy as baking) and far cheaper. I use whatever seeds, berries, and nuts I like. I  also use up all of the seeds, dried fruits, and nuts that  we have sitting our my pantry.

 

Granola recipe

 

What you need.

200g runny honey

1tbsp vanilla

300g oats

100 g sugar –free puffed rice

50g raisins

100g almonds

50g dried cranberries

50g pumpkin seeds

50g goji berries

Pinch of sea salt

4tbsp wheat bran

What to do.

  • Preheat oven to 180oC and line a shallow baking tin with baking paper.
  • Gently combine the vanilla and honey together using heat. This can be done in your microwave or using a stove.
  • Place the oats, puffed rice, almonds, seeds, wheat bran in a mixing bowl. Pour in the honey mixture, combine well and transfer to the lined tray.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally. It is ready when  crisp in texture and golden in colour
  • Take out of the oven and set aside to cool. Once it is cool, break big chunks into smaller pieces. Stir in the dried cranberries,  raisins and goji berries.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Rude Health

Beth Johnson (3 of 4)

Rude Health is a brand of food that my family trust and love. But before I tell you about them, I want to tell a short story.

When I was growing up, for breakfast, my late mother fed her six kids with yams, beans, plantain, eggs and (on the odd occasion) bread. This way of eating changed after Kingsway Supermarket opened in Kano, Nigeria. For breakfast, my mother started to give us a brand of cornflakes that was full of sugar and had more than two ingredients. And as kids, we loved it. My mum (bless her) felt that she was doing well because cornflakes were the food of the developed countries and it was the breakfast of the well-to-do. Who would not want that? We all did except our bodies. I grew fat.

Beth Johnson (4 of 4)

Fast forward to today. Unlike my mum, I’m well-educated about food so, I make sure we eat well and as naturally as possible. My children – like every other child out there – love cereal. The only brand I feed them with is Rude Health. They, “Only use the kind of ingredients I’d use in my own kitchen – nothing artificial, nothing refined.”

Beth Johnson (1 of 4)

Rude Health recently sent over a box of their Organic Honey Spelt Puffs for us to try, and they’re now my kids’ favourite cereal. Although, they still love the  Honey Puffed Oats. These two cereals won me over because they contain only two ingredients – spelt & honey, and oats & honey respectively. On most days, my daughters will have their cereal with milk, but they love them best when the cereal are just sprinkled on their Greek yoghurt, with a bit of honey, nuts and chopped up fruits.

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Beth Johnson (2 of 4)

Rude Health was co-founded by Nick & Camilla Barnard who believe that honest food should be real food. They believe that there is a connection between eating right and staying brilliant. What I love about Rude Health is their food does not contain thickeners, preservatives, colourings, flavourings and all the other junk that we find in some foods. Plus it tastes great.

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Want to know more about them, click here

Yvonne x

Chickpeas with chorizo

chickpeas with chorizo recipe

Last night, for dinner, we had chickpeas with chorizo. It was so yummy, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.  What I love about this recipe is the fact that the meal is comforting, satisfying,  delicious and  you can cook in a short space of time. It took me (approximately) 20 minutes from prepping to serving. BTW, Serve with crusty bread.

What you need.

2 x TBSP olive oil

1x red onion, chopped

2x garlic cloves, crushed

200g chorizo sausages, cut into little dice

1 x400g  chopped tomatoes

2x TBSP dried parsley

2x400g organic chickpeas in water drained and rinsed.

Salt and Pepper

What to do

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, and chorizo. Cook over medium-high heat. Stirring regularly for 4-5 minutes.
  2.  Add the tomatoes, parsley and chickpeas to the pan, stirring regularly for 4-5 minutes until heated through.
  3. Season with salt and ground pepper.

Serve immediately.

Yvonne x

lasagne

Lasagne

lasagne

After school today, we had a special little guest come play with us. And when special guests visit our home, we ask them what they’d like for dinner.

Our guest put in a request for lasagne. BTW we eat lasagne like three times a year… if at all. I tried to talk her out of it by telling her about my yummy spaghetti Bolognese. She was not having it. She knew what she wanted, gave me the most beautiful smile, and politely pleaded with me to make lasagne. With my kids joining in, how could I refuse?

In the past when I have made lasagne, I have always found it laborious but this recipe  from The Beginners Cookbook by Pamela Gwyther made it so simple to make –  it did not take as long as I thought it would. And the end result – as you can see in the photo – was absolutely stunning to look at, and satisfying to eat. It was just delish!

I thought I’d share the recipe with you – just in case you have a special little guest come to visit you after school.

What to do.

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Add 100 grams of chopped mushrooms, 450g minced beef, 400 grams of tomatoes and 2 tbsp. of Worcester sauce.
  3. Pour in 300ml beef stock. Season and with salt and pepper.
  4. Lower heat and let it simmer for 20minutes (or until meat is tender).
  5. Put 3 sheets of dried “no cook” lasagne sheets in the bottom of a baking dish, pour half of the sauce on the sheets, top with another 3 sheets, pour on the remaining sauce, then 3 more sheets.

To make the white sauce.

  1. Melt 5 tbsp. of butter in a pan, stir in 50 grams of plain flour. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat.
  2. Gradually stir in 600ml of milk.
  3. Bring to boil, stirring until thickened.
  4. Stir in 75g of parmesan cheese and 1 beaten egg.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour over lasagne. Sprinkle 75g of grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 190oc for 30 minutes.

Yvonne xxx

Shortbread

shortbread

My mother-in-law introduced me to home-made shortbread when she and her late husband visited John and me in the flat we shared then. I think she must have mentioned  that her recipe was passed down to her by her John’s grandmother – her mother-in-law. After then, for weeks, I made shortbread but stopped because too much of everything is not good.

Yesterday, as part of a playdate activity, I planned a baking session for my daughters and their friend. However, the baking session did not happen – by the time I was ready, they had lost all interest. They just wanted to play computer games instead so,  I was left to bake this delicious shortbread on my own.

The recipe for shortbread is simple and only three items are required.

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shortbread

shortbread

What you’ll need

225g plain flour

120g butter

60g caster sugar, plus extra to finish

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/ fan 140 degrees C.
  2. Keeping all ingredients cool.
  3. Work sugar into butter until smooth.
  4. line the base of the tin with baking paper.
  5. Add the flour and knead together.
  6. Press into a round sandwich tin.
  7. prick through all over and score the edge to decorate.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top
  9. Bake in a very slow oven until biscuit coloured.
  10. Cut into shape when it still hot.

Yvonne xxx

Tomato sauce

Simple tomato sauce

Today, we made the most delicious tomato sauce for spaghetti. Seriously – it was amazing and simple to make! If you have a fussy eater in your family, you can conceal vegetables in this sauce.
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In our house, we eat tomato sauce with everything – I even eat it with… wait for it… salad. So tomato sauce is not just for pasta; you can have it with almost everything. You can even use it as the base of so many other recipes.

tomato sauce (6 of 6)

I tend to make a big batch, freeze it, and on the days that I can’t be bothered to cook (or the days that I have not planned our lunch or dinner) I dig it out of my freezer, make some pasta and feed the family.

What you’ll need

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large leeks chopped

2 large carrots chopped

2 small onions chopped

4 fat garlic cloves chopped

400g tin of chopped tomatoes with juice

1 tbsp honey

Salt and pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil together over low heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onions, leeks, garlic and onions. Sweat for five minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices and honey. Turn the heat up to high.
  4. Bring to boil then turn the heat to low.
  5. Cook for 45 minues, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with pasta, or refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Yvonne xxx

Do I need a slow cooker?

Slow cooker

Mums often ask me how I juggle working, running my home and blogging. The truth is (apart from giving myself the permission to mess up), I don’t juggle well. However, I try to keep things as simple as possible. I often slow cook our dinner.

If you know me, you’ll know that I am very mindful of what I feed my family – particularly my daughters. My opinion is our bodies are more important than say our cars or houses. So if we can spend thousands of pounds on making our homes look good or our cars function well, why not take the same care about what we nourish our bodies with?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a saint – I treat my daughters to a junk meal about once a week. But I make an effort to give them home-made meals most of the time.

As a working mum, the best way I’ve been able to feed my family with real, tasty, nourishing and healthy food is by investing in a slow cooker. Spending money on this kitchen gadget means that on busy days I know I can depend on it to safely prepare a scrumptious meal for when we all get back home.

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On days that are going to be busy, I wake up earlier than normal, chop and soften vegetables, brown some meat, pack all the other ingredients needed to make a delicious meal into my slow cooker, the lid is covered and the cooker is switched on. The dinner just bubbles way into a mouth-watering perfection.

Every family with a busy schedule should have a slow cooker – particularly if you have young children. It may be a costly gadget to invest in but, you’ll definitely get your investment back. Slow cooking does not require masses of time and effort in the kitchen. In addition, if your family is on a budget, it is a cheap and healthy way to eat.

 

Shop Slow Cooker

 

Yvonne xxx

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

 

Kale Chips

Photo by Yvonne

These Kale Chips recipe is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, It’s All Good. Before buying this book, I had never heard of Kale. As an African, Kale was not the obvious choice of green vegetable for me to buy.

And when I finally heard of this dark green leafy vegetable, I resisted against buying or trying it.  I resisted because all of a sudden, Kale was  annoyingly everywhere – It became this trendy Superfood. And since I didn’t want to buy into “the Superfood rubbish”,  I resisted against it.

But as you can see, I’m now a convert.

I remember the first time I made these chips for my family, My daughters loved it very much. But, not immediately! I guess they were not so sure about the dark green colour. And it did not look like potato chips. After I convinced them to try it… the combination of the crunch, the Himalayan sea salt and Avocado oil did the trick.

Kale Chips

Photo by Yvonne

In It’s All Good, Gwyneth suggests jazzing up your Kale chips up with ingredients like lemon juice, red chilli flakes, curry powder, etc. I’ve not done that yet but if you do, let me know what you think.

I made a batch yesterday so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

What you’ll need:

I big bag of washed and ready to us Kale.

2 tbsp of Extra Virgin olive oil (I used Avocado oil)

Coarse sea salt.

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200oC.
  2. Mix the kale with the oil and spread out on as many baking trays as you may need.
  3. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and roast (stirring intermittently) for 12-15 minutes. Or (since kale tends to burn easily) Take out when crispy and light brown.
  4. Serve when it cools or Keep in an air tight container.

Yvonne xxx

Honey Dutch Cake

Dutch honey cake

Honey Dutch CakeThis is one of the few cakes I’d eat. I’m not a big cake eater (I’m a chocolate girl) but I still bake cakes for my family. If I decide to treat myself to a piece of cake, (apart from birthday cakes) it would be Sophie Dahl’s Banana Bread or this Dutch honey cake.

The recipe for this Dutch honey cake is from Jenni Muir’s book, A Cook’s Guide to Grains. I’ve been baking this cake for my family since I bought the book seven years ago – my older daughter was just a year old! What I love best about this cake is (like casseroles) it tastes better the next day.

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Also, you can make different versions of it. If you want a ginger version, just add a tiny amount of powdered ginger to the mixture. If you want a fruity version, add 4-5 tablespoons of sultanas or dates to it. And the best reason why I love this cake is that you can serve it with butter.

Not to bore you any further, here is the recipe.

What you need:
300g rye flour
200g dark brown sugar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
½ ground or grated tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
225ml milk

What to do:

  1. Heat your oven to 180 C.
  2. Grease a loaf tin.
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the milk to give a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, leave to stand in tin for 20 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack to cool further.

Yvonne xxx

Sunday traditions

Sunday traditions in our house

untitled (1 of 1)-001 As a Nigerian who is now part and parcel of England, one tradition I’ve fully embraced is the Sunday Roast. I love this Sunday tradition! Personally, I feel there’s no other tradition better than this. What can be better than sitting down and sharing a delicious a meal – which has been prepared out of love and care – with your friends and family? This is the epitome of a good life. These are the celebrations and traditions that our children will remember from their childhood.

I believe, food is one of the ways we can show our loved ones that we care about and love them. The food my mum cooked was one of the ways she showed me love. From the little memory I have of her (she sadly died when I was just 11), the preparation of our almighty Sunday lunch started on Saturday.This was the only day we ate chicken. BTW In Nigeria, our Sunday feast is not called a Sunday Roast… actually, it had no name attached to it.

 

Early on Saturday morning, my mother would go to the local market to get the ingredients she needed for our Sunday feast. The live chicken was the most important ingredient. The kind of life the chicken had lived mattered very much to Mum. The Chicken must have been fed well, roamed about freely and lived a happy life. Mum also felt that if the chicken was not heavy enough or the feathers did not have a shine to them, it was not worth feeding her family with.

Sunday Traditions

The Sunday tradition I grew up knowing is really no different from what I’m now passing on to my own children. The only differences are the surroundings and the style of food. But the same thread runs through it; love and care.

I tell you this story because I’d love to you to share with me what your Sunday family traditions are. I know that with every family it is different. But, variety is what makes out the world beautiful.

If you are interested, this is the food I cooked for my family on Sunday. Not your typical Sunday roast but it was delicious. I adapted the recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghaynor. BTW, if you want a great Middle East Recipe book, I’d recommend this.

Sunday Traitions

 Baked shoulder of lamb with spice.

What you’ll need:

2 quality shoulders of lamb, boned, rolled and tied by the butcher (feeds four people).

6 tbsp olive oil.

1 tsp turmeric.

3 tsp ground cumin.

1 tsp cinnamon.

2 tsp sea salt.

3 garlic cloves.

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Put your lamb in a bowl, then add the oil, spices, sea salt and crushed garlic. Mix them into the lamb ensuring the meat is evenly coated.
  3.  Add 2 tbsp. water to the dish, cover with tinfoil and cook in the oven for 3½ hours.
  4. Remove the lamb from the oven and serve immediately with rice. And whatever veg you like.

I served mine with steamed basmati rice mixed with red and white quinoa. And I used up the vegetables I had in my fridge.

Yvonne xx

How I feed my family

 

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How I feed myself, John and my daughters is important to me. Good and fresh cooking is one of the ways I take care of myself and my family. Since my daughters are still very young, I feed them well by limiting the amount of processed food they eat. I don’t deprive them of anything, but I just limit how much of junk food they consume.

In the past, when I was a stay-at-home mum, I cooked three times a day. I must confess it was time-consuming – but I love cooking. So for me, it was not another task to be endured.

But now, as a working mum, I don’t have the time or the energy to make three meals a day. I’ve had to simplify everything in my life; even the way I feed my family. For example, instead of packed lunches for my daughters they now have school lunches. They love this because they get to eat things that I wouldn’t necessarily give to them. Not that there is anything wrong with what the school feeds them,  it’s just that, often they feed them with foods we hardly ever eat at home like lasagne.

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Another way I’ve simplified things (but still making sure we eat good, tasty and nutritious food) is by waking up early to prepare our dinner. I find it very difficult to cook a tasty meal after a long day at work, doing the school run and every other thing that comes with parenting. In the past, I’ve burnt our dinner!

This morning – as I type out this post – cooking in my oven for dinner tonight is John Torode’s Hearty Chicken Casserole. It’s going to cook all day while we are out, and when John gets back home at about 6.30pm we’ll all sit down and have a meal together. BTW, we do this every day.

The trick to feeding your family well is getting organised. I buy fresh food – especially meat or fish – in bulk and freeze it. My pantry is full of all types of grains and my freezer is full of frozen veg and fruits. It makes things easier!

I bulk buy so that I have no excuse not to eat well or feed my family well. Doing this is also a way of saving money.

I must confess that there are days that I’m not organised enough to cook dinner. On such days, we either defrost leftovers, buy a pizza from the supermarket, or go out for a meal. The most important thing is that we all sit down as a family and share a meal. This is the time where we get to talk about our day.

As a parent, how do you get organised? I’m interested in hearing how you manage your meal times.

Yvonne xxx

Overnight cooked oats

Overnight slow-cooked oats

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One of the best kitchen appliances I’ve ever bought is a slow cooker & over the years, two or three of them have died due to age or overuse. The good news is, I get to replace them with a newer and more sophisticated model.

My current slow cooker lives on my kitchen worktop and most of the time it has a red light illuminating on the display screen. It’s always in use cooking some rice, keeping some food warm, slow-cooking some stew, cooking a piece of meat or like this morning, keeping an overnight slow-cooked oats warm for the girls and me.

The recipe for a slow-cooked oats is Godsend especially now that the kids are going back to school. If you are a mum, and you want your child well-fed and nourished before sending her off to school, this recipe is for you.

When you slowly cook your oats overnight, the next morning  you don’t have to worry about what to feed your child or yourself. All you have to do is dish out the hot porridge, add whatever sprinkles, garnish or fruits you want to add to it, sit down and tuck in. This morning, we added some coconut flakes, blueberries and some cream… it was divine.

In this post, I share my basic recipe with you.

What you’ll need to make 2-3 servings:

100g of Steel cut oats

175ml milk

½ tsp salt

Butter

Sugar, honey, golden syrup or maple syrup to serve.

What to do:

Butter the dish

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir

Cook on LOW for 7 hours (max. 8 hours)

Cook’s tips:

If you plan to use steel cut oats which normally takes an hour to cook on a stove, then follow the instruction above.

If your slow cooker has a pre-set button (like my Tefal slow cooker) you may be able to substitute steel cut oats for Quaker Oats. This reduces the cooking time to approximately 25 minutes… the result is great as well.  Please check your manufacturer’s manual to know what kind of oats to use.

Yvonne xxx