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Blog Archive

Edible Christmas Gifts (5) ~ Cranberry Vodka



It takes two weeks to make so you need to get started pretty soon to have this ready for Crimbo.


Ingredients:
1 litre Vodka
250g Fresh Cranberries
175g Caster Sugar

Method: (makes 2 50cl bottles)
Step 1: Sterilise a suitably large bottle (see picture at top)
Step 2: Prick the cranberries with a fork and place in bottle, add voddy and sugar
Step 3: Leave for two weeks shaking every day
Step 4: Strain and decant into smaller 50cl bottles (sterilised) to give away as presents - I may well have to keep a bottle...for emergencies
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (4) ~ Gold Dust Christmas Cookies



Courtesy of Nigella, an easy festive cookie for you all to try. I bought my edible gold glitter, which is a necessity in this recipe I think, from Jane Ashers online store. I made these for Lowen's little friends at nursery (I've put them in the freezer for now) but I'm half tempted to make another batch and use them for Christmas tree decorations. They have a lovely delicate flavour and my only alteration to the recipe was the addition of some orange zest, which went great with the ginger.

Ingredients: (makes 30ish)
90g Butter, softened
100g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
1tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 orange
200g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
Edible gold glitter

Method:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c
Step 2: Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg followed by ginger and orange zest. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt and continue mixing until it comes together to form a soft dough.
Step 3: Form 2 discs, wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest for 20 minutes
Step 4: Flour surface then roll out dough to 5mm thickness
Step 5: Cut shapes out and put onto baking sheet lined with parchment
Step 6: Sprinkle with gold glitter and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of cookie.
Beth Sachs
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Mediterranean Pasta Bake


Cheesy Mediterranean Pasta Bake

The great thing about this pasta bake is that there's no need to pre cook the pasta. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl, pour into an ovenproof dish, scatter over the cheese and bake for 1 hour in the oven. It's really tasty too!

Mediterranean Pasta Bake

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA BAKE

| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |


INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g Chorizo, sliced
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 500g Penne
  • 150 ml of Double Cream
  • 50g Capers
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Basil, chopped
  • 175ml Boiling Water
  • 1/2 TSP Sugar
  • Salt, Pepper and 1 tsp sugar
  • 80g soft goats cheese
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • 75g Cheddar, grated

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven 180C (160C Fan).
  • Step 2: Mix all of the ingredients together (except the cheeses) in a large bowl.
  • Step 3: Pour into an oven proof dish, top with the cheeses.
  • Step 4: Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cover with foil after 20 minutes to stop it browning too much on top.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date:  22nd November 2008 |


Beth Sachs
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Stroganoff Steaks


I rarely cook steak, mainly down to its expense, but after a few stressful weeks at work hubby and I decided to treat ourselves last Friday. I bought two lovely thin cut sirloin steaks and fried them for 2 minutes a side (we like our steaks on the rare side). It was washed down with a lovely glass of Shiraz.

Ingredients:
1 Onion sliced
25g Butter
1 garlic, crushed
200g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Sirloin steaks about 200g each
150ml Beef Stock
150ml Soured Cream
Parsley, chopped

Method:
Step 1: Fry the onion in the butter until soft, add the garlic and mushroom and fry until mushrooms cooked. Add paprika and fry for 30 secs. Tip out onto plate
Step 2: Heat oil in same pan, cook steaks as you like, then take out of pan and keep warm.
Step 3: Return Mushroom mix to pan, add stock and reduce by 2/3. Take off heat and stir through cream, parsley and season well
Step 4: Serve sauce on top of steaks with whatever you fancy. As I don't like potatoes I served this with rice and peas.
Beth Sachs
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Edible Christmas Gifts (3) ~ Apple and Cranberry Chutney




This Chutney tastes fantastic, even straight out of the pan! The original recipe comes from Good Food magazine but I halved the recipe as I only wanted to fill 2 x 500g jars.

Great served with cold meats and cheeses or given as a Christmas present. The Chutney will keep for 6 months.

Ingredients:
500g Cooking apples, peeled and chopped
250g Eating Apples, peeled and chopped
250 onions, sliced
25g Ginger, chopped
1/2 Tsp red peppercorns
250g Granulated Sugar
125ml Cider Vinegar
250g Cranberries

Method:
Step 1: Put all ingredients in a large pan except cranberries, bring to the boil then simmer uncovered for 50 minutes.
Step 2: Add cranberries for final 10 minutes of cooking.
Step 3: Fill 2 500g Sterilised Jars
Beth Sachs
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Apple Crumble Bars


Apple Crumble Bars

Apple crumble is probably my favourite dessert (with warm custard in the winter and a dollop of clotted cream in the summer), but I wanted to see if I could transform this popular pud into traybake form, making it easily transportable in lunchboxes and picnic baskets. I'm pleased to report it worked and I ended up with a gorgeously fruity tart apple bar with a sweet and crumbly topping. The quantities I give make a huge tray but it freezes really well too so why not freeze half for another day?
Apple Crumble Bars
If you love apple crumble I promise you'll love these.
Apple Crumble Bars

APPLE CRUMBLE BARS

| Serves: makes 30 bars | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes |


INGREDIENTS:


  • 560g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 270g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 60g Light Brown Sugar
  • 330g Butter, diced.
  • 3 Bramley Apples, peeled and diced
  • Juice half a Lemon
  • 1 TSP cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:


  • Step 1. Peel and dice up the apples into small cubes. Squirt with the lemon juice and set aside in a bowl.
  • Step 2. Combine the flour, salt and sugars in a bowl.
  • Step 3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a breadcrumb like consistency.
  • Step 4. Take 1 cup of the crumb mixture and mix it with the apples. Add the cinnamon and set aside.
  • Step 5. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and grease and flour a 9inch×13inch baking pan. Take 1/2 of your remaining crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Step 6. Remove the crust from the oven, pour in the apple mixture and top with last of the crumbs. Put it back in the oven for another 45 minutes. When it’s done, the top should be a beautiful golden brown. Cool by putting the pan on a wire rack so air can circulate around it. Cut into bars after they've completely cooled.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 13th November 2008 |

Beth Sachs
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Bacon and Pea Linguine in a White Wine and Soured Cream Sauce


This was most definitely a throw it in the pan kind of dish as I'm desperately trying to finish off odds and ends in the cupboards, fridge and freezer to make room for all the Christmas food that will be coming shortly.

As you all know Hubby is not a fan of creamy sauces so it was just my luck that he was out at darts tonight - giving me a great excuse to try this.

Ingredients: serves 2 and a toddler
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 Onion sliced
1 Garlic clove, sliced
Splash of white wine
3 TBSP Soured Cream
Seasoning
Handful Parmesan, grated
Handful Basil, sliced
Toasted pine nuts to serve
350g Linguine, cooked according to packet

Method:
Step 1: Fry onion, bacon and garlic in a little oil
Step 2: Add wine, cream and cheese and simmer for a few minutes then add basil
Step 3:Toss in linguine and serve with toasted pine nuts scattered on top.
Beth Sachs
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Chicken Tikka Masala


Another quick one I'm afraid. We are preparing to say to goodbye to hubby's sister and family this weekend as they leave for New Zealand.

I made this last night for dinner and it was a complete hit, very tasty, with minimal effort. Great when time is short.

Ingredients: serves 4
2 Onions, sliced
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 Red Chilli's, sliced
3 Chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 280g jar of tikka paste
1 can coconut milk
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Method:
Step 1: Fry onion, ginger and chilli's for 10 minutes until soft
Step 2: Turn up heat and add chicken and tikka paste, then add coconut milk and tomatoes and season generously. Bring to the boil then simmer with lid on for 20 minutes
Step 4: Serve with rice

A little picture of Lowen in her new winter hat!!



Beth Sachs
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