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Fruity Chocolate Crunch Bars



I've been eagerly reading Nigella's new book 'Kitchen' over the last few nights, going through my usual post-it note ritual of marking out all the must try recipes. Nestled right in the middle on page 310, was a fabulous sounding recipe for Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars (I loved the sound of using Cadburys Crunchie Bars) that I thought I would give it a go and take to our village Harvest Tea. Thinking about it some more though I decided that as they were going to be for children, I would omit the salty peanuts and then, after some further rejigging, the recipe now bears no resemblance to the original Nigella one - hence the new name. These really are addictive, so it's probably wise to make a double batch!

I am off to France with the family next week, so it might be a little quiet around here for a few days. See you all when I get back (with copious amounts of wine, cider and cheese)

FRUITY CHOCOLATE CRUNCH BARS

| Serves: makes 16 large squares | Prep Time: 20 Minutes plus chilling | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |


Ingredients: 


  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150g Milk Chocolate
  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 x 15ml TBSP Golden Syrup
  • 220g Digestive Biscuits
  • 3 heaped TBSP Raisins
  • 4 x 40g Crunchie Bars

Instructions:


  • Step 1: Line a 20 x 30 cm baking tin with foil.
  • Step 2: Break up the chocolate then place in heavy bottomed pan, with the butter and syrup and melt over a low heat.
  • Step 3: Crush the digestives and crunchie bars (I used rolling pin) then add in the raisins.
  • Step 4: Sir the melted chocolate into the crushed biscuit mix then pour into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and refrigerate for 4 hour before cutting into bars.

 | Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 24th September 2010 |


Beth Sachs
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Blackberry, Apple and Greek Yogurt Fool


Those of you who follow me on twitter will no doubt have been hearing about my blackberry picking adventures over the last few weeks. Well, several nettle stings (both me and Lowen), a few prickles and a rather scary incident with a cow later, we have survived *unscathed* (not the right word) for another year.

After exhausting the crumble and jam routes to their limits, I decided to try something a little different, incorporating some of the Total Greek Yogurt I was sent recently. The stewed fruit in this recipe will keep in the fridge for a week, so as long as you have some yogurt and honey to hand (and maybe a few toasted flaked almonds if you fancied), a tasty fruity fool is only a matter of minutes away.

BLACKBERRY, APPLE AND GREEK YOGHURT FOOL

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |

Ingredients:

  • For the stewed fruit:
  • 500g Bramley Apples, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 200g Blackberries
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Water
  • 8 Heaped TBSP Total Greek Yogurt
  • Honey for drizzling

Instructions:

  • Step 1: To make the stewed fruit place the apples, sugar and water in a pan and cook on a medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Add in the blackberries and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Cool a little, taste and add more sugar if needed. Keep in fridge for up to a week.
  • Step 2: To assemble the fool mix together the yoghurt and fruit, spoon into bowls and drizzle with honey.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 21st September 2010 |



Beth Sachs
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Two Cheese, Bacon and Pea Risotto


The colder autumn weather is coming (I love Autumn) which makes it the perfect time to resurrect my risotto making skills (although I do enjoy the odd risotto in the summer too).

Everyone in this house loves risotto and I actually find the stirring therapeutic (maybe not on a weeknight though!). I like to keep the flavours simple for the kiddies but if you want to add more herbs or different cheeses (blue?) then go right ahead.


TWO CHEESE, BACON AND PEA RISOTTO

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes  | Total Time:  30 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp butter and tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 400g Risotto rice
  • 1.2 litres veg stock
  • 75g cheddar, grated
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • handful of peas
  • salt and pepper for the adults

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Heat he butter and oil in a large pan then fry off the onion until soft.
  • Step 2: Turn the heat up and add the bacon and thyme and fry until bacon cooked.
  • Step 3: Add the risotto rice, stir for a minute then begin adding the stock a ladleful at a time, continuing to stir the risotto at all times. Add the peas when you get to the last couple of ladles of stock.
  • Step 4: Once the rice and peas are cooked and the stock absorbed, take off the heat and stir through the cheese.
  • Step 5: Season for the adults and enjoy.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 17th September 2010 |


Beth Sachs
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Black Bean Chilli


black bean chilli

We are real chilli fiends in this house, even 10-month old Rory loves a good bowlful of hot chilli and rice (I do make his a bit milder by adding creme fraiche!). Thing is, I always make chilli with beef mince and I always use the same old (but very good nevertheless) recipe. Fancying a bit of change, I devised this smokey vegetarian chilli using black beans and kidney beans as the base.

It freezes really well, so I tend to make up a big batch at the weekend and freeze in individual portions, ready to pull out of the freezer for a tasty mid-week meal. Rice is the obvious partner, but cornbread would also be good.

BLACK BEAN CHILLI

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 Red Onions, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
  • 1 TBSP Mild Chilli Powder
  • 3 TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 3 TBSP Cider Vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • Heaped tsp of light muscavado sugar
  • 1 x 400g tin of Black Beans
  • 1 x 400g tin of Kidney Beans
  • Grated Cheddar and Creme Fraiche to serve

Instructions:

  • Step 1: In a large pan heat some oil and fry garlic and onions for 5 minutes. Add the paprika, chilli powder and cumin and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the vinegar, tomatoes and sugar along with some salt and pepper, cook for 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Pour in the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, serve with grated cheese and creme fraiche.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 14th September 2010 |


Beth Sachs
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Byron Bay Cookie Competition


Competition Now Closed

Beyond the Bean kindly sent me an assorted box of Byron Bay Cookies to try recently. With flavours like Triple Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Date, Ginger and Walnut, Lemon and Macadamia Nut, White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut (they like their macadamia nuts!) and not forgetting the Strawberry and Clotted Cream variety - I was spoilt for choice.

They use locally sourced ingredients and free range eggs in their cookies, which are incredibly thick, crumbly and have generous helpings of nuts, chocolate and fruit in them. My favourite would have to be the Triple Chocolate Fudge, but I'm a sucker for anything chocolately!

For your chance to win a packet of Byron Bay Cookies all you have to do is tell me what your favourite cookie is.

You can either leave your answer in the comments section below, or on Jam and Clotted Cream Facebook or Twitter pages. If you retweet or share this competition you will get an extra entry (see the handy share button at the bottom of this post). Open to UK residents only, competition closes at 5pm (BST) Friday 17th September.


Beth Sachs
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