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Christmas Meal Plan 2014

Its been way too long since I was here. Those that follow me on Instagram or Twitter will know I'm currently expecting baby number 3 and working 5 days a week so its been extra busy. The baby is due at the beginning of April and I am due to start Mat Leave during February half term (when I hope to be able to start blogging again more regularly). Anyhow, to ease me back in gently I thought I'd post my Christmas week meal plan which will hopefully provide you with some inspiration and ideas for your festive get togethers. Due to moving to a bigger house in Februrary (with a rather large mortgage) and the upcoming cut to our household income I've also tried to be extra frugal. I've shopped around for the best deals and already have my gammon sat in the fridge (bought in a well known supermarket at half price). I've cleared out the freezer and have started stocking it with homemade treats and side dishes.

Jam and Clotted Cream ~ Christmas Meal Plan

Christmas Cake - I um…

Malteser Cheesecake

Oh my goodness this was good but not for the faint hearted! I felt compelled to do a 3 mile run the morning after the night before. A little slice goes a long way.

I was trialling this for the safari supper that I'm hosting in August and it's definitely going on the menu! Now I've just got to figure out what else I'm going to make to feed 100+ people - eeek!!

MALTESER CHEESECAKE| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes  | Total Time: 1 Hour |
Ingredients: 200g Malted Biscuits, crushed100g Salted Butter, melted10 Maltesers, crushed4 TBSP Caster Sugar600g Cream Cheese300ml Double Cream300g White Chocolate, melted200g Milk Chocolate, melted2 TBSP Horlicks12 Malteser, to decorate Instructions: Step 1: Mix the biscuits, butter and crushed maltesers with 1 TBSP of the caster sugar. Press into a 20cm round springform tin and chill.Step 2: Divide the cream cheese and double cream equally between 2 large bowls. Add the white chocolate to one and the milk chocolat…

Meal Plan 7th July - 13th July 2014

Apologies for the short absence -I think its called end-of-term-itis! It seems to be a merry go round of sports days, school fete's, parents evenings, gardening and DIY projects at the moment. I've also been asked to host the dessert course for the village Safari Supper in August which means 100+ people through my house - and making enough desserts to feed them all. I haven't firmed up what I'm going to make yet so need to do that asap!
I made a really nice pot roast chicken in a creamy tarragon sauce on Saturday which I will blog soon and trialled a couple of cheesecakes for the Safari Supper. I also planted some more herbs in my herb garden which is pretty much fit to bursting - will post some photo's soon.
Here is this weeks meal plan.
Monday 7th July Prawn Stir Fry
Tuesday 8th July Pork Steaks in a Pineapple Sauce with Rice
Wednesday 9th July Creamy Sausage Pasta
Thursday 10th July Chicken Kievs, Sweet Potato Wedges and Vegetables
Friday 11th July Homemade Pizza and…

Really Easy Apple and Gooseberry Crumble

My mum gave me a bag of early season gooseberries the other day - lovely and tart at this time of year and perfect for cooking with. The kids and I decided to make a HUGE apple and gooseberry crumble to enjoy over the weekend  - and there is plenty leftover for weekday puddings too.

I'm a custard with crumble kind of person (apart from when I have it for breakfast with Greek Yogurt!), as is my daughter, but the boys prefer theirs with clotted cream. Whichever you decide I can guarantee deliciousness!

APPLE AND GOOSEBERRY CRUMBLE| Serves: 12 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Total Time: ~1Hour |
Ingredients: 8 Bramley apples, peeled and chopped150g Gooseberries, topped and tailed200g Caster Sugar300g Plain Flour150g Salted Butter3 TBSP Demerera Sugar Instructions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c and lightly butter a large (or several smaller) ovenproof dish.Step 2: In a large pan place the apples, gooseberries and 100g of the caster sugar. Heat until fruit has broken down …

Meal Plan 9th June - 15th June 2014

The weather is hotting up now  - Yay!! -so meals this week are going to be reflecting this - more salads, BBQ's and fresh summer veggies.
Englands first match of the World Cup is on Saturday so hubby has requested Chilli Beef and Chorizo Nacho's and on Sunday we are eating out for Fathers Day! Roll on the long hot days of summer.
Monday 9th June
Baked Fish, Rice and Veggies

Tuesday 10th June
Smoked Salmon, Pea and Chorizo Risotto

Wednesday 11th June
Chicken Salad

Thursday 12th June
Sausage and Fennel Seed Bolognese

Friday 13th June
BBQ Burgers and Salad

Saturday 14th June
Chilli Beef and Chorizo Nacho's

Sunday 15th June
Eating out in the evening but for lunch I will do Tuna Melts with Side Salad

Creme Fraiche Banana Loaf Cake

This turned out to be a fantastically moist banana loaf thanks to the crème fraiche. I also used salted butter for this recipe, rather than my normal unsalted and it gave the cake a lovely salted caramel undertone. One of the best banana loafs I've made and the perfect way to use up those pesky black banana’s that always get left at the bottom of the fruit bowl. 

Hint: I guarantee it will be gobbled up quickly but if you do find yourself with a stale end cut, its also beautiful toasted under the grill, spread with butter and drizzled with honey. 

Have a lovely weekend. I'm looking forward to a potter in the garden (weather permitting), a walk on the beach with the family and lots of baking – including developing a Strawberry and Cream Traybake ready for Wimbledon. What cooking and baking plans have you got planned this weekend?

CREME FRAICHE BANANA LOAF CAKE
| Serves: 10 slices | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes |

Ingredients: 150…

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Carbonara

I got a surprise in my online grocery delivery a few weeks ago – smoked salmon. Smoked salmon’s not usually on my shopping list due to the cost and I can only ‘apologise’ to the poor person who missed out because of the very unfortunate mistake by the delivery driver! I managed to eek it out over two meals – making a very nice Smoked Salmon and Chorizo Risotto and this Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Carbonara. I think Carbonara has to be my ultimate comfort food but the addition of the salmon and asparagus really lightens it up and turns it into a wonderful summery treat. If asparagus isn’t in season you can just replace it with peas or broccoli. Does anyone else transform their favourite comfort foods into lighter summery dishes for the warmer weather? 

SMOKED SALMON AND ASPARAGUS CARBONARA
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Total Time: 20 Minutes |
Ingredients: 350g Spaghetti1 egg plus 1 yolk, beaten100g Parmesan, grated100g Smoked Salmon, tornBunch of …

Meal Plan 2nd - 8th June 2014

Not sure where the weeks are going! We've spent all weekend in the garden - mowing the lawns, planting up some tubs with bedding plants and digging....lot of digging. We have a tree surgeon coming tomorrow to take one of our really big Ash tree's down - really looking forward to all the extra light! Apart from that it's work and school as usual.
Here is this weeks meal plan

Monday 2nd June
Nacho's

Tuesday 3rd June
Sausage and Onion Casserole

Wednesday 4th June
Leftover Sausage Casserole

Thursday 5th June
Chicken Kievs, Sweet Potato Mash and Mixed Veg

Friday 6th June
Smoked Salmon Risotto

Saturday 7th June
Homemade Pizza

Sunday 8th June
Fish and Chips

Chorizo, Mozzarella and Pesto Pizza

Chablis wines challenged me to come up with the perfect summer pairing to a glass of cool refreshing Chablis and demonstrate how the wine with such a beautiful minerality can fit so well with many summer dishes.
Many people like to enjoy a glass of Chablis at Christmas time, but seem to forget it can also work incredibly well with summer dishes and flavours. For the Chablis blogger challenge I decided to create a light and summery pizza to eat al fresco on a warm summer evening...along with a glass of chilled Chablis.
I made the dough using my usual recipe in the bread maker then rolled it out to within an inch of its life - the thinner the better. I topped the pizza with tomato passata then layed thin slices of chorizo all over the top. Spoonfuls of my fresh homemade wild garlic pesto were then dolloped on before the torn pieces of buffalo mozzarella were put in place. As a final finishing touch I added some teaspoons of caramelised onion chutney and 2 large sun dried tomatoes cut…

Foodie News May 2014

A quick look at some of the products that have landed on my doorstep in May.
The Cracker Drinks Co


The Cracker Drinks Co have just launched a new range of no added sugar drinks. I was sent the Still Lemonade which was lovely and tart -  very refreshing on a sunny day and the Coconut, Pineapple and Lime juice - which had a lovely tropical taste and reminded me of summer holidays on far off shores...I had to make do with my back garden!
The range can be found in Waitrose and is priced at £1.99 litre. Perfect for summer BBQ’s and picnics.

Ben and Jerrys Frozen Yogurt

Ben and Jerrys have recently released a Greek Style Frozen Yogurt range. We tried the Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt and were very impressed- it wasn’t overly sweet and the dark chocolate chunks contrasted well with the raspberries. There are 2 other flavours available and priced at £5.50 (a little on the steep side) for a 500ml tub.
The Spice Drops - liquid spice.
Spice Drops® are concentrated spice extracts dis…

Fudgy Chocolate Slice

The first day of half term has been and gone and the kids are already eating me out of house and home! I needed to refill the cake tin quickly and these fudgy chocolate slices were perfect for the job.
The cake is made in a very unauthentic manner whereby you melt butter and cocoa on the hob with some boiling water then stir through the dry ingredients, an egg and some milk. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then top with a fudgy frosting (also made using the melting method). It really does taste amazing and is so easy and quick to make.
FUDGY CHOCOLATE SLICE| Serves: 16 Slices | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |

Ingredients: 110g Butter, cubed120ml Boiling Water3 level TBSP Cocoa Powder190g Caster Sugar130g Plain Flour1/2 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda1 Egg, beaten60ml Milk1 TSP Vanilla ExtractFrosting:100g Butter3 level TBSP Cocoa Powder200g Icing Sugar, sifted2 TBSP Milk Instructions: Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c and line a 20cm square tin with baking pa…

Meal Plan 26th May - 1st June 2014

Its half term this week but unfortunately I've only got a couple of days off work thanks to a looming deadline! Mum and Dad are back from their Aussie adventure though, so they are going to look after the kids for us. I think a trip to Lydford Gorge is planned on Wednesday which I'm sure they will love. Weather permitting we're going to spend today and tomorrow in the garden clearing an area where we're going to build some steps. A trip to the car boot is planned if the rain stays away for long enough and I need to get a new rake from the garden centre. I think its what you would call a pottering kind of day. I'm sure some baking will happen at some point although I'm not sure what yet.
Have a good half term whatever you are doing.
Monday 26th May Chicken and Vegetable Bhuna
Tuesday 27th May Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
Wednesday 28th May Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Homemade Coleslaw
Thursday 29th May LO Pulled Pork with Macaroni Cheese
Friday 30th May Chilli C…

Ginger Curd Treacle Tart

It was surprisingly busy at my polling station yesterday so time went by pretty quickly....having said that 7am to 10pm is still a long day! I'm having an 'at home' day today, cleaning and baking before going out to the local pub tonight for a meal with friends. Anyway onto the recipe.....

I made this treacle tart a few days ago after noticing a jar of ginger curd in the cupboard. I thought adding a bit of the curd would give it a lovely warm rich flavour and it certainly did. I served this with clotted cream but ice cream would be good too.


GINGER CURD TREACLE TART
| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes |

Ingredients:

250g Plain Flour125g Butter ,cubed100g Icing Sugar1 Egg, beatenFor the filling425g Golden Syrup150g Ginger Curd190g Breadcrumbs

Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c. Step 2: In a processor pulse the plain flour and butter until breadcrumbs form. Add the icing sugar and egg and pulse until dough forms. Step 3: …

Throwing the Perfect Baby Shower with a Cornish Cream Tea

I've been asked by Pink Lining to give my top tips for hosting the perfect baby shower. If you would like to add your own baby shower tips please feel free to comment and I can add them to the bottom of the post.
Food Its got to be simple so a traditional Cornish Cream Tea with Roddas Clotted Cream and Homemade Strawberry Jam is the way to go (recipe below). If you wanted to make it more substantial you could add some finger rolls with a choice of filling - egg mayo, tuna and sweetcorn, coronation chicken and perhaps some mini cheese and bacon quiches.                                                    Image: Roddas


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Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream by Beth Sachs May-19-2014 Ingredients 350g Self Raising FlourPinch of Salt1 TSP Baking Powder85g Butter, cubed3 TBSP Golden Caster Sugar175ml Milk1 TSP Vanilla ExtractSqueeze of fresh Lemon juice Jam and Clotted Cream to serve Instructions Step 1: Preheat oven to 220c.Rub the butter into the flour, salt and baking p…

Meal Plan 19th May - 25th May 2014

A quick and easy meal plan this week as I'm doing Election duty on Thursday and have training on Wednesday. Thankfully my polling station has Wifi so I'm planning to do an online shop, write up some blog posts and organise all my photographs - I don't expect it to be very busy......
Monday 19th May
Bacon and Pea Risotto

Tuesday 20th May
Smoked Salmon Carbonara

Wednesday 21st May
Cheese and Onion Quiche with Waldorf Slaw

Thursday 22nd May
Hubby will have to cook for the kids - probably fish fingers and chips

Friday 23rd May
Homemade Pizza and Salad

Saturday 24th May
Fridge bottom frittata

Sunday 25th May
Meal out with Mum and Dad - they are back from Oz after 8 weeks visiting my brother.

3 Cheese Pasta with Roast Chicken and Ham

The 3 cheeses I used were Cornish Yarg, Cornish Blue and Parmesan and the result was a very decadent mac n cheese style dinner which seemed to go down well with all the family. I served this with salad but some steamed veg would be good too. You didn't need a lot to feel satisfied so I have lunches sorted for me and hubby for the next few days!
Enjoy
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3 Cheese Penne with Chicken and Ham by Beth Sachs May-14-2014 A rich and comforting cheesy pasta dish. Ingredients 400g Pasta50g Butter50g Flour600ml Milk200g Cornish Yarg, cubed75g Cornish Blue, cubed50g Parmesan, grated200g Roast Chicken and Ham Instructions Step 1: Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and put to one side. Preheat oven to 180c.Step 2: In a large pan heat the butter until melted, add the flour then stir for a few minutes. Whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until it thickens. Take off the heat then add in the cheeses, cooked pasta, cooked chicken and ham.Step 3: Bake in the oven in a 2l…

Meal Plan 12th May - 18th May 2014

A much more relaxed week in store for us here. Brother in laws wedding went well on Saturday as did the post wedding buffet for all the family on the Sunday, but we are all well and truly knackered! This weeks meals will mainly consist of leftovers from the buffet - pulled pork, salad potatoes, rice salad, tomato and mozzarella salad, Cornish cheeses, hams and pate - yum! I've also got half a Strawberry Torte leftover and some Apple Crumble so we will be OK on the dessert front too.
Monday 12th May
Buffet Leftovers

Tuesday 13th May
Chinese Takeaway on the request of my Sister in Law who travels back to New Zealand on Wednesday

Wednesday 14th May
Macaroni Cheese made with Cornish cheeses from the buffet and leftover ham.

Thursday 15th May
Leftover pulled pork taco's with leftover salad

Friday 16th May
Homemade Pizza 

Saturday 17th May
Carbonara

Sunday 18th May
Fridge Bottom Frittata

Meal Plan 5th May - 11th May 2014

A super busy week in store for us. Off to Devon Crealy on Monday with Sis in Law and Niece who are over from NZ, 3 days at work then Brother in Laws wedding next Saturday. I've got a few meals in the freezer ready to bung in oven/microwave and a cheeky takeaway is planned the night before the wedding. The day after the wedding we are doing a buffet lunch for about 30-40 people before they make their long journeys home! I need to work out today what food I'm going to do without breaking the bank.
Monday 5th May Creamy Sausage Pasta
Tuesday 6th May Chilli Con Carne
Wednesday 7th May Chilli Pasta Bake (using leftover Chilli)
Thursday 8th May Carbonara
Friday 9th May Indian Takeaway (Sis in Law says they don't have any Indian Takeaways where they live in North Island)
Saturday 10th May Wedding
Sunday 11th May Buffet - need inspiration!

Fig and Nut Granola

As well as tasting better, homemade granola is so much better for you - far less sugar than shop bought, none of the nasty additives and you can chuck in exactly what you want. The figs worked really well in this and gave it a lovely soft chewy texture which complemented the nuts really well. If you didn't have figs you could use dried apricots instead or just add more raisins.
Enjoy the weekend everyone, although it looks like rain here in Cornwall -  ah well plenty of time for pottering in the kitchen!
P.S posting from me may be a bit sporadic over the coming few weeks as we have my Sister in Law and Niece staying with us from New Zealand (for Brother in Laws wedding!). 

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Fig and Nut Granola by Beth Sachs April-25-2014 A healthy breakfast with dried fruits and nuts Ingredients 125ml Maple Syrup25g Caster Sugar25ml Sunflower Oil1 TSP Vanilla Extract500g Jumbo rolled oats250g Nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and brazils)10 Dried Figs, chopped50g Raisins1 TSP D…

Creamy Chicken Soup

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter weekend. We've been doing some DIY in our new house in readiness for the arrival of my Sis in Law and niece from New Zealand on Wednesday. We managed to get an almost new double bed on freecycle last week so I'm rather pleased with that. Tomorrow after Church we are off to the car boot to see if we can find some bed side tables for one of the spare bedrooms and curtains! The kids and I love going to to car boots but the hubby refuses - is it a man thing?....he can stay home and do some more DIY!
We had this creamy chicken soup for lunch today and it was a hit with everyone. I used the stock from a chicken I cooked in the slow cooker to make this but you could always pick up some fresh chicken stock from the supermarket if you didn't have any.
Perfect with crusty bread and a cheeky glass of vino.

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Creamy Chicken Soup by Beth Sachs April-19-2014 A homemade chicken soup recipe Ingredients 2 Garlic cloves, crushed1 Onion…

Meal Plan 14th April - 20th April 2014

A busy one this week with Lowen's 7th birthday, Easter weekend and lots of juggling childcare/work. Lowen requested Roast Chicken for her birthday tea which she wants with mashed potato and Fish and Chips for her birthday sleepover on Friday.

I'm looking forward to the Beef Cobbler on Easter Sunday which I'm going to serve with purple sprouting broccoli from my Mother in Laws allotment along with some carrots and peas.

Have a good week. I currently have some Banana Crumble Bars in the oven which are smelling very good indeed - will post the recipe soon.

Monday 14th April
Roast Chicken, Mash and Veg

Tuesday 15th April
Sausage Carbonara

Wednesday 16th April
Homemade Pizza

Thursday 17th April
Frittata

Friday 18th April
Fish and Chips

Saturday 19th April
Spicy Fried Rice

Sunday 20th April
Beef Cobbler with Veg

Blueberry, Oatbran and Yogurt Muffins

A lovely light breakfast muffin that I stuff into big and little hands as we run out the door in the morning.
The oatbran gives the muffins a really good flavour and makes me feel like they are doing us some good. You could replace the blueberries with other fruits like raspberries and blackberries - whatever you can get your hands on. We have just bought a blueberry bush so I'm hoping by the summer we will be making these with homegrown blueberries
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Blueberry, Oatbran and Yogurt Muffins by Beth Sachs April-12-2014 Breakfast muffin Ingredients 120g Plain Flour120g Oatbran1 TSP Baking Powder1/2 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda120g Caster SugarPinch of Salt Salt125g Blueberries2 eggs240ml Plain Yogurt30ml Vegetable Oil1 TSP Vanilla Extract Instructions Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.Step 2: In a large bowl mix together the flour, oatbran, baking powder, bicarb, sugar and salt.Step 3: In another bowl whisk together the eggs, y…