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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 ummed and ahed whether to bother this year but last weekend I crumbled and made this Simmer and Stir Christmas Cake I found on BBC Good Food. Im not too keen on marzipan so will ice it a few days before Christmas with a whisky buttercream icing. I used value dried fruit and simmered it in brandy to plump it up.

Monday 22nd December
Homemade Pizza to use up all the leftovers in the fridge and clear it out ready for my Christmas shop.

Tuesday 23rd December
Up at 6am to get all the fresh ingredients I need and back home to prepare as much as I can in advance (stuffing, pigs in blankets, bread sauce, cranberry sauce)...so tonight we will be having a supermarket takeaway!

Christmas Eve
After the village Crib Service we will be coming home to Baked Gammon in a Mustard and Maple Glaze, Macaroni Cheese, Loaded Potato Skins, Peas, Sweetcorn and Carrots. Dessert is going to be this Chocolate Torte (which is already in the freezer) with clotted cream or ice cream and homemade mince pies (again, these are already in the freezer) for those that can fit them in.

Christmas Day
Breakfast is going to be croissants or brioche (made in the breadmaker) with fresh orange juice and fruit.
I'm hosting Christmas lunch this year and will have 11 people to cater for - this is what we are having...

Turkey
Leftover Gammon from yesterday
Cranberry Sauce (made on the 23rd)
Bread Sauce (made on the 23rd)
Sausage and Sage Stuffing (made on the 23rd)
Pigs in Blankets (will wrap the sausages in the bacon on the 23rd)
Roast Potatoes - MIL is doing these for me
Maple Roast Parsnips
Brussels Sprouts (will prepare on Christmas Eve and leave in a pan of cold water)
Cauliflower Cheese (will make on Christmas Eve)
Sticky Red Cabbage (already in the freezer)
Garlic Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato Mash (will make on the 23rd)
Creamed Leeks

Dessert will be a choice of Christmas Pudding or Baked Berry Cheesecake (in the freezer).

When people start to get peckish again I've got Homemade Sausage Rolls (in the freezer), Cheese and Biscuits (my SIL is bringing the cheeses as she works in a local deli), Pate (Aldi!), Mince Pies and Choc Honeycomb Mincemeat Squares.

Boxing Day
Leftover Turkey and Gammon Savoury Crumble. I will make a basic white sauce, add the leftover meat then a few handfuls of grated cheese and top with a savoury crumble mix (half fat to flour with some dried herbs) - bake for 30 minutes in the oven. We will have this with leftover vegetables from Christmas Day.

Saturday 27th December
Turkey, Gammon and Pea Carbonara

Sunday 28th December
We have some friends coming over so I'm going to do a buffet with more homemade sausage rolls, leftover cheese and biscuits, pickles, chutney and a homemade tear and share bread. Dessert will be anything sweet we have left!

Monday 29th December
Vegetable Soup with homemade bread rolls.

Tuesday 30th December
Risotto - will chuck in anything I can.

New Years Eve
Homemade Pizza to use up leftovers.

New Years Day
At my Mum and Dads for a traditional roast.
Beth Sachs
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Malteser Cheesecake


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


No Bake Malteser Cheesecake
Cheesecake, Dessert
Yield: 8 slicesPin it

Malteser Cheesecake

A creamy two layer no bake malteser cheesecake with milk and white chocolate.
prep time: 25 minscook time: total time: 25 mins

ingredients:

  • 200g Malted Biscuits, crushed
  • 100g Salted Butter, melted
  • 10 Maltesers, crushed
  • 4 TBSP Caster Sugar
  • 600g Cream Cheese
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 300g White Chocolate, melted
  • 200g Milk Chocolate, melted
  • 2 TBSP Horlicks
  • 12 Malteser, to decorate

instructions

  • Step 1: Mix the crushed 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 melted white chocolate to one and the melted milk chocolate, horlicks and remaining sugar to the other. Beat each with an electric whisk until smooth.
  • Step 3: Spread the milk chocolate layer onto the biscuits and chill for 5 minutes then spread the white chocolate layer on top. Decorate with maltesers and chill overnight.


*RELATED RECIPE - BAKED RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE*

Beth Sachs
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Meal Plan 7th July - 13th July 2014


Meal Plan

I NOW POST MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS ON THE JAM & CLOTTED CREAM FACEBOOK PAGE

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 Salad

Saturday 12th July
Chilli with Rice

Sunday 13th July
Leftover Chilli Pasta Bake
Beth Sachs
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Really Easy Apple and Gooseberry Crumble


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 & GOOSEBERRY CRUMBLE


Apple and Gooseberry Crumble
Crumble, Pudding, Dessert
Yield: 6Pin it

Apple & Gooseberry Cheesecake

A tart and fruity Apple and Gooseberry Crumble
prep time: 15 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 60 mins

ingredients:

  • Bramley apples, peeled and chopped
  • 150g Gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 150g Salted Butter
  • 3 TBSP Demerera Sugar

instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°c 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 the fruit has broken down and becomes soft. Place into the ovenproof dish.
  • Step 3: In a large bowl rub together the flour and butter until breadcrumbs form then stir through the other 100g of caster sugar. Put on top of the fruit mixture, sprinkle with demerera and bake for about 45 minutes.


*RELATED RECIPE - BAKED RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE*

Beth Sachs
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Meal Plan 9th June - 15th June 2014



PLEASE NOTE I NOW POST MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS ON THE JAM & CLOTTED CREAM FACEBOOK PAGE.

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
Beth Sachs
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Creme Fraiche Banana Loaf Cake


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. 

Top tip: 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 


Creme Fraiche Banana Loaf Cake
Cake
Yield: 8 slicesPin it

Creme Fraiche Banana Loaf Cake

An easy banana loaf cake made with creme fraiche.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins

ingredients:

  • 150g Butter
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • Eggs, beaten
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Black Banana's, mashed
  • 110g Creme Fraiche
  • 2 TBSP Brown Sugar for Sprinkling

instructions

  • Step 1: Heat oven to 180°c and line a 1kg loaf tin.
  • Step 2: Cream together the butter and sugar and then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and bicarb until combined before adding the mashed banana's and creme fraiche.
  • Step 3: Spoon into the tin then sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Cook for 1 hour but check after 45 minutes. Cool and slice.


*RELATED RECIPE - VANILLA RASPBERRY BUNDT CAKE*

Beth Sachs
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Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Carbonara


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


Smoked Salmon Carbonara
Pasta
Yield: 4Pin it

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Carbonara

A lighter summery version of the traditional carbonara with smoked salmon and asparagus
prep time: 10 minscook time: 10 minstotal time: 20 mins

ingredients:

  • 350g Spaghetti
  •  1 egg plus 1 yolk, beaten
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 100g Smoked Salmon, torn
  • Bunch of Asparagus spears
  • 1 heaped TBSP Creme Fraiche
  •  Salt and Pepper

instructions

  • Step 1: Put a pan of water on the hob and bring to the boil.
  • Step 2: While waiting, whisk together the eggs and Parmesan, season and set aside.
  • Step 3: Once the pasta water is boiling put in the spaghetti and cook according to instructions. 2 minutes from the end, add the asparagus spears. Drain then toss through the eggy mixture and creme fraiche. 
  • Step 4: Gently stir through the smoked salmon, season to taste and serve.


*RELATED RECIPE - CHEESY TUNA PASTA BAKE*

Beth Sachs
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Chorizo, Mozzarella and Pesto Pizza


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 into strips. In a hot oven for 10 minutes and you have the perfect summery pizza. It was really delicious and went beautifully with the Chablis.


CHORIZO, MOZZARELLA AND PESTO PIZZA


Pizza
Pizza
Yield: Makes 3 pizza'sPin it

Chorizo, Mozzarella and Pesto Pizza

A spicy chorizo, mozzarella and pesto pizza
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 10 minstotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins

ingredients:

  • 1/2 TSP Dried Yeast
  • 300g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 170ml Water
  •  For the topping
  • Passata
  • 100g Chorizo, sliced
  • Mozzarella Balls, torn
  •  Pesto
  •  Sun Dried Tomatoes, cut into strips
  •  Caramelised Onion Chutney
  • 1 jar Passata

instructions

  • Step 1: Make the pizza dough in the breadmaker according to manufacturers guidelines. I have a panasonic machine and pizza dough is program 22 on the menu.
  • Step 2: Take the dough out of the breadmaker when ready. Divide the dough into 3 then roll each piece out thinly and put on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 230°c (210°fan) then top with the passata, chorizo, mozzarella, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and onion chutney. Bake for 8- 10 minutes until cooked.


Disclaimer: I was given 2 bottles of Chablis as part of the blogger challenge.
Beth Sachs
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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 distilled into easy-to-use liquid drops for food and drink, providing chefs and cooks with simple and convenient access to a huge range of spices. I was sent Vanilla and Cinnamon drops and have been using them in many of my cakes and bakes.

Gouri Kubair, owner of Holy Lama Naturals, UK, said:
“It was fantastic to hear those comments from chefs I have long admired. I am also really excited by the wonderful feedback and imaginative recipes that Spice Drops® is starting to generate from our customers. People are starting to appreciate that trying new tastes with the Spice Drops® is easy and risk free.

"The products are made in our family factory in Kerala, India, where we employ disadvantaged women, providing them with fair wages and optimum working conditions. It means a great deal to me that I can make a difference in this way."

Black Sheep Coffee  - fine Robusta


Pioneering new company, Black Sheep Coffee, has launched the UK’s first fine Robusta bean product, set to turn the heads of coffee connoisseurs and seriously shake up the scene. It’s new Robusta Revival has a surprisingly different taste profile to the Arabica beans that currently saturate the premium end of the market… rich, creamy and sweet, with a less acidic tone reminiscent of walnut and dark chocolate.

Founded by four friends - Gabe, Eirik, Max and Anders - who quit corporate jobs to follow their passion for coffee, the unorthodox brand rebelled against the status quo that Robusta is only used for low-grade products such as instant coffees. Their product, available as beans or ground, comes from a single-estate in India – the only estate in the world to have received three “Fine Robusta” certifications by tasting experts.

Having set up a café in Camden and also peddling their wares to commuters and tourists from their travelling coffee station, the Black Sheep boys have received rave reviews for their Robusta brews and are confident that they have something special on their hands. With so many coffee drinkers out there who’ve never had the chance to taste a 100% Robusta product, it’s just the beginning of a Robusta revolution.

Halzephron

I received a lovely foodie hamper from Helen who runs the Halzephron Herb Farm shop in Falmouth. She sells a wonderful array of foodie treats from her website and I can confirm MD’s Amazing Pasta Sauce really is amazing  - the honey in it gives it a wonderfully sweet flavour and it made a quick and easy tea for the kids. Watch this space as I will be running a competition to win an identical hamper in the next few weeks.

Chablis

I have been asked to take part in a Chablis Blogger challenge. Chablis wines have challenged me to come up with the perfect summer pairing and demonstrate how a nice cool glass of refreshing Chablis fits in with summer recipes

Many people like to enjoy a glass of Chablis at Christmas time, but forget it can also work incredibly well with summer dishes and flavours. Watch this space….

Patisserie Book
In this book William and Suzue Curley lift the veil on the fascinating world of the Chef Pâtissier, proving once and for all that creating beautiful pâtisserie in the home kitchen is both achievable and hugely satisfying.

Curley’s philosophy for pâtisserie is based on rejuvenating and modernising classic recipes; he has broken down the complex traditional methods and streamlined them for the everyday kitchen and cook at home. This has combined with Suzue’s love of Japanese flavours to create some truly innovative pâtisserie. i lok forward to trying some of the recipes soon.
Beth Sachs
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Fudgy Chocolate Slice


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


Chocolate Slice
Baking
Yield: 16 slicesPin it

Fudgy Chocolate Slice

A chocolate slice with fudgy chocolate frosting
prep time: 20 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 40 mins

ingredients:

  • 110g Butter, cubed
  • 120ml Boiling Water
  • 3 level TBSP Cocoa Powder
  • 190g Caster Sugar
  • 130g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Egg, beaten
  • 60ml Milk
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  •  Frosting:
  • 100g Butter
  • 3 level TBSP Cocoa Powder
  • 200g Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBSP Milk

instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°c (160° fan) and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
  • Step 2: In a pan melt together the butter, cocoa and boiling water, bring to a simmer then bubble for 30 seconds before taking off the heat. Add in the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda and and mix well. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract then mix until smooth. Pour into the tin and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Step 3: Whilst the cake is cooling make the frosting by melting the butter and cocoa together and once reached a light bubble time 30 seconds. Take off the heat and stir in the icing sugar and milk. Spread onto the cooled cake and decorate with chocolate buttons.


Don't forget to take a look at my recipe index for more family friendly recipes!
Beth Sachs
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