Ever thrown a dinner party? I haven’t. Nope, not ever.
If friends come round, I normally order a takeaway *hangs head* or make something super quick like spag bol, which I’m sure doesn’t count. I generally save the ‘posh’ cooking for the family – they don’t mind me experimenting on them.
But next week we’re having friends round for a PROPER MEAL. Eek!
Sooo, are you a dinner party supremo? In case you didn’t know, there is a comments box waaaaaaay down at the bottom of this post, so get commenting and give me your best dinner party tips, please – I’m going to need them.
And when you’ve done that, scroll back up to the top and chomp your way through the delicious multi-course dinner that is the Weekly Cookery Showcase.
Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy – Chocolate Birthday Cake
For LissyLou’s 1st birthday I just had to make this Chocolate Birthday Cake – it’s not a 1st birthday without a Chocolate Birthday Cake for those perfect messy cake shots is it?
Chocolate Birthday Cake
What you need:
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) margarine
225g (8oz) caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 small banana (mashed)
And for the topping
i bake without – Chocolate Concrete with Pink Custard – Schooltime Memories
Chocolate Concrete (or Crunch depending on who you ask) is the stuff of British School Dinner legend. It was always served as a pudding but is actually more like a hard crunchy cookie. Known to bend spoons if not eaten with care and skill this delicious school time goodie is also served with a pink strawberry flavoured custard.
At least daddy can cook… – Can Mummy Cook Chocolate and Almond Cake with Brandy Cream?
(to serve 8)
125g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
Icing sugar for dusting
for the brandy cream:
100ml double cream
1-2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp brandy
Romanian mum in London – Coconut and oats cookies
I found this recipe in one of the books that I bought over the years. It is very simple and I should say quite healthy. The book doesn’t have an author is just a collection of recipes. I should probably mention that the book is from a charity shop.
1¼ all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup uncooked oats
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
I may not be your mom but I can be your friend! – Lemon Drizzle cake
A favourite in our house (& Ian’s work!) is Lemon Drizzle cake. My mom used to always make it so it brings back fantastic memories.
I as usual have adapted the recipe slightly as I love it more lemony & it seems to work!
Spongedrop – Where I’m headed
…standing in a Twickenham garden, along with three of my cousins who also wrote down their goals for 2012. We stood outside in the dark, shared our lists with each other, lit them on fire and then threw them into a watering can when the flames got too intense. (Just to be clear, it wasn’t lost on us that the whole ‘fire, darkness, group of girls under the moonlight’ thing had hints of witches coven about it and there were jokes about ‘The Craft’ bandied about. You know how girls love that type of thing).
Like this?Read more… //
Me and My Shadow – Rhubarb & Custard Muffins
OK, who hasn’t checked out the Fab Food site yet?
This one for Rhubarb Crumble Muffins caught my eye, and at the local farm shop this weekend I managed to get my hands on some glorious palest pink early forced rhubarb so set to making them.
Sadly I didn’t have any porridge oats in so couldn’t make the crumble topping. I only had Dorset cereal in the pantry. Yes, I know how ridiculously middle class that sounds: “dahling I have no Scottish porridge oats, but I do have some spelt granola…”
Lauralovescakes – I Heart Cupcakes
At first glance you may think that these are fairly standard cupcakes… move along please, nothing to see here! But wait…underneath that unassuming exterior lies a secret…a hidden heart!
Purplemum – Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting (baking as therapy)
As you know my new plan is to bake myself out of my depression. I started on Thurs with ‘White chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting’. It was actually very therapeutic. I melted and mixed, whisked and drizzled and thoroughly enjoyed decorating them all with purple edible glitter. So here is the recipe for :
White Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting. (adapted from a women’s weekly cupcake recipe)
Cheetahs In My Shoes – Cheese & Marmite Muffins
Cheese & Marmite muffins – best eaten on the day (although will keep in a tin) – good eaten dunked in soup or split and filled with cheese & pickle, weirdly egg mayo or whatever your chosen marmite food partner is…
Dietitian UK – No fat, no sugar, super healthy oaty bars
Flapjacks go down a storm in our house, I’m wheat free so they fill a much needed gap in my mouth. Now it seem little Kezia is a bit of a flapjack lover. In fact, as soon as she spies the tin I keep them in I get a pointy finger and a sign for “Food Now Mummy”. Cheeky monkey she certainly is.
Not Always Right – The one with the Apple Crumble Cupcake Recipe
Now that Isabelle is a little older we have been spending more time baking, I’m not going to lie who doesn’t want to eat baked goods? I’d eat them all day if I could but I don’t think my bank balance would cope with me having to splurge out on pants with an elasticated waist to accommodate my ever expanding waistline. As well as the yummy baked goods, I love spending time in the Kitchen with Isabelle scooting around my feet and doing her best impression of helping.
Mummy Musings – Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here’s an easy recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They really were very easy to make, even 2 year old C could help, and they were really tasty.
Single Mummy; One In A Million – quick and healthy using jus roll puff pastry
First I un-roll the pastry and lay it on a greased baking sheet and spread a think layer of tomato puree onto leaving about 2 cm gap around the edge. This will create a lovely crispy edge. I then chop up all the toppings. I have found it’s best to cook the sweetcorn before using it as it lets out a lot of water and this makes the base soggy. Then, I start to layer the toppings onto the base. Once all the toppings are on the base, I then sprinkle a little cheese over the top.
The Girl Behind – Gingerbread Men Recipe
Making the gingerbread men was much simpler than I’d expected. And made even easier by the fact that the whole thing’s done in the food processor. I think the only thing that needed the slightest physical effort was whisking the egg and golden syrup together.
I also took a few attempts to get used to my cutters, and I ended up with a few wonky men to start with. I soon got into the swing of it, though, and it gave us a few laughs along the way!
The Mummy Diary – Easy to make Vanilla Biscuits
I love these biscuits they are super easy, tasty and my son loves to help make them. Perfect for a sit down with a nice book and cuppa!
Tales of the March Hare – Not Michael Fassbender and Hazlenut + Chocolate Brownies
So it turned out that the man I stalked around Tesco Express Hackney Downs this afternoon, wasn’t Michael Fassbender after all. I wont get those 6 minutes back, what a waste of my day. I’d even worked out who I was going to ask to take a photo of him and I (Leon on Till number 1, I would say we are pretty good pals by now) and also what I was going to say (“I was so moved by your performance in Jane Eyre I pretty much cried all the way through the film”).
the gingerbread house – Home baked treats for your loved one
I don’t normally go overboard with Valentine’s Day but this year I haven’t been able to stop baking. I’ve been whipping up batches of cakes and biscuits and working on improving my decorating skills.
Multiple Mummy – Valentines Heart Biscuits
I was explaining to Noah what Valentines Day was, saying it was a day to show somebody you love them.
He said ‘But Mummy, I love you everyday!’ Ahhh bless him *heart melts*
I asked him what shape showed love and he did not know, so I explained him it was the heart. Suddenly everything was about hearts, so when I suggested cooking (because I wanted to test out my food processor that I got for Christmas) and we agreed on biscuits, they of course had to be heart-shaped for Daddy!
This American Bite – The Best Brisket I have EVER made!
I was looking to do something new with my brisket. There was nothing wrong with my briskets up until now, but there’s was nothing outstanding either. They were good fresh from the oven and borderline over-cooked the next day when re-heated, and whether I marinated or or rubbed, something was lacking. I turned to one of the chef’s whose style always impresses, and adapted a recipe based on the ingredients I had in the house. The result, a brisket recipe I am happy to share with you!
Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy – Healthy Burger and Chips
As part of Operation Weight Loss I have been looking for tasty healthy recipes that will make me feel like I am having a really nice tea but without the damage to the waist line.
I came up with this tasty and healthy Burgers and chips recipe the other night, serves 4.
What you need:
500g of extra lean beef mince
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of mixed italian herbs
4 small burger buns
4 tblsp of very low fat mayonnaise (I use Hellmans extra light)
One Man and his Whisk – Does my bum look big in this?
There are many takes on the humble B and B, some are total disasters whose recipes should be burnt and never spoken of again, such as tropical fruit B and B once experienced whilst working in Antigua. However some do truly elevate it from the school food of youth to a sophisticated dinner party favourite. I have tried a number of variations, and this one is very good, particularly at Easter, however it is a good change from the norm at any other time of the year.
Like this?Read more… //
Pinkoddy’s Blog – Chicken Jalfrezi
Making things at home is not only cheaper but better for you. This recipe fed the 6 of us.
Heat some oil and fry some onion with a pinch of salt. Then add some chilli, ginger and garlic.
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
Cook for a few minutes until fragrant
Me He & Them – Moules Frites
Easy, cheap and delicious. What more could you ask for?!!
Wash the mussels thoroughly by removing the hairy bit on the side (it’s actually what takes the longest).
In a large sauce pan, melt butter, pan fry sliced garlic, sliced onions, celery (optional), add mussels and stir regularly until all mussels opens up, add one glass of dry white wine, parsley and creme fraiche, leave on heat for a couple of minutes.
Kamel – You funny Brits: bubble and squeak
Pub grub is great, and there is usually something on the menu to laugh at. A plate of spotted dick anyone? Toad in the hole? Or do you rather fancy faggots, black pudding, cullen skink? No? Bubble and squeak, then? A spot of haggis? The poor creature, with it’s mismatched legs, circling the highlands eternally, until it ends on your plate, wrapped in a sheep’s stomach. You could also choose chicken tikka masala, for a truly authentic experience. If you’d rather eat a ‘lite’ lunch, choose a bacon butty or a sarnie. If, at least, you know what I mean.
Like this?Read more… //
Expatlogue – Sex up your weekend with some American-style pancakes
It has always been a weekend tradition in our family to eschew the cereal boxes in favour of something more elaborate. In England I used to make pancakes – the thin, light, Shrove Tuesday type, piling them up on a heated plate to be distributed at the table, liberally coated with lemon-juice and sugar, Nutella, honey, maple syrup or caramelised, spiced fruit. The kids would demolish them at the same speed that we could prepare them!
Cupcakesandotherstuff – Healthy Baking – Apple Strudel
In continuing my quest to battle the bulge and lose that extra weight, I am always on the look out for tasty, yet low calorie treats. So when the Baking Mad Healthy Baking challenge arose, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I selected the Apple Strudel recipe since we had access to hand picked apples from a local source. It also happens to be a favourite dessert of my husband from his childhood visits to Austria.
A social grumble – The Pie Sandwich – It’s a way of life
There is no food that cannot be improved by putting it into a sandwich.
You may scoff at that statement, but I tell you it’s the truth and I’m about to change your life. Practically anything can go into a sandwich, it’s a meal without prejudice – whether it’s a snack you want expanding, leftovers of a meal which need some glamour and excitement or simply because your food is atrocious and needs saving – turning it into a sandwich is the answer.
Cocoa & Fig – Warming winter chilli
This is a definte favourite in our house. We make huge vats of it and freeze it so that we can eat it for weeks to come. This recipe is based on Nigella’s ‘cornbread topped chilli’ – although I’ve never made the cornbread – combined with a few tips and tricks from Jamie Oliver. It turns out different each time I make it but it’s always delicious.
The communal pantry – Chocolate Martini x 2
If you hadn’t noticed I (Martha) have an extensive kooky t-shirt collection. The one pictured here is one of my favorites and it does ring true…guess that’s why the big guy bought it for me! I like chocolate and desserts, but when counting my calories I have to make choices and I will usually opt to have liquor as my dessert. But sometimes you want to have your cake and eat it too…that’s when the chocolate martini is the best of both worlds.
Mari’s World – Minestra d’Orzo
Another classic recipe I learnt from my late mother in law, Daria in Italy is Minestra d’Orzo translated Pearl Barley Soup. It’s a typical recipe from the region of Trentino Alto Adige and there are a hundred and one versions of it out there all equally delicious but I have stuck to her true rustic housewife’s version, simple and tasty. A warming vegetable broth perfect for the cold winter days we’re suffering at the moment, it’s cheap, wholesome and easy to prepare plus the family will love it.
Mummy Whisperer Blog – The Healthy Eating Guide For Rubbish Cooks
I’m launching my healthy eating for rubbish cooks series of blog posts.
I don’t know if you guys really want it? Are there a pile of rubbish cooks like me hiding out there wanting some tips?
People keep telling me that they do, so lets see ….
What is a rubbish cook? In my case it’s someone who ….
1) Can’t follow a recipe that involves more than three ingredients
2) Panics when there are too many steps
3) Add to that children who are not willing to politely wait for more than 10 minutes …..
Mum of One – The Wine Corner: Aldi Toscana Rosso paired with Tomato and Bacon Pasta
After a little bit of research today I learnt that the best wine to accompany a tomato-based pasta dish would be something of the Sangiovese variety.
Sangiovese is Italy’s most commonly planted red grape which typically makes medium to full-bodied wine. It is the main, minimum 80%, constituent grape of Chianti wine. The wine I have picked, however, is not made solely from this grape.