Christmas cupcakes

Well, we finally managed to walk the Severn Bridge and tick off one of the items on our bucket list.  It was not as exciting as we thought it would be as the wind was a little briskly and the noise from the cars going by was terrible!  But we eventually found the foot path after getting geographically challenged (not lost, we never get lost(?)), we walked onto the bridge, took a selfie and then went for a coffee.  If I am completely honest it is not something that we would repeat until the summer when the weather is a little warmer.

We also managed to take a random selfie on top of the toll booths of the Severn Bridge.  We were all laughing like idiots when we took the photograph and that can be seen in the photo.  That will go into the family montage on the wall in the hall way!

At this time of the year, as a family, we start to fill our freezer with sweets and treats ready for the Christmas holiday.  Primarily we like to have goodies such as cupcakes and chocolate brownies in the freezer.  We do this in anticipation that they only take half an hour to defrost for when we get visitors over the holidays.  There is an additional bonus: it is fun to make the cakes and brownies; we both really enjoy the cooking, but the Quality Assurance bit after they come out of the oven is by far the best bit.  Traditionally a baker’s dozen is 13, in our house it is nearer 10!  Here is the recipe described by my daughter, Courtney:

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 eggs

100g of self- raising flour

100g of butter

100g of caster sugar

Equipment

Big bowl

Sieve

Knife

Cup

Electric whisk

Cupcake cases

Wooden spoon

Method

Put the sugar into the bowl add the butter that I chopped into chunks and mix it up with your electric whisk.  Then beat in the eggs a little at a time.  Once the eggs have been added put the flour into the mix after putting it through the sieve.

Mix all together with a wooden spoon.

Put the mixture into 12 cupcakes and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes on gas mark 5.

Let the cakes cool, test one of them by cutting it in half and sharing with my daddy.

Put them into a freezer proof container and put them in the freezer ready for Christmas.

We did try to film ourselves making these but we forgot to press record on the camera! Well my daddy did!

If you have any recipes for cupcakes that can go in the freezer please add your comments below.

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School Food Tech…sort of

My first Bolognese sauce at school

I am in secondary school (which I enjoy) and I finally cooked something in food tech after having about 8 lessons.  Today, I made my own Bolognese sauce, but unfortunately, my food tech teacher forgot all about it so instead of having a slow lesson, we had to rush it all, but it was still fun, even though I cried while chopping an onion and I am still crying now! So today I am going to tell you how to make this sauce. (This is how we make it at home)

You will need:

  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Onion
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 3 mushrooms
  • Oliver oil
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife

 

Method

  1. Chop the garlic, onion and mushrooms up
  2. Pour the table spoon of olive oil into the pan on a low heat
  3. Add the onion and the garlic
  4. When the onion is clear add the tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add the mushrooms and the chopped tomatoes, mix with the spoon
  6. Cook through and serve with spaghetti

Getting ready for the end of year gluttony feast

It is coming to that time of year again when we start to prepare for Christmas.  I know a lot of people will say that it is very early to be starting of thinking of Christmas but we have a massive extended family that we have to buy and cater for, plus we will hopefully be having additional extended family visiting us for the big day.

So we start early, only identifying, gifts for individual family members, plus this year we are going to be spoiling our first grandson (I have suggested a drum kit but have been overruled – that will have to wait until he can properly smack hell out of them).

Also at this time of year we start to prepare our Christmas cake.  This all started because a colleague at work brought in a Christmas cake his mother made – I have got to tell you that it is absolutely outstanding!  So full of booze that you could not have a second slice and drive home!  It has now become something that the entire office looks forward to, someone bringing in the Christmas cake.

I brought home two sliced for the family to share and it went down a storm, so my wife and I decided that we were going to make our own, we did and it proved a real winner when all the family visited over the Christmas holiday.  That was three years ago, so now we make the cake in early October and feed it with booze every two weeks until we decorate the cake a couple of days before Christmas.

Ingredients

225g butter

225 g light soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon black treacle

5 eggs

250g plain flour

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

50g ground almonds

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grated rind of 1 orange

100g almonds chopped

175g raisins

250g sultanas

350g currants

2 tablespoons of brandy (every two weeks)

Method

Line and grease a 9-inch round cake tin

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light

Beat in the treacle

Beat in the eggs (add a little bit of flour after the first egg to stop the mixture going “funny”)

Mix the rest of the dry ingredients with the flour (mix well)

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Stir in the orange juice and the brandy then put into the tin and level the top

Bake in a cool oven (gas mark 1) for 3.5 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Store until ready to feed in tin foil

To make the cake seriously moist prick the top and bottom and spoon feed 2 tablespoons of brandy over it every two weeks.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is the recipe we use for cooking our Spag Bol, we took this out of a magazine over 20 years ago and we still cook it today.

Ingredients

2 x cloves of garlic

Olive oil

500g minced meat

200ml red wine

Tomato puree

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

500ml beef stock

Parmesan cheese

500g dried spaghetti

Method

Finely chop the onions and the garlic and cook them in the olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the minced meat breaking it up using a wooden spoon, then cook it for 3 or 4 minutes then add the red wine.  Let the meat cook through.

Add the tomato puree stirring it through the meat cook for a further 2 minutes then add the beef stock and the chopped tomatoes.  Cook until bubbling, then turn down the heat and put a lid on the pan, stirring occasionally, cook for a further 30 minutes.

1o minutes before the Bolognese is ready cook the spaghetti in boiling water according to the packet.

Once the spaghetti is cooked drain and mix the Bolognese sauce with the spaghetti and serve with the parmesan cheese grated over the top.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara a la our house

This is our recipe for spaghetti carbonara.  We love it in our house.  We had it as a celebration meal when Karl came home from university this summer. We do hope you like it.

Ingredients:

Garlic 2 cloves

Spaghetti (fresh) enough for 4 people

Parmesan cheese 25g for the sauce

Double cream 400ml

Smoked Lardons of bacon 200g

Mushrooms 250g mixed (we like chestnut)

Salt and pepper for serving

Table spoon of olive oil

Real butter for cooking the mushrooms (1 table spoon)

Equipment

Wooden spoon

Saucepan for spaghetti

Saucepan for cooking sauce

Frying pan for cooking mushrooms

Sharpe knife

Chopping board

Method

Bring a pot of water to the boil ready for the spaghetti.  Gently heat the olive oil in a large pan, chop the garlic and gently fry in the olive oil.  Meanwhile cook the mushrooms in the proper butter.  Add the lardons to the garlic, once cooked lower the temperature, then add the double cream.  Once the cream has warmed up (but not boiling) add the parmesan cheese.  Put the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook as per instructions and drain.

Once the mushrooms have cooked and the parmesan cheese has melted into the cream, add the mushrooms to the cream, then add this mixture to the drained spaghetti and serve with hot ciabatta bread.

Favourite food

Well we have not been very busy on the blog for over a month now because life is so hectic.  Well this weekend we decided to get back on track and make up a list of our top 10 favourite meals.  Mine are in no particular order, apart from the first on the list which is really my most favourite food of all time…and has been for quite some time now!

We had a lot of fun putting these lists together because my wife does like to cook and cook well, the only trouble is that as much as my wife likes to cook I like to eat, hence I went up to over a hundred kilos last year!  Which is why I will be running 1000km this year to get rid of my gut!

So to the lists:

Courtney’s list:

  1. Spaghetti Carbonara
  2. Chili with taco’s n cheese
  3. Pizza and fries
  4. My mother’s home made chips and wedgies
  5. Lunch time peanut butter with pitta bread
  6. Southern fried chicken pizza and fries
  7. Macaroni cheese
  8. Homemade burgers with wedges
  9. TBC
  10. TBC

My list:

  1. Chicken Tikka Masala
  2. Spaghetti Carbonara
  3. Chicken with herb and garlic in a wrap
  4. Spaghetti Bolognese a la Angela
  5. Steak and sweet potato chips
  6. All day breakfast (hash browns are my favourite potato based product)
  7. Sunday dinner
  8. Chicken and bacon with vegetables and roast potato
  9. Lasagne (but I never know what to have lasagne with)
  10. Chilli