A-Z Fun Foodie Photo Cooking Challenge!

With our month of selfie photos rapidly coming to an end, we had a bit of a think as to another challenge to keep us busy over the coming months. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we’ve come up with a combined cooking and photo challenge…..with my cooking skills it really will be challenging!

We debated several ways to do it, but have finally come up with the idea of an alphabet cooking challenge. Each challenge will correspond with a letter and we’ll cook using an ingredient beginning with that letter and post the photos to share. Now, if you’re already thinking about how many letters there are in the alphabets and how many months it will take to complete this challenge, let me save you the brain power by telling you that if this challenge were on a monthly basis, it would run until June 2016!! So the thinking is, rather than monthly, we’ll let each other know when we’ve cooked with the ingredient, share the photos and move onto the next letter – hopefully it’ll speed things up!

The ingredients we have chosen are all (no, make that mostly!) fairly simple and are all veggie friendly too. I’m very much doubting that my recipes will stay veggie though, to keep my family happy.

So, here’s the list we’ve compiled…..

A – Asparagus
B – Butternut Squash
C – Chocolate (bring it on!)
D – Dates
E – Eggs
F – Flour
G – Goat’s Cheese
H – Hazelnuts
I – Icing
J – Jam
K – Kale
L – Lemons
M – Mushrooms
N – Noodles
O – Oranges
P – Pears
Q – Quorn
R – Rum
S – Spinach
T – Tofu
U – Ugli Fruit
V – Vanilla
W – Walnuts
X – Xigua
Y – Yoghurt
Z – Zucchini

That’s quite some shopping list! The emphasis is going to be on the photos and will hopefully help improve my food photo skills – at the moment I take a photo quickly, eat all the food even more quickly and then check the photo and find out it’s rubbish! I WILL get over that thanks to this challenge….I hope! So, bring on May and bring on the asparagus!

 

 

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Energise Me!!! (Please!)

You may remember last year that I took part in a brilliant challenge suggested by those clever people at Whittard? I created a cake in a mug….cooked in the microwave! Yes, really! Check back to October 2013 if you don’t believe me!

Well, Whittard have issued another challenge via their Blog – a Healthy New Year Blogger Carnival 

I think you ought to have a go…..

I have!

By far my best discovery so far this year is Whittard’s amazing Cinnamon & Orange Superior Tea Pyramids. They’re a flavoured Green Tea – and we all know how wonderful Green Tea is for you. It’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients which do you masses of good – go ahead and Google if you don’t believe me (honestly, are you already not believing me for the second time in this one post. Humph!). Anyway, from the very second you open your pack of Cinnamon & Orange tea bags you KNOW you’re in for a special treat and, I swear, you’ll heave a huge satisfied sigh and put the kettle on immediately.  Here, let me tempt you further….

Try it now!

Try it now!

It’s okay, it doesn’t come with a funny sticky out aerial, I just took the photo of it in front of my radio…

So, what does this have to do with cookery and healthy recipes? Well, I decided that I needed a bit of an afternoon energy boost to go with my delicious cuppa so wondered about making some flapjacks (oats are good for digestion, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, helps control blood sugar levels, helps maintain a healthy weight fact fans – I Googled this time!) …..soaking the dried fruit in my Cinnamon & Orange tea before using it! I know – genius right?! And you know what, it worked!! It was delicious…..so delicious that I nearly ate all of the fruit before putting it in with the rest of the ingredients. So, here’s the recipe in case you’d like a go for yourself.

150g oats (I used organic jumbo oats)
45g dried fruit (I used cranberries brought back to life by soaking in Cinnamon & Orange tea)
40g seeds (I used sunflower seeds)
2 apples (I used Pink Lady….sorry, I’m being very specific aren’t I?!)
A quick glug of oil (Virgin Olive in this case)
3tbsp honey
1tbsp cinnamon (yes more, I know but yum!)
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt

After heating the oven to 170 degrees (fan) chop your apples and then zap them in a food processor until they’re very finely chopped.

Slop a glug of oil into a saucepan, add the honey and vanilla and heat gently. Add the apples when the mixture is runny and warm and mix together well.

In another bowl mix together the oats, fruit, seeds, salt and cinnamon then add the apple mixture to them.

Press the mixture into a greased/lined tin and bake for 15-20 mins (mine needed 20) until they’re a lovely golden brown.

Turn them out and leave them (if you possibly can!) to cool and then cut them into HUGE pieces…..or normal sized slices if you’re anyone other than me!

Put the kettle on, get a lovely cup of Cinnamon & Orange on the go, sit with your feet up and go AHHHHHH very loudly….. Feel a bit smug and very happy!

Ha, managed to miss the aerial out of this photo!

Ha, managed to miss the aerial out of this photo!

 

 

Recipe Fishing!

Do you stick to tried and tested recipes in recipe books you’ve had for years? Or do you like to try something different?

Since we moved house and my husband decided that boxes should be kept in storage until we’d decorated, I’ve been missing my recipe books and have been “fishing” for recipes online….so far the results have been good!

Bearing in mind all the recent articles in the news about food wastage, when I came across a packet of sausages in the fridge yesterday morning with a use by date of 16th, and noticed a few rashers of bacon which really needed using or throwing, I decided to use. As we were all busy yesterday morning there was no opportunity for a “grill-up” for breakfast. I decided to Google recipes using sausage and bacon and was promptly directed to the Philadelphia website. If you’ve never seen the recipes on their website before, you really should take a look. We’ve used them before so I was delighted to find myself on their website with a recipe ideal for the ingredients that I had.

Rather than repeat the recipe for Philly Sausage and Bacon Potato Bake to you, I’ll just direct you to the page and encourage you to have a go – you won’t be disappointed! My only reservations were the amount of mess I made (needed lots of saucepans, not me throwing things around!) and there didn’t seem to be much sauce to add to the other ingredients, so I added more boiling water to make it go further, which worked out just fine.

If you have a go at recipe fishing I’d love to hear the about the results!

Yummy Philly Sausage, Bacon Potato Bake!