Oaty peanut butter and raisin cookies.

This morning was a free time for me, and I had to figure out what to do with my time…I was relieved when I found this recipe, as one of many I will enjoy again. I wasn’t sure about it at first, as it is peanut buttery, which is not my favourite flavour at the best of times, but with some improvements on the recipe it should be a great snack. The recipe for us wasn’t quite right, we found it too peanuty, and not sweet enough, and with a little too few oats. I have adjusted this recipe so it is just the way I like it, and I hope you do too. The original recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book “Light & Easy”, and although this recipe wasn’t the best working thing for me, I can highly recommend this book for others. This recipe should make about ten cookies. Enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 150g peanut butter
  • 75g runny honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 quarter of a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g porridge oats
  • 20g brown sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees or gas mark 3
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment/greaseproof paper
  3. Put the peanut butter into a mixing bowl, then add the honey and beat it in
  4. Afterwards, add in the egg and stir/beat that in thoroughly 
  5. Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the surface and beat it in, then stir in the raisins and oats
  6. You will then end up with a stiff, chunky dough
  7. Put heaped dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray

 

  1. If you want to, you can shape them into rough rounds with slightly oiled fingers
  2. Leave some space between them on the tray as they will expand in the oven
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  4. Have fun eating, they are best within 2-3 days of baking.IMG_1399

I hope the recipe works out for you as it did me, and have fun! 

FullSizeRenderSparrowHorse x

Making fresh pasta

Today my brother and sister went to a holiday club for easter, and so I was at home with my mum for the day. I thought about cooking something, and so we looked in a few books to decide. We found a recipe for making fresh pasta and thought we’d make and cook that rather than just using dry. It makes tagliatelle, and makes enough for 4 people, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 200g strong bread flour
  • 2 large free range eggs

Method:

  1. Sift the flour into a big bowl. Scoop out the middle of the flour to create a small well- you should be able to see the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Crack the eggs into another bowl, then pour into the well. Now use the fingertips of one hand as a spoon to mix the yolks and whites together.
  3. Keep slowly stirring- as you stir, the flour will gradually fall into the egg until its all mixed in. You can now use both hands to bring all the flour and egg together to form a ball of dough.
  4. Once you have a big ball of dough, you’re ready to start kneading. Put the dough on a clean surface, push it down with the bottom of your hand, then fold the dough over and push again.
  5. Keep turning the dough and pushing and stretching and you will end up with a smooth ball of dough. It will take about 10-15 minutes before the dough is smooth and elastic, if you stop too soon the dough may tear when you roll it out.  
  6. Wrap the dough in a damp tea towel and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the kitchen. After it’s break, cut the dough in half-its easier to roll in 2 pieces- and wrap one half back in the tea towel to keep it moist.
  7. Sprinkle some flour over your rolling pin and a clean surface, then start to roll one piece of dough. Keep rolling, turning the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the table, you may want to put more flour underneath.
  8. You want to roll the dough until it’s really thin, and about as big as an A4 piece of paper and as think as possible. If you have a pasta machine, you can use this to roll out the pasta for you. 
  9. Use a small sharp knife to cut the fresh pasta. To make tagliatelle, which look like ribbons, cut the dough into strips about 5mm wide. Don’t worry if it’s not exact.
  10. 3 quarters fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the fresh pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes until its just done. The pasta should be soft, and not taste raw. Finally, drain the pasta in a colander.

This recipe teaches you how to make fresh pasta, and not any sauce, so try to learn how to make cheese or tomato sauce, or simply add a bit of pesto. I personally much prefer fresh pasta to dry, so please try to make it! Here is mine when I added tomato sauce and some grated parmesan: 

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SparrowHorse x

 

 

 

Chocolate chunk and pecan cookies

Today I made some really nice cookies, chocolate chunk and pecan, from a BBC recipe book. It was a new recipe for me, one that I hadn’t made before, but I wanted to give it a go. They are really sweet, chocolatey, and fun cookies to make, and if you follow the easy recipe, you will end up with some of the best you have ever tasted. A hint: I would space the mixture out a LOT when you put them in the oven,, because I put them too close to each other, and they all managed to merge into a massive cookie, so I had to cut them up. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy making!

 Ingredients:

  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 100g chopped butter
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g whole pecan nuts
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4
  2. Melt 85g of the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or over a pan of simmering water
  3. Beat the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg into the melted chocolate, until smooth
  4. Stir in three quarters of the nuts and remaining chocolate then the flour and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Heap 12 spoonfuls of the mixture, VERY spaced apart on two baking sheets on greaseproof paper
  6. Poke in the last nuts and squares of chocolate into the lumps of mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until firm-ish, then leave to cool on a wire cooling rack
  8. Eat!

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These cookies make 12, and take about 30 minutes to make. They can be stored in a tin for about 3 days. I love these cookies and I hope you do too. 

SparrowHorse x

Focaccia

I haven’t made this recently, but I remembered the recipe a few minutes ago, from when we made it last year. In case you don’t know what focaccia is, it is an italian flatbread, really popular in Italy. It is quite easy to make, and after you have tried this you should experiment with other flavours, not just rosemary….It is from the Children’s Silver Spoon book, and probably one of the nicest breads i’ve tasted. It makes one big loaf….Here is the recipe, some of it simplified or in more detail than is written in the book.

Main Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for brushing the tray 
  • 500g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 7g sachet of dried active yeast

For the top:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a handful of fresh rosemary or another topping, such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes or grated cheese

Method:

  1. Start by pouring 125ml of cold water into your measuring jug and then add enough hot water to make 250ml. Make sure that it feels warm
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush a 20 cm x 30 cm baking tray with oil then sprinkle a little flour over the tray
  3. Sift the flour into a really big bowl, then sprinkle the dried yeast over the flour
  4. Make a well in the middle of the flour- you should be able to see the bottom of the bowl
  5. Add the oil to the water and pour the pour the warm liquid into the well, use a wooden spoon to mix to a soft dough
  6. Sprinkle a little flour over the work surface and put the dough onto the flour
  7. Knead the dough by pushing it away from you with the base of your hands and then pulling it back with your fingers. Do this for about 5 minutes until you can stretch the dough like a big piece of elastic
  8. Using your hands and a rolling pin, stretch it into a rectangular shape, just a bit smaller than your baking tray, and put the dough on the tray
  9. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size
  10. Turn the oven on to 220 degrees/Gas mark 7. Push your thumb into the dough all over to make dimples, then drizzle some oil ver the top and sprinkle with the rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked
  11. Cut into rectangles, or tear it into pieces and share..

I hope you try to make this as you won’t be disappointed,

SparrowHorse x

 

 

 

 

Apple and Carrot Muffins

Today my mum, sister and I made some Apple and Carrot Muffins, with lemon icing. We had made them before but couldn’t remember what they were like and so made them again. The recipe comes out of a children’s book with recipes in, one of my sisters. They are a great snack, and I would recommend you make them as they are not hard! I found the icing a little too overpowering, with a little too much cream cheese in, so I would recommend that you add a little less than what it says on the recipe. Then again, if you think that you will like it that way, don’t take my advice! Here is the recipe, I hope you like it, it makes six…

For the Muffins:

  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g soft butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 apple (core it and grate it before you start)
  • 1 carrot (peel it and grate it before you start)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the icing:

  • 75g cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • the juice of half a lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
  2. Beat the sugar and the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until it is nice and creamy
  3. Add the egg and a yoghurt and mix again
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder, apple, carrot and cinnamon
  5. Line a muffin tin with 6 muffin cases and spoon a large desert-spoonfull of the mixture into each of the cases
  6. Put it in the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Whilst you leave them cool on a wire rack, mix all your icing ingredients together until smooth and creamy
  8. Spoon the icing onto the muffins and enjoy!

Here are the muffins before they have been iced,

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And here a few of them are afterwards…

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I hope you like them, (if you try them!) The muffins may sink a bit when they come out of the oven, but don’t worry, they’ll be fine… Bye for now, i’ll be writing another blog post soon,

SparrowHorse x

The perfect pancakes

I know I’m a bit late for a pancake recipe, it being a week or two past pancake day, but I remembered this pancake recipe when my dad and I made them the other week, so I thought I’d tell you! Here are the instructions, just the right amount for about five people…

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ounces of plan flour
  • 10.5 fluid ounces of milk
  • 4.5 fluid ounces of water
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

Method:

  1. Weigh out the 6 ounces of plain flour, and put it in a big bowl.
  2. Measure the water and the milk into a large measuring jug.
  3. Add the eggs to the bowl with the flour in, then mix the two together.
  4. Pour a little bit of the liquid into the flour and egg mixture, adding little bits at a time, making sure that there aren’t any lumps and it is smooth.
  5. Carry on pouring it in, stirring as you go, until all of the liquid is mixed in.
  6. Add two of the three tablespoons of butter into the mixture and stir.
  7. Put the last tablespoon of butter into a ramekin or small bowl for oiling the pan.
  8. Turn the hob on to medium heat, and pour the mixture into a jug so it is easier to get out to ladle onto the pan.
  9. Put the pan onto the hob, and ladle enough mixture onto to cover the bottom of the pan.
  10. When it has been on there for a while, get a fish slice to flip it over; the side that has already been on the bottom of the pan should be nicely browned and cooked.
  11. When the other side is also cooked, take it off the pan and onto a plate, being ready to ladle the next pancake mixture onto the pan.
  12. Carry on doing this until all of your pancake mixture is gone, and you will be left will a plate full of pancakes! Remember to turn the hob off after you have finished…
  13. I love my pancakes best with sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg, but I would also try nutella, whipped cream and banana, as that is my second favourite!

I hope you follow my instructions to make these, as you won’t regret it!

SparrowHorse x

Chocolate chip/raisin muffins

Another recipe…we also found this one from allrecipes, and it is the simplest muffin recipe you can find…it involves getting ingredients, mixing them all together and chucking them in the oven! They also make 12, and you can either use chocolate chips, raisins or hazelnuts in them, (we used chocolate chips).  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 150g chocolate chips, milk or plain (I used an 100g bag of them, and that was still plenty, so if you don’t have 150g, 100 is fine)150ml milk
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  • 60g melted butter or margarine

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.              

2.Line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases 

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3. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together. The mixture should be quite thick; do not over mix. 

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4. Fill muffin cases nearly to the top.
5. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
6. Place on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes or more. Enjoy

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I hope you get time to try them out because I can guarantee you you won’t regret it!

SparrowHorse x

Chocolate muffins

Hi, today my sister and I made some chocolate chip muffins, from one of our mums recipe books. It makes twelve muffins, and are really nice. They have the perfect amount of chocolateiness  in them, and are really easy to make if you are a newcomer to cooking and you want something sweet and easy to make… If you want to try making them, the instructions are below:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 175g of plain flour     
  • 40g of cocoa powder
  • 110g of caster sugar    
  • 2tsp of baking powder
  • 55g of chocolate chips                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Liquid Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg    
  • 250ml of milk
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • half a teaspoon vanilla essence                                                                                                                                                                              

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6
  2. Put muffin cases into a three by four muffin tray 
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
  4. Mix the liquid ingredients together in a separate jug, and then add to the bowl of dry ingredients
  5. Mix the mixture well, then spoon into the paper muffin cases
  6. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, then take out and leave to cool on a cooling rack…
  7. Eat!

Here is a photo of the end result…

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It is a simple recipe that has a great end result and so my family and I would really recommend you trying it out, even if cooking is not your favourite hobby!

I hope you try it out sometime,

SparrowHorse x

Campfire Cooking

I recently went camping with my family, and I am going again in the summer holidays; I love it, so I thought i’d share with you some of my favourite recipes for campfire cooking.

Chocolate Bananas.

Slice a banana open along one long side, leaving the two ends sealed. Break up some dark or milk chocolate, then make small incisions along the centre of the banana and wedge a piece of chocolate inside each incision. Push the remaining pieces of chocolate inside the skin of the banana, then wrap the whole lot in tin foil. Put the parcel onto the fire for 5-10 mins then take it off. When you look inside, the banana should be soft and gooey, and the chocolate nicely melted.

Orange Eggs.

Slice the top off an orange, putting the ‘lid’ to one side. Carefully scoop out the flesh inside, while making sure the skin stays intact. Put a dab of butter into each orange, and also a pinch of salt and pepper if you want. Crack an egg into each orange that you have prepared , then place the lid back on top; after that, wrap the whole thing in tin foil. Place the parcels into some glowing coals on your fire, and allow them 10-15 mins to cook before you unwrap them to eat. 

I hope you enjoy making the recipes!

SparrowHorse x

Tomato Bruchetta!

Hey guys, i’m sorry I haven’t blogged for a while, the results of year seven end of term exams! You spend a whole week revising, and you find you have absolutely no time to do anything else. I want to tell you about a cookbook I hadn’t touched at all, and yet last night, I found myself reading it, wanting to cook, and excited to cook! My aunt had given it to me for christmas, and at the time I hadn’t thought much about it. It was The silver spoon cookbook for children, full of italian-style recipes. I went through it, putting card bookmarks in the recipes I wanted to try. These included: tomato bruchetta, pizza dough-and toppings-, fresh pasta dough and how to cook it with different sauces, foccacia (a type of flatbread), a marbled ring cake, hazelnut cake and fruits of the forest ice-cream. I planned to do something simple that I could easily do on my own for my family at lunchtime, so I tried doing Tomato bruchetta. The picture below is of my effort!

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I think it turned out pretty well, so I shall share the recipe with you:

 

Enough for four people.

  • 1 small rustic loaf or one small baguette
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves

Instructions:

  • Turn the oven on to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Using a serrated knife, slice the bread into eight slices
  • Lay the bread flat on the baking tray, and using a spoon, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the slices
  • Wearing oven gloves, put the tray into the oven. After ten minutes, take the tray out, turn the slices over, then put them back in for another ten minutes
  • When you take the bread out, they should all be a light golden brown colour, and slightly crisp. Leave them to cool for a while
  • Cut the ripe plum tomatoes in half, then using the bridge technique, dice the tomato halves with the flat sides facing downwards
  • Peel the papery skin of the garlic clove, and rub the clove over both sides of each slice of bread. 
  • put the toasted bread on a big plate, divide the tomatoes between them, adding into the mixture some ripped up pieces of basil. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top of the bread with tomatoes on, and if you want you can add on some black pepper. 

I hope you try the recipe,

SparrowHorse x