blog batter cooked

Catching up

I haven’t been able to catch up with my blog reading for a while.  I spent some time doing just that yesterday, and I came across this post. a

(This is where I want you to imagine a lightbulb, because it was just the inspiration I needed)

A Bank Holiday is not a good time to run out of bread.  It also isn’t a good time to have no inspiration!  I’m not down in the doldrums, but am quite tired, so even if we had bread it would probably have taken me a while to think ‘ah yes, now we need butter’!  So to be pointed towards something I make every now and then was a real blessing.  However, a ‘holiday’ stroll came to mind too, and as a result this was breakfast…..

185g SR Flour

1tsp baking powder

1tbsp caster sugar

2 lightly beaten eggs

250ml milk

1 tsp oil added towards the end of making the batter.

Everything except the oil goes into the bowl and it is beaten together to form a thickish cream.  Add the oil and mix some more.

Leave it to stand for a while, up to about 30 minutes, then all you need then is a hot pan and a large spoon.  Grease the pan, and pour spoonfuls of the mix onto the surface.

This was the point at which I added the product of our stroll

Yummy dark tart blackberries.  Place a few on top and watch them sink in.

Bubbles rise to the surface and pop.  When they stop doing that it’s time to turn them over and cook the other side for a few minutes.

Delicious!  I’m sorry about the quality of the photographs, but by the time I discovered that some of them weren’t very good it was too late

DH had eaten it all…….  Thanks LadyB for the inspiration.

Thanks for the inspiration Hugmamma

There are some really interesting blogs out there, and postaday has been a good place to find them.  I read this prolific one as often as I can, and I feel as though I have known the author for years – even though we have never actually met.  I’d like to point you to this post, because it made me laugh as I remembered the story I’m about to tell you.

Food has often been a bone of contention between my DH and me.  We are a little like Jack Spratt and his wife – except I like the lean, whereas he likes the ‘fat’.  As far as I’m concerned there is nothing better than a plate of green salad, or one loaded with lots of fresh vegetables, but he would rather have a spicy mix of cream and various other exotic ingredients.  Knowing this people often buy him food for his birthday, and a while ago this happened.  He was presented with a tin (yes, a tin) of frogs legs, and another of snails…….

Unlike most other things that appear in tins, however, they needed a lot of preparation before they were edible……..

……. and guess who had to prepare them…………………?

Yes, it was me……………………..

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about the frogs legs.  It could be that I hid them at the back of the cupboard for long enough so that they could evaporate into the unknown, I really don’t remember now, but I do remember those awful snails.  First, it was the smell as the lid was removed from the tin………………….


………………………… I’m sorry about all those dots, but I needed them to get over the whiff that came from nowhere into my memory.  Oh dear, they smelled awful, just as the other post said.  Next came the cooking.  They too had to be cooked and the smell pervaded every room in the house, even those with closed doors.  Finally they had to be drained and then re-heated in the sauce of wine and cream.  No amount of wine or cream could mask the smell, and I thought I would smell it forever.  Apparently they were delicious, but I didn’t try one, and I can assure you that that experience has put me off them for the rest of my life, even though I had previously tried them.

Thanks for the memory, Hugmamma, I’ll be popping over for another visit soon.

In the meantime, here’s number 9!

Tea? Breakfast?

What a surprise to see this!  I would never have thought of serving them for afternoon tea.

I often make sandwiches like this when we have a really early start.  If we leave home at 5am we often need something to sustain us at about 9am, and this just fits the bill.  I would never have thought of it as warranting a recipe, though, I just sort – throw it all together…..

They do taste good, though.

Yum Yum! Pancakes.

Today is pancake day.  In theory all the goodies are eaten up ready for an abstemious Lent.  In practice……..?

Anyway, today people all over the country, and maybe the world, will be consuming pancakes.  We all have our preferences!  Some like it with lemon and sugar (yum), others like currants added, then there’s maple syrup, jam, even savoury fillings too.  However, they can also be turned into a quick and easy dessert within a meal fit  for a king!  Want to know more?  Read on.

Make your pancakes according to whichever recipe you prefer.  They can be cooked in advance, but as you do them make sure you fold them into quarters.

When you are ready to serve just heat these ingredients together in a large pan

Strong black coffee, sugar to taste, and, if the children aren’t having any, a slug of brandy or other spirit.  Pop the pancakes in, and simmer gently until they are heated through and the sauce has reduced a little.  Now, pop them onto a plate, spoon some sauce over then top it all with a scoop of creamy icecream!  Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, Cocomint – whatever you fancy.  Of course, you could add some thick cream too, but that is just a little too self indulgent!


A Fishy Question

In a previous post I told you that I make my own bread.  However, forever churlish, there are occasions when my other half would prefer a loaf of ‘shop bought’ bread.  He has taken to occasionally buying a loaf of ‘tiger’ bread, which I believe is available in a number of supermarkets and bakeries.

Have you tasted it?  It has a fairly crunchy upper crust which is mottled.  An internet search yielded this recipe for a loaf or two of bread

‘The bread mix is standard but the clever bit is the topping, I found one recipe for it, however it is commercial sized so you will need to proportion it down to size, this is to go with 5Kg of flour!

Rice Flour 1 1/2 Kg
Water 1 1/2 Kg
Sugar 90 grm
Vegetable Oil 75 grm
Salt 30grm
Fresh Yeast 30grm (or 1 sachet Instant)

Mix all ingredients for the Tiger Skin together till smooth – set aside
Make your usual white bread, mould or tin it, spread tiger mix evenly on top of dough, prove for about 55 minutes, bake at 200 deg for about 55 minutes or until cooked.’

I really couldn’t believe that there is a whole forum discussing this particular type of bread – and many of the comments seem to say that the recipe doesn’t work!   I won’t be trying it out, however, and to prove it we have finally come to the question.

If anyone has actually tasted this bread – do you agree with me that it tastes of fish?

I think it smells of fish too

And I don’t fancy fish and marmalade!

Friday Food

I don’t make these very often now, but when the children were small they were a treat to be consumed sparingly!  Here is my recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies.

125g butter, softened to room temperature

130g peanut butter

100g caster sugar

110g dark brown soft sugar

1 egg

185g self raising flour

Mars Bar – cut into small pieces.

Beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars.

Add the egg, mix and gradually add the flour till it forms a soft dough.

Roll teaspoonsful of the mixture into balls, hide a small piece of Mars bar in the middle.  Ensure that it is completely surrounded with dough, and place onto a lined baking tray, leaving room enough to spread.

Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 (160 Fan) for 10 -12 minutes until brown. Transfer to wire racks for cooling.

Friday Food

This recipe is just about the easiest mushroom soup you can imagine!  Basically, it’s yet another throw it all in the pan recipe, and makes a good lunch.

So, grab your mushrooms.  Clean them and cut them up a bit.  Gently heat a little oil in a pan, then when it’s hot add a little butter.  Toss in the mushrooms (see note below) as soon as the butter is melted and immediately stir them around to coat them.  Add stock (chicken, vegetable or even just hot water) to almost cover, then add some milk so that they are covered – just!  Pop on a lid and simmer for no more than 5 minutes then season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Now it’s time to give it a ‘whizz’ with a blender, but cool it first for safety (if you don’t have one make sure you chop those mushrooms well at the first step).

Sometimes I add just a dribble of cream, but it isn’t important.  It’s ready now, so grab some crusty bread and enjoy.  (It’s even good without the bread!)

Friday Food

I have a feeling that the recipe I’m sharing today probably has a very fancy Italian name.  I have no idea what that might be, however, as in our house it is simply known as ‘that red stuff’.  It was first given to me many years ago, by a student on one of my courses.  It is simple and fast, and can be made from the store cupboard in an emergency.  I’ve altered it slightly over the years, but it is still very quick to prepare.

Firstly, slice an onion very thinly.  Pop it into a pan with a  little olive oil and set it on a low heat.  Let the onion cook gently until it starts to colour, then add a clove (or two) of garlic (you can leave this out if you don’t like it.  Skin and chop some fresh tomatoes or us a can of tomatoes, it will alter the flavour slightly, but still be good.  Now, here’s the trick, and really does make a difference.  Before you add the tomatoes to the pan pour in a good slurp of Marsala. Now turn the heat up and ‘bubble off’ the alcohol.   Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well and season with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil to taste.  Serve with spaghetti or pasta, and as that takes about the same length of time to cook as the sauce you can see it’s a really quick meal.

Serve with shavings of cheese and a delicious green salad.  As I have a weakness for green salad I never forget that part of the menu.  The original recipe didn’t have garlic or herbs, but I prefer it with these additions, especially if the herbs are freshly picked.


Friday Food

Take an onion, add some bell pepper, throw in some chicken and grated ginger, then toss in some paprika for seasoning.  When it’s cooked add a few halved apricots with raisins for a bit of contrast and slosh in some ginger beer.  (Yes, I did say ginger beer).  Heat through, then bubble a bit to reduce the sauce.  Serve it however you like.

Friday Food

‘By Popular Request’ here is the bread recipe I mentioned earlier in the week.

Now, I have to say that the first secret to this recipe seems to be in the flour.  I didn’t believe it when I was told this, but having tried others of similar type I have to say that if you can get it – do so.  It’s sold in one of the major supermarkets here (it’s the one that wants to take over the world), or you can buy it in small packets from Lakeland.  Try it with a stoneground of any sort if you can’t find the one I suggest.  The second secret is to WEIGH everything.  Don’t make a guess if you can possibly help it.


Half tsp dried yeast, 400g Carrs Bread Flour, 1 level tsp sugar, 1 level tsp dried milk, 15g butter, 1 tsp salt, 280ml water.


Throw it all into the bread machine, set it to make dough and press the button!


When it is ready all you need to do is turn on the oven (200deg C) and form it into the shape you want.  I usually make a small loaf and 6 little rolls.  The loaf goes into a bread pan and the rolls sit on a baking sheet.  As soon as the oven is hot I pop them in.  The rolls take about 20 mins, and the little loaf about 25 mins.  Tap them on their undersides when they are cooked, if they sound hollow they are done, if not pop them back for a few more minutes.


You can cut them with a knife or snip with scissors before baking if you like.  Or, if you would prefer a shiny loaf, brush with beaten egg or milk before baking.  I tend to vary it.

The mix will also make two loaves.  The front one was snipped with scissors.  If you want freshly baked bread for breakfast go through the whole process, but instead of putting the pans in the oven, put them into the fridge.  In the morning – take them out of the fridge and put them on top of the stove while it warms up.  Pop them in to cook as soon as the oven is ready and….