As much as going out for a good burger fills me with joy it’s just terrible when you our expecting the best and then are horribly let down. I recently had a very good burger at the new American joint in town Jackson & Rye. Very good all American restaurant but sometimes Best of British wins! That is why my home made burgers are worth a try.
For these burgers you will need (to make two large or 4 small) 500g of good quality beef mince (not lean), finely chopped red onion, italian herbs, paprika, cheese of your choice (I choose goats cheese), lambs lettuce, burger buns, sauces of choice (garlic mayo and ketchup usually works).
To make the burgers (you may get messy)… In a large bowl combine the minced meet, finely chopped onion, herbs, paprika and a little salt and pepper. Mix these well and turn the mixture into 2 large beef patties or 4 small ones. Poke your cheese into the middle of the meat so that it is completely covered. Now place in the fridge for as long as you can wait, 30 minutes should do (ideally you can do this the day before). The colder the meat the better it will stay stuck together when you cook it. You can fry, bbq, grill or oven bake your burgers. Place in the flying pan and leave them to cook on one side for about 3 minutes or until nicely coloured and then flip, cook for a further 5 minutes or until cooked through.
Building your burger is totally up to you. I like to add a smothering of ketchup, a heap of lettuce, mushrooms, onion, blob of garlic mayo, the glorious meat of course and then just hope the lid fits on. Delicious and the perfect way to say good bye to the Jan detox!
January is very boring! Everyone is dieting or contributing to dry January and just generally not being much fun. But diets don’t have to be all bad! This delicious salad is a great addition to meat or fish and adds the right carbs and lots of vegetables to your meal.
You will need..
A large tin of sweetcorn, 300g brown rice, 50g raisins, 1 red pepper, 1 red onion, half a cucumber and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The recipe couldn’t be easier.. Chop up your vegetables, cook the rice, leave to cool, add some balsamic, and mix it all together.
It’s so colourful!!
There you have it, a healthy dish that you can keep in the fridge for a few days, ready to eat whenever you want it! Meaning you can spend more time in bed in the morning, knowing your lunch is already sorted! Happy January, don’t worry it’s nearly over!
I was asked to make some cupcakes for a charity event on Saturday so quickly started to rack my brains for ideas of varieties I could make. I settled on raspberry cupcakes with butter icing, chocolate chip and double chocolate and then to mix things up a bit I added in a Mars Bar variety.
Whilst I waited for raspberry ones to cook through I started on the Mars ones. The recipe follows the same as the regular cupcake recipe but instead of chocolate chips you add chopped up Mars. I used 4 normal sized Mars Bar’s and then used one for the topping. The icing was also a bit different, I used a regular butter icing recipe but added golden syrup and coco powder to make a deliciously sweet and chocolatey icing.
They turned out pretty well and the others did as well…
Jasper quite liked the idea of having some too…
A perfect sunny weekend was then topped off with a trip on my grandparents boat. I went in the sea and it was FREEZING but the views were stunning and the sun was shining! I never know why I left the seaside when ever I return.
It seemed that as Easter bank holiday came around the whole of London emptied back to their home towns. I hopped on the train with my Easter eggs in tow and settled back into the homely comforts in Winchester. Easter is by far the best holiday, it involves copious amounts of chocolate, hot cross buns and roast lamb… perfect.
I was quickly commissioned into making some Easter cupcakes which called for my ever so easy and slightly brilliant Mini Egg cupcakes with butter icing. Yum!
Start by gathering your ingredients and don’t forget that you’ll need two packets of Mini Eggs, one for eating as you bake and one for decoration. You will need…
200g Caster sugar
200g Self raising flour
pinch of baking powder
Dash of vanilla
For the icing…
125g salted butter
250g icing sugar
dash of milk
Start by creaming together the stork and the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Next add the flour, eggs and some chocolate chips if you have them (you can never have too much chocolate). Add a teaspoon of baking powder and your ready to fill the cases.
Cook them in a pre heated over at 180 degrees C for 20 mins. After they are been left to cool you can start getting creative with some icing. To make the icing I find it’s easier to use an electric mixer as it saves a lot of arm ache. Wait till the butter is soft or you’ll have a really tricky job. Mix together the icing sugar, butter and enough milk until you have a firm icing that can be put into a piping bag. Get icing and hopefully you will get something that looks like these.
I boxed them off and sent them in the car to my grandmas house for tea.
When you suddenly realise you have a lot of friends about to visit who are all avid chocoholics what do you do? Simple, you turn to google and ask it… “chocolate inspired sweet treat in a hurry”. This is where I came across a quick and easy recipe for chocolate brownies kindly named “slutty brownies”. Why you may ask? Well because they are quick, easy and ever so slutty! The recipe came from here and I’m o so happy to have found them.
I don’t cheat much in cooking apart from pastry (no one has time to make pastry!) so I did feel a prang of guilt as I stood in Tesco selling my soul to Betty Crocker. I figured no one will ever find out… I guess now they will. So recipe… so easy. Firstly follow the instructions and make the chocolate chip cookie mix, this is the first slutty layer.
Top with Oreo cookies, which is by far the best idea ever! Then make the brownie mixture and smother those Oreos till you have a lovely chocolate goo. Follow some more instructions by placing it in the oven for about 25 mins and let the smell of amazingness fill your kitchen.
Let the mixture cool and chop into squares. I couldn’t get a picture of the finished product because they all got eaten to fast. So there you have it, slutty brownies to be enjoyed by all!
Every year since I can remember I have always had simply amazing birthday cakes. From classic numbers to a car for my 17th. There have been bears, barbies stuck in cakes to make them look like they are wearing massive skirts, houses made of smarties and flakes for the roof, a classy white chocolate and fruit number for my 18th and the famous chocolate brownie cake! But this time it’s my brothers turn to celebrate so Mum put on her apron and made an amazing 18th birthday cake.
Here is her step by step guide to making a quick and easy cake which is absolutely delicious and left us all with very full bellies.
She is a little old fashioned so the recipe is in oz but should be easy enough to convert into grams. So what do you need to make enough sponge for a big enough 18 to feed 12 people?
10 oz self raising flour
10 oz caster sugar
10 oz stork
Dash of vanilla extract
For the Icing – 10 oz butter
20 oz icing sugar
LOTS of chocolate buttons (some for now, some for the cake)
This really should be called my idiots guide to making a birthday cake because it is so easy. Especially if you cheat and put it all in the magi mix with a splash of milk to moisten the ingredients. Only mix it till the ingredients are all mixed together, any longer and the mixture will lose air and won’t be all lovely and light and fluffy. Divide the mixture into two round tins and one long tin such as a bread loaf tin. Now for the cooking.. bake in an oven at 180 c for 20mins. If you have an oven that is big enough then great! If not you can cook it in batches. Once it is cooked it will be golden and springy to touch.
Now it’s time to get creative and make those lovely sponges into an 18… like this!
Now.. the best bit (apart from the eating) is of course the decorating. The topping for this masterpiece was a simple butter icing and then smothered in chocolate buttons. To make the butter icing mix (again in a mixer) 10 oz butter and 20 oz icing sugar. Wizz it all up and there you have it icing, or frosting if your in America!
So get your singing voices ready, light those candles and there you have it – a quick, easy and absolutely delicious 18th birthday cake!
I love baking and never have enough time to do it so when I do have a Sunday evening with nothing to do I’m straight into the kitchen.
Idiot’s guide to cupcakes – this recipe is for chocolate muffins and couldn’t be easier. I made 12 mini muffins and 2 big ones with this recipe but to make 12 big ones I would double the ingredients.
100g light brown sugar (or caster sugar)
100g stork (Margarine)
50g self raising flour
50g coco powder
teaspoon baking powder
splash of milk is needed
50g chocolate chips
So to make my delicious chocolate chip muffins firstly mix together the sugar and the stork, then add the egg and mix together. Next add the flour and the coco powder and the baking powder. Add a splash of milk if the mixture looks to dry. Now add the chocolate chips and pop into a greased tin. EASY
Now place them in the oven at 180 degrees. If your making mini muffins then they need 10 mins. If your making large ones then they need 15 – 18 mins. To check if they are ready put a sharp knife into the muffin and if it is clean when it comes out then its perfectly cooked. Enjoy warm with a spoonful of double cream or take into work and impress EVERYONE!