Tuesday 21 April 2020

Chocolate Cookies, basic recipe, bung it all in! #isolationbaking

A bung it all in recipe that needs minimal ingredients, but tastes great, and perfect for kids to
do, and enjoy the fruits of their labour.  The dough itself can also be frozen, so we baked half and froze the other for a rainy day).

Whole lot makes around 12 cookies, dependant on what size you are looking to make.

225g butter softened 
(I put ours in the microwave for a bit too long, but still worked, despite the initial stage looking runny, it came together with the flour)
110g caster sugar (I only had golden, which worked great)
275g plain flour 
Around 100g chocolate, we smashed up 2 twirl bars

Preheat oven to 190.
Cream together the butter and sugar (as above, don't worry if it looks too runny).
Add the flour and chocolate, and bring it all together to form a dough.
Take balls of the dough, then put on a greased baking tray, and flatten with your palm onto your preferred cookie size.
Place with enough space between them as they will expand.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Cool down and eat!
Annie x

Friday 17 April 2020

Lost Wedding Ring found in Defrosted Curry - RingDaLoo :)

About to move house, so had to go through fridge and freezer to get rid of stuff, and the long lost wedding ring appeared in a defrosted curry.  Still no clue how it got there.

Funny seeing our old kitchen too.
Annie x

Monday 13 April 2020

St Albans City Youth FC U12 Girls North, isolation training during Covid-19 Lockdown

Gloomy (but sunny) April, and we are all locked down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  As I write this on 13th April 2020, deaths in the UK so far have reached over 10,000, with a forecast (or hope) that it won't go above 20,000!

Since all football has been cancelled, and schools are closed, our wonderful coach Ben Kilner organised and put together this video, made from the girls individual clips, and showcasing the wonderful City of St Albans.  One to look back on with a smile.

Go City, here's to getting back to playing and winning real soon.
Annie x

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Mint Choc Chip Ice cream - no churn! No ice cream maker, no problem!

Ok, so it's April 2020 and we are in self isolation enduring this awful experience that is Covid-19.  Normally I'd be getting excited about going to Crete, but flights have been cancelled, and we are just doing our best to stay safe, and save the NHS! 

With that in mind, the one thing about Crete that I find frustrating, is the lack of mint choc chip ice cream.  You can get all sorts of exotic flavours, and delicious as they maybe, I can't remember how many times I thought I'd spotted it, only to be told it's pistachio.   So, with time on our hands, we set about trying to make our own, without owning an ice cream maker (it's on the list).  AND we nailed it, thumbs up from my sous chef Scarlett.

500ml double (whipping) cream
397g can Condensed milk
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (dependent on taste, Scarlett wants to put more in next time)
3 drops green food colouring - optional, again Scarlett would have preferred more
100g choc chips (minimum), or bash up your favourite bar

Whip up the cream until it forms soft peaks (we used the food mixer)
In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients.
Take time to fold in the cream to the other ingredients, this will ensure that it remains light and the choc chips won't all fall to the bottom during freezing.
Freeze, for at least 6 hours.

Annie x

Saturday 28 March 2020

Soda Bread (by hand) - no yeast required! #Isolationbaking

It's March 2020, and we are currently in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Hopefully there'll be a time in the not too distant future that I can look back on this, and appreciate our new normal's, and new connections to the outside world (drama Queen...moi haha)!
Served with soup, yummy

In the meantime, I thought I'd try my hand at making soda bread.  Coming from Irish stock, I grew up with mum making this, so, whilst I have the ingredients to hand, why not.   Have to say I was very impressed with myself.   

Back in the day our family owned Morton Flour Mill, but that's for another day...

350g wholemeal flour (I had strong wholemeal flour in the pantry, aka baking cupboard)
1tsp salt
1tsp bircarbonate of soda
About 280ml buttermilk (if you haven't got buttermilk, you can use same amount and add a tbs of white wine vinegar, stir and rest for around 5 mins, creates the same effect).

1.  Preheat the oven to 220 electric/200 fan
2.  Mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.
3.  Tip in enough of the buttermilk to combine, and stir until the ingredients came together as a dough.   (You may not need all of the buttermilk, mine was quite wet, but still baked well).
4.  Place the ball of dough on a floured baking tray, and make a big cross on the dough, almost through to the bottom, helps the centre of the bread cook properly.
5.  Bake for 30mins.

Best served warm, I served it with a lovely soup for lunch.

Annie x