Granola bars (almost healthy!)

Granola bars (almost healthy!)

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I made these last week, in a bid to get more dried fruit into Elliot. They are so yummy, I’ll be adding them to our list of regular bakes!

Ingredients:
100g butter
200g porridge oats
50g walnuts
150g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, poppy… you choose)
100g sugar (light brown)
100g dried fruit – I used a mix that included cranberries and apricots as well as sultanas and raisins)
3 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon

To make, firstly heat your oven to 160C/fan 140C and get out a roasting tin. Put your oats, nuts and seeds together in the roasting tin and toast these in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, line and grease a 18x25cm tin.

Next, measure out the butter, honey and sugar and heat in a pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Once the oats, nuts and seeds have toasted, add these to the pan and then add the cinnamon and dried fruit. Stir really well to get everything coated fully, then tip into the prepared tin and press down into the corners.

This then needs to be cooked for 30 mins in the oven.

Cool in the tin and cut into 12-15 bars (depending on how generous you’re feeling!)

They keep pretty well in an airtight tin, if they get the chance!

Yum yum!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Marmalade chicken and dancing trees

Marmalade chicken and dancing trees

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Wellies and mittens! Really ready to pack both away…

The weather has been so awful recently, and I for one am getting a bit fed up of the rain (when will it stop?), although the wind has prompted some really funny conversations with Elliot – “Mummy, the trees are dancing!”

I can’t wait for spring to arrive!

At times like this my thoughts turn to warm comforting food. It makes me remember dinners at my grandmother’s house, and, being designated keeper of her recipe book these days, I have looked up her recipe for marmalade chicken (delicious!)

I’ll be serving this up with some mash and green veg later today.

The recipe is over on my other blog, which hasn’t been updated in SO long (sorry!) but while you’re there you can also find recipes for suitable desserts (lemon layer pudding perhaps?)

Yum! How long until dinner time??

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Pappardelle with butternut squash, blue cheese, chilli and thyme

Pappardelle with butternut squash, blue cheese, chilli and thyme

Earlier this week I could have sworn I saw a tweet on my feed that mentioned a butternut squash pasta dish with blue cheese, chilli and thyme, however I can’t now find it again and have had butternut squash cravings ever since.
Not only could I not find the recipe on my twitter feed, I also trawled the internet for a recipe with all four ingredients and returned zero results.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is a truly original recipe made up on the spot on a random Thursday in January. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
A handful of thyme sprigs
St Agur blue cheese (or similar, I’m sure Gorgonzola would work)
1 red chilli, chopped
Olive oil
Pappardelle pasta – I used fresh as that’s what Waitrose had, but any pasta would work I think.

Method:
1. Put the chopped squash, onion, thyme, garlic and chilli in a roasting tray. Toss with olive oil and put in a preheated oven (180 degrees C) for 40 mins or until soft.
2. Cook the pasta according to instructions and drain
3. Heat some oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Fry the squash mixture for a few minutes and then add the pasta. 4. Allow the pasta to fry for a couple of minutes to add flavour.
5. Crumble in the blue cheese and as soon as it starts to melt, serve in warm bowls.

Post-dinner note: We enjoyed this meal, but think next time we’d add some pine nuts for added texture, and would also put the finished pasta in an oven proof dish with a covering of Parmesan and grill/bake for a while.

If you try this, please leave a comment below to let me know if you think of any improvements to make 🙂

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Banana Bread

Waitrose gave my husband free bananas yesterday, quite by chance but as I had been craving banana bread for a while and hadn’t thought to add any to the shopping list, it seemed like a good time to get baking!

Ingredients:
100g (4oz) softened butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk

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To make, you basically just put everything in the mixer (we put everything in apart from the bananas first, and then added the bananas afterwards) and then when its all well mixed, pour it into a lined loaf tin.

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It takes an hour at 180c/160C fan/Gas 4, and is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean and it’s well risen and golden brown.

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Elliot loved helping and was very patient while it cooked. The cooling down stage was the hardest for all of us as it just looked so yummy!

Needless to say I don’t think it’s going to last very long.

A week full of good things

The past week has been particularly good!

Of course we had the excitement of a new Royal baby last Monday – congratulations Kate and Will, baby Prince George is a cutie!

I also had a jaw dropping, skipping-about-the-kitchen moment when I actually got tweeted by Raymond Blanc himself (am a bit awestruck!) – he was replying to a tweet I sent him about his AMAZING chicken, morels and leeks recipe (please give it a go, it’s so easy and so yummy!)

In other news, I’m now 20 weeks pregnant, so officially half way to meeting our newest little one. We’re so excited. Found his/her heartbeat on our Doppler on Friday night, such a strange but beautiful sound. 

Am feeling bigger than I thought I’d be at this stage. I can’t really remember what I was like at this stage with Elliot but I do feel like a whale already.

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It was good timing therefore that I won a giveaway on the lovely Honest Mummy‘s blog for £100 of maternity clothes from Seraphine. For someone who never wins anything, I am so very excited!! Luckily the order arrived in double-quick time and is sitting at the end of my desk at work waiting for me to get home and try them all on. I ordered the following things, here’s hoping they all fit!

Crochet Trim Maternity Dress - Black - Google Chrome_2013-07-29_11-27-33

I looked at this crochet trim tunic dress when I was pregnant with Elliot and coveted it from afar. Am really excited to see how it looks on. Blue Linen Waterfall Maxi Cardigan - Google Chrome_2013-07-29_11-28-26

This waterfall blue cardigan is going to be such an investment piece I can already tell. From covering up expanding waistlines, to breastfeeding and beyond, I think it’s going to become one of those cardigans I can’t live without!

Silk printed maternity Tunic- Steel & Print - Google Chrome_2013-07-29_11-29-10

Lastly, I thought I’d splash out on a top that will make me feel less like a whale and more special. I think it’s good to have a few things in your maternity wardrobe that don’t feel like maternity clothes. We’re going to a wedding soon so I’m hoping this silk printed tunic, teamed with some sparkly heels will make me feel a little less frumpy.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s my birthday next weekend? So far the second trimester is going well!