Granola bars (almost healthy!)

Granola bars (almost healthy!)

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!

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

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!

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.

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 🙂


Lemon curd *warning, this is addictive*

I recently made some macarons (or maybe that’s macaroons?) which turned out to be an awful lot easier than I was led to believe from watching the Great British Bake Off!

mmm macarons!

mmm macarons!

To fill the centres I used homemade lemon curd, which again seemed RIDICULOUSLY easy to make. To be honest I was left wondering why I’ve never made it before. So much so that I thought others may like to make it!

If you’d like to give it a go you’ll need:
3 lemons
140g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp cornflour

Firstly put the zest and juice of all the lemons in a pan over a low heat, then add the cornflour and mix to dissolve. Then add the sugar and stir until it’s all combined.

Once that’s done you can add the eggs. Give them a bit of a whisk first, then add them to the lemon mixture.

Then increase the heat to medium and stir constantly while it thickens. It takes less than 5 minutes. I thought it was never going to happen and then suddenly it was lovely and thick.

Once it’s nice and thick you can put it in a jar (it makes enough for one jar) and once cooled it can be stored in the fridge for about a week – if it lasts that long in your house, it doesn’t in mine!

See, easy or what? Enjoy!

Snowflake biscuits

Shock horror, we have run out of stars! Elliot helped me make some star biscuits way before Christmas and has been asking for them ever since.

Today I pulled out my trusty biscuit recipe to make some more and thought I’d mix it up a bit by adding some Citrus Spice Sugar – we got this at Waitrose for another recipe at Christmas and had lots left over. It makes the biscuits taste wintery!

If you’d like to try them for yourself, you’ll need:

90g butter
100g citrus spice sugar (or regular caster sugar)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Mix the butter and sugar together until it is pretty creamy
Add the egg and vanilla and beat
Mix the dry ingredients together and then add to the wet mixture
Mix until it forms a ball

Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour (or if you’re impatient like me put it on the freezer for about half that time)

Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness and then use cutters of your choice! We chose snowflakes and stars today.

Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for 8-12 minutes

Once cooled, ice if you feel like it. Then eat (maybe with a nice warming cup of tea!)