26 March 2011

The Power of Porridge!

Porridge has to be one of the original superfoods, it's low GI, high in fibre & packed full of complex carbs. It can help to lower cholesterol, keep your heart healthy & provide enough energy to keep you going until lunchtime. For those of you who think, yeh great but it's boring, think again! The award winning Porridge Lady has created 7 new porridge recipes in 7 days & with celebrity guinea pig Sue Perkins on board, their aim was to share....(pause for dramatic effect!)....The Power of Porridge!



This porridge marathon has been organised by See The Difference to raise funds for the Scottish charity Mary's Meals. Their aim is to alleviate world hunger by providing school children in Malawi with a daily mug of porridge. This encourages children to stay in school & allows them to concentrate on their studies. Mcheza Primary School is in the rural Balaka District of Southern Malawi, Mary's Meals want to be able to feed their 509 students for one year. To do that it costs just £6.15 per student...doesn't sound a lot does it? Herein lies The Power of Porridge :-)

Click here if you would like to help & thanks to See The Difference, you'll get an update on the progress of the project & how your donation is making a difference. Thank you!

Back to Sue & the Porridge Lady....

Now I admit that my porridge repertoire is rather limited & doesn't extend much beyond honey & the odd sultana, but the Porridge Lady takes it to a whole other level. Porridge that tastes like cake, marvellous! Here's a look at all 7 recipes & a link to a clip of them in action in the kitchen.

Day 1 - Carrot Cake Porridge
Day 2 - Oat Groats Frumenty
Day 3 - Chocolate Orange Mousse Porridge
Day 4 - Brambleberry Harvest Porridge
Day 5 - Marmalade Madness Porridge
Day 6 - Mixed Meal Porridge
Day 7 - Spotted Dick Porridge

Let me know what you think if you try any of these recipes, or if you have your own recipe you'd like to share? I now have an overwhelming urge to go & read Goldilocks & the 3 Bears...

Till next time, Rebecca x

If you want to see more about Mary's Meals...watch this.

22 March 2011

Hand stamped, home made cookies.


So I'm finally getting round to testing out some of the foodie gadgets I received this Christmas. I was planning on trying out my yogurt maker, but it's been a bit of a mission trying to find the starter cultures for it. You can use pro-biotic yogurt to start it off, but using yogurt to make yogurt somehow seems like a bit of a cheat to me? Anyhow, I have found an online store that sells it, so looks like it will make it out of the box, but I'll save that for another week.

Since I completed my 52 week challenge I must admit I haven't done much baking, so this week I thought I'd make some cookies using this super cute cookie stamp. It's from a UK based design company called SuckUK, they design, make & sell a range of really unique gifts. They have a flagship store in London's OXO Tower which I'll try & make a trip to next time I'm in town. Although looking at their website I think it could be an expensive trip! I've got my eye on the Pac Man cookie cutters & the Happy Birthday cake mould :-) I used the recipe that came with the cookie stamp & it made a delicious vanilla cookie that was crispy on the edges, but lovely & chewy in the middle.

250g butter
140g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g plain flour
1 egg yolk
2 tsps vanilla essence

1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Chop the butter into small pieces & rub it into the dry ingredients until you get breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla & egg yolk, then mix together until you get a soft dough. Chill in the fridge for an hour.

2. Break off a piece of dough the size of a golf ball & roll into a ball. Flatten it down & then stamp it! Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper & cook on 190c/GM5 for 8-10 minutes until just turned golden. Leave to cool & crisp up.

I think there's a bit of a knack to using the stamp, here's a couple of things I discovered...
  • Definitely chill the dough, I tried to short cut that bit & it was just too sticky to handle!
  • Flatten the dough before stamping, the thinner it was the better I found it kept the design during baking
  • Dust the bottom of the stamp with a little icing sugar, it helped stop it sticking
I love my cookie stamp & in the words of Suck UK....

Take a stand against profit-driven global expansion: Bake your own biscuits ... mark them with our HOME MADE Cookie Stamper...shout 'Power To The People!'

Absobloominlootly! Till next time, Rebecca x


16 March 2011

Marmite...how I've missed you!

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently, I was lucky enough to get away on holiday & have just come back from an amazing trip to Malaysia. The food was delicious, but there was one thing I really missed from home...Marmite! I will be writing a round up of my favourite foodie treats from the trip, but in the meantime here's a quick homage to the brown stuff.

Three things you might not know about Marmite...

1. It was created in 1902 in Burton on Trent

2. During the First World War it was included in soldiers ration packs

3. You get your daily allowance of B12 in one little 4g serving

I was raised on Marmite, I can't ever remember not eating it, there's something very comforting & reassuring about the intense flavour of Marmite than I can only describe as Marmitey! Toasty soldiers is how I first remember eating it, but it's quite versatile, here's my top five ways to eat Marmite.

1. On white bread toast with lots of butter

2. Toast, Marmite, baked beans, topped with grated cheese (ultimate hangover food!)

3. Cheese & Marmite sandwiches

4. Off a spoon!

5. Marmite scones, click here to see my recipe

I'm a sucker for all the new Marmite snacks too! To date I've tried, breadsticks, rice cakes, cashews, crisps, cheese & cereal bars. Loved them all with the exception of the cereal bars, I think my brain got confused & the texture didn't match the taste! I've yet to find the bagels, has anyone else tried them, or any other Marmite snacks that I've missed?

So I'm happy to say, without a shadow of a doubt, I'm a lover! Sorry to all you haters, but you don't know what you're missing.

Next holiday, must remember to pack a jar in my case!

Till next time, Rebecca x

26 March 2011

The Power of Porridge!

Porridge has to be one of the original superfoods, it's low GI, high in fibre & packed full of complex carbs. It can help to lower cholesterol, keep your heart healthy & provide enough energy to keep you going until lunchtime. For those of you who think, yeh great but it's boring, think again! The award winning Porridge Lady has created 7 new porridge recipes in 7 days & with celebrity guinea pig Sue Perkins on board, their aim was to share....(pause for dramatic effect!)....The Power of Porridge!



This porridge marathon has been organised by See The Difference to raise funds for the Scottish charity Mary's Meals. Their aim is to alleviate world hunger by providing school children in Malawi with a daily mug of porridge. This encourages children to stay in school & allows them to concentrate on their studies. Mcheza Primary School is in the rural Balaka District of Southern Malawi, Mary's Meals want to be able to feed their 509 students for one year. To do that it costs just £6.15 per student...doesn't sound a lot does it? Herein lies The Power of Porridge :-)

Click here if you would like to help & thanks to See The Difference, you'll get an update on the progress of the project & how your donation is making a difference. Thank you!

Back to Sue & the Porridge Lady....

Now I admit that my porridge repertoire is rather limited & doesn't extend much beyond honey & the odd sultana, but the Porridge Lady takes it to a whole other level. Porridge that tastes like cake, marvellous! Here's a look at all 7 recipes & a link to a clip of them in action in the kitchen.

Day 1 - Carrot Cake Porridge
Day 2 - Oat Groats Frumenty
Day 3 - Chocolate Orange Mousse Porridge
Day 4 - Brambleberry Harvest Porridge
Day 5 - Marmalade Madness Porridge
Day 6 - Mixed Meal Porridge
Day 7 - Spotted Dick Porridge

Let me know what you think if you try any of these recipes, or if you have your own recipe you'd like to share? I now have an overwhelming urge to go & read Goldilocks & the 3 Bears...

Till next time, Rebecca x

If you want to see more about Mary's Meals...watch this.

22 March 2011

Hand stamped, home made cookies.


So I'm finally getting round to testing out some of the foodie gadgets I received this Christmas. I was planning on trying out my yogurt maker, but it's been a bit of a mission trying to find the starter cultures for it. You can use pro-biotic yogurt to start it off, but using yogurt to make yogurt somehow seems like a bit of a cheat to me? Anyhow, I have found an online store that sells it, so looks like it will make it out of the box, but I'll save that for another week.

Since I completed my 52 week challenge I must admit I haven't done much baking, so this week I thought I'd make some cookies using this super cute cookie stamp. It's from a UK based design company called SuckUK, they design, make & sell a range of really unique gifts. They have a flagship store in London's OXO Tower which I'll try & make a trip to next time I'm in town. Although looking at their website I think it could be an expensive trip! I've got my eye on the Pac Man cookie cutters & the Happy Birthday cake mould :-) I used the recipe that came with the cookie stamp & it made a delicious vanilla cookie that was crispy on the edges, but lovely & chewy in the middle.

250g butter
140g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g plain flour
1 egg yolk
2 tsps vanilla essence

1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Chop the butter into small pieces & rub it into the dry ingredients until you get breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla & egg yolk, then mix together until you get a soft dough. Chill in the fridge for an hour.

2. Break off a piece of dough the size of a golf ball & roll into a ball. Flatten it down & then stamp it! Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper & cook on 190c/GM5 for 8-10 minutes until just turned golden. Leave to cool & crisp up.

I think there's a bit of a knack to using the stamp, here's a couple of things I discovered...
  • Definitely chill the dough, I tried to short cut that bit & it was just too sticky to handle!
  • Flatten the dough before stamping, the thinner it was the better I found it kept the design during baking
  • Dust the bottom of the stamp with a little icing sugar, it helped stop it sticking
I love my cookie stamp & in the words of Suck UK....

Take a stand against profit-driven global expansion: Bake your own biscuits ... mark them with our HOME MADE Cookie Stamper...shout 'Power To The People!'

Absobloominlootly! Till next time, Rebecca x


16 March 2011

Marmite...how I've missed you!

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently, I was lucky enough to get away on holiday & have just come back from an amazing trip to Malaysia. The food was delicious, but there was one thing I really missed from home...Marmite! I will be writing a round up of my favourite foodie treats from the trip, but in the meantime here's a quick homage to the brown stuff.

Three things you might not know about Marmite...

1. It was created in 1902 in Burton on Trent

2. During the First World War it was included in soldiers ration packs

3. You get your daily allowance of B12 in one little 4g serving

I was raised on Marmite, I can't ever remember not eating it, there's something very comforting & reassuring about the intense flavour of Marmite than I can only describe as Marmitey! Toasty soldiers is how I first remember eating it, but it's quite versatile, here's my top five ways to eat Marmite.

1. On white bread toast with lots of butter

2. Toast, Marmite, baked beans, topped with grated cheese (ultimate hangover food!)

3. Cheese & Marmite sandwiches

4. Off a spoon!

5. Marmite scones, click here to see my recipe

I'm a sucker for all the new Marmite snacks too! To date I've tried, breadsticks, rice cakes, cashews, crisps, cheese & cereal bars. Loved them all with the exception of the cereal bars, I think my brain got confused & the texture didn't match the taste! I've yet to find the bagels, has anyone else tried them, or any other Marmite snacks that I've missed?

So I'm happy to say, without a shadow of a doubt, I'm a lover! Sorry to all you haters, but you don't know what you're missing.

Next holiday, must remember to pack a jar in my case!

Till next time, Rebecca x
 

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