Spiced bread pudding

Looking for a healthy snack? Try this tasty twist on the traditional bread pudding.

Spiced bread Pudding

Spiced bread Pudding

Preparation time 25 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes
Makes 16 squares
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Wholemeal sliced bread 300g (11oz), cut into 2.5cm (1in) squares
Semi-skimmed milk 300ml (½pint)
Egg 1, beaten
Low fat margarine 75g (3oz)
Raisins 110g (4oz)
Sultanas 50g (2oz)
Brown sugar 110g (4oz)
Ground cinnamon 1 tbsp
Grated nutmeg 1 tbsp

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Grease a rectangular sandwich tin that measures approximately 23 x 20cm (9 x 8in).

2 Place the bread and milk in a large bowl and mix together. Leave to soak for 5 minutes then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. Press into the sandwich tin.

3 Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool and then, when cool, turn out and cut into squares.

Cook’s tip
Replace the sultanas with other dried fruits, if you prefer – try blueberries, cranberries or cherries.

Recipe taken from the Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook

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Being Creative with Leftovers

I’m feeling very proud of a ‘leftovers’ culinary creation we enjoyed last night. Usually I am no good at all at impromptu cooking, but rely on my myriad of cookbooks to get me through dinner. However, no recipes for my fridge contents – a few sad looking veggies –  could be found. I decided to stir-fry the veggies – halved baby corn, halved baby courgettes, carrot batons, sliced red onions and halved mange tout – and serve them with noodles. To give them a little more taste (and a little protein), I heated 3tbsp peanut butter, a good splash of milk, 2 tsp soy sauce and ½ finely chopped chilli in the microwave, then tossed everything together.
My other half was thrilled at what he expected to be a very boring dinner. I hate to waste food and always endeavour to use everything left in the fridge/breadbin/cupboard but it isn’t always as palatable! I would love to know of any good leftovers meal ideas.
How about giving Brunchtime French toasts a try? Perfect for leftover egg, bacon and tomato.

I’m feeling very proud of a ‘leftovers’ culinary creation we enjoyed last night.

Usually I am no good at all at impromptu cooking, but rely on my myriad of cookbooks to get me through dinner.

However, no recipes for my fridge contents – a few sad looking veggies –  could be found. I decided to stir-fry the veggies – halved baby corn, halved baby courgettes, carrot batons, sliced red onions and halved mange tout – and serve them with noodles.

To give them a little more taste (and a little protein), I heated 3tbsp peanut butter, a good splash of milk, 2 tsp soy sauce and ½ finely chopped chilli in the microwave, then tossed everything together.

My other half was thrilled at what he expected to be a very boring dinner. I hate to waste food and always endeavour to use everything left in the fridge/breadbin/cupboard but it isn’t always as palatable!

Are you creative with leftovers? I would love to know of any good leftovers meal ideas.

How about giving Brunchtime French Toasts a try? Perfect for leftover egg, bacon and tomato.

Brunchtime French Toasts

Perfect for using up leftover egg, bacon and tomato. And it’s quick and easy too!

Brunchtime French Toasts

Brunchtime French Toasts

Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Calories per portion 645 Kcal
Fat per portion 42g
of which saturated 8.3g
Serves 1

Egg 1, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wholemeal bread 1 slice
Vegetable oil 2 tbsp
Lean trimmed back bacon 2 rashers, de-rinded
Field mushroom 1, wiped, peeled and sliced
Tomato 1, thickly sliced
Snipped chives to garnish

1 Beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of water and some seasoning and then pour onto a plate. Dip the bread on both sides in the egg, allowing it to soak up all the mixture.

2 Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan until bubbling, then cook the bread for 2–3 minutes on each side until lightly golden and set. Drain well, reserving the pan juices, and keep warm.

3 Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until cooked through and lightly golden. Drain well, reserving the pan juices, and keep warm.

4 Add the sliced mushroom and tomato to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes until cooked through and tender.

5 To serve, place the eggy bread on to a warm serving plate and top with the bacon, tomato, mushrooms and snipped chives. Eat immediately.

Cook’s Tip
If preferred, replace the bacon with pork sausages or a vegetarian variety for a tasty veggie version.

Recipe taken from Clever Cooking for One or Two Dairy Cookbook

leftover egg, bacon and tomato.

Anniversary gifts

Anniversary gifts
My close friends Katy and James celebrate their first wedding anniversary next week. I have already made a card but have not yet bought a gift. Of course I checked in my Dairy Diary to see what is traditionally given for a first anniversary gift – paper. Hmmm….what paper-based present will they appreciate?!! I have deliberated quite a lot and decided to opt for a magazine subscription. They both enjoy travel, so a travel magazine seems like a gift they could both enjoy. Let’s hope they like it!
I am just glad it’s not their seventh anniversary with iron as the traditional gift! What on earth would I buy for that? I would love to hear of any innovative gifts given for wedding or wedding anniversaries. It means so much more to the recipient if it has been thought about.
Maybe a special cake is a nice idea? Try this special Celebration Cake recipe.

My close friends Katy and James celebrate their first wedding anniversary next week. I have already made a card but have not yet bought a gift.

Of course I checked in my Dairy Diary to see what is traditionally given for a first anniversary gift – paper.

Hmmm….what paper-based present will they appreciate?!! I have deliberated quite a lot and decided to opt for a magazine subscription. They both enjoy travel, so a travel magazine seems like a gift they could both enjoy. Let’s hope they like it!

I am just glad it’s not their seventh anniversary with iron as the traditional gift! What on earth would I buy for that? I would love to hear of any innovative gifts given for wedding or wedding anniversaries. It means so much more to the recipient if it has been thought about.

Maybe a special cake is a nice idea? Try this special Celebration Cake recipe.

Celebration Cake

Celebration cake recipe
makes 25cm (10in) cake
time 4 hours
567 calories per slice
24.1g fat of which 8.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Butter 350g (12oz)
Golden caster sugar 350g (12oz)
Eggs 6 large, beaten
Vanilla or almond essence 2 tsp
Self-raising flour 400g (14oz)
Finely ground hazelnuts 150g (5oz)
Ground almonds 150g (5oz)
Lemon curd 200g (7oz)
White marzipan 450g (1lb)
Clear honey 2 tbsp, warmed
Ready-to-roll fondant icing 1kg (2lb 4oz)
1 Preheat oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas 3. Line a
25cm (10in) round cake tin with baking paper.
2 Beat butter and sugar together until light
and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, add
flavouring, then gently fold in flour and nuts.
3 Spoon mixture into tin, alternating with
spoonfuls of lemon curd. Smooth top. Bake for
2 hours 20 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool
for 1 hour, then turn out onto a wire rack.
4 Roll out marzipan to cover top and sides of
cake. Brush cake with honey, cover with
marzipan, trim and smooth all over.
5 Roll out and cover cake with fondant icing.
Decorate with fresh flowers, or as in photo.
A Dairy Diary 2007 recipe

A simple yet reliable recipe for a beautiful cake that’s perfect for celebrations.

Celebration Cake

Celebration Cake

Makes 25cm (10in) cake
Time 4 hours
567 calories per slice
24.1g fat of which 8.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 350g (12oz)
Golden caster sugar 350g (12oz)
Eggs 6 large, beaten
Vanilla or almond essence 2 tsp
Self-raising flour 400g (14oz)
Finely ground hazelnuts 150g (5oz)
Ground almonds 150g (5oz)
Lemon curd 200g (7oz)
White marzipan 450g (1lb)
Clear honey 2 tbsp, warmed
Ready-to-roll fondant icing 1kg (2lb 4oz)

1 Preheat oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas 3. Line a 25cm (10in) round cake tin with baking paper.

2 Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, add flavouring, then gently fold in flour and nuts.

3 Spoon mixture into tin, alternating with spoonfuls of lemon curd. Smooth top. Bake for 2 hours 20 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool for 1 hour, then turn out onto a wire rack.

4 Roll out marzipan to cover top and sides of cake. Brush cake with honey, cover with marzipan, trim and smooth all over.

5 Roll out and cover cake with fondant icing.

Decorate with fresh flowers, or as in photo.

A Dairy Diary 2007 recipe

Travel Tips

Travel tips
I have just finished writing a travel tips page for the 2011 Dairy Diary. Before researching it I never realised how unprepared I have been when travelling abroad! How many of us take the emergency number for our credit card company in case the card is stolen? Not me, that’s for sure! I seldom give anyone at home my holiday contact details either. In fact, I get so wrapped up in what I will wear/eat/drink/do when I am there that I completely forget about all the important stuff.
Thankfully, there has rarely been an emergency while I have been away – except when I was in New York the day before September 11th and no one at home knew my exact itinerary – it pays to be prepared. I would love to hear any useful travel tips or advice on what to take. Also, when booking a flight do you opt for on-board catering or take something of your own? I deliberated this last week when booking flights for a family holiday. I plumped for the in-flight meal as I find all those little parcels quite exciting. The taste is never up to much though!
But what is the best thing to take to eat on a flight? Probably not a particularly ripe French cheese! Try these Cheese Flapjacks – easily portable with oats for slow-releasing energy.

I have just finished writing a travel tips page for the 2011 Dairy Diary.

Before researching it I never realised how unprepared I have been when travelling abroad!

How many of us take the emergency number for our credit card company in case the card is stolen? Not me, that’s for sure! I seldom give anyone at home my holiday contact details either. In fact, I get so wrapped up in what I will wear/eat/drink/do when I am there that I completely forget about all the important stuff.

Thankfully, there has rarely been an emergency while I have been away – except when I was in New York the day before September 11th and no one at home knew my exact itinerary – it pays to be prepared.

When booking a flight do you opt for on-board catering or take something of your own? I deliberated this last week when booking flights for a family holiday. I plumped for the in-flight meal as I find all those little parcels quite exciting. The taste is never up to much though!

But what is the best thing to take to eat on a flight? I would love to hear any useful travel tips or advice on what to take.

Probably not a particularly ripe French cheese! Try these Cheese Flapjacks – easily portable with oats for slow-releasing energy.

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