Tag Archives: cookbook

Random Acts of Kindness

Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake

We recently had a meeting to begin the 2020 (yes really!) Dairy Diary project. As I’m sure you know, the front of the diary is packed with information and inspiration. One of the subjects we discussed for inclusion in the diary was how to be happy – the meeting was held on International Happiness Day!

And it was really interesting to see the differences in what evokes happiness in different people.

For me, being outdoors is essential to feeling happy and well. But also, giving, I find that giving just a little something gives me a real sense of wellbeing.

And this giving doesn’t even have to be a ‘thing’. I often give compliments, even to people I barely know, if I think they have on a lovely coat or do something really well. It brightens everyone’s day.

I also try to help if I see someone struggling with something, such as a heavy basket or a stubborn door. Today, I was on my phone whilst choosing a bunch of daffodils (checking on ingredients at home and not concentrating on the job in hand) and I picked up a broken bunch. A complete stranger, who noticed what I had done, brought over another bunch and swapped them for me. What a lovely thing to do! It really made me smile and I’m sure it gave her a moment of happiness too.

We recently moved into a brand new house, and gradually, the houses around us are becoming inhabited too. After the removal vans pull away, my children sneak up and post a ‘new home’ card through the door introducing ourselves. The next day, they then arrive with a freshly baked cake to make the arduous job of unpacking a little happier. I love the fact that the children too, spread a little cheer.

But, don’t get the wrong impression – as much as I would love to devote hours of my time to good causes and baking elaborate creations for charity bake sales, my life is far too busy. 

This  Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake is my current go-to recipe for a very speedy gift.

It literally takes me 10 minutes to prepare and I usually have all of the ingredients to hand – it’s a great way to use up bananas slightly past their best too. Have a go – this could be your random act of kindness for the week – it’s sure to be appreciated.

 

Cherry, Pineapple & Banana Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 305 per portion
Fat 10g (6.1g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 110g (4oz), diced
  • Caster sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Eggs 2
  • Ripe bananas 450g (1lb), weighed in their skins
  • Glacé cherries 150g (5oz)
  • Pineapple chunks 227g can, drained and chopped
  • Few sugar lumps roughly crushed to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Grease an 18cm (7in) deep round cake tin and line the base with a circle of greaseproof or non-stick baking paper.
  2. Put the flour and butter into a bowl and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Peel the bananas and mash on a plate with a fork then beat into the cake mixture. Halve 8 of the cherries and reserve for decoration, then cut the rest into quarters and add these to the cake mixture with the drained pineapple pieces. Gently stir the cake until just mixed then spoon into the prepared tin.
  4. Spread the top level and decorate with a ring of the reserved cherry halves and a few crushed sugar lumps, if using. Bake the cake for 1–1¼ hours or until the top is golden and slightly cracked and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife and turn out on to a wire rack. Leave to cool before peeling off the lining paper. Store in an airtight tin for up to 1 week.

Cook’s tips

If you have some sugar lumps at the back of the cupboard, then break up a few with a rolling pin and use to decorate the cake. If not, simply leave them out. Any leftover cherries can be used to top fairy cakes.

 

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookFantastic Food For Less

This recipe is taken from Fantastic Food for Less – one of my favourite cookbooks of all time!

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Recipe of the Week: Slow Spiced Ox Stew

Slow Spiced Ox Stew

Enjoy time with friends and family by slow cooking….just a few minutes preparation, then relax while it cooks to perfection.

With melt-in-the-mouth texture and gorgeous flavours, this stew is well worth the wait!

Slow Spiced Ox Stew

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Calories 564 per portion
Fat 38g (17g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Rapeseed oil 2 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Plain flour 2 rounded tbsp
  • Ox cheeks 4 approx. 1.9kg (4lb 4oz)
  • Onions 2, peeled and each cut into 6 wedges
  • Carrots 2 large, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) thick slices
  • Celery 2 sticks, cut into thick slices
  • Mandarin or satsuma 1, finely grated zest
  • Thyme 4 sprigs
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Star anise 2
  • Pitted dried dates 6, halved
  • Whole plum tomatoes 400g can
  • Beef Stock Pots (or stock cubes) 2
  • Mashed potato and broccoli to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°fan/Gas 2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Season the flour and use to coat the ox cheeks. Brown them in the oil, two at a time, for 2 minutes each side. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the casserole along with the onions, carrots and celery. Stir well, cover and leave over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in any leftover flour, the mandarin zest, thyme, bay leaves, star anise and dates.
  3. Put the meat back in the casserole, add the tomatoes and Stock Pots (or crumble in the stock cubes) and pour over just enough boiling water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil on the hob then cover and cook in the oven for 4 hours until the meat is tender.
  4. Lift the ox cheeks out of the casserole and set aside, covered. Put the casserole on the hob over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Pull the meat into large chunks and put back into the sauce. Take out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Season well and serve with mashed potato and broccoli, if you like.
  5. Slow cooker method Prepare as in the method then place in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 6 hours. Take the lid off and continue cooking for another hour to reduce the sauce.

Cook’s tips

Ask the butcher to trim the fat off the ox cheeks, or skim the fat off the top of the sauce after cooking but before you reduce it.

The dates and mandarin zest add a subtle fragrance and sweetness to the sauce.

If you prefer, after taking the meat out you can thicken the sauce with cornflour mixed with a little water; bring to the boil before returning the meat to the sauce.

 

Cook it Slowly! cookbook back in stock!

Cook it Slowly!

This recipe is taken from our Cook it Slowly! cookbook, which is packed full of the most amazing slow-cooked recipes.

READ MORE

 

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Recipe of the Week: Fragrant Turkey with Chickpeas

 

It’s super-healthy and absolutely delicious!

This turkey recipe is so packed with flavour that you won’t even notice that it’s only 353 calories per portion.

I’ve made it three times already this year. And it really is worth the wait!

 

Fragrant Turkey with Chickpeas

 

Fragrant Turkey with Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Calories 353 per portion
Fat 12g (3g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Turkey drumstick approx. 700g (1lb 9oz)
  • Sunflower oil 1 tbsp
  • Onion 1, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Root ginger 4cm (1½in) piece, peeled and finely chopped
  • Ground cumin 1 tsp
  • Ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • Mixed spice 1 tsp
  • Dried crushed chillies ½–1 tsp
  • Chopped tomatoes 400g can
  • Chickpeas 400g can, drained
  • Chicken stock 600ml (1 pint)
  • Raisins or sultanas 50g (2oz)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Carrots 350g (12oz), diced
  • Curly kale 110g (4oz), sliced
  • Rice or couscous to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Partially sever the knuckle end of the turkey drumstick by using a large knife and hitting it with a rolling pin or hammer so that the knuckle can be bent round and will fit in a large saucepan. Heat the oil in the pan and brown the turkey for about 5 minutes, turning once or twice. When the drumstick has begun to colour, add the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, ginger, ground spices and chillies and cook for 1 minute more, then mix in the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and dried fruit. Season with pepper and bring to the boil, stirring the sauce to mix.

  3. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the turkey is almost falling off the bone. Lift the drumstick out of the pan and put onto a plate. Add the carrots to the pan and cook uncovered for 15 minutes until just tender.

  4. Meanwhile, remove the skin, tendons and bone from the turkey, then cut the meat into pieces and return to the pan.

  5. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes until just wilted. Spoon the stew into warmed shallow bowls lined with couscous or rice, if using.

    Slow cooker method

    Follow the method to step 3 and then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the carrots, cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours. Add the kale for the last 15 minutes.

    Cook’s tips

    The ingredients list may look long but the jars of spices keep for ages and root ginger can be chopped and frozen or kept in the salad compartment of the fridge for several weeks.

    If you have runner beans, slice and add with the carrots and cook for about 10 minutes until just tender.

Recipe taken from Cook it Slowly!

 

Cook it Slowly! is now back in stock!

Prepare quickly, cook slowly and savour every mouthful.

Cook it Slowly! cookbookSlowly-cooked meals are easy, fuss-free and delicious with melt-in-the-mouth textures and intense flavours.

Just 20 minutes or so is all it takes to prepare the majority of the recipes, then you can leave them to cook slowly. Every recipe can be cooked either on the hob or in the oven and also, where appropriate, in a slow cooker.

Order your copy of the sell-out cookbook now.

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THE cookbook of the year!

Cook it Slowly! cookbook

 

Cook it Slowly! is now back in stock!

Prepare quickly, cook slowly and savour every mouthful.

Cook it Slowly! cookbookSlowly-cooked meals are easy, fuss-free and delicious with melt-in-the-mouth textures and intense flavours.

Just 20 minutes or so is all it takes to prepare the majority of the recipes, then you can leave them to cook slowly. Every recipe can be cooked either on the hob or in the oven and also, where appropriate, in a slow cooker.

Order your copy of the sell-out cookbook now.

Buy

 

Would you like to try before you buy?

This turkey recipe is so packed with flavour that you won’t even notice that it’s only 353 calories per portion – perfect for post-Christmas indulgence.

I’ve made it three times already this year. And it really is worth the wait!

 

Fragrant Turkey with Chickpeas

 

Fragrant Turkey with Chickpeas

Serves 4
Preparation 25 minutes
Cooking 2½ hours or 6-7 hours in a slow cooker)
Per portion: 353 Kcal, 12g fat (3g saturated)

Go to recipe…

GO TO RECIPE

 

 

 

 

 

#slowcook

#tripletested

#healthyeating

#foodtrends

Recipe of the Week: Frosty Top Lemon Loaf

This light and zesty cake has a gorgeous crunchy topping.

It’s absolutely gorgeous!

 

Frosty Lemon Cake

Frosty Top Lemon Cake

  • Servings: 10 slices
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Calories 136 per portion
Fat 6g (2.9g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • Butter 50g (2oz), at room temperature
  • Caster sugar 75g (3oz)
  • Self-raising flour 75g (3oz)
  • Ground almonds 25g (1oz)
  • Egg 1 Lemon ½, grated zest only
  • For the topping
  • Lemon ½, juice only
  • Granulated sugar 50g (2oz)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, then strip line and grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin with non-stick baking paper or use silicone bakeware.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients until smoothly blended. Spread the mixture in the tin and bake for 35 minutes until just firm to the touch.
  3. For the topping, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and spoon it evenly over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice for serving.

Cook’s tip
Leave out the lemon zest and topping but add 50g (2oz) dried fruit to the mixture and sprinkle the top with 25g (1oz) chopped hazelnuts before baking.

 


 

Recipe taken from the fabulous Cooking For One Or Two cookbook.

 

Recipe of the Week: Minced Lamb Pie plus Win a Pie Maker!

Minced Lamb Pie

Celebrate #BritishPieWeek with this gorgeous Lamb Pie

It’s wonderful served with a scoop of creamy mash and a few green beans.

This recipe (below) is taken from Dairy Diary Favourites which features 100 recipes from 35 years of the Dairy Diary.

From speedy weekday meals to show-stopping crowd-pleasers, there is something for everyone in this fabulous cookbook.

Click here to find out more.

 


 

Win a Pie Maker

Fancy winning a Pie Maker?

If you would like a helping hand with making your pies than enter our competition to win this fabulous double pie maker.

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Minced Lamb Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 618 per portion
Fat 41g (17g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Onion 1 large, peeled and chopped
  • Carrot 1 large, peeled and finely diced
  • Minced lamb 500g (1lb 2oz)
  • Plain flour 2 tbsp
  • Lamb or chicken stock 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Chopped rosemary 4 tsp or 2 tsp dried
  • Tomato purée 4 tsp
  • Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp
  • Sherry 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Shortcrust pastry 400g (14oz)
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz), grated
  • Mash and green beans to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, add the onion and carrot and cook until softened. Add the lamb and cook until browned all over. Stir in the flour then add the stock, rosemary, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, sherry, if using, and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6.
  3. Roll out half of the pastry and line a 25cm (10in) enamel pie plate. Fill with the lamb mixture.
  4. Roll out the remaining pastry until large enough to cover the pie. Brush the edge of the pastry in the tin with water, cover with the rolled-out pastry and press the edges together to seal. Trim and decorate the edge, brush with egg and make a small hole in the centre.
  5. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for a further 15–20 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve with mash and steamed green beans, if you like.

Cook’s tips
If you don’t have an enamel pie plate then line a 23cm (9in) shallow loose bottomed tart tin with half the pastry, add the filling and roll out the remaining pastry to just a little bigger than the top of the tin then press the pastry edges together and trim off the excess before glazing and topping with cheese.

 


 

Dairy Diary Favourites cookbookMinced Lamb Pie recipe is taken from Dairy Diary Favourites, which features 100 recipes from 35 years of the Dairy Diary.

From speedy weekday meals to show-stopping crowd-pleasers, there is something for everyone in this fabulous cookbook.

Click here to find out more.

 

 

 

 

#BritishPieWeek

#ApplePie

#Delicious

#BestEverFamilyRecipes

#tripletested

#Delicious

#BestEverFamilyRecipes

#win

#competition

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