I’ve been so slack on the cooking front this week and Chris hasn’t really done any either. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a really lazy recipe which has a big effect. All of us love the kind of meal where you stick it all in the middle of the table and help yourself.
Even better is that you put it all in the slow cooker in the morning and hey presto it’s all done in time for dinner later on.
What you will need:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ)
3 medium red onions, grated
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
What to do:
Pop the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken.
Easter is upon us and everywhere you look there is chocolate to be seen.
I love chocolate with dark chocolate being my favourite and when I was given the opportunity to try some Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle recipes I jumped at the chance. The flavours we’re going to make are:
Miso Caramel – think salted caramel with a twist
Shaoxing Rice Wine – a warm, boozy hit
Wasabi Furikake – milder than chilli with the added crunch of sesame
Pickled Sushi Ginger – chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle
Yuzu – a hint of citrus
I have to be honest when I received a box of ingredients I was hard-pushed to imagine them paired with chocolate but here goes.
This is the list of items needed to make the truffles:
Good quality Dark Chocolate
Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Yutaka sushi ginger
Pink salt crystals
Quite an interesting list of items, but this is to make five different flavoured truffles and will make approximately 30 – 36.
Chocolate Easter Truffles Recipe
200g dark good quality chocolate
60ml double cream
80g unsalted butter
Method for all truffles
In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set – overnight if possible.
Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keeping the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.
Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring
2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli for coating
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake flavouring
2 tbs Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Drinking chocolate for coating
Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger flavouring
2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa for coating
Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases. Roll the Wasabi Furikake in drinking chocolate and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.
Yutaka Yuzu flavouring
2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu
100g white chocolate – gently melted for coating
Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the white chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over Yuzu truffles until coated. You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. This needs patience! Leave them to set on a plate.
Miso caramel sauce filling
50ml double cream
1 tbs Yutaka Miso
100g dark chocolate – gently melted for coating
Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top
Miso caramel flavouring method
Put sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture. The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.
Melt the dark chocolate and coat the Miso caramel truffles using a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate. Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.
We made up the five different flavours and left them in the fridge whilst we went out for the day. Three of them were fairly easy to mould into ball shapes, but the Shaoxing rice wine flavour and the Pickled Sushi Ginger were quite tacky still.
We thought it was quite fun smelling all of the ingredients and wondering how the truffles were going to taste. I thought that the Shaoxing rice wine smelt quite nice. We all agreed that the Wasabi Furikake smelt awful and Daddy and I had a taste of it neat which was a bit of an experience for the tastebuds.
These are our lovely looking truffles all ready to be tried.
Miso Caramel – We all agreed that it was quite salty, but not in a bad way so this one gets the thumbs up.
Shaoxing Rice Wine – This one was up there as one of our favourites.
Wasabi Furikake – We were all very nervous about this one. We gave it to Ryan without telling him what it was which he wasn’t impressed by. For me this felt like attempting a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ so I only had a very little taste. Now that we’ve ticked this off our list of tried and tested I don’t think we would go for this one again. Daddy is very keen to use this in savoury cooking though.
Pickled Sushi Ginger – I wasn’t too sure that I would like this one as it seemed like a lot of ginger, but surprisingly it was a nice hit of ginger.
Yuzu – This was up there as our other favourite. I think the white chocolate made this the prettiest one as well.
This was definitely a taste experience for us all which we enjoyed.
*We were gifted the ingredients by Yutaka for the purpose of this review but all the opinions are our own.
These little pancakes are so cute. You can make a batch up and freeze, and then you can take a few out the night before for breakfast.
Pancake Kebab Recipe
Isabelle had her friend over to play today so it was the perfect time to test these out. Apologies for my none too professional maple syrup drizzle. I think I need a bit more practice!
To make the pancakes you will need:
135g Plain flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
130ml/ 4 1/2 fluid oz milk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp melted butter, plus extra for cooking
You will also need:
Short Wooden kebab sticks
2 Kiwi fruits
A few Blueberries
Approx 8 Strawberries
Maple Syrup to serve
Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and add the salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and melted butter.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together then lightly whisk until well combined and lump free.
Make this mixture a little in advance as it works best if you put it into the fridge for a while.
Melt some butter in a frying pan and if you’re confident put a small amount of mixture in small blobs to make small bitesized pancakes. If not you can either use a squirty bottle or a round biscuit cutter to get the correct size.
Slice the fruit ready for construction.
Once all the pancakes are made you can make up the kebabs alternating pancakes and fruit or you could give them to the kids to make how they like.
Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup. The best bit of the cold weather are the scrummy soups, casseroles and home comfort food. I love a big bowl of soup, and it’s a great thing to make in advance, freeze and take out for work or a meal when you’re super busy.
What you will need:
600g Carrots, washed and grated
140g Split red lentils
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Litre hot vegetable stock
2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds
Pinch of Chilli flakes
Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and start to smell yummy.
Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth, but can be left chunky if you prefer and serve with naan bread and a dollop of yoghurt.
Really easy to make and totally scrummy.
For all of our other tried and tested recipes, pop over to our Recipes Page.
What’s better than a recipe that you don’t have to cook. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like cheesecake or if I do they haven’t mentioned it. What’s not to like, Yummy creamy topping on an even yummier biscuity base (which if you’re the one serving you get to have extra – servers rights) and fruit. Fab combination!
For the base, put the biscuits in a freezer bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter.
Put 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray and add a spoonful of biscuit base to each case. Put into the fridge to chill whilst you prepare the topping.
Melt the white chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once all the ingredients are melted, take off the heat and stir to make a smooth mixture and set aside to cool.
In another bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar (sifted) and cream until smooth.
Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture.
Take about half the punnet of strawberries, wash and chop off the tops and cut into very small pieces before adding them to the cream cheese mixture.
Top the biscuit base cases with the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Top each cheesecake cup with a quartered strawberry and serve.
And there you have lovely little scrummy White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups.
It’s that time of the month when the big shop is due so all you’ve got left is odds and ends. This is the time when having a kitchen know-it-all comes in handy and makes a Breakfast Mash-up.
I look in the fridge and see nothing.
Chris looks in the fridge and then hey presto we’re eating something scrummy and he’s basking in his culinary expertise.
Looks pretty good doesn’t it!
This is what he used:
Chorizo cut into small pieces
4 New potatoes cut into small pieces
A pack of bacon lardons
1 Tin of Baked Beans
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
4 Spring Onions (sliced, separating the white from the green)
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper
Cook the bacon lardons in a frying pan (no oil needed) and set to one side.
In the same pan cook the chorizo and then put to the side with the bacon lardons.
Add to the pan the cubed new potatoes, garlic with a sprinkle of thyme and salt and pepper. Once fried off remove from the pan with the rest of the cooked bits.
Put the white spring onion, tomatoes and the baked beans into the pan and heat through. Season to taste.
Add in the paprika, a squirt of barbeque sauce and a sprinkle of oregano.
Add in all the cooked items and keep on the hob for a few minutes, mixing through.
Put in a large oven proof dish and make some wells where you will crack in the eggs and add the green of the spring onion.
Crack the eggs and season again (I know).
Bake in the Oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
I think everyone gets bored of the usual breakfast offering of cereal, toast, fruit and yoghurt so I’ve been having a little search around for some great brekkie ideas which are quick but tasty.
What you will need:
Crusty White Loaf
Grated cheese (enough to top as many slices of bread you want to make)
Salt and Pepper (optional)
How to do it:
Slice the bread into nice thickish slices.
Using a spoon or knife press the middle of the bread down to form a square that will hold the egg.
Season the bread to your liking (lots for Daddy).
Butter the non-flattened edges of the bread and add the grated cheese to the edges.
Season the top.
Bake in the oven at gas mark 5 for about 15 – 20 mins.
Breakfast is ready!!
Ps – I have to confess that my earlier attempts at this were a major fail as I put them in the pan which resulted in the bottom of the bread burning and the egg not cooking so I flipped them over and this is what I got!
Chorizo cut into small pieces (approx 7cm piece)
4 chicken breasts
400g tin green lentils
500g carton passata
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 good teaspoons smoked paprika
1 veg stock cube
Small teaspoon English Mustard
New potatoes and carrot chunks – as many as you can fit into your slow cooker/pan Salt and pepper
If using a slow cooker, make sure that you put this on in the morning (just before school run is a good time). You can prepare everything the night before so that in the morning you can just pop it all in and leave all day long.
Cut the Chorizo into small chunks and add to slow cooker.
Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks (you can use skinless/boneless chicken thighs as well).
Add the lentils, passata, two cloves of garlic crushed, and two generous teaspoons of smoked paprika.
Add in a small teaspoon of English Mustard.
Peel approximately 4 carrots and cut into small batons.
Cut new potatoes into quarters (I find that 6yo Isabelle prefers quarters).
Once all of this is added to the slow cooker, add the vegetable stock cube and add water to fill the slow cooker.
Towards the end, add a generous amount of chopped fresh parsley, and if needed add a bit of flour to thicken it up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
We also like to add butterbeans, but unfortunately Isabelle isn’t a fan but I would usually have them.
This is a really tasty but filling family favourite and because it’s made in the slow cooker it’s perfect for busy family life. Ryan can grab a bowl full before going off to football training, Isabelle can eat as soon as she is hungry and we can eat when Isabelle is in bed in peace and quiet. That is if we’re not having it together as a family meal.