First pancake

Mix flour (I use self raising flour), eggs and milk to a liquid the consistency of double (heavy) cream. (I suggest put in the flour first, then add eggs till its a softish mix, then add milk to make it more like double cream.) (this is the pancake batter) let it rest for a while then heat fat in a pan (butter or oil) so it coats the pan but pour off any excess. Make sure the oil is good and hot but not burning. Pour the batter in to cover the base of the pan, pour out any excess. Cook over the heat, you will see the batter bubble and dry out. When it’s dry use a spatula to turn it over. It should hold together and look like the photo. Tip out on a plate, add sugar or sweetener and lemon juice squeezed over the top. Make sure you don’t allow the oil to burn while transferring the pancake, add a bit more fat then pour in more batter. Cook again. Keep going and stacking till the batter runs out. Enjoy. (you can also add banana or chocolate). Amounts of ingredients vary depending on how many pancakes you want to eat.

Spicy salmon and pasta

I decided to cook some salmon and I usually use a tomato pasta sauce and cook fuselli pasta. This time I made my own sauce from scratch. I don’t know if its the right thing because I’m not a chef, I just cook.

Recipe (serves two)

Two salmon fillets

1 or 2 cloves of garlic

1 large flat mushroom

A handful of green olives, de-stoned

Half a tin of tomatoes

Olive oil

Half a teaspoon of lazy chilli

Dried Basil.

Method (how I did it)

Crush the garlic cloves and fry gently in the olive oil (other oils could be used)

Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta

Once the garlic is softened I placed the salmon skin side down in the pan. You can skin it first if you don’t like it.

Chop the olives into small pieces and add to the frying pan with the chilli.

If the saucepan of water is boiling add the pasta (a couple of handfuls) and lower to a fast simmer.

Slice the mushroom in thin pieces and add to the frying pan. Make sure all the pieces of veg and salmon are turned frequently so they don’t burn and stick on the pan.

Add half a tin of peeled plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes.

Sprinkle in some basil to taste (not too much).

Then get some fresh cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan. Turning all the ingredients and cooking long enough to soften the fresh tomatoes. The salmon should be cooked through but not overcooked.

Drain the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t bother) I like my pasta slightly Al dente (a bit chewy).

Serve the Salmon/sauce mix on top of the pasta.

I hope it’s nice, spicy and edible?

How do I make my own blancmange?

This is custard powder made up with milk and sweetner with added chocolate. I love making sugar free trifles. I usually use sugar free jelly and add a bit if fruit (used raspberries today) because trifle sponges are covered in sugar. Then I add blancmange when the jelly is set. I have to let it cool because it can re-melt the jelly. But now I can only get blancmange if my sister posts me some (they still sell strawberry flavour where she lives). The trouble is that most people use custard but I don’t like it’s flavour in trifle. This time I did make custard but added four square pieces of no added sugar chocolate and melted it into the milk. I will use this mix and then add whipped cream on top of the trifle to finish it off. But I just wonder if I can make my own with cornflower and flavourings? That would be a lot easier…

Sweet apples, Wassail style.

I decided to stew four apples that were starting to soften. I wanted to use them up and also half a tub of clotted cream.

Ingredients :

Four medium sized eating apples

A couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener (or sugar to taste).

A level teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

A single measure of whisky, or you could substitute a small amount of lemon or orange juice.

About three or four tablespoons of water to stop the apples burning onto the pan.

A tablespoonful of clotted cream or whipped cream.

I roughly cored and chopped the apples and left the skin on. I put them in a pan with a little boiling water to stop the apple flesh burning. I cooked the apples for about 15 to 20 minutes till they softened. Stirring and mashing them until they were a chunky pulp.

I added a couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener to make the apples less sharp. Then I added a single measure of whisky and a level teaspoonful of cinnamon and cooked the mix for a couple minutes more. You could substitute fruit juice for the whisky and leave out the cinnamon if you don’t like it.

Serve hot in a bowl with the clotted cream or whipped cream dolloped on top.

This reminds me of the Wassails we usually go on in January. They are to celebrate the local apple trees and wish for a good crop of apples the following autumn.

Banana and pear in bread?

Hubby’s made a loaf today. Linseed and oat. It was a ready mixed flour with added yeast.

He likes experimenting with bread so he diced up a small pear and banana and added them to the mix with water to moisten the dough.

Let it rise, knock it back and let it rise again, then into a baking tray and on gas mark eight (high heat) for thirty minutes. It was a tasty result. I had a slice with butter and a banana. Delicious.

Biscuit

Biscuit and coffee, biscuit and tea. Biscuit with cheese. So many accompaniments. It’s good to enjoy them with something. To dunk or not? I like dunking. Dunking and drinking. Bits of biscuit get too soft and drop off in lumps into your drink.

Biscuits go with desserts as well. You can soak them in alcohol and use them in the bases of cheesecake smashed up with butter to make a hard layer for the topping. Tasty.

Apple and Raspberry cake

A little bit flat, but I cooked this in a flan case.

Ingredients (approx amounts)

8oz self raising flour

4oz butter/ margarine

two tablespoonfuls sweetener (or 4oz sugar)

three eggs

two tablespoons milk

pinch of salt

large cooking apple peeled and cored

packet of raspberries.

I put the self raising flour in a bowl and then put bits of butter in plus the sweetener, then with a metal spoon I broke the fat up more, a pinch of salt, then crumbled the mix between my fingers so that it looked like breadcrumbs.

I made a dip in the mix and added the eggs, slowly stirring it in and trying to keep air in the batter, I added a bit of semi-skimmed milk to soften it more.

I added the apple slices and the raspberries to the cake batter so the fruit was evenly mixed into it. Then I poured the batter into the flan case which I had buttered.

I put the cake in an oven, gas mark 4, for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes.

It came out nice and moist, and it wasn’t completely cooled when we tore into it!

Note I used self raising flour that contains wheat, milk and eggs that can be allergens, butter which may not be in your diet and sweetener that you can cook with because I try to make sugar free cakes.

Apples

Cooking and dessert apples, over the last few days we have collected lots of them.

I have questions. Can you freeze apples if you just cut them up, or do you have to cook them first?

Crumble or pie? Cake or tart? I’m thinking of what to use them in. Do I cook them till they are mush and turned to puree then freeze it. Can I make Cider? I also have lots of pears on the tree, can I make Perry? I might bake them in the oven after removing the cores and then serve them with custard?

What do you think? Any suggestions?