Tag Archives: cooking

This Boy Of Mine

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Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 18.46.37

So, this boy (my eldest) has gone to Devon for a week.  All on his own.  It’s the first week of the holidays and O has gone on a week of food with Root CampRoot Camp is a hands on cookery course for 14-21yr olds.

The point of this post is mainly for me to note my pride for my first born.   He is a typical 15yr old boy that spends a lot of time in his (stinky) bedroom, playing games, listening to music and grunting at me occassionally, but……

I am SO proud of this boy.  As some may know, when O was 2yr (and a bit) he was placed on the Autistic Spectrum.  I was told he was a complex case, was unlikely to have friends or attend birthday parties and I should prepare myself to care for him forever.  The next advice was to go and read some books (the advice now, has improved I believe and has more support).  So I did.

O has just completed his two weeks work experience in the West End, interacting with strangers and traveling in rust hour on his own.  He did his placement in the kitchen’s of a restaurant as he is quite keen on cooking, which I’m hoping had a positive impact on him.  He is not an academic Autist.  He is now on a week away learning about food, with a group of strangers, in a place he is not familiar with – all his choice.

I cannot put in to words the concerns I have about the final year of G.C.S.E’s ahead.  How i feel about ‘the system’, as well as how I feel about myself and how I have dealt with this spectrum called Autism.  Though this is a whole other post.

For now, I admire him greatly, he and his ism’s frustrate me hugely.  But he’s been gone a few hours and I miss him but hope he has a great time (and behaves like any other 15yr old would (within reason 😁) )x

Recipe Week – Laura

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Our next recipe is from the gorgeous red-haired Laura, food contributor to the new Nor-Folk venture, and lives in Norwich with her son Oscar.  I discovered Laura’s love for cooking  on instagram.  Her food pics are warming, inspiring, make me hungry and wish that I was a neighbour every time.

From Laura:

In our house this is a winter staple. Simple and wholesome, it packs a vitamin punch while the lentils make it a more substantial meal. The ginger and cumin provide warm spice and earthiness while the Queen of Citrus: the blood orange, brings a welcome sweetness that is often popular with children. Perfect for rosy-cheeked days.

The recipe is easily doubled to feed more mouths, provide the same mouths with seconds or to pop in the freezer.

Carrot, Blood Orange & Ginger Soup
(Serves 3-4)

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
4 or 5 carrots (approx. 400 grams, chopped)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
100 grams red lentils
2 thumbs of ginger
2 blood oranges
1.2 litres vegetable stock

Image-1

In a large pot, fry the onion in the oil for 10 minutes over a low heat until softened but not browned before adding the chopped carrots (I leave the skin on when making rustic soups like this for equal parts health and laziness) and garlic. Gently fry for a further few minutes.

Add the ground cumin, stirring continuously for a minute until the contents of the pan are coated. If it begins to catch, add a splash of water.

Add the lentils and stir through until coated by the oil before adding the stock. Homemade stock can take this soup to the next level, but otherwise use a good quality shop-bought job.

Grate in the ginger and the zest of one of the blood oranges. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the carrots are tender.

Add the juice of two oranges. Blitz with an immersion hand blender. If it seems a little too thick, add a little more stock or hot water. Check seasoning. I like to serve this with plenty of freshly cracked black pepper, crusty bread for dipping and maybe a swirl of yogurt.

Image-1 (1)Looks good right! x

You can follow Laura on instagram here

 

Recipe Week – Cookie & Biscuit

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Lots of people detox in January, make fresh starts, resolutions, or aim to shape up.  With all these good intentions that are hard to keep up when it’s cold, dark and sometimes hard to get motivated and inspired, I’m posting some recipes from lovely ladies, whose food is wholesome and always looks delicious.  It’s always good to have some new recipes that have been tried and tested, a bonus if kids love them too.

First up, with have a recipe from the clever lady behind Cookie and Biscuit Danae.  She was saving this recipe for her cookbook, but has kindly shared it ♡ Thank you lovely!

Nutty Nutty Goji Bars
raw, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free

50g raw brazil nuts
70g raw pecans
30g raw sunflower seeds
150g medjool dates (room temperature)
1tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
60 ml of melted coconut oil (50g solid)
100g jumbo oats
30g goji berries (or can sub dried cranberries)
2 teaspoons of chia seed

nutty goji bars close up

Pulse nuts 2-3 times in food processor, but not too much or it will turn to nut butter!
Add the dates, vanilla, maple syrup and coconut oil, mix until all ingredients are incorporated and a soft “dough” forms.  Remove blade and dump mixture into a bowl.  Stir in oats, chia & goji berries.

Press the mixture into a parchment lined 8x8inch square pan, or roll into small balls. Place in fridge for about 2-3 hours, then slice and enjoy!
you can also freeze them, toss in them in a pack lunch and they will defrost by lunch time!

You can order some amazing vegan treats from the Cookie & Biscuit website and follow them on instagram to see what they’re up to @cookieandbiscuituk

I’m going to be trying these this week!!

These Chocolate Cupcakes ♡♡

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IMG_6193I made these chocolate cupcakes for the boy’s birthday’s at the weekend, and have to share with you.  They are super quick and easy (a mum essential), light and moist (hate that word), and if you like chocolate they are AMAZING.

350g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
370g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
150g dark chocolate chips
1 cup measure of coffee (cooled)
425ml vegetable oil
1 cup of buttermilk
3 large eggs

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, then mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Transfer to a pouring jug as it’s easier to fill the cupcake cases, fill them 2/3’s to the top.  Bake in the oven at 160 ºC for 24minutes.  You should get 24 out of this recipe.

Remove, cool and EAT.

Cupcake Jemma recipe

Chocolate Coconut Balls

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chocolatecoconutballsI made these yesterday and they were so good I had to share.  They are an Honestly Healthy recipe  (recommend), I’ve made the mango coconut balls before from this book and the boys loved them (may post these another day).  But, so far I’ve kept these chocolate balls of delight hidden in the cupboard and shared with a selected few so far.

Super quick and easy recipe to whiz up, I also changed it slightly and instead of using the full amount of coconut flakes as stated, I split it with cashew nuts.

10 pitted dates
50g raw cacao powder
25g raw almonds
200g coconut flakes (I used roasted and split with cashew nuts)30g agave syrup
2tbsp coconut oil
1tsp xylitol (I didn’t have any, so left it out)
2tbsp water

Mix the date, cacao powder and almonds in a blender/processor until it’s a sticky chunky paste (about 1min).  Add rest of the ingredients and blend.

Roll the mixture in to balls, you should get about 12 and place them on a baking sheet with parchment.  I use a silicone baking sheet instead of parchment.

Bake in a preheated oven for 10mins at 180℃.

Easy peasy x

p.s – you must try one whilst they’re still warm!

source. Honestly Healthy

comfort and warmth

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I’ve tried this recipe once before, and am thinking of giving it another go this weekend, now we’re in pumpkin season.  Very calorific, but these things can be overlooked occasionally.

pumpkinpie

  • 500 g ready-made dessert pastry
  • 1 large butternut squash, quartered and seeds reserved
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200 ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Roll the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Get a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin, line with the pastry and bake blind for 20 minutes. Set aside.

Lay the squash in a baking tray. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon and drizzle with the maple syrup. Cover the tray tightly with a double layer of tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes until soft. Reduce the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Allow the pieces of squash to cool, then scoop out the flesh. You should have about 600g of cooked squash flesh. Don’t forget to scrape out the bits in the tray and the maple syrup. Put in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the eggs. Mix well and stir in the cream.

Fill the cooled tart case with the mix and bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the stringy bits of squash off the seeds, dry them and lay them flat on a tray. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and place in the oven with the pie for the last 10 minutes until crispy.

Remove the tart from the oven. Sprinkle with the seeds when cool.

image and recipe. Jamie Oliver

tights

Here’s a selection of tights to keep your lil’ ones warm available from the shop, as it’s supposed to be a wet and cold weekend for us x

easy peasy recipe

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easypeazyrecipe

I tried these over the weekend that I found via Pinterest.  They are so easy, super quick and delicious.  These will be added as one of my regular quick bakes along with my cheese stars.

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, 1 cup of oats, big spoon of good quality peanut butter, half a cup of choc chips/raisins.

Mix all the ingredients together, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 15mins at 175°c.

I made some with chocolate chips for the bigger people and with raisins for the lil’ bean.  All were gobbled up.

 

 

a great birthday cake with surprises

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pinata cake

Love this pinata cake!  It looks pretty and delicious, and kids would go crazy when they cut the cake and see the naughty treats inside.  I’m definitely going to be trying this for my older bean when it’s his birthday.

image. A Subtle Revelry

a regular snack recipe

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I make these cheese stars all the time for the children.  It’s super quick and easy, and they are always a popular snack.

cheesestars

Ingredients:

25g softened unsalted butter, 50g self raising wheat free flour, 80g cheese (cheddar/parmesan), pinch of cayenne pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.  Mix all the ingredients together, may look crumbly, but it comes together after a bit of kneading.  Roll out to about 2mm thick, cut out shapes of your choice.  I use a small star cutter and get 20-24 small stars from this recipe.  Place on a non-stick sheet or baking paper, and cook for 8-10minutes.  Suitable for freezing, but they’re gobbled up too quickly to think about that in our house.

On another note, the sun’s supposed to make an appearance at the weekend so have a happy one x

Recipe is slightly altered from one of Nigella’s.


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