Choc & Raspberry Muffins

Sorry! No photo this time. What a shame too, as the muffins did look rather scrummy, if I say so myself – even if the icing was a bit runny! No photos as they ALL got scoffed before I remembered to take one. And I tell you, that is quite an achievement, I made 12 + a cake (the original ingredients were for far too many, the recipe below is adjusted for about 12 muffins!!!). Much to the dismay of The Englishman and Red Ted, half he cake went to neighbours (saying thanks for all the fab hand me downs we get) and 10 muffins to a tea party in Ham!

Enough. Here is he recipe:

Muffins:

  • 110g Butter
  • 225g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt (unless you have used salted butter)
  • 60g coco powder
  • 120g milk
  • 1tsp vanilla

Frosting:

  • 150g Butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • handful of raspberries

Muffins:

Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs & vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients, then add alternating with the milk. Bake in 180 C approx 25min – but check. Also used these ingredients in a cake tin and it worked!!

Icing:

Now my icing went all wrong. So the above is guess work. Not v helpful, eh? But it was yummy and the yummy bit where the raspberries. So. Advice from icing queen: use lots of butter. Whisk for AGES until it is nice and soft. Add some liquidised/ blended raspberries and then icing sugar. Don’t add all the raspberries (like i did) as they are v liquidy. Once you have a nice consistency, add remaining quartered raspberries for flavour and texture.

Simple Autumn Juice: Apple & Carrot

As Autumn hurtles our way, I wanted to share my father’s favourite “healthy” treat for the season – Apple & Carrot Juice! It is quick and easy to make and tastes delicious. Be sure to drink it up quickly.

Apple Recipes

Simple:

  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Juicer

Peel and slice everything. Bung in juicer. Drink as freshly as possible! Doesn’t matter about proportions, just use what you have in! (You may prefer to sieve it, as there will be a little bit of brown “sludge”, but there is nothing bad about this and sometimes, you can let it all settle and then just pour the yummy bit). Very healthy. Very good. Very tasty.

For more from me, hop over to Red Ted Art for lots of fun craft ideas!

DIY Fruit Ice Lollies

My kids LOVE ice lollies and come the Summer season, they are always asking for some. Though I do believe the kids should have treats, I also believe in healthy treats. Yes, chocolate and gummi bears are fine once in a while, but not on a daily basis. Ditto ice cream. When on holiday, maybe, when at home no. So I decided to make them some fruit ice lollies. And I have to say, they are DELICIOUS. My mouth is watering just thinking about them now. They are healthy AND relatively inexpensive to make, as we used frozen fruit! Though you can experiment and use whatever  fruit you fancy. We made Elderberry, Blueberry and Raspberry lollies. Delicious.

DIY Fruit Ice Lollies

Ice Lolly Recipe Ingredients:

* small portion of frozen berries per lollie – frozen fruit are a lot cheaper to buy and also means we “always have some” to hand

* some waterdown elderflower cordial (probably less than 1/4 of a cup per lollie)

You can substitue the cordial with lemonade or apple juice or even a yoghurt/milk mixture. Experiment to suit your tastes!

Ice Lolly How To

1) Pack some fruit into your lolly moulds

2) Pour in some cordial or other liquid – do not fill to the top, as you still need to get your lolly stick in

3) Gently ease you stick in and place in the freezer.

Leave overnight and done. I am telling you, these are seriously delicious ice lolly treats!!!

Easy Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Elderflower Cordial fills me of memories of Summer Country Fairs and lazy Summer afternoons, sipping cooled bubbly water with a dash of Elderflower Cordial. When we made our own Elderflower Cordial, my son said “Oh Mummy, it smells like Grandpa’s garden”.. I love how smell and memories go together hand in hand. And if you are enjoying a “classic British Summer”, Eldercordial is a must. It is so incredibly easy to make and tastes so good..

Elderflower Recipe

The only thing to remember, is that you need to make the Elderflower Cordial pretty much the same day as picking your Elderflowers -as they are a delicate flower and don’t keep well. Be ready!

Elderflower Cordial Recipe:

  • 1kg of sugar
  • 1.5 liters of boiling water
  • 25-30 Elderflower heads
  • 4 lemons
  • 50g Citric Acid (I bought ours online – US Readers, you can get it here)
  • Have enough screw top bottles ready for storage – make sure they are sterilised. *

*we ended up having to improvise and added a milk bottle with clingfilm to the mix. Ha! To be honest, the cordial will be drunk in no time, so it isn’t really a problem. You just don’t want to store all your cordial like this!

To  be honest the above are approximates.. you can scour the web for other Elderflower recipes and you will come up with variations of the above. The above worked for us very well and was delicious.

Elderflower Cordial How:

Easy Elderflower Recipes

1) Gently rinse your Elderflowers and put them to one side.

2) Put the sugar into a large pan (a bowl SHOULD be ok, but you MAY need to heat it).

3) Add the boiling water. In our instance the sugar disolved immediately. But you MAY need to heat it a little to make sure it is all disolved.

4) Let cool – we let it cool until it was warm (rather than cold). And the proceeded (we are impatient to make our Elderflower Cordial!!)

5) Grate your lemons and add.

6) Slice your lemons and add.

7) Add your rinsed Elderflowers

8) Add your Citric acid.

9) Cover with a cloth and leave for 48hours (or so).

10) Strain through a CLEARN muslin to get all the little bits out and fill into sterilised bottles.

We enjoy Edlerflower cordial diluted with cold bubbly water. You can also use it for cooking and puddings.

Looking for foraging ideas? Check out:

Foraging-Ideas

Cooking with Kids: Making Mini Pizzas

We love cooking with kids (as you probably know) and we are always on the look out for tasty and healthy treats. The Girl (aged 4) came home from preschool today with this fabulous and DELICIOUS treat – Muffin Mini Pizzas. For those of you that are not familiar with muffins – they are a bit like a roll, slightly sweeter bread. Of course, if you can’t get these near you, use Pitta bread or some french bread instead! The great thing about these Mini Pizzas, is that they are healthy, the kids will love making them and the majority of kids will also eat them. A great way to get some cutting practice AND eating some healthy veg.

Mini Pizzas - cooking with kids

 

Muffin Mini Pizza Recipe:

* 1/2 a muffin per pizza

* a mushroom

* some olives (black ones tend to be sweeter)

* sweet corn

* peppers

* cheese

* tomato puree

1) Let the children have a go at cutting their vegetables themselves. Of course do this supervised and don’t give them the sharpest knives – but sharp enough that it does cut. Let them choose what they want.

2) Put some tomato puree on your muffin and spread.

3) Add your toppings , with the cheese to go last.

4) Place under the gril until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.

I loved that The Girl “gobbled it all up”, eventhough normally she doesn’t like green peppers. She declared it as yummy and that we need to make more for all the family!