Perfected Recipe

Dawn: “Today, fellow foodies, I bring you a ‘funny’ post…funny, because it sure made me giggle this morning! Yes, I know…it’s the simple things in Life!!!

So without further a-do, here it is…offered up by yours and my all-time-favourite contributor to this here little old food blog….drum roll, please….red carpet…cameras’ flashes…

…I give you no other than my esteemed fellow foodie, chef supreme and all-round-good egg (no pun intended…well…perhaps a smidge of one)…the great, the glorious, the taste buds-alight recipe wizard himself…Andrew!”

Andrew enters to deafening applause…and takes a bow…and another…and one more…

Dawn: “Enough! Cut!” As I make a cutting action with my hand.

Andrew: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Dahlings…I’m overwhelmed!!!” As he takes another bow.

Dawn: “I sure can feel a ‘Morecombe and Wise’ moment coming on here, Andrew!”

Andrew: “Shucks…sussed again!” as Andrew winks with mirth spread all across his face. 

Dawn: “OK, ‘Star Contributor’, pray what do you bring us today?”

Andrew: “A little something I threw together this very morning, oh esteemed foodie. Do you want me to start?”

Dawn: “Yes, please!”

Andrew: “Then I’ll begin”.

Serves 1

  • Recline on a comfortable location, from which servant can be directed.

Dawn obliges.

  • Direct servant to put kettle on.

Dawn obliges again.

  • Remind servant to fill kettle with water.
  • Direct servant to place teabag in mug or teapot.

Dawn directs…

  • Servant must pour freshly boiled water onto teabag.

Andrew pours freshly boiled water onto teabag.

  • Allow servant to rest.

Andrew rests for 60 seconds…no more…no less.

  • Order servant to check tea has diffused sufficiently.

Dawn directs…

  • If this is the case order the removal of the teabag. If not, feel free to cast a withering look.

Dawn checks diffusion of teabag…casts withering look at Andrew who robustly never grimaces.

  • Direct servant to add milk to mug.

Dawn directs.

  • If milk is added to teapot, roll eyes.

On cue, Dawn rolls eyes.

  • Servant must bring tea to reclining mistress.

Dawn reclines…

  • Serve with dark chocolate digestive.

Andrew serves tea and delicious dark chocolate digestive.

Dawn: “Yes, you can get “the staff” if you try!” and winks, laughing a hearty, mischievous laugh.

For the perfect cuppa, you’ll just need a good person with a heart of gold, a great sense of humour, a fan to cool the reclining said person with, plus one tea bag and lashings of hot water.

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Dawn: “And no! We’re not endorsing any tea producing company!”

Andrew: “It just so happens to be the only pic to hand to post!”

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com. You’ll also find her on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!

 

How to Make Sage and Onion Stuffing

Stuffings, also known as forcemeats, fillings and sometimes also referred to as farces, can be used in a number of ways. They can help keep meats which can be traditionally ‘dry’ food moist during the cooking process or help absorb some of the natural oils and juices found in some meat, or they can help increase a meal size which has small amounts of meat in it to a meal portion at little additional cost.

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Ingredients

Makes enough to stuff one medium size chicken

50g butter

1 medium size onion, peeled, sliced and diced

3 slices of wholemeal bread, made into breadcrumbs

2 tsp sage (dried or fresh)

1 egg, beaten

Salt and pepper

Method

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the onion and sage cooking for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the breadcrumbs.
  • Add the beaten egg and mix the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.

Dawn: Warm water can be added in place of a beaten egg and works as well to bind the mixture together to allow it to be handled when you come to stuffing poultry and/or meat. Don’t add the liquid until you are ready to use the stuffing. Don’t put the stuffing into poultry or meat until you are ready to cook it as bacteria could penetrate the stuffing which might not reach a sufficiently high temperature during cooking to kill them. 

It’s also a good way of using up bread that is 2-3 days old and a blender is a very quick way of turning the slices of bread into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a blender, a cheese grater works just as well in making breadcrumbs, too.

There are also other options that can be used instead of bread and they can include rice, suet or sausage. I tend to shy away from suet because it’s pure fat.

And when cooking poultry or meat that is stuffed, calculate the cooking time based upon its total weight. 

For more easy-to-follow and easy-to-make recipes and food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

 

Date, Brazil Nut and Banana Loaf

This tasty and filling loaf is a cake in disguise! Made with banana as its base and succulently delicious dates and brazil nuts added to boost the sheer yumminess of this edible delight, it makes for a scrumptious addition to any afternoon tea cake stand display.

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Ingredients

8-10 slices

175g plain flour

50g polyunsaturated margarine

50g sugar (granulated or castor)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, beaten

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and smashed together

75g dried and pitted dates, chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 200°C electric.
  • Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together.

Dawn: With a spoon, start to mix the margarine and sugar together so that they begin to form a thick ‘paste’ and continue to mix until the two ingredients have formed a light and fluffy looking consistency. 

  • Next, beat the egg into the margarine and sugar mixture until all three ingredients are combined. Then add the bananas, a little at a time until they are incorporated into the mixture.
  • Add the chopped dates and mix.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda and the flour, sifted together.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and place in the centre of the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown in colour.

Dawn: To test to see if the loaf is baked, simply push a knife blade into the centre and if it emerges clean, the loaf is baked. If there’s googey mixture on the blade, the loaf needs baking a little longer. I’ve recently started using an old, sterilised knitting needle to start testing whether or not a cake is cooked and I simply pierce the cake with the needle – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Simple!

  • Serve warm or cold.

Dawn: Adding fruit to a recipe is a natural way of increasing its sweetness factor and it’s worth pointing out that the riper the bananas are, the sweeter they will be so you may wish to compensate for any extra sweet taste by reducing the actual amount of sugar used in the recipe. 

Slices of this delicious fruity concoction taste even more divine with lashings of a delicious preserve spread liberally on them.

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Fit for a King – or a Duchess! As in the case of Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford who born the idea of afternoon tea as a bridge between breakfast and dinner in the nineteenth century. Back then, it was the norm for only two meals to be consumed during the day with dinner being served in the evening so many people found the late afternoon a time of hunger. The Duchess thought of the idea of having a pot of tea, bread and butter and a slice of cake served to help her ward off hunger until her dinner which was served at the fashionably late time of 8pm. And hence, the birth of afternoon tea, whereby the upper classes would take a “low” or “afternoon” tea at 4pm with the “middle” and “lower” classes taking a more substantial “high” tea later at 5pm or 6pm as substitute for dinner. It soon became a traditional which was adopted across the British Empire with its colonies spreading far and wide from India to the West Indies. 

The Cooking Dynamo’s recipe for Banana Loaf can be found here http://wp.me/p3lk3r-qX

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For more delicious treats, tasty meal ideas and food tips, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – Twitter @Love_Food_UK and we’re also on MumsNet Bloggers Network. See you over there!