It’s been a few weeks now we’ve had the kids at home since all the schools closed in the UK. It’s a scary time due to the coronavirus but we are trying to keep the kids happy by feeding them well throughout this experience. Check out my video below for some easy lunch ideas for the kids during lockdown.Read More
This version of the traditional Christmas Stollen is absolutely delicious!
If you make just one thing this Christmas let it be this ‘Chocolate & Hazelnut Stollen’ bake filled with the colourful sweetness of cranberries, apricots, chocolate chips and the delicious blend of Christmas spices.
We enjoyed a slice of this warm with some delicious warmed spice apple juice. It’s so quick to pop on this delicious warming drink while you wait for the dough to rise and it makes the perfect accompaniment with a slice of Stollen by the fire. I have included the recipe below for you.
Spiced Apple Juice Recipe
4 liters of apple juice
1 sliced apple
1 handful of dried cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks or 4tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp of ground cloves
2 tsp of allspice
Pour all of the juice into a huge pot, I love my huge cast iron pot for this with the lid. Add all the spices, apples and cranberries and adjust to your tastes. Simmer for an hr or so and leave on a low heat to serve all evening.
This lasted us a few nights but you could also half the recipe. Its also important to use good quality pressed apple juice instead of concentrate which tends to be too sweet.
100g of dried cranberries
30g of chopped hazelnuts
50g of dried chopped apricots
200ml of warm apple juice (you can use the drink above too, it works really well just make sure its not too hot)
1tbsp of dried yeast
250g of strong white flour (an additional 50g when fruit is added)
2tsp of cinnamon
2tsp of allspice
1/2tsp of ground cloves
80g of chocolate chips
10g of coconut oil
2tbsp of icing sugar
100g of chocolate chips (for melting)
Soak the dried cranberries, hazelnuts and dried apricots in 100ml of hot water and set aside (you can increase the quantities of fruit if you prefer it sweeter).
Add the warm apple juice to a small jug and sprinkle in the dried yeast. Stir gently and set aside to bubble and activate for 15-20mins.
Add the flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and coconut oil and mix together. I use the dough hook on my kitchen aid for creating the dough but you can, as described in this recipe, knead by hand.
Once the yeast has been left to activate add it into the flour and spices in the bowl. Mix together to create a smooth dough, adjusting the flour or adding a little water if necessary. You should have a relatively non sticky dough which can be handled without feeling too sticky in your hands. If its too sticky add a little extra flour.
Remove the dough from the bowl for kneading. Add a little vegetable oil to your hands to reduce sticking whilst kneading. Knead for 10 minutes until completely smooth and pliable.
Place in a bowl which has been lightly oiled and cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise somewhere warm for one hour.
Remove from the bowl again. Drain the soaked dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips and add to the dough. You might need some additional flour at this point so that the dough doesn’t become sticky due to the extra moisture. Knead for a further 10mins.
Leave to rise again for another hour in the same warm place.
Shape into a rounded loaf shape and bake at 180oc for 30-40minutes or until lightly brown and when tapped on the bottom it should sound hollow.
Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack for around half an hour.
Add the icing sugar into a small bowl with a little water to create a thick but runny paste. You can either paste this onto the whole top of the loaf and finish with a dusting of icing sugar or you can drizzle it as I have in the image above.
Melt the chocolate and drizzle across the loaf. Sprinkle with some additional chopped hazelnuts and slice to serve.
Christmas nibbles…ah!…so many happy memories of our family nibble platters at Christmas time!
I’ve seen many a delicious plate of nibbles in my day, from the excitement of my Mum and Dad bringing out our faves at Christmas to visiting Grandma and Grandad at Hogmany and feasting on scrummy hot nibbles all night when we were wee and then to us as parents ourselves bringing out warm plates of nibbles to our own excited kids!
There’s been many a happy memory around food in our household at Christmas young and old.
I made this somewhat healthier version of a nibble platter to feed the kids the day we collected the Christmas tree, because who has time to prepare huge meals when your all singing Christmas songs and decorating the tree with twinkling lights.
I used fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade crumbly feta almond cheese, sticky mango and sweet chilli sausage bowls and mushroom based sausage rolls. Yummy!
It’s super easy to prepare and assemble and you can of course vary the ingredients loads.
Sliced fruit and vegetables of choice
Vegetarian/vegan sausage rolls
Crispbreads for spreading
Sweet Chilli sauce
Chopped Spring onions
Sun dried tomatoes
Almond Feta Ingredients
2 cups of whole almonds
1 shallot or half a red onion chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1-2tbsp of plain yogurt (I used coconut) (optional)
Salt & pepper
Almond Feta Recipe
Soak the almonds in boiling hot water in a bowl for a couple of hours and peel off the skins. Pop the peeled almonds into the blender. Add the chopped onion or shallot, garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, yogurt if using, salt and pepper.
Blend in a high powered blender until completely smooth and taste, adjusting the seasonings as necessary. Add a little water if necessary too. You should have a really thick ‘stick to the spoon’ paste texture.
Lay out a muslin flat on the counter and spoon out the almond mixture onto the muslin. Wrap up into a tight ball and squeeze out the excess liquid over the sink. Tie a knot and hang into a jug, place in the fridge over night. If you don’t have time just squeeze out as much liquid as possible and then shape into a ball. Place in a glass dish and bake at 160 for 30mins or until golden and crispy on the outside.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped herbs, sun dried tomatoes or olives etc. Serve with thin crispbreads or oatcakes.
Sticky Sausages Recipe
Cook the vegetarian sausages on a medium heat in the oven. Split into two bowls, coat one batch in mango chutney and the other in sweet chilli sauce. Serve in two small bowls, sprinkle sesame seeds over the mango sausages and spring onions over the sweet chilli ones.
Lay the cheese and sausages out on a chopping board and display the sliced vegetables all around the bowls to make it all look pretty and edible.
This is my fave spicy curry recipe and it’s so quick and easy to make. I love the blend of freshly grated tomatoes, spices and chillies to make the sauce and the fluffy basmati base soaking up all of the delicious flavours. I have made this recipe spicy as I like hot food but you can adjust it to your tastes by adjusting the chilli quantity.
I love to serve my curry up with some fermented foods, pickles, sauces etc. These are great for dipping any additional elements like poppadoms and naan bread in. In this recipe I have used the fermented ‘Tumeric and Black Pepper Kimchi’. It’s the perfect addition to this dish for taste and of course for the numerous health benefits that fermented foods may have.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
4 tbsp of Coconut Oil
1tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
a pinch of asafetida
6 medium tomatoes grated (or blend in a small blender)
1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of ground cumin
3 fresh sliced hot green chillies (adjust for more or less heat!)
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of coconut oil
A selection of sliced fresh vegetables
A tin of beans of choice, kidney beans work really well!
Heat the coconut oil on a medium heat in a large flat pan, I use my large flat cast iron casserole pan. Once the oil has melted add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida. When the mustard seeds start popping add in the fresh tomatoes. Stir, then add in the tumeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, chillies, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. Leave simmering on a low heat.
Heat up the coconut oil in another pan and add in the sliced vegetables, beans and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Season and then add into the simmering curry sauce. Cook gently for 20 minutes and serve with freshly cooked basmati rice. I use my pressure cooker settings for fluffy white basmati rice, a rice cooker works well too.
Serve up with pickles, sauces, breads and poppadom. Enjoy!
If you enjoyed this recipe you can add your email below to be kept up to date with the release of future delicious recipes!
Love Angie x
These fluffy rolls are perfect served alongside the ‘Creamy mushroom & chestnut pate’. Serve them freshly baked, warm out of the oven and pour the drizzle over just as your about to eat them. Delicious!
2tbsp of dried yeast
750ml warm almond milk
50g of coconut oil
950g of wholemeal spelt flour
2tsp of salt
1/2 finely chopped red onion
2 finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup of olive oil
Finely chopped rosemary (or other chopped herbs)
Mix the yeast, warm almond milk and coconut oil together in a large bowl and leave for 15mins. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Stir together until a dough forms, adding a little extra flour or milk to create a non sticky dough. I love to use the dough hook on my kitchen aid to form the dough and for the kneading but hands work just as well.
Remove and knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise for one hour in a warm place.
Tip the dough back out onto the floured work surface and knead it again. Split the dough in half and keep splitting until you have around 26 small pieces.
Place some of them out onto a greased baking tray in the shape of your choice. I decided on a Christmas tree shape. Leave to rise again for 20minutes.
Bake at 200oc for 20-25mins. Meanwhile fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a gentle heat until soft. Set aside for drizzling.
Remove rolls and add the drizzle to serve. Best enjoyed immediately. Enjoy!
We love pasta in this house and this comforting cheesy dish is a favourite family meal in the colder months. I have used delicious garden fresh kale, runner beans and spelt spinach pasta. Its a comforting but healthy dish!
The recipe can also be made dairy free by using olive oil and dairy free cheese.
You could also use spinach instead of kale and mix up the green vegetables a bit to create a variety of different meals. The walnuts add additional healthy fats and crunch but pine nuts would work well too.
I have used oat cream for the sauce because it is my fave cream but you can also use plain single cream for this recipe too.
I hope you enjoy experimenting with this dish!
2 tbsp of butter or olive oil
2 handfuls of chopped fresh kale
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 small cartons of Oatly oat cream (about 2 cups) or single dairy cream
Grated cheddar cheese (about 2 handfuls)
Nutmeg (about 1tsp)
S & P
Green beans or other green vegetables
Gently heat the butter or oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic. Stir in the chopped kale and cook lightly for around 5-10 minutes.
Add the pasta to boiling water with the chopped green vegetables, I used runner beans because that’s what was in season at the time but use whatever you fancy here, green beans or broccoli also work well.
Add the oat cream to the sauce and heat gently. Add in the grated cheddar, around two handfuls, but please use more or less if you prefer. It really does depend how cheesy you like it. My kids like a cheesy pasta and if it means they will eat more green vegetables then I am happy with that.
Heat the cheesy creamy sauce until all the cheese has melted. Add the walnuts and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
Drain the pasta and vegetables and add to the cheesy sauce, mix through and serve.
My kids like to add extra Parmesan to the top but I prefer it without. A green salad on the side goes really well too with some cucumber, tomatoes and other salad items.
A quick meal plan to warm you up for my monthly September plan coming next week! There are no attached recipes its just to give you an idea on how we plan our meals and vary our diet and to give you some inspiration for different family meals.
Click the video below for a look at the food haul and our meal plan is written below. Lunches are just a variation of tuna, cheese and egg sandwiches and wraps this week and breakfasts were granola, smoothies and toast this week.
Meal Plan Ideas One Week
Monday (Vegetarian) – Five Root Vegetable Soup
Tuesday (Fish) – Fried Breaded Fish
Wednesday (Vegetarian) – Stuffed butternut squash
Thursday (Meat) – Venison Stew
Friday (Vegetarian) – Leek Tart
Saturday – No planned meals
Sunday – Chicken pieces roasted in herbs
I made this super delicious apple butter recipe at the start of the week last week and used it in over 3 recipes! We had apple butter on banana bread, apple butter filled oat bars and oat muffins with apple butter as an ingredient. It was a real time saver and it was enjoyed by all the family. You can also spread it on toast, dip fruit in it, serve it with ice cream or even use it for pie filling! mmmm pie! 😉
Below is the recipe for this super delish apple butter!
8 Large Granny Smith Apples
3 cups of apple juice
1 cups of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tsp of ground allspice
Peel and chop all the apples up and pop into a large pan with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a quick boil then lower to a simmer for 30mins, stir frequently and mash at the end. Store in a kilner type sealed jar in the fridge to use as needed. Enjoy!