Oat & bran muffins

A tasty and easy breakfast, done in no time! I serve these with jam and cheese or only butter but they are also divine on their own as they are very moist and packed with cranberries and walnuts! To save time the batter can be made ahead to bake the next morning. I use my large muffin tray but a standard size muffin tray will also work…you will just be left with 12 muffins instead of 6. Who’s complaining? The muffins are a real treat for breakfast or quick bite and makes the perfect lunchbox snack!

1/3 C Canola oil
1 Egg
2 Tsp Vanilla essence
1 1/4 C Buttermilk
160ml Brown sugar
1 C Flour
1 C Wheat bran
1/2 C Oats
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 C Dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 C Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 190 degrees and generously grease a muffin tray with non-stick spray. Using a handheld mixer, mix oil, egg, vanilla essence & brown sugar for about a minute. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt into the wet mixture and beat well. Add buttermilk, wheat bran and oats and beat until combined. Fold through cranberries & walnuts. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

Baked chicken & mushroom pancakes

This was a “what I have in my kitchen” meal and it turned out really great! There are certain things I just always have in my pantry like flour, canned tomato, pasta, baking ingredients and so on, which makes things like pancakes fairly easy. And what I love about pancakes is that you can serve them sweet or savoury, rolled or folded, flavoured or plain, for breakfast or lunch…the list goes on! Use any vegetables you have on hand as a filling or the left over chicken or lamb of last night. There really are so many fillings that will make this quick meal a memorable one!

Ingredients (I got 6 pancakes out)
1 C Flour
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 C Milk
2 Eggs
Non-stick spray
2 Chicken Breasts (I had chicken leftover from a roast)
1/2 Yellow onion, quartered
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 Punnet button mushrooms
1/3 C Canned chopped tomato
1/2 Tsp Brown sugar
Thyme leaves
Cottage cheese (I used smooth cottage cheese)
1 C Cheddar cheese
1 C Mozarella
1C Yogurt
1/4 Cucumber, cut into blocks
Juice of 1/2 lemon

How to do it
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Mix yogurt, cucumber & lemon juice together and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Sift dry ingredients for the pancakes. Add the wet ingredients and mix well with a handheld mixer. Heat a little olive oil and butter in a pan and sauté onions & garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms and toss until just cooked. Add the chicken & tomato and stir. Simmer for about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar, salt & pepper and stir through. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Grease a skillet with non-stick. Pour about 1/4 C of the batter into the skillet, swirl to cover pan and cook for about 2 minutes before flipping over. Cook for a further 30 seconds. Repeat until you have used all the batter. Using a knife, spread cottage cheese onto pancakes and top with a little bit of grated cheese. Add chicken mixture and roll the pancakes tightly. Trim the ends of the pancakes and place into an oven-proof dish that was greased with non-stick. Bake in the oven until cheese has darkened in colour. Serve topped with coriander leaves and yogurt & cucumber sauce.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

Sesame crusted trout with pea & garlic pasta

I have been meaning to make a simple pea pasta for weeks now and when it finally came to it I had the desire to add fish to it. We love trout so, of course, trout was the winning fish for this dish. I used whole wheat pasta but normal white pasta will also work. Also a great dish for the little ones as it is really easy, simple and packed with flavour and goodness. You can stir through tinned tuna at the end if you don’t want to use trout or simply disregard the fish and serve the pasta as is with the pea puree, topped with parmesan! I prefer using frozen peas (petit pois) as they hold a lot of taste and also have the most amazing colour even after being boiled. A fresh, lemony pea pasta, on the table in no time at all!

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 Trout fillet, portioned to 4
1/3 C Black sesame seeds
Olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 Shallot onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
10 Mint leaves
1 1/2 C Frozen peas
1/2 C Cream
Black pepper
2 Handfuls Coriander, leaves only
Few sprigs dill, chopped
Pasta of your choice

How to do it
In a small skillet, heat butter & oil and saute onion & garlic until translucent. Set aside. Bring salted water to the boil, add the peas, and boil for 2 minutes. Place onions, garlic, lemon zest, mint & peas into a small blender and blend until smooth. Place sesame seeds in a plate. Rub fish with a little olive oil, season with salt & pepper and press into sesame seeds to form a crust. Heat a pan and place the fish into the hot pan, crust side first, for 2 minutes a side. Remove and set aside.
Boil the pasta to packet instructions.
Spoon the pea mixture into a small pot, add the cream, season with salt & pepper and stir through while heating. Add about 4 tablespoons of the starchy water of the pasta and stir through.
Mix the cooked pasta with the pea sauce, plate and top with the sesame crusted trout. Garnish with the coriander leaves & chopped dill.

From my kitchen to. yours, with love x

Dark chocolate & coffee decadence

Life’s guilty little pleasures…I cannot imagine a nicer guilty treat than a home-baked decadent dark chocolate cake, 4 tiers, filled with caramel and topped with walnuts. Moist yet spongy, sweet yet slightly bitter with an end note of espresso. Absolute bliss!! Use the cake as a base and decorate with your choice of icing & any kind of decoration. Or bake the cake and get the kids to decorate!! The options really are endless…

2C Flour
1 3/4 C Castor sugar
3/4C Cocoa powder
1/4 C Dark chocolate pieces
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
3Tsp Vanilla Essence
1C Milk
1/2C Canola oil
120ml Espresso (I use Nespresso)
130ml Boiled water
1 Tin caramel spread
225g Dark chocolate pieces
250ml Cream
2C Walnuts, if using

How to do it
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line two cake tins with parchment paper and spray with non-stick. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cocoa powder. Combine the eggs & milk and mix through the dry ingredients, using a handheld mixer. Add the vanilla essence & canola oil and beat for 1 minute. Lightly fold in the chocolate pieces. Mix the coffee with the boiled water and pour into the batter. Mix well taking care not to over-mix the batter.
Pour the batter in equal parts into the cake tins and place into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Insert a skewer into the cake after 40 minutes. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Alternatively, bake for a few more minutes. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a gentle simmer taking care not to overheat the cream. The cream must be warm, not scalding hot. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate pieces and mix well. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before placing into the fridge to set.
To decorate
Once the cakes have cooled down completely, carefully slice each cake in half using a serrated knife. Spread 3 halves with the caramel spread. Place halves on top of one another and place the last half on top.
Once the chocolate ganache have set, using your handheld mixer, mix until lighter in colour and fluffy.
Using a spatula, decorate the cake on the top and sides. Chop the walnuts and cover the top of the cake.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

Creamy paprika chicken pancakes

Pancakes are so easy to make and the batter can be made a day ahead, saving you time. Every day life is a rat-race and especially with children so having the ability to whip up a quick, tasty meal that also the kids will love, is an important factor for many parents out there!! All elements can be made ahead to be baked the next day. And the marinara sauce freezes really well! Too lazy to make marinara sauce? The store bought kind works just as well!!
You can prepare the whole dish and leave it in the fridge until the next day. Then simply top it with the sauce & cheese and bake.

Ingredients (Makes 5 large pancakes)
Pancake batter
1 C Flour
1 C Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Tsp Baking powder
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the milk and eggs and mix well with a hand held blender.
Heat a little oil in a shallow pan and spray pan with non-stick spray. Pour approximately 1/4 C of the batter into the pan and swirl to coat pan. Cook for about 3 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 30 seconds. Turn out onto a plate and repeat.
For the filling
2 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tbs Butter
2 Chicken breasts, cut into blocks
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Shallot onion, chopped
125g Button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Red pepper flakes (optional)
Black pepper
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
50ml Cream
5 Tbs Creme fraiche
2 C grated cheddar cheese (1 Cup is for the topping)
Coat chicken with the paprika. Heat oil & butter in a pan, saute onion garlic for 2 minutes and add chicken. Cook for 2 minutes and add mushrooms, pepper flakes, salt & pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and parsley, stir through and simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Marinara Sauce
1 Small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Tsp Dried oregano
1 Can chopped tomato
5 Whole tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbs Brown sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
Black pepper
1/4 Tsp chili flakes
Fresh basil leaves, torn
Saute onion & garlic in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the canned tomato and fresh tomato, brown sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and chilli flakes, and simmer for approximately half hour. Add the basil leaves and stir through. Using your hand held blender, blend until just smooth.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Butter an ovenproof dish.
Coat half the pancake with 1 Tbs creme fraiche. Spoon filling on top followed by grated cheese. Roll neatly and place into an ovenproof dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes and filling. Pour half of the marinara sauce over the pancakes. (Freeze the rest for next time!)
Top with the grated cheddar cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x