Snickers Muffins

These great for a packed lunch muffins are easy to make and even easier to eat!

When my dad died, I catered for his wake, he loved puddings and sweet things, so I did all puddings and cakes with no savouries at all in his honour!  These muffins, along with my Eton Mess went down a storm.  They are from the Nigella Lawson Domestic goddess book but with my own amends to the recipe;

You will need:

250g SRFlour

5 tbls Dark Brown Sugar

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

6 tbls Crunchy (Sugar Free) Peanut Butter

60g Melted butter

1 large egg

175ml Milk

3 x Snickers bars (about 60g each)

Muffin cases and tin

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (Gas 6)

Stir the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together, then add the peanut butter and rub into a course crumb.


Add melted butter and egg to the milk, pour into mix and stir.


Cut Snickers into 1cm pieces and stir in. Add to muffin cases. Bake for 20 mins and cool before eating….if you can!


Disaster Strikes…..

After receiving the Paul Hollywood ‘Bread’ book for my birthday I was inspired by Sourdough.

So armed with my grapes, well I could not find organic so had to use Tesco ones, and flour…..OK so I couldn’t find strong white flour in the cupboard as we only really use wholemeal for baking…..  (this has disaster written all over it doesn’t it?) – the tepid water I used was exactly that, but that was the only thing that mirrored the recipe.


Anyway read on and see what happened… Chop up into little pieces about 7 grapes (organic ones!!)DSC08028

Then mix 300ml of tepid water and 300g of strong white bread flour into a batter like paste, stir in the grapes, and add to a Kilner Jar, big enough for it to grow inside.DSC08027


Pop the jar in a warm place for about three days, I used the conservatory.

DSC08030However, as a conservatory goes chilly overnight I needed a new spot, we don’t have an airing cupboard and our lovely air conditioned house gets rather chilly overnight, just the way we like it for sleep….  not conducive to sourdough though….

After your three days you takeout half the mix and disguard and add in more batter (100ml of water and 100g of flour mixed together) as food for your yeast mix.  I knew when I did this to mine all was not well, as it had seperated a little.

I’m sure my lack of temperature and also maybe using wholemeal flour too did not help my forray into sourdough, so alas, after the fourth day I rolled out the dough, attempted to rise it (it didn’t really) and then baked my ‘flat bread’.  It was going to be a little treat for my feathered friends….

DSC08081They loved it!

DSC06110I’ll try again in the summer with white flour to see if I can conquer sourdough!

Naan Breads and Indian at home….

This was a birthday celebration meal so lots going on.

Firstly I roughly chopped some potatoes, popped them with a little oil in a roasting pan, then I chucked in chilli powder, garlic salt, paprika, turmeric in fact, anything I found that sounded spicy!  I stirred it all round and roasted my ‘Bombay Potatoes’.  They blew our heads off with spice but were great!


I rustled up a lamb Rogan Josh too, that recipe will have to wait until another day.

In my messy recipe book I found my Naan recipe.  When I used to teach over in Darlaston, I had a friend called Asha Patel and she ran an Indian Cookery Course for all the teachers on a Wednesday evening,  sadly I’ve lost touch with her over the years but I still cook her recipes!

For the Naan you will need;

1 mug of SR flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp yeast

1 tblsp oil

1/2 tsp sugar

I also used dessicated coconut, raisins and blanched almonds.DSC07998

I just mixed all the ingredients together with some warm water, enought to make a dough.  I gave it a good knead (spelt ‘need’ in the book which made me laugh!)  I rolled out into Naan shapes.  Then left to prove for about an hour.


I then added my own touch which was to drizzle with a little syrup and put desicated coconut, blanched almonds and raisins on the top.

You ‘ll need a really hot, dry frying pan next.


Cook the base (only) of each naan bread, if you had a tandoori oven you would stick the naan’s to the sides of the oven, but I am assuming you do not!  So Dry cook the base of each Naan, I had four little ones.  Then pop them on a dry tray and back in the oven until risen and golden.


Yummy with a capital YUM!


The whole meal looked like this;


Miss Messy


This is my messy recipe book, it’s years old and I am almost ashamed of it!  Except it’s been with me since childhood and has so many memories within, I’ll never throw it away and rewrite them all out.

I made a Rogan Josh last night with naan bread, check back tomorrow for the recipes and photos!

Meal Planning Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and this week it signals a dieting week.  breadmakerI’ve had a terrible hacking cough and have been sucking sweets constantly all week, consequentially I have put on half a stone!

So a rather saintly and frugal meal planning Monday will follow:

Monday – Scrambled Egg on Toast

Tuesday – Honey Mustard Chicken on a bed of curly Kale

Wednesday – Slow Cooked Beef and a raft of vegetables

Thursday – Beans on Toast

Friday – We’re off out to an American Diner for my birthday so will try to ignore the chips and desserts!

Wish me luck!

Quick – The sun is out… finally!

Goodness me, if we’ve not had a weekend of sunshine and temperatures in double figures no less!

So of course, we want an impromptu picnic.  One we can pack up in an instant if the rain decides to come back.

I quickly got to work on a Paul Hollywood Ciabatta recipe – shown here – Ciabatta

Then – before rising I folded in some chopped sundried tomatoes, chopped olives and also some finely chopped peppers that were alos in the Olive Jar.  Using the olive oil fromthe jar to make the Ciabatta and oil tha pan so it was extre olivey…..

Later that afternoon we ventured out to the park with bread and olives and a little champagne – bring on the summer!!



Pineapple Upsy Downsy – Birthday Boy’s Teatime Treat

I do love cakes, usually my cakes are not up to much if I am honest.  They always taste great (well apart from one time) but their looks often leave a lot to be desired.

If I am to continue a cooking blog, then I need to master the art of presentation….. here goes my first attempt….just in time for hubby’s birthday today!

To make the tea time treat of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake firstly take 2oz of Low Fat Spread (or butter) and cream together with 2oz of dark brown sugar.  Grease (but do not line) a cake tin, and spread the sugar mix along the base (only), lay pineapple rings and glace cherry halves in a pattern on the mix.  DSC07970

Remember to put the cherries down upside down, so when you turn out the cake they are the right way up!


Next make a basic sponge cake mix.

Beat together 4oz of caster sugar and 4oz of butter/spread, cream in 2 eggs.

DSC07972Next fold in 4oz of self raising flour.

Spread this mixture across the top of the pineapple mix.

DSC07973Spread evenly and ensure the mix touches the sides all around the tin.

DSC07974Bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes, test in the usual way.

DSC07976I worried when this one came out of the oven.  My first thought was “I can’t photograph this for the blog it looks awful!”  However, I shall be true to you and document anything that comes from the oven good or bad!

Once you’ve left this cake for around ten minutes, put a plate over the tin, and wearing your oven gloves for safety, quickly tip the whole thing over, and gently shake the cake from the tin, it should come out quite easily.

DSC07977After my earlier panic, I don’t think it looks too bad, and as it lasted pretty much one day, I don’t think it tasted half bad either!  It’s meant to be quite gooey and sticky, a real treat and not for every day!

Meal Planning Monday

I’ve just seen a little Meme over on The Singing Mummy‘s page and thought I’d join in….

So plans for this week are as follows:

Monday – Lamb Rogan Josh, need to get marinading shortly….

Tuesday – Off out to Buddies to celebrate hubby’s birthday!

Wednesday – Chilli and Rice, having just discovered he likes Chilli, the boy and me will be cooking together this evening.  He loves chopping!  (He’s 11)

Thursday – Let’s go Mexican with Enchiladas, with corn on the cob!

Friday – This is where I make an admisssion, every Friday a group of friends get together, three couples in total and frequent the treasures of the local Kebab Shop!  Now this sounds much worse than it actually is I promise.  They use the best cuts in chicken, marinated in spices and a little oil and cook on the grill, served with their home made chilli sauce.   It’s our guilty pleasure…

Over at Mrs M’s blog you can see lots more Meal Planning Monday ideas.  Click the logo above and go straight there.

Sticky Chicken

When I first started dating my partner, this was the first ever meal I cooked for him, it’s ‘my signature dish’ if you like.  Tonight’s dinner, after walking the dog for six miles, then tidying the garden all afternoon (the sun was out all day we had to make the most of it!) was Sticky Chicken.

He mowed the lawns whilst I made the dinner.  This is how I make my Sticky Chicken….


Chicken pieces (you can make a veggie version by using the Quorn pieces that are shaped like Chicken, which makes a lovely meal)

Dark Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Malt Vinegar, Tomato Ketchup, Chilli Powder, Garlic (Optional), Fresh Ginger, Golden Syrup, Mixed Herbs, Onion and Pineapple pieces (Optional).

What to do

Take a large wok and add a little olive oil, take your ginger and garlic if using and grate into the oil and cook through.DSC07981

Roughly chop an onion and add, cook through, then chop up chicken pieces and add to wok to cook.  I usually cover with a lid and cook slowly whilst I make the sauce.



In a jug mix, 4 tablespoons of vinegar, 4 tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce, and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce.


Add a good glug of Tomato Ketchup – say around 5 tablespoons, a teaspoon of chilli powder, a teaspoon of mixed herbs, finally add in 2 large tablespoons of Golden Syrup and mix thoroughly.


Take the lid off the cooking chicken and add the sauce, coating the chicken really well.  Although the chicken is nearly cooked at this point, I usually let it cook on a medium heat for a further 2o minutes with the sauce, so the sauce can become sticky and gooey!  (allowing me time to make chips in my Actifry!)


Around five minutes before serving, you can add some pineapple chunks to the cooking mixture.  It a real sweet comfort food, and one to get quite messy with, so have serviettes ready just in case!