Saturday, 25 October 2014

Maple Marzipan

I could not help myself from making these lovely little marzipan creations whenever I spotted them over at Rose's blog. Being a big fan of marzipan, I was instantly intrigued and a few days later, I made them before I went to work.

These don't taste like the sugar-laden marzipan in the shops, but have more of an almondy flavour, as marzipan should have. I halved the portion since I was only making them for myself as a tester, but I will post the full recipe, which will make enough for four pieces - the perfect homemade gift for that marzipan-loving friend of yours (we all have least!) or for yourself, it works a treat along with a good cuppa!

Maple Marzipan
(Makes 4)

1 cup ground almonds
1 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 pear or apple stalks

Food colouring (I used cornflour + turmeric for a slightly yellow colour, and cornflour + paprika powder for coating, but they gave off a slightly savoury taste, so maybe use natural food colouring and mix in with the almond mixture if you have it!)

- Simply mix the almonds, maple syrup and vanilla together (and food colouring, if using) in a cup or a bowl. I used the back of a spoon, and worked it for a good few minutes until it all stuck together and made a dough.

- Divide into four pieces and shape into whatever sort of fruit or vegetable you want.

If you're not eating these immediately, refrigerate them until serving. They will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. Not a very tricky treat - but still so delicious!

I hope you are having a great weekend! Any plans? I myself was in work making filled chocolates yesterday, and I'll be working the rest of the weekend too, but I don't mind as I had two days off earlier in the week. Hopefully, I'll get time to carve out the pumpkin I got the other week tonight, we'll see!

Original source:

- Jules

Friday, 24 October 2014

Autumn-Baked Apple

I had seen a recipe somewhat similar to this somewhere in the world of interwebs a long time ago, and I figured I would finally get around to making it by memory, using what I had at hand.

Having bought some super sour Granny Smiths apples the week before, I figured I should use the last one to something sweet, and so I did! Baking apples turns out to be not much of a challenge anyway, and it only needs a little help from a couple of ingredients to turn it into something dessert-worthy, I kid you not!

You can serve this with a dollop of whipped cream or granola, homemade ice cream - you name it! Now, I even had the thought of making an "apple pie" sweet "yorkshire" pudding, that would be phenomenal! But for now, let's stick to the basics (...but do let me know if you dare take on that challenge - it sounds like a tasty one ^ ^ )

Autumn-Baked Apple
(Makes 1)

If I had had an apple-corer, this would have looked so so much better!

1 apple, cored
1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp xylitol, sukrin gold or brown sugar

- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

- Now, place your apple in a baking dish or in a foil-bowl. Have the coconut oil or butter in the well of the apple, followed by a good sprinkle of cinnamon and then the sweetner.

- Place the apple in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Take out and let it cool slightly before serving it either as it is, or with ice cream, whipped cream, granola or anything else you can think of that would go with it!

Also, the other day, some of my friends and I had our Christmas workshop, Part 1, and I thought I'd include some of the things we made!

Recipe by yours truly (with a little help from the blogosphere)

- Jules

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Melty Mini Meatloaves

Hi there! How's your week going?

The other week, when I saw this recipe, only missing two ingredients, I hurried to the shops before dinner time, got what it is I needed and started whipping up a little batch of these lovely mini meatloaved (thanks Georgia!). Also, instead of saying "minced beef" to my friend, I somehow managed to shorten it down to "meef", so we started calling it meef loaf, haha!

I didn't succeed in stuffing them as professionally as she did, or perhaps it was the cheese (don't blame the ingredients Jules! Tsk tsk...) because it melted through the mixture. However, it turned out to be deeelicious, and the really easy topping is Scandi-tastic if I may say so myself. My friend highly approved too, which made me really stoked!

So here it is, easily whipped up with a side of patience....

Melty Mini Meatloaves
(Makes 6, serves 3)

1/2 cup oats
3/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp marjoram, thyme, or sage
(or substitute the last three spices with 1 tbsp Italian seasoning)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
500g lean beef mince
6 thick "sticks" of cheese (mozzarella might work better than the cheddar I used, or halloumi?)

For the sauce:
2/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp xylitol or brown sugar
1 tsp yellow mustard

To serve: Any sides you like! I served it with baby leaves and sweet potato wedges and it worked a treat! Especially cause I put the wedges in ten minutes before the meatloaves and so they were both done at the same time, sweet!

- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

- If serving with wedges, now might be the time to prepare them, for three people you want either two medium sweet potatoes' worth, or one of those huge ones you sometimes see in the shops. I tossed mine in 1 tbsp oil, salt, smoked paprika and onion powder.

- For the meatloaves, start by mixing the egg, milk, oats and seasoning and mix well. Set aside for five minutes, allowing the oats to soak up some of the liquid.

- Now, Mix in the onion and the mince. I used my hands for this, as it allows you to mix the mixture even better. Take up a size of a small apple's worth, and pack the mince around one of the sticks on cheese, make sure it is well sealed before putting it on a baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have six mini meatloaves.

- Time to make the sauce! Simply combine the xylitol/sugar with ketchup and mustard and stir well to combine. Top each of the meatloaves with a good tablespoon and a half of it, and place it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Serve with the sides of your choice, and enjoy!

Original Source:

- Jules

Monday, 20 October 2014

Easy Doggie Biscuits

So I was babysitting one of my friend's dogs for a day and I decided to whip up some nice savoury doggie treats for the four legged Señor, and so it was that I baked these biscuits.

I did a little bit of research first, to see what could go in them, I used what I had at hand, and here is the result! As far as the shape is concerned, I would have loved to make them cut-out cookies, but the dough was a little too sticky, and I thought - dogs aren't toooo fussy about the presentation are they? Three seconds and they're gone!

Easy Doggie Biscuits
(Makes about 8)

2/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup oats
2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
2 heaped tbsp wheatgerm
1 tsp parsley (for a fresher breath!)
1/2 cup stock (I used beef, for more flavour I would suggest dilluting a whole stock cube in it)
1 small egg

- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Place some baking parchment on a baking tray, and then use two teaspoons to shape the batter into little biscuits, place on the tray and repeat. Bake them in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes (Maybe 20 minutes to make them more crisp if you want for them to keep longer), until lightly golden.

- Leave them to cool completely before serving to your besnouted friend! Store the rest in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Approved by Charlie - woof!

Reading up on dog treats and what to avoid/stay clear off, there are many people who say that dogs can be sensitive to wheat and therefore flour. Back in the days when we had Mikki (Belgian Shepherd/Tervueren/my brother) we would celebrate his birthday making waffles - it was one of his favourites, and I don't think there was one day he would get a slice of toast (preferably with liver patê), so he was clearly fine with flours.
Should your dog be intolerant however, you can used mashed potato instead of the flour and oats - most canines are quite fond of sweet potato in particular.

Have you ever tried to make dog biscuits yourself before?

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Delicious Oat Soup

Savoury oats... Now, I have tried to make it once before when I got highly into making different varieties of oat porridge. Although my egg and sausage porridge didn't quite make it, I found this recipe here and thought I would give it another go, making a savoury version of it.
I mean, the last time I was simply improvising, but this recipe, it was made by someone who knew their stuff - admittedly! As well as being a savoury version of oat porridge, it is said to be good for the nervous system.

As I was cooking it, it smelt like noodles - I kid you not! And it tasted like it too, mmmm....

Delicious Oat Soup
(Serves 1)

1 tbsp (extra virgin) olive oil
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
25g oats
10g ground hazelnuts (I only had almonds, so I used that!)
300-400ml vegetable stock (non-veggies can use chicken stock instead if they want)
Salt to taste

Garnish: I didn't have hazelnuts at hand, so I topped it with some dried parsley and walnuts, don't say I'm not good to you nervous system!

- Start by heating up oil in a pan, add the garlic and oats and brown lightly, before adding the ground nuts. Stir for a minute of two before adding the stock.

- Simmer on low for about 5-10 minutes and stir occasionally. Pour in a little more water if necessary, mine dried up a little, so I added a good splash more, it all depends on the type of oat you are using!

- Add some salt to taste, and...that's it really! I can't believe it came out that tasty!

Original Source:
Friske Vegetariske Oppskrifter, p. 84

- Jules

Saturday, 18 October 2014

BBC Good Food Show 2014

The time has come again!

Some of you might remember my post about the BBC Good Food Show last year, and this year I decided to go again, and thus it has officially become a tradition, hurrah!

I brought my camera along, but sadly, after only having gotten a few snaps of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, the camera asked me (not very kindly mind you) to change the battery pack. Dang! So I decided to just post the few good photos I did get, as well with my post-hunt treasures, befause there were a few of them!

For the first couple of hours, I went "window shopping", things are quite expensive there, but mainly because the products are by a lot of independent companies. The workers and salesmen makes up for it, as does the taste (seriously, I got to try some cheeses and they were way better than any other I have ever tasted!) - miles ahead of what you would find on the shelves in the supermarkets.

Working in a cafê/chocolate factory, my treasures were...well, a little influenced one might say, but I'll get back to that. Now - to the pictures!

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood cooking up a storm! Mary made a lovely chicken dish, whilst Paul was taking the mic at her at whatever chance he got. Then they both whipped up some lovely bicuits and lemon possets for a dessert. It looked tasty, and I got the recipe for them, so I might try my hands on it in the future *smiles*

The one and only Toffoc Master gave me a sticker to promote his schtuff, and I didn't mind, because the toffee liqueur was deeeelicious!

*cough cough* OK, so christmas came early, what can I say *puppydawgeyes*

There were so many amazing people there, and everything they were selling was spectacular!

John Thorode sneaking in at the end of the show to steal some tasters, sneaky!

I am a sucker for goodie bags - can you tell? I got one from Chaat, who mainly focuses on Indian cuisine, but also trails off into other types of food in their magazines. And Stoats Oats, well... I didn't understand how they got any profit outta the goodie bag they sold me, it was too good to turn down, or even give a second thought about buying. Stoats Oats are the proper stuff, and now my breakfast is sorted for the next couple of months, yum!

One of the lovely gents in one of the stalls of Truckle Cheese Co. gave me a cheese "tour" for the palate anyway. They had the most divine blue Leicester and Smoked cheese, and so I bought a little block of the latter along with some delicious caramelised onions (because sometimes I am too lazy to make it myself, and I can eat this stuff by the spoonful on its own!). And....Did I mention the chocolate? I bought white Lemon and Poppyseed, white rose, dark chocolate with ginger, chai, and cardamom chocolate... I am not influenced by my new job AT all.... *shifty eyes*

Amongts other goodies I also bought some lovely spicy curry sauce and chutney, and both wildflower and heather honey! I got to try a fair share of spirits too, but decided not to spend ALL my silvers and stuck with the little things ^ ^

I do!

Have you ever been to a BBC Good Food Show before?

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, I myself am knackered after a rather eventful day, and tomorrow I'm going to host a little Christmas workshop, gotta start early if you want to make it yourself I suppose! It will be great though! What plans do you have?


- Jules

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sweet or Savoury Autumn Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Make the most of your pumpkin seeds!

OK, so pan-roasted pumpkin seeds are amazing, but baked, fragrant crispy seeds straight from the oven?

When I saw Rose's two takes on roasted pumpkin seeds, I knew I had to make it. This was a few weeks ago, but I finally got around to doing it! Please check out her blog for more amazing clean recipes that are really good for you, not to mention defriggin'licious!

I made both batches in one go, saves time and there's plenty of space in the oven, just remember to roast them on two separate foil-squares, although I am slightly intrigued at what a combination of the two would be like, hmmmmm! *Goes to try* It works, mmmm *crunches away happily*

Sweet or Savoury Autumn Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Coconut- Maple- Cinnamon-Seeds:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1/3 tsp cinnamon

Crunchy, Salty Pumpkin Seeds:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

The how-to is the same for both versions:

- Start by pre-heating your oven to 220°C.

- In a bowl, mix the seeds with either the salty or the sweet ingredients.

- Take two pieces of tin foil or baking paper and fold up the sides you you have two small, shallow tin/paper trays. Spread the seeds evenly with as much space between them as possible so they roast evenly. Pop them into the middle of the oven for 4-7 minutes, and pay close attention to them so they don't burn (mine took about 7 minutes).

- Take them out of the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving, you might find some of the seeds popping or crackling, and they are the ones that taste the best!

Seriously though, they both almost taste like popcorn, and I had some of the sweet ones straight from the oven and topped my porridge with it, SO delicious! These are perfect just for snacking on on their own as well though!

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat plain pumpkin seeds again after this.... Too good!

Oh by the way, this 500th post, can you believe it? After two years and then some ^ ^

And on another note - I got a job, hurrah! It is in a cafê in city centre, and I'll be doing so many different things there and am really excited about it!

I hope you have had a good week so far, been up to much?

Original source:

- Jules