Friday, January 13, 2017

Lentil and apricot tagine

I may be taking liberties with the term 'tagine' here, as I do not have a tagine dish and this is not a traditional North African recipe. Tagine-stew is probably a more accurate term. Whatever you call it, the dish is enjoyable and combines vegetables, lentils and dried apricots to pleasing effect.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Chocolate and tahini baked oat bars

When I shared some favourite porridge / oat combinations last year, it was my chocolate tahini porridge that got the most enthusiasm. With good reason, too, as it makes for a wonderful way to start the day.

Whilst I always enjoy traditional porridge (oatmeal to Americans), I also enjoy oats in other formats. English flapjack is one example. These chocolate and tahini bars are another. Inspired by my chocolate tahini porridge, they are semi-sweet, gorgeously chocolatey, studded with tahini tones, and utterly delicious. They would provide a perfect make ahead breakfast or an easy snack on the go. I've been enjoying them at pretty much any time of day.

If you have tried baked oat dishes then you will be familiar with the texture of these. They are chewy rather than firm, with a soft but dense texture that holds together well without being crispy. You could easily use a nut butter instead of tahini but I recommend tahini if you have it, because the flavour pairs so well with the other ingredients and really contributes to the overall finished product.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

In my kitchen - January 2017

Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things is taking a break from hosting In My Kitchen this month but the central round up will be back in February.

2017. In many ways, to my surprise, it feels less odd to write that than I might have expected. 2016 was such a full year (featuring the significant milestones of pregnancy, birth and maternity leave) that it seems appropriate to be into a new year now.

Dairy free Marks & Spencer truffles; Caramel Choices truffles; Mini Moo flavoured chocolate bars

With the new year, there are some exciting products in my kitchen. I was extremely fortunate with Christmas chocolates, as featured both above and below. These complement birthday chocolates from earlier in December, meaning I am doing well in the chocolate stakes at present!

Marks & Spencer 85% cocoa chocolate; Montezuma orange and geranium dark chocolate

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome 2017

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year period. We have just returned from a week in Keswick, in the UK's Lake District, where we spent Christmas and had our first holiday with Mini Bite. I look forward to catching up on blog posts in time, and sharing recipes again soon, but for now - here are some pictures from our time away.

Keswick town

Keswick town hall


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas decorations in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Christmas decorations at home

The annual tradition of iced spiced Christmas biscuits (here with chocolate instead of icing)

Christmas porridge (featuring cranberries and chocolate chips)

Shopping centre Christmas festivities (Bluewater, Kent)

Local lights (apologies for the blur)

Outdoor ice skating (I didn't partake)

Wishing you all a very happy holiday period and a wonderful start to 2017!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Festive apricot spiced flapjack

Flapjack is something I think of making quite often, but actually make infrequently. I am not sure why. You only need one mixing bowl and there is no electric beating - two things I value in a sweet recipe. It is also an economical treat and oats pack more nutritional value than flour. Whatever the reason, though, I did make flapjack recently. I am consequently pleased to share this recipe with you.

This version is given a Christmas twist by the use of mixed spice and cloves. I am not sure if mixed spice is found worldwide but it is always in my kitchen. Most versions feature allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, coriander and ginger. You can easily make your own (example proportions are here) but I prefer to buy it because I don't usually have all of the individual spices. For this recipe I used mixed spice and extra cloves, which ups the spice deliciousness.