Sunday, 25 September 2016

Veggie Phyllo Baskets




The great British Bake Off week 5 was all about pastry. The signature challenge was to create breakfast pastries, the technical challenge was to create a bakewell tart and the show stopper was to create phyllo pastry appetisers. I think this was by far the most difficult week especially as pastry  is very hard to make right.

For this week I have totally gone out of my comfort zone and decided to create Veggie phyllo baskets. This is the first time I have attempted home made phyllo pastry and it was the most difficult thing I have ever tried. I can't say that my phyllo pastry was 100 percent successful but it did have a few layers and did not have a soggy bottom.The most difficult part was to stop it tearing when trying to stretch it thin and then cutting it to line the muffin cases was a nightmare. It just kept sticking together. Below I am sharing my creation.







print recipe

Veggie Phyllo Pastry Baskets
Crispy phyllo baskets filled with a spicy veggie filling.
Ingredients:
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • As required approx 60 ml Water
  • 2 Medium potatoes peeled and finely diced (5mm cubes)
  • 1 Medium carrot peeled and diced(5mm cubes)
  • 50g Frozen Peas (coarsely ground)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil for brushing on the pastry
  • 2 sprigs Fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 6 Lime wedges
Method:
1. Add the flour, salt and one tablespoonsof olive oil to a large bowl.2. Gradually add the water a little at a time to make a soft dough.Knead the dough for 5 minutes after which cover and rest it for 1 hour.3. In a frying pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil when it is hot add the diced potatoes, diced carrots and the coarsely ground peas.4. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder,sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and clove powder and mix it all together. Cook the vegetable mixture on a low heat for 7-8 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. Remove the filling from the heat and leave aside to cool.



4. Knead the phyllo dough for a good 10 minutes. Divide the phyllo dough into two as its easier to work with and roll it out on a floured surface as thin as you can. Once you have rolled it out, using your hands stretch the dough further until its like tracing paper.6. Oil a muffin pan with the oil and then cut squares from the rolled out phyllo pastry and line the muffin pan with them. brush each square with oil before layering on the next sheet. Layer 4 sheets in each muffin hole. Line all 24 muffin case hole in tray with the layers of phyllo pastry, gently pushing the sheets in so that there is a cavity for the filling to be filled in later.7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 35O degrees F. Bake the filo baskets in the oven until golden brown (approx 10-12 minutes)Remove the baskets from the oven and wait for them to cool.Fill each basket with the veggie filling.Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with lime wedges.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 Baskets




Submitting this to :
Great Bloggers Bake Off with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Epicurean Cutting Boards and Utensils review and giveaway.



The Epicurean culinary tools are made in the USA on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the company uses natural materials and use innovative processes that ensure that the environment is preserved.


Gourmet Series Cutting Board


Gourmet Series boards are made from non-porous wood fibre. They are totally knife safe. The boards are heat resistant to 350 degrees F/176 degrees C and are dishwasher safe too.  
On one side of the board there is a flat food preparation surface and on the other side it has a juice groove to catch any juices from the food prep. The board has lovely rounded corners and it is perfect to use for serving food, as well as for chopping.


The boards come in 3 colours, natural slate, nutmeg natural and slate natural. There is also a choice of 3 Sizes and all sizes are 3/8 inch in thickness.
The sizes are:
14.5 x 11.25 inches
17.5 x13 inches
19.5 x 15 inches

 


The Non-slip series cutting boards

The non-slip series cutting boards are designed for everyday use. They too are made from non porous wood and have removable silicon corners that are good to stop the board from slipping on the work top. The silicon corners are removable. The boards have the same properties as the Gourmet series boards but they are 1/4 inch in thickness and do not have a juice groove.
They come in three sizes:
11.5 x 9 inches
14.5 x 11.25 inches
17.5 x13 inches


The boards come in 7 colour combination, natural red corner, natural brown corner, natural black corner, nutmeg brown corner, nutmeg red corner, slate black corner and slate red corner.







Epicurean Utensils


Epicurean also made utensils such as wooden spoons and spatulas they all have non porous wood handles and silicon heads. All the utensils are heat resistant to 500 degrees F/ 260 degrees C. The utensils are dishwasher safe too.


The whole range comes with a lifetime warranty and are perfect for any kitchen. You can buy them on line from the Epicurean web site.

I received these boards and utensils as press samples, all opinions and views expressed are of my own.

Epicurean have been really generous and have agreed to send one simplyfood reader two boards and 4 utensils as a giveaway.

1 x 11.5” x 9” Non-Slip Board (Natural/Slate edge)
1 x 14.5” x 11.25” Gourmet Series Board (Slate/Natural)
1 x Large Spoon (Natural)
1 x Small Spoon (Slate)
1 x Large Silicone Spatula (Natural/Slate)
1 x Small Silicone Spatula (Slate/Slate)


How To Enter
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
  • Closing date – 15th October 2016 12.00 am
  • Prize: 2 Epicurean cutting boards and 4 utensilS RRP £150
  • Open to UK  Residents over 18 years.

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Corelle Embossed™ Bella Faenza 16-pc Dinnerware Set ~I love it


I love beautiful dinner sets that match and have coordinating tableware, napkins, table cloths and place mats. One particular brand that I really love is my tried tested and fully trusted Corelle dinnerware set.  I have been using Corelle dinnerware in my kitchen for many years and I love all the beautiful designs they come up with. Some bold and bright and then the dainty floral prints.




Over the years I have had various different colours and patterns and also round and square plates too. This year I have added to my collection the Corelle Embossed™ Bella Faenza 16-pc Dinnerware Set which is simple but really elegant. It’s perfect for daily use or even to use for entertaining. It features a classic design of scrolls and leaves on a beautiful white background. 






The patterns are etched which means that they will not wash, wear or scratch off. They are made from Vitrelle® glass and have a three year warranty on them. The glass is light weight, chip and break resistant and you can use it in the microwave or oven and it is dishwasher safe too. The dinner sets come with 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, 4 bowls and 4 stoneware mugs.I particularly like the fact that the plates and bowls are a generous size but not overly big, they are perfect for daily use. The 16 piece set is available from World Kitchens and it retails at £79.99. You can also buy all the components individually so if you do happen to damage or break one of the set it can easily be replaced without having to purchase the complete set.




This set was a press sample supplied by World Kitchens. All the views and opinions expressed are of my own in this post.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Pav Bhaji- Indian Street Food


Pav Bhaji  is a delicious hot and spicy Indian street food, served piping hot by vendors in many Indian streets. It is a blend of vegetables cooked on a open griddle with  fragrant  and aromatics spices called bhaji .The spicy bhaji is served hot topped on top of a soft pav which are soft bread roll cut in half and buttered and then toasted. The pav bhaji is garnished with chutneys and onions and served a with a squeeze of lime juice and a chilli pepper if you dare. It is a perfect meal in one, Indian street food at its best.

I first tasted this delicious street food snack when I visited India some 10 years ago. Much to my hosts amusement, I had tears rolling down from my eyes from the spiciness of the bhaji but despite that I can still remember the amazing taste. I have recreated this awesome Indian street food although I have toned down the spice levels considerably.






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Pav Bhaji ~Indian Street Food
It is a blend of vegetables cooked on a open griddle with fragrant and aromatics spices. The spicy bhaji is served hot topped on soft pav which are soft bread rolls cut in half and buttered and then toasted toasted .
Ingredients:
  • 160g Potatoes finely diced
  • 160g Frozen Peas coarsely ground in mixer
  • 160g Carrots finely diced
  • 160g Cauliflower grated
  • 160g Aubergine peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Green chillies finely chopped
  • 100 ml Tomato passata
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Pav Bhaji Masala
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 small Red Onion thinly sliced for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 12 Soft white Bread rolls
  • 1 tablespoon Sunflower spread
  • 1 Lime cut into wedges
  • 1 Red chilli thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs Fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Green coriander chutney
  • 2 tablespoons Date and tamarind chutney
Method:

1. In a large steamer bowl add the diced potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, aubergines and coarsely ground peas. Steam all the vegetables for 20 minutes until well cooked.2. Mash all the steamed vegetables using a potato masher.3. In a pan add the olive oil and heat it, add to the the garlic and saute for a few seconds, next add the ginger and finely chopped chillies and the passata.3. Add the salt chilli powder, pav bhaji masala and cook the tomato mixture until all the spices infuse into the tomatoes.4. Add the mashed vegetables together with 60 ml of water and mix all the tomato spice mixture thoroughly into the vegetables. Cook the vegetables on a low heat mixing intermittently for about 10 minutes until the spices are well infused into the vegetables and they have broken down fully.The mixture should not be totally dry.5. Take the mixture ff the heat and garnish with the chopped coriander.6. To serve the pav bhaji cut the bread rolls in half and butter them with the sunflower spread. Heat a griddle pan and when it is hot add the bread rolls buttered side down so that the bread starts to toast and you get a lovely caremelised buttery flavour to the rolls.7. Remove the bread rolls from the griddle and place them on a serving plate. Top the Pav (toasted bread rolls) with the bhaji(the vegetable mixture) and garnish with the thin onion slices, chutneys, and red chillies.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 6

Tips: You can make the chutneys from my recipe posts below:
Tamarind Chutney
Green Coriander Chutney. These chutneys are also available ready bottled in most Asian supermarkets and also world food section in all large super markets.

The Pav Bhaji Masala is available in most Asian Super Markets and it is an essential part of the recipe to give it the authentic street food taste.



Friday, 16 September 2016

Churros



Week 4 of the Great British Bake Off and the theme is batter, this is a first on the series where contestants have been challenged to create recipes using batter. This weeks the signature challenge was yorkshire pudding with filling, technical challenge was lace pancakes and showstopper was churros a Mexican fried doughnut. It was a really interesting challenge and it was great to see all the different combinations of flavours that the participants offered.

At simplyfood I rarely fry food and you will find very few recipes that are fried, I am fairly health conscience how ever fried food eaten in moderation is fine so this week I have decided to make churros. The recipe I have used is from Rachel's yoghurts, only modifcations I made were that I left out the eggs in the recipe as I have seen on google that you can make churros with out eggs too.I also chose to go for a non conventional shape and make my churros in spirals like pinwheels.





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Churros
A delicious fried sweet doughnut that is flavoured with cinnamon sugar and served with a dipping sauce.

Ingredients
  • 25g Butter
  • 200 ml Water
  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Rachel's honey Yoghurt
  • 800 ml Oil (for deep frying)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon for dusting
  • 100g Sugar for dusting
  • 200ml Rachel's honey Yoghurt for dipping with a extra pinch of cinnamon for sprinkling.

Method:

1. In a pan add the water and butter and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and keep aside 2.Sift together the flour and baking powder and add this to the water and butter mixture and quickly mix the ingredients until they come together.Leave the mixture to cool slightly.3. Once the dough has cooled slightly add in 1 tablespoon of Rachel's honey yoghurt and mix it in thoroughly. 4. Cover the dough and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.5.Place a large star nozzle into a large piping bag and fill it with the dough.6.On grease proof paper pipe 12 spiral pinwheel shapes making sure you leave space between them. Leave these a side to rest for 10 minutes.7.In a plate mix together the sugar and cinnamon and keep aside.8. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 190 degrees C. Once oil is hot test it by dropping a ball of dough if it immediately floats to the surface oil is ready.9. Gently lift off the piped churros off the grease proof paper and lower them into the hot oil. (Only fry 2-3 at a time , do not over crowd the pan)Deep fry them for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from oil with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate with a piece of kitchen paper on it.Fry the remaining churros in small batches.10.Once all the churros have been fried sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar.11. For the Dip pour some Rachel's honey yoghurt into a dish and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.Serve the dip with the churros.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12


Churros are generally served with a dipping sauce, chocolate sauce is a firm favourite however I am serving my churros with Rachel's Honey yoghurt with a sprinkling of cinnamon on the top.


I took inspiration to create this recipe from GBBO, it is created in collaboration with Rachel's Yoghurts. The recipe used in this post has been adapted from Rachel's Yoghurts.



Submitting this to :
Great Bloggers Bake Off  with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Estonian Kringle-Cinnamon Bread


Week 3 of Great British Bake Off and the contestants were creating recipes with bread. Signature bakes was chocolate bread, technical challenge was the dampfnudel and the show stopper was a savoury plait. I had never heard of dampfnudel so was totally intrigued as to what it was. Sadly it was not something I wanted to recreate as the idea of steamed buns didn't really convince me.The show was really inspiring but at the same time I really felt sorry for some of the contestants as they struggled with their creations.


This week I decided to bake bread too, but I have not stuck to the brief of chocolate bread, instead I made Estonian Kringle, a plaited cinnamon bread . I wanted to make the bread eggless so after researching on line I got inspiration from a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls from Vegan Richa. The recipe uses aquafaba as an egg replacer. Aquafaba is the thick cooking  liquid created from cooked chickpeas. It is versatile in its uses as an egg replacer in many recipes such as meringues, mayonaisse, making mousse and baking.




print recipe

Estonian Kringle-Cinnamon Bread
A delicious plaited sweet bread with cinnamon flavour.
Ingredients:
  • 340g plus 1 tablespoon extra for kneading. White Bread flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt
  • 200 ml Water
  • 60 ml Aquafaba
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1btablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 2.5 teaspoons Active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower oil for topping
  • 75 g Brown Sugar for topping
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt for topping
Method:
1.Sift the bread flour into a large bowl and keep aside.2. In a jug add the warm water, aquafaba,sugar, maple syrup and the yeast.Mix together and leave aside for 20 minutes for the yeast to fully activate.3. Add the liquid to the flour in the bowl gradually until you get a nice soft pliable dough.4. Cover the dough and leave it to prove for 1 hour.5. while the dough is proving mix together the brown sugar 2 tablespoons of oil and the cinnamon and make a paste.6. Knock the air out of the bread dough and knead again.



7. Roll the dough out to a rectangle shape approx 12x14 inches.
8. Spread the cinnamon sugar paste onto the dough and roll the rectangle up tightly from the long side to form a swiss roll.9. Leaving about 1 inch from the top, carefully split the swiss roll in the centre using a shape knife.10. Twist the the braidscarefully so that the open cut edges showing the layers are on show. Once you have twisted the bread form a wreath shape and place it on a greased baking tray.Make sure the the edges are pressed together so that they don't open during baking.11. Cover the tray and leave the bread too prove for a second time for 30 minutes.12. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C13. After the second prove, bake the bread in a pre heated oven for 25 minutes.14. Remove bread from the oven and leave to cool.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf






Submitting this to :
Great Bloggers Bake Off with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Iced Cardamom and Saffron Biscuits



I have been following the Great British Bake Off and last week was week two where the theme was Biscuits.The participants made Viennese whirls, iced biscuits and also ginger bread creations. I was totally taken with the iced biscuits and have created my own Ice cream shaped Asian flavour inspired biscuits.
These ice cream shaped iced biscuits have the perfect crisp break and taste simply delicious with the Asian inspired flavours of cardamom and saffron.





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Iced Cardamom and Saffron Biscuits
Asian inspired iced biscuits with Cardamom and Saffron flavours.
Ingredients:
  • 240g Plain flour
  • 120g Sugar
  • 120g Butter (room temperature)
  • 60ml Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron strands
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 90g Icing Sugar
  • Few drops Brown and Pink food colour
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 tablespoon Coloured hundreds and thousands
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of the Nutri Ninja and switch it on. Cream the mixture until its light and fluffy.3. Warm the milk up in the microwave for 30 seconds and add the saffron strands and leave aside to infuse.4. In a bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda.Add the cardamom powder to the flour.5. Add the flour to the creamed butter and slowly add the saffron infused milk. Add a little at a time until the dough is formed.6. Remove the dough from the Nutri Ninja and leave aside to rest for 15 minutes.7. On a floured surface roll out the biscuits to 3 mm thickness and cut out ice cream cone shapes using the cookie cutter.8.Gently lift the biscuits one at a time and place them on a baking tray. Cut out all the biscuits and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.9. Take the biscuits out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.10. In a bowl sift the icing sugar and add a few drops of water to make a thick icing.11.Divide the icing into two bowls, colour one part brown and the other part pink.

12. Fill a piping bag with the brown icing and pipe the bottom of the cone with a brown outline. Fill in the outline with brown icing.Leave to set for few minutes.13. Fill a piping bag with pink icing and pipe the top of the ice cream cone with an outline of pink icing. Flood the centre of the outline with the pink icing and leave to set.14. Sprinkle some coloured hundreds and thousands on top of the pink icing for decoration.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24

I used the Ninja Kitchen System with Nutri Ninja to make my biscuit dough. The Ninja®Complete Kitchen System with Nutri Ninja® is a power machine that incorporates three appliances, a food processor, high speed blender and a nutrient extractor. Its 1,500 watt of power  is perfect for all kitchen tasks such as mixing, blending, kneading,chopping and whipping.
I am delighted to have this addition to my kitchen as its going to be very handy whilst I create some exciting challenges inspired by the GBBO.

Submitting this to :
Great Bloggers Bake Off with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.



Thursday, 1 September 2016

Persimmon and Mango Smoothie Bowl


Mangoes and Persimmon are two of my favourite tropical fruits. I really enjoy eating them in fruit salads, smoothies, milkshakes and even in baking. This is one of my regular smoothie bowl recipe that I make when both these fruits are in season.



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Persimmon and Mango Smoothie Bowl
Sweet Persimmon and Mango smooothie bowl with strawberries and figs perfect for breakfast.
Ingredients:
  • 2 Persimmon (sharon fruit)
  • 1 Mango
  • 6 Dried Figs slices
  • 8 Strawberries
  • 10 Blueberries
  • Few slices Apple
  • 1 Teaspoon Chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)
Method:
1. Peel and dice the mango and add it to the Optimum 9400 blender.2.Cut the persimmon and add it to the blender.3. Blend the persimmon and the mango to a puree.Taste the puree it should be sweet enough, however if you require it to be sweeter than add a spoonful of honey to sweeten to taste.4. Spoon the puree into two shallow serving bowls.5. Slice the strawberries and arrange them on the smoothie bowl, add some blue berries and garnish with figs. Sprinkle with chia seeds and serve immediately.
Details:
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 2


I created my smoothie bowl in my Optimum 9400 blender, it is really powerful and it is able to grate, grind, blend pulse and create soups and ice cream at a flick of a switch.

If you want to know more about it do visit the Froothie page to checkout its features. Currently its on special offer for £329.00 usually its £399 .If you decide to buy it, do quote "Brand Ambassador offer" in the comment box to get an extra two years warranty.






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