Banana Porridge with Warm Apricots and Seeds

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and this recipe makes it worthwhile getting up! (I’m not a morning person……..at all!)

If you don’t fancy apricots, apples are good too.

It’s super healthy with 2 of your 5 a day plus nutritious seeds and nuts.

Banana Porridge with Apricots and Seeds

Banana Porridge with Apricots and Seeds

Serves 1 (generously)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rolled Oats 
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Water 
  • 1 small Banana or half of a large, peeled and mashed to a pulp
  • 2 Apricots, peeled, stones removed and sliced 
  • Small knob of Butter 
  • 1tsp Golden Syrup 
  • 1tsp Sunflower Seeds 
  • 1tsp Pumpkin Seeds 
  • 1tsp Hazelnuts, lightly crushed

Method

In a saucepan heat the oats, milk and water, boil and then simmer gently, stirring occasionally. Add the banana and stir through well.

In a separate pan, heat the butter and add the apricots, gently sauté and then add the syrup. Cook until soft, not falling apart.

When the porridge is cooked and the banana is more or less dissolved into the porridge, serve in a bowl, top with the seeds and nuts and serve with the apricots and syrup sauce.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate

No one can resist a cupcake! They are tasty and yet simple to make and aesthetically pleasing.

This recipe of mine can be easily adapted and altered to achieve different flavour combinations. These are vanilla with chocolate…..yummy!

Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 8oz/225g softened Butter
  • 8oz/225g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Free Range Eggs
  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 8oz/225g sifted Self Raising Flour
  • Muffin/ Cupcake cases
  • 200g bar of milk chocolate
  • Packet of chocolate buttons

Method

Preheat the oven to 180degrees.

In a bowl cream together the butter and caster sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla extract and add the sifted flour gradually until you have a smooth cake mix.

Individually fill the paper cases two thirds full as they will rise in the oven. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20mins. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

When they are completely cooled drizzle generously with melted chocolate and place chocolate buttons onto the still soft chocolate to ensure they stick and set onto each individual cupcake. Allow the chocolate to set then serve.

Coffee and cake anyone??

Coffee and cake anyone??

Oat and Raisin Slice

These slices are similar to flapjacks and Anzac biscuits, more of a tray bake/cake. They are so simple and lovely hot from the oven or great when firmed up slightly with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

With the addition of flour it lightens the mixture and gives it a more cake like texture but still with a little chew to it. Delicious!

Oat and Raisin Slice

Oat and Raisin Slice

Makes 12 Slices

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Cups Raisins
  • 250g Butter
  • 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

Equipment

  • 18cm Square Cake Tin

Method

Preheat the oven to 170degrees.

In a saucepan melt the butter, syrup and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling slightly. Take off the heat.

In a bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flour, raisins and cinnamon. Add the mixture from the saucepan and mix well until all the dry ingredients are coated.

Place the mixture into the baking tin and flatten down with the back of a metal spoon, ensuring it’s evenly spread out and pushed down firmly.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-15mins. It should rise slightly.

Allow to cool in the tray slightly and then cut into squares.

Fresh out of the oven.......😃

Fresh out of the oven…….😃

They should be crisp on top but chewy in the middle, holding their shape. Yummy!

You can do different variations too, nuts work very well as do chocolate chips. Melted chocolate is lovely on top. Give it a try!

Pleasantly Plump Poached Pears with Syrup

This recipe is fantastic as it’s quick and only contains three ingredients. It’s super tasty and a healthy alternative to a slab of cake. A light dessert to end a heavy meal.

I’ve tried many recipes and different takes on it but I love this recipe which I do often for my family and they love it! It’s beautiful served with the syrup sauce or you can do a cheeky twist with melted chocolate…… Personally I love syrup. It’s great with ice cream too.

Poached Pear with Syrup and Yogurt

Poached Pear with Syrup and Yogurt

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Ripened Pears
  • 2tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1tsp Brown Sugar

Tin Foil, for cooking the pears in

Method

Heat a pan of boiling water and then reduce the heat so the water is gently simmering.

Peel the pears but keep the stalks on. Wrap each pear in tinned foil, leaving the stalks uncovered.

Place them in the simmering water for 10mins or until cooked through. (This cooking time varies due to the size of the pears and their ripeness.)

Meanwhile, add the syrup and sugar to a saucepan and gently heat until all the sugar is dissolved.

When the pears are soft and cooked through, remove from the foil wrap and serve in a bowl, drizzled with the syrup sauce. Serve immediately.

Egg Fried Rice

This is a definite favourite of mine unlike some recipes I’ve tried it’s not greasy and heavy but light and tasty. A simple supper.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 350g Rice, washed and drained
  • 6 Free Range Eggs
  • Small Knob of Butter
  • 3tbsp Fresh Milk
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • 350g Frozen Garden Peas

Method

Heat a pan and add boiling water, add sea salt and gently simmer, add the washed rice and cook, stirring occasionally to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a jug mix the eggs and milk and beat well. Season well with black pepper and salt. Heat a large frying pan, add the butter and when melted add the egg mix, gently folding to create a soft and light scrambled egg. In a small saucepan, cook the garden peas in salted simmering water until cooked, not too soft, with a little bite.

When the rice is cooked, drain and add to the egg. (It’s crucial when you add the rice to the egg, it should still be slightly sloppy to ensure the rice is coated with the egg.) Then add the drained cooked peas. Mix well and serve.

Egg Fried Rice

It’s lovely with salmon and salad. Yummy!

Spicy Sausage Jambalaya

This dish is comfort in a bowl to me – hearty, tasty and rich! Lovely to share with family and friends or a fancy telly tea! Yummy!!

I’ve adapted this dish from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found in his book ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course.’ Thoroughly enjoyed that series with its straightforward recipes and handy tips for the kitchen. He made a Spicy Sausage Rice, which is gorgeous but here’s my take on it. 😃

Spicy Sausage Jambalaya

Spicy Sausage Jambalaya

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Red Onions, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped finely into chunks
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, chopped finely into chunks
  • 1 Celery Stick, chopped finely
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g Cumberland Sausage, or any spicy sausage to your liking
  • 1tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 300g Rice, washed and drained
  • 1 Glass of Martini
  • 750ml Chicken Stock
  • 6 Spring Onions, finely chopped
  • 4 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Heat a large frying pan and add a good glug of olive oil and fry the onion, peppers and celery and cook until soft. Add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes. Season well with salt and black pepper.

Split the sausage skins and remove the sausage meat, leaving them in medium sized chunks. Add them to the pan and fry them to achieve a little colour. Add the paprika and ensure everything is well coated.

Pour in the Martini and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. add the rice, coating well with the mixture and then add the chicken stock and gently simmer.

Mix occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and allow the rice to cook through and the liquid to be absorbed. (I usually have a reserve of stock just in case it needs topping up to cook the rice, and keep it moist.)

Spicy Sausage Jambalaya

When the rice is tender and cooked,add the spring onions, tomatoes and parsley. Mix through and add extra stock if needed. Season to taste. The consistency should be oozy, like a risotto.  Serve immediately.

It’s great with a whole meal wrap warmed through. Alternatively you could use chicken and chorizo instead of sausage. Enjoy!