Marvellous Market

It has been talked about recently whether organic food is of benefit or not. Some say it is better for you, others say it costs too much and getting a standard product is just the same, there is no difference.

I have to say I’m not sure, however I do believe in shopping locally. My local town has a regular food market, selling a wide variety of produce, including fruit, vegetables, near, fish, cakes, breads, pastries and much more.

All items are reasonably priced and I love the atmosphere and the general friendliness of the people when you buy. Keeps the community atmosphere alive I feel which is a very good thing.

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I conscientiously try to shop from the market to ensure all my ingredients are fresh. You receive a good peace of mind knowing where the produce has come from. As to whether it is organic I’m not sure. However, I believe if you shop local and fresh that’s as good as organic to me.

If in doubt, shop local and support your towns market/local store/farmers market to receive excellent produce without the huge price tag.

Happy shopping

Stephy x x

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Japanese Ramen Noodles with Chicken

I’m a huge lover of noodles. A fast and healthy dinner in minutes. A takeaway usually seems a good idea, no washing up and your dinner cooked for you however, if you make your own it’s cheaper, healthier and surprisingly quicker than you think.

So it’s Friday night, log burner on (a cool spring evening in England) in my comfy pants with the telly on. All cosy on the sofa enjoying this delight – Ramen Noodles with Chicken. Absolute bliss!!

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A household favourite now. This is my second attempt this week! I love it! The recipe I found is from BBC Good Food it turned out beautifully! I couldn’t find any seaweed paper so didn’t include this in my garnish. If you manage to try the recipe with the seaweed paper let me know what it’s like.

What a delight! I’ve had seconds already. Let’s just say, a night in is definitely required! Wine at the ready. Feel so relaxed. Don’t forget to slurp up the broth…best part!! Happy slurping.

Stephy xo

Joyous Jaffa Cakes

I love Jaffa Cakes, a low fat-low calorie snack. However I always buy them therefore, when I stumbled across this recipe online, I had to try it! I found it at this website Jamie Oliver

I’m a huge fan of his cooking and recipes. Having never made them before I was a little apprehensive however they turned out beautifully.

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I used way more than 100g of chocolate. I opted for Terry’s Chocolate Orange and used nearly two!!! You can never have too much chocolate. I also used orange and tangerine marmalade but didn’t sieve the zest out as the recipe advised. I think it gave it a nice bitterness next to the sweet, zesty chocolate.

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They were delicious with a cup of tea, a perfect afternoon treat. They are the perfect balance of sweet and zesty. Compared with shop bought they highly exceeded my expectations but I’m not sure they are as low calorie. (I’m guessing not, with the amount of chocolate on top.) Grab one while you can though; they don’t hang around for long.

Cadbury Crème Egg Chocolate Brownies

Admittedly I have a sweet tooth and this recipe certainly hits the spot! Chocolate Brownies are a definite go-to comfort food but these are on another level completely. Imagine the rich, dense brownie mixture with the added indulgence of a Cadbury Crème Egg on top! Seriously this is a mega cherry on top if there ever was one!

I found this recipe online at BBC Good Food

It was simple to follow and worked out beautifully first time. Just be aware when chopping the chocolate eggs in half, they don’t always cut clean in half, use a sharp knife.

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As you can see from the picture a couple of the eggs leaked slightly but I think this added to it’s homeliness and indulgence factor.

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I hope you enjoy making and consuming this as I did. They don’t hang round for long and who could resist these little beauties. Give them a try, forget a cherry on top; try a Crème egg!

Stephy 🙂 xo

Madeleines with Chocolate Sauce

Madelines….They. Are. Delicious.

I recently bought a Madeleine tray from my local hardware shop. They are not something you see much in English shops, being French. So when I saw it I jumped at the opportunity. Only costing £12 I was well chuffed.

I recently watched a cookery series by Gordon Ramsay called ‘Ultimate Cookery Course.’ I really enjoyed it and it was great as he didn’t swear either! I bought the book to accompany the series and saw his recipe for madeleines and decided to make them for breakfast.

Having travelled to France I was surprised to discover they are not something as common as I once thought. Everyone seems to eat brioche, perhaps it’s a regional thing I’m not sure.

They were delicious and I have to say it was very satisfying having got up early especially to make this little sweet treats. They don’t keep well so it’s best to eat them fresh that very morning.

Here’s the recipe I used Madeleines By Gordon Ramsay

Viola….

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I heated 100ml of double cream until it was boiling and turned the heat off and added 200g of good quality milk chocolate and whisked well to form a chocolate dipping sauce. C’est tres bon!

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These little cakes are great for a leisurely weekend breakfast or if you have family or friends round for breakfast. You can make the batter in advance the night before, leave it in the fridge and then prepare your Madeleine tray, add the mixture then bake them.

Hope you enjoy these, I love their shell shape, so pretty. Just the thing I want to see and eat in a morning.

Stephy x x

Malted Chocolate Cake with Maltesers

Do you like chocolate??? More of a rhetorical question really, of course you do!! I’ve been searching for a new take on the chocolate cake for a while and this is it! It’s rich and yet has a malty flavour which adds depth but an unexpected lightness which lifts this cake to another level along with the sweet chocolate icing and Maltesers; the crowning jewels to this grandiose cake.

Here is the recipe from Mary Berry Malted Chocolate Cake

What a treat!

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Excellent as it doesn’t take too long and is simple. Perfect as a family treat or special occasion. Thanks Mary Berry, yet another beautiful recipe. Another favourite! Highly recommend you make this for the weekend.

Enjoy Stephy x x

Gnocchi, Tomato and Basil Sauce with Mozzarella

After a long week at work I wanted something tasty and comforting. Although here in England the nights are getting lighter (summer soon!) it’s been a dull, drizzly day. I soon cheered up to find my little niece was staying over so I was in need of a hearty but quick tea to satisfy a famished three year old as well as myself.

Italian food is always a good idea. It’s pronto food!! So here’s what I made;

Gnocchi drenched in tomato and Basil sauce with added mozzarella

Ingredients

500g Ready Made Gnocchi
1 Large White Onion
2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
1 Handful of Basil Leaves
200g Ball of Mozzarella, in small cubes

Method

Firstly preheat the oven to 180degrees. Chop the onion and fry it for 5mins in a large frying pan. Add the tins of chopped tomatoes and simmer. Season it well with salt and black pepper.

Boil the gnocchi until it is cooked through (little tip, when it is cooked it floats to the top) and then add it to the sauce. Place it in the preheated oven for 15mins topped with the mozzarella cubes.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this and it had the approval of my niece too!! You could do different variations as well by adding bacon or serving it with a meat dish. I had mine with a lovely side salad and bread to mop up the sauce. Bellisimo. Buon appettito x x