Mexican night at the Jonathans! Delicioso!

So this weekend I made some tacos (something I’ve always wanted to try) and nachos as well.  It was so yummy. I love spicy strong food, but I do know that some people don’t, so I dialed it down a bit by leaving out the chopped chillies because my soon to be father-in-law (Mr. Jonathan) doesn’t like strong food that much. None the less it was delicious. Guacamole, peppers, onion, cheese, lettuce, mince, tomatoes, all the good stuff. It was lovely! Next time to add quesadillas to the list. #delish #tacos #nachos #guacamole #mexicanfood #strong #loveit

image

Advertisements

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

My first attempt at cake pops. I was looking online for the perfect recipe for a lovely chocolate truffle textured cake pop. I found it and had to try it before my daughter’s FIRST birthday so that it can be perfect on the day. You should definitely try this one out, it takes a bit longer than baking your cake pops in the mould but it’s most definitely worth the work and wait!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake Pops

Ingredients:
1 recipe Wacky Cake, prepared with Dutch process cocoa powder
1 recipe Shiny Chocolate Icing, prepared with Dutch process cocoa powder
1 (12 oz) bag Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sprinkles/nonpareils/cookie crumbs/other decorations of choice
50-70 lollipop sticks
Foam board

Optional packaging supplies:
50-70 clear treat bags
Curling ribbon or twist ties

**Veronica’s notes: I used only 2/3 of my Wacky Cake for this and still got more than 50 cake pops, so unless you need enough to feed an army, feel free to enjoy some of the cake before making it into cake pops. If you do use the entire cake, you may need a second bag of chocolate chips. Also, many canned frostings are naturally vegan, so if you prefer, you can save yourself a step and purchase a can of dark chocolate frosting to use in this recipe. **

Method:
1. Pull off chunks of cooled cake and process them in a food processor in batches until fine crumbs, putting the crumbs in a large bowl.
2. Add 1 cup of the icing and mix up with your hands until the icing is completely incorporated. You will most likely need more, but it is better to start with less than to add too much right off the bat. I added more after taking this photo, using about a cup total, and I should have used a little more–the dough was a little stiff and should have been less thick.
3. Roll into balls the size of walnuts (a small cookie scoop works well for portioning–mine fits a tablespoon of dough) and place on a cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate two hours or overnight.
4. Gently melt chocolate with the oil in a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, stir every fifteen seconds after an initial 30 seconds. Once chocolate is mostly melted, remove from heat and stir, stir, stir, until the residual heat melts the rest of it. Don’t overheat your chocolate or it will become too thick to dip your pops.
5. Remove cake balls from refrigerator and dip one end of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate, then insert half way into each ball. Once there are sticks in all the balls, place the tray in the freezer for a while and take them out one by one to dip so they stay cold during the dipping process.
6. Take each by the stick and dip into the chocolate, tapping off excess, apply sprinkles if you wish, then insert into foam block to set up. Repeat until all pops are dipped.
7. Place your foam block in the refrigerator or freezer to set the chocolate. Once it’s hardened, you can arrange them on a platter or package them individually by slipping a small plastic treat bag over the top and tie it with a ribbon. The chocolate coating on these melts at a lower temperature than regular candy coating, so store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

You can find the link to veronica’s recipe here: http://veronicascornucopia.com/?s=vegan+cake+pops

Roasted Leg of lamb with honey and mustard glaze

Image

So yesterday I was home and decided to make a delicious lunch. I went online and looked for a nice easy recipe for my leg of lamb. I came across Jamie Oliver’s recipe (Best Roast Leg of Lamb | Lamb Recipes | Jamie Oliver Recipes) and thought mmmm, I have most of these ingredients (substituting here and there), the method seems quite easy, lets give it a go.

So I did the lamb just like Jamie did except for the rosemary i substituted with about 1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme, I didn’t have lemon zest, so i added 1 tsp lemon juice and a good lug of olive oil as Jamie says it.

I boiled my potatoes and added pumpkin rather than the suggested parsnips or carrots. Put that in the bottom tray along with the whole garlic cloves (peeled of course) salt and pepper. Then I added a small green pepper and a small yellow pepper cut into chunks. I placed my lamb on the hot bars of the oven with the dish (with the potatoes etc) under the lamb to catch all those lovely juices.

In to the oven it went at 200 degrees C for an hour and a half (my family doesn’t like their meat too pink). After an hour, I took out the lamb, mixed about 3 tbsp honey with 1 tbsp mustard, and brushed it onto the lamb. The lamb went back into the oven for the rest of the time left. Once the timer went off I took it out, covered it with tin foil and let it rest for 15 minutes, while finishing off my fried potatoes, mixed veg, and gravy.

My gravy i made from scratch, yes from scratch. First, I sautéed a small onion in a saucepan. I took half a packet of brown onion soup, and mixed it with a cup of boiling water. I added that to my onion and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then i added 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp mustard and whisked. I kept whisking while adding a heaped tbsp flour to thicken. I let it simmer for another 10 minutes and then strained into my gravy bowl. Delicious!

You have to give this one a try!

Image

Image

Image

Magnum

image

So my boss is in a good mood today and because it’s so hot, he decides to bless his staff with a magnum #yum #delish #perfect #hitthespot #icecream 

The easiest chocolate cake you will ever make.

The easiest chocolate cake you will ever make.

The best chocolate cake you will EVER have. Easy, Quick and DIVINE. Chocolaty goodness like you won’t believe #yum

Easy Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 350g/12½oz caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250ml/9fl oz milk
  • 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml/9fl oz boiling water

For the chocolate icing:

  • 200g/7oz plain chocolate 
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream

 

Preparation method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
  2. For the cake, place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.
  3. Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
  4. Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.
  6. For the chocolate icing, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth, glossy and thickened. Set aside to cool for 1-2 hours, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.
  7. To assemble the cake, run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the cake tins to loosen the cakes. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins.
  8. Spread a little chocolate icing over the top of one of the chocolate cakes, then carefully top with the other cake. Transfer the cake to a serving plate and ice the cake all over with the chocolate icing, using a palette knife.

Tip 1: The cake rises high in the middle, use a very sharp knife to cut off the top to even out the cake so that it is straight for your icing to stay in place.

Tip 2: I used half dark chocolate and half plain milk chocolate for the icing and it came out perfect. Not too rich, not too bitter! Just right.

Tip 3: If you don’t have double cream, fresh cream would be fine as long as you let is stand aside to cool for the 1- 2 hours specified.