Oat and apple muffin

We have been giving Evie finger food since she’s 6 months old. We still do a little spoon-feeding with cereal and yoghurt but we usually give her finger foods.

This evening I baked apple and oat muffin from the Rivercottage baby & toddler cookbook. She can have this as a morning or afternoon snack. It doesn’t have a lot of sugar but it uses whole milk and full-fat yoghurt because babies and toddlers need the fats. It can be frozen so a dozen will last us a few days.

You will need:

  • 200 g plain flour (or a combination of plain flour and wholemeal or spelt flour)
  • 50 g porridge oats
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium eating apple, peeled and grated
  • 125 ml full-fat plain yoghurt
  • 125 ml whole milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50 ml walnut oil (or rapeseed or sunflower oil)
  • 75 g raisins or sultanas

Pre-heated oven at 190˚C, muffin tray, large mixing bowl, measuring jugs, muffin cases

What to do:

  1. Put flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add grated apple and sultanas/raisins. Mix again.
  3. Combine milk, yoghurt, egg, and  oil in a jug. Mix then slowly pour into the flour mixture.
  4. Mix all the ingredients until combined then put a big dollop into muffin cases.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 mins. Cool on wire rack.

Eat in 24 hour or freeze when cool. From frozen, take muffins out the night before to slowly defrost.

St David’s Day dinner

In honour of St David’s Day, I made something with leeks for tonight’s dinner. St David’s Day is like St Patrick’s Day for Irish peeps but for the Welsh peeps. This recipe is from the GoodFood magazine.

Leek tart with ricotta and Gruyere

You need:

  • 500g all-butter shortcrust pastry
  • 25g butter
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 250g ricotta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon (or you can substitute thyme)
  • 100g Gruyere
  • 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200˚C
  2. Roll-out pastry on to the tin. Prick the pastry with fork. Line with baking sheet and put baking beans. Bake for 10 mins then remove baking paper and baking beans and cook for another 5 mins until pale golden. Reduce heat to 180˚C
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Gently cook leeks for 10 mins or until softened.
  4. Beat ricotta, double cream, eggs, and chopped tarragon. Add a pinch of salt and generous pepper. Mix in cooked leeks and a third of cheese.
  5. Pour mix into the tart case and then scatter rest of cheese on top. Bake from 25-30 mins until set.
  6. Leave to settle for 5 mins before serving.

Roasted butternut squash and puy lentil salad

Roasted butternut squash © dan and tuesday

Roasted butternut squash © dan and tuesday

Wow, has it been more than a year since we’ve done anything on this blog?

A quick update since September 2010: we left Cardiff, UK to move to The Hague, Netherlands; bought a house and we’re having a baby this month! Plus, in July this year, I (Tuesday) started eating meat again! Maybe it was the pregnancy or maybe because I just want to re-discover (meat) flavours. I am now a carnivore after being an ovo-lacto vegetarian for nearly 12 years and pescetarian (vegetable and seafood diet) in the last 4 years. This means that we will be sharing more meat-based recipes that we like in this blog.

But not this recipe. Our first blog post this year is a vegetarian recipe. This warm salad recipe is from the Good Food magazine and is high in fibre, iron, protein, folic acid and vitamin C. It’s also low-fat, counts as your 5 of 5-a-day (it’s a British thing, click on the link to find out more), and also very easy to make. Win-win!

Roasted butternut squash and Puy lentil salad © dan and tuesday

Roasted butternut squash and Puy lentil salad © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • butternut squash, regular size of about 1 kg, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic clove, crushed (I love garlic and I probably put in about 6 cloves but you can only put 1 or 2, if you don’t fancy it)
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp of water
  • 2 x 400g tin of Puy lentils, drained and washed in water
  • small red onion, sliced
  • 100g of baby spinach
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • toasted pumpkin seed (what we always have in our cupboard is pumpkin seed, sesame seed and sunflower seed toasted in tamari or soy sauce. It’s great topping for salad, soup or pasta dishes)
  • crumbly cheese like feta or Cheshire or whatever cheese you have leftover

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. In a roasting tin, toss the butternut squash, garlic, and thyme in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Roast for about 30 mins until it’s they are tender and slightly charred.
  3. Make the dressing by combining balsamic vinegar, wholegrain mustard, water and the rest of the extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Assemble salad by combining Puy lentils, baby spinach, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Put the dressing and toss.
  5. Top with roasted butternut squash, crumbly cheese, and toasted seeds.

Spring onion and cheese tart

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

I wasn’t planning to blog this recipe just yet since I just posted one yesterday. But my dear friend, K-Man, requested it so here it is.

It’s fairly easy to make, however, it takes about an hour and a half to prepare and cook.

spring onions © dan and tuesday

spring onions © dan and tuesday

I got the spring onion from the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. I bought it from an organic farmer and a big bunch only costs £1 and the bulbs came in different sizes and still with soil attached to them. I love it!

The rest of the ingredients are supermarket-bought and the pastry I used are even ready rolled. If using a block of pastry then roll it out in a floured surface before using it.

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 250 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • About 12 spring onions, sliced in 1.5 inch lenths
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 200 g crème fraîche
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed milk)
  • 2 tsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 125 mature cheddar (I prefer extra-mature!)
    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Line a fluted tart tin or bakeware with the pastry. Gently press them down the fluted sides. Remove extra pastry from the edges. Prick the base with a fork so it doesn’t expand later on. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

  2. Line the pastry with baking paper or grease-proof paper or foil and then fill it with baking beans. I use ceramic baking beans but if you don’t want to buy those, you can use uncooked beans or chickpea. I think you can also use pasta shells. Bake for 20 mins. Take it out of the oven, remove the cover and the baking beans and cook for another 5 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 190˚C.
  4. Now the filling – heat the olive oil and stir-fry the spring onions on high heat for about 3 minutes.

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the Dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Slowly mix the eggs and then the milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tip the spring onions and half the cheese into the pastry case. Scatter the chopped tarragon. Then pour the egg mixture. Topped with the rest of the cheese.

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  7. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, until it has set. It looks like a big omelette!

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  8. Serve with salad. I also served it with onion jam which I made with some Rowan jelly. It’s divine. See how my jam glistens! 🙂

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

Cheesecake and poppy seed tartlets

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

Last weekend, I saw a recipe which I couldn’t resist: tartlet cheesecake and you make your own pastry from scratch! It’s a recipe that calls for lemon and poppy seeds which are lovely together. I love a really tart lemon poppy seed loaf!

This lemon cheesecake tartlet is really, really good! The cheesecake just melts in your mouth and the pastry is soft with a hint of lemon tartness mixed with the poppy seeds. It is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe published in The Guardian Weekend last week. For the non-UK blog visitors, it’s a magazine which comes out every Saturday with The Guardian newspaper.

It’s very easy to make but it takes awhile for the tarts to be ready.

poppy seeds © kirsten loza

poppy seeds © dan and tuesday

For the poppy seed pastry you need:

  • 170 g plain flour plus extra
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • about 1 tbsp cold water

For the cheesecake you need:

  • 200 g cream cheese (I used extra light Philadelphia cream cheese, perhaps it would set better if I used the full-fat version? I’ll let you know next time!)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 small free-range eggs
  • 90 g sour cream
  • 2 small lemons for 50 ml lemon juice and 1 tbsp zest
  • butter for brushing the tins
  • icing sugar to sprinkle

Tools

  • mixing bowls
  • lemon juicer and zester
  • shallow muffin tins or tartlet tins or silicone bakeware
  • rolling pin
  • food processor
  • hand whisk
  • baking beans

What to do:

  1. Make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar, butter, zest, poppy seed, and salt in a food processor and let it mix for a bit. Then mix the egg yolk and just enough water so that it’s all together.

    pastry dough © kirsten loza

    pastry dough © dan and tuesday

  2. Take the pastry out, wrap in a cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C. Grease the baking tin or silicone bakeware with butter.
  4. Flour your work space and roll out the pastry  until it’s about 1/2 cm thick.
  5. Cut circles- the recipe says 8 but I manage to get a dozen out of my pastry. Line the tin with pastry circles. The put it back on the fridge for 20 minutes.

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

  6. Line each pastry case with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Take out of the oven, remove the beans out and let the pastry cool down. Lower the oven temperature to 150˚C.

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

  7. Now to make the cheesecake – whisk the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream,  lemon juice and zest.
  8. Fill the pastry cases with cream cheese to the top and bake for 15 minutes until it has set.

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

  9. Leave to cool then chill for about an hour before removing from the tin.
  10. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if you like.

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and  tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

This muffin recipe puts a twist on the regular choco chip muffin by adding spices. I used a spice I found in the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. It’s called Victorian cake spice. I’m not really sure what’s in it – if you know, feel free to enlighten us! But it smells of Christmas, of cinnamon and nutmeg!

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

I’ve made this a few times now – to share at work, to give us a present for Kielo, and, now, for our friends Helen and Phil.

You need:

  • 100 g softened unsalted butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

Tools

  • 12-cup muffin tray, lined with muffin cases
  • mixing bowls
  • handheld mixer
  • pre-heated oven at 190˚C

What to do:

  1. Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add milk and cream and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix the wet and dry mixture very well. I just use a spoon at this stage and not the handmixer.

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

  6. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well, agin with a spoon.
  7. Spoon mixture on the muffin cases.
  8. Bake for about 28 – 30 mins then take out from the oven and let it  cool in the tray for about 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool properly.
spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

Maybe this is more of a Christmas muffin… but so far no one has objected to a little taste of Christmas in the summer.

Squid, pine nuts and parsley

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Since Dan is working from home getting his syllabus ready before the academic year starts, he is also the designated cook. He makes such lovely dinner that I don’t complain when I do the tidying up after. It’s only fair, I guess.

Today’s special is doing something with the squid in the freezer. I wish I know how to make adobong pusit so I can give Dan the recipe. The truth is that I am probably one of the few Filipinos who cannot adobo anything.

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Back to the squid. Dan prepared the squid by removing the tentacles and opening it up. Dan marinated it in olive oil, freshly ground cumin, cumin seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper for about 2 hours.

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Lay the squid flat but after a couple of minutes, they start to curl. Nice!

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

Dan served the squid with a lovely low-carb version of tabbouleh. It’s from The Low-Carb Gourmet cookbook by Karen Barnaby. It lemon-y dressing really complements the squid.

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

For the salad:

  • 125 g of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 60 g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 60 g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 40 g cucumber, diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 75 g pine nuts, dry roasted
freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

What you need to is to combine the salad bits in a big bowl, combine the ingredients in another bowl, and then dress the salad. That’s it! A nice and light dinner that’s perfect for a summer evening.

Smoked mackerel with horseradish dressing

Smoked mackerel, apple and potato horseradish salad © dan and tuesday

Smoked mackerel, apple and potato horseradish salad © dan and tuesday

Who would have thought that mackerel and apple would work together? But it sure does in this dish. It’s gorgeous and light and contains two of my favourite foods: mackerel and watercress.

crispy apples © dan and tuesday

crispy apples © dan and tuesday

I’ve never actually made this dish; Dan always makes it for us. I like it that way because I can just sit and wait for one of my favourite meals be handed to me 🙂

This dish is from Good Housekeeping’s easy to make low GI cookbook that is now permanently in our kitchen. It serves 4 as a starter but to be honest between the two of us, we can easily finish this off as a main course.

flaking mackerel © dan and tuesday

flaking mackerel © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 350g new potatoes, washed, cooked, boiled for about 15-20 mins
  • 2 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 crispy apples
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and flaked
  • watercress

Smoked mackerel and apple salad (iPhone) © dan and tuesday

Smoked mackerel and apple salad (iPhone) © dan and tuesday

What to do

  1. Roughly chop the cooked potatoes and apple.
  2. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, apple, smoked mackerel, and watercress.
  3. Mix the horseradish sauce, crème fraîche, lemon juice and oil. Season with freshly ground pepper.
  4. Toss the dressing with the rest of the ingredients and serve!

Calories: 320  Fat: 23g  Carbohydrates: 22g  Salt: 0.7 g

What I’d like to try next time

  • I’d like to use less potatoes and more mackerel for less carbs and more protein
  • Try wholegrain Dijon mustard for the dressing
  • Try green apples

There are a few more photos of this dish and making this dish on flickr.

Spanish manchego and courgette muffins

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

This evening I am channelling my friend and colleague, Sandy, who is the best muffin baker I know. I’ve decided to make a savoury muffin after Sandy made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s courgette and pine nut muffins for my bbq birthday party last month.

I am using a recipe from a Marks and Spencer “magical muffins” cookbook (only £5!). This is the first muffin recipe I am using from the book. It’s a good muffins cookbook which contains sweet, savoury, and healthy muffins, and muffins for special occasions.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are stock items in my pantry. The only things I needed were fresh flat-leaf parsley, courgette, and Spanish manchego cheese. The trickiest bit is having a shredded courgette but I have my trusty magimix food processor for that.

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 150 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 280 grams plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 400 g shredded courgettes
  • 30 grams grated Spanish manchego cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tools:

  • grater for cheese and courgette
  • food processor (optional)
  • 12-cup muffin tray oiled or line with muffin cases
  • muffin cases (optional)
  • Pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowls
  • beater (optional)
oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

  3. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  4. Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
  5. Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
  6. Add parsley. Lightly stir.
  7. Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
  8. Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for a bit and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Eat it right away (most awesome idea) or you can freeze it for about a month. I like mine with a bit of butter but Dan prefers it without.
lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

What I want to try next time with this recipe

  • use different fresh herb like oregano, rosemary or basil
  • use less oil
  • use young spinach with the cheese
  • oh, and use more cheese!
  • Manchego cheese is a bit mild for me so I might try a strong cheese like smoked applewood or even parmesan next time.

Dark chocolate biscotti

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

I have been wanting to do some baking but in the summer, I don’t really crave a lot of heavy cake-based kind of desserts. Eating fresh fruits beats any kind of fancy dessert in the summer. My favourite summer dessert is probably Eton Mess.

Still, I fancy getting the oven working to make me something lovely that does not need to be eaten in a couple of days. This biscotti should last a week if you store it well.

I have adapted this from the Hamlyn Cookery Book which is a fantastic book for beginning cooks (like myself).

You will need:

  • 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped (I only have chocolate chips in my cupboard so I used those)
  • 25 g of unsalted butter (Also run out so I used a slightly salted one)
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar (Didn’t have any so I used light brown caster sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g almond nuts, chopped or sliced (original recipe called for pecan nuts)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tools

  • baking sheet, greased or lined with baking paper
  • Pre-heated oven at 190˚C
  • mixing bowls

What to do

  1. Melt 200g of the chopped dark chocolate with the butter.

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

  2. Sift self-raising flour to a mixing bowl and then add eggs, sugar, nuts, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

  3. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate until you have a dough.

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

  4. Dust the work surface with flour, transfer the dough, and cut it in half.
  5. Form two logs of about 10 inches long (really depends on how big the baking sheet is!), flatten to about 2 cm thick (a little less than an inch). Transfer to the baking tray and then bake for 18-20 mins.

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

  6. Remove from the oven and then reduce the heat of the oven to 160˚C.
  7. Leave the biscotti to cool for 20 mins before cutting it with a bread knife (serrated) into 2 cm thick slices. In my first try, it keeps crumbling so I lost a few biscotti 😦 So I started cutting them a bit thicker.

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

  8. Place the cut biscotti back into the baking tray with a little space in between them and then cook for another 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

  10. Best served with coffee.

PS. I still love my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things I bought for our kitchen.

PPS. I am really liking the new flickr look, I find that inserting images is easier and does not involve going back and forth pages for me.

PPPS. I re-discovered smitten kitchen and Deb shares a chocolate hazelnut biscotti which I’ll try next time.