Chocolate and caramel cheesecake

Follow this picture guide to make this easy and delicious chocolate and caramel cheesecake. Perfect for dinner parties as it is best prepared the day before. Serves 6-8.IMG_1725 (1024x683)

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter melted
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate (I use 70% cocoa Lindt chocolate)
  • 300g Philadelphia cheese
  • 100g granulated sugar (vanilla scented or add a couple of drops of vanilla essence)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 200ml double cream (or 1/2 double cream, 1/2 yogurt)
  • 1 tin of Carnation caramel

Continue reading

Use cheap pears to make upside-down pie / tarte Tatin

IMG_3125 (1024x683)

If you see a packet of pears at reduced price at your supermarket, grab it! They are usually quite hard and tasteless (that’s why they are on sale) but they make the perfect ingredient for an easy-to-make delicious upside-down pie or, as we French people call it, tarte Tatin. In fact, Continue reading

Easy quick soup recipe – you don’t need to fry onions

easy soup recipe

Suggested ingredients: carrots, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, red lentils, onions, stock, honey, salt and pepper + 1tb olive oil

Don’t waste time frying onions, simply cut up and place all ingredients/vegetables together in a large saucepan with one tablespoon of olive oil then add 500 ml boiled water and simmer until all vegetables are soft. Then, roughly squash the cooked vegetable using a potato masher and your soup is ready to eat.

Tip: Use red lentils as a thickener or chestnuts (or both!). You could also use potatoes but I can’t because Hubby has a potato allergy!

Tip: scatter some cubed cheddar over the soup when serving.

easy soup recipe cooked

Make gratin with leftover tagliatelle

Don’t throw out your leftover pasta//tagliatelle as they will make a lovely diner the next day.

Spread your leftover pasta (stored overnight in the fridge) over the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Here, I also used leftover fish (trout). Break a couple of eggs into a bowl, add milk (about 100-150ml), enough to cover about 3/4 of the pasta), an optional dollop of double/single cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the pasta and sprinkle grated cheese (about 50g). Cook in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) until golden brown (about 25 min).

 Tip: add frozen peas for added colours.

How to make healthy beef burgers

Why is it that you cannot get men and children to eat vegetables with their burgers? I like to “hide” onions and sweet peppers in my home-made burgers so that the choice is not theirs.  ;-) It is also a healthy way to make more burgers with the same amount of meat without having to Continue reading

How to make French flan / set custard

Home made flan / set custard cooling on rackFollowing my post on how to use up milk, you will find below a picture-based recipe on how to make a flan, which is the French near equivalent to English set custard (only the French flan uses whole eggs not just yolk!). The following quantities will make about 12 ramekins. Continue reading

Make your own tomato sauce

Tomato sauce ingredients

Red wine, onion, chopped tomatoes, garlic, tomato puree, stock + water to dilute, seasoning, corn flour if sauce needs thickening and olive oil for frying

I know it is easy to buy a jar of tomato sauce while you do your weekly food shopping but it is actually easier…. and so much cheaper …. to make your own…. if you have a freezer that is!

It does not take long to chop the ingredients. Have you read my tips on how to cut vegetable efficiently? Once cooked and cooled, you might want to quickly zap your sauce with a blender then divide and place in containers to suit the space in your freezer.

Tip: to defrost your sauce quickly, stand your plastic bag in hot water.

Uses: Topping for pizza, sauce for pasta, meatballs, spice it up for curry sauces, etc.. the list is endless.

 

 

What to do with overripe bananas

Not quite overripe since you can still see some green but that’s all I had at the time!

So, what do you do when your bananas get speckled black? Becoming far too ripe for most tastebuds, bananas will, more often than not, end up in the bin… or the composter if you have one. But you would be loosing out on a great dessert! Continue reading

Cooking ham for packed lunches

Following my post on how to use ham for packed lunch, I will show you how easy it is to make lots of ham. You can then use it for diner and all sorts of packed lunches, i.e. sandwiches, tortilla wraps, rice or pasta salads or even microwavable lunches to eat at the workplace.

Cooking your own ham is very easy and very money efficient. Just remember to cook more than you need so that you can store the surplus for future use. Here is what I do:

Boil in water.

Gammon reading for boiling

Add bay leaf + onion pricked with cloves + few peppercorns

Remove excess fat, make a criss cross pattern and spread glaze on top

spreading honey and mustard on boiled ham

Spread mixture of 1tsp clear honey + 1tsp mustard

You will find that Continue reading

Easy oven-baked chicken and vegetables

This is a fool-proof recipe. You can’t get it wrong because the oven does all the work for you. All you have to do is cut your veggies efficiently (!!) and do a little bit of mixing. And you are allowed to use your hands if they are clean, although it won’t bother me if they are not :-).

Proportions? 1 tp mustard, 1 or 2 dollops of Worcester sauce and Soya sauce, 2-3 large tb of Greek yogurt, 1/2 chicken stock cube, 50 or 70ml olive oil.

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsuis. It takes about 1 hour to cook.

It looks a bit pale because I left the aluminium foil on for too long…

The good thing about this way of cooking is that it does not take you away from your guests. You only need to stir the mixture every 20 minutes or so to prevent the bits at the top from burning.

Serve with pasta, rice or even some nice crusty bread.

 

 

 

Soups are easy – Carrot and lentil

carrot and lentil soup with cubed cheddar cheese

Add some cubed cheddar for a bit of saltiness!

There is nothing easier than make your own soup. Having a pressure cooker saves time and energy as it only takes 10 minutes to cook but a pot with a lid will do just as well. Make large quantities and store in the freezer in small or large containers. They will be readily available “at the push of a microwave button”!

I like to use Continue reading