Thursday, 28 April 2016

Porridge Cake

I cannot claim credit for this recipe as I have pinched it from this lady HERE.  I have modified it a bit but not enough to make it a different recipe altogether so if you want to try it, and I suggest you do, then do use her recipe page as the starting point.

This is a really nourishing healthy breakfast (made less so by us eating it with cream some days lol).  It's also convenient, can be packed 'to go' and eaten on the run or out on the finca.

I used water and yoghurt to soak the oats but I am thinking of using apple juice or orange juice next time.  I also did not have any raisons so I used chopped dried prunes and almonds instead of walnuts (the first time I made it I used chopped hazlenuts and sultanas and it was great).

OK... apologies once again, being an American recipe its measured in cups, but I don't think the exact quantities are crucial as I did play a little fast and loose with the quantities and it still came out fine.

Soak your oats with water or juice and add some yoghurt or buttermilk or whey.  Leave them overnight or for 24 hours.

Add eggs (this recipe took 8 eggs... hoorah! For those of us with hens this is a fab way to use up the egg mountain. Add butter and molasses (here in Spain I used Miel de Cana which is the closest I could get to molasses - its like treacle but not quite as bitter as treacle.  Add cinnamon ( I used mixed spice), nuts and dried fruit, salt and mix it very well.  Its quite hard to mix up but the better you mix it, the better it turns out.

The original recipe calls for a very large tin to put it in which was impractical for me so the first time I did this recipe I cut it in half and used a 22cm cake mould.  This time I was making the full recipe amount so I split it between two cake moulds.  You will have to use your judgement on this if you deviate from the recipe.

I baked my two porridge cakes for 35 minutes at 180C but they were still underdone so I gave them another 8 minutes.  I cooled them in the moulds.

the porridge cake is cut and put into freezer bags in twos.  That's breakfasts sorted for the next couple of weeks. (So tasty served with banana and yoghurt and a spoonful of honey).

Friday, 8 April 2016

Pears and Chocolate

Classic combination right? Except that two of my pears were bad so I had to substitute with apples, I think bananas would have been better. Also I used the wrong container, I should have considered using ramekins... For next time.  Anyway just for the record it was delicious and apologies too, the recipe is in ounces!

2ounces sugar
2ounces chocolate melted and cooled
2 ounces whole-wheat flour.
A sprinkling of almonds.

Beat eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy.

Add chocolate and fold in flour.

Slice pears thinly into oven proof dish.

Pour chocolate mixture on top and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 200C for 30  to 40 minutes. Obviously less if you used ramekins.  This recipe will be fine even if it's a bit under done.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Pressure Canning First Time

I ordered my Pressue canner from the UK last November and friends of ours who were travelling this way brought it over for me.  I devoured the book of instructions and then put it on the kitchen worktop where it stayed, glaring at me, for several months.  It all seemed a little bit scary.

Finally I thought I had better use it.  Now my rules are that its important to research before tackling aything new so when it comes to Pressure canning you have to look to the experts, and quite simply, that means the Americans.

As much as I love our American cousins I do find some of their practices a little irritating.  For example... weights and measures.  1 cup?  Which cup? Whose cup? Getting an accurate decision on what the volume of a cup is, is almost impossible... I had a set of cups which  were quite old so I bought new ones and these are positively not the same size as the originals.  The internet is not much help either since you get so much information its hard to know which is accurate.

I also have a USA published recipe book that not only measures solids in cups but also in cubic millilitres (a conversion made to no doubt make it easier for the Europeans???)

Since I am old enough to remember pounds and ounces I do have a set of weights in imperial as well as metric (whose a clever girl?)

Anyway, that little bugbear put to one side I wombled over to Iowa Sue on the internet (if you are interested she is HERE) and was actually very impressed by the easy instructions and tips that she gave.

Once I got over the panic surrounding 'what is a quart?' and converted the Farenheit temperatures to Celcius (btw Celsius and Kilograms are the standard precision measurements used by scientists all over the world, including America.  Isn't cooking a science?)  But I digress...

Voila Meat balls!  I passed on my favourite meatball recipe in favour of Iowa Sue's just to be on the safe side.  I did reduce the egg quantity because the mix was a bit sloppy for my liking.  She also mentioned scoop sizes.  Again, another mystery.  I have only one scoop, its for ice cream and it doesn't have a size written on it... I used my fingers.

Three quart jars of meat balls in stock.  Two jars of meatballs in tomato juice and one jar of meatballs in water.  I had enough left over for lunch which I popped into my usual tomato sauce.

And for those who are nervous about the idea of Pressure canning... it was not as scary as I thought it was going to be and I think I will be doing this regularly.   Of course the scary part could still be to come when we eat them!  If you want the recipe, I believe Iowa Sue has it covered.