The Green Monster Movement

I have somehow become pretty obsessed with Smoothies and Juicing – Green ones in particular!

It all started when i was feeling rather lethargic, sniffly and downright sorry for myself. I knew i needed something nutritious and healthy – so i grabbed a green juice. I know that anything that generally tastes bad – is good for you. I also presumed green juicy smooth things are for Yoga/Pilates types who meditate all the time.

Oh how i was wrong.

My first sip of said green juice was surprisingly nice. By my third sip i was hooked!

I immediately started to research in how i could make these babies at home – the fresher the better (and cheaper… £4 for 400ml!!!!!). I soon realised that juicing and smoothing was FAR more popular than i had anticipated – being someone who is constantly reading up on the latest health craze going – i was surprised i had missed this one!

So, with bag of spinach in hand, i attempted my first  smoothie at home. I decided smoothies were the way to go for me

1 – I cant afford to fork out for a juicer, it seems the whole food ones like this Philips Whole Fruit Juicer are the way to go.

2 – Smoothies create less waste – Yes there is more chopping and prep beforehand (but really – not that much), but from what i can gather, this means you are still consuming the much needed fibre from fruit and veg that most of us lack in our diet.

To make my smoothies i use my Cuisinart Soup Maker, an awesome present from parents this Christmas.

Anyway this is my favorite recipe i came up with – generally i find though that if you find the taste of your smoothie not quite right – add some more apple and coconut water, it seems to do the trick!

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

What You Knead Is...

  • 2 apples - cored and chopped
  • 1 Kiwi - peeled and chopped
  • 1 inch piece of Cucumber - chopped
  • 150ml Coconut water
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1/2 a (small) thumb sized piece of ginger - grated (adjust according to your taste)

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. Place everything into a blender and blend till your happy with the consistency.
  2. Makes about 3 250ml glasses.
http://kneading.it/2014/02/178/

World’s easiest Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

When the boy’s away the girl will play!!

At baking and cooking that is..

Sadly this weekend the boy is working, so for a special treat this evening i decided to cook one of his most favorite things… pulled pork!

This gave me the opportunity to use one of my favorite things…. My slow cooker! The ability to make meat so wonderfully juicy and tender without having to pay any attention to it will never fail to win me over. I’m a sucker for gadgets and  a sucker for doing anything to minimize the washing up!

This is my favorite version of pulled pork – i’l admit, its more virtuous to make your own marinades/ rubs – but for sake of convenience and being plain lazy, i’l be using these..

Tesco Sticky Barbecue Marinade and Tesco Barbecue Seasoning.

I also used Pepsi

World’s easiest Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

World’s easiest Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

What You Knead Is...

  • BBQ Seasoning
  • Mini Pork Shoulder
  • 300g BBQ Marinade/ Sauce (Use your favorite!)
  • 2 cans of Coke/Pepsi (Not diet)
  • Soft Rolls and Pickles/Coleslaw to serve

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. Put Pork Shoulder in a large bowl, sprinkle BBQ Seasoning and rub in until all the meat is covered, then leave for 3 or 4 hours in the fridge.
  2. Place marinated shoulder in the Slow Cooker then pour in three cans of your coke/Pepsi along with 1/2 bottle of the marinade.
  3. Let it bubble away in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
  4. After this, check shoulder is cooked if it is, then remove the shoulder onto a plate and throw liquid away.
  5. Remove the thick piece of fat from the top of the pork then place shoulder back into the slow cooker, pour in the rest of the bottle of BBQ marinade and then using two forks just shred the meat apart and mix in the marinade.
  6. Leave in the slow cooker on low for about 45 mins and it will look dark and sticky.
  7. Enjoy with soft rolls and pickles!
http://kneading.it/2014/02/worlds-easiest-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

 

Could it be? Millie’s Cookies!

Wow, how happy was i?

This recipe is unbelievable – Sticky gooey and gorgeous. These must be Millie’s Cookies! But there not, i made them and i am still utterly disbelieved at how good they taste! (Well, if i don’t like my own cooking, i certainly wouldn’t post anything that i didn’t truly think was worth posting about!).

I found the original recipe on good old faithful BBC Good Food and i honestly think it has changed my life forever – i will be making these babies for a long time…

Could it be? Millie’s Cookies!

Could it be? Millie’s Cookies!

What You Knead Is...

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g White chocolate chips
  • 100g Dried Cranberries

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
  2. Cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer (if you have one) or spatula until perfectly combined and creamy.,
  3. Add the the egg and vanilla and stir.
  4. Sift in the flour and salt, then the chocolate chips and cranberries, use a spatula to fold ingredients.
  5. Roll into walnut size balls and flatten out with your hand until there the width you like OR roll into 'stumpy sausage' shapes and stand up like a tower - These will give you a smaller but thicker cookie.
  6. Place on baking paper, leave plenty of room for these little rascals to expand. If you want to have the real Millie's experience then bake for 8-10 minutes until golden at the edges.
  7. Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack (they will be gooey and unable to move off the tray before this).
  8. Try to limit yourself - these are addictive!
http://kneading.it/2014/02/could-it-be-millies-cookies/

Cookie Dough

Cookie..Doh!

A perfect gift for your Valentine.

Sausage and Chorizo bake!

Sausage and Chorizo bake!

Sausage and Chorizo bake!

What You Knead Is...

  • A tablespoon on Olive Oil
  • 8 Sausages
  • 2 onions (i used red and white)
  • 2 Peppers (i used red & orange)
  • 1 Courgette
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • Tin of chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Tomato puree
  • Slices of Chorizo (as many as you wish, i used 8!)
  • Beef Stock cube
  • 1 Teaspoon of Oregano
  • Pinch of Paprika
  • Pinch of Chilli
  • Salt & Pepper

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (Fan oven)
  2. Pour olive oil onto the baking sheet and add garlic, onions and sausages. and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, turning everything once half way though.
  4. Add the remaining veg along with tomato puree.
  5. Crumble in the stock cube and add the Oregano and as much Paprika and Chilli as you dare!
  6. Bake everything for another 20 minutes and serve with pasta, cous cous or potatoes!
  7. Enjoy
http://kneading.it/2014/02/sausage-and-chorizo-bake/

Haggis Mania!

Well what a great time was had this weekend. Me and ‘The Boy’ dived into the burns night traditions head first by consuming a whole haggis, some 16 year old Jura Single Malt and watching the epic film that is ‘Braveheart’. I was shocked to learn ‘The Boy’ had never seen Braveheart – whilst in the same sentence admitting he had never seen Gladiator. This had to be rectified immediately..

Mel at his best…

I think he has now seen the error of his ways..

As for the food, we wrapped said haggis in tinfoil, placed in a roasting tray filled with water, and baked at 180 (fan) for 1hr and 15 minutes…

Haggis

Macsween, although other haggis is equally as good

and served with sausages, veg and 16yr old Jura.

Haggis

Get in my belly!

This was also a great opportunity to use the Whisky stones we got for Christmas.

If you haven’t tried Haggis before – please do! It tastes amazing! Spicy and a gorgeous texture – yes, it has offal in it, but it tastes soo good! Honestly – I’m more worried about whats in the sausages!

It is traditionally served with Neeps ‘n’ Tatties and a Whisky sauce. I’m not  particularly a fan of Whisky sauce, i quite like the texture as it is – it certainly wasn’t dry.

So if you didnt give it a go this year, please keep it in mind for next. In the mean time, give my favourite breakfast sandwich a go..

Black Pudding, White Pudding and Bacon – Pretty life changing!

 

White Chocolate Shell Vanilla Cupcakes

Okay, so today i have been busy in the kitchen and thought – what the heck! Lets make the birth of my blog a double whammy!

Here is another yummy recipe – The Chocolate Shells may seem like an effort, but i think the effect they have is worth it and of course, whats wrong with more chocolate????????

Sadly my piping is a bit of a mess, i only had stork (not advisable for piping!) and its too soft for that kind of piping though, but it tastes good and it won’t be wasted – unused buttercream can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks in an airtight container.

I used these Silicone cupcake moulds and Waitrose white chocolate for making my shells.

Hope you enjoy!

White Chocolate Shell Vanilla Cupcakes

White Chocolate Shell Vanilla Cupcakes

What You Knead Is...

  • For the Chocolate Shell:
  • White/Milk/Dark Chocolate
  • A Clean Paintbrush/ Small Pastry Brush
  • For The Cupcakes:
  • 120g Caster Sugar
  • 120g Unsalted Butter
  • 110g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 140g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Food Colouring of your choice

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. To make the Shells:
  2. Melt Chocolate in Microwave. I did this by breaking the chocolate into small pieces and initially microwaving it for 40 seconds, stirring, and then continuing to blast the chocolate at 10 second intervals until smooth.
  3. I then use clean silicone cupcake molds and painted a thin later of chocolate into each of them (around the base and all up the sides).
  4. Once finished i placed the silicone moulds in the freezer for 5 minutes and then painted a second layer in the same way before placing them in the fridge to fully set for at least 1hr.
  5. The chocolate cupcake shells are easy to remove from their case, just gently pull the sides of the mould down and 'pop' them out - try not to handle them too much and place them back in the fridge ASAP.
  6. For the Cupcakes:
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  8. Cream the eggs and sugar together until pale with an electric whisk, add Vanilla extract.
  9. Sieve and fold in the flour and Baking Powder gently so as to not beat all the air out. When fully combined transfer to the Silicone cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool before decorating.
  11. For the Buttercream:
  12. Beat butter and icing sugar together until smooth mix in the Extract.
  13. Add small amounts of the food coloring until you get the right consistancy (i use a toothpick and add by small drops at a time).
  14. Decorate as you wish! I used a star nozzle for my piping and finished with pink edible glitter.
  15. Place into White Chocolate shells.
  16. Admire and Devour unashamedly!
http://kneading.it/2014/01/white-chocolate-shell-vanilla-cupcakes/

P1010890

P1010888

 

Icing a Cupcake

And so it Begins… White Chocolate Tray Bake

Welcome to my first recipe post!

I thought i would begin with a recipe sweet and indulgent, but yet so simple to make! Perfect for when you get uncontrollable cake cravings (I can’t be the only one who gets those.. Right?)

I hope you enjoy making it as much as i did and please, go crazy with the decorations – more is sometimes… MORE!

Easy White Chocolate Tray Bake.

Easy White Chocolate Tray Bake.

This recipe came about as i was trying to design a Blondie recipe. The cake is light and not as sweet/rich/ gooey as your average Blondie/ Brownie.

What You Knead Is...

  • 100g of White Chocolate
  • 82g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 33g Plain Flour

What You Wanna Do Is...

  1. Firstly, heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a inch baking tin with grease-proof paper.
  2. Melt butter and White Chocolate together. I used my 800 watt microwave by heating it for 40 seconds, stirring and then in 10 second bursts until smooth. (Do not worry if it looks curdled at this stage). Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy for about 1 minute with an electric mixer, it will look frothy and will take 2 or 3 minutes more if you are using a hand whisking, depending on your technique.
  4. Fold the melted chocolate mixture in with the egg mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Sieve in Flour and mix until combined.
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 20 minutes, check after 15 minutes as the top will go golden quickly!
  7. When baked, cut into squares and enjoy as it is or decorate as you wish. I drizzled mine with White Chocolate and decorated with pink and white sugar stars, 100's & 1000's and Pink Edible Glitter
http://kneading.it/2014/01/and-so-it-begins-white-chocolate-tray-bake/