15 Nov 2012

Jo & William's London Trip

A basket of all we did that week
 So normally we are many miles apart. But last month we had a whole week together when you and William visited me in London.
Jo & William walking by the canal
It was a lovely time, and we did so much! Muffin baking, jam making, walking, market scouring, stitching and making woolly necklaces!
William exploring my books

Me & William walking along the canal
 I miss you both, it was great to be able to spend time with the little one.
Damson Jam we made from fruit collected in the park

A t-shirt for William that Jo worked on in spare moments

William using a spoon!
 Hope to visit you in return, soon!


9 Nov 2012

Slow Cooker Part I

So Jo-Bags; now we have the same slow cooker we can experiment and tell each other our tips. I thought I'd start off here:

Tried & Tested

These following recipes are tried & tested by me. And as we have the same cooker they should turn out great for you too!

Baked Mushrooms with Ricotta & Pesto

5 or 6 large flat mushrooms
olive oil
250g tub of ricotta
3 tbsp pesto
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
25g grated parmesan (or cheddar)
fresh parsley (if you have any)

> brush inside of slow cooker with oil
> put in mushrooms, stalks up
> mix ricotta with pesto & garlic and spoon into mushrooms (pile it quite high)
> sprinkle cheese over and drizzle some oil on top
> cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours (some cook books say 8-9 hours but ours is quite a hot one i've noticed so really it won't need 8 hours! that goes for most recipes i've seen, take a few hours off the cooking time at least)
> serve with parsley, & good with a risotto rice on the side

Creamy Rice Pudding with Cinnamon Sugar 

I think this is the recipe I used before, but cannot be sure. I know I used full fat milk. I'll try it again soon and let you know.

25g butter
1 litre full fat milk
100g pudding rice
50g cinnamon sugar
handful of sultanas
pinch of nutmeg

> grease inside of slow cooker
> place all ingredients in slow cooker & dot with remaining butter
> cover and cook on low for 4.5/5 hours, stirring once or twice in last few hours
> sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar to serve

Not tried yet, but sound great

These recipes are ones I've got in books or off the internet and not tried yet. If & when either of us try them we should post any amendments we would make to make the recipe better.

Better Than Baked Beans

2 onions (thinly sliced)
2tsp oil
4 rashers of streaky bacon (cut into largish chunks)
2tsp sugar (brown)
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
200ml stock
2 x 410g cans of cannellini, butter or haricot beans (drained & rinsed)

> fry off onions & bacon in frying pan together, until soft
> stir in sugar, tomatoes, stock & seasoning, then simmer in frying pan for 5 mins
> tip all into slow cooker and stir in the beans
> cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (it originally said 9-10 or overnight so 6-7 is my guess)

Light Fruit Cake

2 eggs
130g butter
225g brown sugar
150g self raising
150g wholemeal
pinch of salt
1tsp mixed spice
450g mixed dried fruit
deep 18cm tin (or one that fits your slow cooker)

> line cake tin; place an unturned saucer or metal pastry cutter in bottom of slow cooker; then pour in hot water to 1 inch deep and switch on cooker to medium/high
> crack eggs into mixing bowl, add butter & sugar. sift flours over and stir all together
> add mixed fruit and mix into mixture
> spoon into prepared cake tin and level ; cover with a piece of buttered foil
> put tin into slow cooker and pour enough boiling water to come just over halfway up the sides of the tin
> cover and cook for 4-5 hours