Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Prepped – The rice pudding test

As you know we love food in The Mad House, but I especially love home cooked food and when the gorgeous and extremely talented Vanessa Kimbell put a shout out on twitter for recipe testers for her new, exciting and innovative cook book Prepped, so I put up my hand like I did back when I was in school and opted for the rice pudding.

  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 50g Vanilla Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g butter
  • 150g Arborio rice
1 Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
2 Put all the above ingredients into an ovenproof casserole dish, stir well and pop it into the oven for 2 hours in total. After 30 minutes, open the oven door and stir it all again.
3 When it’s time for the pudding to come out, it’s not always set as firmly as you would like, so you must leave it for a good hour. It will carry on absorbing the liquid and thicken up more.

Just look at it, it was divine.  Now you may now know this, but MadDad is a rice pudding expert having grown up on a dairy farm and he gave this a real thumbs up.

A real comfort food and I we loved it.  I can not wait until the book is out to try out more of Vanessa’s recipes.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

January Bake it, Savory Scones

Amy baked sun dried tomato scones this month and I am a glutton for any type of scone, savory or sweet, so decided to give it a go, along with MiniMad

The recipe is over on Amy's Blog, Cooking, Cakes and Children, however, I did alter it slightly to add an egg and to also add fresh rosemary, in addition to jarred tomatoes.

Ingredients (makes 8 )
30g sundried tomatoes (chopped)
50g mature cheddar (grated)
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 spring of fresh rosemary finely chopped
1 large egg (beaten)
130ml milk

The result was a yummy scone that was delicious and so easy and simple to make.  These would be a really lovely addition to an afternoon tea.


Mini ticked the butter and flour together, which is a great way of explaining to little ones the method of rubbing in.  Then we added all the other ingredients and mixed it together.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Batch Cooking - Lasagna

One of the ways that I save money and also ensure that we have a home cooked meal every night is the fact that I bulk cook and freeze a portion.

lasagna is one of those meals that I find freezes easily and always go down a treat in The Mad House.


Bolognese sauce

2 packets of pasata
3 peppers (diced)
3 onions (diced)
Carrots (diced)
Garlic (as much as you like)
Mixed herbs

I make my bolognese in the slow cooker as it saves time and it is delicious.  I am a bung it all in girl and tend not to brown the meat separately, I just add it first to a pre warmed crock pot and leave it 15 mins before adding the rest.

White Sauce

I have to admit I never measure or weigh when making white sauce, but the basics are equal butter to flour
45g butter
45g plain flour
450ml of milk

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour and stir.  Then add the milk and whisk.  I have a plastic whisk which I use in pans to make sure I do not scrape them.  Keep stirring until the sauce has thickened when it starts to boil.

To the white sauce I add cheese (whatever I have and some mustard)

Dried lasagna sheets (I never soak the sheets)

I make sure that I line one of the dishes with silver foil, so once I have started to cook the lasagna and it has cooled, I can take it out of the dish and freeze it

Layer up your sauces, one bolognese, then pasta, followed by a white sauce, then pasta to the level you want and then top with some grated cheese and herbs.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees until golden brown on top nad bubbling.

Wait until the one with silver foil has cooled before covering and popping in the freezer, when frozen remove from the dish and wrap with cling film or put in a freezer bag.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Warm Chilli, Lime Tomatoes....

I found a new program for typing recipes up but I'm really not sure if I like it....  Any feedback would be brilliant.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Cake in a Cup....

I originally posted this here, but as we've just made it for tea tonight I thought I'd share it on here aswell....

This is not just any cake in a mug – it’s a five minute chocolate cake in a mug and if I'm honest it's not the best chocolate cake we’ve ever made but it’s definitely the quickest and most fun to make that we've ever attempted.  

4 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp butter or margarine
A few drops of vanilla essence
Mix together the flour, sugar and cocoa and add everything else - told you it was easy!
When you’re done, pour the mixture into a large mug, and microwave for about three minutes. 
Don’t panic if it looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa over the top of your mug, all three of ours did but none of them actually toppled and within about 10 seconds of the cake coming out of the microwave it will sink.
One went from this:
To this:
The kids loved making cake in a cup and as it it quick and easy to make we make it quite often.  It's lovely with a scoop of ice cream in the mug as well when you serve it.
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