Blueberry Crumble cakes

feedingmyboyfriend_blueberrycrisp2

I know that It has been a while since I've posted. Work and life has just been so busy I've had very little time to do much of anything. But don't worry, my boyfriend isn't starving to death I promise you!

And what better way to apologize for my lack of posting than a sweet dessert that is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea. It's bursting with fresh blueberries and topped with my of my most favourite things in the whole wide world: crumble!

I had originally intended to make this for a family party but made the mistake of making it the day before in a house where two little siblings lived. The result? It was absolutely demolished within 2 hours.

feedingmyboyfriend_blueberrycrisp

Blueberry crumble cakes

75g (2/3 stick) butter

150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar                    

1 whole egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

250g (2 Cups) all-purpose Flour  

2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

175ml Milk 

300g Fresh Blueberries

 

For the Crumble:

85g (3/4 stick) butter

100g (1/2 cup) Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

64g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon Salt

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. Whisk in the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Once mixed together, add this dry mixture to the first bowl and stir.
  4. Once it starts to mix together, gradually add in the milk stirring continuously. It will become a smooth cake batter consistency.  Once fully incorporated, pour the cake batter into a greased baking dish. 
  5. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cake batter. I used approximately 300g of blueberries but you may require slightly more or less depending on the exact size and shape of your baking dish.  
  6. Now for my favourite part, the crumble! In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the cinnamon, salt and flour and mix together. At this point you may have to rub the mixture between your fingers into a breadcrumb-like consistency. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the batter/blueberry combo making sure to create a variety of crumble sizes! 
  7. Place in the middle rack of the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. This is best served warm with a nice dollop of clotted cream! 
feedingmyboyfriend_blueberrycrisp4
feedingmyboyfriend_blueberrycrisp3

Sushi Burrito

AIMG_2607.jpg

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while! I am in England with family and have been very busy with a full time job! Not to mention the fact that having my mother around has given me less of an incentive to cook! It is no longer about feeding my boyfriend, it is about a mother feeding her daughter!

I thought I would introduce you to a fairly easy recipe and one that makes a delicious light meal (or a heavy meal depending on how many you have!). Sushi is a fairly healthy snack and one that I make myself when I really cannot be bothered to spend ages in the kitchen. You can vary the ingredients and put whatever you like inside!

I personally am a huge fan of salmon - I could literally eat this fish every single day of my life! Recently, my sister asked me the question, if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life and never eat anything else ever again, what would I eat? I picked sushi, i love it that much!

Depending on where you buy your fish you can in some cases eat the fish raw. I would only recommend this however if the fish is super fresh and/or it states that it is sushi grade fish on the package! I would recommend trying your local fish monger/fish market over a supermarket. Most fish in supermarkets is frozen and thawed at least once before it is put on the shelf and sold as fresh. 

I personally like to sear a fillet of fresh salmon with a bit of salt and serve it rare. I also don't add any oil to salmon when I cook it as the fish has a lot of natural oils in it. 

Bear in mind that you can be as creative as you want for your sushi. A few common sushi ingredients you may want to use:

  • cucumbers, lettuce, daikon radish, asparagus, pickled ginger, carrots, avocados, cream cheese, mayo, spicy mayo (4 parts mayo, 1 part chill paste), sweet rice wine,  tuna,  salmon, crabmeat, shrimp, lobster, eel, halibut, swordfish, mackerel, trout, sea bass etc.

There are also several ways to wrap your sushi. I often wrap mine like a hand roll but burrito style.  I find wrapping it burrito style instead of the traditional Temaki hand roll method means I can put a lot more ingredients inside...because I am greedy.

Here is a page that explains different wrapping methods!

Salmon Sushi (1 serving)

  • 1 sheet Yaki Nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup (a handful) cooked Japanese style rice 
  • Fresh fish such as salmon
  • Vegetables - In this example I used 2-3 pieces of asparagus and lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar (optional)
  • Serve with a dash of sauce such as mayo and soy sauce
  1. Cook the rice as per the package instructions and mix in a small amount of rice vinegar in it.
  2. Slice your fish into thinner longer pieces. If searing your fish, I would do this first. You will need to cut it much thinner if making it Makisushi (rolled sushi) style. 
  3. One of the benefits of making a hand roll is that you don't need a sushi mat and it is very easy to make at home. Ensure that the nori is shiny side down and spread a thin layer of rice along one side of the nori. Top with desired ingredients and roll into a cone shape. Yes, it is that easy. 

If you are like me and just want to put as much in there as possible you may want to make a sushi burrito! You can do so by piling the ingredients in the middle of the nori diagonally. Close one end by folding a corner over your ingredients and then bringing each side in towards the middle. If you need to make the nori stick, just wet it slightly with your fingers and that should do the trick!

If making a traditional Sushi roll, place the nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat, spread a thin layer of rice on the sheet of nori. Arrange your ingredients in the centre of the rice. Roll the nori from one end to the other using the mat to guide you and pressing gently as you do so. Cut the roll using a slightly damp sharp knife. Using a dry knife will make cause too much friction and the roll will not cut as easily. A wet knife however will literally slice that sushi like butter!

AIMG_2553.jpg
AIMG_2575.jpg
AIMG_2588.jpg
AIMG_2612.jpg

Spaghetti Bolognese

IMG_6648.jpg

In the last week, Brian and I caught a cold and have been feeling pretty poorly. In addition to this, Brian refused to eat anything I made that contains dairy saying that it would just aggravate his cold.

In fact, earlier in the week, I made chicken pie...it went to waste once he found out I had put milk in it. In fact the only dairy filled dish he did not refuse was pumpkin pie. Typical.

Given that we can't all live off pumpkin pie everyday, I knew that I needed to make something equally delicious that would distract the stomach of my half Italian just enough so that that pumpkin pie would at least be number two on the list of priorities. I needed to make some good ol' Italian comfort food!

Looking around on the Internet, I found a recipe for spaghetti on food.com that called itself 'World Famous'. When something calls itself World Famous it must be pretty good...And you know what? It wasn't wrong. The Italian sausages are a great addition and really add to the flavour. I followed some tips and adapted this recipe to include half minced beef and half Italian sausages. I also skipped out on adding water and added bay leaves because I don't want my meat to feel naked. 

Please note that the recipe below will make quite a lot of bolognese. It produced about 10 decent sized portions. You can freeze the bolognese to eat another day and it will be just as delicious as the first day you made it. Otherwise, you could just keep it in the fridge and eat bolognese for lunch and dinner 2-3 days in a row...which is what we did! Just make sure to cook the spaghetti fresh each time. 

IMG_6703.jpg

Recipe adapted from food.com:

Spaghetti Bolognese (approximately 10 servings)

  • 1 lb. (400g) uncooked spicy Italian sausage, casings removed 
  • 1 lb. (400g) ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 tsps. basil
  • 2 tsps. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsps. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine 
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Desired amount of spaghetti for one sitting (approximately 400g for 3-4 servings or 1 lb. for approximately 10 servings)
  • Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Oil for cooking
  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large pot. After you have removed the casings from the sausages, break up the sausage meat and add it to the pot along with the minced beef. Brown the meat.
  2. Add the onions and continue to cool until they become translucent. 
  3. Stir in your tins of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add the basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Drop in the bay leaves. 
  4. After that has come to a gentle simmer, add the wine and stir well.  Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on top and leave for about an hour and a half. Check every 15 minutes giving it a stir, making sure the spaghetti isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan too much. The longer you cook it the better it will be. 
  5. When the sauce is nearly ready it will get deeper in colour and richer in taste. Towards the end, add a sprinkle of parmesan and any other seasonings to taste. 
  6. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti as per the package instructions and once ready, drain and serve on a plate. Top with the bolognese sauce and a little extra parmesan. 
  7. Excuse the fact the pictures don't have parmesan. I added it after taking the pictures!
IMG_6669z.jpg