Baking · Cooking and Recipes

Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids

Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids

Source: pexels.com – Nicole Michalou

Baking is a splendid way to spend a calm but fun afternoon at home. If you have kids, these baking recipes are a terrific way to bring your little helpers into the kitchen. Allow the children to lick the spatula while mixing the batter or decorate a batch with colourful sprinkles and icing.

Although the procedure will be untidy, the result will be fantastic. Do not halt yourself in baking and try these simple and quick baking recipes that leave no room for mistakes!

Continue reading “Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids”
Cooking and Recipes

Cooking for a Veggie in a House of Meat Eaters

Anyone who knows Sausage will know what a sweet, kind kid she is. She’s always had a huge love of animals and in recent months, it’s been weighing heavily on her when she eats meat. A couple of weeks ago, she decided that enough was enough, and that she’d eaten meat for the last time. Husband and I were more than happy to accommodate her, but that’s meant finding meals that we can either all eat together, or adapt so that one portion can be veggie. I thought we’d share with you one of our ideas:

Mushroom Steaks

Husband and I are both partial to a steak and we didn’t want Sausage to feel totally left out if we indulged in something so meaty. This is where Schwartz Pepper and Garlic Steak Seasoning came in! By seasoning a large Portobello mushroom and sauteeing it, we managed to make something that’s totally veggie and a really decent, protein-rich substitute for Sausage. We served it with the same sides as our steaks and she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Vegan Mushroom Steak

Veggie Roast

When you have a roast dinner, as long as you use a gravy which is suitable for veggies, the only part that you have to leave out is the meat. We’ve started making a roast, with plenty of veg, a lovely stuffing and loads of roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings, but just leaving out the meat, and not just for Sausage but the whole family. A roast is SO much quicker to cook when you don’t have to cook any meat, it’s cheaper and probably healthier, too.

Fajitas

Another meal that we’re all eating together, sans meat, is fajitas. Providing you chuck in some nice, meaty mushroom when you’re cooking your onions and peppers, you still end up with a gorgeously flavourful, filling fajita and once you’ve loaded them with guacamole and sour cream, you can barely tell the difference. The guacamole is made from avocados that contain essential fats, which are great for your health, too. We even add some of the Schwartz Steak Seasoning to the pan when we’re cooking the veg, for a richer flavour.

Click on the link to get your hands on some Schwartz Pepper and Garlic Steak Seasoning.

Cooking and Recipes · Food

Tips For Deep-Fat Frying Food

Photo by Pixzolo Photography on Unsplash

In today’s health-conscious environment, deep-fried foods often take a backseat to lower-calorie options. Every so often, however, it is fun to live a little and enjoy some of these delicious foods. As long as you are indulging in a deep-fried treat, you may as well ensure that it tastes perfect. These tips for deep-fat frying will help you get excellent results every time.

Interestingly, deep fat frying falls under the category of dry heat cooking. Even though you use oil, the cooking process doesn’t require water like simmering or poaching, which is why it is considered dry heat.

The tips below will help keep you safe while at the same time allowing you to get delicious results.

One of the keys to successfully deep-frying food is to choose the right oil. Ideally, the oil that you choose should have a high smoke point so that it won’t deteriorate when it reaches the high temperatures required for deep frying. The best oils are sunflower, peanut, canola, or safflower oil.

Your choice of skillet is also important. A deep, heavy-duty skillet is best. Put oil in the bottom of the pan, leaving at least a couple of inches of space at the top. This is important from a safety standpoint. If the pan is too full, the oil could easily bubble over after adding the food. This is why a purpose made deep fat fryer is a better idea. If you want to know more about what to look for then use this detailed guide to choose the best deep fat fryers.

Thoroughly dry the food you are frying before putting it in the pan. You can either set it out on paper towels to allow any moisture to evaporate or you can cover it with a dry coating of bread crumbs or flour. Make sure the coating on the food is dry, as well, by allowing it to sit for about 20 minutes before putting it in the oil.

Once the food is prepared, you can heat the oil. A medium-high heat setting is best. Ideally, you should use a thermometer that is designed for deep-fat frying. The oil temperature should be between 350 and 370°F. You can estimate the temperature of the oil even if you don’t have a thermometer available by cutting a 1-inch piece of bread and putting it in the oil. Time how long it takes for the bread to brown. If it takes approximately a minute, that means that the oil is about 365°F.

Avoid putting too much food in the pan. Make sure there is plenty of space around each item that is cooking. This will give you more even results. If you pile too much food into the pan, it will lower the temperature of the oil. Then, instead of getting crisp, the food will soak up the oil.

Keep a close eye on the pan while the food is cooking. If necessary, adjust the temperature so that the oil stays between 350 and 375°F. As soon as the food is browned, it is ready to take out of the pan. Use a slotted spoon to remove it so that any excess oil will drain. Make sure the spoon has a long handle. Set the finished food on a paper towel to soak up any leftover oil.

If you have more frying to do, try putting the finished food in the oven at a temperature of about 200°F. This will keep it from cooling off while you finish the rest.

From a safety standpoint, the most important thing to remember is that you can’t mix oil and water. Never place water in hot oil. Adding water to the mixture will lead to an explosion. If the oil starts smoking or if the pan catches on fire, place a lid or cookie sheet over it to douse the fire. Sprinkling baking soda on grease fires may also help. Just use caution so that you don’t cause the flames to spread.

Ideally, you should have a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it so that you can respond quickly in an emergency.

Cooking oil should not be reused despite what some people say. Even if you strain it, the oil has already been partially broken down by exposure to heat. This causes trans fats and other unhealthy compounds to form. The best option is to allow the oil to thoroughly cool and then to throw it away

Cooking and Recipes · Food

Recipe – Herby Lamb Steaks #MeatMatters

Herby Lamb Steaks*This post is an entry for the #MeatMatters Challenge, sponsored by Simply Beef and Lamb. Learn more about the benefits of cooking and eating beef and lamb along with recipe ideas and inspiration here: https://www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/*

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a meat-lover. Steak is one of my favourite meals and my mother-in-law’s lamb stew is basically my all-time best comfort food. Lamb is something I love to cook and eat but I do tend to favour the ‘low and slow’ method of cooking, which means that dinners around lamb usually have to be carefully planned and executed.

So when BritMums and Simply Beef and Lamb challenged me to come up with a recipe for beef or lamb which could be cooked in under 30 minutes, I thought this would be a great opportunity to make something quick and easy with lamb. Lamb is such a great meat for the family to enjoy; it’s packed with protein and provides four essential vitamins and minerals which help reduce tiredness and fatigue.

I wanted to pair our lamb with ingredients which were both seasonal and packed a nutrition-punch, so here’s what I made:

Herby Lamb Steaks with Spring Greens and New Potatoes

Recipe – Herby Lamb Steaks #MeatMatters
Recipe Type: Lamb
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A tasty way to enjoy lamb in under thirty minutes.
Ingredients
  • Lamb steaks (we allowed two per adult and one per child)
  • Garlic – five cloves
  • Rosemary – half a cup, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt – one tablespoon
  • Spring greens – Two heads, shredded
  • Olive Oil – one tablespoon
  • Shallots – two, finely chopped
  • Mustard seeds – one tablespoon
  • Apple cider vinegar – two tablespoons
  • New potatoes – 500g
  • Knob of butter to serve
Instructions
  1. Boil a kettle and cover the new potatoes with boiling water on the hob, allowing them to simmer for around 20 minutes.
  2. Crush the garlic cloves and combine with the chopped rosemary and sea salt on a plate
  3. Lay each lamb steak on the herby mix on each side to coat
  4. Place herby lamb steaks under a pre-heated grill on high and cook for around 5 minutes on each side for medium rare (7 minutes on each side for well-done if you don’t like any pink inside your lamb)
  5. While the lamb and potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a pan and gently start to heat the shallots until they’re translucent.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and stir
  7. Add the shredded spring greens to the pan and allow to wilt for five minutes, turning frequently so that the shallots mix in and don’t start to catch
  8. Once the greens have wilted down, add the apple cider vinegar, stirring through quickly before taking off of the heat.
  9. Drain the potatoes and stir the butter through until melted
  10. Serve

I could tell this recipe was going to be a hit as Husband shouted down “dinner smells AMAZING!” while I was cooking, and the girls kept asking for minute-by-minute updates on when it would be ready!

Having a dinner which centred around lamb ready from fridge to plate in under 30 minutes was fantastic and the whole family agreed that it was one of the tastiest meals we’d had in a long time. It was absolutely jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals, so I felt extra happy about feeding it to my family and the fact that it was all made using products which were in season was an even bigger bonus as it meant that the meal was super fresh.

The meat was grilled and only the tiniest amount of oil and butter were used to create the side dishes, making this a really healthy, well-balanced dinner. The girls love lamb steaks because there are no bones to deal with and they were so tender and juicy after being grilled – I think this may even be my new favourite lamb dish.

If you’d like to see the other beef and lamb dishes that people have created for the #MeatMatters challenge, head over to Twitter or Instagram and search for the hashtag.

Cooking and Recipes · Keto

3 Keto Baking Recipes the Family Will Love

Keto Chocolate Cookies
Keto Chocolate Cookies

The key to the keto diet is to get as close to eliminating all carbs as possible. As such, traditional pastas, breads, and baked goods are a no-no. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a sandwich or even indulge in some cookies, but you will need a modified version of these staples. Try out a few new recipes and you will learn which ingredients need to be swapped. No matter what recipes you use, baking will remain enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Check out these three keto baking recipes that will teach you that eating a keto friendly diet doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to delicious baked goods.

Keto Chocolate Chip Lover’s Moist Cookies

The key to a good chocolate chip cookie is combining the perfect amount of chocolate chips with a rich and decadent dough. In order to make this cookie keto diet approved, you have to substitute regular flour for something else. You can use ground flaxseeds, coconut or almond flour, or even psyllium husk. You can’t use regular sugar either so you will have to get a sugar substitute like stevia, monk fruit sweetener or erythritol. Some of these items can be picked up at the grocery store but other items may need to be purchased at a health food store or ordered off the web. The good news is that the baking process is fast and simple, so you will be able to enjoy your Keto Chocolate Chip Lover’s Moist Cookies in just minutes.

To make these cookies you will need the following; 1 cup of standard flour substitute, 1/3 cup butter, ½ cup of sugar substitute, ½ cup sugar free chocolate chips, 1 egg, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, and a sprinkle of salt. First, mix up all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. The butter should then be heated on the stove or in a microwave until it is melted. Next, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the butter has melted, you want to add in the egg and vanilla extract to it. After it is well blended, pour it over the dry ingredients and mix gently. Use a tablespoon to make evenly sized dough balls, then flatten them as you place each one on a cookie sheet. Your cookies will need to bake for 10 to 12 minutes before they are golden brown and moist.

Low Carb Sandwich Bread

Bread can be a major point of contention for those trying to eat a low carb diet of any kind. There are plenty of pre-packaged varieties, but there is nothing like making something delicious from scratch. You might want to make a keto friendly specialty bread like challah that contains cheese and tomatoes so you can make it a meal. Make modifications to existing recipes so that you can enjoy biscuits, flatbreads, and even dinner rolls while on the keto diet plan.

Try KetoLogic’s recipe for keto bread and you will have a recipe that can be used to make bread at any time. This recipe is great for beginners as there aren’t many steps, but the end result is still a flavorful delight. Whip up a batch, slice up the entire loaf, and you will be able to reach for a piece of bread whenever you want – without feeling guilty.

Creamy Keto Sugar Free Cheesecake

If you ever get in the mood for a really decadent dessert while on the keto diet, then you have to try out this next recipe. The really great thing about cheesecake is that it is easy to make because there are not many ingredients in it. You will need to make the crust first, then the filling, but each step is super-fast to execute. Next up, a sugar free keto friendly cheesecake to die for.

Measure approximately 2 cups of flour substitute, ½ cup of melted butter, 4 teaspoons of sugar substitute, and a teaspoon of almond extract, then blend well to make your cheesecake crust. Roll out the dough and then carefully place it on the inside of a pie shell. Press down firmly so that the crust falls into the corners.

To make the filling for your keto-friendly cheesecake you will need; 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (softened), 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. All you have to do is blend all of these ingredients well and then spoon the mixture into the pie shell. Smooth the top of the cheesecake, then bake for approximately 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

It can take effort to find the right ingredients needed to make these delicious keto-friendly recipes, but once you taste them you will be more than happy to put in the work. Enjoy keto bread so that you can make scrumptious sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, and even a slice of cheesecake while still eating smart. These recipes can be addicting so try to enjoy them in moderation.