baking · comfort food · cooking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Just a Sunday

Today was the first restful day I’ve had in weeks so I thought I would do some baking. It gets awful quiet here on Sundays as Mark tends to work on that day almost every week. I watched Northanger Abbey whilst I did my housework so at least I had some company, even if from fictional characters.

I decided on making a cobbler but all I had in the freezer was a mix of fruits (peaches, strawberries, mango and pineapple) and decided to use those – I suppose it makes a sort of tropical cobbler. I also made a quick batch of custard (using Bird’s custard powder) for serving.

I also made a big quiche for our dinner tonight and lunches for the week. I often use a “press-in pan” pastry for quiches as it is quick and always turns out flaky and rich.

This quiche was a caramelized onion, double smoked bacon, and cheddar quiche. I used one onion, one thick rasher of bacon, and a few grates of cheese before pouring over the egg mixture. It is kept simple but I find it cooks best that way. And always turns out nice.

I also finished the tea cosy I was making today. I am very proud of myself for getting the hang of knitting and the tea cosy itself didn’t turn out too bad. It is a nice skill to have and to build on.

Other than knitting, I have been doing some free hand embroidery as practice before starting on bigger projects. I am not very good yet but better than I thought I would be. It is just nice to be creative and is better than surfing the internet aimlessly as I had started to do. Mark’s mom also lent me puzzles to do and Mark and I have been making them together. I am basically an 80 year old in a 27 year old’s body, but alas – it could be much worse!

I hope you all had a great Sunday. We are now just finishing up our dinner and my husband is happy with a full belly. Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · Chocolate · comfort food · Recipes · Uncategorized

Baking up a storm – Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Good afternoon everyone:

It has been a stormy day in Nova Scotia, with school closures and delays. Rather than making my way through half snow plowed streets I decided to stay home, get school work done and do a spot of baking.

We didn’t have much in the way of baking supplies in the house but we did have all the ingredients for Nigella’s lovely (and quite large) chocolate chip cookies and I thought I would share them with you.

Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (cold from the fridge)
  • 300g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 326g chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and lime a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter and beat together with both sugars (I just used very soft butter instead of melting it)
  • Beat in the vanilla and eggs until creamy.
  • Mix together the flour and baking soda and gradually mix the flour with the wet mixture
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Scoop out the cookie dough using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure and press the dough a bit. This will make approximately two batches of 8 cookies (unless a Cookie Monster lives at your house…)
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, let cool on baking dish for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.
  • Eat!

I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · comfort food · cooking · Recipes

Easy Chicken & Biscuits

Hello everyone:

I have a simple, budget friendly recipe for you all today.  Chicken and biscuits are such a comfort food and a great meal to whip together when you have leftover chicken in the fridge.  And if you have a enamelled pot, it goes from the stovetop to the oven – and everyone loves less washing up.  This is a recipe I just threw together, but it turned out so delicious I wanted to share it with everyone.  Of course it can be made bigger by doubling the recipe but I try not to make such big meals as it is only just us two at home at Fenton house.

For a vegetarian option, use a can of chickpeas instead of chicken and a nice vegetable broth, it works just as well.

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Chicken & Biscuits (for 4-6 people)

Ingredients

For the chicken mixture:
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped (optional but adds a lot of flavour to the base)
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper
mixed herbs, such as herbes de provence

For the biscuit mixture*:
1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1/3 cup of milk plus a few tbsp if needed

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 375F.
  • Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and celery and sprinkle with salt and the bay leaf.  Allow vegetables to sweat and soften.
  • Once the vegetables are softened, remove the bay leaf, and add the flour to the vegetables and mix well.  Gradually add broth and whisk.  Bring the vegetable mixture to a simmer to thicken.
  • Stir in shredded chicken, peas, and corn.  Season with salt and pepper and herbs.  Take off the heat.

Next, to make the biscuits.

  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together well.
  • Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or knives until it forms fine crumbs.
  • Gradually stir in the milk until mixture makes a dough – try not to over mix the dough.
  • Turn the dough out on a floured surface and press it down to form a circle.  Cut into 6 triangles or cut out into circles and place on top of the chicken mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, let set for 5 minutes and enjoy.

I hope you do try this recipe.  I look forward to hearing your comments!

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

*biscuit recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

baking · Uncategorized

The best white loaf

My favourite bread recipe!

bread

Ingredients

500g flour
1 sachet fast-action yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
300ml warmish water

Method

Mix the flour, yeast and salt. Add the olive oil and gradually stir in the tepid water, adding only enough to make a soft dough. Knead using your hands on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and bounces back.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Oil a large loaf tin (I always use butter to grease for bread, but olive oil is ok too).  Knock back the dough and form into a log and place into tin.  Cover the tin with a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled in size once again.

Heat oven to 220C/425F.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Place on cooling sheet and brush with butter.

(recipe from bbcgoodfood.com)

Jacqueline