New House = New Kit

I moved house recently…(2 weeks ago) and although I love my new kitchen, my oven leaves a lot to be desired 😦 It’s tiny (only 2 shelves) and the grill is built in. I seem to be cooking everything on 250 degrees and the hot plate is one of those ceramic jobbies that takes ages to heat up…then ages to cool down *sighs*

Oh well, I’m not too upset, because I have a new best friend 😉

My Tefal Actifry! 🙂

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A friend recommended it to me but I thought it was just a deep fat fryer…but you can do loads in it! Stir fry’s, curry, risotto, granola or meatballs. I am well impressed, can you tell? Lol…..the oven is a right pain (don’t know how I’m going to cook Christmas dinner) but my new toy goes someway to softening the blow 🙂

Since moving I’ve had to come up with a system, a calendar where the kids can write down if they’re in for dinner or not. It saves me buying too much and cooking meals that don’t get eaten. It’s working well so far, although a pattern is emerging… Mondays is Pizza night (the Asda create your own ones) and Fridays it’s a Chinese takeaway. Monday to Thursdays I do the cooking, at weekends it’s a joint effort between me and The Hubster. It’s working well…so far 😉

But I’m desperate to bake cake, I just hope the ovens up to the job! 😦

Chorley or Eccles? The Taste Off

I’m a fan, and avid watcher of The Great British Bake Off and last week contestant Christine baked Eccles Cakes.

I haven’t had an Eccles Cake for years! So when I was shopping yesterday in M & S I picked up a pack. But hold on? What’s that? Chorley Cakes? Never heard of them, but they look very similar.

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Ok, well the one on the left as you look at the picture is an Eccles Cake and the one on the right, a Chorley Cake. Both pastry, both filled with currents. The difference is that the Eccles is a puff pastry, whereas the Chorley is more like short crust.

Well, I ate all of the Eccles Cake, and only took 2 bites of the Chorley…the rest went in the bin lol.

Oh well, looks like I’ll be sticking to Eccles 🙂

Anyone For Cheesecake?

I’ve been a bit hermit like this week. Not had any energy, and felt really lethargic. I know why…I gave up smoking on Monday, so I’m not really feeling myself. Even cake hasn’t interested me.

So this morning I decided to pull my finger out and do some cooking. I turned to Nigel Slater’s “Eat” book and we had Sausages, Mash and Tomato Gravy, real comfort food. Now, I’ve been cooking “Bangers & Mash” for years, but I’ve never put tomatoes in the roasting tin with the sausages. What a revelation!

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Dessert was Banana Cheesecake, although, I have to admit, I tinkered with Nige’s recipe (I’m sure he’ll understand) Instead of 600g of cream cheese, I did 400g and them 200g of Mascarpone (I was feeling indulgent lol). And as I’m not keen on bananas I went for raspberries.

But…OMFG it was LOVELY!

Thanks Nige, just what I needed to cheer me up 🙂

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A Midsummers Night In September?

Went up to London today to see A Midsummer Nights Dream and had lunch in Laduree.

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Of course, there was time to go into Foyles 😉

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