Chinese Won Tons

Are you bored of seeing diet recipes all throughout January? Yes me too. There is no reason why healthy food can’t be fun and exciting to cook and eat.

If you have some spare time, why not try making some Chinese won tons? If you are having friends over, they will love it! Also, they are surprisingly easy to make so don’t worry.

You will need to buy some Chinese won ton wrappers from a good supermarket, a Chinese supermarket or online. I filled mine with pork mince but you can fill them with anything you want. Here’s what I did.

First of all you have to flavour your pork mince. Remember there is no strict recipe and you can add any flavours you want. To my pork mince, I added chopped garlic, ginger and chilli,  spring onions, sesame oil, chopped carrots, salt and pepper. Simple!

Then add a small amount of pork mince to the middle of the won ton wrapper, dip your finger in water and spread on the edges of the wrapper. Next, fold one corner to the other (diagonally) and then join the bottom two corners together and press firmly.

Now your won tons are ready to cook. You can steam them or fry them, but I did both! So I got a large pan with a lid on a medium heat and added some sesame oil. I placed the won tons in the pan and let the bottoms fry for a minute or two.

Once the bottom is crispy, add a large splash of water to the pan (be careful here) and then quickly put the lid on. This steams the rest on the won ton and you will be left with a crispy bottom and a soft top. Delicious!

Serve with a soy sauce dip and some vegetables. Its absolutely gorgeous, you have to try this! Go on…

chinese-dumplings-2

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Winter warming apple crumble :)

I’m not sure about you but I am definitely feeling the cold! Dark mornings and frosty streets tells me that winter is upon us. I don’t mind the winter, as long as I am wrapped up at home with a blanket and a good book 😉

Something else I like during this cold season is a warm comforting dessert on a Sunday evening. Dessert after Sunday dinner is good for the soul, that’s what I think anyway.

Why not try a really simple dessert of apple crumble? Its something that can be whipped up in no time, or something that is good to get the kids involved with. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really use a recipe for this apple crumble because I only wanted to make enough for 3 people.

So all I did was chop up 3 small apples (with the skin left on) and put them in a pan with a knob of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and ginger powder. Put the pan on a low heat and stew the apples for a few minutes, not too long though or you will have apple mush. You can add any flavour you want to your fruit, so be creative! I added raisins to mine (doesn’t sound very creative but it tasted lovely). Place the apples in a oven proof dish and place aside.

Then all you need to do is make the crumble mix. You can find lots of recipes online or use equal quantities of flour, sugar and oats, and half the amount of butter. For example, I used 40g of flour, sugar and oats and 20g of butter. Rub all the ingredients together until you have a breadcrumb like consistency and scatter over the fruit mixture. And there you have it! Place the crumble in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Serve with either custard or vanilla ice cream. Ooh its yummy! What other combinations do you like?

Thanks for reading 🙂 Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk 

Sausage and egg McMuffin breakfast

On a lazy bank holiday Monday, why not try and make your own McDonalds breakfast? It’s probably healthier (kind of), cheaper and at least you know what you are eating! I’ll admit, I have had a cheeky McDonalds breakfast before and as tasty as it is, you always feel a bit guilty and sluggish afterwards.

Making your own sausage and egg McMuffin couldn’t be easier and it tastes exactly the same. All you need is english muffins, good quality sausages, eggs and cheese. This is how I made mine.

You can either buy sausage meat or buy normal sausages and push the meat out of the skin. Shape them into thin and wide patties (they shrink when cooking) and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook. All you have to do is fry off the sausage patty in a pan with very little oil, turn it over and place slices of cheese on top to melt. I used cheddar cheese but you can use what you like.

Then for the egg, I used a ring to keep the shape of the egg round, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have one. You could also use a really small egg frying pan. It just makes it easier to eat. Toast your muffin and that is it! Assemble, dollop some ketchup on the side and there you have your own cheeky breakfast. It is delicious and a little bit naughty, but what’s life without a little treat? Go on…you know you want to try it. The shops should be open right now right? 😉

Thanks for reading. Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

 

Baba Ganoush and Flatbread

Baba Ganoush! Have you ever tried it? I think I just made it because I like to say it…Baba Ganoooooush. Go on say it with me, I can hear you trying to pronounce it.

Baba Ganoush is a mezze or dip that is made from roasted aubergines and it widely eaten in Lebanese cuisines. Now I know what you are thinking, it is not the most attractive looking dish, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up in flavour.

It is very easily made and you can whip it up in no time. Just roast an aubergine in the oven until dark and soft (don’t forget to prick the aubergine with a fork before roasting, otherwise it will explode and you will end up wearing it) and leave to cool afterwards. Then scoop out the flesh and roughly chop it up. After this, simply add 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste), 1 fresh garlic clove (minced), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can spice it up a bit with some cumin seeds if you want that extra flavour and it’s done!

It’s a great dip that can be eaten with flatbread, pitta bread, or veggies. Yes it is slightly unusual and people might frown at it, but my husband is known for loathing aubergines, and he happily lapped this up. I think the freshly baked bread helped though.

I made a flatbread called ‘Maneesh’ from Paul Hollywood’s recipes (click here for the recipe) and it is so delicious. Easy to make and soft and airy.

So next time you have some people over, why not give it a try? Thanks for reading!

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Garlic, Rosemary and Chilli Sausage Rolls :)

Have you ever tried making your own sausage rolls? They are so easy and a lot tastier than some of those ready made ones you find in the supermarkets. Making your own means you can add whatever flavour you want and you know what goes into them. No hidden nasty ingredients!

All you need is some lean pork mince (I bought the kind with very little fat) and some ready rolled puff pastry. Flavour the mince with whatever you have! I added fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and chilli and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. But you can add the classic combination of sage and onion, or some smoked paprika or fennel seeds. Get creative!

Cut the pastry into long strips (about 3 inches wide), place the pork mince in a long sausage shape in the middle and brush the edges with a beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the mince and seal with a fork. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Lastly, cut them into edible sizes and you are ready to bake! Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

They are so tasty and much better than those bland supermarket sausage rolls. Great for parties, picnics and more. The only problem is trying to not eat them all! Go on…give it a try. Yum.

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Sausage Rolls

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

I went to Brixton yesterday and found myself in a small converted shipping container called ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’. A tiny restaurant with a big personality! Brixton is full of great pop up places to eat, from jerk chicken to fresh ramen, you are spoilt for choice.

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is run by, guess who…Zoe! She cooks the most amazing Ghanian food like I have never tasted before. I tried the most succulent lamb chops marinated in a number of spices and served with a peanut sauce. Next, traditional fried chicken – Ghana style! The chicken was the crispiest chicken I have ever had with a wonderful blend of spices, including nutmeg. Delicious!

If this hadn’t filled me up already, I tried some plantain chips. Soft, sweet and flavourful served with some beans. A local ingredient that I’ve tried before, plantain can be baked, fried or made into chips. Its so yummy and very comforting. Lastly, Zoe made some Yam balls, she mashed the yams and mixed them with garlic and spices and then deep fried them. All served hot with a spicy dip and salsa.

I love this place, it is quirky, stylish and very welcoming.  I can honestly say I will go back there for some more traditional home cooked food, or better yet I might go to Ghana! But I think a trip to Brixton might be cheaper.

Check it out! http://zoesghanakitchen.co.uk/restaurant/

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Classic Victoria Sponge? Yes please.

I know I know, its January and we are all supposed to be super healthy, but life is too short. And what am I supposed to do when I have extra double cream in the fridge? I can’t let it go to waste. That would be wrong.

There is something very satisfying about a Victoria sponge. Two layers of light and fluffy sponge baked freshly at home, brought together with a layer of jam and cream. Mmm. I used Mary Berry’s recipe for this cake and it works like a dream.

Although after baking this cake a few times, I have picked up a few tricks that have really helped me bake a beautiful light airy sponge. First of all I made sure that all my ingredients are at room temperature, so that my butter is nice and soft and easy to cream and my eggs are not too cold.

I use an electric hand mixer to whip up as much air into my butter and sugar because let’s be honest, my arms are just not cut out for the job. It really does make a difference and saves you a lot of time.

Lastly, I put both cake tins on the same shelf in the oven (luckily they fit) because then it ensures an even bake. And I was very careful to not over bake it. I hate a dry sponge don’t you?

Sandwich the two cakes with a layer of jam and whipped cream, of course the cream is optional, but when given the option why would you say no? And I know what you are thinking, why did I have double cream in my fridge in the first place? Well that’s another story.

Go on, treat yourself!

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Victoria Sponge