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

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Why is baking so addictive?

I don’t know what it is but I will find any excuse to bake. I will happily admit that I am not the best baker in town but I like to give it a good go. I am guilty of changing recipes based on what I have in the house, which doesn’t always go my way. But I am a firm believer in having a well stocked cupboard and not running to the shops everyday. And I think my purse thanks me for it.

What is it about baking that is so much fun? Is it seeing a bunch of ingredients transform into something warm and delicious? Or is it the feeling of eating something afterwards that you know is slightly naughty? Yes that is probably it. We all have a dark side.

One of my (and my husbands) favourite biscuits are oatmeal and raisin cookies. I’m not sure if this is because the oats and raisins make us both feel like we are being slightly ‘healthy’, but then we are reminded by the butter and sugar in it and slowly come back to reality.

This is a very easy recipe that I got from one of Mary Berry‘s Bake Off books and it was delicious. A perfect combination of ingredients made the biscuit slightly soft and chewy rather than too crunchy.

The recipe is as follows: 125g softened butter, 150g muscovado sugar, 1 large free-range egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 100g self-raising flour, 75g raisins, 150g porridge oats.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, and then place the rest of the ingredients in and fold through. It’s as easy as that! I added a pinch of cinnamon too because I love it, but you don’t have to. Place small dollops (technical term there) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Let them cool properly on a rack if you can resist eating them straight away. Enjoy!

Baking is good the for soul…go on give it a try.

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Balls! Energy balls ;)

So I am always looking for a quick snack in the afternoon in between lunch and dinner and stumbled across this recipe from Donal Skehan (link below). I changed it slightly only because I made them from whatever was in my cupboard, rather than going to the shops and buying the whole of the baking aisle.

I made these energy balls from oats, desiccated coconut, almond powder, cocoa powder, dates, prunes, coffee and a tiny bit of golden syrup. All I did was mix all the ingredients into a big bowl and stuck my hands in. Once the mixture came together, I simply rolled them into small bitesize balls and then coated them in cocoa powder. Easy! They can be great fun to make with children too. Not that I did but I’m sure it would be fun? Hmm.

They are like delicious bitter sweet chewy chocolates, yet they are so healthy! The coffee and cocoa powder give it a bitter taste which is sweetened by the coconut and the dried fruit. You can put whatever you like in them and they give you a great energy boost when you need it the most. Great for a snack on the go! Careful not to put too many sweet things in there or the sugar content will go through the roof.

I got the idea from Donal Skehan, a great chef and so entertaining! Check his YouTube channel and website out. Here is the link to his recipe http://www.donalskehan.com/2015/10/energy-balls/

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Energy Balls

Why not make your own Granola bar?

Ok so I don’t know about you but I am always hungry. I get hungry half an hour after a meal and I have no idea why. But I can’t keep eating! So I decided to make my own granola bar to give me some energy and keep me going.

These are made with oats, coconut, almonds, crushed weetabix, and dried fruit. I added some honey, brown sugar and little bit of butter to bind it all together. Now I know what you are thinking. Butter and sugar? Fattening! But if you think about how much goes into a whole batch that will make about 20 bars it’s not that much. Besides I think a bit of butter does you good…sometimes.

There’s more goodness in these bars then what you might get with the ready made ones. Who knows what they put in there! It’s so easy to make and great for a snack on the go. I know I’ll be eating them on my way to work!

There’s so many different recipes out there, you can mix and match or make one with everything that you like in it. I added vanilla paste to this to give it a nice flavour. What combinations would you like? The possibilities are endless!

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Granola Bars

Want a healthy snack? Try crispy chickpeas!

Have you ever wanted a bit of a healthier snack than some nuts covered in salt or granola bars filled with sugar? I know I have.

I discovered a few recipes on roasting chickpeas in the oven. So I decided to give it a go! I simply drained a can of chickpeas and patted them with a kitchen towel until dry. I put them in a roasting tray and drizzled a bit of olive oil and sea salt over them, and whacked it in the oven for about 40 minutes. When they came out the oven I sprinkled over some smoked paprika and started munching!

They are great when hot out of the oven, but I will admit they are best eaten sooner than later. The next day they went a bit dry. So it’s a good idea for a small healthier party snack or something to nibble on before dinner. Either way I liked them! Have you got any homemade healthy snack ideas?

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Crispy chickpeas W

Is Spring finally here?

The sun is shining! Let’s hope it lasts longer than England in the World Cup. I realised that the sun does wonderful things to people in England, they are whistling and smiling and generally more cheerful (until they start complaining that it’s too hot).

Spring to me means fresh and colourful food. Eating colourful foods (and I don’t mean artificial flamboyant colours) makes it more appealing to the eye. I made bruschetta yesterday after finding different colour tomatoes, and they were so sweet! Grilled fresh bread rubbed with garlic and topped with these tomatoes and a hint of basil. Simple yet yummy. And yes yummy is a technical term.

What do you like eating when the sun is shining? (BBQ I hear you screaming at the screen)

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Bruschetta

Bruschetta