Cheddar & Chorizo Muffin Made Easy with Judge Mixer

Cheddar & Chorizo Muffin
Watching the latest episode of Great British Bake Off and hearing one of the contestants exclaiming, "I can't believe I have tried to mix this by hand", the penny dropped. I couldn't believe I had been so silly to confuse a hand blender with a hand mixer.
judge mixer

A stick blender also called a magic wand, is used mostly for soups whereas a hand mixer is perfect for kneading dough, whisking meringue and cake mix. The added advantage of the Judge Twin Blade Mixer over many others is,  that, if like me you have a small kitchen, this one takes up very little space.

Judge Mixer
The Judge Hand and Stand Mixer has another huge advantage – that is the price. At under £50 (you may find it for less), it's a really good buy. It may not look as snazzy as its expensive counterparts but with a 300 Watt motor, 5 speeds and a turbo it does the job really well and takes the hard work out of mixing cakes and kneading dough.
Cheddar & Chorizo Muffin
Cheddar & Chorizo Muffin

I like the fact that it has a bowl and a stand.The stand is handy when you need to multitask, you can leave the mixer running while you carry on weighing etc. and, with an acute lack of space, the bowl has come handy for storage, the hooks and the whisks live in it, even the magic wand has now joined them!

Cheddar 'n Chorizo Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 80g butter, diced
  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 200g mature cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml milk
Method
As with all muffin recipe, you need to combine the dry and the wet ingredients separately.

First,  preheat the oven 190C and line your tray with cases.
The etiquette has it that muffins are baked without cases as cupcakes are but blow that, it's much neater to use paper cases, it saves you scrubbing the tray.

1- In a bowl mix the flow, the paprika and rub in the butter
2- Mix the egg, milk and cheddar in the bowl with the mixer
3- and 1 to 2
4- spoon the mixture in the cases
5- bake for 20 minutes

you could replace the chorizo with ham for a breakfast bake.

This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own.

**(BTW did you listen to my interview with Paul Hollywood before he became famous, if not click here)

At Pebble Soup HQ, we are partial to a muffin or two. Have a peak at a few more muffins recipes
Kiwi Muffins
Savoury Polenta Muffins
Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins
Musfins (mushroom muffins)

Quince Tatin : an Inheritance Recipe

Traditional French Recipe Quince Tatin

Cooking with quince can get a little daunting. First, you need to source the fruits. Best think outside the box. High-end supermarkets or fruits and vegs shops should carry them in the autumn but, your best bet is to befriend a person who has a quince tree in their garden. 

The Quince tree saving grace is the beauty of its blossom. I often think that people don't cut quince trees down because they make such a beautiful show in the spring, When autumn arrives, the fruits are often ignored so you'll do your new best friend a favour by offering to pick her quinces and then there is a world of lovely, quirky or traditional recipes for you to try out. Here is one I prepared earlier.

The next stage is to peel the quinces. That could be a bit of a dangerous exercise, the skin is tough and it's best done slowly with a paring knife. When all this is done, the fun starts: poach your fruits. Quince has a delicate flavour which often needs a little pick me up. Keep your spicing simple by using one of the following, maximum two: vanilla, few cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, slices of fresh ginger, 5-star anise. Place fruits and spice (if used) in a saucepan with enough liquid to cover the fruits, poach till soft. Once poached you can keep your fruits and juices in a Kilner jar.

The Tatin is made in the same way you'd make an Apple Tatin

Quince Tatin: an Inheritance Recipe

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F
Roll out a sheet of puff pastry and cut it to the outside size of the pan you'll be using

Ingredients
3-4 poached quince cut in quarters
85g white or brown sugar
1 sheet of puff pastry (cut to size)
50g of unsalted butter

Method

First make a wet caramel in a pan which will go to the oven. On medium hob heat sprinkle 85g sugar add enough water to dampen the sugar, that will not take much turn the pan frequently to stop the caramel burning.

Stir in the butter, remove from the hob, add the slices of quince in a pretty pattern (usually in circles of various sizes) place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place the puff pastry circle on the top of the fruits and bake for 40 minutes. 

Remove from the oven place a plate on the top of the pan, keep one hand on your plate and flip.



This is a bit of a labour of love and it was made for our arrival in Lyon, last week by my best friend. She also taught me how to cook when I had no idea that food existed outside tins of ravioli. Thank you my lovely, I won't name you as you know who you are but, I'll enter your recipe in the September Inheritance Recipes hosted by Coffee and Vanilla



Which Breakfast Tribe Are You?

When I first moved in with Him, there was a lot to marvel about. Inside and outside our relationship so much was new. Of course, I am not going to spill the beans, this post is about you, not me.



But can I start with the milkman experience? This is not a profession practised in France. So, collecting a bottle of milk from the doorstep was just another wonderful novelty. Our milkman, John, was friendly, he would never grump though he had to reverse all the way down our tiny little street and the year we got snowbound, we still had our milk delivered. 

Nevertheless, I was a tat surprised when he won "Milkman of the Year". Then, we moved to Greenwich, milk delivery went out of fashion and that was that. Never gave it another thought until the other day when I received a press release about Milk and More now part of the Muller group.

Where John delivered milk only with the occasional orange juice bottle. The service is now more comprehensive and the marketing department has surveyed our breakfast habits to classify the results into five tribes.


The five Breakfast Tribes and their respective foods are:
  1. Protein Packed – Eggs and traditional fry-ups
  2. The Quickie – quick-fix foods such as cereal and toast
  3. Healthy – fruit salads, juices and smoothies
  4. Long-lasting – slow release foods such as oats and porridge
5. On-the-go – bakery items, yoghurt drinks and biscuits

So, which breakfast tribe are you?

Would you like the Welsh and the residents of West London have a tendency to favour a fry-up? or like on the Isle of Wight consume a sensible energy-boosting and long lasting breakfast?

Personally, I tend to butterfly and really don't have a favourite. When I am busy I grab a breakfast on the go something that the residents of Kent and Essex tend to do whilst the title for the healthiest region of the U.K. goes to Hertfordshire.

Have you decided yet? The comments thread is open.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Holy Guacamole

You'd have had to live with a 5p plastic bag over your head not to notice that the price of avocado has shot up in the past year. it's a matter of high demand and meagre harvest though a single California Hass Avocado tree can produce 500 fruits (by the way avocados are fruits not veg) this year the harvest was poor and the demand has not dropped on the contrary there has been a spike.


Once reserved for the rich since the not so rich have discovered how good and how tasty avocado is the supply is struggling. Like most people, I have a penchant for this lovely egg shaped fruit. Unlike some, who I won't name, when I mash an avocado on a toast, I do it quietly. There is no point of making a fuss about such thing but....

Since Pebble Soup won a prize for a perfect Come 'n Dine With Me menu which included Guacamole as a starter. I've meant to share the recipe for this delicious and healthy dish. Each family has its own recipe. I do mine using a food processor with the pulse button, it's chunky but the on button would get it to a smooth paste if that's your preference.


I throw in all that can be added, that way it reminds me of my travels in Mexico where we mostly lived on street food. I found a recipe which matches exactly my requirements in The Ideas Kitchen, a Panasonic Kitchen site whose ambassador is one of my favourite chefs, Tom Kitchin. Serendipity.

Mexican Guacamole Recipe

Serves 
  
2 Avocado 
1 Lime
1 Tomatoes
1 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Red Onion 
1/2 bunch Coriander
To taste Salt
To taste Black Pepper
1/2 Green chili 
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions
SHARE
This Mexican Guacamole will have everyone at the table scraping the bowl with their nachos! This delicious dip is perfect with nachos, dolloped atop a chili con carne, or inside yummy tacos and quesadillas!
So easy to make in the food processor! Simply blitz up a couple of ripe avocados, olive oil, red onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, and some green chili if you like a kick! Season to taste and enjoy!

Steps
1
Peel and de-stone the avocados. Add to the food processor with the olive oil.
2
Squeeze in the juice of the lime.
3
Chop the tomato and add to the food processor.
4
Add the chopped onion, garlic and chili.
5
Season to taste.

For more info and disclaimer :  all words and opinions in this post are my own The post is sponsored by Panasonic. To know more about  Food Processor recipes  click on the link

Spreading the guacamole with CookBlogShare

Book Review: Veggie Desserts + Cake By Kate Hackworthy & Recipe: Cauliflower, Lime & Cardamon Cookies

A new book from a fellow-food-blogger is wonderful enough to quickly become an event. Veggies Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy is no exception. I have been following Kate's blog since she started and interacted a little with her on Twitter. 

Last year, in my January food column for the local newspaper, I mentioned the rise of all things "vegetable and sweet". That was after noticing the number of hits on my Choufleur Cake and then Kate comes along with a whole book which goes far beyond carrot cakes.

There is a method to her madness too. She explains that, "Veggies bring moisture, natural sweetness and, in some desserts, vegetable purée can replace eggs"

So what can you expect from Veggie Desserts + Cakes? 60 recipes never seen anywhere before: cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tray bakes, pies, frozen desserts and a whole section of "More Sweet Things" the Chocolate Beetroot Baked Doughnuts with Blueberry Glaze seen on the cover belong to the later.

It also seems to be a very personal cookbook. Kate tells of her growing up in Canada which has inspired her pumpkin desserts, of her kids who have had the most unusual birthday cakes that a crazy-about-veggies-mummy can make.

By now you'll have noticed that I like this book. I like it for one, no two, reasons; the unusual flavour combinations such as Kale and Chocolate, who would have thought? The cauliflower, Lime and Cardamon Cookies I tried are simply divine. It should have been Romanesco but never the less, the lime and the cardamon compliment ever so well the mild, nutty taste of any Brassicaceae. 

The other reason may look simple but....
The recipes work, there are no hanging ingredients, measurements are precise. The work of a pro.

And now for my effort at replicating what should have been romanesco but was...


Cauliflower, Lime 'n Cardamon Cookies
Ingredients
100g unsalted butter, softened
150g cauliflower
1 Lime, zest and juice
Pasta 'n grains
  • 100 g Porridge oats
    Baking 'n spices
    • 8 Cardamom pods crushed
    • 125 g Self-raising flour
    • 100 g Granulated Sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment.
    2. Finely grate the cauliflower or whiz it in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Heat it in the microwave, or in a dry pan on the stove, for 2 minutes to dry it out slightly. Allow to cool.
    3. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix well.
    4. Stir in the cauliflower, oats, flour and ground cardamom and combine.
    5. Roll the batter into balls, place on the prepared baking tray and press down lightly with a fork.
    6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly on the tray and then cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe reproduced from Veggie Desserts 
If you'd like to read more reviews click here another clever idea from Kate, A virtual launch

Inheritance Recipe August Round-up

Summer was slow blogging time and though we didn't get many recipes, Inheritance Recipes Challenge received recipes from cultures which were not featured before and some nifty ideas such as our to celebrate failure.

From left to right

Street food with Carolanne Johnson and her Mini Pizza's. 
Best Ever Gluten Free Scones with a lovely story from Kate's teenage years.
A Favorite things Birthday Cake to remember for Margot's gorgeous daughter along with a very colourful Easy Choldnik
I will let you discover what an African Kaklo is
Finally, I added my Dark Glacé Cherry Biscotti

We hope to see you in September under Margot's beautiful Inheritance Recipe's banner

Fresh and Dandy : How to Redecorate a Box-Room

Blue Bell Gray Wall Paper

Redecorating once is a joy but I have mixed feeling about redecorating the same room twice. When we took on our Victorian ex-brothel-com-new-home as a project, I started enthusiastically. First, I tackled the spare room. I delicately stencilled feathers on the wall, to make the room cosy for our visitors.

Spare Room before
But since life is not a bed of feathers, a combination of the room facing the wrong cardinal point, a monster tree growing in an uncaring neighbour's garden, freak weather and a battered gutter, a list of unpleasantnesses of which I'll spare you the details lead to that room becoming sordid with its neglected look and peeling plaster.

Years later, round 2. Now we have much more experience, we were more aware of what was required: A paint which you could rely on is a must. A top trade quality paint for domestic use. Slapping on any brand would not do. Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell is water based eco-friendly paint with good reviews so I decided to give it a go. It contains some clever water resistant acrylic.

Little Greene Paint

The first thing we noticed was the lack of smell which is a plus when you have friends arriving within a few days. The application was easy (or so he tells me) and since it promises to be water-resistant it may be that it will also prove resistant to the leaky gutter freak incidents. Hopefully, peeling plaster will be a thing of the past.

Now for colours: I picked White Lead. How many times have I heard, "a white is a white and all whites look the same". I beg to differ. Little Greene has worked closely with English Heritage for 7 years to produce (via combined research) a range of historic colours authentic to key design eras up until the 1970s.

The range makes for an interesting choice.

As a whole, a white only room can be a little sparce. One face of the room got the Blue Bell Gray treatment. I love this designer's hand painted wall paper, the result is amazing. Take a look at the reclaimed and reloved spare-room

Blue Bell Gray Wall paper
Tips and Tricks to Decorate a Small Room

  1. Wow with White White will maximise and reflect the light
  2. Stick to a limited palette Before the room had two colours blue 
  3. Don't be afraid to use bold designs They will detract from the room size
  4. Keep storage to the minimum
  5. Look into furniture for boats We found small size double sofa/bed in a shop which specializes in furniture for barges. It arrived flat-pack so it went through the door easily where all other double sofa-beds couldn't get in.
Blue Bell Gray Wall paper

Disclaimer: All words and opinions are my own. I received paint samples to create this post.

Allotment Week : Blending Raspberry Smoothie

It has been a little while, well OK far too long but sometimes a little "oumf" goes away and to get it back you need a little bit of help. Help this time arrived in the shape and form of a Kenwood Blend-Xtract something I always wanted, a gadget that everyone else seemed to have. It arrived just on time for Allotment Week starting on the 20th August.

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie

Living in Greenwich and though I put my name down 20 years ago, I'm still waiting for an allotment but I have the next best thing. An inspiration for an allotment. The Queen's Orchard in Greenwich Park where volunteers have help creating an amazing vegetable garden for all to enjoy. Let's push the gate:

Queen Orchard, Greenwich Park

Fruit trees are all heritage variety. Some date back to Elizabeth 1st and believe me that variety is very very bitter.

At present we are blessed with plums and tomatoes

plum tree

Pumpkins are a little shy right now but, they will have a proud place in the forthcoming Harvest Festival.

pumpkin, growing, allotment

Before leaving you but this time, not for long, let me show you one of the fruits I planted myself. Peer in the foliage and see them little things, they are cucamelons. They are very cute, the size of a grape, the appearance of a watermelon, just a tiny one and the taste of cucumber. I have high hopes for them in future smoothies.

Cucamelons, fruit growing

As for the berries, we don't have a great deal so I resorted to bought raspberries for my first smoothie, a few hundred grams of raspberries will meet 30% of your fibre needs per day

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie


Raspberry and Banana  
Ingredients

250g raspberries
1/2 banana
200ml Coconut milk

I used my Kenwood Blend Xtract to mix everything up et voila

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie

Disclaimer: I was sent a Kenwood Blend Xtract for the purpose of this post. Kenwood is supporting Allotment week -all words and opinions are my own


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