Saturday, 5 February 2011

January: the baking drought

Wow, is it really February already... where is this year going?

Well, this blog has been a bit of a poor show since Christmas. I'd love to tell you that it's because I've been so busy baking that I just haven't had time to show off my efforts, but unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. I was starting to worry that I'd lost the baking love, but I think that real life had just taken over a while - with starting my new job just before Christmas I suppose I've just been trying to find my feet in this new co-habiting plus full-time job routine. And another spanner in the baking works was that we've just got ourselves the Playstation Move, so that along with Little Big Planet 2 meant that after tea we have been tending to sit around gaming and eating leftover Christmas chocolate!

So I just have 4 measly things to share that I made in January, only one of which is baked goods but I'm pleased to say that 2 of them are my own ideas for once.

1. Cheese, onion and parsley mashed potato

Now, mashed potato is one of my all time favourite comfort foods, especially during the bleak days of January. Unfortunately, Mike isn't a massive fan, and I hate seeing his little face fall when I plonk a massive dollop of it onto his plate. So I've been trying to jazz it up a bit, and found that adding some grated cheese, fried onions, black pepper and parsley made it a bit more palatable for him. Personally I still prefer it simply with lashings of marge and black pepper!

2. Carrot and Lentil soup

I went a bit lentil crazy for a week, after seeing a few recipes in the Morrisons magazine (so much so that we've still got boxes of lentil curry lurking in the freezer) and this recipe was perfect to try out my new food processor! It really was yummy and super healthy too! Could have done with being a bit thinner, as I just dumped it all into the blender when really I should have processed it in batches. Hey ho, you live and learn!

3. Ham, cheese and tomato tart

I almost never take any notice of the recipes on the side of packets, but this one on the side on the Jus Roll pastry packs caught my eye and I snipped them it a while back. I just added some red and green peppers aswell and it made a really yummy tea along with some salad and new potatoes, felt a bit more like a summery dish, so can't wait to make it again in the summer and eat it sitting in the sun (if we get any!). It was also good to take the leftovers to work in our lunchboxes!

4. White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

And finally, some baking! I can't believe these were the only thing I baked in January, but I had some white chocolate and some dried cranberries left over from Christmas so thought I'd better use them up, as well as the festive cupcake cases that I never used either! I just added 75g of cranberries and 100g melted which chocolate to my usual vanilla cupcake mix, and topped with white chocolate fudge frosting. Also, have you noticed the spelling mistake in the above picture?! One of Mike's cheeky friends mixed the letters up while he was over the other week!

Anyway, even though the cupcakes and the cheesy mash are very simple creations, I've been so pleased with them because they are my first little steps at being slightly more adventurous! I've always followed recipes so closely because I'm scared of getting thing wrong, so it must show that I'm getting a bit more confident in the kitchen and not as afraid to try things out.

With Valentine's Day and my best friend's birthday around the corner I'm back scouring blogs and magazine for new recipes and feeling ready to get back into the kitchen.

Welcome back baking mojo, I've missed you!

4 comments:

  1. Ohhhh that mash looks the best thing ever!

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  2. Wondered where you had got to Kim, welcome back ;0)
    Those cupcakes look so sweet, must remember these when I can lay my hands on fresh cranberries.

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  3. I also knew someone that wasnt keen on mash and did a similar thing to you, added cheese and onion but then put in a dish and added breadcrumbs and cheese on top and browned it off in the oven, like a mash pie! It is very yummy!!

    The cupcakes look super yummy xx

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  4. Mmm I want one of those cupcakes!! Gary absol loves mash but I don't like it at all, so must try your idea, see if I like it any better!

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