talking of microwave……flapjack…mmmmm!

We are in need of some supertastic energy. Little man and I have done a lot of walking the past couple of days. Night time with a torch is fun, we had a great time listening to night-time noises such as owls and the scuffle of hedgehogs which we spotted in the undergrowth of some trees. Something ran across the path infront of us, far to quick for us to see with a torch. All very exciting!

On a trip into town we found a weigh your own shop selling jumbo oats which I haven’t seen for quite some time. Flapjacks are on the menu but who wants to wait 45 mins for them to cook then another 10 or so for them to cool enough? Well yes we could if we really wanted to but we are hungary!

Big Man’s Banana Flapjacks.

From the weigh shop a small very sticky bag of glace cherries

about 2 large cups of jumbo oats

2 ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed

3-4 table spoons honey or syrup

Put about 4oz butter into a saucepan and melt with 3-4 tablespoons of honey or syrup if you have it, we haven’t so honey it is for us. Add the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly.

Add the oats and cherries, chopped in half if you can rescue enough from smaller hands that are pinching them for a tasty snack! We had a few chocolate covered raisins left in a bag so they have gone in too. Mix well, everyone can have a stir if they want to! At this point our mixture seemed a little dry so we added about a tablespoon of hot water from the kettle but remember I don’t weigh stuff very often so I go by how it feels. By the way, had we any brown sugar I might have added a tablespoon of that too!

Ours was microwaved for 5 mins on high in an 800w microwave. We used a silicone cake tray thingy that I had put into the cupboard and forgot about (now it’s been discovered, endless ideas are popping into my head). It is about 8 inches square. If I was to cook this by traditional oven I would put in the oven at home on about 180 deg C for about 45 mins. I’m not sure on the conversion but I think that’s about gas 4. You may want to check by a good cookery book or google it.

 Microwave Banana Flapjack

There it is, banana flapjack, thick, sticky and super yummy 😉

Vegetarian Sunday Lunch Roll or maybe stuffing for meat eaters

Still at the caravan, still making good things to eat that aren’t beans on toast. Not that beans on toast isn’t any good because it is. It’s just that you can make more than that even without a normal size kitchen with lots of appliances(I do have a stick blender for soups etc which is what I use to make my breadcrumbs 😉 ).

Enough waffle….Sunday lunch. The boys had chicken where I had my own version of meat. It’s good enough to eat with a hot meal or sliced on sandwiches or crackers. After it’s cooked you can chop it up and add it to your pasta meal, throw it in an omlette(which are also really easy to cook in a caravan too), stuff peppers, mushrooms tomatoes etc with the mixture before you bake them, shape into burgers or sausages or simply have it with salad. The list is endless It’s my trusted Sunday lunch roll.

I normally bake this in a loaf tin but since I haven’t one here i’m making do with shaping it into a log. Fine for batches and round crackers but it doesn’t fit on a sandwich very well, you kind of miss the corners. Oh well not to stress, you will have to have it hanging out of the sides instead 😉

Come on you meat eaters what’s stopping you, give it a go…serve it as a stuffing alongside your meat if you aren’t sure but I bet you will like it.

Here’s the recipe…

A handful of nuts, ground or grated. I use hazel nuts for this but you can use a bag of ground almonds if you want to

4 slices of brown bread, ok i’m being healthy you can use white I suppose, made into breadcrumbs

2 eggs, beaten

1 table spoon tomato puree

2 table spoons soy sauce

1 large spring onion, finely chopped or minced or you can use a shallot or small onion

a dash of smoked paprika

a clove, finely chopped if you have some in or use a dash of ground garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 oz cheese, grated (You don’t have to add cheese if you don’t want to. I think it makes the mixture nice and moist though. I had some cheese with chilli and peppers in so I used a bit of that)

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Fill a small greased loaf pan or roll into a log shape. If you find the mixture too stiff or soggy which can depend on egg size or thickness of bread etc then add more egg or a spoonful or two of flour so that it’s easier to shape.

 Bake at gas 6 or 200 deg C for 25-30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Or if you are making burger shapes then you can bbq them if you want. It’s raining here today so I don’t really fancy standing under an umberella with the bbq!

Leave for a few mins before you slice for a hot meal or cool and chill in the fridge to slice/chop. Mmmm nice ;-D

I should think it would freeze ok but ours never made it that far. I’m sorry there’s no photo due to the fact I live with a flock of gannets! Next time I make one I will post a pic ;-D

The rain has stopped and it’s getting really sunny. I just made up a small batch with half of the ingredients and white breadcrumbs for a couple of burgers for the bbq. Looking forward to giving them a go soon.

vegetarian lunch roll mixture

vegetarian lunch roll made into burgers

Happy munching. x

Homemade yoghurt/cheese but what can you do with the whey?

The cultures from the first batch are still going, also with skimmed milk. How many batches now?…loads! At least seven and so far it still sets pretty solid. I should have bought one of these Easi yo makers years ago! 😉

A couple of people have emailed and asked how I make my yoghurt so here is what I do;

Use 1tbl sp of cultures (yoghurt made from the last batch) and make up to the top of the pot with uht skimmed milk that hasn’t been stored in the fridge so it’s room temperature. Stir well. Put the hot water in the yoghurt maker as per instructions then leave for 6 hours et voila! Shove it in the fridge for later.

After a few hours it will be set, just needing a mix up as there is a bit of whey on the top. Hubby doesn’t like it as is, he says it’s too sour so he adds a bit of sugar and mixes it in. That does make it runnier though. I did try one batch with a tbl sp of sugar mixed in with the cultures at the beginning but it was too sweet for me so at least it is clear that if you all like it sweet you can do it from the beginning. If you mix it up and it’s too runny then you can just strain it. Like for soft cheese but don’t leave it as long.

We have nice thick yoghurt or soft cheese or whatever but what about that green juicy stuff that is left…the whey. What do you do with it? From various books and on the internet here’s what I’ve found….

Whey… what to do with the whey when you have made the soft cheese…don’t throw it away because it so nutritious. You can use it in bread, it tastes a bit like sourdough if you use a lot. I know as I made some today. I used about half the water content of my bread recipe, replacing the other half with the whey. You could use as little or as much as you want I would think.

In cakes and biscuits to help them rise. I haven’t tried this yet.

As a face cleanser/toner/moisturiser. I didn’t fancy smelling like I fell into a bucket of sour milk so I didn’t try that, you can if you want to-let me know how it goes;-)

You can also make ricotta cheese if you manage to collect enough whey. I read somewhere that whey is freezable until you collect enough, I think it may have been in the comments of how to make ricotta.

It’s nutritious so a shame to waste it but if you must pour it away then share it with the garden, the plants like it too (so long as you didn’t add any salt to it!).

I have only scratched the surface mentioning these uses and each time I look further into it, I find more and more things that people use whey for.

I’m a newbie on this subject so if  I’m wrong please correct me. I haven’t tried out all of the above yet but if you do, let me know how you get on 😉

Homemade soft cheese

Here, as promised, the pictures of the cheese from the other day(which was eaten as soon as it  was spotted in the fridge!). It’s taken me a few days to get this done as Little man and I have been fighting the germs again-we are full of cold 😦

homemade soft cheese
Ha ha, you can’t see it! I’m so rubbish with a camera!

I put my finger over the flash this time so it’s a little dark…
homemade soft cheese

…and this was all mine, for all that hard work. Yeah, I watched it dripping for about 2 hours…well I wasn’t watching all the time…but It’s still mine! This was made with skimmed milk so not as naughty as you might think 😉

homemade soft cheese and bagel

Another batch of yoghurt was “cooked” last night for more cheese and yoghurty goodness 🙂

CHEESE PIE UPDATE

We tried it again with potato and it got a thumbs down. That’s settled it. It’s just cheese next time for us!

Home made fresh yoghurt/yogurt

So how do you spell it anyway? With or without a h? I looked at an online dictionary and both seem right or am I reading that wrong? Oh well it’s yoghurt in my book now!

Recently I made yoghurt in an ordinary thermos flask with fair results. An ordinary yoghurt that you could spoon over cereal and add to cakes etc. So pleased were we that I made up another batch. Um…runny, gloopy sloppy stuff. I’m not impressed. I emailed big sis, Fluffy Red who is very much more of a chef than I am.  I’m thinking that it was made properly with no nasty bugs getting in there. I had a big pan of freshly boiled water with all my utensils in. They weren’t boiling but sitting in it for a bit. The yoghurt tasted like yoghurt, not nasty or anything. I then discovered that it had been knocked over and put back during the incubation time. Eeeeeeek! All of those bio-wotsits have had a kick in the head! Not good! I don’t know whether that made this batch so runny and wrong, but still, there’s room for improvement.

Fluffy Red uses an EasiYo maker for hers. Having bought it at a charity shop a few years ago.

I’m no so lucky as that but I did discover that Lakeland Ltd have theirs on sale, half price….yay….I’m getting one’o them thingies I said to myself. We spend too much money on yoghurt and it’s a lot of recycling, excuse or not, I trotted off to town to get one.

EasiYo™ Yoghurt Maker

Whilst I’m in the shop, I got talking to a lady who also makes yoghurt with her Easi Yo with just milk and cultures. She said she saved the last tbl sp of made up yogurt (after having made up a packet of easiyo) and made another batch with milk mixed in (Dear lady i’m so sorry that I didn’t ask your name and have to refer to you as she or lady. If you do ever get around to reading this, apologies).

So with my new Easi Yo on the go, tapping fingers and saying to myself….must not touch….must not touch….must not touch…I await my first batch. Here it is. Ooooooooh or is that mmmmmm. Delish, even if it is warm! It’s into the fridge to set. Eaten later with muesli and fruit, swirled into soup. It’s so not like shop bought rubbish. How did I live without this stuff?

Home made yoghurt

Now I’m addicted. So taken with it that I put on another batch and made soft cheese, it tastes exactly like Philadelphia! All I had to do was strain the whey from the yoghurt by putting it in a clean scalded tea towel. From the photo you can see that I put an elastic band around the tea towel and the handle of a wooden spoon. Then let it dangle over a glass jug for a few hours. Thumbs up from us.

making soft cheese

Sorry that I forgot to take a pic of the cheese but will follow with one, promise!

If you don’t count how much it cost to buy the maker itself, i’m going to be saving by making my own yoghurt and cheese. All I need now is a cow and a few chickens in the garden…nah not really but I really do wish ;-D