Category Archives: Food

How to make Key Lime Pie

key lime pie

Yesterday afternoon, after a walk in the sunshine (yes, it’s here!!!), I turned to P and said “I have an overwhelming urge to bake something”. He, of course, rolled his eyes because I say that on a highly frequent basis and to steer me away from making yet ANOTHER chocolate-cake-type-thing, he suggested I make a key lime pie.

He was thinking tart lime and a lovely buttery pastry base but because I never do exactly what he wants/suggest/asks, I came up with an entirely different recipe.  Regarding WHY I never do exactly what he wants/suggest/asks, it’s either because at the age of 31 I never like being told what to do, I’m crap at following instructions of any kind, or (and this is the most likely reason) I JUST DON’T LISTEN. At work, in a professional capacity, I have a great attention span and am a stickler for details, but you take me out of the work environment and I have the inability to listen or read anything properly.  It’s a wonder I’m still in one piece and that P is still even speaking to me.

Anyway, back to the key lime pie.  This is beauuuuutiful and has a buttery BISCUITY base.

This will serve 4-6 ppl depending on whether you leave a break between your main course and dessert to ‘create room’.

To make, you will need:

7 digestive biscuits

30g caster sugar

65g melted butter

2 egg yolks

250ml condensed milk

4 tbsp lime juice (about 2-3 limes)

Zest from 1 lime

Double cream

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees fan.

In a blender/mixer, place the biscuits, sugar and melted butter and blitz until they become a bit of a sticky dough. Then empty into a lightly greased oven proof flat-ish pie tin/dish.

biscuit base

Spread the mixture out so that it covers the base and sides of the pie dish, pushing hard so that it sticks together. This is tricky so be patient with yourself.  As you can see, I didn’t do the sides brilliantly so let’s call this a rustic key lime pie.

Then put in the oven for 15 minutes.

While its baking, whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk for a few minutes.  Then stir in the lime juice.  This will form a thicker consistency than the condensed milk was originally.

Once the base is ready (you can leave it to cool but I don’t bother), pour in the cream mixture and level flat with the back of a spoon. I forgot to do this bit hence the bumps.

raw key lime pie

Then put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes at the same temperature as before. It will colour slightly like below.

baked key lime pie

Next, take it out of the oven to cool for a bit and then stick in the fridge for at least 3 hours to chill.

When you’re ready for it, grate some lime zest over the top to make it look ‘fancy’, whip some cream to serve with it and you’re ready to eat your HOMEMADE KEY LIME PIE! CONGRATS!

keylime pie whole

It really is SO GOOD (and none of the calories count because there is fruit in it).

Shortbread

shortbread baked

Every night after dinner, I get cravings for something sweet.  BUT, because I don’t like sweeties and I try not to buy too much chocolate so I don’t eat it ALL, I rarely have any puddings or treats in the house.

chocolate shortbread and espresso

But sometimes I just want SOMETHING.  Well here is a recipe for shortbread – buttery biscuits that are easy to make and consist of three ingredients that you’re bound to have already.  Easy. (And not just because I’m Scottish.)

To make about 35 little shortbread biscuits, you will need:

4.5 oz butter (softened)

2 oz caster sugar

6 oz plain flour

A little icing sugar for dusting.

THAT’S IT.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan.  Then mix together the butter and the caster sugar until smooth and add the flour.

shortbread mixture

It should form large breadcrumbs and then, if you continue mixing it, stick together like one big lump of dough.

shortbread dough

Dust a clean surface with flour and lay out your lump of dough. Next, cover a rolling pin in flour and gently roll out the dough until it’s 0.5-1 cm thick.  Then use a pastry cutter or the open end of a glass to cut out circles.

cutting shortbread

Place your circles on to a lightly greased baking tray, sprinkle lightly with icing sugar and then put in the fridge for 10 minutes.

shortbread pre cooked

Once chilled, they can then go into the oven to bake for 12 minutes. When ready, the shortbread will have turned golden brown.

shortbread baked 2

Lift them off the tray and place on a wire rack to cool.

shortbread

Once cooled, they’re ready to be eaten, shared or decorated.  Melted chocolate is always good….

chocolate shortbread espresso 2

Enjoy!

Beef stroganoff

As it’s a food and finance (and fashion) blog, it’s important that I show you how to make the most of the food you buy. For example, making meals from spare batches of bolognese or roast beef.  If you saw my post on roast beef, you may have noticed that the joint was MASSIVE – far too big for two people.  This meant that we had enough left over the next night (and some left to put in the freezer) to make beef stroganoff.

beef stroganoff 2

This is such a simple dish as most of the ingredients can already be found in your cupboard and the others – creme fraiche and parsley – can be used up easily in lots of other meals.

To make this, you will need:

2 beef steaks – fillet is best OR 350g roast beef, thinly sliced to the size of half of your pinky finger

Some oil – vegetable or olive is fine

1 white onion, half sliced and half diced

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

A tub of chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

200ml creme fraiche

150ml chicken stock

Half a teaspoon of paprika

Lots of salt and pepper

A small bunch of parsley, chopped

Basmati rice

If using beef fillet, get a frying pan very very hot, pour in some oil and cook the steaks according the packet’s instructions. You want them to be browned on the outside but they don’t need to be cooked through as they will cook a little more later on with the rest of the ingredients.

Start cooking the rice. This is such a quick meal to make that the rice will be the thing that slows you down!

Heat a large deep frying pan with some oil and slowly cook the onions and garlic to soften them. Keep stirring to ensure they’re not cooking too fast and burning.  Once they’ve softened, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften too.  This should take 3-4 minutes. Add the paprika and stir well.

Add the beef to the pan along with the creme fraiche and the chicken stock and turn up the heat so the contents of the pan come to the boil. Then, reduce the heat, give it all a big stir and allow it to simmer for a few minutes.

beef stroganoff

Then serve with rice and topped with parsley.

Hope you try it!

How to make a great bolognese

 

This is my favourite recipe of all time and all entirely my own.  *PROUD FACE*  And, it’s brilliant because it forms the base of so many great meals: spaghetti bolognese, chilli, cottage pie, lasagne….   By making a big batch of it, you can store several dishes in the freezer, saving yourself a small fortune on last minute supermarket trips and ready meals.  This bolognese is also good defrosted as a post drinking meal when you don’t want to binge on bread or chips.

Here is how you make it.  This makes two large portions but if you double the quantities you can end up with dinner for two and 3 meals to whack in the freezer.

Ingredients

You will need:

A glug of oil

1 onion

1 large carrot

2 cloves of garlic

2 sticks of celery

6 small mushrooms

1 x 400g pack of mince

1 beef oxo cube

Tin of chopped tomatoes

About 50g tomato puree

Some dried basil and oregano

Balsamic vinegar

Worcestershire sauce

Chilli flakes, if you wish

Salt and pepper

Method

Pour a generous glug  of oil in to a big deep frying pan on a medium heat.  Dice the onion, carrot and celery, and crush the garlic and add to the pan to sweat (not fry) for at least 10 minutes until soft.

Next turn up the heat and add this mince. Once browned, add the mushrooms (which should be diced).

Crumble the beef oxo cube into the mixture and stir well so that it is spread evenly through the mixture. Then mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.  At this stage, give it a generous shake of salt and pepper and a little seasoning of the herbs.

Pour in 1 dessertspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 2 dessertspoons of balsamic vinegar and mix.

Turn the heat up and leave it to bubble for 20 minutes.  You will find that over time the liquid will evaporate, and at this point you can add about 150 ml of water to loosen it up. Should you wish to give it a kick, add a teaspoon of chilli flakes and season to taste.

As I said, this can do two people with pasta, or in lasagne, but if you leave to cool you can get 5 portions to freeze for another day.

To modify it for chilli, add kidney beans, a teaspoon of chilli powder, a teaspoon of cumin and additional chilli flakes.

Baby food: potato scones

I have a fussy eater. He’s only eight months old and can’t keep saliva from POURING out of his month yet he’s managed to develop very strong views on what baby food he will and will not eat.

babyweaning

It has made the weaning process very very challenging.

As a result, I’ve had to be quite resourceful and very patient trying different baby food and gradually I’ve found things he’ll eat.

One such recipe I’ve created is baby friendly potato scones. They’re very simple to make and even tasty enough for adults to enjoy too. Plus, he can pick them up and feed himself which is an added bonus!

To make 24, you will need:

500g potatoes

25g unsalted butter

A dash of milk

120g plain flour

Peel and cut the potatoes into small roast potato sized chunks and boil in a saucepan for 10-12 minutes until very soft.

Put them through a ricer or use a masher, and then put them back into the pot with the butter and milk and mix until you have mashed potato.

Add the plain flour to the pot and mix well.  It will form a dough.

floury mashed potato

potato scone dough 1

Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is half a cm thick and use a pastry cutter to cut 24 rounds.

potato scone dough 2

Put a non stick frying pan on a medium heat and add a few of the scones at a time. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and then turn onto a wire rack to cool.baby potato scones

They will then last 3 days in the fridge or can be stored in the freezer until you need them.  potato scones