I'm a stickler for food waste, It's actually something that really upsets me, I'm sad like that. So I adore this recipe as it's perfect for using any over-ripe banana's before they go in the food waste, simply put, the browner the skin, the better the bread. This super sweet and moist bread is a popular addition to the cake tins in our house, especially throughout Autumn as I mix up my more traditional recipe with a self created Autumn twist, So..
I'm going to give you two recipes in this post, my classic banana bread and my autumn banana bread with a caramelised walnut crumble topping- Yes it is as amazing as it sounds!!
I use a 1Lb loaf tin lined with baking paper to cook this recipe.
175g Self Raising Flour
175g Caster Sugar
175g Stork/Baking Butter
3 Medium Free Range Eggs
3 Over Ripe Bananas (Mashed) - NOTE I use the children's banana's so they're roughly 75g each peeled.
As with my School sponge recipe, I've no fancy special prep method with this, I will literally weigh all ingredients out in the same mixing bowl, except the mashed Bananas, then gently start to combine them all with a wooden spoon until they start to combine and there’s no risk of flour going everywhere if I beat the mixture. When we're at this stage I tip the bowl slightly on it's side and beat the mixture like a crazy lady, almost like I'm trying to whisk it. You are left with a lovely smooth mixture after you've given it a good beating, This is my personal method that I always fall back to as it just always makes the nicest moist fluffy bread when cooked. I then add the mashed bananas last and give the mixture a final beating.
Transfer Mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes, cover the top with foil and cook for a remaining 10-15 minutes.
Once cooked leave to cool completely before removing and slicing, I like to drizzle the top with honey once I take it out of the oven but it's just my personal preference. Once cooled this will serve 10 Slices.
AUTUMN TWIST RECIPE
125g Self Raising Flour
125g Stork/Baking Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 Medium Free Range Eggs
2 Over Ripe Bananas Mashed
METHOD IS AS BEFORE However, once you have put your bread mixture into the tin, before it goes into the oven, we do the caramelised walnut crumble mixture as below.
50g Light Soft Brown Sugar
50g Chopped walnuts
25g Stork/Baking Butter
25g Plain Flour
Combine all ingredients using your fingers until it makes a lovely chunky crumble mix, scatter this gently over your bread mixture then place in the oven on 180 degrees C for 35-45 Minutes until well risen and the top is lovely and golden. There is no need to cover the top with tin foil as we want this top to caramelise.
Again leave to cool completely before slicing, this also serves 10.
Nutritional info below for both recipes.
Steph's Autumn Crumble Banana Bread - Serves 10
Steph's Classic Banana Bread - Serves 10
Don't get your hopes up guys this isn't as exciting as it sounds I'm sorry but I won't be indulging you all in some type of three way food porn so if that's what you were expecting, see-ya!
For those of you who are interested in cooking, read on haha. So this is my basic Bolognese recipe, really simple to make and super flavoursome. Not only that but it can be used to create three delicious family meals...
1) Spaghetti Bolognese
2) Bolognese Pasta Bake-My fav!
I personally love to make a batch of pasta bake (which makes 8 portions!) and portion it into Tupperware and put some in the fridge as the older children like to take it to school, Also I'll put a few in the freezer (they keep for 6-8weeks) so it is also a quick and easy meal for me, whack it in the microwave with a bag of microwave veg and I have a nutritious dinner in minutes, because lets face it what busy mum wants to spend X amount of time cooking her evening meal once the kids have gone to bed, I know I certainly don't! Most nights I'm that goosed I can't even be arsed to take my makeup off or brush my teeth before bed let alone cook!
I'm actually sat here at the moment eating a Pasta Bake Tupperware that I've taken out of the freezer and microwaved to save time so that I can catch up on coursework and blog. So one big soup/stock pan is what you need for this.
300g Bag of Quorn Mince (or use 500g Lean Steak Mince)
3 Sweet Peppers
1 Medium Brown Onion
250g Punnet of Button Mushrooms
3 Vegetable Stock Cubes
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes With Herbs
1) Make up 1.2 pints of vegetable stock in a jug. Place mince in the bottom of the bowl with the tomato puree and cover with the stock mix so the water is roughly a centimetre above the mince. If using Steak mince, mash it up in the water with a potato masher, so its all in small bits.
2) Turn the hob on full and whilst the water is coming up to temperature, chop and dice your onion first and add to the water, then peppers, then finally the mushrooms. Continue to allow to boil, do NOT turn the temperature down. Keep stirring the mixture every few minutes or so.
3) Allow all the water to boil out so there's roughly 1cm deep of water left at the bottom of the pan. This should take roughly 20 minutes. Once you're at this point turn the temp down to simmer and add your tin of chopped tomatoes, stir that all through your mix and allow it t all come to the same temp, then voila, you're done!
So you can use this Bolognese mix to make the three meals above.
Serve the Bolognese on top of spaghetti and sprinkle with cheese.
Layer in a Glass dish, Bolognese, lasagne sheet, Bolognese, lasagne sheet, Bolognese, Lasagne Sheet, White Sauce (jar) and then sprinkle the top with cheese and bake in a preheated oven on 180 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
Half cook a full packet of fusilli pasta and drain, place in a large 30cm x 20cm glass oven dish and the add your Bolognese mixture to the dish too and add 100g of 50% reduced fat grated cheese and mix it all together thoroughly. Then cover the top of the mixture with a further 150g of cheese then bake in a preheated over for 35-45minutes until the cheese on top is melted and golden.
Nutritional info below for the pasta bake and Bolognese (Made with Quorn)
Pasta Bake (serves 8)
Bolognese (Serves 6)
sTEPH'S bROCCOLI & cHEESE sOUP
Ahhhh Autumn Baby!!!! I bloody love it. Not only is it cosy jumper and boots season but it is also Soup Season! Stunning homemade soup waiting on the hob for you when you get home from a long cold day. So over the course of the next few weeks I'm going to share my fav quick and easy soup recipes with you. Starting with my no1 fav, Broccoli and Cheese Soup.
Only 4 ingredients and minimal prep. Perfect after doing all the school runs with a nice loaf of crusty bread.
2 Full heads of broccoli roughly chopped inc stalk
1 Large baking potato peeled and chopped
4 Vegetable stock cubes
100g Soft cheese
1) Peel and chop the large baking potato and chuck it in the pan
2) Roughly chop the full broccoli heads including the stalk and chuck it in too
3) Mix the stock cubes in a jug with 1.2pints of hot water and add that to the pan too.
4) Bring to the boil and allow to boil until the broccoli and potatoes are falling apart, the water should of reduced by a third at this point, turn the hob off and allow to cool down slightly, then add the soft cheese and stir through with a wooden spoon, before blitzing the whole mixture with a hand blender until it is smooth, season with cracked black pepper and sea salt, then serve with crusty bread or some homemade savoury cheese scones.
Nutritional info- Serves 5
sTEPH'S aUTUMN CARROT & sWEET POTATO sOUP
My second fav is this gorgeous spicy soup. Again using seasonal ingredients this soup just screams autumn and the added spice really warms you up from your head to your toes on a cold day. I make this soup in my large stock pot (scoville) and it's as easy as the previous soup recipe, minimal work to do then hand blend at the end. As with most of my meals, this can be frozen in portions in Tupperware then whacked in the microwave for a quick and easy supper after a long day at work, I personally love this snuggled under a blanket whilst watching a film in the conservatory on a cold evening, listening to the rain hitting off the roof, dreamy!!!
1 Tbsp of coconut oil
1 Medium onion
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
450g Carrots, peeled and chopped
450g Sweet potato peeled and chopped
1.2L Vegetable stock in hot water (3cubes)
1 large honey crisp apple
Salt & Pepper to season.
1) Place coconut oil and chopped onions in a pan and cook until softnened, then add curry powder and make sure all onions are covered.
2) Add vegetable stock, carrots, apple and sweet potato, allow to boil until potatoes and the apple are falling apart, and carrots are soft. Water should be reduced by a third at this point.
3) Turn off the heat and allow to cool a little before blitzing with a hand blender and seasoning with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Nutritional info - Serves 5
An iconic pudding from school halls across the UK, this humble tray bake cake has a special place in the memories of those lucky enough to taste it. Pairing simple fluffy sponge with a soft white icing and multi-coloured sprinkles, it was a staple dish in the traditional school dinner.
And it's actually pretty easy to replicate this legendary dessert. The recipe is really basic and the ingredients are standard baking items. If you want to relive this wonderful slice of childhood, or want to introduce your own kids to the joy of school dinner cake, this is a good one to bake. You'll notice a lot of my bakes are tray bake, simply because they're easier and make more portions for my Tribe.
225G Self Raising Flour
225G Caster Sugar
4 Free Range Eggs
For the icing
350G Icing sugar
5 Tbsp of water
There is no method. Haha Seriously no joke. I'm super lazy with this recipe as it's a super quick staple dish for me, the one thing that is a must is that the eggs are free range and you use good quality butter. That is all. I literally weigh all the ingredients out into the same mixing bowl, then I will gently mix it until all the ingredients start to come together, at which point I'll tip the mixing bowl slightly on it's side and give the mixture a thorough beating for a few minutes almost like I'm trying to whisk it, at the end of that you should have a lovely smooth mixture.
I use my staple square Pyrex dish (25cm x 25cm) Lined with baking paper, before putting the baking paper in I brush the dish with a bit of butter to then keep the paper in place so it doesn't move when you pour your mixture in. Next pour your mixture in making sure its all level and spread into the corners. Place in the over for roughly 35-45 minutes until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to stand to thoroughly cool down, then make your icing mixture, you want it quite thick and white in colour not running or transparent, then pour it over making sure the whole cake is covered, then put your sprinkles on and leave to sit overnight so the icing sets nice and your cake is ready to cut.
This recipe makes 9 good sized squares if you're going to have it as a traditional pudding with pink custard, however if you will be serving it with tea or coffee, I cut the squares in half so you have a nice sized slither of cake with your brew so it's not too much. I have pictured a slither serving size with a brew so you have a rough idea, also pictured is the full pudding square slices.
As always enjoy, let me know how you get on, I always love to hear how you guys have got on at home replicating my recipes.
Nutritional Info Below
Per Pudding Portion
Per Slither Slice
I have a secret confession, I have actually held back publishing this recipe for a long time! My reason being is every cook/baker has a staple dish, well this is mine. The tribe and close family and friends absolutely love my flapjacks and always ask if there's any in the tins at home. So before I give you the recipe, I'm going to give you the back story behind these little beauties too and a wee look into my childhood.
So rolling the clock waaaaaay back (back a little more, little bit more..... there ya go!) to my emrys ap iwan (highschool days) My favourite day in school was Friday, Friyay!! Because of the food served in the canteen of course, forever a fatty at heart. Fridays were fish and flapjack Friday, so it was like a chippy dinner, I used to have chips peas and gravy every single Friday (I'm a creature of habit) and then for pud I would always have warm flapjack and custard.
WARM FLAPJACK AND CUSTARRRRDDDD (cue homer Simpson type drooling)
I lived for Fridays, not because it was the gateway to weekend drinking but because of the food haha. So anyway over the years I researched and cooked various recipes and never found one that fully replicated the school ones, so I tweaked around with various ingredients, until one day I conjured up this recipe. THE nicest flapjacks and perfectly on par with replicating them childhood good food feelings.
170g Caster sugar
6 Heaped tablespoons of Golden syrup
85g Plain Flour
1) Line a glass Pyrex 25 x 25cm baking dish with baking paper, I like to cut out two long thing rectangles and cross them over the other if that makes sense (I hope it does anyway!)
2) Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and place on medium heat, stir continuously until all the ingredients are melted and the sugar dissolved. Once done, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a sec whilst you do step 3.
3) Place flour and Oats in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix the two ingredients together until combined.
4) Add you liquid mix from out of your pan to the mixing bowl containing your dry ingredients. Again thoroughly stir all the ingredients together until combined and there's no "dry" mixture left.
5) Empty your flapjack mix into your Pyrex dish, making sure it is level with a fork and evenly spread out to the edges. Cook in the oven on 180 degrees C for roughly 15-20 minutes. The best tip, I can give you is keep an eye on them and when the edge are only just starting to turn golden remove them from the oven even if the centre is still a bit squidgy. The reason for this is that it will continue cooking afterwards and will set just perfect. If you take it out when its all golden it will set solid and you would literally break your teeth trying to bite it once it's cooled down!
We like to melt chocolate on top of ours and leave them to set overnight and then slice the next day as you get nice clean slices once its set properly. I portion them by cutting the square into four to give me four smaller squares, I then cut them diagonally giving me eight large triangles, I then cut the large ones in half giving me a total of 16 triangle, so on that basis this recipe serves 16 and the nutritional information per serving is below. The info below is for plain flapjacks without chocolate so if your adding chocolate please adjust accordingly. Much love and enjoy a lovely flashback of my childhood days when life was a lot simpler and all I worried about was what I'd have for lunch on Friday if they ever ran out of flapjacks, heaven forbid!!!
Serves 16, info per serving is,
Not for the faint hearted, I'm currently sat here eating a scrummy big bowl of it and my nose is running haha though as spicy as it is, it's bloody lovely, flavoursome and perfect for heating you up on these cooler evenings.
One of my favourite aspects of this dish, is that it is vegan. However you can easily chuck some chicken in it too for a non vegan version or instead add some Quorn pieces for your protein fix. This recipe serves 4 and they're good sized portions, with each portion containing 2 of your recommended 5 a day fruit and vegetable intake, I suggest serving it with a thai style rice and broccoli or green beans.
3 Fist sized sweet potatoes
1 Butternut squash
1 Sweet red pepper
1 Sweet green pepper
1 Red onion
1 Red chilli deseeded and diced
1 Can reduced fat coconut milk
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Heaped table spoon of red Thai curry paste
1 Tsp ground garlic
1 Tsp sea salt
1) cube your sweet potatoes (peel them if you prefer) and cube your butternut squash, place in a large 30 x 25 glass Pyrex roasting dish with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and sprinkle of the garlic and sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes at 180 degree Celsius making sure you give it all a good stir halfway through to distribute the oil and seasoning thoroughly, It will smell divine at this point.
TIP: I do not skin my butternut squash before putting it in the oven as its quite rubbery and hard to do, so instead do it once it's been par roasted and softer therefor muuuuuuch easier to skin.
2) Whilst they are in the oven roasting, chop your peppers, onion, and chilli and place in a large stock pan with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and cook on medium heat until softened slightly then turn off the heat.
3) Remove Tray from oven and de skin the butternut squash, once done add the squash and potatoes to the stock pan also. Add the coconut milk and red Thai curry paste. Bring to the boil and cook for roughly 10 minutes, constantly stir the mixture until it thickens and some of the coconut milk is boiled out. Voila. Steph's Autumn Thai Curry.
I buy Aldi microwavable rice and the lemongrass and chilli rice goes perfectly with this meal and literally only takes 2 minutes to cook and a bag serves two, so I highly recommend you buy some to have with this dish. As always nutritional info is listed below and is just for the curry not the rice.
Recipe serves 4
Nutritional info per serving
Pumpkin spice and all things nice, Autumn is the season that awakens my soul. Leaves of red, brown and gold, spooky stories around the fire, being told, logs cracking and the warmth fills the room, whispered voices of witches brews and brooms, fluffy socks and a warm cup of tea, candles are lit and I'm happy as can be.
Quick and easy hearty suppers are the perfect staple foods for Autumn, when the nights are dark and chilly sooner and you need some proper comfort food. It's the time of year when the majority put our bodies into a sort of food slumber and our waistlines tend to get thicker. So the majority of my autumn recipes are low in calories and good for the soul as well as the tummy.
One of our family favourites is my cottage pie, I've since tweaked the recipe to cater for my vegetarianism but the Quorn mince can be swapped out of course for 500g lean minced beef so don't worry about that, however I would highly recommend you try the vegetarian version too as it's absolutely delicious and the non veggies in our household are known to sneak back into the kitchen for seconds and thirds.
I've used a deep glass Pyrex dish for this recipe (25cmx25cm) and it serves 6. As always nutritional information will be detailed at the end.
A 300g bag of Quorn mince
3 vegetable stock cubes made up in 1L of hot water.
500g carrots chopped/diced
1 large brown onion chopped/diced
200g frozen peas
60g 50% fat grated mature cheddar
50g I can't believe its not butter light
1) Peel and quarter your potatoes and bring to the boil in a large pan.
2) Place vegetable stock, onions and carrots in a separate pan and bring to the boil, allow to boil for roughly 10 minutes.
3) Add Quorn mince to the stock and vegetable mix. And continue to boil for a further 10 minutes.
4) Add peas when there is about 2cm of water left in the bottom of the pan and allow to boil for
5) minutes to allow the remaining water to boil out. You may need to keep an eye on it during these final stages so that it doesn't stick. Once all the water has boiled out, turn the hob off and put the pan to one side whilst you sort the potatoes out.
6) Once the potatoes are soft and a knife is inserted into the potato, it should slide straight off. Drain your potatoes and mash with the I can't believe its not butter until there are no lumps, add a splash of milk and give the potatoes a good beating with a wooden spoon.
7) Pour your mince and vegetable mix into your Pyrex jug smoothing it all down so it makes a nice flat base for topping with the mash. Next put your max on a spoon at a time, making sure all the mince mixture is covered and there's no gaps around the edge.
8) Sprinkle your cheese on top then place into the over on 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and started to go golden.
9) This dish can be cut into 6 portions and served with either broccoli or red cabbage and apple I prefer.
Nutritional information per portion without broccoli etc is as follows...
Dietary Fibre 7.8
If you substitute the Quorn for minced beef adjust as necessary.
This is one of my favourite meals to make on a school night in autumn as i can rustle it up fairly quickly then sit down and read the children's school reading books with them whilst we're waiting for it to cook. Perfect cosy evening!!
Soooo finally sweater weather is upon us and the darker colder evenings are on the horizon. The leaves are about to look super pretty and show us how beautiful it is to let things go, rest, recuperate and blossom again bigger and better than before. My favourite time of year, I live for long jumpers and thick leggings, boots and scarfs, snuggled in the back garden on the steps with a brew in hand keeping myself warm, breathing in the crisp autumn air. Is it just me that thinks the air, the atmosphere feels different in autumn??
Anywho, you cant beat a good easy one pot recipe on these cooler nights which is why I'm bringing you my yummy chilli con carne recipe (vegan of course, sorry-not sorry. Don't diss it until you try it please) it is super low in calories so easy to fit in to your meal plan and has good macro content too, plus each portion is 2 of your 5 a day win win.
Super easy recipe that requires no weighing and not that much prep or keeping an eye on it either to be honest, so good to get on the hob in between household jobs & homework. I use a scoville soup/casserole pan. All of my pots and pans are scoville, they come with a warranty and they really are non stick and good quality with the added bonus of being reasonably priced.
3 large sweet peppers
1 large brown onion
1 bag of 300g quorn mince
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp of hot cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
3 vegetable stock cubes
120g vegan cheese (optional-20g per portion)
Recipe serves 6
1) Cube peppers and onions and place in the stock pan & Add the bag of quorn mince
2) Mix the stock cubes with 1L of boiling water and add to the pan.
3) Bring to the boil and occasionally stirring allow half of the water to boil out.
4) Drain the kidney beans and add to the stock pan, again allow half the water to boil out. You should have about a centimetre deep of water left in the bottom.
5) Add the full tin of chopped tomatoes and spices to the mix, allow it to boil for a further few minutes and thoroughly mix the spices and tomatoes through the chilli. And voila that's your chilli con carne done. Yum!!
6) Serve on top of jacket potatoes or rice with 20g grated cheese per portion. Another fav way of mine to serve this is with rice in wraps- burritos or In tacos.
Nutritional info per portion of chilli only below...
Welcome to my recipe page....
I have a massive sweet tooth, I'm usually the girl checking out the dessert menu in the restaurants first and fock it lifes to short!! Anyone who knows me knows I love to cook/bake so on here I'll be sharing my recipes with you guys. My staple bakes are....