I’ve really enjoyed this week as I have been putting my new kitchen to the test and I’ve got to say it is a dream to work in. I have space to put things down, which is a luxury I am just not used to.
I started by making a loaf in my breadmaker and I had forgotten how delicious homemade bread tastes. We have been eating shop bought bread for the last eight weeks and it has cost us a fortune. Due to my daughter’s dairy intolerance I have been buying Warburtons bread whilst the builders have been here, but it costs £1.45 a loaf!
Today I worked out that the large loaf in my breadmaker costs just 42p to make.
I use my bread slicer to slice my bread and I get approximately fourteen slices from it, which works out at 3p per slice. Warburtons bread works out at 7p per slice, though I can see it is very easy and convenient to just pick up a ready made sliced loaf from the shops. However, homemade bread does taste lovely and I know what goes into it.
I also wanted to put my new cooker to the test, so I made my tried and tested easy cake recipe to see how it faired and it cooked it brilliantly. I love this recipe as you just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it all together. You can find the recipe here.
As we haven’t had a homemade cake for ages I wanted to make it special for my daughters, so I put normal butter icing on one side (which my eldest daughter really likes) and chocolate butter icing on the other (which my youngest daughter really likes). I also used homemade strawberry jam to sandwich the sponge layers together.
It felt like a real treat to have homemade cake again whilst sitting at our table, it’s something we have all missed.
I also made some flapjacks for my daughter to take to school in her packed lunch and these also cooked lovely in my new oven.
Another cake I made this week was my christmas cake. I have usually made it by now, but it doesn’t matter as this recipe can be eaten the day you make it if you wanted to. I always use the same recipe as it is easy and taste lovely. You can find the recipe here.
My recipe uses ground almonds and I have had a problem buying them this year in the supermarkets…I wonder if anyone else reading this has had the same problem or knows why this is?
In the end I bought flaked almonds and ground them up in my food processor:
The christmas cake turned out well and is now wrapped up in greaseproof paper in my pantry. I will ice it nearer the time after it has had another few spoons of brandy poured into it.
Last week, my good friend Arlene, dropped round to give me a ‘kitchen warming’ present. She gave me the cast iron pan, that you can see in the photograph below. She had only used it once as the burner on her hob was not strong enough to heat the whole base of the pan. She knew I now had a large burner on my hob and thought I would like it and she was right.
So I decided to cook a Chicken and Parsnip Stew.
As it ages since I have posted a recipe on my blog, I thought I would share how I made it. Parsnips are really great to add to stews in winter and they are even sweeter now we have had a frost. I love parsnips in winter when there aren’t many vegetables around and they store really well in the ground.
Chicken and Parsnip Stew.
2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 chicken pieces (I used legs and thighs)
1 onion chopped
4 medium parsnips roughly chopped
6 large mushrooms chopped
1 ½ pints of chicken stock
Preheat your oven gas 5 / 190C / 375F.
Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof, lidded casserole dish.
Add the chicken pieces.
Cook the chicken pieces until they are golden brown on all sides.
Add all the other ingredients and finally pour the chicken stock over it.
Cover the dish and cook in the oven for approximately two hours, or until the parsnips are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back on Monday at my usual time.