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Lots of protein! The lentils make it even more filling so you can use less pasta. Hearty on a cold night.

You will need:

500g lean beef mince

3/4 cup red lentils

500g tomato passata

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons finely diced parsley stalks

3 tablespoons of chopped parsley leaves

Salt and pepper

Spaghetti (1/2 serve per person)

Zucchini noodles / zoodles

Parmesan, to serve

Method:

Melt butter in a large pan, add the garlic and mince.

Stir till brown.

Add the lentils. Stir.

Add the oregano and parsley stalks.

Add the passata and tinned tomatoes. Stir.

Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil then immediately reduce to a lower the temperature to a simmer for 20-30 minutes – until the lentils have softened.

In the mean time – cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet.

When the spaghetti is cooked, Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce.

Put your zoodles at the bottom of your colander before straining the boiling spaghetti over it – this will soften the zoodles and mix them in with the spaghetti.

Add the finely chopped parsley leaves to the sauce before serving. Ladle generous quantities of sauce over the spaghetti/zoodles and top with fresh Parmesan.

Enjoy 🤗

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This tasty treat was made by combining some random ingredients I had in my fridge and a craving for cheesecake!

Ingredients

250g Philadelphia light cream cheese

300ml butter milk

200ml cream

6 eggs

4 heaped tablespoons of self raising flour

1 teaspoon of Vanilla

1 cup caster sugar

Zest of one lemon

 

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients into a smooth batter. Keep beating for a full 5 minutes, the mixture will rise and thicken.

transfer in to a baking dish that has been lined with baking paper.

Bake for 50 minutes

Sit in oven for 20 minutes

Remove from oven and stand for 30 minutes.

Rich Fruit Cake – a treasured recipe from a dear friend and seasoned baker.

(This is a borrowed image)

Labour intensive, but worth it. Make at least 3 weeks in advance. Perfect for the festive season. A month or two in advance is even better.

Ingredients  (substitute other dried or glace fruit to achieve approx. 1.2kilo) for example craisins,.

250 grams  sultanas

375 grams raisins

120 grams dates

120 grams desert prunes

120 grams apricots

120 grams glace pineapple

60  grams glace cherries

1 tablespoon of marmalade

½ cup brandy (or rum)

250 grams butter

½ cup castor sugar

½ cup well packed brown sugar

6 eggs

2 ¼ cups plain four

1 level teaspoon carb soda

1 level teaspoon or more spice

Pinch salt

60 grams blanched chopped almonds I used walnuts

Method

Wash sultanas and spread on tray to dry. Chop raisins, apricots, pineapple, dates, prunes and cherries.

Add sultanas together in a bowl and pour over brandy /rum. Cover and soak at least overnight but longer is better, it will not spoil. I had the fruit soaking for 5 days

Cream butter and sugars, add eggs one at a time.

Sift flour, spice and soda. Fold into mixture alternatively with fruit and rum, stir in almonds.

Prepare 20cm round or square tin with 2 layers of brown paper and an inner layer of greaseproof paper.

Bake in moderate over {say 150c for approx. 3 or 3 ½ hours. It is important not to overcook or it will be dry and bitter! I took it out after 3hrs while the cake is still crackling to your ear

Test with a bamboo skewer preferably through a surface crack – the skewer comes out cleanly when it is cooked.

Wrap in a clean tea towel then several layers of newspaper so that the cake cools very slowly and retains moisture.

A clip seal Tupperware is ideal for storage and to slow the cooling process.  When cool add brandy or rum if desired. I poured on a week before Birthday about 3 weeks after baking.

Vegan Loaf Cake

For vegan friends or friends during Greek Easter or for something just a little bit different.

Full of nuts!!

Ingredients.

3 cups plain flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups warm (not hot!) water

175 g tahini

175g peanut butter

2 cups in total – your choice of chopped nuts and dried fruit*.

*The first time I used – chopped walnuts, dates, apricots, sultanas. The second time I used chopped walnuts, pecans, peaches, currants, dates.

Method.

Preheat oven to 180c.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Add sugar and spice.

Mix the tahini and peanut butter in to the warm water. Whisk until combined.

Add the wet to the dry mixture.

Stir through the nuts and dried fruit.

Gently transfer in to a lined baking tin.

Bake at 180c for 30 minutes.

Then at 160c for 20/30 mins till cooked right through – test with a skewer.

This was the image online

This is the cake we made

Not bad for a first timer!!

Chocolate ripple cake ingredients

1 x 500ml thickened cream

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 x 250g packet of Choc Ripple biscuits

Notes.

I made stacks of biscuits in rows of 5, with cream between each biscuit. I laid out the shape on the plate with cream. Then filled the void with biscuit chunks. I covered the cake with the cream mixture and left it to set in the fridge for 6 hours. Then we did the piping. Then it needs another hour or two in the fridge before accessorising and serving.

I added peppermint essence to the green icing mixture and raspberry to the pink. I used the fondant from between licorice all sorts, musk sticks for the antennae, bullets for the feet

Method

Use an electric beater to beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until firm peaks form.

Spread a little of the cream mixture along a serving platter to make the base.

Stand 1 biscuit upright on its edge and spread with cream mixture. Place another biscuit alongside and sandwich together

Continue layering with cream mixture and remaining biscuits to form your desired caterpillar shape

Icing ingredients

• 1 cup softened unsalted butter

• 3-4 cups icing sugar

• peppermint extract, raspberry extract

• up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Food colouring – green, yellow, blue, red

Method.

To make icing, mix cream, icing sugar until smooth

Divide icing mixture into three separate bowls

Keep  a tablespoon of icing mixture aside for deceration

Add a few drops of desired colouring to each of the three bowls to make a bowl of light green, dark green and red icing. Mix until combined.

Spoon icing mixture into piping bag and attach desired nozzle. Pipe icing onto chocolate ripple cake

Brownies. KLP & GF

Rich. Fudgy. Delicious.

They’re a bit more fiddly than my other brownies, but they’re worth it.

No wheat flour or yeast which means they’re great for Passover or for friends avoiding gluten. (Still contains dairy!)

Ingredients

300g 70% cocoa chocolate

250g salted butter

1 1/2 cups of raw sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

4 large eggs – separated

1 cup of coconut flour

100g milk chocolate chips

100g dark chocolate chips

Method.

Preheat oven 150degrees

Melt chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl over a simmering pot of water until smooth and glossy.

Remove from heat and stir in sugar.

It is very important you let this cool for 1hr.

Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.

Fold in coconut flour with a wooden spoon.

Then add the chocolate chips.

Using an electric mixer in a clean bowl – beat the egg whites with a pinch of sugar until they form soft peaks.

Gently fold through the egg whites whites a rubber spatula. Mix as little as possible to keep the mixture aerated.

Gently scoop into brownie pan – approx 20cm x 30cm – lined with baking paper.

Bake for 1hr.

Cool for at least 1hr so that the chocolate can solidify.

Cut into 3cm cubes after the brownies have cooled.

Makes approx 24.

I like to leave it to set over night and let it set into a thick, smooth chocolate mousse. However, you could let it sit until its room temperature and use it to coat a cake (chilled in the fridge or freezer) or drizzle over something delicious.

Ingredients.

350g dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70%)

200ml sour cream

150ml thickened cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Method.

Heat the cream and sour cream in a saucepan on a medium head.

Whisk until smooth.

Turn down to the lowest heat.

Break up the chocolate and add to the pan.

Whisk until melted and smooth.

Add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

I put it in the fridge in a sealed Tupperware overnight.

***

Serve with an ice cream scoop and surround with berries. It’s very rich – a little goes a long way!