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feta-mint-pastry-bites

 

What you need:

25g  ready to eat spinach

4 tbsp  crème fraiche

1 large clove garlic, crushed

Zest of 1 lemon

Small handful of mint, or ½ tsp dried mint

1  egg, lightly beaten

200g  feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp  pine nuts, toasted

500g ready rolled puff pastry

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F /Gas mark 6

Place the spinach in a colander, pour over boiling water to wilt, then run under the cold tap to cool. Squeeze out the excess water, roughly chop and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the crème fraiche, garlic, lemon zest, mint, and half of the beaten egg. Then fold through the feta, pine nuts and spinach.

On a lightly plain floured surface, roll out the ready rolled puff pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Using a bowl as a template, cut out 12 x 10.5cm circles.

Then divide the filling between them.

Brush the edges with the leftover beaten egg, then fold over and seal. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins.

Place the parcels on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 20-22 mins, or until golden, crisp and piping hot throughout.

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Berry Crumble Cups

 

What you need:

150g  plain flour

35g brown sugar

60g  porridge oats

4 tbsp  unsalted butter, melted

To serve:

Thick yogurt or ice cream

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 F / Gas mark  5.

Hull the strawberries and cut into chunks. Divide them and the other berries between 4 cups.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together and spoon on top of the berries.

Bake for 25 mins until the topping is golden.

Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt or ice cream, if you like.

 

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Griddled Halloumi & Watermelon Salad

 

What you need:

½ x 1.5kg watermelon

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

250g halloumi

150g Mixed baby leaf salad leaves

1 tbsp fresh basil, finely sliced

What you do:

Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the halloumi length ways into eight slices and toss in the remaining 1tbsp olive oil. Place a griddle pan over a medium heat and cook each slice for 30-60 seconds on each side, or until there are golden brown griddle marks on each side.

To serve divide the salad leave between four plates, scatter with watermelon cubes and top each salad with 2 slices of halloumi. Drizzle over the dressing, add a few slices of basil leaves and some edible flowers.

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Pimm's cake

 

What you need:

For the 3 sponge layers:

350g self-raising flour

350g caster sugar

350g butter

6 med eggs

2tsp baking powder

3-4tbsp Pimm’s

For the Pimm’s buttercream:

450g icing sugar

150g butter

4tbsp Pimms

For decoration:

5 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

Half a small cucumber, chopped into small pieces

1 med orange, chopped into small pieces

Sprigs of mint leaves

What you do:

Preheat oven 180 C /350 F/ Gas mark 4

Line 3 x 20 cm round cake tins with grease proof paper or spray with cake release spray.

In a large mixing bowl whisk with an electric hand whisk all the cake ingredients together using an all in on method.

Once completely mixed , spoon the mixture into the 3 tins making sure you get an even amount in each tin. Bake the cakes for 15-20 mins until golden and springy to touch.

Leave to cool for about 5 mins and then pop out onto a wire rack to cool further.

Make the buttercream by whisking all the ingredients together with an electric hand whisk.

Assemble your cake on a cake board or plate that you’d like to display it on.

Put a bit of the buttercream on the board or plate before stacking your cakes to keep the base in place. Pop your base cake onto the board or plate and cover in the light layer of buttercream.

Stack the second layer and cover this layer with buttercream too. Pop the top layer of cake onto the stack and cover in buttercream making sure it’s as smooth as possible. You can use a palette knife or spatula for this.

Leave to set a little and prepare your fresh fruit – dab with kitchen roll to take off any excess moisture. Sprinkle your chopped fruit in the centre of the cake. Garnish with mint and serve.

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Cloudy Lemonade Cake

 

What you need:

225g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

225g sugar

4 eggs

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

50ml  cloudy lemonade

For the drizzle:

100ml  cloudy lemonade

100g icing sugar

For the icing:

50g unsalted butter, softened

100g icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon curd

6 lemon sherbets, crushed, to top

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas mark  4.

Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin with Grease proof paper.

Mix the cake ingredients in a bowl.

Spoon the cake mix into the loaf tin and bake for 30 mins. Cover the top with greaseproof paper, and bake for 15-20 mins more.

Leave to cool.

In a small pan, heat the cloudy lemonade and icing sugar for about 5 mins until reduced. Leave to cool, then prick the cake all over with a skewer and pour the drizzle over.

Beat the icing ingredients together, spoon onto the cake and top with the crushed sweets.

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  • quick-saag-aloo-curry

 

What you need:

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

350g potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-2cm cubes

150ml coconut milk

200g  ready to eat spinach

20g  Indian inspired Saag cashews

What you do:

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Stir in garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook for 2 mins more.

Add the spices, stir well and cook for another minute.

Add the potatoes, along with 200ml water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked – about 15 mins.

Add coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and cashews. Serve sprinkled with another 20g cashews.

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creamy-avocado-and-sweet-chilli-pasta

What you need:

250g  pasta (shells, Penne or Fusilli work best )

2  ripe and ready to eat avocados

2 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

The juice of 1/2 lemon

2 handfuls baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp toasted  pine nuts, toasted

What you do:

Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Remove the stones from the avocados, scoop out the flesh and mash well. Stir though olive and lemon juice.

Put the spinach in a colander in the sink. Strain the cooked pasta through it, reserving 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water.

Stir the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water and avocado mixture together in a pan, until the pasta is well coated.

Serve drizzled with sweet Chilli sauce and sprinkle over pine nuts.

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Slow Cooker Taco Soup

What you need:

What you do:

In a medium frying pan or skillet, cook the minced beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.

Place the minced beef, onion, chilli beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chilli peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker.

Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

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Slow Cooker Thai Pork with Peppers

 

What you need:

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger root

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 red  peppers, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size lengths

1 lb boneless pork chops

What you do:

Place the chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, red bell peppers, and pork chops into a slow cooker, stir together, and set the cooker on Low.

Cook for 5 to 6 hours until the pork is tender, and remove the pork from the sauce. Shred the pork, return to the sauce, let cook until hot, and serve.

 

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Chicken Cacciatore

 

What you need:

3 lbs  chicken, cut up in pieces

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 (6 oz) tins tomato paste

6 oz sliced mushrooms

1 green pepper , finely chopped

2 -4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons oregano

1 tsp dried basil

12tsp  celery powder

1 tsp salt

1cup  dry white wine

3 tbsp  olive oil

1 tsp  crushed red pepper flakes(optional)

What you do:

Place onions in bottom of crock pot.

Add chicken pieces.

Stir all the other ingredients together.

Pour over chicken.

Cook on low heat  7 to 9  hours or high heat for about 3 to 4 hours.

Serve  with pasta or rice.

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