Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Baking and cook books

Bargain Cook Book     

While out shopping looking for cables for the posh new tv (managed to get two from PoundBase at £2 each which even my superscrimpy brother declared BEST price ever! hurrah!) I came across this book in a charity shop and couldn't resist buying it!  Its completely brand new and super bargain at £2-50 - hurrah!  Next to crafting, I enjoy baking and next to crafty-books I like cookery-books!  There were one or two books that I was tempted to buy, but as I'd watched this particular tv series I decided to stick with just this one - I'll let you know which of the recipes I make.
It isn't especially the "cheating" aspect that attracted me - infact I don't like this term "cheat" anyway? you hear it a lot when you dare to mention "machine embroidery" .. not to mention daring to mention CHOCOLATE or CAKE as "cheating" diet-wise?  However, that aside what I do like is the aspect of using storecupboard and frozen ingredients for convenience to save TIME.
I am "lucky" in that I have plenty of time! Being at home and not working outside the home you'd think I have lots of time and all of it spare and set aside for cooking.  But you'd be wrong! there are lots of demands on my time and sometimes I find I don't HAVE the time to spend on cooking and preparing all our meals from scratch.  but what do to in its place?  We don't order takeaways and rarely eat "readymeals" and while I can rustle something up thats quick, easy and cheap for myself - a portion of salmon, some steamed spinach, dry fried mushrooms and a dish of salad in MINUTES my family would rather eat worms than this! .. chips. basically. I rely on CHIPS on those occasions.  and the fish is battered and yes both are usually deep frozen and quickly fried but surprisingly even that takes LONGER to cook than my meal takes to prepare AND cook.
Like I say, I'll let you know of any successful recipes from the book!

Good old fashioned bread pudding!

An old time fave. of mine is good old fashioned BREAD PUDDING!
Unfortunately no one in the family likes it as much as I do, so I gets to eat it .. which is bad .. for the hips .. I have, however, found two people who enjoy it one being my hairdresser! who is coming round tonight to cut hair and so I've made a batch and plan to give him most of it! he can worry about his own hips?

8oz/225g bread - white or brown they advise cutting off crusts, but I only use the "left over" crusts that no one eats from the loaves of mixed white and brown bread storing in the freezer until I have enough to make a double portion of this recipe!
10floz/275ml milk
2oz/50g melted butter
3oz/75g soft brown sugar
2 tspn mixed ground spice (I use cinnamon)
1 beaten egg
6oz/175 mixed dried fruit

Preheat oven to gas 4/350F/180C
2-2.5pint/1.2-1.5ltr baking dish, buttered
Break up the bread into suitably sized pieces and place in a bowl.
Pour over the milk and stir and leave for 30mins to soak.
Add the melted butter, sugar, mixed spice/cinnamon and beaten egg.
Use a fork to beat the mixture well making sure no lumps remain.
Stir in dried fruit and spread mixture into dish and sprinkle nutmeg.
Bake for about 1.25hrs.

I double the above ingredients and make one "large" bread pudding which cuts up into quite nice "chunky" portions, I find that using the recipe as above its a bit thin and flat.  I like to eat mine as a "pudding" with custard but its equally nice eaten cold on its own with a cup of mid-afternoon tea.

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