University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

Twitter: @EatRainbowLove
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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Honey and lemon glazed chicken

I found this recipe in my friends cookbook (Good food 101 cheap eats) which was perfect since I'd just bought 4 chicken drumsticks in Sainsbury's (for only £1!) I don't like citrus but I love lemon in sauces and this makes a perfect sticky glaze over the chicken and potato wedges. It has amazing flavour - you can taste the lemon, the honey and the garlic all at the same time. It's so quick and easy to do, you just make the sauce and bung it all in the oven for 45 minutes. The sauce makes the chicken so moist and the wedges soft - I transferred the wedges to a clean baking tray 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time to crisp up. This is a really good student meal if you want something a bit more special and tasty, yet chicken and potato are still cheap to buy in the supermarket. The original recipe used fresh rosemary, but I didn't want to buy a whole bunch so just used dried mixed herbs instead.

Serves 1
- 2 chicken drumsticks
- 1 large baking potato, cut into wedge shapes
- 25g salted butter
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1/2 large lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- sprinkling of dried mixed herbs
- fresh spinach leaves, to serve

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees / gas mark 6
2. Place the chicken drumsticks and wedges in a deep baking tray
3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan and add the honey. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and add along with 3/4 of the crushed garlic clove (you can use the whole clove but it will be quite strong). Add some dried mixed herbs and stir together.
4. Drizzle the sauce all over the chicken and potato, turning everything until coated. Sprinkle with some more herbs then bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Turn the chicken drumsticks and remove the wedges from the pan onto a clean baking tray so they can crisp up. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the wedges are soft.
5. Serve with fresh spinach leaves or vegetables of your choice

Enjoy :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Feta and spinach filo triangles

These make the perfect starter or buffet food, they are so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. I used ready-rolled filo pastry from Sainsbury's and was really worried because I knew working with filo pastry could be quite tricky as it tends to dry out and crack, but I had no problems with this one at all! The textures were really good and spinach and feta go so well together. These will definitely impress at a dinner party so give it a go. I served this with a salad of mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber, tomato, feta and lemon. 

Makes about 10
- olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 150g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 50g cottage cheese
- 1/2 egg, beaten
- 10 sheets of ready-rolled filo pastry
- 100g slightly salted butter, melted

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onions until softened. Add the spinach and cook until the water is evaporated.
2. Mix together the egg, cottage cheese and feta cheese in a jug and add to the onion and spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.
3. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200 degrees.
4. Place a filo pastry sheet on a clean work surface and brush with melted butter all over.
5. Cut the pastry sheet into 3 equal strips 
 6. Place the sheets on top of one another. Next, place a spoonful of the filling at the end.
 7. Fold into a triangle like below
 8. Then continue to fold into a triangle, until the filling is completely encased.
 9. Butter the end of the leftover pastry and fold over. Brush both sides of the completed filo triangle with butter and place on a baking tray.
10. Repeat until all the mixture has gone then bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until hot in the middle and golden brown.
11. Serve with a greek salad!
Enjoy :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Fried halloumi fingers

For my sister's birthday, my mum and I decided to do a Greek themed night. I did the starters (this halloumi, feta and spinach filo pastries and greek salad) and for main we had pork stifado (instead of beef), and lamb and feta kebabs with cous cous. Everything was so delicious, it all worked really well. I don't have the recipe for the stifado, but there are lots of good ones online - it's basically a casserole type dish made with beef, red wine, stock, cinnamon etc. so had lots of rich flavours. The halloumi was really good it has such a strong flavour, and a crisp texture from the sesame seeds which we coated them in.

Serves 5
- Block of halloumi
- olive oil
- sesame seeds
- dried oregano

1. Cut the halloumi into strips
2. Brush both sides of each piece with olive oil and coat in sesame seeds. I did some without sesame and with dried oregano instead.
3. Pour more oil into a large frying pan and fry the cheese on a high heat until golden and crispy. Serve with a sprinkling of dried oregano.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Mint chocolate cupcakes

I made these yesterday for my sister's birthday celebrations tonight, and they were so delicious! Chocolate and mint is always the perfect match, and with a mint aero bubble on top, what could be better? These look really cute and taste surprisingly light and refreshing. I used a large star piping nozzle that I recently brought off Amazon and you can really tell the difference - I think these look a lot more professional than previous cupcakes I have made - it's definitely worth the money. These would also look good decorated with after eight mints.
For the chocolate sponges (makes about 24)
- 225 margarine/butter (or both)
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 225g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder

For the peppermint buttercream
- 150g unsalted butter
- 225g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp hot milk
- 4 tsp peppermint extract (according to taste)
- few drops of green food colouring
- mint aero bubbles, to decorate

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees. Line a few cupcake trays with cupcake cases.
2. Beat together the marg/butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding flour occasionally if curdling occurs.
3. Sift the remaining flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the bowl, then gradually whisk in the milk and vanilla essence.
4. Spoon into the cupcakes cases and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling tray.
5. For the butter cream, cream together the butter, sugar and milk until smooth. Add the peppermint extract and food colouring and stir thoroughly. Taste and if necessary add more of the peppermint.
6. Using a disposable piping bag and a large star nozzle, pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcakes - be generous! Place a mint aero bubble on top and voila!
I ran out of buttercream and so decorated the remaining 3 cupcakes like this, ha ha ha it makes me laugh:
Enjoy :)

Monday, 10 September 2012

Double chocolate cookies

I don't usually bake cookies that often because I can never find a simple recipe that works well for me. I like cookies to be softer and have a more chewy texture rather than just crunchy. Although these cookies do have a crisp texture at first, they also have a sort of brownie like texture which I love. This is mainly from using soft brown sugar instead of caster. They are really chocolatey and delicious. I am yet to create a cookie recipe that is crunchy with soft chocolate chunks in, so in the mean time, try these out! I'm sure they will be popular with friends and family as they were with mine.

Makes 24
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g soft brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g plain flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g chocolate, cut into chunks (mixture of milk and dark)

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees. Line several baking trays with baking paper.
2. Beat together the butter and both sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb of soda and mix until well combined, then stir in the chunks of chocolate.
5. Spoon the cookie mixture onto the baking trays in small, round balls, spaced well apart from each other.
6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Enjoy :)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Summer smoothies

It's been such a lovely sunny, hot day here today even though it's September now, woo, so these cold smoothies were perfect for today. I have also had a really bad cold these last few days (surprise surprise) so although I haven't had much of an appetite, I've been trying to eat as healthy as possible. I really wanted to make the pineapple and spinach smoothie that I've posted on here about before because it has lots of yummy and nutritious ingredients in, and in the end I made two different smoothies. The purple (and more attractive) one is exactly the same as the pineapple and spinach one, just without the spinach! They are both really delicious, I had the spinach one with my lunch and am going to have the sweeter one after dinner later!

You can find the recipe for the smoothie here - it is low fat natural yogurt, frozen berries, fresh pineapple, fresh spinach leaves and some water.
This time I added a little more of everything (particularly yogurt) so it made two drinks rather than just one. I also added some fresh blueberries as well as the frozen berries. Add everything but the spinach into the blender then pour half of it into a glass.
Add the spinach to the remaining smoothie in the blender, continue to blend, then pour that one into a glass too!
Enjoy :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Herb puff pastry sausage rolls

Credit goes to my mama for this post, since she made these, and was the one who came across the pastry with the recipe on the packaging. I just wanted to share this with you guys because they were soooo delicious, the best sausage rolls i've ever tasted! I've had home-made sausage rolls before but they were just the standard sausage cut in half and rolled in plain puff pastry with some beaten egg and seasoning - they are good too but you should definitely give this recipe a go, it has a lot more flavour. The pastry is from Sainsbury's in the fridge section (not freezer, although you can freeze it) - it is the ready rolled herb puff pastry. The recipe is on the packaging but I will write it here anyway for you to look at.

Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 pack of Sainsbury's ready rolled herb puff pastry
- 250g lean minced pork
- 100g lean bacon, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- pinch grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper

1. Remove pastry from the fridge 20 minutes before use, and pre-heat the oven to 200 degree / gas mark 6
2. Mix the mince, bacon, onion, breadcrumbs, 3/4 of the egg, nutmeg and seasoning together until well combined.
3. Unroll the pastry and cut in half lengthways. Spread half the filling along the centre of each pastry strip. 4. Roll up the pastry to enclose the filling, leaving the join underneath.
4. Using a sharp knife cut each length into 10, and make 2 shallow cuts into the top of each. Brush with the remaining beaten egg.
5. Place on a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.

Enjoy :)