After the success of my apple crumble flapjacks, I was allowed back into the kitchen by Charlotte to try my hand at another of my favourites – cookies. For me there is little better than a nice cup of tea with a cookie or two!
Cookies are relatively simple to make, however there are a couple of key choices to make upfront…
Today is my birthday and so the boys decided that they wanted to make me a cake (I know I probably shouldn’t be posting recipes on my birthday, but we celebrated yesterday so I think it’s OK!). After some discussion they decided that it would be most fun to make a selection of cupcakes.
They’re all made from a simple all-in-one vanilla sponge (recipe below) to which they added either chocolate chips, sultanas or kept them plain. They then made butter icing, glacé icing and melted milk chocolate and finished them off with a selection of different sprinkles.
When I make cupcakes I like to take my flavour inspiration from cakes, desserts or other delicious sweet things.
My inspiration for today’s cupcakes is Jon’s favourite Starbucks drink – A Caramel Macchiato. It combines a delicious coffee sponge, with a hidden caramel centre, topped with whipped vanilla cream and drizzled with a bit more caramel.
Whenever we go to Starbucks Jon’s favourite drink is a Caramel Macchiato. For anyone who’s never heard of it before, it’s a milky coffee (a bit like a cappuccino) with vanilla syrup and caramel drizzle sauce on top.
Since buying a coffee machine a couple of years ago I like to make them at home too. I’ve always bought the caramel drizzle sauce and vanilla syrup but I thought it might be fun to have a go at making my own (although I haven’t attempted the vanilla syrup yet).
It’s Pancake Day on Tuesday and I think I may have gone a bit pancake crazy this year. I’ve made Traditional Pancakes, American Pancakes, American Style Lemon and Raisin Pancakes and ones that look like Mickey Mouse.
I honestly wasn’t planning on sharing another pancake recipe, but I thought these farm animals were too cute not to share.
In my life I’ve eaten a lot of bad scrambled eggs, either too dry or soft but watery. In fact for a long time I thought I didn’t really like scrambled eggs, much preferring poached or fried. It turns out they’re actually my favourite (although I’m quite fickle when it comes to food so don’t hold it against me if I change my mind later!).
In my opinion, perfect scrambled eggs are soft and creamy. I use both butter and milk in mine, which add to the creamy texture and flavour (unfortunately it also adds to the calories so they’re more of a treat that I eat less often than my poached or fried eggs).
I love bacon, it’s so versatile. I’ll happily eat it for breakfast lunch or dinner (I have seen a few recipes about that also use it in cakes but that’s a step further than I’ve gone so far – although you never know!).
The problem is that I always seem to cook it to go along with lots of other things (especially if I’m making a cooked breakfast) so I don’t have time to keep an eye on it in the frying pan whilst juggling the eggs, beans, toast, tea… you get the idea.
So I started cooking it in the oven. There’s a few advantages to doing it this way…
This creamy cheesy cajun chicken pasta recipe was one of those recipes where I started trying to make something else and it just sort of evolved.
I was originally making chicken pasta alfredo. However, when I made it, it just didn’t taste right. It was a bit boring. So I added a couple of spoonfuls of cajun spice mix – much better.
Then next time I made it I decided to add some vegetables (anyone that reads my recipes regularly will know that I like to squeeze extra vegetables into my dinners as much as I can). Since I was using cajun spice mix I decided to take my inspiration for the vegetables from chicken fajitas, so I used peppers and onions.
Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner and I’ve been busy sharing my favourite pancake recipes (including my Traditional Pancake Day Pancakes and my Lemon and Raisin Pancakes). However, there’s one fundamental problem with all of these pancakes… They’re all just round, how dull is that?
So I decided that it was about time I got my icing bottles out again and had a go at making my pancakes look a bit more interesting.
The subject of todays efforts… Mickey Mouse
Welcome to my 7th monthly update, all about what I’ve been up to on Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in January 2015.
As always I’ll share with you my experiences and hopefully pass on a few helpful tips, as well as the usual visitor and income numbers.
If you’ve not read one of my reports before and want to know a bit more about why I write them, then take a look at my very first report.
January 2015 – A record breaking month for Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen
This month I have seen an 800% increase in visitors to my site with over 12,000 people popping by (welcome all!). I put this down to three things (all of which conveniently start with the letter P!)…