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Campervan Quiche Lorraine

Apr
26

 

We were staying in our campervan over the holidays and as it was a nice day, I wanted to make a quiche to take on a picnic. However, as you know when camping you don’t have access to the same extensive range of baking/cooking tins as you do at home. It’s a basic set of saucepans and a roasting tin if you’re lucky. So you have to get creative.

I decided to try using a saucepan and I have to tell you it worked a treat. Obviously I was a bit concerned about how I was going to get the quiche out after cooking as I usually use my trusty non stick springform tin.

The answer of course is grease and a whole lot of it. If you liberally grease the whole inside of the saucepan with oil to get it good and non stick before you start, the quiche just pops straight out. I used a full metal pan so that it could go in the oven. If you have a go at this, make sure your pan doesn’t have a plastic handle!

What you need

For the pastry

6oz plain flour

3oz butter

water to mix

For the filling

3 eggs

150ml milk

4 rashers of bacon, chopped up with scissors

a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

a handful of fresh spinach

salt & pepper

What to do

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Put the flour in a bowl, rub in the butter using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs and then stir in enough water (2 – 3 tbsp) using a fork to bring it together in a clump.

Grease a saucepan with oil until nicely coated and then press the pastry in the bottom and up the sides to create a pastry case.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the bacon bits for a few minutes until golden.

Mix the eggs and milk in a jug, season with salt & pepper, add the bacon, tomato halves and spinach leaves and stir to combine.

Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.

Leave to cool and using a knife go around the edge of the pastry to loosen and then lift out.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.

Cookie Dough

Feb
10

When it comes to sweet treats I’m firmly in the Roald Dahl and Mary Poppins camp – Treats are essential to life (Roald Dahl) and A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down (Mary Poppins).

You won’t find me on any sugar free diets. Everything in moderation of course but life wouldn’t be worth living without a cookie or two.

Chocolate cookies are a huge favourite in our house. I love them because there’s nothing like whipping a batch of these to take to on the school pick up to put a big smile on my kids faces.

You can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to a month. Then, you can become mum/dad/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend of the year by suddenly presenting the family with warm cookies and milk at bedtime.

You can also use the cookie dough to make your own cookie dough ice-cream for weekend movie nights by mixing chunks of it into a tub of vanilla ice-cream.

What you need:

8oz self raising flour

4oz butter

4oz white sugar

4oz brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

200g chocolate, cut into chunks

What you do:

Soften the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds and beat in both sugars until creamy

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat in until combined

Add the flour and mix in

Chop the chocolate

Add it in

And stir it in

Chill for 15 minutes or up to a week. Try not to return to fridge to eat spoonfuls!!!!

When you want some cookies, preheat the oven to 200 degrees, line a tray with baking paper, grab some of the dough, shape into balls and place on the tray with space in between

Bake for 10 minutes

 

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.

Fortune cookies

Jan
27

Fortune cookies are always one of the best things about going for a Chinese meal. Everyone always loves cracking open the little biscuits to reveal their future. They are easy to make, you just have to be work quickly to get the fortune inside, fold them and hang them off the spoon handles before they start to go hard, but that’s part of the fun of it. We have been on the floor laughing some years when people were not quick enough and their cookie set into a weird shape with the fortune hanging out.

Get the kids to write the fortunes before hand so you’re all ready to go. The cookies only take a few minutes in the oven and then you go into mach speed.  It’s easier if you cook a few at a time. They might look a bit more rustic than a shop bought ones but I like rustic and everyone enjoys eating them far more because we made them ourselves.

What you need:

2oz plain flour
2oz icing sugar
2oz butter
1 egg

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and get a non stick baking tray ready.

Soften the butter in the microwave for 30 secs on high. Then, beat the sugar & butter together in a bowl.

Beat (mix like mad) in the egg until combined.

Fold (mix gently) in the flour until combined.

Spread spoonfuls of the mixture onto a non stick baking tray into rough rounds using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake for 5 minutes until just golden.

Working super quickly, take out of the oven, remove the biscuits from the tray with a palette knife, put in the fortune inside, fold over into a crescent shape and bend over a wooden spoon handle. Leave to cool & harden.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.

An Everyday Wholemeal Bread

Jan
26

I can’t tell you how much I love baking my own bread. I love the science behind it. I love the feel of the dough. I love the smell when it’s baking. But most of all I love the flavour of homemade bread.

It’s a whole different species than a ready sliced loaf. For most shop bought loaves, especially white ones, the bread is just a vehicle for the sandwich filling or the toast topper and offers hardly anything in the way of nutrients and goodness. Proper bread is proper food. It’s the main event. It’s nutritious. It’s delicious. And you can cut extra thick slices.

Making your own bread means preservative and additive free. Once I’d read Rose Prince’s book “the new english kitchen changing the way you shop, cook and eat”, in particular the chapter on the bread making industry (although the chapter on margarine is a real eye opener too), and how the humble loaf of bread is adulterated with additives to make it rise quicker, improvers to make it taste better, and preservatives to make it last on supermarket shelves longer… I was completely put off buying shop bread. Even now, I look on the label to make sure that any loaf I’m buying only contains what it should…. flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water…. Making your own also means your house smells like a bakers shop, you get excellent toast and have access to the most scrumptious breadcrumbs imaginable that you can use in your cooking. Real bread just goes harder.. and staler.. as the days go by… it doesn’t get green mould on it.

I think bread making has a bad reputation. Supposedly it takes so long to make that we’ve had to resort to breadmakers because otherwise you have to knead it for ages and then wait for it to rise for hours and hours before you can even bake it.

Real bread made with yeast does take time it’s true because the yeast needs time to work it’s magic but the good news is that you don’t have to stand there watching it. The yeast will happily get on doing what it does even if you’re sleeping or out at work or shopping or whatever else you need to do.

Once you realise that you don’t have to work around the bread, the bread can work around you… making your own delicious wholemeal bread everyday becomes a real possibility.

You’ll see in this recipe that I hardly spend any time kneading the bread, a few minutes is all, and I don’t even take it out of the bowl to save making a mess.  If you’ve had a stressful day, a good ole bashing session with the bread and copious amounts of flour is a great stress buster but if you’re strapped for time, you don’t have to. Kneading the dough stretches the gluten in the flour which is what makes the bread light and fluffy inside. If you knead only a little the bread will be denser (I like it this way), if you knead for longer the bread will be lighter. The choice is yours depending on whether you can be bothered, whether you have time and what type of bread you want to eat.

The yeast will make the bread rise within an hour in a warm room. But you can leave bread dough in the fridge overnight and it will still have risen by morning. Or you can leave it on the side all day in a cool room and it’ll be done by the time you get home. Or you can speed up the rising process by putting it in a low oven for 30 minutes first before baking it. The bread can work around you.

What you need:

1lb wholemeal/granary flour
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
300ml hand hot water
1 tbsp sugar/honey
1 tsp salt
1 sachet of dried yeast

What to do:

Put the flour in a large bowl.

Then add the sugar, salt and yeast.

The best way to make the water hand-hot (i.e you can stick your hand in comfortably) is to add 100ml boiling water from the kettle and top up to 300ml with water from the cold tap. Mix the oil and water together in a jug and stir into the flour mixture.

Stir it together until it starts to form a clump.

Put a little oil on your hand and knead it for a few minutes (or 10 minutes if stressed and need the relief), pushing and pulling, until it becomes smooth

Cover with clingfilm and leave for an hour or longer (as is convenient to you) until puffed up.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, line a tin with greaseproof paper and press the dough in.

Bake for 30 minutes until risen and golden.

Hope you like this recipe and that you feel inspired to bake some bread soon.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.

Shortbread

Jan
24

The Mix = Pastry

On the 25th Jan, Scots everywhere will be celebrating the birth of their national poet Robert Burns with a traditional Burns night supper. Any excuse for a celebration and I’m there making something to go with it.

Shortbread is a synonomous with Scotland. If anyone goes on a trip to Scotland, a box of shortbread is usually the souvenir they bring back. These melt in the mouth biscuits are gorgeous dunked in tea, eaten with a creamy dessert or to give as a gift and making them couldn’t be easier. 

Shortbread biscuits should be white not golden and so the key is to cook them on the coolest shelf in the oven and watch them so they don’t overcook. You want them just firm to the touch.

So find a tartan tablecloth, get a purple heather plant in a pot for the middle of the table, put on some bagpipe music, have a wee dram, say ‘och aye the noo’ in your best Scottish accent and treat your family or friends to some delicious shortbread.

Warning: These biscuits are extremely moreish. Don’t blame me if you eat a whole batch and have to make more!!

You will need:

7oz flour
1oz cornflour
6oz butter
4oz sugar plus extra for sprinkling on top

To make it:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter in a bowl, soften in the microwave for 30 sec.

Add the sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy

Add the flour/cornflour

Stir gently until it starts to clump together.

Use your hand to bring it together in a ball.

Sprinkle some flour on a work surface, and the rolling pin, and roll out the dough to make a rough rectangle.

.

Cut out shapes and place on the tray

Prick the top of each biscuit a few times with a fork and sprinkle with sugar

Bake on the coolest shelf in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave them to cool completely and they will harden.

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.