Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Banana Oat Bites with Chocolate Topping

A 'bite' is a term I have proudly adorned these banana, oaty creations with as they are somewhere between a cake and a cookie..........neither title fitted the bill correctly and therefore I've settled on simply a verb. 

These so called bites probably commit numerous culinary sins as there was no method to there evolution, just simply me, the baking cupboard and a bowl. They are rustic yet charming in appearance and exceptionally tasty! They resemble the effortless, therapeutic side of baking that I adore and are made even more perfect by the thick chocolate coating. 

Please excuse me whilst I run downstairs to grab another one!


150g Butter
125g Brown Sugar
2 Very Ripe Bananas
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
250g Plain Flour
75g Oats

For the Topping
150g Milk Chocolate

Pre heat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar before beating in the egg. Mash the bananas and add to the bowl along with the vanilla extract. Stir everything together.

Tip in the flour and oats and mix until you have a very soft dough. 

Spoon the mixture onto the tray (you can either do 2 trays at once or just one at a time) leaving a good gap between each bite. Gently flatten out each spoonful so that it resembles a fat, disk shape.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool.

Heat the chcocolate gently in the microwave until melted and spoon over your banana creations. Allow to set and they're ready to munch!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Weekly Letter

Dear Weekend, I am so happy you've finally arrived! Please don't flash by at the speed of light this time?

Dear Groupon, thank you for sending my new feather pillows and mattress topper promptly so that I can lay here and type this post in ultimate comfort! Ps you're also in time for the Sunday lie in!

Dear Driving Instructor, thank you for teaching me with patience and for letting me book my test this week. It's about bloody time!

Dear Will, thank you for always making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Wish you didn't have to work this weekend, but you make me the proudest for doing it! 

Dear Old Friends, thank you for a fabulous night out this week, please may we do it again soon?

Dear Power Plate, thank you for toning my thighs almost effortlessly. If I could avoid cake over the next couple of days it might make you a tad more effective!

Dear ALS, the ice bucket challenge really kicked your butt this week!

Dear Bank Holiday, thanks for the extra day off. We appreciate it.

Dear Little Sister, remember to do what makes you happy - we're proud of you anyway :)

Dear Me, please, please, please try and remember to take more photos!! You're making memories! 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ultimate Chicken and Bacon Pasta

The good old English weather has transformed from warm, summer evenings to chilly, autumnal  nights in practically a week. Suddenly the need for a coat has arisen everytime I leave the house (therefore I desperately needed/wanted new outerwear to cater for the situation - I may do a post about it!) and my stomach has started craving hearty, carby goodness.

Will has been trying to avoid pasta as he is on a high protein diet whilst training and although I'm sure it pains him more than it does me to avoid these dishes, I was SO excited when he suggested we make this for dinner that MY mouth watered all day long. 

It really is so super easy to prepare (again!), that I feel like I'm cheating. But Delia Smith herself wrote an entire book on cheating and therefore I feel I am slightly off the hook, right??

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
6 Rashes Smokey Bacon
6 Cheanut Mushrooms
3 tablespoons Red Pesto (I used a tomato and garlic one)
500g Jar Creamy Tomato Sauce 
Half a Roast Chicken (shredded)
Handful of Frozen Peas
Good Pinch of Salt and Pepper
500g Penne Pasta
Grated Cheese to serve (optional)

Prepare your ingredients by dicing the onion, mushroom and bacon and finely chopping/crushing the garlic in a garlic press. 

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan placed over a medium heat. Once hot tip in the onions and garlic and allow to soften for 5 minutes or so. Once soft add the bacon and allow to fry till slightly crisp (about another 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. 

Spoon in the pesto followed by your jar of sauce adding a couple of tablespoons of water if the consistency appears a little thick.

Throw in the chicken, peas and seasoning and turn the heat down low and allow the sauce to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes whilst you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Once done, tip the pasta into the sauce and stir everything to combine. It's very hard to resist at this point!

Serve with a little grated cheeses if it takes your fancy!