Apple and Mango Flapjack

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I was experimenting, based on my previous flapjacks. This was nice and simple, merely melting butter and mixing that with mashed banana, chopped fruits and nuts and oats and baking for about twenty minutes. Apparently it worked. Certainly it’s tastier than muesli, so I reckon it’d make a good breakfast.

I didn’t start off with the idea of apple and mango. I wanted to make more flapjack. Since I needed to get more oats, I pottered to the dried fruits section to have a look. Always a mistake. Fortunately, though, the majority were sweetened, so they were ruled out. The mango, though, was fine. So that went into the basket. Since the other dried fruits were out-of-bounds, and apple and mango go well together, it was decided that chopped apple would be added.

So. Butter melted over a medium heat while the various fruits were being chopped or mashed. Chopped mixed nuts were chucked in as an afterthought. One of those “Yeah, that’d work, why not?” thoughts. So in they went. Then the butter, now a yellow pool, and oats. All was thoroughly stirred and dolloped into a lined baking tray. Into the oven for about twenty minutes.

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It came out smelling like a crumble.

And tomorrow I get to eat sugar again (Church counting ends Lent on Good Friday: count the days (but not Sundays!) if you don’t believe me!). Normally I go to Easter Sunday, but my mother makes the best hot cross buns in the world, and she only makes them on Good Friday. So it’s stop ‘early’ or miss out. I’d rather stop early…

I went to the Chocolate Festival and I bought…

…Not as much, nor tasted as much, as I would have liked. Sadly. I know, it’s my own fault, nobody forced me to give up sugar/added sweeteners for Lent. That and it was frankly far too cold to be standing around for long periods of time. Those poor people at the stalls! Although, at least the chocolate wasn’t melting, I suppose!

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There’s a chocolate festival twice a year at London’s Southbank Centre: one on Palm Sunday weekend (so this one just gone: yes! Only a week left of Lent!) and one at the beginning of Advent. I try to go to both. Not because I really expect it to change so much, but because I like chocolate. I like seeing what other people are doing with it and seeing if there are any new ideas I can take away to test with chocolate myself. I try to experiment with chocolate as much as I can. There’ll be more chocolate experiments after Easter. Promise.

Anyway, I decided that this year I was going to reward myself for managing my Lenten fast (without even any noticeable cravings either! I’m quite impressed!), so I bought an Easter egg. I know, so original of me, an egg at Easter…

This egg was made in Kent, by a company called STAS chocolatier. Quite honestly, I’m looking forward to Easter!

Crochet Mending

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This is supposed to be a sock. You see, I’m new to crochet, but I ambitiously thought I could make a sun-hat. I got a pattern and then decided I’d probably do better if I practise crocheting first. So I thought I’d make a pair of socks. Which are allegedly easy. If you’re not using fluffy wool. Even with a giant 10mm crochet hook, I still keep going wrong. So I’ve got another plan.DSCN1754

I’ve got this hoodie (which I may or may not have nicked from my boyfriend, but shh…). As you can see, the cuffs are a little bit tatty. I don’t think I’ve had such a tatty-cuffed jumper since primary school. My cunning plan for practising the sock crochet is to replace these cuffs (because both are this tatty…) with nice blue fluffy ones. Without telling my boyfriend…Although, now I think about it, I think he did ask me to repair the hoodie…Just didn’t specify how…DSCN1760

Banana Strawberry Cookies

Apparently I’ve worked out the “sweet” things, instead of cheesey things. So it’s lots of bananas. 🙂 They make a good base for cakes and cookies. Anyway. I’m still trying to make the camera work (I ate all the flapjack, sorry! It was just so good with yogurt…I’ll just have to make some more late…Oh no, oh shame…) so photos may follow. They will do. Eventually.

So. You need an oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4. A tray or two needs lining and/or greasing, as per normal.

  • Mash 3 medium, ripe bananas. Lots of potassium, so good for you :-P.
  • Beat in 1 medium egg.
  • While you’re doing that, melt 3.5oz/100g unsalted butter over a low heat. Once melted, pour in with the ‘nanas and mix. Add a drop or two of vanilla essence.
  • Hull and dice 5oz/150g fresh strawberries (I actually used 250g; doesn’t seem to have done anything adverse…). Stir into the mix.
  • Sieve 5oz/150g self-raising flour (or plain + baking soda) into the mix and stir well. Until doughy.
  • Drop spoonfuls onto the baking tray. They don’t seem to spread too much, but they’ll need their space. Bake for approx. 10-15 minutes.
  • Let them cool. Or not. Your choice. They should be a tad cakey. I expect if they’d been flatter they’d be more like the cookies you buy.

For alternatives: I reckon they’d be fantastic with little drops of chocolate in. Either really dark (like cacao nibs) or white. But these are good cookies 🙂 Enjoy!

Banana Date Flapjack

It’s a simple recipe today (sadly no pictures: stupid camera’s having a tantrum – hopefully it’ll work again before I’ve eaten all the flapjack and a picture can follow shortly…). A tasty one though. It has to be quick at the moment, I’m supposed to be writing my dissertation!

However a quick, easy and very tasty recipe, which is actually quite sweet, despite the lack of added sugar/honey/etc.! I know dates are full of fructose, but this is quite sweet enough! Apparently I’ve become very used to unsweetened foods and my sugar tolerance has dropped.

Anyway. Set the oven on at 175C/Gas Mark 5 and grease/line a baking tray.

Take 2-3 small bananas and mash them up. Add 1 cup (about 200g) chopped dates and 80ml olive oil. Mix it up. Add 2 cups oats and 1tsp vanilla essence and stir. Let it sit a moment so that the oats can soak up the oil. Fill the baking tray. Put in oven; make a cup of tea.

Bake for approx. 25 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and eat 🙂

Banana Blueberry Muffins: Take Two!

So I managed to make soapy muffins last week (not that I’ve ever really tried soap, but you know. It’s one of those flavours you just know…). I want cake, I can’t have “normal” cake (I know, my fault…), and soapy cake is only so good at dealing with the “I want cake” feeling. So I had another go with this recipe. This time it worked. The only thing I did differently was to switch out plain flour + raising agent to self-raising flour.

Ingredients:

Because muffins are for building towers...

Because muffins are for building towers…

  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml water/cream/milk – my preference is for cream, but that’s just me…
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 8oz (250g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries – a punnet; or any other berries or dried fruits that you like

How to Make (about a dozen)

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix together mashed bananas, egg, water, and oil in a large bowl.

Mix in flour until mostly smooth (you will still see lumps from the banana, but that’s okay!). Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

Spoon into muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes. Remove muffins from tins, and cool on a wire rack. Or just eat. Who wants to wait? Cakes straight from the oven are really yummy!

Purple Paper - what you get when you write Purple Prose!

Purple Paper – what you get when you write Purple Prose!