Friday, 10 February 2012

Some cooking...

Source: Good Food  

This week has had a couple of firsts, cooking-wise, and it's amazing I haven't made them before.

The other day I did my first ever Paella and I must say it tasted delicious although it stunk out our kitchen for the next few days and if/when I make it again I'll probably make half the amount, as we had loads left over. I would have used the leftovers up but after reading lots of advice on the internet, most erred on the side of caution because of the rice and seafood. 

There were only a couple of problems; I bought some frozen fish mix and in my bags I had huge prawns but they had shells on. Now most people would know what to do but I had no clue whether to take the shells off or leave them on.  We left them on but would take them off next time as it was such a FAFF and really messy when all you want to do is eat your tea.

The second problem was that the kids had different tastes - Miss Bucket liked the seafood but didn't like the chorizo sausage and Bucket jnr loved the sausage but wasn't a fan of the mussels, although he loved the prawns and I had to sit there and peel loads for him (he was like a hoover).

But definitely easy to do and if anyone's interested, I got my recipe from the BBC Good Food site and it is called 'Easy Paella'.

Sorry about the picture but completely forgot to take one of my paella.

Today as I looked out onto the frozen street, I promised the kids that I would make brownies for them for after school - I've made flapjacks (a first last week - sorry forgot to mention, they tasted gorgeous), cakes, cupcakes, fairy cakes, big cakes, small cakes and even some cakes that came out looking sorry for themselves but tasted great.

I looked in a favourite book "BBC Good Food - 52 Cakes, Bakes and Chocolate" - yep, a really healthy book then. And there is a recipe for Toffee Brownies which sounded yummy, although mine won't necessarily taste of toffee as you're meant to use dark muscovado sugar and I only had light brown sugar, nevermind.

Toffee Brownies

350g/12oz dark chocolate
250g/9oz unsalted butter
3 large eggs
250g/9oz dark muscovado sugar
85g/3oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line the base of a shallow square cake tin. Melt the chocolate and butter together, then stir well and cool.

2. Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy and well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently stir until smooth.

looks lovely - forget the brownies and get my spoon

3. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins or until firm to the touch. Test by inserting a wooden cocktail stick into the middle - there should be a few moist crumbs sticking to it. The mixture will still be soft in the centre but will firm up on cooling.

4. Cool in the tin for at least 1 hr then cut into 16 squares and finish cooling on a wire rack.

5. Try and eat one before the gannets pile in and demolish the lot.

And the almost failure.  I have a feeling that my tray might have been a bit small so my brownies had a thick middle (a bit like me, hey ho) and that's why I had to cook it for an extra 15 mins. When I took it out, the middle then sunk down and it's a bit too gooey inside.

 Bucket jnr and I tried some and it tastes delicious so maybe add it to a dollop of ice cream instead. Not a complete failure then. Sam xx


  1. the brownies still look delicious to me.
    Only ever tried paella abroad and then apart from prawns I really dont care much for seafood.i would have to leave out the mussels(oh i feel sick even just thinking about them, even though i've been told they are delicious!)

    1. Thanks Anne, I must admit they taste pretty good too - not doing the diet any good at all!!! I won't mention the seafood again :D Sam xx