Sunday 17 April 2011

Cooking and Sewing Post

Starting today with some cookies that M and I made the other day:
4 1/2oz butter or marg, melted together with 3 1/2oz granulated and 2 1/2oz dark soft brown sugars (I use the microwave but in a pan is fine, do not boil, just melt gently).
Beat in 1 egg and 2 tsp vanilla.
Beat in 5 1/2oz plain flour 1/2tsp baking powder and pinch salt.
Mix in a bar of whatever chocolate takes your fancy chopped into chunks.
The second time around, at Dunk's suggestion, the dough was refrigerated overnight (or just for an hour or so) and they did spread a bit less vigorously. Recipe saved from the BBC website but it is no longer available there.
Ten minutes in a hot oven, 180o, they will be still a bit soft, be careful not to overcook and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking tray. Here they are, crisp around the edges and slightly soft and chewy in the middle.

Second recipe is for Potato Latkes, something I have not made for several years but have an intermittent craving for. I made a huge pan of Baked Beans the other evening (see further down) and was walking around at work thinking how well they would go with some latkes.
To serve two (just multiply up for more people)
Three medium potatoes, don't bother peeling, grated, then wrap the gratings in a clean tea towel or muslin cloth and squeeze the juice out into the sink. You should end up with a pile of quite dry looking potato.Put in a large bowl and add a small grated onion (you want the flavour but not lumps of onion, so finely chopped is not the same), one egg, about 2-3 tablespoons of wholemeal flour, some salt and pepper and mix well.Heat the pan nice and hot with plenty of oil and use large spoonfuls of mixture squashed flat with the spatula, fry until golden on both sides. Keep warm and cook the rest. They are particularly good with spicy apple sauce.

The Baked Beans were inspired by Julie who was making some a few weeks ago. I had never tried making my own home made baked beans so I went searching and came across this lovely recipe over at Tall Kate's Kitchen that I adapted somewhat. This panful looks a little sorry for itself as we had eaten half of them:-) (this recipe makes enough to feed the five thousand, or maybe 8 people.)
1lb haricot beans, soaked overnight in lots of water and then boiled for about 45 minutes.
Drain and put to one side.
In a big heavy ovenproof pan cook 2-3 chopped onions and lots of garlic (to your taste) until well caramelised.
I then added a liquidized can of tomatoes plus a can full of water
2tbs of soya sauce
2tbs of molasses
1tbs dark brown sugar
3tbs wine/cider vinegar
1tbs worcestershire sauce
1tbs tomato puree
1tsp of ginger
1tsp of ground coriander
if you like it a bit spicy add chilli sauce or something like that to give it a bit of a kick.
salt and pepper
This gives a slightly sweet and sour tangy flavour, if you want it more tomatoey Kate suggests ketchup, and maybe miss out the vinegar. It is one of those very experimental things. Don't worry too much, this mixture does smell quite strong but it toned down as it baked.
Add the beans and bring to the boil and then transfer to a low oven, about 150o, for 3 to 4 hours. check from time to time to stir and maybe add some more liquid. The beans should be thickly coated not sitting in a pool of runny sauce. Enjoy.

And finally this morning to some sewing. The machine had been sitting out since I repaired M's patchwork hoodie and my blue skirt the other week, but sitting for a purpose as I had come across this lovely purple faux suede in my stash a while back and have been planning these cushions to add to the sofa. The sofa covers are coincidentally made of the same fabric, so you have the same texture but the lovely contrast of colours. I had the usual fight with the machine but all in all I am very pleased with the result.


  1. Wow, you're a busy bee! The latkes and baked beans look delicious- thanks for the recipes.
    Happy Sunday,

  2. Wow - I think I'll start with the cookies too and work my way up (or down this post!LOL!). Take care

  3. oh potato latkes, delicious, i'll need to remember to make some! And cookies too, I like your advice about chilling the dough


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