Sunday, 7 April 2013


I really fancied baking today, so I decided to bake some muffins.

Here's how I made them - easy, peasy!

  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange
  • 90 ml milk 
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30 g plain chocolate, finely grated

Place all ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl and mix well. 
Then add chocolate to the dough and stir.  

Pour onto muffin cases, only 3/4 full as muffins will rise! 

Place in preheated oven at 140ºC fan (or 160ºC if fanless) and bake for 30 minutes.

Don't be fooled by their pale colour, prick them with a toothpick/skewer to check if they are done. They should be ready after 30 minutes, unless your oven is playing up.



This recipe yields 8 muffins. Let me know if you have a go ;)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Chicken with Couscous

Here's something yummy and quick - inspired from here.

I sometimes find couscous a bit bland, but this recipe packs so much flavour, hands up I'll never look at couscous the same way again!

Here's what I used:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced thinly
  • 2 large chicken breasts, diced
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Garlic Granules
  • Ground Ginger
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of harissa paste (we are wimps - use more if you like it hot and spicy)
  • Dried apricots (about 10), diced thinly
  • 1 can of chickpeas (I used Napolina as I find them softer than other brands)
  • 200 g couscous
  • 1 ½ cups of chicken stock, made with one stock cube (I used Knorr)
  • Ground Coriander (unfortunately I didn't have any fresh available)

Here's how I did it:

Sauté onions in olive oil until translucid.
Add chicken, season with salt, pepper and garlic granules (be generous with the garlic). Let the chicken cook through.
Add harissa paste and ginger, stir and make sure chicken is coated with the paste. Let it cook for +/- 2 minutes.

Add the apricots and chickpeas (previously drained and washed).
Pour stock into pan, cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle a bit of coriander on top and fluff the couscous.

Serve it up!

Chicken with Couscous

It doesn't look like much, but let me tell you... this was absolutely delicious!


Sunday, 24 February 2013


I must have dreamt with pancakes, because that was the first thing that came into my mind this morning. So one must oblige!

I regret not taking any decent pictures of the pancake tower, but they were warm and calling for us... so I'm afraid this is it:

Pancake Tower

We had a mix of sweet and savoury - bacon and scrambled egg, butter, honey and lemon and sugar.
I really ought to get some Maple Syrup!

Here's the recipe:
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of flour (and a bit more if batter is too runny)
  • 2 tablespoons full of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon full of baking soda
Bang everything in a bowl and beat with electric mixer.

Grease a frying pan with butter and then remove excess butter with kitchen paper - keep the greasy paper nearby.

Once the pan is hot and well greased, pour about half a laddle and let it set. Once the batter starts bubbling and the bottom is set and light brown, quickly flip it over and wait for a minute or two - this side shouldn't take too long to cook.

Take it away from the heat, and rub the greasy paper on the frying pan prior to pouring the batter. Mind your fingers! If you've got asbestos fingers you should be okay, but it's probably wiser if you use a spoon or another utensil to rub the paper on the pan.

Add a tiny bit of butter if the greasy kitchen paper doesn't grease the pan enough.

If you're impatient like me, I would suggest you have two or three small frying pans on the go... I had two going on today and it took me about 10-15 minutes.

We didn't manage to eat them all, so I froze the rest for when I'm feeling lazy.
Just make sure you let them cool down and then separate them with baking paper before you place them in the freezer.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Carrot Cake

I fancied a bit of baking today - and carrot cake was the result (got inspired with this recipe).

No matter what I do, my carrot cakes baked in the UK are never as orangey as the ones baked in Portugal... do UK carrots have less carotene? I haven't got a clue!

I usually do my carrot cake differently, but today I did it like this:

  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven at 180ºC and prepare baking tin with margarine and flour.

In a blender/liquidifier/Magic bullet/whatever you use, put carrots, eggs, oil and blitz until you get a runny orange mix without any chunks of carrot.

In a bowl, place flour, sugar and baking powder. Add carrot mix to the bowl and mix well.

Pour onto tin and bake.

Carrot Cake

Let it bake for about 35-40 minutes, stab it with a skewer to check if cooked.

Carrot Cake

I guess you could ice the cake to your liking... cream cheese or chocolate would go well... but I could not be bothered am a carrot cake purist, and just had it like that :)

Carrot Cake


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Roast Chicken - Portuguese style!

A case of Achilles tendonitis has been bothering me and making me feel pretty useless; so today I really felt in need of comfort food and what's better than a bit of a taste from home, eh?

I found this recipe a while ago, which inspired tonight's dinner.
(It's in Portuguese but nothing that a web translator won't fix :p )

Chicken in the oven - Portuguese Style

Here's what I used:
  • 4 chicken leg quarters (I'm sure other chicken parts would work well!)
  • White potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of Portuguese sweet red pepper paste (aka massa de pimentão)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of lard
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Chorizo, cubed (or bacon)
  • S & P

Peel and cut the potatoes and let them soak in salty water. Pre-heat the oven at 200ºC, clean/cut the chicken, chop garlic.

Place the chicken in oven dish and add garlic, red pepper paste, salt and pepper (be careful with the salt, as the pepper paste can be quite salty). Make sure all the chicken gets covered in it!
Drain the potatoes and place them in the dish with the chicken, mix them together so they get a bit of seasoning and colour. Throw spoons of lard and margarine on top of it. 
Add wine and stock. (Next time I'll reduce wine/stock quantities as I found it had too much liquid).

Bang it in the oven!

Make sure you turn the chicken and potatoes every now and then, every 15 minutes or so.

After +/- 40 minutes, I added the chorizo and then let it roast for another 30 minutes. 

It didn't taste quite like my mum's, but it was yummolicius nonetheless!!!

... and perhaps this is the only bright side to using crutches! Me = 1 x Fire Alarm = 0! 

crutches + fire alarm