06 Jan

Banana Milkshake Cake

Banana Milkshake CakeTake a banana malt milkshake with a side of cookies, then convert that into a cake. Read More

05 Apr

Fruity Lunchbox Muffins

What do you put in your kids’ lunchboxes? Are you concerned with the contents of bought-in packets, or maybe you’re trying to lower the amount of plastic packaging within the lunchbox. These fruity lunchbox muffins are dual purpose. They have a healthy, yet stealthy portion of 1 of your 7-a-day recommended fruit and veg intake. The muffins also have a secret to reducing refined sugar in lunchbox treats that might surprise you.

Once a fortnight I make a batch of 24 muffins for the lunchboxes. I freeze what we don’t need immediately and simply take out what we need the night before school. That means the muffins are always fresh.

Fruity Lunchbox Muffins

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs (cracked)
  • 400g plain flour (you can go 50:50 with wholemeal and plain flour if you like but the muffins will be denser)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and grated coarsely (use a box grater)
  • 100g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 ripe bananas peeled
  • Handful of oats to sprinkle on top

Method

Preheat your fan oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line 2 cupcake tins with muffin cases (24 in total).

Make sure all the above ingredients are at room temperature. Put everything into a very large stand mixer or food processor. Yep everything (I’m serious).

Switch the blender/mixer/processor on to low until the dry ingredients are combined with the wet ingredients. Once combined, move the dial to medium until you have a rich creamy batter. Turn off the machine.

Use an ice cream scoop to portion the muffin mixture into the case. Sprinkle oats on top of the muffin batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes before removing from the oven and allowing to cool. Freeze as you need them.

Note: To make half the batch, half all the ingredients except for the eggs; use 2 instead of 3.

21 Dec

Make Ahead Cookies

Malted Milk CookiesThese malted milk treats have a beautiful fudgy flavour thanks to the malted milk powder that I use in the baking process. There are a couple of brand names if you’re looking to pick it up for yourself. The ones that are easiest to find in the supermarket are Ovaltine & Horlicks.

Allegedly, the malted milk that I like is used in a large Irish diner-style chain of restaurants for their malted milkshake.  Ever wanted to make one yourself at home?  Simply add a couple of tablespoons to some quality partially melted vanilla ice cream.

The first thing you could do with the malted milk is to include them in some food-themed gifts for Christmas.

That includes some fudge cookies in a jar inspired by The Pink Whisk:

Cookies in a jar

Also some malted hot chocolate inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe from an old show of his. Both gifts will go down splendidly well.

Malted Hot Chocolate

What will be a huge hit though have been my malted milk malteaser cookies.  As per usual with my cookies, the dough can be chilled in advance and baked within 3 days or frozen for up to a month before baking.  This recipe makes approximately 20 large cookies which are chewy in the middle and crunchy on the outside.

Malted Milk Cookies

make ahead cookies

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 90g Malted Milk Extract
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 85g butter at room temperature
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 packet Malteasers (malt balls covered in chocolate)

Method

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.

Cream the milk extract, caster sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs until fully combined then add the flour and baking powder and mix again. Finally crush the malteasers in your hands before stirring them into the cookie dough.

Using a dessert spoon, spoon the mixture directly onto the tray, leaving a lot of space between each cookie.  I normally bake only 4 on each tray so you will need to rotate your trays, however it’s rare you’d bake the whole batch all at once. That is, unless your step-daughter decides to stick her fingers in each of the cookies on one tray as soon as they come out of the oven.  Ahem.

Bake in the oven for between 9-12 minutes.  As soon as they start to turn golden brown, remove the trays and leave the cookies on the baking paper for 10 minutes before gently moving with a spatula to a cooling rack.  The cookies will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container kept in a cool, dry location but honestly I’d refrigerate or freeze your dough and bake these cookies fresh.

06 Dec

Christmas Fruit Parcels

These Christmas Fruit Parcels are a lighter alternative to cakes and puddings and have no suet and very little fat, no eggs and can be prepared quickly. They can easily be adapted for vegans too. Read More

02 Dec

Caitriona Redmond’s Christmas Cake Recipe

It’s not too late to make my Christmas Cake Recipe! Simply because it’s designed to be frosted or iced traditionally. It’s not quite as heavy as old-style cakes, nor as sweet, because the shot of espresso adds balance to the flavours. This is a firm family favourite in my house. Since I iced our cake last week the kids have been begging me to slice it early because they love fruit cake so much!

Some of you may have spotted this Christmas Cake Recipe in Lidl Ireland stores last year. I’ve had many requests to put the recipe on the blog and here you go! Read More

20 Nov

Loaded French Toast Recipe

Breakfasts don’t have to be boring with this take on french toast that all the family will love. Guaranteed protein from the eggs, seeds, and fresh greek yoghurt, will keep you feeling fuller for longer and give essential energy for training sessions and school.

This is one of my kids’ favourite breakfasts. They pester me to make it for them every morning! Read More

23 Jul

BBQ Fruit Salad Recipe

Yesterday marked a running milestone; the first of the race series in the lead up to Dublin City Marathon (97 days away). The first in the race series isn’t too challenging at only a 10km road race. Only! I can say that now given that I’ve run plenty of 10km races in the past 6 months since I started to put one foot in front of the other. Back in December it seemed just as unobtainable as a marathon. The next in the race series is a 10 mile run in September and it’s simply a case of getting the miles in the legs between now and then. I’ve already finished a half marathon which is shorter so I know I can do it. It’s all about building up my stamina.

That race yesterday was in incredibly humid conditions which made it difficult but it helped to have himself finish alongside me and see fellow club members at the finish line. Support, just like a good bra, makes all the difference when running.

When it comes to cooking at home I’m still on a minimal-effort buzz. Anything to stop from having to spend too much time in my tiny kitchen with little ventilation. If I can cook on the BBQ then I’ll cook 3 meals a day on it, including desserts! If you are cooking on the BBQ, allow the coals to cool a little before making this wonderful fruit salad which is full of caramel flavours. I like to finish mine off with toasted bread for texture but it’s fine without.

Once again I have a simple recipe video for you to follow!


Read More

11 Apr

Lovely Lemon Curd

A couple of weeks ago the folks at Margaret’s Happily Free Range Eggs contacted me and asked me if I’d like to try out their produce. Free range is something that is very important to me, obviously it’s why we made the decision to rear our own pigs, so I was delighted to accept. Then, on a day where I managed to snag some beautiful organic unwaxed lemons, there was little else I could do other than make my tried and tested lovely lemon curd. If you’re interested in finding out more about Margaret, the woman who has names for every single one of her flock, and is passionate about rearing free range poultry then click here.

To make this recipe easier to follow, and so that you can see just how easy it is to convert 4 simple ingredients into the most delectable lemon spread, I also recorded a video to go along with the recipe! You need to trust me on this, once you make your own lemon curd you will never buy it from a shop again. There is simply no comparison between the two! Read More

14 Mar

Impossible Brownies Recipe

This recipe is called impossible brownies because it shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t! Brownies are traditionally made with butter, eggs, flour, and refined sugar, but these brownies have none of this stuff and instead are packed full of fibre and vegetable protein.

The beetroot and chickpeas give the brownies a squishy texture even after they’ve been baked, and because there is no dairy or eggs, they will keep for up to 5 days in a dry sealed container. Let’s not fool ourselves here though, they’re not going to last that long. Read More

05 Mar

Accidental Lower Fat Brownie Recipe

I’ve had to test a lot of brownies in the past few weeks as I tried to refine some new recipes. To cut a long story short I ended up making a lower fat brownie mixture by accident. Little did I know how much of a hit the lower fat brownie would be!

I don’t know what it is but the cold weather we’ve been having lately has brought on the urge to bake up sweet treats. It helps when I have fantastic ingredients to work with. Just before Christmas Lily O’Brien’s got in touch and asked would I like to try out baking with their chocolate buttons which come in large bags. Let me tell you those bags are HUGE.

Read More

05 Dec

Chewy Chocolate Cookies Recipe

We have a healthy eating policy on our school which normally means that chocolate is banned from the school grounds in any form. No matter how healthy it might be,  it’s still banned from the school. It’s easier than to ban the lot than to police all the variants in the lunchboxes and I completely agree with this.

There’s one exception to the chocolate ban however, and that’s on bake sale days.

Bake sales happen at least once a school year in the school. They’re an essential way for the school to fundraise for items they might need. I realise that the term might give parents a little bit of dread. Normally I bake a few loaves of my simple homemade brown bread and I’m told they fly out the door, but this year the kids requested chocolate cookies. Read More

30 Sep

Banana Pecan Cake

Once again I found myself with a surplus of rapidly blackening bananas and a need to bake. Actually that’s not quite true. I’ve gotten into the habit of peeling bananas and then popping them into a box in the freezer as soon as they are past their best. Which is working very well in terms of the ripe bananas in the kitchen. However, the box has to be managed so that it doesn’t take over the freezer.

I need space for other items like berries. Gooseberries top and tail marvellously directly from the freezer so there is a wonderful bounty waiting for me to have the time on the right day. There’s also a couple of kilos of raspberries yet to be preserved. As you can guess, there are plenty of berry recipes to appear on the blog in the near future! Read More

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