RECIPE: Chocolate Almond Macaroons

choc mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 16g SPLENDA® Granulated
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 150g/5½oz ground almonds
  • 15g/ ½oz ground rice
  • 7 blanched almonds, split

For the filling

  • 15g/ ½oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g/3½oz low fat cream cheese
  • 2tsp SPLENDA® Granulated

 

Method:

  1. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then whisk in the Splenda and almond extract.
  2. Stir in the ground almonds and ground rice and mix together.
  3. Using your hands, shape mixture into 14 balls the size of a walnut and press into domed discs.
  4. Press a split almond into the centre of each disc and place on a baking sheet lined with silicone paper. (You’ll need two baking sheets)
  5. Bake in a pre-heated moderate oven at 180C/350F for 10-12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets.

For the filling

  1. Put the chocolate in a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until melted.
  2. Add the cream cheese and Splenda then mix well together.
  3. Sandwich two macaroons back to back with a generous portion of filling and repeat to make seven macaroons.

Courtesy of Splenda UK

Do delivery driver have built in radar?

There are seven wonders of the world aren’t there? Well I reckon the humble  delivery driver should be one too! My theory is, not that they delivery any shaped parcel within specified time frames (like that ever happens anyway), but the fact that you can wait in for hours, and they don’t turn up. Then you pop out for five minutes and bang they turn up within a few minutes of you going out. This happened to us yesterday, we popped down town to look after our grandchildren while my daughter had her eye test done. We’d been gone in total about an hour or so, and when we got home we had FOUR parcels to collect. The thing was that because they are ‘Royal Mail Tracked’ they cannot be re-delivered and HAD to be collected. So once again another trip to town is required. So do delivery drivers have sensors or radars that alert them to people going out? Our delivery drivers are generally good, but this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Boy or boy has it been cold the last two days. Both mornings I had a look on our garden thermometer and saw it said -5 c, now while that is positively warm to people who live in -30 and lower to me it is freezing (literally). The scientists suggest we have to get used to this ‘extreme weather’ as it is a result of global warming. The thing is that in the time era of my youth, we didn’t know anything about global warming so didn’t know we had anything to change.

Finally here’s a tasty recipe I fancy trying:

Strawberry and cream cobbler

Ingredients

1 stick melted butter

1 egg beaten lightly

1 cup whole milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tspn salt

Punnet strawberries capped, and chopped into medium size pieces

4oz cream cheese cut into small cubes

 

 

Method

 

preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter and pour into a 9 x13 baking dish.

Mix all dry ingredients, then add milk and egg to the dry ingredients to make batter.

Pour into baking dish on top of melted butter.

Then place strawberries into batter and space them out in batter. then add cubed cream cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or till brown.

 

Originally from goboldwithbutter 

Used From Ezcookingonline.com

Dave signature

Reeses muffins

Today I made muffins! Muffins with those yummy Reeses peanut butter cup cakes in! I got the recipe from a guest blog on Kelli’s blog, it was written by Pam from Omnomalicious. I adjusted the recipe as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g plain flour
  • 5 tbsp granulated sweetener
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate chips
  • 12 mini reeses peanut butter cup cakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Prepare a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. This is best done in advance so the batter doesn’t have to wait before being poured into the cases
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then gently stir in the sweetener
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, vanilla extract, egg and the oil together. Make a well in the centre of the flour and slowly fold in the liquid. When all the liquid is added, beat well and add the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon half the mixture into cases, and now place a reeses cake on top.
  5. Next spoon more muffin mixture on top of the reeses cakes to ‘seal them in’
  6. Cook in the hot oven for 20 – 25 minutes
  7. Cool the muffins on a wire rack

Thanks to both Kelli and Pam for the peanut butter idea!!! It is definitely moorish 

 

 

 

Currently You can buy reeses at Sainsburys and Waitrose for half price (just 29p)

I appreciate some people may be off put by the fact that the manufacturers use  genetically modified Sugar Beets, Corn and/or Soy Beans in these products. I am not.

 

 

 

A fail safe way to separate an egg

OK it’s in Chinese but persevere and all will become clear

 

 

Today is My (and Mrs Dave’s) 30th wedding anniversary (pearl) and it hardly seems like yesterday! We’ve had our ups and our downs, but we have carried on regardless and where others have failed we have come through. So to my long suffering wife I would like to wish you a very happy anniversary…

Chocolate banana bread

With a love of both chocolate and banana this recipe is ideal!

Ingredients

  • 75g milk chocolate
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 100g butter, softened, plus extra to serve
  • 50g walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • 475g whole bananas (about 4 small ones), peeled
  • 50g glace cherries, halved

You will also need:

  • 13 x 23 cm (5x9in) loaf tin

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Lightly oil and line the loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the castor sugar butter and chopped nuts (if using) and, using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest in another bowl. Add the bananas and mash very well with a potato masher. Then melt the milk chocolate and fold it into the banana mixture.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Gently but thoroughly bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake in the oven for 1- 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the tin.

 

Enjoy

 

A thoughtful reminder & Rhubarb bake recipe

It’s true enough when people say they are ‘young at heart’, because the majority of us who are a little mature in age remain young. That said I have ‘mellowed over the years, and whereby once I might have flown off the handle at the slightest thing – now I st and think about it a little more. Will it really bother me in a few months? What difference does it make? Will any harm come from not doing it? You know the sort of thing! But I still have those ‘tantrum’ moments – most especially when I am tired: Then I could upset many people without meaning to, but the tiredness seems to act like an alter – ego in same way Now we’re clear (probably as mud), I can also confirm that the banner on the left last part ‘slightly older in other places’. Boy do I sometimes wish for my younger days – if only for the ability to walk around, not need to take insulin and various other medications etc. Oh yes and to have knees that didn’t hurt, and a back that was as strong as the day before I lifted that baby bath!


Some light humour for you to enjoy courtesy of Youtube


I am a great fan of splenda (and similar sweetener, I usually opt for offers and cheaper versions). But Splenda seem to offer a range of recipes, decent customer service, and a product that has transformed many people’s lives. So while browsing the internet the other day I came across this recipe on their YouTube channel and liking rhubarb immediately thought it was for me. I thought I would share it with you, as it simply couldn’t be any easier.

Erectile deficiency and you heart…

Yesterday I was browsing a website about Men’s Health Week (YOLO: You Only Live Once). And on the homepage was a questionnaire, which I humbly did. However to the question that went something like: Which is the best indicator of having a heart attack in the next five years I wanted to tick Smoking, alcohol, overweight, cholesterol. But I had no urge to tick Erectile deficiency, and yet surprisingly this very option was the correct answer. apparently if men suffer from ED then they should seek medical assistance straight away, as it is a big indicator of future heart problems. I was to say the least surprised, I had no idea that ED could (not always) be a future heart problem – did you?

Of course ED is a common problem for diabetic men as it goes, something to do with the blood flow through the erect penis not flowing properly due to constriction of vessel and so forth. So if ED becomes a more than a ‘one off’ then you really do need to seek a doctors advice. Which is all well and good I hear you calling, but it is embarrassing!  And I cannot deny I would be embarrassed too, but think of it as whether you want prevention or cure? Cure can be a lot worse and longer than prevention.

And I fully support the ladies checking their breasts too, and as we all know they are more likely to discuss any lumps and bumps and problems with their friends and partners than us men, who are tough. But whether you are tough or not, medical conditions can affect you. My own son at the age of 18 was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition which is normally associated with post menopausal women. And yet here we had a very young man with thin bones who broke his hip at work and still has a metal pin in. So it just goes to show you never know, so be wise.

Check out this recipe for a low carb cheesecake:

My morning moan…My Dad & Chilli con carne recipe

If I wasn’t so nice I swear I would have sworn at several people this morning!  It all started in a town cafe where we my wife ordered two latte’s. They were duly brought to the table, and I asked for some sweetener! “We’ve run out, we didn’t have any yesterday either”. My blood pressure must have shot through the roof as I chorused my unhappiness about the situation: “Imagine if you run out of sugar, you’d do something about it then”. I then promptly took my latte back to the desk and asked them to replace it for a cup of tea, informing them that I can drink tea (although I don’t enjoy it) without tea, but my coffees need to be sweetened! The woman serving then said “Can’t you drink it without sweetener”? I am sure she would have got the coffee thrown over her uniform if she hadn’t been the other side of a wide counter!

After that we venture to the other end of the town, my granddaughter needed to have some passport photographs taken, and as the council offices were directly opposite the photographers studios I left her and Lily in there while I popped across the road (literally). The council offices have ‘been done up’ not that you’d really notice any difference. Anyway I entered the offices where I usually do and was faced with a person less counter! In place of the people who used to be there was a telephone. I knew I couldn’t conduct my business on a phone so I went the few steps to the other part of the building accessible to the public, and low and behold there was two people serving one person with two people waiting. Thinking I might be in the wrong place I stepped forward and asked if  could buy what I needed there, and she said yes! And then proceeded to carry on with the other woman in serving those one man who was buying fishing license! And rush they did not. Considering there were two other people before me I left – business incomplete!

Then I came home and scrubbed my jacket potatoes (Ad – lib: My in-laws are in the 70’s and 80’s and have never had a jacket potato, lasagne etc). I have always followed the same recipe which I put below, which we always find hits the right spot – not too hot and not too under – spiced!

Today would have been my father’s birthday he would have been 90 years old. Unfortunately, he died six months prior to my own accident in 1996. I personally think this was God’s work as my father had been pretty poorly, and I seriously think that he would have struggled to cope (if he indeed he did). And I think God was being kind allowing him to avoid that stress. I wrote a poem in his honour, which might not be brilliant, but it helped me over the bad time following his death and looking after my mum.

A Treasured Father!

My father was good and so full of love,

that God needed his services high up above.

He took him that day without thought for us,

We worried and cried and were left in a fuss.

But why did he die and what was the use,

Of the death of a man who -did never abuse.

A man who loved life and everyone too,

A man who was loved by not just a few.

A man who cared for all those he met,

A man who angry-never did get.

But God needed him and took him that day,

He was needed in Heaven to help in some way.

And now that he’s gone-we miss him a lot,

But God’s need was greater and my Father he’s got.

Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg/2¼lb lean beef mince
  • 250ml/9fl oz red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced, or 3-4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 stick cinnamon ( usually leave this out)
  • good shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • wedges of lime, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and crumble in the stock cube. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened.
  4. Add the kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary. Serve with rice, guacamole, sour cream and a big green salad.

    Courtesy of Jo Pratt BBC website