Friday, 6 October 2017

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies
I have been making chocolate brownies for as long as I can remember. I have a fond memory as a child standing on a chair making brownies using my mums favourite cookery book. I was so small I couldn't even reach the worktop or the cookery cupboard for that matter to collect ingredients, so I have no idea what age I was. Small!

I love brownies as there are so many variations that you can make both in what you put in them, but also additions you can add to them post cooking with toppings. Whether you like a fudge/gooey consistency or a drier more cake like mix I have learnt over time that brownies get better with age, the longer you leave them before eating them the better they get. Don't be tempted to go with the masses and have them hot out of the oven, the only thing that this is likely to give you is ragging heartburn.

Today I'm sharing my favourite brownie recipe that is gooey with the addition of chopped Hazelnuts and Maltesers.

200g Unsalted butter
200g 70% finest Dark Cocoa Chocolate
125g Plain Flour
50g finest Cocoa
3 Large Eggs
250g Golden Caster Sugar
100g Hazelnuts (optional)
37g Maltesers Bag (optional)

Chocolate Brownies
1.Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) conventional oven, 160C (325F) fan oven or Gas Mark 4.

2.Take 200g of unsalted butter, cut into cubes and place in heatproof bowl.

Chocolate Brownies
3.Break up 200g of dark chocolate into small pieces, add to heatproof bowl with the butter and melt gently over a pan of simmering water stirring occasionally. Make sure that the water does not come into contact with the chocolate.
Chocolate Brownies

4.Once fully melted set the chocolate mixture aside.
How to make brownies
5.In a separate bowl sieve 125g plain flour and 50g of Cocoa. Set the flour and Cocoa aside.
Chocolate Brownies
6.In a bowl break three large eggs. Add 250g of golden caster sugar to the eggs, with a mixer gently beat until light and fluffy.
How to make Brownies
Easy chocolate brownie recipe
7.Taking the chocolate mixture fold into the eggs and sugar mix. It’s important to fold the chocolate in so as to not beat the air out of the mixture.
Brownies
8.There are many additions that you can add to the mixture, my personal favourite is hazelnuts and Maltesers.
Brownie Recipe
9.Spoon the mixture into a pre-lined tin and place in the oven for twenty five minutes. 
Brownies
10.Check the brownies with a skewer when the time is complete. The skewer should have some mixture on removal but not raw cake mixture.

11.Set aside to cool for a few hours, remove from the tin. Cut into small squares and store in an air-tight container. Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea or coffee.

What’s your favourite type of brownie? What would you like to see cooked next on FoodieForce?

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Monday, 25 September 2017

Creating the perfect playroom

Playroom ideas
We're lucky to have enough space in the house that Noah now has his own playroom. It's been a while in the making, there is never any spare time with a little one to plan, organise and buy. But I'm really happy to say we are finally finished and we love the end result. 

As soon as Noah was on the move he has been into everything. He loves playing with my makeup, perfume, pulling my books from the shelves, oh and chatting on the phone that he has only recently pinched.

He is incredibly inquisitive and loves exploring his surroundings, nothing is safe, he has no fear so will climb on anything to reach something that sparks his interest. 
Playroom ideas
His favourite pastime over the last few months has been emptying out all his toys over the floor, me dodging the minefield and spending many an hour constantly tidying them up. So I knew finding the right storage would be important.
Playroom ideas
I deliberately waited over a year to create his playroom, so I had a better idea of his character and personality. I have tried to create a space that gives him the opportunity to explore, play and inspire his creativity with defined zones so that we don't have total chaos! The room will also grow with him. 

The room is lovely and light so I have left the walls white, they are decorated with pictures of Noah out on adventures enjoying himself. 

The playroom has a dedicated area for reading, where I have kept books at Noah's height on small shelves with perfect bookends (OrangeTree £19.99) and a book stand at his height (KidKraft £49.95) 
Playroom ideas
Playroom Ideas
He has his own bean bag (Asda £20) to sit on, to relax and read. It's a lovely blue with white stars which runs through to his storage (Similar £5.49) for toys and rugs on the floor (Stars Asda £16 and Rocket Similar). The storage unit is from Ikea and the table is perfect for arts and crafts. 
Playroom ideas
Playroom ideas
For the reading area I also bought some lovely bits from Etsy: Personalised metal sign £11.53.
Playroom ideas
Playroom ideas
The play area has a colourful Dwinguler playmat £145 perfect for avoiding bumps and scrapes. 
Playroom Ideas
The mat has also helped Noah play imaginatively, he can often be found with characters marching along the playmat on some adventure. 

His love for creative play also extends to his teepee tent (WayFair) and kitchen (Tildo £79).
Playroom ideas
Playroom idea
He loves whipping up a FoodieForce storm in this kitchen. It's true what they say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

What was your favourite space when you were little? Share your ideas for the perfect playroom in the comments below.

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Monday, 4 September 2017

The ultimate Lemon, Lime and Garlic Chicken Salad

Chicken recipe
I have been perfecting my Lemon, Lime and Garlic Chicken since I started cooking. Its simple to make, really tasty and will impress any dinner guest. 

The possibilities of accompanying sides is endless, which means you won't get bored of making it. My personal favourite is artichoke, Feta and mint salad but rice goes equally as well.

For the chicken recipe you will need the following: 
Lemon, Lime and Garlic Chicken
It serves two as a main meal, four as a starter and it can be made in under 30 mins.
Chicken recipe
So lets get started...

1.Take two cloves of Garlic and finely chop. 
Chicken Recipe

2. Take two chicken breasts and dice. 
Chicken Recipes
3.Juice one Lemon. Seasoning is very personal, I love my chicken zinging so always juice to taste.
Chicken Recipe
4.Juice one Lime. Again seasoning is personal so add to your desired taste.  
Chicken Recipe
5.Pour 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and heat on the hob on a high heat. Add the Garlic, Lemon, Lime and Chicken. Stir continuously until the Chicken is cooked and the juices run clear (roughly twenty minutes). The chicken should have a golden coating when complete. 
Easy recipes
Need something more visual check out my new YouTube Channel, where I show step by step how to make the recipe:
I would love it if you could go and show the channel some love and subscribe if you like it. 

To make the salad to accompany the chicken you will need:
Salad Recipe
Salad Recipe
1. Take one lettuce and chop 
Salad Recipe
2. Take five cherry tomatoes slice into quarters
Salad Recipes
3. Chop one Avocado 
Avocado Salad
4. Measure out 100 grams of Pomegranate seeds. I find de-seeding a Pomegranate therapeutic but if short of time buy ready made.  
Salad recipe
5.You will need 180 grams of Artichoke Hearts. Now I personally cannot be bothered to boil Artichoke Hearts so buy mine ready made, but the choice is yours.
Salad Recipe
6. Three mint sprigs finely chopped 
Salad Recipes
7. Two spring onions chopped 
Easy Salad Recipes
8. 200 grams of Greek Feta Cheese 
Salad Recipes
Mix all ingredients together in one big bowl. 
Salad Recipes
Need something more visual check out my video:

Decant the salad and top with the Lemon, Lime and Garlic Chicken.
Chicken Recipe
Have a try cooking it this weekend, you won't be disappointed. 

Do you have any good recipes to share? Or anything that you would like me to cook?


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Monday, 21 August 2017

Rufford Abbey

Rufford Abbey
After a great initial start to the British Summer the month of August has been awful, finding me swapping out my sun cream for an umbrella. Before Summer well and truly slips into Autumn I'm going to make the most of the little sunshine we still have and the longer days by getting outside. 

Rufford Abbey set on the edge of Sherwood Forest (Robin Hood Country) is a favourite of ours. The best bit it's free for everyone to enjoy. 
Rufford Abbey
The Abbey dates back to the 1170 and the grounds make me feel like I have stepped onto the set of Downton Abbey. 
Rufford Abbey
Rufford Abbey
I can't say I have ever spotted the Crawley family whilst on the grounds, but I can well imagine them walking around the beautiful buildings and 150 acres of woodland and gardens. I love the feeling of walking in the steps of a previous generation. 
Rufford Abbey

Rufford Abbey
Talking about generations our son now loves nothing more than walking holding his own reins; well not really walking, its a cross between a trot stumble and sprint all rolled into one. He only has one speed and that is not so leisurely. So what was once a gentle stroll around the lake is now a race whilst fretting about him harming himself. 
Rufford Abbey
When you look at these beautiful pictures of the lake picture me chasing after a mini person on reins. But the good news is they tire out eventually and Rufford Abbey has some wonderful nature to revel in. 
Rufford Abbey
So if you ever find yourself in the East Midlands you must pay this little gem a visit it truly is everything that you would want for a truly British day out. 
Rufford Abbey
How have you been enjoying August? Share in the comments below. 

www.parkwoodoutdoors.co.uk

www.english-heritage.org.uk


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