Sunday, 22 June 2014

Ultimate Beans on Toast

Everybody loves beans on toast. It's a student staple, and is perfect for a quick hunger fix at the end of a long day. But it doesn't have to be just emptying a tin into a saucepan - with a few more basic larder ingredients and an extra five minutes, you can transform it into something spectacular.

Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ a red chilli
- 1½ x 400g tins baked beans
- 200g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- handful fresh parsley
- 4 slices bread, toasted and buttered
- handful grated cheddar cheese

Alternatively, you could just use two tins of Heinz 5 beans, though they're a bit more expensive unless you can get them on offer.

1. Pour a dash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a saucepan, and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for five minutes until beginning to soften, then tip in the kidney beans.
2. Add the baked beans and simmer, stirring regularly, until they're beginning to go slightly mushy (or however you like them - this is my preference). Add the parsley and a twist of black pepper.
3. Pour the bean mixture over the toast, and sprinkle over the cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Banana, Chocolate and Butterscotch Muffins for celebrating THE END OF OUR DEGREES

WE DID IT. I have no idea how, or what we'll get out of it (degree classifications don't come out for another month...), but in the meantime I'm catching up on sleep and all the things I've had to put off to write essays, like cooking and painting and walking and watching TV and BAKING! Fraser's calling it my rehabilitation, and I'm enjoying it immensely. So this weekend I made these...

Banana, chocolate and butterscotch muffins. They're based on a Nigella recipe - I first made them years ago with Andy, and they're sooooo good. You can vary the flavours however you like - I intend to try them with blueberries, or you could be super indulgent and go for a double chocolate chip variation.

Ingredients (makes 12):
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 250g plain flour
- ½tsp bicarb. of soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g Green&Blacks butterscotch chocolate
- 50g butterscotch pieces

1. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C, and lining a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Mash the bananas (I find the best things for this are a fork and a casserole dish lid), or tell a friend if they'll do it for you they can have the first muffin. Works like a charm.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the oil 'til they've come together. Add the flour, bicarb, baking powder and sugar and stir well.
4. Tip in the mashed banana, along with the butterscotch and chocolate (chopped), and stir through.
5. Dollop the mixture into the muffin cases. Don't worry if you make a bit of a mess - I seem to be incapable of doing it without getting cake mix all over the tray/my hands/the cat...

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I recommend you check them after 20, and if they're not done turn the tray around to make sure they get an even final blast. Once they're out, they'll need at least 10 minutes to cool before you demolish them - if you can wait that long...