Wednesday, 28 May 2014

MATTY'S PERFECT BANGERS AND MASH



Who doesn't love "Bangers and Mash". It has to be one of those British classics that I call "comforty food" - perfect after you have had a rubbish day in work or on a cold rainy evening. Now I like to cook but I've not gone as far as making my own sausages, that's just crazy talk! This is a guide to my perfect mash and homemade gravy. Everyone has their own way of making these so I'm not saying your way is not perfect if you do things differently but maybe you will pick up a few techniques and flavor ideas to try out next time you tackle this beauty of a dish.

Monday, 26 May 2014

LIME AND COCONUT CAKE FOR TWO



When I started this blog I said that I would share with you the bad along wth the good. To the right is a lime and coconut cake that I made for a final little bank holiday treat. However there was a bit of a issue getting the cakes out of the tin hence the quite shabby looking appearence of the cake to my right.

But as I always say, cakes can sometimes go a bit wrong however, at the end of the day it's all about the taste so never get disheartened if something goes wrong. Things can always be rescued and people will always appriciate the effort you gone to make something and if they don't they don't derserve your treats anyway.

This recipe will make a gorgeous tasting lime and coconut cake for two - a classic flavor combination. This is two hungry people mind, you can also easily feed four less greedy people instead. Try it today, just make sure you line and grease those tins well and allow your cakes to cool before turning out and you will not only have a gorgeous tasting treat but it should also look a lot better than mine.

Fingers crossed!

ONE SHOT SUNDAY ROAST (HONEY + MUSTARD STYLE)



It's Sunday and it's time for another one of my one shot Sunday roasts. I hope your enjoying these simple tray bakes! This time I'm using honey and mustard which for me is a delectable flavor combination and one that will compliment roast pork or chicken perfectly.

I'm using peppers, onion, celery and courgette in this tray bake. I think the sweetness of the peppers and onions really sit well with the honey and mustard more so than a proper root vegetable like carrot or turnip.

I've also used new potatoes in my recipe now that they are just beginning to come in season. I prefer them as I like a nice and soft potato with a good roast. You can go for a normal roasting potato if you prefer a more crispy tater!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

CHOCOLATY "A AND A" GLUTEN FREE GOODNESS



It's day two of the bank holiday weekend and as B*Witched would say, "The rain goes on, on, on and on again".Time for some more chocolaty treats I think. I love cakes that have ground almonds rather than flour. I just think the cake tastes a lot more moist and always seems a lot lighter and the main benefit is that your "gluten free" friends can enjoy a slice or two as well.

So one "A" is for almonds do what is the second one for. Well, I like any cake were I can incorporate some Amaretto into it, my boozy weapon of choice for any over 18 treat and hey, it is the bank holiday so I think a little bit of booze is called for. Not that I ever really need an excuse for a little tipple. This cake requires a bit more work than my chocolate brownies so make sure you have an electric whisk ready to whip up some egg whites and lets get cracking!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

WET WEEKEND WALNUT BROWNIES



After a long and hard week in work, to be greeted on a bank holiday Saturday to the sight of rain outside, well it puts you on a bit of a downer straight away.  You know what this calls for? Chewy gooey chocolate brownies and a big mug of tea wrapped up on the couch. What could be more comforting than that!

To add a bit of a crunch to my brownies, Ive chucked in some broken walnut pieces but I think chopped Brazil's or pecans would work just as well but of course if your allergic leave out the nuts and just enjoy the chocolaty goodness.

This recipe is so simple too - all you really need to do is melt together your butter and chocolate but once that is done it's just a case of whisking everything together. One shouldn't have to wait for a slice of heaven should they. Give them a whirl today:

AMALIA LIVERPOOL (MATTYB RECOMMENDS)




Well you may of noticed its all been a bit quiet on MattyB Bakes this week. Have you missed me! 

We have been quite the social butterflies, going to a few concerts and the theatre but most importantly for the food lovers out there, we have been dining out in Liverpool for the first time in ages. I thought this would be a great opportunity to take a look at some of the newest places to eat in the city and share my discoveries with you!

Our first stop was Amalia Liverpool, a great new Italian restaurant in the city centre tucked away a short walk away from the Liverpool One Shopping Centre. We discover Amalia through the offer that they promote at the moment via the Liverpool Independent Card. At the time of writing this was 20% off food only and for someone watching the pennies like we are we thought it was a great offer to take them up on.


So we headed across the courtyard outside Amalia and walked in. I work close by to Amalia and I've seen this courtyard filled with people enjoying the summer sun. Unfortunately this was quite a damp spring evening so we couldn't dine Al Fresco but that was OK as the interior is equally inviting. The green walls and wooden furniture offer a great Mediterranean feel to the inside that you almost think you could actually be in a cafe in the heart of Italy.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

BUTTERNUT QUICHE (WITH ASHLEY'S TWIST)




This weekend I thought I would give baking a quiche a go. It's not something I had done that often and as it was a bright and sunny weekend I thought it would be great served cold for dinner. I mentioned this to my friend Ashley who told me about how when her family makes a quiche they puts layer of onion chutney between the pastry and the filling. That to me sounded yum and I call this recipe "Ashley's Twist" as a thank you to her for the delicious idea!

This quiche is packed with yummy roasted butternut squash and onions with a great low(er) cal egg filling to bind it all together which makes this a great treat for the dieters out there. Using creme fraiche instead of cream does make the filling quite bland unless you season really well so don't be shy with the salt and pepper. The onion chutney layer then ties everything together and really lifts the flavor of the quiche to something quite special.

This recipe shows you how to make everything from scratch. However feel free to use a ready made shortcrust pastry and a pre-made onion chutney too to save time if you need too. Trust me though - if you spend a good Saturday afternoon making everything from scratch then you will defiantly taste the difference.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

MATTYB BAKES OFFERS - 25% OFF TICKETS TO THE BBC GOOD FOOD BAKES AND CAKE SHOW



 
MattyB Bakes is really taking off and I'm so happy to be in the fortunate position to be able to offer you - the beautiful people who have started reading,following and supporting my blog the fantastic opportunity to save with an exclusive 25% discount of tickets to the BBC Food Bakes and Cakes Show




The BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show, sponsored by Lexus, launches at the beautiful Business Design Centre in Islington, London from 25-27 October 2014.   Bringing the popular BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes title to life, the show will be packed with baking, bread-making and cake-crafting demonstrations, free master classes, and hundreds of products to get you baking like a pro.

PLUS!  Don't miss out on seeing your favourite baking stars, LIVE at the show!  Every full day adult ticket includes a seat for the Bakes & Cakes Theatre, where you can watch Mary Berry, Mich Turner, John Whaite, Paul Hollywood, and other expert bakers in LIVE 30 minute baking and technique demos.

Whether you're new to baking or a seasoned baking veteran, the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show is the perfect place to meet bakers, cake-crafters and confectioners, learn new skills, and pick up all the essentials you need to develop your home baking hobby.


So what are you waiting for - get your tickets today and you could spend a whole weekend in the company of your baking heroes. I'll be going to sample the treats on offer and I hope that I'll be able to see you there!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

BANANA & ALMOND AFTERNOON DELIGHT!




The Great British afternoon tea is one our traditions that I'm always happy to take part in and one that I hope never disappears. Who is really going to say no to mini cakes, butties and a nice cup of Earl Grey. Absolute heaven! In the spirit of the afternoon tea here is my recipe for delicious banana and almond squares. The bite size morsels are great for sharing with friends and family over a big pot of the nations favourite brew. 

This is another recipe that is great for using up your ripe bananas lying sad and neglected in the bottom of your fruit bowl. Remember my top tip is that if you see your banana's are on the turn then whack them in the freezer. Take them out again an hour before baking and place in a warm place and you will have nice soft mashable banana's which are super easy to incorporate into a cake mix. No excuse for chucking away fruit now. 

Remember: Love Food, Hate Waste!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

GREEKY GREENS



Springtime is here and that's the best time to start buying your in season asparagus. It's one of my favourite veg. A lot of people will tell you to grill them and then sprinkle with Parmesan or wrap them in bacon or prosciutto but here I've come up with a fresh green vegetable salad which combines yummy asparagus, more green veg and salty feta to create a tasty side dish will zoosh up any evening meal!

Monday, 12 May 2014

CHILI, POTATO AND MUSTARD MEDLEY



 
Now that springtime is upon us and the evenings are getting longer and warmer, sometimes you just want a light and fresh salad So what does one do with their left over potatoes! Well why not rustle up this lovely chili, mustard and potato salad. It makes a great accompaniment to a green salad and is great for serving as in a big bowl as a side at a BBQ.


The recipe uses a red chili. I've only chosen a red one for a bit of colour so feel free to use a green one or leave it out all together if you not a spice fan, it's still just as delicious. Also, if your not a raw onion fan you can swap them out for diced spring onion which is a less strong and still gives the salad that added crunch.

If your watching the cals too then make sure you use a low fat mayonnaise too! A little bit of what you fancy never hurt - that's my philosophy to making sure you stick to your diet plan.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

ONE SHOT SUNDAY ROAST (CHINESE STYLE)



Last week I showed you how you can take the stress of the Sunday roast away with my One Shot Sunday Roast. With the inclusion of the feta cheese sprinkled over the top of the dish there was a decidedly Greek feel to that roast - great if your looking to add a taste of the Med to your family roast.  If your more of a fan of Asian style flavors why not try this Chinese take on my one shot Sunday roast. 

Again, it's super simple to do so you can impress the whole family by presenting this at your dinner table next Sunday! This vegetable marinade is also great for using as a stir fry sauce if you want to whizz up a quick mid week meal too.

The recipe below will be enough to feed a family of six or a very hungry family of four!

MATTY'S MORNING MUFFINS



 
There is never any need to throw out a banana. If your bananas are on the turn simply throw them in the freezer and then when you fancy rustling up a banana based treat simply take them out and defrost. Not only will they still taste delicious but they will also be nice and soft which makes it easier to incorporate them into a cake or muffin mix.


What is also great about a banana bake is that it makes a lovely breakfast treat too. These morning muffins can be made over the weekend and frozen so then the night before you can take a couple out to defrost and grab on the go. Great for time saving particularly if you have brood of hungry children to feed in the morning.

The addition of oats further enhance that breakfasty vibe and a drizzle of honey over the top give them a little sweet kick meaning you can enjoy them as a little treat after your evening meal too.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

TED'S ROLLS (MATTYB RECOMMENDS)




I've never been one for making bread. I could never get my dough to rise properly or the bread would be too doughy or burnt. So many things can go wrong. However over the last two weeks I have been making these incredible bread rolls affectionately called "Ted's Rolls" created by Sarah James - author of the fantastic blog "Tales From The Kitchen Shed".



Not only are the rolls deliciously soft inside with a beautiful golden crust but there is also a heartwarming story behind their inception which truly inspired me to give the rolls a go.

Friday, 9 May 2014

JON'S LUSHIOUS VEGGIE LASAGNE



It's a lovely spring afternoon over at MattyB Bakes, it's also a Friday and to top it off Jon has been in the kitchen rustling up a great taste of Italy. It's lasagne night tonight! What I think is great about a lasagne is that it's something you can prepare early in the day and then leave to one side whilst you get on with your day before popping into the oven when it's dinner time. You could even make it the day before if you and free your whole day up, if you can hold out from eating it for that long.


This lasagne is of course veggie friendly so there is no mince - the bulk of the lasagne comes from mushrooms, roasted red peppers and big chunks of melted mozzarella, one of my favourite cheeses especially when it goes all gooey and stringy! Feel free to add some mince with the onions when making the tomato sauce if you have hungry carnivores in your house, just make sure you break it up and that it is cooked right through.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

DOGS N DOUGH (MATTYB RECOMMENDS)



Yesterday we took another trip up to Manchester and after scouring the twittersphere for a new places to try we came across Dogs N Dough.

There is a trend for restaurants at the moment to have menus with few items on and Dogs N Dough do exactly that. As the name suggests, Hot Dogs and Pizza's are the order of the day. We booked our table and headed off to give it a whirl.


Monday, 5 May 2014

SAVORY SEMOLINA SURPRISE



After enjoying a delicious Craving Curries rogan josh on Saturday I was left with a dilemma of what to do with the vast amounts of leftovers that we had in the fridge. Portion control is an issue in this house!

After doing a bit of research I came across this delicious looking recipe for a spiced semolina cake by Anjum Anand. If you haven't heard of her before I suggest you hunt out her books or TV shows as they contain lots of simple and easy Indian recipes that anyone can try at home. She defiantly get the thumbs up from me. I've adapted her recipe slightly to suit my tastes and this is the one I'll be sharing with you today.

The surprise in my title is that for something containing semolina which for a lot of people brings up images of minging school puddings, this is actually incredibly delicious and incredibly simple to make. Serve a slice or two with a dollop of your leftover curry instead of rice and you have a great new take on the Indian curry night.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

PRIMO PANETTONE PUDDING



Some puddings are just instant Sunday classics. Apple Pie and Custard, Sponge pudding, Rhubarb Crumble
- all delicious comforting puds to tuck into after your roast dinner. Bread and butter pudding however has to be one of those British classics that seems to divide opinion. When I mentioned that I was making it this weekend to people I was either met with sounds of "Yummers" or looks of disdain, it looks like there is no middle ground when it comes to this historic dish.


So how can you take the humble bread and butter pudding and take it up a notch so that even the most fussy of eaters would be willing to give it a try. Well, clearing out the cupboards last week Jon discovered a Panettone that we received over Christmas that was just about to go past it's best. Traditionally bread and butter pudding has stale bread and dried fruit so a just stale Panettone would be an ideal replacement to a bog standard boring loaf. 

Throw in some dried cranberries and candied peel for a zingy punch and this luxurious version of bread and butter pudding will have everyone coming back for more!

ONE SHOT SUNDAY ROAST (GREEK STYLE)



Sunday roasts can seem like a daunting challenge for a novice cook . All those different veg, the meat and
potatoes that all need preparing and cooking at different times and temperatures. Seems like a good idea just to go and get a pizza really.

This simple guide to roasting your potatoes and veg in one go will cut so much stress out of the ordeal. Just prepare and throw in the oven at the right time with your roast meat.

 Sprinkle with feta for a flavor kick and you have roast veg for two! Simple!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

LULLY LEMON BARS



When it comes to cakes and bakes I think lemon is one of my top flavors to use. I just love the tart sourness of a good lemon cake. I particularly love the sharpness of a good lemon tart too. I just love lemon desserts in general! I'm lemon mad me!

These lemon bars have a base that is more like a shortbread so you don't have to be as delicate with it as you would when making a shortcrust base for a tart. 

That means they don't take as long to prepare and you get to eat them quicker. Result!