Friday, 26 November 2010

Autumn Leaves and Felled Trees

We had a 60' Fir tree in our garden that always looked like a bit of a mis-fit.  So this morning, when we had a knock on the door from a local tree surgeon who had a day free and was looking for some work, we invited him in, showed him our tree and agreed on a felling.  Whilst the tree was a beuty to look at, it took up half the garden and because the fir "leaves' were so prickly, whenever they fell to earth they made walking on the lawn a strategic nightmare.  Little feet would come hobbling up to me whimpering that something was sticking into them, and our lawn was more moss as the roots of the tree drank up all the moisture. 

Once down, our garden looked twice the size and the light that shone through made a huge difference.  We couldn't wait to show Bob after we collected him from nursery.  Bob, on the other hand, was not impressed. 

"I don't like it Mummy.  Put the tree back please"

"Well", I said gently, "I'm afraid I can't do that Bob.  We had it taken away."

"Yes we can Mummy", he replied confidently.  "All we need are some leaves, sticks and some glue."

Finally, my son takes an interest in crafting!  Hurrah. 

Over on the other side of the 'Pond' my American cousins and many others are celebrating Thanksgiving.  I always liked the idea of this holiday.  Not necessarily the Disneyfied version of events and pretense of friendship between invaders and invadees, but of the day and celebration of gratitude.  To give thanks for what we have is so important.  To stop and take a moment to breathe, think, and thank. 

What a wonderful tradition. 

In honour of this wonderful occasion, I made a Sweet Potato Pie.  The husband is not usually fond of savoury mixing with sweet, however when he tasted this dish, he was sold and has now had to adjust his culinary rules!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. 

Sweet Potato Pie



For the crust

175 gm Flour, sifted
75 gm unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of salt

For the Filling

500 gm sweet potato
1 cup Evaporated milk
2 eggs
200 gm golden caster sugar
115 gm unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp Allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp flour
Squeeze lemon juice

Turn the oven on to 180C.  Scrub the sweet potatoes and pat dry.  Place in the oven to cook for a hour, until baked through and soft.  Remove from oven and allow to cool so that they can be handled. 

To make the crust:

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix the butter in with your fingers, until you make fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the beaten egg and then knead until you make a smooth dough. 

Cover the bowl with some clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. 

To make the filling:
Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes into a large bowl.  Add the butter, and sugar and blend well.  

Mix in the milk. 

Add the flour, spices, vanilla extract, squeeze of lemon juice and egg.  Whisk with an electric whisker on a medium speed until you get a smooth blend. 

(Check the oven is on at 180C.)

Roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured surface and line a greased pie dish.  

Pour the filling onto the crust and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes.  Make sure the pie is cooked by putting a knife through the centre, if it comes out clean, the pie is cooked. 
Enjoy!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mince Pies and sighs

Miss Boo has been very unwell of late.  Chest infection, viral wheeze and a cold that seems never ending.  We have been back and forth to doctors, out of hours doctors and hospitals and still she coughs, splutters and cries all night in discomfort and exhaustion.  It has been a tiring time for all, except Bob who sleeps through all the commotion!

We are up to our eye balls in anti-biotics, inhalers and Calpol.  Not a fun time.

So I decided to brighten up the day for Bob by making pancakes with him for breakfast (he is an expert now) and nut free mince pies for him for high tea.  This gives me good practice for our Christmas season of friends and neighbours who come visiting. 

I finally found a mincemeat that does not have nuts in, nor a warning about nuts - hooray!  In celebration, I have made my first batch of pies for the season.  Very easy to make and even easier to eat!


200 gm plain flour
150 gm wholewheat flour
250 gm butter, cold and diced
100 gm golden caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
mincemeat for the filling

In a large bowl, mix the butter and flour together with your fingers to get a bread crumb texture.

Stir in the caster sugar and using your hands, knead the mixture into a dough.  The butter should warm in your hands as you need and there shouldn't be a need to add water, however if it remains too crumbly then you can add a drop of cold water.

Turn the oven on to 200C and grease a shallow holed muffin tray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to approximately a 5 mm thickness and cut circles using a cookie cutter. (About 2 inches wide).

Line the tray and fill each crust with 1 teaspoon of mincemeat.

Roll out the dough again and cut tops for the pies.  Use your fingers to gently mold the crusts together.

Brush with the beaten egg.

Cook in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before removing and placing the pies on a wire rack to cool.

Dust with a little icing sugar.

(Makes about 18)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Going to the chapel and {they're} going to get married.....

I love a wedding!  I always say to the hubby 'let's get married again!' because our wedding day truly was the most fun day of our lives.  Nothing brings more cheer than being surrounded by those you love, marrying the one you love, and being showered with love. 

So hurrah (and about blooming time) to Prince William and Kate Middleton!

Shall make some celebratory cookies or cakes in due course.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Paella and Pavements

On Saturday I took my mother to see Wicked at the Victoria Apollo in London.  I took full advantage of this day out and told the hubby that I was going to head in early and see the sites/go shopping.  All childcare and feeding duties were passed on to Daddy and Mummy was out of here. 

I headed to the station, spring in step, wondering what to do with myself.  I pondered.  And pondered.  And pondered some more.  By the time I got to Waterloo station I ended up phoning my husband and telling him I was totally confused.  I had no idea what to do!  I didn't need to shop, certainly didn't fancy the shopping masses on Oxford Street.  My favourite part of London, St Katherine's Dock, were just a little too far away for me to safely get back to Victoria to meet my mother, and half the tube lines weren't working fully anyway.  

After suggestions from the husband I headed to Leicester Square.  From there I walked to Covent Garden and wandered around the market.  I bought a delicious Paella and listened to street musicians and watched the entertainers.  This is one of my favourite things to do in London and always has been.  I love the free theatre on the streets.  Standing amongst a throng of people, eating great take away and being entertained.  What a wonderful way to spend a lunch time. 

With over an hour and a half to kill I decided to walk to Victoria.  I headed towards Trafalgar Square and saw the latest addition to the fourth plinth.  I watched as tourists climbed the lion statues at the bottom of Nelson's Column and took photos for tourists next to the fountains. 


I walked down the Mall, taking in the wonderful array of statues and architecture that London has to offer.  Buckingham Palace had it's usual crowd of admirers outside, cameras in hand, all talking excitedly at the prospect of seeing the Queen.  

My travels ended up in Pimlico Green, where I tasted the delights of William Curley's chocolate sorbet and nosed through the windows at the beautiful antique shops along the way. 

The show was amazing.  I have seen Wicked before but my mother hadn't, so this was a birthday present from me to her.   Rachel Tucker played Elphaba and was amazing.  Such a strong and beautiful voice. 

Mum and I went for dinner afterwards before heading home.  On our walk to the restaurant who should we see go by but none other than the Queen herself!  


Inspired by pounding pavements and street entertainment, I am creating a child friendly paella.  Due to allergies in our household I am avoiding shellfish, but you can substitute the cod for prawns if you so wish.

1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, washed and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
300 gm skinless chicken, diced
300 gm, skinless cod fillet, bones removed (or 200 gm king prawns if using shell fish)
100 gm frozen peas, thawed
1 pinch of Saffron strands
2 tbsp hot, boiled water
1 tsp smoked paprika
200 gm basmati rice
700 ml chicken stock

In a large, deep pan (wok or paella pan), heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until soft.

Add the diced chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the meat has browned.

Meanwhile, place the saffron strands in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp of just boiled water.   

Add the red pepper and peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the smoked paprika and stir through.

Add the basmati rice and cook for another couple of minutes to let the flavour infuse.

Next add the saffron water and chicken stock.

Place the cod fillet in with the stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to ensure the rice doesn't burn or stick to the pan and the cod fillet breaks into small chunks as it poaches in the stock.

Allow for the rice to completely absorb the stock before serving. 


Friday, 12 November 2010

Soft Play and First Steps

Autumn continues to march on with fierce winds and lashing rain.  Leaves have fallen across the lawn, only to be whirled up in the air by the wind, dancing around our windows in mini cyclones letting us know that winter is ever so slowly approaching.  I love it.  Although, one thing about the weather being so ferocious outside is that the options for playing are limited to inside.  

Today Bob and Boo had a play date with their friends A and B. A is a few months younger than Bob and B is 3 weeks younger than Boo.  Their mother, Kat, is a wonderful woman with a huge smile and jolly laugh that brings the best out of people.  You can't help but feel positive in her presence, and with a toddler and a baby to contend with, anybody that makes you feel positive is most certainly an angel in disguise. 

We headed off to a soft play area nearby.  Arriving after 3pm meant coinciding with the end of the school week and it was a little hectic to say the least.  Yet the kids loved it.  Boo crawled about and got ever more confidant in her physicality and Bob just ran around like a headless chicken in delight.  Dinner was had out, a real treat for the end of the day. 

I kept the children up a little later than usual so that they could see their daddy.  Both kids get very excited when they see their father but Boo practically jumps out of my arms and hurls herself across the room to get the first cuddle in.  They all played for a while before I gave the marching orders for bed, and then Boo decided to reward us with her first step!  A tentative stumble would perhaps be a better description but nonetheless, she stood unaided, she lifted her leg and took a step. 

They grow up too fast.  Yes they do. 

Today's recipe is a family classic.  Easy to produce, warming and comforting.  What more could you ask for on a cold autumn day?

Cottage Pie



450 gm Minced beef
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced
100 gm frozen peas
1 x 400 gm Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Tomato puree
400 ml boiling water mixed with 1 tsp beef Bovril or 400 ml Beef consomme
4 sprigs of Thyme, leaves removed
800 gm Potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp Milk
1 knob of butter

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and add the onions.  Cook for 5 minutes until the onions begin to go soft.

Add the minced beef and cook until browned all over.

Stir in the peas and carrots.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and thyme leaves.  Stir through.

Finally, add the Bovril and water or consomme.

Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Whilst the meat is cooking, add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes, until soft.

Drain the potatoes and mash with the milk and butter.

Turn the oven on to 190C.

Remove the filling from the heat and place in a suitably sized pie dish.  (About 25 cm x 25 cm)

Spoon the mash on top of the filling and fluff with a fork.

Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

 
 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Diva Habits

Miss Boo is turning into a bit of a diva.  She remains undeniably cute though, so she is naturally forgiven, however it has not gone unnoticed that she is beginning to attempt to rule the roost.  Bob can smell a coup in the air and so there is much tussling for my attention going on, and days are noisy, as well challenging!

Her favourite new past time is letting us know when she has finished with something.  Be it a toy, a drink or her dinner.  Yes, we have moved into the 'I don't want it, therefore I will throw it' stage.  Meals are mainly finger foods for her at the moment, followed with a small bowl of mashed up family meal, whatever that may be. I sometimes wonder if she throws her diced vegetables and discarded grated cheese on the floor to test my cleaning habits, as later in the day I often find her crawling around the kitchen, attempting to pick up the smallest of object and inspect them with intent.

Now that days are colder, wetter and windier, our play time activities are housebound and in the warmth and I search for inspiration for warming stews that can be adapted for Boo and Bob to eat, as well as feed us grown ups.  One great source of inspiration for me is the blog A Half Baked Life.  I came to this blog late in the year, but the writer has such an eloquence with words, it is hard not to be absorbed by her writing, let alone her cooking.  She recently did a Moroccan inspired stew, which in turn inspired me, and I have re-created for both weaners and screamers.  Boo had it for her lunch today, and I am pleased to say it didn't end up on the floor.  Not one little bit.

Moroccan Inspired Chicken with Rice

(NB:  This dish isn't cooked with salt or pepper, so please feel free to season as appropriate for older taste buds)

400 gm skinless chicken fillets, diced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 courgette, washed and sliced
2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and sliced
200 gm potato, peeled and diced
350 gm diced root vegetables (I used sweet potato and butternut squash)
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1 x 400 ml tin chopped tomatoes
800 ml boiling water mixed with 1 very low salt baby vegetable stock cube OR 800 ml Vegetable stock
200 gm basmati rice
Coriander for garnish.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and then add the chicken.  Cook for 3 - 4 minutes, until the meat has changed colour all over.

Add the onion and cook for a further 3 - 4 minutes, until they start to go soft. 

Add the cumin, turmeric and curry powder and stir well. 

Add the root vegetables and tomatoes and stir. 

Pour over the vegetable stock and add cinnamon stick. 
Cover and simmer over a low-medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid pan and stir in the rice.  

Continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes, stirring the pot every 5 minutes to ensure the rice is cooking through and not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Allow for all the liquid to be absorbed. 

Remove cinnamon stick. 

Serve with a little coriander to garnish.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

MIni Pie Day

Since we discovered Bob has a nut allergy our shopping lives are dictated to by scouring the ingredients list of all items and searching for any traces of nuts.  "May contain nuts" is a no no.  Claims of "contains no nuts but can not guarantee nut free" is ambiguous and "Contains no nuts and made in nut free factory but cannot guarantee original ingredients nut free" is usually okay. 

Each year (bar last year due to being very heavily pregnant) we do a mince pie and mulled wine afternoon for friends.  I make Nigella's gingerbread cake (heaven) and about 100 mince pies.  Imagine my dismay, then, to discover that most mince pies have nut warnings.  As does most mincemeat jars.  I can make my own, which I will do in the long run, but what about when we visit friends and they have mince pies about?

Never fear, I thought. Let's make a Bob friendly pie.  And so these spiced mini crumbles were born.  The pastry is easy enough to make and Bob had great fun rolling it out and cutting the circle shapes.  The crumble topping is easy too and Bob loves squishing the butter to make the breadcrumbs.  It is a mildly spiced pie, and you can always add more spice to taste, depending on the age of your Screamer. 

Enjoy!

Spiced Mini Crumble

 

For the Pastry:

225 gm/8 oz plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
100 gm/4 oz butter, cut into cubes
water for binding

Using your hands, or a food processor, crumble the sifted flour, salt and butter together to make fine breadcrumbs.  
Add a little cold water, a drop at a time, to bind the ingredients together, but do not make it too sticky (or too dry). 

If you have time, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling out on a lightly floured surface.

For the filling:

2 small apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 small pears, peeled, cored and diced
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice

Mix the sugar and spices well.  Stir the diced fruit in the spiced sugar until well coated.
For the crumble:

50 gm/2 oz butter, cut into cubes
35 gm/1.5 oz light muscovado sugar
50 gm/2 oz plain flour, sifted
50 gm/2 oz wholemeal flour, sifted

Make breadcrumbs with both flours and butter.  Stir in the sugar. 

Turn oven on to 180C. 

Using some butter, grease a deep 12 hole muffin pan. 

Roll out the pastry and using a 3" cutter, cut 10-12 circles, about 5mm thick. 

Using a rolling pin, roll once more over the cut circles to widen slightly, ensuring that they will fill the muffin holes. 

Continue doing so until all the pastry is used and the muffin holes are lined with pastry. 

Spoon in the filling, adding any left over spiced sugar to each pie. 

Cover with crumble topping.  Use the back of a spoon to flatten down the crumble on each pie. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in tray before placing on wire cooling tray.

Or eat them warm with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Warming soup days

The start of November brings about much change in our area.  Halloween is becoming more of a holiday and we had a few visitors in their outfits being terribly polite as they asked for treats.   Thankfully I had to hand some of my banana oat cookies as I really wasn't too prepared for trick or treaters.  Yet I couldn't resist when skeletons and other ghouls came to my door with their excited delight.  The hubby wasn't too keen on seeing all his cookies disappear out of the door, but conceded that in a few years time it would be Bob and Boo in costumes knocking on doors, so he might as well get used to it now!

In the UK we celebrate the 5th November as Guy Fawkes night.  When I was a child this was celebrated more than Halloween.  Time would be spent on building our 'Guy's and in years gone by people would be asking for 'a penny for the Guy'.  Tradition had it that on 5th November, bonfires would be built and the 'Guy's would be tossed upon the burning pyre and people would celebrate.  This is, admittedly, a pretty ghoulish way to celebrate  and when explaining the ritual to some friends in the USA when I was younger, it did dawn on me that perhaps burning a man in effigy is a hell of a lot more sinister than dressing up as ghosts and vampires asking strangers for candy. 

Nowadays it is more about the fireworks displays.  This year Bob really got into the swing of things and we even went to a proper display with our friends Charlie and her son J.  It was a real treat for the little man.  Two layers of clothes, hats, gloves and snow boots were adorned as we headed out into the dark night in search of sparkle.  Needless to say we weren't disappointed and Bob keeps letting me know which were his favourite ones (blue and white) and asking why they aren't on during the day.

Now that the week has commenced and nursery school is back in full swing, the weather has really turned wintry.  Gloves are now permanently out, as are winter coats.  And with the chilly weather comes the warming food.  Nothing is more warming or comforting that a good, thick soup.  I raided our vegetable drawer in the fridge and came up with this winter warmer.  Served with warm home made rolls, it really does hit the spot.

Leek and Potato Soup with a Kick



This has a mild spice to it, perfect for warming you up on cold days yet gentle enough for both weaners and screamers to enjoy.


1 kg leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
25 gm/ 1 oz butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mild curry powder
200 gm celeriac, trimmed and diced
450 gm potatoes, peeled and diced
800 ml boiling water mixed with 1 baby vegetable stock cube (very low salt) OR 800ml vegetable stock
Cheddar cheese for serving



In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and oil over a medium heat.


Add the sliced leeks and stir well until all the leeks are covered with the butter/oil.


Place a lid on the pot and cook over a medium heat for at least 10 minutes, to sweat and cook the leeks until they are soft.


Add the mild curry powder, stirring it in well, and cook for a further 2 minutes.


Add the celeriac and potato and stir well.


Add the stock and bring to the boil.


Reduce the heat and replace the lid.  Simmer for 20 minutes.


Remove from heat and using either a hand-held blender or allowing to cool slightly and using a food processor, blend until smooth.


Grate a little cheddar cheese over the top before serving.


Optional:  You can also stir in a little cream when serving or add a dollop of creme fraiche.


Serve with home made rolls.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Pudding Bowl

There are some things in life one should never embark on.  "Never start a land war in Asia", being the most notable, but a closer to home one should be, "never cut your child's hair if you have not had training".  You would think that I would have learned this after my failed attempt at cutting Bob's hair when he was just a baby.  But alas, no.

I took Bob to have his hair cut on Monday at the local barbers.  I watched as the hairdresser pulled his fringe back and chopped away, creating a lovely fringe that suited his face.

"That looks easy enough", I remarked to myself before stealing a side long glance at Boo, playing innocently in her buggy.

Hmmmmmmm.

And so, yesterday, I walked towards Boo with a smile on my face, a pair of scissors in my hands, and a surety that it wouldn't go wrong this time.

Two minutes later, and with the remnants of her over-long fringe scattered about the carpet, I was proved dreadfully wrong.

The result - pudding bowl.  Very reminiscent of a Julie Andrews hair cut from the 1960's.  I can't yet work out whether it is an early Fraulein Maria or a Victor/Victoria, but either way, short fringe, round race.

I suppose I should put up a recipe to mark this occasion?  How about a Summer Fruits Pudding?

This simple classic is made even easier, and cheaper, using frozen berries.  Because the fruit is frozen as soon as it is picked, they retain their nutritional quality and are still a great source of vitamins.

5 tbsp water
3  tablespoons caster sugar
500 gm bag frozen summer berries
6 - 7 thin sliced white bread, crusts removed
Put the frozen berries in a colander and run water over them to remove any ice crystals.
Stir the 5 tbsp of water and sugar together and bring to a gentle boil. Add the berries and fruits and stew very gently until softened but still retain their shape.

Line a 1½ pint pudding basin with the bread slices ensuring there are no gaps.

Fill with the stewed fruits and cover the top with more bread slices.
Cover with a weighted plate (a tin of beans is about right).  Allow to cool before putting in the fridge over night.

The next day, before serving, turn the pudding out onto a plate and serve with ice cream or home-made custard.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

This is a wonderfully simple recipe that the whole family can enjoy.  This recipe serves 2 adults or 1 adult and 2 kids.

250 gm Smoked haddock
2 Eggs
100 gm Basmati rice
50 gm Frozen peas
500 ml Boiling water
1 tsp Mild curry powder
15 gm Butter
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp single cream

Bring a pan of water to boiling point and add the 2 eggs.  Leave to boil for 8 - 10 minutes before plunging into a bowl of cold water.

Meanwhile, place the haddock in a deep bowl and cover with the 500 ml boiling water.  Leave for 6 minutes.

Place the peas in a small bowl and cover with boiling water and allow to thaw through.

Remove the haddock from the water and reserve the liquid.   Gently flake the haddock away from it's skin and remove any bones.  Discard skin and bones.

Drain the peas and mix in with the haddock.

Place the butter in a pan and heat on a medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and transluscent.

Add the curry powder and stir through.  Allow to cook for a minute or so to release the flavour.

Add the rice and stir through.  Again, allow to cook for a minute or so.

Add the reserved liquid and cook, untouched for approximately 8 minutes, until the rice has softened, but not completely cooked.

Add the flaked haddock and peas and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the liquid has all but evaporated.

Meanwhile, peel the cooled boiled eggs and cut into quarters. 

Add the cream and parsley to the kedgeree and stir through.

Serve, placing the sliced egg on top and a little extra parsley as garnish. 

 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Celebrate Good Times .....with Cookies!

In celebration of my A and a huge lift in my confidence stock, I raided my fruit bowl for the last of my bananas and rummaged through the pantry for ingredients to come up with these little gems.  Delicious!

Enjoy.

When all is said and done, nothing cheers up the soul quite so much as a really good cookie.  These are so yummy and easy to make, Bob helped me throughout - especially with the eating!  Makes about 48.

225 gm Butter, softened
350 gm Plain flour
300 gm Rolled oats
2 small bananas (or 1 large banana)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
200 gm golden granulated sugar
200 gm Light muscovado sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten

Cream the butter and golden granulated sugar together until light and creamy.

Mash the bananas in a bowl until they have turned into a pulp.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Sieve the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder into a bowl.

Slowly add the eggs, sieved flour/cinnamon and banana/vanilla extract, adding a small bit at a time of each and stirring well until well blended.

Finally, stir in the muscovado sugar and oats.

Cover the mixing bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

When ready to cook, turn the oven on to 190C.

Take a small scoop of the mixture and using clean hands roll a it into a ball about the size of a walnut and place on a greased baking tray.  Leave a good space between each ball as the cookies will spread a little when baking.

Using the back of a fork, flatten each cookie slightly before putting in the oven.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until the cookies have turned golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.