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Welsh Rarebit Muffins

This week is Farmhouse Breakfast week and it’s all about promoting the benefits of a good breakfast. I’m a huge advocate of breakfast. I know that if I don’t eat Breakfast I’m mardy and lacking energy until lunch time. As someone who works with children I’ve also seen the difference a breakfast can make to them. I’ve learnt what works best for me and that conventional off the shelf cereal doesn’t keep my hunger locked up till lunch, I have to make my own concoctions. Current favourites include:

  • Porridge sweetened with either banana or jam
  • yogurt topped with oats, omega seed mix and fruit (be it dried, fresh or tinned)
  • Granola with milk or yogurt

I find breakfast is the perfect time of day to squeeze in a few of those all important fruit and veg along with grains without having to try hard plus the daily glass of orange juice helps with the absorption of iron that appears in many cereals and bread.

We make an effort to sit down together, usually at the weekend for a proper more luxurious breakfast. Be it croissants, pancakesfrench toast topped with fruit compote or Hubs favourite, a simple boiled egg with toast. There is something nice about making effort for a meal at the weekend that is usually eaten at different times during the week.

A quick straw poll on twitter revealed many a favourite breakfast including toast, kedgeree, pancakes, poached eggs and bubble & squeak. The Farmhouse Breakfast website also has some great ideas for breakfasts. I’ll certainly be trying the Hot Chocolate & Raspberry Shake soon. While researching some recipes for my classes I came across this recipe for Welsh Rarebit Muffins and they are perfect for both breakfast, brunch and lunch. Some chopped up tomatoes, mushrooms and maybe a small amount of ham along with replacing some of the flour with wholegrain flour would be great added to the muffin mix.

So what is your favourite breakfast?

Welsh Rarebit Muffins
These make a great deal more than the original recipe states. Makes more like 24 large fairy cake/small muffins.

From BBC Good Food

225g self-raising flour

50g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

½ level tsp mustard powder

100g strong cheese , grated

6 tbsp vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil

150g Greek yogurt

130ml milk

1 egg

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1) Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix together the self-raising and plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mustard powder in a bowl.

2) In a separate bowl, mix the cheese, oil, yogurt, milk, egg and Worcestershire sauce. Combine all the ingredients and divide between the muffin cases in the muffin tin.

3) Place in the oven for 20 mins until golden. Remove and cool slightly on a rack. They are particularly nice warm from the oven. Store in an airtight container.

Easy Cheesy Biscuits

It’s no lie that we love cheese in this house. Be it feta, paneer, Stilton, Red Leicester or some Gorwydd Caerphilly there is always some variety in the fridge. I think it would be one of my Desert Island foods. Hubs had a go at making his own cheese press. Many of my pupils have asked if we can make cheesy biscuits in Cookery Club. Like all the recipes I teach I road test them at home to check they are suitable and given they contain a well loved ingredient I was more than happy to find a recipe suitable for them to make. An old workmate used to make the most amazing flaky cheesy biscuits of which these biscuits are based on. Hubs & Father-in-Law were the taste tasters for these biscuits and lets just say, they didn’t last long.

With a minimum of 3 ingredients these really are easy and perfect for kids to make. It is possible to change the topping and flavours, a great way to experiment with tastes and textures. You can also try mixing two cheeses – a smoked cheese and mature cheddar works very well together. There are a few tips I would give for these biscuits:

  • Use mature/strong flavoured cheese. Also very cheap, mild cheese has a tendency to go very greasy & watery when heated so try not to use it in this recipe.
  • Chilling the dough before rolling out helps the biscuits keep their shape, however it isn’t essential and they still taste just as good if you don’t chill the dough.
  • Try to allow them to cool for an hour, yes I know it’s hard, but they taste better properly cooled than they do warm out of the oven.
  • Try and keep your husband/partner/kids away from them or they might literally inhale them!

Easy Cheesy Biscuits
Makes around 30 small biscuits

100g plain flour (it will also work with self-raising flour)
100g butter or margarine
100g mature cheese, grated
pinch of chilli powder and/or mustard powder (optional)
toppings e.g. paprika, nigella seeds, poppy seeds, curry powder, cumin seeds (optional)

1) Rub together the butter and flour then mix in the grated cheese and chilli/mustard powder until you have a dough. If you have problems getting the dough to come together add a splash of milk.

2) Roll into a ball, cover in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 min.

3) Roll out the dough until around 5mm thick. Cut out shapes and place on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with toppings.

4) Bake at 180° for 10 minutes, until puffed and golden. Cool on a wire baking rack for an hour before eating.

Easy Peasy Pizza

Blogging has been a bit quiet for me recently for many reasons. I’m working on a project at the moment that is taking up quite a bit of my free time and cooking in the house has been positively boring after a food-filled Christmas break.

This pizza recipe is partly due to the project I’m working on. I’ve been looking for a pizza recipe suitable for a class of children to make, bake & do the washing up all within a 90 min lesson. No mean feat I ask you.  Not a refined authentic pizza recipe in the slightest but a recipe that is perfect to be taught to classes of children with limited lesson time or even to be made at home.  Of course traditional pizza uses a yeasted dough, but with limited lesson this doesn’t give an adequate time period for the dough to rise so I needed to find an alternative. The base for this is essentially a basic scone recipe. It could have herbs, spices and even cheese added to the dough to make it different, however this time I just kept it simple.Topping wise anything can be used, I dare say you could even play with sweet toppings.

Although there is no yeast in the dough due to the self-raising flour the base will rise. The key, like scones, is not to make the base too thin. The thicker the base the more it will rise. This recipe makes 2 individual pizza that are about in diameter and are perfect for lunch boxes. If your interested in other lunchbox ideas, especially for kids, head to The Life of Wendy (who puts my lunches to shame) and Funky Lunch.

Easy Peasy Pizza
Makes 2 individual (5 inch) pizzas

150g Self-raising flour (plain flour could be used but the base won’t rise as much)
20g butter or marg
60ml milk
6 tbsp pizza sauce or tomato ketchup
handful of grated cheese
toppings (eg. sliced cherry tomatoes, ham, pepper)
mixed herbs

1) Rub together the flour and butter until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk until you have a soft dough. Knead for 30 seconds.

2) Split the dough into 2 equal balls and roll out into 2 rounds. Place both on a floured baking tray. Cover base with pizza sauce then sprinkle on the cheese, toppings and herbs.

3) Bake at 200°c for 10-15 min until golden.

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