A is for…Apples

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Alphabites

Welcome to my new series: Alphabites. The idea is simple: each post will be about a different food, or something related to food that begins with the next letter of the alphabet. It’s just a way of bringing together lots of different things that I want to write about. And also to challenge me a bit to come up with ideas for some of the trickier letters, and to write a bit more regularly.

So, here goes.

A is for…Apples

I love the idea of ‘living off the land’, but given that I struggle to keep on top of mowing the lawn, and plants have yet to live long under my care, tending a vegetable patch is probably not an obvious calling for me right now. However, recently I have received an abundance of apples from trees of family members (family trees??), and even a few from a small apple tree in our garden. So I set about finding a variety of apple recipes and then got busy in the kitchen. Here’s what I made:

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B is for…Banana Loaf

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Alphabites

 

Bananas are, apparently, the most sold item in supermarkets in the UK. I certainly buy them every time I do a supermarket shop. Unfortunately (or otherwise) I often seem to buy just a couple too many, and by the end of the week they are simply crying out to be baked with rather than eaten. I’ve used a variety of banana based recipes over the years, often involving muffins and chocolate chunks. However, I’d like to share with you my absolute go to banana recipe. It’s super simple, very tasty and contains such basic ingredients that I think I’ve always had them in, and so haven’t had to do a quick nip to the shop. (This cannot be said when it comes to most of the banana muffin recipes that I used to use, which mostly seemed to need sour cream or natural yoghurt, which I am less likely to have in the house). The recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and 40g of the flour.
  3. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and mashed bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.

Delicious served warm, and super tasty cold the next day too. 

Photo: “Bananas”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bananas.jpg#/media/File:Bananas.jpg

C is for…Chai Tea Latte

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Alphabites

I came fairly late to the Chai Tea party. I’m not sure why, but until earlier this year I had just never tried it. While staying with my parents one weekend I was looking through their (very well stocked) tea cupboard and came across a box, so gave it a go. What a discovery! What a delicious, warming blend of tea and spices. The cinnamon, ginger and cloves gave it an almost Christmasy feel. It’s no secret to anyone that I love tea but there is something about the flavour and sweetness of Chai that, in my opinion, gives it extra special ‘warming and comforting’ qualities. I drank my first cup without milk, and my second cup with, to experience both and see which I preferred. Both were good, but somehow the milky one further added to the comfort element.

Shortly after this I was in a coffee shop and realised, to my delight, that I could order something other than a regular cup of tea. Chai Tea Latte here I come! (I have, on more than one occasion, much to the amusement of the barista, accidentally ordered a Tai Chi Latte). Oh wow. This drink actually makes me feel deep joy.

Next stop in my Chai Tea journey was the discovery of Drink Me Chai in my local supermarket. Much like a tin of hot chocolate powder, you simply add hot water and voila, the Chai Tea experience in my own home. It is truly delicious and is now a daily fixture either when I get in from work, after dinner or before going to bed. So comforting. So calming. So cozy.

D is for… Dates

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Alphabites

Dates are another thing that I came to quite late in my life. For some reason I had them in the same category as prunes in my mind and had, therefore, never tried them. My dad used to eat them but I just wrote them off as something gross that I didn’t need to investigate. But then one day I ate one and could not believe what I had been missing out on for all these years. It tasted just like toffee. Sweet and delicious. They are now up there as one of my favourite treats (admittedly the list is quite long).

IMG_20160210_172732Recently my friend, who was expecting a baby, told me that there had been studies linking dates to timely and quick labours. A quick internet search confirmed this. She sent me a recipe of a date loaf that she made and ate the day before she ended up going in to labour. I made it last week and it was excellent. Tasted like sticky toffee pudding and went down a treat with everyone there. (Thankfully it didn’t cause anyone to give birth though!). A number of people asked for the recipe, so here it is:

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E is for…Egg Free cake

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Alphabites

I had slightly stalled on the ‘Alphabites’ series for a number of reasons, but not least because I was a bit stumped by ‘E’. I even did an internet search on food beginning with E and there was nothing that really jumped out at me. I thought about doing something to do with eggs, and then I remembered an excellent recipe I had recently come across and made for an Egg Free Cake, and I decided to share that.

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