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Recipes are always to be shared, passed-on, adapted, kept alive!


With the highlight of February being Valentines Day...partly as you know you are half-way through the month, facing Spring, the nights are lighter...BUT as its a reason to eat chocolate and more of!!

This pudding is such a hit with the young cooks as you can personalise it when you decorate it...with sprinkles/edible gold spray/heart marshmallows or gratings of white chocolate! This is a picture of what one of our 6-12 cooks made in the February half-term holiday

Chocolate Mouse

Serves 6

150g mini marshmallows

50g soft unsalted butter

200g good quality cooking chocolate

60ml hot water from recently boiled kettle

284ml tub double cream (extra thick so no need to mix)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy based saucepan

2. Gently heat to melt all the contents and remove - slightly cool

3. Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick and fold into the chocolate mixture until you have a smooth mixture

4. Pour into ramekins or a large bowl and chill - only needs about 2 hours

5. Serve with raspberries, mint leaves, edible gold spray, with sprinkles on top....

This is excellent for a dinner party - make into a large mouse or smaller ones in ramekins - its quick and delicious to make
It also has no raw egg in it! Which makes it perfect for young cooks to make and eat!

...with Veganuary well and truly with us and after Christmas indulgences we are all ready to tuck into some tasty, spicy veggie dishes.

We were given this whilst visiting family who tried it during Veganuary last year and some of us didn't realise it was veggie! You can make a big pot to last a few meals, you can freeze it and its easy on the budget.

Eat it with wholemeal rice & Greek plain yoghurt with a green salad or put into tortilla wraps (wholemeal) with sour cream, salsa and guacamole with melted cheese. Or with tortilla chips....
I love adding coffee into chilli it gives the dish a new depth of flavour - and there's not a carrot in sight!

Vegetarian Chilli

Serves 6

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions (diced)

1 tbsp fajita seasoning

4 cloves garlic (crushed)

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 x 400g kidney beans

1 x 400g black beans

1 x 250g pouch of pre-cooked lentils

1 x 400g chopped tomatoes

1 green chilli chopped

1 tbsp instant coffee

1 tbsp instant yeast

1 tbsp brown sugar

200ml boiling water

1 tsp salt & ground pepper

Coriander to serve

1. Heat oil and add the chopped onion

2. Add the fajita seasoning and coat the onions and fry on a medium heat for a few minutes

3. Add the garlic, cinnamon & paprika– stir thoroughly

4. Add the beans, lentils and chilli, coffee, yeast and sugar

5. Add the hot water and season well

6. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes

7. Serve with plain yoghurt, rice & sprinkled with coriander

According to a study by Oxford University if we all were to switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit & vegetables greenhouse gases could be cut by two thirds!
Loving Black Beans - they can be added to anything....for nutrition for flavour and for budgets...spaghetti bolognaise/curry/cottage or shepherds pie/stews...

...The 6-12 year old cooks LOVED making these "jammie dodgers"...Austrian style Christmas biscuits last year in our classes.

The toasted hazelnuts give them a rich flavour and cutting out the dough shapes is great fun.

You can cut them into any shape...a star or circle (for a Christmas bauble) or a Christmas tree or a snowman or angel shape!
The little cut out on the top biscuit which shows the jam can be any shape too; - a piece of holly, a star or a mini Christmas tree. 

Thanks to Nigella for introducing us to these amazing cookies through her 'Cook, Eat, Repeat' book and T.V. series that got us through the lockdown of December 2020, I have adapted her recipe below;

Austrian Christmas Biscuits - Linzer Cookies

Makes 22 cookies (sandwiches)

125g sugar

200g unsalted butter (soft)

100g skinned toasted hazelnuts or ground almonds (at whatever ratio suits – 60% ground almonds/40% ground hazelnuts works well)

300g plain flour

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp fine sea sat

1 large egg (room temp)

1 large egg yoke at room temp

Icing sugar

Redcurrant Jelly (60ml)

Raspberry Jam (60ml)

1. Grind the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor until you have fine sand.

2. Cream butter and sugar together

3. Add the nuts, sieved flour, cinnamon and salt

4. Separately, whisk together the whole egg and egg yolk

5. Then gradually add to the butter mixture

6. Cover with clingfilm and rest for an hour in the fridge

7. Take out and allow to stand for 15 minutes

8. Roll out with not too much flour and fairly quickly and use a 6 cm cookie cutter

9. Cut out a shape in the middle of half of them using a small cookie cutter, bottle top or knife

10. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 180/160 F until they are just lightly golden at the edges (but they will still be pale)

11. When cool make the sandwiched biscuits by mixing the jelly and jam spreading it in the middle and then once sandwiched together sprinkle with icing sugar.

Any jam can be used; - cranberry/blackcurrant/cherry/strawberry
Add some orange zest to the mixture to add a Christmassy orange flavour, it goes particularly well with the hazelnuts (and cranberry jam)
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