Posts Tagged ‘Snacks’

I can start with 4 ingredients in the cupboard and have 2 trays of flapjacks ready and out of the oven in less than half an hour. This is a delicious flapjack recipe – my absolute favourite, with a chewy texture and a delicious caramel taste. It’s my go-to recipe for home-made treats in a hurry. I was originally given the recipe by another ordinand’s wife when the Vicar was training for ministry and I must have baked these flapjacks at least 100 times since then without a bad batch. I usually make a double batch as it only takes a couple of minutes more than a single batch and there never seems to be any trouble in disposing of them.


  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 150g soft margarine
  • 4 tbspns golden syrup
  • 250g porridge oats

Melt the sugar, margarine and golden syrup together in a large microwave bowl (or in a saucepan on the stove if you don’t have a microwave) – it takes about 2 minutes on full power in my cheapo 750W microwave. To get the golden syrup out of my measuring spoon easily I dip the spoon (a metal one) in a mug of just boiled water before adding each spoonful. Once the sugar, marg and syrup have melted together, mix in the oats. Then pop the mix in a 8″x12″ baking tin, lined with silicone baking paper (or a reusable liner like I use), and flatten it down so that it’s evenly distributed and pop it in the oven.

Your oven needs to be pre-heated to 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC). In my fan oven, the flapjack takes 15 minutes to cook, but can take 20-30mins if your oven isn’t as speedy or isn’t quite up to temperature at the beginning. Once it’s golden on top, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for five minutes before cutting into slices sized to your flapjack appetite (generally 21-24 in my experience) and leaving to cool fully in the tin. If you cook it a little longer, it’ll be crunchy rather than chewy, so you can cook differently according to your flapjack preference.

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Or not. A shock that is. I was busy peeling potatoes for the church lunch club yesterday. As well as the keen band of ladies who run the club, the Vicar’s Apprentice Happy was also wielding a peeler.

Once we’d finished peeling the 12kg or so of spuds, I offered to take the peelings home to put on the compost heap. And I was recalling the cook in Nanny McPhee (a favourite movie in the Vicarage – I can’t think why) who rustles up a gruel that includes various vegetable peelings. ‘Maybe I should be making Vicarage gruel’ I pondered.

Then Happy (who has a background in the hospitality industry) mentioned that he’d made parsnip crisps from parsnip peelings whilst working in a posh hotel once. ‘Why not try potato peeling crisps?’ was the suggestion.

So home we went with our bagful of peelings. I pulled out the longer and thinner ones and popped them on a baking sheet (actually four baking sheets), drizzled them with some olive oil, heated my fan oven to 200C and popped them in on a five minute timer.

That wasn’t long enough, but after about fifteen minutes they came out great. Some of them were still a little uncrispy and I switched the oven off and left them in to dry out.

Once out, I sprinkled on a little fancy French sea salt and the Vicar, Happy, Polly and I demolished them extremely quickly. Next time I’m trying this technique with parsnip and carrot peelings too. And I might use an olive oil sprayer to make sure the oil is rather better distributed.

Happy’s Peeling Chips
Long veggie peelings (potato/parsnip/beetroot/carrot)
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 200-220C (Gas 6). Lay peelings in single layer on non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle or spray with olive oil. Cook for 10-20mins until brown and crispy. If any peelings are still a little uncooked at the end, switch the oven off and leave to dry out. Remove to bowl and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

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Home from school today, my kids were after a snack and were uninterested in healthy bananas.

The Queen suddenly mentioned that she’d like cauliflower dip. This is a remembered recipe from my childhood, when my mum used it to get my sister and I to consume veggies.

The Queen asked if she could also have ‘some of those green balls’ to dip in it too. This is a mother’s triumph – a child asking for sprouts!

Sadly (!) we were out of sprouts so they just dipped the cauli:

Click on the pictures to get more details, or see below for the summary.

Curry dip – the summary

4-5 tbspns creme fraiche

1-2 tbspns mayonnaise

1 tspn curry powder

Place ingredients in bowl. Stir.

Enough to dip a whole cauliflower, broken into florets. Can also be used to dip breadsticks, sprouts, carrots etc, but the pepperiness of a cauliflower goes really well.

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