Baby in one hand, wooden spoon in the other

Celebrating my blog (& sharing some blogging love!)

Celebrate, good times, come on!

Celebrate, good times, come on!

I thought it would be fun to pull together some of the photos I’ve taken for this blog over the past 18 months or so. As you can see, I try to illustrate my recipes and gadget reviews in a fun way! I love taking these photos, and have built up quite a collection of my own Playmobil and Lego figures, in addition to those upstairs in the toy box… You can see ALL my photos on my Pinterest page, The One-Handed Cook.

This blog is a fun place to come and find simple yet tasty recipes, and reviews of cool cookware and other kitchen-related things that might be of interest to any busy parent. My aim is to share easy recipes, shortcuts and tips – I know what it’s like juggling baby on your hip, or toddler at your feet, or whining 3-year-old, or older child with the appetite of a grown man, with LIFE!

I write as regularly as I can – being a busy working mum of two means it’s not always as often as I’d like – but I love the process of thinking about the post, planning and taking the photo, and then sharing with you. I also love being part of the wider parent- and food-blogger communities and have discovered some great blogs and met some great bloggers, which has been amazing.

So, if you enjoy reading my blog, please do spread the word! And do give me feedback on any of the recipes you try.

As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Just wanted to share a bit of blogging love this Sunday evening :)

The One-Handed Cook x

Winner of my Oxo berry-tastic giveaway

Photo 28-06-2014 12 51 38

 

We have a winner folks! And she wins an Oxo Berry Bowl set and an Oxo Strawberry Huller. She is… Maddie Sinclair from the blog Gammon & Chips (www.gammonandchips.com). I loved her comment about serving strawberries on a massive bed of meringue and, as she says, ‘You can take the girl out of Australia, but you can’t take away her love of a bloody good pavlova!’

Congrats, Maddie!!

Happy weekend all,

TOHC x

Al fresco food

The perfect summer food!

The perfect summer food!

Who doesn’t love eating outside in the summer? Ah, bliss. Of course, in my head an al fresco dinner will be like it is in the movies – the family (all smiling, happy and sitting properly on their chairs) are seated round a rustic wooden table laden with delicious fresh food, a faint scent of lavender in the air, and a gentle breeze to keep us cool while we tuck in. In reality, my patio is tiny, my patio table is even tinier, and the minute I step outside with food, wasps head my way…

Small patio aside, I did recently make and enjoy a rather fabulous Quiche Lorraine, inspired by some rather lovely Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs and Spoiltpig bacon, which I was sent to taste. I have written about Spoiltpig bacon before, and the reason I like it is because it’s made using outdoor reared pork approved by Freedom Food AND it’s completely delicious. Animal welfare is important to me and I would rather buy less meat than buy low-quality meat of questionable origin.

Burford Brown eggs have the most wonderful deep sunset yellow yolks and will give your quiche a super colour, and again are free range and produced with high welfare standards in mind.

Now trust me, this Quiche Lorraine is seriously good. I am afraid that this isn’t a recipe to be made one-handed, but what is brilliant is that you can make it in stages – you can get your pastry base ready and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it, you can cook the bacon in advance – it doesn’t matter if it goes cold once it’s cooked as it goes back in the oven anyway. Get the different elements ready and then whip up the filling and assemble the thing when you have time. You will be pleased you did, as it’s pretty impressive!

We all absolutely loved this and I have made it twice during the last two weeks, so this is a must-have summer recipe as far as I am concerned. Oh, and I used bought pastry. I’m a busy woman!!

Quiche Lorraine

A classic Quiche Lorraine does not have cheese in, I’m told. But I always add it. Coz I am crazy like that. This is delicious warm from the oven (allow it to cool a little before serving) or at room temperature the next day – remove from the fridge half an hour or so before serving. Great with a crunchy green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or, for the kids, slices of cucumber and mini tomatoes.

Serves 6-8 depending on hunger levels

You will need:

1 pack ready made shortcrust pastry

184g pack Spoiltpig dry cured streaky bacon, chopped (I use scissors)

1 tbsp oil

320ml double cream

4 Burford Brown whole eggs, and 2 extra yolks

75g strong cheese, grated (Parmesan, strong Cheddar or Comté work well)

Black pepper, freshly ground

 

For the base:

  1. Roll the pastry out as thinly as you can and use to line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed fluted flan tin. Ease the pastry into the base and use a ball of pastry to press the pastry into the grooves of the tin (top tip!)
  2. Trim the pastry edges so it sits slightly above the tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill for at least 10 minutes (the quiche, not you).
  3. When ready to cook, put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200°C/180°Fan/Gas 6.
  4. Line the pastry case with cling film and fill with dry or baking beans and bake on the hot sheet for 15–20 minutes. Remove cling fim and beans and bake for another 5 minutes until the pastry is golden.

For the filling:

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon for around 8–10 minutes, until cooked through but not crisp. Drain and spread half over the hot pastry base.
  2. Put the cream and the eggs and yolks into a large bowl with a generous grinding of black pepper, and beat together slowly until combined. Add the grated cheese, and then give it a fast whisk for 30 seconds until frothy.
  3. Pour over the bacon, and then sprinkle the remaining bacon on top.
  4. Bake for 20 mins, then check. The quiche is ready when it has puffed up but still has a wobble in the centre. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Serve on a fox picnic blanket!

Serve on a fox picnic blanket to add instant style…

Bon appétit!

TOHC

x

Berry-tastic giveaway and Summer Berry Cream Pots

Berry Cream Pots

Summer Berry Cream Pots

As mentioned in a previous post, I absolutely love summer berries and fruit – from strawberries and raspberries to blueberries and cherries – there’s just so much to enjoy! So when I was given the chance to try OXO’s new Strawberry Huller and Berry Bowl Set as well as some delicious Sweet Eve Strawberries I was delighted to test them. And what’s more, OXO have given me a set to give away to one lucky reader! Scroll down for info on how to enter and for my Summer Berry Cream Pots recipe.

The colander in the Berry Bowl Set is just the right size for a punnet of fruit – so rather than having to get out the large colander just to wash a few berries, this a great compact version. What’s more, once you’ve washed them, there’s no more dripping water everywhere, you simply sit the red colander in the white bowl – complete with rubber-grip base – and because it all looks so nice, you can take it straight to the table. If you don’t eat all the berries, you can tip them into the bowl, and store in the fridge with the lid on. I think this is a brilliant bit of kit. Perfect for Wimbledon fans :)

Oxo Berry Bowl Set

Oxo Berry Bowl Set

The Strawberry Huller is designed to easily remove the stalk from your strawberry. It is completely amazing – you just stick it into the top of the berry and twist, then pull out the whole stalk. If your strawberries are firm, it works a treat. Would be particularly useful if you were making jam or similar, and needed a lot of berries.

Photo 28-06-2014 12 34 20

Berry Cream Pots

I used my berry kit to make Berry Cream Pots, very easy and very delicious! Littlest and I ate them outside in the sunshine. Summer heaven.

These are yummy and so easy – simply gently whip some double cream and fold in some maple syrup. Spoon your mixture into small glasses or bowls and top with freshly washed blueberries and strawberries. Drizzle with extra maple syrup if you’re feeling naughty.
Tucking in to Berry Cream Pots

Tucking in to Berry Cream Pots

The lovely folks at OXO UK have given me a Berry Bowl Set and a Strawberry Huller kit to give away on the blog. If you’d like to win one, please comment on this post. To be in with a chance of winning a berry kit, you have to leave a comment below telling me your favourite way of serving strawberries – include pics!

OXO have other bloggers giving away berry kits, too, and once they have ALL the winners in, those winners will go forward to get the chance to win a year’s supply of strawberries! (This part of the competition will be administrated by OXO.)

THE GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED NOW AND I WILL BE SELECTING A WINNER SHORTLY. 

Good luck and happy berry eating!

TOHC x

With thanks to Oxo UK for the prizes. All opinions on the blog are my own.

The small print:

1. Entry in to the prize draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules.

2. The prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who leaves a comment below telling me their favourite way of serving strawberries.

3. The competition ends at midnight on 15 July 2014.

4. One winner will be selected from all valid entries. The winner’s name will be given to OXO who will supply the prize and put the winner’s name forward to win a year’s supply of strawberries.

5. One entry per person.

6. The prize is one OXO Berry Bowl Set and one OXO Strawberry Huller.

7. The prize is non-negotiable, non-transferable, and there is no cash alternative. 

8. The prize will be posted to the winner’s home address within 30 days.

9. If a response is not received by the winner within 30 days they will forfeit their right to the prize.

10. No purchase necessary.

 

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

"Of course we have to have Eggy Bread, we're camping out!"

“Of course we have to have Eggy Bread, we’re camping!”

Ah, but you don’t have to have a campfire to enjoy Eggy Bread! Oh no, it’s super delicious for breakfast and brunch at home too. And what’s more – it really can be made one-handed. (Assuming you can crack an egg one-handed; if not, do that first!)

This version of Eggy Bread is a great pancake replacement, i.e. you fancy American-style pancakes with maple syrup and so on but you are short on time. It’s dead easy and requires hardly any equipment, which is handy when it comes to washing up too. Phew.

So, apart from enjoying my Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread and the glut of summer berries, we’ve been super-busy of late here at OH HQ. Decorating the sitting room has taken up several weekends, and in anticipation of finally getting our tip of a front garden sorted, I’ve become obsessed with paving… As my Pinterest followers will know!

Anyway, here’s the recipe, so hoist the little one on your hip if needs be, and rest in the knowledge that even if you cannot put baby down, you can all still eat. Which will help.

TOHC x

P.S. Note the mini Duralex glass in the below photo, with maple syrup in. Bought from the new Hema store in London! It’s AMAZING! Like Ikea but better.

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

You will need:

1 free-range organic egg

Milk (a dash; optional)

Ground cinnamon

1 slice stale white bread, cut into 4 strips (use scissors)

Demerara sugar

Maple syrup

Berries to serve

  1. Whisk the egg and milk (if you have it, but it’s not essential) and some ground cinnamon in a mug.
  2. Pour this mixture into a shallow bowl and dip your strips of bread into it – push them in with your finger so the bread absorbs the mixture
  3. Heat the butter in a shallow frying pan (I use a pancake pan) and fry the strips – turn using your fingers or tongs
  4. When nicely golden on both sides, serve your Eggy Bread strips with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup. Berries on the side are nice. As is a strong coffee.

Sauces for ice-cream – Summer is here!

It's ice-cream season! (How long before that strawberry falls off?)

It’s ice-cream season! (How long before that strawberry falls off?)

So the sun’s come out! Which is nice. I am actually feeling pretty summery all of a sudden, what with all the seasonal fruit – raspberries, strawberries, peaches – and of course lovely cold ice-cream. In a cone, in a bowl, straight from the tub (I didn’t say that)… it’s the perfect thing on a hot day, and of course the children love the stuff.

I like making sumptuous sauces to drizzle on top of ice-cream, so when Le Creuset asked me if I’d like to try out their new saucepan range, I jumped at the chance. Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of their cast ironware, but I’d never tried their stainless steel pans before. So I used the Le Creuset 3-ply Stainless Steel Sauce Pan to make two ice-cream toppings, which I hope you will like – Butterscotch and Summer Berry. Mmm.

Screen shot 2014-06-18 at 22.27.56

I have to say, the  Le Creuset 3-ply Stainless Steel Sauce Pan is brilliant, and has swiftly become my new favourite saucepan – it’s just the right size (not too big, not too small), it conducts heat really well and gives good heat distribution – noticeably better than my standard pans. It’s great for making sauces, making porridge, heating soup etc as you can be sure you won’t get ‘hot spots’ where the middle is hotter than the rest. I really love it as it makes cooking hassle-free! (Big tick.) What’s more – attention, busy mums and dads – you can pour from it one-handed if needs be, as it has an all-round pouring rim. Useful.


photo 1

I also tested the little Le Creuset sieve, which is just really cute and perfect for the second recipe, below, and the Le Creuset balloon whisk with its smart red handle.

And now for the delicious and oh-so-easy sauces:

Beautiful Butterscotch Sauce

When I made this, my husband said ‘This is completely amazing’ – enough said, really. Admittedly, it’s not the healthiest of things, but a drizzle here and there is such a treat… This is good with vanilla ice-cream (my fave is Yeo Valley) and if you’re organized, with ready weighed-out ingredients, can be made one-handed so you can tend to baby while making a delicious sauce. Oh yes. Just stir and go.

You will need:

25g butter

25g light brown or muscovado sugar

90g golden syrup

1tsp lemon juice

75ml double cream

  1. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a smallish pan
  2. Heat gently, stirring from time to time, until the butter has melted, and keep stirring until it’s beautifully mixed together
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and the cream and heat gently until simmering
  4. Serve warm over ice-cream, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.photo 2

 

Summer Berry Sauce

You can use one type or a mixture of berries for this sauce. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries – anything goes. Three ingredients and you’re done. You can also drizzle this sauce on pancakes (crêpes). This sauce smells amazing, and tastes equally delicious – like summer in a bowl.

You will need

250g summer berries

2tsp lemon juice

2-3tbsp icing sugar (or you can use caster if that’s all you have)

  1. Blend the fruit, the lemon juice and the icing sugar in the blender (you may need to add a dash of water to stop it clogging together) until smooth
  2. Sieve the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
  3. Serve as is, or gently heat in a saucepan.

Photo 10-06-2014 21 48 30

I hope you enjoy these sauces. Happy cooking, peeps.

You can find the pan here: http://www.lecreuset.co.uk

TOHC xx

Disclaimer: I was sent the Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Sauce Pan for free to review on the blog. All opinions are my own.

Rhubarb & Raspberry Muffins

The kids eyed up the giant muffin... who was going to get to it first?!

The kids eyed up the giant muffin… who was going to get to it first?!

 If you’re after a super-quick delicious muffin recipe, read on!

I just love rhubarb – it’s often forgotten in discussions about great fruit (although strictly speaking, it’s actually a vegetable, but let’s not worry about that), but it’s usually around this time every year, when my mum informs me that her rhubarb patch has gone wild and asks if I’d like some, that I remember just how much I like it. Rhubarb does require quite a lot of sugar to make it palatable, which is a downside, given my efforts to reduce the sugar intake here at OH HQ, but then the tang of rhubarb is an unbeatable flavour, and these muffins offer a delicious and easy way to bake with rhubarb.

This recipe was inspired by a recent visit to new artisan bakeshop Kitchen in Langport in Somerset, on our half-term travels, where we tasted rhubarb & raspberry muffins for the first time and they were declared ‘delicious’.

I hadn’t thought of using rhubarb in muffins before, but it’s great, particularly with raspberries. What’s brilliant is that you don’t need to cook the rhubarb beforehand – you just stir it into your mixture – which means these muffins literally take about 10 minutes to make – perfect for the time-pressed parent.

I am into coconut oil at the moment (I use Lucy Bee coconut oil, which I bought in my local health food shop) so I tried it in this recipe and it worked a treat, although you could also use melted butter.

These were a complete hit here – both children loved them. They are great for a weekend brunch, an afternoon snack or even in lunchboxes or for a picnic, now the weather’s cheered up a bit!

TOHC x

 

Rhubarb & Raspberry Muffins

Makes approx. 10 muffins

200g self-raising flour

½ tsp cinnamon

90g golden caster sugar

80g melted coconut oil (I used the microwave)

100ml milk

2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 or 3 stalks of rhubarb, sliced into ½ cm pieces

Handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Flaked almonds, for sprinkling

Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

What to do: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F, and line your muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. Sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl, and stir in the sugar
  3. Stir the wet ingredients (melted oil, milk, eggs and vanilla essence) into the dry ingredients and mix, but don’t overmix – lumps are fine.
  4. Lastly, stir in the chopped rhubarb and the raspberries (if they’re frozen, straight from the freezer is fine)
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, and sprinkle a little demerara sugar on top of each one for crunch.
  6. Finish each muffin with a good sprinkling of flaked almonds.
  7. Bake for about 30 mins – test with a skewer – and allow to cool on a wire rack.

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