Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake!

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeThere are lots of things that people don’t tell you about becoming a parent. Particularly some of the dilemmas a foodie parent might face…

For example, when I was making this cake – my 6 week old daughter Tilly decided that she wanted feeding 10 minutes before it was due to come out the oven. PANIC STATIONS! I somehow, miraculously, managed to solve both problems but it was an interestingly tense situation I can tell you!

I am slowly learning that timing is everything in these early weeks. Especially if you are trying to bake or cook as well. I’ve also learnt that one handed multi tasking is something you have to adapt to…

Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake TillyLets be honest though – there was nothing that was going to get between me and that pudding!

And these tiny people are much more intelligent than they let on. I mean, Tilly already knows how to take a selfie!

Lemon Drizzle Easter Cake TillyBaby antics aside, I wanted to keep it nice and simple again with this weeks recipe. Truth be told, I don’t have time for anything other than simple at the moment! So here’s what you need to make a gorgeous lemon drizzle cake with an easy Easter decoration.

(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

For the Cake

  • 225g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 225g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temp
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 225g Self Raising Flour

For the Syrup

  • 85g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Juice of 2 Lemons

For the Icing & Decoration

  • 225g Icing Sugar
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 180g Cadbury’s Mini Eggs

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm (8″) Round Loose Bottomed Cake Tin

Lightly grease the base & sides of the cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

Either in an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeCrack the eggs into a jug and beat. Then, a quarter at a time, add them to the butter mixing well inbetween each addition.

If the mixture starts to curdle, just add a tablespoon of flour into the batter and mix it through.

Add in the lemon zest & sift in the flour. Mix again until the batter is nice and smooth but try not to over mix.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakePour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeWhilst the cake is in the oven, let’s make the syrup.

Simply weigh the sugar into a jug & squeeze over the lemon juice. Give it a good stir until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to one side until the cake has come out of the oven.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeWhilst still warm in the tin, use a skewer to poke holes over the whole cake. Then evenly pour over the syrup and allow to cool completely before decorating.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir well with a spoon until smooth. It should be a little thick but still runny.

Now for assembly!

Remove the cake from the tin & peel off the baking paper from the bottom. Place on a wire rack set over some newspaper or a baking sheet.

If your cake has domed in the middle, you may like to level it off with a sharp knife first. Otherwise, simply pour the icing over the cake and encourage it to drizzle down the sides with a spoon.

Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeTop with the Mini Eggs & marvel at your creation! (Even though it was really quite easy to make, but sshhhh, if you don’t tell I won’t!)

It will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Lemon Drizzle Easter CakeI absolutely love lemon drizzle cake! Not only is it a baking classic, it’s incredibly simple to make and really easy to turn into an Easter dessert. It’s also something that the kids can get involved with. And no, I don’t mean by screaming when it’s almost ready like Tilly, I mean by actually getting stuck in and baking!

What a fabulous dessert to have at the centre of your dinner table this upcoming Easter weekend.

And on that note, I will catch you all next time!

Miss KitchenMason (And Tilly! x )

 

 

Microwave Caramel Chocolate Brownie & Judge Giveaway!

Microwave Caramel Chocolate BrownieThe lovely people over at Judge have sent me some of their gorgeous double walled glasses to test out this week. There’s plenty of great features, but the best? They’re the perfect size for microwave mug cakes! Or in this case, a rich and gooey caramel choc chip brownie. I warn you though, approach this recipe with caution – it’s very dangerous for your waistline!

Here is what you will need to make 1 serving.

  • 2 tbsp (30g) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tbsp Self Raising Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 tbsp Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tbsp Caramel (or Dulce De Leche)

Essential Equipment

  • 250ml Microwavable Mug or Glass

Place the butter in a small bowl & microwave for 20 seconds or so until melted.

Microwave Caramel Chocolate BrownieAdd in the caster sugar, brown sugar & cocoa powder. Mix with a fork until smooth & thoroughly combined.

Microwave Caramel Chocolate BrownieAdd in the egg yolk & vanilla extract and beat together.

Microwave Caramel Chocolate BrownieThen add in the flour & salt and again, beat until smooth & thoroughly combined.

Again, beat until smooth & thoroughly combined.Mix through half the chocolate chips (1 tbsp) then spoon half the mixture into your chosen mug or glass.

Top with half the caramel. (1 tbsp.)

Again, beat until smooth & thoroughly combined.Then add the remaining half of the brownie batter and top with the last 1 tbsp of caramel.

Again, beat until smooth & thoroughly combined.Place onto a plate and cook in the microwave using the following guidelines:

600W – 50 seconds

800W – 30 seconds

1000W – 25 seconds

Then top with the remaining 1 tbsp of chocolate chips & place back into the microwave for another 30 seconds.

You may need to do this in 10-15 second intervals to prevent it from spilling over the edges.

Again, beat until smooth & thoroughly combined.If you can handle it – leave to cool for 15-20 minutes. This allows it to become really nice and gooey in the middle but chewy round the edges. Worth the wait, trust me.

If you like, top with more caramel & dust with a little cocoa powder to finish. Or you can just devour it straight away!

Microwave Caramel Chocolate BrownieI have to admit, I’m very impressed with these Judge glasses. The double walled concept has quite a few benefits. For example, with hot contents, the heat stays trapped within the glass but the outside wall just stays warm to the touch. Great for handling & making it ideal for hot drinks or hot desserts like this microwave cake. Alternatively, with cold contents, you don’t get that annoying condensation dripping all over the place. Fantastic for those hot Summer days when you want an ice cold drink! They’re also microwave & dishwasher friendly which is ideal for the modern day family.

So how would you like to get your hands on some of these wonderful glasses for yourself?

Judge Glassware CompetitionThose fabulous folks over at Judge have given me a set of 4 Double Walled Glass Tumblers, plus some other great goodies, to give to one of you lucky lot!

This spectacular prize worth over £55 consists of:

  • 4 x Double Walled Glass Tumblers
  • a 26cm Ceramic Mixing Bowl, which also doubles up as a gorgeous serving bowl. A perfect size & quality for when you want to make double batches or serve large quantities of delicious snacks at parties.
  • a Fine Mesh Shaker. A convenient little kitchen must have, ideal for sprinkling cocoa powder or icing sugar onto any dessert you like.
  • a Silicone Scraper with stainless steel handle & a handy hanging loop.

All you have to do to be in with a chance is one of the following:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason Facebook Page & Judge Cookware Facebook Page – share the competition photo on the KitchenMason timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @JudgeCookware on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinJudgeGlass

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Easter Monday 6th April at 7pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter shortly after.

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies, and good luck!

Miss KitchenMason

Honey Sriracha Chicken

Honey Sriracha ChickenOne of the Mr’s favourite things is Sriracha sauce. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a hot sauce but with actual flavour. Not being a huge fan of hot sauces myself, it surprised me just how much flavour it really has!

Thanks to my blogging, the Mr tends not to get a lot of choice in what we eat so I thought I would be nice and make something I knew he would love. Also, (at the time of writing this post) I was nearly 40 weeks pregnant & hadn’t dropped yet. I heard hot & spicy foods are meant to be good!

Here is what you will need to serve 2 – easily doubled.

(Recipe adapted from Creme de la Crumb.)

For the Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, diced
  • Salt
  • 20g Corn Flour
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

For the Sauce

  • 120ml Water
  • 1 – 2 tbsp Sriracha Sauce *
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 30g Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Runny Honey
  • 1 tbsp Corn Flour/ 2 tsp Cold Water
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds to serve, optional
  • Cooked Rice to serve, optional

* If you don’t like it too hot, just use 1 tbsp. Trust me, even 1 tbsp of this stuff packs a punch!

To make the sauce – add the water, Sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, sugar & honey to a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Honey Sriracha ChickenDissolve the corn flour in the cold water then add it to the saucepan. Stir well and bring back to the boil.

Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce begins to thicken. Continue to cook until you reach the consistency you like, then remove from the heat and set to one side until needed.

Honey Sriracha ChickenSeason the diced chicken with salt then toss to coat well in the flour.

Place a non stick frying pan over a medium/high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil.

Fry the chicken until golden & cooked through.

Honey Sriracha ChickenPour the sauce over the chicken and cook for a further minute or 2 until heated through.

If you like, serve over cooked rice & scatter with some toasted sesame seeds.

Honey Sriracha ChickenI was genuinely surprised at how good this was! I mean, yes it was hot, but the flavour really was lovely. I will definitely be making this one again – particularly the sauce. Except maybe with only 1 tbsp of Sriracha next time… (To please the Mr I used 2 tbsp – bit too much for me!)

Not only does it taste great though, it’s really quick to make! And let’s be honest, you can never have enough meals that are fast to prepare and still seriously tasty in your repertoire.

In other news – on Friday 13th, (seriously, you couldn’t make it up) I spent the day getting this little beauty out the oven…

Tilly - Honey Sriracha ChickenI would like you all to meet my daughter – Matilda. Both myself & baby are doing well and are now at home enjoying our first few days together. I apologise for any absence over the coming weeks – as you can imagine, I will be a little busy getting to grips with becoming a Mum!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies. Until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet CupcakesValentines Day is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me – you’ll be wondering what on earth you can buy or make for your loved one. I have always been pretty useless at gift buying, but baking? Now you’re talking my language!

Here’s a great gift idea for you to have a go at. Red Velvet Cupcakes. Is there anything more Valentines than red velvet?? With a gorgeously decadent cream cheese frosting, these are the perfect indulgence for you and your other half!

Here is what you need to make 12.

(Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.)

For the Decorations *

  • White Fondant Icing
  • Red Fondant Icing (Or red food colouring gel)
  • Heart Shaped Cutters

* I recommend you make these 24hrs in advance if you can. This allows them to harden slightly instead of staying ‘floppy.’

For the Cake

  • 60g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 150g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg, Room Temp
  • 10g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Red Liquid Food Colouring OR 2 tsp Red Food Colouring Gel
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 120ml Buttermilk
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp White Wine Vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 125g Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese **

**Don’t use a cheaper alternative or a ‘lighter’ version. Your cream cheese frosting will end up potentially very runny/wet if you do. The only one I have found to be stable enough is Philadelphia, original full fat cream cheese. In the words of Joey Tribbiani – If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right!

 

For the decorations – If you are making the red coloured fondant yourself, just add some red food colouring gel to ready white fondant icing and knead until the colour is evenly distributed.

Then, on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, simply roll out the fondant to about 3mm thick & cut using heart shaped cutters of your choosing.

If you are sticking shapes together, just dab on a little cold water and press lightly together. They will stick when dried.

Once you’ve cut out your shapes, on a tray lined with baking paper, place them out at room temperature to dry for 24 hours.

 

Onto the cake!

Preheat your oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C & line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cases. (I prefer to use foil cases as they don’t seep grease.)

Either in an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy.

Beat the egg and gradually add this into the bowl. Mix on a high speed until well incorporated and smooth.

Red Velvet CupcakesIn a little bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring & vanilla extract to make a paste. If you are using a gel colour you may need to add a little water to loosen it.

You are looking for a deep red colour. (Remember that colours lighten once baked so don’t be skimpy!)

Red Velvet CupcakesAdd the paste into the butter mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then mix again to ensure the colour is evenly distributed.

Red Velvet CupcakesWith the stand mixer/electric hand whisk on a slow speed – gradually add in half the buttermilk and mix until smooth. Then sift in half the flour and mix again until smooth. Repeat until all the buttermilk & flour are used up. If needs be, scrape down the bowl to make sure all the ingredients have been evenly distributed.

Then add in the salt, bicarbonate of soda & white wine vinegar and mix on a medium/high speed until smooth.

Red Velvet CupcakesDivide evenly between the 12 cupcake cases. (They should be about half to two thirds full.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 25 minutes. To test, insert a skewer into the middle of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they’re cooked. If there is batter on it – they need a little longer.

Once cooked, allow to sit in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Red Velvet CupcakesMeanwhile, let’s get on with the cream cheese frosting.

Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and add the butter. Mix on a medium/slow speed until well mixed. (Or use an electric hand whisk & a large bowl.)

Red Velvet CupcakesAdd in the cream cheese & mix slowly to start with (until the icing sugar is no longer a risk of mushroom clouding your kitchen!) then mix on high until really light and smooth for about 5 minutes.

Be careful not to over do it though – cream cheese frosting is a delicate creature & will become very runny if you over mix it.

Red Velvet CupcakesChill in the fridge until ready to decorate your cupcakes.

Red Velvet CupcakesWhen you’re cakes are completely cool – load a large piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing & fill with the cream cheese frosting.

I used a 3M open star nozzle and piped frosting from the outside edge inwards.

Then simply top with your sugar heart decorations and et vous voila!

Red Velvet CupcakesI usually say not to put cake in the fridge as it will dry it out quicker – but due to the cream cheese frosting, I recommend it with this particular recipe. They should keep for 3-4 days in a cardboard cupcake box. (If possible, don’t store in plastic as the sugar decorations will sweat.)

And there you have it! Sumptuously tempting, red velvet cupcakes that are good enough to make anyone fall in love with you!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake!A couple of weeks ago it was my Uncle Robert’s Birthday and guess what he likes..? Carrot Cake! This is a recipe I have made many times before & one that me and my family absolutely love. Do not be deceived by it’s ‘healthy’ sounding name though, carrot cake is actually one of the most calorific cakes you can eat! But hey, if we can’t eat cake on our Birthdays then when can we treat ourselves? All things in moderation I say! (or in vast quantity – same thing right??)

So, here is what you will need to make 1 x large cake. (Serves approx 12.)

For the Sponge

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 200g Grated Carrot
  • 227g Tin of Pineapple Rings, Drained & Chopped
  • Zest of 1 x Orange
  • Zest of 1 x Lemon
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temp
  • 250ml Sunflower Oil

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 250g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 500g Full Fat Cream Cheese *
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract, Optional

For the Decoration

  • Sugar Carrots, Optional

Essential Equipment

  • 2 x 7″ Round Loose Bottomed Cake Tins

* I used Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese. Don’t use a low fat version as it will not hold it’s shape and may become quite wet & sloppy. 

Preheat your oven to 170ºC/Fan 150°C.

Grease the base & sides and line the base of both cake tins.

To make the sponge, sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & brown sugar into either a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer.

Carrot CakeIn a separate large bowl, mix together the grated carrot, chopped pineapple and the zest of the orange & lemon.

Add the eggs in and mix with a fork. Then gradually add the sunflower oil stirring constantly.

Carrot CakeIn thirds, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and, each time, mix only until just blended together.

Carrot CakeDivide the mixture evenly between the two tins and place into the lower section of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Carrot CakeCheck with a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If it has batter on it – it needs longer.

When cooked, allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before removing, peeling off the baking paper and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Whilst the cakes are cooling, lets make the cream cheese frosting.

Either using an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk – beat the butter until really soft and smooth.

Sift in the icing sugar and mix on a low speed to start with. Once there’s not a lot of ‘loose’ icing sugar, increase the speed & mix until soft and smooth.

Carrot CakeAdd in the cream cheese & orange extract (if using.) Continue to mix on a medium speed until you can’t see any more bits of butter and it’s lovely, light & smooth.

Keep covered and chilled until you need it.

Carrot CakeWhen the cakes are completely cooled, level them off with a sharp knife if they ‘domed’ in the middle.

Place the first layer on a cake board.

Load a piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing. (I used a 2D drop flower nozzle which enables you to create the roses.)

Pipe blobs all the way around the outside edge of the bottom layer, then continue with a spiral all the way to the middle.

Don’t worry if it’s not neat – no one is going to see this bit!

Carrot CakeCarefully place the second layer on top – bottom side up. (This will give you a perfectly flat top.)

Working from the outside in, I decided to pipe little roses on the top. (Do this by starting from the middle of the rose and working your way out in a spiral.) You could do whatever you like though.

Carrot CakeAt this point, you could leave it as it is. You could also buy little sugar carrot decorations from a cake shop to place on the top, or even make your own using ready made fondant and food colouring gels. It really is entirely up to you!

Carrot Cake!I usually say to never put cake in the fridge as it dries it out much faster. However, with there always being an exception to the rule – I actually recommend you keep this one in the fridge. The nature of cream cheese frosting is a delicate one to say the least, and the sponge is so moist (with the vegetables/fruit & oil) it will be absolutely fine.

Carrot Cake! Uncle Robert

Carrot Cake! Uncle RobertIt went down a treat with the Birthday Boy and my Aunt Naomi has already asked for one for her Birthday later this year! It’s always a definite hit in my family and a recipe I will continue to make for many years to come. I often find that people turn their noses up at carrot cake without even trying it. Well I implore you, give it a go – it’s not as strange as you think and is genuinely one of the most flavourful cakes you will ever eat. Go on, convert yourself!

And on that note, I bid you farewell until next time my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

French Onion Soup

French Onion SoupBeing heavily pregnant & almost ready to pop – I have been advised by many people to stock up my freezer. So this is me making a start! But this intensely delicious French Onion Soup has a unique KitchenMason twist…

Traditionally made with beef stock, I opt for chicken stock as I personally think it gives a more rounded & delicate flavour. Why don’t you be the judge and give it a go yourself?

Here is what you will need to make 6 Servings. (Approx 2 litres.)

For the Soup

  • 50g Butter
  • 750g Onions (approx 850-900g before peeling & slicing)
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves
  • 45g Plain Flour
  • 187ml Bottle of White Wine
  • 2 litres Chicken Stock (Good Quality)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper

To Serve (Optional)

  • Slices of Stale Baguette
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated

Essential Equipment

  • Large lidded pot

Firstly, prep your veg. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to stand and slice all those onions – the solution? Get out your food processor with the slicing disc attachment & use that. It saves masses of time and effort.

So peel & finely slice all those onions and finely chop the garlic.

Take your large pot & place over a medium heat.

Add in the butter. When melted, tip in all the onions and give it a stir.

French Onion SoupContinue to cook for approx 25-35 minutes whilst stirring occasionally. You want to get a nice golden brown colour – try not to be impatient and give in early. Also, don’t worry too much if it catches on the bottom of the pan, it’s all adding caramelisation & flavour!

French Onion SoupOnce the onions are done, add in the garlic & flour and stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

French Onion SoupAdd in the white wine and stir for about a minute until most of it has been absorbed.

French Onion Soup-4Gradually add in the stock then bring it all to the boil.

Add in the bay leaves, thyme sprigs & a generous helping of salt & pepper. Stir it all up, pop the lid on and simmer for about 25 minutes.

French Onion SoupWhen the timer has beeped – remove the lid and fish out the bay leaves & thyme sprigs.

French Onion SoupIf saving for later, allow to cool completely before dividing into bags/tubs and freezing.

If you want to serve straight away – preheat your grill.

Slice up an old, stale baguette and grate some cheese. Divide the soup between oven proof bowls, place 1-2 slices of baguette in each bowl and cover with grated cheese.

Place under the grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

French Onion SoupI absolutely adore this soup! There’s just something so much more special about the flavour when you use chicken stock instead of beef. I often find with the traditional recipe, there’s a rich ‘twang’ that I don’t enjoy but with this version? It’s just heavenly! And let’s be honest – everything is better with melted cheese :)

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Even at 28 years old I still have to trick myself into eating healthy foods. I’ve dramatically improved over the years but I think a part of me will always be a fussy eater. With me, half the battle was texture & ‘eating with my eyes.’ This unbelievably delicious recipe solves both those problems in one fell swoop!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Seriously, what if I told you that you could get all the above veg into a fussy eater and they wouldn’t even realise? I kid you not! The trick? A food processor. Take out the texture & you are left with a visibly appealing sauce that is jam packed full of the good stuff AND tastes fantastic!

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 generous portions/1.5kg. (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

Top Tip! With it just being me and the Mr, I used 2 portions straight away and froze the rest in freezer bags for a later date.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Peppers, I used 1x Red 1x Yellow
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mushroom Ketchup, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor or Stick Blender
  • Large pot/saucepan with a lid

Firstly, prep your veg.

Slice the onion, celery, leek & carrot into pieces roughly the same size. Core and slice the peppers and set to one side.

Over a medium heat, add the oil into a large lidded pot/saucepan.

Add in the onion, celery, leek & carrots and cook for about 20mins until softened. Stir occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Add in the peppers and cook for a further 10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Tip in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and garlic powder. Generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Pop on the lid and allow to simmer for about 20mins until everything is nice and soft.

Then remove the lid and allow to reduce for 5-10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Lastly, give it all a good stir and leave to cool a little before either blitzing in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!See the difference pureeing can make? If I was still as bad as I was when I was younger – there is no way in hell I would have touched this before it had been through the processor! Now it looks completely unassuming and harmless. See?! A perfectly deceitful way of sneaking veg into those fussy eaters.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!As I recommended before, unless you are cooking for a lot of people anyway – this is a great  recipe to split & store in the freezer for those days when you just can’t be bothered. Making you much less likely to reach for the takeaway menu & far more likely to inject some goodness into you!

Top Tip! If serving with pasta, when warming through the sauce, add a little of the pasta water and stir it through. This will make it lovely and smooth.

In other news, If you weren’t already aware, me and the Mr are expecting our first child in around 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, our wonderful family & friends surprised us with an amazing Baby Shower!

Baby ShowerClearly this (and the large amount of cake!) made us extremely happy! I sincerely feel very lucky & privileged to have such a wonderful bunch of people in my life. Huge thank yous all round to everyone that was involved/attended. My mini KitchenMasonite is already so spoilt and she’s not even arrived yet!

Speaking of cake – I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my Dad. Why you ask? Well, my Dad has never decorated a cake in his entire life but he’s always relished a challenge…

Baby ShowerSeriously, he’s never made a celebration cake before. EVER. How unbelievably awesome is this?! Not only did it look incredible, it tasted incredible too. The vanilla genoise sponge was beautifully soft & light and the buttercream was so smooth – absolutely divine. Move over Mr Kipling, there’s a new cake maker in town!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason