Apple and blackberry crumble

Not content with dishing up a rack of bananalicious flapjacks (see previous post) Shana, later in the afternoon, also rustled up a mighty fine apple and blackberry crumble (easily as good if not better than any shop bought equivalent, and believe me we have eaten a few of those in our time). We devoured the crumble, topped with lashings of custard, for our late afternoon/early evening meal and the crumble is now all (repeat, ALL) gone. Hence no pics. Just grab an empty mixing bowl and stare at the inside for a moment and you too can recreate the ALL GONE experience 🙂

As ever, Shana’s portions were so generous that I eschewed a side plate of chips.  Having demonstrated such great restraint, I can only pencil in the margins of this blog the following note: ‘If hungry later, only self to blame.’


Banana & Date Flapjacks

It’s been years since I’ve baked flapjacks, I couldn’t justify pigging out on all that sugar, so I’ve been trying to find a healthier recipe, and finally I have, thanks to Messrs Sainsburys.

It may not be one of the most artistic photos, but I haven’t got time to set the shot up because I’m too busy nomming them…and yes, I am sharing them with Chris because he too donned his pinny and helped by chopping the dates and bananas. I’ve trained him well!!

Banana & Date Flapjacks

250g rolled oats
125g medjool dates, pitted
2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp date nectar
100g melted butter
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp clear honey, to glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20×20 cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Place the oats in a large bowl, then roughly chop the dates. Roughly chop one of the bananas. Add the dates and bananas to the oats with the date nectar, melted butter and cinnamon and mix until it just comes together. Press into the lined baking tin and smooth the surface. Slice the remaining banana into ½cm thick slices and arrange 16 slices over the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden all over. Leave to cool, then brush with the honey.

We used Whitworths dates instead of the posh ones, just as nice in our opinion, and for the date nectar we used Clarks Date Syrup, which Sainsburys suggest in their shopping list.

Enjoy 🙂

Saving the planet, one drink straw at a time

We like a regular drink of what we usually call ‘pop’ around mealtimes. No, it’s not a euphemism for the dastardly inebriating grog: it really is ‘pop’ or, to be more specific, a sip of cordial such as Rocks lemon, for example. Not fizzy but tastes just like old fashioned lemonade. (Just add water.)

We tend to sip our cordials (yes, with our little finger raised, if that’s how you want to imagine it  🙂  ) through a drinking straw.  But let’s not bother about the various etiquettes of soft drinks. The key here is that our straws have been, up to now, made of (insert shudder here) plastic!!!

But no more. Because other kinds of drinks straws are available. Properly washable and reuseable straws. We bought some (which arrived through the mail today) which are angled, rather than straight, and are made of glass. A four-pack of 6mm straws (larger gauges are also available that are more suitable for shakes and smoothies) cost just over a fiver. Shana will put some product details at the end of this post soon, as woolly-headed me has mislaid  them. (Aw shucks.)

Our new eco-friendly straws will pay for themselves in less than a year (because of no more need to buy the plastic version) and will also mean we are putting less yucky plastic into landfill or anywhere else in the environment. Thus we will have saved the planet. Feel free to join us in doing the same.

Not sure what we’ll actually do with the planet now we’ve saved it. Still working on that one 🙂

Shana’s Edit: My profuse apologies for Chris’ woolly-headedness, I told him his yarn stash would get the best of him one day! We bought our straws from ecostrawz , and no, that is not an affrilliate link, just a helpful pointer as to where to go to do your bit to save the planet 🙂

Absolutely Nakd

We tried some delicious ‘Nakd’ bars recently and decided it might be cost-effective to make our own. Good Nakd bar recipes are easy to follow and require absolutely no cooking. It’s all just chopping, blending and pressing, and then letting them set in the fridge till they are the right consistency.

We may be upgrading our equipment soon, although we won’t be spending a fortune. But we managed to make a batch of Nakd bars using just the following rudimentary gear. First, a Crown single-blade stick blender (made in China!) that we bought probably over ten years ago. It is a mere 180 watts power and the specification plate says that you must not run it continuously for more than one minute. Oh, so that’s why Shana thought the handle felt a bit warm after ploughing through half a packet of Whitworths ultra-gooey stoned Sayer dates this afternoon 🙂

Meanwhile, I was doing an impression of someone trying to start a petrol-engined lawnmower (or perhaps a jetski outboard motor?) as I got to grips with a more recent purchase of ours, the Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor. (No money-grabbing afiliate links there, btw, so just click merrily away. )  You may pooh-pooh the little Zyliss, but actually it’s pretty robust and certainly saw off a packet of cashew nuts with barely a second glance. Fifteen English pounds well spent, I’d say.

Other ingredients we threw into the mix were a pinch of Food Thoughts natural cacao poweder, and a weeny drop of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Madagascan vanilla extract.

I churlishly calculated at one point, that after my exertions with the Zyliss, the calories I would consume from the bars we produced would result in simply recouping the energy outlay. I could have been wrong though, because we reckon we churned out the equivalent of about seventeen of the commercially made Nakd bars. All in all then, we are, as Rockefeller once said, ‘quids in’. Definitely ready for a good sit down though. (Maybe we should rename them ‘knackered’ bars?) 🙂