Easy Pizza Twists

It’s 5 am and I’m up early to bake and create for my work Christmas party. I always try to make something easy, tasty, and pleasing to most palates. Cue Pizza Twists, because they are EASY! And also, I mean, who doesn’t like pizza, am I right? And if you’re curious, I bought all this at Aldi for less than a fiver! (This is not a paid post for Aldi. I just live very close to one and live on a budget. Although if Aldi happens to be reading this, I’ve got student loans- just sayin’…) Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 boxes of rolled puff pastry
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (you won’t need the whole jar)
  • 1 bag of grated mozzarella
  • Basil to taste (optional)

Lets break it down! STEP 1: Unroll a box of puff pastry, and give it a roll down with a rolling pin. This doesn’t actually do anything for the dough. It simply spreads the dough out so you can create more twists.

STEP 2: Spoon and spread the pasta sauce onto this bottom layer. I used the pancetta sauce from Aldi, but anything you use will be delicious!

STEP 3: Sprinkle on a generous layer of mozzarella cheese over the sauce. I also think parmesan and provalone would be a great addition as well.

STEP 4: Roll out the second box of dough, and carefully transfer on top of the original layer. Press the dough down just a bit to get some of the air out.

STEP 5: Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, make one horizontal cut, then proceed to cut length wise. I ended up making 26 pieces.

STEP 6: Twist each piece of dough and arrange neatly on a lined tray. Bake at 180 C / 350 F for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

STEP 7: EAT! My favourite step! These turned out pretty good, although the sauce didn’t come through as much as I hoped. But they were still delicious, especially when dipped in the extra sauce or paired with a bit of pesto. And you can pretty much put whatever you want as a filling for an easy, no fuss treat. Effort is minimal, but they look like a million bucks! Ok, maybe not that much, but I think I could probably sell them for £1 each if I wanted to. So if you’re looking for an EASY, last minute treat for Christmas, this is it! And might I suggest Nutella or boozy mince meat as an alternative filling. However you slice it, making these twists will be a delicious Christmas treat to remember. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Gingerbread Cake

Christmas is right around the corner and I’ve just realised I haven’t baked anything festive yet! So I thought a nice, warm gingerbread cake will hit the spot on this cold winter day. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I used demara)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup black treacle (or molasses)
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water

First, make sure the butter (and egg) are at room temperature. Then, cream the butter and sugar, until it’s velvety smooth.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the vanilla very well, then add it to the butter mixture.

Now for the treacle! Pour it into the bowl with the butter and eggs, stirring thoroughly.

Once the treacle is stirred through, go ahead and add the flour, salt, and spices. Mix it up real good! It will take a few minutes, but it will come together.

Once mixed, it will be smooth, like frosting. And it should resemble something similar to the photo above.

Now, you’ll boil some water. Slowly add a cup of it to the batter. You’ll basically want to add a bit, stir it through, add more, stir, etc., until it’s fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into a lined baking tin and pop into an oven at 180 C / 350 F for around 40 minutes.

And there you have it, Gingerbread Cake! This turned out light, fluffy, and full of warming spice! I couldn’t wait, so had a hot slice right away.

This cake would be great for a holiday party, or to enjoy with your loved ones at home. If you want to share. I also think it would go very well served warm with some brandy cream or vanilla ice cream. It’s also heavenly on its own. However you try it, it’s sure to be a holiday cake to remember! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Bread

This is usually my favourite time of year to bake as I’m obsessed with all things pumpkin. Unfortunately I haven’t been feeling well, so haven’t had the energy to do anything spectacular. After taking a week off work, I was able to bake up this delicious loaf of Pumpkin Bread! Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup demara sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

First, in your main bowl, mash up the banana until smooth. Opt for a very ripe banana as it will have a sweet flavour.

To the mashed banana, add the can of pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin spice. Mix very well until evenly combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, beat the eggs very well with the vanilla. When done, add it to the wet ingredients and mix together.

At this point, you’ll add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir for several minutes until thoroughly combined.

The dry ingredients will eventually mix into the wet mixture. It will be ready for the baking tin when there is no sign of the flour, somewhat resembling the photo above.

Line a loaf tin and evenly pour the batter in. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top and press them into the dough a bit.

Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for ~50 minutes, or until cooked through.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Bread! This is a great option for anyone who can’t have dairy. Or if you’ve run out of butter. Either way, this bread is full of pumpkin spice goodness.

It especially tastes good toasted up the next morning with some of this Maple Pecan nut butter from Nutcessity. Or slathered with Nutella. However you eat it, be prepared for a great loaf of deliciousness. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Autumn is well and truly here! It’s been here for a while, but I was in Japan for the rugby and missed the start. Anyway, it’s time for pumpkin recipes! I’m starting the season off with Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies! Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups porridge oats
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 can pumpkin

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix together very well. Also, I wanted to note the brown sugar and walnuts came plastic free from Zero Green on Bedminster’s North Street. It’s a great shop to buy food in bulk using your own containers. If you’re looking for a place to help reduce your plastic consumption, this is a great place to start.

Next, in a smaller bowl, beat the egg and vanilla until it’s smooth.

Now, for the pumpkin! Add an entire can of pumpkin and mix it into the egg mixture.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients. Make sure you keep stirring until every bit of oat, flour, and spice turns orange basically!

Spoon the dough evenly on a lined cookie sheet. Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for around 13 minutes.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies! These were super easy to make and super delicious! They turned out soft, chewy, and filled with pumpkin spice goodness.

These are also dairy free and packed with fiber. You can even use this recipe as a base to customize your cookies as you wish. They taste great with a variety of nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or whatever else you can think of! I really enjoyed making these and hope you will too. That said, my kitchen smells sooo good! Have a great week Bristol! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Blackberry Oat Cookies

We are having a beautiful September weekend! I certainly didn’t expect it to be this gorgeous for the half marathon tomorrow. That said, I haven’t been feeling well and all the stress from the last few weeks has definitely caught up with me. Just in time for my holiday to Japan – (sarcastically) yay. Since I am planning on running tomorrow, I figured the best way to pack in extra carbs and calories, is by baking and eating all of these lovely Blackberry Oat Cookies, using berries from this week’s forage. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt (not pictured)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (not pictured)

First, mash the banana in a bowl.

Next, add the sugar and coconut oil. Cream it together so the three ingredients are mixed and smooth.

Now, you’ll beat both eggs with the vanilla.

Once smooth, add it into the banana and sugar mixture.

Finally, you’ll add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and blackberries. Mix it up very well, making sure all the dry bits are thoroughly incorporated with the wet ingredients.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 12-13 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

And there you have it, Blackberry Oat Cookies, made with fresh blackberries I picked here in Bristol. This was a great treat to consume while getting ready for the half marathon. It’s also an awesome way to use up some blackberries that are so abundant this time of year.

They also travel well, so if I still had some left for my trip to Japan (I won’t), these cookies would make a fulfilling snack on the plane. Until then, it’s time to down another cookie, and get some rest for tomorrow. The best of luck to all the runners in the Bristol Half Marathon! And if you’re not running, come cheer us on! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Peanut Mocha Cookies

Summer is just about over and I couldn’t be more excited because I’ll be heading to Japan soon for the Rugby World Cup! In the meantime, I’ve been baking a bit more than usual. I still had some ground peanuts, so decided to bake up some cookies. However, as I was out of eggs, I tried out something else for these Peanut Mocha Cookies. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup ground peanuts
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 sachets instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a few tablespoons of water as needed

First, combine to peanuts, flour, coffee, and chocolate chips in a bowl.

Next, add the almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Mix it in as best as possible.

At this point, you may need to add a bit of water and use your hands to help the dough form. I added about 4 tablespoons of water to mine which made it just about right.

Form the cookies by hand if the dough is a bit crumbly. Otherwise, you can roll it out and shape with cookie cutters. Then, pop it in the oven for 12-13 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.

And there you have it, Peanut Mocha Cookies! They’re not as pretty as the Date ones, but they taste just as nice. I’m not sure the coffee came through as much as I hoped. But when combined with the chocolate, the flavour was rich and moorish, especially when paired with a cup of tea or coffee.

All in all, these cookies weren’t perfect, but turned out alright despite the lack of eggs. Sometimes in life, you just gotta go with what you got, and make it work. Or in the case of treats, make it edible! I hope you give these a try and enjoy the last day of summer! And if you’re looking for something to do, the Downs Festival is this weekend! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Upsidedown Fig Cake

Summer is slowly winding down, but there are still plenty of sunny afternoons to be had. That said, the air is starting to cool, which is making me crave baked treats. Therefore this cake is the perfect solution for end of summer blues. I was lucky enough to receive 4 gorgeous, ripe figs from a friend and I’d like to think we put them to good use in making an Upsidedown Fig Cake. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 ripe figs (at least)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk (not pictured, as I was tired and only realised it was missing until it was time to add it)
  • 1/2 cup butter

Ok, so I usually try to create treats that are a bit on the healthier side. But the start of baking season calls for butter and milk; but mostly because I didn’t have any ripe bananas or cashew milk. Anyway, back to the cake. Combine the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter with the brown sugar, and spread it along the bottom of your cake tin. Next, carefully slice your figs and arrange them on top of the brown sugar mixture.

Next, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. In a perfect world, I would have remembered to cream the sugar and room temperature butter, adding it it now.

In a smaller bowl, beat both eggs very well.

At this point, add the vanilla and milk, combining thoroughly.

Pour the liquid mixture in with the dry ingredients. If like me, you forgot about the butter, just throw it in now, stir it up, and hope for the best.

Once everything is combined, pour the batter into your cake tin. As you can see, my butter is lumpy as I forgot to add it in at the right time. If you have an electric mixer, you can try smoothing it out with that. As I don’t, I just used a whisker to do what I could. Oh well, I’m sure my husband will still eat it. If this happens to you, the cake will still taste delicious, it might just end up a bit dense as the cake won’t rise as well.

Place in the oven at 300 F / 150 C for 50 minutes, or until golden and fully baked.

Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Place a plate on top of the tin, and carefully turn it over so the fig side is facing up. Then slowly peel back the baking paper to reveal your baking beauty!

And there you have it, Upsidedown Fig Cake! This was fun to make and turned out surprisingly good despite my butter blunder. And it’s a great way to incorporate some fruit in your day, even if the rest of the cake isn’t perfect. You can use any kind of fruit as well! Plums, peaches, pears, apples, and blackberries all work fabulously! So if you’re wanting to bake up something to celebrate the end of summer, try this cake and enjoy the last of the sun. Until next time, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Peanut Date Cookies

We’ve been having a pretty nice summer thus far! Warm days and cool nights mean I’ve been out and about enjoying every last minute. Until this past weekend. So since my plans got skewed, back to baking we go! To be honest, I was going to do a post on how to make your own peanut butter. But with my blender’s high motor, I was left with ground peanuts. And since nothing goes to waste in my house, we now have Peanut Date Cookies! They’re more like a biscuit in English terms, but had I put biscuit in the title, my fellow Americans would probably expect something a bit more fluffy. Anyway, here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup ground peanuts
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

First, measure out the ground peanuts, flour, and brown sugar, then throw it in your mixing bowl.

Next, chop up the dates and throw them in too!

In a separate smaller bowl, beat the egg then add in the vanilla and olive oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix very well. The dough will get stiff, so at this point, you can continue mixing with your hands. If you find your dough is a bit dry, add a bit more olive oil. You’ll want to get the consistency of play dough (sorry, its the only thing I can think of with the same consistency!).

Unfortunately at this point, I was in the baking zone and forgot to take more photos. Also, my hands were covered in the peanut dough. Anyway, just roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can just slice up random shapes. Either way you do it, the taste is still delicious! Bake in an oven for 12-15 minutes at 350 F / 180 C.

And there you have it, Peanut & Date Cookies! These were a great way to turn my peanut butter fail into a tasty success! The recipe itself can also be used as a base where you can add whatever extras you’d like, such as raisins, chocolate, walnuts – or all three! And because they are mostly peanut and walnut, they are satisfying without being too sugary making them perfect for a boost after a workout. Or after work. Or because I need a snack. Anyway, we have alot of rain in the forecast, so do yourself a favour and bake these up on the next rainy day. Until then remember your umbrella! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Choc Chunk Oat Cookies

Happy summer y’all! I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been out and about enjoying every ounce of sunshine while it lasts. So the last thing I’ve wanted to do is fire up the oven, until today when I got hangry for some cookies. A colleague brought some chunky chocolate cookies in the other week for her birthday, and I’ve been wanting to make something just as delicious. And since I’m training for the Bristol half marathon, I’m hungry for calories! But I also have to make sure “most” of the calories I consume will help fuel the miles. I figured these Choc Chunk Oat Cookies fulfill this requirement. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bar of nutty chocolate (I bought a hazelnut one at Aldi)

First measure out all the dry ingredients into a bowl. That would be the oats, flour, both sugars, salt, baking powder, and soda.

Using a chopping board, chop up the bar of chocolate in lovely chunks. If you feel the need to take a few chunks for quality control purposes, that’s fine.

In a separate smaller bowl, mash up the banana. When baking with bananas, always try to use one that is soft with brown spots forming on the peel. This ensures a sweet taste that easily mashes up, which makes it easier to incorporate throughout your bake. When that’s done, whisk in the egg and vanilla.

Go ahead and pour the banana, egg, and vanilla mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Mix very well. It may not seem like the wet ingredients are enough to bring it together, but have patience, it will happen. You may need to mix it by hand to get the dry ingredients to absorb the wet ingredients. In the end though, you should have a firm ball of dough (as above).

Evenly spoon out about 12 cookies onto a lined baking tray. Heat your oven to 180 F / 350 C and bake for 15 minutes.

And there you have it, Choc Chunk Oat Cookies! These turned out just devine! They are hearty, with a good level of sweetness from the chocolate and crunch from the nuts. And because there’s no butter or oil, they might be considered slightly healthier than a traditional cookie. It has banana in it, so as far as I’m concerned, have one for breakfast ’cause I won’t stop you!

You can even make these dairy free if you use a dairy free chocolate. However you make them though, they are a great summer treat to take along with you as you’re out and about. Take care Bristol and remember the sunscreen! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Sweet Potato Pudding Loaf

I’m going on a short holiday soon, so I need to use up any remaining fruit and veg this week. As I still had a large sweet potato I haven’t eaten yet, then it only makes sense to turn it into something sweet! Cue this Sweet Potato Pudding Loaf. You might be thinking, what the hell is that? Well, it’s made in a loaf pan and it has the consistency of a steamed pudding, so pudding loaf obviously! Here is what you’ll need:

  • One large sweet potato, already baked
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

First, crack all four eggs into a bowl and beat them very well with a whisk.

At this point, add in the vanilla, honey, and brown sugar.

After mixing that in, add the baked sweet potato. I suggest baking it ahead of time and letting it cool completely before scooping it out.

Mix it up making sure the sweet potato mashes up well with the other ingredients. Then add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Once incorporated, the batter may be a bit thick. Spoon it into a lined loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.

And there you have it, Sweet Potato Pudding Loaf! This treat is the perfect thing to enjoy during this so called summer. Why, you may ask? I think because when it’s a bit chilly, the best thing to warm you up is a sweet, comforting pud! For me, it was a great way to use up my lonesome sweet potato in a recipe high in protein, fiber, and sweetness! Give it a try, and if anything, it’ll warm your home up a bit. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!