Sunday, 1 March 2015

Nanny's Welsh Cakes

This is the only thing I remember my Nan baking or cooking but they are divine. Now also known as 'Mum's welsh cakes' or 'Aunty Carole's welsh cakes', they are a firm family favourite all year round.

Because welsh cakes are cooked on the hob rather than baked in the oven, they are one of the few sweet treats I can make in my non-existent Thai kitchen. And so today in 38 degree heat with no bake stone, rolling pin or accurate scales, I celebrated St. David's day and a rugby victory by making my favourite cakes.

Some add nutmeg or mixed spice, others spread with butter or jam. Me, I just eaten them fresh from the pan with a good coating of sugar and washed down with a cuppa. However you enjoy these little bites of heaven,  one is never enough!

Welsh Cakes

230g self-raising flour
115g cold butter
85g caster sugar
85g sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon
a beaten egg
1 tbsp milk

Sieve the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. 

Cut the butter into cubes and use your hands to rub it into the flour until you have a breadcrumb-like texture. 

Stir in the sugar. Use a fork to mix in the egg. The mixture should start to form a dough, if it is crumbly, add splashes of milk until it comes together as a soft dough.

Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to about 1cm thick and cut out circles using a round cutter (or wine glass if, like me, you don't have any cutters!)

Dry fry the cakes on your bake stone/griddle/frying pan until they are lightly browned on both sides. 

Sprinkles with caster sugar and enjoy :)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fried Rice Parcel

It's fair to say that my fried rice intake has gone up since we moved to Thailand. Actually  I can't remember making or eating it more than a handful of times back home. Apparently I'm now making up for lost time as it has become one of our staple dinners.

Food taster no.1 thinks this is the best fried rice we've made. I obviously can't compete with our favourite street stall but for those of you who don't have the luxury of buying a 30 baht Khao Phat from a Thai woman with a magic wok, this is a cheap and easy alternative.

We actually ate this for breakfast but if that's too weird for you then it would make a perfect lunch or add a bit of veg for a filling dinner. It's just a simple fried rice wrapped in an omelette and it's not exactly pretty but wrapping anything in egg makes me pretty excited so I thought I'd share it.

white rice*

1 onion - half finely chopped and half sliced
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 eggs
2 tablespoons peanuts
3 fresh chillies
4 peeled garlic cloves
juice of 2 limes
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
vegetable oil

*I never measure my rice and invariably make either too much or too little but 100g or 1/2 cup should be enough for two. 

Recipe - serves 2
Boil the rice but remove from the pan when it is slightly underdone and still has a bite. Drain the excess water and set to one side.

Throw the chillies, peppercorns and garlic into a mortar and pestle away until they have broken down to a paste. Add the finely chopped onions and pound away until you have a good paste.

Crack one egg into a cup and whisk with a fork so that the yolk and white are well mixed. Add the lime juice to the cup and set aside.

Heat a couple to tablespoons of oil in a non-stick saucepan or wok. Once it's nice and hot, add the fish sauce and chuck in the sliced onions and the pounded onion, garlic and chilli mixture. Fry until the onions start to go translucent, tossing the mixture around with a spoon or spatula as it cooks. Add the tomatoes and cook for a little longer.

Add the egg mixture to the pan and stir frantically! Once the egg starts to cook throw in your rice and give everything a good shake so that it's well mixed. Add the sugar and the rest of the lime juice and fry the rice for a few minutes, tossing and stirring constantly.

Once your rice is nicely browned and has a sticky texture add the peanuts, mix and then tip the fried rice into a large bowl and cover so that it stays warm.

Whisk two eggs together and add a few drops of milk or water to loosen the mixture. Heat oil in a saucepan, making sure the oil covers the whole surface of the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pan so that it forms a thin layer covering the entire pan. Once the omelette has cooked through, take the saucepan off the heat. Place half of your fried rice in the middle of the omelette and use a fish slice the fold the outside of the omelette over the fried rice. (I did this in four so that it ended up a a square - don't worry if the sides don't quite meet, that just means you have plenty of rice for your dinner!)

Slide the omelette onto a plate and then repeat for your second parcel :) 

I'm linking this up to #CookBlogShare over at and #RecipeoftheWeek over at

Link up your recipe of the week

Monday, 16 February 2015

Pancakes three ways...

We're out of gas for our hob (we have no kitchen, just a single hob ring and a gas canister - it's a sad state of affairs) so it looks like we might not be having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. To be fair though, pancakes are a fairly regular breakfast for us so don't feel too sorry for us!

So instead of making something I thought I'd reblog three pancake recipes that I've made in the past. They are all sweet pancakes because, well I just have a sweet tooth!

For the vegan...

I made these when I was vegan during January. Maybe I was just desperate but my husband (who is neither vegan nor a big fan of bananas) also enjoyed them so they must be ok.....
Get the recipe HERE

For the health conscious...

These were a typical weekend brekkie when I was doing Slimming World. Topped with plenty of fruit it makes a tasty and healthy start to the day!
(I  think their plan may have changed since I did it but I used my Healthy Extra B for this and a low syn yoghurt so that one oration worked out at no more than 1 syn.) 
Get the recipe HERE

For the rebel in you...

Ok so these sound weird and the photo is TERRIBLE but they're delicious, versatile and one of your five a day! Use whatever fruit you fancy or have in the house and have fun - you could even cut small slices and have lots of mini pancakes! This pin demonstrates the possibilities far better than I have
Get the recipe HERE

Friday, 6 February 2015

Rum 'n' Raisin Rice Pudding

This should really be 'coconut rice pudding with rum soaked raisins' but that didn't sound so catchy!

I like coconut. I like it shaved, desiccated, as coconut water, in a bounty... but most of all I love coconut milk.

And there's loads of it here in Thailand. Granted, it might also have strange balls of gloop in it but there is a lot of coconut milk around. This is great for me and I'm growing a lovely round coconut belly.

So since we don't eat enough rice I decided to make rice pudding. I feel like rice pudding has got a bad rep - too many school dinner memories perhaps. But splash a bit of rum in there and hey, this is like no school dinner I have ever had.

The recipe is so simple I feel like a fraud but the result was delicious and I just had to share it. If you're currently shivering your way through winter, this is the perfect comfort food to enjoy in front of the fire whilst looking out the window at snow and frost.

Coconut rice pudding  
(serves 4)

1 cup of glutinous rice

2 cups of coconut milk
1/2 cup of water 
(if you want to make it extra luxurious swap the water for more coconut milk)
1/4 cup sugar
80g raisins

  • Soak the raisins in rum overnight (feel free to skip this step but I think it really makes it!).
  • Put the rice, water, milk and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Keep stirring so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the rice is soft and has a nice thick, creamy consistency, take the pan of the heat. Stir in the raisins and a dash of the rum if you fancy. 
And it's as easy as that.

It doesn't sound like much but it was the perfect end to my month of eating vegan. I like my rice pudding warm but if you prefer it cold just cover with clingfilm (make sure the clingfilm sits on the pudding rather than just over the container unless you want a skin on it) and chill until you want to eat it.

I'm linking this up to #CookBlogShare over at

Monday, 19 January 2015

Vegan Banana Pancakes

When we moved to Thailand nine months ago I decided to become vegetarian. It was as easy as that, I eat delicious food and never crave meat or feel like I'm missing out by not eating it. (I'm sure it would be different back in the UK but for now I'm very happy).  Since we often eat at little vegan restaurants that use amazing meat substitutes, I figured I would try cutting out eggs and dairy for a month - how hard could it be?

Actually it's fine but I'm feeling a bit deprived of sweets and treats. I know you can make delicious vegan desserts but sometimes it feels like you need 17 types of organic nut butter, a blender, dehydrator and a space rocket. Since I have none of those things I have been going without.

But here is a vegan pancake recipe with 5 ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards. We enjoyed these as a leisurely weekend breakfast but dollop on some vegan ice cream or coconut cream and pudding's sorted!

Vegan Banana Pancakes:   
(serves 2) 
120g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
125ml sweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk (if you have unsweetened milk, add a tablespoon of caster sugar)
1 banana (preferrably over ripe) 
Mash the banana with a fork. If you are adding sugar mix it in with the banana now. Slowly whisk the milk into the mashed banana so that you have a thick liquid mixture. Mix together the flour, cinnamon powder and baking powder in a bowl. Gradually add this to the banana mixture, whisking as you go to ensure that you have no lumps.
Heat some vegetable oil in a non stick pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, spoon the mixture onto the pan and spread it a little (the mixture is very thick). Cook the pancakes until they are golden brown on each side. Then plate them up and drizzle with syrup :)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Christmas dinner in Thailand

How do you cook Christmas dinner for four in Thailand? Without an oven. When two of your party are vegetarian. ???!!

You get creative! Roast potatoes were obviously out of the question but we made up for it in mash and sauteed potatoes. Aunt Bessie provided the yorkshire puddings and we were stocked up on instant veggie stuffing and gravy. The meat-eaters bought a rotisserie chicken made some rather giant pigs in blankets. Us vegetarians enjoyed 'vegan duck' (don't knock it 'til you've tried it - it's awesome!) from our favourite Buddhist cult/vegan restaurant. 

Accompanied by wine, beer, and all things mulled, we didn't even have space for our Christmas pud.

It may not have been organic goose with cranberry sauce, 'proper' gravy and seven types of stuffing but for us it was perfect. The fact that we hadn't had anything like it in so long and the effort we'd gone to to cobble it all together really did make it taste that much better! As I sat in my shorts (red, obviously), t-shirt and santa hat, sipping my glass of wine and helping myself to yet another yorkshire pud, I was a very happy lady with a rather round belly!

    Christmas brekkie!

    Mashing by hand is tough!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Banana and Peanut Brittle

I'm always being surprised by the different ways Thais find to eat bananas. As well as having numerous different types and sizes, they sun dry them, fry them, deep fry them. As well as havingWe were given a huge bag of what seemed to be heavily fried banana chips. They were extremely moreish so after eating most of the bag I decided to use them to make some brittle,

I used half weird banana chips and half salted peanuts but you could use any nuts you fancy. I like the addition of salt to any caramel so if you use unsalted nuts I would add in a few pinches of salt. This doesn't last more than a few days but you have eaten it all by then anyway - mine didn't last 5 minutes (seriously!)

Bash it up and sprinkle it over ice cream or just enjoy it as it is - just be careful of your teeth!