Greek Salad – Inspired by healthy Mediterranean cuisine

greek salad

Tossing a few ingredients together, you can serve this beautiful, crunchy and healthy Greek salad within minutes.  Remember to mix the veggies with the salad dressing just before the mealtime.  Until then, store the salad bowl in the fridge so that the veggies will stay cool and fresh.

This salad dressing is the basic but the most delicious and healthy one out of all kinds of delicious varieties.  This indeed is the only one that keeps the veggies in their original fresh looks and gives a very satisfying taste too. If you need a variation, add plain yoghurts into the original dressing and whisk thoroughly and mix with the salad veggies until all combines finely.

Ingredients needed:

Iceberg Lettuce 2 cups
Tomatoes (Preferably juicy cherry tomatoes) 1/2 cup
Cucumber 1/2
Red Onions 1/2
Olives (black and green) handful
Feta cheese handful
For the dressing : 
Apple cyder vinegar  3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt n black pepper powder 
Honey and Brown sugar 1 tbsp each
Dried oregano  2 tsp

Lets make :

  • Cut Lattuce thinly or just shred, halve cherry tomatoes, slice the cucumber into thin slices and toss all in to a wide brim wooden salad bowl
  • Drop the handful of olives on top
  • Place in the middle of the fridge until you make the salad dressing

Make the salad dressing:

  • Add all the dressing ingredients: Salt and pepper powder, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and honey and mix thoroughly. Now, pour olive oil slowly while mixing rapidly to combine everything beautifully. Adjust the taste at this point according to your liking.
  • Cover and keep aside until needed

Toss and Mix

  • Take out the salad bowl from the fridge
  • Pour the salad dressing in
  • Now give a nice toss and a mix as gently as possible. Use your fingers to toss and drop the veggies or use a salad tong
  • Finally sprinkly Oregano and toss crushed or daintily cut Feta cheese on top
  • Your beautiful Greek salad is ready to devour
  • Serve immediately!
chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake – A velvety chocolaty cake for any occassion

cake Oozing with creamy chocolate melts, this fudge cake will set your mouth watering, Just by seeing before you take a bite out of it!  You can make the fudge cream on the previous day and store it in the fridge to make the process easier and quicker.  Just heat up the fudge in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt and pour over the cake.  Easy !!!

This cake could be served as a dessert after an elaborated supper. Your guests will love to relax on the sofa and indulge in this divine treat  while listening to some Jazz.  And you will not fail to sigh in contentment and pride !!!

Three cheers to this beauty!!!

cake2-300x223 What you need:

Self raising flour 300 g
Butter/Margarine/Stork spread 300 g
Caster sugar 300 g
Eggs 5
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cocoa powder 4 tbsp
Salt 2 pinches  (a must)
Lemon 1 tsp
Double cream 2 tbsp
 Milk  1 tbsp

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion for ovens is given under Tips)

  • Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  This will take approximately  3 mins. Make sure you beat clockwise.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and beat for two rounds.
  • Mix baking powder,  flour and cocoa powder and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Do not use the electric mixer at this point.  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter.
  • Add double cream and milk.  Mix all together.
  • Line up a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the baking tray and flatten with a spatula.
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen-top gently, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try.
  • Pop it in to the oven for 20-30 mins depending on your oven.
  • Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready.
  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Slowly remove from the tray and place it on a cooling rack.  Let the cake cool down completely.
  • Dip a long bread knife in hot water, wipe clean and slice the cake into two slices.  Cut the cake into four and then slice if you find it is difficult to slice the full cake.
  • Your cake must cool off completely to lay fudge on top.  This will take upto 2 hrs.

Let’s make the Fudge now. Get the following ingredients ready:

 Icing sugar 1/2 cup
Double cream 1/4 cup
Butter/Stork spread 50 g
Milk chocolate buttons 110 g
Cocoa powder 3 tbsp

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  • In a small glass bowl place chocolate drops, butter and double cream.
  • Place a wider pan on stove and  fill it with  hot  water.
  • Dip the small glass bowl into the wide pan.
  • Stir slowly until chocolates melt along with butter and cream.
  • If the chocolates are hard, heat up the pan with water under very light flame.
  • Add sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Take out from the pan and stir until you are left with a creamy chocolaty melt.
  • Leave to cool.
  • With the help of a flat knife or spatula pat the creamy chocolate melt onto the bottom layer of the cake.  Place the top layer, remove the upper crust with a help of a long knife and press down softly so that both layers stick together properly.
  • Pour chocolate cream on the  top layer.  Let it slide from top and drip down.
  • Sprinkle some decorative sprinkles or you can simply shave a  white chocolate to have nice white curly shaves on top.
  • Enjoy !

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prawn balls

Prawn Balls – Prawn balls wrapped with golden bread crumbs

prawn-balls-300x248

Kids will love these crusty and savoury prawn balls as a snack with a dollop of ketchup on the side. Yum!

You can even pack these in school lunch boxes and their crustiness will be intact and taste even better. Busy mums can store the prepared prawn balls in the freezer and deep-fry, whenever needed.

Gather the following ingredients to make these;

Cooked prawns 1 cup
A few slices of bread 
Onion 1
Green chilli 1
 Salt and pepper to taste 
Egg white1 beaten
Golden bread crumbs1/2 cup

Let’s make;

  • Crush prawns with your fingers
  • Grate a bread slice.  You can use the crusty bits left after making sandwiches
  • Mix onion, green chili, salt and pepper with grated bread and prawns
  • Sprinkle little warm water if the mixture is too dry
  • Make small balls
  • Dip in the egg white, then wrap with golden breadcrumbs
  • Deep fry until golden
  • Serve with ketchup
  • Delicious!
pr-300x224
Pacific Pilchard fried rice
Chinese Style Trout – steamed and smoked in hot oil – Delicious

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Oven Temperature Conversion

gas mark temperature conversion chart

Since the temperature dial of an oven has not become completely universal yet, it is often a challenge to get an idea of it, when people talk about in terms of the gas mark, Celsius or Fahrenheit. In order to deal with this seemingly-trivial issue, I am going to give provide you with a programme to do the conversion easily. In addition, you can even download the image in .pdf form for further reference, especially when you are not online. You can download the above image free of charge by clicking on the button below:

Download

Sri Lankan Hoppers Recipe – For Those Who Live In Cold Climates

appa

Beautiful hoppers, soft in the middle, crispy and golden at the edges are everyone’s favourite in Sri Lanka.  Also, it is a memorable culinary delight to those who come from abroad.   Delicious with a spicy chicken curry or any type of fish curry, these hoppers could be enjoyed as a breakfast choice or as dinner.

Although our mums and grandmothers are quite efficient in making these, new generation finds it as a great big challenge to get the right proportions of ingredients to ferment the dough into perfection.  They easily give up after a couple of attempts but the craving for them remain deep in the heart.  So,  I share this perfect recipe with you all , concentrating more about our friends living in abroad, with a promise that you will be making such beautiful hoppers to impress everyone in the family.




In cold climates, in order to ferment the batter to perfection, you need to place it  closer to the stove.  All the cooking on the stove generates enough heat for it to rise beautifully and the hopper batter will be ready by supper time. The good news is, that if you make a larger quantity, you can store the left over amount in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it will, indeed, make even better quality hoppers due to further fermenting while in the fridge.

So, let’s make hoppers for tonight’s supper;

 nfd

 What you need :

coconut

 Rice flour 3 cups
Strong white bread flour (available in supermarkets) 1/4 cup
Maggi coconut milk powder 5 tbsp
Dried yeast 1 tsp
Sugar(preferably brown sugar) 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
warm water  2 cups



 Method :

  • Place  rice flour and bread flour into a wide bowl.
  • Into a jug, add yeast and sugar.
  • Pour  warm water and stir rapidly until yeast and sugar dissolves. Cover and keep for 5 mins
  • Mix it thoroughly with the flour.
  • Now in a jug pour 2 cups of  hot water and mix 2 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder.
  • Add this milky liquid to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Add more hot water very slowly while string until the flour becomes a soft dough but not runny. (The picture below will show you the right consistency at this stage)  If any coconut milk is left, leave it for the next step.

IMG_2712

  • Now cover the bowl first with a tea towel and place a heavy lid on top.  You need to place this bowl closer to the stove for 5hrs.  Meanwhile, get on with your normal cooking. (If you do not plan to cook on the stove, light one burner very low for at least 2 hrs and let it supply enough heat for the dough to rise.)
  • After 5 hrs, open the lid,  mix  another 3 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder and salt into a cup of hot water and pour onto the batter and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the batter turns into a thick yet runny liquid.  You can add more hot water if the batter is too thick. (Note : you add salt only at this time)
  • Cover and leave for another 1 hr closer to the stove or any warm place
  • Bubbles on the surface indicates the batter is ready to use

batter

  • Now that your batter is ready, Let’s make hoppers;
  • Heat up your typical non-stick  hopper making pan on medium flame

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  • Pour a ladle full of batter to the pan and rotate it twice quickly, place back on flame and cover.  If you see the bubbles / holes similar to the picture below, your batter has risen up to perfection

IMG_2740

  • One hopper will take 5 min to be baked until crispy
  • Once ready, slowly loosen from edges with a flat wooden spatula and take out the hopper.  Return the pan quickly on to the flame as it should be ready to bake the next one
  • Repeat until you make the desired amount of hoppers
  • For egg hoppers, you must break the egg right on to the hopper as soon as you circle the pan with batter. Cover and cook.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the top.  Your egg hopper is ready!!
  • For a sweeter version at the tea time, grate some juggery on to the hopper, once it is baked and fold in half.
  • You can store any extra batter in the fridge and before making hoppers from it, you must warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.

You cannot go wrong anywhere with this recipe as it has been tested many times and has never let me down.

Enjoy !! appa

marble cupcakes

Chocolate And Vanilla Marble Cupcakes

bake

cupcake-cases-silicon-300x281-300x281

It’s a joy to bake these gorgeous cupcakes in silicon cases and this recipe is just the one for that. The advantage of using silicon cases is that they do not absorb the natural oiliness of the cupcakes. Hence, your cupcakes will have more moisture and glistering look in them.

These silicon cases look brand new after a quick wash in warm water and could be used over and over again – very economical, easy and effective indeed.




If you do not have these silicon cupcakes, do not hesitate to bake them in normal paper cups.

AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12

You need the following items to make these beauties:

 Self raising flour 250 g
Stork spread 250 g
Caster sugar 250 g
Eggs 4
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Milk 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder 4 tbsp heaps



Two pinches of salt is a must as it helps in blending all flavours.

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion is given under Tips)

  •  Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  This will take approximately  3 mins. Make sure you beat clockwise.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice and salt and beat for two rounds.
  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Do not use the electric mixer at this point.  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything incorporates into a creamy batter.
  • Now divide the batter into two separate bowls.
  • Add cocoa powder to one bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Next, fill half of a Silicon cupcake case with plain vanilla batter and the other half with chocolate batter.  Continue until you fill up all cupcake cases.
  • Place the cupcakes in a cupcake baking tray so that they will sit primly without falling over.

cupcake-cases-silicon-300x281-300x281cup cake trayth8F6EHDKE

 

 

 

  • Stick the tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 mins.
  • After 15 mins, open the oven door and gently press the top of a cupcake.  If it springs back to the same position, your cupcakes are ready to remove from the oven. If not, shut the door and let them bake for further 5 mins.
  • Take the tray out of the oven and peel off the Silicon cases and let the cakes rest on a wire rack.



Enjoy the pretty sight of your Dainty double cupcakes and taste the buttery and chocolaty texture. cup-297x300

Angle cake

Angle Cake – Pretty Double Layer Cake With Delicious Buttter Cream Icing

Fairy cake-butter icing cake

These pretty pink and green, dainty colour combination of this cake will make a delightful sight at a little girl’s birthday party.  The  creamy butter icing between the layers and on the top is simply heavenly!

If you have a large oven tray, divide it into two equal sections with a hardbord and lay baking papers neatly.  This way, you could bake both layers of the cake in the same tray.   Otherwise, divide the cake batter in equal two parts and bake in separate two trays, placing them side by side in the oven.

To make the process easier, you can make the butter icing on the previous day and store it in the fridge.

To cut neat and dainty pieces from the cake, place it in the fridge for 1 hr.

Get ready with the following ingredients;

Self Raising flour 300 g
Stork spread / Margerine 300 g
Caster sugar 300 g
Eggs 5
Milk 1/4 cup
Lemon juice 2  tsp
Salt 3 pinches
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Let’s Start:
Set the oven to 180 C(Gas mark 4)
  • Beat margerine and sugar until creamy for about 4 mins, using an electric hand mixer
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Beat for 30 sec after each addition
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice and salt and beat for two rounds
  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding well above it. Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything incorporates into a creamy batter
  • Mix milk and fold with a wooden spoon.  Do not use the electric mixer
  • Divide the batter into two equal parts and add red liquid colour to one and green liquid colour to the other.  Drop just enough red to make pink colour
  • Line up a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into it and flatten with a spatula
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen top, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try
  • Place the tray in the  oven and bake for  20  mins.  Baking time could vary according to the settings of your oven
  • Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready.  If not, leave it in the oven for another 5/10 mins.  If the top of the cake is browned and the middle is raw, cover the top with a baking paper and continue baking for another 10 mins until done.
  • Let the cake rest in the tray for 10 mins
  • Slowly remove from the tray and place it on a cooling rack
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing

Delicious Butter Icing Recipe

Butter icing recipe

  • Icing sugar –   300 g (Sieve twice to get the best smooth icing sugar)
  • Stork spread/ Margerine 125 g
  • Lemon juice –   1 tsp
  • Milk –  3 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – two drops

Let’s make the icing;

  • Cream up all together using an electric hand mixer
  • The icing should have no lumpy bits but a very smooth creamy texture

Ice the cake;

  • Next, cut the sides and top layer off from the cake

  • Take a generous dollop from butter cream icing and spread it across one layer
  • Sandwich with the other later and spread icing on the top
  • Throw some sprinkles on the top
  • Place the cake in the fridge or in a cool place for the icing to settle
  • Dip a knife in hotwater, wipe clean before cutting the cake into dainty pieces

Basic Butter Cake – Simple pound cake with delicious buttery flavour

sponge cake
butter cake

This  wonderfully-buttery cake with an outer golden crust is the first cake that every aspiring cake-baker must get right.

We all know that in everything we do, the first step matters a lot.  If the first step goes exactly as planned, it will boost confidence, which in turn catapult us to be more adventurous.

First, master the art of making this simple but heavenly sponge cake as it gives a clear insight into all the baking techniques and you will be baking most glorious varieties of cakes in no time!

All the tips, secrets and techniques are given here, nothing can go wrong. So, whip it this cake out and serve around with love!

You will need the following items:

Self Raising flour250 g
Margarine or melted butter under room temperature250 g
Caster sugar250 g
Eggs under room temp4
Milk1/4 cup
Lemon juice and Vanilla essence1  tsp each
Salt2 pinches
Baking powder1 tsp

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180C .

Oven temperature conversion chart:

Cream it

  • Cream butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  Go clockwise.  (Time: 5 mins)
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat after each addition
  • (Time:  Beat 15 seconds after each egg)
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and finally, cream all together (Time: 1 min) 
  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  •  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter. Do not use the electric mixer at this point.
  • Add milk and mix well.

Tray it

  • Line up a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the baking tray and flatten with a spatula.
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen-top gently, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try.

Oven it

  • Pop it in the oven.
  • Bake for 20 mins or the top turns golden yellow (Never open the oven door in the first 10 mins)

Check it

  • After 20 mins, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready.
  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Slowly remove from the tray and place it on a cooling rack.

Time to serve your cake!

  • Dip a knife in hot water, wipe clean and cut the cake into dainty squares
  • Enjoy the lovely spongy texture wrapped with the buttery sweetness

Other easy delicious cakes using the same batter

Vanilla cupcakes

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/plain-vanilla-cupcakes-supersoft-delicious-cupcakes-ever/

Chocolate cupcakes

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/chocolate-cupcakes-pretty-chocolate-cupcakes-to-brighten-up-your-party/

Chocolate Cake with creamy chocolate butter icing https://happyrecipes.co.uk/chocolate-butter-icing-creamy-and-silky/

chocolate butter icing

Convert Oven Temperatures

Temperature Converting Programme

Housewives, occasionally, have to deal with trivial tasks like converting the
temperatures from one scale to another – Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa. The following programme helps you do it in a split second, without compelling you to go through cumbersome mathematical calculations.

You just have to type in the temperature to be converted in the relevant box; the answer automatically appears in the other. Isn’t that cool?

Type in the temperature inside a box:

degrees Celsius

  equals
degrees Fahrenheit

Mint tea

Mint tea – for digestion and restful sleep

mint tea

It’s a widely known fact that mint, promotes digestion and has numerous medicinal benefits.  It also soothes stomachs in the event of food indigestion or inflammation.  After a heavy meal at night, drinking a cup of mint tea, made with fresh mint leaves,  certainly gives you a lighter stomach and undisturbed sleep.

  • Simply drop a few fresh mint leaves into a cup.  Add boiled water and cover with a lid
  • When the water is cool enough to drink, add a teaspoon of honey into it and stir well
  • Sip slowly and feel the difference!
mint