Saturday, 3 January 2015

Lemon and Pistachio Cannoli

Lemon Pistachio Cannoli

Ask me what the next big food trend should be, and I'll tell you it's cannoli. We've done cupcakes, whoopie pies, macarons and the most derisive of them all; cake pops. All these, in my opinion, are fads. Inconsequential, pretty, sugary things that are usually more effort than they're worth. I am willing to be challenged on that last statement, but really, why would I want to squash a delightfully light cake into a ball? I derive no pleasure from these compared to the satisfaction of that first bite of a crisp, cinnamon sugar-dusted cannoli shell, filled with sweet, thick ricotta cream.

Cannoli are traditional Sicilian pastries of real substance, and the key here is to stay authentic. Wine should be used in the pastry; no baking soda or powder. Ricotta as the filling, and don't even think of using whipped cream to aerate it.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Chocolate Pecan Pies

Chocolate Pecan Pies

Pecan pie is one of the quickest and simplest bakes, just requiring some melting and mixing in a pan, a pastry case and oven. Dark chocolate adds a dimension of decadence to the mix.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Six Healthy, One Minute Snacks

One of the barriers to introducing healthy snacking into our diets is the extra time and effort that we think it takes. Well now you have no excuses! Here are six healthy snacks that you can make in a minute...

1. Spiced chickpeas - Drain a can of chickpeas. Add it to a hot pan and toss until dry on the outside. Add a tablespoon of curry paste /curry powder, some garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil. Fry until the chickpeas start popping.
Ants on a stick. Image: Natural Food Pantry

2. Ants on a Stick - A winning combo - peanut butter spread on celery. Add some sultanas to resemble 'ants'. Peanut butter is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and counters the harmful cardiovascular effects of surplus sodium, according to Harvard Medical School.

30 second salsa
Thirty second salsa
3. Pina Colada granita - Strictly speaking, this doesn't take a minute. But if you keep some pineapple chunks in the freezer, it can be made any time you like. Then simply blend the pineapple pieces with coconut cream, lime juice and rum extract.

4. Thirty second salsa – Cut corners with a hand blender, which makes for a tastier and quicker homemade salsa than the kind which requires lots of chopping. In fact, this thirty second salsa is very similar to the shop bought stuff, but a good deal cheaper. Find the recipe here.

5. Choc-banana milkshake - Blend one ripe banana, ½ cup milk, 2tbsp cocoa powder, a drizzle of honey and a ¼ tsp vanilla essence until liquid.

6. Seasoned avocadoes - Mix soy sauce, chopped ginger and garlic (optional), drizzle over halved avocadoes. Sprinkle over a palmful of toasted sunflower seeds for a boost of Vitamin E and folic acid.


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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Holiday Kitchen and a new constitution

Fellow foodies,

You may have noticed that Sugar & Two Cents has been on holiday for a while. It's been a bit of a whirlwind since I made a snap decision to move to Brum to join a small team at a fantastic new project called Holiday Kitchen. It's a summer programme designed to address the lack of support that families on low incomes receive during the school holidays, once the infrastructure of school has disappeared. This includes access to regular nutritional meals, play and learning opportunities.

Click on the banner above to find out more about the work that is being done to address 'holiday hunger'. 

So this is just a quick note to let you know that I haven't deserted you, but while I help Holiday Kitchen get it's feet off the ground, I'm just trying to find mine!