Recipe: Roast butternut squash, chilli and coconut soup

Simple, tasty and warming, this roast butternut squash, chilli and coconut soup is easy to prepare and great for cooler evenings.

Roast butternut squash, chilli and coconut soup | Fish Fingers for Tea

My main kitchen confession is that I’m lazy. If I can cut corners or make things simpler for myself I will. I adore butternut squash but preparing it annoys me. It seems to take more effort than it actually should. I confess that if I’m roasting squash to use as an ingredient – like in these butternut squash falafels or butternut squash cake – then I just chop it in half lengthways and then once it’s roasted, the skin slips off really easily. No faffing about with peeling!

We’re stepping firmly into soup season here in the UK, which is not a bad thing in itself. Little can beat a bowl or mug of steaming hot soup to ward off those autumnal chills and this butternut squash, chilli and coconut soup delivers on warmth on two levels.

It’s thick enough to fill you up – I dislike watery soup – and with a chunk of crusty bread it makes for a good lunch or easy tea. The chilli packs a bit of a kick too. I left the seeds in the chilli this time and to be honest it would have been far too spicy for Izzy. Though the coconut milk dials down the heat levels a bit if you’ll be serving this to small people I would recommend removing the seeds.

It’s such an easy method – simply chop your veg, roast them and bung it all in a blender with a tin of coconut milk and some hot veggie stock. I turned to my beloved Optimum 9400 to create a super smooth soup and as the blades generate heat while they make short work of your veg, it keeps the soup lovely and warm for us too. Continue reading

Recipe: Date and walnut granola

With dates, oats, nuts and healthier sugars this date and walnut granola is a good addition to your morning routine.

Date and walnut granola using date syrup | Fish Fingers for Tea

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, taking much more care about what we eat and seriously increasing the amount of exercise that I do. Though losing weight is a much welcome side effect I’ve been – and I have no idea why – really surprised at how much better I’ve been feeling in myself. Tons more energy, minimal afternoon slumps and the results are showing on my skin too.

For the moment I’ve been focusing on increasing our fruit and vegetable consumption whilst decreasing our processed sugar intake. There’s a lot in the media about sugar at the moment and I’m aware that as a family we do eat more than we should. We’ve all got a sweet tooth and a packet of biscuits can disappear at an alarming rate.

A while ago Meridian sent me a parcel containing some of their peanut, almond and cashew butter along with a bottle of date syrup. The butters were just as good as I would expect from Meridian, a company that I’ve known and used for a while now but this was my first experience with date syrup. Continue reading

8 ideas for cooking with rice

Looking for some inspiration for what to do with that bag of rice in the cupboard? Then I have some great ideas for you. 

8 ideas for cooking with rice | Fish Fingers for Tea

I think rice is a store cupboard essential for most people – it’s cheap and incredibly versatile but it’s easy to get into a rut with it. I tend to lean towards the risotto and rice salad side of things which can get quite samey after a while so I’ve gathered some inspiration from my friends and have some ideas for cooking with rice for you to liven things up a bit.  Continue reading

Win £750 worth of gift vouchers for your creative cupcake recipe

Win £750 worth of vouchers for your creative cupcake recipe

When Izzy was a couple of months old I became somewhat obsessed with baking cupcakes. And eating them of course. They weren’t anything fancy at first, just a basic sponge recipe with occasional add-in’s topped with a pile of fluffy buttercream.

I would have loved to be able to produce ones that were pretty and dainty but I’m far too heavy handed for that kind of thing. But I soon started to experiment with flavours to come up with ones that were a bit more creative, even if they weren’t much in the looks department – apple pie cupcakes, beetroot and chocolate and black forest cupcakes were soon regulars in our kitchen.

I haven’t made cupcakes in a long time now but with it being National Cupcake Week next week (15th – 27th September) I may just have to rectify that. To celebrate National Cupcake Week Betta Living are running a fabulous competition where you could win £750 worth of high street vouchers just by blogging your creative cupcake recipe.

So if you’re heading into the kitchen over the next couple of days then how about seeing how creative you can get with a cupcake?

You can find full details here but in a nutshell you just need to blog your recipe for your most creative cupcake and use the hashtag #bettabakeoff on Twitter. Entries will be judged by cupcake expert Sarah Wilson-Gibbons, director of Hey Little Cupcake and the winner will receive £750 worth of gift vouchers. That could take the pressure off for Christmas! There is also a runner-up prize of £250 worth of gift vouchers. Not too shabby at all eh!

You have until midday on Monday 15th September 2014 to get entries in so get cracking!

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Betta Living and in the interests of full disclosure the cupcakes in the photo were ones that I bought instead of baked. Shocking I know!  

Recipe: Puff pastry marmite and cheese whirls

These 3 ingredient marmite and cheese scrolls are packed with flavour and great for lunch boxes and after school snacks.

3 ingredient puff pastry marmite and cheese swirls | Fish Fingers for Tea

Marmite tends to be one of the world’s dividers – you either love it or hate. I have a friend who thinks it should be a controlled substance and not be consumed in public. A little extreme perhaps but Marmite does tend to produce strong opinions.

We’re all huge fans of the stuff in the Fish Fingers for Tea household – both Marmite and Vegemite, the version from down under. Marmite toast is the thing we turn to when we need a bit of comfort, after an upset tummy or just because.

But it makes an appearance in many other forms too – if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that my new favourite combination is Marmite and avocado on toast, a spoonful melted into shepherd’s pie or a stew adds a richness and depth and these marmite and cheese whirls are popular.

Just three ingredients – ready rolled puff pastry, Marmite and cheddar – make for a quick and easy bake ready for lunch boxes and snacks. Continue reading