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Run for Bagels / Beigel and an ASICS update at Athletics Weekly

March 2, 2015

On Friday morning I joined the Advent Running gang for their #runrise #runforbeigels morning run. It was my first time running with a group (excluding races) and I really enjoyed it. The group run out from Beigel Bake on Brick Lane at 6.45am and then run back to have their fill of the Beigels. They tell me that you can get Peanut butter and Nutella + Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese + Apple Strudel to finish for £3.10. AMAZING! Sadly I can’t make it into work on time if I go back for bagel-y goodness, so I peeled off at Old Street and ran to the office before throwing a giant bowl of porridge down my face (not literally this time, but it has been known in the past).

Advent Running

You can also see the latest from me and all the other ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon ambassadors in our first update at Athletics WeeklyRunforBeigels2

AR Running do a whole load of other events too, including an amazing sounding coffee run with the excellent PACT coffee. I wish I could have taken part, but was in work this weekend (sympathy please!!). Still, they do have a special offer on for runners which you can find here.

ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon Montage

Home Sweet Home Bakealong: Peach Cobbler (but Banana and Chocolate)

February 28, 2015

17/100

It’s peach? Cobblers

Mr B isn’t a big fruit fan and is especially not keen on it sullying a good sponge / cake / bar / bake. I see his point (though I LOVE crumble). If you want fruit, have fruit. If you want cake, have cake. So, when I asked him which fruit he was most likely to eat in a cobbler we eventually settled on banana because it might be like banana bread. I threw some chocolate in just to smooth the way a little.

Mr B’s review? It’s nice, but it’d be nicer without the banana. I say that it’s an easy and effective Sunday lunch type pudding.

Serve with custard. Or else.

Peach Cobbler (but made with banana and chocolate)
from Home Sweet Home by The Hummingbird Bakery

Ingredients:
For the filling:
3 x 400g tins of sliced peaches (in juice) [I used 3 bananas sliced and tossed in lemon juice + half a bar of chocolate cut into chunks]
50g soft light brown sugar
20g caster sugar [I used all soft light brown, Beckie only used 10g in total and I’m not sure it needed an, especially for bananas]
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornflour (I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is. Normally it’s to stop

For the topping:
170g plain flour
60g caster sugar, plus 3 tbsp for sprinkling
50g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
60ml boiling water
1 tsp mixed spice

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next week it’s P

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

I’m also adding this to Cook Blog Share

Beets for my beats: Beetroot recipes and Beets Blu heartrate monitor

February 23, 2015

I mention a while back that I’m a race ambassador for ASICS Great Manchester Marathon and promised that it wouldn’t all be running blog posts from now in. This is my first running related post but it’s mainly about heartrates and beetroot, sort of. Stay with me. In the meantime click the picture for a recipe for healthy-ish beetroot brownies (there’s more at the end):

Beetroot Brownies from BBC Good Food

My training is now in full swing and I’m slowly learning to love the sections of faster paced running that I have to do. I’ve had a nutritional review and I’ve got a remote trainer. When you’re trying to shave seconds and minutes of PBs the little things become important and that’s where running related technology comes in. The % heartrate is relevant because it lets me know if I’m working hard enough.  If I’m doing “threshold” work it should be at 80-90% but if I’m doing sprints then I should be hitting 90-100%. Marathon pace should be 80-85% I think…I’m still learning. How does this all fit in with Beetroot? Well, a company called Beets Blu asked if I’d be interested in trying out their heartrate monitor. I love their logo:

How healthy is my heart?

I thought that it might be a lot of hassle trying to work the heartrate monitor as well as focussing on the run. How wrong I was. It’s really light – I barely noticed I was wearing it and whilst I don’t have any other ones to compare it to, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get any simpler to set up than this. All I had to do was turn on bluetooth on my phone and Runkeeper picked up the readings. If you’re not using RunKeeper you can do it via their own app and make sure that you are getting the most out of any exercise you do. If you’re a cake fan trying to lose weight or an athlete trying to maximise performance it turns out that this data really is quite relevant and it’s worth making the most of any efforts you are making.

Now all I need to do is run faster and figure out how much protein and carbs I’m meant to be eating. Oh, and get a reliable GPS tracker. Why are they so expensive? RunKeeper reckoned I ran 26miles in 2 hrs last week. If only – it’s driving me crazy!

Anyway, here’s the rest of the tenuous link …. some more beetroot recipes. Click the pictures for the recipes.

Beetroot Risotto: Some good friends of our cooked us beetroot risotto the other night. It was VERY good.

Beetroot Risotto from Sainsbury’s

Beetroot and goats cheese tarte tatin:

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Beetroot Recipes:

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Beetroot Recipes

BeetsBlu sent me a heartrate monitor and key finder free of charge in return for an honest review on the Amazon page. I was not required to write this review.

Home Sweet Home Bakealong: Chocolate Truffle Cookies

February 21, 2015

16/100

These are emergency cookies.

Cocoa cookie

Craggy Cookie

You can throw the dough together in 5mins flat and then it’s just a case of ignoring the dough in the fridge for 45mins, rolling into balls (no cutters or rolling pins to faff around with) and throwing in the oven. I didn’t have any amaretto so I used milk and crazy american flavouring. I used coffee icing sugar to add a hint of grown-up-ness.

cocoa easy cookie recipe chocolate

Just like in the book

I’ve previously made similar cookies to these: Gluten Free Coconut Crack Cookies and Chocolate Crack Cookies. I’d argue that they are even simpler to make and just as good if not better. I’m glad these reminded me to go back to that recipe though. Oh and I’m not sure why they are called truffle cookies. They are no more truffley than any other chocolate cookie without actual chocolate in it. Odd. Not that I mind. I suppose HSH does have a record for mis-naming things (Hello Blondie Pie)

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

80g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
10ml amaretto (I used 10ml milk and a tsp of “buttery dough emulsion” which a friend brought over from America)
50g icing sugar, to coat (I used Sugar and Crumbs natural coffee flavoured icing sugar)

Vague instructions: using rubbing in method make cookies. Toss in icing sugar. Bake.

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next week it’s Peach Cobbler (though it might be banana and chocolate cobbler if Mr B gets his way)

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

I’m also adding this to Cook Blog Share

Foodie Penpals January 2015: Confiture and Cereal from Cologne

February 20, 2015

This month my foodie penpal was Julia from Cologne. She was away in Rome when the list came out and sent me a very chatty email on her return. I do love Foodie Penpals, everyone is so interesting and friendly.

Treats in the post

Lemongrass & Ginger Pukka tea – one of the better herbal teas I’ve tried. It tastes of something. With a bit of orange squash added it’s great.
Yoghurt and Strawberry chocolate bar  Mmmm
Soya mince Great for my marathon training. Full of protein.
Organic bolognese mix Mr B’s fave!
Semolina pudding mix I used to dislike semolina but my tastes have changed so much I’m really looking forward to trying it.
Breakfast cereal mix I told Julia that I love trying cereals from other countries so she sent me a bag of her own personal breakfast mix which includes quinoa, puffed rice, flakes of some kind and some bits that are like honeycomb. Good stuff
Leone sweets from Rome Pastiglie Digestive Dissetaniti – these taste really weird. I’m not sure what flavour they are. The design of the box is cool though!
Kinder Bueno Bar Mmm
Spelt Pasta Again, great running fuel. Looking forward to eating it.
Crackers Good for lunches.
Soap and moisturising cream  A really sweet thought to put some non-food treats in.

Cologne-breakfast special

I’ll post a link here to everyone else’s posts once it’s up and available.

The Lean Green Bean

More about Foodie Penpals

Started by The Lean Green Bean, Foodie penpals is a way for food bloggers and blog readers to get to know each other, via a lovely parcel in the mail every month. This is Rock Salt has brought it to the UK and Europe. Here’s the rough outline of how it works:

  • All interested parties in the UK and Europe – bloggers and blog readers alike – sign up by the form available at the bottom of the Terms and Conditions post
  • Participants are matched on the 5th of the month
  • Penpals send thoughtful, food related parcels, on or before the 20th of the month. The parcels can include home baked treats, shop bought treats (especially local or unusual things), cake cases or decorations – use your imagination. The parcel must include something hand written – a note explaining the box’s contents, a recipe card, whatever you like. The price limit for the boxes is £10 – this is a limit, the point is not the cost, but the thought (no, really!)
  • Penpals open their boxes and rejoice!
  • At the end of the month, everyone blogs about their box, or writes a guest blog post if they are usually a blog reader and not writer. Everyone reads one another’s posts and rejoices some more. Posts are made available on Lindsay’s blog so we can all find each other easily

Find out more here: How it Works // Terms and Conditions.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Brownies

February 18, 2015

As promised, here’s a very belated part two of the Christmas brownie bonanza.

Part 1 was an indestructible recipe for golden syrup brownies. Again, the recipe is from an out of print book which was a gift from my sister in law and has so far proved to be really very good indeed.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Brownies
from Chocolate – decadent and delicious home-made treats

85g butter
200g low fat soft cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
225g caster sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100g self raising flour
50g pecan nuts, chopped (optional)

Fudge Icing (I decided these were decadent enough and didn’t make this)
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
75g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pecan nuts to decorate
20cm/8in square tin

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4

Beat together cheese, vanilla, 5 tsp of caster sugar until smooth. Set aside.

Best eggs & rest of caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Melt butter and cocoa powder gently until combined.
Stir in egg mixture.
Fold in flour and nuts

Pour half into cake tin and smooth over.
Spread (or dollop) cream cheese mix over and then cover with remaining batter.
Bake for 40-45 mins and leave to cool.

For icing:
Melt butter in the milk.
Stir in icing sugar and cocoa.
Spread over brownies and decorate with nuts. Leave to set before cutting into squares
Other snippets from Christmas:

Tiny stockings

and a Christmas gurn from me….

Attractive

Home Sweet Home Bakealong: Sweet Dough Lemon Loaf

February 15, 2015

15/100

Lemon sweet dough loaf home sweet home

Lemon Loaf

This is very similar the the Blueberry Loaf we made earlier in this bakealong. Why this one is in the “cakes, cheesecakes and roulades” section whereas the other is in “traybakes” I’m not sure but hey.

I love the method of cutting the dough into strips, stacking them and then lining them up in the tin. It’s really easy and makes for a very good tear and share bread. Having experienced monster growth when proving the blueberry loaf I was miffed that this loaf didn’t really rise. I am 90% certain that I didn’t have the milk warm enough but the use of plain flour and less sugar could also have something to do with it. I’m waiting to see how Beckie got on. I have to admit, I was really looking forward to this bake so the fact that it was a bit dry was a disappointment. You definitely need the cream cheese drizzle. I think it’s worth another go though to check whether it’s my fault or the recipe.

Use your loaf

Sweet Dough Lemon Loaf
from Home Sweet Home by the Hummingbird Bakery

For the dough:
75ml lukewarm milk
60ml tepid (er…lukewarm!) water
1/2tsp salt
50g caster sugar
2 1/4tsp dried active yeast (I used 1 7g sachet of instant fast action)
350g plain flour
55g butter
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
60g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons

For the topping:
90g full fat cream cheese
40g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
greated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp whole milk

1x 2lb loaf tin

Make the dough by adding warmed liquid and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Prove once, roll out and cut into strips. Spread the melted combined filling on each strip. Stack and cut into squares. Line them up end-on in the tin and prove. Bake and when cooled drizzle the icing over.

A bit dry but easily solved by a good dunk

Join Beckie and me in our Epic 100 part bakealong. Next week it’s Chocolate Truffle Cookies

#HomeSweetHomeBakeAlong

I’m also adding this to Cook Blog Share

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