Archives for January 2014

Smoked bacon potato croquettes recipe

Bacon cheese croquettes - Pikalily food blog

We were recently watching the Food & Drink show on BBC 2 which is hosted by one of our favourite chefs, Michel Roux Jr.  In the episode we watched, Michel was joined by Mary Berry, one of Helen’s favourites cooks, especially when it comes to baking.  In the show, Michel and Mary discussed food waste, and we were shocked to see just how much food is binned every year in the UK.  It actually made us feel a little guilty, as we are often too quick to throw food in the bin rather than using it before it’s sell-by date.  Bread is the most binned food in the UK and as we had bread that was a day out of date, we thought we’d better use it instead of taking the easy option and binning it.  Michel cooked roast chicken croquettes using left over Sunday roast chicken and other ingredients that were ready for the bin.  This got us thinking, and with bread, potatoes and bacon all ready for the bin, we decided to take a leaf out of Michel’s book and try making some tasty croquettes.

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Oat and chocolate chip cookies recipe

Oat Choc Chip Cookies - Pikalily Food Blog

These cookies are delicious and very easy to make.  They are relatively inexpensive too and are a great recipe to make with kids.  These cookies are made with porridge oats so are a great snack that can kill your hunger and make a great and tasty breakfast on the go.  As a healthier alternative, they can be made with dried fruit and nuts instead of the chocolate drops.  You could even try making heart shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day! They’re perfect for freezing so you can make them in a large batch to reuse again.

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Dinner at the Apartment Belfast

Apartment bar Belfast food review - Pikalily food blog

Our latest was to the Apartment bar in Belfast where we called in for a bite of dinner after an evening of shopping in Belfast’s city centre.  The Apartment has won many awards, including the ‘Bar of the Decade’ at the 2010 FATE Awards.  It had been a while since either of us had been in the Apartment and on first impression we were left a little disappointed by the shabby interior, which is now beginning to show its age.  The bar was pretty busy but we managed to get a table for two, albeit, not the most comfortable.  Despite these initial impressions, the menu looked good and both the food and cocktails were reasonably priced.  We placed an order for a crispy duck confit and steak and chips, along with two soft drinks.

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Breakfast waffles with caramelised bananas

Caramelised banana waffle breakfast recipe - Pikalily food blog

We were recently taking  a look around one of our favourite food websites, and came across a recipe that just got our mouths watering.  While looking for some breakfast ideas for a Saturday morning, we came across Jamie’s griddle-pan waffles and as it is something we haven’t tried before we thought, let’s give this a go.  We both enjoy tucking into waffles as a sweet treat when out for lunch, but it is a dish we have never tried making in the house.  The challenge was set and we were looking forward to putting a twist on Jamie’s waffles. So let’s get started.

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Cider glazed sausages and champ rosti

Cider glazed sausage and champ - Pikalily food blog

Following some feedback on Facebook, we decided to look at a request for a meat and two veg dish, so we decided to create a popular dish with a bit of a difference for tonights dinner.  This meal is cheap and easy to make and perfect for winter weather.  This is our twist on one of Britain and Ireland’s most popular dishes – Bangers and Mash.  The cider and honey in this recipe will create a beautifully caramelised and sticky apple and onion glaze for the oven roasted sausages.  The addition of a champ potato rosti provides and added textural element, while still maintaining that wonderful buttery champ taste that we all love.

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Asian style chicken broth

Asian style chicken and vegetable broth - Pikalily food blog

As its the new year, most of you out there, like ourselves, will be trying to eat healthily.  This soup is ultra healthy as it is not cooked with any fat but this doesn’t mean it lacks in flavour; quite the opposite, it has a real punch. It’s a very colourful dish so it’s perfect to brighten up those dark evenings.  It’s relatively cheap to make and there’s nothing complicated in this recipe so follow our steps below and give it a go!
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Homemade sticky toffee pudding recipe

Homemade sticky toffee pudding recipe - Pikalily food blog

You have probably picked up on the fact that Nial and I have a very sweet tooth!!  As the days continue to get colder and wetter, it’s time to bring out an old faithful recipe; Sticky Toffee Pudding.  This is my favourite sticky toffee pudding recipe and I’ve been baking it for a few years now.  It actually came from a James Martin book but I can’t remember which one now!!  It’s a truly rich pudding but not overly sweet.  It’s very easy to make, and also something which you will have fun doing.  The cake itself is extremely moist and it is a very comforting dessert that is perfect for these long winter evenings.  There’s plenty of toffee sauce with this recipe so if you have any left over, it’s a perfect accompaniment to vanilla ice-cream.  We’ll be sharing our own homemade vanilla ice-cream recipe soon so keep an eye out for it!  The sponge and sauce can be made in advance, and the sponge can even be frozen, if you wish to prepare it in advance of a big dinner party or meal with friends and family.  Both the pudding and toffee sauce can be plated up and re-heated from frozen in the microwave.

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Lunch at Horatio Todds Belfast

Horatio Todds Review - Pikalily food blog

Recently we visited the trendy bar and restaurant Horatio Todds, which is located on the Newtownards Road in Belfast.  We were greeted by very friendly staff and enjoyed dining in the beautiful surroundings.  This was our first time in Horatio Todds and we decided to take the trip to Belfast following a recommendation from friends.

The menu featured lots of locally sourced produce and was really well priced, which is always a bonus.  I (Helen) decided to go for the chicken liver pate from the light bites menu, while Nial went for the Belfast ham with champ.  It was one of the daily specials.  For dessert I had the coconut creme brûlée and Nial went for the apple and pear crumble.  Here’s what we thought of our dishes.

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Homemade apple, plum and pear jam

Apple, plum, pear jam - Pikalily food blog

Homemade jams and preserves have become very fashionable, and can make great gifts for friends and family.  They are particularly good for using up ripe fruit and can be stored for several months.  This particular recipe is a favourite of ours, and can be stored for 6 – 12 months in sterilised jars.  This is an extremely easy jam to make, especially as it does not require a sugar thermometer.

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Homemade sausage, bean and cheese breakfast pastry

 Homemade sausage bean cheese breakfast slice - Pikalily food blog

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It’s also a great time for experimenting in the kitchen and trying new recipes.  On a recent trip to Liverpool we stopped in at Greggs bakers for a quick pastie and noticed a breakfast slice on the menu.  As there are no Greggs in Northern Ireland we always make sure to visit it on our travels to the mainland.  While it’s not 5 star dining, it certainly is tasty and the breakfast slice did not disappoint.  It also got us thinking, so we decided on our return home to try and make our own version of the Greggs breakfast slice.  We were really happy with the result so thought we’d share it with you.

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