Monday, 14 March 2016


I've moved house (well, country to be precise!) Hence the lack of posts lately.  I moved from Wales to England (Derbyshire) just over a year ago - living in vile rental accommodation for 6 months (there was no cooker, and only an electric camping 2 ring hob for cooking). Not ideal conditions.  Then I finally sold my gorgeous house with my perfect kitchen and was able to buy in my new location - it's not as perfect as the old place and requires a bit of work but I'm getting there. I've not enjoyed baking in the new kitchen (it took 4 major cleans to get the oven back to a reasonable colour and it's not what I'd call "clean"), but I thought I'm never going to get there if I don't give it a this evening after spending a bit of time enjoying the sun out in my little garden, I thought I'd try making a pie (I genuinely didn't realise it was #PiDay today) and also some cookies for work tomorrow.

Far too ambitious - but got me baking and working out how to manage my kitchen a bit better (I think I need to reorganise!) but here's the result of my endeavours:

Chicken and Leek Filo pie a variation of this dish from Tesco -

This is possible the first time EVER that I've not been able to eat as much as the recipe suggested. It claims it's for 2 people, and I are a quarter of it (OK, so I may have been eating some of the cookie dough mix while mixing them up and waiting for the pie to cook). This made me happy though, as I could use my lovely purple Le Creuset and the filo pastry that I bought a while back and then never decided what to do with them.  It was an interesting mix of ingredients and the recipe suggest pre-cooked chicken and microwave rice (OK, on this occasion I did use what they suggested), but now I've played with this, I think I'd be more than happy to put my own pie mix together and produce something a little less pre-cooked/prepared.  

Then while the pie was baking away, I started to put together the mix for my double chocolate and peanut butter cookie. The recipe was from a lovely book of biscuits I got for Christmas.  All too often my biscuits start sounding nice but by the time I've finished they really don't taste that great and it's something I've wanted to crack for a while.  They're either too well done and tasting burnt or I've somehow undercooked them - one day I shall crack it.  Not sure this mix proved hugely successful (we'll see what they say at work tomorrow), but I enjoyed all the mixing and especially taste testing the raw mix of peanut butter, normal butter and light brown sugar - yum yum!

if they'd not been for work I think I might have stayed at this stage and ate them all!

I had to compromise on white chocolate, as although I was sure I had two bars of Lindt white choc I could only locate one, so had to throw in some milky bar to make up the weight.  Looking at the final cookie, I'm not sure if this was the best plan - there is definitely white chocolate melting from the bottom of these (which meant I had to scrape the excess white chocolate from the baking sheets - shame). However, they definitely needed white chocolate, as I feel the dark was a bit overpowering. I'm not sure if these are undercooked, but I followed advice of bake for 10 mins, squash them down with a pallet knife and bake for another min - I actually went for an extra couple - and I could still taste cocoa powder or strong dark chocolate.  Like I say, work taste test tomorrow - as I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate! Although usually white and dark aren't too bad.....

Here's the mess in the kitchen as I try and batch bake and balance them around (at this point I was trying to dish up my tea as well!)

Batch baking madness

Melting white chocolate?