Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots

Julie's Family Kitchen Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots

With Valentine’s Day not too far away it’s time to get planning that romantic meal for your loved one. Especially, as the big day falls on a Saturday it’s virtually impossible to get a table booked at a good restaurant (I know, we’ve tried and failed!). These delectable Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots are sure to impress and take next to no time to prepare. Zingy, refreshing and creamy these cheesecakes are an absolute delight to eat. The recipe makes 4 individual cheesecakes, they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days but they’re so hard to resist you could just have two each! It goes without saying, I highly recommend you enjoy your passionfruit cheesecake pots with a glass of bubbly or two.

Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots

115g milk chocolate Hobnob biscuits (6 approx)
20g unsalted butter
180g Philadelphia full fat cream cheese (room temperature)
2 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons passionfruit curd
8 Dr Oetker cocoa crunch chocolate squares

Method

1. In a mini chopper or food processor blitz the biscuits until you have crumbs.

2. Melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan. Then, add the biscuit crumbs and mix well.

3. Divide biscuit mixture equally between 4 glass ramekins and press down lightly. Refrigerate until needed.

4. In a bowl beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar, then mix in the passionfruit curd.

5. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base and carefully level. Refrigerate the cheesecakes for at least 4 hours or over night, then serve each cheesecake with 2 chocolate squares placed in the centre. Enjoy!

Julie's Family Kitchen Passionfruit Cheesecake Pots

Until next time.

Julie
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Healthier Recipe Collection by Sainsbury’s Review and Giveaway

Julie's Family Kitchen Healthier Recipe Collection

January is the month for focusing our minds on healthy eating but the reality is that it can be a pretty hard task. Sainsbury’s have very recently published an enticing collection of 100 no fuss healthier recipes to help with eating a balanced diet. The Healthier Recipe Collection cookbook includes great tasting recipes from breakfast through to dinner and even has some sweet treats too. Plus there is fab advice and tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle too.

My children always come out of school ravenous but finding a healthier after school snack can sometimes be tricky. I decided to bake a batch of the Tropical Fruit Breakfast Muffins from the breakfast chapter. Deliciously moist and packed full of fresh mango, banana, apple and coconut these muffins went down a treat with my girls and me too.

Julie's Family Kitchen Healthier Tropical Fruit Muffins

I’m genuinely delighted with this cookbook, the recipes are fresh and inspiring plus knowing that they’re healthier is a brilliant bonus.

Julie's Family Kitchen Healthier Recipe Collection

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Healthier Recipe Collection by Sainsbury’s you will need to complete the Rafflecopter entry form and provide an answer to the giveaway question as a blog comment. Once, you have done that there are further chances to win.

Click here to enter the giveaway

The giveaway is open until 00:00 on 11 February 2015 and is open to UK entrants only.

I wish you all the very best of luck.

Julie
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Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway will close at 00:00 on 11 February 2015. This prize is offered by Sainsbury’s and I am hosting it on behalf of them. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prize out or providing it. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received by the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will be notified within 7 days of the closing date. Sainsbury’s will send out the prize within 14 days of the winner providing me with their name and address. The prize is as stated, a copy of Healthier Recipe Collection by Sainsbury’s, no cash alternatives are available. This giveaway is open to UK entrants only.

Disclosure:
Sainsbury’s are kindly offering the prize to one lucky reader. I have not been sponsored or paid to host this giveaway, although I have received a copy of Healthier Recipe Collection by Sainsbury’s to review.

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Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti


Julie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

Wholegrain spelt spaghetti is a brilliant and tasty alternative to traditional wheat spaghetti. If you have never tried if before it tastes very similar to wholewheat spaghetti but has twice the fibre of standard pasta. I’ve teamed the spelt spaghetti with a light and creamy mushroom sauce made using one of my favourite magic ingredients, creme fraiche. My mushroom spelt spaghetti is an incredibly quick meal to rustle up, taking no longer than 10 minutes from start to finish.

I’ve used mini portabella mushrooms which I found in my local supermarket but if you can’t find them I’d suggest using chestnut mushrooms instead.

Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

100g wholegrain spelt spaghetti
½ tablespoon olive oil
90g mini portabella mushrooms (peeled and sliced)
¼  teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon half fat creme fraiche
salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese to serve

Method

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive in a frying pan and add the mushrooms. Add the dried oregano and season with salt and pepper.

3. When the mushrooms are cooked add the creme fraiche and stir well.

4. Add the cooked spaghetti and heat through. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a green mixed leaf salad on the side. Enjoy!

Julie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

Until next time.

Julie
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Football Game Birthday Cake

Julie's Family Kitchen Football Game Birthday Cake

My little boy recently celebrated his third birthday and I baked him his very own football game birthday cake. Ever since his big sister started playing football (she’s now in the school girls team) he too has become something of a football fan. Unfortunately, presenting the cake and singing happy birthday didn’t quite go according to plan. Tears were flowing and my little boy was very distressed, he didn’t like the lights going out when the candles were lit and then he didn’t want the cake to be cut! However, he did enjoy eating the cake and happily chomped his way through his slice.

Julie's Family Kitchen Football Game Birthday Cake

Football Game Birthday Cake

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients and equipment

2 basic all in one sponge traybake cakes 30 x 23cm (I used Mary Berry’s recipe from her Baking Bible)
1 jar of seedless raspberry jam
Vanilla buttercream (made using 500g icing sugar, 250g unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract beaten together)
750g Renshaw ready to roll lincoln green fondant icing / sugarpaste
100g white fondant icing / sugarpaste
40 x 35cm cake board
PME football / soccer cake topper set (9 pieces)
Football themed ribbon

Method

1. Sandwich the two traybake sponge layers together with vanilla buttercream and jam.

2. Cover the whole cake with a base layer of buttercream and allow to set.

3. Apply a final layer of buttercream all over.

4. Roll out the green fondant icing to a thickness of 5mm so that it is large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake.

5. Carefully lift the green fondant icing and place on top of the cake and smooth down around the sides, ensuring that there are no air bubbles. Trim away any excess icing with a knife.

6. Using the white fondant icing roll out very thin and long sausage shapes, these will form the football pitch lines. Fix into position with by moistening the pitch with a little water, then flatten in place.

7. Decorate the football pitch with the players, referee and goal posts.

8. Finally attach the ribbon around the cake base.

You should be able to find all the ingredients and equipment in a good cake decorating shop or alternatively online.

Julie's Family Kitchen Football Game Birthday Cake

Julie's Family Kitchen Football Game Birthday Cake

Until next time, happy baking.

Julie
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Celebrate Breakfast Week 25th – 31st January

Julie's Family Kitchen Seeded Bagel with Banana

Did you have breakfast this morning? I did but worryingly 1 in 4 people in the UK are skipping breakfast. For whatever reason that may be, it is quite a startling fact. The Shake Up Your Wake Up campaign is about spreading the message that breakfast is important for everyone.

Breakfast Week

Why is breakfast so important?

1. It provides you with much needed energy for the start of the day.

2. It is a great way of getting essential nutrients into your diet.

3. After being asleep for several hours your blood sugar levels drop, eating breakfast helps regulate that.

4. It can help improve your mood. I know from experience that if I have not eaten breakfast, I’m pretty grumpy.

To get involved in celebrating Breakfast Week (25th to 31st January) and have the chance to WIN A SPA BREAK, take a picture of your ‘breakfast moment’ and upload it to Facebook.com/shakeupyourwakeup. See the shakeupyourwakeup.com website for full terms and conditions. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @breakfastweek #BreakfastWeek.

If you are stuck for breakfast idea why not try a lightly toasted bagel with sliced banana. I recommend a seeded bagel or cinnamon and raisin bagel, both work brilliantly with the banana making it a tasty and filling breakfast.

Julie's Family Kitchen Seeded Bagel with Banana

I would love to hear about what you like to eat for breakfast. If you have any delicious breakfast recipe ideas, please share them in the comments box below.

Until next time.

Julie
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Disclosure: The Shake Up Your Wake Up campaign is run on behalf of 35,000 arable farmers in the UK that grow cereals such as wheat, oats and barley. I have not received any payment for this blog post but received a selection a of healthy breakfast items to try.

Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

Julie's Family Kitchen Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

Smoothies are a terrific breakfast option when you’re on the go. Easy to prepare and packed full of healthy nutrients you’ll love this tropical inspired Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie recipe. It’s literally bursting with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Potassium, all good for your health and wellbeing. Made with naturally sweet coconut water (a brilliant source of hydration) there’s no need to sweeten this smoothie with honey. I recommend you look out for 100% coconut water, as some brands include preservatives, additives and sugar.

Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

1 kiwi
1 banana
260ml pure coconut water
2 ice cubes

Method

1. Pour the coconut water into a blender and add the ice cubes.

2. Peel and chop the fruit into chunks, then place in the blender.

3. Pulse to crush the ice, then blend for 30 seconds until smooth. Enjoy!

Julie's Family Kitchen Kiwi, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

Until next time.

Julie
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Food Blogging Tips and Tricks

Julie's Family Kitchen
Food blogging requires a wide skill set, food photography, recipe testing, recipe writing and editing just to name a few. Here I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks used by food bloggers. I’m not an expert but these are things I’ve learnt since I started blogging. I hope you find it useful.

Some of these might seem a tad obvious but in that rush of trying to get out your blog post it’s easy to forget or accidentally miss something out.

Recipes

  • Structure you recipe to includes a list of ingredients, number of servings and a method.
  • List your ingredients in the order that they are going to be used, make sure every ingredient is included.
  • Be as specific as you can with quantities, rather than say half a tin of chopped tomatoes state half a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes.
  • If you know an ingredient is hard to find, say where you buy it from.
  • Make it clear what type of oven you are using e.g gas or fan oven. Quoting the appropriate temperature and whether you need to pre heat it.
  • With baking recipes always state the cake tin size, it’s so important for a successful result.

Photography

  • Try to photograph your food in natural light, it always looks more appealing in a naturally lit environment. It’s particularly difficult in winter but make the most of those precious daylight hours.
  • I use white foam boards to bounce light back onto the food, they are also useful in creating a neutral or blank background.
  • Think about presentation, styling can be great but don’t go overboard.
  • Use props that enhance the mood or the setting. A drink, cutlery or the ingredients work well. Just experiment, to see what you like best.
  • I take lots of photos varying the composition of the food and any props.  I then edit the photos on my Mac book to make the best of the photos I’ve taken.
  • Look at Foodgawker.com and Pinterest for inspiration but try to develop your own style.
  • A couple of my first accepted Foodgawker submissions were taken using my iPhone, that said I now have a Nikon D3200 dSLR camera I’m getting to grips with.
  • I recommend that you watermark you photos with your blog name.

Further recommended reading

  • Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin.
  • Food Blogging for Dummies by Kelly Senyei.
  • Other food blogs but don’t copy just be yourself.

I’ll back with more recipes and reviews very soon.

Until then.

Julie
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Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Happy New Year. I don’t know about you but I find January and February quite gloomy months and I start to crave the warm sun of high summer. However, I’m determined not to let the winter blues get me down by arranging things to look forward to. I have booked my place on a cookery workshop later in the month and have arranged a special fun day out in February for all the family (but that’s top secret for now!).

With all the indulgences of Christmas and New Year behind us, I like to get back to eating proper hearty food that is healthy too. Soups are a great way of getting in some of those essential 5 a day without it seeming to be a chore. My tasty Tomato, Bean and Chorizo soup is bursting with smoky paprika and tomato flavours. The haricot beans and small chorizo chunks make this a filling soup to be enjoyed on chilly days. It’s a great alternative to tomato soup especially if you want something a bit more substantial for lunch. I recommend serving it with crusty seeded bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
75g diced cooking chorizo
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ dried oregano
pinch of dried chilli flakes
500g passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (best quality)
200ml cold water
400g haricot beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan, then sauté the onions until soft.

2. Add the diced chorizo, paprika, oregano and chilli flakes. Stir well and sauté for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, water, haricot beans and sugar. Season with a good grinding of sea salt and black pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 50 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve the soup in warm bowls with seeded crusty bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Here’s to a great 2015.

Until next time.

Julie
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Happy New Year

Well, it’s goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015. I hope it’s been a kind year to you. During 2014 I’ve been lucky enough to see my first recipe printed in Cake Masters magazine, attended a game tasting event with Richard Corrigan and Sainsbury’s, met Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (all be it briefly for a book signing!) and last but not least attended a pasta making workshop with Giovanni Rana at his London restaurant. Plus, I’ve had the opportunity meet in person and speak online to some great like minded bloggers too.

Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to my readers for taking the time to stop by and read my recipes, reviews and enter the giveaways during 2014. I’m planning on bringing you lots more for 2015.

Here’s a selection of some of my favourite recipes from 2014.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Julie
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Snowflake Christmas Cake and Happy Christmas

Snowflake Christmas Cake Julie's Family Kitchen

It’s certainly been a busy week for me getting things ready for Christmas. In between all the hectic preparations we managed to squeeze in a fantastic family weekend break at Center Parcs. It really was a fun packed couple of days, involving roller skating, pottery painting, an elf hunt, fencing and swimming to name a few of the activities we all got up to.

Although a little later than usual I finally finished decorating my Christmas cake this afternoon. Being a bit short of time I opted for a simple and effective snowflake design, I hope all my Christmas guests like it.

Snowflake Christmas Cake Julie's Family Kitchen

Snowflake Christmas Cake Julie's Family Kitchen

Before I go, I want to wish you and your families all a very Happy Christmas.

Until next time.

Julie
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