Having little ones who depend on you for every single aspect of their lives puts a high level of responsibility on one. So, as I did my weekly grocery shopping last week,

I browsed the snack aisles for my toddler’s school pack and quite frankly I recoiled and some of the ingredients listed on the products. I walked away with a resolve to make something tasty and healthy for him to eat.

I found a great recipe for oatmeal cookies which I think is a wonderful way for him to get fibre and still enjoy a snack.

Recipe for oatmeal cookies

Ingredients

115 grams softened butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar (you could do 1 cup dark brown sugar if you prefer)
1 Egg
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 Cups raw oats (I used Quaker oats)
kosher salt (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ΒΊF.
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Then add the vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.
Stir in the flour then the raisins and oatmeal until combined.
Drop rounded mounds of dough on ungreased cookie sheets and sprinkle with salt if using.

Flatten the dough mounds slightly before baking.

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Bake at 350ΒΊF until just lightly browned on the edges and middle still looks undercooked, about 9 minutes. This will give a slight crunch with a chewy center. If you want it to be crunchier leave the cookies in for an extra minute or two.

Let the cookies rest on baking tray for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.

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Needless to say the cookies were a massive hit with the children! They sped put of their room and made a beeline for the cookies as I tried to take pictures for the blog. Contorted in an awkward angle on the floor, all I could do was bark “Get away from there!”. The child obeyed but not before he snatched a cookie and made off leaving crumbs in his wake……

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He had the cookies with a variety if fruit in his snack pack.

I am currently making a fresh batch as I write this and I have added some semi-sweet chocolate chips. These are not for the little one this time πŸ™‚

You can really have fun with it and any variety of chopped nuts or dried fruit like cranberries, sultanas etc.

I will continue to look for great snack options and of course I will always share the recipe πŸ™‚

FFF Top Tip: If you opt to top your cookies with salt, it is important to use sea salt or kosher salt or any other salt that has a similar texture. Table salt is too fine and will simply dissolve into the cookie as it bakes.

On this lazy Saturday morning, after an exhausting week of living in the gloom and doom of a nationwide petrol shortage,……..pause……for any reader who is not Nigerian, I live in wonderful country where issues like petrol scarcity and low electricity supply are just a few of the issues we contend with regularly……I decided that the pate brisee that had been languishing in the back of my fridge should come to good use. I blind baked it a few days ago and just hadn’t had time to do some thing with it.

Remember it was a lazy Saturday morning so there was no question of going out to shop. As I rummaged through my cupboard, fridge and pantry I gathered the following items

10 Eggs
1/2 cup Dried shiitake mushrooms (you can use fresh)
1 small White onion
4 pieces of Cheese (I used a cheese spread that comes in small triangular parcels)
4 tbs Cream
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbs chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tbs chopped chives (from my herb garden)
2 tbs chopped basil (from my herb garden)
2 tbs butter
1 blind baked pastry crust (please see my Easy as Pie Part 2 post if you’re making your pastry from scratch and to learn about how to blind baked pastry)

The whole thing was easy enough to throw together.

Preheat your oven to 140 degrees centigrade.

Chop the onion and stir fry in a pan with butter until tender. Follow the instructions for rehydrating the mushrooms (usually boiling for a few minutes) drain chop and add to onion; if using fresh just wash, chop and add directly to the pan.

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Chop sun dried tomatoes and add to the happy family being established in your pan. Stir for a minute ensuring that the pan doesn’t burn or over heat. Season with black pepper and salt. Turn off the heat and set aside.

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Break 10 eggs in a medium sized bowl and add about 4 tbs of heavy cream, whisk well. Then add chopped chives and basil to the egg mix and incorporate properly. Now carefully add the happy sautΓ©ed mushroom, onion and tomato family to the bowl and stir.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust, careful not to overfill it as the egg will rise slightly. Next, scatter the cheese (roughly crumbled) over the surface of the egg mixture in the pie crust. I used my son’s cheese spread which is all I had on hand. On a good day I would use a more civilized soft mild cheese but today was not the day.

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Put in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the egg is just set in the middle. Allow the cool slightly and dig in! πŸ™‚

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I must say that the first mouthful delivered a burst of flavours! The earthiness of the mushroom paired with the onion and chives beautifully and the tomatoes and the basil were just so happy to connect with each other; the floral herby basil was nice ying to the yang of the sweet intense sun dried tomatoes. And to cap it off the mild soft cheese tied it all together by adding extra creaminess and balance. Let’s just say that I had a savory party in my mouth.

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In case you were wondering, I didn’t have time for my usual fancy shmancy plating. I scoffed the piece very ungainfully. Hey! Hubby is out of town so there was no need for the bells and whistles. Besides, with the little ones swarming around me it would have be a futile exercise πŸ™‚

FFF Top Tip: when making pate brisee or short crust pastry for savory dishes such as a quiche leave out the sugar or reduce the quantity.

May 26, 2014 Update

Over Easter I made another quiche basically using the same recipe. But for a fun take I made mini tarts too. They were pretty and tasty. In fact they were pretty tasty! πŸ™‚

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No, I do not have an identity crisis; I am fully aware that I am not American.

I am also aware that it is not Thanksgiving but what has that got to do with anything? I made pumpkin pie! And I am trilled!

When my mum arrived with a whole host of fruits and vegetables AND a pumpkin in tow I scratched my head; I felt like I was on the set of Food Network’s “Chopped”. Then a tiny voice said, “You can make pumpkin pie”……

After scouring recipes to find one that I could execute I settled for a version that I have explained step by step in this post.

I must stay though that the result was absolutely amazing. I honestly was pleasantly surprised.

So it all started with a pumpkin (obviously πŸ™‚ )

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Ingredients for the pumpkin filling
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (I made mine from scratch; the procedure follows below)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
9-inch pie crust, follow the recipe in my post Easy as Pie 1

Process for making pumpkin purΓ©e.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Take the top off the pumpkin so that you have a flat surface then carefully half the pumpkin using a cleaver knife. Using a metal spoon scoop out the seeds and the stringy membrane of the pumpkin. You may discard the seeds or keep them and roast them later.

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Place the cleaned out pumpkins cut side down on foil or parchment paper lined baking tray and cooked them until a fork goes through the flesh easily (about 45 minutes – 60 minutes)

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Allow to cool and carefully scoop out the flesh and place in the food processor. Blitz it until you have a smooth paste and then add the other ingredients; mix until well combined.

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You may proceed to pour the filling in your chilled pie crust or you may choose to blind bake the pie crust first. I opted to blind bake my crust.

In order to blind bake your pastry simply cover the cover your crust with parchment and carefull place beans or rice in the cavity. I used decorative pebbles and they worked well.

Bake in a 230 degrees Celsius preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the edges of the crust turn a golden brown colour.

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Once cool you can pour in your pumpkin puree mix and bake in the oven until a skewer inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean. It takes about an hour. Start at 175 degrees Celsius for the first 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 150 degrees.

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Once baked allow to cool for at least 2 hours before attempting to cut into it.

The waiting period was a little maddening for me but in the end it was well worth it.

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I wonder what I will make with the left over pumpking puree………….. πŸ™‚