All posts by Hortense

I love and value life. Having been many times under a surgeon's knife does that... It make you put things in perspective and makes you see life as the gift that it is. Am always up to something creative. Creativity in all things keep life exciting and interesting. I often take my queues from the bible or cartoon... No, seriously. Unless someone tell me specifically that I can't do some thing, it means to me that I can try EVERYTHING (Homer Simpson would say something like that). I love God and if He says I can do it, I CAN do it! So should you! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you like what you find. Bless you. Hortense

The Bank Cook update


Thank you so much for visiting the blog today. As I write , there have been over 3700 visitors to this blog. And the book has been mentioned in the Times UK, the Church Times, the Croydon Advertiser, Families First Mag and few local newspapers across the UK and a radio interview on a national radio.

the Bank Cook in the Advertiser paper
the Bank Cook in the Advertiser paper

I do hope that you have managed to print few copies and donated them to your local foodbank and various food parcels distributors. I understand that offices where food vouchers are given have also been giving away copies of The Bank Cook, which is great!

I have been receiving feedbacks and one of the most recurring ones were of small charities requesting a version of the book which will not use so much ink.

I have now done it and hope it will be much easier for you to print copies. Please click on the link below to open and save a copy before printing.

Recipes for food bank users – no background low res

If you are from a company which would like to donate copies of the book, please be sure to add your logo or info at the back so people would know that you were the kind donor. You should use the original version of the book. Click here to see it.

The printing guidelines remain the same as previously and if you need a higher resolution, please email me to nashjulie9@gmail.com or DM me via twitter @hjulienne.

any bread will do... this is a tuna & sweetcorn
any bread will do… this is a tuna & sweetcorn

For those who think you cannot reproduce these recipes based on look of the pictures, could I ask you to just take few minutes and just read the rice puddings page and the tuna & sweetcorn page? That will give you an idea on how easy the recipes are and the extra added are £1.00 or less.

Rice pudding with Kiwi (0.20p) and shortbread
Rice pudding with Kiwi (0.20p) and shortbread

Unfortunately, everything is well presented and that might be misleading, but please just take a minute to read through one or 2 recipes and you will see how much more you might get out of the food parcels.

printout of the book
Me holding a printout of the book

Thanks again for checking in.

Every blessing.

Hortense

Marmalade sponge sandwich


Ingredients for 5 portions:

  • Tesco  values sponge mix
  • 100g dark chocolate tablet
  • 20ml vegetable oil (or hazelnut oil)
  • 1 orange
  • 150g marmalade
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for greasing

Method:

Carefully follow the instructions on the sponge mix package to prepare the two halves of the sandwich. Before pouring the mix to bake, grate and mix in the zest of 1 orange.

Once the haves are baked, leave to cool for few minutes and turn both of them upside down.

Score the base of both cakes and evenly spread the jam on them making sure that it is well absorbed. Now put both cakes on top of each other on the jammed side. Set aside.

Ingredients for the chocolate covering

Preparing the chocolate covering. Break the tablet of chocolate in small pieces and place them in a heat-proof bowl. Add the 20ml of oil. Now, in a small sauce pan, boil 300ml of water and place the bowl containing the chocolate pieces in it while it is still simmering.

Gently stir the contents of the bowl until all the pieces of chocolate are melted and all what is left is a very smooth, rich and glossy chocolate sauce.

The sponge is covered with chocolate

Now place the sponge sandwich on a rack or a plate, then pour the chocolate sauce on it making sure to cover all the top and the sides of the cake too. One single layer of the sauce is just enough to keep it light. Decorate the cake before placing it in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.  30 minutes to 1 hours should be enough depending on the thickness of the chocolate covering.

The cake above was decorated with heart shapes filled with white chocolate shavings on the outer and poppy seeds in the inner heart. The fresh orange piece were lightly dipped in caramel before being placed on the edges of the cake. Make sure to decorate your cake before placing it the fridge to harden.

Share… on its own no distraction needed

This would be a great birthday cake or one to offer to friends.

Couscous


La ratatouille et du couscous

La ratatouille et du couscous

Ingredients for 6 portions:

  • 1/2 medium aubergine
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper
  • 250g chickpeas (300g)
  • 1 tin vegetable soup (400g)
  • 1 medium onion
  • Garlic granules
  • 1 vegetable stock
  • Vegetable oil

Method:

This dish is meatless so, roughly cut the aubergine, peppers and onion in big pieces and set aside. Rise the chickpeas and open the vegetable soup. Set aside ready to use.

In a deep sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, then, soften and brown the aubergines and onions together with a pinch of dry thyme (2-3 minutes).

Aubergines

Now add the peppers and chickpeas and cover the lot with 500ml of vegetable stock. Cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. After the 15 minutes, empty the contents of the tinned soup in the pot with garlic, salt black pepper. Stir, cover and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes on medium heat still, making sure to stir occasionally to avoid burns.

Browned dry couscous

Meanwhile prepare the couscous. Put 250g of couscous in a deep pan with a 25g knob of butter or 2 table spoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Place the pan on medium heat to brown the couscous a bit. This should take only about 5 minutes do not leave this unattended as the couscous burns very quick. Stir constantly for the whole 5 minutes. What we are looking for is a nuttier taste to the couscous. So, when this is done, remove from the hob and pour on it 250ml of boiled water. Stir to make sure that water has covered every single grain, then cover the pan with its lid. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes, the time for the couscous to absorb the water and double in volume.

Using a fork, fluff the couscous which by now should not be wet. Serve as suggested.

Bon appetit!

Vegan Stir fried rice


 

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 250g white rice
  • 250g broccoli
  • 100g aubergine
  • 50g leek
  • 50g celery
  • 1 and half fresh tomato
  • 1 onion
  • Garlic granules
  • 1 chilli pepper (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dry lemongrass powder
  • Salt

Method:

Precook the rice following the instructions on the package.

Floret the broccoli, cut the aubergines and tomatoes, cut the celery and leek, dice the onion, set all that aside.

In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons of oil, then fry onions, aubergine, Leek and celery at once for 4 minutes stirring continuously.  Now add the tomatoes, broccoli, chilli and lemon grass. Stir, then add the precooked rice and 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce. Mix well, adjust the seasoning, stir from bottom to top of the wok for 5 minutes. Take away from the heat and serve. Enjoy.

Serving suggestion
Serving suggestion

Potatoes, leek and tuna frittata


Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 6 small potatoes
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley & celery
  • 1 small onion
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic granules
  • 3 eggs
  • Tuna chunks (150g drained)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dry chilli pepper

Method:

Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly like on the picture below. Cut the tomatoes in the same way. Chop the parsley and celery thinly and set them aside. Do the same for the onion.

Flake the tuna, then, beat the 3 eggs with salt, garlic & pepper granules and black pepper. Add tuna to the mix, set aside.

fried potatoes

In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and brown the chopped onions for 2 minutes. Add the slices of potatoes and allow to brown and soften for 2 minutes on each side, then add the celery, stir for 1 minute. Now, lay the slices of tomatoes on top of the mix, spread the chopped parsley on top of the tomato. Then, evenly distribute the beaten eggs and tuna mixture in the pan.

Tomatoes layer
Tomatoes layer

Slightly shake the pan to make sure that the eggs reach the bottom. Allow two minutes for the omelette to form at the bottom. Using another pan or a large plate, cover the frying pan and turn the contents upside down. Place the pan back on the hob for another two minutes to allow the other side of the frittata to cook through. Allow 1 or 2 more minutes each side if you do not like your eggs runny.

Et voila!
Et voila!

Your frittata is ready to serve. Enjoy it on its own or with a little green salad.

Baked beans lunch


Love that ugly cow plate

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • Baked beans 150g (small tin)
  • 50g onion – thinly cut
  • 50g leek – thinly cut
  • Handful of sliced mushrooms (tin)
  • Vegetables oil
  • Salt
  • 4 slices of bread

Method:

Thinly cut the onion, leek and mushrooms to the same size.

In a small frying pan, heat 1 table spoon of sunflower oil and fry the onion and leek together for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the mix, stir for one minute, then add the baked beans. Stir for 2 minutes the time for the beans to soak in the flavours and heat up. Adjust the seasoning then serve on lightly toasted brown slices.

I'd eat that... for lunch and dinner... oh and breakfast with a runny egg :-)
I’d eat that… for lunch and dinner… oh and breakfast with a runny egg 🙂

This is a great way to stretch baked beans and make a tin go further. Enjoy.

Rice pudding Ice cream


Ice cream with chocolate shavings or crushed biscuits

Ice cream with chocolate shavings or crushed biscuits

Ingredients for 1 litre:

the hand blender is a must
the hand blender is a must
  • 190g rice pudding
  • 300g peach slices – drained
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 500g natural yogurt
  • 20g sugar
  • Shavings of white & dark chocolate
  • Crushed ginger biscuits

Method:

In a mixing bowl, pour the natural yogurt and the sugar mix until the sugar has melted.

Peach & rice pudding
Peach & rice pudding

In a separate mixing bowl place the peach slices and the rice pudding then blend until really smooth.

Blended peach and pudding
Blended peach and pudding

Gently fold in the yogurt and sugar mix.

Now, pour the mix in a tub and place in the middle section of the freezer for minimum 4 hours.

Ready for the freezer
Ready for the freezer

Take the ice cream out of the freezer about 30 minutes before dishing.

Crushed biscuit option

Crushed biscuit option

Once it is ready, serve with chocolate shavings or the crushed ginger biscuits.

Chocolate shavings option

Chocolate shavings option

This is a great recipe to create with children. Get them involved. They’ll have fun.

Split peas and parsnip chips


Ingredients for 3 portions:

  • 200g split peas (green & yellow mix)
  • 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 parsnips
  • 10g fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion
  • Garlic granules
  • Paprika
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Method:

Soak the peas for 2 hours before the cooking.

Chop the onions and pepper, grate the ginger. Peel and cut the parsnip into chips. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the onions for 2 minutes, then add the peas, ginger, salt, garlic and 200ml of water cover and leave the peas to soften for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time. After the 20 minutes, add the peppers, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 200ml water, adjust the seasoning and cover for another 8-10 minutes on medium heat.

Now on to the parsnips chip. They are to be treated the same as potatoes chips, so feel free to use your regular chip pan. Frying for 5 to 7 minutes suffice to have them cooked through from raw. Add a slice of onion in the chip oil to add more taste to the chips.

Once the chips are ready, salt and serve.

Remember. The colder the chips get before serving, wrinklier they get become. Enjoy

Sausage fried rice


Serving suggestion
Serving suggestion

Ingredients for 4 portions:

Hot dogs and rice from the parcel
Hot dogs and rice from the parcel
  • 350g rice
  • 3 tinned hotdogs – Sliced
  • 3 medium carrots – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – thinly cut
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic granules
  • Fresh Parsley – chopped
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 stock cube

Start by peeling, chopping and cutting everything that needs to be prepped before starting.

Best to prep everything before hand
Best to prep everything before hand

Method:

Rinse the rice and place it in a deep pan with 350ml water, a bit of salt and a table spoon of vegetable oil. Cover the pot and leave to cook for 8 minutes. Once the water has evaporated, stir the rice, cover it and turn the heat right down to allow it to finish cooking with steam alone for another 10 minutes.

Once the rice is ready and the other ingredients prepared, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Fry the onions for 2 minutes. Add the cut hotdogs and fry until brown with crisp edges.

Now add the carrots, a dust of garlic granules and salt. Stir well and cover for 1 minute to soften the carrots. Now, fold in the rice with 1 crushed vegetable stock cube, black pepper and 50ml of water. Stir and cover. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes to allow all liquid to evaporate and the rice to absorb the flavours. Remove from the heat and add in the finely chopped parsley before serving.

DSC03781
Greens included!

Golden coconut thins


Ingredients:

  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 150g sugar
  • 10 hazelnut – roasted and crushed
  • Salt

Method:

Spray a bit of oil on the flat tray that will be used to cool down the thins. The light spread of oil will prevent the  thin from sticking to the used surface.

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts

Mix the crushed hazelnuts to the coconut.

Melt the sugar on high heat, then stir until it becomes golden and really clear.

Melted sugar
Melted sugar

Add a pinch of salt to the melted sugar, then put in the coconut and hazelnut.  Mix very quickly with a spatula until the sugar is completely absorbed. This process should take 1 minute max… it has to be done very quickly.

The mix is flattened and scored
The mix is flattened and scored

Remove from the hob and lay the mix very flat on a dish prepared for it. Using a rolling pin or the back of the spatula, continue to flatten the mix, then create tracks as above on the picture.

The best ones to bite are the ones that are not compact
The best ones to bite are the ones that are not compact

The tracks you have created will allow you to easily break off the thins once the mix has cooled down and hardened.

If you rather make balls and have a high heat tolerance. You will have to move very quickly as the mix can cool down and harden within a minute… The balls can only be rolled by hand.

...And here is what I made  few months earlier... in the dark

…And here is what I made few months earlier… in the dark

Note: melted sugar can be really painful if not handled with care. No children should be around when you are doing these thins.

Adding salt to the melted sugar breaks down its sweetness.