Cooking from scratch

You can see that I am fairly passionate about what kind of food we eat. Not solely because I like to have control over what we are actually eating and to try and ensure that it is as healthy as possible, but also to avoid all the nasty add-ons that pre-prepared foods have in them – artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives….you get the picture. I am also a huge advocate of NOT adding sugar to everything, especially those things that really don’t need it – eg. bread, yoghurt, etc…and this is a horrifying figure I heard on NPR the other day, a whopping 74% of all foods on US supermarket shelves contain ADDED SUGAR! This is a very difficult country to eat healthily on a budget, but it IS possible.

I have pretty much stopped buying bread unless I actually know the baker and know that there is no sugar added, but I am also starting to make my own and it really isn’t that hard. See center photo above – Irish soda bread, easy peasy, best served warm or toasted, but deliciously simple! click here to go to recipe site

We had a very rainy day yesterday, so myself and my husband spend a good few hours baking! His specialty is the cheesecake shown top left. A Russian immigrant, Katish brought this family recipe with her to the US and Gourmet magazine published it. Click here for cheesecake recipe Very simple to add a variety of flavors to, we have done white chocolate bourbon, orange whisky, vanilla sorghum, to name a few (tipsy) options.

Finally, my twist on a classic Sachertorte. Great for you gluten free folks – flour is replaced by ground almonds. Easy to do in a blender, don’t waste your money buying them all ready ground; just like spices they will be much more flavorful when freshly ground. In this example I used Green and Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate with Mint, which is absolutely divine (if you like chocolate and mint, of course!) Mint – containing real peppermint oil or extract- not an artificial flavor of – is a great digestive aid, hence the use of after dinner mints. Not only do they freshen the breath, but they also help you digest that big meal you just ate. Particularly helpful at Christmas!

Now I do have the Green and Black’s chocolate cookery book, but I would not presume to copy the recipe here, for copyright reasons, however they do have a site where they list some delicious chocolate recipes for anyone to try, and if you like them, maybe you’ll buy the book too. Click here for Green and Black’s recipe site

Click here to go to Amazon to purchase the book


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