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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Banana and Coconut Bread and Butter Pudding

Last week I decided to make a twist on a British classic pudding. I was doing my weekly shop in Waitrose and saw a recipe card they had (they often have recipe cards for you to take) it was for this exact recipe. Now, I very rarely stick to a recipe exactly and sometimes do not use them at all, however this time I thought I would follow it by the book (or the card in this case). 

I am ever so glad I did, it was delicious. It had an exotic naughtiness, that a regular bread and butter pudding lacks, but with the same comfort food element of the regular British classic. I would highly recommend this recipe for any occasion.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


This Valentine's weekend we went to stay with friends outside London. As part of the Valentine's double date meal, I was supposed to make a dessert. After much deliberation and some insistence from my other half (who loves it) I decided to go back to my roots (Greek/Cypriot) and make a baklava. 

I started off by chopping 3 types of nut: walnuts, almonds and pistachios. I then layered a few sheets of filo pastry, brushing each layer with butter. 

To make the filling I put sugar, lemon juice and honey on the stove in a pan until the sugar was dissolved. I then added the chopped nuts, some cinnamon and some lemon rind. After mixing these ingredients together the pastry was ready to fill. After I had filled the pastry I layered another few sheets of filo pastry brushed with butter. I then cut the baklava into pieces and baked for 35/40 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, I had to make the syrup, as the baklava ideally has to soak over night in the syrup for it to release some truly delicious flavours. I filled a pan with honey, water, rose water and  sugar. I boiled for a few minutes and then brought down the heat to simmer and allow the syrup to thicken slightly.

Once the syrup had cooled slightly, I poured it over the baklava and sprinkled some extra chopped pistachio nuts on top.

The next day, after leaving it over night to soak, the baklava was sweet and tasty. The perfect treat with a cup of tea after a big meal. My Yiayia (grandmother) would have been very proud.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Quick and Easy Bacon and Chickpea Casserole

This is a senario we all know too well. Picture this: A weekday evening after a long day at work, no time or energy to cook a full on meal, however you would like something tasty and balanced. 

Well, that was me today. What to eat? Feeling hungry but too tired to cook! In the fridge I had 6 rashers of unsmoked bacon from the butcher and in the cupboard I had a tin of waitrose chickpeas and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I decided a quick casserole utilising the ingredients I already have would be the answer to my dinner quandary. 

I chopped an onion and lightly fried it and then added all of the bacon cut up into small pieces. I then added the chickpeas, a vegetable stock cube, salt, pepper a good dash of paprika, the chopped tomatoes and half a cup of water. I put the lid on the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes. I chopped some carrots and a stick of celery and added these into the pan. After another 5 minutes in the pan (so that the vegetables still have a crunch to them) the casserole is ready to eat. I served mine with some rice. Deelish and so quick and easy after a long day of teaching (and it doesn't cut too much into my evening marking time).