Weekly Blogs

Weekly Cooking Tips and Advice

Welcome to Cooking and Baking Tips and Advice on Boyletoday.com. Every Wednesday we will bring you recipes and cooking tips for you to enjoy. Fell free to forward your ideas and recipes to [email protected] for inclusion.

How to make a Fruit Cake……..


450g/1lb Sultanas

450g/1lb Raisins

450g/1lb Currants

175g/6ozs Cherries (sliced)

125g/4 ozs Mixed Peel

350g/12 ozs Butter

350g/12 ozs Dark Brown Sugar

50g/2ozs Flaked Almonds

75g/2 ozs Chopped Walnuts

50g/2 ozs Ground Almonds

Rind and juice of half a Lemon

Rind and juice of half an Orange

Half an Apple (grated)

8 Free Range Eggs

450g/1lb Strong Flour/ Cream Flour

Half teasp Cinnamon

Half teasp Mixed Spice

Half teasp Nutmeg

2 Glasses Brandy

Oven Time:  5½ to 6 hrs

Oven Temp: 130ºc – 140ºc (Fan oven), 275ºF, Gas 1 – Middle shelf.

10″ Round Cake Tin

  1. Line tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper and a double layer of brown paper. The lining should stand 2″ above side of tin.
  2. Put sultanas, raisins, currants, cherries, peel, flaked almonds, ground almonds, walnuts, rind and juice of lemon and orange and 1½ glasses brandy into a mixing bowl. Leave too steep for a few hours.
  3. Sieve the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice.
  4. Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each in thoroughly and adding a little of the sieved flour with every egg, after the first. Stir in the grated apple.
  5. Fold in the remaining flour. Stir in the fruit gently, but well. Turn into prepared tin and smooth the top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven. As ovens vary, check at regular intervals after 2½ to 3 hrs. When baked, leave in tin to cool. Finally, prick top of cake with skewer and pour the remaining brandy on top.

To store: Wrap in grease proof paper and then in tinfoil.


Back to school time………

Top tips for a healthy lunch box
• Always include fresh fruit and vegetables.  Vary the selection to keep it interesting.
• Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads.
• Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
• Use reduced fat dairy foods. Cheese and yoghurt are ideal.
• Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime. Ensure you include lean meat, egg, peanut butter, chickpeas or tuna.
• Add a chilled bottle of water and limit juice.

Keep it fresh – packing the lunchbox
It’s important to keep food in the lunch box cold to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Pack the school lunch in an insulated lunch box and include a small freezer brick or freeze a bottle of water and pop it into the lunchbox to keep food cool.

Helpful tips for adding fresh fruit and vegetables to lunch boxes
• Kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat.  Fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins.
• Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavour, colour and texture.
• Freeze fruits in the summer or for sport days.  Simply pop the frozen fruit into a small sealable plastic bag or airtight container.
• If including whole fruit in the lunchbox, select fruit that is a suitable size for a child to easily hold in their hand and eat (this is particulary important for younger children).
• Peel and slice or cut fruit if possible and choose seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and imperial mandarins.
• If you’ve added tomato to sandwiches, place the tomato between fillings and not directly onto the bread.  This prevents the bread becoming soggy.
• When using avocado, mash or drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.
• Mild tasting and crunchy lettuce varieties like Iceberg and Oak leaf and Lebanese cucumbers are ideal for kids.
• Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings.  Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.
• Make salads or salad sandwich fillings interesting by using a range of vegetables like grated carrot, snow pea sprouts, lettuce or rocket or baby spinach, sliced celery, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber.
• Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.

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