Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Recipe: Calzones

The pocket pizza. 
My enormous calzones
You can also use the dough recipe as a regular pizza pizza base!

  • 500g strong flour
  • 1 sachet of fast acting yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 325ml warm water
  1. Put flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Mix together the warm water and oil, and add the the dry mix.
  3. Stir into a soft dough with a wooden spoon.
  4. Once combined, place onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Place into a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cling film.
  6. Leave in a warm place for about an hour. (Dough should have doubled in size)
  7. Punch down and divide into six balls.
  8. Roll into circles, about 1 cm thick and spread on your sauce, leaving a 2cm boarder from the edge.
  9. Fill with your favourite toppings. (My favourites are goats cheese, spinach and mushroom!)
  10. Fold over, pressing the edges down to keep the filling in. I crimped mine to ensure.
  11. Place onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper, and prove for another 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade. 
  13. Brush you calzones with oil and bake for 25 minutes (or until golden brown)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Recipe: Sun-dried tomato and basil bread

Final product
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups strong bread flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of dried basil
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet of dried yeast
  1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Add two cups of the flour and all other ingredients and start mixing with a fork (or dough hook if you have one)
  3. Add the last cup of flour, this prevents dough from sticking to the sides.
  4. Transfer the dough into a new, clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour. (Will have doubled in size)
  5. After it has risen, punch the dough down and shape into an oval.
  6. Place your dough into a lightly greased 2 pound loaf tin, cover and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. 
  8. After 30 minutes and proved, bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The bread should appear lightly golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack. When slightly warm, serve with a bowl of good, hearty soup.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Inside the box... Spearmint Green Tea

Inside the box... Spearmint Green tea
Pukka mint, green tea
Spearmint and Green tea both are packed full of health benefits when it comes to a final cuppa before bed. Some more obvious than others. They both come seperate of course, but Pukka have created one bag for a nice alternative for those who don't like the taste of camomile. 

Cold & Flu
Green tea contains polyphenols and flavonoids which boost your immune system to fight against the common cold and other contagious illnesses. In partner, spearmint is packed full of potassium, vitamin B and calcium, which also boosts your antibodies to fight off and defend your body from the common cold/flu. 

Stomach soother
My Mum, when I have an upset stomach, always tells me to drink some mint tea. Spearmint helps sooth your stomach when suffering from cramps, diarrhoea or general discomfort. Spearmint calms the acid action which causes discomfort and, in some cases, heartburn. Stomach discomfort is one of the top causers of sleep deprivation, so a cup of spearmint will help combat a restless nights sleep. 

Weight loss
Green tea is well-known for its weight losing properties. Its ability to reduce water retention eliminates excess weight on the body, as well as suppressing hunger and detoxifying the body. Obviously you will not loose weight just by drinking green tea, but with a healthy diet and an exercise routine, green tea can give you that extra push when trying to loose weight. 

Other benefits:
  • hydrates
  • good for diabetics
  • reduces risk of heart attacks
  • helps treat acne

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Amy H eats... Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home, Edge Street, NQ
Buffalo Chicken Sandiwch
Home Sweet Home has to be one of my all time favourite places in the Northern Quarter. For some reason, my feet just guide me to the front door of this place, time after time. However, it is no surprise.

The current menu on at HSH has to be the best they have had so far. Their breakfast menu includes a skillet! (Which is served up until 3pm on weekdays, 3pm!) An added bonus to their new menu, is their in-house baker. "BakeOrama", as twitter calls her, bakes outrageous goods for the bar everyday. You won't catch the same kind of cupcake in the same week on that top. 

Featured in the picture above is their 'Buffalo chicken sandwich.' I had it without the blue cheese dressing as I am (very unfortunately) lactose-intolerant. However, this did not take anything away from the sandwich. It was spicy, fresh and crunchy. A combination I love. There is nothing better on a sandwich than contrasting textures and flavours. This has it all.

I'd recommend HSH to anyone, and for those I have, always return. I have also never left hungry, or wanting more. In fact, I have to stay for a little while just so I can move.

Amy H eats... rating: 8.5/10

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Life on the Lacto-free

My eating habits have changed dramatically ever since Lactose-intolerance has set in...
Some of the lactofree range
When I turned twenty, a big abdominal change occurred. Lactose-intolerance. All my life I had been slightly sensitive to cheese and cream, but thought nothing of it. However, my Mum, on the other hand, suffered from Lactose-intolerance, hence it not being as much of an anomaly as it sounds to become intolerant. 

Since becoming 'lacto-free', the effects have become gradually worse. I'm a little unsure if this is due to a psychological process or a physical one, but it isn't nice. The thought process when it comes to what I eat, is even harder than being a vegetarian - trust me, I was one! It doesn't help that I'm a part-time chef - a pastry one at that...

My biggest heartbreak is cheese. I love it. Cheese on toast, pizza, grilled cheese, panini's, the lot. I used to be able to sneak a little and get away with it, but now, its a complete no go. And, I hate it. It amazes me of how many things milk is in, and how tasty it is. 

Although, thankfully now there is more choice out there for those who suffer from symptoms. Soy, almond and goat milk are nice alternatives to cow's milk, but one alternative can go on better than the rest. Lactofree. 

The Lactofree brand create dairy products without lactose! They have enabled me to carry on eating the foods I love, like cheese and ice cream, without the horrific feeling lactose gives me. I can eat cheese on toast as a snack again and not feel guilty. Their milk, especially, has allowed me to carry on enjoying my morning brew, just the way I like it, every day.