Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Freshly made Scones.

My other half Ger has been plaguing me for scones for the last few weeks so last weekend I finally gave in and baked him some. I dunno what it is with me and scones but I literally cannot eat more than one of these,they are the most filling things ever! These are plain scones but there is so many variations around,every time I make some I'm gonna try different flavours. I have a feeling I'll be making these more often anyway just to satisfy Ger's love of scones, luckily they're easy-peasy!


Recipe for Scones



  • 225g self raising flour, sieved
  • 150ml milk approx.
  • 25g caster Sugar
  • 25g margarine
  • 1  beaten egg, for glazing


  1. Pre-heated oven 200°C for 10-12 mins
  2. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add margarine and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add milk little by little to make a soft dough. Knead slightly to bring dough together and remove any cracks.
  4. Roll out your dough to 1” in thickness and cut using a cutter.
  5. Place on a baking tray and brush with egg for a lovely shiny glaze. this is completely optional.
  6. Bake  and leave cool on a wire rack.

Bit of butter,bit of jam..........hmmmmm!
Shirley x

Friday, March 16, 2012

St.Patricks Day Sugar Cookies

St. Patricks day is tomorrow! I'm looking forward to going into town to watch the parade,then head for bite to eat and then straight to the pub with family and friends. Paddy's day has always been a family day for us,every year we would watch the parade and then go to a nearby hotel with my grandmother,aunt and cousins but as we got older it just fizzled out. Now we have little Callum in our lives,its time to start making great memories of Paddy's day for him (and us!), lets just hope the rain stays off.

St. Patricks Day sugar cookies

Ingredients for vanilla sugar cookies

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 300g of unsalted butter, diced.
  • 2 large eggs.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla.
  • 500-550g all-purpose flour, sifted.
  • Extra flour for kneading and rolling.


1. Preheat oven to 170°C.

2. In a bowl or in the kitchen mixer with paddle attachment, mix the two types of sugar, vanilla and the egg.
Add the flour and the butter and keep mixing just until the dough comes together.

3. Knead the dough lightly by hand on your flour dusted kitchen counter and wrap it well in cling film and put it in a plastic bag. Chill the dough for 2 hours.

4. Roll out your dough cut to desired shape (in this case shamrocks),put in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins depending on your oven.

5. Decorate! I used fondant to decorate these with little help of some edible markers.

 Here's how I made the shamrock,you can do it freehand but the heart shaped cutter made life so much easier!

Hope everyone has great and safe paddys day!

Shirley x

Monday, March 5, 2012


As I mentioned before,I'm a lover of Italy and all things Italian. So what happens when a baking enthusiast and an Italian lover collide? Homemade Pizzas!! I started making pizzas at home a few years ago and now its a bit of a tradition,everytime my family come round for a bite to eat,they know they're getting pizzas. Ireland were playing against France in the Rugby Six Nations on Sunday evening soooo out came the pizza trays!

Recipe for Pizza

Make three 9" pizzas


Ingredients for roasted tomato sauce

  • 450g (1lb) tomatoes,halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic,peeled and kept whole
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt,ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

Ingredients for pizza dough

  • 350g (12oz) strong white flour,sifted
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil,plus extra for brushing
  • 175-200ml (6-7fl oz) warm water


Preheat the oven to 220°C.
To make the roasted tomato sauce,place the halved tomatoes in a baking dish. Add the garlic cloves randomly,drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with salt,pepper and sugar to taste. Cook in the preheated oven for a bout 20 minutes until soft and blistered in appearance.

Liquidise! You can put it through a sieve but I don't bother,the sauce needs to be made thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. If it needs thickening,put in a saucepan,bring to boil and reduce to thicken. I always have lots of sauce left over so I freeze it for next time.

For the Pizza dough


  1. Place the flour,salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix. Rub in the butter,add the yeast and mix together. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients,add the oil and most, but not all, of the warm water and mix to a loose dough. Add more water or flour if you need it.
  2. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface,cover with a clean tea towel for 5 minutes. Then knead the dough until smooth and slightly springy to the touch,I do it in a food mixer for about 5 mins using the dough hook,by hand it'll take about 10 mins and muscle power! Leave rest for another 5 mins.
  3. After relaxing, divide your dough,depending on what size pizzas you want,I usually divide it into 3,this makes about a plate size pizza.You can do these ahead of time and keep in the fridge,just brush them with olive oil and cover with cling film.

So now we have the sauce and pizza dough done, it's the fun part.

Turn your oven up as high as you can,I don't use fan assisted for the pizzas as the outside will burn.Roll out your dough on a floured surface,place on a pizza tray or a baking try,put on your sauce and toppings.

We went for mozzarella,ham,pineapple and salami. I love adding grated Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano). Into the oven for 8-10 mins depending on your oven and voila!