Sizzling summer snacks

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Choc ‘n’ cherry cookies

Makes 16

125g butter (sunflower spread works just as well)
125g brown sugar
1 egg
200g self-raising flour
125g chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks (I prefer dark chocolate but milk is good too!)
75g glacé cherries

Beat the butter in a bowl until soft. Add the sugar a little at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, continue mixing until the mixture appears light in colour.

Add the egg and beat it into the sugar and butter mixture.

Sift the flour into the mixture and mix well.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and cherries.

Spoon heaped desert spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking tray (lined with baking parchment or greased with a little butter).

Bake in a 190 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes on the tray and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pitta Pizzas

Serves 1

1 large pitta bread
1-2 tsps tomato puree
Handful of cheese
3 small cherry tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
Toppings of your choice (2 sliced mushrooms, chopped ham, a few pieces of pineapple…)

Prepare your toppings. Place the pitta bread on a greased baking tray (or one lined with non-stick baking parchment). Spread the tomato puree evenly on top, followed by the cheese. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes on top along with your desired toppings. Place in a 200 degree preheated oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Alternatively, this can be cooked under the grill. Before creating your pizza, lightly toast the pitta bread on one side and then flip over onto the untoasted side to create your pizza. Once the toppings have been added place your pizza under a medium heat grill for approximately 5 minutes, keeping an eye that it does not get too crisp.

Summery Pasta Bake

Serves 4

300g pasta
1 can chopped tomatoes (those that contain herbs work particularly well)
1 red or white onion, chopped
10 small mushrooms, peeled and chopped
1 small bowl of grated cheese
2 slices of white bread, chopped into crouton-style pieces

Grease a large oven-proof dish (ideally 20x30cm). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Boil the pasta in water for approximately 10 minutes (or 12 if using wholemeal). While waiting, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Fry the onion and mushrooms with a little oil (olive oil, sunflower oil or a little butter) in a large pan for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, along with some cracked pepper. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and add the pasta to the pan of tomatoes, onion and mushrooms. Stir the pasta through to make sure it is covered in the sauce. Add the pasta mix to the greased dish and sprinkle the cheese and chopped bread evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve with salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

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