Chocolate Orange Brownies

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Looking at that photo is making me have real brownie cravings now. Unfortunately I made these last week so there are none left. Curses.

I’ve started baking more with my children recently. We’ve always baked together but now they are getting older I am letting them do more of the work that I’ve always done myself, like melting things over the heat and putting the cakes into the oven. I’m taking it in turns with each child and they get to pick what they want to make. This week was the little boys turn and he chose brownies.  I decided instead of just bog standard brownies we’d pop in some more flavour and as we’re all fans of chocolate orange that’s what we went with.

This recipe, adapted from an Annabel Karmel recipe, is perfect to knock up with your children as it’s very simple and easy for them to follow. Don’t look too hard at the ingredients list though, I think I gained an inch on my hips just reading it! Brownies really are incredibly loaded aren’t they? But that’s why they taste so good!

You might want to adjust the cooking time to suit yourself. If you like them fudgey then 30 minutes will do it but if you prefer your brownie to be more cakey then leave them for 35 minutes.

Either way, they’re delicious!

Chocolate Orange Brownies

Ingredients

225g unsalted butter
275g dark brown muscavado sugar
200g dark chocolate
Zest of 1 large orange
Juice of 1/2 orange
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
110g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
100g white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Line a brownie tin with baking parchment. You need to ensure the parchment goes up the side of the tin and overhangs the edges – this also makes it much easier to remove from the tin.

Over a saucepan of warm water on a gentle heat, melt the butter, chocolate and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl, stirring occasionally. Once melted, set the bowl of melted chocolate to one side to cool.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, salt, orange zest and orange juice together until everything is well combined.  Take the cooled melted chocolate and whisk the egg mixture into it. Sift over the flour, cocoa and baking powder and carefully fold in before adding the white chocolate chips.

Pour the mix into the prepared brownie tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Once cooked, allow the brownie slab to cool in the tin before removing to a wire rack. Once cool, cut into squares.

Of course you may not want to leave it to cool because these brownies are pretty amazing eaten straight out of the oven, warm with vanilla ice-cream. I wholeheartedly recommend that. They also keep quite well and were perfect little treats for the school lunchboxes last week.

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Visting FarGo Village, Coventry

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This weekend we paid our first visit to FarGo Village in Coventry. I’ve read lots about FarGo over the past few weeks and was really interested to take a closer look as it sounded fab.  We’re going to ignore just how long it took me to catch on about the name. I spent days, maybe weeks, pondering how they came up with the name FarGo and literally twigged when walking down Far Gosford Street. There are no flies on me. My husband was disgusted.

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FarGo Village is a brand new creative “village” on the edge of Coventry city centre, a hub of independent shopping and creative arts in an old bicycle factory. The aim is to bring a bit of a Camden vibe to Coventry with niche and unique shops, studios, creative workspaces and crafts, cafes, markets and entertainment.

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First impressions were good, we loved the design of the development, it was really well done and lots of thought had been put into it. We liked the shipping container units and the old bicycle factory had been sympathetically developed without losing it’s old character and identity (Coventry’s bicycle heritage is very important).  There’s a great mix of shops – vintage and new and I can see that this is could be a really great place to pick up some nifty and unique Christmas gifts.

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Three of my favourites were

The Big Comfy Bookshop – beautiful, light and well-organised which is quite unusual for a secondhand book shop, totally loved it and will spend a lot more time in there. They have local author book signings and are currently running a children’s writing competition.

The Dashing Blades Barbershop – Mr M decided to get himself a haircut whilst he was here and it was a great experience. Robert, the owner, was very dapper indeed, the most awesomely styled barber I’ve ever come across and I loved the whole style of the barbershop.

CaBloom Flowers – CaBloom was displaying some stunning arrangements of beautiful, vibrant flowers. If only I had someone to buy me some.

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There is obviously so much more and you can read a little about the other tenants here.

I’m a sucker for somewhere I can meander and mooch around, and even better if there is some nosh on offer.  You won’t be disappointed if you wander on down to FarGo at the weekend when Scoff Street Food are in residence. When I visited there was three of the most amazing street food vendors serving up some pretty top notch food – Spectacular Goat, The Meat Shack and The Hungry Toad. I’ve been fortunate enough to try food from The Hungry Toad (Nachurrito. A NACHURRITO. That’s a burrito with nachos in it to you and I. One word. Amazing) so this time I thought we’d try out the other two vendors. The children had a pretty awesome pizza (The Marge) from Spectacular Goat whilst I opted for a burger from The Meat Shack. I’d heard nothing but good things about these burgers so couldn’t wait to get my chops around it and it did not disappoint. Wowsers. I will be back for more, that’s for sure!

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FarGo Village have got tons of spooky fun planned for half-term week and I can’t wait to get back down there. It’s such a fantastic development and I feel, a massive asset to Coventry. I really hope that more people get themselves down there to support this creative community. Every single person I met there was friendly and helpful and I think it would be amazing to see this really flourish.

If you’re local to Coventry or even just passing through, make sure you stop by FarGo Village and check it out!

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Meal Planning Monday (20th October 2014)

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Hello! Happy Monday!

Hope you’re all fine and dandy today. Little bit late today with Meal Planning Monday but I’ve been having a productive morning Christmas shopping, choosing bathroom flooring, baking and playing with an 8 week old puppy! Unemployment is starting to really suit me…!

I’ve done an easy meal plan this week, mainly because we’re all getting over colds and bugs at the moment and I just want food to be simple this week so here it is;

JO Fajitas
Spaghetti Bolognese
Toad-in-the-Hole
Chilli Beef Stir-fry
Garbage Frittata and Salad
Fish’n’chips

Easy but tasty!

I swear not a week goes by without a spag bol in this house!

Okay, mealplanners, it’s your turn! Let’s see what you have got on the menu this week.

If you are a newcomer to my blog and Meal Planning Monday then the idea is simple. Read more about Meal Planning Monday HERE.  All you have to do to join in is write a blog post about your meal plans for the week and add it to the Linky below. No blog? No matter! Just leave a comment below with your plans or you can join in with our Facebook group and let us know over there.  We’ve also got a great Pinterest board going on.  If you want to join this collaborative board then let me know. We’ve currently got over 890 followers so it’s another great way to share your recipes and posts with the masses!

Follow At Home With Mrs M’s board Meal Planning Monday’s Family Favourites on Pinterest.

I’d really like to drum up some more interest in Meal Planning Monday this autumn, so please do share your posts and RT so we can get as many people on board as possible!  Use the hashtag #mealplanningmonday over on Twitter and I’ll share as many as I can without annoying everyone!

Look forward to seeing what you’re all cooking up this week.  Keep your eye on the blog this week as the next Meet the Mealplanner will be posted this week!

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Meal Planning Monday (13th October 2014)

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Good morning! How was your week? I must admit I am not doing a very good job at keeping up right now and checking all your blogs to see your meal plans which makes me sad. I will try harder this week.

Did you see the first Meet the Mealplanner post last week? If not you can catch up with it here. They’ll be another one coming next week. If you’re interested in being part of this feature, drop me an email.

I really need to find my groove this week with cooking again. After school activities take up so much of my time that I always feels there’s not enough time to make a proper dinner but I am going to start pushing through that – getting myself more organised, doing more advance prep and using my slow cooker.

This is what the plan looks like for this week!

Lasagne Soup
Sweet Hawaiian Chicken and Rice
Country Club Chicken & Spaghetti
Pizza Nachos
Spaghetti Bolognese
Roast Chicken & trimmings

I’m also making a Peach & Amaretti Crumble as well as doing a spot of baking this week. I’m totally getting my cooking on!

Ooh I’m actually looking forward to eating all of that now!

If you are a newcomer to my blog and Meal Planning Monday then the idea is simple. Read more about Meal Planning Monday HERE. All you have to do to join in is write a blog post about your meal plans for the week and add it to the Linky below. No blog? No matter! Just leave a comment below with your plans or you can join in with our Facebook group and let us know over there.  We’ve also got a great Pinterest board going on.  If you want to join this collaborative board then let me know. We’ve currently got over 890 followers so it’s another great way to share your recipes and posts with the masses!

Follow At Home With Mrs M’s board Meal Planning Monday’s Family Favourites on Pinterest.

I’d really like to drum up some more interest in Meal Planning Monday this autumn, so please do share your posts and RT so we can get as many people on board as possible!  Use the hashtag #mealplanningmonday over on Twitter and I’ll share as many as I can without annoying everyone!

Have a great week everyone!

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Cookbook Review: Jamie’s Comfort Food

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I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I am a Jamie Oliver fan. It wasn’t always this way, in fact I used to be quite dismissive of Jamie as many people seem to be but I bought a couple of his books, tried some recipes and fell in love. I’ve never made a recipe from a Jamie Oliver book that I didn’t love and some of most-thumbed cookbooks are his. It stands to reason therefore that I was quite excited to get my little mitts on his most recent book Jamie’s Comfort Food.

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Jamie’s Comfort Food accompanies the current TV series of the same name.  The idea behind the book is that is about food that you really want to eat — ultimate comfort food. Jamie has taken inspiration from childhood memories and guilty pleasures to bring together 100 ultimate versions of all-time favourites.

The book is presented in typical Jamie-style. Beautiful lifestyle photography accompanied by eye-catching colour and great use of fonts.  For me. cookbooks aren’t all about the recipes. I know that sounds weird but I appreciate a pretty book too.

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It is split into sections as follows

Nostalgia
Good Mood Food
Pick Me Ups
Ritual
Guilty Pleasures
Sweet Indulgence

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Let me start by saying this isn’t really a day-to-day cookbook, although there are some great meal ideas included. It’s more aimed at celebrations, occasions, holidays and my personal favourite type of food – weekend food.  That’s what I call anything that takes a bit more effort and might be considered a bit naughty.

As always, I’ve broke out my trusty sticky notes to make the pages of everything I want to cook. This is somewhat of a ritual for me with a new cookbook. I don’t always get around to cooking everything I mark but certainly with a Jamie Oliver book I have a ruddy good go.

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Things that have jumped out to me as immediate must-tries include;

Chicken Tikka Masala, Beans on Toast, Retro Layered Salad, Big British Meatballs, Insanity Burger, Katsu Curry, Nasi Goreng, Black Cod, Divine Dosa, Greek Egg and Chips, Bloody Mary Beef, Winter Nights Chilli, Crispy Duck Lasagne, Mighty Greek Moussaka, Chicken and Mushroom Pie, Unbelievable Provencal Bake, Milk Tart, Jamaican Ginger Cake, Hummingbird Cake, Beautiful Black Forest Gateau.

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Of course, there are many other things I would like to try too but I think there is enough there to get me started. I’m going to go with the Chicken and Mushroom Pie followed by the Hummingbird Cake first I think.

There’s something to please everyone in this book, no matter how fussy and eater. I think there’s a good chance this will become my favourite Jamie Oliver book!

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