Matron's Munchies



  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    Oh I keep missing all the food..thankyou toni and Kath..xxxx
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Loving the pasta Kath yum-y!! I do miss my creamy pasta sauces.

    Posting images and cosgans (and clearly recipes) is very easy indeed.

    Ta very muchly.

    mig that's an idea, but I like Aidan's afters too.  Would love something with 'Bubbles' in the title. what should we do choose a short-list and vote?  It could be a secret vote mods only knowing???

  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755
    edited 28. Feb 2020, 15:09

    KathleenT wrote: Brynmor, how do I find the most recent post in the Val's Cafe? When I click it I always get put at the beginning, but on other threads it takes me to the most recent. 😕🙃

    @kathleenT Yes... err... the answer is "I'm not sure" 😳

    As a moderator, I nearly always look at the forums through the Recent Posts link, which gives me the list of posts across all forums starting with the most recent.

    As I have previously clicked on "Mark All Viewed" in my avatar menu (that's in your picture top right) once I have finished reading the forums, all new Recent Posts listed have a "new" label against them when I come back again - a brilliant trick as I then know where I have got up to.

    Visiting the forums individually, it depends on if I've looked at the discussion before or not. Before I clicked Mark All Viewed, I had the same problem as you. Now, I just get to the place where I left off on the last visit.

    Try clicking this magic Mark All Viewed and see if it makes a difference 😃

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Thank you. 😊

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Toni, how about Bubbles and squeaks as an altemative name for Aidan's Afters?

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Bubbles and squeak!!  Kath I like that too or Aidan's Titbits?

    Gosh shall we write a list and then vote? Aidan's afters alliterates but as you say may only imply desserts and we eat EVERYTHING here😁

    I think I might have left your eggs and mushrooms in the café not in here.🤔

    I just lost a whole post because I accidentally posted a sad emoji and when I pressed backspace the whole lot went so be careful!

    Such a positive outlook for Anita I will have everything crossed for her🤞 Kath and Sleek says look in 'her' cupboard there is a potion for Anita.

    Joan yes there has to be enough water in the boiler.  Maybe your neighbour could come by every so many days to check it instead of it going off?  Then you wouldn't feel guilty calling him out late????

    Shall I put the breakfast in here too just to make sure Barbara doesn't miss out?

    This is quite a lot for my small brain to cope with!!

    STILL frustrated by the fact the page keeps being 'saved' Brynmor is this me or the new forum? What it means is I am typing away and nothing is happening so I blithely carry on leaving gaps in sentences.

    OR I wait but it happens every minute so is rather frustrating and tempting to give up altogether😕

    See you later I'm off to brave looking on the rest of the forum everyone!

    Toni xx

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    To add to the list (I do like Aidan's Affters). How about Matron's Morsels, or Bubbles Bakes.

    will be back later and tell you why I was absent yesterday. Love to all. ❤️😍😘

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    Just leaving love to everyone..might not post in all 3 parts of the cafe..but thinking of kaths sister ..and sending many hugs to you all...((((((()))))))
  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Vegan Baked butternut squash with lentils

    Category: Main meal | Serves: 2

    Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes


    1 small butternut squash

    1 tsp olive oil

    20g chorizo, very finely chopped (optional, see tip)

    1 red onion, peeled and finely diced

    1 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)

    150g puy lentils

    80g baby spinach

    100g cherry tomatoes, halved

    To serve: 60g rocket tossed with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

    1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC /180ºC fan/gas mark 6. Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut side of each half with the olive oil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until tender.

    2. Meanwhile, add the chopped chorizo to a heated non-stick frying pan and cook over a medium heat, until the chorizo begins to ooze out some of its juices. Add the onion, paprika, lentils and 400ml boiling water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Fold in the spinach and tomatoes, and heat through until the spinach wilts.

    3. Carefully remove the cooked squash halves from the oven, place on two serving plates and pile the filling in the centre. Serve with a rocket salad.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Easy Vegan Mushroom Stew, 30-minute recipe

    An easy, savory, flavorful, meaty and piping hot bowl of Mushroom Stew is exactly the kind of food I crave on a cool Fall day. This recipe is delicious and it takes under 30 minutes to make. Serve it over pasta or with a crusty bread. Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.

    Prep Time

    10 mins

    Cook Time

    15 mins

    Total Time

    25 mins

    Course: StewCuisine: gluten-free, nut-free, Vegan, VegetarianServings: 4 servingsCalories: 93kcalAuthor: Vaishali · Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes


    • 1 medium onion, finely diced
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup white or red wine (optional)
    • 1 tbsp rice flour
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
    • 1 tbsp sage, chopped (or use 1 tsp of dry sage)
    • 1 tbsp edible lavender or rosemary or thyme (or use 1 tsp dry)
    • 16 oz mushrooms, sliced Use any kind-- I used cremini this time. If using wild mushrooms like oyster mushrooms or shiitake, rehydrate them by immersing them in hot water for 20 minutes. Reserve the stock for use in stew.
    • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce or liquid aminos
    • 1 cup vegetable stock (or use mushroom stock left over from rehydrating dry mushrooms)
    • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped


    • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper and saute until the onions start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Add the white wine to the pot, if using, and saute until there is no visible liquid left, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Add the rice flour and stir for a couple of minutes. If the flour begins to stick to the bottom, scrape it up with the ladle.
    • Add the tomato paste, stir it in, and then add tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook down for another 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the herbs, mix well, then add the mushrooms. Saute for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms begin to express their juices, then add the tamari or soy sauce or liquid aminos, vegetable stock, and season as needed with ground black pepper and salt.
    • Let the mixture come to a boil and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. If it looks too dry, add more stock, a little at a time. I like this stew rather thick, but you can think it out according to your taste.
    • Garnish with parsley and serve hot over pasta, rice, or with crusty bread.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    OMG Kath!  That stew looks amazing!

    I want some 😛

    A bit worried using these smileys did you know they have a 'language' of their own🙄 and some of it is not what we might intend!!

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi Kath,

    This looks just about perfect! Got lots of travelling to do tomorrow so will save it for Wednesday, will probably do extra so we have an easy ready meal on stock too xxx

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Griddled mackerel with beetroot lentil salad

    Category: Main meal, Salad | Serves: 4

    Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 25-30 mins


    200g puy lentils

    800ml vegetable stock/low-salt alternative

    8 fresh mackerel fillets (each fillet about 70g)

    Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

    150g beetroot, trimmed and grated

    A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped (25g)

    A bunch of dill, chopped (25g)

    1 small red onion, finely chopped

    1 tbsp sherry vinegar

    ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

    ½ tsp sumac


    1. Place the lentils with the vegetable stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 25–30 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender. Drain thoroughly and tip into a bowl.

    2. Lay the mackerel fillets in a shallow dish, pour over the lemon juice and sprinkle with the lemon zest, and leave to marinade for about 5 minutes.

    3. Stir the grated beetroot, parsley, dill and onion into the bowl of lentils with the vinegar and chilli flakes, then set aside.

    4. Heat a large griddle pan or non-stick frying pan over a high heat and cook the mackerel for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through – you might need to do this in batches.

    5. To serve, spoon the lentil salad onto plates and top with the griddled mackerel fillets sprinkled with sumac and a wedge of lemon on the side, if you wish.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Good for your heart then Kath

    I will have the lentil salad part! Paul can have the lot!

    Was the recipe by the Pippa Middleton?😮

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076
    edited 5. Mar 2020, 11:08


    Tomorrow will be the mushroom stew day, looking forward to it.

    Do you fancy starting a thread on easy tried and tested recipes for days when joints aren't as good as they could be? I think that might be a good idea - and very useful for all of us, new to arthritis or not!

    I've been looking at the names you have suggested and I've found

    Aiden's Afters

    Matron's Morsels

    Aiden's Bakes

    Bubbles and Squeak

    Aiden's Titbits


    Bubbles Bites

    Bubbles Bakes

    Matron's Munchies

    If I've missed any post them below and I will add them to the list, then we can start a vote. For a secret one you could email it would be seen by Sharon. Bryn and myself but we have such bad memories 😉 We could leave voting open for a week? so you all had a chance to vote and we can announce it then.

    Over to you

    Yvonne x

    @barbara12 thanks, added the names you remembered in the cafe

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Wow thanks Yvonne for getting the list together :)

    I can't see any missing, but lets see what everyone else thinks.  A secret ballot would be fairest then if we end up down tp 2/3 fave's we can vote again 🤔

    Rainy day recipes?  That's a good idea.  let me have a think what I do on those days when it's all too much.  One pot meals and the like (not a trip to the local chippy c/o my husband I take it🤣 ) batch cooking etc....

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi Toni,

    I like the idea of calling them rainy day recipes, feel good recipes - always welcome and maybe using frozen bits too - I have Raynaud's but manage the freezer wrapping a towel round the hand in the freezer!

    Let's see how it goes, thanks for starting the conversation!

    Yvonne x

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Check out the announcement in Val's Café for the secret ballot for the new name for the cookshop!

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    YvonneH, you are a star. 🌟

    Walnut cinnamon cookies

    Delightfully powerful cinnamon and crispy walnuts - what a perfect combination!


    • 75g dried apricots
    • ¼ cup (60ml) hot water
    • 15g pistachios
    • 40g walnuts
    • 25g quinoa flakes or ground almonds
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Soak the apricots in the hot water for 10 minutes, then discard the water
    2. Using the chopper attachment of a hand blender, or a food processor, grind the pistachios until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the softened apricots and blend until smooth
    3. Add the walnuts, quinoa flakes and cinnamon, and blend again. The mixture does not need to be smooth – a few small pieces are OK
    4. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper and then, using a glass, cup or cookie cutter, cut out 10 small cookies. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are browned
    5. Cool for 5 minutes then remove from the tray – if you leave them, they may stick. Allow to cool for another 10 minutes before eating.

    Recipe from The Vegan Society

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583
    edited 6. Mar 2020, 10:54

    Spiced vegetable couscous

    Category: Main meal | Serves: 2

    Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes


    2-3 teaspoons olive oil

    1 small onion, sliced

    1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced

    1 clove garlic, crushed

    4 (level) tsp plain flour

    1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander, ground cumin and hot chilli powder, or to taste

    250ml (9fl oz) vegetable stock (preferably homemade)

    1 tablespoon tomato purée

    225g (8oz) frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets

    115g (4oz) frozen sliced carrots

    85g (3oz) frozen peas

    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    125g (4 1/2oz) couscous

    1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add onion, red pepper and garlic; cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and ground spices; cook gently for 1 minute, stirring.
    2. Gradually stir in stock; bring to the boil, stirring. Stir in tomato purée and frozen vegetables; season with black pepper. Bring back to the boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and tender, stirring occasionally.
    3. Meanwhile, put couscous in a bowl; pour over 200ml (7fl oz) boiling water and stir. Cover and leave to soak for about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed (or prepare couscous according to packet instructions). Stir black pepper (and remaining oil, if desired) into couscous. Spoon couscous onto warmed serving plates; spoon vegetable mixture on top. Serve.

    From the British Heart Foundation.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    Yvonne I love the idea of easy recipes for not so good days,did you mention mushroom stew..would like that
    Kath you come up with brilliant recipes, I have tried a few..and will try the spicy couscous thankyou
    Now I am hungry..wish my OH could cook..mind you he does a mean chip...
  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Flourless Honey-Almond Cake

    SERVES: 10



    180g (6oz) whole almonds, toasted

    4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

    120ml (4.22fl oz) honey

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt


    2 tablespoons honey

    30g (1oz) almonds, toasted


    Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

    Process whole almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Beat 4 egg yolks, 120ml honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined.

    Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer (use clean beaters on a hand-held mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the type of mixer). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.

    If desired, remove the cake from the pan bottom by gently sliding a large, wide spatula between the cake and the parchment paper. Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583


    Cream Doughnuts


    3 ½ cups flour

    Pinch salt

    50ml sugar

    1 packet dry yeast

    60g margarine

    1 large egg,beaten

    150ml lukewarm milk

    50ml lukewarm water


    Place dry ingredients in a bowl..mix egg,melted butter water and milk,and mix into dough...knead the dough well for 10 minutes until smooth and on a lightly floured surface,cover with greased plastic and leave to rise for 15 minutes..knock down and divide into equal balls..shape each ball into longs,by rubbing between oiled hands,and leave to rise until double in size...deep fry in hot oil until golden brown..once cooled,slit in middle,pipe with beaten fresh cream,a line of jam,a cherry and sift icing sugar..

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,389

    Mmmmmm Kath they look YUM!

    You are quite right Yvonne is a star.

    Yvonne I use my freezer a LOT. On a good day I will sometimes sit (not stand!) and batch cook a load of things we like for those days when I lack the energy.  Better that buying ready meals although to be fair....there are times!

    Also worth bearing in mind you can get a lot of foods ready chopped these days (like onions) to save your hands.

    I am lucky enough to have a processor for chopping nowadays which helps a lot.

    The other advantage to this sort of preparation is that you can take advantage of the sale veg being sold off cheap blanch it and freeze it 🙂

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Mini Eclairs

    Yields 20

    Mini éclairs filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache.

    For the pastry cream

    1. 5 egg yolks
    2. 1/4 cup cornstarch
    3. 1/2 cup sugar, divided
    4. pinch of salt
    5. 2 cups half and half
    6. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    7. 1 tablespoon vanilla

    For the ganache

    1. 1/2 cup heavy cream
    2. 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    For the Pâte à Choux

    1. 1/2 cup milk
    2. 1/2 cup water
    3. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    4. 2 tablespoons sugar
    5. 1 cup flour
    6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    7. 3 large eggs
    8. 2 egg whites

    For Decorating

    1. 1/2 cup melted white chocolate or candy melts

    Pastry Cream

    1. In medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, ¼ cup sugar, and salt.
    2. In medium saucepan, combine half and half and ¼ cup sugar. Heat until milk simmers. Slowly whisk hot milk into egg yolk mixture. If you do this too quickly you will cook the eggs. Strain mixture back into saucepan. Stir constantly until mixture bubbles. Strain into a clean bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto top of cream and refrigerate until cold, at least two hours.


    1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat just until bubbles start to form. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit five minutes. Add vanilla. Stir until smooth. Let cool while you prepare pastry dough.

    Pâte à Choux

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In medium saucepan, combine milk, water, butter, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers. Add flour all at once. Stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat. Let cool for three minutes. Add vanilla. Add eggs and egg whites one at a time. Thoroughly mix between each addition. Use a large round tip or a pastry bag without a tip to pipe two to three inch lines onto parchment-covered baking sheets.
    2. Bake in 425 degree oven for ten minutes. Decrease heat to 350 degrees. Do not open the oven door. Bake for thirty minutes. Remove pastries from oven. Pierce one end of each shell with a knife to allow steam to escape. Cool. Fill with pastry cream. Dip tops in ganache. Let set.


    1. Decorate with melted chocolate. Let chocolate set. Serve.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein