It has been a while since I made these sticky oaty bars and in my efforts to use up the sugar in the house and continue with my attempt to remove it from my daily life it seemed like a good use of our cupboard staples.
Why I am doing this today after stepping on the scales since before Christmas is beyond me, as the news was as grimmer than I’d expected. Not since ten days in Vegas back in 2010 have the scales creaked as much.
This time I used this recipe from my recently purchased book Mary Berry’s Baking Bible see page 191 for her Fast Flapjacks. I made same minor tweaks as I had no demerara sugar so I used the following ingredients:
225g / 8 oz Butter (unsalted)
100g / 3.5 oz Caster Sugar
125g / 4.4 oz Soft brown sugar
275g/ 10 oz Porridge oats (organic)
100g (3.5oz) Sultanas
With the butter and sugars melted, the oven hot and ready to go, I mixed in the oats and sultana’s into the greased tin, flattened and popped this sticky buttery mix it into the oven.
Now our favourite baker tells us to cook for about 35 minutes, so knowing our furnace of an oven (which would incinerate you, as soon as look at you) and I took them out at 30. But alas it was too late – the Flapjacks are beyond what I call golden (think the dress – we all have our own colour charts)
Now, I know David will tell me they are perfect (he is too kind plus I am sure worries if he critiques I may give up) but I know better so next time it will be 25 minutes and I will invest in a thermometer to try and seek a more golden offering.
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We booked in on day 3 of trading at the newly opened Ego at the Beverley Arms. We arrived at 730pm and were quickly seated our drinks order was taken about 15 minutes later. There is a lovely buzz about the place with a hint of chaos from a new team which added to the excitement and anticipation. I am craving an excellent restaurant locally and hope this fits the bill. However they clearly can seat over 100 covers so I hope they have the experienced team to handle this with their extensive menu.
Around 745pm we placed our order from the a la carte menu ordering the Chicken and Rosemary Pate and Moules Marinieres to start. Followed by Moroccan Lamb Tanjine and Iberian Belly Pork, served on a bed of spinach with black pudding.
The starters arrived around 15 minutes, they were nicely presented (although no finger bowl for the Moules!). The Pate was very chilled so the flavour was lost and the toasted bread was not really toasted. The moules, a starter portion was served in a main course bowl #disappointment. The upside was they were juicy and the mariniere sauce was creamy with just enough garlic so they can be forgiven what I see as teething problems. I do hope the Head Chef orders some small pots to avoid disappointing their diners.
The main course arrived an hour after our initial order. The Moroccan Lamb was well presented in the Tajine.
The was no shortage of olives in this dish, the cous-cous, as promised was lightly buttered (and very fluffy), the vegetables were tasty in the rich sauce, the lamb however as tougher than you’d expect for a slow cooked dish. There was plenty of tzatziki and corriander to compliment. Overall this dish was tasty – however – I think it is overpriced at £15.95 considering the lack of provenance and the average quality of the lamb.
David enjoyed his belly pork – the sauce was rich and pork was tender and had a wonderfully crisp top. Again though the pricing is high, you can find similar dishes and more plentiful plates for less (consider this is not served with any vegetables or carbohydrates).
The Dauphinoise Gratin was a fraud it was more like Lyonnaise Potatoes; in summary it was cheesy potatoes – not the wonderfully rich creamy garlic dish you’d expect.
It was quite late by the time we finished our mains so we did not order a further course or coffee.
Overall we were not bowled over by Ego at the Beverley Arms, I think the Ego brand may think they are stronger than they are. In my opinion they have some evolving to do. We paid over £50 (inlcuding a small carafe of red wine) and in my experience I have paid less for more. In future, we will dine on their special nights as their main course prices match that of a an established city restaurant with great service.
Our second experience was on the steak night this improved upon our first visit. The latest visit was for a family meal for 8 which was better than our first trip but still a long way off, stronger service is needed again the gap between starters and mains was noticible with no apologies and we were left alone far too long with regards to drinks orders as not all the party were wine drinkers.
I give Ego 3 out of 5 and hope that this soon will improve and would recommend you try but if you are too a keen cook you may wish to book in for a specials night first.
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It’s been a wonderful Christmas; I lost nothing and gained plenty, plenty of weight that is. So much so I am afraid to step onto the scales as I know it will make me cry. So here I am again making my new years resolutions (I am always a week later than most as my Birthday is early January) and wondering why I am doing this again when it will only end after a few weeks. This time it will be different as the gym is not an option at the moment so it has to be about what I put in. I am going back to basics and will now on remember treats are something you have infrequently not once a day or even worse a side to every meal.
Treat one of the first words behind this in the Thesaurus is celebration
So today I will be reading Get the Glow written by the beautiful Madeleine Shaw – and starting to make the first steps to Ditch the Junk or my daily treats; which for me will mean saying goodbye to my longest serving friend – sorry I mean crutch, which for me is the salty and fatty crisp. I won’t lie I am scared as crisps are to me is what butter is to James Martin so I fear for my nearest and dearest during this detox period!
Today the juicing commenced – not my usual recipe as this was a unplanned moment but it’s a start. I do love my Breville Juicer it is has been reliable for a number of years (touch wood) easy to use and as importantly to dismantle and clean (I still wish we had a dishwasher so this wasn’t a consideration). If you are considering juicing then I’d really recommend you consider the Breville.
This healthy sweet treat was made from three small Braeburns, a carrot, two beetroots and three sticks of celery.
Tomorrow I will be trying the “drink your five-a-day” (see page 260 of Get the Glow) and if all goes well that will be a regular on the menu.
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