Basic apple Bircher muesli

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

They also say that you should breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper but I’ve never been able to eat that much at breakfast time. I get hungry around mid-morning which of course is when the biscuits come out.

Izzy is completely different though and adores breakfast. She’d have porridge every day if she could Though time constraints and the seasons often keep her apart from her favourite bowl of oats though.

Luckily she’s fallen hard for Bircher muesli – the original overnight oats.

Basic apple Bircher muesli | Breakfast ideas by THe Lapsed Blogger at

This basic apple Bircher muesli is really simple to knock up after tea and requires pretty much no work in the mornings.

Pour some rolled oats (the kind you make flapjack with) into a bowl and grate in two apples. I don’t peel them, preferring to keep the skin on, and just use a couple of eating apples out of the fruit bowl.

Add some raisins if you like but don’t buy them specially. Chopped up soft dried figs are also good, but do have a tendency to turn the finished result an unappetising brown colour. If you can get past that though then you have a very tasty dish indeed.

Pour in some apple juice. Add some milk. The semi-skimmed out of the fridge is just fine, though almond milk adds creaminess and makes it dairy free. Continue reading “Basic apple Bircher muesli”

Cheese and potato pie

There’s little better than a pile of buttery mashed potato.

Unless of course you stir through fried onions, masses of grated cheese and then bake it until there’s a crispy top.

And then you end up with the glorious thing that is cheese and potato pie.

Cheese and onion potato pie

This started out as my mother-in-law’s recipe but I tweaked a few things. Though we still serve it her way – with gammon and green beans – it also makes a pretty good side to sausages too.

Start off with boiling a huge pile of potatoes in salted water – Maris Pipers are good for mashing. They’re ready when you can pierce them easily with a knife, about 15-20 minutes depending on how big you’ve cut your potatoes. You could also add in a couple of parsnips if you wanted to, they add a sweetness that’s really tasty.

While they’re boiling away, fry a couple of sliced (not diced!) onions in oil. Do this relatively slowly, you’re not going to caramelise them in any way but you want them to turn lovely and soft and translucent. Grate a fat chunk of extra mature cheddar. Sneakily eat some off the board too.

Once your potatoes have been drained, return them to the pan and sit them on the turned off but still hot hob for a couple of minutes to dry them out slightly. Chuck in a good knob of butter, season well and mash them up. Continue reading “Cheese and potato pie”

Cheats peach and strawberry danish pastries

I do love a good cheat. So does Izzy.

She’s very keen on getting involved in the kitchen but, like most 6 year old’s, her attention span leaves something to be desired so speedy results are the way forward.

With only 3 ingredients and lots of jobs for little hands these cheats peach and strawberry danish pastries are a fun weekend bake with the kids.

Cheats peach and strawberry danish pastries | The Lapsed Blogger

Take a sheet of all butter ready rolled pastry and spread out on the worktop. Using a butter knife divide it into six rectangles. Take the opportunity to do some work on fractions. Izzy’s looking at basic fractions in maths at school so we talk about chopping things in half a lot. Poor teddy, he’s not been the same since her last attempt at understanding two halves make a whole.

Gently warm some jam – in the microwave is fine. We used strawberry but use whatever you have, damson is good and provides a nice contrast against the sweetness of the peaches. Give it a stir then spread it over each rectangle, leaving a bit of a border which you’ll ‘paint’ with some milk.

Drain some tinned sliced peaches. You’ve probably already got some lurking at the back of the cupboard, along with a tin of mixed fruit salad and a bottle of that magic freezing chocolate sauce for ice cream. Continue reading “Cheats peach and strawberry danish pastries”

Easy meatballs and tomato sauce

One of the most popular recipes on my old blog, Fish Fingers for Tea, was this recipe for easy meatballs and tomato sauce.

And it’s not without reason.

Though it’s not the fastest recipe out there, the end result is beautifully tender meatballs with a tasty sauce.

Easy meatballs and tomato sauce

You can pile these on top of a bowlful of pasta, or our favourite is to cram them into sub rolls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan. Perfect Saturday night fodder.

You’re looking at around an hour from start to finish with this, so it doesn’t fall into the ‘on the table in 30 minutes’ midweek category but for a Friday or Saturday night it’s a good balance of ease and ‘proper’ cooking.

The tomato sauce is a really simple one. Start with a base of onions and garlic, then add a tin of tomatoes and some water. Season with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar to lift any acidity then leave it to reduce while you make the meatballs.  A squeeze of lemon juice later on brightens things up.

Use mince with 20% fat, it helps to give you a tender result. Bread soaked in a little milk will bind things together and don’t over handle them when you’re mixing in fried onions and garlic, nor when you’re shaping them. Continue reading “Easy meatballs and tomato sauce”

Fudgy gluten free brownies

If you like your brownies on the cakey side then these aren’t the brownies for you.

If you like your brownies fudgy and dense then these are definitely the brownies for you.

Fudgey gluten free brownies

They are my favourite brownies. And that’s saying something. They’re my go-to bake for birthdays, celebrations and just because bakes too. They’ve formed part of bribes, helped me to say sorry and made bad days so much better.

In short these have you covered for pretty much every occasion.

These gluten free brownies are ridiculously fudgy. Made with ground hazelnuts instead of flour and with both melted chocolate and cocoa powder they’re just like Nutella but in brownie form. Continue reading “Fudgy gluten free brownies”