RECIPE: Easy Blue Cheese Dip

blue cheese dip

Having a dip adds an extra flavour element to a dish, is great for serving with snacks and is a good addition to a buffet. A particularly tasty one is a blue cheese dip. This is easy to make as it requires no cooking skills and is delicious served with crudites, a salad, or chicken wings. Here is how to make a quick and simple blue cheese dip.

Ingredients for Blue Cheese Dip

  • 2 oz/ 60 g blue cheese
  • 5 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 fl oz/ 30 ml single cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Black pepper

How to Make Blue Cheese Dip

  1. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and single cream to a bowl and mix together to create a smooth and creamy mixture.
  2. Crush the blue cheese using the back of a fork so that the cheese breaks into small pieces.
  3. Add the blue cheese to the mixture and stir in well.
  4. Season the dip with black pepper and stir again.
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RECIPE: Shortcrust Pastry

pastry 1

It never ceases to amaze me that people do not make their own pastry when it is such a simple thing to make. Here is how to make shortcrust pastry with the ingredients, instructions, and some helpful tips. 

flour and butter

Ingredients for Shortcrust Pastry

  • 8 oz/ 225 g plain flour
  • 2 oz/ 60 g butter
  • 2 oz/ 20 g lard
  • Good pinch of salt

rolling pin

Instructions

  1. Weigh out the ingredients.
  2. Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl.
  3. Chop the lard and the butter into the bowl.
  4. Rub the flour and the fat between your fingers to form a crumb.
  5. Add a small amount of water to the bowl and stir the crumbs with your hand to bind them together. Continue to add small amounts of water until you have a firm pastry dough.
  6. Wrap the pastry and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  7. Dust the work surface with a little flour and rub some flour into a rolling pin.
  8. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, remove cling film and place on the floured surface.
  9. Take the rolling pin and roll backward and forwards on the pastry, pressing down firmly.
  10. Turn the pastry 90 degrees and repeat.

Tips

  • Vegetarians– Replace the lard with an extra 2 oz of butter or use margarine.
  • Sweet Pastry– Add 1 oz of caster sugar and do not add the salt.
  • Sticking pastry– If the pastry is sticking to the rolling pin, simply sprinkle a little flour over the pastry and rub some flour into the rolling pin.
  • Lifting the pastry– If you are finding it tricky to lift the pastry without breaking it, then use your rolling pin. Lie the rolling pin across the centre of the pastry. Take the edge furthest away from yourself and lift over the rolling pin until the back edge meets the front edge. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry.
  • Glaze- If you are using the pastry for a pie crust, you should add a glaze. Use a pastry brush to cover the pastry with either milk or a whisked egg.

 

 

How to Make Pizza Bases

pizzeria

I love pizza, but my pet hate is frozen pizzas. The base always tastes like cardboard and the cheese topping usually resembles melted plastic. My children also love pizza but were only usually treated to it if we are eating out as I hated keeping pizzas in the freezer.

Instead, I decided to learn how to make delicious homemade pizza bases just like the Italians. There were many fantastic recipes and guides online with great tips on how to make the perfect pizza base.

The children loved it when I started making homemade pizza bases as it meant they could choose their own toppings and decorate the pizza themselves. My kids love getting involved in the kitchen and are more likely to eat all their meals when they have contributed to the preparation. Cooking is an important life skill to learn, a fun way to spend time with children and a great way to teach them about science and maths.

If you want to learn how to make pizza bases so you can make them yourself at home and get the kids involved in cooking, then this is a great video to watch:

Watch: How to Make Pasta

pasta

In my house, pasta is definitely a staple part of our diet. Not only is this because we love Italian food, it is also because it is such a versatile ingredient that you can include in such a wide variety of meals. Two further reasons we love pasta dishes is that it is a cheap food item and because it is so quick and simple to cook.

When I first had my own home, I would simply buy bags of dried pasta and use these in several dishes a week. However, once I realised how simple it was to make your own pasta and how much better it tastes, I started to make my own. While I have done this using a rolling pin to roll the pasta dough thinly for several years, I was recently lucky enough to receive the gift of a pasta making machine. This has quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget.

It occurred to me that there are many cooking novices out there who are not aware how good homemade pasta tastes and how simple it is to make. If this applies to you, then you may want to watch this quick tutorial to help you become a master pasta maker.