Month: November 2015

Baked Apples… A Little Throwback to my Childhood

My grandparents had apple trees in the garden, crocuses that would grow up below them in early spring, and a tortoise in a pen who lived there in summer.  At the bottom of the garden they had a vegetable garden filled with potatoes, beans, herbs, fruit, salad, cabbages and probably more and it was bordered by roses.  When I stayed with them I always helped to collect vegetables from the garden. Mint for mint sauce, raspberries for pudding, apples for baking and when I went home my grampy would cut a rose for me to take with me. I remember there being so many windfall apples, and apart from making apple sauce, my nanny would make baked apples… She used golden syrup and condensed milk back then and stuffed them with nuts and raisins… My recipe is a little bit different, but most definitely dedicated to her and inspired by those baked apples I enjoyed as a child! For more on storing and preserving apples and autumn produce visit Patrick Whitefield. And for more on …

The Liebster Award

Hi everyone!  So today is my birthday… I’ve spent the whole day home with two sick kiddies and one stir crazy dog who’s been looking at me with her ‘pleeeeease take me out eyes’ all day… We’ve baked birthday cake, cup cakes for the school cake bake, made pizza, baked bread, we’ve watched movies… My little girl fell asleep and fell off the sofa (she’s fine) and I just discovered that my son thinks his middle name is ‘Thompson’, it’s not!?  I have no idea what the time it is but I haven’t even had a glass of wine yet… So just as I log in to see how the blog is going today, I found this amazing note from the lovely Katie over at ‘What’s Katie Up To’ to say she’s nominated me for The Liebster Award.           The Liebster award is to recognise and discover new Bloggers and to welcome them to the blogosphere!  It’s given from Bloggers to Bloggers. For those of you who read my last Facebook post you’ll have …

Papaya Yoghurt Breakfast Boats with Homemade Granola

I got into buying papaya during the summer to make a Hemsley & Hemsley ‘Papaya & Halloumi Salad‘, which by the way is absolutely delicious and a regular on the summer dinner scene at ours now.  I picked one up the other day thinking that I’d make the salad, but it’s so cold I couldn’t face it…So the papaya became breakfast instead and the Papaya Yoghurt Breakfast Boat was born! Ingredients: 1 ripe papaya 3 tbsp natural organic greek yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt) 2 tbsp home made granola Method: 1. Cut the papaya in half length ways.  Remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. 2. Use a fork to remove all of the flesh (without breaking the skin), and place in a bowl.  Give it a mash with the fork. 3. Add the yoghurt and a tbsp of granola to the papaya and mix. 4. Put the yoghurt mixture back in the papaya skin and sprinkle with additional granola.  Serve immediately! Follow us on facebook,Twitter, Instagram & Pintrest Follow my blog with Bloglovin  

Broccoli, Stilton & Walnut Soup

Going back to the fairy garden visuals of yesterday’s brussels sprouts post, if the brussels sprouts are the cabbages, then the broccoli would be the trees.  But I’d give them little super hero capes because broccoli is super…Especially sprouting broccoli.  Perhaps this is a project for a rainy day…?!  Or perhaps I have too much time on my hands… Either way, this soup is a little bit delicious.  The only ingredients here are the broccoli, Stilton & walnuts, and that’s because I’ve used a bone broth to soup them up… and there’s so much flavour and seasoning already there that no more is needed.  If you’re without a bone broth though, I’ll list a vegetable base alternative. Ingredients: 1 head broccoli 100g stilton 2 handfuls chopped walnuts Covered with chicken bone broth (about 600ml) or topped up with vegetable stock. If you don’t have any chicken bone broth then you can make a vegetable stock base from the following ingredients: 2 tbsps olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, chopped into small cubes 1 stick …

An Open Letter to Brussels Sprouts & Maple Roast Sprouts with Walnuts & Beetroot

Dear Brussels Sprouts, I think you should know how much I appreciate you.  Firstly you look like a cabbage, grown by a fairy, which makes me want to make a teeny tiny jar of Saurkraut out of you, or put you in the garden of my daughter’s doll’s house. I love that you chose to take all that wonderful brassica goodness and package it in really convenient, almost perfectly human bite sized portions.  I believe you really want us to eat you… I learned today that you contain isothiocyanates and that isothiocyanates promote the elimination of potential carcinogens from the body, and may also lower the risk of heart attack! Thank you so much for those wonderful health giving properties. Thank you too for being a vegetable who endures the cold to give us a winter crop.  You brave and selfless little brussels sprout.  It can’t be easy.  I’m sure sometimes you must envy peas and beans and those summer crops who get so much attention and summer warmth. But brussels sprouts, you provide such …

Festive Gingerbread Stars

Brrrr… it’s so cold.  But it’s the best kind of cold in my opinion… The sky is blue, the air is crisp and the past two mornings there’s been a frost on the ground.  I had a crunchy, frosty walk this morning down by the river which was so idyllic.  The sun was low, most of the trees now bare.  I had a real sense of winter coming, and with it a wonderful wave of festive warmth.  These biscuits are a full expression of that warmth for me.  Making them with the kids, the wonderful smell of them cooking, the heat and buzz of the oven, and their spicy snap when eaten!  Lovely… So here’s a recipe for you.  I’ve used coconut oil instead of butter because that’s what I had (but absolutely go ahead and use the same measure of butter if that’s what you have!)…   Ingredients (makes around 18 stars, depending on your cutter size): 80g Coconut oil 60g light brown muscovado sugar 1 egg yolk 2 tbsp maple syrup 1/2 tsp …

A Vegan Curry Feast (for hearty meal lovers)… Mushroom Pasanda, Bombay Potatoes & Masala Roast Chickpeas…

Curry is usually Tim’s domain, because he makes a good one!  But I think I might have trumped him (yes I am competitive!)  The Mushroom Pasanda is definitely inspired by our good friends over at Able & Cole but there are a few tweaks here, mainly based on what was in the cupboard or fridge and also because I had some beautiful black cherry tomatoes in my veg box, which I thought would make a good substitute for the tomato puree in the Able & Cole recipe.  They did go beautifully and my mouth is watering now I’m thinking about this dish.  It hits all the right spots and stands alone, without the extras.  We always get a bit indulgent on weekends though which is why I cooked up a storm last night, and why I wont need to eat for several days now!! (ahem…) Ingredients for the Mushroom Pasanda (serves 2): 1/2 large onion 4 cloves garlic 1/2 thumb ginger 1 red chilli (de-seeded) 1/2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, …

Moroccan Chicken Casserole & Giant Cous Cous

This is a warming, spicy dinner of good nourishment.  Great for a cold evening.  It’s hearty and fills the house with a sweet spicy smell…   Ingredients (serves 4): 4 Chicken Thighs 3 preserved lemons (or 1 unwaxed fresh lemon) 3 small red onions (or 1 large red onion) 4 cloves garlic 25 olives 12 organic dried apricots bunch of fresh coriander 2 tins plum tomatoes 2 cinnamon sticks Olive oil For the spice mix: 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp mace 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp ground cumin For the cous cous: around 75g cous cous per person Method: 1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof dish on the hob. Pre-heat the oven to 180C 2. Place the chicken thighs in the pan and brown all over for around 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan. 3. Chop the onion, crush the garlic and add to the pan that the chicken was in, adding a little more oil if …

Chicken Schnitzel & Sauerkraut Salad

Chicken Schnitzel and Sauerkraut are definitely soulmates…  Each stands alone, but together they are a power couple of deliciousness.  There’s a reason that they’re a classic combination and even if you think you don’t like one, the chances are, that together you’ll love them… The Schnitzel-Sauerkrauts. Ingredients (Serves 2): 2 free-range organic chicken breasts 2 large handfuls of breadcrumbs 2 eggs Sprinkling of plain flour 2 large handfuls of watercress 1 avocado 2 handfuls toasted pinenuts 4 heaped tbsp sauerkraut 2 tbsp olive oil Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on the hob.  Beat the egg in to a wide bowl and have the breadcrumbs ready in another bowl close by. 2. Slice the chicken breast open length-ways (along the natural division of the meat). 2. Cover with cling film and bash until flat with a rolling pin.  The chicken breast will almost double in size… 3. Lightly sprinkle and rub in plain flour, coat in egg mixture and breadcrumbs. 4. Add to the pan and fry on both sides for around …

Simple Sauerkraut (it’s not just for supermodels!)

Whaaat?  Well what else would you do with a cabbage glut?  Who’s got a cabbage glut you say?  Well, not us exactly, but I do find us with slightly more cabbage than we can comfortably get through.  So with the latest haul from the allotment (and by haul I mean 2 cabbages) I thought I’d give sauerkraut a go!  I’ve read a lot recently about the health benefits of fermented foods.  They’re rich in live healthy bacteria and we can cultivate them ourselves for free!  So before you do as I did and think ‘it’s not for me’… think twice when you next look at a cabbage in your fridge… or on the supermarket shelf for that matter… They’re in season right now, making it easier to pick up cheap, organic, local products at their nutritional best!  This article in the Guardian says pretty much everything I want to say… so if you’re not convinced yet, but still slightly intrigued read more here… particularly the heading on ‘why sauerkraut is good for me’ which names …