Posted 14 June 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Caramelised onion, Foraging, Goat's cheese, Ground elder, Shortcrust pastry, Tart | Categories: Dinner, Recipes | Leave a Comment
Ground elder is a perennial plant that was introduced to this island by the Romans. It’s now considered a weed in the gardening world, but happily it’s edible, so get foraging and kill two birds with one stone.
It has quite a distinctive, earthy flavour that goes well with a salty goat’s cheese and sweet caramelised onions in these individual tarts. I didn’t manage to get a decent photo; I must have been too eager to get this chap into my tummy! I served these with vegetables and mashed potato for dinner, but you could easily have the tarts as a starter for a bigger meal.
Continue reading “Ground Elder and Goat’s Cheese Tarts”…
Posted 13 June 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Jam, Preserving, Strawberry, Strawberry jam | Categories: Preserves, Recipes | Leave a Comment
Well, it’s mid-June and Summer Solstice is just over a week away, yet it’s grey, damp and miserable outside. Getting in the kitchen for a spot of strawberry jam-making is a good a way as any of banishing the rainy-day blues. I can’t think of a flavour more evocative of British summertime than the humble strawberry.
Continue reading “Strawberry Jam”…
Posted 12 June 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Foraging, Nettle, Soup | Categories: Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes | Leave a Comment
I think it’s always fun to cook with free food taken from the garden, and especially food you have foraged from the hedgerow. Stinging nettles are versatile and can be used where you would use spinach or other greens. They are very nutritious, containing decent amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K. After the success of my nettle and thyme bread, I decided to try nettle soup. It tasted good — nettle doesn’t have a very strong taste; it’s quite earthy I suppose, and not dissimilar to spinach.
Continue reading “Nettle Soup”…
Posted 9 June 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Cake, Hummingbird Bakery, Lemon, Loaf | Categories: Baking, Recipes, Treats | Leave a Comment
The weather has finally improved here and it’s so nice to take advantage of the Amalfi lemons that are in season. Lemon is such a summery flavour. This lemon loaf from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is the perfect vehicle. It’s a lovely sweet loaf, but what really makes it special is the lemon syrup drizzled on top.
Continue reading “Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Loaf”…
Posted 28 May 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Bread, Foraging, Loaf, Nettle, Thyme | Categories: Baking, Recipes | 2 Comments
Stinging nettles abound at this time of year and are the bane of many gardeners (they shouldn’t be — they make a lovely liquid fertiliser). Nettles also make up part of the wonderful resource of free foods available in our gardens, or the hedgerows. They are best when they are young, and the leaves are not yet coarse, so early spring is the ideal time to harvest them, but nettles are so prolific, and seed themselves so readily, that you should be able to find some tender leaves to put in some soup, nettle tea, or this nettle and thyme bread. Nettles have a subtle, earthy flavour, and are perfectly matched by fresh thyme in this half white/half wholemeal loaf.
Now, there is an obvious hazard when using nettles. You can avoid getting stung by wearing gloves to pick them, and then remove the sting by scalding them before use. Only use the younger leaves, and avoid any that already have flowers (tiny green bobbly things).
Continue reading “Nettle and Thyme Bread”…
Posted 27 May 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Brownies, Chocolate, Dark chocolate, Nutella | Categories: Baking, Dessert, Recipes, Treats | Leave a Comment
I made these nutella swirl brownies to take to the end-of-year “party” to celebrate completing a course I’m doing. (When I say “party” — of course I mean a portfolio discussion helped along by Pringles, brownies and orange Matchmakers). The brownies were a hit, especially with my tutor, and were hopefully enough of a bribe to ensure that I pass.
That day was a bit of a rush, so I needed something quick and easy, brownies being the obvious choice that sprung to mind. Nutella* seems such a natural addition to brownies, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before. Oh but wait, I have… This time, I wasn’t going for a nutty brownie, I just wanted the nutella to add an extra bit of yumminess, which it did. These are seriously good.
Continue reading “Nutella Swirl Brownies”…
Posted 26 May 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Cantaloupe, Ginger, Healthy, Melon, Mint, Soup | Categories: Recipes | Leave a Comment
Cantaloupe and ginger soup. This is a bit out of my comfort zone. I’ve never made cold soup before (not sure that I’ve even ever eaten it) and I really wasn’t sure about soup made from fruit. There was a cantaloupe melon in the fruit basket, getting very soft, and for some reason “cantaloupe soup” popped into my head. I knew google wouldn’t let me down and it turns out that there are lots of recipes. This is adapted from a few that I came across.
I was somewhat dubious about how this turned out, but it was fresh and delicious. Sweet, but not too sweet to serve as a starter at dinner. It would also be good as a light summer lunch.
Continue reading “Cantaloupe and Ginger Soup”…
Posted 23 May 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Chicken, Feta, Lemon, Orzo, Pasta | Categories: Dinner, Recipes | Leave a Comment
Orzo is a relatively new discovery for me. Ok, not the most life-changing of discoveries, just a new shape of pasta. I think it’s wonderful though. Looks like rice, tastes like pasta, and somehow seems much richer and more comforting than other pasta shapes. This recipe for lemon chicken orzo was one of those “what ingredients do I have in the cupboard” type of affairs, and it worked so well. You can easily change the ingredients around, but the key players for me are the lemon, the chicken, the orzo and some kind of cheese. With the freshness of the lemon, and with fresh, seasonal vegetables, this is perfect for summer suppers.
It’s so hard to take appetising photos of pasta dishes!
Continue reading “Lemon Chicken Orzo”…
Posted 10 May 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Buttermilk, Chocolate, Hummingbird Bakery, Loaf | Categories: Baking, Recipes, Treats | 2 Comments
Just as soon as the sunny weather arrives, it’s cruelly snatched away from us again. It’s a rainy day in May, and what better to lift the spirits on a damp afternoon than a spot of baking? This is another recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, which I’ve some good successes with so far. This one is for buttermilk pound loaf and, because the recipe said I could, I’ve added some dark chocolate chips.
Continue reading “Buttermilk Pound Loaf”…
Posted 30 April 2013 by Debbie
Tagged As: Carrot, Chutney | Categories: Condiments, Preserves, Recipes | 2 Comments
I love chutney, but carrot chutney is a new one for me; Marks and Spencer do an absolutely lovely Wensleydale cheese and caramelised carrot chutney sandwich that I wanted to be able to recreate at home. Carrot chutney isn’t something you can easily find, so I looked for recipes online, with not much luck. Nearly everything I found had things like sultanas added to it, which wasn’t right at all.
After a couple of experiments, I came up with this recipe. I recreated the sandwich and tried them side by side. It’s pretty damn close to the real thing. I used Wensleydale for authenticity, but this sweet chutney would go well with any salty and/or creamy cheese like feta, cheddar or goat’s cheese.
Continue reading “Caramelised Carrot Chutney”…