Archive for May 2013

Nettle and Thyme Bread

Posted 28 May 2013 by
Tagged As: , , , , | 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.

Nettle and Thyme 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).

Nettle and Thyme Bread

Continue reading “Nettle and Thyme Bread”…

Nutella Swirl Brownies

Posted 27 May 2013 by
Tagged As: , , , | 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.

Nutella swirled brownie batter

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.

Nutella swirl brownies

Continue reading “Nutella Swirl Brownies”…

Cantaloupe and Ginger Soup

Posted 26 May 2013 by
Tagged As: , , , , , | 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.

Cantaloupe and ginger soup Continue reading “Cantaloupe and Ginger Soup”…

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Posted 23 May 2013 by
Tagged As: , , , , | 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.

Lemon chicken orzo

It’s so hard to take appetising photos of pasta dishes!

Continue reading “Lemon Chicken Orzo”…

Buttermilk Pound Loaf

Posted 10 May 2013 by
Tagged As: , , , | 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.

Buttermilk pound loaf with chocolate chips

Continue reading “Buttermilk Pound Loaf”…