Friday 11 April 2008

I've moved!!

As many of you will know we've had a new design in progress for a few months and I am very excited and happy to unveil it at - please click the link to come & visit :)

See you soon,


Sunday 23 March 2008

Leftovers for lunch and burgers for dinner

We still have some of the cooked salmon in the fridge. I enjoyed a slice of it for lunch yesterday on a slice of toasted chilli bread...

For dinner we couldn't decide what to have. It was one of those days when you know what you do not want. So we ruled out pasta (had too much recently), rice, fish & chicken. I flicked through some books for inspiration and came across the LA Burger in Bill Granger's - Every Day.

Easy and quick to make, but very nice...

Ingredients (for 4)
500g lean minced pork
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds, crushed
40g breadcrumbs
1 egg lightly beaten

Combined all ingredients together in a bowl.
Shape into 4 small burgers. Cover & leave in fridge for 30minutes.
Heat non-stick frying pan & cook burgers for about 5 minutes on each side.
Serve on a bun of your choice with a handful of rocket and thinly sliced red onion.

And we also made some crispy cakes for Easter!

Saturday 22 March 2008

A Good Friday Feast

Yesterday I started off by making Nigella's Hot Cross Buns. The texture is actually more of a scone type bun than a shop bought one, but rather tasty and delicious when toasted.

After the buns were cooked I started on preparing a three course dinner as we had invited my parents around. Inspiration for the dinner came courtesy of Delicious Magazine.

For starters we had roasted parsnip and parmesan soup:

Followed by pancetta-wrapped salmon with saffron and herb rice, served with crushed new potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli:

The salmon was surprisingly easy to make despite having to skin the whole side of a fish! & it looked rather impressive before and after cooking:

Those sticking to Good Friday traditions didn't eat the pancetta & I substituted all chicken stocks for vegetable stock.

And we finished with Nigella's molten chocolate baby cakes:

Monday 10 March 2008

Chilli Bread

I first made this a few weeks back but I didn't blog about it after taking the photos. Tonight I've made another loaf so here is the recipe but as my loaf is in the oven the pictures are from last time.

Chilli Loaf
375g wholemeal strong flour
375g white strong flour
3 teaspoons salt
2-3 teaspoons chilli flakes (I used 2 & that provided a good heat without going OTT)
7g sachet of dry yeast

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
Add 450ml water (at room temperature)
Combine into dough & knead until elastic - around 5/10 minutes
Leave to rise in bowl (cover with damp cloth) for 2 hours
Knock back & shape into 'tin' shaped & pop in a floured tin
Leave to rise again for 45 minutes
Cook for 15 minutes at 230 ° c then for 20/25 minutes at 200 ° c until cooked
Leave to cool on rack

Sunday 9 March 2008

Butteries and Morning Rolls

Last time we went to Scotland we came back with a few bags of Butteries (or Morning Rolls as they are also known). Having some Scottish blood I would say it is only natural for my family to be hankering after these naughty treats.

They are a speciality to Northern Scotland - so with some of my family roots being in Elgin it is something my Gran & Grandad would have enjoyed on a more regular basis. We bought most of ours from the bakers in Aviemore but they have to be eaten fresh, so when we got back last Saturday eveing I took a quick drive round to my mum & dads so they could be enjoyed the next morning.

We froze the ones we kept and enjoyed them for a leisurely breakfast this morning. Served warm with marmalde and a nice cup of tea.

Oh, and Ginger, if you read this - you asked what I was talking about last time so I hope this now explains!

A creamy indulgent dinner

Last night we made the chicken and tarragon pie I had been meaning to do earlier in the week. But before we enjoyed this we used up the left over asparagus.

I say we, but it was Anthony that cooked up a delicious starter. Steamed asparagus spears with quick hollandaise sauce. This sauce is not a traditional way of making hollandaise but is lower fat and much easier and to be honest, tasted just as good:

Quick Hollandaise Sauce
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
1 1/2 rounded tablespoon creme fraiche
5ml white wine vinegar
1/4 tablespoon lemon juice
25g butter

Basically you put everything except the butter in a small pan. Whisk together and heat over a medium heat until simmering - whisking all the time. Take off heat & whisk in the butter.

Serve with steamed asparagus tips.

After enjoyed the asparagus I got on with the pie. And as it was Saturday evening I thought I'd use the potatoes I picked up for mash to make dauphinoise potatoes. This is something I've had in the back of my mind to try for a very long time and I searched on the internet for a recipe that suited what we had in. The link takes you through to the recipe I used from the bbc website.

We served the pie, dauphinoise with some steamed kale.

It is certainly a dinner to enjoy once every few months as it oozed lots of creaminess. But it went down very well with a nice cold white wine.

Saturday 8 March 2008

Getting back

We have been back home for a week now. A week of work and it feels like our holiday was a very distant memory. I hate that about holidays.

I was going to post some more about our adventures in Scotland but Hubby posted about it a few days ago.

To be honest, I haven't cooked anything very exciting this week. I rustled up a tasty pasta bake on Wednesday with a tin of tomatoes, an onion, a green chilli & a clove of garlic - then mixing it through with some par-cooked pasta & mozzarella. Baked for 10 minutes and hey-presto. It was lovely & I quite enjoy it when I just throw stuff together that takes no more than 20 minutes.

Other than that we've not had anything exciting really. My enthusiasm has dipped a bit.

But I will get back & up running soon. In fact here is my list of 'must cook soon':
  • Hot cross buns - after Jules posted her pics a year ago, I've been waiting for Easter to come back around!
  • Cupcakes & shortbread - it's sport relief next week so I assume work will want some baking to sell for measly prices! Bah. But I love doing it :)
  • Pancetta-wrapped salmon for the new delicious magazine
  • Roasted parsnip & Parmesan soup, again from delicious
  • Bread - I did make a rather nice chilli loaf a couple of weeks back but didn't blog it
  • Lamb & rosemary burgers from Sarah Ravens book
Tonight I think we'll be having a creamy chicken & tarragon pie which has featured here at least once with steamed kale & maybe dauphinoise potatoes - something that's been on my 'to cook' list for ages. I had intended on making a chicken & asparagus pie in the week but ended up with asparagus risotto so I may use the last of the asparagus up with a 'quick' hollandaise sauce as a started - again a new one for me to try!

I am really keen to kick start my cooking again & I cant wait to move over to my new look blog - Hubby has been busy with things so it had to take a back seat for a while but I promise it is coming soon!!