Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Peach, Blue Cheese and Parma Ham Pizza

This is a really interesting pizza. I'm slowly getting used to adding fruit to savoury dishes and finding that more often than not it works! This was really tasty and the blue cheese goes really well with the peaches.

Peach, Blue Cheese and Parma Ham Pizza
(Serves 2)

1 packet pizza mix
2 -3tbsp alfredo sauce
1 peach, sliced
3 parma ham slices
50g blue cheese, broken into pieces
50g grated mozzarella

Make the pizza dough according to packet instructions.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Roll out and spread over the alfredo sauce. Put the peach slices, and half the parma ham on top of the sauce. Crumble over the blue cheese and then top with the mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 mins until crispy. Once cooked put the rest of the parma ham on the pizza and serve.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Salmon and Wild Garlic Quiche

I made these a little while ago when wild garlic was in season and then I froze them. I ate the first one yesterday and it was lovely, the pastry was fantastic and flaky. The wild garlic, is mild but full of flavour and goes perfectly with the salmon.

Salmon and Wild Garlic Quiche (adapted from Camera and Clementine)
(Serves 6-8)

360g of organic strong white flour
200g cold butter
6 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt
5 large free range eggs
200g crème fraiche
1 large tin salmon, flaked
30-40 wild garlic leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
a sprinkling of mature cheddar
salt and pepper

Add flour and butter to a mixing bowl, using a knife cut the butter into the flour. Then using your fingertips rub in the butter until all the large lumps are gone. Add the salt and water, then quickly kneed the dough, just until it hangs together. Pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to fit a 28 cm buttered quiche tin. Blind bake the crust for 15 mins.

Meanwhile make the filling, by beating the eggs with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and crème fraiche. Add the salmon, wild garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix.

Pour the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle with a little mature cheddar on top. Bake for 35-40 mins. Serve with a green salad.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Meal Planning Monday

So this week is much quieter! I'm finishing off painting my windowsills this week and then running around doing odd jobs. I'm going to the theatre on Tuesday and then on Thursday my Mum arrives and on Friday we go off to Paris for the weekend and then the following Tuesday I'm going up to Northumberland for about 10 days. So this weeks menu plan is a clear out the fridge and use the garden one. Then there won't be any meal plans for a couple of weeks but I have scheduled posts whilst I'm away so you'll still get the daily update!


Spicy Morroccan Carrot Salad with Lentils (Plenty)
Lamb Kofte Curry with Rice (Jamie's 15 Mins)

Raclette Tart and Salad
Out before the theatre

Roast in the Hole with Sausages


Elderberry Muffins

This was the second lot of cakes that I took into work. I picked elderberries from my parents garden last year and froze them. They were really lovely but went very moist and sticky very quickly, so best eaten quickly! I made lots of little muffins instead of big ones, more to go round!!

Elderberry Muffins (from Becky Doughty)
(Makes 12 large muffins)

113g butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
125ml milk
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
140g elderberries

For the topping
113g demerara suagr
42g plain flour
60g butter, softened, cubed
1½ tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.

Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt and then fold into the wet ingredients with a metal spoon. Carefully fold in elderberries.

Spoon into the muffin tins and sprinkle with the crumb topping.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Walrus and Otter - Brazilian Supper Club

Last night I took a trip across London to Hampstead for a really enjoyable evening at a Brazilian themed supper club. It was run by a friend I went to school with and her boyfriend and was the first supper club I have been to. It really appealed as I love trying new foods and very rarely eat Brazilian, but also I don't get cooked for very often, I cook for myself all the time and eat out at restaurants but it's nice to have a home cooked meal cooked by someone else. It was a very relaxed evening and was fab to meet lots of new people. The food was really delicious and I am tempted to try making the main course myself.

We started with canapés and a cocktail, which I didn't take a picture of, but included chargrilled courgette, mozzarella and tomato, prawn, mango and coconut cups and chicken rice balls. All were really tasty. The cocktail was served in decorated jam jars, which was a really lovely touch.

We then took our seats and started with Ceviche with a piece of chilli spiked corn on the cob.

It really was out of this world, packed full of really interesting flavours. We then had a palate cleanser of caipirinha sorbet on a lovely painted Brazillian spoon!

 For our main course we had Chicken Bobo with Rainbow Rice and Cabbage.

The chicken stew was served in a banana leaf and was just so good and the rice was incredibly tasty. It was lovely to have a dish with coconut milk that isn't Thai!

For pudding we had a Fruit Tart with Creme Patissiere and a Coconut and Rum Ice Cream.

Both were fab and I was especially surprised by the ice cream as I'm not a huge fan of coconut, but this was truly delicious. The meal was finished off with coffee and chocolates.

I had a really lovely evening and I'm really looking forward to trying out more supper clubs as I love the idea.

Chicken with Broad Beans, Lemon and Mint

I made this recipe using the first broad beans from the garden. It was so delicious, the creamy flavours and the veg were perfect. I added in courgettes as I have hundreds of baby ones that seem to refuse to grow any bigger. Apparently it's because it's been too cold at night, so fingers crossed for some warmer nights.

Chicken with Broad Beans, Lemon and Mint (from The WW Foodie)
(Serves 4)
(8 ProPoints per serving)

400g chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless, cut into chunks
3 tsp light oil
1 onion, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml vermouth or white wine
2 large bay leaves
500ml chicken stock
100g frozen broad beans
4 tbsp half fat creme fraiche
zest and juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp chopped mint

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large saucepan. Season the meat and then add to the pan to brown - in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate.

Heat the final tsp of oil. Add the onion and courgette and cook for 3-4 mins until it starts to soften and then add in the garlic and cook for a further 5 mins or so until all the vegetables are softened.

Pour in the vermouth or white wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the wine to almost nothing, then return the chicken to the pan and combine everything well.

Now add three quarters of the chicken stock and the bay leaves. Bring up to a simmer then cover and cook for around 30 mins.

Meanwhile, combine the creme fraiche with the lemon and mint and weigh out the broad beans.

After half an hour has passed, remove the lid and add the broad beans.  If it looks a little dry, add more stock - you want a decent amount of sauce.  Cook for 5 mins until the broad beans are cooked.

Turn the heat down and stir through the flavoured creme fraiche. Season and serve over rice or with potatoes.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sweet Potato and Sausage Salad

This salad is so good, there really is something very comforting about warm sausage and warm sweet potato but in a salad. I cannot bear to think what might in low fat sausages, which the WW recipes usually recipe call for so I've always used awesome quality sausages. If you used low fat sausages the ProPoints would be 7, I have no idea for normal sausages.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Salad (from WW Soups and Salads)
(Serves 4)

600g sweet potato
cooking spray
4 sausages
4 shallots
small bunch chives, chopped
salt and pepper
4 tbsp crème fraiche
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salad leaves

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting tin, spray with the cooking spray, season and roast for 30 mins until tender.

Put the sausages into a separate tin and bake alongside the sweet potato for 30 mins until browned all over and cooked through, you may need to turn them halfway through cooking. Leave to cool slightly and slice.

Heat a frying pan, spray with cooking spray and cook the shallots for 5 mins until softened, adding a splash of water if they start to stick.

Place the sweet potato, sausages, shallot and chives into a bowl. Mix together the crème fraiche and mustard and spoon over the potato mixture, toss together until well combined.

Put the salad leaves into 4 individual bowls, top with the potato and sausage mixture and serve.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Selfridges Windows

Today I went to the Dennis Hopper exhibition at the Royal Academy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a very eclectic mix of pictures, everything from slightly dull abstracts to photos of icons, such as Martin Luther King at a Rally and Andy Warhol as well as hippies and bikers. On a slight detour back to the tube I went past Selfridges summer windows, which this year are all food themed. 

The first is of an American diner

Then a bakery

Followed by a window full of meringues!

Next came a charcuterie

Then an espresso bar, with a lovely lady sheltering from the rain!

And finally a Mexican window.

I really loved these windows, there were a couple more but there were too many pictures to get good shots. I'll try going back earlier in the morning to get better shots. They are really fun to look at and promote the changes to their food hall.

Rhubarb and White Chocolate Blondies

Oh my goodness these were good! I took them into work as a thank you to the staff as I was leaving my job and they went down really well. I loved the combination of the rhubarb and white chocolate and they were perfectly cooked in the middle. I thought 45 mins was too long for such a small pan but actually it was perfect.

Rhubarb and White Chocolate Blondies (from Hummingbird High)
(Makes an 8x8inch pan)

450g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp granulated sugar
zest of 1 lime
113g butter
100g packed dark brown sugar
67g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
260g white chocolate chips, divided into 175g and 85g portions
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a baking pan, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, and lime zest. Set aside for about 10 mins until a little syrup starts to appear.
Once the rhubarb is a little syrupy, cover the baking pan with aluminium foil and roast in the preheated oven for 10 mins until the sugar is melted. If the sugar isn’t melted, continue roasting for another 2 mins or so, before removing the foil completely and roasting for another 2 mins uncovered until the syrup is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow the rhubarb to cool to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8 x 8in baking pan.
Melt the butter over a medium low heat until it starts to brown, foam slightly and emit a nutty aroma. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
After around 5 mins, whisk the butter and sugars together until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Sprinkle the flour, cinnamon, and  salt over the liquid mixture and use a metal spoon to fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan. Spread the roasted rhubarb on top of the blondie batter evenly until most of the batter is covered, before scattering the leftover 1/2 cup white chocolate chips over the rhubarb.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 mins, or until the edges are golden brown. If the rhubarb and white chocolate looks like it’s browning too fast, create an aluminium foil tent over the pan.  Once the blondies are cooked, leave to cool completely and then cut into pieces.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Turkey Smashed Pea and Pesto Sandwich

I cheated a bit with this sandwich. I didn't bother with the onions, I stuck some pickled red cabbage on top instead. It was massively flavourful though and i loved the peas and pesto.

Turkey Smashed Pea and Pesto Sandwich (from The Sweets Life)
(Serves 4)

1/4 small red onion, sliced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp butter
200g frozen peas
salt and pepper
4 tbsp pesto
200g turkey pieces
8 slices bread, toasted

Place the onion slices and vinegar in a small bowl and allow to sit for 3-5 mins, until onion is tender and bright pink.

 Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the peas and salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 mins, until the peas are heated through. Mash until peas hold together.

Spread pesto on four of the sandwich slices, then top with the peas, onion, and turkey. Finish with remaining slices of bread. Serve.