Friday, August 31, 2012

Cracking Crumble!

I'm not much of a dessert person, my usual sweet treat aprés dinner would be berries and yogurt, not terribly imaginative I know. To be completely honest I am useless as baking sweet things, cakes, biscuits and buns never turn out as they should for me. Bread? No bother! Cakes? Oh crikey!!!

 However, one thing I have mastered to do is crumble! Wah-hey!
The recipe I use can be found in The Blazing Salads cookbook, so simple to do and packed full of flavour and goodness.

I'd got some gorgeous peaches (dare I say favourite fruit of all time!!) which were a tad of the hard side and therefore would be perfect in a crumble along side sweet and crisp apples. With a crunchy oat and seed topping, baked for 40 mins and served with delicious natural yogurt it's a great way to finish off any meal with plenty for seconds and leftovers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trip to Bath

Delicious Chai Latte at You & Me Coffee & Cake Boutique

Yasai Gyoza at Wagamama

Cosmos at Browns Bar

Drinking the Spa Water (an acquired taste!)

Lovely Latte at Roman Baths Kitchen 

Green Tea with Mango at The Pump Room

Summer Rolls & Tofu at Thai Balcony

Little duck that joined us for sushi (forgot to take a pic) at Parade Gardens

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ravioli di Piselli con Panzanella

Ravioli are such a easy and delicious weekday dinner, again we cheated a little and used up leftover dumpling wrappers but it's just so much quicker and they have such a delicate flavour. Isaac filled them with fresh peas, spinach, mint from our little garden, seasoning and a small bit of Quark to bind the ingredients together. 

They take less than a minute to cook in a pot of salted boiling water and with a drizzle of homemade pesto (with basil from our windowsill) it was such a lovely seasonal summery dinner. 

To go with the ravioli we had panzanella, a delicious Tuscan bread salad. It is a great way to use up any leftover bread, torn into chunks and crisped up in the oven before being tossed with tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning. Yum!! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday Roast

Sunday dinners for me have to have some kind of roast element to it.
Just because I don't eat meat or fish doesn't mean that I don't crave something delicious roasted in the oven. This was inspired by a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty and was absolutely delicious! It has to be one of my favourite cook books, it has so many beautiful recipes with flavours inspired from many different cuisines. I almost wished I'd made double of this dish just so Isaac and I could have had seconds!!

The main star of the show is aubergine (one of our favourite veggies) roasted in the oven until soft all the way through you could just eat it with a spoon and flavoured with fresh thyme from the garden.

To go the with aubergines I made some lovely lentils, very similar to another Ottolenghi recipe but with a few tweaks. They worked perfectly with the aubergine adding a lovely texture and depth of flavour. The aubergines were dressed with a garlicy yogurt sauce and topped with ruby jewels of pomegranate. They added incredible little busts of juicy freshness to the dish while the cool yogurt contrasted the warm aubergine and lentils perfectly. It was absolutely delicious and I'm already looking forward to the next time I make it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Super Sage and Veggie Sausage Cassoulet

 I had originally intended not to put recipes up on this blog, however I just can't help myself.
As I've mentioned before I love watching cookery programs, I find it so relaxing and of course they're endless source of inspiration. This cassoulet recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver, it's easy to prepare, totally delicious and perfect for a Sunday dinner.

This will definitely be a great autumn/winter dish as it is packed full of herbs and is super comforting, however on a drap and chilly August evening it worked out a treat! Isaac and I were in total agreement, this was a fantastic dinner. One of the changes I made to the original recipe was using veggie sausages, you could easily leave sausages out altogether and use a couple of different types of beans to make the dish vegan.

Before baking:

Here is what I used to make the dish:

2 onions (1 red, 1 white), thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, grated
6 veggie sausages, cooked
1 large can of butter beans in water
1/2 a 500g carton of passata
1 capful of mushroom ketchup
Few sprigs of thyme & rosemary, chopped
2 bay leaves,
8 sage leaves, chopped
Olive oil, salt and pepper

For the breadcrumb crust:
3 slices of rosemary and olive oil bread
4 sage leaves
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper

1) Place a roasting tin on the hob and sauté the onion in some olive oil until caramelised, then add the garlic and herbs and cook for 1 min to take the rawness of out the garlic.
2) Add the tin of butter beans (water and all), passata and mushroom ketchup. Stir and bring to a simmer adding salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too dry add a little water or stock.
3)In a food processor or blender, blitz the bread, garlic, sage and seasoning until breadcrumbs. Set aside.
4) When all the ingredients are bubbling away, place the already cooked sausages on top to warm slightly. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the sagey breadcrumbs on top.
5) Place the roasting tin into a hot preheated oven for 5-10 mins or until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown. Serve and enjoy!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beautiful Brunch

Brunch is such a great meal, more substantial than breakfast but not as filling as lunch. 
A lovely in-between!

My favourite bunch meal is a slice of homemade seeded bread, a handful of fresh rocket leaves, a delicious field mushroom roasted for 15-20 mins with thyme and garlic, a poached egg and a spoonful of peppery and rich homemade pesto.

I have to admit that my poached egg is far from perfect but it still tasted amazing. I cracked an egg into a cup lined with cling film, brought all the side together so no water or air got in and dropped it into a pot of boiling water. I know it's not the classic way of making a poached egg, but it ensures a perfect egg every time and you don't lose any of the egg white!

                                   It's a messy, gooey and mouth-wateringly delicious dish.