Fruit, Grow, Cook And Preserve Your Own

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I was very happy to receive the new book FRUIT by Rosemary Sassoon.  A very kind gesture and a pleasure to read. Thank you!
The book is such a practical guide on how to grow, cook and preserve your own fruit.  This topic particularly interested me as we have planted an apple tree very recently alongside a beautiful lush raspberry bush, which actually yielded some berries late last year.
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Our apple tree, blossoming for the very first time.

It is such a wonderful moment when you are able to pick fruit from your very own garden.  Simply eat it or use it in numerous cooking dishes.  As Rosemary so nicely puts it, “We cannot grow everything we eat, our climate amongst other things are against us….We cannot claim to be totally self-sufficient, but we can do our best.”

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Raspberries getting ready!….

The book goes through all the fruits that can be grown in an English garden in order as it comes into season.   Small compact advice easy to read and lots of thorough ideas on how to grow and preserve the fruit that we have so carefully nurtured.  Some gardening books are very much written in a very instructive style but this one is up to you on how to follow and it’s really from the heart.  You can see how Rosemary has devoted all her life to her garden and fruit.

If you are of the older generation, you may be used to your parents or grandparents growing their own veg and fruit in allotments or their own gardens.  Now everything has become so convenient and we can purchase anything we desire from the local supermarket or shops. However,  I think it’s time to go back to our roots and literally plant some fruit! There is nothing quite like fresh fruit that blossoms, grows and ripens in front of your very own eyes.  The taste in comparison to what is sold is incomparable.

Thank you Rosemary Sassoon for igniting my passion for growing fruit all over again!  What shall I plant next?….

Baby Sweetcorn Soup

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I have a wonderful soup maker gifted from Tefal but I fail to use it regularly.  I love clear soups with chunky vegetables happily floating away in a tasty seasoned broth.

I feel SO satisfied after having a bowl or two and am now absolutely adamant to make more soup for myself!  This is a very simple recipe I put together today.  I used my soup maker machine but it can be cooked all in a saucepan as a one pot soup dish.

I hope you enjoy this spring time soup.  Here’s to more soups being made!

INGREDIENTS

8-10 baby sweetcorn chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2 celery sticks sliced
1 litre water
2 cubes vegetable stock
2 handfuls of small pasta shells
Salt to season
Garlic and chilli granules optional

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METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a soup maker or in a saucepan on a medium heat to simmer.  Cook through until soft. 

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Serve with a little grated cheddar on top and some fresh bread

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Mature Cheddar Soufflé with Tefal

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It is difficult making soufflés but what if I told you, I have a machine that will not only mix the ingredients but cook the base of the soufflé and all you have to do is follow the simple instructions and place the soufflés to bake.

INTERESTED?  I’ve caught your attention right?!

Ok, so I’m going to take you back to August last year when I was approached by Tefal to trial out a new kitchen product, and what a product it is!  I am now allowed to show this wonderful piece of apparatus as it is about to be on UK shelves in September this year.  It proved to be a very popular and extremely useful tool in the kitchen.

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It cooks, chops, mixes, whisks.  Making all types of dishes from your simple sauces to exquisite sweet delicacies. Not forgetting hearty meals that can be prepped and cooked in the one machine, especially for those Autumn and winter nights approaching.  You are able to plug this in, follow the recipe, set the Cuisine Companion, then sit back with a large glass of vino

I will be making many more recipes with the Tefal CC but for now I will indulge your eyes and tastebuds with these mature cheddar cheese soufflés!

INGREDIENTS

40g plain flour
30g butter
500 ml milk
150g grated mature Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c.  Place the flour and milk in the cuisine companion food processor with the mixer attachment.  Season with salt and pepper then mix at speed 7 for 1 minute,  Add the butter, launch the sauce programme for 8 minutes, set at 90°c speed 4

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In the meantime separate the egg whites from the yolks.  At the end of the program, throw in the grated cheddar, mix for 1 minute at speed 8.  Combine the yolks in to the mixture and mix for 45 seconds

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Pour the cheese mixture into a large bowl and wash the food processor bowl

Place the egg whites into the cleaned bowl, fit with the mixer attachment again.  Start the food processor at speed 7 for 7.5 minutes without the stopper

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Grease 6 to 8 small glass ramekins, gently fold the egg whites in to the cheese mixture.  Pour individually up to the top of each ramekin.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, without opening the oven door.  The soufflés will be ready when risen, golden brown and still have a little wobble to them.  Eat immediately for a fluffy sensation

To make soufflés by hand see http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4805/cheese-souffl-in-4-easy-steps-

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A Vibrant Halloumi & Quinoa Salad

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Quinoa is one of my favourite grains   I wanted to make a vibrant colourful and extremely tasty salad dish as the sun is out here in the UK and wanted something fresh and light to keep me going all day.  This particular recipe has done exactly that! I have not had to snack on anything since I had it at lunch and I’ve just finished my dinner so it really works!

A few steps to prep and then just to mix all together, voila!  You have your healthy salad for the day.

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INGREDIENTS

1 small cup quinoa cooked
Halloumi pan fried and diced
1 medium cucumber diced finely
2 tomatoes diced
4 spring onions slice
1 tin sweet corn drained
Baby spinach sliced
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin & coriander powder
Lemon juice to taste

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METHOD

I fry the halloumi cheese by thinly slicing and then placing into a hot non stick pan with olive oil.  Fry off on both sides until golden brown

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly so everything is fused together

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Ready to serve…How simple was that?

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Waffling Away….

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Finally I was able to get my hands on a waffle maker.  I saw it sitting pretty in my parents kitchen and I knew I had to borrow it.  My 4 year old loves sweet waffles so I thought why not try some savoury ones.  But they weren’t for him! However my husband and I, just couldn’t stop eating them!

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I think what makes them so moreish is the melted butter that is added to the batter. Makes the waffles taste wonderful and crispy.  So simple to prepare but you will need a waffle maker.  Hope you enjoy them friends!

INGREDIENTS

1-3/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter melted
3 eggs
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

METHOD

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Add the melted butter, milk and eggs. Combine well. Throw in the cheese and give a final stir

Cook waffles in the waffle maker upon instructions

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Top with avocado, cherry tomatoes and more grated mature cheddar cheese!

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Vegetarian Moussaka Style Pasta

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Hello friends! Yesterday I fused two gorgeous cuisines together, Greek & Italian! And what a result!! Tasty, Mediterranean and very comforting…my kind of food. Also healthy with the soya mince, and fresh aubergine. Which I have to say is my vegetable of choice at the minute. I keep craving them and I’m sure you’ll all be getting more aubergine recipes soon.

I think the best thing about food blogging/writing is you get to eat the food at the end of it all. Developing, prepping, cooking is enormous fun but to eat the dish is like the cherry on the cake…ummmm reminds me…I have to bake a cake soon for all of you! It’s been a while…

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, see you all very soon. Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine diced
2 medium onions diced
300g vegetarian soya mince
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tin chopped tomato
300g tomato passata
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
400g penne pasta cooked
Feta cheese optional
Salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onion and aubergine together, cover and cook for 5 minutes

2. Add the tin of tomatoes, passata, vegetarian mince, oregano, garlic and seasoning, stir, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Serve on some penne pasta with a generous crumbling of feta cheese

Loving My New Cards…

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I finally got round to designing my name cards. From being an optician to writing about food…What a career change! But I would have it no other way! I am really loving exploring and cooking all types of vegetarian food. I can’t wait to get into my kitchen and start cooking some more.

Hope you are all well friends. Do please come join me on Facebook and Twitter for lots more foodie interaction!

Have a beautiful day friends..Much love, D x

Chutney On The Cob

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Do you fancy a taste of a barbecue Summer with a funky take on Indian cuisine, well then! This recipe is for you! I have just literally finished taking my last bite of corn with my spicy coriander and lemon chutney I just made. I couldn’t wait at all, to share this with you. If you have these ingredients…you must try this NOW!

It’s so healthy, filling and above all super tasty. Especially as an addition to a meal or in its own. Next time I want to team it up with some baked sweet potato wedges. My creative juices are flowing…I have many more recipes to write up! Better get down to it!

Until then, much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 bunch fresh coriander
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic peeled
1 green chilli
1 tbsp Sunflower oil
Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

Sweetcorn on the cob pre grilled

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METHOD

This is the easy bit!  Just place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until you get a grainy paste.

Don’t worry about stalks of coriander not being crushed, this way there is more flavour

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Smother the chutney onto the corn, making sure all is covered.  Now ready to sink your teeth in?  ENJOY!

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Rosecoco Piri Piri Beans & Rice

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A staple meal of beans and rice has and always has done wonders for me! I find it satisfying, comforting and most importantly healthy. Great on a winters cold evening after picking up the boys from school. Simple, efficient and delightful. There is not a lot I can say about this dish. Just go ahead and try it friends. Do let me know how you like them. You are free to change the bean but don’t forget the spices especially the piri piri!

Enjoy, Have a lovely day! Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 tin Rosecoco beans drained
Salt to taste
2 Spring onions finely sliced
½ tsp ginger paste
5 tbsp tomato passata
1 tsp piri piri powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp olive oil

METHOD

In a non stick frying pan with the oil, fry off the spring onion and ginger with spices

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Pour in the passata, season with salt and on a low heat…warm through

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Add the beans, stir and cook for a further 10 minutes

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Serve with some fluffy white rice.