Monday, 21 January 2019

Leek and Potato Soup, flat bread with Vegan dips

Today after harvesting leeks before the frost set in, we turned them and the last of the potatoes into a lovely leek and potato soup.

We made flat bread to go with the Cashew Nut dip,
Cortney in action
Sundried tomato and Butter bean paté and the 'cheese' sauce and the last of the carrots in the garden. They were difficult to harvest, but eventually they were turned into some sweet, crunchy goodies.
Rachel making Cashew nut dip


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Mushrooms and bread

Today we made a variety of bread.
First a very quick and easy beer bread  using the yeast in the beer instead of the dried yeast we used in the Brioche recipe.

Bailey deomonstrating kneading dough in a bag
 This recipe is vegan by using chickpea water (Aquafaba)  and extremely fluffy and tasty. To make sure our hands were not covered in sticky dough we used the bread in a bag technique.

The Seeded crackers went down very well too, we had them with a slice of Extra mature cheddar cheese and a topping of sweet chilli jam.
all the seeds in the crackers

Mushroom patê with parsley
The Mushroom patê went down a treat, it went well with both the brioch and the beer bread.
So much so that all recipes were voted for to be included in the next cookbook!

As a soup today we made a cream of mushroom soup.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Sweet Chili jam and Cheese and Coriander Pie

Rummaging around the fridge brought up breadcrumbs, various cheeses, eggs and some coriander and came up with this recipe. Coriander and Cheese Pie.
It is simple and very tasty.
The end result: a delicious coriander cheese pie

A happy crew, thank you Yumi for taking the picture

Liz picking the lettuce leaves for the salad

Coriander cheese pie, with Chilli Jam and salad

Yumi using grandma's cheese grater!

Simone grinding the fresh coriander seeds

Peppers, garlic, chillies and tomatoes bubbling away 

A sweet chilli jam, lovely with spring rolls, quiches and cheeses

If you would like to try your own version, here is the recipe we used.

Ingredients 4 persons
125g dry breadcrumbs
50g ground almonds
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
50g melted butter
For Filling
300g cottage cheese
2 tablespoons of single cream
50g grated Cheddar cheese
25g grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
3 eggs

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the flan base together with the melted butter and press into a well greased 25cm flan tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Purée the cottage cheese with the cream in a blender.
  3. Stir in the cheeses and the fresh coriander.
  4. Beat the eggs through the mixture and pile on top of the breadcrumb base. Bake for 15-30 minutes or until firm and golden.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Baking lemon poppy cake without an oven

Today's From Spade to Plate group saw how to use my 'Sand pan' as an oven.
This large pan has a layer of clean sand on the bottom (about 1cm thick) on top of that I placed a metal disc (from one of my loose bottomed baking tins) to make sure that anything in the 'oven' won't get covered in sand.

So we made some Lemon Poppy Cake, as we only had 2 eggs, we used Chia seeds as egg replacer for the other 2 eggs.

 This recipe did not call for baking powder but think it would be good to add 1 teaspoon to the selfraising flour. We made sure that after greasing and flouring the jars (Ball kilner jars as they have straight necks) we filled them half full with the batter. We then placed them (without lids) into the 'oven'. When the oven was hot, we turned down the gas to low and cooked it until risen and firm.   Once done, we removed the jars and added the lids so that when they cooled down, they would close in a vacuum and can be kept in the larder for weeks to use when unexpected guests arrive.  The one that was rather full, I let cool down and took out of the jar to cut into round slices with a cup of tea.

For Lunch we made Quorn Chicken pieces chasseur,

with leeks and mushrooms and red wine. For those who prefer chicken just replace the Quorn but follow the recipe. We also had the last of the brussels sprouts with the dish.  We halved the sprouts, chopped some onions and sautêed them sprinkled some zucchini 'bacon' over it and let it steam in a little water until done.

Together with some rice and some salad from the garden (various leaves, including, lambslettuce, rocket, chickweed, beetroot leaves, carrots, and  peppers) we turned these goodies into a delicious lunch.

Monday, 7 January 2019

First From Spade to Plate session of 2019

Today Asako, Sayaka, Simone, Lucy, Julie showed up for the first day in the new year for our from Spade to Plate session.

We started with a Gluten Free  meal.
The Carrot, Ginger and Butterbean soup was delicious with the Brasilian Cheese balls.

We prepared the butternut squash, red onions for a short roasting session finished off with roasted kale and quinoa and halloumi. A warm and tasty salad. Insead of Frekeeh we used Quinoa.

What a great and colourful start.


We did a little for the reduce, reuse and recycle  campaign.
I reused my cashmere holely jumper, using one part of the arm as a can cover.
The Lemon shell after juicing has gone into the freezer so we can use it the future for lemon zest and after that it will be composted.
We saved the seeds of the Butternut Squash, dried them out to be sown in May


Saturday, 22 December 2018

Our first book is now published and online!

For many hours in the last few weeks, I have been busy with cooking and making up a cooking book as a memento for the Visiting scholars who joined me in the previous year. It is called From Spade to Plate, bringing the world together around a kitchen table.
It has been frustrating at times but learned a lot in the meantime and am now excited to see the end result.

The Apple template was beautiful and to use, that does mean however that I can only publish it on Apple devices. So my apologies to those who are not able to access the information online.
Good news though is that all the recipes in the books (and pictures for that matter) are on this blog somewhere.

For those people who can pick up the hard copy up from me in Cambridge, they will be greeted with a  beautiful book printed by Minuteman Press on Victoria Road. Dario has been brilliant.

The first batch of 30 that was printed, was distributed within no time as Christmas is looming. Over the last couple of weeks, I had feedback to correct any errors we spotted so hopefully the online book is now without mistakes: fingers crossed.

I can now have a little pause before setting up the 2nd book with Spring and Summer experiences.

If you can, have a look online, go to the iBooks Store and in the search box type Karina Wells and the book should be popping up for you to download.  Enjoy!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Christmas coffee morning - Book launch

Today was such an exciting day as it was the launch of the first From Spade to Plate cookbook.
It was lovely to see how much my friends enjoyed them, even though we have already spotted a few mistakes!  So the 2nd edition will be in the making.

I made some hot apple Christmas juice, with puff pastry mince pies, anise biscotti and an amazing strawberry Christmas star. To be honest I was surprised myself. Here is the link on how to make it.
The anise biscotti are included in the cookbook.

Monday, 10 December 2018

What is in the fridge?

Before going on holiday we had our last From Spade to Plate of the year. We looked what was in the fridge and decided to use the mushrooms, leeks, soft cheese, and blue cheese to make ravioli and the

leftover salsa (from Friday's games evening's dips) to add to the tomato sauce that we made as a topping for the ravioli.

As a dessert, we made a puff pastry chocolate snowflake. It was easy to make and very tasty too.

We are looking forward to picking up the cooking book that should be ready at the printers and next Monday we shall have a book launch with the group. So watch this space.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Spinach Christmas tree

This week we had another lovely young chef. Isadora (aged 4) came with her mother Lu to show off her cooking skills. She was so helpful and made the From Spade to Plate cooking activity so different.

A few weeks ago, I promised to make marmalade with the group, as it is so easy (as we use Mamade) and quick and not something we could have for lunch.


we made a Spinach Christmas tree to go with the Soup

We went into the garden to harvest the carrots to make a simple but delicious Carrot Soup 
We added potatoes, (peeled by Isadora)   carrots, an onion to the pan, covered it with stock and after 20 minutes when the vegetables were soft, we pureed it into a lovely soup. This time we did not have bread with the soup but these lovely looking and delicious tasting Spinach, cheesey bread sticks.  With the left over pastry and spinach mix we made some savoury 'tortolini' shaped puffs. Easy to eat and very tasty with the soup.