Monday, 30 July 2018

Courgette and bacon loaf with a courgette and runner beans salad

Today we made a Rustic soft zucchini ham and mozzarella loaf.
It could have done with a little bit more salt and even cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella.
I added a little bit of blue cheese to the mix which made it a little more tasty I think. Well worth doing again, especially when the courgettes are growing so well.

I am hoping that Melendra will send me a picture of it.

Ingredients for a plumcake mold 24 x 13 cm
250 g of sr flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
130 ml of milk
120 ml of sunflower oil
1 jar of white whole yogurt
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
100 g of cubes of cooked ham
150 g of cubed mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

We made a Courgette and Runnerbean  side dish  go with this cheesey loaf.
This is meant to be done on the BBQ but even in the pan on the stove was it a delightful

Melendra gave me this Healthy chocolate and zucchini muffin recipe, easy to make and a great way to use up the glut of courgettes, not to mention the gorgeous taste!

It was a great shame that we had to say good-bye to our good friend Felicia, she is returning back to China where maybe she can share some of the recipes she had done with us, it was a joy to have had her in our group,  and will be sorely missed. 

Because of this, we had forgotten to take the usual group picture as there was a lot of hugging and saying goodbye. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Lavender biscuits and lemonade

Lavender lemonade

Lucy and Lindsey cut a hand full of lavender to go into the lemonade. We then crushed it with a pestle and mortar. What a delicious scent this created. The lemonade will no doubt be amazing too.
(and it was).

In the mean time, Terry juiced the lemons and limes and added this to the pot with 1cup of sugar and 2 cups of water. We simmered it for a few minutes and let it sit until cool.
We then sifted it and were amazed by the lovely pink colour.  It was a delicious syrup, mixed with some sparkling water and ice. MMM!


Lavender biscuits

We made these in one large batch. One to have today (and they went down so fast we could not take a picture) and the other we made and put in a mini juice tetra pack in the freezer to have in the coming days when guests come. The rice flour in this recipe was fantastic. Well worth going to the shop for

Lavender sugar  to make Lavender Posset

As a main meal

We made courgetti spaghetti with spinach and blue cheese
The Spinach and blue cheese sauce came from the Riverford website.

The healthiest way to cook courgetti, because no fat is involved. Simply put the courgette noodles into a sieve and pour over a kettle of boiling water. This takes the rawness out the noodles without breaking them down too much. Strain well before adding the sauce.

And as a side salad we made this tasty and refreshing  Courgette ribbon salad 
Although the colours in today's meal were a little boring, everything was yellow, green and white,  the taste and ease of this meal was wonderful.

Thanks to Elaine, Terry, Lindsey, Melendra and Lucy for all the work, the end result was a lovely lunch with friends. Welcome to Elaine and Lindsey and Goodbye and till next year to Terry.
Your forget-me-not card and tea towel were such a gorgeous surprise. I will treasure it and think of you when drying the dishes

Monday, 23 July 2018

zucchini and walnut fritters with new potatoes, runner beans and cabbage salad

It is that time of the year again when I am tested on my courgette recipes.  So many come at once and as we are feeding ourselves from the garden and allotment, I do need to make sure that there is variety nonetheless.

So today, with a basket full of courgettes we made some:

Courgette and blue cheese soup.

Zucchini and walnut fritters

aoli (without eggs) to have with the fritters
We followed the ingredients, but put all the ingredients in a jug at once. Then with the hand blender whizzed it for 10 seconds et voila. A thick creamy garlicky  'mayonnaise'

Dried the surplus courgettes for use later in the season (when we shall miss them)

New potatoes were harvested a few weeks before and kept in a box with sand. They were still delicious.

Runner beans with a lemon juice topping

Russian cabbage salad

I added some raisins and walnuts to make it a little crunchier

As I needed to make some Peanut butter anyway I showed the group how we made it:

200 gr  salted roasted peanuts
2 tbsp of oil
a little maple syrup (or a date/some raisins)
grind together in the food processor and enjoy.

We had a little walk in the garden when there was a cloud in the sky. (it is too hot to go out, 32 C)
We looked at the vertical garden, which is doing well against the east facing wall. All the plants: peppers, leeks, strawberries, tomatoes, squashes, herbs etc are growing very happily in 2 litre bottles.

We saw the bed with beetroot, new potatoes and french beans. Last week we sowed some lettuces, and the first sign of live is already there.

After all the preparing, it was time to enjoy it. What a lovely group of friends we have.

Zucchini Walnut Fritters

Delicious, with a lovely contrasting texture, these zucchini walnut fritters are great for brunch or a snack.

This is the original recipe but we added an egg which made it crispier
A bit of cheese (feta or cheddar would be lovely too)

4-6 servings
30 minutes
   1 medium zucchini, grated
   1 small potato, grated
   ¾ c walnuts or pecans, ground
   ¼ c green onion, minced
   2 T parsley
   1 t fresh herbs, minced (optional)
   ½ t baking powder
   ½ t salt
   ¼ t pepper
   ½ c flour
   several T olive or vegetable oil
Combine all but the last two ingredients until well mixed, then gradually add flour until you have a thick batter.

Heat oven to 250.
Add enough oil to frying pan to just cover the bottom and heat until a drop of water dropped on it sizzles. Put a few scoops of batter into pan to make fritters (however many you can fit without them touching) and press each one down. Fry until brown and crisp, turn, and repeat, about 6-8 minutes total. Transfer fritters to the plate and keep them warm in the oven.
Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to pan as needed.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Meeting up with 'old friends' - From spade to plate is bringing us together

This from spade to plate was a lovely surprise, we welcomed back Estelle and her daughters who left Cambridge 2 years ago and have come back for a short holiday.

With my nieces Emma and Michaela visiting us this week, it was a great way to get a young group together.

Lucy too, used to come regularly with baby Theo, but he is now in nursery and she is  normally working. However, she had the day off and took this opportunity to join us again.

We went to the allotment to pick some black currants for the banana and black currant ice cream.

We also picked some coriander for the Pad Thai that we picked to have as a topping and a courgette for the courgette noodles.

We made some simple vegetable soup (onion, ginger, broccoli stems, left over carrots, celery, leek, and bits of courgettes that were left over from the spiralizer) all in a stock for about 20 mins et voilà a delicious soup. Especially lovely with the little bread rolls we made to go with it.
 (350 gr strong white flour, 350 gr  strong wholemeal flour) 7 gr yeast, 12 gr salt, water) Michaela and Emma did the kneading and the first proofing as we needed enough time to bake it whilst we were making the other dishes,  but due to the hot weather, it rose well and the breadrolls were made by Agate, Eglantine, Estelle, Emma, Michaela and Lucy. They came out perfect.

The large marrow was turned into 'noodles' with the spiralizer.

Some of the noodles' were so long, We could hardly eat it without cutting.

The soup, breadrolls,  Vegan Pad Thai  with vegan fish sauce were a lovely lunch.
To finish it with some freshly picked black currant and banana ice cream with a table full of friends. What more do you want on a Wednesday lunch time?

Monday, 16 July 2018

Courgettes and Zuchini

The weather has been hot and sunny for weeks now and the courgettes are thriving.
It will mean that for the next few weeks no doubt we shall have to be creative with some courgette (or Zucchini)

So here goes.

We started with making the Zucchini Cheese Loaf (recipe came from our old neighbours in West Bridgford, Chris and Ian) who used to see me come from the allotment with wheelbarrows full of courgettes and helped out with another great recipe. It  goes well  with the courgette and parmesan soup

These cakes have a tendency to stick, carefully run a knife around the edges as soon as they are removed from the oven, Leave in tin no longer than 5 minutes and then carefully remove from tin onto a cake rack.


Whilst Kazuki and mother Asako were making the savoury Cheese loaf, Bella and the two  Junes were making sure the ingredients for the soup were prepared. We used the spiralizer for speed (and fun)


We also made some stuffed courgettes, because we had some rice and roasted vegetables left over from yesterday's meal, we mixed this, stuffed the boats and topped it with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. simple but delicious

As a dessert at the end of this Courgette laden meal we made mini courgette cakes in a jar.

We added the dry ingredients to the wet ones, stirring gently until it was well mixed and poured it into the  greased and floured cake tins (ours were little mini ones because they would be ready quicker, but you can use any bread or cake tin)

As it was so hot outside we did not go into the allotments but just harvested from the garden outside the kitchen, we had enough to make all this for the 8 of us, however, as the food was so tasty and the chefs wanted to duplicate the meals at home, we went at the end of the session to the allotment to pick more courgettes.

Picking vine leaves around the corner

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wednesday - Dolmehs and creamy courgette soup (all gluten free)

After a very successful dolmas making session last week with the Monday group, I have been asked to have a repeat. This time the stuffing is going to be with an Iranian slant. I would like to thank Simin for her recipe as it turned out delicious.

Yesterday I went to my garden in Garden Walk and picked 50 vine leaves, about as big as a lady's palm of her hand. I let it sit in a brine until this morning.  I rinsed and dried them for use today.

We had a very large group 9 of us, we also went out to pick the vine leaves from our opposite neighbour. A 2 minute job that turned into some delicious food.

Ingredients:  1/2 cup rice (I use basmati rice); 2 table spoons of split peas; 3 T.S of chopped parsley; 1 T.S of mint (of course fresh ones); 2 T.S sultanas; sundried tomato and tomato puree; 1 big onion; turmeric; salt and pepper.  You can use more parsley if you want to add them to the juice at the end.

Boil the rice and the split peas together.  Make sure they don't become mushy. There shouldn't be any water left.  When cooled down a bit add the herbs and sultanas plus tomato puree and other spices. When completely mixed put a portion of a large tea spoon inside the leaf.  Wrap them and put them one by one in the saucepan.  We had 2 layers in the pan.  At the end add about 1/2 glass of stock and some olive oil, put a lid over the pan and let them cook for about 15 minutes. 

Chop the onion finely and fry it in a frying pan with some olive oil.  
When the colour starts to change add a tea spoon of turmeric add to all the other ingredients and use as stuffing of the leaves.

With the courgettes ready to harvest we made a vegan,creamy gluten free soup served with a slice of toast. This was a wonderfully tasty and easy recipe