Monday, 16 November 2020

Our first Zoom Meeting! Thai butternut Soup and Scones,

 Nervous but excited as today will be the first (hopefully of many) Zoom meetings with my friends.

As due to lockdown we cannot do From Spade to plate, I wonder if this may be a little alternative to see my friends and do some cooking at the same time.

First surprise:  We had  visitors from abroad, Seiko from Tokyo  and Karina from Bonn join us. Carmen, June, Julie and Consuelo joined in as well.

We made Thai butternut soup, with some cheese scones. The original recipe came from Alice, who used to do an English Tea and served fluffy home made scones with clotted cream and jam. I changed it to be savoury but still they come out fluffy and light. 

As today was not an oven day, I baked them in a pan on the stove.

Alice's Scones


225g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoon salt

50g frozen butter 

1 small egg 

125ml plain yoghurt

150g crumbled feta cheese

2 spring onions, chopped, or herbs or chilli flakes (optional)

A little milk to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. With your fingers, rub in the grated frozen butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the crumbled cheese and chopped spring onion.
  5. Whisk the egg into the yoghurt with a fork. Make a well in the flour mixture, add the liquid and stir again with a fork, making a soft dough.
  6. Gather the dough in well-floured hands and knead very lightly. On a floured surface, press out the dough with a rolling pin to not less than 1.25cm thick.
  7. Using a 5cm glass or ring cutter, firmly cut out the scones. Gather up the scraps, kneading them together to more scones. 
  8. Transfer the scones to a well greased baking sheet. With a pastry brush wipe the tops of the scones with milk mixture.
  9. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well-risen and golden brown.
  10. Makes 6-8 scones depending on the size of cutter.
We also made some yoghurt. I normally do this using milk delivered in  returnable glass bottles so that we reduce plastic containers

How I make yoghurt 


2 cups  whole milk

2 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt


  1. In a saucepan, over low heat bring the milk to a simmer. It will take around 15-20 minutes. The freshest milk will yield you better yogurt.
  2. Once it starts to bubble turn off the heat and set aside. You notice a skin has formed on your milk, that is normal.
  3. Let it cool down to the blood temperature. You can test by place your finger in there and if you can’t feel the milk around your finger then it is at blood temperature.
  4. Once cooled whisk in the yogurt.
  5. Pour into a sterilized jar and tightly close the lid. Line a deep bowl with a thick tea towel and place in the jar of yogurt. Wrap the jar up well in the towel and let it sit out in a warm part of your kitchen over night.
  6. After this time, pop the jar in the fridge and let it get cold, roughly 2-3 hours. Once chilled your yogurt will be firm and thick in texture.
  7. Before you add anything, keep a couple of spoonfuls aside for the next batch. At this point you can add sugar, sweetener, honey, fruit and vanilla.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Pumpkin Pie and a Kale and Cauliflower salad

Haruna making the pumpkin pie filling

 Last week we had a huge butternut squash that provided us food for 6 of us in the form of a soup. The other half was turned this week into a pumpkin pie. No bake as per our 3 cookery book. We thought it was a little too sweet, so would reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup rather than 1/2 cup

We also went to the allotment where we picked the kale for the  Kale and Broccoli salad we used Cauliflower instead of Broccoli and it tasted amazing. Who would have thought that raw Kale could taste so nice.

Manami cooking the pie ingredients    
Simone chopping the cauliflower

A sunny (but chilly) walk to the allotment

Bon Appetit
chopped up ingredients for the Kale  salad

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Pea and Parmesan Gnocchi

 With the last of the potatoes dug up, I used the not so good looking ones to make some of Gordon Ramsay's recipes. Gnocchi. They turned out beautifully. I normally make ridges with a fork, but this time making the little pillows and a dimple in it made these fried delicate eats into a glorious meal.

I don't think I will ever go back to the original recipe. A great find.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

A vegan meal: 'cream' of Mushroom soup and Spinach, coconut and sweetpotato stew

 The weather was fresh but sunny, a relief after a week of rain and dreariness to have a walk to the allotment. We picked the spinach and peppers to go into the Spinach, coconut and Sweet potato stew.

We made our own Khorma Paste, although it took a little time to turn it into a paste with a pesstle and mortar, the end result was lovely.


For soup we made a Vegan mushroom soup, which was easy, creamy and very tasty. Rather than wine, we used some sherry and switched plain flour for the corn starch.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Thai inspired food with a hint of British Cuisine!

As the butternut squashes have now been harvested, it is time to do something nice  with them.

and as a main meal, brussels sprouts in a thai peanut sauce with rice

 and a salad with fresh carrots, peppers and stuffed nasturtiums and home made egg free mayonnaise.


 How to lay a table, Simone is giving a demo

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Kale & Broccoli salad, pumpkin Soup

 With the kale growing so well, and the broccoli ready too, this salad was a must.

Haruna, Ai, June and I enjoyed it very much. So many wonderful vegetables in it to make our lunch.  

Together with the leek and pumpkin soup topped with mushrooms, thyme and chives a great meal for an autumnal afternoon.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Chickpea brownies

 Today we harvested Amaranth seeds for microgreen sowing next week,


planting of broadbeans and some elephant garlic. We harvested the rocket 

for the delicious leek and rocket soup 

1 leek finely chopped
3 shallots finely chopped
2 medium potatoes chopped
4 handfuls rocket (roughly chopped)
1 litre vegetable stock
1/3 cup (non)dairy cream (vegan version)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Fry the onions and leek then add the potatoes and stock and simmer until the potatoes are soft
Finally add the cream, rocket, mustard, pepper and nutmeg
Blend with hand blender until completely smooth

Ingredients for the topping
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tablespoon dry roasted pine nuts

Mix sugar and salt and pour over the cucumber
Serve the soup, garnish with a little cucumber mix and pine nuts

and then the total surprise for all

to enjoy was the chickpea chocolate brownie with yoghurt and raspberries.


1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed

2 (chia) eggs

1/2 cup cacao powder

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp coffee grinds (optional)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In a food processor blend all ingredients (apart from Chocolate chips)

Add the chips, pour batter in a prepared baking tin and bake 20mins on 180C (or until inserted knife comes out clean)

Allow the brownies to cool for at least 20minutes before cutting up and serving. Try pulling a dollop of cherry jam and yoghurt on top