Saturday, 27 February 2021

Plans for this week's zoom meeting



 Although I am leaving it a bit late, I hope people have time to get their ingredients before tomorrow and Wednesday. The weather has been so nice off late that I have spent most of my time in the allotment.

I have started sowing peas, onions, leeks, celery, celeriac and yesterday some mini munch cucumbers.

This week I am planning a meal I have not tried before Lemon Roast vegetbles with yogurt tahini and pomegranate and as a desert a lemon mousse (from Book 2)


On Wednesday we will make Bami Goreng.


Sunday, 21 February 2021

Mushroom and spinach pasta

 As this week I am inviting students from  St Johns' college to join our zoom meeting, I wanted to try a quick and easy pasta dish with home made pasta without a machine. ( as not everyone has one)

We made this mushroom and spinach dish, it turned out well and had a big group join in.



Dear Karina


Hi, thanks for the session today.
I made a pasta for four people together and ate it as a lunch.
It was so delicious and everyone liked the fresh pasta more than the dried one!
Thank you very much.

Best wishes 
Hiroe




Monday, 15 February 2021

Sweet and Sour chinese vegetables and Chickpea flour tofu

 Today we made Sweet and Sour Chinese vegetables from the 2nd cook book

We also made the Chickpea flour tofu also called Burmese Tofu and had it on a bed of rice.





Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Orange, Halloumi and spinach Salad

Over the last years we made risotto with leeks, peas, kale and broadbeans. They all turned out well, but took a little time to make as we needed to 'feed' the rice little by little with stock.

This easy Mushroom and Pea risotto  recipe has some short cuts, which made it super simple to make and VERY tasty.

In future I will use this technique again and add the vegetables that are available in the allotment at the time of cooking.

I suppose we could easily have had a simple salad to go with this,  but as I had some oranges and some spinach that needed eating, we made some Halloumi, orang and Spinach Salad to go with it.



Halloumi, orange and spinach salad


Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Bella's ready steady cook creation

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Thai curry and a mushroom risotto today

 

On Monday  Thai Curry (carrot, onion, coconut milk and peanuts)   although I make my noodles myself before hand, you may want to either buy noodles or rice, whatever you enjoy more.



On Wednesday am planning to make a mushroom risotto 
for the risotto, I just use the mushrooms I have.
In addition we will make this Halloumi, Carrot and Orange Salad

Monday, 1 February 2021

Lemon curd, lemon puffs and Cheese, 'bacon' and leek tarts

 I bought a box of puff pastry and looked for recipes to use the whole sheet up. No waste and only use the oven once.

First we made the 'mushroom bacon' to go onto the savoury tart. Cheese, Pesto and 'Bacon’ tart



I then made the puff pastry cases and filled them with the lemon curd that I had made yesterday as it was properly cooled and set.   lemon curdLemon Curd Tarts

The lemon curd was made at the end, so I can use it to go into yoghurt or go onto my toast.


 A surprise visit from Holland where Gwen and Emma took this picture of me explaining how to make my mother's favourite Lemon Curd



Friday, 29 January 2021

Spinach and Potato curry with batter flat bread

 As an evening meal we made the Sag Aloo recipe from book 3. Although here is another recipe that might work. 

As I had 1/2 a can of coconut milk left from Monday's from spade to plate, it was a great way to use it up.

The flat bread that we made was more of a pancake. No need to roll it out. It did puff up and was a fun alternative. Not sure if I would make it again if the normal flatbread ingredients are around.



Monday, 25 January 2021

Not much in the allotment at the moment, but still some delicious meals

 This week I had to be creative as at this time of the year there is not much and with this week's heavy frost even less to harvest.

With this in mind, the Spinach Orzo turned out really well. This quick and delicious meal was a real winner.  We did make enough for 3 hungry mouths so after all was tidied up, I had a walk in the sunshine (very slippery under foot though) to give June a taster

As I had a can of tomato in my cupboard, we turned it into a creamy tomato soup that we had as an evening meal in the end.

Today's from Spade to Plate. One-Pan orzo with Spinach and Feta (and pinenuts as suggested by Julie) The end result....? A gorgeous lunch, made with input of 6 of us. The 2 ingredient tomato soup was quick and tasty.

Carmen Maria Renwick

suggestion to serve with a parmesan topping was genius. All in all, another lovely cooking session.






Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Wednesday 20th January Zoom session - Festive warm brussels sprouts salad with 'mushroom bacon'

      For tonight's dinner:we made this  Warm brussels sprouts salad  and mushroom bacon

It was extremely easy to make, I did not use the oven and fried the brussels sprouts and mushrooms instead.

We had plenty of  time to have a chat, and have found out that Brussels sprouts were available in the USA, Finland and the UK!

It was lovely to see Meghan and Ying and look forward to seeing them again next week.


We had this 'salad' with quinoa and liked it so much that tomorrow I will be making it again.



Sunday, 20 December 2020

Cashew nut loaf, potato croquettes, halloumi and orange salad and a mincepie star.

Many years ago, my friend Pat gave me this Cashew nut loaf recipe as my first ever vegetarian Christmas meal. We all liked it, veggies and meat eater alike, so thought to share it with you too. I have included it into my 4th from Spade to Plate book, that is getting well on the way.


Ingredients

1 chopped onion

Oil from the sun dried tomatoes

200g ground cashew nuts

12 finely cut sun dried tomatoes

1 can of chopped peeled tomatoes

Rind of lemon

1 spoon of fresh basil

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 packet of puff pastry


Method

  1. Fry the onion in the sun-dried tomato oil
  2. Add the can of chopped and peeled tomatoes and leave until the juices have evaporated, then remove from heat
  3. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lemon, nuts, basil, salt and pepper and most of the egg (keep some behind to put over the puff pastry)
  4. Mix together thoroughly and put in a loaf tin
  5. Bake in over at 180ºC for 45 mins
  6. Let it cool down completely.
  7. Roll out the puff pastry large enough to wrap around the loaf.  
  8. Then if you feel in the mood to do some fancy decorative skill, do that now. Haha Glaze the pastry with the left over egg.
  9. Put back in the oven until the puff pastry is golden brown and puffed up. (about 20 minutes)
Pear Shaped Potato croquettes


Although they are easy to make they take more than one and a half hour for chilling so something to be aware off. We won't be able to do the whole recipe in our 40 minutes Zoom session


Ingredients

600 g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 egg

1 egg yolk

60g parmesan grated

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

plain flour for coating

1 egg lightly beaten (extra)

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

2-3 strands raw spaghetti


Method

  1. Boil the potatoes and turn into mash potatoes, include the eggs, egg yolks, parmesan, parsley until soft, while the potatoes are still hot.
  2. Divide into 12 portions, put on a tray, cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Shape the potato portions into small pear shapes and coat each in the flour, egg and then the breadcrumbs
  4. Break the spaghetti into small lengths and insert one piece into the top of each pear shape to represent a stalk
  5. Put back into the fridge to firm up.
  6. Then put in the oven until golden brown around 20 minutes.
  7. Serve hot or warm
We also made the Halloumi, carrot and orange salad. A fresh and tasty salad that went well with the Nutloaf and potato croquettes.

For dessert we made a mincep ie star which we had with a lovely cup of Chai.




Merry Christmas to you all.


Saturday, 19 December 2020

Christmas coffee morning - Book launch

Over the last few weeks,  have been finishing my 4th From Spade to Plate recipe book. Lovely to see these pictures from 2 years ago when we launched the first book .



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.







Spinach Christmas tree

A week ago in 2018  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.        

Friday, 18 December 2020

Testing for the recipe book - crepes, biscuits and a pumpkin soup

Those were the days. This weekend  2 years ago, Andrea came to help figure out how to publish the cookery book and came with a Pumpkin so we decided to turn this one into .... Pumpkin Soup. To be honest our 5 spice recipe in which we normally use butternut squash, would have been much better. So won't give the recipe we used as it was a little mediocre.  Use the Butternut squash and 5 spice recipe instead substituting a pumpkin.

      
In addition we made some Christmas biscuits, three different types. The Honey jumbles, we changed into heart shapes, The thumb print  biscuits and the puff pastries christmas trees came out well and were quick and easy to make.

For the Christmas trees, take a pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar, cut a 1 cm strip from the short side of the sheet and layer over it self, zig zagging and reducing the width, resembling a Christmas tree. Pierce a cocktail stick through the top to the bottom and follow the rest of the recipe.


Whilst all this was being made we tested the Cheese ball share and tear bread. I prepared the bread dough before hand to speed things up. We used a mature Cheddar cheese to put inside but think a blue cheese might have been nice too.  Apart from it tasting so lovely, it looked attractive too (even though I say it myself)






Simone was in charge of the Crêpes Suzette and turned this basic ingredients into a scrumptious desert. We used  hot melted butter and Marmalade to make the sauce, to pour over the crêpes but for those who like a tipple, a little orange liqueur added to this sauce would be very nice too.







Lu, Asako, Sayaka, Simone and I worked hard to fit in so many lovely recipes in just 2 hours, the end result was well worth it though.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Brussels Sprout soup with a Camembert Snowflake

Having had some leftover Brussels sprouts, we turned them into a delicious Brussels Sprout Soup.

It was quick and easy to make, a great standbye recipe for the days after Christmas dinner.


As a sharing plate idea  I showed how to make the Camembert Snowflake.  For those of you who might like to make it but are not ready to eat it and you want to wait for a larger group of people to share it during the festive season. You can make the whole dish beforehand and freeze instead of putting it in the oven. Bring it out of the freezer a few hours before you want to put it in the oven, and you have yourself you Merry little Christmas.




Thursday, 3 December 2020

Mushroom Bourguignonne with Mash potatoes and a chocolate raspberry Roll

 Unfortunately I did not manage the time as well as I should have as about 1 minute before the end of the cooking time, our Zoom call was cut short.

However, it was lovely to see Melendra, Meghan and Bella who joined me in the cooking session. 

It was a little ambitious to make 3 dishes in a 60cm x 50cm space (plus hob space). By the time we were finished, the area behind the camera was like a bombshell had hit it. The food however tasted very moorish. 

 The Mushroom Bourguignon went well with the mash potatoes.


 The chocolate roll came out well. I added a layer of raspberry jam on top of  the sweetened cream cheese. Due to being slightly rushed, the roll had not cooled down enough to put in the filling, so the cream cheese started to melt. Next time, make sure the cake is totally cooled down before you add the filling.



Other than that.  Great recipe for winter nights and the chocolate roll went well with a cup of coffee.

This one will end up in the next Zoom Cookery book!