Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Beetroot risotto - a recipe for Vampires!

If there's one recipe to make from the grown ups bringing their little ghouls and witches and wizard to your halloween party this year its this beetroot risotto...the colour alone is shouting Dracula's name across the mist ridden moors...

I saw this dish mentioned on Celebrity Masterchef recently as Janet Street Porter made it one week, I wasn't particularly paying attention at the time but made a mental note to have a go at making it myself. Beetroot is one of my favourite veggies and risotto is a firm favourite dish here,
comfort food at its best. The result was good, I just made an ordinary risotto and added fresh local Lancashire beetroot that I had roasted and blended beforehand. The colour will blow your socks of...or entice vampires from miles around...its a risk you take!                                                          

Have a great halloweeeeeeeeeennnn!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Time to get back in the (blogging) zone

Good evening from wet and windy Lancashire...the summer we had this year has been great hasn't it? The chance to sit outside and eat outside regularly has really made a difference and its partly because of the good summer that I have been blogging less and enjoying my 'free time' more. Blogging and writing about food is a great hobby but it can take over somewhat, and I need a life as well as not wanting all the fame to go to my head!

Now the autumn is really here and making its presence felt, its time to get back in the blogging zone and start to write up all those recipes I have made and photographed over the last few months but have been too busy emersed in summer sun to be concerned about anything else. We have also managed to eat out quite a bit in some lovely local places too, and meet up with friends so I have lots of snippets to share on that front too.

And I have been putting a few recipe books through their paces too...more about those very soon...

As well as enjoying avery British summer and even and Indian summer, we also had the good fortune to travel abroad to Turkey again...not the whole country granted but the Turkish Riviera. For two weeks in September and in temperatures exceeding 40C, we communed with the locals up in a Turkish mountain village and ate fresh bread and fresh foods as if it was going out of fashion. I love Turkey for its abundance of fresh foods at relatively low prices and I love to make my own meals while I stay there from whatever is seasonal and the markets have to offer.

This summer has also been great for preserving addicts like myself and I have been busy behind the scenes preserving all sorts from blackcurrant jam (that has knocked everyone's socks off) to gooseberry and elderflower jam, all the way through to plum chutney and tomato chutney too.

In addition we are 'trying' to sell out house and move, to realise our plans for the future, in order to do this we need to downsize...so the house is in a constant state of tidiness and organisation that would impress any domestic goddess...wish us luck with selling, in this economic climate we really need it!

And I've been busy with the family (new grandchild is on his or her way in April 2014) and my other new found hobbies...I have taken up crochet again and I am really hooked...so pleased to see so many other food bloggers sharing the same interest too.

More from me very soon...keep watching! 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Silent Sunday


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Golden sultana and apple cakes - recipe

These little cakes are the easiest thing ever, you can whip them up in minutes and they taste so lovely, light and fruity. Just the thing with a cuppa, and they are kind of small and dainty little morsels and would adorn any afternoon tea cake stand.

These came about when I was looking in the fruit bowl at 3 sad looking apples that were just about edible, I hate food waste, after all food is expensive enough in this country (don't get me started on that subject!).  Any excuse to use up things lying around..but what can I do with these apples I thought? Easy, bake cakes using 2 and eat the third one...they call this 'cooks perks' but it got me thinking as I was peeling my 3 sad apples...

While you ponder that one...here's the recipe for golden sultana and apple cakes...

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Dish of the month October' - Nigel Slaters autumn pear and chocolate crumble

Of all the months in Kitchen Diaries II I have read, so far October is my favourite, there are so many enticing recipes in this month's chapter it was really hard to choose just one to try; and I will definitely be back to that month for more cooking and recipe inspiration.

I love October its a time when the season starts to change, there is a nip in the air and you can smell the change. October for me is all about puddings and chutneys and preserves. It also marks my birthday...and while I am  not trying to dwell on my age...I got a very kind birthday message from Nigel himself via Twitter...how kind is that?

Anyway, less of the swooning over Nigel Slater and back to the the recipe...in the end I opted to bake a crumble and its a pear and chocolate crumble...its an easy recipe to do...the pears are peeled and sliced and cooked in melted butter and sugar until they start to brown...once this happens they are added to a dish and you make the crumble with butter, flour, sugar and rolled oats. A twist comes by adding some water to the crumble, this gives more of a varied texture to the finished dish and adds lumps and bumps here and there...and finally the addition of chunks of good quality dark chocolate to the crumble mix adds more richness. Topping the cooked pears with the crumble and baking in the oven until you achieve a golden crust and you have heaven in a bowl, this tastes so good, its one of the best crumbles I have ever tasted, the pears just melt in your mouth and the crumble and chocolate together are soooo scrummy. Its easy to make and an ideal autumn pudding, with a drizzle of fresh cream it really was amazing.

As we had been blackberry picking at the weekend, on Monday night we had a bit of a crumble challenge going on at home, my blackberry and apple versus Nigel's pear and chocolate...there was no contest really...

Keep reading on to find out how you can join us in Dish of the Month...