30 June 2007

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream



My Ice Cream Maker had a day trip out of the freezer and into my kitchen! It blinked a little at first, blinded by daylight. But then it got down to business!

I decided to go for something easy as I hadn't made any ice cream or sorbet for quite some time, so I settled on a Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream made with ready-made fresh custard and blackberry jam. I found this recipe in a Good Food Magazine supplement called 'Great Food for Kids' and it was simple!

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

500g pot good-quality vanilla custard
200g cream cheese (i used Philadelphia cream cheese)
3 tbsp blackberry jam
2 tbsp water
6 crumbled Hobnobs (oaty biscuits/cookies (maybe 1/2 the amount if you are using cookies)


Mix the cream cheese into the custard, then churn in an ice cream maker until scoopable. Meanwhile, dilute 3 tbsp blackberry jam with 2 tbsp water. Layer the ice-cream with the jam and the biscuits. Transfer to a freezer-proof dish and freeze until needed.

If you are churning by hand, mix in a bowl and freeze for about 90 minutes until it starts to freeze around the edges. Stir well, then repeat the process twice more until the mix is smooth and frozen. Top with the other ingredients.


This ice cream was very indulgent, but I had a heck of a time getting out of the tub! I waited ages for it to defrost enough to scoop and then dipped my scoop into boiling water, to no avail. I ended up slicing it with a chef's knife! Next time, I will scoop it straight out of the ice cream maker into our bowls, while it is still all velvety and easy to handle!

28 June 2007

Spicy Harissa Coleslaw


I got a great recipe for Harissa at Lisa's Kitchen! I had read about Harissa in recipes, but had never tried it, so I thought, here goes!

I was a little afraid, because it had a huge amount of chilli in it! But actually, it has a great flavour behind the heat! So I was very enthusiastic about it!

I tried it out for the first time, as a dressing for baby potatoes to accompany Spinach and Feta Triangles and it was gorgeous, but, I was unsure of where to go next with it. I know it is great with couscous but Graham hates the stuff! I was very glad that my little glass jar of spicy paste had a long shelf life!





Into the story, such as it is, rides the Leftover Queen with her Tunisian Carrot Salad with Harissa and Feta Cheese.

I had an Eureka moment and went off to the kitchen to make Spicy Harissa Coleslaw, which I served with some unctuous feta cheese! So here it is! Just carrots, white cabbage and red onion, dressed with Harissa, mixed with some olive oil and red wine vinegar. A little twist of salt and pepper and off to the fridge it went, to develop overnight!

Pow! It packs a punch! Great Gum-drops!

It must have smelt fabulous! My cat tried to swipe some of the plate, while I was trying to take a photo! He was most disgruntled, when I asked him politely to Go Away!

24 June 2007

Vegetable Packed Pasta






I had a whole load of vegetables in the fridge. Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, courgette and red onion. So I decided to make a pasta dish with them.

I steamed the cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

I fried the onion, mushrooms and courgette in a little olive oil.

When the vegetables were ready, I stirred them into a pot of just-cooked lumache pasta (little shells).

My sauce was simple, 2 tbsp red pesto and 1 tbsp olive oil.

I gave this a good mix and then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

I topped the bowls of pasta with some baby plum tomato halves and then finished with freshly grated Parmesan.







I have enough vegetables left to make a pasta bake tomorrow night, which will work out fine, as I have a late night at work! I think I will make a cheese sauce to stir through the pasta, then cover it with grated cheddar (a really strong mature cheddar) and pop the dish in the oven, until the cheese is all melted and starting to brown.

Aren't the crispy bits around the side of a baked dish just the best?

23 June 2007

Mushroom & Potato Curry































This was a really simple curry to make. It filled the kitchen with mouth watering aromas as it cooked.

I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine, May 2006 edition.



Mushroom & Potato Curry

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large potato, chopped into small chunks
1 aubergine, trimmed and chopped into chunks
250g/9oz button mushrooms
2-4 tbsp curry paste (depending on how hot you like it)
150ml/ 1/4 pint vegetable stock
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
chopped coriander, to serve


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and potato. Cover, then cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until the potatoes start to soften. Throw in the aubergine and mushrooms, then cook for a few more minutes.

Stir in the curry paste, pour over the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is tender. Stir through the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread.

Serves 4

I thought this was a great store cupboard recipe that could be adapted to suit whatever vegetables are left in the fridge, although, the combination of mushroom, aubergine and potato was a winner! It cheered us up no end! We are still having lousy weather here in Scotland and it does get you down! The curry was perfect for a grey, wet, miserable day!

The rain did stop to let the sunshine through for a while on Thursday! I would have flattened anyone who got in the way, in my rush to the garden with my book! I got some gardening done as well! Not a bad day all in all, I would like to request a few more of those please!

21 June 2007

Mum's Fruit Loaf

Yes, she of the The Kettle Killers. My mum cooked one particular fruit loaf on a regular basis and the smell of the spices that would drift out of the oven was heavenly. We could never wait until it cooled down, but had to have a slice, while it was sill warm, with butter! Delicious!

Well anyway, here is how the story goes.

A late night chat with Wendy from Teaching and Learning and a Wee Bit of Cooking about foolproof baking! Wendy was trying to prepare for a cake stand at her school's Highland Games! Last minute! What shall I make? I thought Mum's Fruit Loaf! So I phoned my mum (the Kettle Killer) and she read the recipe out to me while I typed. My mum has a cookbook, where she adjusts the recipes, as she cooks. She also scribbles recipes in corners, on end pages and has lots of loose leaf pages gathering in there! Wendy, rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in and the results look damn yummy (excuse the french!)! She has posted the most gorgeous photo of the loaf, I wish we could smell it too!

My mum says that the loaf was originally an Australian Fruit Loaf, and that may be so, as she has family in Australia. But to me it is Mum's Fruit Loaf!

You can pick up the recipe on Wendy's Blog.

I hope you all try it, then I can tell my mum that her recipe is world famous!

18 June 2007

Weston's Premium Organic Cider



Well, drinking cider really takes me back to my student days, although the cider we drank back then, was nothing like this nectar! You could probably strip paint with the cider we used to drink! Price was the main concern, It was cheap!

I am usually a wine drinker, but something made me stop in my tracks at the cider shelf. So I have had this little gem cooling, for a few days in the fridge. I came home from a lovely lunch with Graham and my parents (in honour of Father's Day, unfortunately we couldn't take Graham's mum and dad as they have moved somewhere hot!)and the sun was actually making an appearance, so I was straight out in the garden with a glass of cider and my book! We won't mention the change of glass to make the photos look better and the time spent trying to get a photo of the cat, while he viewed the cider in complete mystery and disgust!






































Anyway, the cider was really soft, with a lovely appley bite and no catching in the back of the throat. It smelled gorgeous too! I would definitely recommend this one! It is made by Westons, in Herefordshire, in a village called Much Marcle (great name!). It is organic, suitable for vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and has won a few Organic Food Awards. It is endorsed by the Soil Asscoiation , that was enough to persuade me to try it!

Disclosure: I bought this cider myself.

17 June 2007

Vegetarian Chilli Wraps






























I made some chilli tonight as it's Graham's favourite and we hadn't it for quite a while!

I like chilli with rice and Graham likes chilli with mashed potatoes, so we compromised and had some chilli on flour tortillas. I heated the tortillas for about 20 secs in the microwave, then spread with sour cream, heaped on some salad leaves, added chilli and then grated a mature cheddar cheese over the top.
Then carefully rolled the tortillas into parcels. Yum!

Vegetarian Chilli


1 tbsp olive oil
 I onion, cut in half and sliced into half moons
2 red chillis, sliced finely, keep seeds in for heat
500g mushrooms, sliced
454g frozen Soya Mince
3 cans Chopped Tomatoes
2 cans Kidney Beans, rinsed

1 can of green lentils or cannellini beans
1 tube tomato puree
1/2 pint vegetable stock

1 glass red wine
4 tbsp Green & Blacks Cocoa

Fry off the onions and chilli peppers in the olive oil, add the mushrooms and cook down.

Empty in the Soya Mince and mix well.

Pour in 1/2 pint vegetable stock and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the flavours have started to amalgamate.

Add the tomato puree, wine and the cocoa and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8

As with most stews this always tastes even better the second day. I always make a large batch of this and freeze some.



Graham likes more of a kick than me, so he always has some crushed chillies at the ready to liven his meal up a bit. I like to keep some feeling in my tongue!

15 June 2007

Double Tomato Pasta Salad






























I needed something quick and tasty after a late night at work, this pasta salad fitted the bill nicely! I always whip up a bowl of this to serve at barbecues.

I cooked a bag of pasta twirls until al dente and then rinsed the pasta under cold water until completely cold before adding the other ingredients. This is the secret of a good pasta salad, no more squidgey, claggy pasta, just glossy, firm pasta.

A jar of sun-dried tomatoes is swiftly emptied in with the pasta, tomatoes and oil, I chop the tomatoes with scissors. 

I then add some fresh mozzarella, torn or chopped into small pieces. 

Next goes in the baby plum tomatoes, sliced in half, a large handful or two of fresh basil, roughly torn. 

I finish off with a couple of heaped tablespoons of pesto, some freshly ground black pepper to season and mix it all together thoroughly.

This pasta is usually enjoyed by all and the leftovers are good for lunch. Well usually!

I made a fatal error this time! I thought I was being clever, by adding a couple of handfuls of chopped rocket leaves, but I was wrong! I thought it would add an extra complexity to the flavour of the salad, but I was wrong! Graham noticed the slight change of flavour immediately and refused to eat anymore, as it "tasted odd"!

I sometimes wonder how a grown man can act so childishly about food. If he thinks something has been tweaked he is instantly cautious! I shall have to take a leaf (no pun intended!) out of Charlotte's book (Great Big Vegetable Challenge) , she is so good at tempting Freddie to try new things.

Do men ever grow up?

12 June 2007

Glazed Halloumi


Tonight I used the jerked honey rum glaze on halloumi cheese and it gets a big thumbs up! Graham absolutely loved it. He held the rum up in the supermarket queue and gave me a "what the heck's this?" kind of look, but I think he has forgiven me now.

I brushed the glaze onto the halloumi and fried it in a pan, no oil. I was a bit worried that it might stick, but it worked out fine and tasted 'out of this world'. The glaze gave the salty halloumi a lovely sweet and spicy coating.

We had the glazed halloumi on pitta bread with some of my homemade red cabbage coleslaw and rocket leaves. A great combination. When I brought my parcel to the table, Graham's reaction was "Is that my next wrap?", he was very disappointed when I told him there was no more halloumi.

We will definitely be having glazed halloumi again!

10 June 2007

Jerked Honey Rum Glaze


Today has gone by in a flash! I had a list of so many things I wanted to accomplish , but I am not going to dwell on that, as most of them just didn't happen! It is now nine o'clock and I haven't eaten yet, so I think it may be beans on toast tonight!

I did however, make some jerk seasoning. I am adding some pictures of the spices, as they looked so beautiful as I was measuring them out. I am so sad! I ran upstairs for my camera and then took the bowl outside to take photos! Blog-madness!




I used some of the seasoning to make a Jerked Honey Rum Glaze. I got great recipes for both from Ruth at Once Upon A Feast blog. I am going to leave the glaze to develop overnight and then coat some Halloumi with it tomorrow.

I have high hopes. Wish me luck!

08 June 2007

Red Cabbage Coleslaw


I made some coleslaw tonight, as you have probably guessed! We had some on a baked potato with salad. It was really tasty! The ingredients were a symphony of colours before I added the dressing, so I am showing you a picture of that first.


Red Cabbage Coleslaw

1 baby red cabbage, sliced
2 large carrots, roughly grated
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
4 spring onions
1 green apple, sliced and tossed in the juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
salt & pepper


Just mix everything together, not so much a recipe as a list of ingredients!



I am looking forward to having some of the coleslaw on pitta bread with some halloumi cheese and salad leaves. 

I will be brushing the Halloumi with some Jerk Honey Glaze from Ruth's blog over at Once Upon a Feast

Unfortunately I haven't made this yet and it needs time to develop, so it will be a couple of days before I have that Halloumi. But who cares, the coleslaw will be even tastier by then!

07 June 2007

Vegetarian Bolognaise


This is a recipe, handed down by Graham's mum. It is one of the first recipes she gave me. She had years of experience cooking vegetarian recipes when I met her and has passed on some good tried and tested meals!

I love eating at their house, unfortunately for us they have moved to Cyprus, so we aren't able to visit so often!

This is a great, cook-on-the-weekend and freeze-it option. Handy after those late nights at work!

Vegetarian Bolognaise


1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100g soya mince/200g frozen soya mince
1 pint vegetable stock (3 stock cubes)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 glass red wine
100g tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful freshly torn basil
salt & pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan (optional)


Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots and cook until tender, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the soya mince and stir in well. Pour in the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and wine, stir in. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper. Scatter in some torn basil at the last minute.

Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti or penne. Grate some black pepper and vegetarian parmesan over your dish before serving.

Serves 4

I usually serve this with spaghetti and put the leftover sauce in the fridge for later in the week, when I serve with penne, which is my favourite way of eating it. Graham likes his sauce served on top of his pasta, but like mine well mixed in, so it is totally coated in sauce! Mmmm!

Here is another version of bolognaise to try from my blog friend Rachel.

Her bolognaise is made with lentils and has peas and some chilli for a bit of a kick.

Rachel's Bolognaise 

05 June 2007

Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash (Kenya)


Taste Test 3

World Vegetarian Classics by Celia Brooks Brown

This is my latest delve into my favourite cookbook. It is an Irio or mash from Kenya. Celia recommends serving it as side dish with stew or curry. I have added a picture of the sweetcorn and kidney beans because they looked so pretty when they were mixed together. The kidney beans turn the mash, ever so slightly pink, which I quite like!

Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash

4 floury potatoes, about 1 kg/2 1/4 lb, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt
1 x 400g/14oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
200g/7oz/1 1/2 cups frozen sweetcorn (corn)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or watercress
30g/1oz/2tbsp butter or marg


Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add generous pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until just soft, about 10- 15 mins. Add the red kidney beans and sweetcorn and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Drain, then mash with parsley and butter and serve.

Serves 4-6

I used 2 small tins of sweetcorn for this recipe, watercress instead of parsley and I had to add freshly ground black pepper. I think it worked really well. I would say this is a good way of adding protein to a vegetarian meal, I might even up the ante further by reducing the potatoes and adding cannellini beans.

7/10

03 June 2007

Food Chickie Quiz

Tagged by Foodiechickie

FOOD-OLOGY



What is your salad dressing of choice?
Balsamic & dijon mustard.
What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
I don't have one!
What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
David Bann's in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hands down!
On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
20% + ( I remember what it is like to rely on your tips as a student!)
What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?

Cheese & celery sandwhiches, made with mature cheddar and a really good grainy brown bread.
What is your favorite type of gum?
Juicy fruit.

TECHNOLOGY



What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A photo of Graham & I on holiday in Cyprus.

How many televisions are in your house?
Two, one in the livingroom and one in our bedroom. Guests have to make their own amusement, but there is a computer, a very full bookcase, a guitar and a bass guitar in the guest room, so they have lots of options!
How do you listen to music?
On my stereo or phone.

BIOLOGY

What’s your best feature?
My eyes, they are green, but change hues.
Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Well I go for a wax, once a month, enough said!
Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
Taste,followed closely by smell. I have a really powerful sense of smell, which isn't always a good thing!
When was the last time you had a cavity?
About 2 years ago.
What is the heaviest item you lifted last?
A 90 litre bag of bark (mulch for the garden), I dragged it to the back garden, then gave up and let Graham use his muscles!
Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
No!

BULLSHIT-OLOGY (Who made this up?)

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No thanks.
Is love for real?
Yes, for me it is!
If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
I think I would like to be Rhiannon. I just like the sound of that name!
What color do you think looks best on you?
Red or green should never be seen except upon an Irish Queen! Piddle! They are my favourite colours and luckily I can get away with strong colours, beige just drains my face completely.
Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
When I am out cycling I sometimes forget to keep my mouth shut and in fly the bugs! I never learn!
Have you ever saved someone’s life?
No
Has someone ever saved yours?
No, but a faith healer, cured me when I was a child and quite ill. My dad was very dubious, but gave it a go.

DARE-OLOGY

I didn't like this section, so I used my prerogative and cut it, sorry FoodieChickie

DUMB-OLOGY

What is in your left pocket?
I don't put anything in my pockets, as it puts them out of shape, or so my mother told me!
Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
No,I thought it was a load of rubbish and gave up before it finished!
Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
Hardwood.
Do you sit or stand in the shower?
I stand and listen to a cd or the radio, mostly the radio.
Could you live with roommates?
Well I live with Graham and that is quite enough, thank you very much!
How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
About 10 pairs.
Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
Random car checks, about 3 months ago.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A mum!
Last friend you talked to?
My friend Trudi.
Last person you called?
My mum. She chatted for a while then passed me on to dad who was sad about not winning the lottery and who filled me in on his latest episode in the Kettle Saga !

RANDOM-OLOGY

First place you went this morning?
Opticians, to have a lense check.


What can you not wait to do?
Go to bed, it is late, but apart from that, I can't wait for the next and possibly last Harry Potter book!

What’s the last movie you saw?
The Last Kiss


I would like to tag everyone who reads this post! Let me know if you do the quiz, I think it will be interesting to read other peoples answers!

02 June 2007

The Kettle Killers

My mum and dad are the original Kettle Killers!

They need a new kettle every 4 months and sometimes the kettles don't even survive the journey home! Sometimes the poor kettle has a defect that is detected after being unwrapped and has to go straight back! They overflow, refuse to work, blow up and generally don't cooperate!

I had the same trusty kettle for about 14 years and in fact it is still in working order, wrapped carefully and stored in the loft. The only reason I replaced it was that I was sick of looking at it. A refit of the kitchen seemed like a good excuse to buy a new shiny metal one!

What are my parents doing to their kettles?

01 June 2007

Mushroom & Spinach Risotto


I am back to the spinach again! This time it's a risotto! I always find a risotto is a good standby, as you don't really have to think about it, it's just a case of making your standard risotto recipe and throwing in whatever you want! Sometime it is good not to have to measure things out, but I have noted down how much I used, as I don't have a recipe!



Spinach and Mushroom Risotto

500g mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls of spinach leaves, rinsed and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
200g arborio risotto rice
1 pint vegetable stock
1 glass white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 knob of butter
nutmeg, grated
1 handful basil, rinsed & torn
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan


Heat the oil and stir in the rice until well coated. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed. Ladel in a little stock at a time and stir until absorbed, keep adding until rice is creamy, but al dente.

Fry the mushrooms until tender and then add the spinach and cook until wilted. Grate some nutmeg over the mushrooms and spinach and stir in.

Add the mushroom mixture to the risotto and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil.

Serve on warm plates, topped with parmesan!

We love risotto! Our favourite is a mushroom and basil risotto, but I decided to add spinach this time and it certainly added to the depth of flavour. I think I will be adding spinach to mushroom risotto from now on!

I was going to add asparagus to it, but I am getting a bit of resistance from Graham on the whole aparagus, tasting like broccoli stalks front! I will keep persevering with it! I heard asparagus are great fried in butter, so that might be the next tactic!