29 March 2009

Crusty Garlic Rolls






















I promised I would post the recipe for these rolls. They are based on the Cheddar and Dill Beer Rolls I made back in January. I got this fabulous recipe from Lysy over at Munchkin Mail.

This time I wanted to bake some garlic and herb rolls to serve with my Tagliatelle Alfredo with Fine Beans and Mushrooms. Boy, was that a garlicky few days. I am sure there must have been an exclusion zone around Graham and I! We were infection fighting stinkers! But those rolls sure tasted good, so it was worth inflicting eau de garlic on everyone we met.

Now that I have been back to look at lysy's post again, I can see I used pretty much the same recipe, with just a few differences on the herb front, so it may be worth checking out Lysy's Garlic Beer Bread, to see which version you prefer or better still, try both.

Crusty Garlic Rolls

3 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dried chives
1 tbsp dried dill
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300ml/1 ¼ lager or beer
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp water


Preheat the oven to 190°c/375°f/GM 5.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt, herbs and garlic, mix lightly. Gradually pour in the lager, stirring as you go. Do not over mix. Once just combined, you will have a stretchy mixture. Divide into a muffin tray (mine was silicone, so I didn't have to line or grease the tray. Brush with a glaze of water and egg, then bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes in the tray, then move to a wire rack.

These are lovely served while they are still warm.

Makes 8 crusty rolls


I just love this recipe. It is a great, last minute standby. So easy to make. There is no kneading or leaving to rise, just bish, bash bosh and they are ready! It is worth keeping some lager in the house, just in case.

25 March 2009

Aubergine, Potato and Halloumi Bake



















I saw a recipe somewhere for an aubergine bake and it just made my mouth water. I don't know where, who, or what! I do remember it involved a tomatoey base and chunky potato on top, so I decide that was enough info. to wing it.



















Here is my recipe:

Aubergine, Potato and Halloumi Bake

2 onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 aubergine, cubed
1 cup red lentils
1 tbsp garam marsala
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock (1 stock cube)
4 tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper

6 medium potatoes, quartered (about 2cm pieces)
250g block Halloumi cheese, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced



Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/GM6.

Boil the potatoes until just about tender. Drain and set aside.

Gently saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the aubergine and cook for 5 minutes. Next add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes before adding the garam masala. Mix well. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, the stock and the red lentils. Stir while bringing to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the flavours have amalgamated. Season to taste.

Layer up a large oven-proof dish with the tomatoey stew, then top with the potatoes, halloumi and slices of tomato.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the halloumi is golden and the potatoes are crisping up.

Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

Serves 4 hungry peeps

This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the second day. I do hope you try it. If you love Halloumi cheese like I do, then I know you will be tempted!

22 March 2009

Elyse's Cranberry Orange Cookies






















When I saw these cookies over at Confectionary Creations, I knew I had to make them. The perfect cookies to bake for my mum on Mother's Day.

They were really delicious! Light, chewy and almost cakey in consistency. The cranberries and orange peel really enhanced the flavour of these cookies. I might even add a bit more orange peel next time.

















Thank you for the recipe Elyse!


Update: Mum gave them the thumbs up. She really loved them!

p.s. just noticed I have subliminally taken the same photo as Elyse, well just about anyway.It must have stuck in my mind.

20 March 2009

Turnip, Cumin and Coriander Soup



















The photos of the turnip are just to set the record straight on the whole turnip versus swede debate. These are turnips! Good old Scottish turnips. Nope, not a swede in sight!

So here is my, well let's just say Indian-style soup for Lisa and my entry for this month's No Croutons Required. This is a creamy, flavoursome soup with a kick, courtesy of the chilli powder. The vegetables can't be said to be traditional Indian fare, but I have given them a nice spicy flavour.






























Turnip, Cumin and Coriander Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 butternut squash, cubed
3 potatoes, cubed
1 large turnip, cubed
4 cups vegetable stock
1 large handful coriander, chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until softened, then add the spices and mix well. Add a good splosh of water, to prevent the vegetables from sticking, then add the butternut squash, potatoes and turnip. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through, then whizz until smooth. Add the fresh coriander and season with black pepper. You may add salt it you wish, but sometimes vegetable stock is quite salty anyway.

This is quite a spicy soup. If you would like to cool it down a little serve with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.

Serves 6

15 March 2009

Tagliatelle Alfredo with Fine Beans and Mushrooms

I wanted to make something a bit special for our Sunday evening meal and came up with this creamy pasta dish, which I served up with some fresh-out-the-oven crusty garlic and herb rolls.

The weekend is definitely a good time to spoil yourself and your loved ones.















Tagliatelle Alfredo with Fine Beans and Mushrooms

Sauce
1 large knob butter
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 cup single cream
3 tbsp dried chives
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

Vegetables
100g fine beans topped and tailed
250g mushrooms, sliced
a splash of olive oil
salt and pepper

Pasta
Tagliatelle

To Serve
freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan


Cook the tagliatelle according to the packet instructions until al dente.

Fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil until soft. Season as they are cooking.

Boil the fine beans in a little water for a few minutes.

For the sauce. Melt the butter and add the garlic, cook gently for a few minutes before adding the chives and cream. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add the Parmesan, stir in and season.

Drain the tagliatelle and stir in the alfredo sauce. Serve topped with the beans, mushrooms and shavings of fresh Parmesan. Grind a little black pepper on top.

Enjoy

Serves 3-4

















The rolls were crusty and delicious. They are based on the Cheddar, Dill Beer Rolls I made back in January. I will post about them later in the week. I am loving them. Such a great recipe, so quick and easy to make.

I know it is a bit early in the week, but I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, the weekly blog event set up and run by Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast.

This month's guest host is Sam from Sidewalk Shoes who has a lovely picture of her cat Patchouli, on her blog today.

13 March 2009

Blogger Aid Cookbook
















I just wanted to give you a sneaky-peek at the soup I am submitting for the Blogger Aid Cook Book. I cannot divulge the recipe at this stage, but I can tell you a little bit about the programme they are backing.

Blogger Aid have chosen a charity called School Meals.

School Meals is a project lead by the World Food Programme (WFP). The World Food Programme is the United Nations front-line agency in the fight against global hunger. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization.

Through this program, a meal is provided to children in schools where there are low attendance rates with a particular focus on schools that have a significant lack of children attending, especially girls. The goal in poorer communities worldwide is to provide a hot, nutritious meal as an incentive for parents to send their children to school rather than keeping them at home working.

Facts and Figures

• 75 million primary school-aged children do not go to school
• 97 percent of them are in developing countries
• 57 percent of them are girls
• 150 million children drop out of school before attaining basic primary education


100% of the proceeds from the sales of the cookbook will be channeled to the School Meals.

There is still time left, if you would like to contribute a recipe. The deadline is the 31 March 2009. The details can be found over at Val's blog - More Than Burnt Toast, or on the Blogger Aid website. You don't need to be a member to participate.

I would like to thank Val for inviting me to submit a recipe and wish her lots of luck with this worth while project.

08 March 2009

Cupcakes and Climbing

I did say that I would try to master cupcakes. It was one of my New Year's Resolutions.

* Go for more walks (I have gone on a few walks this year, could do better!)
* Visit somewhere new in Scotland each month (January - Alyth (walking group), February - (Newburgh - with Graham), March (there is time left yet)
* Master cupcakes (Well, I wouldn't say master, but I did make some )
* Dig out my dusty sketchbook and start using it (Pah, still hidden away)
* Have a big clear out of my wardrobe (I do keep thinking about getting around to it)
* Thin my shoe collection (Nope! Bought 2 new pairs of shoes with my Christmas money (Thank you Janette and Dave))
* Spend less money (If anything, spending more, eck! Bought a new car and getting through money fast. There will be no holiday this year, if I don't pull my socks up soon)
* Enjoy 2009 (most of the time)

Cupcakes





















This is one of the aforementioned cupcakes!

I got the recipe from Katie over at Katiecakes, who in turn got it from Donal over at Good Mood Food. Needless to say, their cupcakes were absolutely beautiful! With gorgeous piped icing (I really need to purchase an icing bag and some nozzles!).

My cupcakes were huge and more like muffins. They did taste good though and were promptly scoffed by my friend Andrew and Graham's friends at work.

I changed the icing on mine for a buttercream icing,with cocoa and crushed oreos.

I will persevere!

And now to the climbing! Well, hillwalking really! I thought I would share some of the photos from my walk, last Sunday.

Graham and I walked over three Sidlaws, with our walking group. It was a glorious day and the view from the peaks was stunning.






















04 March 2009

Celery, Carrot & Cumin Soup

















Celery, Carrot & Cumin Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 sticks celery, sliced lengthwise and finely chopped
8 carrots, chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped
2 tsp dried cumin
3 cups vegetable stock
a splash of cream (optional)
salt & black pepper to taste


Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the olive oil until tender. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook gently for 5 minutes, before adding the cumin. Add the vegetables stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add a splash of cream and season to taste. Sprinkle some spring onions and cayenne pepper over the soup before serving.

Serves 4 - 6

Graham and I really enjoyed this soup. It was a simple soup, but very tasty. I added a splosh of cream to the soup, because I had some to hand, but it was equally nice before I added it. It is another one of those, clear-out-the-fridge recipes. I seem to make a lot of soups this way, but I do so hate to throw food out.

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