Leafless Salads - Winner of NCR

First off, big apologies to Janet and Dom for forgetting their salads. They are added now, but just in case you missed them here they are:

18. Thai Kelp Noodle Salad with Mango and Lima Beans  
Janet (The Taste Space)

"Thai-inspired, the star of this dish is the creamy coconut-based dressing infused with lemongrass, Keffir lime leaves, ginger and shallots, balanced with a touch of tamarind, fresh lime juice, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. All of the flavours are enhanced through the reduction of the coconut milk. Here, the dressing is used to bathe a kelp noodle salad with chopped mango, cucumber, lima beans  along with mint, cilantro and cashews."

Mmmmmmmm, sounds good Janet!


19. Tagliatelle Coleslaw
Dom (Belleau Kitchen)

Dom elevates the humble coleslaw, with a really garlicky with home-made olive-oil aioli. I can tell you that there is a secret ingredient, but you wll have to head over there to find out. The other secret to this recipe, is the finely peeled carrot, which gives this an appealing tagliatelle texture. Much more interesting than grated carrot. Sorry again Dom x

And now on to the winner. It was an especially tough decision this month, but we got a winner in the end. So without further ado, I would like to congratulate ....

My mouth is watering just looking at it!

Your winning badge is winging it's way to you as we speak.

For the next edition of No Croutons Required, head over to Lisa's Kitchen.

Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Cooper and I made these brownies for our friend Andrew on his birthday. Although, to be honest Cooper did most of the work, I just organised him and finished things off. He was mighty proud of himself.

I went for a good kick of ginger in these brownies, as Andrew loves ginger. They would actually be pretty great flavoured with stem ginger, but I didn't have any, so I used ground ginger this time around.

They are very easy to make and you could easily change them up with some dried fruit, lemon peel, orange peel or maybe some chocolate chips. The recipe is quick and very forgiving. Our brownies were a little cakey, if you would like them more to be more fudgey, then slightly under-bake them. Go on, give them a go. If a two year old can bake them........

Cooper's elephant apron was given to him by Not On The High Street.

print recipe
Chocolate Ginger Brownies
These easy brownies are great to whip up at the last minute and they are a fun way of introducing children to baking.
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder & 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 112g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 160c fan/180c/350f/gas mark 4.2. Melt the butter, sugar and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Take of the heat and leave to cool a little.3. Beat in the eggs.4. Mix the cocoa and salt into the flour, then pour into the chocolate mix and fold in until well combined.5. Pour the mixture into a brownie tray and bake for 25 minutes.6. Cut into 16 squares and dive in. 
Total time:
Yield: 16 brownies


Bookmarked Recipes #13 - June 2012

Bookmarked Recipes

Bookmarked Recipes: a monthly event to encourage food bloggers to revisit the recipes they have bookmarked from magazines, newspapers, cookbooks. websites, blogs, to try them out and post about them.

 A little later than usual as I have been travelling back from Cyprus.

Read on to see all the entries. If you recreate any bookmarked recipes, you can join in by adding them to the linky at the end of the post for the June roundup.



No Croutons Required - Leafless Salads

It is that time of the month again. Time for another round-up of No Croutons Required. This month I asked you to make me a salad, but to go leafless.

This month's round-up is coming to you from Cyprus, where I am sitting, overheated and trying not to cry as I just lost an hours work on this post and I am having to start again. I have had some virtual hugs on twitter, so I am ready to start again. I bet I was really witty and erudite the first time around. Oh well.

We will start of with my entry. I got mine in really early this month. So here is my winning leafless salad (it won Apertina's Salad of the Week).


The Zinger - Summer Smoothie

Jean bought a smoothie machine for us coming over to stay with her. She knew that I make Cooper a lot of smoothies, to keep his quota of fruit consumption up. I tell you, it is really powerful machine compared to the one I have. Mind you mine is just a blender, but this one would easily blend vegetables, which to me is fabulous as I usually have to cook veg lightly before blending it. I am considering getting one myself. It is a Kenwood Smoothie Pro. Although Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours recommended a Vitamix. It might come down to price in the end.

Cooper has been enjoying strawberry based yoghurt smoothies, but I thought I would make one for the adults. Watermelons are rife here, so I started with that and added some other refreshing flavours. There is no dairy in this smoothie, just crisp, zingy flavours.

We also tried topping it up with sparkling lemonade on Jean's recommendation and it was lovely. A much milder flavour, but still refreshing.


Deep Strawberry Cheesecake


I have been working as a Scotty Brand girl now for a few months and I have been waiting for this moment. It  is strawberry season and so I received the most fabulous gift. A whole tray of strawberries, nestled into their punnets.

I guzzle so many strawberries in the summer and I do like to buy Scottish strawberries. When I have time, I go to a local farm for my berries, but if time is short then I look out for Scottish strawberries like these in the supermarkets. One of the things I like about buying from the local farm is knowing my berries come from and supporting the local farmers and this holds true for Scotty Brand. My strawberries were grown by the Bruce family in Perthshire, just a hop and a skip from me. They have been growing strawberries since 1898.

Here are a few strawberry facts courtesy of Scotty Brand:
  • Eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange. That’s 140% of our Recommended Daily Amount.
  • Strawberries can cleverly help whiten your teeth. The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.
  • They are full of ellagic acid that can help fight cancers.
  • They actively help reduce cholesterol.
  • Strawberries are rich in nitrate, which increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles by 7%, so they are the perfect pre-game snack.
  • A 100g serving of strawberries contains just 28 calories and no fat, which means they make the ideal tasty treat, even if you’re trying to lose weight.

I wanted to make a dessert that would really show of the flavour of the strawberries, so I decided to make a cheesecake. I made this before I headed off to Cyprus and it was glorious, but unfortunately a bit soft set. So if you are making it, I would recommend adding a veggie style gelatin or using less strawberries for a firmer set. To be honest, I could have eaten the strawberry cream with a spoon before it even got near the cheesecake.

Deep Strawberry Cheesecake
This is a creamy no-bake cheesecake, using the best of the seasons strawberries. It was a bit soft set, so I would recommend veggie style gelatine for a firmer set.
  • 13 digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 300ml double cream
  • 600g strawberries
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few sprinkles, to finish it off
1. Crush the biscuits in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin until they are fine crumbs, then mix in the melted butter. Pour the mix into a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and press down firmly. Pop into the fridge until you need it.2. Whip up the mascarpone and double cream until thick. 3. Whizz the strawberries up with the sugar and vanilla, until smooth.4. Fold the strawberry mix into the cream until well combined, then pour over the biscuit base and return to the fridge for a good hour. 5. Top the cheesecake with a few reserved strawberries and sprinkles.note: although the cheesecake was delicious, it was quite soft set. Next time I make it I will add some veggie style gelatin for a firmer set, but you could cut down on the amount of strawberries added instead.
Total time:
Yield: 1 cheesecake


Here are a few more strawberry recipes to tickle your taste buds:

I am submitting my cheesecake to Ren's Simple & In Season event. There is nothing more in season at the moment than strawberries. This month Simple & In Season is being hosted by How to Cook Good Food. If you would like to submit a recipe, you have until the 30th of June 2012.

I am also submitting my cheesecake to the June edition of Tea Time Treats. The topic is summer berries and it is being hosted this month by Kate over at What Kate Baked, who is Karen's co-host. If you would like to submit a tea time treat, then you have until the 28th June 2012.

Happy Strawberry Season everyone!


Cheese Scones in Cyprus

Now don't be thinking these are Turkish Cheese Scones (North Cyprus) and getting all excited about a twist to the classic recipe. These are in fact a classic recipe made by Cooper and his Baba Anne (Jean). Baba Anne is Turkish for Father's Mother. I thought it might be nice to take you through some step-by-step photos of how to make them. They are very cheesey and light. Nice on their own or with a lovely big bowl of soup.

This is one of Jean's go-to recipes. It is from one of the few cookbooks she brought with her to Cyprus.

All Colour Cookery by Marguerite Patten. It is an big old book, published by Hamlyn in 1975. It doesn't have a jacket anymore, but it has a lot of great recipes in it and they are all illustrated. Each recipe is given in both imperial and metric measurements This copy is spilling with recipes that Jean has collected from magazines.

The original recipe is for a Cheese Scone Round, but there is no need to bake your scones in a circle. A bit of a waste of time if you ask me, although if you are going for that seventies look, then it is perfect.

The step-by-step photos show the way Jean and Cooper made the scones, the recipe (below) might be slightly different, but the ingredients are the same.

Cheese Scones Step-By-Step

1. Sieve flour, baking powder, salt & mustard together, rub in butter, then add the grated cheddar.

2. Mix the grated cheddar into the flour mix.

3. Add sufficient milk to make a soft dough.

4. Mix the milk in with a knife.

5. Bring the dough together with your hands. Knead gently until you have a smooth dough. Whisk an egg (this will be the glaze).

6. Shape the dough or roll until it is 1 inch/2 ½ cm thick.

7. Cut rounds out with a biscuit cutter. Try not to twist the dough as you cut it, or they will rise a bit squint. I don't mind that too much. Keep re-rolling the dough and cutting out scones until all the dough has been used.

8. Brush your scones with egg.

9. Looking good!

10. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated Cheddar over each scone.

 11. Ready to go in the oven.

12. Get an adult to help you put the scones in the oven.

13. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.

14. Enjoy your scones while they are still warm.

15. Share with friends.

Classic Cheese Scones
These easy cheese scones are very cheesy and light. Perfect on their own whilst still warm or served with soup.
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 level teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ level tsp salt
  • a pinch of dry mustard
  • 50g butter
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • about 125ml milk
  • 1 egg, to glaze
  • 25g grated cheddar to top scones with
1. Preheat your oven to 220c/200fan/425f/gas mark 7.2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and mustard together and rub in the butter.3. Knead lightly and roll out to 1 inch/2 ½ cm thickness.4. Cut out rounds with a pastry cutter.5. Place the scones on a lightly floured baking tray. Brush the scones with egg and sprinkle with cheddar.6. bake for 10-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
Total time: Yield: makes 8-10 scones

Note: As a variation, Marguerite suggests using 1/2 pint of tomato juice instead of milk or adding a little Marmite to the milk for extra flavour.

Jean says they taste absolutely delicious if you add some drained and finely cut sundried tomatoes to the mixture. Now I cannot wait o try that!


Here are a few more scone recipes for you to try:

I am submitting Jean & Cooper's Cheese Scones to Frugal Food Fridays, a monthly event thought up by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours.

Frugal Food Fridays are all about coming up with frugal food and I would say these scones fit right into that category. The event is being hosted byCaroline over at Caroline Makes this month.


Moo Business Cards Giveaway

You may have seen my post back in April where I showed you my new Moo business cards. They proved very popular and it seems everyone wanted a set and indeed a few people including Ren and Clare, have ordered a set for themselves since then.

I thought it might be a treat to give away a set and Dan at Moo agrees, so this is my June giveaway.
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