Bookmarked Recipes #16 - September 2012 Roundup

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.

I hope you are not hungry!

Read on to see all the entries. If you recreate any bookmarked recipes in October 2012, you can join in by adding them to the linky at the end of this post for the next roundup.

Bookmarked Recipes #16
  September Roundup

Recipe bookmarked from Yum Universe.


Recipe bookmarked from River Cottage Veg Everyday.

Ruchira (Cookaroo)

Recipe bookmarked from Orange Kitchens.


Rigby & Mac Bowls

It's time to draw the winner of a beautiful set of Rigby and Mac bowls.

Over to the Random Number Generator!


Messicani with Spinach & Cheese Sauce

Here's the equation for you. 1 bag of spinach + 1 toddler = resistance. How to get said bag of spinach cooked and into toddler. Solution = get him to help with the cooking.

And so I came up with this pasta dish. Messicani pasta coated in a sliky cheese sauce, flecked with vibrant green spinach.

Cooper weighed the ingredients, grated the cheese, squeezed the water out of the spinach (once it had been doused in cold water) and stirred the sauce.

The result = "Mmmmmm, this very tasty mummy, we made it good!".


Richly Braised Lentils

This recipe comes from Everybody Everyday by Alex Mackay.

I hadn't heard of Alex Mackay before this cookbook landed on my doorstep.

Alex worked in kitchens when he left school at 16, but his career in food really started 15 years ago when Raymond Blanc asked him to run his cookery school, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. He is regularly on tv and spent a decade cooking at Norwich City Football Club with Delia Smith and will take over after her retirement this year.

This is his second cookbook. His first cookbook was called Cooking in Provence.


Moist Chocolate After Eight Cake

I have to share the recipe for my After Eight Cake. I've made it twice now. The first cake was a trial run and the second cake I made for a Clandestine Cake Club meeting.

The first was the two layer cake you see above. A lovely, moist chocolate cake sandwiched together with peppermint buttercream, then topped with chocolate buttercream, sprinkles and After Eight mint creams.I skimped a bit and used a cheaper version of after eights, but nobody at work minded. It was eaten in record time as word got out that it was in the staffroom. Everyone loved it.

So, I made it again for cake club, but I wasn't paying attention and used different cake tins. I soon found out when I realised there was too much cake batter for my two lined tins. Rather than start again, I decided to go for it and ended up with a four layer cake (I baked them for less time). I was worried it might not be as moist as the first cake, but my fears were unfounded and once again it proved very popular.


Clandestine Cake Club Dundee #5

Our fifth meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club in Dundee took place rather swish surroundings. Instead of a pub or restaurant, this month we secretly met in the Hilton Hotel in Dundee. We were treated to the whole corporate package and very nice it was too. You really couldn't have a more luxurious meeting room, although I believe it was one of many.

The theme this month was 'Like a kid in a sweetie shop'. Now you would think, sweetie shop, there must be thousands of variations of sweetie to choose from and you would be right, but we were all women bakers this month, so nearly all of us went for the secret passion in our lives. Yes, you guessed it! Chocolate!

There was my after eight cake, two chocolate orange cakes, one white and one dark, a cola bottle cake (with a bit of help from Dr Pepper),  a chocolate lime cake with lime cream, a chocolate jazzie cake and one covered in traditional sweeties.

Here are a few cake shots to tempt you:


5:2 Diet - Plum & Apple Smoothie with Fizz (68 calories)

Yes, I have been using my Vitamix again. This time I counted the calories, so I could have a treat on the fast days of my 5:2 Diet.

I added a bit of fizz to my smoothie with some white grape Shloer (a non-alcoholic fizzy drink), but you could add some apple juice instead. If you really wanted a spot of luxury, you could turn this into a cocktail by replacing the Shloer with champagne.

Whichever way you make this smoothie, you are sure to enjoy it and benefit from adding extra portions of fruit and veg into your day.

If you aren't lucky enough to have a Vitamix, juice the carrot before adding it. Alternatively you could chop the carrot finely, grate it, or steam and mash it before adding it to your blender.


Spiced Moroccan Pâté

I bought some ciabatta for a light dinner. Then I had a moment. Graham is a vegan now. What the heck was I going to put on his ciabatta before I toasted it? We usually add some sort of cheese to our filling. Feta, halloumi, mozzarella........     

I put my thinking cap on and came up with this spiced pate. Of course, I made it in my Vitamix. Have I told you how much I love my new toy yet?

The final ciabatta, was toasted lightly and spread with a thick layer of pate, topped with a layer of puy lentils with sundried tomatoes, then topped with a layer of thinly sliced red onion that had been marinated in balsamic vinegar. Graham pronounced it yummy! Yes, that as descriptive as his critique gets, bless him.

I would have added some garlic to the pate, but hubby isn't keen on garlic. It tasted pretty good without it. It tastes fairly mild, then you get a kick from the chilli.


Rigby & Mac Giveaway

I have a great giveaway for you this month.

A set of four bowls from Rigby & Mac.

Rigby & Mac are an award winning family run homeware and gift business with three eclectic South London stores, each offering one unique experience. 

Each store has its own style:

No. 9 = Country style with a touch of Glamour.

No. 41 = A modern mix of Scandinavian homeware and quirky style.

No. 89 = For a feminine feel and proves that pale is definitely interesting.

The winner will have a choice between the three styles.


Cauliflower & Pea Pesto

I used to make my pesto in my mini chopper. Herbs, garlic, nuts, parmesan and olive oil.

It could handle it ok, but I decided to try something different with  my new toy and it was so much smoother and blended much quicker.

I was thinking about raw vegetables and all the nutrients that would be retained if I didn't cook them first. I settled on cauliflower and peas.

I was very happy with the results. A velvety smooth  and tasty pesto that coated pasta beautifully. And, more importantly, it met with approval from my two year old and my newly vegan husband. Of course, if you don't have a vegan in the house, feel free to add parmesan (veggie style of course).

print recipe

Cauliflower & Pea Pesto
A beautiful, velvety green pesto, packed with flavours and nutrients. Made in minutes.
  • ½ small cauliflower
  • 128g/1 cup frozen peas
  • 25g/1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup/240ml olive oil
  • a good grinding of black pepper
1. Cut your cauliflower into florets and peel your garlic.2. Pop all the ingredients in your blender and whizz until your pesto is velvety smooth. 3. Have a taste and check the seasoning.4. Serve over hot pasta. Spread on toasted bruschetta, panini or ciabatta and topped with salad or veg and feta or fresh milky mozzarella. Alternatively, add more olive oil and use as a salad dressing.notes: If you prefer a chunkier pesto, then stop blending once it reaches your desired thickness.You can also add some grated parmesan for extra flavour.
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4

Some more pesto for you to try:

I use the Optimum 9400 power blender. I was sent one for review and couldn't like without it now. I love it.

Scottish Food Bloggers Conference & Tips for Bloggers

The inaugural Scottish Food Bloggers Conference was held in Ayr on Saturday 1st September 2012. It was organised by Lisa Tennant on behalf of Taste Ayrshire, as part of Scottish Food Fortnight. The venue was Ayr Racecourse and the conference was held in the rather swish Princess Royal Suite, with stunning views across the racecourse.


Vegetable & Lentil Stew - 5:2 Diet = 242 calories

Sainsburys are doing a promotion for their So Organic range as part of the Soil Association's Organic September. They sent me some groceries and a challenge to create a dish using them. The weather has been a bit dreich here, so I decided to make a comforting and filling stew. From their organic range I used chestnut mushrooms, frozen peas and carrots.


A Great Foodie Weekend & A Winner

What an absolutely brilliant weekend I have had. I spent Thursday and Friday with Cooper, which was so nice, as he was staying with his grandparents from Sunday night until Wednesday night and I missed him like crazy.

On Friday night I headed off on the train to Ayr with  my friend Stuart aka Cakeyboi (one of my Clandestine Cakers). We had a few glasses of wine in the evening before retiring to our rather plush rooms. Then a leisurely breakfast the next morning before heading off to Ayr Racecourse, where the first every Scottish Food Bloggers Conference was being held. Our chums Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and Louise from Please Do Not Feed The Animals were there to keep us company too (more about that later in the week) and we made some rather nice new friends too. Also a big thanks to Scotty Brand for sponsoring me.

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