Thursday, 12 April 2018

Cake






I love making birthday cakes, they give me an opportunity to try out all kinds of different techniques and flavours. They invariably take hours longer than I ever intend and the atmosphere in the kitchen as I'm running out of time, which always happens, ends up very tense to the extent that my husband has started leaving the house with the children to avoid it. But I still get such a kick out of it and start looking on Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration a good month before the upcoming celebration. Above are some of the cakes that I've made for various birthdays and party's.













Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Wild garlic soup with goats cheese cream





I have been dying to try this for ages. The goats cheese cream is obviously an optional extra, some toasted flaked almonds would also work well. Make it over the weekend for after a night out to restore the liver and to put a pep back in your step.

Ingredients:
2 handfuls of wild garlic
1 large white onion
2 medium sized potatoes
1 litre of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to season
50g goats cheese
75ml cream

Method:
Peel, wash and dice the potatoes. Peel and dice the onion and add to a pan with the potatoes and a dessert spoon of olive oil. Fry until the onion becomes translucent, stirring frequently to stop the potato sticking. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potato is cooked. Wash and chop the garlic leaves, if they are not chopped they will get tangled around the blades of your blender. Then add to the soup, when they are just wilted remove from the heat and blend. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the goats cheese cream place the goats cheese in a small saucepan add the cream and heat through until the goats cheese has melted then boil until thickened. Add a swirl to the top of your wild garlic soup and serve.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Wild garlic pesto





My kids absolutely love wild garlic and eat it by the fist full when it comes into season. It has loads of health benefits being rich in vitamins A and B complex, folic acid and has both antiviral and antibiotic properties. It is also good for the heart lowering blood pressure and is said to help cleanse the liver, it's a bit of a super food really. This recipe for pesto has so many uses, it can be stirred into pasta, used as a dressing once loosened with a little olive oil or even used to marinade a leg of lamb or rubbed under the skin of a chicken. Who'd have thought being healthy could be so tasty!

Ingredients:
2 large handfuls of wild garlic leaves
100g cashew nuts (or nuts of your choice).
100ml Olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
Place all the ingredients in a measuring jug. Using a slick blender blend until smooth. Store in the fridge for up to one week.




Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Scones




There is nothing quite as comforting as a freshly baked scone and a cup of tea on a cold day. They are pretty easy to make and bake within 10-15 minutes. So roll your sleeves up and get baking, you'll be enjoying a freshly baked scone in no time.

Ingredients:
225g plain flour
10g baking powder
5g cream of tartar
50g butter
1 medium sized egg
40g sultanas

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sift flour, baking powder and cream of tartar into a clean bowl. Add butter and mix into the flour, rubbing between your finger tips until your mixture is lump free and sand like. Stir through the sugar and sultanas. Beat the egg with the milk and add almost all of it, just reserving about a tablespoon of liquid. This can be used to glaze the tops of the scones (I see little point in using another whole egg for this). Bring the mixture together gently, when it starts to come together turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until you have a soft dough. Shape into a flat round approx 1/2 an inch high and cut out scones. Place on a lined baking sheet and brush with the reserved egg mixture. Bake in the middle shelf for 10-15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Feta potato rosti with poached eggs





Ever since my husband decided to turn vegetarian, a recent thing after watching one of those food documentaries on Netflix, it's been up to me to produce something meat free for our meals. Now I must say on Paddy's Day morning when I should have been tucking into a big meaty fry it was a bit of a challenge. Also he decided that we needed to have some spuds of the fried variety, and because I had been out last night to an unreasonable hour with the girls (1.45am, you'd swear I was still a teenager), I wasn't in a position to complain. So the above is what materialised and I must say it was so tasty I didn't even miss my big greasy fry up!

Ingredients:
1 large rooster potato, peeled and grated
100g feta cheese
1 tbsp self-raising flour
4 eggs
1 tbsp grated parsley
Freshly ground pepper
Sliced avacado




Method:
Wash the grated potato in a bowl of cold water, drain through a piece of muslin and squeeze to remove as much excess water as possible. Place in a dry bowl with the flour 1 egg, feta, parsley and pepper and mix through until all the ingredients are combined. Shape into 4 round cakes and fry until golden and crispy.
In a separate pan poach the remaining 4 eggs then serve on the potato cakes which have been topped with the sliced avacado.



Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody 🍀



Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sloe gin






I absolutely love sloe gin and get very excited when I see the berries coming in late summer. It is a lovely festive tipple and can be enjoyed on it's own with tonic or a dash of it in a sparkling wine or champagne. It is pretty easy to make, the most complicated part is picking the sloes out of those prickly bushes.


Ingredients:
Enough sloes to half fill two 750ml kilner / mason jars
175g (6oz) sugar
1 liter gin

Method:
The traditional way to do this is to pick the sloes after the first frost, they can be picked however when they are ripe and juicy. Wash them and pick out any bits of leaves or twigs. Place them in a zip lock bag and freeze overnight, this will split the skins and help the juices escape. Divide the frozen sloes between your kilner / mason jars add the sugar and gin and shake. Place in a dark cool place and shake at least once a day. Do this for at least three weeks but can be kept like this for longer, the longer it's left the better the flavour will be. When you can no longer wait, which happens fairly quickly with me, strain the gin through a piece of muslin and decant into clean sterile bottles.
The gin is now ready to enjoy and will last up to two years, though I can't imagine anyone has managed to make it last more than a couple of weeks at most! 😁



Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Bake Fest: Dorothy's Kitchen: Whisky Orange Marmalade

Bake Fest: Dorothy's Kitchen: Whisky Orange Marmalade: Growing up we always had a steady supply of Marmalade, my Mother is a fantastic cook and annually makes a huge quantity of jams and ...