Cynthia puts a lot of work into her recipes and her photos are fantastic!
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Cynthia puts a lot of work into her recipes and her photos are fantastic!
Monday, 26 May 2008
You could choose from a few different mains, sides, desserts and have a bottle of wine (quite decent wine too, I might add) all for the bargain price of £10
Excuse my blurred picture!
I got Salmon fillet, with a Soy, Honey and Ginger Glaze.
Garnished with spring onion, lime and coriander - What do you think to that then?!
A Bottle of Claret, a rather nice looking Salad (Peppers, Leaves, Red Cabbage and Sweetcorn)......... AND a Profiterole Stack! All this for £10.....
But as I am staff (with my 20% discount) a Major Bargain at £8 - Ha ha!
Sunday, 25 May 2008
This recipe was taken from Nigella Lawson's book 'Nigella Express' Having made this, I would suggest using only 1 Tablespoon of oil, and not 2 as this recipe says.
You will Need:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Not Extra Virgin)
2 Pears, Unpeeled and Uncored (uncored says Nigella - I say core those pears)!
3 Tablespoons Marsala
2 Tablespoons Honey
50g Walnut Halves
How to Do it:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Meanwhile, cut the pears into eighths, leaving the skin and core on. (I cored my pears - no stalks on my plate, thank you very much)!
Fry the pears for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until softened.
Meanwhile, whisk the Marsala and honey together in a cup or small bowl.
Add the Marsala mixture to the pears and allow to bubble and become syrupy.
Transfer the pears to a large serving plate, reserving the syrupy mixture in the pan. Add the walnuts to the same pan and stir fry them for about a minute, or until they are slightly darkened and sticky all over.
To serve, transfer the walnuts to the serving plate along with any remaining pan juices and place the gorgonzola onto the plate.
Friday, 23 May 2008
2 large onions, chopped.
1 x 400g Tin of Plumb Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Tomato puree
2 Teaspoons of All Spice
5cm of Cinnamon Stick 3 cloves
4 Garlic Cloves, very finely chopped 2 Sticks of Celery, sliced - I had some in the fridge and felt the need to use some.1 Sprig of Rosemary
100ml of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
600ml Red wine
Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste.
Add the rest of the olive oil, chopped onions, celery and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.
Add the red wine, the all spice, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, cinnamon stick, disolved stock cube and salt and black pepper to taste.
Due to my technical problem of putting in too much wine vinegar, I kept having a taste and I added some water as needed. All in all I think it was in the oven for about 3 and a half hours on a very low heat. As all ovens are different you just need to keep checking that it doesn't get dry, or boil - you just want a nice slow simmer.
Add the caramelised shallots about half an hour before you want to serve.
Remember to discard the bay leaves, cloves, rosemary and cinnamon stick before serving.
I served it with some 'Supposed to Be' Greek Lemon Potatoes.....Another story -Don't think you'd want to know! I wasn't sure if they had oregano in or thyme, so I put in both along with lemon and garlic. Whatever, they tasted fine!
I hope I've got everything I did mentioned - I managed to fall down the stairs the other day and haven't been the same since!
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Oooh - I am quite pleased with myself today!
I've seen recipes for Beetroot and Halloumi cheese before, but I had this mad idea of cooking the beetroot and then marinading it in a little oil, white wine vinegar, some sweet chili sauce and a little bit of sugar. Anyway, it works!
If I say so myself it turned out rather nice. I just used a griddle pan to cook the cheese and the beetroot.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
I saw this recipe in a book called 'Fantastico' by 'Gino D'Acampo an Italian Chef.
I made it last night, but there was something missing from the taste - but I don't know what! I have the feeling this dish could be really nice, but something is missing! So, any suggestions would be welcome!
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
75g Frozen Spinach, thawed then excess water squeezed out
2 Tablespoons of Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
50g Freshly Grated Pecorino Cheese
3 Tablespoons of Toasted Pine Nuts
400g Tinned Tomatoes, without the juice
1 Mozzarella ball, drained and sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4
Halve the aubergine lengthways and place skin side down on a lightly greased baking tray. Score the flesh with a sharp knife and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Use a tablespoon to gently scoop out the flesh and chop.
Put the chopped flesh into a bowl and add the spinach, parsley, Pecorino cheese, pine nuts and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add the olive oil and mix well.
Use the mixture to fill the cavity in the reserved aubergine skins, then return to the baking tray skin side down. Lay the mozzarella slices on top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Return to the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Monday, 19 May 2008
They served it on a plate in the foil.
When we got home, I of course, had to try to make it myself.
I didn't have a recipe - I just went by what I decided was in it and how it looked.
I'm sure that Peter over at 'Kalofagas' will be able to put me right in what the dish is called and if I've got it right! Whatever, if I've got it right or not - this as I make and cook it tastes the same and just as nice.
All you do is get a big piece of kitchen foil and drizzle a little olive oil, then layer thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced tomato, a sprinkle of finely chopped garlic. A little salt and pepper (only a little) and a slice of feta cheese.
Repeat this and then scrunch the foil up into a parcel (not too tightly done up) and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes on 200C /400F
This is how it looks before the oven.
And after the oven!
It comes in a box complete with cranberry sauce!
Has to be said - it is rather nice and VERY easy to cook.
Just pop the cheese onto a tray into the oven for about 14 minutes and serve with the cranberry sauce and a few salad leaves.....that's it!
I like to drizzle the salad leaves with a little lemon and black pepper dressing (also shop bought)!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
I'm so excited about this tree!
It's about two and a half feet high and has no less than 21 lemons growing!
It isn't a full size tree, its a baby version - how sweet is that?!
After reading about lemon trees, I have discovered they have lemons growing at different stages instead of how I'd expect, all at once.
That's why, some are really small (see the baby one at top of the picture) the flower next to that small lemon will become another lemon! Some are quite large already.
Yet another 15,000 calories, but hey! One of these kept us going till late yesterday!
Fried smoked bacon and egg in a roll - how quick is that?!
The best eggs (I say anyway), are 'Burford Browns' (Free Range, of course). They really do have the most loveliest brown shells you've ever seen, and the yolk is almost orange........Yummy!
Friday, 16 May 2008
Some good things for Fajitas, Sour Cream, Jalapeno Peppers, Peppers, Grated Cheese, Lettuce and Salsa.
I fried some onion with some red and yellow peppers in a little oil. Then added some sliced chicken breast fillet that I'd mixed with some oil and a packet of spicy fajita mix.
I fried the chicken until it was cooked through. Then put some of the mixture onto a warm soft tortilla wrap and added some, of all, the above ingredients......Topped with soured cream........ Mmmmm!!
Only about 15,000 calories per serving - but hey!
Thursday, 15 May 2008
A strange combination - but it works!
I peeled and cubed one butternut squash then put it in a roasting tin and mixed in some oil and Rose Harissa paste (a good dollop). Anyone in the UK you can buy this in Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.
I then gave it a good mix to coat the squash, then roasted it in the oven at 200C/400F for about 30 minutes, basting with the Harissa oil every now and then, until it was nicely cooked though.
If a knife will insert easily, then it's done.......
Actually, though, I just got a cube out and ate it! That's the way to tell if somethings cooked - unless of course, it happens to be chicken, then......eek! Nooooo don't do it!
Anyway, I then left it to cool while I peeled and sliced one mango. I then sliced some red onion and cubed some feta. I piled the lot on top of some rocket and other salad leaves and drizzled with a little olive oil......Very Yummy indeedy!
PS: Anyone in the UK - The mangoes were £1.59 in Sainsbury's and 'Buy one get one free' lol
Two weeks ago I planted the seeds from a birds eye chili pepper. I'd left the pepper to dry out so that when you shook it you could hear the seeds rattle about inside. This is how they've grown on my window sil in just two weeks!
Does anyone think they will turn into chili peppers?
If they do, I shall be quite pleased with myself!
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Today, as I'd been to work and don't get home till late(ish), we had the most easiest dinner in the world.........Egg and Chips! We haven't had egg and chips for AGES!
Can't think why I'm bothering to blog about such a simple meal, but I will anyway - I've started so I'll finish!
Whatever, it does the trick if your hungry and in need of feeding quickly!
Please excuse the pepper I'd already put on the egg and chips before I'd taken the photo. Also please excuse the terrible photo.
Covered in salt and vinegar (you can NOT have chips without salt and vinegar - it's the Law) and of course, pepper.
I made a 'French Bake' loaf of bread in the bread machine (set to be ready when I walked through the door)!!
Very yummy indeedy!
Sunday, 11 May 2008
This picture was taken just as it was ready to go into the oven.
Paul's mum and dad came for dinner last night and we had a great time!
For our starter I made a marinade of olive oil, dark soy sauce, honey, a little bit of sugar and some chili sauce.
Problem is I have no idea how much of anything I used to make this marinade as I didn't know I was going to make it until I did!
I had been speaking to my friend Jean who was also having a dinner party and was cooking salmon for starter too! She was doing hers in a rather yummy sounding ginger, honey and soy marinade.
So, once I'd put the phone down I made a similar marinade without the ginger.
It was about 1tbs olive oil, 2tbs soy, 1tbs honey, a teaspoon of sugar and a dollop of chili sauce.
After marinading the salmon for about an hour, I wrapped each piece of salmon in it's own foil parcel and sliced some red onion, a piece of lemon and added some chopped parsley.
Then I topped with cubed feta and spooned about 1 teaspoon of the marinade over and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes before opening the foil and cooking for about 5 minutes more.
When it came out of the oven it looked like this:
I then served it with some tabbouleh but I didn't put any mint in the tabbouleh coz I don't like it!
A piece of trivia for you!
Cooked Carrots contain more beta-carotene (an essential antioxidant) than raw.
I used Chanteney carrots as they are small and really sweet in flavour.
What you need:
1 Lemon, quartered
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Honey
2 Teaspoons of Rose Harissa
How to do it:
Place the carrots into a dish that can go into the oven. Squeeze each lemon quarter over the carrots and then add the lemons to the dish too.
Now mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the carrots and lemon giving it all a good stir.
Put into the oven at about 180C/350F/Gas 4
For about 40 minutes, basting every now and then.
Saturday, 10 May 2008
But I am doing Harissa and lemon-roasted carrots as a side. I've just had to make a few to see if they pass the 'Jan' test....They Do!!
You will love these!! I'll be back tomorrow with pictures.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
This is so easy to make you will love it!
100g Pecan Nuts - very roughly chopped
50g Golden Caster Sugar
A knob of butter
1 x 500g Carton of Fresh Vanilla Custard (Get the best one the store has to offer preferably with the vanilla pod black bits in).
You will need a baking tray lined with some greaseproof paper.
Put the nuts into a saucepan with the sugar over a fairly high heat stir continuously until the sugar caramelises.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pecans and the butter.
When the pecans are coated in butter, tip them onto the lined baking tray to cool. Once they have cooled you can then break them into smaller pieces.
Put the custard into a freezer proof container with a lid and freeze until it becomes slushy. Keep stirring it gently every now and then to stop ice crystals forming. (When it is almost frozen stir in the pecans (reserving a few for decoration later).
You can store the ice cream in a lidded freezer proof container until required. Freeze the extra pecans in a freezer bag until needed. they will keep well for a month.
It's looking good and was no where near any trouble to make either.
Okay - yesterday I must have been tired as I called this lemon sorbet but it is in fact lime, I know this because I used 5 of them!
Well, it's very sad but I don't possess an ice cream scoop. Anyway, whatever this sorbet really is limey, zesty and all in all very, very nice. Every time I stirred it I had to try it - as you do to make sure it was going to be okay!!
Here's what you need:
750ml of Water
350g Golden Caster Sugar
Juice and zest of 5 limes
250g Mascarpone Cheese
How to do it:
Put the water and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the lime zest and leave to cool completely.
Now stir in the mascarpone and pour into a plastic container (big enough to enable you to mix with a blender a bit later on) and put in the freezer.
Fear not, that this looks really horrid at this stage as the cheese doesn't seem to mix in very well and sits in globs looking altogether quite nasty!
After two hours remove from the freezer and give it a good stir bringing the more frozen bits to the center. Now give it a good whiz with a hand blender - you will find by now the mascarpone will mix in and it will look much more like it ought to.
After a further hour repeat the stirring and mixing bit again.
At this stage, you must transfer it to a plastic container with a lid so it can be stored in your freezer until you need to. If you leave it much longer it will have frozen and you won't be able to transfer it without it becoming messy looking.
When it's well on the way to being frozen give it one last stir, no need to bother with the hand blender bit this time.
When you need to serve it just remove it from the freezer and put into the fridge for about 5 to 10 mins beforehand.
Da da!! Yummy, yummy lime sorbet!
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Sadly, I do not have an ice cream machine, and so I am having to stir my sorbet every two hours!
But as I have to go to bed now, I will let you know what state it is in tomorrow!
Okay - back from camping! I will post some pictures tomorrow, I would have done them today but I have had much trouble getting the file size right for the net......All WILL be sorted tomorrow (she said)!
I spied peanut shoots in the supermarket today and felt compelled to buy them immediately!
I had no idea what I would do with my newly purchased Peanut Shoots!
But in the end I stir fried them along with some Bok Choi, Asparagus, Chinese Kale and Chinese Chives in Oyster sauce, Soy Sauce and a little Sesame Oil and Garlic.
As I also felt the need to make Lemon Chicken, I did a version of Kevin's Lemon Chicken over at Closet Cooking but with a little bit more sauce to it.
I must say is was all rather yummy......Even if there was a bit too much happening on the plate!
To make the Lemon Chicken:
1 Lemon and it's Zest
3 Tablespoons of Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce
3/4 Tablespoon of Sugar
3/4 Tablespoon of Honey
Half of a Red Fresh Chili pepper - Finely Chopped
1/2 a Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
1/2 a Tablespoon of Ginger - Finely Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic - Finely Chopped
2 Spring Onions - Sliced Diagonally
1 tablespoon of Sesame Seeds - Toasted
How to do it:
Put the lemon zest and juice into a small bowl along with the stock, soy sauce, sugar, honey and chili and mix together.
Marinate the chicken in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger and garlic and fry for about 1 minute. Now add the chicken and saute until cooked through.
Then add the rest of the marinade, the spring onion and the toasted sesame seeds.
Serve with noodles or rice.
For the Peanut Shoots and Bok Choi in Oyster sauce:
I stir fried some Bok Choi, Asparagus, Chinese Kale, Peanut Shoots and Chinese Chives in the following mixture:
4 Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 a Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
1 Garlic Clove - Finely Chopped
Friday, 2 May 2008
Our tent is quite posh and even has a magazine rack and a door mat!
We wont starve as we have a microwave with a grill that we take with us, and of course, the camping stove and portable BBQ.........Poor car gets FULLY loaded.
But at least I can still grill some halloumi if I feel the need!
Paul's mum and dad are kindly going to come here to look after the animals (the cat, rabbit, two guinea pigs and the tortoise)!
See you all next week.
Thursday, 1 May 2008
I wondered earlier if these would be okay, or if they'd be horrid, because I made these up while I was ironing.......As you do!
Well, if I say so myself these turned out really good.
What I did:
2 Large Chicken Breast Fillets cut into chunks, then I made a marinade from the following ingredients.
1 Tablespoon of Cornflour
2 Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic - Finely Chopped
Half an inch cube of Ginger - Finely Grated
Pinch of Sugar
A 'Dollop' of Honey - which was probably about a Tablespoon
Marinate the chicken cubes in the above mixture for about 40 minutes.
Then I cut half a fresh pineapple into chunks along with some yellow pepper and red pepper (or what ever colour you happen to have, I'm sure will be fine).
Also you will need some Halloumi cheese - cut into chunks.
I used 4 skewers and threaded chicken, cheese, peppers alternatively.
Then I placed the skewers onto an electric grill (the type that closes down so it does both sides at one time) and cooked for about 15 minutes - whatever, just make sure the chicken is cooked through!
I served them with some long grain and wild rice.......
Mainly because I like the look of the wild rice!
I then drizzled with a little sweet chilli sauce.
PS: The pineapple cost me 50 wholesome pence from work!! A BARGAIN or what?!