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Holiday thoughts

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Today’s Blogliner:

Curry made with leftover turkey? Grandma’s boiled cake? Windowpane cookies?

With Christmas fast approaching do you have a favourite recipe?

By popular request we’re having a non traditional smoked haddock, leek and potato chowder for Christmas eve with the granddaughters and my mother’s turkey dinner on Christmas day (my belly’s already rumbling in anticipation) but I’d love to hear some recipes from you. None needed for the leftover chowder ta, the dishes are licked so clean you could put them straight back in the cupboard.

Coming up: As soon as this mad work stuff is over there’ll be the… Daisy Christmas Competition! * In the meantime, new visitors might like to have a look at the Christmas 2003 archives. Old timers should know better.

* Stop groaning you there at the back.

Custardy Popovers

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

What a name, what a recipe – I had to copy this recipe from Alison because sod’s law dictates that come the morning I want to cook ’em, the internet will be down and I’ll be suffering from withdrawal symptoms. And that’s before I even try the damn things. But don’t they sound delicious?

Custardy Popovers [from The Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen]

15 to prepare
35 minutes to bake
375°F oven
Makes 12 popovers

Ingredients *
4 eggs
1 cup unbleached white flour [125 gm] [that means plain flour, right?]
1 cup milk [237 ml/8.3 fl ozs]
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter

  1. Beat together the eggs and milk. Add flour and salt. Beat with a fork until mixture is uniform.
  2. Preheat a muffin tin in the oven for 5 minutes.
  3. Brush the cups and the top of the tin generously with melted butter.
  4. Fill each muffin hole two-thirds full with batter. Work quickly so the tin stays hot. Place in the oven.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes without opening the oven. Prick each popover with a fork, to let steam escape. (This will help them hold their shape).
  6. Serve immediately, with butter and jam.

* I’ve converted the cup measurements using this guide – do you think they’re about right?

La Tougoule

Friday, September 10th, 2004

Stroppy cow has posted a lovely sounding recipe for rice pudding – it’s similar to the pudding I regularly make but uses cinammon rather than nutmeg and a lot more sugar. Get your spoon ready darling, I’m making this tonight!

Something else the children and adults enjoyed very much was the local pud: la tougoule (it’s really a sort of rice pudding, only the long slow cooking gives it a very creamy texture and a light hint of caramel). The recipe is very simple, put 2 litres of milk in a dish (allowing a bit of extra room), add 200g of sugar (yes I know that’s about 16 heaped tablespoon of sugar but you don’t have to eat all of the dish in one go – although it may be tempting), 175g of pudding rice and a large pinch of cinnamon. Place in the oven gas mark 2 or 150o for 5 hours. A brown skin/crust will form, underneath you will have the best rice pudding you have ever tasted. Don’t let the kids get to the crust first, you deserve to have it because you are worth it. Eat at room temperature or cold.

Alas, I’ll never be able to report on what it tastes like cold ‘cos it never stays in the bowl long enough to investigate.

Yummy ice cream sundae

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

While up at stepson #1’s on Saturday we managed to eat a lovely lunch (salad and barbecued tuna, chicken and steak) but it was so hot that no-one got really excited about the food. Until Tom disappeared into the house and emerged 10 minutes later carrying a tray of sundae glasses. They were absolutely delicous and very quick to prepare once the jelly’s made up so here’s the recipe. Serves 4.

Ingredients
1 packet Rowntree’s Raspberry Tablet Jelly
Fruit (strawberries, rasperries, bananas, etc.)
Icrecream (vanilla with caramel recommended)
2 or 3 snack size Twix bars (or 1 full size) (I think Mars bars would work just as well)
(more…)

I can die happy now

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

I’m number one in this search for potato and sweetcorn chowder.

Prawn and tomato pasta

Friday, July 30th, 2004

Because we’ve always got tomatoes in the fridge (I’m a tomato junkie) and usually have 1 or more packets of cooked prawns in the freezer (our local branch of Sainsbury often does 1/2 price specials), I’d go so far as to say this is a store cupboard standby recipe. Anyway, I cooked this last night, it took less than 15 minutes from start to finish and I’ll definitely be doing it again. Deeelishus.

Ingredients [serves 4]

  • 400g (14oz) long pasta (I used linguini)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 250g tubs cherry tomatoes, halves [I’d use any tomatoes in the fridge]
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 300g (11oz) cooked prawns
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

(more…)

You Are How You Eat

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004

An excellent article by Giuliano Hazan in the NY Times

Ultimately, it’s not the carbohydrates — or the next unsuspecting food group that will come under attack — that will make us overweight. It’s our relationship with food and our lifestyle. In other words, how we eat is just as important — if not more so — than what we eat.

Eating sensibly is really the best diet, and the better we can teach our children to appreciate good food and the pleasure we can take from eating leisurely together as a family, the less likely we will be to feel the need to try the latest diet fad. Savoring a good meal simply makes us feel good. Food should not be feared. It should be a source of pleasure and well-being. So sauté a little sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil until it sizzles, add ripe fresh peeled tomatoes, cook 15-20 minutes, stir in some fresh basil and toss with some spaghettini. Then sit down with your family and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures together.

[Via Kimberly.]

A recipe for friendship

Sunday, May 16th, 2004

Here’s a lovely idea via Lynn – Susan at Illusive Life is planning a special gift for her daughter’s wedding next year and is looking for your help. Oh goodie, looks like that haddock, potato and leek chowder will be coming out for yet another airing… :-0))

F(b)logging a dead haddock

Saturday, April 3rd, 2004

I’m getting rather a lot of mileage out of that original haddock, leek and potato chowder post, eh? First an update and now a variation.

Toward the end of the cooking time you add the peas, sweetcorn and milk. Well somehow I forgot to add the milk tonight (trying to cook the chowder and a chocolate pudding at the same time is not a good idea) so I only realised the missing milk as I served the chowder. I was tempted to put it all back in the pan, add the milk and simmer again for 5 minutes but (a) we were really hungry and (b) it looked fine without.

What a result! It’s less creamy yes, but I think that the milk masks the flavour of the vegetables a little – leaving it out means that the leeks especially were more flavoursome. We had a vote and decided to leave the milk out of future editions. So there you go, sick of haddock chowder yet?

The one with the recipe update

Saturday, March 6th, 2004

Remember that leek, potato and haddock chowder I made the other day? I made it again for supper tonight but this time substituted half the haddock for four large carrots & an extra potato and added a large handful of frozen peas (at the same time as the sweetcorn). Result: much more colourful and absolutely delicious. Sorry for the lack of modesty but it’s such a simple meal to cook and (best of all) you can wash up as you go along, leaving just the pan, dishes and cutlery to take care of at the end of the meal.

Now that cake. I have to confess that I don’t particularly like chocolate cake. If I’m going to have baddies I’d rather they contain sultanas (welshcakes, scones, etc.) but my beloved one is quite a chocoholic so when I saw this recipe being prepared on UK Style the other night I knew I had to try it. The ingredients are a little unusual – black treacle, vegetable oil, no butter! but it’s so easy to make, even I had no hesitation at trying it. I’m going to copy the recipe here because although it’s unlikely to disappear from the BBC website, knowing my luck…

Chocolate Treacle Sandwich – Gary Rhodes

Ingredients

Sponges:
170g/6oz plain flour
50g/2oz cocoa powder
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp black treacle
2 eggs
75g/3oz caster sugar
150ml/¼ pint milk
150ml/¼ pint vegetable oil

Chocolate filling:
170g/6oz plain or milk chocolate, chopped
80ml/3fl oz double cream
25g/1oz butter

Cream filling:
150ml/¼ pint double cream, lightly whipped

Method
1. For this recipe you will need two 20cm/8in sandwich cake tins, the bases lined with greaseproof paper and then buttered and floured.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add all the other sponge ingredients and whisk to a smooth consistency. Divide the mix between the two tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
4. Once cooked, and just becoming firm, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling wire racks.
5. Make the filling: melt the chopped chocolate with the double cream in a bowl over a pan of warm water. Once melted, add the butter and remove from the heat.
6. As this mixture cools it will also thicken. It can now be spread onto the base sponge, before being topped with the lightly whipped cream and then the remaining sponge. The chocolate treacle sponge is ready to serve.

Talking of cakes, has anyone made a German Friendship Cake?

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