Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dish of the Month - February Round Up

It's time to check out who entered the February Dish of the Month, a blog event born of our love of Nigel Slater's recipes and we haven't been disappointed by the variety and deliciousness of this month's entries.

First up was Jane at Onions and Paper with Nigel's Bacon and Celeriac Soup from the Kitchen Diaries II.

 I love Karen's presentation of the White Bean and Tarragon Soup in a pretty tea cup!  Read more of Karen's culinary adventures at Use it up, wear it out.

The incredible colour of these Carrot and Coriander Fritters is matched by the gorgeous flavour according to Rachel at Marmaduke Scarlet. Rachel's fritters are not quite to the recipe in Nigel Slater's Tender, however they look like they turned out pretty well and, as I recall, got some praise from Nigel on Twitter.

February brought out the comfort food recipes and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours found this comforting recipe for Slow Baked Sausages in the November chapter of Kitchen Diaries II and spiced it up with some mustard and chose a Double Chocolate stout for her dark beer.


Galina at Chez Maximka has a real soft spot for Nigel Slater and chose this ambitious Squid Romesco.  Her heart was won over completely when the dish turned out so well AND she got compliments from Nigel on Twitter!

 Mrs P baked this Apricot Crumble Cake which she described as buttery, almondy cakeyness, who could resist?


Sue from Heaven on a Plate,  my co-host and super Dish of the Month Pinterest pinner, tackled the biggest challenge in the February chapter of The Kitchen Diaries II, the lemon tart, and what a beautiful looking tart it is too. 


YummyMetz seems to have been inpsired by the horse/beef crisis to make a meaty Nigel Slater spaghetti bolognaise!  I'm sure she checked the provenence of her mince, it went down will with Mr A and I hope she managed to put at least one portion into the freezer for later.

This 'bright and cheerful' recipe from Nigel Slater's Observer column jumps off the page at Nyssapod blog.  Peppers with chickpeas and Gorgonzola is a simple dish but full of flavour and colour, great choice.

Nigel has been busy responding to the tweets of our Dish of the Month bloggers this month, when Claire at Foodie Quine tweeted her intention to make Sausage and Spelt Cobbler, this was the reply she received: 
 "@realnigelslater @foodiequine @serialcrafter A warming dish, cheap and filling. An edible duffel coat against the snow. (But much tastier.)"

My own offering for February was these 'little oat and apricot cakes' made with similar ingredients to the Apricot Crumble Cake and very moist and tasty.

Well that's it for February, thanks to all who joined us cooking the recipes of Nigel Slater.  I'll be back with the linky for March on Sunday 3rd of March so if you have any of Nigel's books, get them out and see what you can make, if you don't then there are plenty of recipes on line or why not try one of the recipes that have been shared here or in the January Round Up ?








Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mixed Berry Jam

It was time to clean out the freezer, it was getting beyond a joke, the drawers were difficult to open and I spotted some frozen green goo in the bottom of one of them,  I thought my ice cream maker had burst and leaked but it hadn't so I'm not sure quite what that was, but it's gone now!  As part of my 'storecupboard empty' campaign I had been trying to use up things in the freezer and not fill it full again until I had cleaned it out.

Down near the bottom of the freezer were several boxes of berries.  Blackcurrants from the garden, blackberries from the hedgerow, a few redcurrants (that had been there for about three years!) and half a pack of cranberries from I bought and froze in December. I decided it was time to clear them out and make a mixed berry jam.



Blackcurrants are really easy to make into jam, they are full of pectin and give a good set, I made double the amount in the recipe, it's an easy one to adapt to the quantity of berries you have at your disposal.

Mixed Berry Jam
Makes 1kg (just over 2lb) jam
450g (1lb) mixed berries including blackcurrants
450ml (3/4 pt) water
550g (1 1/4 lb) sugar

Remove the stalks (hmm, you will see that I didn't get them all removed, but you can fish them out when the berries are softened) then wash the fruit.  Simmer gently with the water until the skins are really soft.  Add the sugar; stir until dissolved; then boil rapidly until setting point is reached.

If you have never made jam before, read this excellent article, published in the Guardian Lifestyle, by Darina Allen which should answer any questions you have.  But really, it's not that difficult, you don't need sugar thermometers or liquid pectin, my mother and grandmother never used them. A cold saucer in the fridge, a teaspoonful of jam, let it cool, then push with your finger and if there is a 'skin' then it is set, if not boil for another 5 minutes and try again.

 I'm entering this freezer cleaning jam for the No Waste Food Challenge at Turquoise Lemons as the theme is 'preserves'.



Monday, 25 February 2013

Breakfast Club Round Up Jan/Feb 2013


Thanks so much to everyone who supported our rather extended Breakfast Club which ran in both January and February. We also enjoyed National Farmhouse Breakfast Week  
during this Breakfast Club and you all came up with some amazing 'cooked or baked' breakfasts.

First up is Helen from Fuss Free Flavours with her Dukka and Sun Dried Tomato MuffinsBreakfast Club is run by Helen except when guest hosts, like me, are roped in invited to host. Later in the month Helen also treated us to French Toast Crumpets

Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Kitchen cooked up a really unusual breakfast of Fried Dates with Eggs to transport her from cold Shetland to the middle east.


At Utterly Scrummy, healthy Wholemeal Date Scones are on the menu for breakfast.


Nivedhanam entered a number of recipes for Breakfast Club including this Oats Kaara Appam
Quinoa Idli (Instant), Instant Oats, Wheat and Corn Idli, Oats Dosai, Oats Dates Almonds Shake, Raisins Oatmeal, Savory Oats Muffins,  
Sundried Tomatoes and Olives Tart
Cous Cous Upudum
Stuffed Masala Bun

At My Cooking Journey we were treated to Sun Dried Tomato and Onion Tart pizza style dish made with puff pastry.  Also from My Cooking Journey Avocado Paratha, Tomato Dosai

Besan Chilla Sandwich is the breakfast dish from Home Cooked Food.

One of my own entries was a rather extravagent Croque Monsieur Whoopie Pie 
Energy busting Chocolate Cherry Bars , Fruity Porridge in a Flask
and Spelt Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup



Some lovely varieties of porridge from Adventures of a Kiwi in London


Kate at Turquoise Lemons brought us these amazing Breakfast Bacon Baskets 

These 'Versatile Fruity Breakfast Muffins' come from Utterly Scrummy, don't they look good?


 

Helen at Fuss Free Flavours (owner of this event) gave us a Full English Breakfast Tarte Tatin 


Mushroom Asparagus (crustless) mini quiche is the breakfast offering from Krithi's Kitchen


The lovely Urvashi at Botanical Baker has baked us an Apricot Crumble Cake for breakfast, I'm going round to her house, these are some of my favourite flavours.


Here's a hearty and tasty breakfast to send you out into your day with a smile it's a Cheese, Ham and Potato scone from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All

What a delicious offering from Divine Foods Living in this  Eggless Fresh Lemon Vegetable Quiche

 Talented chef Ren Behan of Fabulicious Food gave us a breakfast steeped in her cultural roots: One Pan Polish Breakfast


 
Blackberry Breakfast Muffins were one entry from Sumee's Culinary Bites also Kale Breakfast Smoothie,  Orange Banana Bread
 and Cheesy Sweetcorn and Peppers Breakfast Casserole

Cookies for breakfast?  Well these are wholesome oat cookies so in the spirit of the cereal bar these would do the job to start the day.  Sugar and Spice, Flavours from Harini's Kitchen certainly thinks so.


A little taste of summer with this Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Oven Baked Frittata from Laura Nutrition London.

I've never heard of Shakshuka before but it looks very good, so thanks to Expoits of a Food Nut for sharing this lovely one dish meal with us.

Who wouldn't want to have these pretty potato waffles for breakfast?  Jane at Onions and Paper made these with her new electric waffle maker.  Jane also created another impromptu waffle breakfast with left over Yorkshire Pudding batter


Stunningly simple but perfectly balanced, this Kichree from Gujerati Girl is ideal for detox or fasting.

Love the look of these Oats Banana Pancakes from Manju's Kitchen, a tasty addition to any breakfast menu. Also entered for Breakfast Club was Sorghum Dosa  Oats Sakari Pongal and  Orange French Toast

Granola is always a popular choice for breakfast and this Millet Granola comes to us from The Taste Space.

Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes thought up the idea for these Sweet Potato, Celeriac and Sultana Muffins just before dropping off to sleep! Jen also brought us Cheesy Chorizo Flatbreads and
 Cranberry Sauce Flapjacks


It was great for me to see these traditonal Scottish Tattie Scones, made by Foodie Quine, make an appearance for my hosting of Breakfast Club.


Sweet and Salty Grape Juice is the unusual breakfast drink served for us by Indian Vegetarian Recipes and also entered is Spicy Bread Upma




Healthy Spinach Quinoa Biscuits are the breakfast of choice for Chef Mireille, or why not try Brocolli Breakfast Casserole?

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Saju's Tastes brings us an unusual dish of Banana Scrambled egg

Chocolate Frosted Orange Muffins are a sweet breakfast treat for Cusine Delights.

These pretty little breakfast apetisers are 'Little Cheese Heart Crepes' from Kitchen Delicacies

The Turmeric Kitchen brings us Coriander Luchi a little fried bread dough snack, a tasty stuffed flat bread called Muglai Parathaa ,  A Grilled Cheese Veggie Sandwich, Pearls of Divinity

Sarah at Maison Cupcake raided her Store cupboard to make this chunky, crunchy Store Cupboard Granola.

 
Banana Almond Cupcakes come from Pranati's Kitchen as a quick and easy breakfast bread. Another dish from Pranati's Kitchen is Crispy Moong Dal Kachori

I really loved this idea from Gill from Tales of Pigling Bland, a fat free muesli bake seems like the perfect way to start the day.


A quick, easy and warming bowl of Maggie Egg noodles is on offer for breakfast from Spicy Foood blog.

Banana muffins and breads have proved a popular choice for Breakfast Club, these ones come from Nithya's Corner

More bananas but this time Jac at Tinned Tomatoes combined  them with chocolate and oats in a lovely chewy Banana and Chocolate Flapjacks, they are suitable for vegans too.

I just loved this little Heart Shaped Egg Toast from Simply Delicious blog, isn't it cute?

The Granola entered by Riverside Baking was the result of some rather crumbly flapjacks, brilliant re-purposing!

Allotment 2 Kitchen brought us the King of Breakfasts from the King himself: The Best Elvis Bagel

Food with a View brought us a more challenging breakfast to make: a duo of cheeses, Paneer and Labneh check it out.


Sizzling Tastebuds gives us this simple Set Dosa served with carrot-shallots chutney.

Healthy Apple Wholegrain Muffins look like a tasty breakfast from What's Cooking?

Nazima from Franglais Kitchen completes the Breakfast Club round up with these stunning Easy Peasy Chocolate Banana Pancakes with Ginger Maple Syrup.

Many thanks to everyone who took part in Breakfast Club and remember to join in again next month, details of the Breakfast Club from Fuss Free Flavours.  If you would like to host Breakfast Club please contact helen at fussfreeflavours dot com  March Breakfast Club can be found at Heidi Roberts Kitchen Talk

...and the winner is



I entered the total number of entrants to Breakfast Club into the Random Number Generator and the winner of the Sharpham Park Hamper is entry number 3, Michelle, with her Wholemeal Date Scones from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.
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