August 17, 2012
Tartelette. Fresh fig, gorgonzola and honey Tartines
August 17, 2012
Who would believe, such an awful summer and only a couple of weeks ago, although fig tree laden, they were as hard as rock
Then today, as I passed by I saw ONE that had started to turn purple, this variety does not turn fully dark and purple, but it green and violet. Anyhow,squeezed it gently and to my amazement its plump flesh was lusciously soft to the touch. Plucked from the tree I savoured it to have after my dinner, as I drew the fig in near to my mouth its sweet heady perfume filled my nostrils, and as my teeth sunk deep into the flesh, an explosion of succulent sweetness touched my taste buds, its deep pinky purple flesh flashing scarlet in my hand, what a delight, and to think I have loads more to follow. Mr Sun please keep shining !!
I just had a look to see if I recorded anything about my figs last year. Low and behold I posted on the exact same day !! only at that time there was a whole bowl full !
August 11, 2012
This is a recipe I saw on Punchfork, brilliant site. here is a the link to COOKIE and KATE who posted the recipe
|Coconut Quinoa and Kale with Tropical Pesto|
August 17, 2011
What would I be without it………… These days I cannot find my way through the day if I dont find time for space to be alone, to potter around, meditate, walk in the park, write my journal and have that feeling of total silence. My early morning sojourns over the common across the road from me are bliss, sitting on my favourite bench, feeling the growing warmth on my back as the sun rises behind me, the birdsong, the breeze on my skin.
Pottering about before my work day started I picked a bowl of figs from the most abundant tree I have seen in long while, lucky for me its long branches have made there way over to my side of the fence ! Its lusccious fruits hung down swollen with the ripe sweetness, and as I bit into the soft moistness its honeyed flesh I felt real gratitude for this tree going about its business in complete solitude.
The Benefits of Solitude
The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts.
Just a few of the benefits
- time for thought
- in being alone, we get to know ourselves
- we face our demons, and deal with them
- space to create
- space to unwind, and find peace
- time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
- isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
- quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar
There are many more benefits, but that’s to get you started. The real benefits of solitude cannot be expressed through words, but must be found in doing.
July 29, 2011
Now I know a mushroom burger is nothing new, but this one with the chargrilled peaches just takes it to another level. Served with sweet potato chips roasted in the even, sprinkle of sea salt, seventh heaven !! Read this on Design Sponge and just had to share
- 6 portobello mushrooms
- 6 peaches
- 6 sweet potatoes
- 6 burger buns of your choice
- 100 g fresh pea sprouts
- 5 small roman tomatoes, sliced
- 5 small spring onions, sliced
- fresh thyme
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 lemon
- salt & pepper
- 4 avocados
- 5 small Roma tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
July 26, 2011
trying to maintain a vegetarian diet without getting bored and having to eat bowls of beans has been a bit of a challenge of late. Being a carnivore most of my life. one day I just awoke with the need to stop, something was telling me that my energy was too dense, that I needed to feel lighter, and so I just stopped munching the flesh. I wasnt’t that I was a huge meat eater, but I think it was more out of habit and the need to eat protien. Why this need suddenly dissipated is a mystery, but I do feel better for it for sure. The only thing being, is that pulses and grains leave me feeling little bloated, so have to be a little more creative in the food making stakes…………….. tonight efforts centred around kirsty’s homegrown veg, fresh from her garden, some rice, nut kind of loaf mix formed into burger shapes with red peppers, spring onions and flat leaf parsley. they were tasty but a bit mushy, but the rosemary roasted potatoes went down a treat.
Eggs and cheese I am reducing too, I was beginning to OD on these, every breakfast in fact, omlettes, scrambled, poached and fried ! not anymore, porridge oats cooked with water until thick and creamy, scoop into bowl with a spoonful of cream on top !! Thanks Andreas Moritz for letting me know a little cream and butter are ok !! I purchased and carried out a liver flush from his now famous book.
May 28, 2011
Not long now and first crop of beetroot will be ripening, sadly not mine but my daugher’s. I do not have my allotment anymore, but Kirsty is kind enough to share the produce she grows.
Here is a recipe I am definitely going to try, just adore the jewel like colour and sweet flavour of cooked beetroots, especially when roasted. If you want to give it a try, the recipes are after these beautiful pics.
- 1 pound beets, cooked and peeled
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 ounces almonds
- 2 ounces grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Note: If you prefer a sweeter taste, scrub and trim the tops from the beets and roast them in a foil-covered pan at 400ºF/200ºC until fork tender, about 1 hour.
1. Roughly chop the beets and run them in a food processor or blender with the garlic, almonds, grated parmesan and sea salt.
2. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil. Keep and serve refrigerated.
3. Use beetroot pesto exactly as you would use traditional pesto: over roasted vegetables, with pasta, in risotto, or even better, serve with home-baked rye bread.
Rye Bread (with Sourdough)
For the Sourdough:
- 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) ymer or other soured whole milk product (yogurt must be diluted with water)
- 1 + 1/5 cup (1.5 dl) water
- 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) coarse organic rye flour, freshly ground if possible
- 1 + 1/5 cup (1.5 dl) standard organic rye flour, freshly ground if possible
- 1/5 ounce (5 g) yeast
- 2 tbsp. sea salt
1. Mix all ingredients and leave for 24 hours at room temperature or for five days in the refrigerator.
2. Sourdough will keep for one week in the refrigerator and can be frozen. If the sourdough doesn’t seem active enough, 1/5 to 2/5 ounce (5–10 g) of yeast may be added to the dough on day 1.
For the Rye Bread Dough:
- 1 portion sourdough, approx. 1/2 quart (1/2 litre)
- 1 quart (1 litre) water or dark beer
- 1/2 tbsp. coarse salt (but not first time the sourdough is used)
- approx. 2.5 lb (1.2 kg) organic rye flour (for grainy rye bread, use 50% cut rye grains)
- 1 tbsp. butter in 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) warm water
Day 1: Mix sourdough with water, salt and 1 and 3/4 pounds (750 g) rye flour. Keep 1/2-quart (1/2-litre) dough for the next sourdough, sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp. salt and refrigerate. Put the rest of the rye bread dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Day 2: Mix the rest of the rye flour thoroughly into the dough. Put the dough in a 4.4-lb (2-litre) bread tin, filling it 2/3. Prove for a couple of hours until the dough reaches the top of the tin. Bake at 175°C/350°F for approximately two hours. A meat thermometer inserted in the middle should register at least 98°C/208°F. Brush the loaf with a butter/water mixture and cool on a cooling tray. It tastes best the following day. Rye bread keeps best in the refrigerator.
November 25, 2010
One very proud daughter, she won first prize for her chocolate honey cake !! Doesn’t it look just beautiful, sadly I never got to taste it, it was all eaten at her bee-keeping gathering !
Recipe goes something like this!
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1 1/3 cups soft light brown sugar
- 2 sticks soft butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 cup boiling water
Sticky Honey Glaze:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 ounce yellow marzipan
- 12 flaked almonds
- Special equipment: 9-inch springform tin
Take whatever you need out of the refrigerator so that all ingredients can come to room temperature, and while that’s happening, melt the chocolate from the cake part of the ingredients list in a good-sized bowl, either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter and line a 9-inch springform tin.
Beat together the sugar and soft butter until airy and creamy, and then add the honey.
Add 1 of the eggs, beating it in with a tablespoon of the flour, and then the other egg with another tablespoon of flour. Fold in the melted chocolate, and then the rest of the flour and baking soda. Add the cocoa pushed through a tea strainer to ensure you have no lumps, and last of all, beat in the boiling water. Mix everything well to make a smooth batter and pour into the prepared tin. Cook for up to 1 1/2 hours, though check the cake after 45 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover the top lightly with aluminium foil and keep checking every 15 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely in the tin on a rack.
To make the glaze, bring the water and honey to a boil in asaucepan, then turn off the heat and add the finely chopped chocolate, swirling it around to melt in the hot liquid. Leave it for a few minutes, then whisk together. Add the sugar through a sieveand whisk again until smooth.
Choose your plate or stand, and cut out 4 strips of baking paper and form a square outline on the plate. This is so that when you sit the cake on and ice it, the icing will not run out all over the plate. Unclip the tin and set the thoroughly cooled cake on the prepared plate. Pour the glaze over the cold honey bee cake; it might dribble a bit down the edges, but don’t worry too much about that. The glaze stays tacky for ages (this is what gives it its lovely melting gooiness) so ice in time for the glaze to harden a little, say at least an hour before you want to serve it. Keep the pan of glaze, (don’t wash it up), as you will need it to make the stripes on the bees.
Divide the marzipan into 6 even pieces and shape them into fat,sausage-like bees’ bodies, slightly tapered at the ends.
Using a wooden skewer, paint stripes with the sticky honey glaze left in the pan from icing the cake. About 3 stripes look best, and then very carefully attach the flaked almonds at an angle to make the bees’ wings, 2 on each one. They might snap as you dig them into the marzipan bodies, so have some spare. I’m afraid to admit, I also like to give them eyes by dipping the point of the skewer in the glaze and thence on the bees: they look more loveable with an expression, which is somehow what the eyes give them, but then this is where the Disney effect comes in. If a more imperial dignity is required, forgo the dotting of the eyes and present this as your Napoleonic Chocolate Cake.
August 20, 2010
Another week has passed with no posts, busy at work, busy with my monthly newsletter, It’s all good and everything as it should be.
Today I gave myself a beautiful little treat, passing by a little country cottage on my way out for a nice walk with a friend of mine, I came across these beautiful bunches of flowers, sweet peas, dahlias and asters, so perfectly bright, cheery and smelled so sweet, just perfect as you can see. I adore sweet peas, when I had an allotment a few years back now, I always had sweet peas growing so I could have a jug full of the bright coloured stems next to my bed. Just looking at them brings a big smile to my face and lots of happy memories of sowing and planting out, weeding and harvesting, always ending a stint on the allotment with a flask of tea sitting outside my shed with Brian, my allotment neighbour and sharing his years of experience growing veg, we would chatter away and laugh, drink the last drops from the flask, then I would gather a bunch of the heady perfumed sweet peas and drive of home. Happy memories.
Ended up walking along Ditchling Beacon, a little ways only as it was quite chilly and very blustery, but enough to blow the cobwebs away and put my life back in to perspective. The Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and one can see for miles around. I had hoped to have a nice drive in my new car with the top down, but it was too chilly. Did for awhile though, with the heated seats on full blast !!
Lunched in THE WHITE HORSE at Ditching village, a nice simple pub, with nice simple food, totally unpretentious, warm and welcoming…………. http://www.whitehorseditchling.com/index.html
All I want to do now is sleep…………………..
July 27, 2010
Wow, look at these veg, fresh straight from my daughter’s garden. Courgettes, a yellow gold round one not sure of the variety but it looks so bright, baby round carrots, three varieties of beetroot, some kind of kale and wonderful rainbow chard with bright red-pink stalks. Just had to take a photo before I started cooking my dinner.
Rainbow veg with herb butter and egg noodles…….. quick and easy and oh so delicous
Cooked the baby beetroot, skinned and sliced in half
steamed the baby carrots and left whole
sliced up the chard and some kale across in strips
diced the courgettes
chopped up a couple of tomatoes
put the egg noodles in some just boiled water to warm through
sauteed the kale and chard stalks and put in bottom of dish
metled som butter and put in chpped freshsage, thyme and rosemary, then added courgette and tossed slightly till softened
Then add carrots, beetroot and chopped tomatoes.
drain noodles and put on top of kale and chard
Top with rainbow veg, I add a squeeze of lemon, but suppose parmesan would be nice
delicous, fresh and nutrituous.
thank you Kirsty, I know they were grown with love !!
July 25, 2010
I made this today as my desktop image, a reminder of all the wonderful food thats full of goodness and healing
watch this TED video http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li.html
May 30, 2010
I remember coming here a few years back, it’s always had a reputation for good food, back then it was a traditional pub but with excellent fare, and a pleasant garden. Now Mark and Sara Colley have taken it over and it’s interior now unrecognisable, there is nothing left of its former self, not even the bar, however the white-painted clapboard exterior is the same and nice garden space is still there but this too has been given a makeover. Not sure I 100% agree with the what they have done, as the place lacks something, a little soulless, not sure if it was the small space for having a drink before dinner, which left people, who couldn’t be seated to stand awkwardly in the middle of this small space surrounded by onlookers, as all the chairs faced to the centre of the room. Or whether it was the lighting, no contrast, just an overall gloom cast by the wall lights, although stylish they did not add anything to the ambience. Shame there wasn’t some accent lighting over the tables, couldnt really see the food, although beautifully presented I couldn’t really see it in the gloom !! Or was it the service, not overly efficient but adequate, nervous and rather vacant looking girls, however the owner Sara when chatting with her at the end, was friendly open and a delight. There were some features that stood out, like the Cow wallpaper and the wall hung plates but most definitely the star of all of this was the food and so it should be
I started with a meltingly soft and creamy poached duck egg with smoked haddock and capers, as the egg was pierced the golden yolk coated each mouthful with its rich eggy velvet smooth texture, it really was mouth-wateringly good. followed by pork with cute baby turnips and mash to die for. By then I was full but managed to consume a perfect dessert although the favourite was one of my fellow diners, he had a really sharp lemon tart with a really zingy spearmint ice cream.
Would I go here again, most definitely yes, the food was excellent, very tasty, beautifully presented and very good value for money, but I would opt to go straight to my table as I did not like the drinks area, and think I would like to try on a summers day, a sunday lunch perhaps…………..
Words from the front page of their websiteIn a previous life, The Curlew Restaurant at Bodiam, East Sussex was a Coaching Inn where travellers rested their weary, moustachioed heads and warmed their spirits while on rain-sodden route from Hastings to London.
But now, Mark and Sara Colley have given The Curlew another life.
OPEN | Wednesday – Sunday
Just an errant arrow flight from Hastings, stone skim from Bodiam Castle, mince from Brighton, manicured lawn from Tunbridge Wells, The Curlew is a place where formal food meets informal dining, where the city and country brush shoulders, style meets stile.
Modern British dining for the Modern British diner.
LUNCH | 12 midday until 2.30pm DINNER | 6pm until 9.30pm
click the link here to see the website The Curlew :: Restaurant.
December 14, 2009
A creative chicken no less, decorated for a king, had to be Louis XIV didnt it……………… Is this food to be seen or eaten, some I have shown this to thinks its totally offputing, black chicken? Well I beg to differ, I think this has real wow factor. Not sure I would “style” it with green chrysanthemums but thats just “my” taste, however, the idea of decorating a chicken like this is magic.
I can imagine a lavish black banquet, and extravaganza of deep burgundy black rose heads, dark baby abubergines and black cherries tumbling forth from a tall black cyrstal cake stand with chicken atop!!
Miss Tennenbaum has gone to the the trouble of showing us how to do it. YOu can see this and so much more on her wonderful site, oh and by the way this is not a cooking website but a wonderful blog from a very talented young lady. click here to visit her blog
December 1, 2009
I just could not resist posting this, just look at the mouthwatering image and imagine the meltingly rich velvety chocolate oozing out into your mouth.
Thanks Trish for posting this, made my day. Donna Hay is so creative in the kitchen!!
Double Chocolate Cookies
4 1/4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 3/4 oz dark chocolate, extra, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 320°
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir
until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar for 8-10
minutes or until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat another 3-4
minutes. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and melted chocolate. Add the
extra chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Roll tablespoons of the mixture
into rounds. Place on baking trays lines with baking paper, allowing room for
the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes until slight cracks
have formed. Cool on wire racks. Makes 16.
Recipe from Donna Hay