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Showing posts from September, 2011

Tilda Basmati Giveaway

Curry has long been a British staple and Basmati brand; Tilda is helping to celebrate this year’s National Curry Week (9 - 15 October) with some tasty recipes.  Whether its Korma, Thai Green, Katsu or the fruity curry recipe below, make sure you indulge in a spicy treat to get into the spirit.

Chicken with a Fruit Curry Sauce and Coconut Basmati Rice
Serves 3-4

Ingredients for the Chicken:
2 free range chicken breasts
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
50g/ 2 oz salted butter
1 tsp sunflower oil

For the Coconut Basmati:
125g (4oz) Tilda Pure Basmati
150ml (1/4 pint) coconut milk

For the Coconut Basmati sauce:
50g/ 2oz butter
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 pineapple rings, drained and diced
1 small banana, cubed
1 firm apple, peeled and diced
2 tbsp medium curry powder
1tsp tbsp desiccated coconut
75ml/ 3floz chicken stock
75ml/ 3floz coconut milk
Salt and black pepper
50g/ 2oz sultanas

Step 1. For the chicken breast into large chunks. Lightly flour and season the chicken chunks.
Step 2. Heat half …

The Good Table - Valentine Warner: A Review

I don’t know about you but one of my favourite pastimes is taking recipe books to bed with me (not in a weird way!) and this book, ‘The Good Table’ by contemporary cook Valentine Warner is perfect for late night perusal (and laughs – but more on that in a minute). Whether it be with a cup of steaming Chai  (p356)  or something more potent like ‘Dicks Rum Shack Punch on page 345 (I like the sound of this one a lot), this book really is a joy to read.
Valentines quirky writing style (sometimes so quirky that I don’t quite get it – but that’s me, not him) and even quirkier metaphors, has drawn me to recipes that I would have otherwise overlooked. Who couldn’t be enticed by his description of razor clams as ‘like Cuban cigars in an elastic band, pale feet lolling out like the tongues of tired horses’! This, is essentially what I love about his recipes, they make me want to get out of my comfort zone and embrace new ways of preparing, cooking and eating food. I’m at a stage where I want to…

Roast Tomato, Cannellini Bean and Chorizo Salad

This salad used up some of the cherry tomatoes from the allotment. The warm dressing makes use of some Cabernet Franc Vinegar from Cornish company Pomona Street and also a new Thyme Honey from the New Zealand Honey Company. Great for lunch, but if you wanted to make it into a main meal just add some homemade bread to mop up the dressing!

| Serves: 2  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes | Total Time: 15 Minutes |
Ingredients:  200g Cherry Tomatoes, halvedSprig of Thyme400g tin of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed50g Chorizo, halved and sliced1/2 Red Onion, chopped finely3 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar1 TBSP Thyme Honey (or ordinary honey)Bag of Rocket and WatercressSeasoning Instructions: Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190c (170 fan) and put the tomatoes and sprig of thyme in a baking tin. Roast for 20 minutes.Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a pan on the hob and fry the chorizo until crisp.Step 3: Put the chorizo, drained cannellini beans in a bowl…

Tuna, Olive and Tomato Spaghetti

I love living in Cornwall but I often miss out on attending foodie events because I live so far away from London (a small price to pay for living in such a beautiful part of the country). I was invited to attend a Taste of Spain Olive masterclass with chef Omar Allibhoy on the 14th September in London, which unfortunately I had to turn down due to travel costs. However, Taste of Spain made sure I didn’t miss out altogether and sent me some Olives through the post so I could have a go at creating some of my own recipes. 

This Tuna, Olive and Tomato Spaghetti was born after a late one at work. It takes less than 20 minutes to make, which is great  for when time is short. I made this for myself and hubby (the kids had already eaten at Nana’s house), so I added lots of fresh red chilli. However, Rory took a liking to it and ended up eating half of mine (he’s a toddler that likes his chilli....and olives!) and in the process splattered his PJ’s in tomato sauce. It was a succes…

Debbie's Welshcakes

I have said this many times before but Twitter really is a wonderful thing. I received a lovely tweet from a new follower @debswelshcakes asking if I would like to sample some of her homemade welshcakes…, yes please! The only welshcakes I have sampled previously were pre-packaged ones from the supermarket, which quite frankly tasted like cardboard. Debbie’s however were in a different league altogether and restored my faith. 

The welshcakes arrived in pristine condition, thanks to the sturdy packaging and were beautifully wrapped in red gingham-esque paper, tied with a red bow. I opened up the packet and tried one ….and then I tried another one…and another. I had difficulty stopping myself from taking yet another so I let the kids sample one each, which the gobbled down…and then we had some more for breakfast this morning. Unlike the cardboard ones I have eaten previously, these were lovely and moist, with a dense doughy texture and very, very moreish. Debbie now sells…

Apple Cake

I have SO. MANY. APPLES to use. A whole heap (3kg) went into some Spicy Apple Chutney I made last week - which I will blog soon, I also made some Bramley Apple Compote and 3 Apple Crumbles for the freezer... then just when I thought I'd broken the back of the pile, my neighbour bought round another bag full. These weren't bramleys though, but were too sharp to eat (judging by my 2 year old's face when he bit into one) so I thought I could use them in a cake.
The cake is lovely and moist with a light texture thanks to the long whisking of the eggs and sugar at the beginning of the recipe. You could vary it by trying pears instead of apples, perhaps with some cardamom! Mmmm Pear and Cardamom Cake....going to have to try that one soon!

| Serves: 12 squares | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 35 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes |
Ingredients: 2 large Eggs175g Golden Caster Sugar1 TSP Vanilla Extract85g Butter75ml Milk125g Plain Flour1 TSP Ground Cinnamon2 TSP Baking Pow…

Muesli Bars with New Zealand Honey Co

I rarely get the chance to eat a proper breakfast in the week and I'm fed up with eating cardboard cereal, I had a go at making my own. I loosely based the recipe on one I had seen in the Leon: Naturally Fast Food cookbook and they turned out just as I had wanted - chewy and fruity, with some added crunch from the nuts and seeds. Eating one of these kept those dreaded mid morning hunger pangs at bay...until at least 11:30am - which is a good effort!
I used some New Zealand Honey Co. (@NZ_Honey_Co) Beech Forest Honeydew Honey as a natural sweetener in these bars, which worked perfectly. The honey comes in squeezy tubes which avoids a sticky mess and it also has a unique pre-biotic and antioxidant rating. New Zealand Honey Co. also do a Thyme Honey which I desperately want to get my hands on as I bet it would make a wonderful marinade for chicken and pork. You can buy both varieties at Waitrose and they retail at £3.49 MUESLI BARS| Serves: 12 bars | Prep Time: 10 Minutes  |…

Wild Mushroom Risotto

It's risotto kind of weather again, not that I mind - I LOVE Autumn and its distinctive smell. I love the chilly breezy evenings, the bonfires, fallen leaves, toffee apples, fireworks..... and I most definitely love the seasonal food on offer.
This risotto is very earthy and rich and perfect for an Autumn evening, snuggled up inside with your family.

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes |
Ingredients:  40g Dried Wild Mushrooms1 TSP Vegetable BouillonGlug of Oil1 Onion, chopped3 Garlic Cloves, chopped200g Mushrooms - any variety I used closed cup, chopped300g Risotto RiceGlass of Vermouth (or white wine)Large handful of grated ParmesanSalt and Pepper Instructions: Step 1: Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1.2 litres of boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes then take the mushrooms out, squeeze off excess water and chop. Add the vegetable bouillon to the mushroom stock and stir.Step 2: Heat the oil in a pan …

Mini Quiches

Lowen starts school this week (*sob*) and she is adamant that she wants to take a packed lunch instead of having cooked school lunches (having sampled the school meals on a recent taster day I can't blame her to be honest). With that in mind I've been developing some child friendly lunchbox fodder over the school holidays to try and stop lunches becoming repetitive and boring. These mini quiches are perfect for little hands and mouths and you can vary the filling to suit what you have in the fridge. The ones I have made here are bacon and cheddar, but the possibilities are endless. The beauty with this recipe is that the pastry quantities specified make enough for 24 mini quiches but I do 2 batches of 12  - the pastry is fine to be left in the fridge for a few days so why not make a batch on Sunday night and another on Tuesday or Wednesday night to get you through the school week.

| Serves: makes 24 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes  | Total Time: 35 M…

Rise and Shine Flapjacks

These fruity flapjacks come courtesy of a new cookbook that landed on my door last week - Hungry, written by Innocent Drinks in collaboration with food writer Anna Jones. The book aims to provide families with healthy, tasty alternatives to fast food and includes delicious recipes for Oven Baked Squash Risotto (which I will be trying soon), Sweet Potato Beanie Bake, Lamb Shank Tagine, Pea and Bacon well as desserts (the banana ice cream sounds fab), quick wholesome breakfasts and of course smoothies. The book also has a very interesting wee-ometer page - which I will leave to your imagination......
Not content with just the cookbook though, the people at Innocent will be hitting the road in their HGV (AKA Hungry Grassy Van) between the 9th -23rd September to showcase some of the recipes from the book. HGV will be stopping at London, Bristol (13-15th September), Manchester and Glasgow...and lots of places in between and serving diners with very reasonably priced (£2-£3 per dis…