Monday, 31 May 2010
I am back at work tomorrow, so I want something quick to have for tea on Tuesday night using what I have to hand. I have the ingredients for this recipe without having to buy anything in. (Plenty of chicken left overfrom tea tonight) This recipe I haven't tried before but it sounds promising. The quickness of making this also appeals to me and means that I will be able to get on with other bits and bobs without having to do loads of cooking or washing up, like the ironing! I will probably serve this with some jersey royals and a side salad as well as some home made breadbuns
4 Spring Onions finely chopped
4 tablespoons of Tahini Paste
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar (I am going to use white wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons of English Mustard
400g cooked chicken shredded
375g cucumber shredded
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Handful of pea shoots
- In a large bowl mix together the spring onions tahini paste and vinegar and English Mustard then add the chicken and combine well.
- Put the cucumber slices on a large plate and toss with the dressed chicken. Finish off with toasted sesame seeds and the pea shoots.
1 cup of water
3 cups of white bread flour (I Used Waitrose Canadian Extra Strong Bread Flour)
1 1/2 tablespoon dry milk powder
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 teaspoons of dried easy action yeast (I used Allisons)
(I have to use a breadmaker as I cannot knead very well because of the arthritis in my hands. I wish I was able to but I just cannot even though I have tried). I therefore use the dough hook on my Kenwood or the bread machine for doing the kneading.
Always use your own individual breadmakers general instructions
set the breadmaker to the dough setting the machine I have used a Pizza setting which is the dough setting for this particular machine.
- put the ingredients in the pan as specified by your manufacturers instructions
- remove the dough from the machine when it beeps
- divide the dough into 6 balls
- put one ball on a floured board, roll it to the shape of a circle.
- place on a lightly greased pan and prick with a fork.
- Repeat with the other balls.
- Garnish with your chosen toppings i.e. ham and pineapple, tomato onion and basil
- bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes
- Serve eat and enjoy
The actual dough process took about 45 minutes in the machine from start to finish.
You can get/make the toppings relatively easily and the dough is not difficult to make.
- I fried some onions in some butter as one topping.
- segmented and skinned about 3 ordinary tomatoes and added some basil and oregano and some mixed herbs, garlic and black pepper with a dash of water and then simmered until a sauce. Then left to cool as another.
- I Had some left over smoked ham from sandwiches that I used.
- I Grated some dried cheese
- Sliced a yellow pepper.
- Opened a tin of pineapple.
I then mixed the ingredients as far as they would go between the pizzas.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Tomorrow if the weather is good I will sow some Nasturtiums (the flowers can be eaten and the seed pods can be preserved), some yellow and green courgettes, beetroot, lettuce, carrots some more herbs and whatever else I can find. I am going to have a good rootle around to see what I can come up with. I like growing things from scratch and I like my food. I am sort of investing some time now doing the spade work to put something onto my plate a little later on. Still only baby steps but I intend to get there eventually.
This is very delicious cake and something I used to make on a regular basis. Looks like it needs ressurecting.
8 oz self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice
4oz demerara sugar
6oz dried fruit mixture
3-4 tablespoons milk
Demerara sugar for topping
- To the flour add the salt and mixed spice then rub in the margarine until like a crumble mix.
- Add the sugar and dried fruit mixture and mix evenly so that the ingredients are distributed evenly.
- In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and then add the milk.
- Add to the rest of the ingredients combining well.
- Line a deep cake pan with greaseproof or baking parchment, making sure that you grease the lining well (I melt a little butter or margarine in a pan then brush on after I have the pan lined to my satisfaction).
- Add the cake mixture finishing off with a sprinkle of demerara sugar and cook at oven temperature 350 degrees F until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool.
- Serve at tea time or as a cut and come again cake.
- Remove wrapping
This is a good one to make if you have the odd chicken carcass hanging around and it is very tasty, its also something for nothing out of what most people throw away, but you will get all the goodness and flavour out of simple home made offerings, which is delicious served with wedges of a fresh bread loaf.
1 chicken carcass
1 bay leaf
1pint of milk
4 tablespoons boiling water
4 tablespoons cold water
4oz chopped cooked chicken
1 medium size onion
1 chicken stock cube
1 level tablespoon conflour
1/4 level teaspoon nutmeg
- Break up the carcass and put into a large saucepan.
- Chop the onion add the bay leaf and clove
- Pour in the milk and the stock cube dissolved in boiling water
- Simmer slowly for about 20 minutes or so. Then strain away the bits of the carcass through a sieve returning the liquid to a clean pan.
- Add the slaked cornflour (cornflour mixed with water to form a paste), then add to the liquid stirring all the time until mixture comes to the boil and thickens slightly. Add the nutmeg; then the cooked chicken and season to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls .
Eat and enjoy
For tea this evening I have had herb omlette with a mixture of fresh gathered herbs out of my little herb garden,tarragon, sage,french parsley, mint, thyme, chives, oregano and rosemary. Each mouthful of the omlette was like a taste explosion and because I had used a variety of the chopped up herbs, each mouthful was exploring virgin territory.
Take a couple of eggs and break them into a bowl
Beat them together with a whisk
Add fresh ground black pepper to season to your taste I tend to use more pepper than salt in cooking.
Add some milk and/or a dash of cream
I chopped mine with my Mezzaluna
Beat the herbs into the egg and milk mixture
Cook in a frying pan on a gentle heat until there is no liquid showing, but use a gentle heat as you don't want to burn it.
Turn out onto your plate. I served mine simply with some brown bread and butter.
For sweet I have had some strawberries chopped in half, a sprinkling of sugar, broken meringue and fresh cream mixed into a mini Eton Mess.
This is a lovely and refreshing sorbet and one to take advantage of when the Elderflower bracts are available, but if you make cordial you can also use this as a base to make the sorbet "out of season"
175g/6 oz sugar
450ml/ 3/4 pint water
10 elderflower heads
juice of 1 large lemon
1 large egg white
- Gently heat the sugar in the water in a heavy-based saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat add the elderflowers, cover and remove from the heat.Leave to infuse for 35 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice then strain the liquid into a metal container/plastic box Chill for an hour then place in the freezer until the mixture is beginning to freeze or pop into your ice cream machine if you have one and follow instructions for your machine. If you don't have an ice cream machine. Whisk the egg white separately until stiff but not dry. Beat the iced mixture to break up the ice crystals but do not allow it to melt. Carefully fold in the egg white. Return the mixture to the metal container and place in the freezer until firm.
- Serve within a day or so. Place the sorbet in the refrigerator for about 35 minutes to soften before serving. Decorate with elderflower sprigs and leaves.
However on Friday I had the first of the local grown English Strawberries and they were heavenly - they were £1.80 a pound, but then yesterday I got some more from my local veggie shop at £1.50 a pound (last week they were on the market at £3.50 a punnet). I do so adore English Strawberries. But then I also love the abundant wild gifts that we get from the hedgerow. (Sorry not the best photo too near with the flash).
Hope you all get your own English Strawberries soon (and for those of you who are further afield if you ever get the opportunity to try English Strawberries - you won't be disappointed as when in season they just can't be touched).
As a little treat and because it was pay day I have spent out a little on the veggies this weekend as it is good to have seasonal food but you cannot always afford what we would like. However a little of what you fancy now and again doesn't do any harm and helps lift the spirits and helps you feel truly blessed.
OH is away fishing so we will be having our Sunday lunch tomorrow. I have Roast Chicken with garden herb stuffing, sage and onion stuffing, bread sauce, Jersey Royal potatoes, Asparagus, Carrots, Peas and Cauliflower together with Roast Sweet and Ordinary potato planned, together with the Strawberries with either cream or vanilla ice cream. I am getting hungry just thinking about this.
Catch you all later
Friday, 28 May 2010
I have indulged today and been to the market they had quite a lot of lovely plants. In the end I bought 2 six plants for £5 = 10. Because I am using more and more herbs (not just in cooking) I have increased the amount of plants that I usually get - it may be that I will increase them even more next year.
Today I have purchased 4 French Tarragon
2 French Parsley
2 Ordinary Parsley
4 Upright Rosemary
and 2 Freebies a couple of overgrown French Parsley's so am going to give them a bit of a haircut and see if I can get them re-growing.
I have given them a good soak this evening and will plant them on tomorrow.
Now I need to locate some Lemon Verbena. I am very partial to this very fragrant herb it can be used in pot pourris and drinks as well as some preserves.
Monday, 24 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Whilst trying to get Tyson in I was collared by a new young neighbour who has a small kitten. Reminds me of a smaller version of Tinky. I have had to sex the kitten for her and it would appear that she has a young female called Charlie; she asked me because she was aware that I had Tyson but not that I had four more and a Jack Russell to boot. She seems very pleasant and the kitten was gorgeous.
Had a nice quick tea tonight chicken thighs in a pre-bought Jalfrezi sauce with Naan bread and rice. Very tasty and very quick for a week night.
Well I was at a loose end at lunch so I decided to go and check out the books that I had seen last week and which are now on my "Wish List" they are:
The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler
Grow Your Own Drugs new version and old version
One Pot of Jam Sonia Allison £8.99
Fruits of the Earth Gloria Nicol £14.99
Seasonal Preserves Joanna Farrow £12.99
At least now I have the titles so if they aren't in the shop when I eventually have the pennies together I will be able to order them. There is a method in my madness somewhere along the line.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Wish me luck
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Wish me luck
Its been a much better day today than yesterday. Yesterday was too cold and it just rained and rained and rained. I had my nose pressed up against the window longing to be out in the fresh air, but in the end I gave in admitted defeat and spent a lot of time writing different articles for the blog - all of which will filter through eventually. This morning I decided to do the articles on the donut maker. But this afternoon I have been pottering in my growing sheds and cold frame and I am pleased to say that my salad crops and seeds are coming on well. I shall soon be cutting the pea shoots although it will be a bit longer for the radish, spring onion, Mesdun and mixed salad leaves but not that far away.
My Herbs are also coming through so will have to pot some of these on. I gave everything a good water today together with the nettle feed.
The mint has rooted extremely well and will go into a pot in the garden to restrict the roots they are now all tangled up.
I have also been busy processing the Sweet Woodruff,making little faggots for drying on my dressers, together with a face wash. I have also cut back my sage plant and have four large bundles of sage now drying on my dresser as well together with my bay leaves. I must say that hanging the woodruff has sweetened up the room even after only being in there for a couple of hours. I intend to use the dried woodruff to fill little sachets for scenting the undies and clothes drawers.
I went to look to see if there was any lilac left and there was and I ended up with three bunches of hand tied lilac to bring into the house. It smells glorious.
I have therefore had quite a productive afternoon.
For tea this evening we have had home made chips, fried onions, oyster mushrooms garlic and rump steak. It was very tasty.
Catch you all soon
- Before commencing to clean your machine switch off your Donut maker and unplug from the power point.
- It is easier to clean the machine whilst it is still warm. Wipe the plates with absorbent paper or a soft damp cloth taking care near hot surfaces.
- To remove baked on foods simply apply a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and water and leave overnight. This will soften the food and make it easier to remove with absorbent paper or a damp cloth.
- To clean outside the machine wipe over with a soft cloth which has been squeezed almost dry in warm soapy water.
- DO NOT USE steel wool, scouring pads or abrasive cleaners.
- DO NOT IMMERSE IN WATER OR LIQUID OF ANY KIND
- PLEASE AVOID CONTACT WITH SHARP METAL IMPLEMENTS AS THIS MAY DAMAGE THE NON STICK COATING ON THE PLATES
Doughnuts not risen
Machine not hot enough - Remedy Preheat for 5 minutes before use
Too much milk added - Remedy Follow either metric or imperial measures - do not mix quantities
Baking powder not active - Remedy check the use by date
Batter overmixed- Remedy The batter does not need to be beaten - stir ingredients together until gently smooth
Doughnuts too brown
Overcooking - Remedy Most Doughnuts cook in only 2 minutes - use a kitchen timer
Doughnuts are sticking or are difficult to remove
Breville Donut Wizard plates dirty - Remedy Unplug machine and clean plates according to instructions. Regrease the plates lightly before use (see separate section for care and cleaning)
GARLIC AND HERB 1 clove of garlic crushed and 1 x 5 ml spoon (1 teaspoon) dried mixed herbs
GARLIC AND CORIANDER 1 clove of garlic crushed 1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) fresh chopped coriander
CHEESE AND ONION 2 chopped spring onions and 25g/1 oz grated Parmesan or other strong flavoured cheese
BACON AND MUSHROOM 1 x 15ml spoon/1 tablespoon of finely chopped mushrooms and crispy fried bacon
PRAWN COCKTAIL add 2 x 15ml spoons (2 tablespoons) finely chopped prawns and 1 x 15ml /1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
CURRIED VEGETABLE add 2 x 5ml spoons (2 teaspoons) curry paste and 2 x 15 ml (2
tablespoons) cooked peas.
And of course you can always put your own combinations together
Sweet doughnuts can be transformed by dipping in different coatings
Plain caster sugar is quick and easy but can be made extra special by adding the grated rind of a lemon or orange about an hour before it is needed.
For a finer finish icing sugar can easily be flavoured with a variety of spices. To every 50g/2 ozs of icing sugar add 1 x 15ml/1 teaspoon of spice such as cinnamon nutmeg mixed spice or ginger
For a chocolate dust add 2 x 5 mkl spoons (2 teaspoons) of cocoa to 50g/2 ozs icing sugar
Mix icing sugar with water to make a fairly stiff spreadable glace icing and spoon over the doughnuts. Decorate with glace fruites, edible cake decorations, chocolate strands or chopped nuts or cover teh whole doughnut with a thinner glace icing and roll in hundreds and thousands or sugared strands
Dip cooked doughnuts quickly in melted chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate plain or milk chocolate is good and serve the doughnuts with ice cream
Sprinkle chocolate coated doughnuts with finely chopped nuts or drizzle white chocolate onto a plain chocolate coated doughnut and vice versa
Warm 2 x 15 ml spoons (2 tablespoons) of jam, golden syrup or honey and use to brush over hot doughnuts this is best for plain versions as a change from caster sugar.
As a general rule add 2 x 15 ml/2 tablespoons of filling per batch of mixture
Add the filling to the batter and mix well before filling doughnut moulds/rings/holes or doughnut wells
JAM strawberry or apricot are particularly good but any flavour will do
DRIED FRUIT sultanas raisins or currants are good standbys but try chopped apricots, dates,, pineapple, mango, blueberries glace cherries, sour cherries
FRESH FRUIT - mashed banana,grated eating apple with a touch of cinammon mashed strawberries raspberries poeaches apricots blackberries and cherries
CITRUS FRUITS add the finely grated rind of half a lemon or orange and 2 x 15 ml spoon (1 tablespoon) of the juice
STEWED FRUITS pureed apple, blackberry and apple any kind of tinned pie filling
NUTS finely chopped walnuts hazlenuts almonds pistachios. These can be used as the only filling or combined with other ingredients such as date and walnut cherry and almond chocolote chip and hazlenut
CHOCOLATE add chocolate chipes, white, plain or milk or for double choc doughnuts mix in 2 x 15 ml (2 tablespoons) drinkinking chocolate into the dry batter ingreidents before adding the liquid then add chocolate chips after adding the liquid
SPICES use 1 x 5 ml spoon (1 tablespoon) of spice for each batch of batter. Cinnamon can be used in doughnuts either as the only flavouring or mixed with some of the other ingredients aboe such as the pureed apple. Or try a mixture of lemon, sultanas and cinnamon. Ginger is good and works well with dried apricots fresh raspberries or chopped walnuts.
JELLY CRYSTALS these are now available sugar free and in a variety of flavours they make an excellent cupboard standby for instant colour and flavour for the doughnuts. Add 2 x 15 ml spoons (2 tablespoons) to the dry ingredients before adding the liquid. They can also be used in conjunction with fresh fruit for added texture and flavour
YOGHURT substitute an equal amount of flavoured yoghurt for the milk in the basic batter.
Follow the recipe for the basic sweet doughnuts, but only use 1 x 5 ml spoon/1 teaspoon of sugar instead of 50g/2ozs of sugar and add a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper.
This recipe is best when combined with savoury fillings - the stronger the flavours the better the results
Please see the separate list of appropriate flavours to play with or create some of your own
For a more traditional doughnut try this easy to make yeast recipe
50g/2ozs plain flour
2 x 5ml spoons(2 tablespoons) caster sugar
1/2 x 5ml spoon/1/2 tesapoon easy blend dry yeast
2 x 15ml spoons (2 tablespoons) warm milk
25g/1 oz melted butter
- Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
- Beat in the egg and milk until smooth then beat in the melted butter.
- Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for approximately 20 minutes (or prove in a microwave on defrost for 1 /2 minutes) until the dough has doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the doughnut maker for 5 minutes,
- Fill mould with 1 x 10 ml spoon (1 dessertspoon) batter into each doughnut hole/mould. Close the lid, lock and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Fill or decorate as per the ideas listed under separate section,
75g/3 ozs plain flour
50g/2ozs granulated sugar
2 x 15ml spoons/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 x 5ml spoon/ 1/4 teaspoon of salt
75ml/3 fl ozs milk
1 large egg
2 x 15 ml spoons /2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or melted butter
100g/4 ozs caster sugar - for coating
Pre-heat the Doughnut maker for 5 minutes
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl
- Add the milk, egg and oil. Stir until batter is smooth.
- Fill each donut ring mould with 1 x 10 ml spoon (1 dessertspoon) of batter
- Close the lid and lock the latch on the machine. Bake for 2 minutes.
- Remove cooked doghnuts and toss quickly in caster sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter
- The doughnuts are delicious as they are but they can be given different fillings or they can be coated with a variety of different toppings.
IF HOWEVER YOU POSSESS A SET OF METRIC MEASURING CUPS YOU MAY FIND IT EASIER TO MAKE UP YOUR BASIC DOUGHNUTS MIX QUICKLY AND EASILY USING THE FOLLOWING QUANTITIES:-
1/2 metric cup of plain flour
1/4 metric cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 metric cup of milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 metric cup caster sugar for coating
Then follow the method for the basic sweet recipe above
NB one metric cup = 250 ml
Do not mix imperial or metric measures use one or the other
Do you have one of these and have lost the recipe booklet, so the machine is in the cupboard not being put to good use and cannot find any instructions anywhere or recipes. That's what happened to me until I re-found my recipe booklet which was stored in a safe place. Never mind you will find the instructions and the recipes below, as from my original instruction book so you can bring your machine back into use.
My machine was made by Breville but I understand that there may be more modern versions around.
Step by Step Method to Making Doughnuts in the Doughnut Maker
Lightly oil the doughnut moulds in the base and lid of the machine before use.
- Close the lid of your Breville Donut Wizard (or similar machine) and switch the power on.
- The neon thermostat light will come on immediately and then switch off after approximately 5 minutes when the cooking temperature has been reached. You can use this time to prepare the batter mix. The light will then cycle on an doff as the doughnuts cook.
- Fill each of the doughnut moulds with a rounded 10ml spoon (dessert spoon) of batter. Do not exceed the stated quantity. Prepare amount recommended then make fresh batter for a second batch.
- Care should be exercised when filling doughnut moulds ensuring not to spill batter onto mould surface for round even shaped doughnuts.
- Close top cover down over base and lock handle into place.
- As each recipe has a recommended cooking time i.e. 2 to 3 minutes it can be helpful to use a cooking timer.
- When cooked the doughnuts will be golden brown. Carefully remove the doughnuts being sure not to scratch the non stick surface of the cooking plates. The Non stick surface provides even baking and easy cleaning.
- The recipes for this machine make small batches (except when noted) - Please see Recipe section for further details the purpose of this is sto that the doughnuts can be eaten hot and fresh. If you wish to store any of the Doughnuts keep in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Keep for one day at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- The Doughnuts can be re-heated in a microwave. Place 6 Doughnuts on a paper towel cover with a second paper towel. Microwave for a few seconds only - the time will vary depending on whether doughnuts have been at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.
- Following the care and cleaning instructions below
Please also see: Recipes - 2(a) to (f)
What went wrong and Why - 3
Care and Cleaning - 4
Friday, 7 May 2010
I don'tdo cold either.. No wonder that I have had difficulty moving around the past couple of days. My hands do not want to type and going up and down stairs has been heavy going. So I am hoping that the weather is going to cheer up and warm up in the next few days or so. The rain is needed to nurture the soil and feed the crops and give us water to drink.
I peeked in to look at my seedlings earlier on, the herbs are through, so are some of the Globe Artichoke seeds I set and the beans. The cucumbers are also through. The herbs in troughs are coming on a bundle and will soon be ready to start harvesting from. I am hoping that we have some warmer weather tomorrow in order to open up the grow houses to let in some fresh air. I also want to sow some more seeds.
Well will have to see what tomorrow brings - I hope its some sun to warm my bones.
Woodruff in blossom
Woodruff Ice Cream
1 pint thick cream
6 spriggs Woodruff
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons honey
Put the cream into a saucepan with the Woodruff.
Cover it and set it on a very low heat until it just comes to boiling point. This will take about 15 minutes. Take the pan from the heat and strain the cream. Whisk the egg yolks with the honey until they are frothy then whisk in the cream in a steady stream. (It is suggested to use an electric whisk to achieve this). Whisk the mixture to a light froth put into a freezing tray or bowl and put into the coldest part of the freezer or in a freezer compartment. Freeze the ice cream to a slush at least 2 to 3 hours. Take it out and whisk it again. Freeze it completely. Take out the ice cream and leave it for 45 minutes. Either serve immediately or put into plastic containers for storing in the freezer. Will keep for about three months.
Serves approximately 6
Bunch together several stems of the Sweet Woodruff and then tie with string forming litle faggots as below.
Hang a double string somewhere practical and accessible I use my dressers and have used pink clothes pegs here as I could not locate my wooden ones for a more natural look. It not only serves a practical purpose but also gives a different decoration to pretty your room up whilst the chosen material/herb is drying.
Or Hang up a few stems (in bunches) in a warm room such as the boiler room or an airing cupboard or from a ceiling airer until dry and crisp. Crumble the mixture when dry and store in a screw topped jar.
I must say they do have a lovely scent and have freshened up my dining room where they are hanging already.
Woodruff Sweet bags
Only small amounts of dried Woodruff are needed to fill little muslin bags which are lovely to put with your undies or in the linen cupboard as you would lavender bags.
Or a tea can be made from dried Woodruff and the dried leaves crumbled and stored in a jar.
Wash the face with the infusion and let it dry on your face (I poured a little into a small bowl and then used cotton wool to wipe/wash the face with the infusion). This can be made all year round as it is only the leaves that are used.