Friday, 30 March 2012

The Gallery of Favorites 30 March

Gallery of Favorites

Alea of Premeditated Leftovers and I want to welcome you to our weekend blog hop, The Gallery of Favorites, a place for you to feature favorite posts from your own blog. 


Although Alea and I both spend a lot of our time writing about food, we do have many other interests and know that our readers do as well. The Gallery of Favorites is a place for all bloggers - not just food bloggers - to share their ideas, interests and passions. Of course, recipe and food posts are very welcome too.


As spring is beginning to arrive in the northern hemisphere, Alea and I have chosen to feature two posts about this new season. 


To read more and to share your posts, please click here...

Hazelnut Apple Coffee Cake



One of my most treasured possessions is my Mom’s recipe box containing hand written recipes from three generations of family and friends. One of them is a fairly basic spiced coffee cake recipe with a swirl of sugar and cinnamon running through it that I have made many times. Yesterday I decided to give it a makeover, reducing the total sugar content (originally 2½ cups!) and including some fruit and nuts to make it both tastier and healthier. I decided to use red skinned apples for sweetness, substitute olive oil for the original fat and change up the spices and flavouring a bit as well. When it came to the nuts I wanted something mild but full of flavour, so I chose hazelnuts. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sell this as a healthy option. It’s still cake, and it’s still got almost 2 cups of sugar in it! However I firmly believe we all need a treat once in a while, and this is a seriously delicious treat. It makes a lovely breakfast, but it’s also wonderful served warm with cream or ice cream later in the day. Or you can try it for ‘elevenses’ the wonderful British tradition of a cup of coffee or tea with a snack served at (you guessed it) eleven am. 

To read more, please click here...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Hearth and Soul Hop 27 March

Hearth & Soul Hop

Welcome to the Hearth and Soul Hop, the blog hop that shares food from the hearth to feed your soul. Recipes should include healthy ingredients and can be old or new recipes or posts. Articles on real food, slow food, foraging, herbal remedies, local food, sustainable food, organics, gardening or any healthy eating information written in a positive light are also welcome. 

To see last week's featured recipes, and to share your posts, please click here...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Spinach Florentine Pasta Bake for Meatless Monday



This dish is inspired by a recipe from the late Linda McCartney’s book, ‘Linda’s Kitchen’. Her layered Spinach Fusilli Bake always appealed to me, except that I wasn’t keen on the idea of a layer of pasta dressed with olive oil and garlic in the middle, and I knew my husband and son would not care for the sliced tomatoes on top. I decided to dress the pasta layer with a pesto spiked tomato sauce instead, and the results were absolutely delicious. I also added mushrooms to the spinach florentine layer both for flavour and nutrition. I’m not sure Linda would recognise her recipe, but if I hadn’t read her version, I would never have thought of this one! 

To read more, please click here...

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Gallery of Favorites March 23

Gallery of Favorites

Alea of Premeditated Leftovers and I want to welcome you to our weekend blog hop, The Gallery of Favorites, a place for you to feature favorite posts from your own blog. 


Although Alea and I both spend a lot of our time writing about food, we do have many other interests and know that our readers do as well. The Gallery of Favorites is a place for all bloggers - not just food bloggers - to share their ideas, interests and passions. Of course, recipe and food posts are very welcome too.


This week we have two delicious featured posts, made using favourite tipples. To read more and to share your posts, please click here....

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Creamed Chicken with Leeks and Mushrooms Inspired by Nigella Lawson



The other night I was perusing my cookbooks, trying to find yet another way to cook chicken. For some reason, I was not in the mood to make a white sauce, so when I saw Nigella Lawson’s Creamed Chicken in her wonderful book ‘Feast’, I was intrigued. The only problem was that Nigella’s Creamed Chicken had no vegetables in it, and I had some particularly nice leeks I wanted to use. Oh, and some mushrooms as well. 

Nigella’s recipe did help me to find a way to avoid a roux, and ironically it was a technique I have used before. You can make lovely cream sauces without flour. They are not always the same texture or consistency, but they are delicious. 

To read more, please click here...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Hearth and Soul Hop with The 21st Century Housewife

Hearth & Soul Hop

Welcome to the Hearth and Soul Hop, the blog hop that shares food from the hearth to feed your soul. Recipes should include healthy ingredients and can be old or new recipes or posts. Articles on real food, slow food, foraging, herbal remedies, local food, sustainable food, organics, gardening or any healthy eating information written in a positive light are also welcome. 

To see last week's featured recipes, and to share your posts, please click here...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Vegetarian Paella for Meatless Monday

I went through a phase where I was totally vegetarian in my late teens, but as my parents were not entirely supportive of the idea I prepared a lot of my own meals. I really did not know what to cook, and vegetarian cookbooks were few and far between, so I rotated between homemade vegetarian pizza, lasagna and stir fry most nights. I really wish I had a cookbook like Linda’s Kitchen back then. Published in 1995, this wonderful book by the late Linda McCartney is full of simple and delicious recipes for meals without meat. 

To read more, please click here...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Kissing the Blarney Stone


Photo credit Alex J Harris
When I was a little girl, my Dad and my Grandpa used to talk about kissing the Blarney Stone. Apparently it gave you ‘the gift of the gab’. The legends as to why that is vary as do the stories of its origins, from it being a stone brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah to it being a throne of Irish kings. Wherever it came from, it has long been believed that kissing it meant that the ‘gift of the gab’ would leave you always charming and able to have your own way.

The Blarney Stone legend came to my family via my Dad’s mum. Irish by birth, she immigrated to Canada when she was a young woman. That is another story in itself, and you can read about it here. I’m not sure if my Grandma, whose name was Mary, ever kissed the Blarney Stone. I think it’s fairly unlikely as the Blarney Stone is, not surprisingly, in Blarney, in Southern Ireland. Grandma was born in Belfast in Northern Ireland and back when she was growing up it was a very long way away indeed. 

To read more, please click here...

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Gallery of Favorites St Patrick's Day Edition

Gallery of Favorites

Alea of Premeditated Leftovers and I want to welcome you to our weekend blog hop, The Gallery of Favorites, a place for you to feature favorite posts from your own blog. Thank you to everyone who shared posts last week. 

This week we are featuring some of the St Patrick’s Day themed posts from the last couple of weeks. 

To see this week's featured posts, and to share your own posts, please click here...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Omelette Souffle Rothschild



This ambrosial treat is not a traditional soufflé. It is less structured, doesn’t rise as high, and the texture is even lighter. 

Back in late 2010, I attended a cooking demonstration in London by the wonderful Michel Roux Jr. It was one of the most relaxed and entertaining cooking demonstrations ever. Despite coming from a famous restaurant dynasty, Michel Roux is charming and unpretentious, and was happy to share the secrets of making a signature dessert from one of his most famous restaurants, Le Gavroche in London.

Although the recipe calls for blini pans, on the day of the demonstration M. Roux made the soufflé in a large frying pan that could go into the oven. It worked so well I decided to try using something similar at home. He also suggested using free range or organic eggs that are fresh, but not new (ie. eggs that have been laid about two weeks previously). I followed his instructions to the letter and the results were delicious.

To read more, please click here...

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Hearth and Soul Hop with The 21st Century Housewife 13 March

Hearth & Soul Hop


Welcome to the Hearth and Soul Hop, the blog hop that shares food from the hearth to feed your soul. Recipes should include healthy ingredients and can be old or new recipes or posts. Articles on real food, slow food, foraging, herbal remedies, local food, sustainable food, organics, gardening or any healthy eating information written in a positive light are also welcome. 

To see last week's featured recipes, and to share your posts, please click here...

Apple Spiced Muffins with Rice Dream


Photo credit Rice Dream

Rice Dream is a delicious, easy to digest soy and dairy alternative. Made from the finest Po Valley Italian rice, it is naturally low in fat, lactose free and contains no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives. The perfect choice for a health conscious lifestyle, Rice Dream makes a great alternative for those who want or need an alternative to cow’s milk. 

I was recently invited to try Rice Dream and I was pleasantly surprised by its taste and texture. I can drink ordinary milk, but if I was looking for a natural, lactose free alternative I would definitely consider Rice Dream. It works anywhere you would use ordinary milk - in your coffee, on your cereal or as a drink. You can also cook with it. I love these Apple Spice Muffins from the Rice Dream website. 

To read more, please click here...

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Gallery of Favorites with The 21st Century Housewife

Gallery of Favorites

Alea of Premeditated Leftovers and I want to welcome you to our weekend blog hop, The Gallery of Favorites, a place for you to feature favorite posts from your own blog. We are posting the hop a bit early as I am in California this week, and so in the same time zone with Alea for a change! 


Although Alea and I both spend a lot of our time writing about food, we do have many other interests and know that our readers do as well. The Gallery of Favorites is a place for all bloggers - not just food bloggers - to share their ideas, interests and passions. Of course, recipe and food posts are very welcome too. 


To see this week's featured post, and to share your posts, please click here...

Homemade Barbecue Sauce



I never like the long list of ingredients in store bought sauces, and my
husband and I are not keen on smoky or chipotle style flavours, so making my own homemade barbecue sauce makes sense. This is one of my favourite recipes. It has lots of body and flavour, but it is lovely and mild so it’s perfect for everyone. Although this sauce works really well on the barbecue, it also works beautifully in the slow cooker, the oven and even on the stove top as well. 

To read more please click here...

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Hearth and Soul Hop March 6

Hearth & Soul Hop

Welcome to the Hearth and Soul Hop, the blog hop that shares food from the hearth to feed your soul. Recipes should include healthy ingredients and can be old or new recipes or posts. Articles on real food, slow food, foraging, herbal remedies, local food, sustainable food, organics, gardening or any healthy eating information written in a positive light are also welcome. 


To see last week's featured recipes, and to share your posts, please click here...

Quicker Vegetarian Lasagna for Meatless Monday



One of our favourite family dishes is my Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, but unless you have roasted vegetables on hand, it can take a little bit of time to prepare. The last couple of times I made the recipe I decided to play around with it to speed things up. Instead of using roasted vegetables, I stir fried them, cutting down the cooking time by about 20 minutes. The thinner you chop the vegetables the quicker they cook. I also added some cannellini beans to the recipe for some extra protein. As my family are a bit unsure about beans from time to time, I squished some of them up a bit with a fork to blend them into the sauce. If your family are really unsure about them, you could actually mash the beans before adding them to the sauce, adding flavour, texture and nutrition without giving away the secret ingredient! I still make my original recipe when I have roasted veggies on hand, but this makes a great change on busier days.

To read more, please click here...

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Gallery of Favorites March 2

Gallery of Favorites

Alea of Premeditated Leftovers and I want to welcome you to our weekend blog hop, The Gallery of Favorites, a place for you to feature favorite posts from your own blog. Although Alea and I both spend a lot of our time writing about food, we do have many other interests and know that our readers do as well. The Gallery of Favorites is a place for all bloggers - not just food bloggers - to share their ideas, interests and passions.


To see our featured blogs and to share your posts, please click here...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Creamy Mushroom, Bacon and Garlic Spaghetti



Last Saturday night our son went out with friends, and my husband and I had an evening on our own. We toyed with the idea of going out for dinner, but we are lucky to have the opportunity to eat out a lot, so the idea didn’t hold as much appeal as it might have done. In fact, after a very busy week, all we really wanted to do was curl up in front of the television with each other and a plate of something comforting and delicious.

One of the first meals my husband ever cooked for me was his Tagliatelle with Bacon and Cream. It’s not very heart healthy, but it’s easy and delicious. I didn’t have any tagliatelle and I wanted something with a bit more to it than just bacon and cream, so I decided to get creative while remaining true to his already delicious recipe. 

To read more, please click here...