All posts filed under: Food

Cool Cucumber Gazpacho

Summer has officially begun…sunshine, blue skies, shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, running under the garden sprinkler (the kids), enjoying long evenings out on the patio (the grown-ups). Here’s an ideal little something to sip in the shade while you enjoy your summer… The Ingredients (about 1.5L/ 2.1pt) 2 cucumbers, peeled, halved, pitted and chopped 3dl/ 0.63pt vegetable stock 1 onion 1 clove of garlic 4tbsp olive oil 100g/ 0.2lbs bread cubes Seasoning a couple of twigs of parsley salt & pepper Make the stock and add to all the ingredients. Purée and add the seasoning. Chill for a couple of hours (if your a little bit better organised than I am, you can prepare it the day before and leave it to chill over night). Thats it, you’re done! Chill! MerkenMerken

Cleansing my Conscience – Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing

After “slightly” indulging on the bank holiday weekend (barbecues & brunches), I’m in need of a healthy…salad!!! But nothing plain please! The transition between weekend and working week is hard enough. This recipe is definitely not plain, quite the opposite and extremely delicious… The Salad 170g quinoa 5dl water 1 red bell pepper 1/2 red onion (forgot to put on my shopping list) 1/4 red cabbage 2 carrots 1 bunch of coriander (none in the shop so I substituted it with mint) 70g cashew nuts The Dressing 65g peanut butter 1 tbsp honey 1 piece of grated ginger 3 tbsp soyasauce 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp olive oil water if needed Cook the Quinoa in water and leave to cool down. In the meantime chop up the veggies and start the dressing. Warm the peanut butter and honey until liquid (be careful as my first batch burnt to the bottom of the pan), leave to cool and add the rest of the ingredients. If the dressing is to thick, …

Soul Soothing Celery Soup

After an eventful week…one of the cats went missing for 5 days, our younger son bruised his arm badly and had to wear a sling for a couple of days and our youngest caught Scarlet Fever…all that next to the usual organised chaos. I definitely need a little bit of soul food. If you feel the same give this a go! The Ingredients 1 onion 400g/ 1.7cups celery Root 2tbsp olive oil 4dl/ 0.8pint cider or apple juice 5dl/ 1pint  vegetable stock 1,5dl/ 0.3pint cream salt and pepper half a bunch of chervil Chop up the onion and celery root, fry until the onions brown slightly. Add the cider and vegetable stock. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. Purée and pour in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chervil and there you have it… …perfect soul food.  

Brighten up your day with a “Beetroot Bake”

I can’t resist the luscious color of beetroot and as I love an experiment (not always to the delight of the kids)…Here’s my go at a beetroot and feta cheese quiche. Be warned, just the smell while your cooking the onions, beetroot and thyme is absolutely delicious! The Ingredients Dough 150g flour 1/2 tsp salt 50g butter 4-5 tbsp water Quiche 1 red onion 500g/ 17.5 oz beetroot a bunch of thyme olive oil 5tbsp white wine vinegar Topping 5 eggs 250ml/0.5pt(U.S.) double creme salt and pepper 200g/ 7oz feat cheese Make the dough and leave to chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 175°C/347°F. Slice the onions and the beetroot. Chop up the thyme. Roll out the dough and place in a greased or paper lined quiche tray and bake for 10minutes. While the base is baking, fry in the onions, Beetroot and thyme. Leave the base and the cooked veggies to cool down, then place the veggies on to the base, pour the topping over them and crumble the feta cheese over …

Sweet Potato and Apple Pizza

Yes, You read correctly! Today we’re having apple on our pizza, in my case it helps persuade the kids to eat my newest pizza creation (as I get a bit bored with the normal ones) and the great side effect is that it tastes absolutely delicious! The Ingredients 1 packet of pizza dough (ø24cm/ 9.4 in) (I didn’t have any time to make the dough today 🙂 ) Per Pizza 1 sweet potato 1 apple 1 red onion 125g/ 0.5 cups creme fraiche salt & pepper parsley Preheat the oven at 200°C. Slice the sweet potato, apple and onion. Spread the the creme fraiche on the dough. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the vegetables in layers on top and bake for 30 minutes.S Sprinkle some parsley and parmesan cheese on top… …and it will go down a treat! (I even got a thumbs up, from one of the kids friends, that was over for lunch)

Anyone for some Spring Energy?

We’re back from our ski holiday and after all the snow fun, I’m ready for Spring! Only it’s the end of February and probably a little early, but I’m bursting with energy. Maybe I could start with the spring cleaning? But before I get started, here’s some spring energy (bars) for you… The Ingredients 200g/ 1cup nuts (Hazelnuts,almonds,cashew nuts or any other you like) 200g/ 1cup oats 200g/ 1cup dried fruits (apricots, figs, cranberries, like above)) 130g/ 0.5cup butter 120g/ 0.5cup honey 2 egg whites Preheat the oven at 175°C/ 347°F. Chop up the nuts and roast until golden in a pan (without oil or butter). Chop up the fruit while the nuts cool down. Melt the butter with the honey and whip the egg whites. Mix it all together (add the egg last). Place into a baking tray, make sure it is a compact rectangle. Bake for about 25 minutes. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes and then cut into bars. (If you’re not patient enough to wait for the 10 minutes, …

Coconut Cupcakes versus Winter Weather

It’s foggy, very cold and generally just gloomy (and it’s been like this for at least a week or so). I definitely need to cheer things up! And nothing works better for me, than a run (yes, even if it’s freezing) and some baking. Since I’ve been already been out for my run, I can now indulge in some baking… The Ingredients 2 banane 13oz/360g greek yoghurt 2tbsp honey 2tbsp coconut oil/fat 4tbsp grated coconut 4tbsp quinoa flour or plain flour 2tbsp coconut flour 2tsp baking powder 1 pinch of salt 8 handfuls of blueberries Preheat the oven at 356 °F/ 180°C. Mash up the bananas with a fork, add the coconut oil/fat, the honey and mix. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. don’t add the blueberries until the end and only mix slightly (otherwise the dough becomes a purple mess). Bake for 25 minutes. Now all you need to do is make yourself comfortable and enjoy!

Nut Loaf…A Winter Warmer

It’s snowing outside. The kids are due home from school soon (well maybe the quarter of an hour walk home will take a bit longer today, with all their snowball fights on the way). I reckon they will need warming up (and their gloves drying). Here’s my way of giving them some warmth back… The Ingredients 1 small head of cauliflower 200g/2 cups quinoa 1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated 500g/1 pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped olive oil 2 cups toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped 1/2 cup toasted almonds & walnuts, finely chopped 5 large eggs 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese 150g/12 ounces grated cheese (Gruyère, cheddar, or Parmesan) 1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, thyme, sage salt & freshly ground pepper a handful of dried cranberries or apricots (it always goes down well with the kids) Sliced mushrooms, for decoration (optional) Preheat the oven at 200°C/350°F. Chop up the cauliflower and steam for about 10 minutes while you cook the quinoa. Chop up the onion, garlic …

Getting in the Spirit

It’s the first Sunday of Advent. Our reef is ready to be lit. So to get a little christmassy, I decided to bake some gingerbread men. I love it when the house smells of Christmas spices and baking with the little ones is always fun, if maybe a little bit messy. The Ingredients 500g flour 1tsp baking powder 1tsp salt 2tsp ginger 2tsp cinnamon 1tsp nutmeg 1tsp cloves 200g butter 200g sugar 250g honey or maple sirup 2 eggs Preheat the oven at 200°C. Mix all the ingredients together, if the dough becomes to sticky add a little more flour. Roll it out to a 7mm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cutter to cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them. Bake for 10-15 minutes. I hope you enjoy Advent!

Hunky Hand Pies

I’ve noticed recently that a lot of recipes for hand pies (a trendy name for a Cornish Pasty) have been popping up. As far as magazines and the internet go, they seem to be the thing to eat this autumn. Well, me for my part, I think I could eat them all year round. So have a whip round the fridge, get out all the veggies that are rolling around and get chopping… The Dough 500g strong white flour, plus extra to dust 125g margarine 1tsp salt Cold water The Filling 1 fennel 2 parsnips 3 carrots 1 leek 1/2 a cabbage (I used a savoy cabbage) 1/2 an onion 1 bunch parsley 100g feta cheese salt and pepper   Start of with the dough and leave it in the fridge to chill while you chop up all the veggies. Put the veggies in a pan and cook. Leave to cool. Preheat the oven at 200°C. Roll out the dough and cut out circles to your desired size. Divide the filling between the pastry, leaving space around the …