Guess what, we (in the UK) are into British Summer Time. Longer evenings, alfresco dinners and sunshine! The online downside to this is winter veg will be out of season. I thought I’d make the most of these last wonderful squashes that are around, and whizz up this roasted squash hummus. Dips are my go to, I like to make sure there’s always a pot of some variation of hummus in the fridge. Ready and waiting for when I get in from work and need something stat, ready to dollop on my packed lunch to give me some energy through the day. Read more
Last month I was invited to an evening at Demuth’s Cookery School for one of their popular courses ’20 minute suppers’. If you’re from the South West, or if you’re vegetarian, you have probably heard of Demuth’s. Rachel Demuth owned award-winning Demuth’s Restaurant for 26 years, she sold it to focus on the cookery school. Now she is joined by an experience team of chef tutors who teach beginners to experienced cooks a varied selection of vegetarian courses. There are longer diploma courses, to weekend, day and evening courses. Demuths is located in the centre of Bath and has stunning views out over the city.
Last week saw another trip to Devon, to attend an evening soirée at River Cottage. It has been just over a year since my last trip there, and I was excited to explore the place once again. River Cottage, was of course made famous by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his famous Channel 4 show. Hugh has a wide range of cook books, and has been vital in promoting reducing waste. At his River Cottage Canteens, nothing goes to landfill!
I travelled down with some local bloggers; Chris from Thinly Spread, Kate from Veggie Desserts and Diana from Little Sunny Kitchen. We all live within 30 minutes of each other, and it was good to have a natter and catch up on the way down. We arrived and rain welcomed us. We ran into the shelter and huddled around the wood burner until our chauffeur driven tractor ride arrived to collect us. The ride takes 10 minutes, down a bumpy mud track, but the views across the Devon landscape and down onto the farm were stunning.
First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015, can you believe it? A new chapter, page 1 of 365.
Christmas has passed in a whirl wind, as it always does, and it already seems like forever ago. We had a much-needed couple of weeks rest and relaxation, and obviously there was gluttonous amounts of feasting and drinking. It would be rude to assume that one shouldn’t feast! I’m really looking forward to this year, I know everyone starts out with lots of resolutions and overly positive thoughts, but I’ve got faith in 2015. It’s gonna be a good’n.
I took some time away from cooking over the festive break, let my mum take the reins while I was her trusty guinea pig. However, I couldn’t keep totally away from the kitchen, but it was nice to not feel any pressure to be creating things when I just wanted to rest.
This harissa was one of the winning concoctions in my kitchen a few weeks ago. I love harissa, the heat it packs, and the fiery bomb it sets off over your taste buds. It is pretty expensive in the UK, and I get through it pretty fast, so I decided to try making my own.
And boy, is it good. Fiery as hell good.
Holy Smokes Harissa
Makes 2 small jars
10 red chillies
10 red birds eye chillies
15 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1 red pepper
5tsp – coriander, cumin, caraway seeds
80ml extra virgin olive oil
Roast spices in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, until you start to smell their aroma. Tip into a blender and blitz into a rough powder. Put into a bowl and set aside.
Roughly chop the chillies, pepper and onion. You can de-seed the chillies if you wish, however I prefer to leave the seeds in for a better kick. Add all to blender including the olive oil and blitz until you get a rough paste. You may need to do it in batches depending on the size of your blender / processor.
Cook paste in a frying pan for 10-15 mins, until it becomes slightly sticky. Stir often, and continuously near the end.
Mix in the spices, and a generous pinch of salt.
Remove from heat and put into air-tight jars. Will last for roughly 2 weeks.
OK, So I know halloween has been and gone, but Autumn is still alive and kickin’, and that means pumpkin in all it’s glorious forms!
So technically this ‘Pumpkin Pie’ is actually a butternut squash pie, but that just doesn’t sound quite as good. But the squash gives a slightly better flavour and texture than the pumpkins that are around at the moment.
This pie was inspired by a good friend of mine over at Happy Hearted Kitchen and also from one of Tom Hunt’s recipes. It’s not too sweet, so if you’re not a huge sweet fan, fear not, for I think this suits most peoples taste.
Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom (GF)
For the crust:
200g pitted dates (I used Medjool)
150g Oats (use certified gluten free if possible)
Handful crushed walnut pieces (or other crushed nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
1 large Organic butternut squash
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
50g unrefined light brown sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
100ml Almond milk
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
Peel and cut the squash into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, and sprinkle with the cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cardamon pods. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes (or until soft) Be careful not to colour the squash.
In a food processor, mix the oats, walnuts and dates until starting to combine and stick to the sides. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and melted coconut oil, blend until fully mixed into a sticky consistency.
Grease and line a pie tin with baking paper. Take your dough mixture from the processor and push it around the tin with your hands, filling all the gaps, spreading it around evenly.
*Now, if you prefer your crust a little crunchy, you can pop your crust in the oven for 10 mins before adding the mixture. I prefer mine softer, so missed this step out*
Remove the squash from the oven and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth and allow to cool. You can mash the squash if you prefer.
In a bowl, mix the blended squash, egg and milk until fully combined. Add mixture to the pie tin on top of the crust.
Cook for 25-30 mins. If you have pre-cooked your crust, the cooking time may be less. Check back after 15 mins, to avoid burning the crust.
Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and drizzle with maple syrup.
OK, So I’m kicking off the blog with something nice and simple, but delicious nonetheless!
I’m a big fan of anything Oat-y, but especially porridge. I love that warm fuzzy feeling you get as it works it way from your mouth to your stomach. And the way it can heat your body from the inside out. I love it!
Autumn has come around all too quickly, as it always seems to. However this does mean one thing, WILD BLACKBERRIES! They are everywhere along the canal, I sit at the back deck with a tuppawear and snag them off as we drive past, collecting big hoards of them in no time. There’s something a little smug about picking your own wild fruits and vegetables.
This recipe is a simple, but a greatly enjoyable way to make sure you start your day off with a bang!
Wild Blackberry Oats with Toasted Almonds
Large handful of oats (Certified gluten free if you can get them)
250ml Almond milk (any nut milk works well with this)
15 Large Wild Blackberries
Scattering of toasted almonds
First off, lightly toast your almonds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, shaking occasionally to avoid burning them.
Mix the oats and blackberries together in a non-stick saucepan. Add in the almond milk (You could soak the oats overnight if your prefer) Turn on the hob to a low heat, and stir the milk into the oat mixture. Stir often as to break the blackberries up slightly, this will release their juice and turn your porridge a lovely pink colour.
Cook for 6-9 mins (depending on how gooey you like your porridge), add more milk if necessary.
Once oats have absorbed the milk and plumped up, pour into a bowl and scatter with your toasted almonds, and sprinkle with flax seeds. Enjoy!
PS Apologies for the basic photo, I only had my phone to hand at the time!