Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Baking

Spent Saturday afternoon in the kitchen. I made the brownie meringue cake from the Great British Book of baking. Looks impressive. I left the hazel nuts out of the meringue topping. I do think the brownie layer was a bit dry. I have tried a lot of brownie recipes and the one I use to make Godfathers is the one I am happiest with. Since I had egg yokes left over I made lemon Butter Cookies. Any excuse to play with my cookie press
I also made Cheddar cheese, sage and onion rolls. The Delia Smith vegetarian sausage roll.
Not a bad a afternoons work.
One other thing I learned this weekend is when you run out of space on the work top don't put hot trays on the mat by the back door. They melt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Bought Mark Keenan' s Plot 34 at the weekend and I have to say I am enjoying it. I like his sense of humour. As a plot holder myself also a plot 34 I can see the things happening as I am reading. Hopefully I will get a lot of hints as I my plot is smaller but has similar muck, sorry I ment soil As I am new to growing vegetables I can use all the help I can get.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cottage Loaf

Made the cottage loaf from The Great British Book Of Baking. Was very pleased with the way it turned out. Looks impressive and very easy to make. You just need quite a bit of time for the dough to rise. Tastes great too

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Left Overs

It started with 2 left over cooking apples. I didn't want to waste them so I decided to make a apple bake well tart. Then I had some sponge mix left over so I made cup cakes. They were iced with so roll out icing I had left over from another cake. Nothing wasted here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lost and Found.

While searching under the stairs for a piece of the hover I came across 2 packet of tulip bulbs I had put aside to put into pots. All the other tulips and daffodils had been planted on the allotment in November. The snow in December took over before I got to the garden and these were forgotten.

It was lovely to get outside and do a bit in the garden. I keep looking at the books and magazines and I am looking forward to getting the garden and the allotment moving.

P.S. I found the bit of the hover.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Butternut Squash & Butter bean stew.

1 Butternut squash
1 onion, chopped
I tbsp olive oil
2tbsp dark brown sugar
400ml can of coconut milk
1/2 level tsp dried crushed chillies
400ml can of butter beans
250ml vegetable stock
1 small packet of cashew or peanuts
zest of 1 lime to garnish
2-3 tbsp of chopped coriander

Peel and deseed the squash. cut into bite size pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a pot and the chopped onion, cover and cook over a low heat until soft but not coloured, about 10 minutes
Add the squash and the the brown sugar stir until the sugar melts.
Add the can of coconut milk, stock and chili flakes. Bring the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.
Add the can of butter beans and heat through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Stir in the zest of the lime and chopped coriander.
Garnish with the chopped nuts

Serve with rice.
This will keep in the fridge if made the day before. The flavours infuse beautifully if left over night.

It also freezes very well. Allow to thaw fully before reheating

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Poor Allotment

Made it to my allotment at last. The weather has left it's mark. I lost the sprouts, savoy cabbage, chard and most of the red cabbage. looking around everyone is in the same boat. What wasn't affected by the weather the pigeons got. The weight of the snow brought down the netting and the pigeons had the time of their lives.

I did manage to bring home some leeks and the better of the red cabbage. Hopefully I got enough to make Sarah Ravens red cabbage with apple.

I got my renewal notice for my allotment last Friday morning. The rent is gone up from 40 euro a year to 100 euro. I knew the increase was coming and I was putting money aside, but it still a big jump. I will have to work harder to make it pay for it's self. I enjoy trying to grow stuff to much to give it up.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Feathered Friends

This little fellow has been hanging around the garden since the snow. He is a gray wagtail. He likes meal worms and washing in the flower pot saucer on the boiler house.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Books and Bulbs

This is the little collection of books I got for Christmas.
I have made a list of the recipes I want to try first. I have also being picking out the vegetables I want to try out on the allotment this year. With the snow I have not been there in weeks. I had planned to go there Christmas week to get some red cabbage and leeks. I did have Brussels sprouts but i didn't think they were going to make Christmas. They didn't look the best, but it would have been nice to maybe get 1 or 2 just to be able to say I grew some of the Christmas dinner. Hopefully next week when things get back to normal and the schools reopen I will be able to get there and see how thing survived.

Amaryllis Red Lion.

I got it as a bulb kit in Aldi before Christmas. I also got happy Memory which has failed totally. Orange Sovereign was planted 2 days ago and is already showing signs of life.