Friday, 30 September 2016
I love hotdogs. I know they are not exactly gourmet food, and I know that they are a bit garbagy junk foody with what goes into them. I don't care what goes into them. I like them. They taste good to me, and they have their place in my kitchen, as a once in a while treat. When I was a child we often had hotdogs for supper on Friday nights and my mom made the best hot dogs on the planet. People used to vie for an invitation to dinner on hotdog night, no word of a lie!
Thursday, 29 September 2016
Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Six of their delicious hints and tips and recipe on how to make a really super Swiss Roll!
Super Swiss RollINGREDIENTS (serves 6-8)
4 eggs (medium)
100g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
100g plain flour (3/4 cup)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g strawberry jam (about 1 cup)
200ml double cream, lightly whipped (3/4 cup)
Caster sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted). Grease and line the base and sides of a baking tray with baking parchment. Sprinkle caster sugar over the paper.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and creamy.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the mixture is cool and forms a figure of eight when the beaters are lifted out of the bowl.
4. Sift the self raising flour into the bowl and with a metal spoon quickly and carefully fold into the mixture.
5. Spoon into the prepared baking tray. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden and ‘springy’ to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes.
6. Place a clean tea-towel on the bench and top with a piece of baking parchment. Turn the sponge onto the baking parchment. Carefully remove the baking parchment from the sponge.
7. Roll up across its width enclosing the baking parchment as you go. Place on a wire rack and leave to get cold.
8. Unroll the sponge and spread with the strawberry jam and the whipped cream. Re-roll. Trim the edges. Dust with sifted icing sugar.
NOTES IN THE MARGINS
Super Swiss RollZONE THE MIX Use a glass bowl - it’ll keep the batter at the right temperature. Whisk until you’re able to make a full figure of eight in the mix. Use a large metal spoon – the flattest you have. Hold your baking paper in place with few dots of mixture. Don’t pour the mix – ‘zone’ it and then join the mixture together for an even covering.
MAKE ITS MEMORY Invest in an oven thermometer for accurate temperature readings. Sprinkle sugar on some baking paper so your sponge doesn’t stick to it. To release the sponge from the paper it was baked on, wet your hands and massage the back of the paper. Score a little wedge in the sponge and roll it to make its ‘memory’. Do this while it’s warm – it will remember that form and roll more easily later. Allow to cool. See the recipe card for Bettys Baking Secrets Week Three, Perfect Piping, for our tips about whipping cream.
CHEF’S PERK Apply your jam first – it’s a barrier to the cream which can dissolve your sponge. Loosen your jam by working it with a teaspoon so it spreads more freely and doesn’t tear the sponge. Zone it and join the dots (like you did with the sponge mix) for an even spread. Don’t spread to the edge – it will spill out when you roll. Whenever cutting cake use a serrated knife – saw and let the knife do the work. Remove the ends for a neat presentation – they’re the chef’s perk!
For more Bettys Baking Secrets, including our own recipes and secret tips for piping, visit www.bettys.co.uk/bettysbakingsecrets.
Labels: Betty's Baking Secrets
When the children were growing up I used to make up bottles and bottles of jams, jellies, pickles and conserves every year. It was just a matter of course and something which I really loved to do and it all got used. The end of August and months of September/October my house was filled with the smells of a great harvest being put up for the winter months. It was a glorious smell. A Home Sweet Home kind of a smell. Not to brag or anything but one year I did up 52 quarts of Dill Pickles and yes . . . . every single pickle got eaten!
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Cheese Slaw isn't something I had ever tasted before moving over here to the UK. I hadn't even really considered it. I think it was my friend Jo who mentioned it one day at work when I was working at the Manor and my interest was piqued. Cheese . . . in coleslaw? It just had to be good! I often add chopped dried fruits to my coleslaw, which gives it a lovely hint of sweet. Cheese makes it a bit more savoury. It's very moreish!
I made this the other day when we had the Missionary Zone Leaders over for supper. I always like to have some sort of salad when we feed the missionaries. The girls always like a leafy salad, but the guys are always a bit more fond of coleslaw. Not sure why that is, but, meh . . . what can I say!
I didn't really get a lot of photos of it. Todd hates me taking food photos when we have people over. But trust me when I say this is delicious. I am not fond at all of storebought coleslaw. It's too bland for my taste and too gloopy. I like my coleslaw to have a nice flavour and plenty of texture. Bland coleslaw is a no no for me. Suffice it to say there were no leftovers the other day. One of the guys said to me . . . "Did you make this coleslaw? It's the best I've ever eaten." I was quite happy to respond in the affirmative!
*Cheese Slaw*Serves 4 to 6
1/2 tsp celery saltfine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
This is a delicious dish that I like to make every now and again. Todd really loves it, but then again he is somewhat of a pie man. I like to make my own pies and whilst this isn't like your traditional type of pie, it is still very satisfying and quite, quite tasty!
Monday, 26 September 2016
I wanted to tell you about a new online marketplace where ‘good food’ is more than just a label. It is called Caprera.
‘Finest’, ‘Extra Special’, ‘Taste the Difference’. Is a clever label all it takes to convince us about the quality of the food we eat? When we buy ‘British’, ‘farm-raised’ produce, are we happy to settle for this vague idea of where our food comes from? We all like to believe that we are discerning shoppers, choosing only the freshest and the best of what is on the shelf. However, the truth is that most of us purchase without truly giving a second thought about quality and traceability, and are content to accept things at face value. We never stop to consider that being the best on the shelf does not necessarily qualify as being good to begin with. Is there really any way to be certain about how “good” ‘good food’ actually is?
Caprera aims to change that. It is the largest network of independent food and drink producers in the UK. After a successful trial period, the marketplace has now officially launched, targeting UK consumers who care about the quality and traceability of their food, and who know that this is not something they can get at supermarkets.
For Caprera, careful sourcing does not mean compromising on convenience. This is great news for the busy modern-day consumer, who wants all the convenience of getting his food in one place. In addition to offering delivery throughout mainland UK, the online marketplace also offers a single delivery system. This enables customers to order a variety of products from multiple independent producers throughout the UK, yet receive it all in one convenient delivery.
According to Caprera’s founder and CEO, Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi, “For too long, ‘good food’ has been reduced to nothing more than a slogan that supermarkets exploit for their own commercial benefit. We believe that customers deserve so much better, and we want them to realise this. We want ‘good food’ to actually mean something again.”
Caprera sets high standards for its producers, all of whom are vetted and handpicked against select criteria. They operate a series of strict policies that includes a ban on the use of artificial substances, GMOs and synthetic growth hormones. This allows the online marketplace to guarantee that all their products are grown and produced by independent producers who mindfully source their ingredients and reject mass production.
By offering an affordable, convenient way to access traceable, quality food; Caprera is looking to change customer expectations in terms of what should and what really shouldn’t be classed as good food. The site can be found at https://caprera.com/.
Note - I am hoping to try the site out for myself in the near future and will be able to give you my own personal view of the service and products. Watch this space!
Here in the Western world putting fruit in with meat isn't something which we do very often . . . however having said that we do like our pork with applesauce and our cranberry sauce with turkey . . . but fruit in a stew, its not a really common thing. In the Middle East it is a fairly common thing . . . just think of a Tagine with apricots or dates . . . really delicious dishes.
Sunday, 25 September 2016
It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic and I would be lying to you if I didn't say that it has been a real struggle. Coping with this along with Diverticulitis, IBS and other health issues means that putting anything into my mouth is a bit like playing Russian Roulette. No fun. It definitely hasn't been easy. I have managed to keep the Diabetes under control and take myself back to pre-diabetic glucose levels . . . the other things I never know from one day to the next what is going to set things off. I just think I got a handle on it and bingo! Surprise, surprise, something else will trigger an attack.
Saturday, 24 September 2016
They have some lovely frozen cherries at the grocery shops and I often pick up a pack and stick them in the freezer so that I can bake a pie or something when the mood strikes. The other day I decided to bake a delicious Cherry Kuchen with some. We both love Kuchen/cake. Kuchen is German for Cake. In any language it is delicious. This recipe is loosely based on one which is in my old red plaid covered BHG cookery book. I have adapted it to make my own cherry filling. You can use a tin of cherry pie filling instead of the freshly made filling, but I love the homemade cherry filling best of all.
Friday, 23 September 2016
One type of food that I have really come to adore since moving over here to the UK is Indian Food. It is a type of food which I had had a very limited experience with prior to that. Back when I was a much younger woman I had a British friend who had cooked a curry for us one night and I thought it was gorgeous, but that had been my only experience. I was of the opinion that it was complicated and much to difficult, and in all truth it sometimes can be, often using ingredients that are unknown and very difficult to find.
Over the past sixteen years I have become very fond of Indian food. My mouth waters at the thought of some gorgeous Onion Bahji's I had at an Indian friend's home one day . . . and I have made a few very delicious curries here in The English Kitchen as well. That's why I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to review this new cookery book, Indian Made Easy, by Amandip Uppal.
This collection of over 140 recipes presents a fresh approach to cooking Indian food, taking you on an amazing spice journey that fits a fast-paced lifestyle. You'll find quick, uncomplicated recipes for Butter Chicken and Prawn Curry, tempting vegetarian dishes, as well as Lamb Kofta with Saffron Creme Fraiche and slowly simmered Beef and Potato Curry. Complete your meal with homemade chutneys, pickles and infused rice, then finish off with a decadent dessert or spiced chai. Special features guide you through making paneer, yoghurt and flatbreads, plus there's a fabulous menu planner and information on pantry staples, must-have spices and alternative ingredients. Indian Made Easy has what you need to create everything from a simple, sumptuous dish to an opulent feast - all filled with the wonderful flavours of India.
I found the very indepth information on spices and other ingredients to be very informative. I like knowing about the ingredients I am going to use. Knowledge is power, and knowing how to use and store things is really important to me. I hate waste.
Blendingtraditional and contemporary Indian cuisine, Amandip's recipes breathe a new lease of life into well-known dishes whilst holding true to tradition at the same time. Broken into tasty chapters entitled Light Bites; Vegetables and Lentils; Fish, Meat and Poultry; Breads and Rice; Salads; Pickles and Chutneys; abd Desserts and Drinks, Indian Made Easy contains quick uncomplicated recipes for every occasion, as well as information on pantry staples, basics, and must-have spices, as well as a fabulous menu planner to help you put together opulent feasts and wonderful combinations of tastes, textures and flavours.
Cook up Lamb Kofta with saffron creme fraiche and Tamarind rice with onion; learn how to make coriander (cilantro) stuffed naan and sesame and ginger chicken skewers; please the veggies with dishes like Aubergine with Chilli Pomegranate Dressing (see above photo) and a cheat's Dhal Makhani; ad sate your sweet tooth with a pistachio kulfi or a Pomegranate and rosewater granita.
Everything is photographed beautifully and in all honesty I cannot wait to get stuck in and start cooking with it! Indian Made Easy is a beautiful and delicious cookbook that brings Indian cookery up to date for the modern and busy cook.
UK based author Amandip Uppal is a former stylist and writer. She worked for many years at The Times, and later became Deputy Fashion Editor of Conde Naste Traveler. Drawing on her life-long love of design and food, she created ChilliHotChocolate.com . . . an online kitchen and dining emporium.
Indian Made Easy, by Amandip Uppal
Photography by Lisa Linder
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Murdoch Books (8 Sept. 2016)
Many thanks to Murdoch Books for sending me a copy for review. Although I was sent a free copy I was not oblidged to write a positive review. Any opinions are entirely my own.
Thursday, 22 September 2016
I am a person that really loves vegetables. I always have done, and none more so than those in the brassica family . . . cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower . . .
I think of them all cauliflower is my absolute favourite. All white and tasty, I love it raw and I love it cooked, on it's own, or in a soup. Anyway you cut it, or cook it, I just love cauliflower.
It's not a vegetable that I ever had when I was growing up. We never had broccoli either. I was an adult before I had either one, and I think my first taste of broccoli was in a Chinese stir fry, and it was absolute love at first bite.
When I saw this recipe for a One Pan Farmers Market Pasta on The View from The Great Island, I knew it was something I wanted to make. It looked so fresh, delicious and healthy. Just one problem. Hubby loathes pasta and isn't overly fond of a lot of vegetables either. He was brought up on School Dinners and rationing and our modern vegetables/combinations/pasta dishes don't excite him in the least.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week five of their delicious hints and tips, and week four on how to create a delicious Croquembouche.
NOTES IN THE MARGINS
Sparkling Spun Sugar, The Betty's Way
Make a Mess
Create Spun Sugar in a friend's kitchen.
Why? It's messy
Temperature is important
It mix is too cold, the strands will be too thick. If too hot, they will be too thin.
The ideal consistency is like warm Golden Syrup.
Stand Up Tall
You'll need a little height to work with the sugar. (In the film, Lisa is stood on a kick stool!)
Don't make it too early, it will only last for an hour or so.
Cleaning up can be tricky, but not if you do this: Fill the pan with water, bring it to the boil, then tip it away.
If only washing up was so easy.
This is the final part of our series about how to create a Croquembouche. Find out how to create spun sugar to decorate your masterpiece in next week's episode of Betty's Baking Secrets.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Yesterday I promised to show you something today that you can use up some of the leftover roast turkey in and here it is, a delicious Hot Turkey Taco Salad. It should be noted that you can also use freshly ground turkey as well, so you don't have to have leftover cooked turkey for this, but if you do, this is a really tasty way to use some of it up!
Monday, 19 September 2016
The Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few weeks now and the American about a month or so later and then of course Christmas is on top of that. If you are a small family that don't want to cook a whole turkey, or a larger family that wants a bit extra on top of the family turkey, or even if you just want to cook some turkey to have for the week ahead to use in sandwiches or casseroles, I have a real winning recipe for you here today. This always results in a moist and well flavoured roast, which is perfect sized for all of those needs!
Sunday, 18 September 2016
One of the things I love most about this time of year is PLUMS! Yes the plus are ripe and for a change this year we have had a bumper crop of them. Although Todd for the life of him can't figure out what he did that was any different than any other year. Last year we had two plums, exactly. No more, no less, but at least we each got to enjoy one.
Saturday, 17 September 2016
Every cook who loves to entertain should have an easy little dessert recipe up their sleeve, that's, not only easy to execute, but also pretty failproof, delicious and impressive. I used to bake a lot of these when I worked at the Manor. They entertained a lot , and everything always had to be done to a high standard. This was one of their favourite desserts that I made for dinner parties and ladie's luncheons. They were very popular.
Friday, 16 September 2016
I'm going to let you in on a little secret this morning. A family secret. A secret recipe that I have been hoarding, baking and enjoying for about 35 yeara now . . . or maybe even longer if you count the years my ex husband and I dated before we actually got married . . .
Thursday, 15 September 2016
I love chicken and I love sweet potatoes and I love the two of them put together. Often when I roast poultry I will bake some sweet potatoes on the side, so it seemed a really natural thing for me to put them together into a casserole. A very delicious casserole, I hasten to add.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
I had in mind to make some tomato jam with the tomatoes from my tomato plants, but it ended up that I would not have had enough fresh tomatoes to do it. We have been far too greedy with eating them fresh and they have been so very good. I had a real hunger for tomato jam however . . . a real hunger . . . it sounded so tasty . . .
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Renshaw (a leading UK baking company) has launched The Great Renshaw Bake Off, a full nine weeks of fun competitions.
The Great Renshaw Bake Off is your chance to join in a series of nine fun weekly challenges and win some fantastic prizes. You don’t have to be a baker extraordinaire to take part. That’s because they will be testing you with games and quizzes as well as asking to see your best - and worst! - culinary creations.
Sounds like fun!
Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week four of their delicious hints and tips, and week three on how to create a delicious Croquembouche.
Cracking Caramel, the Bettys way
INGREDIENTS (makes approximately 300ml)
145g caster sugar
60g glucose syrup
1. Place the ingredients in a small, heavy base saucepan and set over a medium heat.
2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved and then increase the heat to bring up to the boil. Do not stir anymore.
3. Brush the sides of the pan using a wet pastry brush to prevent grains of sugar getting stuck to the side of the pan. The grains of sugar may crystallize the syrup.
4. Boil until the syrup turns a light golden colour and stop the cooking process by briefly plunging the pan into a bowl of very cold water. Do take care as this is a dangerous process. The caramel is ready to use. If the caramel cools down and sets, place over a gentle heat to melt.
Notes in the Margins
Your heavy base pan must be immaculately clean.
Keep some hanging water in the pan so the caramel doesn’t burn.
Use your finger to stir the sugar – create the texture of ‘wet sand’.
The glucose is a vital ingredient.
It keeps the spun sugar flexible later on.
Pick up the glucose with a wet hand so it doesn’t stick. Do this off the heat.
Once you introduce the caramel to the heat, don’t stir it - swirl.
You’ll see it go to a blonde caramel with a hint of colour.
Watch for it turning to a honeycomb, golden blonde – then remove from the heat.
Be careful – caramel is red hot! Let the choux touch the sugar – not your finger.
This is part three of our series about how to create a Croquembouche. Find out how to create spun sugar to decorate your masterpiece in next week’s episode of Bettys Baking Secrets. www.bettys.co.uk/bettysbakingsecrets
For nearly 100 years, people have been flocking to Yorkshire for a taste of Bettys. Bettys was founded by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss baker and confectioner who came to England in search of opportunities to develop his craft skills. He opened his first Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate in 1919 and named it 'Bettys'. The reason why remains a mystery to this day.
We do eat a lot of chicken in this house. You've probably noticed. That's because it is pretty economical and very versatile. Especially chicken breasts. They are a virtual canvas for many flavours and textures. I love to play with them and come up with delicious ways of preparing them. This turned out to be one of our favourites! Chicken with Cheesy Leeks and Spinach!
Monday, 12 September 2016
This is a recipe that I have made on here before, but it was so long ago and the photos are so poor I wanted to do it again, using the fresh tomatoes from our garden. This is a winner of a recipe and one I just love. It is so good that I felt it deserved a new write up and updated photographs!
Sunday, 11 September 2016
I was supposed to get a large order of frozen curries to trial on Friday and I had to go through the freezer to make room for them. I realised I had an awful lot of blueberries and decided to bake Todd a delicious blueberry cake with some of them. I also sent half of it over to our friend Doreen, who is celebrating her 86th Birthday this weekend! This is a very old recipe, but fabulously delicious!
Saturday, 10 September 2016
I got to thinking this summer, that instead of doing everything festive-wise at the last minute like I always do, I would try to do one Christmas type of cookie at a time each Saturday during the months of September, October, November and December, giving me twelve different bakes that I could store in the freezer until the big day. This would give me lots of options for putting on the festive Christmas Baking Trays I like to give out during the holidays and I wouldn't be as stressed. I am already a week behind, but here is this week's offering. Peppermint Petticoat Tails!
Friday, 9 September 2016
This is a recipe that is as old as the hills. Necessity being the mother of invention and all. In the old days wash day took up a considerable time and effort on the lady of the household's part. This was a dish that was not only easy to throw together, but pretty much cooked itself leaving your hands free to do the laundry! Practical and delicious! Two of my favourite things! Add economical to the mix and you have a hat trick of winning possibility!
Thursday, 8 September 2016
The traditional Mediterranean way of eating is widely recognised as the healthiest approach to food in the world. Eating Mediterranean involves falling into the rhythm of the seasons and eating the freshest produce possible, when it's at its very best. It means filling your shopping basket with yoghurt, cheese, olive oil, fruit, leafy greens, nuts, seafood, whole grains and pulses and enjoying these foods with friends and family. In fact, you could say that eating Mediterranean is the healthiest way to eat in the world; abundant in fresh produce and legumes, and making great use of poultry and fish rather than red meat. Mediterranean-style eating has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
In Easy Mediterranean, author Sue Quinn adopts the Mediterranean way of eating with 100 delicious light, bright and delicious Mediterranean-influenced dishes that are easy to prepare and share.
Divided into seven tasty chapters with some really nice illustrations and beautiful photographs, this is a lovely compendium of a variety of Mediterranean style recipes.
Starting the Day . . . with everything from basic breakfast bowls, to pancakes, crispy cheese pies, stewed fruits, Tomato Bread, etc. Engineered to get your day off to a delicious and healthy start.
Plates to share . . . dips and spreads, relishes, tapenade . . . tasty and delicious ways to share with family and friends.
Salads and Soups . . . we often have a soup for supper or even just a salad for lunch. This book has a very delicious looking assortment to choose from!
Meat, Poultry & Fish . . . grills, bakes and slow dishes . . . guaranteed to make your tastebuds tingle.
Pasta, Beans, Rice and Grains . . . Eat to your carb loving hearts content with a delicious variety of choices!
Vegetables . . . That roasted beet root salad and those stuffed tomatoes are calling my name and they are only two of the delicious recipes on offer.
Sweet Things . . . because a little bit of what Timothy likes does Timothy a lot of good. Lots of delicious choices here. From tarts and cakes to granitas. Yum!
Sue Quinn combines the vibrant flavours of the countries that hug the Mediterranean Sea to create fresh and contemporary dishes that taste wonderful and are also good for you. Vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes and seafood take centre stage in 100 recipes - with meat, poultry and sweet dishes in the mix, too.
All are easy to prepare and share, reflecting a cornerstone of the Mediterranean approach, which is that food should be a pleasure to be enjoyed with friends and family.
I love the quirky illustrations and the beautiful photography. I cannot wait to get stuck into some of these!
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Murdoch Books (11 Aug. 2016)
Sue Quinn is a cookery writer and journalist who won the Fortnum & Mason for her writing online in 2016. Sue's work has appeared in the Guardian, The Telegraph, Delicious magazine, Dorset Magazine and The Foodie Bugle, including recipes and articles about food trends, ingredients and producers. A former national newspaper journalist and foreign correspondent, she has drawn on her extensive travels as inspiration for a number of cookery books. Sue is also the author of Easy Vegan.
Note - I was sent a free copy of this book for review, but was not required to write a positive review. Any and all opinions are my own.