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The Homemade Heart
Central Scotland
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It would be delightful if you joined next month, but no pressure! I actually love fish curry, and fish stew. X
That is funny Christina! Yes I agree about the little tomatoes, I eat a few from the bowl on the counter every time I walk past x
Wise woman! X
I have a feeling i may have his Veg somewhere, must have a look for it and see if I waem to it a little more x
I do know what you mean Amy! Love Nigel though, and can't really understand why I haven't cooked from his books more! X
This sounds like the perfect book for you! X
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Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for August. If you would like to join the challenge this month, please take a quick look at the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which will tell you everything you need to know. My chosen recipe book for July was Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall's 'Light and Easy' Here it is lurking innocently amongst a pile of other recipe books on my (overcrowded) shelf. This book is very 'worthy', as I suspected, but also rather jolly too, with beautiful end papers, and delightful colour pencil illustrations throughout. However I feel these little touches are there to sweeten the pill; make no mistake, Hugh is out to elucidate, educate, and generally bang the drum. There are 9 chapters, from Breakfast through Baking, Meat, Salad and finally, Treats. There is a lengthy introduction, where Hugh explains that we are all eating too much wheat and dairy, and encourages the reader to think more widely about alternatives, and use his book as a resource for eating more healthily. So far, so laudable. My first selected recipe was Green Bean, Tomato and Lentil Salad. Lots of my favourite ingredients in this one; I love puy lentils, and the squeak of green beans against my teeth never fails to bring pleasure. For this recipe, puy lentils are simmered with bay leaf and garlic, then drained and tossed with oil and a little seasoning and set aside to cool. The green beans are briefly cooked in boiling water, rinsed and set aside, and then combined with the lentils, halved cherry tomatoes, olives, and a simple dressing is made with oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard and seasoning. Knowing my dear family as I do, I wouldn't dream of subjecting them to this legume and veg-heavy dish, and instead made it for lunch when a friend visited. It was full of texture and flavour, and made a filling meal when served with some crusty bread (oops, sorry about the extra wheat Hugh). As we are both vegetarian, we thoroughly enjoyed this lunch, and I was full up for several hours afterwards. My second dish was Fish and Tomato curry; another easy and very flavourful dish. A brown onion is fried off in olive oil; ginger, garlic, curry paste and cinnamon are added, and fried a little, then the mixture is loosened off with passatta and coconut milk, and seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar. The fish is cut into smallish pieces and cooks in the sauce. The curry is served with rice, and finished with a scattering of nigella seeds and a squeeze of lime juice. Very delicious and full of flavour; the carnivores enjoyed it and awarded it a single green tick (single green tick= nice, would eat again). Hugh's suggestion of 500g of white fish feeding 3-4 people was unrealistic for my hungry family, but doubling quantities was not a problem. Overall, I find this book hard to criticise; the recipes are all full of flavour, and, as the title suggests, 'light and easy'. I just can't escape the uneasy feeling that I am being Food Hectored, and as I can't stand being told what to do by anyone, in any walk of life, I don't think that Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall and I are ever really destined to get along in the kitchen. ...even though the recipes are good. ...even though all the advice is scientifically sound. ...even though Hugh is no doubt one of the most well-meaning people on the planet. ...even though I would probably lose two stones if I ate solely from this book for a month (actually, there's an idea...) For the present, Hugh will stay on my kitchen shelf, but I secretly suspect that in a recipe book cull at some point in the near future, he will probably be heading for the local charity shop. Alternatively, I could try to act like a mature adult and cook some more from this book before I make up my mind. My chosen recipe book for August is Nigel Slater's 'Real Food'. I own quite a few Nigel Slater books, but rarely cook from them, reading them more like food-novels than recipe books. This month should change that I hope. If you joined me last month, thank you. If you would like to join the challenge this month, this is what to do: The challenge is simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf, and cook two new recipes from it. The recipes can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. Don't worry about photographs; if you haven't taken a photograph of the dish, post a photograph of the recipe book you used. Similarly, you are welcome to share a recipe if you wish, but there is no pressure to do so. This project is more about the process of reconnecting with your cookery book collection, than about recipe sharing or food photography. At the beginning of the following month, blog about the recipes you have used, and announce your chosen cookery book for the month ahead. This is an ongoing project, it's never too late to get involved, and everyone is very welcome. I would appreciate a link back to this Cookery Calendar Challenge post in your post. Grab the Cookery Calendar Challenge badge to display on your blog too, if you like (just copy and paste the code on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ) An InLinkz Link-up Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at The Homemade Heart
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That is very funny! Sometimes D goes to the shops for ingredients for a meal at the weekend and manages to spend as much as I do on shoppingfor a week! I have to rinse, rinse, rinse tinned chickpeas, usually with my eyes closed as that gummy water around them makes me feel so queasy, but once they are rinsed I am ok. X
Well,according to my carnivore you couldn't find a better use for it! (Though they also love a slice of black pudding with a poached egg, perched on top of a smoked haddock risotto!) x
Well I can only vouch for the dressing/marinade, which was lovely, but the n looked very nice too! Thanks as ever for visiting Amy X
I think they are just honest, but we are a pretty open bunch here, so I just need to take it on the chin (then cry in to the dirty dishes later!) . My oldest is away at the moment, and already there is a change in what I am making for the rest of us, so each individual definatly brings their influence to bear on what is cooked and eaten. I see lots of changes ahead (food no doubt the least of them) as the boys grow uo and leave home. X
Well that is encouraging, I hope I end up feeling as positive about 'Light and Easy' by the end of the month! X
Oh that's funny Gillian, as I get older I find that level of high passion rather exhausting, whereas when I was 19 or 20 I would have been right in to it. Will see how I get on. Yes to the dressing with baked potato and green salad, that would be delicious X
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Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for July. If you would like to join the challenge this month, please take a quick look at the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which will tell you everything you need to know. My chosen book for June was 'The National Trust Cookbook'. Over the years, there have been many National Trust cookbooks; this particular edition is the most recent, from 2016. The National Trust currently has around 200 cafes, and each café has some dishes or treats associated with the location, for example Churchill's stew is served at Chartwell; Beatrix Potter's family plum cake is served at the café at Hill Top. This makes the book quite fascinating, and as someone who always loves to hear the stories behind food, the stories and recipes combined really appealed to me. The book is divided seasonally. Within each section there are soups, savoury dishes, puddings, and bakes. There are many delicious, homely recipes within this book, and a high proportion of vegetarian dishes. It is a good, solid, reliable book, which I enjoyed reading, and cooking from, and one which I think is destined to become a favourite. My first chosen recipe was Roast honey-mustard chicken. Chicken breasts are marinated in a yogurt mix (recipe below), and the marinade is then spooned over the chicken breasts in a roasting tin, where the marinade becomes a sauce, or coating. The chicken is served on a salad of new potatoes, green beans, red pepper, courgette, all of which are steamed or fried, depending on what suits, making a colourful, crunchy, warm salad. There should be chickpeas in the salad too, but I omitted them as they are considered the work of the devil by the carnivores of the family, though personally I absolutely love their flavour and texture. To me, this was a perfect family dinner; it was healthy, colourful, easy to prepare, and looked, I thought, rather pretty when dished up. It was also ideal for the resident vegetarian (me) as I could eat the warm salad without the chicken. It enjoyed a lukewarm reception from the family (about the same temperature as the warm salad in fact). I would say a grudging single green tick (single green tick= 'ok, would eat again'). This was a little disappointing, but it wasn't an outright rejection, and I did gain a super-simple, delicious recipe for marinade, which I could happily eat with a spoon, it is so good. Marinade This marinade could also be used as a dip, a baked potato filling, or a salad dressing. 2 tsp wholegrain mustard 4 tsp runny honey 1 tsp white wine vinegar 2 tbsp natural yogurt 1 garlic clove, finely crushed 2 tsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley salt and pepper Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined. My second selected recipe was another seasonal warm salad, though as they were served a couple of weeks apart, this was not quite as repetitive a it sounds! This dish had lots of winning ingredients as far as the carnivores were concerned: black pudding, bacon, and fried bread croutons, served on salad leaves (nice and easy, just tip them out of the bag), topped with blue cheese, and scattered with quartered hard boiled eggs. The bacon lardons were fried off with sliced leeks, and the black pudding was meant to be fried too, but I grilled it instead, and only reluctantly fried off the bread croutons in a little oil - just a bit too much frying for my liking. There was a simple vinaigrette dressing for the salad too; the whole dish presented a variety of flavours and textures, with plenty of protein for hungry carnivores. Thankfully this dish went down well, and earned a respectable single green tick. I suggested that next time I might bake the croutons in the oven rather than fry, but this was met with emphatic cries: 'No!' 'They're my favourite bit!' 'Don't bake them, they will taste boring' Quite a successful month for the Cookery Calendar Challenge, thank goodness, I felt I needed a bit of a break after the rejections from May and June. My chosen book for July is Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall's 'Light and Easy' I feel I have circled round Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall rather warily for years. He is so fervent about food production and so on (all very laudable of course), that I feel a little overawed by his persona and values (this springs to mind). The Cookery Calendar Challenge is the perfect opportunity to dust off this worthy volume and actually use a couple of Hugh's recipes. If you joined me last month, thank you. If you would like to join the challenge this month, this is what to do: The challenge is simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf, and cook two new recipes from it. The recipes can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. Don't worry about photographs; if you haven't taken a photograph of the dish, post a photograph of the recipe book you used. Similarly, you are welcome to share a recipe if you wish, but there is no pressure to do so. This project is more about the process of reconnecting with your cookery book collection, than about recipe sharing or food photography. At the beginning of the following month, blog about the recipes you have used, and announce your chosen cookery book for the month ahead. This is an ongoing project, it's never too late to get involved, and everyone is very welcome. I would appreciate a link back to this Cookery Calendar Challenge post in your post. Grab the Cookery Calendar Challenge badge to display on your blog too, if you like (just copy and paste the code on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ) An InLinkz Link-up Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at The Homemade Heart
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Thanks Jennifer, lovely to see you here X
Wow, two hours of yoga is long! Good luck finishing your current quilt X
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2017 on A quilt for yoga class at The Homemade Heart
Well not sure about mad, but certainly unaffaid to express their opinions! Thank you for your good luck wishes, I'm starting to feel that I really need them! X
Yes I agree Rachel's books are excellent, always easy to achieve and with delicious results - unless you have a family like mine of course! X
I feel the same. Not quite sure why or when food became such a palaver in ordinary homes, but it is now lodged in the general psyche that variety, interest, colour, flavour etc all have to be present at dinner time, even round the kitchen table! X
That is good Gina, I am pleased to hear it. I am not particularly adventurous either, but my dear family is just extremely hard to please! Personally I would have poached eggs on toast with spinach every night of the week and not bother, but life is not that simple round here! X
Thank you Christina! It is disappointing when the family really hates a dish, but I juat have to be honest about it when I write my post or what's the point- I am sincerely hoping for a double green tick this month though, I have had a run of failures recently! I agree about the fish sauce X
On well clearly my family were not alone in their revulsion! Thanks for visiting and commenting X
Thank you Jill. Good luck finding a class, I am sure there will be one near you! X
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2017 on A quilt for yoga class at The Homemade Heart
I have! Lovely to see you here Mary X
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2017 on A quilt for yoga class at The Homemade Heart
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Welcome to the Cookery Calendar Challenge for June. If you would like to join the challenge this month, please take a quick look at the Cookery Calendar Challenge page, which will tell you everything you need to know. My chosen recipe book for May was Rachel Allen's 'Home Cooking' This is a bright, cheerful book aimed firmly at family cooking, full of quick, everyday meals which can be prepared with minimum fuss. It is divided into chapters such as 'Breakfast', 'Lunch', 'Sunday Lunch', 'Supper', and there is also a chapter on 'Baby Purees' which presumably reflects the stage of life Rachel was at when she wrote this book. My first chosen recipe was 'Smoked Salmon, Leek and Potato Pie'. This is extremely easy to prepare, and although smoked salmon is not a cheap option for a weeknight, the other ingredients are very economical, so a balance is achieved. Peeled, thinly sliced potatoes are layered up with sliced leeks, and pieces of smoked salmon. I also added prawns for extra flavour and variety. Each layer is seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with finely chopped garlic. Double cream is poured over, and a grating of parmesan cheese. The dish is topped neatly with a final layer of potato slices, and the whole lot baked until the potatoes are fully cooked, and the top is brown and bubbling. The double cream forms a sauce as the dish cooks, and keeps everything moist. I was convinced this was a winner; it smelled good, it looked good, and when I tasted it I really loved it. The combination of flavours was delicious, very savoury, but creamy too, the potatoes were soft, the topping was crispy, the smoked salmon tasted mellow because it was cooked, and the prawns added a little extra flavour and variety. Unfortunately for me, nobody, other than me, liked it. No double double green tick (double green tick = 'Yum; new favourite), not even a single green tick (single green tick= 'Ok; would eat again). To my disappointment, the vocabulary of an epic fail rang round the dinner table.... 'Mum I really don't like this' 'I hate leeks' 'Far too creamy' 'Glaggy' 'Sorry I can't eat this' 'Not my cup of tea' 'Please don't make this again' One of the carnivores actually had two slices of toast and butter rather than finish this meal. I was very disappointed; I had looked forward to basking in the glow of a double green tick ('Yum; new favourite') and instead ended up with lots of left overs and a petted lip. I had the rejected dish over the next few lunchtimes (and dinners; there was a lot left...) and each time wondered why nobody liked it; it really was good! Girding my culinary loins, I made my second selected dish a few nights later, this time making 'Thai Peanut, Vegetable and Coconut Noodles'. Again, this was very quick and easy to prepare; coconut milk is combined with peanut butter and Nam Pla (or Soy sauce), and Thai Red Curry paste (bought, not home made, though there would be nothing to stop you making your own if you were so inclined). Once this has amalgamated into a cohesive sauce, spring onions, baby corn, mange tout, and broccoli florets are added and lightly cooked. Peanuts, previously toasted in a dry pan, are added for crunch. Finally, rice noodles are mixed into the sauce and vegetables and the dish is served with a few more peanuts scattered over the top. To please the carnivores, I stir fried thin strips of chicken breast to add at the end, though I had mine without. Fortunately, this dish met with a better reception, though was judged to be 'Lacking a bit of something', and was given a modified single green tick ('Ok, would eat again, if it tasted a bit better'). In fairness, I used Soy sauce rather than Nam Pla, and probably not quite enough to give it that lovely salty depth that makes flavours sing. There was lots of variety and texture in the dish though, and I will make this one again. My chosen book for June is 'The National Trust Cook Book'. I bought this book a couple of weeks ago in the National Trust shop in York, and as I have enjoyed many lunches, cakes and treats in National Trust properties over the years I am looking forward to using this book to hopefully please my carnivores! If you joined me last month, thank you. If you would like to join the challenge this month, this is what to do: The challenge is simple: the first week of every month, select a cookery book from your shelf, and cook two new recipes from it. The recipes can be for any meal. Cakes and bakes are excluded, but puddings are included. Don't worry about photographs; if you haven't taken a photograph of the dish, post a photograph of the recipe book you used. Similarly, you are welcome to share a recipe if you wish, but there is no pressure to do so. This project is more about the process of reconnecting with your cookery book collection, than about recipe sharing or food photography. At the beginning of the following month, blog about the recipes you have used, and announce your chosen cookery book for the month ahead. This is an ongoing project, it's never too late to get involved, and everyone is very welcome. I would appreciate a link back to this Cookery Calendar Challenge post in your post. Grab the Cookery Calendar Challenge badge to display on your blog too, if you like (just copy and paste the code on to your dashboard to display). You can also join via Instagram using hashtag #cookerycalendarchallenge (you will find me on Instagram @penny.homemadeheart ) An InLinkz Link-up Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at The Homemade Heart
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