Day 881 – #55 Try 50 new recipes – COMPLETED!!

5 06 2012

Apolgies for the shouting – but I’ve finished one of my biggest challenges!  Woo – go me 🙂
I’ve gone a bit pastry-tastic today.  This is the food I have been busy cooking this morning for my mum’s Jubilee “Garden Party” this afternoon.  Given that it’s tipping down with rain right now, I’m hoping it’s switched to indoors….

Right, we have:
Mini Quiche Lorraines – A bit retro, maybe, but I’ve never tried making a quiche lorraine before.  At least I don’t think I have.  I made some kind of quiche at school (Miss Williams would be so proud!) but I liked the idea of mini quiches instead.  I found a recipe in the brilliant Dairy Cookbook and fudged it about accordingly.  They look quite good, they came out of the tin ok and according to the chief tester of baked goods (Mark) they taste nice too.  So that has to be a success!

Pizza Pinwheel Puffs – I’ve wanted to try this recipe for ages!  It’s in a little book of children’s recipes that I have (I always find kid’s party food far more appealing – I wonder what that says about me?) and I just really fancied trying it.  But needed an occasion to try it out on.  This afternoon is perfect as I can pretend they are for my nephews 🙂  CT’s verdict – Lush.

Sausage Rolls -I know, a bit of a cop out.  But I’ve never made sausage rolls before.  I’ve cooked them hundreds of times but always the little frozen ones from iceland!  This time, I made them myself.  Not terribly well it has to be said.  The sausage to pastry ratio isn’t quite right as they’ve kind of burst their surroundings.  But CT’s verdict is that’s all the better.  More meat is good, apparently!

Cheese Straws – I know, I know.  But I’ve never made these either.  And I didn’t even have a recipe!  (I’m not good at improvising).  But I gave it a go.  And they are delicious.  To be honest though, cheese & pastry – you can’t really go wrong.  CT has already eaten three and been told off!

Jam Tarts – Come on!  It’s for the Queen after all – what could be more appropriate than jam tarts?  Again, not something I’ve tried myself (probably did as a kid, but don’t remember).  Not something I’ll be trying again.  Again, with no recipe to follow I didn’t have much idea of quantities so I kind of overdid it on the jam.  Then the blueberry versions stuck like glue to the baking tin.  And I am currently nursing a burnt finger from overflowing, hot jam.  CT – verdict still open as too hot to test.  I’m sure they’ll be fine.

Edited to add: Jam tarts went down an absolute treat.  They were polished off in double-quick time so they were a success – albeit a very sticky one 🙂

Day 852 – #55 Try 50 new recipes

7 05 2012

Ok, so… long time no see!  The blog has taken a bit of a back seat recently.  I’ve been quite poorly and recently have been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  This explains an awful lot of problems that I’ve had for a long time.  So the diagnosis is more a relief than a life sentence (although it *is* a life sentence!!).  So I’ve been getting my head around all of that and getting my illness under control.  This brings me neatly on to the new recipe….

Whilst researching my illness I came across the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Long story short, I’m not following it.  However there is a recipe in there for home-made yoghurt which is lactose-free and really good for your belly.  So I’ve been making it on the basis that it can’t do any harm.

It’s based on a starter of yoghurt containing 3 very specific bacteria.  This is then mixed with heat-treated milk and left to ferment for over 24 hours.

It sounds grim but it’s delicious!  I’ve been having it for breakfast with mixed berries.  It’s really, really good.  And it’s so nice to be able to eat yoghurt again!

Day 750 – #55 Two more recipes tried out

26 01 2012

Two more new recipes tried out.   The first was an adapted version of a weight watchers recipe.  The Baked Leeks & Ham was actually really tasty.  I put a bit more cheese and more breadcrumbs on that recommended, but not by much.  It was lovely and we’ve had it a couple of times now.  It’s definitely one that I will use again.

The second is quite clearly Hot Cross Buns!  It’s a Delia Smith recipe and was really easy.  They rose really well and smelled gorgeous when in the oven.  I haven’t tasted one yet as they are still hot!  But I can’t wait 🙂

Day 730 – #55 Two more new recipes

6 01 2012

This week we’ve had two new dishes for dinner.  I’d like to say it was part of a healthy eating regime.  But it isn’t really.  I just got out a few old recipe books for inspiration and they just happened to be weight watcher books.

Ok, so firstly we had Lemon Chicken with Leeks & Rice, which was from the Pure Points cook book.  It was like a risotto with grilled chicken on top.  It was very nice.  The portion was quite small, but then it was from WW so not really surprising!  I would cook it again, but probably pan-fry the chicken instead of grilling it as it was quite dry.

The second dish we had this evening and it was Sweetcorn & Tuna Rosti Cake from the WW Fabulous & Filling cookbook.  It took ages to make and was a bit of a faff.  I think there was too much sweetcorn which meant that the “cake” didn’t really stick properly together and fell apart a bit.  I took a picture of Mark’s plate as mine was just a pile of rosti!  It was quite nice, but definitely not worth the effort.  But I’d happily eat it if someone else made it…..

Day 722 – #55 Try 50 new recipes and #76 Host a party

29 12 2011

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In my ever-diminishing wisdom I decided it would be a good idea to have a party over Christmas for our skittles team.  I sent out the invitations, gathered bits and bobs for decoration, bought a pretty frock, booked the hairdresser etc etc.  But then came the task of feeding my friends.  I decided I needed a centerpiece, both savoury & sweet.  So I consulted my array of cookbooks and decided upon Nigella’s Ham in Coke for the savoury element.  I’ve heard this raved about but was still somewhat sceptical.  I shouldn’t have been.  It was a doddle to cook and delicious to eat.  I didn’t take an individual photo but it’s to the left on the table picture.

For the sweet element I knew exactly what I wanted to try; Delia’s Fresh Coconut Cake.  It looks so pretty and I thought it was appropriately Christmassy.  Particularly with my added extra of a snowman topper!!  The instructions for getting into the coconut were successful so all was going well.  It’s basically a sponge cake with added grated coconut.  And thus I hit my first hurdle.  Coconut is a bugger to grate manually.  I need to buy myself a microplane grater if I’m ever to make this again.  There was grated coconut in the cake, grated coconut in the frosting and then the whole thing was covered in yet more bloody grated coconut.  My poor hands were cramped to bits.  But it was worth it.  It looked fab and tasted gorgeous 🙂

The party went well too!

Day 722 – #55 Try 50 new recipes

29 12 2011

I didn’t make so many foodie things for Christmas this year (last year’s hampers took it out of me a bit!!) but I did a couple of things.  One of which was this cherry & almond nougat.  I got the recipe from my Hope & Greenwood book so I was a little nervous.  The only other recipe I’d tried from there was an unmitigated disaster….

BUT Dad loves nougat so I thought I’d give it a whirl and see how we got on.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  Egg whites whipped in the mixer.  Then a mixture of honey, sugar & glucose heated up.  Half goes in the egg white mixture at one temperature, then the rest is heated up more and added while the mixer is still running.  Then it’s all beaten for 10 mins.  Easy peasy you’d say.  And it was.  Specially with a sugar thermometer.  However, getting it OUT of the mixer was considerably harder.  I had to enlist Mark’s help as it was ridiculous.  We eventually gouged out most of it and got it in the tin whereupon it set beautifully.  Getting it back out of the tin and cutting it out wasn’t too bad and you can see the result here.  (This photo was taken before I went out for lunch – when I got back it had all oozed together and resembled more of a nougat-pancake!!)  I’m assured it was very nice 🙂

Day 585 – #55 Another new recipe

14 08 2011

This was somewhat less of a recipe and more of my own concoction.  It’s my very own version of Turkey & Ham pie.

I had some leftover turkey thigh meat and some puff pastry in the freezer so I decided to make a pie to reward Mark for his marvellous tiling in the bathroom.

So I softened some carrots, leeks & onion in some butter, then added the diced turkey meat and some diced ham and mixed it all up together.  Topped with puff pastry et voila!  Lovely pie 🙂

It was delicious, very filling and probably very fattening.  But I don’t care.  It was lush!