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Meringue was something I could always make, and my poor Mum never could.  She was a dab hand at anything to do with pastry, but for some reason meringues never worked for her.  When she opened a tea shop many, many years ago, I was always charged with making a pavlova for the weekend customers.

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This cake, like so many of the recipes on here, kind of morphed into something else!  The original recipe I had received in one of the recipe swaps that went around the internet a few years back… so thank you to Patricia McQ for the original.

The recipe was rooted out recently as a friend who is coeliac was coming for lunch. I started to make the cake, and guess what happened?  Half way through I realised I did not have all the ingredients required!  Time to improvise.  So this is what happened.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 200 g caster sugar – split into 130 g and 70 g lots
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 50 g flaked almonds – blitzed to a breadcrumb consistency.
  • Few drops of vanilla essence
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Line an 8″ tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat egg yolks.  Add 130 g of caster sugar to egg yolks and mix gently.  Fold in the ground and crumbed almonds (these add a nice texture to the cake).  Next add the zest and juice of lemon, and the vanilla essence.  This will be quite a stiff consistency.

Whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Add the 70 g of sugar.

Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

Spoon mixture into your prepared tin.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Since we started hosting on AirBnB we’ve come across the strangest (well to us) allergies and food dislikes.  I never knew people could be allergic to oranges?

Sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with interesting dishes that exclude ingredients that we would take for granted.  Imagine not using onions…. at all?

This past summer we had a family stay with us, where one member was allergic to dairy, egg and nuts.  Fine you say, BUT, they had a birthday during their stay.  Two adults (adult birthday), and 2 children (child allergic)…. so my challenge was to come up with a cake that everyone could eat and enjoy.

God bless ‘google’.

Dairy and egg free chocolate cake

Dairy and egg free chocolate cake

This cake then became a life saver again last week, when I was asked to bring dessert to a house with a similar allergy problem.  I think, but am not sure, that this would also actually qualify as ‘vegan’… maybe someone out there could tell me?

The amounts are a little odd, as the original recipe from Allrecipes in Australia was in cups.  So here’s my translation.

Ingredients:

  • 375 gr organic flour
  • 440 gr sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps Bread Soda
  • 50 gr Green & Blacks cocoa
  • 190 ml Sunflower Oil
  • 2 tblsps White Vinegar
  • 2 tsps Vanilla Essence
  • 500 ml Cold Water

Method:

Heat oven to 180 deg. Centigrade.

Line a 30 cm cake tin with parchment paper

Sieve the dry ingredients together.  Make 3 wells in the mixture, adding oil, vinegar and vanilla essence into separate wells.

Add water and mix really well.

Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes.

I iced the finished cake with a sugar and lemon juice mix…. literally mixing icing sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice together until I had the right consistency.

We’re not big chocolate cake fans here… but this has been a hit with us and everyone we served it to.

Enjoy!

 

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I’ve been making our own ‘Cointreau’ style liqueur for the past couple of years, and was absolutely sure I had already shared the recipe on here…. but I hadn’t.

So here it is…. and full credit for the recipe must go to the late Paolo Tullio.

It is so simple and easy to make…. all it needs is time.

Home-made Cointreau

Home-made Cointreau

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Half litre of vodka
  • 1 orange
  • String
  • Wide necked jar – we use a Kilner jar
  • Water
  • 150 g sugar

Method:

Pour vodka into your jar.  Thread string through the orange.  We use a wooden skewer to pierce the orange, then push a straw through the hole, and then thread the string through the straw…. hope this makes sense, but you will probably device your own method.

You may need the assistance of another pair if hands for this part.

Lower the orange into the jar until it is about a centimetre above the vodka…. holding onto your string at both ends.  Now close the lid of the jar to secure the string in place.

making home-made cointreau

making home-made cointreau

Put your jar somewhere safe for 21 days.

If you watch you will see that the alcohol evaporates, hits the orange and drops down, thus infusing the alcohol with the orange flavour.

After the 21 days, dissolve 150 grams of sugar in as little water as possible, and add it to your flavoured vodka.

That’s it.

I’ve put it in pretty little bottles as Christmas gifts too.

Or save it and enjoy yourself 🙂

 

 

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I’ve finally found a breakfast cereal that I like!

Not that easy when you have to avoid wheat.  On a side note I challenge you to check cereal boxes across all the brands to find one that does not contain wheat. Even cornflakes contain wheat….. seriously.

And yes, I can hear you all saying, but but but what about porridge!

Here’s the thing folks, I HATE PORRIDGE.  It has to be the most disgusting food of all times.  It is a major source of amusement with Alfie, that I actually make really delicious porridge for others, but won’t touch it myself.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

The only way for me to go was to start making my own breakfast cereal… I chose to make granola.

This recipe is as flexible as you want it to be with regard to what ‘dry goods’ you put in, but the coconut oil and honey are a staple in this house anyway.

I haven’t checked the ‘use by date’, it doesn’t really last that long as guests love it too, but I would say it lasts 2 or 3 weeks in an airtight tin.

Oldfarm Granola

Oldfarm Granola

Ingredients:

  • 300 gr Oatflakes
  • 50 gr Linseed
  • 50 gr. Sunflower and/or Pumpkin seeds
  • 20 gr. Sesame seeds
  • 50 gr. dried fruit – current batch has diced mango in it, but I’ve used cranberries, and sultanas too.
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 40 gr. runny honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 150 deg. centigrade.

Line 2 x swiss roll tin with baking parchment.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Melt coconut oil and honey together, and pour over dry ingredients

Spread mix out on baking parchment.

Bake for 23 minutes.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin or jar.

This is how I had mine this morning 🙂

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Enjoy!

 

 

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Just had to share this recipe with you.  Seriously, seriously good.  I’ve made a second batch today.

It’s adapted from that book I’ve mentioned before Soups by Tonia George.  She uses two different variety of mushrooms, I just used regular field mushrooms.

I think what makes it doubly nice is the fact that we are using our own hazelnuts that we still have from last year’s harvest.

This quantity makes enough for four.

Mushroom & Hazelnut Soup

Mushroom & Hazelnut Soup

Ingredients:

  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 25 g hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 350 g mushrooms
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (or chicken stock)

Method:

Melt butter and add onion and garlic, cover and cook gently over low heat for 10 minutes to soften.

Wash and chop your mushrooms.  Add to the saucepan with the parsley, turn heat up and cook, stirring regularly for 10 minutes.  Add your stock and cook for another 10 minutes.

While this is all happening toast your hazelnuts and set aside to cool.

When soup is cooked.  Chop your toasted hazelnuts and add about half to the soup.  Either blitz with hand liquidiser or transfer to a liquidiser.

Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining chopped hazelnuts (and/or a dollop of cream).

Enjoy!  And do let us know if you’ve tried it.

 

 

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I know!  I know!  A recipe for quiche…. crazy or what?

Let’s not talk about how long I’ve been making quiches for.

We love quiche.  It is something I’d make when I want to clear out bits and pieces from the fridge.  It’s also a wonderful thing to whip up if you suddenly have un-announced guests as we’re lucky to generally always have our own eggs to hand.

Quiche was on the menu on Wednesday evening this week.  I have no idea why I decided to ‘google’ a recipe for quiche.  Come on, I’ve been making it for donkeys years!  But I did.

I did one of those list of ingredient type searches…. you know… I’ve got spinach, cheese, etc. etc.

Top of the results was Jamie Oliver’s Spring Greens Quiche.

And, yes, if you are a regular reader you’ll know that, of course I didn’t have all the ingredients… our asparagus and chives are long way from being ready to harvest ….. but hey, I’m the queen of improvisation.

I think Jamie himself will be impressed with the result…. we sure were and will definitely be doing something like this again.

As usual I made my pastry using my Mum’s recipe in the morning and stuck it in the fridge to chill.

Spring Greens Quiche

Spring Greens Quiche

My filling ingredients:

  • Small onion, chopped finely and fried.
  • 100 gr. frozen peas
  • 100 gr. fresh baby spinach.
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 slices lomo (dried pork), chopped – optional.  I only used these cos they were in fridge.
  • 2 duck eggs
  • 3 hen eggs
  • 2 extra egg whites
  • 50 gr. Brie cheese – sliced.

Method:

Cook your frozen peas for about 3 minutes, adding your washed spinach for the last minute.  Drain and rinse under cold water for a few minutes to retain the ‘greenness’.  Set aside.

Grease your quiche dish.  Roll out your pastry and line your quiche dish.

Sprinkle in your cooked onion onto the base.  Add your peas and spinach spreading out as evenly as possible.  Add in your scallions and meat (if you are using it)

Whisk your eggs together and pour into dish.

Top with sliced Brie.

Slice of Spring Greens Quiche

Slice of Spring Greens Quiche

(As an aside the only reason I was using 2 egg whites was that they were in the fridge… but they really did add a lightness to the dish, so do use them.)

We shared with an unexpected visit from a neighbour – served with baked potato and salad.  And even had a slice each left for lunch the next day.

It was still as delicious.

Try it and enjoy!

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