WWW. Pepper Salmon and Bacon, Autumn Veg, Pumpkin Cake.

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Grilled Pepper Salmon and Bacon.

Ingredients:

-2 salmon filets

-100g/3.5oz bacon

-3tsp pepper

-a squeeze of lemon

Utensils:

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Rub both sides of the salmon and bacon with pepper. I used a slab of bacon, but if you’re using sliced bacon you only need to pepper one side.

2: Place on a low heat under the grill until cooked-through and crisp on top.

3: Serve with lemon.

Autumn Veg Mix.

Ingredients:

-150g/5.3oz butternut squash

-100g/3.5oz pumpkin

-50-100g/0.5-3.5oz broccoli

-100-200g/3.5-7oz peas

-50g/0.5oz bean sprouts

-2 chillies

-the fat from the salmon and bacon

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-small pot

Recipe:

1: Chop the squash, pumpkin and broccoli.

2: Put on to boil in the pot with the chillies.

3: When the squash and pumpkin are tender, add the peas and beansprouts.

4: Boil until everything is tender.

5: Drizzle with salmon and bacon fat and a little onion powder.

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Pumpkin Cake.

Ours had A LOT of seeds, so maybe remove some if your pumpkin paste is too seeded.

Ingredients:

-the fibrous centre and seeds from 2 large pumpkins

-250g/8.8oz flour (self-raising or with agents)

-2tsp cinnamon

-5tbsp sugar

Utensils:

-scissors

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Cut up the pumpkin. Remove excess seeds.

2: Mash with sugar and cinnamon.

3: Mix in the flour. Add water as needed.

4: Pour into the tray.

5: Bake at 200C/390F for 35min.

WWW. THREE Banana Recipes and Chicken-Stuffed Veg.

Three? Yes, three! I found around 2kg of bananas for 80p, but they were already brown and we all know that brown bananas means baking!

Also, due to time and work issues, we’re returning to the “tradition” of a simple roast dinner on a Tuesday, improved upon for Wednesday.

Without further ado, here are my three banana recipes, all quickly mixed and easily baked!

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Recipe 1: Chunky Banana Bread.

I’ve been getting a little bored of my more smooth breads and tried making one that, rather than having much added to it, was simply chock full of banana chunks. It’s heavenly.

Ingredients:

-4 soft bananas

-350g flour and raising agents

-water as needed

-pinch of salt

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, spoon and fork

-greased or nonstick loaf tin

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mash in the flour.

3: Stir in the water until the mix is pourable.

4: Pour into the tray and bake at 200C for 45min.

Recipe 2: Peanut Butter Banana Biscuits.

Four ingredients. Vegan. Delicious.

Ingredients:

-3 soft bananas

-300-400g peanut butter

-100g almond butter

-2tbsp plain flour

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, fork

-greased or nonstick baking tray

-spoon

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mix in the butters.

3: Stir in the flour until stiff.

4: Spoon onto the tray.

5: Bake at 200C for 40min.

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Recipe 3: Banana Cream Puff Tart.

Ingredients:

-3 soft bananas

-3 whole eggs

-400ml double cream

-2tbsp flour

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, fork

-greased baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mix in the eggs.

3: Add the cream and flour, stir until smooth.

4: Pour into the tray.

5: Bake until it rises. Leave in the oven for a further 15min.

6: Remove and cool.

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And finally our lunch. Chicken-Stuffed Vegetables with Gravy.

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Recipe 1: Gravy.

Ingredients:

-100-150g chicken scraps

-200ml chicken jelly and fat

-2tsp paprika

-2tsp pepper

-hot water

-flour as needed (I recommend rice flour)

Utensils:

-jug

-blender

Recipe:

1: Tear up the chicken scraps. Place them in the jug with the jelly and fat.

2: Pour boiling water to cover. Add pepper and paprika.

3: Blend all together.

4: Slowly incorporate flour whilst blending until it’s thick.

Recipe 2: Stuffed Vegetables.

Ingredients:

-2 peppers

-bottom of a marrow

-1 cooked chicken breast and 1 leg, or 2 breasts

-roast potatoes

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Halve the peppers and the marrow bottom. Clean out the seeds.

2: Fill with roast potatoes and chicken.

3: Bake at 180C until the chicken and potatoes are crisp and the marrow and peppers are soft.

4: Sprinkle with salt and serve with gravy.

Time-Saver: Microwave Jam.

Yup. Jam. In the microwave.

This is brilliant for several reasons. Firstly, it lets you easily use a small haul of fruit that you don’t want to eat raw, for example due to bitterness or dryness. Secondly, it takes no time at all: it means you can make a small amount of jam without feeling like you wasted the time cooking and washing-up. Thirdly, it’s delicious.

I made it because I wanted to see if it could be done and also had some crabapples, wild raspberries that were a little dry and early blackberries.

So here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

-fruit

-30g of sugar to every 100g of fruit

-any spices you may want

Utensils:

-1 small microwaveable bowl

-1 fork

-handheld blender (optional)

Recipe:

1: Mash or blend the fruit in the bowl.

2: Add the sugar, stir.

3: Microwave on the defrost setting. Keep an eye on it. It will probably take 10min for anything under 500g, but it could take less depending on your microwave!

4: When the fruit juices are looking syrupy and thick, but still pour confusingly easily, place the bowl in the fridge. Maybe let it cool first if you made a lot, so as to not disturb your fridge temperature.

5: Serve.

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WWW. Chicken Sage & Onion Pie and Chocolate-Chip Flapjacks.

Back to routine cooking again. And with it comes the wok.

Jon and I had something a little different this week. Rather than cook from scratch I used some leftovers and bits to cook a wholesome, rich meal and a tasty pudding.

Recipe 1: Chicken Sage & Onion Pie.

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Considering the success of sage and onion stuffing for roast chicken, I decided to try it as a flavouring for this pie. It was actually rather mild, but Jon liked the fact he could alter the flavour himself a bit more than usual.

Jon’s rating: 8/8.

Ingredients:

-300-400g/10.6-14.1oz cooked chicken

-3 small carrots

-200g/7oz broccoli

-1 medium onion

-400g/14.1oz potato

-400ml/14.1floz double cream

-5 leaves of sage

-1tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-small pot

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Slice the carrots, onion and broccoli finely. Boil until softer, but not quite tender.

2: Dice the chicken and mix it with the vegetables in the baking tray.

3: Put the potatoes on to boil.

4: Finely slice the sage and add it to the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on top.

5: Pour the double cream over the mix.

6: When the potatoes are softened, layer them over the chicken and vegetable mix.

7: Bake at 160C/320F for 30min, or until the potatoes are golden brown.

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Recipe 2: Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Flapjacks.

Another calorie dense Celt-cake, seeing how fond Jon is of them. Reduced the size this time, seeing as he doesn’t eat his sweets half as quickly as I do!

Ingredients:

-200g/7oz self-raising white flour or flour plus raising agents

-200g/7oz porridge oats

-150ml/5.3floz cold water

-3tbsp sugar

-3tbsp pumpkin seeds

-40-50g/1.4-1.8oz chocolate (I used a mix of sugar-free white chocolate, 90% dark chocolate and 85% chocolate with raspberry bits)

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, oats and sugar.

2: Stir-in the pumpkin seeds.

3: Roughly break the chocolate and stir it in.

4: Add any raising agents and the cold water. Mix well.

5: Pour into the baking tray.

6: Bake at 160C/320F for 10min.

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WWW. Creamy Chicken Bake and Fruit Loaf.

Busy lately. Cleaning, hens, Download, workouts, sewing, art, business plan, tutoring, cooking, gardening. Everything’s happening at once!

Anyhow, here’s what we had for lunch yesterday.

Recipe 1: Creamy Chicken Bake.

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Ingredients:

-6-8 chicken thighs or breasts

-200g new potatoes

-200g broccoli florets

-100g butternut squash

-100g carrot

-1 red bell pepper

-5 cloves of garlic

-200ml double cream

-200ml milk

Utensils:

-small pot

-chopping board and knife

-large deep oven tray

Recipe:

1: Halve or quarter the potatoes. Boil until soft.

2: Slice the broccoli florets up very small.

3: Layer the potatoes and broccoli along the base.

4: Slice the carrots, pepper and squash very thinly and layer on top.

5: Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, skin-side up.

6: Cut the cloves of garlic in half, crush them, and wedge them into any gaps between the vegetables.

7: Pour the milk in with the vegetables.

8: Pour the cream on top.

9: Bake at 160C for 2h.

Recipe 2: Fruit Loaf.

I actually made this on Sunday, when I did a lot of home-baking and roasting, but didn’t get round to writing the recipe.

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Jon has his with butter.

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Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

-5 overripe bananas

-400g applesauce or stewed apples

-200g self-raising flour

-150ml water

-100g mixed seeds

-3tbsp sugar

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased or nonstick baking trays

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas into the bowl.

2: Stir in the apple.

3: Stir in the flour.

4: Carefully fold in the sugar and seeds.

5: Add water if necessary to make the mixture pourable but stiff to stir.

6: Pour into the trays.

7: Bake at 160C for 1h 30min.

And that’s what we had for lunch on Wednesday.

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Recipe Corner. Easy Peasy Pickled Ginger.

First recipe of the day. I have some corned beef heart to get back to before I can consider it a success. πŸ™‚

This recipe is entirely vegan, all raw and can be made fully Paleo by swapping the sugar out for raw cane, honey, grape extract or a suitable pre-formed yeast.

I started making this when I realized I had chopped too much ginger for the stir-fry I did last week. So, I popped it in one of my handy jars (always save jars and keep them around!) and sat about wondering what to do with it. At first I considered a curry-paste, but my jarring skills aren’t quite advanced enough to pull that off, despite the fact both the plum jams I made over a month ago are still solid, mouldless and unfermenting. Then I pondered another jam, but had to remind myself I’m not quite THAT fond of ginger. Finally, I decided to make sweet and spicy pickled ginger.

Now, I know I’m a ridiculously huge fan of preserving/jarring/canning/jamming things, but, firstly, preserving foods is an awesome skill to have and, secondly, naturally fermented, pickled and salted foods are excellent for you, as they take care of the little guys in your gut and make sure their population meets the right quotas for perfect health. They can also release certain nutrients from foods so as to make them more biologically available and preserve other nutrients so you can enjoy the health benefits of a specific fresh, raw plant all year round. So the more fermented stuff you eat, the better, really. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

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-200g ginger

-4tbsp salt

-4tbsp sugar

-1tsp chilli powder

-75ml lemon juice

-200-300ml vinegar

-warm water

Utensils:

-a jar with a pop-tab on the top (the ones that say “press here” or “freshness guarantee”)

-kettle

-knife and chopping board
Recipe:

1: Peel half the ginger. Chop very finely.

2: Slice the rest of the ginger into pieces of varying size.

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3: Put the ginger in the jar.

4: Add the salt. Put on the lid and shake the jar until the salt is spread over the ginger.

5: Add the sugar. Put on the lid and shake the jar until the sugar is spread too.

6: Add the lemon juice and chilli. Put on the lid and shake again.

7: Leave to rest for a few.

8: Add the vinegar.

9: Boil the kettle.

10: Add the boiling water and, quickly, before the boiling water canΒ  mix with the vinegar, screw the lid on tightly. Within five to ten minutes the tab on the top should have been sucked back down. This means the jar is sealed.

Just sealed.

Just sealed.

11: Leave the jar somewhere you can keep an eye on it. Whenever you see it, take it and shake it, so that the salt and sugar sediments are loosened and mixed with the liquid. Eventually, they will fully dissolve.

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12: Leave the ginger to pickle for a few months. Remember not to open until at least 3 months in!

Later today I’ll either write a post on corning of heart or on what my kitchen is equipped with and why. πŸ™‚

TTFN and happy hunting.

Wonderful Wednesday Wok. On Smoked Paprika and Veg Pots.

First of all, I know I haven’t been putting up my daily paintings lately, even though this week’s plan is nothing BUT painting (all in all I think I owe you four). But you’ll see what I’m doing later. It’s a secret.

Also, I DO owe a book review (“The Picture of Dorian Gray”), which I forgot due to the paintings, so I’ll do that tomorrow.

 

For now: WWW! πŸ™‚

This week was a bit simpler, but for the sake of extolling the virtues of simplicity. [Disclaimer: Not wholly true. Also because of painting.]

I made roast chicken, a fresh vegetable mix and, although I’ll be making some rice pudding later on in the week, for today I gave him a cookie and his usual morning bananas, squash and coffee.

 

Now, please give me a few minutes to praise three marvelous, yet underrated spices.

1: Smoked Paprika.

Paprika, using the Western European definition*, is a powder made from ground dried peppers. Sweet paprika is made from bell peppers. Spicy paprika is either made from chili peppers or from a combination or bell peppers and chili peppers. Paprika is usually red, but you could make paprika from green peppers if you wished to. [*In some Eastern European languages, like Polish, “papryka” is a bell pepper, so that’s why I mention it!]

Many people are familiar with the taste of normal paprika, as it’s commonly used in a variety of traditional European, American, African and Middle-Eastern cuisine and used globally in some form or another. In fact, it’s been incorporated into the traditional cuisines of most countries, even in recipes where it didn’t initially exist. It adds a sweet, slightly piquant flavour to most food. Sweet paprika is often used when a bit of spice is desired, but without the heat or burn of fully chilies. Spicy paprika is used where heat is called for, and it carries the flavour more evenly through a broth, gravy, stew or paste than fresh or dried chilies can. Both also offer the advantage of keeping longer than even dried chilies.

However, smoked paprika adds another dimension entirely. It is usually made out of bell peppers and, on top of the sweetness and slight spiciness, there is a smokey, barbequey flavour. It’s hard to describe beyond that, but it’s marvelous (if I haven’t said so already).

Smoked paprika is best used on:

-all red and white meats

-fried protein dishes

-making sausages, pates, meatloaves or burgers (meat and veggie)

-grilled dishes

-anything involving cheese

2: Powdered Onion and Onion Salt.

Dried onion that has been powdered and maybe mixed with salt.

This is also brilliant. Basically, depending on how much you put in it will add the flavour of French onion soup or the je-ne-sais-quoi of junk Chinese food (besides the MSG). That is pretty much all you need to know.

Powdered onion is best used on:

-savory dishes where you would ordinarily use onion

-anything baked or roasted

-combining with breadcrumbs and savory batter

-most fried things

-anything sort-of-Asian

3: Ground Cloves.

It seems everyone but bakers and ham-makers underestimates the power of the mighty clove. It has an acrid taste, like concentrated real ales with a touch of earthy or nuttiness. Something to be used in very small quantities, usually to impart flavour before being discarded. Cloves are the other thing you find in an Indian dish (alongside cardamoms and bay leaves) that you bite into and have to spit out, confused that this strange piece of wood was intentionally put into your meal. But cloves are brilliant. They can intensify spicy or savoury flavours, contrast with sweet ones and take the edge off salty ones.

Ground cloves are to be used very sparingly. But they are preferable over whole cloves in two aspects:

1, Whole cloves stay whole in your food, and that’s just gross.

2, Ground cloves don’t take as long for their flavour to impart. Being a powder, it just dissolves into the fluid or paste you’re making.

Ground cloves are best used on:

-pepper crusts for meat

-in curries and rich stews

-in jams and preserves

-baked goods

 

Now, that out of the way, you will now understand why the main recipes were so simple. When you use ingredients and spices artfully, the tastes do all the talking.

 

Recipe 1: Spiced Roast Chicken.

(for one)

Ingredients:

-1 chicken thigh

-1/8tsp pepper

-1/4tsp salt

-1/2tsp smoked paprika

-1/4tsp onion powder

-1/16tsp ground cloves

Utensils:

-baking tray

-knife for slicing

Recipe:

1: Coat your chicken, over and under the skin, in the spices.

2: Cook in an oven at 160C for 45min.

3: Slice and serve.

 

Recipe 2: Seasoned Vegetables.

(big pot)

Ingredients:

-150g courgette

-5 large carrots

-500g potato

-300g celeriac

-2tbsp onion powder

-2tbsp pepper

-1tbsp salt

-1tbsp smoked paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot, stirring spoon

Recipe:

1: Slice the celeriac, potato and carrots and put on to boil for about 15min.

2: Slice the courgette. Add alongside the seasonings.

3: Simmer for 1.5h. Top up water as needed.

4: Serve with some form of flavoured fat stirred in (gammon lard, goat’s butter, salted coconut oil, etc).

 

And that’s what I served Jon today. What did he think of the seasoning? 4/5, but could have been a 4.5/5 if I’d put more of the stock in with the veg. Live and learn. πŸ™‚

 

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