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Mint & Lemon Myrtle

Happy Pancake Day!

Who doesn’t love a pancake? Pancakes gives us the perfect excuse to get the saucepan out, make that batter and just hope that it doesn’t weld itself to the pan and you get the perfect flip.

Of course we love to do things differently at Myrtle’s, so we top our pancakes with our fabulous salted caramel & thyme sauce and banana. Served with a healthy scoop of delicious ice cream Find the link below for our 5star rated lemon myrtle seasoning.

This sauce tastes wonderful on most things and stores very well in the ‘fridge. A great staple for your recipe book and a recipe that featured in the “Foodies Across the Pond” recipe book.

https://www.myrtleskitchen.co.uk/product/droitwich-brine-salt-lemon-myrtle-thyme/

Mint & Lemon Myrtle

Salted Caramel Sauce

125g Unsalted butter

150g Light muscovado sugar

142ml Double cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon Myrtle’s Seasoning with Thyme

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Whisk in the browned sugar until combined.

Simmer for 4-6 minutes whisking occasionally until your sauce becomes a dark amber colour.

Remove from the heat and add the cream , vanilla and Myrtle Seasoning.

Serve hot or cold.

If reheating, do so gradually in a low heat and do not allow to boil.

HAPPY FLIPPING and enjoy your pancakes.

Thyme & Lemon Myrtle

Jane x

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Easy to make Flapjack Recipe

Excellent news for you! Lisa and I, Foodies Across the Pond, are planning our second cookery book. It is due to be published for this Summer. I won’t let too much out of the bag, but it will be rammed with delicious recipes for you try. All for you to use this summer. I am definitely ready for summer!

https://www.amenuforyou.com/

For those that don’t know about Foodies Across the Pond, where have you been?

Lisa is a great friend and lives in Seattle, USA and we have a mutual love of all thing “Food”. Together we wrote a cookery book for Christmas “12 Menus of Christmas”, six 5star reviews on Amazon! We pop up on YouTube and have lots of other magnificent things planned!!!

Watch this space for all the foodies news.

I am experimenting with recipes at the moment. I love flapjacks but i often find the bought ones too sweet. They are such a great option for a lunch box, or mid morning snack. So here is my recipe for you, a sneaky peak as this might well make it in to the new book!

Recipe for Flapjack

Easy to make
Vegetarian Gluten free

Makes about 12 slices

Ingredients
300g / 12oz rolled oats
200g / 8oz unsalted butter
100g / 4oz soft brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (substitute for Golden Syrup if not honey)
The extras:
100g / 4oz roasted chopped hazelnuts
300g / 12oz mixed dried fruit. (we have used 100g / 4oz each of chopped apricots, prunes & raisins).

Grease and line a shallow tin with baking parchment.
Preheat oven to 180’c /
In a saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter with the sugar and honey.
Place the oats into a large bowl with the fruit and nuts. Stir in the butter mix and stir to coat the oats and fruit in the butter.
Transfer to the tin . Level and press down with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat too 150’c and cook for a further 15minutes.
Remove from the oven and while the flapjack is still hot in the tin, mark out the slices with a knife. Then allow to cool in the tin.
Once cold, remove from the tins and slice.

Foodies notes:
If the mix is a little crumbly when cutting, popping the tray in the fridge will help firm up the flapjack even more.
I quite like to pop in some chopped dark chocolate!

Myrtle’s Kitchen News

Our shelves were left empty after Christmas. We are now back with a supply of all of our seasonings which have gone down a storm. There are loads of ideas for recipes and using these seasonings in previous blogs. Scroll back to find these and other great recipe ideas.

All of the Myrtle’s Kitchen seasonings contain Droitwich Brine Salt and the super herb, LEMON MYRTLE and then we blend these with one of six other herbs:

Dill, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon and Mint.

Use them for cooking or for seasoning when your food is prepared. They really draw out the flavour of your food, elevate the flavour. Unique and a delicious addition to the kitchen. Pretty too!

You just need to pick which one. Not easy, but i recommend starting with one you know you will get lots of use from and then start to experiment with the others.

Purchase from our website and any questions, feel free to DM me.

Lemon Myrtle Seasoning with Dill

https://www.myrtleskitchen.co.uk/product-category/seasonings/

Click the above link to buy your supply.

We would love to hear how you use your seasoning, or send us a photo’ of your flapjacks!

Jane x

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Marmalade Season and the Best Marmalade Recipes

Some might say “sad”, but marmalade is an exciting time of year for me as is the time of year when we see boxes of Seville Oranges outside of our greengrocer shops. The pan goes onto the hob and shredding begins. I love the splash of colour that Seville oranges bring to what is, lets face it, a dull month.

Stating the obvious, Seville oranges are grown in Seville and grown almost entirely for the UK market.  Seville oranges are very much more bitter than most oranges but the Brits seem to have a bit of a taste for them, particularly when made into marmalade.

The History Bit:

Wikipedia entry states:  The Scottish city of Dundee has a long association with marmalade.[18] James Keiller and his wife Janet ran a small sweet and preserves shop in the Seagate area of Dundee.[19] In 1797, they opened a factory to produce “Dundee Marmalade”,[20] a preserve distinguished by thick chunks of bitter Seville orange rind. The business prospered and remains a signature marmalade producer today.

However, marmalade had been a thing for centuries before this and used ingredients like Quince. I’m not going to follow up on this. I am still sulking about the lack of quinces in the 2021 harvest as I had the grand total of 2, which were made into quince gin. Waste not want not.

My Auntie Betty (Payton) was, and still is the fountain of my knowledge.  She was also a home economist and taught cookery to her students and me!  No longer with us, she passed onto me, her cookery books to me which i cherish and I thought I would share with you some of her notes on marmalade & making marmalade.

Marmalades:

Bitter oranges seem to be the favourite and not all of them come from Seville.

In season from January to March, it is better to get them early in the season, as the quality will deteriorate with keeping.

All citrus fruits re made up of layers:

  1. Outer layer or zest consisting of oil cells containing the flavour
  2. A white layer of pith, usually bitter but contains pectin (the setting agent)
  3. Fruit segments surrounded by skin and consisting of juicy cells containing acid, flavour, colour and pectin
  4. Pips which contain pectin.

All these are used in making marmalade, but may be excluded from the final marmalade.

Of course, marmalade can be made from all sorts of citrus fruits.  We make at Myrtles, a “Lemon & Lime Marmalade” which is popular.

Fruits differ in the amount of acid that they contain, but all of them have plenty of pectin.

Bitter Oranges (37%)

Sweet Oranges (1.2%)

Grapefruit (1.6%)

Lemons (7.3%)

Tangerines (0.5%)

Limes (6%)

One for the Diary!

A massive celebration takes place once a year at the National Marmalade Awards, at Dalemain House in Cumbria. This is a huge thing in the World of Marmalade and they receive thousands of entries from all over the World. We are delighted that our Seville Orange Marmalade with Whisky, was awarded a Gold Medal at these prestigious awards and our Lime and Lemon Marmalade with awarded a silver medal.  Not bad as we only produce two marmalades!

It’s not too late to enter this years competition.  Find the details on how to enter The National Marmalade Awards 2022 on the Dalemain Manor website. 

https://www.dalemain.com/marmalade-awards/

Both of our awarding marmalades are available to buy via the shop on the Myrtle’s Kitchen website. I also should add that our Orange Marmalade also received a Great Taste Award. Is that one step too far?

As featured in BBC Good Food Magazine

Recipe Time.

Myrtle’s would not be the same without a bit of playing and we have created some recipes using our Orange Marmalade.

We use another well loved ingredient, the sausage, the banger. 

Save this one for the summer as well, as it is brilliant when using a BBQ to cook them.

Marmalade Glazed Sausages

6 x Good quality large sausages

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large tablespoon Myrtle’s Orange Marmalade

A pinch of Myrtle’s seasoning oregano

A knob of unsalted butter.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and cook over a medium heat for about 25 minutes (depending upon the size of the sausages).  They need to be brown on both sides and cooked through.

Remove the excess oil from the pan, return to the heat and stir in the marmalade, followed by the butter & seasoning.  Turn the sausages until they are well coated with the marmalade

Plate up and spoon on the remaining glaze.

Buy the Myrtle’s oregano seasoning here.

Happy Marmalade making. Tag us with your marmalade photos!

Jane x

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Exciting Recipes & News from the Kitchen

A belated happy new year.  I hope that you enjoyed all your celebrations and that any resolutions are still holding their own!

Apologies I have disappeared for a little while.  I had an operation at the end of the year, so I have been out of commission, but getting back to fitness slowly and excited to be back in the kitchen soon making our award-winning chutney, jam and marmalade.  The shelves are currently empty!

Review of 2021

What an interesting year that was.  Like everyone, Myrtles had to rise to several challenges.   Most of our events were cancelled, and the only regular market, Malvern Farmers Market.  We were thrilled to be at Carfest South at the end of August.  Emily joined me and we were chuffed when we sold out of EVERYTHING by 10am on the Sunday morning.  Packed up and we got to and enjoy the festival. 

There was a different vibe, and it was great to see Chris Evans and so many personalities, back out there circulating and mixing.  A joyful but a very grounded festival and we shall be there again in 2022.

A highlight was Rachel Horn’s interview with Billy Piper and Giovanni Fletcher.  Three inspirational women and we were there to see them being so candid and honest.  Loved it.  Then the experience was added to when Chris Evans came and sat on the floor by us.  I was invited backstage to pass on a gift that I had for Chris’s wife, Natasha and he was so gracious.  Thank you Carfest.

The gift?  A collection of the newly launched Lemon Myrtle Seasonings.  These are available now in some shops, from our website and from us at events.  I am just a little bit in love with our seasonings.  They get used daily in my kitchen. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  A blend of super herb, lemon Myrtle, Droitwich Brine Salt, and another herb. A choice of Oregano, mint, thyme, rosemary, dill, or tarragon.  The choice is yours.  If you rummage through old blog posts, you’ll find some recipe suggestions, using various seasonings. 

My great friend Lisa, who lives in Seattle, USA and I enjoyed promoting our friendship and passion for food in “Foodies Across the Pond” videos on You Tube and even more exciting, the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition, we wrote and published a cookery book.  “12 Menus of Christmas”.  A collection of delicious recipes, favourites from our own kitchens.  We included lots of memories which made it such a personal book. We were thrilled to receive 5-star reviews for it and have only had positive feedback.  If you bought one, we would love to hear what you think of it.  Congratulations, to Angela who won our giveaway at the end of December.

The most excellent news is that we’ve started to write our second book, to be launched in the summer.  Delicious recipes from America the UK, for a differing skill levels and taste buds. More news to come on social media and the Myrtle’s Kitchen blog. Watch this space.

A Myrtles Blog would not be complete without a recipe.  Here is a healthy drink option for you to try during Dry January.

Rose Lassi

(Grown up milk shake)

450g natural yogurt / Greek yogurt

2-3 teaspoons rose water

Good Quality Honey to taste

Crushed ice

Fill your glasses with the crushed ice.  Blend all the other ingredients and pour over the ice.

p.s. if you like a bit of colour, add some frozen red fruit to the mix.

Blog Notes:

 If you love a good pocast, I recommend Giovanni Fletchers “Happy Mum”

Also Chris Evans and “How to Wow” – loads of fascinating stuff.

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/happy-mum-happy-baby/id1277078956

https://uk-podcasts.co.uk/podcast/chris-evans-how-to-wow

If you would like to be a part of 2022 Carfest events, check out the website as a further tranche of tickets will become available in the spring.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?zx=dostcuujjoq7#inbox/WhctKKXPcgHbJPfpLspFTvLSncxnRGGsKrjPJGsStmhmBnNkQDLkpBKLBJcZRLhGsSbVwNL

Happy 2022 and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Jane x

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Christmas Day Lunch & Dinner. Great Food Ideas,

I hope that you are enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities.  Another strange year almost under our belts and I think we are all up for some good food, company, and cheer. We deserve it.

It’s been busy over the last few months and a lot of you will already be aware that I have (at long last) co-written my first cookery book: “12 Menus of Christmas”.  A lifelong ambition comes true. I have written it with my lovely friend and 50% of Foodies Across the Pond, Lisa Siegal.  Here is the link to Lisa’s website if you would like to know more about what she does and to find some amazing recipes!

https://www.amenuforyou.com

No easy task but so enjoyable. Copies are still available on Myrtle’s website or hop to Amazon. A wonderful gift for any foodie or Christmas lover!  Find the links below.

Containing a lovely balance of recipes, all tasty of course!  We have tried to put ourselves into the book so that you get a little of what we are about.  Let me know if you think this worked.

The Myrtle’s Kitchen shelves are almost bare.  The seasonings have flown out for hampers and stocking fillers and the preserves.  Well, let us just say that I never make enough, but better too little than having any left.

Social media has generated a couple of requests for Christmas ideas from recent posts on social media and I hope that I have answered some of the questions that I have received and below are some of my favourite recipes.

My best piece of advice is “Less is More”.

Why do we decide that at Christmas, we must introduce a 20 a day regime, with every vegetable know on the table.  I am not sure how people can even cook so many for one sitting, and oh the washing up.  I am a true advocate for writing down all your family favourite vegetables and then reducing the list to three or four really great favourites.

For years I would go to the trouble of making bread sauce, because I love it so much, but I was the only one.  I always had so much going to waste. Now if I really cannot do without it, I will buy a good quality helping for one = more time to enjoy Christmas!

Always served, from Delia Smith Christmas, are Parmesan Baked Parsnips. A great favourite, my Mum adored these.  I’m not sure that when she first tasted them, she had even had parmesan before, but it was love at first serving.

Delia’s says in her recipe that they can be made 24 hours in advance and reheated (much like roast potatoes).  I have never tried this but I’m up for anything that makes life easier!

If these are being served for a vegetarian diet, make sure that you use vegetarian parmesan. 

PARMESAN-BAKED PARSNIPS

INGREDIENTS

2 oz (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano); see recipe introduction

2½ lb (1.25 kg) parsnips

6 oz (175 g) plain flour

groundnut or other flavourless oil for baking

a knob of butter

salt and freshly milled black pepper

METHOD

Begin by combining the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Peel the parsnips using a potato peeler. Then halve and quarter them lengthways and cut each length in half across, so that you end up with smallish chunks. Cut out any tough woody centres. Now pop the parsnips in a saucepan, pour in enough boiling water just to cover them and add salt. Put on a lid, bring them to the boil and boil for 3 minutes. Meanwhile have a large kitchen tray ready. Then, as soon as they are ready, drain them in a colander and, whilst they are still steaming, drop a few at a time (with the aid of some kitchen tongs) into the flour and parmesan mixture, shaking the bowl and moving them around so that they get a good even coating. As they are coated transfer them to the tray. Make sure you do them all fairly swiftly as the flour mixture will only coat them whilst they are still steamy! When they’re all coated they are ready to cook or store in the fridge or freeze.

Any leftover flour and Parmesan can be kept (sifted) in the fridge or freezer for another time. What is important is to have plenty in order to coat the parsnips quickly.

To bake them, place a large solid roasting tin in the oven to pre-heat and in it put enough oil just to cover the base and a knob of butter for flavour. Then, when the oven is ready, remove the tin and place it over direct heat (turned fairly low) and, again using tongs, place the parsnips quickly side by side in the tin. Tilt it and baste all the parsnips with hot fat, place the tin in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes, then turn them over, drain off any surplus fat (a bulb baster is good for this) and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until they are crisp and golden.

Jane’s Cranberry Preserve

Every year since I started Myrtles I have made for Christmas markets, my cranberry preserve.  I think that it is even better than a sauce as it last so much longer. This year I have failed miserably, so here is my recipe for you.  Happy Christmas!

1kilo Cranberries

100ml water

1 kilo granulated sugar

Grated and juice of 2 oranges

Juice of 2 lemons

45 ml / 3 tablespoons Port

Sterilise jars and lids.

In a heavy based saucepan heat the cranberries and water, until the cranberries are soft and popping.  (if the mix is too dry because the water is evaporating, add a little more water). 

Add the orange juice and grated rind.  Stir in the sugar until completely dissolved.  Bring to the boil and boil until setting point is reached.

Remove from the heat.

Add the port.  Last year I used an “Elderflower Port” and that worked really well.

Stir the mix.  It will bubble up when you add the alcohol.

Pot into sterilised jars while still hot, seal and Label.

I have been asked for ideas for a Vegetarian / vegan Christmas.  There are masses of side dishes in the book …..

For Trudy.

Here is a recipe which features in the Menu, A Vegetarian Feast, in our book “12 Menus of Christmas”

One of my absolute favourite things to cook for a dinner party is a Beef Wellington, but I always feel guilty about giving a poor substitution for friends who are vegetarians. Serving this vegetarian Wellington alongside always goes down well and usually guests have a piece of each!
If you would like your Wellington to be perfect for a vegan appetite, substitute the egg wash for a vegan milk, (coconut, soya, almond) and make sure that your pre made pastry is suitable.


Mushroom Wellington


Serves 6
Ingredients:
200g / 8oz selection of mushrooms, finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
200g / 8 oz cashew nuts
100g / 4oz white bread
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
2 tablespoon of good quality soy sauce
1 teaspoon marmite
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of sugar
1 savoy cabbage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g / 10oz pack puff pastry
Egg to glaze

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep saucepan and when warm add the chopped onion. Fry until soft and translucent and then add your medley of mushrooms and the garlic. Reduce the heat a little and cook out the mushrooms until soft (about 10 mins). Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Take about 5 leaves from the savoy cabbage and blanch for a couple of minutes to soften in the boiling water. Transfer to ice cold water to refresh and to keep the crisp green colour. Set aside.
Put the cashews and breadcrumbs into a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb
In a bowl, bring together the crumb mix the, mushroom mix, tarragon, marmite, soya sauce, pinch of sugar and lemon juice, season. Combine well.
Lay your pastry out on a floured surface. Remove the cabbage leaves from the water and pat dry, place them down the centre of the pastry. Carefully place the mushroom mix down the centre of the cabbage leaves. Wrap the leaves around the mushrooms neatly.
Preheat your oven to 200’c / 400’f /Gas mark 6
Now for the fancy stuff.
With a sharp knife cut the pastry at a 24 ‘angle move your knife down 1 cm down the pastry and cut again and continue until you have a fringe effect. Repeat on the other side of the pastry.
Now brush the edges of the fringe with a little water and begin the lattice. Fold in the ends of the pastry to encase the end of the wellington, then alternate the cut fringe strips over the top of the cabbage leaves. The wet edges should secure them into place. Decorate with any trimmings that you may have and then brush with your chosen glaze.
Very carefully transfer it to a baking tray with a piece of parchment on it.
Cook for 50 – 60 mins until golden brown, crisp, and flaky.

I hope that you use and enjoy some of these recipes, I’d love to see some photos if you do make any.

Have a wonderful and special day and I wish you all the very best for a healthy 2022!

Sending love

Jane x

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Sausage Recipe for Supper

Sausages for Supper?

Suddenly autumn has arrived, and my head has turned from salads to slow cooking.  I find myself craving, soups and casseroles and I sense that I am not alone.  Forget the chocolate, this is what I call “Comfort Food”.

Exciting News: My Lovely friend Lisa from Seattle, one half of the Foodies Across the Pond and I have been working on a new project!  17th November is the launch date of our first Cookery book;

“The Twelve Menus of Christmas”

And I can let you into the secret that there will be some fantastic soup and slow cooking recipes featured! I will keep you posted on the progress and how to get a copy closer to the time!

If you cannot wait until then, here is one of my favourite recipes, that doesn’t feature, but is easy to prepare and delicious.  Particularly good for Bonfire night gatherings, this is one of my favourite ways to serve sausages.  It includes one of our Lemon Myrtle Seasonings with oregano, if you are yet to introduce these to your kitchen, you could just leave it out of the recipe.  (It pains me to say this!)

6 good quality large sausages

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large tablespoon Myrtle’s Orange Marmalade

A pinch of Myrtle’s seasoning oregano

A knob of unsalted butter.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and cook over a medium heat for about 25 minutes (depending upon the size of the sausages).  They need to be brown on both sides and cooked through.

Remove the excess oil from the pan, return to the heat and stir in the marmalade, followed by the butter & seasoning.  Turn the sausages until they are well coated. 

Plate up and spoon on the remaining glaze.            

If you should wish to buy some of the seasonings or the marmalade, pop onto the website to purchase.  Also, check out some other recipe suggestions in our blog posts.  The seasonings make great stocking fillers for foodies.

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Herby Bread Recipe

Busy Times, Busy Kitchen!

If anybody sees me meeting myself coming backwards, it is because I am running around in circles at the moment.  I am a great advocate for “Doing Less – Well” but I am quite sure that I am not living up to this.  Events are now sneaking back on to the calendar, which is such a positive thing to see.  The success of our pastries and sharing boxes, introduced in lockdown has meant that we are now back catering a few events and of course we are still filling jars and creating our seasonings. 

Not even going to mention that Christmas & Boxing Day chutney is now in production.  (Whoops – just did it!)

A positive thing to happen over the last two years for me is my amazing friendship with Lisa who I have teamed up with on YouTube to create “Foodies Across the Pond”.  I love out weekly chats.  For those that don’t know about Lisa, she lives in Seattle and runs “A Menu for You” which provides recipes to the busy household or the plain uninspired.  We share a passion for all things food and share this in our videos.

Our most recent sees us create a couple of recipes for great picnic food.  My contribution was a simple herby bread.  Watch me make it on the video (link below), but here is the recipe for you.

Herby Bread

For 1 large loaf

If you follow my recipes, you will know that I tend to have a bit of a “Chuck it at me” approach.  Please adapt the recipe to suit your own tastes and what is in the cupboard/garden at the time of making. 

I have used pine nuts, as I happen to have some but they cost a bomb at the moment, so substitute with almonds, walnuts etc.

Ingredients.

8 tbspn Chopped mixed Herbs (I pick what ever is going wild in the garden).

1 Clove of garlic (If you love your garlic, add another)

50g (2oz) Parmesan Cheese – grated.

50g (2oz) Toasted Pine Nuts

150ml / ¼ Pint Olive Oil

Seasoning

I pack Bread Mix for 1 loaf

I egg beaten.

Method:

Follow the instructions on the packet of your loaf mix, and leave to one side to rise.

Make your herby pesto to go into the loaf.  Place the herbs, garlic, chosen nuts & parmesan into a food processor.  Start the motor running and slowly start to add the olive oil and combine until you have a vibrant green pesto.  Transfer it to a bowl and leave in the fridge until required.

When you bread has risen, transfer to a floured surface and press out the dough to a large flat rectangle.  Spread over 8 tablespoons of the pesto mix to just inside the edges of your bread.

I usually have some pesto left to add to a pasta dish for another supper.

Roll up the dough like a swiss roll.  Transfer to the tray that you intend to cook the bread on and once again, set aside in a warm place for about half an hour to rise.

Preheat your oven to Mk 6/200c

Brush your dough with some beaten egg, loosen the egg with a little milk if you prefer a “less golden loaf” .

I at this point sprinkle on a pinch of our Myrtle’s Rosemary seasoning.

Bake in the hot oven for 15 – 20 mins, depending on the size of your loaf or until well cooked.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Wrap in parchment for your picnic as the oil in your bread might stain your picnic cloth if packed next to it in your picnic basket.  Can you tell that I speak from experience?

Lisa creates a dessert for your picnic. Layering pound cake and the most amazing looking peaches in a kilner jar.  A definite for me to have a go at!

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Olympic Fever!

It’s out of the bag – I am an Olympic Games addict!

Every four (and the occasional 5 years) I sit and absorb sports that do not normally see time of day on our television sets and I love it.  My days in the kitchen are partnered with coverage on the radio. 

Eventing, BMX, Triathlon, Taewondo – let me at them.

My lovely friend Lisa, who lives in Seattle, USA and I got down to some serious Olympic chatting with our most recent video to land on YouTube.

https://studio.youtube.com/video/JZXZKJSftyE/edit

In our videos, we do try to offer up some tasty recipes for you as we have a mutual love of food.  Lisa shares her Poke recipe and I cook some Tempura Vegetables – quick and easy and great snacking food to have in front of the T.V. whilst watching those Gold Medals being won.

Here is the link for Lisa’s recipe on her “A Menu for You” website.

Jane’s Tempura Vegetables

Serves 4

I had intended to add prawns or squid to my selection but was unable to source in time for making our video, but highly recommend trying this.

Ingredients:

A selection of Vegetables.

I used mushrooms, broccoli red pepper & courgette – but these are only suggestions.

For the tempura batter:

Ingredients

  • 140g cornflour
  • 60g plain flour
  • Pinch of Baking Powder & salt
  • 160ml sparkling water, chilled
  • A selection of vegetables
  • Vegetable Oil
  • small handful crushed ice will help chill it even more and make for an even crisper batter, but don’t use so much that it dilutes your batter.

Method

  • Chop your chosen vegetables to sizes that are easy to eat and all roughly similar so that they cook at the same rate.  Put onto kitchen paper to remove excess liquid while you make the batter.
  • To make the batter, mix the flours with a pinch of sea salt and pinch of baking powder.  Whisk in the sparkling water and crushed ice if used. It is now ready to use.
  • Put some vegetable oil on to heat and bring to 180c. Use a deep pan, but do not over fill with oil.  You only need enough to cover the veg’.
  • Dip your vegetables into the batter and carefully add to the hot oil.  You will probably need to do this in 3 or batches.
  • Depending upon the size of the vegetables, they will take 3-4 mins to cook and become crispy.
  • Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

I wish I could say that I have a magic recipe for a dip to accompany these, but I am guilty of reaching into the cupboard and grabbing.  Lots of tasting goes on to check that I get the right blend.  Soya sauce usually features although here I have added some ponzu dip to some Japanese rice wine vinegar. 

Following our foodies video with the wonderful Pamela Chen, I now always add a pinch of sugar or honey to bring out the umami flavours.  That was a gem of a recommendation.  I have also added a few slithers of chilli and radish. 

I would love to know if you try this recipe, or if you have a favourite dipping sauce!  Also, if you have ideas for future Foodies Videos, we would love to hear them.

Continue to enjoy and celebrate this Olympic Games!

Jane xx

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Here comes the Summer!

Summer is definitely with us and I confess that I am not a huge fan.  I can hear the groans already.  Trying to cook in this heat is not too much fun.  Particularly if it happens to be a day of baking with pastry!  But I persevere, being the complete martyr and of course, reminding everybody regularly of my suffering.  Good job I love it so much. 

Of course not everybody wants to turn on their oven in this heat so here is one of my favourite salad recipes.  Apologies, it does involve using a hob, but the pain is only brief!

Lemon Summer Salad

This salad is light, crispy and perfect addition to a picnic or BBQ.  If anything is left over, a fantastic lunch box filler!

Ingredients:

150g fine green beans

150g sugar snap peas

50g frozen petit pois

1 x crispy red skinned apple

100g feta cheese

5 x spring onions.

Dressing:

1 x lemon

Olive oil

Black pepper

A large pinch of Lemon Myrtle, Droitwich salt and dill seasoning

Bring a pan of water to the boil.

Top and tail the fine beans and half. 

Add the beans and sugar snap peas to the water and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the frozen peas.  Bring the water to the boil and remove from the heat.  Drain and run under really cold water.  This will help to retain the lovely bright green colour.

Meanwhile, juice the lemon and add an equal amount of good quality olive oil, a good grinding of black pepper and your large pinch of Myrtle’s seasoning.  Core and thinly slice the apple and add to the lemon mix and stir, making sure that the apple is coated to stop it discolouring.

Chop or crumble the feta.

Thinly slice the spring onions.

Put all of your ingredients together and toss so that they everything is coated in the lovely lemon dressing.

Thyme & Lemon Myrtle
https://www.myrtleskitchen.co.uk/product/droitwich-brine-salt-lemon-myrtle-thyme

Extra notes from Jane

This salad makes a great foundation salad, and you can make lots of changes….

Adding feta or a soft curd cheese like ricotta is a lovely addition. 

Or adding some torn chicken, works well in this salad.

I love adding broad beans to the mix, when fresh and in season.

If you prefer things with a little more heat, try adding a little chopped fresh red chilli to the mix. 

If you are looking for fresh salad ideas, hop back through our blog posts for more ideas and a particular favourite of mine is the Mocktail v Cocktail blog.

You will also find a video about this in the “Foodies Across the Pond”  YouTube channel that I do with my lovely friend Lisa, where we chat all things food.  It would be amazing if you would head over there and subscribe to our videos as we do it for the love and it would be great to know that someone is watching!

Enjoy the summer

Jane

x

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Cook Books for Foodies

This week on YouTube channel, “Foodies Across The Pond” Lisa and I go down the rabbit hole that is our collection of cookbooks.  It is no surprise that we are both cookbooks obsessed!  We each chat through 5 of our favourite – “couldn’t do without” books.  Hop onto the video for more details but I want to share one of my favourite recipes.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=foodies+across+the+pond

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Cookbooks-image.jpeg

Including 5 of my top tips for your cookery book shelf!

The Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook, Mums Know Best.

https://www.hairybikers.com/

Sticky Date Cake:

It is no secret that Si & Dave are my guilty pleasure.  I love watching them on TV and this series was just fabulous and their lockdown verbal rambles, live on Instagram saved my sanity!  Their recipes are always sound and work, and this recipe is one of my favourites and was passed to them by a total stranger in a supermarket!  That is my sort of supermarket. The mark of a well used recipe book? The splatters on the page and this page has a lot! Spot them on the photo above.

(Serves at least 12) 

Ingredients:

110g raisins

225g dates

175g sultanas

110g currants

275g butter plus extra for greasing tin

1 x 400g tin condensed milk

150g wholemeal flour

Pinch of salt

Scant tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 heaped tablespoon of chunky marmalade (obviously Myrtles if you have it)

Blanched almonds and glace cherries for the top (optional)

Grease ta 20cm square cake tin with a little butter and line with parchment.

Put the raisins, dates, sultanas and currant in a saucepan with the butter, then pour in the condensed milk and 275ml of water  Bring to the boil, stirring regularly so the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan, and continue to simmer for three minutes.  Pour the mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170c /Gas 3.  In another bowl, mix the wholemeal and the plain flour with the salt and bicarb.  Once the fruit mixture is cool, fold it into the flour and stir  in the marmalade.  Spoon the mixture into the greased and lined cake tin and decorate with some whole blanched almonds and glace cherries if you want.  Put a double layer of baking parchment over the top of the cake to prevent it from burning and bake in the oven for 1 ¾ hours.

At the end of the cooking time, take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.  Make yourself a nice cup of tea and cut yourself a big slice.

Wrap in foil and store in a tin.

One of Lisa’s choices was a book by Diana Henry and she is a firm favourite of mine as well.

I have a particular favourite recipe of hers, which is so versatile and tasty and thought I would share it with you, just in case you are sharing my current craving for vegetables!

From one of my favourite recipe books;  “FROM THE OVEN TO THE TABLE”  BY DIANA HENRY

http://dianahenry.co.uk/books/

ROAST INDIAN-SPICED VEGETABLES WITH LIME-CORIANDER BUTTER.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

300g Small waxy potatoes, cleaned and quartered

3 medium ready- cooked beetroots halved

6 x long slim carrots (I love the multi coloured heritage) halved

1 x medium sized cauliflower broken into florets with the leaves

3 x parsnips halved lengthwise

3 garlic cloves grated

5 x tablespoons Groundnut oil

Sea salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper.

2 x teaspoons cumin seeds

2 x coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Natural Yogurt and Myrtle’s Mango Chutney to serve

https://www.myrtleskitchen.co.uk/product/our-original-mango-chutney/

For the butter:

75g unsalted butter at room temperature

1 x red chilli.  Halved, deseeded and finely chopped.   (more if you like it hotter)

2 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 x lime.

Preheat the oven to 210 c (425 f) Gas mark 7.    Take a huge roasting tray or two smaller ones .  Put into the oven to heat up.

Put all of the prepared vegetables into a large bowl and add the garlic, oil and seasoning.

Toast the cumin & coriander seeds in a dry frying pan for about a minute until toasting and you can smell the spices.

Pop the toasted spices into a mortar with the turmeric and grind them together.

Add the spices to the bowl of vegetables and turn everything over in the oil.

Take the hot tins and add the vegetables.  Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, tossing the vegetables half way through the cooking time.

In the meantime, mash the butter together with the chilli, coriander, lime zest and juice.

When the vegetables are ready, transfer them to a warmed large, shallow serving dish.  Add nobs of the butter all over the top and allow it to melt.

Serve with the natural yogurt (I top mine with fresh coriander) and Myrtle’s Mango Chutney.

I served mine with some roasted chicken which I also added the chilli butter to.

Mango Chutney

I always have loads left over – this is a really cost effective recipe, which I just love!

For the leftovers:

Make up some couscous, add lime and lemon juice,  a bunch of chopped herbs and seasoning to give it flavour.   Chop some of your left over vegetables into small cubes and add to the couscous.  VERY YUM and great for a quick lunch.

Or

Grab one of your standby curry sauces from the freezer.  I recommend trying:

https://www.spicedbyrayeesa.com/

Warm up the curry sauce and add the chopped left over veg.    Heat through and serve.  Simple suppers, I can’t get enough of them..  Again, great served with natural yogurt and mango chutney.  I would serve with rice or naan – or both!

Bon appetite!

Jane x