Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Salad Bowl Recipe

A Salad bowl with avocado

One of the things I like about a salad bowl is that you can keep adding to it and it's also a great way to have a fridge clear.

If you enjoy looking at Instagram the hashtag #powerbowl and #saladbowl are inspirational and Pinterest is another great source where you're sure to get salad bowl envy. My only comment though is that the bowls are nearly overflowing and there appears to be enough food in them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

There's no recipe as such - my salad consists of a base layer of mixed leaves, an oven cooked breast of chicken lightly coated in piri piri spices. Bulgar wheat with diced peppers and raisins, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, julienned carrot and courgettes. Lightly toasted pine nuts and a handful of sunflower seeds.

Mix a dressing of your choice to pour over the salad and lastly add a few slices of sliced avocado.

quick and easy salad bowl

We've just returned from a week away in Caernarfon, North Wales - this holiday we decided to rent a cottage overlooking mountains and coast. Salads were a great way to feed ourselves without spending too much time in the kitchen.

I'm missing this fabulous view from the holiday cottage already and I've only been home for a few days!

View in North Wales

Back soon!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Christmas in July! Waitrose Press Show 2016 Revealed


Waitrose Christmas in July Press Show 2016
Spoilt for choice - which sweet treat would you choose?

The London reporter gets into the Christmas spirit and finds a culinary gift waiting for you this Christmas...

For any foodie, the Waitrose Christmas press show is a culinary highlight of the year. This is the key opportunity for them to show off how innovative, passionate and inspiring they are. You never leave without wanting to stock up for Christmas even though most of the goods won’t be available until September.

So let me give you a whistle stop tour of what we saw to whet your appetite.....

Chocolate chunk sour dough - possibly one of the more indulgent breads I’ve ever tasted, it’s moreish with all those chocolate chips packed in and probably best paired with a little butter for an even naughtier snack.

Cocktail olives - I tried some really zingy olives which had been marinated in lemon zest and limoncello. Sounds boozy and a bit wacky, but actually refreshing and full of flavour.

Mini goat’s cheese with cherry and port compote (as pictured in the collage) - A super indulgent cheese and compote pairing if ever there was one to be feasted on. Prepare to dazzle your guests!

Just some of the scrumptious food at Waitrose Christmas Press Show 2016
Waitrose finest foods waiting for you this coming Christmas

Three little pigs (as pictured in the collage next to the turkey) - These mini sausages are wrapped in bacon and are a playful take on the classic pigs in blankets. Do you think they got this right? Or could it have been one little piggy in lots of blankets? ;)

Eggnog custard tart - a first for me, this contains brandy, spices and nutmeg. Once you’ve eaten your mains, this will be just what you need for a token sweet kick with no effort required.

Deconstructed Pineapple and Macadamia Florentine - this rather grand sounding pot of nibbles is quite simply just that. It’s sweet and savoury and full of different textures and colours. For just five quid, this is the perfect gift!

We hope you’ve gained from this little sneak preview to help you plan ahead.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Waitrose. All thoughts are our own.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Thermomix Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

I've now learnt how to make cake successfully in a Thermie in 25 seconds and all you need to do is add everything to the jug and whiz, it's like magic, and no more curdled cake batter. My food processor makes cake in less than a minute, the stand mixer takes 2 minutes and I find they all give the same result. To be fair none of us need all this kitchen gadgetry to produce a cake and occasionally I use a wooden spoon and bowl which gives me some satisfaction to feel more 'hands on' when I bake.

I'm not sure that I should be making and eating cake after over indulging on holiday but I find lemon drizzle irresistible and after all there was a lemon in the fridge crying out to be used. I also add a dash of lemon extract and the zest to the cake batter for a wonderful hit of lemon.

Note: These ingredients and method are written specifically for the Thermomix TM5. To make in a food processor add all the cake ingredients to the processor bowl and whiz until just combined. For the stand mixer place everything in the bowl and mix for 2 minutes until smooth.

180g granulated sugar (caster sugar if using a food processor or stand mixer)
180g self raising flour
180g softened unsalted butter
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
zest of 1 lemon

For the icing:
50g icing sugar
3 tsp lemon juice

You will need: 900g loaf tin lined

1. Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC.
2. Add the sugar to the TM bowl and grind 20 Seconds/Speed 8.
3. Add the flour, salt, softened butter, eggs, lemon juice, lemon extract and zest to the bowl. TM 20 Seconds/Speed 5.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  TM 5 Seconds/Speed 5.
5. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes - test with a cake tester to ensure the cake is cooked through.

Just baked lemon drizzle loaf

6. For the icing: Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together leave to stand whilst you poke holes in the top of the hot cake.  Drizzle the icing over the cake hot cake which gives a crunchy topping. Leave the cake in the tin to cool on a cooling rack.

Icing poured over hot cake

7. Once cold can be frozen in slices.

You may also like:
Thermomix Banana Cake
Pecan Sponge Squares
Plum and Pear Slice