Forty years of cooking

Apple, shortcake. tart, pie

Dying for Dessert

Good afternoon foodies. The weekend is here. As you might have a little more time on your hands, I thought you may like a recipe which is equally good served hot for a Sunday Lunch dessert, or cold as a tea time treat.

APPLE & CLOTTED CREAM SHORTCAKE.  Serves 4. Vegetarian. Time taken 20 mins +  30 mins cooking.  Oven temp 200c ,Gas 6 , 400F    18 cm shallow cake tin.

INGREDIENTS: SHORTCAKE

130g Plain Flour

2 tspns Baking Powder

1tbspn Caster Sugar

50g Butter

5 Tbpns Milk

Pinch of Salt

INGREDIENTS: TOPPING

3, Eating Apples. Cored, peeled & cut into thin wedges.

150ml Double or Clotted Cream

75g Soft Brown Sugar

2 Large Egg Yolks.  Use the whites for meringues, or add to scrambled eggs or an omelette

1/4tspn Freshly grated Nutmeg

METHOD.

Put all the ingredients, except the milk) in a food processor & pulse until the mix becomes fine breadcrumbs. Add the milk, pulse to mix to a smooth dough. Remove from processor & spread over the bottom & up the sides of the tin.

Beat together the topping ingredients.

Arrange the apple over the top of the shortcake & pour over the cream mixture.

Place in the centre of a preheated oven, bake for 30-40mins, lowering the temperature to 180c, Gas 4, 350F after 15mins.  Until golden brown.

You can alter the fruit in this recipe according to whats in season. In the summer, raspberries are absolutely delicious especially served with ice cream & raspberry liqueur.

If you have made this recipe, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Sunday Foodies

recipe, cookery, pork chops, cider

Boozy Pork Chops

dryjanuary, cider, apples, recipe, cooking
Cheers

A quick, tasty supper for mid week You could also use pork medallions if you wanted to make it more impressive for a dinner party dish.

For those of you who don’t want to incorporate alcohol, replace the cider with Apple Juice.  The recipe is Gluten Free. Omit the cheese if you are dairy free.

Serves 2   Time taken 20 mins, plus 20 min cooking time.

INGREDIENTS:

2. Pork Chops.

2. Large Apples, peeled & cored.

150 ml Dry Cider.

1. Large Red Onion, peeled & sliced

1, Organic, Low Salt, Vegetable Stock Cube or own stock if you have it.

75 g Danish Blue Cheese or Stilton

Fresh Sage, Rosemary & Thyme Leaves, Chopped.

Seasoning, to taste.

METHOD

Pre-heat a frying pan or Wok on a high heat, Add the chops & quickly brown on both sides.

Remove to a plate, turn the heat down to medium and fry the onions & apples for 5 mins,

Pour in the cider, add the herbs & stock cube. Stir and bring to the boil. Place the chops on top of the mixture. Cover & simmer for 10 mins.

Remove the cover, stir and simmer for a further 10 mins, to reduce the liquid.

Mean while pre-heat the grill, on high.

Place the Blue Cheese on the chops, & place under the grill until the cheese is golden brown & bubbling.

Serve with mashed potatoes & steamed broccoli for a good old winter warmer.

Feel free to add your comments below:

 

 

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spicy veg,curry,aubergine,recipe,gluten free,chickpeas

Recipe for the Spice of life

Happy New Year Foodies. Hope you all a fantastic Christmas and are facing the New Year with a fistful of positive thoughts and a desire to eat healthier & save money.

Hopefully, the recipe I am going to give you below will not only help you to get creative with some vegetables, but it may also help you save money.

To the basic recipe, which is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan, you can add whatever leftovers you may have.  You could add cooked chicken, beef, lamb, pork if you are meat lovers. For the Pesco-vegetarians among us you could add, fish, canned or fresh, or sea food.  Change the veg if you like and stir in a couple of table spoons of crunchy peanut butter to give a Satay like flavour. Variations are endless. TRY IT.

BASIC RECIPE. Serves 4.  GF/DF/V/Vegan.   Time taken 20mins + Cooking. Varies on Veg used & size of chunks.  ALLERGENS IN BOLD.

The video clip above gives yo a view of the different cooking stages.

2. Tbspns Olive Oil

2. Large Garlic Cloves, peeled  chopped

1 Large Red Onion, Peeled & finely sliced

2 Fresh Chillies, Finely Sliced. ( Seeds removed if you like less heat)

2cm Fresh Ginger, Peeled & finely chopped

2 Tbspns Tandoori Spice Mix

1 Tbspn Ground Coriander

2. Large Parsnips, Peeled & Cut into chunks

2. Med Pots, Peeled & Cut into chunks

1 Large Aubergine, Halved & Salted for 20 mins ( Removes the bitter juices)

400 ml Can Chickpeas, drained & rinsed

4, Leftover chopped soft Fresh Tomatoes or a Tin of Tomatoes

Seasoning

Chopped Coriander.

Aubergines,vegetarian,vegan,vegetables,low calorie
Salting Aubergines

METHOD.

Heat the oil in a large pan on the hob over a medium heat.  Add the chilli, ginger & onion & fry for 5 mins. Add the potatoes & parsnips & sir fry for a further 5 mins.

Stir in the ground coriander & the Tandoori Spice & Stir Fry for a further 5mins. Add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, partially cover & simmer until the veg are soft.

5 mins before the end of cooking, stir in the chopped garlic & the rinsed, salted aubergine, which has been cut into chunks & the Chickpeas.

Season to taste. Sprinkle on the chopped Coriander.

Serve with warm naan bread,  thick Greek yoghurt, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds & lime pickle. Alternatively served with boiled rice or pearled spelt.

This dish is even better, reheated the next day & is equally delicious served cold as a lunch box salad.

If you would like a cookery lesson on a 1 to 1 basis, or a group demonstration, find out more on our Cookery Tuition Website  >>  Cookery Lessons

Happy Eating.

 

 

 

 

 

Soup,salads,stuffing.vegetables,detox,leftovers,

Post Christmas Fatigue

Good morning Foodies, I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas & are not suffering too much from the excesses of the festive season.  Your waist band may be feeling a little bit tighter today & its a certainty that the only thing  lighter is your purse. But what about your fridge?  Is that suffering from the same post Christmas fatigue? Is it also feeling stuffed & groaning with the weight of all those leftovers. Are you just going to sit on the sofa & flick through that nice glossy cook book or, are you going to get creative & turn those leftovers into some tasty, healthy meals which will not only loosen your clothing, but will also provide you with the satisfaction that you have saved yourself some hard earned cash by getting creative with those leftovers.     .

 

 

Below you will find my basic recipe, which you can turn into three different dishes.

Depending on what stock you use & the other ingredients you choose to add, this basic recipe is gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian & vegan. Is part of your 7 a day and contains fibre, protein, vitamins & minerals.

INGREDIENTS

Olive or Rapeseed Oil

6, large Carrots, chopped or sliced.

2, Large Onions, chopped.

2, Beetroot, chopped.

6, Sticks of celery.

3, Large Parsnips.

250g Green Lentils thoroughly washed & drained.

Seasoning  herbs of choice.

4. Ltrs of stock from the simmered leftover carcass of a chicken, duck, goose, turkey etc.

For my recipe I used the water from boiled gammon joint.

For vegetarian & vegan, omit the meat stock & use the water reserved from boiling vegetables (not potatoes) or water.

METHOD.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan & gently fry the vegetables or 10 mins over a medium heat.

Pour over the stock, veg water or water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat & simmer for 45 mins.  Add the drained lentils, & herbs, bring to the boil again, reduce the heat & simmer for a further 40.mins. Season to taste.

 

At this point, when cooked, you can allow the lentils to cool & divide into 3 containers & when cold, cover & store in the fridge or freezer until needed or you can make the following:

  1. Hearty Rustic Soup.

Using 1 portion of the Lentils, turn into a saucepan & add either fresh, soft tomatoes, chopped or a tin of tomatoes, 1 clove of chopped garlic & any left over meat or veg you have. Bring to the boil & simmer for 5 Mins.

Serve in bowls with crusty bread & Parmesan Cheese sprinkled over.

2. Lentil Salad.

Turn the 2nd portion of lentils into a serving bowl.  Pour over 4 Tbspns Garlic Salad Dressing & allow to stand while stir frying some finely sliced Cavolo Nero. Stir into the Lentils along with 1 peeled, stoned & sliced avocado, chopped yellow pepper & halved plum tomatoes. Serve either as it is or strewn with smoked salmon, cooked prawns or hard boiled egg & chopped Chives.

3. Stuffing for vegetables or Wraps.

 

Turn the 3rd Portion of Lentils into a bowl , add stoned halved olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Chopped capers & anchovy fillets along with a crushed clove of garlic. Mix together with some chopped basil & used to stuff Tomatoes, Peppers, Aubergines etc  Bake in a medium oven for 30 mins. Or use the mixture cold as a filling for wraps.

Well foodies. Hope I have given you some ideas on what to do with those leftovers, use what ever you have to vary the flavours & don’t forget #loveyourleftovers.

This recipe was demonstrated in the BBC Radio Wiltshire kitchen on the Shaun Hodgett Show on Thursday 28th December 2017, where I was in conversation about #loveyourleftovers with Holly Rattley.

Should you have any questions or comments on the above, please use the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

chicken,turkey,duck,goose,vegetables

Get Stuffing.

The season to be jolly is rapidly approaching, so I thought in the run up to Christmas & throughout January I will share with you some of my recipes, hopefully to inspire you and also to help you #loveyourleftovers.

This week, its STUFFING. Three recipes to help you add a different way to “Stuff that bird”.

Always keep in mind that stuffing can be used in numerous ways.   Try stuffing different vegetables & baking them.  A good hearty stew, either with meat, poultry or vegetables can be turned into a flavoursome dish with the addition of some homemade stuffing balls, dropped into the pan 30 mins before the end of the cooking time. A healthier option to dumplings.

APRICOT & PISTACHIO STUFFING  *

50g Butter or Olive oil

1 Large Onion, peeled & finely chopped

2, Stalks Celery, Finely chopped

150g Dried Apricots, chopped

200g Breadcrumbs,

Grated rind & juice of 1 Orange

150g Pistachio Nuts, Shelled & chopped

Chopped, Fresh Parsley & Thyme

Chicken Stock or White wine.

Seasoning.

METHOD:

Heat the oil & better in a pan & fry onion & celery until golden.

Put the remaining ingredients in the pan & mix well until all ingredients are combined.

If you fell the mixture is to dry, add a little stock or white wine.

 

SWEET POTATO & LIVER STUFFING   *

1kg Sweet Potato, freshly cooked

50g Butter Softened

1 Large Onion, peeled & finely grated

Liver from the Turkey, chopped

2 Eggs, beaten

2 Tbspns Chopped fresh, Parsley

1 Tbspn Chopped fresh Sage

Sprinkle of Chilli Flakes, or more according to taste,

Seasoning

METHOD:

Mash the potatoes finely, add all remaining ingredients & mix well. Leave until cold before using.

 

SAVOURY RICE STUFFING.  *

1 Large Onion, peeled & chopped

1 Large Yellow Pepper, deseeded & finely chopped

100g Smoked bacon lardons

1 Tbspn Olive oil

2 Large Tomatoes, skinned & chopped

Finely chopped Basil & Oregano

200g boiled brown basmatti  Rice (cooked weight)

Seasoning to taste.

METHOD:

Heat the oil in a pan & slowly fry the onion, bacon & pepper until the onion is golden.

Remove from heat & stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

Leave until cold before using.

*   Food Hygiene. Always remember when making stuffing in advance, to cover & store in the fridge until needed, especially those containing raw meat or rice.

 

 

Here’s Health to your Christmas

Here at TRUFFLEicious, as the nights draw in & the season changes, we have been devoting our time to recipe creation. As the festive season draws nigh my thoughts turned to that great overload of rich, sugary foods, which become, in these modern times the spirit of Christmas.

“Hark the herald angels sing”. Our new recipe creations have been born.

THE ultimate #Christmas #Cakes. Rich, moist, dark, fruity & nutty and above all. #Gluten & Dairy free.

My first cake ( pictured above) is Beetroot, Apple & Hazelnut.

The sugar content has been lowered, as both the apple & dried berries add an element of sweetness to this rich moist cake.  Not being a fan of sugary icings, marzipan or butter icing, I have decorated the cake with a mixture of curd cheese & natural yoghurt,which adds a creamy, refreshing contrast to the richness of the cake.  Off course, if you are totally dairy free, the topping would be a NO NO.

My second cake. Carrot, Courgette, Date & Poppy Seed

Is again, gluten & dairy free. The picture on the right is decorated with the same topping as above and therefore not suitable for those totally dairy free it is sprinkled with grated lime rind & a few cranberries would also look effective. The cake on left is just dredged with icing sugar, for a seasonal effect & both would look good as a centre piece with a red pillar candle stood in the middle.

Cake No 3. Sweet Potato, Pecan, Maple Syrup & Caramel

Cake, Sweet Potato, Pecan & Caramel

Once again a rich, moist nutty cake, but with a slightly higher sugar content with the addition of maple syrup & homemade caramel and again the topping contains yoghurt & curd cheese.  This cake also contains an amount of gluten as it is made with Spelt, which give it a nice nutty taste & a rich dark colour.

All the above cakes, could also be served as desserts.  They keep well stored in an air tight tin, but if topped with the yoghurt & curd cheese, need to be stored in the fridge. Not suitable for people with NUT allergies.

In my next blog I will be dealing with gluten/Dairy free Chocolate Cakes & Mousses.

You can also hear me on BBC Radio #Wiltshire. Sue Davis Show on Sunday Mornings at 10.15 for the next 6 weeks talking about recipes from this blog.

Until next time #Foodies.

Icing, Fondant Icing, Royal Icing, Ready Roll Icing, Chemicals in Icing, Homemade Icing

How do you like your Icing?

Christmas Mindfulness.

It’s that time of the year again. You’re rushing around like a headless turkey, trying to get everything done, buying presents for his parents, trying to calm down the over excited kids and all of a sudden, your remember. “Ahhhh I haven’t iced the cake”. Presuming you made one in the first place! Well, of course you did. You like to feed your family, wholesome, natural foods, not products loaded with chemicals, preservatives & goodness knows what else.

You are a domestic goddess, you know what’s good nutrition wise, for your brood, you substitute butter for low fat spreads, to keep their hearts healthy, buy low sugar products to help their teeth & weight & try to get them to eat their 8 a day – no chance – . But. During all this healthy eating campaign, are you aware of what is actually in those substitutes? & their  food mile foot prints?  Do you read the ingredients list, in small print, on the back of products?

We need to be a couple of generations older, to know what some of these additivies will do to us – think smoking – Are you mindful of the ecco damage we are doing to our planet? – think Orangutan –  What is wrong with cooking & making fresh healthy food from scratch. Yes, I can hear you all crying “TIME”.  Well it is time. Time to get yourself organised, spend less time on FB & that glass of Chardonay every night & prioritise your week, as you CAN do it, you owe it to yourself & your family. 

Time, verses ready made products. The food industry is well aware of this, by persuding us to buy these tempting, ready made, calorie & chemical laden products.

This brings me back to the title of this blog How do you like your Icing? Please read in conjunction with my previous blog Marzipan

ready to roll icing,royal icing,icing additives,icing sugar,homemadeicing
Always read the label
Icing, Icing sugar, ready made icing, royal icing, home made icing,
Thanks white stuff

Ready to roll, (cake covering or fondant) is the most common, store bought icing. While it takes a little while to make, but you can soon whip it up in that lovely food mixer that stands, unused on your work surface. One thing you can be sure of, you know exactly what it contains. Just take a look at the ingredients list in the store bought products above.

Royal icing (piping, decoration). Is much easier to make, again in the mixer. Both icings are also much cheaper to make than their store bought counterparts. 

What I really don’t understand, is that so many of us seem to be aware of & indeed want gluten free, dairy free, Lowfodmap, lactose free, vegan, vegetarian etc, but we don’t seem to care about the additives, artificial chemicals & goodness knows what that is added to our foods. 

Its also not just about the Supemarkets. Don’t forget those ready made cakes you purchase, whether from a Farm Shop, Bakery or a social media advertiser of home made cakes!  Do you check their ingredients?  Can you be sure that they home make their own cakes & icings & don’t resort to packet cake mixes, store bought icings & decorations? Always beware of the words “hand made”. 

Follow me on twitter & Instagram for ideas & ingredient lists

In the long term, all these additives could be doing us untold harm. Who knows, only time will tell. So. Make the time, to home make your food from scratch, or you my find YOUR time is shortenened, in the long run.

Next year, my blog will include a weekly update of seasonal foods, with recipes & ideas on how to priorotise your time & feed your family with healthy home made foods.

So. Whats in your icing this Christmas?

Bahji. oven baked, spicy food, vegetarian, glutenfree,

Spiced Potato & Carrot Bahji

Spiced Potato & Carrot Bahji’s

I love a nice spicy, crispy Bahji, served with a nice fresh crunchy salad & a big bowl of chilli & cucumber ratia, for dipping. The only thing I don’t like is the fat content. Traditionally, Bahji’s are deep fried, which gives them that gorgeous, crunchy texture, it also gives them a high fat content. Well foodies after playing around a bit with my ingredients & cooking methods, I have come up with these little low fat, gluten free, dairy free vegan & vegetarian Bahji balls.

Carrots, Potatoes, Bahji's, Oven baked, low fat
Hot from the oven

INGREDIENTS: SERVES 4. GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, Oven temp 200c 400f Gas MK 6.

500g Potatoes, grated. Put in a tea towel & squeeze to remove excess water.

2 medium red onions, grated ( I find red onions more digestible for lowfodmap diets)

200g Carrots, grated

5cm, Fresh Ginger, peeled & grated

2. Fresh red chillies, finely chopped

1tspn Turmeric powder

3 tspns Cumin Seeds

1 tspn Salt

5 Tbspns Gram Flour

Juice of 1 Fresh Lime

2 tbspns Rapeseed Oil

Fresh chillis & Corriander to serve.

es, bahji's, vegetables, low fat, oven baked
Assembling the spicy Veg mix

METHOD:

Place the drained potatoes, carrots, onions, chillis, ginger, spices and salt in a large bowl, & mix together well. (get you hands in).

Add the gram flour & mix well again.

Add the lime juice & oil & mix well again, adding a little more oil if necessary to produce a sticky mix.

Line a baking tray with non stick parchment, roll the mix into small ball, & place a little apart on the tray.

Bake for 25-30mins, checking half way through & turning if necessary.

Remove from the oven & sprinkle with fresh corriander & finely chopped chilli’s

Serve with a grated carrot, spring onion & red pepper salad, a bowl of corriander & chilli yoghurt & mango chutney.

Enjoy.

Another little tip, for low fat nibbles. 15mins before the Bahji’s are ready, Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking parchement. Sprinkle with a little salt & some spice of your liking & bake.  Beats peanuts anytime.

pumkin seeds, low fat, nibbles with drinks, vegetarian, gluten free
Spicy, low fat nibbles

Poppies, remembrance, lost lives, remembrance Sunday, WW1,

Remembrance

Remembrance, what does it mean to you?

While the world paused for thought at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month remembering the courageous young men & women who lost their lives in WW1,  Remembrance, then turned to my own family. Only last Wednesday, I pushed the pooch into the back of my car & set off to West Sussex to see my brother.  Over the years, I cannot say that we have been close. Living miles apart from each other didn’t help – that’s what I told myself – but in reality we both perceived things in different ways & were both – mainly me – too stubborn to talk about our feelings & emotions.

sea, emotions, family, remembrance, short breaks
Stormy seas often reflect our emotions

Having suffered mental health issues since a teenage & being diagnosed with Bipolar in later life, I now know I wasn’t the easiest person to get on with. With reality comes the dawning that something has to be done about it. But what?  I spent many years in therapy, being told to “hold on to that positive thought, acknowledge it & let it go”. Didn’t seem to work for me. To be honest, I didn’t even know what they were taking about. I can only describe it as clambering up a crumbling cliff side. As soon as you think you are reaching the top, bits of stone & chalk start sliding under your feet & you slip back again & on and on the process goes. Of course, all this was hidden from the people around me. I just kept it to myself. When work colleagues found out I’d had a nervous break down, they all said “No. I don’t believe it, you are always so, jolly & happy, nothing worries you”. But, you see, that’s what its all about. Shame & people knowing. With that shame & silence, monsters grow in our minds, which are difficult to cope with. If we remain silent & ashamed these monsters can take over.  So seeking help & talking, is a must.

I digress. Having finally reached Sussex, through the pouring wind & rain & let my pooch, leap the break waters on the beach like a racehorse,  my brother & I took  afternoon tea in a small local hotel.  Delightful. I thought.

afternoon tea, food, family, dog walking, cake
Balliffs Court Hotel. West Sussex

Now. I must say at this point, the company was amazing. We spent a good couple of hours in conversation & I haven’t laughed so much in years, but, the food was appalling. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with cheap sliced bread with hardly any filling, but when it is priced at £31 per person, I think they could have done a bit better. Being a cook myself  truffleicious.org  I pride myself on fresh home made food, which is value for money.  This afternoon tea, certainly wasn’t.  The scones were hard & the cakes of dubious quality. Hey ho. that’s only my opinion. Did notice another two tea takers ask for a doggy bag.

Cake, afternoon tea, hotel, by the sea, dogs
Afternoon Tea.

tea, cakes, sandwiches, afternoon tea, family
No. Go on, you have it.

Tea concluded we set off into the dark, wet & windy gloom of a late afternoon in November.

I had booked myself & the pooch into  St Marys Gate Inn in beautiful Arundel, opposite the Castle & next door to the Gothic Cathedral. I had been a frequenter of this quaint little watering hole about 45 years ago & my how things have changed.  The establishment has been transformed from a gloomy pub, into a very smart Inn with comfortable accommodation, restaurant & cosy bar, complete with open log fires. Another great plus for me, when booking was that it is dog friendly. On arrival being greeted by the pubs five resident fur balls, was a delight. The staff & jolly landlady were also friendly & house trained.

After settling into my room & giving the pooch a quick trot around Arundel Park. It was time to retire to the bar.  My brother had returned, with his two lovely sons – my nephews – who I had not seen for more years than I care to remember. Bit embarrassing for them to be reminded of when they were about 6 years old. Photos being called for, Gypsy who had settled down in the brick hearth of a large fire place – unlit, not trying to toast her -, decided it was time for her to get in on the act. Now, we were sitting on a rather comfortable leather sofa, in front of a low table. Picking her moment, when one of the nephews had his camera, trained on us. Gypsy leapt, from a lying down position, straight on top of us. 28 kilos of furry Labrador proceeded to settle herself comfortably on our laps & pose for the said photograph. Needless to say a great time was had by all, with a couple of us feeling a bit worse for wear, in the morning.  It was really great to talk and I shan’t leave it so long next time.

dogs, labrador, photographs, family, furry friends
Just let me in this photo.

Next morning, after a freshly cooked breakfast, which Gypsy was determined to share, I set of for home, reflecting on the most enjoyable time we had, together & that it really is good to talk & drive out those monsters.

dogs, bed & breakfast, accommodation, hotels, Arundel
Pleaseeee let me have some of your breakfast.

Now there are three morals to this ramble. Those being:

Not everything that is expensive is good.

Make time & TALK to your family & friends.

and finally – to me the most important:

REMEMBER:

If you suffer from mental health problems, DON’T try to hide it & suffer in silence. It is good to talk & write things down. I found that writing this blog was very cathartic. Long healthy walks with my dog are also a great benefit & most of all meeting my brother & feeling good about myself.

If you wish to leave a comment, it will be gratefully accepted.

 

Gourds, Pumpkins, Halloween recipes, Bonfire night, food

Halloween Butternut Squash

Autumn is finally upon us. Apart from the cold mornings the weather continues to be glorious. Walking my furry friend across the fields, the early morning mist creates an eerie atmosphere & evokes memories of smoky bonfires, leaves rustling underfoot and of course Halloween.

Here at TRUFFLEicious, we are preparing for the closure of Great Chalfield Manor for this year & concentrating on our winter activities.  Writing my recipe book  TRUFFLEicious, Nutritious, Nutrition is one of my projects for the winter months & continuing to retail my homemade Gluten free Cakes, Spelt & Rye Breads & of course, Chocolate Truffles (Full details on my website www.truffleicious.org) is another.

Right enough waffling back to Halloween with its Pumpkins & Gourds.  This month’s recipe is vegetarian, for the carnivores amongst you, some spicy sausages or chicken, would make a great addition. You can also make double the amount & serve one half hot & save the rest to have as a salad for the next day.

Oriental Butternut Squash, Black Kale & Spelt with Sesame & Pomegranate Dressing

Serves 6.  Low Fodmap. DF, V, Vegan.  Oven heat 180c, 350f, Gas 4

INGREDIENTS:

2 Medium Butternut Squash, Halved, seeds removed & chopped into large cubes.

1 Large Bag of fresh Black Kale. Shredded.

2 Red Onions, Peeled & quarted.

2 Red Peppers. Deseeded & cut into chunks.

Seasoning

4 Tbspns. Rape Seed Oil.

Sesame Oil to taste.

For the dressing:  Put all ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake to emulsify.  Adjust to taste.

100ml. Cider Vinegar.

tspns Lemon Grass Paste

2 Crushed Cloves Garlic

2 tspns Clear Honey.

50ml. Low Salt. Vegan Soy Sauce

Ground Black Pepper

200ml. Rape Seed Oil.

150g Brown Spelt. Cooked to packet instructions.

METHOD:

Preheat the oven.

Place the oil in a large roasting tray.  Add the Squash, onion, peppers, season well with salt & pepper.

Toss everything together to coat veg with the oil. Roast for 15 – 20 mins, until cooked but not mushy.

While the veg are roasting make the dressing & quickly stir fry the black kale in a large Wok.

Using a slotted spoon, place cooked veg in a large serving dish; add the drained spelt & kale.

Toss together, drizzle with Sesame Oil, to taste & serve either on its own with crusty bread or with grilled halloumi.

If you are having a Halloween or Bonfire party, this dish looks brilliant served in a pumpkin shell or individual halved, different coloured gourd shells.

Enjoy.

Sloes, Sloe gin, hedgerows, foraging, free food

Free Food Bonanza

Autumn is the time for fruitfulness. The hedgerows are a free food bonanza abounding with different fruits & nuts. So, a foraging I will go & who doesn’t like food for free?

apples, crab apples, foraging, jellies, syrups
Ripe for the picking

I remember – just – as a child, my maternal Grandmother, a country woman born & bred. had a large Japonica bush, growing under a front room window. How I loved the beautiful pink flowers it produced during the summer months. My Grandmother however, didn’t have time for growing things you couldn’t eat, to her, the Japonica bush earned it’s keep in the autumn, by producing its fruits, which she turned into a delicate translucent pink jelly, which was served at tea time, with huge floury scones. I can still taste them today.

Walking my faithful hound the other morning, we passed trees laden with cob nuts, sloes elderberries, cooking apples, tiny crab apples & mulberries.  Wild red currants & white currants dangled in tempting clusters, while brambles were covered in fat juicy blackberries, some white & pale pink, awaiting more sun to ripen them, others the deepest, darkest maroon, just begging to be picked.

Blackberries, foraging, jam, syrups, jellies
“Taking my straw basket I went foraging”

We all know the old favourites Blackberry & Apple Pie/Crumble, Elderberry Wine etc but what about some of the more unusual things you can make with your foraged food?

Below are a couple of recipes you might like to try. Hopefully they may encourage you to get out into the countryside & enjoy the fresh air, knowing that on your return you have that feel good factor from the exercise & the means to produce some delicious, home-made goodies.  They will also make, well received, Christmas presents.

home made,elderberry syrup,foraging, hedgerows, healthy eating
Foraging for juicy elderberries

ELDERBERRY SYRUP.    GF/DF/V/Vegan

INGREDIENTS:

2.25 kg Ripe Elderberries. Weight when stripped from stalks

600 ml  Water

1 small egg white, whipped to a froth. ( For Clarifying)

Preserving Sugar.

Brandy.

METHOD:

Wash the berries, crush lightly.  Place in a large oven proof casserole (Not metal) with the water. Cover & place in a low (160c/180f /Gas 3) oven until the fruit is pulpy.

Strain through a jelly bag. Measure the juice, allowing 325 g sugar per 600 ml.

Place the juice in a saucepan, with the frothy egg white & bring to the boil, whisking occasionally. When boiling, remove all the scum & froth& add sugar. Reboil, skimming frequently, allow to simmer 3-4 mins.

Remove a couple of tablespoons of the syrup, set aside to cool to test the thickness of the syrup. Continue to simmer if necessary.

Pour into sterilised bottles, adding a teaspoon of brandy to each bottle. Seal & store.

Use as a drink, diluted with water or soda ( full of Vit C), or best of all add a small measure to your favourite Gin & top up with tonic. Cheers.


Here is a recipe to use up those windfall apples, or those you have foraged from the hedgerows.

HERB JELLY  GF/DF/V/Vegan

INGREDIENTS:

Washed, unpeeled & uncored apples. Roughly chopped up.

450 g Preserving sugar (warmed) for each pint of juice.

83 ml Water.

124 ml wine vinegar.

Pared rind & juice of one lemon.

Large Bunch of herbs of your choice. Mint, Lemon Thyme, Basil, Lemon Balm, Marjoram etc  Leaves removed from stalks. Tie stalks together, finely chop leaves.

METHOD

Place the apples in a large casserole container (No metallic) & stand in a pan of water, on the hob.  Simmer, until the apples are reduced to a pulp.

Strain the juice through a jelly bag, add the water at the end. (Do not squeeze the bag as you will make the jelly cloudy).

 Boil the strained juice for 20 mins, add the warmed sugar, stirring all the time until dissolved.

Add the herb stalks, lemon rind & juice, and vinegar to the jelly & boil for a further 7 mins. Test for setting.  Add the finely chopped leaves to the jelly.  Pot into sterilised jars.

These jellies are delicious served with hot or cold, meats & pies.  They can also be served as a side to the cheese board & the basil jelly make a particular tasty side to tomato based dishes.

So guys, happy foraging & cooking. In addition to having food for free, you also know your products are preservative, colouring & additive free.

Bon appetite.

Countryside, foraging, walking, recipes, free food,
From Days gone by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian, food, salads, healthy eating, diet

TRUFFLEicious Totally Homemade Food. light lunches, salads, bread, cakes — TRUFFLEicious.org

TRUFFLEicious Stable Kitchen, Great Chalfield, Atworth, Melksham, Wiltshire. SN12 8NJ 07778 15737 https://goo.gl/maps/4FccXTZaXuo

via TRUFFLEicious Totally Homemade Food. light lunches, salads, bread, cakes — TRUFFLEicious.org

Home made bread, Artisan Breads, Organic Bread, Cheese Breads, Sweet potato & walnut bread
The Staff of life

Pop in and see us, we are open until 31st October Tues, Wed, Thurs, 12.30 – 3.30 & Sundays 1-4pm.

We cater for all dietary requirements . You can also pre-order our range of homemade organic, Artisan bread, throughout the year. Fresh local free rage eggs also available.

If you have visited us, please leave a comment or leave a review on Trip Advisor.

Time out

We all need a little time out occasionally, so it was that I found myself on the road to Instow, in beautiful North Devon for a few days down time. TRUFFLEicious mini break had begun.

Now, I didn’t stumble across my chosen venue by meandering the highways & byways of Devon, but on that well know site booking.com, of which I am not a fan. Each time I have used them they have got something wrong.

Anyway, I digress. Searching for dog friendly accommodation in Devon with twin beds – although my ex husband was accompaning me, sharing a bed is not something we have contemplated for many a year – I was given the choice of three suitable venues, within my budget.

The The Wayfarer Inn nestles on a narrow side street, just off the beach at Instow. Parking was difficult as it is restricted to two hour slots during the summer. However there is a car park a short walk away. We arrived about 7.30pm, unloaded and were lucky enough to find a space opposite where I could abandon my vehicle until 9am the next day.

My first impression on entering the establishment was furry friends. St Bernards. German Shepherd & a Greyhound – the later of which turned out to be mine hosts – & a gathering of people which I took to be locals.

 

Greeted by a cheerful, smiling girl, I was shown to our room, on the top floor.

A large airy, twin room faced me, with a view of the estuary, bathroom with fantastic power shower & equipped for the heat wave we are experiencing, with a large column fan. I was home, my time out had begun.

Time was marching on, the sun was well over the yard arm, I needed a well earned evening tipple.

Now, I don’t know what takes your fancy? But I am a Gin girl, boy, had I struck lucky, this place was a Gin heaven. On ordering a Bombay Sapphire & tonic, I was informed that I should “try the Pink Gin with a slice of orange” Mine host obviously spotted a succour & I was hooked.

img_20180713_2030221479262356497815137.jpg
Ice & a slice

Gypsy, my faithful hound was also in her element, new smells & doggy friends were abounding. We decided to mosey outside & let her inspect the beer garden. A pleasant large open garden area, with plenty of seating, an outside bar & large screen TV – think football – greeted us. I must say, I was a bit concerned about the artificial grass, which covered the ground, would Gypsy think this was a carpet or grass? The later proved to be the case, as she promptly decided to do her business there & then.

 

After a comfortable nights sleep in our quiet room, a run along the beach, with the dog & a morning blast in the power shower, we were ready for breakfast.

Food, Bed & Breakfast, Full English, Pub, Accomodation
Now. What to have

Now, I am not a breaky person & certainly did not want cereal & orange juice followed by the delicious looking huge full English, with toast on the side, that was proffered.  I was more than happy with my choice of scrambled eggs & two large grilled, fresh tomatoes. Service was speedy & the serving wench, cheerful & friendly.

The Wayfarer Inn at Instow, is well placed for a touring holiday of Devon. We chose to spend our day on Westward Ho beach. A great place for surfers & sunbathers alike. The hound & I spent happy hours jumping the waves, but, whatever takes your fancy. Also in easy reach is the quaint cobbled village of Clovelly & if its gardens you are after, Tapley Court is but a stones throw away.

Returning to our accommodation for the evenings repast. We encountered a bar full of early Friday evening revellers, & I must say, the natives are a very friendly, fun loving bunch. We got rather carried away in the spirit – Gin Cocktails – of things.

cocktails, beer, gin, coastal inn, pubs
Now, what shall I have?

As well as good management, a great bar person is always an asset to any Pub & Helen, barmaid of the night was fantastic, not only did she provide excellent service, she was the cabaret act for the evening too. Long time since I have laughed ’till I cried.

 

All that’s left to say is THANK YOU to all at the Wayfarer Inn, you are highly recommended. We will be back.     Meanwhile:

Labradors, dogs, beach, dog walking, holidays
Into the wild blue yonder.

 

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Fresh Herbs, Lemons, Greek Yoghurt

Summer Food

We tend to think of Christmas as a time of food & feasting, but for me, Summer will always be the time, when feasting on fresh healthy food comes to the fore.

I can think of nothing nicer than whiling away a hot summer’s day with friends, whilst enjoying a delicious light lunch. Maybe you grow your own herbs & veg to make your own salads & dressings. Serve them with this light summery dish, made the night before. Toss a salad on the day & serve with my Small batch, Artisan, Fennel & Sesame Bread.   Add some fresh strawberries & raspberries for dessert & Voila a tasty, healthy, summer meal.

SMOKED SALMON & CUCUMBER MOUSSE

Gluten Free. Vegetarian.        No Cooking time. Prep time: 20mins. Chill Overnight.

Equipment  1.2Ltr Ring Mould.

Serves 6 as a main Course, 12 as a starter.

INGREDIENTS.

Tspn Olive Oil for greasing

200g Smoked Salmon Slices.

1 Medium Cucumber, finely diced.

225g Cottage Cheese, Sieved,

7g Sachet of Gelatine

150ml Water

150ml Homemade Anchovy Mayonnaise

150ml Greek Yoghurt

METHOD.

Lightly grease the mould with olive oil.

Line the sides of the mould with the smoked salmon slices.

Finely dice the Cucumber.

Put the water into a small saucepan, sprinkle the Gelatine over & allow to soak for 5mins. Place over a very low heat, until dissolved. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.  Allow to cool.

Place the cottage cheese, mayonnaise into a bowl & mix well.

Working quickly, add the cooled gelatine mix to the cheese & mayo. Mix well.

Add the diced cucumber & fold in the Greek Yoghurt.

Season with white pepper. Pour into the mould, shake to level to top.

Cover with cling film & allow to set overnight.

Bread, Baking, Small batch, Artisan, Bakery
Bread. The Staff of Life

TO SERVE

Loosen the edges carefully with a palette knife & turn out onto a serving dish.

Decorate the edges with lemon slices & fresh herbs.

Serve with Crunchy Cos Lettuce & herb salad and a lemon Viniagarette dressing and slices of my fresh Fennel & sesame Bread.

Don’t forget the Chardonnay.

Chardonnay, wine, summer eating, summer drinking, food
Half empty. Half full ?

 

 

 

Food, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Dessert, Homemade

Chocolate & Peanut Butter

It’s been a busy few weeks in my Stable Kitchen. Dreaming about chocolate & peanut butter one night – there are worst dreams -, I have created this decadent dessert, just for you.

I have been developing new recipes for my home made breads, which are now available from my Kitchen. Half-term also means more visitors keen to try my home made Ice Cream.  If you have made any of my recipes over the past few months, it would be great to hear your comments www.truffleicious.org/visitors-book 

The recipe below is great for a summer party. No need to spend hours in the kitchen with this one. You could also utilise the best of our summer fruits, by replacing the bananas with fresh raspberries & for extra decadence serve with extra raspberries & dark chocolate sauce.

Food, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Raspberries, Recipe
A decadent dessert

CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Serves 12.  V. Contains nuts. Oven 180c/359f/Gas Mk 4. Prep:  15 mins, plus cooling & chilling Cooking 10 mins.  Equipment: 1.23cm Flan Dish.

For the Base:

250g Chocolate Biscuits, finely crushed.

70g Melted Butter

Mix the above ingredients together & press into the base & sides of the flan dish. Cook for  10 mins, until set & leave to cool.

For the filling:

2 Bananas, sliced

170g Cream Cheese

140g. Smooth Peanut Butter

200ml Greek Yoghurt.

Lay the sliced bananas over the base of the cooled base. Beat together the remaining ingredients & spoon over the bananas. Level the surface & chill in the fridge for 30mins.

For the topping:

115g Plain Chocolate, broken into pieces

25g Unsalted Butter

150ml Double Cream.

Melt the butter & chocolate together over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream & beat until the mixture is smooth. Level to cool for 15-20 mins until the mixture thickens. Gently spread over the top of the filling. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Food, Chocolate, Biscuits, Unicorns, Truffleicious

Princess Camilla

Another Princess celebrates her special day. 19.5.2018

Food, Birthday Party, Children, chocolate, animals
Animal Magic

The rest of the world was glued to their screens, while another Princess was celebrating her special day in the beautiful grounds of Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire.

Surrounded by a gathering of happy children, a little Armadillo was snuffling around in the sunshine. He was preceded by a selection of other creatures. Some more unusual than others. Three brave – or mad, to my way of thinking – little girls had a large snake, draped across their arms, they were giggling with delight as the slithery creature wound its way across their bodies.

No. Great Chalfield Manor, is not a Zoo or an animal sanctuary, but the setting for Princess Camilla’s Fifth Birthday party.

food, children's birthday party, cake, truffleicious
Food for thought

food, cake, unicorn biscuits, cup cakes, truffleicious
Perfect Table Manners

food, children's party, birthday cake, homemade, Truffleicious
The perfect hostess

After a fantastic time on the lawn with the animals, the children let off steam, playing on  the grass. It was then time to head to the Coach House for the birthday girls sumptuous lunch.  What self-respecting little Princess would not want a Unicorn themed party.  Camilla’s wish came true. There were Unicorns everywhere.

 

The menu consisted of totally homemade food by Truffleicious from The Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield, Wiltshire.

Pride of place was a gluten-free Chocolate Unicorn Cake. complete with Chocolate Unicorn biscuits. Of course there were also unicorn Cup cakes & lots of unicorn decorations.  Mini homemade bread rolls were filled with ham & cheese, with sides of carrot & cucumber sticks. While a cheese & Tomato Pizza Bread also went down well. As a touch of elegance, mini fresh Strawberry tartlets were a well received.

After lunch the children said hello to another animal.  I think a good day was had by all.

food, cake, truffleicious, birthday, party,
Good bye Gypsy

All that’s left for me to say is Happy Birthday Millie