Thursday, 27 August 2015

New Ventures!

Hello,

Cooking the books goes sweet!  I have decided to start a new blog -

Sweet Things For Sophie 

One with exclusively sweet things, pictures and a bit of chat about them, plus the book or website that the recipes come from. 

I am doing it for my daughter, so when she is older she can look through and remember the sweet things of her childhood.   So many readers have suggested I blog again, and I have wanted to find a way forward, and this is it!  Have a look if you have a sweet tooth. :)

If you are interested in the more savoury side of cooking and new cook books in general, I will still be posting savoury food and new books on my Facebook page, which I have been doing for a year or so now.

KJ x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Pioneer Woman's Flat Apple Pies




The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl  by Ree Drummond,  William Morrow 2009.  Do you remember when this book came out? Everyone was wild for it! It was all over the internet and getting rave reviews.  At that time our internet was very poor and dropped out if you just looked at it, so I found it hard to load the posts from Ree’s website.  Still, I bought the book, flicked through it, and that was that.  A few years later, after seeing Ree on her foodnetwork show I decided to start cooking some of her recipes…. And I’ve never stopped! 
I can see that Ree is someone you like a lot or not at all, and I just love her! I so enjoy watching her TV show that I keep some on Sky Plus, just to clam me down if I’ve had a bad day.  This was one of the first recipes of hers that I cooked…. And boy oh boy is it good.  The first time I cooked it I made it for Mothering Sunday for my Mum. I didn’t think apple pie was really my thing, but I cooked it for my mum as I knew she would like it. Well how wrong could I have been, it was simple and so delicious!  I’ve made it many times since, and I’d actually go as far as to say it is one of my very favorite desserts.   Of course Hubby loves it, but he loves all fruit puds.  
The pie crust recipe make two pie crusts, and I always pop one in the freezer for next time. I also use all butter, as I refuse to use shortening.  On the TV Ree serves it with caramel sauce, and I’m sure that would be really good, but alas I’ve never made it past a little dribble of cream. One day I will though...
Recipe link to Foodnetwork site here.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Nigellissima - Third Helpings!

Here is a bumper  round up post for my cooking from Nigellissima, that I’ve not blogged so far.  Been a while since Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson published by  Chatto & Windus 2012 came out.  Whilst it isn't my favourite book of hers, we have eaten a number of good meals from it.   As an aside I am so looking forward to her new book Simply Nigella due out October 2015! Not long to wait now….   Roll on October…..
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
I first ate this cake at my friend Anna’s house. It was really good. I then made it myself, but I used too strong an olive oil and it was ok-ish, but you could taste the olive oil.  Still my friend’s cake was great, so it has potential with the right oil!
Italian Roast Chicken with Peppers and Olives
This was good, lovely Summery roast.
Vanilla Mousse with Berries and Pistachios
A nice simple pudding for when the berries are perfect.
Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Marsala and Mascarpone
I used spaghetti as we as a family aren’t that keen on Fettuccine. A rich vegetarian pasta.
Instant Chocolate-Orange Mousse
I halved this recipe, and it worked out just fine.  Chocolate and orange is one of my very favourite flavour pairings.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers
I pepped this one up with some olives, bit of pancetta or bacon would have been good too.
Figs with Honey-Cream & Pistachios
I don’t think the figs I had were up to much to begin with, so even sweet cream wasn’t enough to perk them up.  However if you have some great fresh figs go for it.  I’d double the sauce.
Mock Mash
I was in two minds if or not I’d post this one, as if I really don’t like a recipe my usual stand is just not to post it.  Quite simply awful! Waste of good ingredients! At least to our tastes anyhow.  I’d imagine this is a marmite recipe love it or hate it, no middle ground.   
One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
Amazing! Make it soon….

Mountain Macaroni
I’ll come clean and tell you that although this is a pasta and potato recipe, I dispensed with the potatoes. The reason for doing this was twofold. One although it was a cold, cold Winter’s night when I made it, I’d not been skiing or clearing snow, so didn’t need the double carb hit, and secondly my daughter would not have eaten the pasta if she found a potato bit in it, and as it was she ate it happily!  Still, it was comforting and delicious, so result.

Peas with Pancetta
Can’t go wrong with this one, peas, bacon, mint, wine, garlic…
Pasta with Courgettes
I made half of this recipe one lunch time for just me, I really liked it, but I love courgettes, alas my family don’t.  Going to add in some cream or crème fraiche next time, just a touch. 


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

New England Open House Cookbook



New Book!  I’ve been anticipating this book for months now. New England Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase, Workman 2015.   I have all Sarah’s book, and especially liked The Nantucket Open House Cookbook and also Cold-Weather Cooking.  She hasn’t written a book in a long while though, which has made for a long, long wait! 
 
 
It’s a lovely book, not a book if you need a picture of every recipe, because although there are pictures of some recipes and also scene setting ones too, there is not a picture of each dish. That aside it is a cooks’ book, one to read then cook from. I like the friendly way the pages are set out. It reminds me very much of the late, great Sheila Lukins’s books.
 
 
The geographical reach is bigger in this book, spanning New England or ‘300 Recipes Inspired by the Bounty of New England’ as the cover has it.  There are year round recipes and plenty of chat from the author in the recipe introductions. Some recipes are inspired by or from local eateries and people, and Sarah always credits them, a trait which I respect in a cookbook writer.
 
 
Now what to make first? Greek Girlfriend Baked Chicken and Orzo – Our House Vinaigrette (which her husband says he married her for!) – Maple Glazed Salmon – Maple Pear Muffins with Walnut Streusel – Daffodil Picnic Chicken Curried Salad – Blue Hill Blueberry Bliss (cake)……

Monday, 8 June 2015

Ree Drummond Raspberry Tiramisu


For quite a while now I’ve been having a bit of a Ree Drummond Pioneer Woman recipe obsession.  This recipe is a dessert I made this last weekend as a trial for having friends round later in the Summer. I know one of them can’t go past Tiramisu on a dessert menu, so I had to try this raspberry tiramisu to make sure it was good!
It was gorgeous, the raspberries add a nice fruity edge to the Tiramisu.  Now, I have a slight confession to make, I don’t really like mascarpone in sweet things, so I used light cream cheese, and it worked out just fine.   At the time of posting this it is not in any of Ree’s books, but you can find the recipe for the raspberry tiramisu here on the Foodnetwork website.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Rachael Ray Cashew Orange Chicken


Hello!  I’ve been gone from the blogsphere for a good while now.  In the meantime I’ve been posting (much more) regular updates in the Facebook page, and although I enjoy that I miss blogging.... so here I am, back again. J   Sometimes you’ll get food, sometimes recipes, sometimes pictures of my latest books, because despite attempting to curb by cookbook-aholic tendancies I still get such a huge thrill from holding a new book in my hand, sometimes I’ll read through them for ideas and sometimes cook from them, neither is a waste to me!

The recipe here is one I have made so many times, it’s from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook book from Clarkson Potter 2010.  Rachael gets a bit of a rough ride sometimes, but you know I can’t help but like her.  Especially when she comes up with recipes like this one, make your own takeout Cashew chicken with orange sauce and scallion (spring onion) rice.  I’ve made it with broccoli or tenderstem broccoli and both are good. I also thicken the sauce with 1 level tablespoon of cornflour slackened with 2 tablespoons of cold water added in right at the end to thicken. Other than that little change the recipe can be found here.  
 


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Future Postings

Hello Readers,

I have been very short on time for a good while now, hence the real lack of blog postings.

Still it's the cookbook season once more, and I still buy books and cook from them, so if you are interested in my more recent makes and bakes, I'm going to post pictures and book information on my blogs Facebook page.

Thank you for your support. :)

Best wishes,

KJ x