A few years ago I wouldn’t have been keen at all to admit I’d bought a book on the basis of it’s cover. As I’ve become older though, I’ve come to appreciate that a good cover, particularly on a book by an unknown author is key if the marketing department at the publishers is to entice the target audience.
It’s somehow a Summery book, even thought there are several recipes suited to colder weather cooking. The recipes I’ve been most drawn to so far are the baking and salad-y ones. Maybe that’s down to the time of year and warmer weather.
The book came into being when the author’s Mother passed away, leaving her Father widowed and not very able to feed himself. Miranda gathered together recipes to give to her Father, to help him look after his daily food needs, and so the book took shape.
The chapters are eclectic and include ‘Mid-week Morsels’ and ‘Well Loved Food’. Simple layout, the recipes are intercepted by text about life from the author, most of which is a pleasant enough read.
There are lots of very calming pictures of the food with pretty and atmospheric scenery. I like that there are some real time real cooking pictures too.
Some of the other recipes I’ve book-marked are: Beetroot, feta and clementine salad, Finnish salad with orange blossom dressing, Pumpkin soup with black olive and feta quesadillas, Mum’s Danish apple charlotte, Zesty pistachio & polenta cake and Rose petal and buttermilk cake.
As always here are some of the dishes I’ve cooked, I also made Jean-Christophe Novelli’s lemsip - it definitely helped the sniffles away!
First class porridge, I made it with Channel Island Jersey milk, and it was so good. Blueberries and honey or agave nectar – the best! I got this honey locally and it’s delicious.
Dreamy Prawn Gnocchi
An unusual prawn dish with the comfort of gnocchi and cream, but also interest from mixed seeds and spinach.
Naked Broad Bean Salad
A beautiful salad, both to eat and look at too.
Chocolate Caramel Muffins
Chocolate muffins made with ricotta and Cadburys caramel as the chunks. I wasn’t keen on these the day they were made, but the day after they were good – the tastes all melded together then.
An ultra sweet and chewy flapjack, the flapjack lover in my house was very pleased indeed!
Blondies with dulce de leche, white chocolate and sea salt. The smell in the kitchen was so delicious the day I baked these. I used less salt though – just a slight sprinkle of Maldon instead or the 2-3 teaspoons suggested in the recipe. Good the day made and the day after too.
Blackberry and Sour Cream Clafoutis
This is a seriously fabulous pudding, easy fruity and delicious. I’ve made clafoutis many times before, but this recipe is the keeper, and hands down the best of any I’ve made or tasted.
This is my slight reworking of Miranda Gardiner’s recipe from Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack, published by Hardie Grant Books (London) Limited in 2010.
2 tablespoons plain flour, slightly rounded
4 good tablespoons caster sugar
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
125g sour cream (weighed)
icing sugar to decorate, optional
thick double cream to serve
1.Preheat the oven to 170oC fan/ 180oC/ gas mark 4.
2.You’ll need a round baking dish of about 20cm – 25cm. Butter the dish and arrange to fruit over the bottom of the dish.
3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, caster sugar, vanilla extract and sour cream to make a smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter carefully over the fruit, then bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until cooked. It should be golden, puffy and beautiful. I cook this in my fan oven for 20 minutes, your oven might need the longer cooking time, check after 20 minutes though. Dust with icing sugar if you like and serve with cream.