Archive for February 28th, 2011

February ’Meanderings’ …

This month is usually cold and gloomy and although I have my birthday in the middle, there is not usually much else to look forward to.  Warming and filling comfort foods have to be definites for everyday cooking, so here are some of our favourite main course ideas, plus one delicious and naughty (but nice) dessert.

Recipes this month

Lamb & Lentil Stew with Carrot & Rosemary Dumplings

Pork Goulash Soup/Stew with Caraway Dumplings

Bacon & Liver Winter Vegetable Stew                 Swineherd’s Pie

Banana Butterscotch Tarte Tatin

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Meanderings Updated: (updates and additions to recipes already posted)
Updated Basic Recipe: Suet Dumplings
Caraway Dumplings (see above)
Carrot & Rosemary Dumplings (see above)

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Complete Mince Cookbook by Bridget Jones
Minced meat is such a versatile ingredient, one that is readily available as well as often being one of the most inexpensive, although this obviously depends on the cut that is put through the mincing machine.  This book has many good ideas for using a variety of minced meats (beef, pork, lamb and poultry) in a recipes for serving everyday as well as those for special occasions.
Already on this site: Lamb & Lentil Stew (adapted from Lancashire-style Leeks & Lamb), Swineherd’s Pie (my variation of Pork & Parsnip Bake)
Watch out for: Lancashire-style Leeks & Lamb (original recipe), Pork & Beetroot Pie, Cidered Pork Burgers, Greek Style Kebabs, Creamed Somerset Meatballs, Middle-Eastern Mince, Spanish Pork with Orange, Pork & Potato Hash, Beef Gougère, Gratin of Stuffed Peppers, Curried Beef with Aubergines,  Turkey Jalousie, Chilli Calzone, Cornish Pasties, Pork & Apple Plait, Spicy Cornbread Pizza, Spinach Kofta Pullao, Macaroni Bake & Pork Pearls.
Blogosphere Meanderings: I am grateful to Mother May Have for giving me the idea of adding grated carrot to suet dumplings (though their version was for non-suet dumplings).  Suet dumplings are a useful and filling alternative (or, if you wish, addition) to potato in stews.  The site is about culture and identity as shown through cooking and eating, in particular sharing recipes which originated with the writer’s Trinidadian grandmother.  In the recipe list I particularly like the sound of: Biscotti with Orange and Nuts, Chocolate Cardamom Torte, Indian Spice Infused Rice, Lemon Ginger Shortbread Cookie, Mint Iced Tea & Root Vegetable Latkes.
Restaurant Meanderings: For my birthday this month I was taken out for afternoon tea by a friend.  We went to a local branch of  Belgique, a relatively new small chain of brasserie/tearooms with branches in Hertfordshire, North-east London and Essex, plus London Docklands.  It was a relaxed atmosphere, we sat in comfy chairs and the place was full of groups of people just like us.  Our traditional tiered cake tray had filled finger rolls, cakes and pastries (this was for one, but was plenty to share) and served with pots of tea.  There was a wide selection of other drinks and delicious patisseries plus a specialist cheese counter.  I will definitely be going back and am looking for a good excuse: this may be taking other friends for their birthdays!
Miscellaneous Meanderings: I really must mention the West Cornwall Pasty Co, which has to have one of the most attractive interactive websites I have seen for a long time!  We had a day out to the British Library (to see the excellent Evolving English exhibition, which sadly closes on 3 April 2011).  We needed a quick snack and having previously enjoyed the pasties at Covent Garden we ended up at the outlet on Euston Station. We bought Lamb & Mint and Chicken Balti pasties, which were delicious, crispy and piping hot.  (I am reminded me of its excellent Northern cousin, The Cornish Pasty Bakery in York: there are two branches, both of which we tried.)  Perhaps it is about time I had a go at making some traditional recipe Cornish Pasties, which are excellent for packed lunches and picnics.

‘For what we are about to receive…’ March 2011

Coming in March … A selection of some of the delicious cakes I have made over the past few months, including Whole Orange Cake.  This is one of the simplest cake recipes I have seen. It starts with liquidising a whole orange and is baked in around 45 minutes.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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