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Archive for the ‘07. MEANDERINGS ‘À LA CARTE’’ Category

January ‘Meanderings’ …

Once the New Year celebrations are over what is needed is warming and filling food against the inevitable Winter chill.  It is a time for thick tasty soups, hot pies and stews: comfort food at its best.  Here are some more favourites.  We enjoy warm spiced plums at any time as they are so warming in the cooler weather but this year I used them cold in our New Year Mulled Plum Trifle.  There are two family favourites: Leek & Potato Soup – Vichyssoise and a Pork & Beetroot Pie (or casserole if you prefer).  Finally I am sharing my method of cooking crispy Roast Potatoes, with the added crunch of sesame seeds.

Recipes this month

Mulled Plum Trifle                                Leek & Potato Soup – Vichyssoise
 
Pork & Beetroot Pie                                             Sesame Roast Potatoes
 

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

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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‘For what we are about to receive…’ 

Coming in February … Warming and spicy Indian inspired recipes, just right to keep out the winter chill.  To start off the month, however, will be a review of Madhur Jaffrey’s autobiography of her Indian childhood, Climbing the Mango Trees, which includes her favourite family recipes.

Happy Cooking & Eating

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November ‘Meanderings’ …

North African spicy flavours are ideal at this time of year when the weather is chillier, although I can quite happily enjoy them at any time of year.  There is a lovely spicy soup, Chorba, which is a meal in itself and three simple recipes that are quick to both prepare and cook.  They would be lovely served together at a dinner party.  Click here for all North African Style Recipes on this site.

Recipes this month

Chorba with Ras el-Hanout & Noodles     Fragrant Flash Grilled Figs & Peaches
 
Moroccan Style Marinaded Lamb Steaks                    Orange Couscous
 
Westfield Stratford City & the 2012 Olympic Site

2012 London Olympic Site in the mist from the
top floor of John Lewis, Westfield Stratford City – 11.11.11
(Click picture to see enlarged view)

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

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

Coming in December some recipes for the Christmas season: Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, delicious served with cold meats or cheese; Sweet & Salty Crunchie Nut Bars, a festive chocolatey treat; non-alcoholic Spiced Mulled Apple Punch and our family Christmas Cake for 2011 using the Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake Recipe.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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October ‘Meanderings’ …

Some very generous friends this year have given me lovely Bramley cooking apples from their trees so I decided to base two of my October recipes on these.  Added to this was a lovely American style Cucumber Bread & Butter pickle from Pam Corbin at River Cottage and a family favourite quickie recipe, Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese.

Recipes this month

Spiced Apple & Cider Cake     ‘Cauli-mac’ – Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese
 
Spiced Apple Chutney                    American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle
 

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

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

Coming in November some North African Style recipes.  Chorba, a spicy tomato soup with noodles, Moroccan Style Marinaded Lamb Steaks and Orange Couscous a fruity accompaniment plus Fragrant Flash Grilled Figs & Peaches a simple recipe with both spicy and floral notes.  (Also a post showing the 2012 Olympic Site & Westfield Stratford City shopping centre both of which are just down the road from us.)

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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September ’Meanderings’ …

By September our holiday to France and Spain in July was sadly a distant memory.  Trying to keep the memories alive I shared some French style recipes.  Click here for all French Style Recipes on this site.

September also saw the start of a new phase in my life, as I started a two year basic theology course and adjusting to having homework, reading and essays after many years away from study. You can read more about this here.)  Whilst wanting to continue with posts on this site, I recognised that I would need to adjust my schedule so from now on my plan is usually to add four recipes each month plus Meanderings ‘a la carte’ my usual monthly roundup, but in a simplified form.  I continue to love to cook but will just have less time to share my kitchen adventures, for the time being at least!

Recipes this month

Prawns with Provençal Tomato Salsa  Country Terrine/Pâté (Terrine de Campagne)
 
Tarte aux Poires Bourdaloue (Pear Frangipane Tart/Pie Bourdaloue)    Brioche
 

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

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

Coming in October, two ways for using that Autumn favourite, Bramley cooking apples: Spiced Apple & Cider Cake and Spiced Apple Chutney, plus an American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle and ‘Cauli-mac’ – Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese one of our favourite quick and easy suppers – most definitely early Autumn comfort food.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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August ’Meanderings’ …

We came back from holiday at the start of August and within a few days the television screens were filled with images of riots across the UK.  Tottenham, the initial flashpoint is just down the road and some of the disturbances started to spread even closer to home.  Out of these troubles came a realisation that the police, many of whom had been drafted in from other parts of the UK and the emergency services had no central canteen or place to rest and following discussions between Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, members of the Parish of Walthamstow and members of the local community this need was addressed in an amazing way.  For more information read on….

#AWESOMESTOW Walthamstow – I just had to share this …
#AWESOMESTOW Walthamstow – a community I am proud to be part of!

Recipes this month

It is fair to say that we did not have the best August weather this year, we certainly seemed to see very little sun, but nonetheless I shared a selection of recipes for the summer months. In the middle of August we celebrated our Silver (25th) wedding anniversary so I made and decorated a cake to share with the family and friends who celebrated with us using the ‘old faithful’ family Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake recipe that I usually use for our Christmas and Easter Simnel Cakes.

Basic Recipe: Traditional Style Lemonade
Speedy Tomato Ketchup                                 Sticky Tomato Pork
 
Carrot & Chickpea Salad                                  Roasted Mixed Tomatoes
 
Special Occasion Cake – Silver Wedding Anniversary

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

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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

Coming in September, I will be trying to keep the experience of our French holiday alive by posting some French inspired recipes: Prawns with Provençal Style Tomato SalsaFrench Style Country Terrine or Pâté (Terrine de Campagne), Tarte aux Poires Bourdaloue (Pear Frangipane Tart/Pear Pie Bourdaloue) and Brioche.  We also went to Spain, of course, but I posted a series of Spanish style recipes back in May 2011, however I planning another Spanish themed month, hopefully in 2012.
Click here for all Spanish Style Recipes on this site.
Click here for all French Style Recipes on this site.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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July ’Meanderings’ …

July was, for a change, our holiday month (we usually go in August).  While we were away travelling through France to Spain and back again I decided to send this blog on a virtual holiday to the other side of the world and post a selection of Chinese style recipes. Click here for all Chinese Style Recipes on this site.

Recipes this month

Sesame Prawn Toast Chinese Style    Belly Pork & Greens/Broccoli/Bok Choy
 
Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce                                     Special Fried Rice 
 
Lychee Sorbet

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

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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

Coming in August will be recipes for home made Speedy Tomato Ketchup and a wonderful Sticky Tomato Pork recipe in which it can be used.  Also, hopeful that the weather would be warm, my favourite recipe for home made Lemonade, a simple quick Carrot and Chickpea Salad and Roasted Mixed Tomatoes just in time for the hoped for gluts of tomatoes on the market.  August is special month for us too as we will be celebrating 25 years of marriage and I will be unveiling the cake I have made to share with our family and friends, using our family favourite Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake.  Finally, I will be sharing some news about what I will be up to in the Autumn.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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June ’Meanderings’ …

Right at the end of the month, on 30 June, my WordPress stats counter ticked over 100,000 visitors – if you were part of that statistic then thank you!  As the July Meanderings ‘à la carte’ is now due as well (the holiday means I am rather behind) this is a slightly truncated roundup for June, which is being posted very late … though better late than never.

Recipes this month

Elderflower Syrup                                               Cheese Crusted Scones
 
West African Style Chicken & Peanut Stew      Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork 
Mango Curd

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

Meanderings Updated: (updates and additions to recipes already posted)
Mango Curd was added to the ongoing list of Curd recipes.

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Feast: Food that Celebrates Life by Nigella Lawson
I have had this book on my shelf for a couple of years but have yet to add a comment about it in these pages.  It was my first foray into the Nigella world of recipe books and I think it makes fascinating reading.  It has chapters which go through the year with sections covering a different type of Feast or Festival: religious, secular or just ‘fun’.  There are ideas for Christmas and Easter, of course: also food for festivals such as Rosh Hashanah, Passover and Seder reflecting Nigella’s Jewish heritage, but there are a host of other ideas too – Valentine’s Day, Georgian, Venetian …  It is a book I keep dipping into for inspiration and have made quite a few recipes, some of which will be posted in due course.
Already on this site: Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork, Onion Rice Pilaf, Spicy Hot Cross BunsOrange Shortcrust Pastry (used for Mince Pies)
On my list: Cantucci Biscotti, Bang Bang Turkey, Gingerbread Muffins, Galette des Rois (this or another recipe), Custard cream biscuits, Slow cooked Lamb with beans, Passionfruit curd (one for my list of Curd recipes), Creamed Spinach, Apple Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce, Lokshen Pudding, Chilli-Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Espresso Cake with Caffe Latte Cream, Cornbread topping (for Chilli con Carne), Tomato Couscous, Golden Cardamom Chicken with Crispy Onion Spiced Rice, Baghdad Baklava (though I have made Baklava before so need to consult my original recipe too), Sticky Semolina Cake, Rosemary Remembrance Cake.

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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

I may be going away on holiday but the posts will continue to appear with the theme for next month being Chinese style food.  I have scheduled recipes to post automatically: a delicious starter, Sesame Prawn Toast, Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce, my brother in law’s recipe for tender Chinese Style Belly Pork & Greens/Broccoli/Bok Choy, Special Fried Rice and just after I get back, refreshingly fragrant Lychee Sorbet.  Meanwhile on holiday in France and Catalunya I hope, among other things, to be sampling Tapas and Creme Catalan washed down with a fruity chilled glass of Sangria.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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May ’Meanderings’ …

Y Viva España!  Did I mention that we are going to Catalonia in North East Spain (via France) for our holiday this year?!  Not long to go now so I have been doing some research and experimenting with some of the foods we might find on menus.  Actually there I have made more recipes than I have posted this month, so there will be another flavour of Spain month some time in the future.

Recipes this month

Minted Melonade

Basic Recipe: Salted Fish   Basque Style Salt Cod (Bacalao) in Spicy Tomato Sauce 
Spanish Style Gammon Stew                                           Patatas Bravas
 
Arroz con Leche – Spanish Style Rice Pudding

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

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Spanish Bar and Restaurant Cooking: Authentic Recipes for Paella, Tapas and Sangria by María Solís Ballinger & Natalía Solís Ballinger
I treated myself to this book recently when, having borrowed it from the library to research Spanish food/tapas for our holiday, I then discovered a very cheap secondhand copy online. It is packed with good recipes: I had no idea that there were so many possible paella and sangria variations … and so much more too. In fact there were so many paella variations that sounded good I had to stop myself listing them all below as a reminder to try them out!
Already on this site: Patatas Bravas (Spanish Style Roast Potatoes – but my own recipe variation)
On my list: Piperada (Basque Style Eggs – similar to the French Piperade), Tortilla Espanola (Potato Omelette), Escalivada (Catalan Roasted Vegetable Salad), Pinchitos (Spiced Pork Kebabs), Ggazpacho Andaluz (Classic Andalusian Gazpacho), Tumbet (Aubergine Casserole), Calabacines y Romero (Paella with Chicken Courgette & Rosemary), Paella al Horno con Queso (Baked Paella with Cheese Topping), Paella de Pollo y Tomates Secos (Chicken Paella with Sun-dried Tomatoes), Naranja y Almendras (Chicken & Orange Paella with Almonds), Paella de Pollo y Gambas (Chicken & Prawn Paella), Paella de Bacon y Veneras (Paella with Bacon & Scallops), Paella Facil y Rapida de Pollo (Quick & Easy Chicken Paella), Helado de Canela (Cinnamon Ice Cream), Flan de Naranjas (Orange Flan – I have another recipe for this too elsewhere), Crema Catalana (Sweet Catalan Cream – like Creme Brulee) … plus some lovely Sangria recipes!

Entertaining Meanderings:
At the start of the month I did a special Sunday lunch for my father’s 90th birthday.  On the menu was traditional Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes, plus Butternut Squash Ragout.  For dessert Lemon Meringue Pie (one of his favourite things and something I have not made in a very long time).  Also this month another large scale church lunch, which this time was Italian themed.  We served traditional Beef Lasagne, with a roasted vegetable version available for non meat eaters.  These were accompanied by mixed leaf salads and garlic bread.  I produced the desserts: two types of Tiramisu.  One was Tiramisu Trifle with alcohol, an adaptation of a Tiramisu recipe I have been making for many years, although I used sherry rather than marsala wine,.  The second was the same without alcohol, but with caramel sauce (dulce de leche) and diced pears added instead.  Finally, at the end of the month we invited three ‘old’ friends for Sunday lunch. This time I served Roast Pork with Apple Sauce and Pickled Prunes (an unopened jar from Christmas) plus Roast Potatoes and Ratatouille.  The dessert was once again Caramel Pear Tiramisu Trifle, though this time with the alcohol (sherry) which we thought was a definite improvement on the alcohol free version.

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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

I have made promises recently to post recipes, so these will appear this month. These recipes are West African Style Chicken & Peanut Stew and Mango Curd, the latest in a series of curd experiments, variations on traditional Lemon Curd.   First though, taking advantage of the bushes currently laden with elderflowers, I am making this years Elderflower Cordial, though the pictures are of the batch I made last year.  After that I need to turn my mind towards our holiday and more mundane things, especially what we need to take – it’s a caravan so I suppose we will take ‘everything but the kitchen sink‘ (which of course comes ready supplied!)
There will be a July version of this post, but it may well appear late – once we are back from holiday.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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April ’Meanderings’ …

It is not often that we have an April Mothering Sunday in the UK, but then this year we have a very late Easter.  Having been inspired by afternoon tea eaten out with a friend, where the finger rolls and cakes were served on a dainty cake stand, I marked the occasion by serving Afternoon Tea to my mother (and my father too) with savoury baguette bite sandwiches, scones and cakes.  At the end of the month, for Easter, I added a picture of our Simnel Cake, decorated with marzipan and chocolate eggs, based on my much used Christmas Cake recipe.

Recipes this month

Afternoon Tea for Mothering Sunday   Basic Recipe: Poached Chicken Breasts  
Roast Beef/Roasted Balsamic Onion & Thyme Sauce   Butternut Squash Ragoût 
Traditional Simnel Cake for Easter                       Basic recipe: Sweet Scones 

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

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Book of Cakes by Delia Smith
I own quite a few books by Delia Smith, including some of her early paperbacks.  Some of my favourite cake recipes come from the original 1977 edition, which has since been updated and republished in larger format.  There is certainly a wealth of delicious cake and biscuit ideas packed into this little book:
Already on this site: Sweet Devonshire Scones, Apricot Hazelnut Meringue Gateau, Traditional Yorkshire Oatmeal Parkin (same recipe as in in the Complete Cookery Book)
On my list: Spiced Apple & Cider Cake, Old Fashioned Seed Cake, Sticky Malt Loaf, Spiced Date & Walnut Loaf, Honey & Spice Cake, Apricot Crumble Cake, Chocolate Log with Chestnut filling, Eccles Cakes, Spiced Apple & Sultana Fingers, Crusty Currant Cakes, Good Old Rock Cakes, Chelsea Buns, Treacle Scones, Rich Fruit Scones, Cheese Crusted Scones, Sesame Biscuits, Almond Tuiles, Chocolate Orange Biscuits, Langue du Chat Biscuits, Digestive Biscuits, Cheat’s Lemon Gateau, plus various cheesecake recipes.

Miscellaneous Meanderings:
For some time I have hankered after a Bundt tin.  There are some fantastic ones around in the most amazing shapes: cathedrals, castles, open flowers but they are so very expensive.  Perhaps justifiable if I was making cakes to order, but I don’t.  However I came across this much simpler shaped one on our local market for the bargain price of £3 – a snip!

I love hand me downs too!  Just recently my sister in law gave me her Magimix Le Duo juicer, which comes complete with citrus squeezer – just in time for Summer drinks.  Great!  I have some lovely lemonade recipes on my list, including versions flavoured with added mint, ginger or even lavender.

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

Coming in May … As usual we are going to France for our holidays, but this year we will be spending the middle part of our time in Spain: a week in Catalonia, north of Barcelonia taking in the scenery that inspired the surrealist artist Salvador Dali.  A time to explore the artistic heritage of the region as well as the local foods.  During May the posts and recipes will have a Spanish theme as a result of my research into Spanish food.  Salted Fish, tasty but an acquired taste, is used widely and I will add the results of my experiment in salting fish at home.  The Spanish have a sweet tooth too so there will also be the recipe for the best rice pudding we have ever eaten!

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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March ’Meanderings’ …

March was cake month.   There were so many good ones I had made in the past few months that were just waiting to be given a wider airing.

Recipes this month

Mini Sweet Heart Cakes

Whole Orange Cake                                              Cherry & Coconut Cake
 
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Cake                                       Ginger Fruit Cake
 
Mocha Fruit & Nut Cake

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

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Perfect Cooking by Marguerite Patten.
This book was bought for me as a present many years ago as a ‘starter’ book containing basic recipes and a complete overview of cooking.  I have also seen the same book produced as a ‘part work’ available in magazine format purchased over a number of weeks.  I have produced a number of recipes using this book.
Already on this site: (just one so far) Cherry & Coconut Cake
On my list: Eccles Cakes, Bourbon Biscuits, Florentines, Apricot Lemon Souffle, Cyprus Chicken Salad in an Orange Rice Ring; Baked Scotch Eggs; Piperade; Salmon Pie Florentine; Salmon … Chicken Chowder; Paprikascsirke/Hungarian Paprika Chicken; Crêpes Suzettes; Savarin; Danish Pastries; Nougat; Nut Brittle; Fish in a Jacket; Spinach Niçoise; Parsnip Roast; Boston Baked Beans; Bubble & Squeak; Eskimo Risotto; Buttermilk Fruit Cake; Salmon Cream Flan; Orange Cheesecake

Blogosphere Meanderings:
This month I want to mention a fellow clergy wife, Amanda, at The Vicar’s Wife whose simple, quickly made and most importantly, delicious Whole Orange Cake I have now made many times.   Need a quick cake to take to an event?  This is the one!  The Vicar’s wife writes on life in and around her West Midlands Vicarage. There are a few more recipes there too as well as posts on a diverse range of subjects: I particularly liked the Holy Week Timeline, Resurrection Eggs (and the additional post Resurrection Eggs for Toddlers, Sunday School and Busy Vicars), Afterwards I Knew (a book review), Hallelujah in a Modern Church and A Very Short Sermon – the best type? (1minute 43seconds).  I never know what I will read next! Coming up on this site soon, my version of Amanda’s Spanish Gammon Hotpot. Other recipes she has that I particularly want to try are Lemonies, and Date and Coconut Chews.
Entertaining Meanderings: 
There was another big church lunch to cater again this month.  Four people were leaving the parish for pastures anew, including two members of staff and a church member leaving for mission work in South-east Asia.  We found ourselves catering for 150+ … and having to use the considerably larger facilities of the girls’ secondary school next door to the church.  In the end it was a fabulous occasion with plenty of food and plenty of choice with a large number of willing helpers.  My contribution was Mexican Style Chicken & Pepper Salad for 50 people using Poached Chicken Breasts, which were cooked in advance so easy to assemble on the morning and a large Black Forest Trifle.

Miscellaneous Meanderings:
I can hardly believe that I have been ‘Meandering through my Cookbook’ for two years and have posted a roundup to celebrate my 2nd blogiversary.

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

Coming in April … a change of posting plan.  Rather than a collection of similar recipes each month I am going to try posting a much broader range of recipes: both savoury and sweet.  Starting with a special Afternoon Tea on a special day for a special lady!

Happy Cooking & Eating!

 Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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