15 February 2011

Windsor Farmers Market Stew

On the first Saturday of every month St Leonards Road in Windsor becomes home to the Windsor Farmers Market. It's organised by the Thames Valley Farmers' Market Co-operative who run markets at 18 locations across the region. Be warned, do not go if you haven't had a decent breakfast as you'll want to eat your way around the stalls. There is a delicious selection of foodie delights to choose from including local meat, veg, fruit, cakes, bread & some very tempting chocolates! I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to get there this month with the aim of picking ingredients to make a Farmers Market Stew. In this horrible, miserable, damp, cold weather, (can you tell I don't like winter??) I think stews are the ultimate comfort food, of course served up with a massive dollop of mashed potato!

So I started with some beef stewing steak, then had a chat with a lovely farmer about celeriac. I was aware of it & I think had eaten it in a salad, but naively had no idea what it looked like. It's quite an ugly veggie poor thing, looks a bit like a mutant swede! Anyway it's in season at the minute & it was recommended as a great addition to a stew. A few extra veggies & a bottle of Brakspear Oxford Gold organic ale from Waitrose & I was good to go.

500g beef stewing steak
2 tbsps plain flour
Salt & pepper
1 small celeriac
1 large carrot
2 red onions
1 large parsnip
1 bottle of beer
250ml beef stock
2 tbps tomato puree

1. Peel & chop all the veggies into small pieces. Start by frying the onion in a little oil until soft. Season the flour & stir through the beef, then add this to the pan with the onion & fry for 2-3 minutes to seal it.

2. Add the rest of the veggies & the tomato puree, then pour over the beer & stock & stir well. Transfer the stew to a oven proof dish with a lid & pop it in the oven at 150c/GM3 for around 2 hours until the beef starts to fall apart. I took mine out twice during cooking to give it a good stir.

3. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving & that's it. Chuck it all in a dish & in the oven...foolproof!


The celeriac adds a lovely flavour to the stew, quite sweet, which complements the beery gravy, to make it even tastier I think I'd add a few herb dumplings next time. Let me know if you have a secret stew ingredient you'd be willing to share? :-) Enjoy, Rebecca x

9 February 2011

Forever Nigella #2 - Chocolate Love Buns

I'm not normally one to get swept away with the whole Valentines Day hype, but this year I've decided to jump on the bandwagon & create a Valentines Day treat for the second round of the Forever Nigella blogging challenge hosted by Maison Cupcake

This months theme is Seduced by Chocolate & I did wonder if I could resubmit last months recipe. In case you missed it, it was Devils Food Cake & was about as chocolaty you could get! But that would be cheating & instead I made a variation on a recipe that was featured in Nigella's Feast book (my favourite!)

Love Buns seemed quite apt for Valentines Day, I've adapted them into Chocolate Love Buns, topping them with pink frosting & a dusting of shimmer!

Click here to view Nigella's original recipe. For my variation I simply added 25g cocoa powder to the cake mix & a few drop of natural red food colouring to the frosting along with the vanilla essence. I love these & trust me they're not half as sweet as they look. The cake is deliciously soft & the frosting is so fluffy & light it could almost float off the top of the cake!



Hope you enjoy my Love Buns (makes me giggle like a 8 year old every time!) & maybe even make some for your Love Bunny this Valentines Day, beats shop bought any day!



Happy Valentines Day, Rebecca x

6 February 2011

Sweet Nostalgia #2 - Wham Bar



Following on from Flumps, this week I've re-discovered Wham Bars. A toxic pink chew bar with super sour fizzy bits, they are one of the few sweets that doesn't seem to have got smaller as I've got bigger! I'm sure these are a dentists worst nightmare & if I had any fillings it would have pulled them out, but I enjoyed every bit of it! My next mission is to try & track down a Highland Toffee bar...anyone know where they still sell them? Rebecca x

2 February 2011

New challenge - recipe testing!

One of the nicest things about writing a blog is that along the way you get to meet lots of lovely people who are as obsessive about things as you are! Just as I had come to the end of my baking challenge I replied to a tweet request asking for people who fancied recipe testing. The tweet came from a lady named Vanessa Kimbell, who very excitingly is launching her first cook book later this year. After a chat on the phone it was decided that I would test Vanessa's recipe for Orange & Cardamon Barfi, I would continue writing my blog & that I had an invite to visit Northampton sometime in early June (Vanessa is a very persuasive person :-) So I'm happy to say that I am now a....
The ethos of the book is to provide recipes for time short foodies, allowing you to prepare as much as possible in advance, thus being PREPPED! I get so frustrated when recipes don't quite work for me, so I love the fact that Vanessa has shared her recipes for people to test, making sure that everything works as it should. So how did I get on?

I must admit Barfi doesn't have the most appealing name! It's a traditional Indian sweet made mostly from milk, flavoured with spices, fruit & nuts. Vanessa's version adds orange zest & cardamon powder which gives it a delicious fragrant flavour.

It was really simple to make & didn't require any real cooking (other than a bit of melting!) You just need to allow a few hours to leave it to set in a pan before you can cut it into pieces. Barfi has a deliciously rich flavour & I'd recommend it as something different to have with an after dinner coffee.


Thanks to Vanessa for the opportunity to test this & play a teeny tiny part in what I'm sure will be a very successful book!

Why not pop over to Prepped to view the this recipe & lots of other yummy ideas .

Good luck with the launch! Rebecca x

The Pig of Happiness

This has nothing to do with food, other than it features a very happy pig, some sheep & some chickens! Can't help but grin when you watch it so I thought I'd share it....

Happy hump day everyone! Rebecca x

15 February 2011

Windsor Farmers Market Stew

On the first Saturday of every month St Leonards Road in Windsor becomes home to the Windsor Farmers Market. It's organised by the Thames Valley Farmers' Market Co-operative who run markets at 18 locations across the region. Be warned, do not go if you haven't had a decent breakfast as you'll want to eat your way around the stalls. There is a delicious selection of foodie delights to choose from including local meat, veg, fruit, cakes, bread & some very tempting chocolates! I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to get there this month with the aim of picking ingredients to make a Farmers Market Stew. In this horrible, miserable, damp, cold weather, (can you tell I don't like winter??) I think stews are the ultimate comfort food, of course served up with a massive dollop of mashed potato!

So I started with some beef stewing steak, then had a chat with a lovely farmer about celeriac. I was aware of it & I think had eaten it in a salad, but naively had no idea what it looked like. It's quite an ugly veggie poor thing, looks a bit like a mutant swede! Anyway it's in season at the minute & it was recommended as a great addition to a stew. A few extra veggies & a bottle of Brakspear Oxford Gold organic ale from Waitrose & I was good to go.

500g beef stewing steak
2 tbsps plain flour
Salt & pepper
1 small celeriac
1 large carrot
2 red onions
1 large parsnip
1 bottle of beer
250ml beef stock
2 tbps tomato puree

1. Peel & chop all the veggies into small pieces. Start by frying the onion in a little oil until soft. Season the flour & stir through the beef, then add this to the pan with the onion & fry for 2-3 minutes to seal it.

2. Add the rest of the veggies & the tomato puree, then pour over the beer & stock & stir well. Transfer the stew to a oven proof dish with a lid & pop it in the oven at 150c/GM3 for around 2 hours until the beef starts to fall apart. I took mine out twice during cooking to give it a good stir.

3. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving & that's it. Chuck it all in a dish & in the oven...foolproof!


The celeriac adds a lovely flavour to the stew, quite sweet, which complements the beery gravy, to make it even tastier I think I'd add a few herb dumplings next time. Let me know if you have a secret stew ingredient you'd be willing to share? :-) Enjoy, Rebecca x

9 February 2011

Forever Nigella #2 - Chocolate Love Buns

I'm not normally one to get swept away with the whole Valentines Day hype, but this year I've decided to jump on the bandwagon & create a Valentines Day treat for the second round of the Forever Nigella blogging challenge hosted by Maison Cupcake

This months theme is Seduced by Chocolate & I did wonder if I could resubmit last months recipe. In case you missed it, it was Devils Food Cake & was about as chocolaty you could get! But that would be cheating & instead I made a variation on a recipe that was featured in Nigella's Feast book (my favourite!)

Love Buns seemed quite apt for Valentines Day, I've adapted them into Chocolate Love Buns, topping them with pink frosting & a dusting of shimmer!

Click here to view Nigella's original recipe. For my variation I simply added 25g cocoa powder to the cake mix & a few drop of natural red food colouring to the frosting along with the vanilla essence. I love these & trust me they're not half as sweet as they look. The cake is deliciously soft & the frosting is so fluffy & light it could almost float off the top of the cake!



Hope you enjoy my Love Buns (makes me giggle like a 8 year old every time!) & maybe even make some for your Love Bunny this Valentines Day, beats shop bought any day!



Happy Valentines Day, Rebecca x

6 February 2011

Sweet Nostalgia #2 - Wham Bar



Following on from Flumps, this week I've re-discovered Wham Bars. A toxic pink chew bar with super sour fizzy bits, they are one of the few sweets that doesn't seem to have got smaller as I've got bigger! I'm sure these are a dentists worst nightmare & if I had any fillings it would have pulled them out, but I enjoyed every bit of it! My next mission is to try & track down a Highland Toffee bar...anyone know where they still sell them? Rebecca x

2 February 2011

New challenge - recipe testing!

One of the nicest things about writing a blog is that along the way you get to meet lots of lovely people who are as obsessive about things as you are! Just as I had come to the end of my baking challenge I replied to a tweet request asking for people who fancied recipe testing. The tweet came from a lady named Vanessa Kimbell, who very excitingly is launching her first cook book later this year. After a chat on the phone it was decided that I would test Vanessa's recipe for Orange & Cardamon Barfi, I would continue writing my blog & that I had an invite to visit Northampton sometime in early June (Vanessa is a very persuasive person :-) So I'm happy to say that I am now a....
The ethos of the book is to provide recipes for time short foodies, allowing you to prepare as much as possible in advance, thus being PREPPED! I get so frustrated when recipes don't quite work for me, so I love the fact that Vanessa has shared her recipes for people to test, making sure that everything works as it should. So how did I get on?

I must admit Barfi doesn't have the most appealing name! It's a traditional Indian sweet made mostly from milk, flavoured with spices, fruit & nuts. Vanessa's version adds orange zest & cardamon powder which gives it a delicious fragrant flavour.

It was really simple to make & didn't require any real cooking (other than a bit of melting!) You just need to allow a few hours to leave it to set in a pan before you can cut it into pieces. Barfi has a deliciously rich flavour & I'd recommend it as something different to have with an after dinner coffee.


Thanks to Vanessa for the opportunity to test this & play a teeny tiny part in what I'm sure will be a very successful book!

Why not pop over to Prepped to view the this recipe & lots of other yummy ideas .

Good luck with the launch! Rebecca x

The Pig of Happiness

This has nothing to do with food, other than it features a very happy pig, some sheep & some chickens! Can't help but grin when you watch it so I thought I'd share it....

Happy hump day everyone! Rebecca x

 

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