Rhubarb and Orange Compote with Yogurt and Museli

A little breakfast recipe here to ease back into the swing of things! This Rhubarb and Orange Compote is a nice zingy way to pep up your yogurt and museli and gets the day off to a great start! I didn’t used to be a breakfast person.  In fact I spent about 28 years avoiding the meal!  Nowadays, however, I cannot get going until I’ve had a good breakfast and I know that a bad breakfast will hold me back the whole day, no matter how much I’ve enjoyed it! (I’m looking at you, croissants!).  I need protein to kickstart me, sugary cereals and pastries do me no good at all.  I tend to turn to eggs but some days you just don’t want anything cooked, a cool bowl of greek yogurt, fruit and museli is just perfect for me then!

Rhubarb and Orange Compote

My love affair with rhubarb is well documented.  I love the colour and the tartness.  I think the combination of rhubarb and orange is just diving, a really zingy combination that hits your tastebuds and wakes you up! Perfect breakfast food!

Rhubarb and Orange Compote

 

Serves 2 generously, 4 more reservedly

~3 stalks rhubarb, trimmed
~100-150ml orange juice (just enough to come about halfway up your rhubarb in the pan)
2 tbsp sugar (or  honey as a natural alternative) *

Plain Greek Yogurt and Museli to serve

– Trim your rhubarb and chop it to about 2″ lengths.
– Pop it in a small saucepan with enough orange juice to come about halfway up your rhubarb and the sugar or honey.
– Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until your rhubarb is soft.
– You can serve it warm but I like to prep this in advance for a cold breakfast.
– Serve with greek yogurt and museli.  I like to mix up my own museli according to my mood, this time it was oats, almonds, hazelnuts and goji berries.

*You may find you can dial down or even leave out the sugar here if you like.  The sugar in the orange juice may be enough for you, especially if you are using a juice from concentrate rather than fresh as it has added sugars already.  I still have a painfully sweet tooth but I’m getting there cutting down slowly!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Breakfasts, Low Fat, Gluten Free

Anna’s Beekeeping Adventure!

My mother keeps bees.  While she is on holiday I house sit for her and… well, fail to keep bees! Here is a video I made about my attempts to capture the swarm of bees last weekend.

Leave a comment

Filed under Not Food

Days Out: Folly! at Studley Royal

I’ve always loved visiting Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, a National Trust property near Ripon.  I have been visiting since before I could walk, was a frequent feeder of ducks (until one bit me!) and during my A Level study leave I would frequently decamp to Anne Boleyn’s Seat to sit in total tranquility and study with no distractions!  A view like this was definitely inspirational!

Fountains Abbey

 

So I was very excited to go an visit the newest exhibition in the water gardens: Folly! This exhibition utilises some of the follys dotted around the water gardens to bring new life to these often overlooked structures.  I’ve always loved the romanticism of follys so this installations really captured my imagination.

Octagon Tower Studley Royal

I started with the high ride to the Octagon Tower, step inside and stare!

Octagon Tower Studley Royal

Then along the path through the woods we came to this curious nest at the Temple of Fame:

Temple of Fame Studley Royal

 

I think this one was the dogs’ favourite, a big pile of sticks! What could be better?

Temple of Fame Studley Royal

Then we continued down past Anne Boleyn’s Seat and on to Fountains Abbey.  The boys love jumping on the ruins!

Fountains Abbey

Then we turned back towards the water gardens.  The bluebells in the woods were looking lovely and the place was awash with wild garlic!

Bluebells at Fountains Abbey

We made our way up to the Banqueting House, an often overlooked section, which is a shame because it is the perfect spot for a picnic!

The Banqueting House Studley Royal

But look who was lurking inside!  You have to peer through the windows for this one, which can be tricky due to the light reflecting, but what a sight!

All in all it was a lovely walk.  It takes me and the dogs about an hour all told at a reasonably leisurely pace (you don’t get much faster with Darcy!) I think that Folly! is a fantastic addition to the site and makes you look a little closer at these lovely little buildings and see them in a new light.  It will be there until the end of November so plently of time to visit but I think that it will be great to go back throughout the seasons, especially when the leaves turn for autumn as the whole valley looks delightful then!  Why not take a picnic and make a day of it?

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Days Out, Dog Friendly, Not Food

Unplanned Hiatus

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus, guys! I sort of burnt out a little bit!  Sometimes I can’t stop the ideas and recipes from flowing and other times… well, it stops being fun.  This was sadly, one of those times.  I just wasn’t finding the joy that I usually do in cooking and blogging.  It all just seemed like too much.  So I stopped.  If it’s not fun anymore then that defeats the purpose.  Sorry for not giving any warning but I’ve taken myself off to the countryside, chilled out and managed to get back on track again!

IMG_1267

I’m going to be slowing down the posting for a bit to keep the pressure off.  Instead of twice a week I’m aiming for just one Friday post and anything extra is a bonus!  I’ve got some great recipes coming up, I hope you enjoy them and don’t be afraid to comment!  I love to know what’s happening in your kitchens too!

Here’s a little sneak peek at some upcoming recipes:

Rhubarb and Orange CompoteAsparabacon QuicheMini Breakfast CanapesPinwheel Pizza RollsMini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Horseradish

Icing Eclairs

Leave a comment

Filed under Not Food

Soft Boiled Quail’s Eggs

I was feeling fancy the other week so when I spied quails eggs I grabbed them without any idea how to work them into my meal plan!  It occurred to me that for many quails eggs might be a bit intimidating, they’re tiny little things and you don’t really see them in the supermarkets so they’re a bit of an unknown quantity.  I love using them though!  For lack of any suitable dish in my menu plan that week I simply soft boiled these and scoffed them like Malteasers with a pinch of salt!  They can be tricky to peel so if you were to fancy serving them as a canape I suggest you at least get them started by peeling off half the shell.  Wet hands are the trick here, makes things a lot easier!

Soft Boiled Quails Eggs

Simply prick each egg with a pin in the larger end and place in boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes.  Remove from the water and either eat warm immediately or plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking further.  If you leave them to air dry then your egg will continue to cook and will become hardboiled.  Rapidly cooking the egg means they stop cooking and stay soft.  Peel the egg as you would any hard boiled egg, as I said above, wet hands really help here, those little shells can be stubborn! A tiny pinch of salt makes any egg sing and these are no different.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Basic, Canapés, Easy

Garlicy Smoked Salmon, Prawn and Pea Pasta

Much though I try to like smoked salmon on its own, I just can’t get over the texture.  I love the taste though!  My solution is to work it into cooked dishes as much as possible so I can enjoy the flavour without the gag inducing texture!  This quick weeknight salmon and prawn dish works a treat and it’s so simple to throw together while the pasta is cooking.

Garlicy Smoked Salmon, Prawn and Pea Pasta

It’s a looker too, the peas give it a nice bit of pizzaz and the spirals of the prawns and spaghetti please me!  For a dish that takes about 10 minutes to cook you can’t go wrong!

Garlicy Smoked Salmon, Prawn and Pea Pasta

Serves 2

200g spaghetti (or linguine, tagliatelle etc, go nuts!)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or use the pureed stuff in a tube!)
200g smoked salmon
1/2 cup frozen peas
150g king prawns (cooked)
150ml creme fraiche
1/2 tsp chopped parsley (dried or fresh)

– Get the water boiling, salted and the pasta in.  Most pastas take 10 minutes but check your packet for instructions.
– Heat a splash of olive oil in a small saucepan.
– Add the garlic and smoked salmon and cook until the salmon is all flaked and has turned pale and opaque.
– Add the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes until defrosted and bright green.
– Add the prawns.
– Add the creme fraiche and parsley and cook until heated through and just bubbling.
– Add salt and pepper to taste, I find the salmon doesn’t usually need any additional salt but a dash of freshly ground black pepper does wonders!
– Your pasta should be done by now so drain it off and divide between your bowls.
– Top with sauce et voila, Dinner!

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Mains

Yakitori

I LOVE Yakitori!  But I often forget about how easy it is to prepare and how delicious it is to eat!  It’s a mainstay of Japanese food found on street stalls and izakaya menus across the country.  I have some absolutely perfect memories of eating Yakitori across Japan on my travels.

Yakitori

It’s usually served as a snack, side dish or a dish amongst many but you can make it as a main in its own right.  I had it with a bowl of rice and some gyoza here.  It’s a brilliant option for BBQs as something a little different and makes a great canape option too.

Yakitori

One of the great things about Yakitori is that you don’t need to marinate the meat.  You just make the sauce and brush it on as you cook it.  You could even make the sauce in advance (and soak your skewers) then it’s simply a matter of 10 minutes on the  grill!

Yakitori

 

Makes 6 skewers (serves 2 as a main)

2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways into strips (or chunks, whatever you prefer!)
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar

– Place your mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes on a low head but don’t let it get too hot or you will end up with salty toffee!
– Once the sauce is reduced and thickened (about the consistency of double cream) remove it from the heat.
– Reserve a little of your sauce for dipping once cooked
– Thread your chicken onto presoaked bamboo skewers.
– I like to give the chicken a quick coating of sauce before placing on the grill.
– Then put them on the grill and brush every minute or two with sauce.
– Give one final coating just before you serve for a glossy, sticky finish.
– Serve however you wish!

Yakitori

Leave a comment

Filed under Canapés, Dairy Free, Easy, Japanese, Low Fat, Mains, Sides