Monthly Archives: August 2011

Blueberry Cake with Cheesecake Frosting

First up… I am very very sorry.  No, really, I am.  I kept this cake from you.  I actually baked it, ahem, nearly a year ago… oops?

I only realised that I hadn’t actually written up this recipe when I went to find the recipe again and found it wasn’t already up here.  But, I’m posting it now, just as all the blueberries go on offer in the supermarkets… forgive me?

However, now there is now absolutley nothing standing in your way if you want to make this now coz even better, it is so, so, so easy!  Even if you don’t have any blueberries or indeed any fresh fruit I think this would do well enough with sultanas or something!  Go to it!

It came from the Good Food website, but just in case it ever disappears I’m going to pop it up here too.

Serves 12

175g unsalted butter
175 golden caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
142ml soured cream or creme fraiche (I think I went for creme fraiche)
250g blueberries
200g soft cheese
100g icing sugar

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
– Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla in a food processor and blitz it until it is smooth and pale.
– Add 4 tbsp of the creme fraiche or soured cream and blend a little bit more.
– Stir through about half the blueberries then pour into the cake tin and smooth out the top.
– Bake for 50 minutes until it springs back when poked.
– Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
– Un-tin it and peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack.
– Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and the rest of the creme fraiche or soured cream.
– Once the cake is completely cooled spread the icing on top and dot with the blueberries.
– Eat!


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Filed under Cakes, Easy

Turkey Meatballs with Courgette Ribbons

I invented this dish in honour of my first ever home grown courgette from my garden.  Less than 3 meters from plant to plate, that’s not bad going!  I have to say, I was actually impressed with myself for coming up with this recipe.  A lot of my cooking sometimes feels like rehashing the same old things in new and different ways.  This recipe was actually new and different and so, so , so delicious!

It is actually a simple recipe with just a few fiddly bits.  I would recommend a stick blender with a goblet attachment but you could use a food processor if necessary.  (Mine came from Tesco for £15 so it doesn’t have to break the bank.) I would also recommend a mandoline (£9 from Wilkos, see, doesn’t have to bee that bad).  However, you can easily use a vegetable peeler if you don’t fancy giving up the cupboard space.

Serves 2

1 heels of a white bread loaf
1/2 small onion
2 rashers of unsmoked bacon
~300g turkey mince
1 egg
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 courgettes, cut into ribbons with either a mandoline or a vegetable peeler
300ml double cream

– Use the mini blender to blitz the bread into crumbs.  Place the crumbs in a medium sized mixing bowl.
– Put the onion and bacon, roughly chopped, in the mini blender and blitz until they become a paste.
– Add this to the breadcrumbs.
– Add the turkey mine, the egg and the garlic.  Season to taste.
– Mix until everything is well combined.
– Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a very large frying pan.
– Pinch off small, walnut sized balls of the mixture and lightly roll into balls then place in the hot oil.  The mixture will be a little wet but don’t worry.
– Gently turn over the meatballs after 4 minutes and continue to cook on the other side for another 4 minutes.
– If you have a big enough pan you can do this in one batch, if not, do half, put on a plate then do the next half.
– Take the meatballs out of the pan and place on a plate to one side.
– Add the courgette ribbons to the pan and stir gently until the ribons are just starting to cook.
– Add the meatballs back to the pan.
– Pour over the cream.  Bring to a light simmer and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes stirring occasionally.
– The sauce should go a golden colour once it has picked up all the flavour from the meat.
– Serve with linguine, tagliatelli or spaghetti, something long an thin anyway.

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Filed under Mains, Moderately easy

Oyster Chicken

This recipe was a staple midweek meal when I was at school.  Utterly delicious, I’ve been eating this stirfry for over a decade now and I’m still not tired of it!  Now it’s a tiny bit fiddlier than my usual but not by much at all, it still falls in the realm of quick and easy.

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 fl oz hot chicken stock
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6-8 mushrooms, sliced (I used 1 small can of straw mushrooms from the Chinese Supermarket)
4 oz mange tout or sugar snap peas (I grew mine myself!)
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp sesame oil

– Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok, then cook the chicken until just cooked.
– Add the mushrooms and garlic and stirfry until the mushrooms are just cooked.
– Add the peas and stir to distribute.
– Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock and lemon juice and stir until well combined and everything is coated.  Alternatively you can mix it up in a jug first then pour it over the chicken.
– Simmer for about 8 minutes.
– Mix the cornflour with a little water then add to the sauce and stir until it thickens.
– Serve with Basmati rice.


Filed under Easy, Mains

The Call of the Wild

Sorry for, once again, leaving a long gap between posts. I’ve got some amazing recipes to share with you guys just as soon as I sit down and type them up, it’s just finding the time!

I’ve been neglegting my kitchen somewhat of late in favour of the garden.  My little yard is being fairly productive and pretty (I ate my first ever home grown courgette, look forward to that recipe, it’s amazing!) Everything there is grown in pots and watered by a micro irrigation system.  So that’s ticking along fairly well.

Right Side

Left side

Considering it started last summer like this, I’m pretty happy with it! It pretty much does its own thing.  I grow everything all muddled together, trees, veg, flowers, herbs etc.  It all just does what it wants with minimal interference from me.  So far so good.  But this is what has been taking up all of my time recently.  My shared back garden.  Here is what it looked like when I first moved in:

Now, it’s not terribly in focus so it doesn’t look too bad here, nice and green, right? Well, that my friends, is pretty much solid weeds… there are a few shrubs struggling along, and some grass somewhere in the middle but most of it is ground elder.

As of about 1 hour ago it looked like this:

I think I’ve made some good progress!  It is still very much a work in progress.  As you can sort of see, I’m working from left to right and I am seriously lacking in actual plants now that all of the weeds are gone but we’ll get there.  I’m aiming for a nice, traditional English border, may be mix in some vegetables, the far right is definitely going to be a herb garden, there’s a gorgeuos lemon balm in there already but I want to get some mint going and definitely a rosemary, lavender and sage too.  We’re even considering a rockery as the boulders we’ve extracted from the soil are just begging for something like that!

So that’s what has had me all distracted lately, I hope you’ll forgive me and bear with me until the autumn when I’m sure I’ll be racing back to my cozy kitchen once again!  But I do promise to try harder to get the recipes I’m sitting on up as soon as possible.  In fact, I’ll start now!



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Filed under Not Food