Blueberry Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup

Some mornings only pancakes will do. Those lovely thick American style pancakes.  Combine them with a mixture of salty and sweet…..what more could you want!

I used the fabulous Nigella Lawson’s recipe for American Breakfast Pancakes from “How to be a Domestic Goddess” as the base.

These pancakes are comforting, satisfying, and when feeding a horde of hungry people are a useful fall-back.  I love them accompanied by crisp bacon and lashings of maple syrup. Salty-sweet heaven.

Sometimes, however, in the interests of healthy eating – 5-a-day and all that – I like to throw in a little something else.  Sweetcorn works very well, but today I used blueberries.

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Put the bacon under the grill and cook to your preference.  I like my bacon really crisp.  I mean REALLY crisp! And whilst that is happening, blitz the batter in a blender or with an electric whisk.  I substitute a glug of sunflower oil for the butter in the recipe and find it works just as well.

Throw in the blueberries, or sweetcorn, or leave as is and let it rest for a while before dropping spoonfuls in a pan and cooking.

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And, finally, sit down and enjoy!

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

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Smoked Salmon Spaghetti

What is it about Sunday night suppers?  For me they need to be an easy, tasty, lazy meal.  I have the rest of the week ahead with work, cooking and chores, why would I want to slave away cooking supper at the end of the weekend!  Tonight was a combination of two of my favourite foods – smoked salmon and pasta.  Before you roll your eyes and complain about cost, you only need a small amount of the smoked salmon – a packet of the trimmings will do very nicely, and really, you won’t break the bank.

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For the pasta you can use linguine or spaghetti, along with fresh dill, capers, crème fraîche and smoked salmon you are almost there!

Simply boil the pasta the way you like it. Reserve a couple of spoons of the cooking liquid and drain, returning to the pot.  Add a glug of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of crème fraîche, chopped dill, chopped capers and the salmon and mix well together.  Serve with a good dusting of freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Simple, easy, lazy and tasty!

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful day 🙂

Oven Baked Vegetable Frittata

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I love a good frittata, it is such an easy recipe to adapt and there are so many options. Today I decided to bake it in the oven – so much easier – just throw everything together and stick it in the oven.  What’s not to like?

I decided not to overcomplicate matters by using too many ingredients. Starting off I chopped the potatoes into bite sized pieces, and roasted them with a little olive oil until cooked and nicely coloured. Then chop up some red, green and yellow peppers and three red onions and roasted them in the same pan.

For six greedy people I used eight large eggs, which I whisked until frothy and well blended.  Put the roasted vegetables in a large greased baking dish and scattered some of those delicious sundried tomatoes which are mixed with garlic and herb oil (drain them first). Then chop up a block of Taleggio into small pieces and scatter evenly over the vegetables.  Pour the egg on top and bake in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.  Season to taste.

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Beef Casserole

Yes, I know.  This isn’t a cake, I haven’t baked. But, admit it, this is the weather for comfort food. It’s cold, it’s drizzly and miserable outside (drizzleable…..!!) and, to be honest I get tired of coming home after work and making supper each night.  Which means on the occasional Sunday I need to prepare the week’s meals so that all I have to do each evening is minor preparation and heating up the food.  Of course I don’t always do this (preparing ahead) because I am disorganised, or, come Sunday I can’t bear the thought of standing in the kitchen for a few hours preparing the food.

However, comfort food calls and a good hearty stew, or casserole – it sounds so much more sophisticated, doesn’t it 😉 is called for. Whilst I searched plenty of recipes on the internet I must confess in the end I just bought bits and pieces and flung them together.

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I chopped and braised the vegetables in small batches – I cannot believe I had the patience to do this, and then did the same with the meat.  I put it all in the casserole dish with herbs, chopped tomatoes, concentrated tomato puree, and stock.

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I covered the casserole dish and whacked the whole lot in the oven. Two hours later, and a house filled with the tomatoey, stewy, winter comfort food smell, it is cooked.

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I had wanted to serve it with mashed potatoes, but in the end decided on steamed new potatoes.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stay warm and safe. Have a lovely weekend.

 

Rosemary, Olive and Garlic Focaccia

Baking bread is therapeutic. All that kneading. Not to mention the aroma of freshly baked bread….

A recipe tweaked my interest – no-knead focaccia.  What??? WHAT??? No kneading? Oh, go on, I’ll give it a try.

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I don’t have a breadmaker. In fact, I am the breadmaker! I enjoy it as much for the process as for the end result. I have read about slow rise breads, where the dough is refrigerated overnight for a slower rise and here was the recipe to try.

My dough was initially very dry, which I felt was wrong, and so I upped the olive oil and water quantities and nervously put it in the fridge overnight. It did rise, but looked alarmingly wet.

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Still, I persevered, ever hopeful.

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The dough really was too wet, I found it difficult to shape out on the baking tray. But, live and learn, huh!

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And so, the end result. I really need to tweak this, although it worked, and the texture is good, I think it could be better, and maybe a little less liquid, a different baking dish. I don’t know. I’ll think about it.  In the meantime, freshly baked focaccia tastes fantastic 🙂

 

Rhubarb Crumble

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I haven’t blogged for a few weeks. I’ve been struggling with what I wanted to say, and whether I should say it. I haven’t managed to haul myself out of that place yet. But I did bake. And when you are feeling low, tired, sore, confused, lost…..what better to bake than comfort food. In this case, comfort pudding.

A colleague gave me some rhubarb and so my mind was set.  Rhubarb crumble. A warm pudding, crumbly, crunchy topping and soft, comforting and slightly tart fruit filling. Served with custard of course. I do prefer not to add too much sugar, a little sharpness from the fruit is always good.

I threw some braeburn apples into the fruit mix because apples are always good to “flesh out” a crumble and rhubarb cooks down to almost nothing, so it needed something extra.

The crumble topping was standard, and I always add oats and walnuts because it helps with the texture.

The custard?  I confess I bought ready-made custard. No-one’s perfect!