Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 and Gin Pickled Cucumbers.

2017. You had some epic highs and some tough spots. Thank you and good riddance.

I turned 29 just over a week ago. I’m now officially into my last year of my 20’s and in my 30th year of hanging around this world. My birthday is a bit of a non event and I enjoy other people’s birthdays much more. But, I have these lovely, beautiful and pesky friends that organise things for me each year and spoil me so I can’t skip it. I end up having the best time and realise birthdays aren't so terrible in the end. This is a message for future me.

Also, does anyone know where December went??? It came, and is nearly done and I’m still not sure how it all happened. It has flown. I normally bake my little feet off and gift cookies and toffee but this year it seemed hard enough to get a batch of mince pies baked, let alone cookies. I’m still not sure what went wrong except that it has been the most unorganised Christmas/December ever. We didn’t even have a tree up or lights... go on say it. Grinch! Grinchy Grinch Grinch! Yep I am. Instead of baking for people, I made gin pickled cucumbers from The Modern Preserver cookbook that I borrowed from the library. I’m sharing this recipe with you all because I wasn’t organised enough to gift everyone some and they are freaking amazing so you should make them yourself but also for me, to note the recipe down so I can make them again and again. They are sharp, pickley, spicy, zingy and go so so great with cold smoked salmon. If you love pickled things, you will LOVE these.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Summer Panzanella, the only salad recipe you need this summer from Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat | #GIVEAWAY

Welcome summer, you stinker you!!

I don’t know about the oven in your kitchen but when it’s a stinker like it has been for the past few days the last thing I want to do it turn my oven on. In winter we turn it on and use it as a heater, why on earth would we want that in summer?! Ok, I can think of two reasons. One, you promised mince pies to the office (totally regretting this one) and two, you get sent a lovely new cookbook. Tuesday was one of those days where both exceptions happened. And now we have a new rule in our home; I'm not allowed to turn the oven on throughout summer.

Ok so what recipe and book called for the oven to be turned on on a 30C+ day? First, the recipe, torn croutons of course. Yes dear readers, torn croutons. And I’m going to say you should do the same and get that oven cranking. It was totally worth it. No I didn’t just eat torn croutons, although they were delicious to snack on, they were for a Summer Panzanella Salad. This time of year, when it’s hot and you don’t want to eat steamy foods is the perfect time of year for this salad. The tomatoes make up a big portion and are beautiful and fragrant and just taste like summer right now but you also get the combination of dressing soaked croutons and the crunch from the croutons you add last minute. It’s a salad with the best kind of carbs and it’s delicious.

Monday, 4 December 2017

banana, fig and walnut loaf cake from The Tivoli Road Baker

I've started this post I think about ten times by now. What I want to say is just not coming out right.

But here goes... for the eleventh time now...

I've been in a cooking funk for a couple of weeks. My mind has been elsewhere. When this happens I find I go elbow deep in a project. At the moment, it's sourdough and for the past few weeks I've been trying to master a simple loaf, I think I've got it but sourdough is a labour of love. It takes planning and time. You put so much effort in, folding, proving, shaping, proving, preheating your oven to very freakin' hot, turning your apartment into a sauna and then, to find a flat, very dense, pancake looking blob. It's like a stab in the guts. Although in saying all this there has been one recipe that has given consistent results each and every time, the Basic Sourdough recipe from The Tivoli Road Baker Cookbook. It's simple, reliable, clear, not too wordy and I like that it uses both white and wholemeal flours. Now, for those sourdough bakers out there, I am sorry but I am not sharing a sourdough recipe here today. Even though I think I've got it down pack now (touch wood) I am no way confident enough to share sourdough on the space just yet, I still cross my fingers and pray to the sourdough gods each and every time.

banana, fig and walnut loaf cake from Tivoli Road Baker | salt sugar and i