Friday, 8 March 2013

Food for a busy day

Happy International Women's Day!  I wonder if there is a men's day as well...if not, I think there should be! :-)  A friend of mine is organising a fundraising event for Oxfam nearby, so I will go over there at lunchtime with a batch of jam doughnut muffins.  I hope it will be really successful as she has put a lot of work into it.

I've started having a good sort out at home.  Unbelievable just how much stuff we have :-(  It's not all our fault though because we basically inherited a house full of stuff and then had to move the contents of my flat into it.  Bursting at the seams comes to mind and I can just see some stuff ending up on Freecycle where you give things away for free.  What a great invention that website is - if you haven't come across Freecycle before, why not have a look if there is one in your area?

So, it's busy busy at the moment and food will have to be quick today.  I will have one of my favourite things: red lentil stew.  Well, this can be a soup or a stew really and you can have it on its own, on top of rice or with roti flatbreads.  I use red lentils for this as they don't need soaking beforehand which makes it a lot quicker.  I love the warming curry flavours in this and the bits of sweetcorn and I usually top it with a dollop of plain yogurt (although the stew is not overly spicy - I just find it adds an extra dimension to it).  I can't wait to tuck in... :-)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Feeling jammy

A mixture of drawn out birthday celebrations and family stuff meant that I didn't get a chance to write a post until now.  A beautiful lunch was spent at one of my favourite restaurants in Swansea, Patrick's , lingering over the delicious food. 

I had a beautiful local goat's cheese with beetroot and homemade pickle - gorgeous!  My main course was plaice on a mussel, cockle and leek chowder...heavenly!  Mr Happy Larder's food choices were equally amazing with potted pork terrine followed by lamb three ways.  We were too stuffed for dessert but had coffee that came with a tiny chocolate brownie - just enough to hit that sweet spot. We don't go out for food that often these days but when we do, it feels really special and we love it.  I did have to restrain myself from taking photos of our food :-)

Definitely a lot simpler is today's recipe: jam cakes, also known as jammy dodgers.  Basically, they are shortbread-type biscuits sandwiched together with jam.  I used raspberry and strawberry jam and made large biscuits but you can make smaller ones too.  And I used a small biscuit cutter to cut out the middle.  They were so quick to make (less than half an hour including baking) and very tasty indeed.  I hope you like these as a treat!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Sunny suppers

The sun came out at the weekend and for the first time in what seems like months, I was able to do a bit of gardening.  Just a little weeding and mowing the lawn but oh, how lovely it was to be back out there!  I find it so calming and feeling the sun on my skin was beautiful.  I also had a look at my seed collection as I am itching to get started again with sowing vegetable seeds.  The nights are still frosty, so a bit more patience is needed...

Then yesterday I drew the winner of the giveaway and that made for a great start to the week - I just wish I had been able to give something to everyone, especially to those who go through the trouble of sending such lovely comments so regularly.  Well, there is always the next time and I am already plotting what goodies will go into the next giveaway.  I've got a couple of good ideas... :-)

Despite the recent sunshine, my body is still craving comfort food.  Light summer dishes are not on my menu just yet...again, more patience required.  As you have probably gathered by now, I love doing recipes in the oven and one of my favourites is potato gratin.  We have a great big bay tree in the garden, so I use the leaves from it in this supper dish although I dare say it would be just as nice without.

What a great dish!  It can be a side dish or turned into a meal in itself and it never ever disappoints :-)

Mhm, I can imagine it now, all creamy with lots of potato and vegetables and maybe even some ham thrown in for good measure - yum! As usual, I have amended the quantities of cream and cheese and have added more vegetables to make it slightly healthier without loosing its creamy luxurious taste.  I hope you will like this one as much as we do!

Monday, 4 March 2013

And the winner is...

Ta-dah!  It's Monday morning and as promised, I have drawn the winner of the Fragrant Freebie giveaway under the watchful eyes of Mr Happy Larder and Keith the dog. So, without further ado, the winner is: JANE!  Congratulations!  Your name came out of the hat - Keith was very excited about all the little bits of paper and wanted to help, so he ate the winning ticket as soon as I had taken it out :-) Could you please email me with your details (my address is in my profile), so I can send your prize to you as soon as possible.
Thank you to everyone for taking part and a big thank you also to Sue at Somerset Suds for providing the goodies!  There will be more giveaways coming up soon, so watch this space!!!

And after all that excitement, here is today's recipe...
Roti..busy puffing up...

I'll let you into a secret: I love eating with my hands! I don't get to do it very often but it is strangely liberating when I do.  We went on a camping safari in Africa last year and standing around the fire, grilling tortilla bread and sausages for breakfast is one of my fondest food memories. So simple, so basic, so delicious!  But whilst you might not want to throw away your cutlery just yet, how about making some bread to help scoop up that curry, stew,...?  Meet roti, the little flatbreads popular in India and Nepal and for good reason: these are so easy and quick to make, it's unbelievable!  I made some to have with our chicken curry last night and they were delicious!  So, next time you cannot be bothered to cook rice, have a go at making these and be prepared to be amazed.