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Originally posted on arecipeforgluttony

I am sharing this recipe because it is something super easy & fast you can make to add to a meal which will take it from ordinary to something really special. Pickling vegetables need only take 10 minutes and they add wonderful acidity & depth of flavour to all sorts of dishes and snacks without much effort. Don’t think pickled onions, although they are a great thing they are way too strong for most dishes. Quick pickled vegetables should be crunchy and still taste like themselves but with an acidity from the vinegar which does not overpower.

I often make some to add a bit of depth to a starter. For example, the photo above is scallops marinaded in wasabi with pickled fennel. The scallops are rich & creamy, the wasabi adds heat & the pickles give crunch and acidity. They are great with a terrine, or any cold meats, cheeses, seafood, grilled meats and even spicy dishes such as a curry.

The amount of pickling time will depend on the vegetables, how you cut them and the flavour you want to achieve. I often pickle radishes as they take on the liquid easily and we always seem to have them in the fridge. Thin slices only need about 5 minutes in the vinegar to have a lovely acidic flavour but retain a crunchy texture. I eat them with sushi, on salads, with cheeses and on…

via Pickled Vegetables – in just 10 mins | arecipeforgluttony.

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I've no idea what Ron's soup looks like but here's an approximation from Wikimedia!

I’ve no idea what Ron’s soup looks like but here’s a rough guess from Wikimedia!

Originally posted on Ron’s Rants

The soup will be puréed so no need to be obsessive about cutting up the veg**. For a veggie version just omit the chicken cube and the bacon.

**But see Update footnote.

Ingredients:-

500g (pack weight), Leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways, washed if needed, and sliced across

3 Sweet Spear carrots, sliced

3 rashers Sainsbury’s Butcher’s Choice Sweetcure unsmoked back bacon, fried in a little oil, cooled and chopped into small pieces. Retain the oil.

2 Kallo organic veg cubes, softened among the leeks

1 Knorr chicken cube, grated

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 litre of bean stock, if you have it. If not, boiling water. Bean stock is light on flavour but will contain nutrients from the beans

½ litre boiling water…

Read original: Leek, Potato, Bacon, and Soya Bean Soup… | Ron’s Rants…


Planning a little shindig for Easter? How about delicious Hot Cross Bun invitations?

Hot Cross Buns Easter Basket #2 5" X 7" Invitation Card
Hot Cross Buns Easter Basket #2 5″ x 7″ Invitation Cards (US)

Here’s Delia Smith’s recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

Ingredients

 450g strong white flour
 1 level teaspoon fine salt
 4 level teaspoons, easy bake yeast
 3 level teaspoons ground mixed spice
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 50g golden caster sugar
 110g currants (I like pinhead)
 50g whole candied peel, chopped
 50g spreadable butter
 150ml hand-hot milk
 75ml hand-hot water
 1 large egg, beaten
For the crosses:
 40g strong (or normal) plain flour
 10g spreadable butter
For the glaze:
 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
 2 tablespoons of water

Equipment

You will need a large baking sheet with a liner or well-greased and a lightly oiled polythene bag

Method

First tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, yeast, mixed spice and cinnamon then give it a good mix.

Add the caster sugar followed by the currants and candied peel then mix these dry ingredients together and make a well in the centre.

Next add the butter and pour the hand-hot milk and the hand-hot water over the butter followed by the beaten egg.

Now mix everything to a dough, starting with a spatula and finishing with your hands until it is all combined, evenly mixed and leaves the bowl clean. Add a spot more milk if it needs it.

Next cover the bowl with a polythene bag and leave it at room temperature to rise – it will take about 1½ hours to 2 hours to double its original volume.

Then turn the dough out on to clean work surface (you shouldn’t need any flour) and punch out the air.

Now divide the mixture into twelve using a palette knife.

Take one piece of the dough and shape it into a round then roll it between the fingers of each hand, keeping your hands flat, to form a fairly smooth round ball (this should only take about 10 seconds or so) then do the same with the remaining pieces of dough.

Arrange them on the lined or greased baking sheet (allowing plenty of room for expansion). Leave them to rise once more inside a large, lightly greased polythene bag for 45 minutes to an hour, or again until about double the size.

Meanwhile, if you want to make dough crosses, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add just enough cold water to form a dough then roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface to an oblong about 12cm by 16cm then cut it into 24 strips.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.

When the second rising is up, brush the strips with water, to make them stick, and make a cross on top of each bun trimming away any excess dough with a small knife.

Alternatively you can use a small sharp or serrated knife to score a cross in the top of each bun.

Bake the buns for 15 minutes near the centre of the oven. Then, while they’re cooking make the glaze in a small saucepan by slowly melting together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until the sugar granules have dissolved and you have a clear syrup.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with the glaze while they are still warm.

Then cool them on a wire rack.

If you are not serving them on the day that you bake them its best to freeze them as soon as they are cool.

Then when you need them defrost them and warm them through in the oven. If there are any left over they are wonderful, split, toasted and buttered on the following day.

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Still trying to recover from the festivities? Here are some suggestions.

On a side note, all is not rosy in the garden since Mr FND’s computer keeps shutting down involuntarily every few minutes. Hey ho!

First Night Design

450px-Pertois-Moriset_Champagne[Photo credit: Wikimedia]

Oh, oh, the shenanigans of the night before that ruin the morning after, whether it’s the bitch of a hangover or the sickening memory of what we did or said!  Most of us have been there.  My worst morning-after was a New Year’s Eve during which I drank a home-made punch that I swear had been spiked with something untoward. So untoward that I couldn’t move the following morning, let alone search for a hangover cure.

Most hangover cures fail.  The only one that works is not to drink too much in the first place, or not at all; but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it!

Curing the Holiday Hangover | Dr Mandy Silverman

As Dr. Mandy Silverman says on her blog, one should  eat a bloody good meal in advance and drink one glass of water to every alcoholic drink to counter the dehydration. Ever…

View original post 206 more words


No news on computer but this recipe always cheers me up. Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah x

First Night Design

Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick…

View original post 93 more words


I still have no working computer and mobile data roaming allows very little leeway. So here’s a reblog of my carrot recipes. I hope you’re all thriving. Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah

First Night Design

“Eight peas, please.” When I was very young, peas were the only vegetable I could stomach. Luckily, I grew out of that. Nowadays, there are very few vegetables I dislike. While okra and artichokes leave me cold, I eat almost every other vegetable available. Carrots, meanwhile, I could eat until the cows come home. They hold a special place in my heart. So many uses, such delicious options.

Carrots Make Great Soups & Fabulous Cakes

The following soup recipe is a staple at our place  and is an adaptation of one published in a Sainsburys cookery book from the 1980s, originally meant for a pressure cooker.

Carrot, Coriander & Ginger Soup

carrot soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • 4 large carrots, scraped and sliced.
  • 1 large onion, sliced.
  • 900ml / 1 1/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock.
  • large bunch fresh, chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan on…

View original post 301 more words


fp,550x550,black,off_white,box20,m,transparent-2

As Garlic for Heroes has just been featured in the Food for Thought group at Redbubble, here it is for your delectation (or not, of course) in a frame. Fear not, sweet tote-loving readers, I’ve also included the bag below since it would be perfect for shopping!

tb,1200x1200,small.2

Available to buy @
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle UK
Zazzle US
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I love chocolate and I love pears. Combine the two and I’m in seventh heaven.

food to glow

chocolate and pear quesadilla by food to glowIf you live in the UK it will not have escaped your notice that it is #NationalChocolateWeek. Not that most of us need an excuse, especially considering that we in the UK collectively gorge on 660,900 tonnes of the stuff each year. No doubt this is small beans {cacao beans} compared to the US, what with it apparently snaffling almost half the world’s chocolate supply – at an astonishing rate of 100 pounds a second. That’s a helluva lot of KitKats…

I’m not quite sure why we need a whole week celebrating chocolate, but at least it is a nice distraction and has made social media less about navel-gazing and more about face-stuffing. My Facebook feed is currently one long scroll of chocolate-related links. The added bonus is that pictures of chocolate creations tend to be nicer to look at than those of green smoothies and kale what-not {guilty, m’lud}.

I’m not always one to get on…

View original post 463 more words


Time for another recipe as it’s been far too long since I posted one. Not one of mine this time but a delicious-sounding Chinese Braised Pork Belly from A Recipe for Gluttony, which I could do with now after being unable to eat properly over the last few days for obvious reasons (see Reason for Absence and RIP Roy Heather).

arecipeforgluttony

Chinese Braised Pork Belly

This is the first recipe in our simple suppers series. We will be posting more in the coming months & are keen to hear your favourite ideas for quick, healthy meals.

Depending on your viewpoint pork belly might not seem like a particularly healthy meal. I think it is fine to eat sometimes & have included this recipe as it is nutritious, easy to prepare and is really tasty. You can take some of the fat off the pork – I did this after cooking so that the meat stayed soft & moist & flavoursome. The braise takes a little while but if you shove it in a low oven or slow cooker it does not need watching. It should take 10 minutes before and about 5 minutes to finish off after cooking.

Chinese rice wine is widely available and useful for lots of dishes so it is worth…

View original post 395 more words


Still raining? Still not the Spring-going-into-Summer weather you’re hoping for? Warm yourself up with one of Ron’s luscious soups. And keep your fingers crossed that this time tomorrow I will have my computer back from the hospital!

Ron's Rants...

I thought it was time I cobbled up a new vegetarian soup recipe as I tend to stick with two favourites lately, Roasted Cauliflower & Potato which, frankly, is amazingly good (I’ve made it with King Edwards and with Rooster, and I prefer Rooster, though both are very good – not just my opinion, by the way), and Cannellini Beans and Vegetables .

If the Cauliflower and Potato has a downside, it’s a

View original post 881 more words


“Eight peas, please.” When I was very young, peas were the only vegetable I could stomach. Luckily, I grew out of that. Nowadays, there are very few vegetables I dislike. While okra and artichokes leave me cold, I eat almost every other vegetable available. Carrots, meanwhile, I could eat until the cows come home. They hold a special place in my heart. So many uses, such delicious options.

Carrots Make Great Soups & Fabulous Cakes

The following soup recipe is a staple at our place  and is an adaptation of one published in a Sainsburys cookery book from the 1980s, originally meant for a pressure cooker.

Carrot, Coriander & Ginger Soup

carrot soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • 4 large carrots, scraped and sliced.
  • 1 large onion, sliced.
  • 900ml / 1 1/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock.
  • large bunch fresh, chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan on a low to medium heat.
  2. Saute the carrots and onions for a few minutes until the slices are transparent.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the coriander and ground ginger. Bring to the boil and simmer until the carrots are tender.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Puree the soup with a blender and season to taste.
  6. Reheat as necessary.
  7. Serve with warm, crusty bread and a side salad of choice.
  8. Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.

I haven’t made the cake below for an age but I’m going to mix and bake right this minute!

Captivating Carrot & Banana Cake

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 225g / 8oz self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g / 5oz light muscovado sugar
  • 100g / 4oz carrots, grated
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml / 5fl oz sunflower oil

Icing

  • 175g / 6oz low-fat soft cheese
  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 100g / 4oz icing sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to  Gas mark 4 / 180C / 350F.
  2. Butter an 8in / 20cm deep cake tin.
  3. Fold all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into the cake tin and level the top with a knife.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 mins. Make sure it is fully risen and that the sides are starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a few minutes before turning it out onto a cake rack.
  7. Blend the icing ingredients into a bowl until smooth.
  8. Wait until the cake is completely cool before spreading the icing on the top.
  9. The cake will need to be kept in the fridge before serving because of the icing.

Enjoy!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related Articles


A Girl Called Jack

Jack Monroe with her son

I first came across Jack Monroe last summer and was drawn to her no-nonsense and humorous approach to life and survival in the face of overwhelming odds, not least those created by a government hell-bent on demonising single mothers, the poor, the unemployed and the most vulnerable, at the same time as cutting  benefits to a level that makes survival all but impossible.

Jack’s fame began to spread through the excellence of her blog and the help her budget recipes were providing for so many. In May 2013, she won the judges’ choice award at the Fortnum & Mason food awards. One of the reasons they gave was that her recipes are “so nutritious and thrifty that they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing”.

In July, she was interviewed by The Guardian, which is probably the point at which I discovered her: ‘Poverty, almost paradoxically, gave her a voice,’ writes Patrick Butler. Soon after, she and her recipes became the target of Richard Littlejohn’s venom. The unscrupulous journalist (yes, the Daily Wail is his employer) described her as the Left’s ‘poverty poster girl’ and disparaged her use of dried pasta and kale in cooking as though she were a fraud because “those whom the Guardianistas disdain as ‘ordinary people’ don’t eat pasta – they eat spaghetti out of tins. Most of them will have never heard of kale, let alone eaten it”. Please! Jack wrote a spirited riposte which was published in The Guardian, for whom she now writes  a food column, and deservedly so.

If Jack’s face is familiar on a national scale today, it is because she is part of Sainsburys’ 2014 television campaign.  All power to her elbow. I, for one, salute her.  Her first cookery book is being published next month by Michael Joseph: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Honey roasted ham with veg, £1.53
First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas.  As always, all prices based on Sainsburys and Sainsburys Basics range where available. Similar products available at most leading supermarkets.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: My £2.25 Christmas dinner on the One Show!

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Mince pie crumble, 31p

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related articles

450px-Pertois-Moriset_Champagne[Photo credit: Wikimedia]

Oh, oh, the shenanigans of the night before that ruin the morning after, whether it’s the bitch of a hangover or the sickening memory of what we did or said!  Most of us have been there.  My worst morning-after was a New Year’s Eve during which I drank a home-made punch that I swear had been spiked with something untoward. So untoward that I couldn’t move the following morning, let alone search for a hangover cure.

Most hangover cures fail.  The only one that works is not to drink too much in the first place, or not at all; but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it!

As Dr. Mandy Silverman says on her blog, one should  eat a bloody good meal in advance and drink one glass of water to every alcoholic drink to counter the dehydration. Ever since my punch debacle, I have tried to stick to this sound advice. What I didn’t know until I read her post today is that ‘the liver can only process one drink per hour, so do not exceed this!’ Very useful to know but not so easy to adhere to in a party situation.

Bird Song New Year Card
Bird Song New Year Card

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick (soft peaks).
  6. Fold the apricot purée into the egg and sugar mixture.
  7. Fold in the whipped cream and place either in the refrigerator or the freezer.  Or eat straight away!
  8. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed Amaretti or Almond biscuits.

Please note that if you freeze the mousse, you will need to defrost it for at least 6 hours.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Absinthe is likely to become all the rage again now that Pernod has reintroduced the drink using its original 1805 formula.  Should you have been in company with the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec or Oscar Wilde, it would have been de rigeur. Many European countries have banned it at one time or another  because the enticing green liquid is highly intoxicating and considered hallucinogenic. The one exception where banning was concerned is Spain.  Spain has never banned the spirit. Yes, it’s a spirit, not a liqueur, as I learned today.

The French coined the term la fée verte (‘the green lady’ or ‘green fairy’), and, while its known associations have most often been with the likes of Wilde and Lautrec, it is described on the Absinthe 101 site as ‘especially democratic. In the 1840s, French soldiers were given absinthe as a field treatment for malaria’.  The medicinal and mind-altering aspects are said to come from the inclusion of the herb Wormwood. Latterly, it became associated with appallingly drunken behaviour and scandal, hence the reason for it being banned.

For more on the history of Absinthe, it is well worth visiting Absinthe 101.

I ask you, who could resist a drink that can entail such beautiful trappings as the fontaine pictured below?

Absinthe fontaine in a classic design [Wikimedia]

Absinthe fontaine in a classic design [Wikimedia]

I leave you with one thought and that is that Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.  I assumed this was an ‘old chestnut’ but the only reference I can find is to a line spoken in an episode of Californication that was thus entitled.  It does sound rather like Oscar.  Does anyone know of an earlier use?

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

P.S. I’ve just realised that today in 1900, Oscar Wilde died. He was a stripling of 46.

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