Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The British One Hundred

As it is British Food Fortnight I thought it would be a good opportunity to post the British food 100. A friend of mine emailed me this list of British Foods that she has tried.

The list is below and the ones that I have tried are in bold. I think I have tried a fair few of them but there are still a lot to go. I'm not sure if I'll ever try them all.

Which ones have you tried?

1. Grey squirrel
2. Steak and kidney pie
3. Bubble and squeak
4. Spotted dick
5. Hot cross buns
6. Laver bread
7. Toad in the hole
8. Shepherds pie AND cottage pie
9. Scotch egg
10. Parkin
11. Welsh rarebit
12. Jellied eels (My Grandad liked these but I have never tried them)
13. Stilton
14. Marmite (I have tried it but I hate it, evil, evil stuff...)
15. Ploughman’s lunch
16. Cucumber sandwiches
17. Coronation chicken
18. Gloucester old spot
19. Cornish pasty (Oh how I love Cornish pasties!)
20. Samphire
21. Mince pies
22. Winkles ( My grandad liked these too but could never persuade me to try one)
23. Salad cream
24. Malt loaf
25. Haggis
26. Beans on toast ( don't like beans)
27. Cornish clotted cream tea
28. Pickled egg
29. Pork scratchings (they are revolting though)
30. Pork pie
31. Black pudding
32. Patum Peperium or Gentleman’s relish
33. Earl grey tea
34. Elvers (I saw Gordon Ramsay cook these on the F Word and it totally freaked me out)
35. HP Sauce
36. Potted shrimps
37. Stinking bishop
38. Elderflower cordial
39. Pea and ham soup
40. Aberdeen Angus Beef
41. Lemon posset
42. Guinness
43. Cumberland sausage
44. Native oysters
45. A ‘full English’ breakfast
46. Cockles (another of my Grandads favourties)
47. Faggots
48. Eccles cake
49. Potted Cromer crab
50. Trifle
51. Stargazy pie
52. English mustard
53. Christmas pudding
54. Cullen skink
55. Liver and bacon with onions
56. Wood pigeon
57. Branston pickle
58. Oxtail soup
59. Piccalilli
60. Sorrel
62. Chicken tikka masala
63. Deep fried Mars Bar (wrong, so wrong)
64. Fish, chips and mushy peas
65. Pie and mash with liquor (I've eaten pie & mash, but not with liquor)
66. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (with gravy)
67. Pickled onions
68. Cock-a-leekie soup
69. Rabbit and Hare
70. Bread sauce
71. Cauliflower cheese
72. Crumpets
73. Rice pudding
74. Bread and butter pudding
75. Bakewell tart
76. Kendall mint
77. Summer pudding
78. Lancashire hot pot
79. Beef Wellington
80. Eton mess
81. Neeps and tatties
82. Pimms
83. Scampi
84. Mint sauce
85. English strawberries and cream
86. Isle of Wight garlic
87. Mutton
88. Deep fried whitebait with tartare sauce
89. Angels on horseback
90. Omelette Arnold Bennett
91. Devilled kidneys
92. Partridge and pheasant
93. Stew and dumplings
94. Arbroath smokies
95. Oyster loaves (sounds interesting though!)
96. Sloe gin I'm going to try and make my own this year
97. Damson jam
98. Soda bread
99. Quince jelly
100. Afternoon tea at the Ritz (I've had afternoon tea but never at the Ritz)

Over to you!!

Monday, 15 September 2008

I Love You This Much Award

The wonderful Nazarina from Giddy Gastronome has sent me this amazing award. Thank you so much. It has made me feell all warm and fuzzy. Do have a look at Nazarina's blog. It is excellent.

Friday, 12 September 2008

One Bowl Chocoloate Chunk Cookies

Over on Violets Panty which is a forum I post on, we had a summer swap. This is where we all send a box of goodies to another member of the forum and it is lots of fun. George from Culinary Travels of a Kitchen Goddess sent me my swap parcel this time. I had a wonderful parcel of goodies which included a delightful book called Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey. I had not heard of this book before I recieved it but I have had such an enjoyable time reading through it and drooling over the recipes and photographs.

This book is a collection of gooey and sticky desserts, cakes and cookies with names such as Coconut Cream Puffs, Mocha Hazelnut Trifle, Butterscotch Pots and Cheesecake Pops. In addition to all the wonderful recipes, the author has included the techniques that are used to create these delightful goodies. Sprinkled throughout the book are are all sorts of tips such as choosing the right cocoa, toasting nuts and making a heavenly ganache. This book is so pretty with glorious photos and is easy to read. The recipes all look amazing and I love all things to do with chocolate and desserts so this is definately my kind of book. Thank you George for a wonderful gift.

I was flicking though the book trying to decide which recipe to try first when the heavens opened and we had a awful thunderstorm here. That put me off venturing outside to the shops so then I was looking for a recipe that I had all the ingredients for. In the end I settle for a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. My little nephews are visiting tomorrow so I'm sure they will love them. Thats if there are any left and we haven't eaten them all before then.

This recipe was so easy to make and uses only one bowl so there is hardly any washing up. Yet it delivers big chunky chewy cookies that are packed with chocolate chunks. According to the author the secret to its easy perfection lies with melting the butter first instead of creaming it with the sugar. This cookie dough was ready in about 5 minutes and was so simple to make. The recipe calls for toasted pecan nuts but I left these out of my cookies so that my little nephews could share them tomorrow. I think these cookies will be even nicer with them and I will definately add them in next time I make them. All in all a delicious recipe from a wonderful book. I can't wait to try something else.

This recipe makes 18-20 large cookies.

2 cups pecan halves

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 of a cup dark brown sugar

3/4 of a cup of caster sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 and a quarter cups plain flour

half a teaspoon baking soda

a quarter of a teaspoon baking powder

2 cups of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C. Place the pecans on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven until they are warm and fragrant for about 6-9 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Place the butter in a large bowl and microwave uncovered on high for one minute. If you don't have a microwave then melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted. Using a large wooden spoon stir in both types of the sugar. When combined add the salt, vanilla and the eggs. Stir until smooth then incorporate the flour, baking soda and baking powder until a soft dough forms. Carefully fold in the chocolate chunks and the pecans.

Line 2 trays with baking parchment and then using an ice cream scoop or a dessert spoon measure out the dough. Make sure to leave some space between the balls of dough as the cookies will spread when they are baking. Then place the trays of cookie dough into the fridge and chill for 45 - 60 minutes until they are firm. Towards the end of the chilling time preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180C.

Bake the cookies in the oven until they are crisp and golden around the edges but still a little soft in the centres. 15 - 18 minutes should be about right. Transfer the baking sheets to wire rack and let them cool slightly. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the cookies onto the wire racks and leave to cool completely

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Lamb Chops with Oregano and Tatziki

After a flick through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls Meat book, I discovered that contrary to popular belief spring lamb is not the best. These lambs would have been born in November or December of the previous year and are sometimes reared indoors. For a long time we have been led to believe that the first lambs are ready for our plates with the first rays of the spring sunshine.

By the laws of nature spring is the time when lambs are born not when they are ready to eat. They need a few months to mature which takes us into the summer time. The lambs born in the spring will have eaten the new fresh grass which has to be good news for us as surely it will improve the flavour and quality of the meat. With this in mind I went to my local butcher and bought some lamb chops. My lamb chops were brushed with a little olive oil and some oregano from my garden. This was a delicous meal and the lamb was very tasty indeed.

This recipe serves 2

For the tsatzki:
half a cucumber
250g natural yoghurt
2 spring onions
a handful of chopped fresh mint
Grate the cucumber into a sieve, sprinkle it lightly with sea salt and leave to drain for about half an hour. Tip the yoghurt into a bowl. Finely chop the spring onions and the mint leaves then stir them into the yoghurt. Squeeze any excess moisture from the cucumber then stir it into the yoghurt mixture. Keep it into the fridge until you need it.
Now for the lamb. I used the grill which is built into my oven but I think it would be fine to cook them in a griddle pan too. In a small bowl mix some olive oil with the oregano and some salt and black pepper then brush it over the lamb chops. Cook the lamb in a hot grill or in a griddle pan until it is dark and sizzling on the outside, the fat is crisp and the inside of the meat is a juicy pink. Serve with the tsatziki. I also served my lamb with some delicious buttery new potatoes.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Small yet perfectly formed, who can resist a tempting little treat of a cupcake. These little cakes are adored by both children and adults. I love making cupcakes and trying out different combinations and decorations. Whether they are topped with sugar flowers or chocolate curls, I believe that there is a cupcake for every occasion.

These chocolate chip cupcakes are a tried and tested recipe in my kitchen. I have lost count of the amount of times I have baked these so thought it was about time I blogged about them. For a really intense chocolate hit, I decorate them with melted chocolate or chocolate fudge icing. Today though I decided to leave them plain and enjoy them just as they are.

This reicpe makes 12 cupcakes.

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 00g chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.
  • Put 12 cake cases in a cake tray.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and beat in.
  • Fold in the flour
  • Finally stir in the chocolate chips and then divide the mixture between the cake cases.
  • Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and place the cakes in a rack to cool.
  • Enjoy

Monday, 1 September 2008

Arte Y Pico Award Time

The lovely Sally from Pink Bytes has given me this fabulous award. Thank you so much Sally. Do have a look at Sally's blog. It is such a wonderful read.

The rules for this award are quite simple.

1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and their contribution to the blogging community.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name of and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.

4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize has to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Show these rules.

I read so many wonderful blogs and it is difficult to just stick to five to send this award to.

I have decided to send this award on to these fantastic people. Do have a look at their blogs as they are extremely good.