Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Butterfly Lamb Chops

There's been lots happening over the last few days - we (we being Andrew, myself and 'babysitting' dog) all went off to Pembrokeshire to have a few days camping with my parents & nieces. I feel like I've been away weeks when it was only a weekend - we did soooo much & loads of walking ......

I have aches on aches on parts of my body I didn't know I had!

Now we are back - I'm back at work (ugh - just checked the calender for when my next holiday is - I'm that excited about being back at my desk!) and I thought I'd tell you about the dish I cooked last night. We had just got back that afternoon and carried everything in & put it all away and then I had to turn too and make an evening meal.

So I cooked some lamb chops - I wanted to do something nice with them and really felt like doing some 'proper' cooking after all the camping food. But, & here's the thing, I was so, so tired I didn't think I had it in me to do anything complicated. So this simple dish served with a lemon & avocado salad was created.

Serves 2

2 large butterfly lamb chops
1 lemon
2 'fat' cloves garlic
sprigs fresh thyme
olive oil
a good handful of olives (any colour, any variety, stoned, not stoned - your choice)
2-3 large potatoes
salt & pepper

Pre heat oven to 200C/Gas 7

I don't know why but I seemed to be on Greek-food-flavour-theme with this dish - probably something telling me that I need to holiday there instead of camping in Wales!

Anyway enough of the day dreaming ..... take your lamb chops and rub some olive oil into them and place them in a bowl. Add the sliced lemon; garlic; thyme and salt & pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. leave for at least an hour for the flavours to work.

Whilst the lamb is marinating clean your potatoes, don't peel, & slice them into thin rings. Rub with olive oil & place on a baking tray.

Now get your marinated chop and place on top of the potatoes along with the lemon; garlic & thyme. Tuck the lemon in amongst the potatoes and then sprinkle on your olives.

Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes

Whilst the lamb was cooking I prepared a sharp lemon salad.

In a bowl mix 1 avocado ( peeled & sliced) a bag of rocket leaves and segments of half a lemon. In a jam jar add 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of half the lemon, salt & pepper and a little sugar to sweeten. Give it all a really good shake and then use it to dress the salad.

Arrange the salad on the centre of your serving plates and then top of with the lamb.

I drizzles some balsamic vinegar over the chops before serving just to add a little something.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Sailing The Crinan Canal


We've just started planning a sailing trip that we mean to take in the next few weeks and whilst looking through some notes I found some fantastic pictures of a trip we took in Scotland a few years back.

Andrew had sailed the boat up to Scotland - single handed from Plymouth - and I joined him & the boat at Troon. We then sailed around Arron & Bute joining the Crinan Canal To cut through to the highlands & Islands further up.

We joined the canal at Ardrishaig - just in time judging by the clouds - but the weather brightened up for our trip through.

I got to operate the locks - they are 15 of them!!!!! Andrew got to steer the boat through!

We spent the night on the Canal at Lochgilphead - where we met up with my Mum & Dad

I now had help with the Locks....Thanks Dad!

And Mum steered the boat - not sure where Andrew is - I'm sure he was there somewhere!

Some of the locks were very deep......

But the views were spectacular

I think I'm complaining about all the hard work I'm doing on this holiday! You can see the abandoned bike I'm using to get from one lock to the next.....

And finally dropping anchor after leaving the Canal at Crinan. And we barbecued some freshly line caught mackeral... so fresh we had only pulled them out of the sea 5 minutes before cooking them!

They were lovelly with some brown bread & butter......

Friday, 15 August 2014

Blueberry Cake

I'm a sheet cake kind girl, an I-can't-be-bothered-with-layers-and-frosting's, I want a simple and easy lets-make-it & eat-it kinda cake.

Now this one fits the bill. It's sorta half way between a cake & a pudding and it's just so darn tasty - on it's own or with cream.......especially with cream
                                                  .......or ice-cream
                                                                                       or both......

Here's the recipe - it's really just a victoria sponge mix with lots of blueberries

4oz butter - cubed
4oz caster sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle)
2 eggs
4oz Self raising flour
1 punnet of blueberries 250g-300g
handful of granola

Pre-heat the oven to 170C /gas 5

Pop your butter & sugar into a mixing bowl (or mixer) and cream together until light & fluffy

Like this...

Break the eggs into a bowl

and whisk together with a fork and add to your creamed butter. Add the eggs a little at a time so they don't curdle the mix and if needed add a spoonful of flour to help stabilise it.

Add the rest of your flour & fold in

your mix should now look like this ...

Next grab an oven proof dish or cake tin. I chose this glass dish because it was on the top of the pile in the cupboard! - no unnecessary thought process require here!

Butter & sugar your dish and then throw the blueberries in - to completely cover your dish.

Just liked this pic....

then dot your cake mix all over the blueberries

with a quick swirl on top....

Sprinkle on the granola ... not sure why I add this - it just makes me feel healthier!

Pop in the oven & bake for about 20 -25 minutes - check it's firm to the touch at the centre to confirm it's done.

Turn it out on a dish to show the blueberries on the top.

To serve either cut into portions or use a cutter, as I did, to make a more presentable shape ... and you get to eat the off cuts!

You can serve it warm or cold and it keeps well for a few days in an air tight container.

Serve with ice-cream or cream or on it's own


Have a great weekend