Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Beetroot Salad

On my last visit to Mum & Dad's I left with a load of fresh beetroot from their garden - just dug up and still covered in mud (I had to hide them from Andrew - didn't want to get the inside of his new car muddy just yet!)

I always like to cook beetroots when they are fresh - when left on the side or in the fridge they seem to loose some of their texture - so as soon as we got home I got them cleaned up and in the pot....

Here they are all still muddy ......

With the mud washed off & in a pan of water - I like to cut the tops so there is about an inch of the stalks still attached - my grandpa used to grow a lot of beetroots and he always told me they would 'bleed' out when cooking if you cut the tops off - I don't know if this is true but he grew a lot so I'm sure he knew what he was talking about!

and here they are cooked - just boil them up until you are able to push a wooden skewer gently through them - can take about an hour on a gentle boil....

( I took these pick on our doorstep because Andrew was 'faffing' about in the kitchen & I just couldn't get around him to do what I wanted so to avoid marital striff I just went outside with my camera and my beets!)

Once cooked - here's the best bit - peeling them!! I just love this it's really satisfying running them under a tap of water and pushing the skins off with your thumbs - your hands get a bit purple but they taste so good it's worth it....

Here they are peeled ready for the salad...... my peeling was a bit 'hit & miss'

Enough for 4

4/5 Large cooked beetroots
4 Apples - as crispy & tart as possible
bag salad leaves
1 block feta - a 200g block
1 lemon - zest & juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed
salt & pepper

First off make your dressing.......

Put the lemon juice; lemon zest; garlic; olive oil; salt & pepper in to a boil or jam jar and mix throughly together ..... put to one side

Next peel & chop your apple into large matchstick side slices......

Place the apples into a bowl and pour over the dressing and gently, mix together.....

Cut the beetroot to the same size and add to the apples

Mix together and leave, in the fridge, for as long as possible - you really want the apples to go a similar colour to the beets - I left mine for an hour but 2 - 3 would make the apple take on more colour .... you need to stir them ocassionally to keep them all coated with the dressing.....

Chop your feta in to large cubes - you could do this before you deal with your beetroots - I didn't - my hands were stilll slightly stained even though I washed them and they turned my feta pink!

Now you can assemble your salad.... We had ours as a lunch served with a crunchy loaf so I presented it in individual bowls ( this salad would also make a good starter)

Pop a good handful of salad leaves into each bowl...

Gently place a large helping of the beetroot & apple mix on top.... spooning over a bit of the dressing

then balance on the feta.....

you can finish with a twist of fresh black pepper if you wish and I served it with some balsamic vingear for people to add if they wish.......

To ring the changes I have been known to added some toasted walnuts and swapped the apples for pears which tasted really great....

Have a great day

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Cure for the Common Cold?

Ilva Beretta Photography

I was feeling really icky over the weekend. It started on Friday - a scratchy throat and a feeling of grumpiness settled on me.

By the time I got home on Friday night my throat felt as if I'd swallowed a cup full of needles and it really needed something to sooth it.

So, remembering a hot drink my Mummy (she becomes Mummy not Mum when I'm feeling poorly!) used to make I set to and had a go myself.

It's really easy, just juice of a couple of lemons, add some spoonfuls of honey and pour on boiling water. It's soothing, full of vitamin C and I also took a couple of painkillers as well so I sorted out my headache, soothed my throat and helped to fight off an infection with the vitamin C.........excellent!

I sipped this drink throughout the weekend & by Sunday evening I was feeling a lot better and today I'm back to work feeling as 'fit as a fiddle'

So either I (well really my Mum) have invented the cure for the common cold, or it was just a 24hr thing or I wasn't really that ill ........just making a fuss.....but anyway 'all's well that ends well and I can show these pictures of lemons......oh and honey .....

Have a great Monday and stay fit & well!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Autumnal Violas

The window boxes and pots around the front of our house have finally given up the last of their summer blooms and were looking a bit sad and in need of a pick-me-up. Therefore, it was time that I weeded them all out & plant them up for autumn and (hopefully) they will last through the winter as well. There is nothing quite so sad as a bare pot of compost standing there throughout the winter so I always try to plant something in them.

This year I decided to stick to one plant - this beautiful viola.

It call lemon sorbet (so appropriate for a food blogger!)

I picked up loads of trays of them from my local roadside vegetable store, filled the boot of the car up with them & then drove, very carefully, back home....... I always seem to have to brake heavily or go round a sharp bend when I have plants in the car & get soil everywhere! Andrew says it's because I drive to fast .... I don't think I do ..... I just don't hang around.........

Anyway, having got them all home safely I sent to work planting them out........

So here are a few pics  & interesting pots ........ an old stone marmalade pot

 a rusty bucket........

This one needs a pot!

They are definitely going to cheer up our front porch......

 and one large pot of them by the 'interesting bit'  of our old wooden boat......

Just a few of the pictures I took - I got a bit 'happy snappy' but violas just look so happy & friendly.

they just make me smile

Have a happy Thursday xx