Monday, 1 September 2014

Plums & Pancakes

I made this for yesterdays breakfast!

As a treat.......... It was the first morning of a week off  work and a yummy breakfast in bed seemed to be the way to go.

So, leaving Andrew snoring under the duvet, I headed down to the kitchen and came up with this breakfast combination.

First of all I made up my American pancake mix and cooked up a load of the little gems......

click on this link 'pancakes' for the recipe

I then sliced up some plums, removed the stones and sauteed them, with a bit of butter and sugar, in a heavy based pan for about 10 minutes until they were tender.....

you want the fruit to look slightly translucent - like this....

Then arranged the pancakes on a warm plate, piled the fruit on top and, with a good dollop of whipped cream cheese on the side, ran back up stairs to bed and tucked in - to the bed and my breakfast.......the perfect start to what I hope will be a very relaxing week off work.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Cookie Eton Mess

As a thank you for looking after this chap...........

here he's waiting ready to go off camping.......

and here he is camping but a bit 'nonplussed' that he has to stay on a lead at the campsite....

As I said, before being diverted with pictures of Albert, as a thank-you for looking after him his lovely owners gave us a great big hamper of goodies......

Which was lovely.......

                                     and a total surprise......

                                                               and yummy....and fattening....


In amongst the goodies were these amazing cookies but they were really large and also quite hard to bite (I must be getting old - I don't remember every been beaten by a cookie before!) but they were so tasty I had to find something to do with them.

And as the raspberries in the garden are going mad with an abundance of fruit at the moment the two seemed to naturally go together - especially with a pot of cream.

Cookies & cream, hmmmm, Cookies, raspberries & cream.....yes!!

So here's my Cookie take on Eton Mess

No real recipe for this one - these are picture of what I did for one portion...

Get a giant, humongous, 'how did they make a cookie this big' cookie and place it in a pestle and mortar and break it into chunks.

When your cookie is crushed to the size you wish add a large handful of raspberries - or any fruit of your choice - peaches would work well.

Add a dollop of cream - I used lovely cornish clotted cream - but you could used any cream as long as its thick enough to hold the fruit & cookies together.

Next I added a large spoonful of cold vanilla custard - leftover from the previous nights meal

and mix it all together. Do this gently so as not to break up the fruit and serve straight away so your cookies don't get soggy.

And here's the plate after I had a quick taste.....well perhaps a bit more than a taste.....

Just be thankful I didn't lick the plate clean!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Smoked Salmon Lasagna

I can not stress enough to you how yummy this lasagna was.

Which I find hard to believe because it was so unplanned. On bank holiday Monday, earlier this week, we had planned to have a barbecue - I had decided the dishes and readied the camera to tell you all about it but we forgot to tell the weather!!

It was bank holiday in August - the height of the British summer - of course the sun would shine!

Ah maybe not.....

                                                       ........and rained some more

                                                                                               ...... and then it really got going

     ......and in the end the road was a river and the garden a giant pond (you know it's bad when ducks start to land & float in your flower bed!)

 so I packed the kebabs away in the freezer and routed around for something else to cook.

And so Smoked Salmon Lasagna was born....

Served 2

1 packed smoked salmon (mine was 150g) cut into thin strips
2 large courgettes - grated
a handful of closed cup mushrooms sliced
2 sticks celery - sliced & diced
4 spring onions - sliced & diced as well
a really good handful of fresh dill - roughly chopped
4 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Zest of a lemon
Lasagna sheets
half pint of cheese sauce
extra cheddar for topping - grated and the stronger the better
Salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven 180C/gas 5

Pop all your prepared ingredients in a bowl

Add the creme fraiche, mustard, lemon zest along with the seasoning

Mix it altogether making sure the salmon is distributed well throughout the mix - it has a habit of clumping together. If the mix looks a bit dry either add alittle more creme fraiche or some lemon juice - but don't forget that the courgettes will give up some liquid whilst cooking.

now assemble your dish - I like to use a loaf tin when cooking lasagna for just the two of us - I only used 3 sheets of dried lasagna this time because that was all that was in the box! usually it would be 4 sheets and often I will use fresh pasta - but, as I said, this was not a planned dish!

When layering start with a slick of cheese sauce on the bottom of the dish followed by just a spoonful of filling before placing your first layer of pasta. This makes it easier to serve and also helps to cook the lasagna sheet evenly.

Layer up so the final sheet is on the top and then cover with your cheese sauce.

Top with loads of grated mature cheddar and pop in the oven.

Leave to cook for about 30 - 40 minutes until the pasta is cooked through and the top has taken on a good colour - I slightly over cooked mine!

I was reading my book and forgot the time!!!

                                                               ........It was a good book.......

Leave to stand for a few minutes whilst you prepare a green salad and open the wine........

Then lift from your baking dish and serve cut into slices.

Enjoy - this one will definitely be a regular meal in our kitchen.