Thursday, 31 July 2014

Blue Cheese and Avocado Salad




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Well we have just got back from a few weeks away.....




I'll tell you more about that next week when I've waded through the 3 million photo's I took - I think I've got a disease - cameraitis or something!

Anyway a little hint ....can you guess where we went?



We had a fantastic time but ate rather a lot of cake! so we are now both on a little health kick to recover and therefore salads are featuring rather heavily in our diet.

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Last night I came up with this one it was really tasty so I thought I would share it with you.

As usual no really quantities just work on the theme and add as much or as little as you like.



First grab yourself a large serving plate or dish and arrange some salad leaf - I used a whole head of sweet gem lettuce - it added a good crunch to the salad.


Then scatter chopped avocado over - we used one whole avocado


Followed by a white peach - skin left on because I liked the colour


And then some cubes of blue cheese - we had Stilton in the fridge so that's what I used although any blue cheese would do!


I made up a simple dressing of the juice of one lime; 2 tablespoons of olive oil; a teaspoon of hot chilli sauce; salt & pepper


pour the dressing on and serve

We had ours with some pork chops - that were simply grilled with a little olive oil & seasoning.

Yummy........

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

My Fav Cook Book (IV)


Diana Henry's  - Food from Plenty

This is a lovely cookery book. And one I immediately found loads of recipes I wanted to try.

The photography actually makes your mouth water and I love Diana's way of writing - very approachable and not at all preachy - like some.....

I have tried all these recipes shown below...


and every single one of them was as I expected and well worth making


These potatoes are excellent served with smoked salmon or prawns in dill sauce


This salsa worked with seared steak....


and this take on a panzanella was great with a woodoven baked chicken.....



Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sea food Barbecue


I went a bit mad at the fishmongers yesterday day - we wanted a few things for just the two of us to cook on the barbecue.

Well.....

It all looked rather good.....

I came out of the shop with bags of oysters, tiger prawns, Atlantic prawn and tuna stakes...... way more than we could / should eat ...... but being the troopers we are we managed it all....couldn't move afterwards... but never mind!

First off I marinaded the Atlantic prawns & the tuna - making them into skewers.


The prawns were coated in teriaki sauce...


The tuna was cut into cubes and marinated in lemon juice, lemon zest and a little hot chilli sauce....

Both were left to marinade for about an hour before popping onto skewers.

Whilst they were marinading I quickly made a dill dipping sauce....


Simply mix together the juice of one lemon with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, teaspoon olive oil and a good handful of chopped dill.


We started our barbecue off with simple oysters - literally just place them over the hot coals for 3 minutes until the shells open - we perfected this on beach fires where we didn't have any tools to open the shells- all that's needed is a squeeze of lemon!

Perfect....


This was followed by the tiger prawns - again just placed on the barbecue and cooked until pink - for some reason Andrew decided they cooked well lying on their backs!

.............I think they look like they are sunbathing!

                             .............They certainly went the same colour I go when lying in the sun!

These we peeled and ate dipped into the dill sauce.


We finished off our seafood extravaganza with the kebabs - place over the coals a few at a time so they wouldn't all be done at once.....


We then sat back enjoying a little chilled white wine and nibbled on a few olives & rye bread.


Lovely!

Monday, 28 July 2014

A horse and his boy


Last weekend we visited Andrew's son, Charlie, at the stables in Gloucestershire.


Here Charlie keeps his horse, Spirit, and studies Natural Horsemanship and Horse Whispering.

Charlie went to school at Ruskin Mill in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire and it was whilst he was there that they discovered Charlies natural affinity with horses.

Being autistic, Charlie has had many problems however, being around and working with horses over the last 6 or so years has helped him to develop many different skills and improved his confidence - so much so that he is now living independently and able to work with the horses and be at the stables most days.


Charlie is very close to his horse, Spirit and the two of them often work together - going around the country to give demonstrations on natural horsemanship and horse whispering.


Spirit doesn't seem to miss a thing - and is quite happy to pose for the photographs


I loved seeing all the tack - for each horse - organised in the large oak barn at the stables


Here a few of Charlies friends are getting ready to go out for a ride...


Charlie explaining to Andrew about the new equipment he's just got.


This chap was so keen for a chin scratch he refused to move away from the gate

And horses are not the only animals living up at the stables.....


There are sleeping cats....


That can't resist a tickle...


or a neck rub...


Wonderful scruffy dogs - this was the only time he was stood still all day.....


Very friendly goats... 


Along with well cuddled guinne pigs; rabbits; hamsters; chickens and a African grey parrot....


The stables are an absolute paradise for children & adults alike....

And I can understand why Charlie likes to spend most of his time up here working with his horse.



Friday, 25 July 2014

Rye Crisp Bread


Some friends came over for a visit the other night and brought some Swedish rye crisp bread with them to have with cheese.

These rye breads sparked something off in Andrew's brain and he then spent the next few nights perfecting his own recipe for them.

We think he's got it right with this recipe.

Makes 12 crispbreads each the size of a side plate 

400g rye flour 
1 tsp fine sea salt 
10g fresh yeast or a couple of teaspoons of dried
350ml water

a mixture of seeds - pumpkin, nigella, sesame and caraway about a tablespoon of each

Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6




First off prep your yeast - warm the water to hand hot and add your yeast (fresh or dried)

You can tell an engineer is making this - look at those scales! I doubt I'll use them - my cooking is a bit more hit and miss!


in a bowl sift your flour and add you seeds and salt


add your liquid and bring it all together - it will form a stiff sticky dough. Cover and leave for about an hour, in a warm place - it will rise but not much - just a little puffed up.


Form it into a barrel shape and cut it into six and then each round in half again - so you have 12 lumps


Place on your non-stick board and roll out  (we used our a silicon mat)

We like the rustic look - we don't worry too much about the shape.....


Cut a circle out in the middle - keep these rounds and bake as well to make little biscuits



Sprinkle with extra seeds - here sunflower and flax


roll the seeds in...


and bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool and then serve


They go really well with cream cheese & fruit; smoke salmon; prawns in dill mayonnaise and with goats cheese..... well anything really!



Enjoyx

 Rye Bread