April 25, 2011

The April Loaves&Fishes Menu

Disastrous Update: Unfortunately we had to cancel the April supper club as my week of flu turned into pleurisy and I ended up going to hospital. My trip to A&E only took 4 1/2 hours which I thought was great really. I always thought it would take way longer. Anyway I spent my Easter holidays in bed and there was such nice weather and all. I felt like the sickly little boy in The Secret Garden. I'll be a weakling for the next two weeks or so but should be in flying form just in time for May's supper! So sorry to everyone that couldn't come!x

Apologies for my blogging absence! I've been sick for the past week but the upside was that I got to look through all my cookery books and magazines as I lay on the couch. This menu has been planned within an inch of it's life! I always have a loose theme and this month is no different. I like the menu to flow and become a complete picture. The inspiration for next weekends supper is of course: The Royal Wedding! Don't worry there won't be corgi centre pieces and I won't be wearing Geri Halliwells union jack dress. The menu is inspired by Scottish, Welsh and English dishes using Irish products. And of course a liberal sprinkling of Romance for the weekend thats in it!

Princess & The Pea Soup
Ploughmans Platter with ham terrine, pickles and cheddar
Smoked Salmon, Leek and potato gratin with roast tomatoes & greens
Strawberries in Hibiscus with shortbread hearts and vanilla cream
RoyalTea: Queen Cakes and Regal Tiffin with Tea & Coffee

When we were in France last year I had the strawberries in Hibiscus Tea and it was amazing! So summery and fresh. Now I just need to find some gold leave or edible gold dust to sprinkle over the tiffin. Eeek! Exciting. It'll be gorgeous and I'll put recipes & photos on the blog afterwards.
Lilly x

April 14, 2011

Pea Falafel

According to Wikipedia: Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze.Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt, falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. Falafel is also often considered a national dish of Israel.

I absolutely love Falafel. They always remind me of Electric Picnic, queing in the rain for a pitta bread stuffed with glorious, just deep fried balls of herby chickpea. I found a gorgeous recipe for Pea Falafel in this months Delicious magazine, So I just had to try it! As usual I didn't have all the ingredients so ammended the recipe. I made double the amount and brought some to lunch the next day and froze some.Oh how gorgeous they were with carrot salad and greek yogurt. But now I can't stop thinking about the ones in the freezer. I should probably take them out and cook them tonight? You're right.

The Perfect Falafel Dinner for Two:
  • Yogurt: Mix a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of dried dill, 1 crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice & a pinch of salt. Combine well and drizzle with a good olive oil.
  • Carrot Salad: Mix 2 tbsp lemon juice with some olive oil, salt and black pepper. Grate three carrots and pour over the dressing. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  • A mixed green salad or rocket
  • 4 wholemeal pitta breads, warmed in the oven
  • As many falafel as you want

April 5, 2011

Wake up to Sugarfree Granola

Lately I've stopped having porridge in the morning as the weather has been so nice so I decided to make a huge batch of toasty oaty granola. I really wanted a healthy recipe and not something loaded with sugar. I found a gorgeous recipe in The Rose Bakery cookbook. It's a sugar free granola that tastes as good as it looks. Full of nuts and sultanas. This stuff will keep you going till lunchtime I promise!
I love Granola and must have tasted nearly every type available trying to find the nicest one! My favourite is maple syrup & pecan granola but when I don't make that I love my Aunt Dee's granola. She sells all her 'Just Food' soups, pesto and hummus etc. in supermarkets all over the country but her organic Brazil nut and cranberry granola is only available at Midleton Market. I love it. It's made in small batches so always tastes toasty and fresh.
I only use sultanas and mixed nuts in my granola. I always find it very hard to get up in the morning, when my alarm goes off at 7 I always feel like I could sleep another four hours! The last thing I want to do is waste ten minutes of precious morning time by picking out the horrible candied papaya and sharp banana chips from my cereal bowl. I hate that stuff! So I suppose that really is the benefit with making your own food, you can control what you put in it and that makes me happy! I use the Flahavans organic oats. You can use the best of everything as it's so much cheaper than buying luxury granola. Score!