Family tea this evening which Spikey was delighted about because it meant that he had four other dogs to play with as well as the children. Great not to have to cook as I’m a course this weekend – the next module for my NLP Master Practitioner Course. This module is about beliefs and I believe that you should never show up empty-handed when visiting family or friends at mealtimes. So it was time to make something especially as I also visiting friends during the lunch break.
My friend Jacky had given me a pot of her homemade apple and ginger jam for Christmas and I wanted to put it to good use so decided to make up a recipe – Apple and Ginger Slices
Apple and Ginger Slices
1/2 cup coconut oil
Juice of one large lemon
6 oz oats
4 oz spelt flour
4 oz ground almonds
1 pot of jam
Pre heat the oven to 180oC. Melt the coconut in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, spelt flour and ground almonds. Press half the mixture into a greased brownie tin, spread the jam over it before adding the remaining mixture to the top and press down. Cook for about 25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into slices and removing from the tin.
Everyone is full of beans here this evening. Spikey is beside himself with excitement because for the first time ever his new best doggy friend Scruffy has come for a sleep over. They are both full of energy and having great fun playing together and I hope that they will soon tire each other out. Scruffy is quite taken by Spikey’s pink fluffy squeaky toy which Spikey won at Sticker Dog Show last year for having the waggiest tail.
It’s been quite chilly here over the last few days and the song Chilly Winds which my friend’s band plays keeps coming into my head ( you can hear them play the song at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=887u0luJ838 ). It is just as well that I have a new favourite recipe for cold winter days – cannellini bean stew. I got the recipe from the Deliciously Ella page http://deliciouslyella.com/recipe/cannellini-bean-stew/. It is also really tasty with different beans and it worked really well when I made it with black eyed beans. I always serve it with fresh veggies which of course includes broccoli and either my homemade scones or maize pasta.
Went over the border to hear my friend Clare play the flute in the band Skylark at the weekend. She is helping me with my NLP modelling project and it was great to hear her perform with her band. Skylark perform their own arrangements of traditional music from America, Sweden and the British Isles. Clare puts some amazing improvised melodies into the songs giving them an extra dimension. You can hear the Skylarks on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/SkylarkHarmony and they are wonderful to hear live.
So post gig back at her house we needed some sustenance so we ate some of my newest recipe – Mincemeat Slices. Had a jar of yummy homemade mincemeat (thanks Emma!) so it was time to put it to good use.
1/2 cup coconut oil
Juice of one lemon
6 oz spelt flour
6 oz oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 jar of mincemeat
Pre heat the oven to 190 oC.Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and s tir in the spelt flour, oats and cinnamon. Press half the mixture in to a brownie pan. Spread a layer of mincemeat over the top before adding the rest of the mixture and pressing it down. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool before cutting into slices.
This blog is a little like the Cornwall Chamber Orchestra (CCO) – no activity over the Christmas period ;-). The CCO is a delightful orchestra and is now full swing into the 2014-15 season. Judith Bailey the conductor of this orchestra puts some interesting programmes together to combine well known classics with new commissions. The programme for this season includes Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and a new work by David Hart called Robal’s Orchestral Colours. Also on the programme is a Donizetti Cor Anglais concerto and it is a real treat to be able to hear Malcolm Andrews the soloist play.
The programme meets with Spikey’s approval for he is a real music lover although sometimes his tastes are a little eclectic – Jessie J (hmmmmmm), pieces for piccolos and alarm clocks. Usually he is quite put out about not being able to attend the concerts himself but this issue has now been solved – he has a new best friend called Scruffy. Mum and Dad have a new puppy called Scruffy and when the orchestra is playing, Spikey will go to play with Scruffy.
Forthcoming dates for the orchestra are –
Sunday 25th January St Elwyns Church Hayle 3pm
Sunday 1st February St Marys Church Penzance 3pm
So I’ve devised a new flapjack recipe which went down well with my flute group yesterday and will be a nice treat with the slow release energy in oats to have on CCO days. Thank you to Emma for her homemade mincemeat
6 oz vegan margarine ( I used Pure)
2 oz agave
5 oz mincemeat
2 oz desiccated coconut
2 oz pumpkin seeds
13 oz oats
Preheat the oven to 190 oC .Melt the margarine, agave and mincemeat in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Press all the ingredients into a brownie tin and cook for 20-25 minutes
So it is November which means it is stew season. Spikey plays in the garden in summer evenings but is not so keen to do so in the dark evenings and instead entertains himself indoors – he has just had a mad burst of energy and has completed at full speed a series of shuttle runs between the front door and the back door. When he does this in the garden he goes so fast that he often rolls over on the turn……
Anyway, stew season and there are so many tasty and warming stews to make this time of year. My current favourite is a made up recipe with butterbeans, sweetpotatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, mushrooms, onion, garlic and some chilli just to give it a bit of a kick. The orange and yellow colours in this stew are great and I like to add some contrast to the colour by serving it with some broccoli.
Butterbean and Sweet Potato Stew Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 small red chilli
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 medium sized carrots
1/2 pt vegetable stock
1 400g tin of butterbeans
1 198g tin of sweetcorn
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli. Saute these ingredients and chop the mushrooms and add, peel and finely chop sweet potato and carrot and add. Pour in the stock bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (or until carrot and potato getting soft).Next drain and rinse the butterbeans and sweetcorn before adding them and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Serve with scones (see previous blog for recipe) and seasonal vegetables.
Spikey is now glowing in the dark courtesy of his new light up collar – it is ideal for this time of year when it is dark so much of the time. It’s also nice to have warming food that makes you glow inside as well so I thought that I would make some Spicy Moroccan Soup (http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/spicy-moroccan-soup.html) as it features some of my favourite
foods such as chickpeas, lentils and ginger. In true tradition I served it with some lightly steamed broccoli as I feel deprived if I don’t have some broccoli every day! I also made some scones to go with it.
Scones serves 4
8 oz Spelt Flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 oz vegan margarine
3 tbsp soya milk
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor and when they have all stuck together put on a greased baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees
Had a text from a friend last night saying “we’ve got Pomegranates”. Yippee! Needless to say they had a visit from me today. Pomegranates are an all time favourite fruit for me. So much so that another friend wrapped one up and gave it to me for Christmas last year – I was delighted – such a clever present which made me very happy. Actually I have lots of favourite fruits (bit like favourite beaches – my favourite beach, my favourite beach to swim on, Spikey’s favourite beach etc. Poppy rabbit doesn’t have a favourite beach as she prefers the garden with yummy grass to eat – anyway I digress) and my favourite fruits vary from season to season but Autumn/Winter my top favourite is the Pomegranate with it’s delicious jewel like seeds.
Pomegranates are a healthy food to eat as studies suggest they have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for the heart. They cleanse the circulatory system by helping to unclog the arteries, prevent blood clotting, increase oxygen flow to the heart and lower blood pressure.(http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/02/why-pomegranate-is-good-for-you).
As a child I can remember my brother and I both picking out Pomegranate seeds out with a cocktail stick, eating them one at a time and getting very sticky in the process. These days I break all the seeds out and put in a bowl to eat. As I enjoy eating Pomegranates so much it is rare for them to get into an actual recipe although they regularly go into my Energy Breakfast.