Gastronomically Terrific

July 1, 2015

Tomato tarte tatin

Filed under: lunch, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 6:01 pm

I don’t have any photos of this, because life started to get a little fraught around this time – my mum came to visit for the week (which is why I made this tatin), then we went on holiday for a week, and then two weeks later we were due to go to California for the summer. So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that this looked, well, a little odd!

It did, however, taste pretty good, and wasn’t too hard to make. I fried up some onions and dark sugar, then removed them from the dish. I then placed tomatoes on the same dish, face down, and poured over the onions and some grated cheddar. I then whisked together 2 eggs and some mustard powder before covering the whole thing in puff pastry. In order to cook it, I then placed the casserole dish in the oven and baked it for 20 minutes.

Now, half of the tatin rose VERY high, in a slightly odd manner. Presumably something to do with how I whisked the eggs… either way, it tasted fine and made for a pretty decent lunch!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter! By Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 8-9


June 16, 2015

Icthus cheese straws

Filed under: biscuits, Easter — Tags: — lawsonanna @ 9:55 pm

I decided to make these just before my mum was visiting for the week, knowing that she loves cheese straws. Can’t say I mind eating them, either.

I assumed these wouldn’t take too long to make. In terms of mixing the dough, I was right. It’s slightly different to a normal dough in that you add celery salt, paprika, grated Red Leicester cheese and cheddar.

Cutting out the straws, however, was a total faff. Once you’ve rolled out the dough, the recipe states that you should cut out 6 inch long pieces which are quarter of an inch wide. Now, I don’t know if y0u’ve ever cut food into 1/4 inch (or 6mm) pieces, but it’s SMALL. And once you’ve cut out these tiny straws, you need to bend them over into fish (icthus) shapes. If they don’t break at this point, they will when you pick them up to put them on the baking tray ready to go into the oven. Somehow I managed to salvage a number of them, but in the end I gave up and just did larger fish shapes.

They only take 10 minutes or so in the oven (if they’re larger they take a little longer), but regardless of the faff above, they’re pretty tasty. Hubby and I ate a third of them the evening I made them – and had to resist eating more so there were some left for my mum. Oops. I would advise not trying to make them 6mm wide each though – you don’t need to for them to taste (and look) good.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris, Judith Merrell, pg. 50-51

February 27, 2015


Filed under: lunch, meat — Tags: , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 11:06 am

Another easy-to-make recipe from my Hallelujah! Easter cookbook, this is basically scrambled egg with added ingredients. I made it for lunch when just my hubby and I were home one day. Whilst it was simple to make, I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of adding the ingredients suggested, so it was a good recipe to try out. It would also make a good future lunch if you were feeling a bit peckish!

The longest, and hardest, part of this recipe is boiling a potato before you start (just one small one between two of you). Frying bacon and potato for frittataOf course, if you have one left over from a previous meal this step is much easier! You then fry up the (cut up) potato and some bacon before adding beaten egg, mixed herbs and milk. I actually made two frittatas because Dan doesn’t eat meat and I don’t like tomatoes, so we probably had more food (2 eggs each) than was really intended.

Once the egg is half cooked (which happens quite fast), I added some sweetcorn, tomatoes to Dan’s frittata, and some grated cheese. By the time that was all added and stirred in the eggs were cooked and the meal was ready. Other than boiling the potato, the whole thing took about 10 minutes to put together.

Frittata cookingDefinitely a lunch-time meal I’d make again, and I wouldn’t need to use the recipe to do it. I wouldn’t have thought of adding potatoes and sweetcorn to this, but both were pretty tasty additions. Although if you’re pressed for time I would suggest only adding potato if you already have some cooked. Otherwise just pop it all on a slice of toast!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Easter, Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 24-25

December 31, 2014

Aubergine five-nut roast

Filed under: Christmas, freezer, main, vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:14 pm

When the rest of us were eating our Christmas turkey, this was my hubby’s alternative. I actually made it about a month in advance, at the end of November, and just reheated it on Christmas Day – if nothing else, it saved on oven space!

The recipe itself isn’t too complex, but there are a lot of ingredients – so there’s a lot of grating, zesting and chopping to do before everything goes in the tin. Basically, you mix together nuts, cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, lemon juice and zest, onion, celery and garlic, then wrap it all in aubergine strips. It is then baked in the oven for about an hour.

Nobody except Dan actually ate this on Christmas Day (there was tasty meat on offer, after all), but I did try some a few days later when we were eating up the last of the Christmas dinner left-overs – and it tasted alright. Not like bacon-wrapped chipolatas or turkey tastes, but pretty good if you’re a vegetarian.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 93-94

December 27, 2014

Parisienne potatoes

Filed under: Christmas, main, meat, salad, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 4:58 pm
These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

I decided to make these for our Christmas Eve tea (along with the aromatic Christmas ham and a salad), knowing that they would be a fairly simple dish to put together before the work of the Christmas Day roast).

I peeled and sliced the potatoes and onions Christmas Eve morning, so that all I needed to do when my family arrived was boil the potatoes, pop them in a roasting tin with cream and grated cheese and then cook them in the oven for 15 minutes. This worked well with reheating the Christmas ham, which needed about 5 minutes in the oven before the whole meal was ready.

The whole meal worked well, and was nice and easy to prepare. It was a great choice for an easy Christmas Eve meal, and the only thing left over was a bit of ham – which was great for a late, easy tea on Christmas Day evening.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 140-141

December 24, 2014

Festive cheese biscuits

Filed under: biscuits, Christmas, vegetarian — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:25 pm
Before they were baked, ready for the oven...

Before they were baked, ready for the oven…

In contrast to the Christmas star fairy cakes, these were really easy – and fun – to make. I made the full batch of 50 or so biscuits, so that we had some for the host of people visiting us over the weekend before Christmas, and some for our Christmas visitors as well.

The recipe for these is basically flour, cheese, a couple of spices and an egg yolk, and it’s a really easy dough to mix together and roll out. You do need to leave the dough to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, but other than that it’s just a case of rolling the dough out, cutting out shapes (I used a variety of festive-looking stars, holly and bells cutters etc.) and baking them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

The biscuits taste lovely and cheesy and are very mawish – I was eating them before visitors had arrived. Luckily I’d made enough so that there were some left over…

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Hallelujah! Christmas, Wendy Dyer, Honor Harris and Judith Merrell, pg. 10-11

September 24, 2014

Cheesy farmyard friends

Filed under: biscuits, canape, party — Tags: , — lawsonanna @ 8:33 pm

Another new savoury dish, these are basically cheesy biscuits – and they’re really, really easy to make. They’re just a dough made from Cheddar cheese, self-raising flour and butter. The recipe also calls for Parmesan, but I didn’t have any, so I just used a little extra Cheddar. Basically you make a dough, roll it out and cut out animal shapes (or whatever shapes you like), then bake them for 10 (ish) minutes.

The end result does, of course, depend upon how good your cutters are. Mine came out OK, but some were better than others. The cats, for example, looked great. The pigs were a little harder to identify. But if you what you’re after is a cheesy biscuit, then you can’t really go wrong with these. There weren’t any left at the end of the party (hence the lack of a photo), and there was a lot more food than was needed!

Who made it: Anna
Recipe: Hats and Bells Children’s Party Cookbook, pg. 46-7

August 13, 2014

Potato and cheese savoury scones

Filed under: lunch, vegetarian — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 5:59 pm

This was the July recipe from my Home Baking 2014 calendar. Totally having failed to make these scones in July, my family visiting for the weekend in August seemed like a good excuse to correct this – especially as we were considering a picnic and these seemed to make good picnic fare. As it transpired we didn’t end up going on a picnic (the weather was somewhat against us), but they made a good ‘take what you like’ tea on the Saturday evening.

The scones actually call for Stilton cheese, but we didn’t have any so I went with cheddar instead. It worked fine (ignoring the fact that I nearly forgot to add it and had to fold it into the mixture at the last minute). These scones are a bit of a faff to make because you have to cook and mash potatoes first, but as long as you’re prepared for this and do it advance, the rest is just a standard scone mixture. They don’t rise in the oven though, so you do have to make sure you roll out the dough to the size you want it to be (personally I think that I made it a little too flat and the rounds a little too big). But all the scones did get eaten within 12 hours, so they must have tasted OK.

No photos of these though; the weekend was a bit too much of a whirlwind of baking, train rides, washing and washing up. Photos didn’t get a huge look-in…

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Home Baking Calendar 2014 (July)

February 12, 2014

Fully loaded potato skins

Filed under: main, vegetarian — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 4:14 pm

Fully loaded jacket potatoMaking this was an attempt to use up some of the leftover ingredients I had from some of the other fun, new things I’ve made recently. Admittedly, I had to buy potatoes in order to make this (there’s a clue in the name), but they’ll get used up. They always do.

This is another Nigella recipe – apparently they’re “fully” loaded because they have bacon on top. However, her recipe does point out that it’s a bit mean to put bacon on an otherwise veggie meal, so perhaps you could fry it separately and add it to the top of meat-eaters potatoes only. Which, because I’m a lovely person, I did, so that Dan could have one for lunch too.

Now, as long as you remember to cook the jacket potato waaaaayyyy in advance, this is actually very little hassle to cook. The recipe actually recommends cooking them the day before (for 1 1/2 hrs in the oven), then scooping out the insides and putting them in a separate bowl, which I did. So when you want to eat them, all you have to do is mix some sour cream, cheese, spring onions and worcester sauce (I don’t think I’ve missed anything…) into the scooped out potato insides – and reheat them for 5 mins or so (the recipe says 20-30 mins, but ours were done after 5 – but then I made 2 potatoes, the recipe was for 10).

The one problem with this is… Worcestershire sauce isn’t actually vegetarian. It has fish in it. I know, go figure. I fixed that by replacing Dan’s worcester sauce with soy sauce, but it did mean I had to divide the potato mixture in half first, which was a little annoying. Of course, I could have used soy sauce for both of us, but I really like Worcestershire sauce.

Anyways, it all made a nice enough lunch. It isn’t anything particularly special, but it was easy enough to do and made a nice change from microwaved jacket potatoes with cheese on top (because we always forget we might want jacket potatoes until we’re hungry, and are far too lazy to sccop out the insides). Not something I’m anti doing again, but also not something that’s really at the top of my ‘repeat’ list.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 40

July 17, 2011

Potato, Fontina and rosemary tart

Filed under: main — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 3:41 pm

This looks pretty tasty.  It’s a shame that it wasn’t very good.

Its not what you can see, but what you can't that matters here.

Alarm bells should have started ringing with the title: potato tart.  Pastry doesn’t really need more starch added to it… still, pasties have potato in and are tasty so it’s not a hopeless idea.

Where this goes very, very wrong is that the potato is not cooked at all before going in the pie: it is just sliced very thinly.  Anyone who cooks knows that this is going to be dangerous, and with an oven like ours is downright silly.  You par boil potatoes.  They need par boiling.

So although the tart above looks really rather tasty, it was basically uncooked.  We then had to microwave it to death to get the potato to cook.  The end result was still OK, but the pastry was a little tough and just not the fresh yumminess it should have been.  I like the idea of a rosemary cheese pie, but I think more varied veg would be better.

Who made it: Anna and Dan jointly.

Recipe: The daily cook book, by Love Food, November 11th.

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