01.06

Cider-with-Rosie-meal-plan

A few years back in the history of this blog, I used to do a little regular-ish series sharing my weekly meal plans. I always enjoyed putting together those posts (even if I do cringe looking back at them now, seeing how beige our diet used to be and how appalling my photos were!) and thought it might be fun to revisit the idea! So, below is a round up of the meals we’ll be eating over the course of the next week. I’ve linked to recipes, where I’ll be using them, and do let me know if you fancy seeing a recipe for the lentil chilli!

- Jamie Oliver’s creamy mushroom soup

- Spinach + mushroom pasta bake (Made using the leftover soup from previous dinner as a sauce for the pasta!)

- Baked potatoes with lentil chilli

- Smoky black bean beet burgers (regular beef for Jason!), with paprika potato wedges + salad

- Teriyaki chicken (tofu, for me!) with rice noodles and bok choi

- Burrito bowls (leftover lentil chilli, lemon + cumin brown rice, lettuce, grated cheddar, + salsa)

- Roasted chicken (/black bean beet burger for me) with a roasted new potato, carrot, rosemary, and olive traybake

 Tell me, what’s on your meal plan for this week?

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15.03

Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-5

L E T ‘ S   U P   T H E   C H E E S E   L E V E L S

There’s something about going tomato-free that takes the whole pizza experience up a notch, if you ask me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a regular, tomato-sauce covered pizza any day of the week, but once in a while the indulgence of an extra-cheesy, dairy-laden ‘white pizza’ (in Italian, ‘pizza bianca’) is a treat that can’t be beaten.

I’d not tried one until a couple of years or so ago, and it was a total revelation. Creamy and rich, and comforting in all the ways a traditional spaghetti carbonara is but with the added bonus of a light, fluffy bread base. What could be better?

Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-2

This recipe is a riff on the pizza recipe I named, maybe in a fit of arrogance (that I still totally stand by…), ‘the very best homemade pizza!’

The dough gets a long prove and is stretched out into rounds by hand, before being part cooked in a searing hot frying pan to create lightness before being finished off in the oven.

The beauty of the recipe also means that you can pre-prepare the pizzas- cooking the bases in a pan and topping them once cooled will let you put together a whole stack of pizzas that can then be stored in the fridge, and cooked whenever you fancy!

Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-4 Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-recipe

Enough about bases, let’s talk a little about toppings before we move on to the recipe itself.

We’re topping the pizza with a mixture of grated parmesan and creme fraiche, and a handful of sweet courgettes and buttery mushrooms. Shredded buffalo mozzarella ups the cheese stakes, and a few spoonfuls of tangy onion chutney finishes the job.

I made this particular batch of pizzas the Friday before last, and left one prepared for Jason to cook for his dinner that evening, since I was heading out to London for the night.

He told me later it’s the best pizza I’ve ever made him. And that, ladies and gents, is saying something.

Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-6

The dough recipe linked below makes enough for 4 pizzas, whilst the toppings are enough for 2. You can either double the topping quantities, or pop different toppings on the other two pizzas, or I often like to make a little bread loaf with the leftover dough. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients ::
1 batch basic bread dough (recipe and method outlined here!)
1 courgette
4/5 large chestnut mushrooms
1 garlic clove
Pinch dried thyme
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
100g creme fraiche
30g parmesan
Pinch salt
2/3tsp sweet onion chutney per pizza

- Prepare the bread dough according to instructions listed in my recipe for ‘the best homemade pizza‘, stopping once the bases have been cooked off in a frying pan and transferred to baking trays.  Whilst the bases are still hot, rub each one over with the cut side of a clove of garlic.

- Finely slice the courgettes and mushrooms, and cook until soft in a little butter and garlic oil, along with a pinch each of dried thyme and sea salt.Transfer to a sieve once cooked through, and when the vegetables are cool enough to handle, carefully squeeze as much of the excess liquid out as possible, to prevent the pizzas getting watery whilst cooking.

- Top each cooked base with a couple of spoonfuls of the creme fraiche and parmesan mixture, and spread to a thin layer. Layer on a few rounds of courgette and slices of mushrooms, then half a ball of shredded mozzarella to each pizza.

- Finally, dot on some tiny spoonfuls of caremelised onion chutney, before transferring the pizzas to an oven preheated to 220 degrees celsius to cook for around 7 minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted.

Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-recipe-2 Cider-with-Rosie-pizza-bianca-7

 

Don’t be put off by the idea of making the bases- it really is so simple, and *so* incredibly satifisying! I hope you love the recipe as much as we do…

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24.02

Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-8

F L O U R ,   M I L K ,   B U T T E R ,  C H E E S E .

There are a few dishes that, whilst cooking, bring me right back to my childhood.

Cooking apples simmering in a pan with sugar and butter. A thick slab of gammon boiling away in a stock pot with vegetables and barley. Fragrant ginger biscuits, trays of fruity and gently spiced bread pudding, rock cakes in paper cases with their currants and sultanas always catching ever so slightly in the heat.

And, of course, the comforting, homely smell of cheese scones rising tall in a hot oven.

Cider-with-Rosie-Grandma's-cheese-scones Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones

There’s a real knack to scone making, if you ask me.

I’ll never make them as well as my Grandma used to, but every time I try, I learn a little something.

To handle the dough softly, not to press it hard or roll it too thin whilst shaping and rolling, and that the craggier it is at that stage, the lighter and more aerated they’ll be when finished with their baking.

I find they’re more challenging to make than simple bread or biscuits or cakes- the dough seems to ask for almost the same lightness of touch as pastry, though not quite to the same extent, I’m glad to say.

Cider-with-Rosie-Grandma's-cheese-scones-1 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-2 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-3

But whilst I can’t quite say I’ve got the technique 100% perfect yet, the taste is most definitely there and is as nostalgic as ever.

If you’ve never split in half a scone (cheese, or otherwise) that’s fresh from the oven, and whilst the steam spirals from its centre, spread each half with a little butter before eating it right away, then you’ve been missing out.

This particular batch disappeared in a flash, eaten as ‘I’m hungry but not too hungry’ snacks, in the evening when ‘dinner wasn’t quite as filling as I thought it might be’, and all the times in between, because who ever needs a reason to eat a scone?

Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-10 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-4 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-5 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-6

The recipe is from my Grandma’s decades old Delia Smith cookbook and I’ve done very little with it other than tinker slightly with the cheese quantity, so the credit must go to Delia, really. Makes 8.

Ingredients ::
225g self raising flour
40g butter, at room temperature
150ml milk
85g mature cheddar
1/2tsp mustard powder
Pinch salt

- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius, and grease a baking tray.

- Sift the flour into a large bowl, and then lightly and quickly rub in the butter until the mixture has no large lumps, and has the clumpy texture of wet sand.

- Add in the grated cheese, salt and mustard powder, and stir together with the butter and flour mixture.

- Slowly pour in the milk a little at a time, stirring with a knife as you go. Bring the dough together with your hands, kneading it lightly until it forms a rough ball.

- Roll the dough out until it’s 1 inch thick, and then use a 2inch fluted cutter to cut out the scones. Place them on the greased baking tray, and bake for 12-14 minutes (mine were perfect after 12, 13 was a shade too long) until the tops are lightly golden and the bases sound hollow when tapped.

- Best served warm, with lashings of butter. Delicious.

Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-7 Cider-with-Rosie-cheese-scones-9

p.s. The butter knife, rolling pin, and milk jug all are hand-me-downs from my own beautiful Grandma, and the red gingham napkins are part of a set Jason’s Grandmother made us as a wedding gift. Family really is the very best, isn’t it?

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08.12

Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-10

T H E   U L T I M A T E   F E S T I V E   B R E A K F A S T

Would it be presumptuous of me to say that this recipe could just be the answer to all your Christmas morning dreams? It would be, wouldn’t it…

Instead, let me say this- forget scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or crumpets and toast, or even a Full English- this panettone french toast is what Jason and I will be eating at approximately 8.30am on the 25th of December this year.

And that’s a fact!

Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-12 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-French-toast

Panettone French toast really is the most festive breakfast imaginable- Christmas on a plate, you might say!

Thickly cut slices of sweet, fruit-flecked panettone are soaked in a cinnamon and vanilla infused egg mixture, then gently fried in butter until golden and fluffy.

The slightly dry cake becomes soft and pudding-like when cooked up French-toast style, and the addition of a little cinnamon to the proceedings adds a little ‘spice’ to balance out all that sweet.

And, what’s *most* important to know, is that the recipe is simplicity itself! Have I convinced you yet?

Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-2 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-3

Jason and I always pick up a panettone whilst buying our Christmas tree each year, to be eaten over the course of that happily festive day.

But now that this recipe’s become such a household favourite?

I think we might need to start buying more than just one…

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-French-toast-2 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-4 Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-French-toast-3 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-6

The ingredients as below produce 4 halved slices of French toast- enough to serve two people. The recipe is easy to multiply though- for every portion of French toast (i.e. 1 round slice, or 2 halved slices of panettone), you’ll need 1 egg, 40ml of milk, and 1.8th tsp each ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Ingredients ::
2 thick round slices of shop-bought Italian panettone
2 eggs
80ml, or 1/3 cup semi-skimmed milk
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp vanilla extract
Jam/fruit compote/syrup/icing sugar to serve.

- Take a good quality shop-bought Italian panettone, and cut two 1inch round slices- one slice per person.

- In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if the cinnamon is a little lumpy- it won’t matter a bit!

- Soak the panettone in the egg mixture one slice at a time, until between the two slices, pretty much all of the egg mixture has been absorbed.

- Heat a small knob of a butter in a large non-stick frying pan, then gently fry each slice of panettone in turn for a minute or two per side, until puffy and slightly browned.

{If you’re cooking for more than a couple of people, you might like to put the cooked French toast in a low oven to keep warm whilst you finish frying.}

- Cut each slice of French toast in half, and then serve with a dusting of icing sugar, a drizzle of your favourite syrup (I used golden syrup here, but maple, agave, or even honey would be just as lovely), and a spoonful of something fruity.

Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-7 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-8 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-9 Cider-with-Rosie-Panettone-French-toast-11

Buon appetito, bon appetit, and…happy eating!

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Posted in BAKING, BREAKFAST, CHRISTMAS, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SWEET

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