22.06

Cider-with-Rosie-dairy-free-american-pancakes-5

S T A C K   +   D R I Z Z L E .

The joys of this pancake recipe were revealed to me this weekend, and quite by accident.

I’d woken up on Sunday with a hankering for proper American pancakes, and then realised that tragedy had struck and we were out of eggs! I turned straight to my phone to look up ideas for egg-free pancake recipes (nothing *too* virtuous- it was a Sunday, after all!, and came across this promising looking one from Food Hero.

‘Let’s give it a go’ I thought, ‘they might turn out alright!’ and headed downstairs to the kitchen…

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And the results, it turned out, were better than just ‘alright’. These are easily some of the tastiest pancakes I’ve ever, EVER had!

The texture is lighter than light, and reminds me of the delicious Scotch pancakes I used to eat toasted and spread with butter as a post-school snack as a child. And even though I used almond milk in place of cow’s milk (hence the ‘accidental vegan-ness’ of this recipe) and they’re without the usual egg or two you’d find in an American pancake recipe, they rise like a dream!

In fact, they feel positively virtuous compared to the pancakes I’d usually treat myself to on a Sunday, when the mood strikes!

But enough of the chat, because I’m sure you’re convinced. Let’s get to the recipe!

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Recipe tweaked (minimally) from Food Hero. Serves two. Or one, whatever floats your boat…

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup almond milk (though any non-dairy milk would work, I should think)
2tbsp vegetable/melted coconut oil
1tsp vanilla extract
2-3 extra tbsp almond milk to thin the mixture as necessary

- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and then add in the almond milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk again until just combined.

- Add in the extra almond milk a tablespoon at a time until you’ve achieved a smooth dropping consistency.

- Heat a small amount of coconut oil or vegetable oil a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium flame, and then spoon in rounds of the batter a couple of tablespoons at a time.

- Cook for a minute or so, until bubbles form on the top of the pancake and the underside is set, then flip and cook until the second side is golden.

- Serve with syrup, yoghurt, fresh fruit, and/or compote! (To make the compote shown here, simply soften a couple of handfuls of frozen summer berries in a small pan with a splash of syrup to take away the tartness!)

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p.s. Quilted bed throw is from Next, blue-edged plates are from John Lewis, and the tray is an old one from Sainsbury’s but an alternative is linked below!

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07.04

Cider-with-Rosie-juice-and-smoothie-recipes-18

 S U P E R   G R E E N   J U I C E   &   A   S W E E T   T R O P I C A L   S M O O T H I E

Since getting our NutriBullet towards the end of last summer (it was a treasured wedding gift!), I can honestly say I’ve used it almost every day since. In fact, it’s been given a full-time position on our countertop (praise indeed!), because it rarely goes a day without being put into action!

I use it for whizzing up soups, for grinding coffee beans, to whip up sauces and things like hummus and pesto, and, of course, to make smoothies!

My only bug bear up until recently had been that I often fancy the freshness of a juice, over the richness of a smoothie, and that’s one thing I didn’t think I could achieve with the NutriBullet. (This isn’t a paid plug for NutriBullet, by the way. I just love it!)

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And yet, of course I could! It occurred to me, like a brainwave one morning, that if I simply whizzed up all the ingredients I wanted in my juice, and then strained it all through a clean cloth, I might just be left with juice!

So, I tried it, and it worked a treat. And now, I’m obsessed! The funny thing is, the baby seems to love juice as much I do, because whenever I drink it the kicks start coming thick and fast!

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This flavour combination is my current favourite, though I fancy experimenting with some carrot juice sometime soon too. I love that this juice isn’t too sweet, and that you can really taste the tang of the celery alongside the apple flavour.

It basically just feels like health in a glass, and I can’t get enough.

Recipe for my super green (baby kick inducing!;) juice below!

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The quantities are all very changeable and approximate. Basically, these are the proportions I go for, but feel free to tailor it as you fancy. Makes approx. 500ml. juice.

Ingredients ::
2 apples
2 florets of broccoli
1 + 1/2 stalks of celery
2-3 inches of cucumber
Squeeze lemon juice
Coconut water, about an inch or so when poured into your blender

- Chop all the ingredents into smallish chunks, and give them a wash.

- Layer them up in your blender or Nutribullet, with the cucumber closest to the blades (it’s the lightest and most watery ingredient, which helps the blending!), and the apple chunks furthest away.

- Pour in an inch or so of coconut water, then add a spritz of lemon juice. Blend for a few seconds, until a pulpy juice has formed, and then pour into the middle of a clean cloth over a jug.

- Carefully squeeze all of the juice out of the pulp into a jug or glass, and then serve! (I always feed a bit of the leftover pulp to Ted and Elsie, which they adore! It’s pure goodness for them, I’m sure!)

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The other drink I love making to have either alongside or as breakfast (well, I used to have a smoothie as breakfast, but now I usually have it alongside porridge or something more hearty), is a tropical smoothie!

This one, made from mango, banana, avocado, and lime would work really well as a frozen smoothie bowl in the summertime, but until the glorious sunshine returns it’s just as nice as a regular smoothie!

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It’s sweet and creamy, but because never feels overly rich because I tend to make it either with coconut water, orange juice, or a little Coco coconut milk.

However you make it though, it’s delicious and lovely first thing in the morning now the weather’s beginning to brighten up.

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Makes approx. 500ml of smoothie.
Ingredients ::
2 small ripe bananas
1/2 large ripe mango
1/2 small ripe avocado
Coconut water/coconut milk/fruit juice
Lime

- Chop up the banana, mango, and avocado, and put them in your blender. Pour in a couple of inches of coconut water, milk, or juice, add in a spritz of lime juice, and blend!

- This smoothie would work well using frozen banana or frozen mango chunks, but you’ll need to up the liquid quantity if doing so to keep things blendable and achieve a smoothie consistency. Or, keep liquid levels low, and you’ll be left with a semi-frozen smoothie consistency- yum!

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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Posted in BAKING, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SAVOURY

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