Well its been a while since I last posted, but I am busy with other things at the moment. Every Christmas I always get the urge to buy Panettone, but I don’t always eat them until much later in the year. I decided I would try to make one this year. I have made brioche so I guessed it wouldn’t be too much different and it wasn’t! I found a recipe and ingredients from bakery bits They even have a kit with all the ingredients that you need and the recipe online. I must say I am proud of these. I haven’t baked in a while and its just so nice to create something like this, can’t wait to cut in!
Cornbread with my winnings!
After winning 1.5kg of Mexican cheese the other weekend I had to find some way of using it. People keep asking me if I’ve finished it yet! I had an idea of using it in cornbread, as cornbread is a Mexican creation. I made 2 versions, the first without carrots, and a second version with carrots.
I think cornbread would be a great portable food, as it is slightly savoury, so would satisfy those cravings for something salty on a long ride. I think if I was making it for ride food I would omit the chilli cheese, and carrots to make it more easily transportable, and digestible.
Here is a link to the carrot cornbread recipe I added 100g of the Mexican cheese to this recipe, but you could add another cheese or leave it out altogether. There are plenty of other recipes too which do not use carrots, and you could bake the cornbread in muffin cases to make them easy to carry.
I couldn’t choose which bread to eat today! Now I’ve got into sourdough making, its so much easier than making yeasted bread, and tasty too. It keeps for longer, and I have discovered a beautiful pumpernickel recipe which is now one of my favourites. Bread made like this is nourishing and it feels like creating a work of art!
I returned, just over a week ago from a 2 week yoga holiday in Sri Lanka. I was really inspired by the food and produce over there, we had delicious curry, and fish. I managed to visit a couple of markets, which always makes me yearn for this kind of produce at home. The food is just so fresh and beautiful.
My mum bought me a book when we were over there, which I used this week to create a Sri Lankan feast!
Its always good to have some new inspiration, but also great to get home and get cooking again, after the luxury of having someone feed you every meal for 2 weeks!
More time on my hands
With more time on my hands I have been able to make more things from scratch. I had another go at making ricotta, after a failed attempt a few weeks ago. I bought myself a proper cheesecloth which looks beautiful!
Ricotta is really easy to make, and I will definitely do it again, the cheese did not last long!!
Bread for the harvest
I had a text the night before my boys harvest festival, asking if I was making bread again. I wasn’t going to but couldn’t resist baking some rolls to take in. I already had a batch of sourdough on the go, so gave one of those for the raffle too!
I went in to Tenby to get my hair cut, and couldn’t resist a Romanesco cauliflower. I just love these vegetables they look amazing. I turned it into a cauliflower cous cous, very easy!!
I may have said it before, but I love this time of year. There is so much fresh produce around and I get to enjoy cooking, as I have been doing minimal excercise since Ironman Wales. My oldest son has discovered a passion for mushroom hunting (partly inspired by mine craft!) but it has meant that on Saturday and Sunday this weekend we went foraging in the woods for shrooms. We hit the jackpot with a beefsteak fungus, some chantrelles, deceivers, russulas, and slippery jacks.
After reading about my tempting looking beefsteak fungus, I decided to have it raw in a salad, the books don’t rate it much and say it has an acid taste. I could not taste any acidity, (maybe thats because I smothered it in garlic dressing) I used a vegetable peeler to shave off thin strips, and found it delicious! It does look alarmingly like liver though if you are a vegetarian!
I have also been processing apples from the garden, and have a few pots of frozen puree in the freezer now.
I also got into the baking groove, as I had picked up some cute little eggs from my neighbour, got slightly carried away with my egg theme, (as I have in the past! see here) and made an apple tart, with creme patissierie, and creme d’amande, then used my remaining creme patissierie to make some Portuguese custard tarts. I also decided to do a lemon meringue! Good job I have a couple of boys to help me out eating the spoils!
With less than a week to go before Ironman Wales, I have been making up batches of portables for the race. I made a variety of stuff and have put it in my freezer.
Some rice cakes…. I find them easier to transport when they are made into balls.
And last, but not least, some sweet potato cakes, with cinnamon. Silicone baking cases are a must in my kitchen!
So this time next week it will all be over, I’m sure that the food I am taking will help me have a great race, and I look forward to spending a bit more time in my kitchen when I have finished Ironman!
Strawberry and chia gels
These popped up on my facebook feed, and I had all the ingredients so had to give it a go! They turned out pretty well for a first time. I had to adjust a bit as I was using frozen strawberries and did not have as much agar agar as they suggested, but here are my creations.The original recipe is here
I have been playing about a bit with making mochi, and I had some red bean filling in my freezer that I needed to use up. I thought that I would use the strawberry gel as a filling for my mochi, as I usually have too much mochi dough for the amount of red bean paste. They also seemed to work out pretty well. I’m not sure I will take any strawberry gels on Ironman, (they are a bit squidgy), but I may well sneak in a couple of mochi, as they are easier to transport . I love the texture of them too, yummy…
I have been meaning to post these for a while, I am enjoying making my own gnocchi, and this is a variation on the sweet potato one that I have tried. This contains, buckwheat flour, sweet potato, and beetroot, I used some swiss chard out of the garden as a green, but you can use beet tops in the same way if you like. I just love the colours of rainbow chard!
I’m starting to taper for Ironman Wales, this usually involves me baking, as I have a lot of free time to fill! I had a sourdough fest this week ,and made sourdough crumpets, and bread. The crumpets are delicious, luckily I have a freezer, so I have a supply to keep me going. My only problem is what to bake next!
Foraging for fruit
Oh, and its also blackberry time again, so cue blackberry ripple ice cream, and some blackberry and apple turnovers. the kids are permanently covered in blackberry juice at this time of year!
After a lot of interest in my portables on Facebook, someone suggested that I make a portable type gel, so I got experimenting! I was due for a long run on Wednesday, so it was the ideal opportunity to test. I normally don’t bother taking anything with me when I run, as I hate carrying anything in my hands, but I wanted to try out my new recipe.
I sipped at the mix all the way round (it was a 2 hour run!) and it seemed to keep me going, I also didn’t have any adverse reaction to it so a thumbs up from me!
One of my favourite recepies at the moment is sweet potato gnocchi, from the Isa does it book. I picked it up in Carmarthen, and have tried out quite a few things from there, very tasty stuff.
I had a bit of an unintended consequence, when I let the gnocchi rest in polenta, and a lot of the polenta stayed on, so we had a bit of a polenta stew mixed in with the tarragon sauce. Still yummy though 🙂