recipes

Fruity pancakes

Posted on Thursday, 26th February, 2009. Filed under: baking, recipes |

I really have to write here more often, every time I come back it’s different and even more confusing… Anyway.

Between the ME and a yucky cold I wasn’t well enough to make pancakes on Tuesday, and felt very deprived! I’m finally feeling up to some light cooking, but although I’m not bad at the traditional thin British pancakes they’re a bit fiddly at the best of times, so I went for something I couldn’t mess up. I have a lovely new big, sturdy frying pan too because it had £10 off 🙂 Getting the hang of what setting the hob needed to be on with a new pan meant that most of them were rather black, until the last two perfectly golden ones, but they were still tasty!

1 medium banana, very ripe
175g forest fruits yoghurt
1 large egg
100g self-raising flour

With a fork, mash the banana in a bowl, then whisk in the egg and yoghurt. Add flour and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Drop in spoonfuls onto a hot, lightly greased frying pan. When bubbles form on the surface, flip over and cook on the other side until set and golden. Cool any you’re not eating immediately between layers of kitchen paper.

My yoghurt is a Lidl one because it’s the only unthickened one I can find these days – still haven’t forgiven Yeo Valley for putting yucky tapioca starch in theirs, which I used to love! – so you might need to add a touch of milk to slacken it off to the right consistency if you’re using a more typical one. And of course, forest fruits is just one I happened to have. Strawberry would be a classic combination with the banana.

Hmm, writing this is making me want seconds as I have leftovers cooling on the worktop… I ended up with I think 9 or 10, using a dessert spoon to drop them.

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Sushi-ish Rice Salad

Posted on Monday, 29th September, 2008. Filed under: recipes |

Emphasis on the “ish”. On a recent trip to London I became a sushi convert. Suddenly I’m absolutely addicted. It’s very difficult to get any round here, though, and certainly there’s none availabe in my town. In desperation to stave off the cravings I came up with this sushi-inspired rice salad recipe with the ingredients that were available to me, and was very pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out! I want to try it with proper sushi rice and rice vinegar when I can get to a good enough shop to buy them, but for the moment, this is it:

250g arborio rice
400ml cold water
3tspn white wine vinegar
2tspn white sugar
1tspn salt
About a 4-inch chunk of cucumber, deseeded and chopped fairly finely
About a third of a red pepper, as above

Put the rice in a sieve and rinse it under the cold tap until the water runs clear. Put it in a saucepan with the 400ml of water, bring to the boil, then cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt in a cup or small bowl, stirring to thoroughly dissolve the sugar and salt.

Turn the rice into a large, shallow bowl, pour over the vinegar mixture, and mix thoroughly but gently. Allow to cool, mixing every few minutes, turning the rice and any liquid from the bottom to the top.

When cool, mix in the cucumber and pepper.

Serve! To add to the sushi flavour I add a bit of soy sauce to mine when I eat it. I also think some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled over would be really good, but I haven’t had chance to try that yet.

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Seed cake recipe and sock yarn stash

Posted on Wednesday, 2nd May, 2007. Filed under: baking, recipes, yarn |

I always wanted to try seed cake as it was mentioned in so many old novels I read, but I didn’t even really have any clue what it was until last year sometime. After finally trying it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, both the flavour (liquorice-y) and the texture of the caraway seeds are very strange to find in a cake when you’re not used to it. However, a slice or two further in and I was definitely a fan. Unusual but delicious, and knowing it’s so old-fashioned just makes it more fun!

As usual, I’ve ended up coming up with my own recipe adapted from a combination of others in my collection of books and my own favourite ways of doing things.

100g butter
100g + 2tspn caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 eggs
3tspn brandy
2 1/2 tspn caraway seeds

Cream the butter and sugar (apart from the extra two teaspoons) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each. Add the brandy, and fold in the rest of the flour and two teaspoons of caraway seeds. Put into a 1lb loaf tin, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and half teaspoon of seeds. Bake at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until firm and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

Seed cake

And now on to the knitting. I finally got my yarn I’ve been waiting for! The first parcel ended up officially lost, I hate stupid Royal Mail!! And by the time this had been established, they (Violet Green) had run out of the yarn that made me order in the first place, as it reminded me of parrots. 😦 They were very nice and helpful, though, and I chose some reasonably similar replacements.

yarnskeins.jpg

It’s such gorgeous stuff! I actually squealed and said “oh wow!” when I put my hand in the bag because it felt so soft and lovely. The ones on the left and in the middle (OK, I only bought an undyed skein because it was cheap) are merino, the one on the right is pure silk, so I’m still trying to decide how best to proceed with it for use in socks without falling down round my ankles. Although the fact that I like them not much above my ankles to start with will no doubt help. This is the first time I’ve bought yarn in skeins, and after winding that silk into a ball, I’ve decided I need a yarn swift. It took me over an hour! And my shoulder was so achey by the end. I actually enjoy winding balls of yarn and often rewind ones I’m using anyway, but it’s all the reaching to uncoil it from around my knees/feet (I haven’t decided which works best) that did me in.

I’ve knitted the first of a pair of Hedera in white On-Line (or whatever it’s called) yarn, also because it’s cheap. I don’t know when the other one’s going to get done though, as right now I’m starting on a pair in Regia cotton that I hope will be my first attempt at writing out a pattern properly! *I* know what I’m doing when I start experimenting, but getting it into a format that makes sense to other people is another matter. I’m very pleased with how they’re looking so far, hope I don’t mess anything up as they progress.

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