I love my house and I love my garden. We’re fortunate enough to have 2 ancient yet bountiful fruit trees, a greengage and a plum. All that fruit is amazing and super tasty, but it can be hard work knowing what to do with it all. Today was PLUM DAY. It’s a day I both love and dread. I love eating the picking, eating and planning, I’m less keen on the destoning and preparation of fruit. I’ve officially decided you can get RSI from plum destoning.
This year I decided to make plum jam – it’s an old recipe that we’ve used several years in a row, requires only 3 ingredients and I think it’s pretty fool proof. If you’re someone who hasn’t made jam before then give it a go. I made 2 batches of this so now we have plenty of jars for us and some to give away too. I know jam has a lot of sugar in but a little also goes a long way. In our house, it’s a treat 😉
With still more plums to use I had to consult the recipe books….and found a yummy sounding Prune Chutney, which of course I have adapted to suit me as I never actually follow a recipe. I can’t wait to try this one. Cheese, cold meat….and chutney – OH YES.
Plum Jam Recipe (makes about 8 jars):
3kg plums (no need to destone or chop – WHOOP)
2 kg sugar
Use non squidgy, unblemished plums for this, not qute ripe ones ill work well as well as ripe ones.
Place the plums and water in a large pan (I use my pressure cooker pan) with the water and bring to the boil, bubble for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir in and then place back on the heat and bring to the boil.
Boil for 10 minutes and stir, continue to boil and stir, gently removing the stones as they come to the surface, but keep the rest of the fruit in the pan (sounds obvious but a certain husband removed stones plus fruit leaving no jam!).
After about 20 minutes it should be ready, look thickened and jam like 😉 I don’t do any jam tests but can tell when it’s ready.
Pour into sterilised jam jars and seal.
Do you have fruit trees in your garden? What do you do with all your fruit?
Frittata. It’s a great word. Try playing around with it in your mouth. It lends itself to all kinds of twists and turns.
In our house Frittata night usually means it’s been a busy day, the cook of the house is tired and something quick and easy is needed for dinner. This recipe is satisfying to make, satisfy to cook and satisfying to eat. Plus it’s healthy, packed with high quality protein and plenty of colourful veggies. If you are the type of person who eat with their eyes then this will not fail to disappoint.
Personally I think the fresher the eggs the better. We have chickens so are very spoilt. Eggs provide a great protein source, in fact eggs are the benchmark for protein against which other protein foods are compared to. they also contain zinc, iodine and phosporus along with the fat soluble vitamins A,D and E. Although eggs do contain about 11% fat, about half of this is monounsaturated, the healthy fat.
Onto the recipe. This is great served warm, straight from the pan with salad or cold the next day for lunch.
Serves 2 plus 1 toddler (withe leftovers for lunch)
A mix of veggies (e.g. peas, diced carrot, diced onion, finely chopped green beans and cherry tomatoes)
2 medium sliced and diced potatoes or sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
Drizzle about 1/2 tbsp oil into a pan and saute the potatoes first.
After a out 5 minutes add the rest of the veggies and saute for another 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
Meanwhile beat the eggs, add the seasoning and herbs.
Spread the veggies out in the pan and try to arrange them a little so there is an even mix of them across the pan.
Pour the eggs into the pan and swirl it around a little so the veggies are covered.
Cook for 5 on a medium heat and then put under the grill to cook the top surface. Cook until the top is golden and firm to the touch.
Yesterday I decided to take the plunge and try out a vlog. It’s a bit long so next time I’ll remember to keep it short and sweet….but I’m quite suprised with the end result….not too bad 😉 Personally I think that’s all due to my glamourous assisstant!
Please do take a look and let me know what you think…..and feel free to share too.
We’ve had a really odd few weeks of weather, it’s rained ALOT and then there have been moments of lovely sunshine, though not many of them. It’s meant that instead of being out in the garden picking beans in strappy tops and shorts, I’m craving more wintery foods. So as a compromise here’s my fishcake recipe, works for winter, summer, spring or autumn 😉
The added bonus with this recipe is it gets those family members who say they don’t like fish, to eat fish. I always like to prove people wrong on foods when they say they don’t like foods! Also you can get in some omega 3’s which are great for reducing inflammation, for improving blood flow, for boosting brain power and keeping the heart healthy, then whack in some hidden veggies too.
My toddler always ends up eating her portion and then asking for more, so eats half of my portion too – and I never remember this when making them. So mental note to you all….make extra.
450g of fish (I used a mix of salmon and pollack)
100ml white wine
chopped herbs and a bayleaf
small knob of butter
200g mushrooms finely chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tsp mustard
Poach the fish in 100ml white wine with some chopped herbs, a bay leaf and a small knob of butter.
When it is cooked, remove from the pan and let the cooking liquid reduce down by leaving it to simmer on the hob.
Meanwhile peel, chop and cook the potatoes, then mash without adding butter or milk so they are dry.
Chop up the mushrooms or other vegetables and seperate the eggs.
Flake the fish into a large bowl then add the potatoes, egg yolks, mustard, cooking liquid and vegetables. Mix and then shape into fish cakes, they may be quite moist, that is fine!
Place onto a baking tray and leave to firm up in the fridge.
Cook in a non stick pan when needed. I’d advise you make extra as these go quick fast in our house! I’m sure you could bake in the oven, please try it out and let me know.
Serve with a large salad and a cheeky glass of white wine 😉
Drizzle of olive oil (about 1tbsp) and a drizzle of water (about 1tbsp)
Weigh out the flour, make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Beat the eggs and then start to combine into a dough. Use a little of the oil and water to help combine the mixture if it is a little dry. Once it is mixed cover with a damp tea towel and set aside.
You can use this pasta recipe for all kinds of things, I decided to try a lasagne today and it was delicious. The mix made enough for a lasagne for 4 people with a little dough left over which I have in the fridge for tomorrow.
Roll the pasta out either using a rolling pin or a pasta machine. Call me greedy but I like to use both, so I start with the rolling pin and then pass the dough through the pasta machine. Break off about 1/4 of the dough and keep the rest covered with the damp tea towel. Roll out to a couple of millimetres thick. To get a nice silky pasta you’ll need to do this several times. Sprinkle the dough with a little gluten free flour each time to prevent it from sticking, once you have rolled it thinly, fold it in half, then in half again and roll it out again.
Dietitian UK: Rolling out the pasta dough
Then slice the pasta into sheets that will fit your lasagne dish. Layer the pasta over your mince mixture and top with the white sauce (recipes below).
There are so many great bolognaise recipes out there and any of these will do, here’s how I made mine.
Dry cook 500g lean mince in a pan, it will release it’s own fat to cook in. Strain some of the excess fat off and then add an onion and 2 cloves of garlic, cook gently. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 2 tbsp tomato puree and 200ml stock (I used homemade chicken stock you could use a gluten-free stock cube plus water), let it simmer whilst you chop up 3 large carrots, a large handful of mushrooms and 1 pepper. Chop these fairly small and then add to the pan. Season with pepper and mixed herbs. I also add balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar and a glug of red wine.
Pour 2 tbsp rapeseed oil into a pan and heat, add 2 tbsp gluten free flour. Mix well and quickly add a little milk. Remove from the heat and stir to make a runny paste. Add some more milk and place back on a moderate heat, stirring continuously. I make my white sauce from half milk and half water, adding the liquid as it is needed. Keep stirring or whisking to prevent lumps and check the heat is not too high or it can burn. You want a consistency like double cream, so fairly thick but still pourable.
To make this dairy free use rice milk or soya milk instead.
Layer up your lasagne with the gluten free pasta sheets and sprinkle a little cheese on the top (omit the cheese for a dairy free version) and cook at Gas Mark 4/200 C for 40 minutes.
Enjoy with a green salad and maybe a cheeky glass of wine!
I love vegetarian food, though I’m not actually a vegetarian. I love the colours, flavours and creativeness of it. We tend to have meatless meals 3-4 days a week and use lentils, beans and pulses a lot.
Last week I really fancied having a go with Quinoa, its not something we eat that often but being wheat free I can’t eat cous cous and had had an urge for making stuffed peppers, plus the baby hadn’t given Quinoa a go yet.
These came our really well, even if my husband had to take his in a plastic tub back to work to eat as his on-call phone rang! His comments were that it was difficult to eat without a knife but the Quinoa was delicious and nutty. The baby managed to eat hers all without a knife 😉 fingers sufficed and the whole lot went quite quickly, so I’m taking that as a compliment.