Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summer Berry Tarts

Mixed berry tarts with lemon curd

The shops are full to the brim with summer berries and what better way to use them than a simple pastry tart topped with a lemon mascarpone filling, adorned with berries and blobs of luscious lemon curd.

Unfortunately my raspberries haven't done so well this year, my strawberry plants have done okay but need replacing next year, as ever my redcurrant bushes are bursting with little red berries.  Redcurrant bushes look after themselves so why the berries cost a fortune in the shops is a complete mystery to me.

Summer Berry Individual Tarts
The tarts still look pretty without lemon curd

Instructions for Thermomix pastry - food processor instructions in italics.

You will need: 6 x 10cm tins with a loose base, greased

225g plain flour
110g unsalted butter, cubed
pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2/3 tbsp cold water

For the filling:
250g light mascarpone cheese
lemon curd

Mixed fruits of your choice

Food processor instructions in italics

1. Add the flour, butter, sugar and salt to the bowl - Turbo a few times to turn into crumbs. Now add the egg yolk and water. Turbo until just mixed together. Only add more water if necessary to get the dough to cling together.
Add the flour, butter and sugar to the bowl of the processor. Pulse until fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, pulse until the dough starts to come together.
2. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a flat disc. Cover in clingwrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into six and roll out on a lightly floured board. Place the rolled dough carefully into the tins.  Prick the base, place the tins onto a baking tray and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC conventional.
5. Place squares of baking paper into each tin and fill with baking beans.
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove the paper and baking beans. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
7. Place the baked pastry cases onto a cooling rack.
8. Add the mascarpone cheese into a bowl and beat until smooth.  Add lemon curd to taste, mix and place in the fridge to chill.
9. Place dollops of lemon mascarpone cheese into the cooled baked pastry cases, top with berries and blobs of lemon curd, if you like.

You may also like:
Summer Berries Pavlova
Berry Meringue
Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Salad Bowl Recipe

A Salad bowl with avocado

One of the things I like about a salad bowl is that you can keep adding to it and it's also a great way to have a fridge clear.

If you enjoy looking at Instagram the hashtag #powerbowl and #saladbowl are inspirational and Pinterest is another great source where you're sure to get salad bowl envy. My only comment though is that the bowls are nearly overflowing and there appears to be enough food in them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

There's no recipe as such - my salad consists of a base layer of mixed leaves, an oven cooked breast of chicken lightly coated in piri piri spices. Bulgar wheat with diced peppers and raisins, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, julienned carrot and courgettes. Lightly toasted pine nuts and a handful of sunflower seeds.

Mix a dressing of your choice to pour over the salad and lastly add a few slices of sliced avocado.

quick and easy salad bowl

We've just returned from a week away in Caernarfon, North Wales - this holiday we decided to rent a cottage overlooking mountains and coast. Salads were a great way to feed ourselves without spending too much time in the kitchen.

I'm missing this fabulous view from the holiday cottage already and I've only been home for a few days!

View in North Wales

Back soon!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Christmas in July! Waitrose Press Show 2016 Revealed


Waitrose Christmas in July Press Show 2016
Spoilt for choice - which sweet treat would you choose?

The London reporter gets into the Christmas spirit and finds a culinary gift waiting for you this Christmas...

For any foodie, the Waitrose Christmas press show is a culinary highlight of the year. This is the key opportunity for them to show off how innovative, passionate and inspiring they are. You never leave without wanting to stock up for Christmas even though most of the goods won’t be available until September.

So let me give you a whistle stop tour of what we saw to whet your appetite.....

Chocolate chunk sour dough - possibly one of the more indulgent breads I’ve ever tasted, it’s moreish with all those chocolate chips packed in and probably best paired with a little butter for an even naughtier snack.

Cocktail olives - I tried some really zingy olives which had been marinated in lemon zest and limoncello. Sounds boozy and a bit wacky, but actually refreshing and full of flavour.

Mini goat’s cheese with cherry and port compote (as pictured in the collage) - A super indulgent cheese and compote pairing if ever there was one to be feasted on. Prepare to dazzle your guests!

Just some of the scrumptious food at Waitrose Christmas Press Show 2016
Waitrose finest foods waiting for you this coming Christmas

Three little pigs (as pictured in the collage next to the turkey) - These mini sausages are wrapped in bacon and are a playful take on the classic pigs in blankets. Do you think they got this right? Or could it have been one little piggy in lots of blankets? ;)

Eggnog custard tart - a first for me, this contains brandy, spices and nutmeg. Once you’ve eaten your mains, this will be just what you need for a token sweet kick with no effort required.

Deconstructed Pineapple and Macadamia Florentine - this rather grand sounding pot of nibbles is quite simply just that. It’s sweet and savoury and full of different textures and colours. For just five quid, this is the perfect gift!

We hope you’ve gained from this little sneak preview to help you plan ahead.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Waitrose. All thoughts are our own.