While many consider mushrooms a plant, or vegetable, they are in fact a fungus. Well, the fruit of a fungal organism to be exact. If you think of the way apple trees bear fruit with seeds to produce new apple trees, the fungus that creates mushrooms bears its fruit (in this case mushrooms) to carry spores that will produce new mushrooms.
This fortnights Cookbook Challenge was Rice/Noodles and immediately thought of risotto, which I love, but I wanted to do something different. I flipped through my cookbooks for inspiration and stumbled across Rice Stuffed Tomatoes in Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentiis and thought I’d give that a try. I love tomatoes and I love rice so I thought it would be a great combination.
When you are vegetarian it can often be difficult to buy a good curry paste that does not contain shrimp paste or other seafood products. Don’t let that put you off though, as making your own curry paste is so easy and the end result is a delicious curry paste where you have complete control over the flavours and overall spiciness. If you like your food hot you can add more chilli or if you don’t have an asbestos mouth you can reduce the chilli levels.
There are times when you are about to make dinner when you open the fridge or pantry and empty shelves stare back at you. What do you make? If you have some pasta on hand, parmesan cheese and lemons dinner is only a few minutes away. Perfect when you have hungry hoards moaning at you that they are hungry.
One of the wonderful cookbooks I received as a gift for Christmas is Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets. Prior to blogging, I have to admit, I’d never heard of Dorie. Dorie has been called “a culinary guru” by New York times and is an award winning author who has written 9 cookbooks including Paris Sweets, Baking: From my Home to Yours, Baking with Julia and, more recently, Around My French Table.
One of the things I find helps me relax is a cup of tea. Old fashioned I know, but sipping a cup of green or herbal tea feels so relaxing. There’s also science to it too in that tea contains Theanine, which is a chemical that has been found to reduce phyiscal and mental stress. And what better to serve with that tea than a slice of Tea Cake. Equally old fashioned but absolutely delicious.
Whilst I don’t actually like Christmas/Fruit cakes I decided I wanted to make one this Christmas. When I was watching the Lifestyle Food Channel one night recently Nigella’s Christmas special was on and she made a fantastic chocolate fruit cake. I immediately decided I had to make a version of it as my Christmas cake.
With all the focus on Christmas lunch, making something delicious and a little bit special for the day can be forgotten. Whilst we all look forward to a delicious, and usually large, Christmas lunch you don’t want Christmas breakfast to be a huge meal. This coconut bread is a perfect alternative. It’s something a little bit special and easy to prepare in advance.
For most people it wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread and this certainly holds true in our house, along with shortbread. So when I made gingerbread on the weekend I couldn’t help but make gingerbread Christmas trees. I love how the green sanding sugar give that Christmas tree effect.
When I was looking for a lemon cake recipe on the weekend I immediately thought of The Barefoot Contessa, as I find her recipes always turn out fantastically. This cake was no exception. It’s a beautifully light cake with that deliciously refreshing lemon tang, which was an immediate hit when I took some into work, with those who tried it smacking their lips and saying over and over how delicious it was. I definitely agree and this cake will become a staple in our house.
Sitting on the deck outside, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were completely isolated from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, as you listen to the beautiful sounds of the forest (and the odd moo of a cow on the farm nearby) only occasionally being pierced by the sound of a car in the distance.
Raspberries. Cheesecake. Brownies. Mmmmmm. Individually delicious, together a slice of chocolatey, creamy, tartly sweet heaven.