A whole week off work. Lots of plans, people to see, places to go and James’s birthday to celebrate. To start the week off, I booked us a night in a lovely pub/hotel in Dorset, St. Leonard’s Hotel. The room was perfect… everything I hoped it would be. We also got to catch up with my Mum, Dad, Brother and his family.
After eating our way through two selection packs of cheese over the Christmas holidays we were left with some blue cheese… not sure why, I like blue cheese. But I thought I would use it to make broccoli and blue cheese soup as I’d never made that before.
I love this recipe because it was so quick and easy, and it’s good for you. The broccoli and onion not only count towards your 5 a day – which I’m slightly obsessed with at the moment but they also have huge health benefits. Although it did break my hand blender so best to chop up your broccoli into small pieces.
I’m always on the lookout for food photography props like pretty plates and cutlery in charity shops, here are some of my recent bargain finds.
|Vintage lace napkin 30p and silver cake slice £1|
|Set of 5 silver cake forks £1|
|Tiny vintage salt spoon 50p|
Last Christmas James bought me the fabulous Primrose Bakery cookbook and to my delight one of the recipes inside was for Afghan Biscuits, I hadn’t seen, heard or eaten these biscuits for years.
When I was thirteen my first job was in a cake shop at the bottom of my road, called Cake Craft run by a guy from Australia. I use to ice the cakes and make the sandwiches. One of the things he use to make was these traditional Australian biscuits, Afghan biscuits and I loved them. Full with lots of coco power and covered in 70% coco icing and topped with a walnut.
So when I saw the recipe in the book it was the first thing I made and they tasted just as great as I remembered.
I’ve done it… I tracked down the playing cards from my childhood. After a very long search I managed to find out they were from the 1950s and called ‘Darling’ playing cards. After I had the name I very quickly managed to find and purchased pack from ebay. They have beautiful illustrations of pin up girls on every card and the three jokers and I absolutely love them.
A very happy nostalgic purchase.
I chose to make this recipe as part of my new healthy eating plan as it contained black beans that were on my superfoods list. It was really easy to cook and so tasty, I’ll make this again.
Sweet potatoes count as one of your five a day and are full of vitamin A which protects your vision and boosts your immune system and black beans which are packed full of protein, fibre and flavonoids – an antioxidants that help your arteries stay relax and pliable.
1 onion finely chopped
Small bunch of coriander chopped
4 tsp Jerk seasoning
400g chopped tin tomatoes
4 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tsp sugar
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
400g black beans
1 red pepper chopped
600g veg stock
Fry the onion and peppers for 5 mins. Add the jerk seasoning and half the coriander, fry for one minute.
Add the tin tomatoes, stock, vinegar and sugar, simmer for 10 mins. Then add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add in the black beans and simmer for 5 more mins. Then cool and chill for up to two day.
To Serve heat through gently on the hob and scatter the remaining coriander.
One of my other New Year Resolutions was to cook a new recipe each month. So far, this month Ive cooked three. This was my first, I’d never made soup before and found it incredible easy and surprisingly tasty… I thought due to lack of ingredients it was be tasteless but it was super yummy, quick and easy and very good for you. I will definitely be making this one again… regularly.
600g carrots grated
140g red split lentils
1Ltr veg stock
2tsp cumin seeds
pinch of chilli flakes
2tbs olive oil
In a large sauce pan dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, then remove half the seeds and set aside for later.
Add oil, carrots, lentils, stock and milk, simmer for 15 mins until the lentils are soft, then blend till smooth.
Season to taste and sprinkle with the remaining toasted spices.