December! I mean can you believe it. All of those yummy winter vegetables are now in season and it is most definitely time to start long slow root vegetable roasts, slow cooked Tagine’s with orange and dishes sprinkled with bright red cabbage. Proper heart warming food.
As a result I have picked Clementines, Parsnips and Red Cabbage for this months seasonal favourites and have already found some amazing recipes to try out. So I thought I would share them with you all and hopefully we can cook up some delicious dishes this December.
So how about some Clementines is Spiced Cider, or dipped in Chocolate for a sweet treat.
Or what about Parsnip Chips, or Wheat Berries with Roasted Parsnips, Butternut Squash & Dried Cranberries.
And finally why not pull out all the stops with some Pulled Pork and Red Cabbage sandwiches or mix things up with a Red Cabbage and Mango Slaw.
All in all the days are getting shorter which means more time to be spent inside cooking and eating. So let’s fire up the stove!
Clementines via FrenchBasketeer, Parsnips via Martha Stewart, Red Cabbage
After my weekend post I suspect you won’t be surprised to find I am currently throwing my culinary tastes at all things involving Pumpkins. There are so many good pumpkin recipes out there for everything from savoury treats to sweet pumpkin pie. It’s pretty hard not to get swept up in all the orangeness.
I decided the best place to start would be pumpkin soup. I love a good soup, so far this week has felt very rainy and autumnal so my craving for warm and comforting food has definitely started to kick in.
My associations with pumpkin always seem to be slightly sweet so I usually add either carrot or parsnip to my soup just to give it the slight edge and avoid me tipping actual sugar into the soup. I would use carrot or parsnip interchangeably, but you do whatever you prefer.
I also wanted to have a go at extracting my own pumpkin seeds from there shells – this was an exciting experience – I am not convinced I did it quite right and I ended up eating some of the shell as well – but it actually tasted delicious. It’s pretty simple you just dry of the seeds place them in a dry pan over a low heat and let them cook for about 5/10 mins, (it’s very exciting as they start spinning around in the pan all of there own accord) keep moving them around so they don’t burn – then pour them out and crush in a pestle and mortar. Not sure if I would recommend this method completely as I did eat some shell and I don’t know if you are supposed to eat them or not – but oh well!
Anyway enough of the garnish and on with the main event.
1/2 a regular Pumpkin, peeled, deseeded/ fleshed and chopped into chunks
1 Carrot (or Parsnip) peeled, and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Red Chilli
1 small Onion
1 handful Red Lentils
500ml Vegetable Stock
A few sprigs of Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chop your onion, place in a pan and fry on a low heat to soften
- Add your chopped pumpkin and chopped carrot and leave to soften slightly
- Then add chopped garlic, chilli and ginger and stir in
- Pour on your vegetable stock, pour in the lentils, put the lid on and leave to slowly simmer for about 20-25mins, adding more liquid if necessary
- In the meantime toast your seeds ( as I instructed above)
- After 25mins check your soup and if everything has softened blend with a hand blender, pour into bowls, and serve with a sprinkle of Pumpkin seeds. If the vegetables still feel a little hard, let them simmer for a further 5mins, adding more liquid if necessary (although try not to add too much excess liquid at this point as it will dilute the lovely flavour)
And that is it – Simple Pumpkin and Lentil soup, nice and hearty and a great comforting antidote to feeling cold.
I know we are not quite there yet as well frankly it is the middle of August but with Haloween on the Horizon I can’t help but get excited about the upcoming Holiday Period. Whilst I try and control myself on the Christmas front until at least the 1st of December there are still plenty of celebrations before that. I am helped in my family by having a number of important birthdays on the run up to Christmas as well.
But let’s break it down for a second. Over the next few months we have Halloween, Bonfire night, Thanksgiving ( I know it’s not technically a british holiday but one of my best friends from the states is in London this year so we are firmly celebrating Thanksgiving – a new holiday- so exciting) then I have a lot of birthdays. And then Christmas ( oh and still more birthdays – thanks family!)
Oh wait and then New Years.
For someone who likes a party and anything with a theme this is a dream.
So whilst I thought I would share some of my favourite links for the week I also thought I would maybe slightly theme it ( don’t you love a theme) with some of the things that have been getting me in the mood for Holiday time.
This has got Bonfire night treat written all over it. Obviously along with bonfire night fudge, toffee apples and sausage rolls. Obviously.
Some lovely Autumnal Craft Ideas
Cake baked in a Pumpkin! Umm. excuse me that might be the best sentence ever written. There are no words.
This got me all excited about Christmas – boy do I want to make smores.
Some useful fonts for any party invitations and christmas cards. Always useful.
A must for Halloween decorating!
And finally if I was going to dress up as one things this Halloween – it would definitely be this.
I hope you all have great weekends! Whatever you are up to why not treat it like a holiday.
image via allysonbakerdesign
Autumn is usually a time to feast on root vegetables and squashes, thoses lovely oven bakes, pies and mashes that include Sweet Potatoe, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin and Beetroot.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love these vegetables, and the warmth that they bring on a fresh Autumn day. But I feel as a result some vegetables get left out of the converstaion. So for the sake of being equal and fair I have decided to pick out some of Octobers bounty that doesnt seem to get as much air time.
For me the ultimate addition to a slow roasted veg mix is Celeriac, whislt it may like an ugly sort of vegetable it certainly packs a punch in the flavour deparment and is certainly worth playing around with. Personally I love Celeriac mash. But if you fancy something a bit more exotic – why not try Celeriac Fries or Celeriac and Beet Salad.
Then comes Fennel, not the sort of vegetable to expect to find in an Autumn vegetable line up – frankly the poor old Fennel is too green- but boy does it add flavour. I love fennel in fish stew – you can find my recipe here. But if you are feeling more adventurous what about trying it in a salad?
Then finally the Artichoke. I have added the Artichoke because personally I have always overlooked it. I have never cooked with Artichoke and hardly ever eaten it. But I think it is time to change. So I have decided my goal for this Autumn is to finally give the good old Artichoke the run out it deserves. Here are a few of the recipes I am tempted to try.
Artichoke Risotto and Globe Artichoke and Vinaigrette. Now hopefully that is enough to be getting on with for one month!
Fennel from here, Globe Artichoke from here, Celeriac from here
Boy is this weekend a busy one! Today I am out all day and this evening, tomorrow a trip out of London to meet my parents and then it is Monday again. How quickly does the weekend seem sometimes? However that is not the way to be approaching it on a Saturday morning. No Siree. Especially since I am off to Berlin next week for a 3 day holiday. So in fact leisure time extends in front of me like a wonderful yellow brick road of possibility. The problem is I am not the sort of person who does nothing. So I always end up busy even when there is not much going on.
Anyway despite all my plans I am hoping to get some time in the kitchen and also some time having chilling out on the sofa with some good reads.
If you are at a loose end this weekend why not check out some of these.
I have a real urge to make a fancy looking Pie like this one. I never have, so it is definietly on the to do list.
Discovered this lovely blog this week – I really enjoy her approach to food and there are pretty pictures.
Another great find of the week – doesn’t this salad look amazing. This is what I want for Dinner!
Not food – but the coolest illustrations – I think he might have seen me on the tube – the blonde lady staring!
This looks like such a fun project for next year. I love craft kits!
Finally because it wouldnt be a weekend without cookies – I am definitely making these bad boys!
Whatever you’re up to – Have a lovely weekend!
image via Famille Summerbelle – Ryo Takemasa
I saw this, this morning and it made me smile. So I thought I would share.
Hurray for the weekend. I have the luxury of spending the entire two days with my family. I am so excited for lots of cooking, chatting and catching up.
Knowing this, my week of trawling the web has been inspired by this comforting weekend plan. Please excuse the copious amounts of extravagant and luxurious foods on this weeks love list.
Whatever you’re up to I wish you a wonderfully extravagant weekend.
Here are few of my favourite finds from the week:
The perfect cup of Masala Chai – I am not usually the biggest fan but this looks like it I worth a try
Did you know it was national honey month? I had no idea. Now I need to get planning some honey recipes!
The perfect snack for Saturday night film viewing.
A blog called ‘Dinner: A Love Story’ – I feel they are a kindred spirit.
This week my friend moved across the pond to London for the whole year- so exciting. The most exciting thing of the week is that she introduced me to Cronuts! The Croissant Donut! How have I never heard of these before. If you are equally ignorant check out some more info here or maybe go the whole hog and have a go at making them! Apparently they are delicious, but I am pretty sure they are definitely an extravagant treat – not one to add to the regular breakfast rotation!
What ever you’re up to have a lovely weekend!
Image via Observando
Everywhere you look over the last few weeks the theme of ‘back to school’ has been steadfastly in my vision. My pinterest has been full of it and loads of my favourite bloggers have been doing features on it.
And I can understand why, just like in January the thought of a new start is intoxicating and however many years out of the education system you are September always feels like a fresh start. A time to set some good routines, sharpen those pencils, rejig your wardrobe and hit the gym before you descend into winter comfort. As a result I thought this week I would be inspired by this and give you so fresh inspiration for your own back to school routine whatever that maybe.
Is it just me or does time seem to be flying at the moment. The fact that it is already september seems baffling to me. Seriously where has this year gone? Let alone this week. One exciting thing about september is that it means days of crunching leaves under foot, storing up for the winter and comfy jumpers will soon be upon us.
It’s here at last. Whilst many may be mourning the end of the summer, I always prefer to take a giant leap into the gorgeous splendour of autumnal food. And September as always provides us with natures ultimate combo (yes I know I have said that before, but I was wrong before) ( now I am right) Apples and Blackberries. Bust out your crumbles, cobblers and pies and revel in the beauty of softened and sweet apples with robust and juicy blackberries. This isn’t encouraged it is categorically demanded.
Watermelon… What a melon! Sweet, juicy and perfectly acceptable to cut into giant chunks.
Do melons get any sweeter?