Pea and mint dip

I buy pea and mint dip quite often, but I have lots of mint in the garden, so today I’ve decided to make my own after reading a few recipes yesterday. It turned out delicious and it’s made with only a handful of ingredients. I will make this dip again, as it takes only a few minutes to make and I can control how much salt and oil I add. A quarter of this dip means you get 1 of your recommended 5 a day. It’s so easy to add a bit of veggies in the diet while making everything taste amazing.

01 Pea and mint dip

I would recommend using vegetable oil for the dip, rapeseed or sunflower. Olive oil has a strong flavour and I think it wouldn’t compliment the flavour of the peas and the mint.

Pea and mint dip

I used Apple mint, Spearmint and Garden mint, three of the four types of mint I grow in my garden. If you don’t have different types of mint, you can use fresh mint from the supermarket. For 350g peas I’ve used half of the leaves photographed here. I wasn’t sure how much mint I would need. I used the rest to add flavour to a big mug of green tea.

Ingredients:
– fresh leaves of Apple mint
– fresh leaves of Spearmint
– fresh leaves of Garden mint
– 350g frozen pois peas
– lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
– 2 spoons of rapeseed oil
– sea salt
– white pepper

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Olive oil scones

Olive oil scones, I thought of them for a while, but only today I baked them for breakfast. I had to wait for a delivery, so my husband took the dog on the morning walk by himself. Having extra time, I imagined it would be lovely to start our day with freshly baked, warm and delicious scones. I’ve added Mediterranean herbs, basil, oregano and marjoram and nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavour.
I made scones many times, but I used butter, dairy or peanut butter for my Gluten free scones. I’ve adjusted the quantity of milk, as the dough would have been too wet. I’m really pleased with how they turned out. Olive oil scones are a good dairy free alternative to scones, but I think they are great on their own. I will definitely make them again. The taste of the olive oil comes through nicely.

Olive oil scones

Ingredients for 10 scones:
– 225g white self raising flour
– 225g wholemeal self raising flour
– 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
– 170ml milk
– 2 free range eggs
– 1 spoon of nutrional yeast
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried marjoram
– salt
– black pepper

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Pepper soup

I saw a recipe for pepper soup and I thought it was a great idea. But I can’t remember where I’ve seen it, if it was in a magazine, a blog or one of my cookbooks. I wasn’t able to go back and read the recipe again, so I made it with what I had available at home. A few years ago I made roasted peppers and this is now a staple in our home. By staple I mean that we have roasted peppers a few times a year, but that is often for us.

Pepper Soup Recipe

For the pepper soup I used fresh peppers, but frozen carrots and green beans, because I already had them in the freezer. You can use fresh veggies if you like, it will be delicious either way.

Ingredients for 6 servings:
– 8 peppers (4 green and 4 red)
– 150g frozen carrots
– 150g frozen green beans
– 75g tomato paste
– 1 stock cube
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 spoon oil
– 1 tsp paprika
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1/2 tsp tarragon
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp marjoram
– 1 tsp dried parsley
– fresh parsley

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Foodie Festival at Tatton Park

Last week I’ve been invited to the Foodie Festival at Tatton Park. I was delighted to attend it for the first time. My husband and I visited the Foodie Festival on Saturday and it was packed, there were so many people and lots of them with dogs, it was really nice.

Foodie Festival at Tatton Park

After we’ve entered, we went to find the Cake and Bake Theatre, so we’d know when we have to get there for the cooking shows. We’ve decided which one we want to see and we had a look around the stalls before going back to see Jane Devonshire.

Foodie Festival at Tatton Park

There were a couple of brownie stalls, including Ridiculously Rich by Alana, the winner of The Apprentice 2016. When we were looking at the goodies, Rebecca shows up, another contestant. It was fab to see her, she is the same as in the show; so bubbly and funny. It was a treat to see her.

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Falafel burgers

Burgers is something I always think I should make at home, but seldom do. I don’t know how I can resist making beautiful falafel burgers like these ones, on toasted artisan bread, houmous, fresh parsley and tomatoes.

I have to disclose that my husband made them, while I was popping in and out of the kitchen. I liked them so much that I’m going to do my own batch of falafel burgers pretty soon. We had some Brown Chickpeas and it was used for both the falafel burgers and houmous. The houmous is the basic recipe, really lovely.

 Falafel burgers

Ingredients for 5 burgers:
– 250g dry Brown Chickpeas – Kala Chana
– 1 lemon
– 1 onion
– 2 garlic cloves
– 4 spoons of oil
– 45g tahini
– 2 tbs flour
– 1 tsp grounded cumin
– 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
– cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp dried coriander leaves
– salt

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Leek and Potatoes Pie

It’s Summer and I wanted a pie, a hot water crust pastry pie. Leek and Potatoes Pie is definitely a great choice on a cold day. However, I had to make one now, so I did. I’ve used hot water crust pastry for the first time last year, for Tudor Pie, and I’m delighted with it, it has 30% less fat than shortcrust pastry. The taste is different and I like it more. I will use it for a sweet pie, most likely the next recipe I’m going to share will be a dessert pie.

Leek and Potatoes Pie

I made these cute stars to decorate the pie and used the left over pastry. I really like working with hot water crust pastry, the texture is very nice and it’s easier to roll and shape/cut comparing to shortcrust.

Leek and Potatoes Pie recipe

A perfect bake, I’m delighted with the pie. For my filling I used more leeks than potatoes as leeks count towards the 5-a-day. As sides, I made peas and mash potatoes. The Leek and Potatoes Pie can’t get more British than that.

Ingredients:
– 330g plain white flour
– 115g butter
– 150ml water
– 500g leeks
– 100g carrots (1 big carrot)
– 200g potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
– 300g cottage cheese
– 50g grated Cheddar
– 2 spoons of oil
– salt
– pepper
– 1 tsp dried dill
– 1 tsp dried parsley
– 1 tsp paprika
– egg wash

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Foret Noire Cake

I made this Foret Noire Cake for our 10th wedding anniversary. As we wanted roses and rose petals on our wedding cake, I though I should recreate our idea on this cake.

01 Foret Noire Cake

I am delighted with the cake. It looked beautiful and it tasted good too. Initially I thought I will cover the cake with white fondant, but we both prefer less sweet cakes, so dark chocolate was a better option when it comes to taste. I think the red roses looked beautiful on the black. I did put some petals on the chocolate before melting it to see how it would look like, just to make sure it wouldn’t have a Halloween’ish effect.

02 Foret Noire Cake

It’s the first time I used my rose cutters and they are easy to work with. I made rose buds before, for the Matcha & Rose Cake, but never roses in bloom. I was worried they will not look as realistic as the ones I saw online. I shouldn’t have worried, with tools, creating roses is quite easy. I think I might get a few more tools for making fondant flowers and leaves.

03 Foret Noire Cake

For the roses I had a 5 petal cutter in 6 sizes. I used some of the same cutters to make the petals. The same cutters can be used to make a 10 petals flower. I like that the cutters are so versatile.

Ingredients for the sponge, 3 layers:
– 300g self raising flour (mix of white and wholemeal)
– 6 eggs
– 225g demerara sugar
– 225ml oil
– 3 spoons of cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking powder
– vanilla paste

Ingredients for the cream, syrup and icing:
– 250g light mascarpone
– 75g butter at room temperature
– 100g icing sugar
– vanilla paste
– cherry flavouring (optional)
– 1 can of pitted cherries
– 50ml sour cherry liqueur
– 150g dark chocolate + a bit more for fixing the rose petals

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