Friday, 31 July 2015

Five on Friday

I've only recently discovered Five on Friday hosted by Love Made My Home, but my timing is terrible as this is the last one for a little while as there will be a Summer break.  I am pleased to read that it will continue in September again, but I thought it was better to start now than not at all.  So here are five things in my home that has brought a smile to my face this week
The first ones are ornamental fruit caricatures representing pineapple, orange, raspberry, apple (I think) and strawberries. I've recently rediscovered them tucked away in a shoebox wrapped up from our house move last year.  I picked them up from a charity shop in Scotland a few years back.  I sometimes use them as cake toppers.  I had completely forgotten about them.  
Two, when I moved from our rented accommodation to our new own home just over a year ago, I was sad to be leaving behind my thriving rhubarb plant (which I did actually end up digging out and putting it into our new home garden), herb patch and edible flower patch. Flowers like violets, violas and primroses, but its the violas (heartsease) that I missed the most as they were purple and white and garnished cakes and sweet things beautifully.  I have finally a new lot, in golden and autumnal colours growing in pots, but no purple violas yet. They will come. 
Three, a tasty breakfast treat.  I've been thoroughly enjoying these home-made Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Flapjack Cake slab slices.  I will share the recipe next week, but the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon are really fragrant and send you off in a happy daze. Its sets me up in a good smiley mood.  
Four, I had recently made some Berbere - an Ethiopian Spice Blend.  I have been making the most of it, by cooking up some Ethiopian and Eritrean inspired meals at home, including one with spaghetti.  The spice blend without sounding silly is quite spicy.  I love it. 
And five, a herb pot in the shape of a elephant from a Fair trade shop, but one I have not used much as I can't seem to find herb pots that fit into it snuggly, so it has been given a new lease of life recently as a scented candle holder instead.  Please do pop on over to Five on Friday hosted by Love Made My Home to see what other blogger have shared.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Fresh Strawberry Scones of Sorts

These free form soft fruit berry scones may not look fabulous, but they were rather nice.

I made them a couple of weeks back with the last of my garden strawberries.  These as you can see are not traditional British style scones, but are American style cut into triangular shapes.  
I have to admit that I added a little to much milk, the dough was a little sloppy.  So even though it doesn't look very attractive, it was good to eat and I'd be happy to bake them again.  
For the recipe follow this link.

Monday, 27 July 2015

How Green is my Valley?

For all my gardening and vegetable growing readers, this blog post is especially for you.  I know you think that I have abandoned the roots of this blog as I no longer have an allotment plot, but I would like to assure you that I am once again growing again, this time in my garden, and more importantly my  enthusiasm for gardening is returning. albeit very slowly.  I thought I would share an up-date of how green my garden is right now.
The variety of tomatoes in the green house seem to be in the most part doing well.  We are still a couple of weeks before we get to harvest the first red or yellow ones. 
The apple tree (not shown) has a handful of apples, many have been knocked down by the strong winds and the pear tree (also not shown) has produced nothing, so we will be digging that out later in the year.  But the plum tree (above) is producing well, the plums are hard like pebbles.
This is my blueberry bush, its doing well.
I think in the next couple of days I will be harvesting my first couple of courgettes.  I am also growing a yellow variety too, but they are only just beginning to catch up. 
Here are my climbing beans, compared to my two neighbours (both two doors down) mine are halfway up the canes, whereas theirs are right at the top and covering the canes and well flowered.  I know why ours are so behind, because we put them into the ground ate.  Still hoping they will catch up and rewards us with some.  On these canes are also Borlotti beans, my first time growing them, but to be truthful I am not optimistic.
Look closely from the front is black kale aka Tuscan Kale or Dinosaur Kale, behind it are three types of broccoli, the bushy variety that I harvested last week and am seeing side shoots growing, as well as white and purple sprouting broccoli. There is also nasturtium, that has been doing well in the ground last year.  Last year, I tried to grow them in hanging pots, and they failed.  
Here we have Brussels Sprouts,they seem to be doing well.  I know I need to put the netting over it to deter the white cabbage butterfly, but the netting is so blue, that I haven't got round to it concerned that it will make the garden look ugly, but what do I want, nice looking garden or healthy brassicas - both really, but the latter mostly.  
If you look close and past the weeds, you will see some spring onions here.  
And finally Rainbow Chard,  There is more grorwing in pots, but I hope this has given you some insight into my garden vegetable growing progress.
For Harvest Monday, well other than the raspberry canes still producing, this fat spring onion aka scallion is the only vegetable I harvested at the weekend; and oh I mustn't forget some edible flowers that have been serving more as garnish than anything else.  I am sharing this blog post with Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Mondays.  

Tamale for Breakfast with Eggs Over Easy

I make Mexican Style Tamale Pies every other month and it is perhaps my favourite weekend brunch or morning breakfast.  I often describe it as a Mexican Shepherds Pie, the bottom is made from soy mince, borlotti or pinto beans and mixed peppers and spices, and in place of the mashed potato, we have polenta.  It is utterly delicious and comforting.
I usually eat this Polenta Pie on its own with sometimes a dollop of Sriracha sauce, but then there are weekends when I want a little bit extra on my plate, I will serve it with a fried free range egg - done over easy, where the rich yolk serves as the sauce.  By the way the above breakfast plate belongs to D, I can only eat one Tamale - not D he has a much bigger appetite than me.
I am sharing these Tamale Pies with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen for Simply Eggcellent: Breakfast  Challenge: How Do you Like Your Eggs in The Morning.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Handful of Green and Red Tomato Recipes

There have been years when tomatoes from our greenhouse were plentiful, then other years when blight has struck, this year though I have to say looks a little more promising, but not on the scale as when we had an allotment and two greenhouses on it.  And of course I've made many recipes with fresh tomatoes, such as a Tomato Sauce, Tomato Soupsvegetarian Tomato Lasagne and a variety  of Tomato Chutneys.

So with the promise of fresh tomatoes this year, I thought I would share a handful of Green and Red Tomato recipes from my blog.  
I begin with these Sweet and Savoury Tomato Spring Rolls
Tomato Farinata with roasted aubergines and black olives
Tomato and Cauliflower Bake 
Oven Roasted Red and Yellow Za'atar Roasted Tomatoes
Tomato, Potato and Rosemary Bake
And finally this Green Tomato Chutney,  although I'd also recommend this Green Tomato and Coconut Curry. 
A little late in the week, but I am sharing this Tomato related blog post with The Veg Hog who is hosting a Tomato Festival - celebrating all things tomato.