Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Raw Strawberry Chilli Chia Jam

Like most food bloggers, I discovered the magic of chia seeds a couple of years ago.  As well as using it in Puddings, I actually also made a Raspberry Chilli Chia Jam, but never got round to blogging about it.  This time I was determined to get a picture and share it with you - the only difference is this one is made from strawberries from my garden.
The Raw Strawberry Chilli Chia Jam was not only spread on a piece of toast, but also on warm home-made Lemonade Scones.  Lemonade scones contrary to its name, do not taste like lemonade at all. The fizzy lemonade seems to aerate the scones, giving them oomf and a bit of height, but nothing lemony about them at all. 
The Raw Strawberry Chilli Chia Jam is not sweet like traditional strawberry jam made with sugar and pectin, but nonetheless it was pleasant and made for an interesting change, and you know me - dousing a bit of chilli here and there, but its completely optional.  

Vegetable Palette: Blushing Pinks

Welcome to June's edition of The Vegetable Palette Round Up: natures colours - natures goodness''. 
The theme for June was Blushing Pinks.  (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for the new theme if you would like to take part this month).
The first entry comes from the Veg Hog with Pomegranate and Sea Buckthorn Overnight Oats.  I would feel rather lavish tucking into this rather elegant breakfast, but its nice to have a touch of luxury now and again. I love that it is portable too, perfect to take into work for us early birds.
The second entry comes from Katie from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter with a Fresh and Punchy Beetroot Relish.   This  beautifully majestic looking relish would be awesome with some home-made Black Bean Burgers.  In fact, I may give this a go come this weekend, I especially like the addition of horseradish for extra kick.  
Next may I introduce you to a new contributor to Vegetable Palette, we have Ema from De Tout Coeur Limousin with Rhubarb and Elderflower Compote.  Just look at the sheen and colour!  Ema describes this as a quick and easy recipe, I shall try it for sure as my husband loves all things tangy, tart and sharp.  I love that she has also used seasonal elderflowers, I keep seeing them on drives, but have not managed to harvest any for sweet treats. 
The lovely Jen from Chardonnay & Samphire shares with us Plum and Fig Crumble.  Loving the way the pinkness from the plums oozes to the top, this Crumble is also elevated further with the addition of coconut and almonds for crunch.  I know this is a dessert, but I could easily eat it for breakfast too.
And finally my own contribution of Rhubarb, Rosewater and Rose Petal Streusel Crumble Slices.  Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable, not a fruit?!

If you would like to participate in the Vegetable Palette, then please follow this link on how to participate.  The theme for July is Glorious Reds 
 -  Think tomatoes, red peppers, red chilli, beetroot, red onion...  Please note I will accept fruit too, but vegetables would be preferred.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Jar of Golden Daisy 'Honey', Biscotti and Cupcakes

I have been fortunate in the last few months to have sampled Ethiopian-Eritrean Marble Cake, Japanese Cotton Cheesecake, Polish and Czech sweet pastries, Irish soda bread, Norwegian Sandbakkels, Sri Lankan Coconut Roti, Pakistani Purple Cabbage Sabzi - much of it thanks to the diversity of colleagues in my workplace. 
Most recently a beautiful colleague at work from Czech background bestowed upon me a jar of home-made Daisy 'Honey', yes you read right Daisy Honey.  She advised it was good for colds and to stir a teaspoon or two into hot water when feeling poorly.   As you can see from the label, she made it with her son Pavel who is 8 years old. Do you want the recipe? Let me know and I will see if she will share it with me.  I remember her saying its an easy recipe, the hard part is picking the daisies.
Another colleague at work who is a fantastic cook from Vietnamese background tried her hand at making some Cranberry, Pistachio and Almond Biscotti.  It was her first time making biscotti and she should be pleased.  I enjoyed them and so did D dunking them into his coffee, but my mother also took a couple of me too .

I am waiting on my Zimbabwean colleague for an authentic Zimbabwean recipe.  He has promised to nag his mother and get a vegetarian or vegan Zimbabwean recipe for me, but I am still waiting.  I am also waiting patiently for my Ethiopian colleague to show me how to make authentic Injera
And finally, a lovely Welsh colleague who is talented in many way, but its her skills in the kitchen that got me interested when she encouraged me and a few other people from the office to have a go at piping cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  Piping cakes is not my forte but I was well pleased with the result above, but I need more practise as its not easy as it looks.  
A bonus of this was getting to take home some Butter cream Cupcakes, nom nom.  She recently brought into the office, 

Have you been bestowed with edible goodies from friends, family or work colleagues lately. 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Big Juicy Strawberries for Strawberry Slices

I seem to be sharing my strawberries with not just the usual garden birds, but also a stunning Jay bird in the garden.  The number of strawberries I've picked that have a sharp razor beak mark in them, made me smile.  I am not resenting the birds in my garden at all - there are plenty of strawberries for them and for me (its the slugs I resent). 
As well as enjoying them fresh, I've made loads of recipes with them.  However the one I am about to share had been a bit of a fail.  These strawberry slices tasted good, but were rather floppy, lacking body.  Perhaps some almonds scattered over the top or a jam layer beneath the strawberries would have made them more substantial.  If your (still) interested in trying them for yourself or even just curious to see the recipe, then follow this link for the recipe, its adapted from my Rhubarb Streusel Crumblee slices.

I am sharing these fresh big and juicy Strawberries with Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Mondays

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

I picked up some ground Trinidad Moruga Scorpion reputed to be one of the worlds hottest if not the hottest chilli pepper in the world.  With my chilli tolerance being quite high, I was just curious to try it and with a name like Trinidad Moruga Scorpion got me even more interested - a bit like Chocolate Habenero Chilli Pepper.  

It had been in my kitchen for over a month as I was unsure what to make with it, but then one evening after work I just decided to make a straightforward Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry, but this one had attitude.  
Ooh 1 teaspoon of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion would have been enough, but I got a little gutsy and added a 1/2 teaspoon more and my oh my, it was hot.  Thankfully, we could both eat it without too much hissing and reaching for something cooling like a natural yogurt.

This dish is so much better a day later though, as the flavours of the spice permeate through the texture of the vegetables.  The following day I did decide to thrown in a can of cooked chickpeas too for two reasons to tone down the chilli heat, but also to bulk it up a bit more.
I would certainly make this again (especially as I still have some ground Trinidad Moruga Scorpion to play with), but next time it will be with different vegetables like peppers, plantain, this time though I stayed within my comfort zone using vegetables that I often use for my African Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean and Ground Nut Curry, though the flavours of this sauce was completely different - proper spicy with heat on the tongue and signs of warmth on the cheeks.