24 June 2016

In My Kitchen



I love to cook, good food is really important to me.  If you are anything like me you spend a large amount of your life in the kitchen preparing good nourishing food to eat, so this is what has been going on in my kitchen this month.  If you would like to join in you would be most welcome, leave a link in the comments section.

June has been a full month, days full of mostly being outside enjoying the sunshine.  We have eaten so many meals outside either at home or whilst out and about.  It has been mostly about salads with the odd warmer meal thrown in the mix for those, rare, cooler days.  This post is a little later this month, we were away for our annual summer solstice camp and I completely failed to factor in writing a blog post before we went away.  Better late than never!


I rekindled my love for an old recipe book on my shelves this month.  It is one of those books which rarely fails to let me down.  I discovered a section on breads that I hadn't previously noticed.  The recipes are a mix of yeasted and batter breads, the latter being more like a savoury cake.  I tried two.  A savoury nut and a cottage cheese and dill.  The picture is the nut bread which was definitely the better of the two, I have made it twice this month and we have eaten it with salads, hummus and bean spreads.  I am going to try freezing it next time I make some as it makes a big loaf which hasn't been keeping in the heat we have had, the birds enjoyed it too!


Sometimes digging through old recipe books for new ideas can remind me of favourites that I have forgotten.  So carrot pie made it back on to our menus this month, a pie that looks dramatic, tastes wonderful and is really easy to make.  It has a pastry base and a filling of cooked onion and carrot mixed with cream and cheddar cheese, egg and herbs which you cook for 45 minutes.  It is delicious hot or cold and I just love the way it looks when you cut into it.


We celebrated a birthday in our house this month.  Alice turned seven.  She told me exactly what she wanted to do on the day, including the guests she wanted to invite and the food she wanted to eat.  Her chosen guests meant that the menu had to be gluten, egg and dairy free so my usual birthday cake was out as were all the recipes in my recipe books.  The result was a vegan cake which was incredibly rich, fed all the party guests and kept us going in cake for nearly a week afterwards!  I used this recipe which looks nothing like mine (I don't think my blueberries were the right variety to give such a purple shade to the top layer) it didn't suggest what size of tin to assemble all the ingredients in but clearly I used something much bigger.  However given the richness I think this size was perfect.  We ate lots of salads before the cake, beetroot and feta, chickpea, red rice and a green one accompanied by lots of potato wedgies.  It all got eaten a sure sign that I got it right.

One thing about being busy is that you forget to take photos so I don't have any more to share.  Courgettes are back in our veg bag now and we have been enjoying a courgette and cheese bake and lots of delicious salads.  The asparagus season lasted a long time this year and we have been eating the salad I shared last month every week, I could never tire of it.  We have tried a butter bean and brie salad, a new to us mixed bean salad and lots of salads made with whatever is in the fridge and the garden.  I have started to cook a curry each week which has introduced us to some more new recipes all of which have been delicious.

I have had quite a few conversations about meal planning recently, it is something that I have done for a number of years now.  I am not evangelical about it as I know that it doesn't work for everyone however it does save money and time and I am sure it could help to reduce food waste if more people did it.   Planning means that when I have the time and feel inclined I peruse my recipe books looking for new ideas for meals.  When time is precious and I am tired then I throw together a menu of old favourites the list of which is always increasing!  Are you a meal planner?

I am not going to share a recipe with you this month, I hope you are ok with that.  I will be back in July with hopefully a few more pictures and a recipe for share.  In the meantime I need to go off and do the weekly shop.  What have you been cooking lately?

22 comments:

  1. Oh, everything looks so mouthwatering! The homemade bread with hummus? I would be eating it non-stop!!! I am not a meal planner at all, shame on me... I have to use this tip to be more organized in my kitchen!

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    1. Dont be ashamed of not being a meal planner. I never see the sense in trying to do something that your heart is not in, there are other ways of shopping and cooking food which work just as well!

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  2. I've never seen anything quite like the carrot pie, something a little different and definitely a talking point. I don't really meal plan, I might make a mental list of things we might eat during the week but they often change.

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    1. I used to do things that way too, but found when I had a small baby and a young child I could't keep a mental plan in my head, so I started meal planning and have just got into that habit. I guess when the children are older I may go back to that again.

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  3. Well carrot pie does sound interesting, I meal plan sometimes but I really should do it more often x

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  4. I am a meal planner, I find it so helpful at keeping my grocery budget in check :)

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  5. What a lovely post,all your makes and bakes look delicious. I particularly like the look of the carrot pie x

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    1. Thank you Penny, the carrot pie is delicious!

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  6. So many delicious things in this post. That carrot pie looks like a real show stopper. I'm a mealplanner too; like you, I like to intersperse new things with some easy favourites to give myself a bit of a rest. It definitely makes for less waste. Many happy returns to Alice. xx

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    1. Thank you. Easy favourites do give you a rest don't they, and sometimes that is just what we need.

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  7. I prefer to spend my time knitting than in a kitchen but when I do spend time in the kitchen it is so well worth it. When we went to visit our daughter and son in law in Santa Barbara and ate out twice a day every single day....well when I came home I made an effort to cook every single day (with a salad every single day). Oh my I felt so much better and so did my husband.

    our cooking is way way better than restaurant cooking, at a restaurant your paying for the convenience to not cook!!

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    1. It is way better isn't it, I rarely eat out as when I do I want it to be better but I am usually disappointed.

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  8. When Stuart was little, I used to make up a meal plan for each week, but now we are more flexible. As we live out in the country, we always have plenty in the fridge and freezer, as we don't want to have to drive to town too often for food shopping. If I find I have veggies that need used up, I simply make a pot of soup and freeze it, ready for a meal on a busy day.

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    1. I think it is definitely something that is a must when you have young children, I didn't bother before they were born and may stop when they are older.

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  9. Everything looks so good - I've never heard of carrot pie, but it looks yummy!

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  10. Your food posts really inspire me. I cook a lot but I want to make more of our breads and snacks from scratch. I struggle with time however what with childcare and going to work and making art. I'd love to hear more about your routine.

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    1. Thank you Jenna. My children are much older than yours and therefore more independent. When they were little I didn't tend to bake as much and all bread was made in the bread maker. I will do another post about our routine some time soon.

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  11. I would to be a meal planner. loving the look of that cake. x off to copy down the recipe x

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  12. I am definitely a meal planner! It is the only way I can shop and budget and avoid running out of food. Tea time when I am tired is no time to feel inspired and start poring over recipe books - I just need to have it all planned for me in advance.

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Hello......would love to hear from you :)