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?