In exploring what else I could make with my sourdough starter, I stumbled across this beautiful example of Foccacia art – combining my love of creative arty things with my love of bread!
Naturally I had to try it out! (This pic below is not mine but an example of what I mean that I found on google).
So I decided to try making my own! Continue reading
One of the suggestions in my sourdough group on facebook was things to do with leftover sourdough starter (or discard). This is because sometimes when you have bulk fed your starter to make bread you have extra leftover. I’ve tried brownies (they were nice but a little weird), and then discovered these pancakes.
Good lord were they yummy! Continue reading
Ok so thanks to my amazing sourdough experiments I have put on 3kgs (might also be all the wine and cake and sweeties…) and my wonderful neighbour also got me a subscription to Olive magazine for my birthday, which is packed with amazing recipes that I just needed to try immediately!
None of this is going to help my waistline, but oh my god I do love trying new things in the kitchen, AND some of these are slow-cooker recipes which is encouraging me to use mine a bit more and also helping me manage my transition back to work as I can slow-cook dinners while working from home – all kinds of win!
Here are a few things I have tried out:
Another new recipe, this one courtesy of the Co-op free recipe magazine.
It was nice, though next time I would cook the spinach a little longer as it was a tad bitter, and I would be less liberal with the lemon juice, and it rather swamped the other flavours. Also I misread it and only used one punnet of mushrooms instead of two (which seems excessive!), but may have affected the flavour overall.
- 1 packet of fresh gnocchi (400g)
- 400g Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 bag of baby spinach (approx 125g–200g)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 40g Walnuts, chopped
- Lemon juice and zest
- 60g Stilton
- 50g half fat creme fraiche
- Heat the olive oil and cook the mushrooms and garlic for 3-4 mins (the first time I cooked this I just used 1 packet of mushrooms and hadn’t realised the recipe required 2 packets of mushrooms!)
- Add in the spinach, cover and turn down the heat for a bit (I didn’t cook the spinach long enough so make sure it’s nice and wilted)
- Cook the gnocchi as per packet instructions
- Stir gnocchi into the spinach and mushroom mixture with the lemon juice, (not too much lemon juice – just a little then flavour to taste later) blue cheese, creme fraiche – add in a little water if it looks too dry.
- Sprinkle with parsley and walnuts and salt and pepper.
Ok, so recently I’ve decided to play around with my hair and see if I can follow the “Curly Girl” method, and see how curly I can get my hair to go naturally.
Now this is mainly due to the fact that I am still, after 11 months, trying to learn the best way to manage my mixed-race daughter’s amazing luscious curly hair. It has grown an awful lot in that time, and gotten so much thicker and longer. I didn’t want to just experiment on a two-year old with all these new methods and thought I would experiment on myself as well just to see what happens.
Given the current events worldwise in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I wanted to explain a bit more about why and how my curly hair journey is so interlinked with discussions on race happening around the globe. It sounds ludicrous to put those two things together, but hear me out. Continue reading
Both myself and my daughter have had a fairly seismic shift this week, as we go from 10 weeks locked down together and not really seeing anyone or doing much of anything, to suddenly the kid being at nursery, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and me going back to work. Continue reading
Sunday 24th May
It’s my birthday! We had SUCH a lovely day! The kid was really excited and helped me open presents in the morning and I baked a fresh loaf of sourdough (one of my best so far).
I got loads of lovely presents and cards, and we picked some of the gorgeous roses from my garden to put in a vase.
I have always admired those people who can knock up a cake without needing a recipe.
I’ve always known it’s something to do with ratios, but can never remember what the ratios are and how to apply them, so I always end up looking up a recipe anyway.
However, my mum taught me a really simple method which I think I probably could remember, so I thought I would write it down and share it. This is for a plain vanilla sponge cake.
I have read in the past an interesting article about the science of cake, which explained that beating the sugar and butter together first coats the individual granules of sugar with fat, and traps tiny air bubbles in with the granules, meaning that when combined with the other ingredients they retain these little bubbles, making a lighter and fluffier sponge cake. This is also why caster sugar is usually recommended for cakes instead of granulated sugar as it is smaller and finer, and therefore can trap more air. So if you can, always use caster sugar in your cakes, and always beat the butter and sugar together really well before adding the other ingredients.
Here it is:
Take 3 eggs and weigh them.
Measure out the same weight of butter and sugar and self-raising flour. Take the butter (at room temp, or softened) and sugar and beat them together until light and fluffy.
Gradually add in the eggs and flour bit by bit, mixing as you go. You might also want to add in a half-teaspoon of baking powder to help it rise.
Add a half teaspoon (or whole teaspoon depending on your taste) of vanilla essence.
And then split between 2 lined or greased cake pans, and bake at 180 for approx 15-20 mins (check on it and when a skewer comes out clean, they are done.
And voila! Lovely easy sponge cake!
Sunday 17th May
Despite falling asleep knackered half an hour earlier than normal, the kid was up at 1.30am and took a while to go back to sleep, though when she woke up again at 6am she came into my bed and we both slept til around 8.30am which was nice. After breakfast we got in the car and went back to Port Meadow, this time to meet a couple of friends from London who haven’t left the city since lockdown began. Was SO lovely to see them and go for a socially-distanced walk (we stayed 2m apart the whole time). It felt so normal to finally be able to see friends again, and go for walks etc.
It was a lovely day, and we got to see all the horses and cows up close this time which the kid loved.
Back home for lunch, but I had a killer headache again so went to lie down for a bit. Couldn’t sleep so just lay there for a while and then came back down. I can’t tell if these headaches are from stress, tiredness, or my sinuses as my hayfever has been really bad this year. Or maybe because I often clench my jaw at night and grind my teeth – who knows, but it’s annoying.
Mum kindly took the kid out for a walk and left me to chill out for a bit, and I made some more bread (I am VERY pleased with this one – my breadwanker status is getting worse….).