“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Anna: These don’t look like muffins! They look a bit like deflated brown things.

Peter: They look pretty muffiny to me. They’re in a muffin case and they come over the top in a muffiny-type way. I’m identifying this suspect as a muffin.

Anna: Well they aren’t going to win any beauty contests but they are pretty healthy. There’s hardly any sugar or fat in them really.

Peter: Bran. Not a usual ingredient for a muffin. And wholemeal flour. Cheaper than a colonic Thai vacation.

Anna: And you would know that how?

Peter: Read it in a book.

Anna: I’m feeling very virtuous eating these, even if they don’t look brilliant.

Peter: They are really moist from the blueberries which are almost melting. They could take a bit more sweetness in my opinion.

Anna: I think I might make these again, though they’re so huge I have to give some of the batch away. Or make half as many.

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“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

“Blueberry and Buttermilk American Pancakes” from “Easy”

Peter: I see you’ve presented me with a large cookie.

Anna: It does rather look that way, doesn’t it?

Peter: It tastes sweet and salty at the same time.  Surely you would like this?

Anna: That saltiness comes from the fact that I made it in the same frying pan that I’d fried the bacon in.  Tom Aitkens can have that tip for free.  But really, this recipe is a bit of a nonsense I’m sorry to say.

Peter: This looks like a bit of a cake, and it took you roughly three times as long to make as your usual pancakes. So I’m not sure I would say this is an improvement.

Anna: The photo in the book makes it look like you are making one large pancake. The recipe calls for you to add spoonfuls to a greased frying pan before putting in the oven. Implying individual pancakes. But because the frying pan isn’t pre-heated the individual spoonfuls blend into one slightly deformed large cake. Perhaps that’s the point.

Peter: It actually tasted a bit like cake, rather than pancake.

Anna: Weirdly the recipe called for lots of sugar. And vanilla extract and almond extract. Which gave it a different type of flavour but you’re right, not really very pancake-y, American or otherwise.  And the baking thing was a total red herring. As usual they took longer than the recipe called for and it took longer than doing them on the stove. Worst of all they didn’t have that lovely golden brown colour only griddling/frying can give.  Very disappointing!

“Blueberry and Buttermilk American Pancakes” from “Easy”

“Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days”

Anna: I wanted to bake this, because the recipe reminded me of Bill’s Blueberry Teacake which we make quite often. And it looked nice and easy, unlike a lot of the recipes in this book.

Peter: Why was the bowl in the garden?

Anna: I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, as usual, and it was a sunny day. I thought it would help speed things up a bit.

Peter: Max liked the batter….

Anna: Who doesn’t? He’s a cat with good taste.

Peter: I like this. Strong crust, open texture. Some of the blueberries sunk to the bottom but that’s ok. You still get the same amount of blueberries in a slice.

Anna: Do you think this will last you all week?

Peter: Well, I did have two slices today so um, well, um. Probably not.

Anna: There’s something about the words blueberries and sour cream together, in a recipe title, that is irresistible to me. Do you remember that other blueberry cake of Bill’s from his Sydney book that I made in Australia? That had sour cream in it too.

Peter: You can make this again.

Anna: Well it was easy enough. So you may be in luck.

“Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days”

“Sea Bass & Crispy Pancetta, Sweet Potato Mash, Asian Greens, 1-Minute Berry Ice Cream, Sparkling Lemon Ginger Drink” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals”

Time Taken: 49′ 11″

Mitigating Circumstances: At 9’41”, while chopping the garlic (my crusher isn’t as good as Jamie’s), a piece of garlic and/or chilli flew up into my eye and lodged into my contact lens. Despite my devotion to getting to 30 minutes uninterrupted, I had to turn the timer off and go scream due to the excruciating pain wash my eye out with cold water. However, my devotion to trying to beat the 30-minute marker is now apparent. I returned to the kitchen, and worked through the pain, but I believe the accident slowed me down for the remainder of the meal.

This link takes you to a copy of this recipe.

Tim: I think it’s all pretty good. As you know, I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but sweet potatoes are all the rage these days.

Maureen: Would you eat the sweet potatoes again?

Tim: If I had to. But I like the vegetables quite a lot. It’s a nice Asian combination.

Continue reading ““Sea Bass & Crispy Pancetta, Sweet Potato Mash, Asian Greens, 1-Minute Berry Ice Cream, Sparkling Lemon Ginger Drink” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals””

“Sea Bass & Crispy Pancetta, Sweet Potato Mash, Asian Greens, 1-Minute Berry Ice Cream, Sparkling Lemon Ginger Drink” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals”

“Bresaola with Rocket and Parmesan” and “Blueberries with Honey, Almonds and Yogurt” from “Best Menus”

Maureen: As you can see, I found the bresaola. It was not easy to find. I struck out at Drings (though they said they usually do have it), Waitrose, the Cooperative, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Marks & Spencer.

Tim: Where did you find it?

Maureen: At the most excellent and our most favourite Italian delicatessen, Gennaro’s in Lewisham, of course. I knew they would have it. I went after I passed my Life in the UK Citizenship test. (Editor’s note: Please excuse the blatant self-promotion, but hey, can you tell us how many members there are in the Welsh General Assembly or how many members there are in cabinet?)


Tim: What do you think?

Maureen: It’s very nice, but it hardly qualifies as a recipe. I’d call it a shopping list. Gennaro had a great tip that Gordon didn’t include. He said to be sure to put lemon juice on the bresaola. So I put lemon juice on the beef and then again on the rocket once I put it on top. What did you think?

Continue reading ““Bresaola with Rocket and Parmesan” and “Blueberries with Honey, Almonds and Yogurt” from “Best Menus””

“Bresaola with Rocket and Parmesan” and “Blueberries with Honey, Almonds and Yogurt” from “Best Menus”

“Chicken Parmigiana” and “Peach and Blueberry Pudding” from “Bill’s Basics”. With exploding conkers and a guest peach.

Kirstin: I have been at work all day and Anna has constructed this delicious meal. Which smells amazing.

Anna: Ha. Only I nearly ruined your microwave.

Tom: What happened?

Anna: I was melting the butter for the pudding, and it didn’t stay in the bowl.

Kirstin: Don’t worry. Ella was blowing up conkers in the microwave last week. It’s seen worse.

Anna: Mopping up 125g of melted butter coating the inside of the microwave set me back a bit. Where do you start?

Continue reading ““Chicken Parmigiana” and “Peach and Blueberry Pudding” from “Bill’s Basics”. With exploding conkers and a guest peach.”

“Chicken Parmigiana” and “Peach and Blueberry Pudding” from “Bill’s Basics”. With exploding conkers and a guest peach.