You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2010.
I thought I should just explain the lack of posting…my camera is broken. I feel lost without it – I don’t quite know how I can blog, food just doesn’t seem as interesting when only written about. So I shall have to post lots of other people’s lovely images.
So, at a time when money is tight and I can’t go out and just buy a new one I am having to think creatively about how to raise the funds for a new camera. Until that time, you and I are going to have to be content with camera phone pictures – great from a distance, not so good on close-ups of scrumptious food.
Recently we have eaten lots more corn on the cob cooked simply with butter, salt and pepper; sweetcorn fritters – this time with slithers of crispy bacon and tomato salsa; homemade rice paper rolls filled with loads of raw veggies and a soy and ginger dipping sauce – Tes at Home has a great recipe for her spring rolls with creamy peanut sauce.
And I have finally accepted autumn is upon us by starting my day with a bowl of porridge drizzled with maple syrup. I am quite excited about autumn…Halloween…Bonfire Night…and then Christmas.
Where has the past week gone? I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything for a week now – it seems to have flown past. Mr Rigg and I have just spent the weekend with my family in Gloucestershire, which was lovely.
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
Although very chilly we had bright blue skies and the autumn colours are started to appear. On Friday I spent the day working at the National Trust head office in Swindon as part of my volunteer work for them. I am the Sustainable Food Communication Officer working alongside the Local Food Co-ordinator, and I am really enjoying my work.
I loved his programmes and the recipe books, so to meet him was just incredible. He seemed really down-to-earth and interested in the work the National Trust is doing. What a great man!
Image: Valentine Warner
Saturday morning was spent getting measured for my wedding dress (aah!) which was both exciting and slightly surreal.
I have already found my wedding dress in a beautiful boutique in Cheltenham but it needs some alterations. My dress is handmade by an incredible lady who runs the boutique, and is made from 100 year-old handmade lace. I can’t wait to wear it!
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
In the afternoon my little sister did a photo shoot of Mr Rigg and me picking blackberries – she is going to be taking photographs at our wedding and so she’s practising. Mr Rigg and I aren’t that comfortable in front of the camera, but she managed to take some lovely shots.
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
Saturday evening we celebrated her 17th birthday with roasted vegetable lasagne and warm apple cake.
Happy Birthday Iz Biz!
The weekend finished with a lovely autumnal walk on Sunday morning with my mom, dad and Alfie the deerhound. We came across a pear tree that was overhanging the lane, so picked some pears to take home. Then we discovered a walnut tree!
Image: Izzy Burton Photography
We gathered pocketfuls of walnuts and once home opened some up to reveal the walnuts inside. Mom popped one in the oven to roast it slightly and it was delicious!
I am on a big push to return to home baking. It feels like I’ve let too many other things get in the way, and although I love most of the other things that ‘get in the way’ during my week, I feel deeply unhappy when eating and cooking goes awry.
So over the weekend, despite the many other things I had to do, I made some blueberry muffins for our lunches at work this week. I returned to a website I used to use a lot for baking recipes – called Joy of Baking - for a blueberry muffin recipe.
It was a batter that I was unfamiliar with, although I don’t make muffins very often (if at all). But they were simple and quick to make. I used frozen blueberries that I’d bought and popped in the freezer when they were on offer.
They look and taste pretty good and are super moist inside. I’d like to try them with a sharper berry, perhaps a blackberry or raspberry, or wild winberries - the blueberries I had were from the supermarket, quite large and probably a bit too mild a flavour for a muffin.
Mine are also a little more ‘golden’ than the beautifully taken photograph on their website, but oh well!
Here’s the full Blueberry Muffin recipe.
Today when Mr Rigg and I went to do some food shopping in Chorlton we discovered that the Manchester Markets were set up outside the library. Of course, I couldn’t resist a quick snoop.
There were a couple of meat companies, a greengrocer, a sweetie stall, a bakery, and a number of cake stalls. I bought a lovely moist piece of gingerbread from one stall (I think they were called Peach Pie…) and then my eyes fell upon a stall with large glass jars filled with multi-coloured macaroons.
Now I’ve seen the trend for these pretty sweets all over the internet – they seem especially popular in the US at the moment – dainty coloured macaroons sandwiched together with a thin layer of something scrummy in the middle.
The girl selling macaroons today is currently making them from home and has called her little business The English Rose Bakery – which I think is a lovely name. Having never tasted these kinds of macaroons, I decided today would be my first taste.
I came away with a little tissue paper bundle of macaroons in chocolate, raspberry and salted caramel flavours. We have devoured the chocolate and raspberry ones, with the salted caramel one left for later. An after dinner sweet morsel – what a treat!
The two we’ve tried so far were delicious – the chocolate macaroon with a thin layer of chocolatey filling, and the raspberry one I think was spread with raspberry jam.
If you live in Manchester and fancy a sweet treat for a party, as a gift, for your wedding, or just to indulge yourself, visit their website: www.englishrosebakery.co.uk
Above image: The English Rose Bakery
On Sunday we entered a couple of items into our local produce show. Sadly I overcooked my lemon drizzle cake and it came in a miserable fourth…gutted. My marmalade didn’t even come anything – I won’t be trying that Country Living recipe again.
Thankfully we got three 2nd place awards – for our giant yellow courgette, a pretty arrangement of hedgerow berries, and a plate of fruit scones. The recipe for my scone’s comes from my colleague and friend Jane – who makes the best scones ever. No question.
My version of Jane’s fruit scones had a ‘lovely appearance’ but I lost marks because I didn’t tidy up the edges (i.e. pull off the currants that were sticking out…) and they needed a pinch of salt. Hmm. I’m not sure I can be doing with winning 1st prize if I’m required to carefully tidy up the edge of my scones, and besides, I like rustic food.
A Cozy Kitchen is full of recipes that you want to cook. You can get lost in pages and pages of great sounding (and looking) recipes, but it was this recently posted recipe for Fresh Tomato Bruschetta that caught my eye.
Image: A Cozy Kitchen
Although tomato bruschetta almost doesn’t really need a recipe, it should be tried if you’ve not made it before. The best tomato bruschetta I’ve ever had was in Italy last year in a tiny cafe in Amalfi.
However, the tomatoes from Naples are reputedly the best in the world due to the volcanic soil they are grown on – it makes them beautifully sweet. So what could be nicer than to send off the summer with a plate of toasted bread topped with sun-warm chunks of tomato drizzled with a little oil and a scattering of torn basil.
Here’s the delicious tomato bruschetta we had in Italy…
Mr Rigg is nurturing a monster in our garden…
Mr Rigg, Buddy and I have been out this past week foraging for wild goodies. We collected a basket of blackberries, cobnuts/hazelnuts and rosehips.
I’m not sure whether we’ve been gathering hazelnuts too early – I must look it up. Our little hazelnut tree/bush in the garden has got a few nuts on it for the first year! My parents have a huge tree which drops loads of nuts – I’m sure in a couple of weeks I’ll come home with lots.
There are quite a good number of blackberries, although they’re all quite small and I have yet to find one which isn’t sour. Ours are destined for apple and blackberry pie with apples from the farmer’s market.
And again with the rosehips, not sure if we’re picked them too early, but I want to try making rosehip syrup to make into cordial…turns out the recipe I have requires 800g! Wish me good luck!
I don’t really like to share to much of my personal life nor photos of me and my family that often, but today I felt I should.
My little sister, who’s nearly 17, has just started her first week of A-levels. In the five days she’s been back at school, she’s had a miserable time of it with backstabbing friends and boyfriend mishaps. Although the air is starting to clear now, she was very sad at the beginning of the week.
So, I did what every big sister would do. I sent her a confidence-boosting email, reminding her not to get too down because of other people and their hurtful words or actions. I reminded her who she is deep down inside, the confident and happy little four-year old care-free enough to dance on hotel poolsides and at firework parties.
She is pretty and silly and funny and smart and one of the most genuine and nice people I know. It’s hard living so far away from her, I just wanted to be there to give her a hug and sit and watch a girlie film or play Lego Indiana Jones on the X-Box (sounds silly, but we love it!).
Within almost 24 hours they’d delivered her the little gift and she could snuggle up with her luxurious hot chocolate and think of me and how much I believe in her.
If you want to show someone you love them, cheer someone up, or make up for missing their birthday I highly recommend sending them brownies (or other chocolatey gifts) from Cocoa Loco. They make the best organic chocolate brownies and they deliver them by post – what could be better!
Image: Cocoa Loco
I have had a thumping headache all day, so feeling sorry for myself. Thought I’d try and cheer myself up and share with you another of my favourite foodie website.
Image: Design Sponge
This recipe for Homemade crumpets with fruit curd from Rachel Khoo just sound divine – I have always wanted to try making homemade crumpets and seeing this recipe at Design Sponge has reminded me that I must make time to have a go.