Saturday, 22 September 2018

Black Tapenade Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

This Black Tapenade Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad is perhaps one of the laziest pasta salad recipes I have ever made - other than cooking the pasta, the rest was a breeze.

 I had made the black olive tapenade a few days back to go with the homemade sourdough bread.
So was looking for other ways to use it up. So I ended up cooking some penne pasta. I threw in a good handful of red and golden yellow cherry tomatoes and lunch for work was made.

It was both bitter and salty for the black olives, it was sweet from the tomatoes.  It was good enough for a simple lunch. 
For the black olive tapenade, follow this link for the recipe.
The rest is easy.
Cook pasta according to instructions.
Drain and set aside, then stir in tapenade to taste to coat the pasta.
Then add in chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced spring onions and season to taste.

I am sharing this simple Black Tapenade Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad with Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen. I don't always get to join in, but it is a pleasure when I do.  Thanks for hosting Deb. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Oven Roasted Ratatouille

We are continuing to enjoy homegrown fruit and vegetables, because we know it won't last.
So with our homegrown courgettes and homegrown tomatoes, I made an Oven Roasted Ratatouille, and before some of you get all uppity and say its not made this way, blah blah blah...well this recipe comes from a  French woman, author of - if its good enough for her, well who am I to argue.
So who is this French woman, well she is Parisian and it is Clotilde Dusoulier author of the best food blog Chocolate and Zucchini.  She started her blog in 2003.  I can't remember how I stumbled across her originally but I did buy her cookbook also of the same name and from which the recipe comes from.  

For those of you who read my blog regular, will know that I am not that keen on ratatouille, so I am always willing to try different recipes that will encourage me to change my mind, well I think I am onto a winner here. 
My oven roasted ratatouille was a little more juicy perhaps because I made my oven roasted ratatouille in a large glass oval baking dish (see above), rather than a tray - regardless it was very tasty.  We had it with garlic bread to mop up the juices that came from the tomatoes. 
Other recipes I have adapted from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook.
Cake Tomate, Pistache et Chorizo translated as Sun dried Tomato, Pistachio and Savoury Loaf
I am sharing this Beth's Weekend Cooking.  

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Great Big Red Tomato

As mentioned in a previous Harvest Monday blog post, the tomatoes are coming along very nicely in the greenhouse
 We have all types and the names escape me, especially of this rather large tomato.
Just to give you some context of how big it is, I am holding it here; and no, I am not going to stuff it!. 
We have been harvesting raspberries too.  I have had to freeze some as we are still enjoying plums from the tree.
The cooking apples are beginning to fall from the tree too, in fact one fell and cracked a greenhouse window pane, fortunately it did not go through this time. 
I made a Raspberry and Apple crumble at the weekend, and let me tell you it was absolutely the gorgeous, the apples just turned to pulp taking on the colour of the raspberries.  It was lush, I tell you.
Funnily enough we are still harvesting courgettes, though I will be pulling the plants out next week as those remaining courgettes are tiddlers. 
I made an untraditional Oven Roasted Ratatoulle with some of the homegrown tomatoes and courgettes, don't diss me - the recipe comes from a French woman.
With the weather turning and me having the sniffles, I also made a stew of sorts with some of the courgettes.  I will be sharing the recipes later this week, if you want to come on by and check them out.  As always, I am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres.  

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Upside Down Plum and Raspberry Cake

We are eating fruit from the garden: plums, raspberries and apples.

I made this Upside Down Plum and Raspberry Cake quite recently.  When I removed the baking parchment paper to reveal the fruit topped cake, it was vibrant and glistening beautifully from the fresh fruit natural juices.
However, it was the following day when we took the photograph, it had lost its sparkle. I was a tad disappointed and wish I had taken the photograph the evening before, but it had got a bit too dark.  So I feel somewhat that the cake is not shown in its best light.  Still it tasted good. If I make this cake again, I would just do one thing differently.  I would keep the stoned fruit on the side, around the edges and the raspberries in the middle because even though the cake was cooked, the middle was a bit soggy and you'd be worried if it was raw or soggy. 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

September Gives

Last weekend I had some friends over for food.  

I live out in the sticks (slang for being surrounded by trees and narrow roads) in the Welsh valleys and not many friends, including family want to come out and see me as its often out of their way.  It does sink my heart a little...
So I was delighted when a couple of friends accepted my invitation and I was able to cook a meal for them.  I did not ask them to bring anything, but they came with gifts, firstly sunflowers.

These sunflowers are still standing tall and proud in a vase in what I call my conservatory, but really its an extension of the kitchen.
They have a hazelnut tree in their garden and gave me some a good stash of hazelnuts from it.  Its a shame to shell and blitz them to a powder, but I am planning on making a cake with them soon. They also brought a bottle of good red wine and a fancy layered chocolate cake from M&S.  All were appreciated.  Thank you dear friends. I hope to extend the invitation again, if you want to come and you really don't have to bring anything with you, except your hungry bellies.  
Well its Sourdough September.  And this is my first ever homemade sourdough bread thanks to Kath who blogs over at The Ordinary Cook.  Kath also runs cookery and bakery classes under Veg Patch Kitchen  in Ironbridge, rural Shropshire.  This weekend she was at Ludlow Food Festival.  I am sorry I missed it, but I had already booked to go on a Fungi walk.

Although I have not had the opportunity to attend one of her classes yet, it is still thanks to her that I was able to make this sourdough bread at home, as I was sent some sourdough starter in the post.  However, I have been terribly neglectful, and keep forgetting to feed it, but it is still thriving.  I was quite pleased with my first attempt, Thank you Kath.- though my second loaf was not as good - practice, practice, practice.