Monday, 31 August 2009

Nouvelle Caribbean Cuisine

Just heard about a great eatery "Bamboo Grove" located in London.  If you get the chance, check it out!

Ah, the last day of August...

... and it is freezing.  It seems that autumn is already getting ready to make its mark.  You will discover that I am not a winter person. Yes I know we need winter, but that does not mean I have to like it.

I am happy that my drive to plant every available square inch of land in my garden seems to be paying off.  Even the strange looks from my neighbours as I dragged bag after bag after bag of compost from one end of the garden to the other, was worth it.  Especially as those same neighbours peer through their windows, green with envy, as I fill another basket with bounty from the garden.

The only bad thing is that I have run out of friends and relatives, to whom I can palm off my surplus fruit and veg to.  My cupboards are full of jams, jellies and pickles.  My freezer is rapidly filling up and I am now considering using one of the bedrooms as extra food storage space. Still with all the problems in the world today, this is a nice one to have.

So we say a warm goodbye to summer and hello to autumn - I'd better go and find my duvet.


Sunday, 30 August 2009

New book from Cath Kidston

Just to let all the crafty crafters out there know, Cath Kidston has written a new book called "Sew". As you can guess it's all about sewing.  If her last book "Make" was anything to go by, this will be a fabulous read.

It's out mid October 2009, but you can pre order at some book shops. Here is a link to one:

Cath Kidston is one of my favorite designers, so naturally I made sure my name was first in line for this new text.  I can't wait :)

A long, hard day in the garden, followed by pesto.

I did manage to crawl out of my bed, which for me was a major achievement.  I like my bed.  It has lovely fresh, clean, crisp, high thread count sheets. Lovely soft, plump pillows.  In fact my bed is better dressed than I am most of the time. To be honest, my bed is better dressed than me all of the time!  I figure, if you are going to spend a third of the day in bed, it should be the most comfortable, luxuorious time possible. Lets face it, the day rarely promises to be better when you get up, so make the most of the time you are asleep.

Having said that, yesterday I did manage to achieve a few of my 1001 thigns to do.  I cleared the garden and harvested a few fruit and veg. I managed to gather 2 large trugs of potatoes, some french beans, garden peas, 2 large cooking apples, several shallots, 7 Welsh onions, a handful of chives, a small bowl of blackberries and discovered 3 more pumpkins are growing. It's good to know I don't have to go to the local supermarket for a while, a task which I often try to avoid at all costs.

I also managed to gather 4 packed cups of fresh basil leaves, with which I made 2 different kinds of pesto sauce. Here are the recipes as promised.

Freezer Pesto Sauce

1/2 cup      Broken walnuts
2 large       Roasted garlic cloves
1/4 cup     Toasted pine nuts
2 cups       Packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp       Salt
1/2 tsp       Freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup         Parsley
3/4 c         Virgin olive oil

After defrosting
Grated Parmesan cheese
Blitz all ingredients except the cheese, in a food processor, unitl smooth. 
Place the mix in ice trays and freeze overnight
Remove the frozen pesto cubes in a suitable storage container and return to the the freezer
When required defrost the cubes (I say about 2 per person)
Add in grated parmasan or other hard Italian cheese to the pesto.
Mix in with a ladel of hot pasta water and toss with whatever pasta you like
Top off with some more cheese and serve with a fresh salad
Fridge Pesto Sauce

1 large Roasted garlic clove
1/2 cup Toasted pine nuts
2 cups Packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 c Virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Same as for the freezer pesto, but include the cheese with the other ingredients and blitz.
Pour the mix into clean, sterilised pots leaving about 1cm from the top of the jar.
Pour on top a thick layer of olive oil - this will help keep the pesto fresh and green.
Place in the fridge and use when required,
Should, with care last for at least 4 weeks.  Just remeber everytime you use the pesto, to keep topping up with a thick layer of olive oil.

I went to bed at 7pm to have a little nap, having worked in the garden for over 6 hours.  I just woke up again, at 8am.  Just as well I had a shower and changed into my PJs before hand, much to the amusement of my family.  I had planned to watch the late night movie.


Saturday, 29 August 2009

Last week of summer

I'm still half asleep, the sunshine is seeping through the curtains and I am trying, but failing, to get out of bed in order to complete the 1001 chores, before that last of the summer disappears and transforms into autumn. 

Plan to make pesto sauce today, some for the fridge and some for the freezer. It is a great way to preserve a little bit of summer, as well as providing a quick and healthy meal when time is not available.  You can use pesto as a basis for pasta sauces or dips. I will post the recipes for both kinds of pesto later today - if I manage to drag myself out of bed!  I may be some time.....

Friday, 28 August 2009

Hello and welcome

This is a new blog page for busy bees, who like to cook, bake, make clothes, paint and decorate, garden or anything than allows good, positive, clean expression.  I hope you will join in as I add to the content over the next few weeks.  It should be a lot of fun!!

Thanks for reading.