Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goat's cheese cannelloni

When I went to the supermarket on Tuesday night they didn't have any ricotta and as I was due to make spinach and ricotta cannelloni for Gloria on Wednesday I had a swift think - what was most like ricotta? With a pot of cottage cheese already in hand I suddenly spotted the soft goat's cheese and thought with a little marscapone that would make a delicious substitute. It did indeed and it was so good we ate it all before I thought of taking in a picture!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rhubarb muffins and Tulband

I was down at the Saturday Farmer's Market in Kings Norton and whilst dodging the rain I picked up some fabulous looking rhubarb for these yummy muffins, as found in the March Olive magazine.
Bake 300g rhubarb with 3 tablespoons of sugar for 10min at 200°C. Drain and cool. Mix together 300g plain flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder, 100g sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. In another bowl beat together 2 eggs, 200ml milk and 100g cooled melted butter. Once cool add the rhubarb to this mix then fold it all into the flour, taking car to just incorporate everything but not to mix too vigorously or it'll make for very rubbery muffins. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases or a silicone muffin pan and bake at 200°C for 25min.

In fact this is a Kersttulband, or Christmas turban, a recipe I found in an ancient copy of Allerhande. Its fantastically tasty, very buttery and fruity.

100g raisins
100g sultanas
100g dried citrus fruit
250g self raising flour
250g soft butter
200g cater sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 large eggs
Cream together the butter and sugar and beat until pale. Then work in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla essence and then sift and mix in the flour a third at a time. Finally stir in all the fruit and pour into a Tulband mould (aka kugelhopf mould) and bake in a preheat oven at 175°C for 1 hour. Once cooled turnout and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spinach Gnocchi

My first foray into the world of making gnocchi was very successful and delicious, a pre-eurovision treat. The recipe came from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde.

For 6 people, though three of us managed to eat them all!!!
600g potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
350g spinach, washed and dry fried til wilted, chopped
150g plain flour
1 egg yolk
75g butter, cubed
100g blue cheese, I used Saint Azur, crumbled

Mix together the mashed potatoes, spinach, flour and egg yolk with some seasoning. Then divide the dough into 64 little balls and lay on a floured surface. Squash each one with fork and then cook themin batches in boiling water for 2min. Drain them well and layer them in a baking dish with the butter and cheese. Then bake at 180°C for 10min until the cheese is bubbling and browning. Strew with torn basil leaves ansd serve. Delicious with a green salad.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Last week was all about moving, sometimes at high speed, sometimes very slowly! It all began on Sunday when I took part in the Shakespeare half marathon in Stratford upon Avon. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot not too cold at the start, though by the time I was running it was toasty and I had to have water at every station. The course was good, even the hill between miles 7 and 8 was managable. I was exhausted by the end but managed a time of 2h and 4min. Just about spot on. Then it was all about speed on Tuesday night when I took part in the Coroporate Relay for Mencap at the University. Our team, 'the dentists' (I was an honorary dentist for the evening) were pretty good - all the lads ran around a 6min mile and I managed to squeeze a 7min mile out of my tired legs! And we came in 5th out of 30 teams - not bad at all!!! And finally the big move spread across several days - and now I am settled into my new abode!
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