So tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and the kids have placed their order for pancakes. For breakfast they want the thick, spongy Scotch pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and after school they want these thin pancakes (which I call crêpes) with Nutella. I’m not sure they fully understand the meaning of Pancake Day and that Lent follows soon after. I wonder how long they would last if they had to give up something important for the next six weeks? I might just test them out for fun.
These pancakes are so quick and easy and yes I know it’s easy to buy the mixture from the supermarkets but ‘made from scratch’ tastes so much better and the kids love getting involved. I haven’t had one stuck to my ceiling yet and that’s not from lack of trying by the kids.
Enjoy with lemon, sugar and cinnamon, Nutella, caramel sauce, fresh fruit and cream – basically anything you want really.
The other day, my hubby and I were reminiscing about our earlier days in South Africa and in particular about all the lovely food that we had available. At one point he almost started drooling when he started to tell me about a little place in Joburg called Wachenheimers. This, according to him was where you got the best hot beef on rye sandwiches – ever! He even had me Google the restaurant to see if it was still open.
The pictures on Google were definitely tempting so I thought I would have a go at making my own hot beef sandwich and I have to say the results were delicious. Why oh why is Pastrami not used more in this country – it is so tasty? To top it all I tried one of the new pickles from English Provender. They have brought out a range of four Proper Pickles – Traditional Proper Pickle (Chunky); Traditional Proper Pickle (Finely Chopped); Pickled Onion Proper Pickle or Beetroot Proper Pickle which are available from Waitrose or Asda. Normally I’m wary of buying pickles because I don’t like big chunks of vegetables but when I saw the finely chopped pickle I was sold.
As you can see in the picture above the different root vegetables have been very finely chopped and are encased in the most delicious and tangy blend of spices to make a wonderful accompaniment to any sandwich.
Another first for me were the kale chips. I’ve seen them in so many of the latest cook books and magazines but just never got round to trying them until now. Let’s just say I have them with everything now. Baked until crispy and tossed with a pinch of rock salt – you can’t stop eating them.
I would highly recommend giving this tasty sandwich a go. There is nothing complicated about it – just a combination of great tasting ingredients. Warning – make plenty and don’t be shy with the filling.
Drizzle the kale with olive oil and use your hands to toss until the kale is fully covered in oil.
Place the kale on a baking tray making sure it is not overcrowded.
Bake in the oven until the leaves are nice and crispy - about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with a pinch of rock salt.
Turn your oven off. Place pastrami slices into the oven to warm up. You want it just warm not hot.
Set to one side.
Place a knob of butter in a frying pan and heat until melted.
Place the slices of sour dough bread into the pan and press down lightly until you have some nice colour and crispy edges. You don't want to toast the bread just give it a bit of extra flavour and crunch.
Remove from pan and set on serving platter.
Layer the warm pastrami on the untoasted sides of the bread.
Spoon a generous amount of Proper Pickle on your sandwich.
Add the kale chips to your sandwich or serve as a side dish.
Now I’m not usually one to celebrate National food days but I couldn’t let National Cream Tea Day go by without a little mention. A light feathery scone topped with strawberry jam and finished off with a dollop of cool, creamy clotted cream is one of my many guilty pleasures.
This is my treat once a week. A couple of good books from the library, a quiet corner in the local coffee shop and my scone, jam and cream.
One of the things I love about cooking is the presentation of the finished article. I’m quite happy pottering away in the kitchen working on the finishing touches but with two young kids it’s become less and less about good looking food and more about speed and shortcuts. This mushroom & cheese tart looks very rustic but is the perfect quick tart. A couple of minutes to fry some mushrooms and onions, mix up some eggs, cheese and herbs. Unwrap some ready made puff pastry. Throw it all together and into the oven and by the time you’ve cleaned everything up you have a delicious tasting tart. Perfect to take on a picnic, a light lunch with a mixed salad or even as a starter.
Mooching around doing housework, getting the kids to do their homework, looking out at the garden and wishing it was a lovely sunny day. But it’s not to be. It’s cold, windy and very grey. A day to be indoors messing around in the kitchen I think. After a quick check to see what I had in the fridge all I could rustle up were some fresh lemons so a lemon pudding it would have to be.
There is nothing fancy about this lemon pudding but it is deliciously moist and tangy and very light. I used to make it at school so it uses the most basic of ingredients and is very simple to make. It is a pudding of two layers – the top being a very light sponge and the bottom is a thick custard/mousse like consistency.
Simple and delicious! I serve mine warm with pouring cream (because everything tastes better with cream – right?) but it would be just as good with ice cream or even just on its own.