Goats cheese, blueberry and prosciutto pizza.

 

Blueberries on a pizza is so right, they are just like little fragrant tomatoes that make the dough around them go a violent purple. The saltiness of the goats cheese and the crispy ham make this one of the best homemade pizzas I have ever cooked!

Whip up some pizza dough, Im lazy and get my bread maker to do it. Knead out and flatten.

I mixed some tomato puree, garlic, a little passatta and some torn basil leaves together and spread that on the base.

A tiny sprinkling of mozzarella and generous amount of soft goats cheese crumbled over that followed by a handful of blueberries and strips of prosciutto. Bake for 15 mins until golden and the ham is all crispy.

Serve with a simple tomato and caper berry salad or lots of coleslaw. 

 

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The latest

I am so in love with instagram, it really is the best way of keeping a visual diary of all your daily goings on.

Here are some of my latest adventures…

On location doing a toy shoot in the woods.

Date night at our local funfair.

My little dachshund Margot.

I visited the Cartoon Museum in Holborn, London last week.

Pistachio Macaroon at Salon Paul in London.

My vintage cat ornament collection.

New tags

Cafe garden at Casa de Castro

Eggs and asparagus lunch.

Finishing off Mr Lumberjack in the studio.

Sunday Supper: Pearl Barley with roasted veg, pesto and feta.

 

By now you may have guessed I’m a big fan of vegetarian food and budget cooking, see my roast aubergine post.

Pearl Barley is something I have always enjoyed in a broth or stew and have fond memories of enjoying them in lots of warming winter suppers when I lived in rural Scotland as a child.

Todas supper can be enjoyed hot or cold, I love it hot with fresh bread straight from the oven.

Serves 4

You will need…

  • 400g of dried pearl barley
  • I medium butternut squash cut into rough chunks (skin on)
  • 2 red peppers sliced into large pieces
  • olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, skin on.
  • dried basil/oregano
  • green pesto (I used a jar of ready made)
  • I pack of feta cheese
  • a few sprigs of chopped fresh mint.

How to make…

  • In a saucepan cover the barley with water add a few pinches of salt and boil/simmer for 40mins until cooked.
  • Whilst the barley is cooking put the squash, pepper and whole garlic cloves in a roasting tray, drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the dried herbs. Roast in a hot oven, about gas mark 6-7 or 190c until the veg is soft and browning, usually about 25mins.
  • Once the barley cooked drain it and stir in your pesto, roasted veg (except the garlic cloves), add chopped fresh mint and small chunks of feta cheese scattered through. Season with salt and pepper or maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Serve with a crusty bread and butter.

 

 

Half Roasted Aubergine with garlic, sunflower and honey.

 

I love aubergines so much, in fact I just love veg full stop! We live on a very tight budget and when you can buy a huge aubergine for 40p each it makes so much more sense than buying expensive tasteless meats like chicken.

Smoky, sweet and soft, this is a perfect cheap lunch or supper.

I pretty much made this just using stuff from the cupboard, it feeds 2 …

  • 1 large aubergine
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • honey
  • mixed herbs
  • chilli sauce (I used smoked chipotle)
  • pinch of salt
  • Seeds (I used sunflower but pine nuts would be nice or pumpkin seeds)

Slice the aubergine in half and score criss crosses into the flesh. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Finally chop the garlic and push the garlic pieces into the gaps where you have scored the aubergine.

Sprinkle with a little salt and dried mixed herbs and kind of rub/massage the top of the aubergine to help the garlic and seasoning infuse into it.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle seeds on top, the honey helps the seeds stick to your aubergine, neat huh?

Place them skin side down on a baking tray and pop into a hot over for about 20 mins or until the aubergine is soft and the seeds are all toasted and yum.

Serve with some cous cous and salad.

 

Sunday Supper: Citrus Summer Chicken Stew

Summer-chicken-and-citrus-007

3 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken, portioned into thighs, drumsticks, wings and breasts
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
4 baby leeks, chopped
600ml chicken stock (or water)
Salt and black pepper
1 handful each fresh peas and broad beans, podded and blanched
1 410g tin borlotti beans, drained
100g large green olives
1 small bunch each chopped fresh parsley and dill
A few tarragon stems, chopped
2 lemons, juiced
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
Parmesan, grated, to garnish (optional)

Heat a casserole dish, add the oil and, on high heat, brown the chicken all over for five to 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic, onion, fennel and leeks, sweat until tender, then pour in the stock, season and cook on a gentle heat until the chicken is cooked and tender.

Add the peas, broads, borlotti beans and olives, then stir in the herbs, lemon juice and yoghurt. Serve with parmesan, if you like, and perhaps some plain boiled rice.

(via The Guardian)

Photo Diary

This week we got a miniature Dachshund puppy and called her Margot. The sun has been shining and the house is coming together too. I love my little owl ornament my friend Sarah gave me for my birthday and have been hanging out in the Southsea Coffee Co for the best coffee and pan au raisin in Portsmouth.

I also made a yummy roast vegetable and goats cheese pizza and teamed it with a colourful summer salad. Summer eating is so good and so is a great read like The Simple Things magazine. The article on the London Underground was wonderful and I really want to get hold of some of the prints of poster to display in my home. The London Transport Museum shop has a wonderful selection of posters and other deign pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple and Cinnamon bun recipe.

The gentle art of perfecting my cinnamon bun recipe has become a bit of an obsession in our house. I think I’m almost there with the addition of apple chunks it’s gotten serious and I feel I have upped my game. Josh also obliged by taking some lovely photos of the result and then of course he got to eat them.

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To make 12 buns you will need:

  • 500g of bread flour
  • 1tbsp of instant dried yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 2tbsp of sugar (extra sugar for filling)
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • powdered cinnamon
  • 2 sweet apples peeled and chopped in small chunks.
  • icing sugar to dust

Dough (I used a bread maker if your making dough by hand follow a basic bread dough recipe)

  • Combine the yeast, flour, egg, salt, sugar, 2tbsp butter, vanilla extract, 2tsp of cinnamon and milk in the dough pan.
  • Set for a standard bread dough setting around 2hr 40min.

The rest…

  • Roll out dough into a rectangle about 1.5cm thick.
  • Spread butter over the surface like your buttering a slice of bread.
  • Sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon over the buttered dough evenly.
  • Dot the dough with the small chunks of apple and add an extra sprinkling of sugar.
  • Roll the dough up like a magic carpet.
  • Slice your magic carpet up into 12 equal rounds.
  • Butter or line a baking tray and place the rounds on it, bake for 20mins or until slightly golden at 200c.
  • Remove from oven, cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.

These buns are not overly sweet but if you like a more decadent bun make a gooey frosting from cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract to smear on the top of the buns, it amazing!

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Friday oh yeah!

Yes it’s the end of another week! A hard fought and won week which saw me visit hospital twice, nearly lose my house and spend most of it feeling crappity crap.

However today I am going to make cinnamon buns, finish sewing my next batch of toys for Flo & Stan and you can kick back and enjoy the video my boyfriend made for Southsea Coffee Co.

cinnamonbun

 

Image and recipe via Smitten Kitchen

Makes 18 buns. Note I did not say “servings”. That’s between you and your buns.

Dough
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Filling
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For full instructions go over to Smitten Kitchen

 

Im also loving these beautiful toys from Adantine on etsy.

 

goose bunnybrooch greywhale

Cookies for Autumn.

Today is the first day of the kids half term holiday and between trips into the gallery its all about my brood.

Today I thought its perfect weather to stay indoors and do some baking. Its cold and rainy outside but the kitchen is warm and cosy. I love searching for recipes on the net, so hard to decide what to bake!

 

1, Fork vs Spoon Chocolate Shortbread

2. Kirbie Cravings Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

3.Smitten Kitchen Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies.

Autumn sun.

Josh and I do enjoy a sunny yet crisp autumn day and where we live in the centre of Southsea we are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying a coffee al fresco. After dropping the children at school and before work started we stopped in at Casa De Castro. The back garden is so sweet, lots of pottery, plants and benches. The homemade pastries and cakes are so good and the atmosphere is laid back and unpretentious. More days like this please!