Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Snow baking and Easter

Now I know I'm probably going to incur the wrath of a few of you but I honestly love all this snow we keep having.  It gives me a great excuse for sitting by my fire in old woolly jumpers that have seen better days and shoving my feet into my old but fab slippers.  

It's also giving me fireside current fireplace does the job but is, to put it bluntly, a hole knocked through a bricked up chimney.  It's rough around the edges and was really only ever meant to be a temporary solution to no fireplace at all.  My dream is to turn it into something more like this.

The only slight spanner to this day dreaming is funds....or coming across a spare oak beam possibly lying next to a dream abandoned wood burning stove casually left lying in or near my living room...needless to say for now, I'm still waiting....but watch the blog for updates on the fire...

The other thing all this snow and frosty weather seems to have done to me is kick start my baking genes.  In the past week I've made a lemon polenta cake, with additional desiccated coconut in it as I didn't have enough polenta and did I mention that it was freezing outside so shopping for extra ingredients just isn't happening?  I wasn't sure if it would work with the coconut, which was an interesting choice of make do ingredient as I don't particularly like desiccated coconut.  However it was blooming gorgeous and so large that there was enough to be divided up between some friends.  I would post a picture of it but sadly this all that's left of it.

And following on from that little success I then made a mind blowingly gorgeous Rhubarb and orange crumble, and I do really mean it was Delicious!! The recipe was taken from 'Bill's Cook Eat Smile' cookery book 

that I bought along with another one called 'Notes from a Swedish Kitchen'.  Both of these little gems were bought during a three hour browse, without my children, through the cookery book section of Waterstone's a few weeks ago.  Both have inspired me with their ideas for seasonal cookery and both are now firmly wedged on my worktop in the kitchen.  Sadly I hadn't the foresight to take any photos of the crumble so you will just have to recreate it for yourself.

Recipe from Bill Collison's cookbook  

Bill's rhubarb crumble
Serves 4-6 (actually did 6)

900g rhubarb cut in 3cm lengths
200g caster sugar
the zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 tsp ground ginger
I then used a packet of ready made crumble mix and added crumbled ameretti biscuits into it for extra taste and crunch.

Pre heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and lightly butter a 23 x 33cm ovenproof dish.

Stir the chopped rhubarb with the sugar, finely grated orange zest and ginger in a large bowl, and then spread it out on a baking tray.  Bake in the oven for 10mins or so until soft.

Place the rhubarb in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the orange juice, spoon the crumble mix on top to cover and return to oven for 45mins.  The top should be golden brown and the juices bubbling up round the edges of the crumble.

Enjoy x

Oh and for the more observant amongst you, YES, I have changed the layout.  I've been reading a few other bloggers and have felt a little inspired to change mine and generally make it more creative and interesting.  One of the things that I really loved was the use of photo's so I will aim to pop some in to each of my blogs and make more effort to take photo's as I'm cooking to inspire you.  I promise to post photo's of both successes and disasters.  I'm not yet done on the makeover but will need to research and read up on how to achieve the final look, so watch this space.  Oh and happy to receive any advice or comments, as usual. 

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