Mariss recently put out a call for inspiring summer recipes. My desire to cook plummets in hot weather, so I was pleased to discover her quick and easy chicken salad recipe.
I thought I’d share this recipe for a green bean salad that I have been making frequently this summer. It’s really tasty, and lasts for days in the fridge, so saves you having to cook for a few days if you don’t want to!
The recipe comes from Molly Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
Swiss Green Been Salad
- 1 1/2 lbs trimmed green beans
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus black pepper to taste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/3 lb Swiss cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup chopped olives
- 2 peppers; 1 red and 1 yellow or green
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
- Steam the green beans until just tender. Remove from heat and rinse under cold water.
- Combine everything else except the lemon juice, vinegar and almonds in a large bowl.
- Add the drained beans to the bowl. Toss until ingredients thoroughly mixed. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours (overnight is good too).
- Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar within 10 minutes of serving. Top with almonds.
What do you make when you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen? Even better, what about when you’re inspired but just don’t want to go to much effort?
A number of you asked for the recipe for Alice’s Amazing Chocolate Cake. So, here it is!
- 8 oz butter or margarine
- 8 oz caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz self-raising flour
- 3 dessertspoons cocoa powder
Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale, fluffy mixture that drops off the spoon easily. Add the eggs and then the flour and cocoa powder.
Divide the mixture between two baking tins, and cook for 30 minutes at Gas Mark 4. Cool the cake then fill and ice with butter icing, made from about 2 dessert spoons of cocoa with about 2oz butter and 4oz icing sugar. Alice’s cake was topped with Maltesers. Enjoy!
ps: If you’re not in the UK, 1 dessertspoon is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons, and caster sugar is superfine sugar.
Next time I should have some photos of what may be my quickest ever lace project. There are over 1,300 of them on Ravelry at the moment. Recognise it?
We had a lovely, but very busy, half term last week. Most of the time we were in our cottage in Dorset with Steve’s sister and her family (although Steve and I had to go back to London to work for a couple of days in the middle). Then at the weekend we went to Germany for a huge party to celebrate my aunt Gilla’s 70th birthday.
Anyway, in Dorset my niece Alice (standing) decided to make afternoon tea for us all one day, so she just whipped up the most amazing chocolate cake. I love the intense faces of my boys and their cousins as they wait for her cake to be sliced!
Honestly, this girl has a serious talent for baking – this was an extraordinarily moist and airy cake. Much better than any of my efforts!
And it tasted just as good as it looked…
Since going on a yoga retreat a couple of weekends ago, I’ve been totally hooked on chai, or spiced tea. Traditionally it is made with black tea and loads of suger, but here’s the recipe I’ve been using for a caffeine-free, slightly healthier verision.
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp fennel
4 star anis
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1/2 inch fresh ginger
Add all the ingredients to 4 pints of water and bring to the boil, take off the heat and add 4 Rooibus tea bags. Steep for fifteen minutes, strain, then add honey to taste (about 2-3 tablespoons).
This can be kept in the fridge for a week or so. To serve, pour the required amount into a saucepan, add milk to taste and reheat.
It looks just like ‘normal’ tea, but has a deliciously warming and comforting spicey flavour. Enjoy!
There’s not a lot of cooking to see here – this blog is about the things that I love, and cooking doesn’t tend to be one of them. But I’m making an exception today, because I have been making chutney from tomatoes grown in our garden, and that feels kind of special to me. If you’re in the UK you will understand the reason why our tomatoes have not ripened this year: there just hasn’t been enough sunshine.
Anyway, here’s what I did.
The ingredients are:
- 2 1/2 lb green tomatoes
- 2 lb onions
- 2 1/2 lb cooking apples
- 1 lb raisins
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 1/2 tblsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tblsp salt
- 2 dessertspoons ground ginger
- 1 lb 6 oz brown sugar
- 1 oz pickling spice
- 3 pints malt vinegar.
Chop everything up small, put it all in a great big pan, simmer for about 3 hours.
When almost all the vinegar has evaporated and the chutney has thickened to a soft consistency, it’s ready. Pour into jars, seal, and leave somewhere dark and cool for three months before eating. That’s it!
I’m off to the Iknit day tomorrow with Amanda, and we’ve got tickets to see the Yarn Harlot’s talk. I’m so looking forward to it!
Anyone else going?