Friday, 26 September 2014

Curried Parsnip Soup

Good Morning!

It's a lovely sunny morning here in Inverness but the last few days have been very Autumnal.  Just the sort of weather when you think about a nice warm bowl of soup!  This recipe is out of my Soil Association Soup Book and is an original one from the 70's by Jane Grigson.

Curried Parsnip Soup

Serves 4 

1 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chilli or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 rounded tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, halved
675g/1 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled, cored and diced
30g/1 oz butter
1 tbsp plain flour
1 litre/1 3/4 pints vegetable, beef or chicken stock
salt & freshly ground black pepper
150ml/5fl oz cream
chopped parsley or chives to garnish (optional)

Whiz the first five ingredients in a coffee mill, or pound the whole spices in a mortar, then mix with the ground spices.  Put the mixture in a small jar - you will not need it all for this recipe.

Cook the onion, garlic and parsnips gently in the butter, lid on the pan, for ten minutes.  Stir in the flour and 1-2 tbsp of the spice mixture.  Cook for 2 minutes, giving it a good stir from time to time.  Pour in the stock gradually, stirring constantly.  Bring to the boil and leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the parsnips are really tender.

Puree until smooth in a blender, then dilute to taste with water.  Season to taste with salt & freshly ground pepper, then reheat.  Add the cream and serve scattered with chives or parsley or with a swirl of cream as I've done here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Salmon & Dill Traybake

Good Evening,

I'm back tonight with a rare second post and my recipe is a quick and delicious one I made for tea tonight.  The recipe is from Slimming World Magazine and I wouldn't hesitate to make it again!

Salmon & Dill Traybake

Serves 3-4

500g King Edward or other floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
Low-calorie Cooking Spray
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 skinless and boneless salmon fillets
300g sugar snap peas
200g cherry tomatoes
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
A large handful of fresh dill, chopped

Preheat oven to 190C/170C (fan)/Gas 5.  Put the potatoes in a large roasting tin, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and season well.  Roast for 15 minutes then scatter over the onions and roast for a further 12-15 minutes.  Turn up the oven to 220C/200C (fan)/Gas 7.  Nestle the salmon, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes between the veg.  Drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with the zest and dill and season with plenty black pepper.  Roast for around 15 minutes or until the salmon is golden, and everything is cooked through, before serving.

If you are following the Slimming Word Program it says Syns per serving: Extra Easy Free.

I'm not following the plan so I substituted a tablespoon of olive oil for the cooking oil spray and just used 3 salmon fillets but obviously if you did that it would probably alter the number of Syns.

Pizza Baked Potatoes

Good Morning

I'm back today with I quick recipe I made for tea last night.  Again, it's from the BBC Good Food website - my biggest source of inspiration!  We served it with Chicken Kiev and salad and it made a nice change from a plain baked potato with butter.

Pizza Baked Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 60g pack sliced pepperoni, torn
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ small pack basil leaves, shredded
  • 100g grated mozzarella


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Scrub the potatoes and dry well, then prick several times with a fork. Bake directly on the oven shelf for 1-1½ hrs, until they feel soft. If you are short of time, prick each potato with a fork, wrap in a sheet of kitchen paper and microwave on High for 8-10 mins until soft inside.
  2. While the potatoes cook, heat the oil in a small pan and sauté the onion for 5 mins to soften. Stir in the garlic and pepperoni, and cook for 1-2 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins. Season and stir in half the basil. Spoon over the split potatoes and top each one with a good handful of cheese and the rest of the basil.**
Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2014

**There were no further instructions for how long to cook the potatoes but I just put them back in the oven for around 10 mins until the cheese had melted.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Chocolate Brownies

Good morning,

This recipe is another one I made for Iona's birthday party and was one a work colleague gave to me.  Making these felt a bit like being on Great British Bake Off as there was no method just a list of ingredients so I had to wing it and I'm pleased to say I pulled it off!  They are really lovely and squidgy just like brownies should be!

Chocolate Brownies

Makes approx 30


125 ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs, beaten
200 g dark molasses sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
30 g cocoa or drinking chocolate
75 g self raising flour
200 g mix of dark and milk chocolate, melted
150 g white chocolate, chopped


Mix together flour, cocoa or drinking chocolate, sugar and white chocolate in a large bowl.  Mix the oil, eggs and vanilla together and gradually fold into the flour mix.  Finally, add the slightly cooled melted chocolate and fold in.  Turn the mixture into a 9 inch square greased and lined tin.  And bake at 170C (Fan Assisted) for approximately 45 mins or until the top 'cracks' but the cake still feels like it has a bit of give.  Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Cut into small squares to serve.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Malteser Crunch


This is the first of two recipes that I made for my daughter's birthday party yesterday.  I've made this recipe lots of times since I first discovered it as it's so quick and easy but also really tasty - who doesn't like Maltesers!!!  The recipe is from the BBC Good Food website.


  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g Butter
  • 200g Crushed Digestive Biscuits
  • 200g Maltesers ( Leave a dozen aside for the top )
  • 3 tbsp Syrup
  • 200g White Chocolate


    1. Grease and line a swiss roll tin (approx 8"x10")
    2. Melt together the milk chocolate, butter and syrup.
    3. Add crushed biscuits and whole maltesers to chocolate mix.
    4. Press into tin and place in fridge to chill.
    5. When mix is firm, melt the white chocolate and pour on top. Finally crush up the left over maltesers and sprinkle on top.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Plum Crumble

Good Morning,

I'm back today with my first dessert recipe.  My sister-in-law brought us some plums from her garden so it was rude not to make this delicious crumble which I discovered around the same time last year.  It's from the BBC Good Food website which, along with the magazine I subscribe to, is a great source of inspiration to me.  This is really simple to make but is the tastiest crumble I've ever come across.


  • 800g ripe cooking plums, such as Victoria or dessert plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • finely grated zest 1 orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp plain flour

For the crumble

  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g demerara sugar
  • 50g ground almonds


  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the plums into the base of a shallow gratin dish about 28cm long. Mix together the sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and flour and sprinkle over the plums. Trickle over 2 tbsp water.
  2. Put all the crumble ingredients into a food processor, and using the pulse button, whizz until the mixture just starts to clump together. Take care not to over process at this stage. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour using your hands and then stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Scatter the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 30–40 mins until golden brown. Leave for about 15 mins before serving with custard or cream.
Recipe from, October 2012

Notes: if you don't have a food processor, cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the remaining crumble ingredients.