Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

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Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Yes, I have to admit to owning one of these fancy blenders that chop just about everything up and produce smoothies. I know, that makes two kitchen appliances with the bread maker I admitted to in an earlier article….. but nobody is perfect right? I guess it’s not that big a sin anyway as it was a present from the family. In a few short months I have gone from never having heard of one before, to probably finding it difficult to live without one now. I would guess however that the way I use it is not how many people do……..

The website of one of the more popular blenders claims it is part of a “health revolution that has transformed millions of lives” or that one ought to drink a smoothie a day to “feel the tremendous effects that real, unprocessed, nutrition-extracted whole food can have on your health and well-being”. But do we really need one if we are eating fruit and vegetables as part of our daily diet? Do we really have to hide vegetables in a drink to make them palatable? Are we like babies that can only ingest food if it comes as a purée?

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As with most if not all of my recipes the ingredients in this recipe are everyday ones. I have looked on the internet for good smoothie recipes and I have found a few, but many have so many strange ingredients, protein powders and artificial additives that I immediately discarded them. It also made me wonder, indeed worry, that people might use these machines as a major part of their diet rather than a supplement. These machines are not an alternative to a balanced and varied diet.

So this recipe is probably the antithesis of a “standard” smoothie as it has no health claims attached, but at least it is delicious.

For the full article and the recipe please click here.

Cinnamon Crumble Cake

There are some great sayings in Spanish, one of my favourite being “El diablo sabe más 

por viejo que por diablo”. It certainly loses something when translated into English, but a fairly literal translation would be that the devil knows more because he is old, than because he is the devil…… or…………. as one gets old one gains wisdom.

It is said that the language we speak reflects the importance we put on things, the more words we have, the more important the topic. For example there are several verbs in Spanish for “to eat”, depending upon the time of day one is actually eating! I guess that shows the importance of food to the Spaniards. Spanish also has a different “you” used when talking to their elders. Unfortunately it is falling somewhat into disuse, particularly with the Spanish youth. Is this therefore a reflection that the younger generation is less respectful towards their elders? I suspect that if you were to ask Spanish teachers they would wholeheartedly agree………

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The Cinnamon Crumble Cake

………. Well back to our elders, or at leat mine. Today’s article, and others I plan on writing over the next few months, aim to celebrate the culinary knowledge of the elder generations in my family. Today I will be writing about one of my Grandmother’s cakes that I have taken from her own handwritten recipe book. I hope you enjoy it.

To read the whole article and see the recipe please clicke here.

No-Knead Bread

7 Bread sliced

The Finished Loaf

I know that bread makers are relatively common these days. I also know that to actually knead dough by hand is not that big a deal, but for those of you who want to try something a little bit different, I have an excellent no-knead bread recipe for you this week.

So no-knead is good news for those of us who want to make bread with little or no effort, but as this dough requires a long, and I mean LONG, resting period the flavour with this one really is something special. It has a delicious tangy, nutty sort of flavour, most unlike any other breads I have ever made. It really is delicious and I would encourage you to give it a go!

As you will see from the recipe below, after mixing the ingredients the dough is left for 5 days. This is how it acquires all that flavour. It does mean therefore that you have to plan ahead. This isn’t a bread you can make on the spur of the moment. So without further ado let’s get into the recipe:

To read the rest of the article and view the recipe please click No-Knead Bread.

Revuelto de Morcilla y Ajos Tiernos

Or, for non Spanish speakers, scrambled eggs with black pudding and spring garlic. Just four basic ingredients and a simple dish, but something I really enjoy. As this dish only has four ingredients, and cheap ones at that, I recommend you look for some good quality local products. I have chosen products that are local to me, so let me run you through the ones that I have chosen:

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The Finished Dish

Firstly let’s look at the ajos tiernos. These couldn’t be more local as they are from my own garden. I have mine ready to harvest and that was the main reason for me choosing today’s recipe. But just what are ajos tiernos?

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Spring Garlic

Basically they are simply very young garlic plants before the garlic bulb or indeed the clove itself has started to form. I call them “spring garlic” simply because they remind me of spring onions and can be used in a similar way.

I have not been able to find any other translation anywhere. I have looked in many a dictionary, I have even tried the overrated Google Translator to no avail. A word of warning here to restaurant owners and language students….. don’t use Google Translator. To all Spanish chefs, I see that Google still has “kid” (baby goat) down as “niño” (child) and no, Anglo-Saxons do not eat roast children. I also promise all you students that a good language teacher can easily spot a poor Google translation!

To read the rest of the article and see the recipe please click here.

Sausage and Chard Quiche

Before I start just let me say that this quiche works perfectly well with spinach, I just make it with swiss chard because I always have plenty growing in the garden at this time of year. I cook chard in many ways, often opting for a simple recipe that just has the chard, some potatoes and onions. Today though I am going for a slightly more complex one, because this dish can be frozen.

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The Cooked Quiche

As you have probably gathered by now I am pretty much guided by the seasons. Within the next couple of weeks I will be planting tomatoes, and they will be going right where the chard is currently. I therefore need to find ways of storing what is left of this year’s chard crop.

On some occasions I cook to freeze, but more often than not I just make more than I need and freeze the surplus. The following recipe makes a large quiche, you may want to cut the quantities down somewhat or, like me, freeze the surplus. Making an extra helping or two normally entails little extra preparation or cooking time and therefore little extra energy…………

 

For the recipe and the rest of the article please click here.