Friday, December 31, 2004

Baked onions with haggis

6 medium unpeeled onions, trimmed
50g sunflower oil
50g organic rolled oats
50g pinhead oatmeal
50g chopped mixed nuts
1 onion, finely chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
200g can red kidney beans, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon yeast extract
ground black pepper to taste (up to a tsp)
2 tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs
juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 tbs. whisky (optional)
Cut a slither from the bottom of each of the onions, so that they stand upright. Cut a cross in the top about three quarters of the way down. Place in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water.
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). To make the haggis, heat 1/2 the oil in a pan and add the oats, oatmeal and nuts. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl.
Heat oil, add the onion, mushrooms and carrot and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Stir into the toasted oat mixture with the remaining haggis ingredients. Season.
Snip the center of the onions with kitchen scissors and scoop out with a spoon, leaving the skin and 3-4 outer layers intact. Stuff with haggis and bake for 40 minutes.
Serves 6.
For bigger portions use large onions. Double this recipe makes 9 large haggises. Serve with mashed neaps and tatties and an onion soup/sauce made with the onion centres.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

For New Year's Eve

Having abandoned the idea of haggis, on the assumption that visitors won't be expecting a proper meal, as it has to be quite a late party, I decided to make snacky food...

oatcakes, to go with cheese...and more mince pies! .....and...

pretzels Posted by Hello

shortbread biscuits Posted by Hello

breadsticks Posted by Hello

mini breadstick pretzels Posted by Hello

why does shortbread have holes in it? Posted by Hello

making pretzels Posted by Hello

how long is a pretzel? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Vegetarian Society UK -A Veggie Haggis

The Vegetarian Society UK -A Veggie Haggis for a Burns' Night Feast!
This is supposed to be for Burn's night, but we don't usually celebrate that, so it's for New Years Eve

Vegetarian Recipes Around the World - Vegetarian Haggis

Vegetarian Recipes Around the World - Vegetarian Haggis

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Running out of inspiration

... so plumped for potato wedges, with paprika; roast veggies (red and yellow peppers, red onion and garlic; cous cous with chickpeas; hot dog sausages; with baked beans. Bit of a mish mash, but something for everyone- there were 5 of us here. It went down ok. O, and Pete and Mav returned later on, starving, and finished it off.

Lunchtime was sandwiches: My favourite sandwich is cream cheese and avocado. Ally is quite happy to eat avocado chunks. Jem does not like cream cheese unles it is the garlicky sort, which LIDL do a nice line in. There was also Edam.

A note about this blog

I originally intended this blog to be a kind of food diary, so reserve the right to enter "beans on toast" whenever I deem that is appropriate. But also a way of keeping and sharing recipes. pics and thoughts on food in general. I have only just added the email comment alert, so, sorry if I have been a bit late noticing comments.

Food is such an important part of family life. We spend a lot of time preparing and consuming it. I believe that it is an important part of the children's education, not just in helping to prepare and eat it, but learning to respect it and not take it for granted. Also, part of our celebration of festivals and the understanding of and connectivity to the cycle of the year is done through the food we eat. And there is much to be learned about where food comes from, and how it is produced. In today's culture of fast food and TV dinners many children seem to grow up without learning not only how to cook, but how to eat, and I try to be mindful of this and strive to have regular family mealtimes where we can all eat happily together, in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. (I wish)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas pasta

This is the only way to get some people to eat their Xmas dinner. Had I thought of this earlier I may have simply taken the uneaten plate of Xmas dinner and mixed it with some pasta.
Cook some pasta- ideally, something different from the norm, or tricolour pasta- that's a bit festive.
Simply add any Xmas left overs, such as roast potatoes, roast veg, sprouts, stuffing, chestnuts, chopped up. Add any left over cream, and cranberry sauce, to taste.
Add red pesto and pine nuts
Serve with cheese or parmesan.
Et voila! Christmas dinner flavoured pasta.
Important: call it "Christmas Pasta" and enjoy!

Xmas cake with cheese Posted by Hello

More mince pies Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas cake

Christmas cake- with compulsary snowmen.
The snowmen were originally from a snowstorm, which got broken, and have been with us ever since, and have to go on the Christmas cake every year. The cake was supplied by my friend, Jill, in the form of an early present; well she makes much beter Christmas cake than me. I started to ice the cake this morning as I was anticipating having to wait for icing to set and then apply more icing; I hadn't really thought it through. However, I managed to decorate it in a oner, by cutting out shapes of white marzipan and sticking them onto the wet icing, and adding silver balls. It is better to add the silver balls to the marzipan shapes before putting them on the cake, otherwise you have to wait till the icing is hard. I added some more after this photo was taken. I find children just want to do it all at once and don't like waiting for things the set before finishing it off. For the icing I used the egg white left over from the yolk in yesterday's mince pie pastry. Underneath is the traditional apricot jam and marzipan, rolled out in one large piece and folded over the whole top and sides. Of course, the cake was upside-down, for a flatter finish. When asked, I couldn't answer why do you put icing on a cake? apart from: to make it nicer/ to look like snow?

Chrismas Cake Posted by Hello

Mince pie recipe

Mince Pies
This is an adaptation of Marguerite Patten's biscuit pie crust:
250g/10oz plain flour
50g/2oz ground almonds
6oz butter
2 tsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk
water to mix

Rub butter into the flour, almonds and sugar and add a little water to mix into dough. Roll out pastry and cut into circles. Add mincemeat and whatever shaped lids you like.
Makes about 24 mince pies, using mince pie tins
Bake at 200C for 10-12 minutes
Dust with icing sugar when they come out of the oven

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Toad in the hole

8 veggie sausages (eg quorn)
sunflower oil
1/2 lb plain flour
1/2 pint milk
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp mustard powder (optional)

Put enough oil in large baking dish and put in oven at 220C
Fry sausages in oil till a bit browned
Make a hole in flour and add eggs and milk and seasonings
Mix into batter
Put sausages into hot dish and add batter
bake for 20 mins, till it starts to brown

Little Johnny loves to mix this, especially making the hole for the toads to go in.
They all love this. I might have to do it on Christmas Day.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Roast vegetables with cous cous

  • Chop veg into large chunks (1") or wedges:
sweet potatoes
red onions
garlic (whole bulb, bottom end chopped off)
1 pepper- pref yellow or red

  • Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 200 for 1/2 hour
  • Top with slices of feta cheese and bake for a further 5 mins.
  • Do another dish of just potato wedges if there are a lot of people.
  • Soak cous cous in boiling water + veg stock powder for 10 mins.
  • Remove skins when cooked for younger children.


must remember to keep making these:
4oz golden syrup
6oz butter
8oz soft brown sugar
12oz oats
Melt in a pan, add oats, bake at 180/170 for 15-20 mins.
Cut into rectangles before it sets
I use a large rectangular dish for this quantity. I save it a jar and
put it in packed lunches.