Monday, October 8, 2007

A taste of Spring

Saturday night was one of the rare occasions when we had nothing social on. It was a gorgeous spring day and I really felt like something spring like for dinner. I had bought some fresh broad beans at the market and they inspired the whole meal! I read through a number of books looking for innovative ideas where broad beans could be the star of the meal, and I found one in one of my Jamie Oliver books. The salad is pictured above and was basically blanched broad beans with a dressing of peas mushed up with garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and good evo, then grilled streaky bacon and toasted almonds scattered over the top. It was delicious! As you may be able to tell, part of good food to me is great texture! I loved the mouthfuls of creamy peas and beans with crispy salty bacon and crunchy almonds!

To go with it, another taste of Spring – scallops marinated in some olive oil and thyme, wrapped in streaky bacon and pan fried. To go with this I made some bread. I love making bread – the taste of some lovely home made fresh bread is far superior to anything you can buy in the shops. It is quite exciting as well to see the dough rise and the smell of the bread baking is fabulous! I used a recipe from the Donna Hay Fast Food which is one of the Marie Claire books. I made the dough into a flat bread, scattering the top with olives and chopped basil and drizzled with evo. It was the perfect thing to mop up the dressing of the salad.

I also did a spot of baking on Saturday afternoon, as my in-laws came to stay yesterday and being the dutiful daughter-in-law, I always like to have something in the tins! I made my old favourite chocolate chippie biscuits and also a really yummy banana and date loaf (another Donna Hay recipe from issue 29 of her magazine). I still make my Nana’s recipe for chocolate chip biscuits, as it always seems to give me the best texture.

Nana’s chocolate chip biscuits

4 oz butter (about 100g)
2 tbsp sugar (I use a house hold tbsp like Nana did, rather than my measuring spoons)
2 tbsp condensed milk
1 c flour
1 tsp b powder
about ½ c chocolate chips

· Beat together butter and sugar and then beat in condensed milk.
· Mix in rest of ingredients
· Roll into balls and flatten with a fork; bake at about 160 for 15-20 minutes

I like mine to be quite pale. Sometimes I use a mixture of ground almonds and flour and use milk chocolate melts for something different. Perfect with a glass of milk!!!

PS IF anyone can give me some tips on focussing my camera better it would be much appreciated!!! :0)

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