Friday, 22 July 2016

Cheese, Tomato and Onion Tart

Hot summer days mean it's best to use the oven as little as possible, so early in the morning you can make this tart and then it's all ready for lunch or supper later in the day.

Summer days quiche

2 red onions, chopped

250g cherry tomatoes, washed and dried and cut in half

2 eggs, beaten

1 pack of ready made pastry

1 mozzarella, sliced

olive oil, salt and pepper

Gently cook the onions in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Put them in a bowl with the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Line a pie dish with the ready made pastry and cover with the onion and tomato mixture.
Pour over the beaten eggs and dot with the cheese.
Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180.

Serve hot or cold. If serving later in the day let it cool completely before covering with cling film and storing in the fridge.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Anzac Biscuits

A friend of mine gave me this recipe for Anzac biscuits. I had never heard of them and she explained that Anzac stands for Australia, New Zealand, Army cookies. They are very nutritious and don't contain eggs so they last awhile, but actually they don't because they are delicious and you can't stop eating them.

They are ideal for children's lunch boxes or picnics. Hope you like them too!



ANZAC Biscuits

4oz or 115 g  coconut
8oz or 230g walnuts
6oz or 180g oats
8oz or 230g caster sugar
8oz or 230g plain flour
8oz or 230g butter
2 tablespoons syrup
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons boiling water

Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Melt the butter and syrup and add to the dry mix.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water and add to the mix, stir well.
Shape the mixture into balls the size of a small plum and flatten slightly. You should be able to make about 20.
Cook in the oven at 130 for 20 minutes.

Everything ready

Recipe from a friend

First try, they don't look the same

But they are made with love and taste delicious

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Feelings through the ages

Have you ever wondered if people from the past had the same feelings, fears, passions , hopes and dreams that we have?
Would Mrs. Caveman have sat sharpening her wooden sticks wondering if her caveman would meet another, prettier, younger version of her while out hunting? Did she wonder if her loin cloth made her look fat?
Did mothers sit telling stories and reassuring their little ones as arrows whizzed past their heads? Did they worry that their little ones were making friends, keeping to the straight and narrow as they hurled rocks around?
Was the joy and the sorrow and the sadness and the relief that we feel the same? Well it must have been mustn't it?
Sometimes a poem written long ago will tell you this.
By the way the good thing about posting poems from the past is there is no need to worry about copyrights. Shakespeare and Shelley will not remove their poems.

Today I was reading two poems that told me that feelings are the one thing we have all got in common with our ancestors.How much it matters to hear someone greet you with warmth and about the passing of the years.

The first by William Shenstone (1714 - 1763) was written while staying at an inn in Henley-on-Thames. He seems to be telling us that he is always sure of a warm welcome at an inn. It's always nice to hear someone say they are looking forward to seeing you with warmth in their voice and is worth going to an inn just to have that welcome that we might not get from family.

Written at an Inn at Henley, the importance of a warm greeting

Last verse..... because I'm sure you all need to get back to what you were doing, but you can look up the whole poem and read it at your leisure.

Who'er has travelled life's dull round,
Where'er his stages may have been,
may sigh to think he still has found
The warmest welcome at an inn.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A Ligurian Speciality

Italian cooking is very regional. Each region has its own specialities. Some dishes are world famous, like pizza, pasta e pesto.
You will often find pesto in recipes in other countries, it comes from Liguria, a coastal region with impenetrable tree covered hills rising steeply from the sea.
Olive groves and vineyards are planted on man made terraces and the region produces wonderful olive oil and wine. Pesto is traditionally made from pine nuts, basil leaves, garlic and parmesan cheese, all ground together and mixed with olive oil to form a smooth paste.

Here is a recipe from Liguria which will be found on any menu under the heading of Specialità Ligure, using a form of pasta called Trofei.

Trofei with pesto, potatoes and green beans.

50g Trofei per person
a handful of green beans per person
1 small potato per person
2 spoonfuls of fresh pesto per person
grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add a teaspoon of salt and add the Trofei. They take about 20 minutes to cook.
Wash and top and tail the green beans and cut into small pieces.
Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes.
After 10 minutes add the green beans and the potatoes and continue cooking until everything is tender.
When cooked drain and then put the pesto in the saucepan with a small amount of olive oil.
Return the pasta, potatoes and beans to the saucepan and mix thoroughly.
Serve with grated cheese if liked.

Liguria being such a thin strip of land with so much that cannot be used inspired me to write a poem for you today.

How wonderful the hand of man
Works in harmony with Nature's plan,
Terraced vineyards, olive groves
Lemon trees jostling on the slopes,
The sea in the distance is bright blue
Everyone has a really good view,
A little village built on a rock
A shepherd wandering with his flock,
A pine tree growing through a wall
Bougainville growing tall,
The motorway roaring overhead
The river contained within its bed,
Nature needs a helping hand
For men to live in this precious land