Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best of 2013

Where did 2013 go?!! I have to admit that for the last 2 months my blogging has taken a serious nose dive! With lots of things going on I unfortunately just haven't had the time to take photos and post new recipes, or even review some cookbooks. I'm hoping however after a break in January I'll be back at it with a renewed sense of inspiration and a little bit of extra time on my hands allowing me to keep posting delicious new delights and updated reviews!

In the meantime here are the Top 5 recipes of 2013 as viewed by you, which I have to say are some of my all time favourite recipes that I cook over and over again - I hope you do too!


Coming in at number 5 is my Homemade Granola.

To be honest my husband would probably put this at number 1 as he loves it and eats it every day but it wasn't your favourite recipe of 2013 (maybe you just missed it!!)......

Monday, December 16, 2013

Broccoli & Boursin Soup

I absolutely love Broccoli Soup (in fact I think my favourite soup of all time is still my Broccoli & Nutmeg) and at this time of year you can't beat Broccoli and Stilton Soup. Only problem in my home is that I'm the only one that likes Stilton! So I came up with this delicious version as a way to keep everyone happy. It has so much comforting flavour and the addition of the Boursin just adds a lovely creaminess to the soup without being too heavy. It is the perfect soup to enjoy piping hot on a cold, snowy Winter's Day.

(If you would prefer a lighter, non-dairy Broccoli Soup then try my Broccoli & Nutmeg soup.)

Serves 4

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large head of Broccoli (approx. 12oz)
750ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
115g/ 4oz Boursin Cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and Pepper

In a large pan heat oil and butter until the butter is melted and sizzling. Add the onion and leek and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and the broccoli, stir well then put a tight-fitting lid on and leave to sweat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add the stock and some seasoning then partially cover with the lid (just leave slightly askew) and leave to cook for roughly 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Leave to cool slightly then transfer to a blender (or you can use a handheld blender) and blend until smooth. Add the Boursin then blend again until everything is well mixed and the cheese melted into the soup. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary then serve sprinkled with a little extra Boursin on top and a touch of freshly ground black pepper.

Friday, December 6, 2013

ChefButler Review

I have to admit that when I receive emails asking me to do reviews I normally tend to pass on them because the product just doesn't appeal to me, but when I received an email telling my about a new venture called ChefButler I was genuinely excited.

ChefButler is a new company based in Toronto that provides a monthly subscription box featuring, you guessed it, food! But it's not just any old food, it is a specially designed 3 course meal for 4 people centered around a specific theme that changes from month to month. Included in the box are all of the pantry ingredients required to make the dishes, along with recipe cards, a shopping list for your fresh produce, a game plan to make sure everything runs smoothly and a few fun facts about the meal and cuisine. As mentioned the themes vary but what I really liked about the sound of this product was that the goal of the company is to provide you with hard-to-find ingredients that you generally can't source from your local supermarket and therefore enable you to make meals in the comfort of your own home that you perhaps wouldn't generally get the opportunity to try. Any spices that are included are freshly ground right before they are sealed and sent to you to ensure you get maximum flavour.

To be honest I have seen similar concepts before (where you get the measured out spices for 1 meal), however they have generally always focused on Indian Curries so I love the idea here that it is for a wide variety of cuisines. Thankfully though Indian is on the list because I do love a good curry!

My lovely Silver Box of Delights!
I was absolutely delighted to receive my box which came courtesy of a courier company directly to my door! After opening the initial packaging I was delighted to discover a beautiful silver box inside containing all of the ingredients I needed for a Jamaican meal. Aesthetics wise it is certainly beautifully packaged and presented and for that reason alone it would make a wonderful gift idea. Upon opening my box which felt like unlocking a treasure chest full of wonderful delights, I was instantly met with a fantastic aroma of allspice – an essential Jamaican ingredient! At the top was an envelope inscribed with November on it and inside was my promised recipe cards and instructions, shopping list and a welcome note with all the essential information and a game plan.

A Foodie Treasure Trove!
The recipes are clearly printed on little cards that are colour coded to match the ingredients that go with that particular recipe (since there are some duplicates of ingredients for the different courses) - they really have thought of everything! So looks and presentation gets top marks but what about the actual recipes? After-all there is no point in having a monthly subscription if the recipes don't deliver.....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pear Sorbet

I made this Pear Sorbet for our recent Cook Club as we were celebrating not only two Birthdays(!) but 5 Years of Cook Club! It's quite an achievement considering in those past 5 years we have seen 1 Wedding, 2 New Houses, New Jobs and Promotions and the Birth of 5 babies!! That's a busy 5 years for the 6 of us but we still manage to make Cook Club a regular event and always have such a great time catching up over good food and wine.

I served this Pear Sorbet as a palate cleanser between courses and it was a hit. The flavour of the pear is matched perfectly with vanilla and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, making it so delicate yet really flavourful and elegant. You could serve it as a did or it would make a wonderful light dessert for finishing off a heavy meal over Christmas. It is really simple to make especially if you have an ice cream maker.

This recipe is courtesy of Thomas Keller and his book Bouchon and I honestly wouldn't change a thing! The finishing touch of edible gold and silver leaf isn't in the recipe but for a special occasion (such as an elegant Christmas or New Year Meal) I couldn't resist. If you have some certainly use it but don't go out of your way to buy some especially – unless you are really trying to impress!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...