Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fish & Corn Chowder

Although I refuse to accept that Summer is almost over it has certainly cooled down in the last week and the forecast unfortunately predicts grey, rainy days for the next few days. Not my idea of Summer, however this Fish and Corn Chowder is. It is so full of bright, fresh seasonal flavours and although hearty enough to enjoy on a cooler evening for dinner, it is a lovely light chowder with only a little cream added at the end. Being a chilli lover I love the addition of the fresh, spiky hot chilli at the end to cut through the creaminess but if you aren't a fan you can easily miss it out. Try it though – I guarantee you will love it! Served with some hot, garlicky crostini this is the most perfect late Summer meal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cookbook Review ~ Fired Up by Ross Dobson

Who doesn't love a barbecue in the Summer? In fact to me, Summer is all about barbecues and nothing beats the smell of barbecued food rising up and enticing us by wafting gently from garden to garden and grill to grill. At the same time though a lot of us need a bit of help when it comes to the gold old barbecue and this primitive form of cooking. Let's be honest I'm sure at one point or other we have all been to a BBQ where the burgers are a little too charred (ok black!) and the chicken a little too pink! Thankfully for me my husband is what I can only call “King of the Grill” (and he has the apron to prove it!). He has been barbecuing since he was 16 so has gotten pretty darn good at it over the years. Needless to say whenever anything needs barbecued he is the one who jumps to it. I do the 'inside cooking', he does anything involving 'outside cooking'. Now that being said I have cooked a few things on the BBQ over the years, especially when he is working away from home so he has taught me pretty well but admittedly I could do with a little more confidence, especially when it comes to cooking poultry so I was really excited to put Fired Up: No Nonsense Barbecuing to the test and see how my skills would match hubby's! But in order to really put the book through the ringers I wanted hubby to try out some of the recipes as well and see what his opinion was.

Over 20 recipes were bookmarked, taken from every chapter the book had to offer which includes 'Bird'; 'Beast'; 'Fish' and 'Sides' (unfortunately no desserts chapter). In the end we tried 6 recipes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cooking the Books ~ August

Yesterday I stopped by a shop to buy some wine. While there the local radio was playing with the weather forecast so I stopped to listen....cloud and showers was the forecast for the next week. I told the cashier that I was hoping for better weather as I had family visiting from Scotland and was hoping they would have sun for the last few days. We chatted for a bit while the transaction went through and then as I thanked her and went to leave she said to me "Enjoy your time with your family - it is precious time" to which I responded "I couldn't agree more, it really is". We said good bye and I left......

That is why I haven't really been on my blog and while I am so late on posting my cookbook review choice for August (and still have to post one from July)! That being said I got Homemade Summer by Yvette Van Boven as a Birthday present from my Brother and Sister-in-law and having never heard of it I'm so excited to cook from it and review it before Summer comes to an end.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope you are all having a great Summer. I'll get this review up as soon as I've stopped having so much fun with my family ;)

*You can now read this review! To read it click here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cookbook Review ~ Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson

Although Forever Summer is one of Nigella's older books (first published in 2003), I pull it off the bookshelf ever year at the first sign of Summer, so this year I thought it was the perfect time to review it and really put the recipes to the test.

To be fair although this is a book full of bright Summery recipes it's sole intention is not just to be cooked from in those balmy Summer months, but rather year-round to remind you in the darkest, coldest days of Winter about those blue skies that seem at that point like a distant memory. In all honesty however, I don't think I have ever cooked from it in Winter as the majority of ingredients are Summer based and although I'm not a super strict follower of using what's in season I do try my best so it's extremely unlikely that you would ever find me making her recipe for Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad in the middle of our Winter (unless of course I was sunning myself in a hot tropical location!).

The book is divided up into 'First Course', 'Second Course', 'Dessert' and 'Drinks' but within each main chapter are plenty more categories such as Starters, Salad, Pasta, Fish and so on, so every area is covered. Having bookmarked lots of recipes in the end 5 recipes were put to the test.... 
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