‘Village’ bread

IMG_2325I am surprised that some of my friends, many of them accomplished cooks and bakers, are afraid to bake with yeast. I find this slightly baffling and try to persuade them that now we have rapid action dry yeast, it is much like using baking powder, it just takes a little longer.

I think another reason many people shrink away from baking bread is that they think it will take up too much of their day – really, it won’t. The great thing about yeast is that it is pretty resilient as long as you keep it away from the very few things it hates – too much heat, too much salt or too much acid, so you can pretty much leave the dough to get on with things once it is mixed. Oh, and don’t feed it too much sugar or the dough will climb out of the tin and try to take over an entire floor of your house. Continue reading “‘Village’ bread”

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Fig & white chocolate oatmeal muffins

IMG_2303.jpgWe’ve been on another Grecian adventure – we just can’t keep away. When we went on our little jaunt to Kastellorizo back in June, we promised our friends that we would go again while they are here in Kaş this autumn. We just had time to squeeze in our trip before the daily ferry service finishes at the end of this week. Thankfully, the little spat between the Greek and Turkish harbour authorities seems to have been resolved and it is business as usual. Continue reading “Fig & white chocolate oatmeal muffins”

‘Creamy’ tomato & roasted red pepper soup (vegan)

IMG_2206.jpgWe are back home in Turkey and I have an entire kitchen at my disposal: working oven, tick; working hob, tick; fridge on the same floor – indeed in the same room – as the rest of the cooking facilities, tick. Food in the fridge? Errrrr, scratch that.

It has been unseasonably hot since we got back and I’ve failed yet to make a raid on the greengrocer – shopping has been limited to a quick skirmish in the supermarket on our way through town at the beginning of the week, with meals mainly scratched together from the various things our house guests left in the fridge. Continue reading “‘Creamy’ tomato & roasted red pepper soup (vegan)”

Rhubarb & ginger praline Pavlova

IMG_2077.JPGWimbledon starts tomorrow and rain is forecast – what could be more British?

We are in the UK for the rest of this summer, hoping to move in to our new home in Cornwall at some point before we head back to Turkey in September. Six months after selling our house in Warwick, we have still to exchange contracts on the new house and the process is beginning to resemble pulling teeth without anaesthetic. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger praline Pavlova”

Decadent brownies with salted almonds

DSC00126 (2).jpgI am a very cheap date when it comes to chocolate. Thorntons? Meh. Godiva? Double meh. Green & Blacks? Wouldn’t give it house room. And as for that 90% cocoa butter carry-on, what on earth is that all about? As far as chocolate is concerned, there are only two contenders in my book: Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut or Cadbury’s Flake. The rest, you can keep. Continue reading “Decadent brownies with salted almonds”

Wickedly sticky pumpkin ginger cake (vegan)

img_1644-600-x-450This is certainly a year of unpredictable weather. Last week, most of Turkey’s airports were snowed to a standstill, we were hardly visible under our many layers of clothing and competing with the cats for space by the stove. This week we’ve felt more like ducks – paddling around in huge puddles and acres of mud, dodging the storms and trying to park our car under cover, where it won’t be hit by the golf-ball-sized hailstones. Eeek. Continue reading “Wickedly sticky pumpkin ginger cake (vegan)”

Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)

IMG_1601.jpgAnother grey day, though it hasn’t actually started raining (so far). I feel a day of catching up with a few jobs coming on, interspersed with a spot of light blogging activity. I think we are having a 5:2 day too – I was put off eating any breakfast this morning by having to deal with the regurgitated remains of a mouse – at least I think that is what it started life as – which had been left in the middle of the kitchen terrace, so I’m off to a good start. (Thanks guys). Continue reading “Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)”

Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)

IMG_1581.jpgWe’ve just about recovered from our horrible Monday dinner experience, so Veganuary is back on track for now. We ate out with some friends last night and I managed to cobble together enough vegan-friendly items from the menu to form a very presentable meal. I may  yet make it to the end of the month without giving in – at the moment, the only thing I am really craving is cheese. Luckily, the cheese choice here is not exactly exciting, so that’s helping my cause – if I were within a stone’s throw of Neal’s Yard Dairy or Paxton & Whitfield, it would be quite another story and very likely that I would be found face down in the nearest wheel of Brie.
Continue reading “Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)”

Extra-gingery ginger fairings (vegan)

IMG_1511_renamed_28603.jpgYou can tell by the little flurry of blog posts that today has been rainy, windy and largely unpleasant. The rain has now stopped and we have a bit of weak sunshine, so Robin’s been dispatched to get more wood before it starts again (I can’t get the wood in, I’m far too busy using up oranges that he’s picked for me).

Some friends have just been for coffee, so I made a quick batch of ginger biscuits by way of a treat. As we are trying to follow a vegan diet at the moment, of course these are a vegan version – but the only change I had to make was to swap the butter from my original recipe for vegetable margarine. They turned out surprisingly well – in fact, I am not sure that they are not better than their buttery cousins, which can tend to burn around the edges before the centres are cooked. I may well stick to the margarine version even after the end of January. Continue reading “Extra-gingery ginger fairings (vegan)”

Seville orange drizzle cake

img_1501Planting orange trees around here is a tricky business. It is hard to tell with a young tree whether the fruit is going to be sweet or bitter. We planted several trees when we came to live here, thinking they were sweet oranges and a lemon – but they turned out to be the Seville variety. We managed, eventually, to grow a sweet orange and a lemon, but we still have a glut of Seville oranges every year from the original trees.

I make tons of marmalade, to give away to friends and to various charity bake sales, but I am always at a loss to know what to do with the rest. Continue reading “Seville orange drizzle cake”