Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Creme Fraiche Herb Sauce.


When I first started cooking I never knew what to do with boneless skinless chicken breasts, now I positively rely on them.  The success of the dish is all in the sauce and not overcooking the chicken.  I made this the other day when time was short (when isn't it) and everyone was hungry (when aren't they). It was one of those 30 minute deals - actually more like 20.  You really can't go wrong with garlic, lemon and herbs and add to that creme fraiche, or cream if you can't find the creme fraiche and some peas and you have a winner of a dinner.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Makeover and a Celebration with Blackberry and Almond Shortcakes!


Yes, you are on the right page! I'm so thrilled to show off my new look.  I simply love it and hope you do to. It was designed by the talented (and very patient) Chad at http://www.e3studios.com  a wonderful company who I couldn't recommend highly enough.  The whole experience was an exciting learning curve and I'm grinning from ear to ear with the result.


As the sun is shining and my blog is gleaming, I decided there would be no better way to celebrate than with these Blackberry and Almond Shortcakes. They're delicious! The ground almonds and the lemon zest in the shortcake give it a little extra flavor and blackberries have always been a favorite around here.  Any berry or summer fruit would be equally scrumptious with these little beauties.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Favorite Lunch, Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Fresh Parsley.





This could of course, just as easily be my favorite supper. Packed with flavor and protein it fills you up, satisfies your taste buds and for some absurd reason makes me feel sophisticated when eating it. I don't know why, after all my ten old loves this and the Jack Russell Terrier begs for the scraps. I've always adored smoked salmon and with plenty of parsley from the garden and freshly ground black pepper, you just can't go wrong. Plus, you have the added bonus that it takes five minutes to make. Serve with a piece of wholewheat toast and a glass of chilled Perrier with a slice of lime. Heaven.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Watermelon with Crushed Mint and Rosewater.

This is utterly thirst quenching and refreshing, not to mention delicious and that's from someone who is not really a watermelon fan.  Try this, please, you won't be disappointed.  I came across it in a local gourmet store and once tasted I simply had to attempt to recreate its wonderful flavor.  If you're not convinced by now, bare in mind that it takes about 2 minutes to throw together and then you just chill it the fridge.  Brilliance!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chocolate Cake for a Needy Moment.





This cake was made for "a needy moment."  I have many needy moments but surprisingly this time it was not my moment.  It was my eldest daughters. My girls are in the midst of finals week.  You can cut the atmosphere around here with a butter knife.  Frankly I'm just keeping my head down and baking chocolate cakes.  It's the best stratergy I can come up with.  I'll be happy when it's all over.  The cake did help though, the sponge is moist and rich and the frosting, believe me, is deeply sinfully delicious.  I highly recommend it for any "needy moments" you may be wrestling with.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Homemade Cherry, Almond, Granola Yogurt Parfait.

Is it just me or do you find yourself having the same breakfast day after day?  Well this is mine.

The beauty of this is that it’s made ahead of time.  All you have to do is a simple assembly job with the granola, yogurt and berries, serve it in a pretty little glass and everyone feels special and looked after.

I have a large jar of this granola on my kitchen counter and the level goes down at an alarming rate, it’s great for snacking, so be sure to make a lot.

Cherry, Almond, Granola.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Best Burger with all the Trimmings!



We've had a busy week, the end of year school activities have been non stop and we're steering head first into the summer ones with swim team practices and tennis round robins and all those lovely things that shout summer! I decided to fire up the grill and rustle up some juicy burgers.

With very little effort you can transform your mundane everyday burger with its plastic cheese topping, into a gastronomic extravaganza filled with caramelized onions and gorgonzola.  Who knew a 10 year old liked gorgonzola?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pimm's No 1 to Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee!


It was a thoroughly British Day.  The rain lashed down, the clouds were grey and thick but the Queen shone brightly.  The crowds seemed to cheer louder than ever and revelled in the glory of the day, embracing the frightful weather as a welcome old friend.

Three thousand miles away (it seemed more) on the East Coast of America the sun did shine and it seemed fitting to celebrate with a glass of iced Pimm's.  For those of you who haven't tried it, it's a sort of British Sangria, alcohol, lemonade (or ginger ale or sprite) fruit, berries and fresh mint. Of course you can adjust the alcohol levels to suit your idea of fun by adding a shot or two of gin. I've had quite a day, I intend to have quite a bit of fun.

My friend Ellen and I decided to have a Pimm's off.  She won. She had the technique down.  She crushed the fresh mint and strawberries before she poured in the Pimm's, the scent was enticing. She used ginger ale, I used fizzy lemonade, both worked. Then we sat back and sipped and sipped and watched a rainbow form.  This is just what Pimm's is made for.

Here's the basic formula;

1 part Pimm's No 1 to 3 parts lemonade or ginger ale or sprite.
1 shot of gin (if desperate)
A handful of chopped up strawberries
A few slices of cucumber
A couple of sprigs of fresh mint
A few lemon slices
A few orange slices
Ice cubes

Here's how you do it;

Line up your glasses with the mint, cucumber and fruit.  Ginger ale or lemonade at the ready.



Mash it up a little.


Add the ice cubes.

Pour in the Pimm's.


Add the ginger ale (or lemonade).

Put your feet up and sip.