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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Guest Blog from A Wannabe Foodie...

Julia England is a Wannabe Foodie who has kindly agreed to guest blog for us! A member of the Midland Food Bloggers, she has a passion for food and great fun recipes that we can all enjoy. I hope you enjoy her lament for the beginning of the end of summer - we would love to see your comments!

Coo-eeee ! Where are you hiding Summer ??
It may still be only the beginning of September, and I don’t know about you, but for me, summer appears to be reaching a very abrupt and rude ending! Temperatures are dropping, the nights are drawing in and instead of thoughts of sipping Pimms on the decking and last minute barbeques on a balmy evening,  thoughts are turning to that old comfy woolly jumper that was packed away in the spring time, to an evening tipple of a warming Baileys & brandy  or a hot chocolate for the non-drinkers amongst us  and to pans of delicious soups bubbling happily on the hob steaming up the windows... 

I haven’t convinced myself totally that summer has abandoned us at such an early stage... and I truly am praying for a sunny reprieve, to see Summer pop his head back around the corner with a toothy grin  announcing “Aha Fooled You …..” so that we can all throw open our patio doors and refire up the barbie...I haven’t packed away my flip flops and sunscreen just yet. However I am also finding myself  happily dreaming of autumnal recipes... of Hallowe’en parties and bonfire night feasts...I know - somebody stop me! So here are a couple of lovely recipes to help you through these last heady days of Summer as they turn to Autumn!

Butternut Squash , Red Pepper & Chili Soup
1 kg Butternut squash , peeled
1 or 2 Red Peppers
1 Red chili or 1tsp chili flakes
Vegetable stock (enough to cover the veggies)
Salt & pepper and any other herbs and spices you wish to add to spice it up
1. Chop all the veg into bitesize pieces
2. Place in pan and cover with hot stock
3. Bring to the boil on the hob
4. Simmer until veggies are soft (approx 20 mins)
5. Add seasoning , to taste
6. Take off the hob and blitz away with a hand blender or food processor to your hearts content !
7. Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of creme fraiche or a sprinkling of crumbled stilton … should you feel the need

Staffordshire Blue Cheese & Purple Broccoli Quiche
This pastry is a recipe used and recommended during the second world war .. and whilst you may find the dough quite sticky please do persevere for a fabulous  addition to the humble quiche.
 6 oz plain flour
½ tsp mustard powder
3 oz margarine
1 oz cheddar cheese , finely grated
1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
Water (to bind)
Salt & pepper , to taste
Sift the flour , rub in the margarine , add the cheese , parsley & mustard powder and bind with water until a good rolling consistency.
Wrap in clingfilm & chill for 20 mins
roll out and line a greased 8” flan time with the pastry. Blind bake for 15 mins at 180 degrees

4 eggs
400 ml Semi skimmed milk
175g Staffordshire blue cheese (or any other blue cheese you prefer)
170g purple sprouting broccoli (or tenderstem broccoli)
·         Arrange the broccoli as you like on the blind baked pastry base
·         Crumble the blue cheese and scatter over the broccoli and the base
·         Beat the eggs & milk together and season to taste
·         Pour this all over the broccoli and cheese until almost to the top of the pastry   base.
·         Bake for one hour at 180 degrees until risen and golden
·         Leave to cool for around 15 mins before serving
·         Serve alongside your BBQ buffet or with a jacket spu and a fabulous crisp summer salad


Nina said...

Great post! Loving the recipes perfect for the chilly evenings x

NYR Organic Staffordshire/Derbyshire said...

Great Blog. Let's hope Summer may have a final surprise in store, but failing that, we do have all the wonderful soups, stews & casseroles to look forward to (they never quite seem right during Summer). I know I shall be dusting off my slow cooker very soon.