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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

February food...

It will be the coldest day of the winter so far in Staffordshire and boy does it feel it. The snow of the weekend was a fabulous treat that forced us out to sledge, throw snowballs and drink hot chocolate at the top of the slopes (a la Kloisters). It has been a chance to enjoy the best of winter and not those slightly too warm grey days (yuk!).


                                                 


As with all changes in weather it brought on a bout of baking, cooking and eating and so I thought I would share what's been coming out of the Simply Staffordshire kitchen. 
There is something fabulous about having yellow in the house in winter and so I was seduced by a bag of unwaxed lemons. I made a layered lemon cake with lemon curd and a lemony syrup on top. Simply made two 8 inch sponges (4 large eggs, 8oz of everything else plus rind of a lemon) and once cool, split each cake in two and then layered the slices back up with lashings of good lemon curd.. I topped it with a rather thin mixture of lemon juice & icing sugar which drizzled satisfyingly down the sides. Perfect fireside fodder.
Today has been different,  speed required but also comfort. It started with porridge made with half water and half milk. Then it was the almost compulsory lunchtime soup which seems to be my current staple. I sometimes go smart and combine chorizo & sweet potato or traditional leek and potato (hard to beat) but today was a classic leftovers soup. Fresh chopped onion, carrot & celery sweated in olive oil with some thyme. Then I added last night's leftover cabbage and sprouts and two cold roast potatoes. Once cooked for a few minutes more and with some good stock - it was ready to bring to a simmer and then blended. Simple, easy & just a little frugal. 
To finish off, it was pilau rice cooked in stock with onion, garlic, peppers and smoked mackerel flaked through at the end and stacks of chopped chives (amazingly poking through in the garden) and a quick squeeze of lemon juice....delicious and filling.
Tomorrow promises banana cake with a twist...
For more recipes, please visit us at www.simplystaffordshire.co.uk.

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