Sunday, 17 March 2013

My Mum's Mother's day

Mum's presents

So as my family are a la'al bit out of sync with the rest of mankind (see Dad's birthday post for why) my Mum had Mother's day today. My present to her was to cook all the meals for the day as well as the card I made above (you can NEVER have too much glitter in my opinion), a card stating I would made her afternoon tea on a day of her choice, granola, rhubarb jam and cooked all the meals for the day.
the card
 For the granola I used a recipe from bbc good food and only added dried cranberries for dried fruit and no coconut so called it 'cranberry crunch'.  
For the rhubarb and vanilla jam I used an excellent recipe from cook republic, it was incredibly simple but also incredibly delish. We had it on apple scones with clotted cream for breakfast after the granola, I don't think I've ever had scones for breakfast but I think it could be a new breakthrough.
I like to put fabric circles tied with string on top of jar when I give them as gift because I think it makes them look really pretty and homemade. To make them all I did was measure the diameter of the lid, double it, find a plate or bowl with that diameter (I really cannot use a pair of compasses to save my life), draw around it and cut out. Simples!


Rhubarb jam on apple scones, breakfast breakthrough! 
Next up lunch! For this I used my new fabulous baker brothers' cook book. It's a really good cook book in my opinion and has some of the recipes they make in their new series (more 4, 9 pm on a Tuesday) as well as some new ones. They make really different and delicious food, things like creme brulee porridge, mushroom ketchup, how to make your own sausages, viking pizza, pulled pork burgers and looooads more.
For lunch I made 'gunpowder lamb' on rotis (a type of flat bread) with salad to test out some of the skills I learnt on work experience. The recipes used lamb neck fillets (NOT lamb necks like I asked the butcher for, turns out they're completely different!), you marinade them in lots of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and a few more while you make the roti dough. The flat breads were extremely good and very quick because you only need to let it rest for 5 minutes, after kneading, in which time you can start grilling the lamb. I managed to get them really thin ready for shallow frying, all that pizza practise on work experience must have payed off! 
I also decided to put my creative salad skills to the test so made a cous cous salad to have in the flat breads too.

red onion and pepper cous cous salad

makes enough for 3-4 people as a salad
  • flavorless oil
  • 2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of dried chili (add more if you like it hot!)
  • a red onion, cut in half and sliced
  • a red pepper, cut into strips
  • 120 grams of cous cous
  • fresh coriander finely chopped
  • a lemon
  • a red chili, deseeded and diced

  1. put a really good glug of oil in a heavy based pan (about 2- 3 tbsp I used) and put over a medium heat before adding the dried chili and mustard seeds.
  2. wait until the mustard seeds have begun to pop and the oil has become infused before adding in the onion and pepper and stirring well. 
  3. Leave for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the veg becomes slightly cooked but still has a bit of bite crunch.
  4. Meanwhile measure out the cous cous, add a good pinch of salt and cover with boiling water, leave to absorb.
  5. Take the veg off the heat and add in a good sprinkling of fresh coriander and fresh chili (you might want to save some to decorated) add the juice of 1/2 the lemon, taste and season accordingly. I found I needed the juice of almost all the lemon and quite a bit more coriander.
  6. stir in the cous cous, you shouldn't have to add any extra oil or butter to the cous cous because of all the extra infused oil with the veg which should also help flavor it.
  7. put into a bowl and decorate before serving straight to the table, enjoy!
For tea I made a sweet potato lasagna from bbc food by one of my favourite chefs,Lorraine Pascale. I absolutely love vegetarian food because it focuses more on the flavors rather than the huge hunk of meat and this was true to that. I was able to make it yesterday too while my Mum was out of the house, it was really simple as you only have to cook the sweet potato (I left out the butternut squash). The white sauce is mainly ricotta mixed with Parmesan so doesn't need heating and isn't too heavy, it tasted nothing like your average lasagna but in a good way. It was mashed sweet potato, then a layer of chopped rosemary, sage, pine nuts and spinach leaves before layering on the pasta sheets and a final layer of the white sauce before repeating. In the recipe she uses dried lasagna sheets and cooks then for 5 minutes before assembling but when me and Mum make lasagna they always end up sticking together so we uses fresh and save half the time. For this recipe I found whole wheat fresh lasagna sheets from the local health food shop, which really helped add to the whole vegetarian vibe running through the dish! 
sweet potato lasagna with rocket
For pudding I once again turned to the fabulous baker brothers' book and made rhubarb Knickerbocker glory as I've never had any kind on Knickerbocker glory before. I also made part of this yesterday as you roast the rhubarb with rosemary and ginger before draining and use the juice to set a jelly in the bottom. Another layered meal! This one was rhubarb, ginger and rosemary jelly in the bottom, roast rhubarb, ice cream and sweetened whipped cream whipped cream before repeating and topping with pistachios. A great first taste of Knickerbocker glory and a nice way to finish my Mum's mother's day.
I hope you had a nice mother's day last weekend, if you're normal and celebrated it on the 10th, and had a lovely day today too.

Rhubarb Knickerbocker glory!