Sunday, 29 March 2015

Banana pancakes - gluten free and full of goodness.

Recently my blogging mojo has been some what lacking, what with a busy life, working full time and a large IT project at work just about to go live, I just haven't managed to fit it all in.

So this post is a pretty short one but a recipe I have just had to share due to its utter simplicity and the fact it uses only 3 ingredients and has no artificial sugars at all, so it healthy and so so easy to make. No wonder Jack Johnson (one of my favourites) sings about them.

So here goes, take one spotty overripe banana (the browner the better), crush to a puree with a fork, add 1 free range egg, whisk together and add 1 tbsp of flour (buckwheat or any gluten free flour works beautifully), whisk to a smooth batter.

Then fry tablespoon dollops in a very lightly oiled heavy based frying pan or on a griddle until little bubbles are visible and popping on the top side, flip over and cook until lightly golden. Serve warm with fruits, yogurt, cream, sliced banana, anything you want for a wonderful breakfast.

Delicious, light and fluffy and so easy and a great way to use of overripe bananas. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Garden Forager - Edible Delights in your own back yard by Adele Nozedar

"Many of the plants that we now cultivate purely because they are ornamental were once highly regarded not for their looks but for their flavour" Adele Nozedar

One of the benefits of Food Blogging is that from time to time we are sent items to review. A few weeks ago I noticed that the lovely Adele Nozedar was publishing a new book "The Garden Forager" which is to be published on 26th March 2015

Well, we have been lucky enough to be sent a pre-release copy, the book follows a similar format to her previous book " The Hedgerow Handbook" reviewed here.

This beautifully illustrated book features 40 commonly grown garden plants which can be used in cooking, baking, remedies or for cosmetic use. The watercolour illustrations are by Lizzie Harper a very talented artist and Adele's words combine to create a stunning addition to anyone's bookshelf who has an interest in gardening, cooking or foraging.

The recipes include Marigold Butterfly buns, Oregon grape preserve, Salmon sumac rub, Lilac wine (of Elkie Brooks or if you are younger Miley Cyrus fame) and the particularly fascinating Begonia, strawberry and peach crumble, which I am definitely going to try once all the ingredients are in season.

The book encourages you to explore your own exotic kitchen garden and try the new ingredients you have to hand, unlike wild foraging you barely have to leave the house to discover this new fresh larder of flavours.

The publisher has kindly given permission to allow me to publish one of the recipes and two illustrations from the book, aren't they absolutely beautiful.

Sunflower Seed and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 50 cookies

125g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
300g light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dehusked sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
100g chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180C / gas4.
Lightly grease for 30 x 20cm baking trays.
Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon (or use an electric mixer) until pale and fluffy.
Stir in the egg and the vanilla and beat until smooth.
Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the mixture, then add the toasted sunflower seeds and the chocolate chips and stir to form a dough. Do not overwork the dough.
Form the dough into balls - 50 balls will make biscuits about 4cm in diameter. You can make larger cookies if you prefer.
Press each ball on to the prepared baking trays to approximately 1cm thick and leave a 5cm gap around each one to allow for spreading.
Bake for 12 -15 minutes, in batches if necessary. Keep any uncooked dough in the fridge before baking.

Published by Square Peg , The Random House Group, the hardback will retail at £12.99 and is available from all good book shops. Support your local independent bookshop who will be more than happy to order for you when published.

Recipe reproduced by kind permission of Square Peg from The Garden Forager - Adele Nozedar and illustrations by Lizzie Harper.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Apple Gingerbread pudding - gluten free

I think it must be the cusp season for apples as recently I have noticed that many of the eating apples in the fruit bowl aren't lasting for very long before starting to go soft. So here's another recipe that uses up apples that are slightly past their best, I hate waste.

This pudding is ideal served with custard, cream, creme fraiche or ice cream and the slight spicing of the sponge is great when there is still a slight nip in the air.This is a twist on the classic Eve's Pudding and made gluten free by switching out the flour for gluten free flour.

What you need
  • Oven proof dish (I used a Pyrex pie dish)
  • Oil spray
  • 6 eating apples- peeled, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 50g quality vegetable margarine or softened butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 7 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 2 free range eggs - beaten
  • 225g plain gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp mixed sweet spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
What you do
  • Pre heat oven to 180C
  • Oil spray the baking dish
  • Place the chopped apples in the prepared dish and sprinkle with the soft brown sugar
  • Melt the syrups and margarine / butter and allow to cool, then add the milk and the beaten eggs
  • Pour this into a large bowl and sieve on the flour, spices and baking powder , mix together until well incorporated and pour over the apples and level.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so until golden and well risen.
  • Serve hot or cold.

I am linking up this post to Credit Crunch Munch created by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food for All and hosted this month by Jo's Kitchen. A monthly challenge for frugal food, this post using rapidly ageing apples.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

## STOP PRESS - Image shortlisted in Pink Lady Food Photographer awards 2015 ##

Mr LF received a email last night notifying him of having an image shortlisted in the prestigious Pink Lady Food Photographer awards 2015

We were really excited to receive this news, especially as some of the judges are our foodie hero's.

You just never know...........

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Spring Lemon and lime drizzle cake - gluten free

Despite it still being fairly cool, there is definitely signs of spring in our Lancashire garden, the snowdrops are blooming well and there are even a few early daffodils poking through the soil. We have even heard the deep throaty calls of a few early frogs coming from our garden pond. So last weekend in celebration of spring and also for our last cake club I made a beautiful lemon and lime drizzle cake with zingy citrus flavours.

This gluten free cake has a beautiful crumb structure and is complemented with fresh sharp tasting icing drizzled on top.

To get the best results you need to firstly pay a visit to your local market or greengrocer (if you still have one - lucky you) to stock up on fresh juicy lemons and limes. Ideally unwaxed if you can get them, not to worry if you can't as a quick scrub under a running tap removes most of the wax used to help preserve the fruit.

To achieve the beautiful texture and crumb structure I used a mixture of very finely ground cornmeal (polenta), cornflour and white rice flour with a little xanthum gum.

What you need
  • 175g White rice flour
  • 105g Finely ground cornmeal (its golden yellow, I got mine from Holland and Barrett)
  • 70g Cornflour
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs - free range
  • 200ml sunflower oil or vegetable oil
  • 400ml skimmed milk
  • 3 lemons - zested and juiced
  • 4 limes - zested and juiced
  • Oil spray for oiling tins
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • About 100g of icing sugar
You will also need an approximately 20cm round loose bottom or springform cake tin, base lined and oils sprayed on the sides.

What you do
  • Preheat the oven to 180c
  • Whisk the eggs and caster sugar until light and fluffy and tripled in volume 
  • Sift in the flours, baking powder and xanthum gum, whisk this in along with the milk, oil and the zest of one of the lemons
  • Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and place in the oven
  • Bake for approx 60 minutes until firm and tests cooked with a skewer.
  • Once ready, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack in the tin.
  • To make your drizzle, melt the granulated sugar and the juice of 2 lemons in a small pan until all dissolved.
  • Prick the cake all over and gentle pour on the warm syrup whilst the cake remains in the tin
  • Once fully cool remove the cake from the tin
To make the icing take the juice from the limes and mix with the icing sugar until you have a smooth drizzleable paste, pour over the icing and once starting to set decorate with lime and lemon zest.

Serve once the icing has set, the cake stores well in an airtight tin.

We are linking up to a new linky with this post, Belleau Kitchen's - Simply Eggcellent challenge where you link up recipes containing lovely free range eggs.


Also to Family Foodies - whose theme this month is  Lets Get Baking . Hosted by Eat your Veg and Bangers and Mash.

Bake of the Week over at Casa Costello - a weekly baking linky

                                                           Casa Costello

Sunday, 1 March 2015

John Winnard - Santus

This months featured foodie is John Winnard of Santus the home of the iconic Uncle Joes' mint ball that have been keeping the world all a glow since 1898, still made to the original recipe in Wigan.

Uncle Joes are a traditional mint which has legendary status in these parts, so if you have never tried them then you must. 

  • What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ? 
John Whaite Bakes.

  • What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ? 
Honest, hearty and wholesome.

  • If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ? 
Downhill skier.

  • Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
Slow cooker.
  • Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why? 

Stephen Fry, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Kay and Freddie Mercury. 
I think that this selection of people should be able to cover most aspects of conversation and entertainment. 

  • What advice would you give to your younger self ? 
Seize every opportunity in life.

  • Describe your style in three words 
Fair, traditional, and passionate. 

  • What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ? 

  • What is your greatest achievement to date ? 
MBE for contribution to the food industry.

  • What is the worst mistake you have made ?
I once forgot to put peppermint in Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls. 

  • Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect ! 
Sailed from Majorca to Gibraltar in a 42 foot sailing boat. 

The Kitchen Theatre Chorley

We are proud support local food venues in Lancashire and on a recent trip to Chorley we decided to pop into the recently opened Kitchen Theatre on Peter Street, its situated right next to Chorley Little Theatre in the former premises of Parmesan and Peppers (or Parmesan and Petulanceas so named by Richard Herring).

                                                           The Kitchen Theatre

We arrived chilled to the bone after dodging hail showers to be warmly welcomed by the front of house staff to the friendly space. Despite it being a Friday lunchtime the restaurant was pretty quiet, yet on chatting to the staff they are fully booked for evening services on Fridays and Saturdays weeks ahead. We decided to plump for starters and mains and then judge as to whether we could squeeze in a pudding.

We ordered the pate and arancini balls, the pate was pronouced delicious and was served with some very nice bread and red onion chutney.

The Arancini balls were amazing, served on a tangy tomato couli and a dressed rocket salad.

Mains of Beef cheeks, sage mash and seasonal vegetables, delicious and very comforting in the cold weather. Meltingly tender and perfectly matched with roasted vegetables.

Our other main was traditional fish and chips with mushy peas, beautiful fresh fish served with tasty chips.

After our mains I decided that I wouldn't order a dessert as I was full, Mr LF however plumped for jam roly poly which was accompanied by a beautiful creamy custard.


The Kitchen Theatre is situated on Peter Street Chorley, right next to Chorley Little Theatre, parking is avaliable on street and on the near by car park. The restuarant is definately worth a visit, the food is of great quality, well prepared and a warm welcome awaits you. Reservations are advised.

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