Considering this has been on two weeks and is still perfect, I think £10 is an absolute bargain. For those asking, this colour has been discontinued which is such a shame as it’s perfect for the run up to Christmas!
P.S Is it just me or do fingers always look odd in photos?
Here’s the post where I apologise for being so quiet this past week. Things have been hectic! Matt and I are in the process of a bathroom refit which currently resembles a war zone and if that isn’t bad enough, we were informed that we had an “explosion level gas leak”, resulting in us being disconnected whilst it was fixed. I now know why people choose to rent houses!
Amongst all this I’ve been here, there and everywhere for Hospital appointments and started on some new treatment (no signs of improvement so far). I’ve just got back from yet another Hospital trip, this time to ENT about my hearing loss, which seems to be declining 10% every 2 months. How much will I get to keep? They don’t know. I’m pretty gutted but nothing can be done so things just have to carry on as normal. So now that we’ve caught up it’s on to the good stuff.
Christmas is just around the corner and I’m pretty much done with my gift shopping but there’s still lots of other things to organise. One being the food!
The lovely team from Harrods have sent me this Christmas treat to help prepare one lucky follower:
Their two Christmas best sellers: a boozy Christmas pudding and indulgent brandy butter. Yummy!
Harrods is legendary for it’s Christmas hampers and they are nothing less than spectacular! If you’d like to get your hands on this one, enter here:
I love Skillets. My parents bought a bunch of them from a restaurant sale and they were kind enough to pass two on to Matt and I. They’re really old, but skillets just get better and better with age. Nothing sticks, they’re easy to clean and you can’t damage them, my favourite pan in the kitchen. Anyone else have a favourite pan? Just me? Moving on…
A while back we were also given a massive bag of cooking apples from a friends garden. When I say massive, what I mean is it took two of us the best part of an hour to prep them for the freezer! It was one of my October/November aims to use some of them and an apple pie cooked in a skillet seemed the way to go.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking through recipes and in the end I’ve decided to mix and match my own recipe with bits taken from various places. I realise all skillets are different sizes so you’ll need to measure by eye and taste.
The pastry cooks perfectly, the filling is divine. This really is the perfect autumnal dessert and it is so so simple.
Enough peeled and diced apples to fill your skillet (I used 600g)
Mixed spice to taste
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Raw cane sugar (totally depends on how sweet you like your pies)
A handful of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Line your skillet with baking paper – this will make it much easier to take out.
Roll your pastry out and cut a circle 2inches bigger than your skillet, transfer it to the pan.
Toss your apples with the flaked almonds, flour, spices and sugar. Spoon in to the skillet.
Fold the excess pastry on to the apples, don’t worry about getting it neat; it will look good anyway!
A brush of melted butter on the edges, a sprinkle of raw cane sugar and it’s ready for the oven.
Keep an eye on your pastry during baking, it should be ready in 30mins but take it out as soon as it turns that lovely golden brown.
Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or custard, all are good!
(TIP: If your filling seems quite moist, cook your pie on the hob for 5 mins to give your base a head start. No one likes a soggy bottom )
Anchovies, capers and olives – three of my favourite Mediterranean foods. Tapenade was always going to appeal to me but some people just don’t know what to do with it. Sure, spread it on a cracker or some bread, it’s good like that but there are better ways…
When I found a jar of Pink’s Smoked Tomato Tapenade in my Flavr Box I was made up! This one is a little different to the “standard” tapenade. It’s made with smoked tomatoes, parmesan and cashew nuts. Just reading the label was making my mouth water! There were so many things I wanted to do with it that I banned anyone from going near until I said otherwise.
First of all I spread it on some oat crackers. If I’m going to cook with it I need to get a feeling for the flavours right?
The texture is divine and the taste is better than that. I decided my next plan was loaded potato skins. They’re so easy to make and the tapenade was the perfect little extra.
Quarter some baking potatoes. Boil until you can easily get a knife in and out. Drain. Scoop out the fluffy bit and mash with tapenade and a little milk. Put a good dollop on each skin. Top with cheese. Bake at 190 until crispy and golden.
If the rest survives a stay in the fridge without being eaten there are plenty of other things I want to do with it. If you’re stuck with a jar of tapenade, here are my suggestions:
Stuff in to portobello mushrooms, top with goats cheese and bake.
Loosen up with some more olive oil and white wine vinegar to make vinaigrette. Drizzle over salad.
Mix with breadcrumbs to coat fish or chicken goujons.
Spread over strips of puff pastry with some parmesan, twist up and bake.
Layer in to bread dough before baking for tasty buns.
Dollop on to a tomato and mozzarella pizza to liven it up. Smooth under a chicken’s skin before roasting.
Add to a cheese toasty or panini before grilling.
Top white fish with a good layer then bake.
Add to a basic tomato sauce for a cheats puttanesca.
Pile in to a chicken breast with feta and wrap with pancetta before baking.
To get your own Flavr Box with 5 full sized foodie treats for £10, go here.
Perhaps a little too organised, but by the start of October I’d done half of my Christmas shopping, and I aim to finish it all this week. If you haven’t started yet, not to worry, here’s a few ideas for the foodie in your life, there’s still 50 days to go: