Tomato Chutney – Preserving summer

The end of summer heralds the start of early autumn with the appearance of Damsons, Pomegranates and flavourful Tomatoes. Now is the best time for Tomatoes which have ripened in the summer sun ready for eating. I just love the smell of fresh tomatoes, its such a unique scent! One of the best ways to lock away a taste of summer is in jams and chutneys.

This is a pretty simple tomato chutney recipe but you can jazz it up and add different flavours if you want. A spicy option would be to add a whole chilli, smoked paprika might give this a barbecue type flavour and you could add some herbs for an almost Italian feel.
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Vegan Banana and Walnut bread

I was away last weekend in Scotland and when I returned home there was a bunch of bananas lurking in the fruit bowl which I’d totally forgotten about. They’d gone all brown and overly ripe so I quickly put them in the freezer with the intention of turning them into something else.

Most of my everyday cakes are vegan and if you’ve never made a vegan cake before it can be quite intimidating and sometimes has quite mixed results. From experience I’ve found the most critical stage to be the blending of oil and sugar together. Theres a chemical reaction that takes place at this stage and it takes time to get it right so don’t shirk on the whisking.
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Chocolate chip cookies

As a British person I’m supposed to love biscuits but unfortunately I have a special place in my heart for maybe the quintessential American snack; Chocolate chip cookies.

It’s just something they do so well, lovely vanilla flavoured dough crunchy at the edges and soft in the middle. I’ve tried out quite a few recipes and read so many articles on cookie baking in an attempt to recreate them at home. I do love Millies Cookies for their unusual flavour combinations and I even tried Ben’s Cookies in London but I found them a little too under baked!
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Homegrown food festival Northallerton

After what seems like endless rounds of DIY in our new house I’d been looking forward to the Homegrown food festival for a few weeks and had it penciled in as a ‘must do’ for the weekend! The perfect distraction from picking up the paintbrush is food and the weather held off just long enough to enjoy some eats outdoors.

The festival itself celebrates everything local from the North Yorkshire area and it was a great sampler of what the region has to offer. The displays of food were just so inciting it was hard to know where to start! If there are trends in food I definitely noticed that the two of them were making an appearance here with three vendors selling pulled pork, an American BBQ favourite. Another was ‘Asian Slaw’ which seemed to be mostly finely chopped red cabbage and carrot without the mayonnaise which had a really crunchy flavour especially when paired with noodles.
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Summer Fruit Pavlova

Last Sunday was Father’s Day, I’m fortunate enough to have quite a good relationship with my parents when I was at University I knew a lot of people my own age had quite strained and difficult relations with their immediate family. In a way it made me feel more fortunate and a little sad for them – maybe we should take these family days as a moment to try and overlook the more troubled times and just enjoy being together.

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Chai tea loaf

Tea loaf is a really traditional British recipe, sometimes you can find it in cook books as ‘brack’ which is its Irish name. When I was younger I never really enjoyed tea loaf much as it can have quite a bitter flavour and it’s really a fruit cake which I know isn’t to everyones taste. With no butter in the loaf itself it is quite low in fat and ideal paired with a cup of tea, smeared with butter or a piece of cheese.
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Lemon iced tea

It seems that spring is finally here and with sunny days ahead I thought I’d practice a bit of iced tea making. I love tea either warm in the winter or cold and refreshing in the summer, I usually end up buying quite a few bottles of it! Making it at home has a number of benefits – not having to pay for a bottle every time you want it, the fresher brewed taste and a lower sugar/sweetener content.
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Miso soup recipe

Ok so I’ll be the first to admit this; Asian cooking is scary. Maybe it’s not scary for everyone but for me it is, I love eating Asian food all those noodles and gorgeous sauces but put me in the kitchen with some of the ingredients and I just start freaking out a little bit. Sure I can cook a stir fry but recently I was feeling adventurous, I decided that every time I wanted Miso soup I didn’t want to have to travel an hour to go to a restaurant to get it.

The last two weeks I’ve been determined to conquer the Miso mountain and to an extent I think I’ve succeeded. I certainly have the love for Miso its so rejuvenating and can be quite a filling meal when it’s bulked out with noodles and tofu.
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Cheese and beer bread recipe

Sometimes it’s nice to revisit old recipes and with the last of the keg of beer disappearing and becoming quite bitter I thought I’d give beer bread another go. This time I’ve used different types of flour and the addition of herbs and cheese give this bread a real rustic flavour.

Normally I bake my bread in a square loaf tin but recently I’ve been unhappy with the results from the tin, somehow the shape just doesn’t seem to work with homemade bread. Instead I made this one as a boule just by shaping it with my hands and cutting a cross shape into the top.
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