Bloney good blinis

Another ‘why haven’t I made these before’ moment. Easy, cheap and delicious.

My recipe came from bbc good food. Batter made with egg whites added at last minute. I added some baking powder to increase the bubbles and it was lovely. Rather than chives I added some tarragon leaves but, frankly, any herb or none would do.

Fry dessert spoonfuls of the batter in an oiled pan, flipping when bubbles appear. Makes about 20 – 24. Just don’t snack on too many while cooking. Can be reheated or frozen.

Fruit harvest creations

Fabulous donated fruit needed to be used so, using searches with different combinations of my supplies generated a few kitchen experiments …

I started with fig, date and marrow chutney then plum frangipane tarts. Then a look through ‘save room for dessert’ prompted plum and blackberry bars.

I roasted some plums with fig and rosemary to have cold, made some plumbrillo (pictured) to have with cheese and then put the rest of the plums into the favourite spicy Chinese style plum sauce. This batch turned out super spicy!!

Finally a trawl through the ever reliable bbc food site brought up slow slow cooked marrow and butter bean ideas. I switched out the suggested fennel for chili. Really brilliant discovery.

Silver lining, cooking discoveries

New menus and cooking methods have flooded into our kitchen recently. Many discovered when browsing digital magazines courtesy of our library card. So here are the tastiest (we think) so far …

1.Savoury bread and butter pudding: basically fried leeks instead of jam on the bread and cheese in the ‘custard’ rather than sugar

2. broccoli pasta – cooking broccoli in with the pasta for the last 3 minutes makes it a lighter, tastier dish, even for the broccoli hater in the household. Top with your usual pasta sauce

3. Frozen bananas found lurking at the back of the freezer work brilliantly in banana bread. Made more mix than fits your loaf tin? Dig out the mince pie tray to make Muffins

4. Ingredients intended for stuffing that never made it to the Christmas table combine to make great meatball replacements. Why these hid behind the frozen bananas is a mystery.

5. Jamie Oliver is an inspiration. His no frills gnocchi (mashed potato leftovers with just enough flour mixed in) are lighter and lovelier than bought

6. Dredging steaming hot, par-boiled parsnips in flavoured flour means the flour sticks without need for egg wash. You can roast them immediately or freeze them ready floured so they can be roasted at a later date

feast from the fridge

We are in our holiday home for three weeks (hurrah!) with a bonanza of veggies and salad given by friends and neighbours,  so I  have decided to be creative with these lovely gifts;

broad bean and bacon salad with warm bacon vinaigrette (pop the lightly boiled beans from their jackets, fry the bacon in its own fat til crispy and chop then add vinaigrette to the pan, swirl and combine)

courgette cakes (grated courgette  squeezed in a tea towel then combined with grated cheese and a little flour plus garlic or herbs or spices as you choose and fried in pan til golden)

nearly nicoise (runner and/or french beans lightly boiled combined with hard boiled eggs, tom puree, bacon bits or tuna and capers or cornichons only if your vinaigrette isn’t punchy enough)

rhubarb fool-ish (rhubarb stewed with orange juice or elderflower cordial – home made of course – when cool stirred into greek yoghurt or whipped cream or cold custard)

roast beetroot (whole clean roots loosely wrapped in foil and sprinkled with garlic and oil, baked for 30 mins and left to cool before slipping off the skins) gret hot as a veggie and cold when diced with cheese

phew! fridge nearly ready for the next instalment …