Category Archives: recipe

Wild Garlic Pakoras

The sight of ramson shoots popping their fresh green through bare woodland floors is a welcomed one after the winter months, it means spring is finally arriving.

This year I have tested out a new recipe to add to the annual spring pesto which was very nice and went down very well at the ‘bring a dish to share’ lunch I took them to.

Wild Garlic Pakoras – I loosely based on this recipe.

My recipe:

  • Pick a large bowl full of ramson leaves, wash and pick out any that don’t look nice.
  • Finely slice an onion and put it in a mixing bowl. Roughly chop the ramson leaves and mix with the onion.
  • season with salt and black pepper, a little chilli powder and turmeric
  • add gram flour; mixing as you do so until the leaves and onion has a ‘dusting’ over them
  • Add an egg to the mixture and mix so as everything sticks together
  • separate the mixture into the size portions you want and deep-fat fry until golden brown

Rhubarb cordial

Rhubarb ~ May 2013

Rhubarb ~ May 2013

I have been playing around with the rhubarb patch in the garden and think I may have finally found away it is palatable; Cordial.

I’ve tried two different recipes, the first one from Colour It Green this one has a very strong rhubarb flavour which I oddly really like.

And the second recipe I based the second batch on was from Life on Pig Row. I did change this one a fair bit but it has more water in it to start with and it does make for a weaker flavour so I think I shall be playing around with the first one a little more. When I first read the second recipe I was sure that I read it had ginger in so a whole hand of ginger went into stew with the rhubarb and I couldn’t find the grater for the orange peel so no orange went in.

Pancake Day

Pancakes are much more than a one day a year food here. We like thick, crispy pancakes with many different fillings all year round.

Garlic mushroom stack - December 2012

Garlic mushroom stack – December 2012

My personal favorite at the moment is pancakes with garlic mushrooms and grated cheddar cheese made into a ‘Pancake Stack’, such a simple dinner and so delicious and filling. It’s very easy to go over board when piling the layers on.

Method: Melt some butter in a small frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Chop as much garlic as you I wish, I am very anti-social and use half a bulb plus, and added to the pan, cook until it is all soft and put to one side. Heat some oil in the frying pan (I put the mushrooms and garlic in a bowl and use the same pan as it’s my favorite), add a small amount of ‘tester’ batter to check you have the right heat and cook your pancakes. As you serve them layer them with the mushrooms and garlic and sprinkle with cheese before adding the next. Put one final pancake on top to complete the stack or leave without depending on what you want.

To make the pancakes thicker and crisper I don’t add water or so much milk to the batter 

Veggie patch carrot cake

Carrot Cupcakes - 13 October 2012

Carrot Cupcakes – 13 October 2012

I’m been meaning to make carrot cake for a few years now; my orginal plan was to make it with home grown carrots but I haven’t done so well with those since deciding on that… And my plans to live off courgettes and goats cheese during the summer months have been foiled in much the same way really.

The nagging feeling of not knowing when carrots will work for me again, and if they do will I be in a position to spend enough time baking to do them justice and a special friends birthday bought out the baking trays and I have to say after a test run of cup cakes I was very please not only with the cake but also my first attempt at cake decorating; 

Vegetable patch birthday cake -13 October 2012

Vegetable patch birthday cake -13 October 2012

I used a recipe from the BBC website which I adapted to fit with what I had in the cupboard, used a butter icing for the base and made the vegetables from white icing and food colouring

Leaf day doings (including pesto recipe)

Things are on the move again and making a big step in a positive direction, all of which I shall be up-dated anyone who is still out there on soon but in the mean time a nice productive day has been had…

Woodland carpet; Wild Garlic or Ramsons - 7th May 2012Go to local plant sale ~ done (very wet and not much of interest there but nice trip out)

Harvest wild garlic/ramsons and make pesto ~ done

Harvest rhubarb ~ done

Harvest nettles for dinner ~ done and almost cooked

Plant out comfy ~ done

Plant out lettuces and salad plugs ~ done

Sow next succession on lettuces seeds ~ done

Prep and start off rhubarb cordial ~ done (I’m hoping this time it has been wet enough as last year when I tried this it had been to dry and it didn’t work very well)

Use rhubarb leaves to make Brassica spray (against cabbage white fly) ~ done

Wild Garlic Pesto 

I loosely basic it on this recipe but adapted it to suit what was in the cupboard.

 Wash and sort a carrier bag of ramson leaves, picking off the older stems. Roughly chop a small onion and add it to a blender along with a few Brazil nuts and a handful of hazel nuts, blend whilst adding the leaves, olive oil ( I used a sherry glass full as I don’t really like the taste), grated cheese (cheddar) and half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Blend until smooth and serve.

Hobnob biscuits: plain, chocolatey and giant

I have been doing a lot of cooking lately; it started off with apples and has gone on to trying and retrying other baked goodies.

Dry mix; Oats, flour & sugar - 8th November 2011

Dry mix; Oats, flour & sugar - 8th November 2011

I’ve made hobnob biscuits before, originally from a recipe found on the Creative Living Forum but since have googled it and found it in a few places, including a few vegan ones. They are very easy and do taste like the ‘real thing’. I have been experimenting with cooking them in a few different ways but the basics are this:


  • 8oz sr flour
  • 8oz sugar
  • 8oz porridge oats
  • 8oz margarine* or butter
  • 1tbsp honey or golden syrup
  • 1tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 tsp bic soda

*to make vegan hobnobs just replace the margarine with a vegan margarine

Method: Mix the flour, sugar, oats and bic soda (I don’t always remember the last of these and can’t say that I’ve personally noticed the difference) in a large bowl. Melt the margarine and honey along with the hot water, I do this over a pan of boiling water and then add this to the flour, sugar and oats and mix well. Whenever I see the melted mixture I always think that it isn’t possibly going to be enough but once it is in with the rest and you start mixing it is always enough.

Whilst you make the mixture pre-heat the oven to 180 Degrees C, I normally cook them when I have the oven on for something else but have found that they don’t work as well if the oven is too much higher than this so I just cook everything else at this temperature, roast potatoes aren’t that fussy after all. If you do have to cook something else higher than keep a very close eye on the biscuits. 

Grease a/some baking trays and mould the mixture into biscuit shapes just a tiny bit bigger than a two pence piece and place on a tray remembering to leave room for them to grow. It is much easier to shape the mixture whilst the margarine and honey are still warm.

Pre-baking - 8th November 2011

Pre-baking - 8th November 2011

Place the trays into the oven (with the biscuits on!) and wait until golden brown which takes roughly 10 – 15 minutes. When the biscuits are done they seem to stay a little soft and have a not-completely-cooked feel about them but are and will harden up once they are out of the oven and cooled so it is the colour you are looking for to tell if they are done or not. If you take them off the tray to cool, which I normally do to get the next lot in the oven, then make sure they are somewhere flat or they will cool to the shape of whatever you have placed them on, but really even the side-of-a-plate shaped ones are very tastie.

Golden brown buttons; of course after writing about leaving enough room between biscuits for the 'spread' the next batch I baked stayed in their neat little button shape - 8th November 2011

Golden brown buttons; of course after writing about leaving enough room between biscuits for the 'spread' the next batch I baked stayed in their neat little button shape - 8th November 2011

This makes approximately 36 biscuits.

The Chocolatey Version

For chocolate hobnobs bake as above and whilst they cool melt some chocolate, a 75g bar is enough for between 12 – 15 biscuits. When the chocolate has melted use a tea-spoon to spoon the chocolate onto the biscuits and spread out to cover the biscuit before the chocolate cools. I have used dark chocolate, but I’m sure milk chocolate works just as well. The dark chocolate doesn’t seem to set completely without putting the biscuits in the fridge for a while.

I personally like the plain biscuits better but am out voted by at least two to one.

The Giant Version

Do everything as above until the shaping stage. Then instead of making small biscuits grease a cake tin and spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the tin, bake until the same golden colour is reached and cool.

When I had a bad wrist instead of mixing everything in a bowl I put it all in the blender, well I don’t have a food mixer, and this chops up the oats and makes a much finer mixture which I think works especially well for the larger ‘biscuits’.

Chocolate Giant - 10th November 2011

Chocolate Giant - 10th November 2011

The large biscuits seem to stay a little moister and I suppose are similar to flat-jacks but not as heavy as flat jacks can be.

These can be covered in chocolate too!

I am yet to try adding chocolate chips to the mixture, and I’d like to work out a way of dipping biscuits in chocolates so as you end up with a half-and-half biscuit without have to stand holding it whilst the chocolate cools. I’d also be interested in how replacing wheat flour with either gram or chestnut flour works, and if anyone has already or gets to try these things before me please let me know how it works, but for the moment everything I’ve tried has been a hit.

Nettle soup

Especially for Shaz from Our Front Plot

Nettles - 2nd May 2011

Nettles - 2nd May 2011

Ingredients: 2 onions, chopped. 1 potato, peeled and diced. A bunch of freshly picked nettle tips, washed and roughly chopped. 1 vegetable stock cube, onion and celery seed, mixed herbs and a little butter and oil.

Method: Fry the onions on a low heat in the oil a long with the onion and celery seed and mixed herbs. When the onions are soft and just starting to brown add the nettles and enough butter to stop them sticking to the pan and cook until soft and well mixed. Add the potato and cook whilst stirring to stop the potato sticking to the pan. Add water and a stock cube and bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Whiz in a blender and serve.

And would you like squash with that?

I noticed that one of my Boston squash had started to get little patches of mould on it and so was time to think up ways of using it all up before what I consider to be last years biggest, in all senses of the word, success of last year went to waste.

I don’t think I properly recorded  how big the last one we eat was but this one weighted 8.7kg once cut up, to fit on the kitchen scales, and all the seeds removed.

Some of it was made into roast squash which is one of our favourites and Boston squash seem to have an ideal taste for it, not too sweet and a little nutty. Similar to Butternut squash I would say but much easier to grow going by last years results. Some more was made into ‘Cheesey Squash Wraps’ and some more made into ‘Creamy Squash Soup’ and even more made into ‘Creamy Squash and Garlic Soup’.

The Cheesey Squash wraps were based on some spicey cheese wraps that I have made a few times lately and have gone down a storm, these however got mixed reactions but I thought they were delicious and so did Rhys so shall be made again I am sure. I made them by mixing the leftover roast squash with some that had been softened up and mashed, as there wasn’t enough roast squash left to go round, with some grated mature cheddar and some mozzarella cheese and put into tortilla wraps and served with salad including carrot, apple, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and leaves with a homemade raspberry, honey and mustard dressing.

The Creamy Squash Soup was made by softening onions with black paper and mixed herbs then adding the chopped up squash and allowing it all to ‘mush up’ together, then add water, vegetable stock, marmite and soy sauce all to taste. The first time I made this soup I also added cream but this made it far too creamy for most of us so I left it out this time. To make the Squash and Garlic Soup I added two bulbs of chopped up garlic to the softened onion and cooking for a few minutes before adding the squash and I did add a pot of cream to this one at the end as the garlic completely changes the taste.

No photos of any of it as I was too busy eating it all but hopefully this year I will get good at taking photos of the food I make.