Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries I originally began this blog as a place to keep track of what I’d been cooking…I think I lasted about a month. Anyways, newly inspired here’s what was happening in my kitchen in March…
March 1 is St David’s Day – the Welsh National Day. To celebrate from afar I made Nigella’s Bara Brith. I meant to photograph it on one of my vintage Meakin Tintern plates so it would be more Welsh. I did, however, pull the wrong plate from the cupboard. No matter, you get the idea.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a book club baking session, but after finishing Jane Austen’s Emma we got together (sadly one member down this time round) and made Cranachan. You’ll find the recipe – and the connection to the book here.
Adam Liaw’s The Cook-Up is back on SBS and I’m loving it. I watch it on catch-up TV while I’m working – which really means it’s on in the background and I look up if something interesting is on. Sarah bought me the book from the last series, Tonight’s Dinner 2, and so far I’ve cooked a lot from it. This chicken and leek stir-fry is what cock-a-leekie soup would be like if it was a stir-fry instead. The recipe is here.
Another alumni from Adam Liaw’s season of Masterchef is Marion Grasby – who has built quite the foodie empire. This month I made her Sichuan Chongqing Noodle Soup. With beef braised in a spicy Sichuan broth, it’s not the meal of minutes, but it is worth it. Yum.
Even though the temperatures were still high during March, I was craving some autumn – a season we tend to miss out on here in South-East Queensland. To make up for that I created some in the kitchen with this warming goulash.
It’s been a tough month in the day job – I’m currently doing my role plus caretaking another so the stress levels have been a tad high. The other day it was particularly messy and despite having meat and salad on the menu I needed something more comforting – like Nigella’s Beef and Beans With Pasta.
On the Destination front, this month we “visited” Wellington and South Africa.
When it came to Destination Wellington I attempted to recreate the idea of some of the dishes I’d had over there in February – although it was more about using the ingredients to inspire a menu. You’ll find the post here and the recipe for the Brown Butter Cake here.
As for Destination South Africa, inspired by Tannie Maria on Recipes For Love and Murder, I made Bobotie (which we served with Chakalaka and yellow rice) and Malva cake. While not photogenic, it was very tasty – more so than we thought it would be.
Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen
I had to read this one in the cookbook club – the review will be posted during Autumn with the recipe for Gado Gado.
Baking Wisdom, by Anna Olsen
You’ll find my review here – along with the recipe for the scones in the lead picture of this post.
Notes From A Small Kitchen Island, by Debora Robertson
I really need to get around to writing a review on this one – which means, of course, that I need to cook from it. More than a cookbook it’s a collection of essays/articles with recipes to illustrate the words and I adored it. A very close second for my cookbook of the month.
Home Cooked by Kate Humble
This was my favourite cookbook of the month and another that I’ll write a proper review for. Kate Humble is who I want to be when I grow up and this book – which I’ve read for the words as much as the food – is full of ingredients, ideas, fabulous photography, and a life that I’d love to live with the food I’d cook if I lived it.
So far I’ve made the Caraway Beer Bread which is ridiculously easy and literally took me 5 minutes to prepare and pop in the oven – and is my gift to you this morning. Don’t feel constrained by the caraway seeds – you can use different beers, nuts and seeds, herbs, cheese, whatever.
Caraway Beer Bread
What you need…
- 375g self-raising flour
- 330ml beer (we had pale ale in the fridge so I used that)
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
What you do with it…
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) or 200C (no fan) and oil a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
Into a large bowl tip the flour, caraway seeds and salt and stir to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beer and stir until you have a sticky dough.
Tip the dough into the prepared loaf tin and cook for 50-60 minutes. You can check it’s cooked by inserting a skewer (and having come out clean) or tapping it on the bottom (it will sound hollow).
I had it for lunch with cheese, piccalilli and ham, for afternoon tea with butter, and for breakfast with scrambled eggs.
Hi Jo, everything looks delicious as always. I really can’t bake bread but I might give that beer and caraway seed recipe a go. Thanks for sharing
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I’ve given that recipe to my daughter too – it’s the bread you bake when you can’t be faffed with any of the making bread palaver.
That bread looks so easy – must try that next time I make a soup (which will be soon given autumn is here). I enjoyed reading ‘Notes From a Small Kitchen Garden’ but have yet to cook anything from it.
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Me neither – I have two scones and other things bookmarked though…
Jo, you have had a very busy month. This post has inspired me to keep better track of what I am cooking on a daily basis. I usually on take photos of things that I am going to post. Thanks for the idea.
It looks like you’ve had a very yummy month! I’ve taken a page from your book so to say and have been checking out cookbooks from our local library… I’ve yet to actually prepare a meal from them but I am really enjoying reading them and taking inspiration from the photos and the variety of ingredients (the only thing holding me back is that I highly doubt my boys would eat those recipes I really want to try!).
Wow you have been busy! How good is Recipes for Love and Murder? Have you read the sequel? Definitely checking out Nigella’s Beef and Beans with Pasta – it looks right up my eat street.
I have read the next 2 – and can’t wait for them to hit the screen. You’d love the beef and beans…