Brookford Kitchen Diaries: April

With the first hint of cooler weather in the air, my mind turned back towards baking… and slower cooks. We’re also back at the farmer’s markets as the later sunrise means fewer crowds early.

We also managed to score some honey from the bees that live around the corner – it’s lovely knowing that the flowers in our garden help make the honey in our kitchen.

From The Destination Bowl…

On the Destination front, in April we began the month in Ireland, the highlight being an Irish Stew accompanied by a rustic soda bread.

During April we also visited Malaysia and I shared my recipe for my husband’s favourite dish – Ayam Kapitan.

Two author names were also drawn out from the Destination Bowl, so one night I cooked just from the Rick Stein books in my collection…

…and another night it was from the James Martin books on my shelf (both physical and digital). Because we were out for dinner on Saturday night it was a cut-down dinner date this week as it all needed to be sourced and cooked on Friday after I knocked off work.

I won’t get around to blogging it, but we kept it simple and had the beetroot, blackberry and buffalo mozzarella salad to start – a surprising combo that worked really well. Pickled onions gave it a good whack of acidity and the little Greek Basil leaves from my garden were a pretty garnish.

To follow was BBQ lamb chops with chimichurri sauce, broccolini and new potatoes. Both dishes came from Great British Adventure.

What Else?

I cooked another couple of recipes from Recipe Tin Eats, DinnerThe Swedish Meatballs (homemade IKEA meatballs) – made not once, but twice and saucy baked pork meatballs which, while nice, were a bit of a faff and probably the only dish I’ve cooked from the book so far that I won’t consider making again. More successful was the Beef Biryani, although it was a bit of a faff for a midweek dinner.

As well as the no-churn lychee Ice-cream I made for Destination Malaysia, I also made the apple and blackberry ice-cream from Kate Humble’s Home Cooked and Baileys ice-cream with chocolate shards through it. I shared my recipe for vanilla ice-cream here.

With the leftover egg whites from the Bailey’s ice-cream I made Nigella’s chocolate pavlova – adjusting the sugar for the number of egg whites I had. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made this over the years, but it always gets rave reviews and this was no exception.

Also from the Nigella Diaries, I had a packet of halloumi in the back of the fridge that needed using so did so for mid-week lunches – using her chilli sauce (Simply Nigella) on one and a Gordon Ramsay recipe for the other.

The healthy eating recipe of the month was roasted salmon fillet served with a warm herby cannellini bean salad, cherry tomatoes, broccolini and a lemon yoghurt drizzle. Yum.


In April I read…

Gordon Ramsay’s Quick and Delicious

I won’t say too much about this as the review is scheduled to publish tomorrow morning…but this halloumi salad was a winner.

In Belinda’s Kitchen, by Belinda Jeffery

I tried to stop it, but a copy of this leapt off the shelf and into my hand when I was visiting Sarah in Hervey Bay the other week. It was, of course, her fault as we were in the bookshop shopping for some children’s books for a baby shower she was going to.

I won’t say too much now because I will properly review this one, but it’s lovely.

As an aside, if you don’t follow Belinda on Instagram, do so – her Sunday posts are delightful.

Oh She Glows For Dinner, by Angela Liddon

This was Donna’s choice for the Cookbook Confidential Cookbook Club and I have to admit I was skeptical. That title for a start! Before I knew it, though, my library copy of the book was full of Post-it stickers. The review is scheduled for later in May, but the recipe I’ve included is these Tex-Mex Beans.

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, by Mary Berry

You’ll find my review and the recipe for this iced lemon tray bake here.

I also published a couple of cookbook reviews:

I’ll be away in May more than I’m home, so will probably be somewhat quieter on the kitchen front…but that aside, what’s been cooking in your kitchen?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

7 thoughts

  1. Oh some lovely things there….yes coming up for soup season here too of course. I’ll be making meatballs for our Sunday lunch feast this weekend – the recipe looks like the one I use too.


  2. Delicious month of cooking, eating & beautiful fun! I am happily drooling over your culinary recap! And you’ve done all this despite the pains in your ankle & arm – you really are a champion!


  3. You have filled your month with delectable cooking and fabulous reviews and recommendations. After reading your humorous post on the lemon tray cake, I bought Mary Berry’s cookbook.


  4. Well Jo, considering how busy I know you are, you always have wonderful food on your table! Can you cook for me too?? I have to confess to trying the lemon tray bake and mine did not look like yours and unfortunately didn’t taste that good. I’m really not a baker


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