Sunday, 25 July 2010

Burbs Bargain 2 - Salads

The humble salad, the boring salad, the mundane salad - lettuce, cucumber and a few tomatoes.

No, No, No, Not here, Not anymore!

Your salad can be the centre piece to your BBQ extravaganza or a delicious accompaniment to the beautiful hot/cold food you have created. For me the perfect salad is getting the balance right with the textures and colours. It needs to be bright, cheery and an explosion of colour in the bowl, also as you take each mouthful you tastebuds will be sent wild with excitement as crunch through the different layers of flavours and textures. There is so much good quality Britsh produce available to us from our local shops.

When you first think of salad most people think of lettuce and tomato.
I like to make salads from different things like rice, pasta, cous cous along with some more tradtional ingredients like:

Why not print off my 'Salad Box' and shade in the ingredients that work for you to create the perfect tailormade salad. You could even use different shades for different salads. Add different ingredients to the box and let me know what I'm missing, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Green Fingers For Sure

Back in May I announced Sarah and I were going to try our hand at growing something, well I don't think we are ready just yet to take on the Great British Farmers but what a result, we have big flourishing tomato plants, more basil than than your average Italian kitchen, some healthy looking pea plants and a good scattering of radish.

We have learnt a few things over the past couple of months and its been a great learning curve that has all been worth it, I can't wait to tuck into the produce that we have loved and nurtured since May. It's not been all plain sailing there have been a few casualty's along the way, like the sun roasted pepper plants and seeds that didn't work(well that's our excuse!).

It has been a rewarding journey and has taught us patience and a great way of getting away from work. We picked up tips along the way by reading books, websites and gathering information from our Twitter Buddy's. There are some strange ideas out there for gardening excellence but the one that has worked most of all for us is growing things together that actually go together when you eat them. For example Tomato and Basil grow well together.

The next time you will see our produce will be about 30 seconds before I eat it, so the thinking cap is on what to make with tomato, basil, pea, rocket and radish.


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Burb's Summer Bargain 1

About this time every year, we in Britain dust off our bbqs and enjoy the British summer time. Normally it's the same old stuff; burgers, sausages and chicken. As nice as that all is there is so much more out there.

Here are some ideas to transform a bbq into a BurbBQ.

You could make some flavoured butters a few days before and they will keep in the fridge for weeks. These will transform any cooked meat or fish or griddled vegetable into something really special. Here are my favourites, try different flavours and let me know what works for you.
  • Lemon & Lime ( great for Chicken or Fish )
  • Chilli, Corriander, Garlic & Ginger ( Great on Prawns & Chicken )
  • Garlic & Parsley ( Chicken, Fish & Prawns )
  • Chive, Spring Onion & Caper ( Salmon & Steak )

Monday, 21 June 2010

Burb's Summer Bargain Bites

Now I will try not to say this all to loudly just incase the person/force that decides the weather hears me but it's actually sunny and seems to be here for some time, so does that mean it's summer?

Now we are getting some decent weather I can't help but think of all the wonderful foods available to us during these glorious British Summer months. I have just recently finished my back garden with some decking, so we will be spending a lot of time out there making the most of every last minute of the light evenings. We have just started to learn how to grow things, started nice and gently with three tiny tomato plants and two pepper plants. We now have two huge tomato plants and two well baked pepper plants because we left them in the new green house for too long. We have also planted rocket, sweetpeas, spring onion and radish, so I will keep you posted on how that goes.

I love the summer evenings, chilling in the garden, the sound of wood crackling in the chimenea, a glass of red and something cooking on the BBQ.

You can't beat a BBQ! LOVE IT!LOVE IT!LOVE IT!

So over the next few weeks I would like to share with you some of my favourite summertime snacks and nibbles to enjoy for your lazy summer evenings.

Watch this space from Thursday.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Finding the time to Blog

Sarah (my misses to be) let me know that every blogger has a moment when they feel that they haven’t time to blog. It has happened to me. I love blogging,sharing my recipes and when people provide comments and I wish I could blog more.

The hours I work are pretty taxing and when I get home all I really want to do is chill out on the sofa. On my days off I generally have a DIY job to do, currently putting up decking in my garden (not a fan of grass) - see above photo.

As I like to blog, I have been keeping my eye out for a new job which will enable me to work 9 - 5pm (like normal people) and then have time in the mornings and evenings to blog and read other foodie blogs. That would be amazing. So it is my mission to achieve, so fingers crossed something will come up soon and I can be a regular blogger, just like all those regular bloggers I admire such as:

JamandCream -
Rocktime -
PennyGoLightly -
Soupmaker -
Lulubelles Cakes -

Of course I will let you know how I get on.

See you all soon

Monday, 10 May 2010

Green Fingers?

We thought we would give growing your own veg ago! I mean how difficult can it be? Well only time will tell, so we have started with the basics and done some research. We have read this book.

Your Allotment by Clare Foster and Foreword by Gregg Wallace

It's an easy to follow book with some great pictures and ideas to get you started.

We will be growing three different types of tomatoes, two types of chilli pepper and a basil plant.

Since we don't own a greenhouse yet, the lounge has been turned into a temporary potting shed and because it is still a little chilly for our young plants to be released into the big bad world we have the smell of plant and soil while we sit, relax and plan the next money saving adventure.

If this little project works then who knows what we might grow next. If anyone has any tips or advice then please let me know. I will keep you up to date with our progress.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

NewsFlash.....Britains Best Dish wants the Burb!

Thank you for the comments of support after being rejected from ITV, but now there is a twist. I'm back in, the producers have met and discussed my position and realised I have no more advantage than any other contestant. They gave me a very nice phone call too with an apology. This is great news and I am really looking forward to the auditions on the 19th May in Exeter.

Edited: I have had to edit this post -and delete another one, as ITV have let me know they wish to keep the TV show on the down low. What does this mean ? Am I on the show? Did I pass the audition?. All I can let you know is, it went very well, loved the audition, great experience and anything other news, well you will have to watch the TV show to find out, aired in August.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients (For 2 People)

1 Finger Chilli
1 Stem of Ginger (size of a 20p piece)
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Large Red Onion
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Small Tub of Soured Cream
1 Small Tub of Guacamole
1 Small Tub of Salsa
4 Soft Tortillas Wraps
1 Mug of Long Grain Rice
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Equipment you will need

Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 1 Saucepan, 1 soup bowl and 1 large frying pan.


Chop your onions and peppers into equal size strips about the width of your finger, leave these in the soup bowl for later. Slice the chilli, garlic and ginger as thin as you can, but please mind your fingers. Put a pan of water onto boil and add a good pinch of salt, when the water starts boiling then add the rice. When the rice has started boiling turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, this will cook the rice better and allow you enough time to do everything else. The rice will take about 15-20 mins.


Slice the chicken into strips about the width of your finger. Heat your frying pan on a high heat and add the oil, the pan will be hot enough to add the chicken when the oil slides around the pan with ease. Mix the cumin and the cinnamon in a cup and add the chicken to the pan. Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken just as the chicken starts to colour slightly.

Almost There

Stir fry this until the chicken is firm to touch. Now add the onions and the peppers with the ginger, chilli and garlic. The secret to a good stir fry is cooking at a high heat for the shortest time possible and adding the vegetables at the right time. You want the chicken cooked but you don’t want to burn it, if you were to cook at a lower temperature then the crunch of the vegetables would go.


Drain the water off your cooked rice and warm your tortillas under a grill or in the oven for 5 mins. Spoon the cooked rice and the chicken onto a warm plate. Fold your tortillas and serve with your dips. Get rolling, filling and enjoy.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Burb's Basic Chicken Curry

Ingredients (For 2 People)

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Tin Chopped Tomato
2 cloves garlic
1 Stem of Ginger
2 Finger Chilli’s
2 Large Onions
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Star Anise
5 Cardamom Pods
Knob of butter (matchbox size)
¾ mug of basmati rice

Equipment you will need:

Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 1 Wok or Large Frying pan, 1 Sauce pan, 2 soup bowls and a ladle.

Slice the chicken into strips about the size of your finger and leave in one of the bowls. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala over the chicken and mix thoroughly, leave this in the fridge while you get a few more things ready. Take your second bowl and put each of the other dried spices into the bowl Cumin, Coriander, Mustard seeds, Star Anise and Cardamom), now give it a good mix. Chop the onions into pieces about the same size as the chicken, cut the chilli lengthways and remove the seeds, chop the chilli as fine as you can (mind those fingers you need them to make the rest of the dish!). Now wash your hands thoroughly. Take a piece of ginger the size of a 10p piece and slice finely and leave with the chilli on the side of the chopping board. Crush and chop the garlic and put with the chilli and the ginger.


Heat the wok or frying pan up to a high temperature and add a capful of vegetable oil. You will know if the pan is hot enough because the oil will slide around the pan easily and quickly. Add the onions and fry until softened, once soften add the dry spices and keep the onion and the spices moving for a few minutes. Add the butter and the chicken from the fridge, keeping everything moving. Once the chicken has started to colour then add the chilli, ginger and garlic and stir for another two minutes. Add the tin tomatoes, mix thoroughly and add enough water to cover chicken. Once the water has just started to boil, turn the heat down to simmer for 30 – 40 mins. You will need to check back every 10 min to stir.

Almost There

The smells from the pan should be filling your nose with the aroma of India. Now put a pan of water on to boil, add a good pinch of salt. Once the water has started to boil add the rice and stir well. The water would have stopped boiling now because you put rice in the pan, so wait till it starts boiling again and turn the heat down to simmer. The rice will take 10 minutes.

Just before your rice is ready check the consistency of your curry, if it is too sloppy then you can thicken it with thickening granules or tomato puree. If the curry is too thick for you then add a little water at a time and keep stirring. Now for the taste test before you serve, add season to taste. In all the times I have made this I have never had to go overboard with salt and pepper, I have had to sweeten it a few times with a tablespoon of sugar or a good squirt of tomato ketchup. It is down to personal taste and the wonderful thing about Curry is because there are many spices in the dish you can tailor it exactly to your taste buds. Introducing the spices at different times of the cooking process will give a different flavour even though you are using the same quantities of spice. So just experiment with the flavours and get it right for you the important thing is not to be afraid of the flavours because they all go together.
You have adjusted the seasoning and the rice is ready! Drain the rice of any excess water and spoon onto a warm plate, ladle your curry onto the side of the plate. Tuck in and enjoy all your hard work.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sausage And Mixed Bean Casserole

Ingredients (For 2 People)

6 Pork and Beef Sausages
1 Mug of Dried Mixed Beans
1 Large Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Vegetable Stock Cube
1 Large Maris Piper Potato
½ Teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Dried Mixed Herbs

Equipment you will need

1 Saucepan, Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 1 Deep Roasting Tin, Frying Pan and Tin Foil.


You will need to soak the mixed beans overnight in the water in the fridge. Now jumping forward 24hrs, put a pan of water on to boil and add a vegetable stock cube. Drain off any excess water from your pre soaked beans and wash thoroughly. Add the beans to the boiling water and wait for the beans to boil again and stir, when the beans are boiling turn them down to the lowest setting so there are just simmering. Leave these cooking for 15 minutes. Once these have had 15 minutes run cold water into the pan to cool, then drain. Chop the onion into chunks (I recommend 8’s) and do the same for the potato. Crush and chop the garlic and leave with the onion. Heat the frying pan with ½ teaspoon of olive oil and prick your sausages, add them to the frying pan and turn them occasionally to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave them in your roasting tin.


Turn your oven on to 130 degrees. Heat up the frying pan, add a little olive oil to the pan if necessary (there should be enough fats from the sausages), now add the onion, potato and the garlic. Fry these on a medium heat to soften the onion and the potato for about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle the mixed herbs over the potato and add the mixed beans, add ½ mug of water and give this a good stir for another 5 mins. Now pour your mix from the pan over the sausages and cover with water. Put tin foil over your roasting tin and place in the oven for an hour.

Almost There

After half an hour of cooking check the liquid in your roasting tin. Now would be a good time to add water if necessary (note the liquid will help make a sauce for later). Add a little salt and a generous sprinkle of pepper (I prefer cracked black pepper). Cover and place back in the oven.


The time has come to reap the harvest of the work you put in. Carefully remove the tin from the oven, remove the tin foil. Now you have to decide if the sauce is right for you, does it need to thicken slightly? If so you can use thickening granules or gravy granules. Give it a taste and now is the last chance to adjust the seasoning before you wow you guest with your Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole. Serve in warm bowls, maybe with a chunk of warm crusty bread and Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


INGREDIENTS (For 8 Pancakes)
120g Plain Flour
2 Eggs
250ml Milk
50ml Water
20g Unsalted butter
Vegetable oil for frying

Equipment you will need: 1 Mixing Bowl, 1 Whisk, 1 measuring jug, 1 Frying Pan.


Measure out the ingredients and add the flour to the bowl. Now add the eggs and the water and mix. While you are mixing this you can add the milk. Continue mixing until you have a smooth batter(no one likes lumpy pancakes).Pour your smooth batter mix into your measuring jug. Clean out the bowl and dry.


Heat up your frying pan and then add 2 tablespoons of oil, when the oil slides around the pan then you know the pan is hot enough. Pour any excess oil into the bowl and add a small knob of butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt a little, then add enough batter mix to form a thin layer across the pan, tilt the pan if necessary and cook for a few minutes. When the underneath of the pancake is cooked enough it will move when you move the pan. It may need a little help around the sides, maybe with a palette knife or an egg flipper.

Almost There

So here it is! Do you go for the flip? One Handed? Double Grip? Or do you just ease it over with the egg flipper? The choice is yours but you are only few moments away from eating your pancake. Turn the pancake out onto a plate and serve it with your favourite topping/s.


Everybody is different and enjoy many different flavours! The list is endless to what you can put in these versitile beauties. But here are some of my favourites:

The Original - Lemon and Sugar
Nanna's Fav - Your choice of Jam spread
Banoffee - Banannas And Toffee Ice Cream
Chocolate Nut - Peacans, Almonds and Melted Chocolate
PC Fruity - Fruits of the Forest gently warmed served with crème fraîche
Strawberry Heaven - Strawberries with vanilla ice cream and Strawberry Sauce

How about Savoury?

Chicken,Bacon and Mozerella Cheese served with a chunky tomato sauce
Beef Mince and Onion Gravy
Smoked Salmon with honey, grain mustard and dill cream sauce
Stir Fry Vegetables
Garlic Prawns with salad leaves
Stilton and Mushroom

Try adding coconut milk instead of milk to your batter mix to give it a twist. What ever you put in your pancake, make it special for you and enjoy! Please share your filling ideas?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Shepherd Jackets

Ingredients(For 2 People)

500g Fresh Lamb Mince
1 Large Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
3 Carrots
½ Swede
2 Large Jacket Potatoes
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
100g grated cheddar
Worcestershire Sauce
Gravy Granules or Thickening Granules

Equipment you will need: Baking Tray, 1 Large Frying Pan, 1 Saucepan, Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 2 soup bowls, and 1 mixing bowl.


Take your jacket potatoes and prick them with a fork in 4 -5 different places. You could rub them with oil or covering them in tin foil to make them a bit crispier.
Turn your oven onto 180 Degrees and place your jackets into bake, they will take about 45 mins to an hour. Finely chop the onion and the garlic and leave in a bowl. Chop your carrots and your swede into chunks about the size of a 20p piece and leave in a bowl.


Heat your frying to a high temperature and dry fry the lamb mince, there is no need for oil since lamb can be quite a fatty meat. Continue frying the mince until the meat has completely browned, now add the onions and the garlic. Stir the onions and meat together and continue frying until the onions have softened, now add the chop tomatoes, carrots and half the swede with a generous glug of Worcester sauce. Give this a good stir round and cover with cold water, when the pan has come to the boil then reduce the heat to simmering. Leave this simmering for around 20 mins to soften the vegetables. Thicken the mince if required with thickening granules or gravy mix. Add seasoning to taste.

Almost There

Put a saucepan of water onto boil and cook the remaining swede until soft, about 20 mins. Drain the water from the swede and leave in a mixing bowl with some butter.
When your jackets are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins. Cut the jackets in half lengthways so when you place the jacket on the plate, white potato side up it sits quite well on the plate without rolling around all over the place. Scoop out the middle of the jacket and put with the swede. (Carefully without breaking the jacket skin)
Mash up the potato and the swede together with butter, salt, oodles of crushed black and a little milk.


Now everything is ready, it’s time to put it together. Place the jacket skins onto a baking tray and spoon in the mince into the jacket so it fills the jacket by ¾’s. Now take your mash mix and fill and mound up your jackets with peaks of mash, top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven for 15 mins or so. Carefully remove from the oven and arrange on the plate and spoon on any remaining mince depending on how hungry you feel. The mince that doesn’t get used can be frozen and used at a later date or maybe the start of a lasagne for tomorrow.

Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings

INGREDIENTS (For Two People)

1 Large Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
4 Medium Carrots
1/2 Small Swede
6 Button Mushrooms
250gm Stewing Beef/Steak
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
8 New Potatoes
4 Celery Sticks
1 Mug Of Peas(Frozen/Fresh)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Glass Of Red Wine(Optional)
2 Tablespoon of Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon Oil(Olive,vegetable,sunflower are all good to use its up to you)
Dumpling Mix: 100g self raising flour, 50g suet mix, pinch of salt 1 tablespoon mixed herbs and water.

Kitchen Equipment you will need: 1 Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 2 Soup Bowls, 1 Large Saucepan, 1 Mixing Bowl and a ladle.


Put your beef into the mixing bowl and add the flour and season well(don't be shy). Mix throughly so all of the meat is coated. Heat your saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown your meat off in the pan. Once the meat has a dark brown colour to the edges of the meat, remove from the pan and leave in a bowl for a bit. Roughly chop all the veg: potatoe, swede, carrotts, onion, mushroom, celery and the garlic(you will want to chop the vegetables into the same size pieces as the beef). Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and genlty fry the veg mix to soften slightly. Add the beef back into the pan and add the wine if you have chosen to. If you have added the wine then cook this until the wine has reduced by half. Add the bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and the chopped tomatoes, now add enough water to cover the beef and the vegetables and then add the same amount of water again. Cover the pan with a suitable lid or you could use some tin foil(carefully cover the pan with tin foil, it will be hot). Leave on your stove top for one and half hours on the lowest heat you have.


Now your stew has been working its magic for an hour or so, its time to check on a few things. Firstly check to see if the beef has started to get tender a little bit, it should still be a little firm and about half an hour away. Secondly check to see how much liquid you have covering the meat, you just need it to just cover, no more. Add some water if needs be, if you think you have too much don't worry it will all get made into a gravy for mopping up later. Now you need to check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Is the thickness of the gravy ok for you? or do you need to thicken it slightly?

Almost There

You need to make your dumplings. Take one mixing bowland measure out your ingredients, add to the bowl and work the mixture with your fingers. Add some water a little at a time until you have a pliable dough, once you have got this you can make your little dumplings by rolling them in your hand. Keep your hands well floured to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Now you have your dumplings, place them into your stew and cover the pan cook for around 20mins. Your stew should be simmering but not boiling.


It's time to eat! The dumplings have double in size and smells escaping from you pan should now be making your tastebuds tingle. So grab yourself a big bowl and ladle, serve yourself a large portion of homemade stew and dumplings, you deserve it!

Chicken & Mushroom Rissotto


2 Small Chicken Breast
1 Medium Onion(red or white)
6 Medium Cup Mushroom
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Chicken Stock Cube
25g Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon of Oil(Olive,Sunflower,Vegetable)
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika(Ordinary Paprika will work fine)
1 Tablespoon Oregano
3/4 Mug of Rissotto Rice

Equipment you will need: Chopping board, Sharp Knife, 1 Frying Pan, 1 Saucepan, 2 soup bowl


Put 2 pints of water of water on to boil. When this has reached boiling point add the stock cube and stir until all of the cube has dissolved, remove from the heat. While you are waiting for the water to boil(don't watch it because folk law says it won't) you could cut the mushrooms into slices about the thickness of a ten pence piece, leave these in a bowl. Finely chop the onion as small as you can(mind those fingers you will need them for the rest of this dish), leave these on the side of the chopping board. Repeat this process with the garlic and add with the onion to your other soup bowl. Depending on how zippy you are with the knife the water should be done by now. You will need to chop the chicken into bite size pieces, they should be roughly the size of the mushroom you cut earlier. I personally prefer to slice the chicken with a knife, but I have seen people use scissors, I know some people don't like touching raw meat, it's down to you really how the chicken gets chopped.


Heat your frying pan for 5 mins and then add the oil, you will know when the pan is hot enough because the oil will move quickly around the pan. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken has browned in colour. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions and the garlic, if necessary add half the butter to the pan to prevent the onion and garlic mix burning and sticking to the pan. Cook until onion has soften, now add the remaining butter and the rissotto rice, you may want to reduce the heat in the pan slightly. You need to keep stiring the rice, now add the mushrooms, paprika and the herbs.

Almost There

Continue to stir and slowly add about a mug full of the stock water carefully it may spit a little when you first add it to the frying pan. The idea of frying the rice gently in the pan with butter and the herbs is so the each rice kernal splits and allows the flavours to flow and infuse into the rice when you gradually add the water. You may want to turn the heat up slighty and add little amounts of water often. We are trying to get as much flavour into the rice as possible by letting the water reduce to nearly nothing and then adding more flavour. You do not want the rice swimming in the water and equally nor do want it too dry. Keep stiring and adding flavour. When I have made this recipe the rice cooking time is about 20 mins but depending on the heat you are cooking with the times may vary. When you think the rice is 5 mins from being done you can add the chicken. Don't forget to add liquid if necessary, at this stage it could be just water if you have run out of stock.


Check to see if your chicken has cooked by cutting into it. If the chicken is done then taste the rice to see if that is cooked, it should have a bite to it and the sauce should just coat the rice. Continue to cook if needs be but be sure to get the liquid levels right, its very difficult to take liquid out at this stage but adding is a lot easier.Add salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Sundried Tomato Bread

1 lb strong white flour
1/2 pint warm water
1/2 oz dried active yeast
2 generous tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 jar sundried tomatoes
Flour for dusting

Kitchen equipment you will need:

A small loaf tin, sharp knife, chopping board, scales, measuring jug, a coffee mug, clean damp tea cloth, dinner plate and a clean dry work surface with plenty of space.

Measure all of your ingredients seperatly. Chop half a jar of sundried tomatos into small pieces(about the size of your fingernail). Put the yeast, sugar, salt into the coffee mug and stir the dry ingredients together.

Pour the flour onto your work surface and create a mound of flour like a volcano, now with the base of your coffee mug push down into the centre of your volcano until you reach the work surface.

While doing this you will need to place your hands around the outside of the volcano to create a unbreakable wall. The shape you are now looking for is a big white floury ring doughnut.

Pour the contents of the coffee mug into the centre of the well, and by using 1 finger start working the some of the flour into your mix but make sure your walls are secure. So if one side starts to break down you will need to take flour from the around other side. Scatter the tomato pieces randomly around the top of the flour working your way into the middle.


Ensure your water is luke warm and slowly add part of your water into the centre of the well, while the water is being poured you will need to mix with your fingers all the ingredients together with the flour. The idea is to add little water often for two reasons : 1. so the dough is not too soggy by over watering, 2. if you were to add all the water at the same time it would become very difficult to prevent your walls from collasping when you mixed.
Keep adding the water gradually and mixing the flour until you have created a dough ball, it is possible you may need some more liquid, so do so adding a little at a time. Pick up your dough and sprinkle a generous amount of flour on to your worktop. you will to flour both side of your dough.

Now comes the hard work and the more work you put in now the better the results and it is well worth the effort when you tuck into a warm piece of bread you made.
Keep the work surface well floured.
You need to stretch and roll the dough hard against the work surface, by taking the edge of the dough push it into the centre of the dough and pull back. Repeat this process the whole length of the dough. Turn the dough round a quarter and repeat the stretch and rolling. Repeat the whole process for 10 minutes, keep the work surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking. Now your arms and fingers are close to dropping off shape your dough to match that of your loaf tin.

Almost there

Grease your bread tin throughly and drop a tablespoon of flour into the tin. Shake the flour all around the tin so all the tin has a light dusting of flour, it may help to knock the tin gently against the work suface for larger lumps of flour.
Place your dough into the tin and leave covered with your damp tea cloth for about an hour in a warm dry place(airing cupboard, a switched off oven). Depending on the temperature depends on how long you need to leave it for, but you need it to double in size. So leaping forward an hour or so, remove the tea cloth and pre-heat your oven to 175c for ten minutes(take your bread out of the oven if thats where you have been waiting patiently for it to double in size). Place your bread tin into the centre of the oven for 30-40 mins.


Now it's time to reap the benifits of all the hard work you put in earlier. Carefully take the bread out of the oven and place on your dinner plate. Using your knuckle, knock on the centre of the bread, like you were knocking on a door. The bread should be firm and you should hear a hollow knocking sound. If you hear anything different from that you will need to put it back in the oven for a bit till its done. Leave the bread to cool, then slice as required and enjoy!

If you enjoyed making this bread why not try adding other flavours instead off sundried tomatoes like cheese, onion, herbs or olives. The principle is the same just add the things you like.

My Birthday Weekend

I turned 35 this weekend, not welcoming the mid 30's with open arms just yet, thought it would be best to have comfort food. So on Saturday we made sundried tomato bread to eat with our chicken and mushroom rissotto. On Sunday we made beef stew and dumplings and just to finish the weekend off, a sponge cake bursting with strawberry jam and butter icing. I would like to share with you how all these tasty dishes came together.

Friday, 22 January 2010

2010 Is time for change.!!!!!!!!!

I had taken a break from cooking, blogging and all things foody, due to too much work. Now it's time to readdress the balance and get back to what I really enjoy. Food glorious food, I will now be spending this year to build on the enjoyment I had when I first starting writing this blog.

I am looking forward to this year and what it may bring.

I have learnt a few new things while I have been away and I can't wait to share this all with you.

Please feel free to add any comments, requests or events happening in your area.