Monday, 15 July 2013

Weekend kitchen and a giveaway

Isn't the weather beautiful? (she says, hiding away in the cool of the house and trying very hard not to complain about the heat).  My garden is flourishing and producing plenty to eat.  

We harvested the first peas and sugar snaps.

first peas 2013


Cameron unearthed our first potatoes which looked like golden treasure.

first potatoes 2013


I picked the very first beans! This is a triumph considering that the plants look rather depressed. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong but I'm hopeful that they'll improve if they are producing something.

first beans 2013


There were more strawberries - my most successful year yet with growing my own strawberries and getting them before the slugs start munching. I even had enough to give some away this week.

homegrown strawberries


The strawberries went into this strawberry honey ice-cream which is made with strawberries, coconut milk and honey (less than you'd think, too).  This is an ice-cream recipe that could benefit from a churner/machine as it was almost impossible to scoop (there's advice about this in the recipe) but - despite being healthier than traditional ice-cream - it was, surprisingly, a big hit with Cameron (who has a very sweet tooth).

The potatoes were roasted until crispy and served a smoky chard and vegetable tomato-based sauce as a kind of patatas bravas.  My rainbow chard is bolting, despite my regular watering efforts, so I'm incorporating chard into just about every meal I make, as well as adding it to green juices/smoothies. I have another batch ready to plant out as I make space by harvesting.

taste testing expert

We also tested out some freebies sent to us - bottlegreen's sparkling elderflower presse was wonderfully refreshing with subtle flavours and is free from artificial sweeteners - a rarity in shop-bought drinks these days.  This would make a really great alternative to an alcoholic drink at a party or celebration.  It also comes in a glass bottle with a very pretty label.



Along with the cordial was some Burts Chips - artisan, hand cooked crisps in Spicy Chorizo and Jalapeno & Red Pepper.  The crisps were really flavourful and we'll definitely be looking for them in the shops. Cameron and I both loved the flavours and couldn't decide which was best.  The chorizo flavour was lovely and smoky but the jalapeno was strong and spicy!
British, no MSG, gluten free and I liked that the packet told me the name of who cooked them and what field they were grown in.




I have some bottlegreen's Elderflower Cordial and two packets of Burts Chips to giveaway to one lucky reader (UK only, I'm afraid).  To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me what you got up to in the kitchen this weekend, before midnight on Sunday 21st July 2013.  The winner will be announced in next Mondays post.

Good luck!

Please note: this giveaway is now closed!

43 comments:

  1. We also have far more chard that we know what to do with, so I am also trying to incorporate it into everything. Made a pearl barley salad with wilted chard, garlic, tomatos, peppers, lemon juice and parsley. And also a crustless quiche filled with chard, garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms and courgette all lightly fried with a little cheese on top. Just has it for lunch, delicious!!
    ps I think I might try the strawberry ice cream sounds great

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  2. hmmm - with my broken arm, my kitchen is currently a space for helping supervise(interfere with) everyone else. They managed to bottle some elderflower champagne as well as make a slow cooked beef curry with local beef - so they did ok without me!

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    1. Oh! Sorry to hear about your broken arm. I'm glad your family have done so well to rally around in the kitchen, though :o)

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  3. I made some gooey Lemon Bars and a Fruity Rice Salad for a BBQ

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    1. Ooh, gooey lemon bars sound amazing!

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  4. made warm potato salad and dips for the bbq

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  5. Lol my kitchen efforts were very poor this weekend! We had home made pizza Friday night, then chicken goujans and home made chips Saturday, and tinned mackeral and pasta last night. Very poor but it was a very busy weekend LOL

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    1. Doesn't sound very poor to me - better than a lot of people would make in busy times!

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  6. This weekend in the kitchen I made some crispy beef strips with sweet chilli sauce, some pulled pork with a crispy salad, strawberry and almond crumble and beetroot chutney :)

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    1. That all sounds delicious, Barbara :o)

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  7. I wish we had chard! As it is we have salad bolting all over the place (although I'm thankful that I have more coming through). We haven't picked peas yet, but they are now flowering and we have already harvested potatoes (courtesy of the Potato Council's 'Grow Your Own Potatoes' educational project).

    I had a butterbean failure (as you may know from FB) - but did make a lovely (if I say so myself) cherry and almond kefir cheesecake - from cherries foraged by yours truly (with some grudging help from Ted and the fact that Anna had a good old sleep in her pushchair). T'was gluten free - base was ground almonds, butter and honey. Admittedly I did throw in the paltry half a handful of strawberries we had - but it was very lovely and enjoyed by all, which is surely what matters :)

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    1. You still have time to plant chard, Nikki - it's very hardy for colder temps, I grew it all winter, even in the snow!
      I love reading about your meals and cooking adventures on facebook :o)

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  8. At the weekend, I pulled up the chard as it had bolted having first picked the edible leaves off! I have sowed some more salad leaves and chard so am looking forward to more salads soon. Ginger beer is continuously been made, and drunk! and we have sampled the first batch of elderflower champagne - and its lovely. I also made cherry scones, lemon cake, quiches, lamb curry and its pizzas tonight!

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  9. Beans like plenty of water and humus, that might be it.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine. They have plenty of both and have picked up a little bit this week.

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  10. Our green bean plants look terrible too-we've had a very wet season and i'm afraid that they've had all together too much water. The leaves near the base of the plant have gotten all soppy and yellowed.
    They're still yielding a surprising amount of beans regardless of their appearance.
    I love that elderflower soda-it's a favorite in this house! Have yet to try the potato chips, although I did see them the last time I was in the market. We'll have to pick some up next time!

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    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one struggling with beans. Yours sound like they're doing better than mine, though.

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  11. This weekend - absolutely nothing. We went away and someone else cooked all weeekend. Was bliss

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  12. not much except salad prep as I was working on Saturday. Sunday I did laundry, and made cool ice drinks for the menfolk who were being car mechanics!

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  13. Half of us are a bit poorly around here (and that in this lovely summer weather), so it's been comfort food mostly. Vanilla Pudding seems to do the best job, so we've made it twice!
    It's my husband's birthday next week, and he adores chorizo - I don't think he's ever had it as a crisps flavour! That would be a great birthday snack! :) Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

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    1. Sorry to hear you've been dealing with illness. Comfort food sounds perfect for that.

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  14. I have my cousin staying from Florida, so he's been teaching me all kinds of American treats from s'mores round the back garden fire pit to biscuits and sausage gravy
    Yum
    Happy days x

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  15. Your garden is so productive and those potatoes truly look like golden treasure!!

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  16. Haha Cameron looks so happy! Your strawberry ice cream sounds really good, we have started making ice cream too, so far we've made vanilla, strawberry and banana :)

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    1. Free crisps will always please Cameron, Sally!

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  17. We made homemade party rings! Icing everywhere and I'm not sure that black icing will catch on with the biscuit manufacturers but the whole batch has disappeared VERY quickly. Definitely one to chalk up as a success :-)

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    1. Homemade party rings sound great! What a fun project. Have you ever seen Pimp my Snack? They make snacks from scratch in massive sizes and they have a party ring on there.

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    2. Oooh! Hadn't seen that before but have now, thank you :-) Loving the look of the giant french fancy!! I feel another icing-fest coming on, lol. There are some serious snacks on their site.

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  18. I didn't get up to much this weekend in the kitchen, but I did make Burritos on Thursday night, and everyone knows that Thursday night is the start of the weekend!

    Lovely giveaway - I'd love to be entered please :)

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  19. Last weekend I was on holiday in Devon :) but I did take a lovely Lemon Maderia Cake I'd made with us and finished decorating it with Lemon curd and fresh raspberries - a rather nice treat for my cousins birthday

    Angela

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  20. Mainly supervising children learning to cook this weekend :)

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  21. This weekend I have made fajitas with my dad's red onions and courgettes,as mine are not ready yet. I did add my own red chillies though as our plant is full of them.

    I've also grown chard this year and will be trying a smoothie with them in. All I've used them for so far is in an omelette.

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    1. Isn't it wonderful to cook with homegrown ingredients? I never get tired of it.

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