Friday, 22 March 2013

Comfort Food

You may have noticed that I can't stop putting crumb toppings on everything since making Nigel Slater's baked fish with a Parmesan Crumb topping recently. (page 220 of Real Food)

I think the best thing so far was a pasta bake made from left over chicken tagine. Mixed with cooked penne pasta, popped into an oven proof dish then topped with caramelised onions, garlic, grated Parmesan and wholemeal bread crumbs, seasoned and combined with olive oil (or you can use melted butter). Baked in a moderate oven for twenty minutes or so, until piping hot and the crumb golden brown and crunchy. Delicious served with spinach puree made from cooked spinach and garlic, seasoned, then mixed with a little Greek yoghurt, and a peppery watercress salad. 

The weather has been mad. Snow, sun, rain, fog, showers, rainbows. We'd go to bed after a sunny day and wake the next morning to thick fog. Or the shadow of big flakes falling, that made me want to just stand there with my  head bent back looking straight up into the sky to see where they were all coming from. That sky just goes on and on...

I blame the weather for this recent carbohydrate craving. I also blame my Lemon Poppy Seed Bun recipe...I wonder if poppy seeds are addictive? Or wether it's just when they are warm from the oven. I'm not a massive cake fan but I can't resist these moist little buns and wolf them down two at a time...not good...

To make a dozen of my Lemon Poppy Seed Buns you will need:
  • 8oz/150g SR flour
  • 2oz/50g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 7oz/200g softenend butter
  • 7oz/200g unrefined caster sugar
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • Vanilla paste or extract
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Poppy seeds, about a couple of tbs.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Line a muffin tin with twelve paper cake cases
  3. Put all the dry ingredients into a large baking bowl. Including the poppy seeds. Add until it looks as though you have the right proportion.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla paste and mix well.
  5. Finally add the lemon juice and zest, combine well and beat for a couple of minutes.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, dividing as equally as possible.
  7. Bake for about twenty five minutes until the muffins are well risen and golden brown. I would check after fifteen or twenty.
  8. Leave to cool for a few minutes on a cake rack
These are lovely and moist and tangy and very, very more-ish...

And in-between the cake and crumbs, we discovered a small Moroccan cafe with traditional music and low banquet seats and big floor cushions. We drank Moroccan peppermint tea and ate spicy Harira soup with flat brown bread. Wandered into The People's Supermarket a local co-operative and planned to find out more.  I ordered seeds for edible flowers from here and this custom made skirt form an Etsy shop. 

...and now I'm listening to the weather warnings for the weekend to come and wondering if we'll be able to get away to visit family as planned...

...hope you have a good one and that your plans don't get snowed or rained off either....

...unless you want them to be...


  1. The weather is crazy but the photos are beautiful.
    You make a very good meal, I want to try to make the Lemon Poppy Seed Buns.
    I'll tell you...

    1. Thanks Montse.

      I've been asked to make another batch of the poppy seed buns and will post a link to your chocolate muffins too hopefully this week. They are delicious deep chocolaty...very grown up tasting. yummy. I'm sure lots of other people would like to make them too.

      Thanks again for sharing.

  2. I have eaten more carbs these past few weeks than I have in months, yes it's the weather. We have gone for almost 80 degrees to the 50's and rainy. Now I will be the first to admit come July I will be complaining how dry we are, but for now I am so tired of rain.

    I have been rereading An Everlasting Meal, have you read it? I truly think it is a book you would enjoy Debby. I am making naan to accompany my salad for dinner, it is a big favorite here.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Tracey. No I haven't read it An Everlasting Meal. I've just checked it on Amazon and read the first page. It does look like something I would really like so I'm going to order it and let you know how I get on.
      It was a really good weekend thanks hope your was too.

  3. I am a carb lover and will never ever give them up. It's snowing here but I think it will all melt by Friday. I do hope the spring like weather comes to you soon!!!

  4. Me too Karen...I could never give them up.

    We have snow forecast for the Easter weekend. But hopefully it will warm up during the week after.Then maybe I can do some gardening.

    Hope your Easter weekend will bring the weather that you like.

  5. I love your recipes and photos. I noticed you always set the table well for dinner, this is the same for me. I always set the table and really enjoy us sitting down for dinner together.