cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

Wrecking Ball

That’s how I feel at the moment (can you tell I have been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen). I am totally buggering everything up. I can’t seem to make a right decision or do the right thing. I feel like I should have a sign on my forehead, handle with care, highly explosive! Argh… I could focus on the relationship breakdowns, pain in the arse emails, texts, etc etc culminating in my actually going to a shrink! Well it was only a matter of time really. I guess at some point you have to say to yourself. SEEK HELP. I’m actually laughing now…I am trying to focus on the positive things that are happening I guess finally realising that I need to get stuff off my chest is a good thing. The trouble with a marriage breakdown, is your friends (especially the married ones) don’t really want to know and the unmarried ones don’t really understand. So I guess the best thing to do is find a complete stranger and pay him/her to listen to you bang on….I have my first date this week! Oh dear maybe should have booked a therapy session before going out! Oh well too late now.. That’s a good thing? I think? Best not to think too deeply about that!  I have been nominated for a blogging award, no chance after they read this post.  My kids are ridiculously happy and seem to be doing really well at school. All good.

During the week my friend Skyped me from the States and after telling her I think I have lost my cooking mojo. She sent me some recipes and generally kicked me in the backside! Fabulous recipes, I cooked one of them. It’s called Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake. Its lots of eggs, separated, cream cheese, milk and a bit of flour…cooked in a bain marie, or in my case I just shoved a big pan of water into the bottom of the oven. It comes out light and fluffy, like a cushion of eggy, cheesy loveliness…I also cooked burgers and chips for the kids…no horse meat I promise…

Right I shall leave you now before I get myself into trouble again.

Have a better week then I am.

Love Rachelle x

 

 

 

 

 

 Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

Make this, be happy…

Ingredients

  • 140g fine granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 150g butter
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100ml fresh milk
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 60g flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Method
  • Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well. 
  • Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and mix well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). 
  • Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F). 
  • Makes 1 (8-inch) cheesecake, 12 servings.

 

 

 


signature
cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

Gilding in a Dark Hole…

My divorce papers arrived.  Not the final thing, the initial draft thing, that you have to approve and then send back. It’s so weird, cause divorce is so very opposite marriage. Ok, I know that sounded ridiculous, I think I mean that the actual process is as opposite as can be. Why do you have to have a lawyer? Can you divorce without one? Don’t get me wrong, my lawyer is really nice and friendly and helpful. Yet the fact he exists in this departure is so odd to me. We didn’t need one to get married. Do I feel like I have failed miserably? Fuck I don’t know! I pretty much don’t know anything at the moment.

Well actually thats not strictly speaking true. I know I am totally in love with Ottolenghi’s new book Jerusalem. I made his recipe for Baba Ganoush. Divine, garlicky and sweet and addictive. I also made the roast chicken with pernod and fennel and clementine dish. It sounds like an odd combination but bloody hell its delicious! You see even in the midst of intense angst and insecurity I can still manage to create a meal…thank god for cooking, if it wasn’t for the simple fact that I am obsessed by all things culinary, I would be wandering the streets licking window panes………

Anyway…Mussels are in season at the moment and my kids eat them like sweets. They are so cheap and easy to prepare. I think a lot of people find shellfish daunting. There is no need to be intimidated by such a small creature (even though I must admit I totally freaked out when I found a jellyish coral thing attached to one). Anyway, Moules and Frites were mainlined 2 days in a row at my house. Lola totally adores them and has requested that I take her to Belgo’s for her birthday lunch. Fine by me…

I leave you my recipe for mussels and home made herby chips. I also leave you some pics from a days work Gilding at The Eye Company. Its a skill I learnt at college and I did some gilding work professionally after graduating. Its fiddly but totally therapeutic.

Happy New Year and lots of love

Rachelle x

Silver leaf before burnishing

After burnishing….

Saw these and had to take a pic Baby Pakchoi

Blackening aubergines for Ottolenghi’s Baba Ganoush

 

Mussels with Home Made Chips

This is a really simple recipe and pretty much fast food. Mussels are cheap, around £3.50 per KG. They are good for you and bloody delicious. I just do a simple white wine (a good white wine) stock with garlic and onion bit of parsley. They take about 10mins to clean. Just run them under cold water and take a small paring knife, or just use your fingers and pull the ‘beard’ the little ropey bit from the side of the mussel. If they are open or broken, discard. Thats it. Keep them in cold water until you are ready to drain and cook them. The chips are new potatoes, or Maris Pipers, not peeled just cut in half then each half cut into 2 or 3 slices, through into a baking sheet with olive oil, salt pepper and some herbs, I had some thyme and rosemary in my pots so used that. Delicious and simple. If you felt a bit posh you can make a simple garlic alioli to go with the chips..yum.

Serves 3 or 2 hungry people

 Ingredients

  • 1kg Mussels (washed and debearded)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • Small glass of white wine
  • Knob of butter
  • Handful of Parsley (chopped)
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

40mins before you want to eat throw the potatoes in the oven (200C Method above)

In a deep saucepan on a medium heat melt the butter then add the chopped onions, let them cook gently for 5 mins, throw a pinch of salt in to stop them catching. Add the garlic when the onions are translucent and soft, cook for 2 mins then throw in your mussels. Toss them around in the butter and onions. Add the glass of wine and stir again then season with a bit of salt and pepper and put the lid on).

Cook for 5 mins until the mussels have opened and released their liquor. Add the chopped parsley, serve with home chips and mayo…deevine. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


signature
cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

Mannors Maketh the Man….

Its true they do…kind of. Ex husbands are a funny thing. They are. I’m not being facetious (well maybe a little bit). I could laugh a lot about the little texts and messages I get with regards to childcare and motherhood. I get a LOT of helpful hints. I say I could laugh. If I was someone else. One of his recent texts was telling me the two year old had ‘bad mannors”…hmmm kind of bad manners in itself!

Ahh you can tell its Christmas, the joys of family.  Actually we had a great Christmas, lack of sleep permitting (The Ru decided that he was going to go two rounds over demanding milk at 2am) I WON…barely. In fact it was a close call. It took one and a half hours of putting him back in his bed before he caved; By that time all the  kids were up and by 6am fuelled by chocolate in their stockings Christmas day had started.

Im not gong to bang on about christmas dinner. Lets just say I took the turkey out of his bath of wine, spices, brine and other christmassy things. Turkey was subsequently roasted, there was red cabbage, brussel sprouts, gravy, tortiere, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, cranberry sauce I made enough for twelve people. There was five of us! That sounds about right to me…

I was going to give you a recipe for gingerbread, sweet, dark and sticky, totally divine. I took a couple of photos, Its a Nigella recipe. I urge you to make it.  I however give you a christmas salad recipe that involves opening a bag of rocket and cutting open a pomegranate and throwing in some leftover turkey!

Have a wonderful week.

Rachelle x

 

 

Festive Turkey Salad

As usual with this sort of recipe, quantities are not exact. I bag of rocket is enough for two people, although I can quite easily demolish a bag myself. I happened to have walnuts in the larder, but feel free to substitute with another nut or omit.  I have also made this with a light goat cheese too such as Chevre,

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of wild rocket
  • A handful of cooked turkey
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 big glugs of olive oil
  • A large pinch of salt
  • A handful of walnuts
  • A capful of red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
Method
Empty the bag of rocket into a large shallow bowl, plate. Shred the cold turkey by hand into bite size pieces toss on top. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally, take a wooden spoon or such implement. Holding the pomegranate, seed side down on your palm, fingers spread, over the rocket and turkey plate. Hit the back of the pomegranate and it will relinquish its seeds and juice.
In a dry frying pan over a high heat roast the walnuts until they are fragrant. Toss on top of the salad. Glug over the olive oil and the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands taste and adjust seasoning. Eat straight from the bow (if you are not sharing) or divide onto two plates. x

 

 

 


signature