Thursday, 28 April 2016

Cook the Books - April

Week One:
Being home alone over the weekend, means that I get to cook meals that cater to my tastes exclusively, this is one of those recipes I have wanted to try for a while now.  Roasted Beet and Rocket Salad from The Free Range Cook by Annabel Langbein.  I have to admit, I am still using her books a lot, but at least I am trying out new recipes.  This salad used freshly pulled beetroot from my garden, it was meant to have almonds, but I only had walnuts in the pantry.  A drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette finished it off.

Verdict: Absolutely delicious, the earthiness of the caramelised beets, combined with creamy salty feta and walnuts, was a beautiful combination,  In fact I liked it so much I had it for lunch the next day too.

Week Two:
Biscuits this week from Pearls from Jo Seager's Kitchen.  Chocolate Chunk Oat biscuits.  Recipe also available here.

Verdict:  Nice and crisp, perfect with a glass of milk or cup of tea.  An easy recipe, so next time I will get Miss B or Mr J to make them

Week 3
I had planned to  use the slow cooker  version for this recipe.  Orange Chipotle Pulled Pork from My Underground Kitchen, unfortunately my shoulder roast was way to big for it, so the oven instructions were used instead. Because of the increased size of my roast, I doubled the quantity of oranges, onions and garlic  but kept the chipotle sauce and water measurement the same.  The house smelt delicious while it was cooking, smoky barbecue infused with citrus,

Verdict: I probably could have doubled the amount of chipotle sauce, but it still tasted good.  Because it was such a large cut of meat, we had a lot of leftovers, so there have been pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, and even some frozen away for another meal. Everyone enjoyed it, but we are a little sick of pork now.

Week Four:
I was recently given a jar of preserved lemons, so thought I should find a recipe that used them.  I remembered that hidden on my book shelf was an Australian Women's Weekly Moroccan Cookbook, where I found two recipes to try.
  • Lemony Chicken Kebabs - chicken marinated in a beautifully fragrant lemon, herb and spice mixture, that kept the meat tender, moist and very flavoursome.
  • Sweet and spicy vegetable tagine -lots of root vegetables and spices  - which I cooked in a stove top casserole dish.
Verdict: Served with couscous and greek yoghurt mixed with some reserved marinade, this was a delicious meal.  The kebabs will definitely feature again on the must make list. The left over tagine was turned into a yummy warming soup with the addition of a can of chick peas and Moroccan flavoured tomatoes.

Now lets see what May will have me trying.


  1. Sounds like a very good months eating! The salad looks especially nice and of course cookies are always good aren't they!

  2. I think I shall definitely have to try the Roasted Beet and Rocket salad - I have her book but never actually sat down and read through it!!

  3. You make my mouth water with the delicious descriptions and vivid photos of your cooking Julie! I really admire your efforts at trying out new recipes and even turning a tagine into soup.

  4. These all look very yummy Julie! Some of our family are vegetarian so I've been more adventurous in the kitchen lately- must try out Annabel's beetroot salad, and the vege tagine looks like it could be a winner too!

  5. All of it looks quite appetising, but I was drawn to the pulled pork. I really must challenge myself more to try new recipes I tend to stick to what I know.

  6. O.K. we need to be neighbors. :-)) All of this looks yummy. My favorite would be the kabobs.


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