Spaghetti & Meatballs

When it comes to a comforting meal, for me pasta is king. Whether it is macaroni cheese, bolognese, lasagne, my go to pasta recipe or spaghetti and meatballs, I am a big fan; James loves meatballs but nearly all meatball recipes have breadcrumbs in, so since I gave up gluten, meatballs have been off the list. Until, that is, I had some stale gluten free bread and thought to make breadcrumbs out of it. Don’t ask me why this hasn’t occurred to me before.

Meatballs (gluten free)

I think this might be my go to meatball recipe from now on. I have made other meatballs and they were tasty too but I quite like the combination of pork and beef in these (although feel free to use whatever mince takes your fancy).

I know it says spaghetti and ideally spaghetti it would be but I used dried gluten free pasta for this and of all the shapes, fusilli cooks the best. I used some left over sauce I had using my roasted tomato sauce recipe, then made the sauce below for the left over meatballs/remaining portions (it made 6 portions, so we had it for three nights, the meatballs freeze really well once cooked). Continue reading

Slow Cooker Stock

Continuing with the theme of slow cooker love, I made some stock using a left over chicken carcass. This might just be my favourite use for a slow cooker because it was such a simple and easy way to make stock without using up a hob and having to keep checking up on it. There is something very satisfying when a recipe calls for 1 cup of stock and you’ve made your own.

Slow Cooker Stock

I also like how resourceful making your own stock is, it makes a use of discarded bits and bobs. You can throw anything into a stock, peelings, bones and Parmesan rinds; I keep my Parmesan rinds in a bag in the freezer ready for making stock. I also like to keep any left over fresh herbs I have in the freezer to use from frozen. Some people even keep a large Tuppaware box in the freezer of peelings, bones and Parmesan rinds until they have enough to make a big pot of stock. Homemade stocks, particularly stocks that use bones, are full of nutrition too! I fail to see a downside.

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Coffee, Cardamom & Pistachio Brownie Cake

This cake was inspired by a bar of pistachio chocolate and some Turkish cardamom coffee I’ve had in the cupboard. The pistachio chocolate was a new brand I hadn’t seen before that I thought I would try but despite loving pistachios, the chocolate itself was substandard unfortunately. You know how the saying goes, when life gives you substandard chocolate, make a brownie cake. To me, pistachios scream “pair me with cardamom” which lead me onto the cardamom coffee in my cupboard.

Coffee, Cardamom & Pistachio Brownie Cake

It was a distinctly flavoured cake, delicious if you like the flavours, not delicious if you dislike cardamom, of course. I based the recipe on this one.

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Cidered Gammon Hotpot (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

I recently became the proud owner of my pops’ slow cooker. It was hidden in the garage until my mum found it, the very same month James and I said we’d actually, really, buy a slow cooker this coming pay day (relationship goals..ha!). Obviously we did not need to buy one due to this good fortune and I’ve been slow cooking up a storm ever since.

My favourite slow cooker moment was 8 km into a 10 km run at about 6:30 pm when I realised how hungry I was, only to remember that dinner was in the slow cooker and ready at 7 pm. Thank goodness for slow cookers. This was the dish that was cooking but prepare for an onslaught of slow cooker recipes.

Cidered Gammon Hotpot

This recipe came from a lovely (and cheap) little book titled ‘200 Light slow cooker recipes‘. I can only apologise for the shoddy photography lately; I mean, it has never been great but time seems to escape me at the moment and I quickly grab a snap before serving dinner. I also really need some plates that aren’t red.

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Rye & Spelt Sourdough Loaf

After my adventures in sourdough post last week (which has now been updated with starter feeding and maintenance tips), it is time to share a sourdough recipe. I’ve chosen my every day loaf of bread to share first, light rye spelt sourdough, a recipe from Yoke Mardewi’s ‘Wild Sourdough‘ (I love how primordial it sounds, what a great title for a book). I really must branch out though, there are at least 20 loaf recipes in Yoke Mardewi’s books that I want to try and don’t get me started on the non-loaf recipes in the books.

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I’m going to give two recipes, firstly, Yoke’s complete recipe as she is the master and then my butchered, quick, version.

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Coffee Infused Honey

I’m a tea girl about 99% of the time but when I need a pick me up or a treat, it is often a coffee that I need. I am a coffee snob though, I say this knowing very little about coffee but it can’t be instant. My favourite coffee ever comes from the Micro Roastery in Canterbury, followed very closely but Love Walk Cafe, Camberwell. Whilst Micro Roastery sell their coffee ground or whole bean and I often buy a bag when I am passing, I don’t pass all that much. I’d seen Pact coffee on my radar via Facebook and friends, when my running app sent me a voucher for a £1 bag for my good work (awesome right?!) I jumped at the chance. I was pretty impressed with the coffee I received (Planalto) and their attention to detail, definitely a treat worth indulging in.

Coffee honey

I can’t remember via whom (I wish I could!) but last week I stumbled on Apples Under My Bed blog, and instantly fell in love with the idea of coffee infused honey, especially to use on porridge. I made almond milk banana porridge and topped it with pumpkin seeds and coffee infused honey, completely inspired by Heidi’s recipe.

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Adventures in Sourdough

What I like about sourdough is the deep rich flavour, the texture and the process leading to some of the gluten already being broken down. If people are slightly gluten intolerant, sourdough can be a great alternative. When it comes to sourdough, I have two bibles, both written by Yoke Mardewi (somewhat of a sourdough oracle): Wild Sourdough and Sourdough: From Pastries to Gluten-Free Wholegrain Breads. These books, particularly the latter, offer a load of information about the types of wheat and other grains available, and the benefits of sourdough. You can make sourdough with completely gluten free flours, I opt for flours with a lower gluten content, like rye and spelt because those are the flavours I like the most. Yoke’s books contain an enormous number of different recipes using a sourdough starter as the rising agent, from loaves, to croissants, pancakes, Christmas cake and crumpets to name a few.

Starter

I am by no means an expert but having sourdough in my life is a joy (and I promise that I’ll share the crumpets recipe soon) and I thought I’d share my adventures in sourdough with you and how to begin the process by making a sourdough starter. Continue reading