Balsamic and Maple Brussel Sprouts

Are you dreading sprouts tomorrow (why?! they might be my favourite thing about Christmas dinner, in fact we have a wreath made of paper sprouts)  then I am here to save the day. I found this recipe on Nutrition Stripped a couple of years ago and have been using it regularly ever since. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years but it never lets me down. Excuse the picture, I was too desperate to eat them.



Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup of red grapes
  • 0.25 cup of maple syrup
  • 0.25 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp or more of pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of garlic infused olive oil (or olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic)
  • 1.5 tbsp of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Place the sprouts and grapes into a large baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the syrup, vinegar and garlic oil.
  4. Pour over the sprouts and use a large spoon to make sure they are all coated.
  5. Sprinkle pine nuts and fresh thyme over them, followed by salt and pepper.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes or until soft inside and browned outside.
  7. Serve with your dinner of choice this festive season. 

 Merry Christmas you lovely people!

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Gianduja Gelato

(Pssst! Gianduja is basically the official name for what we call Nutella) Somehow, it is October! Which may not seem the ideal time of year to share an ice cream recipe but in my opinion there is never a bad time to eat ice cream; breakfast, lunch, dinner, January, July, November. Plus there is something very autumnal about hazelnuts and chocolate. My favourite flavour of ice cream is Hazelnut, there is nothing greater on this Earth. This recipe, however, is for Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate and is pretty damn amazing too. I will be using the method minus the chocolate to make Hazelnut Gelato. This recipe is from my ice cream oracle, David Lebovitz‘s – The Perfect Scoop but I subbed the milk chocolate for  dark chocolate, just a personal choice, and make sure it is good quality chocolate with a minimum of 30% cocoa solids, whatever you choose.

gelato

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Courgette & Basil Soup

Now we live somewhere with a garden, I decided I wanted to grow my own vegetables this year. I dug up a very overgrown flower bed, bought some seeds and a small plastic green house and had a go (I did save a few seeds from vegetables we’d eaten such as squash, pumpkins and lemons). The spinach and chard are ready to be eaten and we’ve already made a start on the spinach, I’ll harvest a bunch of chard this weekend for next week. The first vegetable to really make an appearance though were the courgettes. I bought a variety seed pack, we had a couple of gorgeous pale green ones first and today I harvested a bright yellow one! It is beautiful!

Courgette and basil soup

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Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

Summer is here! I’ve seen glimpses of it in between the rain! I promised more strawberry recipes, I’m finally about to deliver on that promise. I already have one delicious (sour cream) strawberry ice cream recipe in my arsenal (I would never order strawberry ice cream when out but you can’t beat it home made with delicious fresh strawberries), but then I spotted this recipe in BBC Good Food magazine (June 2016 issue). The original calls for white balsamic, whilst the idea of it excited me, I didn’t want to go hunting shops to find some and ordinary balsamic would surely work fine (it did). The combination of strawberries with balsamic vinegar is divine and I’d urge you to try it if you haven’t. I took this to a family BBQ and it was a big hit.

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

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Strawberry and Basil Jam

Strawberry season is here, wooohooooo! I vowed at the beginning of the year that this year I would make strawberry jam, once the season was upon us. Get ready for a selection of strawberry based recipes. It is no secret that I loooooooovveeee the combination of strawberry and basil; basil MIGHT be my favourite herb but it has serious competition from coriander and rosemary, oh and mint. What is your favourite herb? It’s like choosing between children right?!

Strawberry Basil Jam .jpeg

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