New Year, New Recipes.
OK, it’s a New year, New recipes, and, hopefully, ones that will tantalise my tastebuds and trim my figure. I suddenly realised that I have talked about food, eaten food, grown food and sold some of you cookware to help you cook your own food. But now, after a few weeks eating and drinking more than usual, I just feel the need to eat smaller meals (maybe two at a time), that are light, crisp, fresh and incredibly tasty.
Erik agrees with me, so I have set myself the task of delving into the archives, searching magazines and websites, watching TV chefs, reading the award-winning cookbooks designed by my son, Anthony, of Face Publications, and, in the end, creating our our own menu. (I never say diet – I would break it straight away.) We need new recipes that are lighter in calories, fat and sugar, but fulfil our wish for inspirational, fun and tasty food. Let’s face it, with a fabulous new kitchen, the recipes we are going to produce will have to do our kitchen justice!
In New Year, New Recipes, I have found a variety that will do just as one light meal, or add a dip, or if that’s not enough, put two small dishes together. Over the years, appetites do change – mine certainly has – and now I love the Italian idea of Antipasti – a big sharing platter of meat, cheese, radishes, peppers, tiny tomatoes, thin slices of melon, olives etc, drizzled with peppery olive oil. Or in summer, a big bowl of home-made Gazpacho, with chopped salad vegetables and red onion. But in January, our food has to be a bit more substantial, and warm. So see what you think. The first recipe, Fruitburst Muffins, will be great for a weekend breakfast.
Fruitburst Muffins Recipe
- 225g plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 50g butter, melted
- 175ml skimmed milk
- 100ml clear honey
- 140g fresh blueberry
- 85g dried cranberry
- 140g seedless raisin
- 140g dried apricot, chopped
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180 fan/ gas 6. Very lightly butter a 12-hole muffin tin.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. In an other bowl lightly beat the eggs, then stir in the melted butter, milk and honey. Add to the flour with the remaining ingredients. Combine quickly without overworking (it's fine if there are some lumps left - you want it gloopy rather than fluid).
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and pale golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes before turning out.
- When cool, they'll keep in an airtight tin for two days. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
The next recipe in our New Year, New Recipes post, is Chicken Noodle Soup, an aromatic broth containing ginger, one of my favourite gentle spices at the moment. So good for you, and very warming on a cold day or night.
Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- 900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz
- 1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50g rice or wheat noodles
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn, canned or frozen
- 2 - 3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onion, shredded
- 2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving
- mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve
- Pour the stock into a pan, and add the chicken, ginger and garlic.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender.
- Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks.
- Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3 - 4 mins until the noodles are tender.
- Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds if using.
- Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling over the top.
Well, that’s the first two of the new recipes I have found – I hope you like them. But I have filled my desktop today with the most delicious looking plates of food that I am really looking forward to preparing in our new kitchen (and I will be doing a big post on that soon). So watch out for the next batch, any day now. Guaranteed to warm you up and make you feel great!