Of Gherkins, Sheep and Summer...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

This week at home the weather has been sooo hot!  I shouldn’t complain, I’m not complaining, I am a little bit...

The week started in the City of London.  Hello Gherkin.

From London to Somerset in one easy car ride.  These sheep were our neighbours.  I discovered that sheep sneeze at night...weird but true.

I came home with this lovely dresser which my sister and I transformed from shiny pine to beautiful vintage white.  I’m still trying to decide which plates to display.  My husband thinks I’m behaving like a granny but he secretly likes the dresser too.

I’m attempting a spot of grow your own.  Can’t wait for these beauties to ripen.

Growing some chard too.  I love how pretty it is.

I’m mad for summer fruits at the moment.  Cherries are my catnip.

Raspberries and apricots on my porridge.

Since the weather is so hot I decided it was a good time to test out making my own deodorant.  It worked out pretty well.  Better than my shop bought natural alternative.  I used this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini  and used patchouli oil for fragrance.

Of course there have been plenty of walks in the cool of the early morning.  I love how the light falls through the trees.

The obligatory coffee shot, can’t help myself.

These are all taken with Instagram, you can follow me #separatetoasters or click on the link above.

My Week in Lunches

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Whenever I have some time off work and I’m spending it at home I like to abandon my work day sandwiches and eat something a little different for lunch.  It’s an opportunity to eat a little bit healthier.  I’ll generally just create something for myself out of whatever is in the fridge and needs using.  It has to be something that comes together quickly as I am usually coming in and going out again.  This week a bag of kale was sitting patiently in my fridge so it featured pretty heavily in my lunch time munching.  The general pattern is veggies, a grain and some protein, usually an egg, cheese or toasted nuts of some description.  I might write up a couple of these as recipes in the coming weeks.  It’s back to sandwiches next week sadly.  What have you been having for lunch lately?

Sweetcorn, Rosemary and Goat Cheese Gluten Free Pizza

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

So my last post which seems like eons ago was some nonsense about it never being too hot to bake.  Well, I’ve changed my mind.  It is officially too hot to bake or do anything much for that matter.  I’m enjoying a much needed break from work and feeling very relieved that I’m not commuting this week in my old car which has no air conditioning.  I may as well be driving an oven in to work and slowly roasting myself at the same time. The only way to keep vaguely cool is to have the windows wound down which on the motorway is no fun at all.  Deafening traffic noise means no radio.  Commuting in hot weather has also given me a lopsided tan.  My right arm now being lovely and brown while my left has some serious catching up to do.

However I digress because we are here to talk about pizza and not my delirious heat induced ramblings.  One of my favourite things to eat in summer is corn on the cob.  I love how easily it cooks in the oven, on the grill or barbeque and with a little butter melted on top it is perfection in itself.  I decided to combine my love of sweetcorn with pizza.  Ok you may need to use the oven if you follow my method but I’m sure the grill or barbeque will make an excellent alternative for cooking the corn.  The pizzas are a grill job so all in all, not too bad.

I made the pizza bases using this gluten free flatbread recipe which makes a fantastic pizza base.  Just leave out the cumin.  I’ve blogged about it many times, here, here, here and here.  The original recipe came from BBC GoodFood.

For the sweetcorn I wrapped each cob in foil with a little butter then baked them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes on Gas Mark 7, 220°C, 425°F.  Once the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to slice the corn kernels from the cob.

Once the flatbread is cooked, spread the corn across the flatbread then sprinkle with fresh rosemary and crumbled hard goat cheese.  My husband added ham to his which he really enjoyed.  Simply grill until the cheese has melted to your liking.  About 5 minutes.

Never Too Hot To Bake: Apricot, Almond and Buckwheat Cake

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The sun is shining and my pasty white legs are out and ready.  Will this be the year I finally get a tan?  Unlikely but I remain stubbornly hopeful.  Summer has finally landed here in the UK.  Now give us a few hours and we’ll start complaining it’s too hot.  It seems wrong to put the oven on in this heat but that’s exactly what I did this afternoon.  Having scored a large haul of apricots at the market this morning I knew exactly the cake I wanted to make. 

This is the second time I have made one of Kathryn of London Bakes cakes.  They never disappoint.  The recipe can be found on the Vanilla Bean Blog, another beautiful space, where Kathryn was guest posting.  I followed the recipe exactly and thoroughly enjoyed the results.  This light summer cake allows the apricots to take centre stage.  The mix of buckwheat and almonds gives it a hearty texture.  I love it with natural yoghurt.  My apricots were quite small and not as ripe as they perhaps should have been.  Nevertheless cooked in the cake they became wonderfully soft and sweet.  The perfect summer treat and totally worth putting the oven on.

Find the recipe here.