Sunday, 23 October 2016

Love Beetroot Hearts Quiche with Feta and Chives

I  harvested some beetroot from my garden a few weeks back and made a few recipes with it such as Beetroot Gratin, Beetroot Horseradish Pasta Salad, Beetroot, Beetroot Chutney,  Soy 'Lamb' Curry, and Beetroot Chocolate Cake.   
And this gorgeous Beetroot Heart Shaped Quiche with Feta and chives.
I made this Love Beetoot Heart Quiche totally from scratch.  From peeling and cooking the beetroot to cutting them into dainty hearts, to making the shortcrust pasty which is dyed with beetroot powder, but you would not know it as once it was baked, it lost that magnificent colour.  

Friday, 21 October 2016

Five New Places I Visited This Year in England

It's Friday and I am joining in with Five On Friday hosted by Love Made My Ho.

I am sharing five places I visited in September for my very British holiday.
Its not surprising that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brighton ans look forward to going there again. 
Please see here if you want to read more about my Brighton adventures.
Dungeness is on the south coast of Kent, England.  It is well known for have a large shingle beach and is apparently wrongly reported to be 'Britain's only desert'.  

I really really liked Dungeness and would like to visit it again perhaps in the spring when the colours are different and the big wide skies clearer. 
We also saw Derek Jarmans Garden
Whilst on route, we decided to stop at Rye East Sussex.  We arrived in Rye around 8.00am and most places were still closed, so breakfast had to wait, but it did give us the opportunity to wander the town without bumping into many other tourists at this time and take some photographs - see here.
Then it was onwards to Eastbourne, a seaside resort.  
 Eastbourne Bandstand - The Busiest Bandstand in the UK
Eastbourne Pier and Beach
And finally, Hastings Old Town.  a town steeped in so much history. 
We walked around The Stade (landing place), home to the largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe.  These are fishing nets huts. 

D really wanted to go on the East Hill West Hill lift - see picture above and why not?! It is of national importance and a source of local pride.  Its the United Kingdoms steepest funicular railway.a lift that goes up this steep mountain.  
The  East Hill Lift provides access to Hastings Country Park which overlooks the Rock a Nore and the Old Town.  It also provides spectacular views of the Stade (shown earlier).
I am going to throw one more in for luck, the two pictures below are of Winchester where were stopped for a light snack whilst travelling back home to Wales.  
Dramatic skies, I think we got very lucky with the weather on our very British holiday.
Even though the lovely Amy is going through a difficult time at the moment, she she loyally continues to post  Five on Friday for bloggers all over the world to join in.  Please do go by her blog Love Made My Home to see what other blogger have shared.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Brighton The Vegetarian and Vegan Capital of UK

I don't need to tell British vegetarian and vegans that Brighton was the vegetarian capital of the UK for many, many years.  An accolade it still deserves, even though other cities may come and try to steal the limelight - Brighton will always be the first to offer imaginative, original and  creative vegetarian and vegan cuisine to the masses. 

So you can imagine on my first trip to Brighton I was spoiled for choice of places to eat: The Loving Hut, V Bites, Beelzebab, The Cowley Club, The Green Kitchen and Hail Seitan to name a few .  There were so many that I wanted to eat at, but with the limited time we were there we chose to be selective in the evening and go to random eats during the day.  
The two places I really, really wanted to eat at were Terre a Terre and Food For Friends, Brighton's first vegetarian restaurant which opened its doors to diners in 1981.
So Why?! did I want to eat at these two places.  Simply because | was bestowed the cookbooks many years ago by my husband for my birthday. I have oggled and cooked some of the recipes  from them, but it was the two places I really wanted to eat at.  Its nice to have someone cook for me for a change.   I also chose these two places as they were not cafeteria and  canteen style food, nothing wrong with that, but its nice to be treated to proper restaurant style food made of lots of little fancy components, something that I do very rarely at home  - the food here would be more fine dining and this was after all a holiday. 
I don't do food reviews, so I will not be doing that, instead I will share with you share what we ate. The first night we went to Terre a Terre.
Apologies in advance for some of the food photographs, evening lighting in restaurants is not always conducive for food photography.
A la carte menu
The Terre a Tapas Sharing Platter which was made up of dishes from around the menu such as hot crispy fried lavash bread with dukkah dust served with smoked tomatoes, cornmeal arepas, sumac charred aubergines and salt lemon skordalia and much more that it was a total taste sensation.
I had the Arapas Mole Ole - Corn and cornmeal arepas with smoky poke mole and turtle bean cassoulet, covered with salty sheeps cheese, blistered seed and chilli coco mole, avocado hash, lime tequila cream finished with crunchy agave maple tamarind popcorn, fresh  and fancy tomatoes stepped in green chilli oregano mojo fniished with corn milk chlly jelly, coriander and mint leaves.  It was lovely and really filling, the only thing I don't recall munching was the tamarind popcorn.  A lot of this was also on the starter plate, so in hindsight I would have chosen the Sneaky Peeking Steamers! 
D had Cinders Will Go to the Ball  - Golden ash goats cheese souffle with pine cinders cooked in Grana Padano Charmer cream served with brown butter seared girolles mushrooms, vapour cooked chive parsley bay pickle potatoes, lemon oil spring bulbs, salt and sugar turmeric persimmon chutney, pink brassica juniper seasoned sauerkraut and sumac spud crackers.

We were way to full from the wine and starters, that we really did not have room in our bellies for dessert.  Here's the Terre e Terre  menu from the evening.
On our last night in Brighton we went to Food For Friends.

This was the Afternoon Tea and Summer Main Courses - very tempting. 
We skipped the main meal and went straight to dessert. 
Molten Chocolate Pudding with salted caramel sauce, truffles, vanilla ice-cream and lots of other components that were absolutely delightful. 

The food at both places:  Terre e Terre and Food for Friends was incredible. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Winter Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin

This Winter Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin is perhaps something best served around Halloween when loud bold colours seem more acceptable on the dinner plate, though I must add orange is the real colour of Halloween, not Gothic blood wine colours.  
This a dish that was made from scratch, from peeling and cooking the beetroot (which were from my own garden plot) to making the sauce, the only shortcut I used was horseradish sauce from a jar.  I have seen fresh horseradish root in the city of Cardiff, but its very expensive and I would only want a tablespoon or two, not the whole root - so its from a jar, no shame in that.  

You could make this grating completely with beetroot, but I thought it might be too overpowering and alternated it with sliced potatoes.  This recipe is vegetarian, but it can easily be made vegan.
I served the Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin enjoyed it with Cauldron Lincolnshire sausages which I prefer to the other supermarket brands.  I find the Cauldron ones are a lot more succulent and flavoursome, many others vegan and vegetarian sausages are just shaped like a sausage and taste of nothing. 
The Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin was surprisingly quite nice,  I say this as I still consider myself a convert to the beetroot club, I never liked it when I was a child.  The gratin was sweet and earthy, a little punch in the mouth from the horseradish - so make sure its good horseradish and the colour is something you just have to accept and you will, if you like beetroot. 

Okay its been a long long time since I joined in with Food 'N' Flix, so this month I am joining in as our host Kahakai Kitchen has chosen Beetlejuice.  One of my favourite movies.  I  loved Lydias played by the fantastic Winona Ryders line 'because I too am strange and unusual'.  I watch Beetlejuice every year.  There is not much in the way of food or even beetroot juice, but I took inspiration from the Beet colour that runs throughout the movie: from the welcoming door of the couples home Adam and Barbara played by Gina Davis and Alec Baldwin.  The barn where the couple crash under, to the designer Ortho outfits, from his ties to his socks even his house gown was Beet coloured.  The beet colour is splashed loud in our face when we are shown  Lydia's wedding dress and even Betlguise (pronounced Beetlejuice) own groom suited outfit is Beet and white, which brings me to my Beetroot Gratin as it perfectly matches with Betleguise outfit!.  By the way  did you know Betleguise is actually a red star, it the ninth brightest star in the night sky and second brightest in the constellation of Orion.   

Friday, 14 October 2016

Late Summer Harvest Pasta Salad

Work has been ridiculously busy that when I get home, I just want to crash out on the soft and when the alarm goes off in the early hours of the morning, I really just want to stick my head under the pillow and ignore it, so I am thankful it is the weekend.

Coming in tired from work has also seen me spend little time in the kitchen, hence the lack of home-made food blog post recently.  I did however manage to make a big bowl of pasta salad with the golden courgettes and cherry tomatoes that I picked on Monday from the garden plot.  
Here is a small bowl full with the smallest courgettes cute.  I must say I am sad to see the courgettes go, even though they are not the most flavoursome of vegetables, I do love growing them. 

I made this Pasta Salad with the later summer vegetables from the garden.  It was made in advance for our working lunch, enough for two working days.
This is not much of a recipe and much was done to the eye and to taste.  Peeking out beneath the roasted courgettes and chopped tomatoes, spring onions, cucumber and black olive is shell shaped pasta generously seasoned with salt and pepper.  I am sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition