JamMK header

JamMK header

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables seems like such a simple concept that it is perhaps questionable if it requires a recipe. Certainly, I always like some roast parsnips with my Sunday dinner and it is easy enough to chuck some in with the potatoes as they roast. On occasions, I roast carrots in foil parcels with a little oil and some five spice and that makes a nice change from just boiled. However, a whole dish of roasted mixed vegetables is such a simple delight that I strongly recommend making it part of any roast dinner. Tasty and so easy to cook along with the potatoes and centrepiece that dinner practically cooks itself.

The other great thing about roasted vegetables is that it changes subtly with the seasons. Where in the depths of winter it might be carrots, parsnips and swede, in the autumn it could be carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato and red pepper. Not only does the flavour change to perfectly match the season but it is a great way to use seasonal vegetables.

We love beetroot in our house and it is great to add this to the mix too. We grow yellow beetroot and this is particularly handy as it has all the flavour but doesn't stain the rest of the vegetables. However, purple beetroot has more beneficial nutrients in it and tastes great so we often roast that too and enjoy its colourful affects.

Should you ever make more than you need, then roasted vegetables make a tasty basis of homemade soup too so there is no need to let them go to waste.

Anyway, here's my recipe for roasted vegetables but you'll see it is suitably vague to allow for flexibility. Throw in what you have to hand and enjoy the changing seasonal flavours.

Roasted Vegetables

Suitable vegetables e.g.
Carrots, parsnips, beetroot, butternut squash,
swede, onion
2 cloves of garlic
A dash of Balsamic vinegar
A drizzle of olive oil
A pinch of Chinese five spice powder
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 190°C. Peel and prepare the vegetables, cutting them into chunks. Put them into a suitable oven-proof container and add the garlic, vinegar, olive oil and seasoning. Stir well to ensure all the vegetables are evenly coated in oil. Cover the dish with foil then roast in the oven for 1 hour.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Lemon Layer Cake

Posting a pumpkin recipe every day for 30 days was, at times, a little difficult. Not because I couldn't think of 30 things to do with pumpkins (I have recipes left that I didn't share), but because finding time to create a recipe and blog about it every day turned out to be a challenge on some days. November is always my busiest month so I should have thought of that before I started! However, it was fun and I like the way that my blog and my social media pages look now that I have 30 recipes posted on them in a row.

So, what now? Should I continue posting recipes? Well, I think I would like to, although I don't think I will beat myself up if I miss a day.

Today I made a lemon layer cake. This is another family favourite and when I was baking it today my daughter asked me, as she usually does, "What are you making?" When I told her, she then asked, "Why?"

It is perhaps a strange question because why does anyone make a cake, or that particular cake on that particular occasion? The truth of the matter is, however, that I usually have a very obvious reason for why I make the cakes that I do. Maybe its courgette season so I'm baking chocolate courgette muffins, or maybe I have a bowl full of over ripe bananas so banana cake is on the menu. Because I cook with the seasons, it is often the season that informs me what I should be cooking so certain cakes at certain times of year are just part of the natural flow.

So why was I baking a lemon layer cake?

Because it is one of my favourites. Because everyone likes it so one cake suits everyone and I only had time that day to bake one thing. Because I had bought some lemons to use in jam making but had a couple left over. Because I had some lemon curd in the fridge that was in need of using up.

This cake is the absolute perfect thing to showcase my lemon curd. My lemon curd, as it happens, is completely amazing. I enjoy having it out as one of my tasters at events because people's faces are transformed when they sample it and that is just delightful to watch.

So, I would suggest popping along to see me at one of my events and purchasing a jar then using it to make this totally delicious cake.

Lemon Layer Cake

225g margarine
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 lemon (zest and juice)
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
115g lemon curd
125g icing sugar
1 lemon (zest and juice)

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line 2 circular sandwich cake tins. Cream together the margarine and sugar then add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon zest and juice then add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Pour the batter equally into the two tins then bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then sandwich the two cakes together using the lemon curd. Mix the icing sugar and lemon together to make the icing then drizzle this over the cake.