Wednesday, 19 July 2017

My Little Courgette Chocolate Brownies

One of my nephews has been calling me my little courgette because of my moss green rain coat, its term of endearment and affection, but its also a cheeky little request to make him a Courgette Cake, I promised to when courgettes were in season and indeed they are now. 
Courgette brownies are not new and nor are courgette cakes, they have been around a while - in fact throwing vegetables in sweet recipes including cakes, biscuits and rice pudding is not a new idea at all, even if some people think and convince themselves and those around them that they were the first to introduce people on social media to this idea. Sadly I think its the same people who fall for fake news, which also is not new.  The world is indeed shrinking and everything according to them can be answered by google. 

One of my lecturers at Glasgow University, now a Professor Greg Philo teachings impacted and completely changed the way I viewed the mass media a.  I still have a copy of  his original publication Seeing is Believing: The Influence of Television,  which was gifted to me as a student. In the book, Greg Philo focuses on how the media has the power to influence and instil in the viewer negative and bias viewpoints.  One example of this was the way Arthur Scargill, a prominent British Trade Unionist during the British Miners Strike in 1984 - 85 was vilified by the British media. I remember as a child growing up in Wales also being duped by the popular media publications demonising this man and the protesting miners being portrayed in extreme negative light, after all the media could never lie (I am being sarcastic here).  A decade ago it was  bogus asylum seekers and refugees, today its around other migrants veiled under BREXIT and then we must not forget the Others as we see a rise in hate incidents towards the visible muslim community.   Since having both my eyes and mind opened to the power of the media to propagate misinformation and bias, I have always been sceptical of media portrayal around most things and this has extended nowadays to social media, therefore I am very selective in what I read these days even so called high ranking food blogs, as people put financial gain and popularity before ethics these days.  I could go on, but I will go stop as it will become a rant, and this is a food blog after all.
So here are some slices of Courgette Chocolate brownies which I am sharing these with Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa and with Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.

Other Brownie Recipes on the Blog
Raspberry Brownies
Red Dragon Chili Brownies
Strawberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Brownies
Vegan Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Zucchini, Broad Beans, Peas and Mint Soup

I am giving my readers advance warning, that the next few blog posts for the next few weeks will be packed with courgette aka zucchini recipes.

So if you have an aversion to this mild, yet versatile vegetable then don't visit - but let me tell you there will be sweet and savoury zucchini recipes, some new, some interesting and some traditional.
Here is the first of many...Zucchini, Broad Beans, Peas and Mint Soup - all the fresh green ingredients have been grown in my garden plot and were picked at the weekend.  
I know its warm, so why on earth would I make soup?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Meet Selwyn and Carys - The Scarecrows on the Allotment Plot

Since my last Harvest Monday blog post, the red from the roses and the strawberries has faded replaced with shades of orange from nasturtiums and greens, mostly from courgette.
But before I share with you my hefty green harvest, let me introduce you to Selwyn and Carys - (traditional Welsh names), my new scarecrows gifted to me by The  Waltons
Selwyns hovering above the courgettes and marrow plants. 
And Carys watched over the higgledly piggeldy brassicas, 
I was pleased to see some patty pans growing, I have never grown them before so am pretty excited.  I had run out of room on the plot and gave some of the extra plants to my neighbours who is growing hers in pots.  
I  harvested a whole trug of misshapen courgettes, some in the shape of gourds, some truncheon and some round. 
 Tucked under the courgettes and marrows are some peas. 

Oh and if you look closely, there is my first purple climbing bean.
A few weeks ago, my marigolds were in a sorry state that I thought they were dead, but this week they seem to have burst back into life with vigour and I am pleased, and so are the bees.
I  am sharing this with  Harvest Monday hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres.  

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Swansea VegFest at Brangwyn Hall

This morning we took a drive to Swansea for the Swansea VegFest 2017.

The last Swansea VegFest I attended was in 2015 at the Swansea Environment Centre
Swansea Vegfest for the past two years has been held at Brangwyn Hall. 
We had arrived in Swansea way to early as it was still an hour to doors opening at 10.30am to the VegFest event, so we walked into the city centre and Swansea Market.  It was not a great day to be exploring a city still new to me, as the weather had turned dramatically with heavy rain that we got proper wet, even with out waterproofs.
We returned at around mi-day when the Swansea VegFest was in full swing and super busy, making it a little difficult to check out some of the stall, but as we were in no rush to head back home, I walked round and round until I got to see most of the stalls, especially those that were new to me. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Guacamole Spaghetti

I made this Guacamole Spaghetti Pasta not that long ago, when we came in from work wanting something relatively quick and easy to eat. 

I have made pasta with avocado in the past and enjoyed it such a Jalapenos, Coriander and Avocado Pasta Salad  and Avocado Coriander Chilli Spaghetti, so thought why not try this combination.
Even though we cleaned the plate mostly out of hunger, I have to confess that I found eating the Guacamole Spaghetti pasta a bit weird.  I think I will in future reserve guacamole for my tortilla chips rather than for coating pasta.
The recipe for this Guacamole Pasta sauce also is not the way I make guacamole.  This was a lot more sloppy because of the tomato juices flowing from the quantity of fresh tomatoes.
Something I had not thought about before is my preference for avocado.  

Oh my goodness can someone have a preference for avocado type.?  I hear you shout.    Yes I do and so does the Zimbabwean man who was standing next to me picking some avocado advising me to pick the prickly ones.  I now have discovered that I prefer Hass avocado as opposed to the smoother skinned ones. I will tell you why maybe some other time.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Red Rose Petals and Strawberries

I mentioned in my last Harvest Monday blog post that the weather in the UK is glorious.  It truly has been weather of Mediterranean climes, but some of the plants have not appreciated it.  
First my lovely red roses are scorched and dry from the blazing heat, and those rose that were still clinging on are now fallen petals.
The strawberries started off very well and looked promising, but have stopped fruiting - unless of course the birds have got to them all. 
Last year the strawberry plants yielded lots, this year maybe enough to fill four small punnets.  

Monday, 3 July 2017

A little bit of Australia in my kitchen

In my kitchen are some Australian gifts which come courtesy of Johanna who blogs over at Green Gourmet Giraffe.  

Johanna was one of the first bloggers I got to know when I started blogging and although we have never met, I feel like we have become good friends.
Laying on top of the Australian tea-towel are all my foodie gifts.  first some Outback Spirit Tasmanian Pepper Salt and a souvenir Australian dollars notebook - all of which I will use as bookmarks for my many cookbooks.  This idea of Australian dollar bookmarks got me thinking as to how many vegetarian or vegan cookbooks I have that are from Australian cooks and chefs? Perhaps Johanna can name me some other than Amy Chaplin and Kurma Dasa, as I am really not that sure. Or perhaps this can be a future blog post for her, if she wishes to accept.  
I am proper excited to try these Vegemite Bagel Crisps and look forward to ripping the bag open when I return home from my short holiday. 
Crafted Blends Greens, Pumpkin Seed, Spinach and Chickpeas has me curious as it sounds like a savoury bar.  The Milo protein clusters made me smile.  Johanna mentioned that Milo products are a little sentimental to her as it reminds her of her childhood.  
Some golden apricot bites and a couple of interesting bars: Apricot and a Cacao and Orange. I have not tried any of these yet, but as I have alluded above we will be away for a short break, driving to our destination tomorrow for a few days - so all these treat bars will be consumed on our road trip and I may up-date this blog post on my return for those curious as to how these Australian treats taste.
I do like my herbal teas so look forward to trying this Dandy Chai Blend with Roasted Dandelion Root
And spices.  Johanna on her blog has mentioned Herbie's Spices many times, so I was pretty chuffed to find these in the cotton tote bag (featured above).  Lemon Myrtle Leaf and Balmain & Rozelle Spice Blend, neither of which I have ever used.  I had heard of Lemon Myrtle, but not Balmain & Rozelle Spice Blend, but on a little bit more digging I learned that this spice blend was created to celebrate Australian broad food heritage.  I will be using it very soon as a marinade for a Summer vegetable bake, unless some of my Australian readers can give me recipe suggestions to use both spice blends.
I was also sent a chocolate bar of Freddo frog - one of Australia's popular children characters but with the hot weather got to him an d was more melty the frog, but I did still enjoy it with a cuppa tea.  Thank you so  much Johanna for your warmth, kindness and generosity.  

I am sharing this with Sherry Pickings for In My Kitchen series.  its one of my favourite blog events and one I have encouraged other fellow bloggers to join in too as its a way I could have a good cheeky nosy not only into their kitchen, but other peoples kitchen too, please do join in. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

#EatYourGreens June Round Up

July has arrived with rays of sunshine and will hopefully promise to stay around a while longer.
We have  7 green recipes to share for #EatYourGreens. 
The first Eat Your Greens recipe comes from Ray who blogs at The Humble Lentil.  Ray shares with us a vibrant bowl of fenugreek also known as Methi and seasonal Jersey Royal Potatoes. 
Kate from GlutenFree Alchemist shared with us Spanakopita Galette filled to the brim with greens such as spinach, leeks and spring onions.  This green galette would make for a fantastic garden lunch.
We have another galette and this one comes from Johanna who blogs over at Green Gourmet Giraffe.  To be honest, I'd be happy with a slice of both galettes on my plate - Yes I am a greedy person. This green galette is made with Zucchini, Sun dried Tomatoes and Goats cheese.
Kari from Bite Sized Thoughts also brought to the table a zucchini dish.   Hers is Zucchini Noodles with a Creamy Turmeric Dressing.  I do like eating courgettes, but  this plate is just too pretty to eat with its warm vibrant colours. I am afraid I would just be gazing at it the way one stares at stars on still clear dark nights.
Next we have Minted Broad Bean Spread from Choclette who blogs at Tin and Thyme.  This kind of naturally creamy green smooth spread always excites me this time of year as its a sign that Summer has truly arrived and there will be lots of greens for us to try especially the pod kind. 
Courgette, Mushroom and Peas Pasta Sauce.  I love the way the sauce has coated the pasta and the thinly paper sliced courgettes making what could be deemed a heavy dish to one of lightness and delight. 
And finally, my own contribution which was a Thai Green Coconut Curry packed with lots of green vegetables like mangetout, broad beans, edamame beans, peas, green beans and even baby gem lettuce. 

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to #EatYourGreens, please do take time to visit and comment on every contributors recipe if you can.  The Veg Hog will be hosting #EatYourGreens challenge this month.  Please Follow this link on how to join in I look forward to seeing your July contributions. 

My Legume Love Affair June Round Up

Here is the Round Up of My Legume Love Affair #108 for June 2017. 
 Thank you so much to everyone who contributed.