Friday, January 15, 2010

My week in pictures

I discovered a beautiful new salad. It was the tastiest, simplest plate of scrumptiousness.

Roasted Artichoke Salad with mint, Parmesan and toasted pine nuts

Pikelets for supper and breakfast....mmmmm.

Just enough for three greedy children

I made 'Fred' for baby nephew

Gift boxed until his birthday

The kids made a chinhead video with my you do.

Then 'Johnny' was born for Fraser.

So now everyone has one!

The salad was so good, I had it again another night!

Artichoke Salad
Artichokes, steamed for 20 minutes OR buy already cooked from deli, fresh or jarred.
Mixed peppery leaves (rocket, spinach, radicchio etc)
Slivered or grated Parmesan, to taste
Toasted pine nuts, about a small tablespoon per person
Juice from lemon
Olive oil (I used extra virgin for the dressing)
Handful chopped fresh mint
*Apparently, radishes, thinly sliced go really well with this too...couldn't get any but will try next time.

I used jarred artichokes as I had some from Christmas. I arranged them in their oily, vinegary liquid onto a baking tray, drizzled some extra olive oil on top and roasted in the oven for 8 minutes or so, until the artichokes started to turn brown at the edges.

Arrange the leaves on a plate and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil (or lemon oil) and a good squeeze of lemon really want to taste the lemon. Arrange the artichokes on top and squeeze a little more lemon juice on them. Sprinkle over the Parmesan; the first time I grated, the next I thinly sliced....makes no difference, just whatever you prefer. Dry toast the pine nuts and toss on top. Enjoy....again and again.

*I think the jarred artichokes work so well here and I don't know if I'd bother buying them fresh...I will, once, just to try but there is something about the flavour of the marinade...the oil, the vinegar cutting through the a good way...that really works.

225g/8oz Strong White Bread Flour
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast (easy bake yeast, comes in small sachets, 2 teaspoons per 7g packet)
Quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175ml/6 fl oz warm semi skimmed milk
175ml/6 fl oz hand hot water
Sunflower or Veg oil for brushing

Stir all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Gradually pour in the milk and water with an electric whisk or hand whisk, until a batter is formed. This should take a few minutes. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for approx. 1.5 hours or less, until the mix goes frothy.

Beat again for approx. 1 minute until smooth.

Warm a large, non stick pan, medium heat and brush with oil. Spoon a tablespoon of the batter onto the can do a few at a time...and cook until the bubbles have burst and the batter is almost set, a minute or two. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds or so until the middle is golden in colour. Grease the pan between each cooking of pikelets.
*Women's Institute Recipe

If you make these with a teaspoon size, they are great for canapes. Two tablespoons poured into a greased ring or cookie cutter will give you crumpets.

The kids like the pikelets with a sprinkling of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, I like them with jam. We all love them with Nutella.


Grannymar said...

I like the sound of that salad and it seems so easy. I have only finished lunch and I am hungry again!
All your fault! ;)

Beth said...

I used to do that when I was little.

Can I just come over your house to eat that salad please.... :)


Have a great weekend....are you all still FREEZING?
We are in the 50's today. Just wonderful!


Beth said...

Oh.....Johnny is CUTE!

ER said...

Fred and Johnny are adorable! They'd make wonderful characters for a children's tale, don't you think? Everything here looks so yummy. I love salads but tend to forget about them in winter. We're finally thawing, by the way. Yay! it's raining!!! Wait, i better not say THAT too loudly. The last time i wished for something, it was for a white Christmas! ;) I hope you're seeing the end to all the ice at last, too. Lizzy :)

mimbles said...

That salad looks great, I'm the only one in the family that would eat it though I think, better wait till we have company to share it with!

I love the expression you've given Johnny, he looks slightly mischievous :-)

Sumandebray said...

The salad looks very interesting and tasty.... got to try this sometime at home
This was another of your tasty posts

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

You've been a busy girl! I love the dolls. They are sweet.

Artichoke hearts are one of my favorite foods ever. They grow close to where I live. I definitely will make that salad!

mise said...

With this creativity you are quite putting us to shame, ambassador. I love the jarred artichokes and have never tried roasting them, but I will now.

Unknown Mami said...

I love your dolls.

Helen McGinn said...

Grannymar, it's my job on this earth! ;O) It really is delicious, try it!

Beth, thank you! It's still cold although it's around 5 degrees just now which isn't so bad. It fluctuates though and it snowed again the other day. Grrr. Go away now, snow!

ER, the rain is a GREAT thing! Here too...woohoo! Thank you for your kind comments, they would make great characters!

mimbles, here too...I made it solo! Too good to share anyway. ;O)

Sumandebray, thank you...definitely worth a try. :O)

Carolyn, thank you hon. Oh, how I'd love to have artichokes growing next to me.

mise, you've got me wanting Ferrerro! Roasted are really delicious.

Unknown Mami, thank you, you are too kind to me!

Anna said...

1. that salad looks YUMMY. 2. your sweet kids always make me smile. 3. your dolls are ADORABLE. you should make an etsy shop of them!! my nieces would <3 them!

happy weekend love!

Protege said...

Oh, I am hungry now. Again.;)
The clip is hilarious, was this the first take?;)
Have a great weekend,

Helen McGinn said...

Anna, thank you my dear! :O) Watch that post now!

Protege...*L* Yes, it made me was so bad, it was good...!

Shelle said...

looks like a good week, wish I had sound on my computer...i'm sure my kids would love that. i must try your pikelet receipe, mine is just a typical pancake type batter.

beagle said...

The doll is so adorable!

Katie said...

Oh my! This salad sounds WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing!

K a b l o o e y said...

The salad looks and sounds delicious, and I'm with the lot of you -- anything tastes better with Nutella, especially spoons.

Keri @ Spirit of Power said...

Oh - that salad! It looks so good, must try it very soon!
Love the blog, keep up the great work!

LadyJ3000 said...

The Artichoke Salad looks delightful. We have three artichoke plants in the garden and I am always looking for recipes to use them in.

Hannah said...

I'm so glad you were chosen as the featured blogger. It's fun to read a blog from someone in a different country and discover new recipes, etc. Thanks for your blog. Submit CUTE or FUNNY photos and tell friends to vote. $2,000 in prizes. No entry fee.