Monday, July 5, 2010

Making Whoopee!

It's been a month?   Wow.   June IS a busy time but still.

I have been cooking a lot.
Asparagus and Artichoke Salad with Poached Egg

This salad was just delightful; I roasted the asparagus in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt for 6-8 minutes; it comes out perfectly cooked and so tasty.   I tossed the artichokes in there half way through with some dried mint and added both to the salad of olive oil, honey and balsamic dressed leaves, Iberico ham, goat's cheese and cucumber topped with a poached egg.   A salad fit for a queen.

 Cupcakes for Jo
 Pan-fried Salmon with sesame oil, linseeds and salad

Artichoke and Iberico Ham Salad with Parmesan

I have also been running around like the proverbial blue-bum fly trying to pack it all in in time for school finishing which was last week.   When the last day came, it was a blessed relief!   The kids played in the park with their friends; the park throbbed with mums, dads and kids having picnics, riding their bikes, playing on the swings.....the sun shone and we all exhaled, knowing we had 7 weeks of holiday time with the kids to look forward to.  I say we all exhaled; some will hold their breath for the entire 7 weeks, some will be ok for the first 4 until they find they want to run away screaming to the hills and some will just grin and bear it...e.ach to their own; right now I'm happy.........!

 I want my holiday to begin NOW!

We went on holiday to Crieff Hydro and then Alton Towers, the biggest theme park in the UK; again, the sun shone and the kids had a ball.  
Crieff Hydro with sis and niece

Beautiful view over Crieff 

Lunch shenanigans

Beautiful horses

Feeding them grass

Hydro Reception...happy to be there!

Entering Alton Towers
One of the tamer rides!

On holiday we had salads, haggis, fajitas, creme brulee, hotdogs, hotpots, steak sandwiches and lots of fruit and wine!   Pretty tasty fayre, all in all.   

On our return journey, we stopped off at Morecambe Beach;

Jumping for Joy!

It's always good to be home.

Roast chicken with lemon and thyme 

On coming home, we cooked up a roast chicken, stuffed with lemon and thyme, Jersey Royal potatoes drizzled with olive oil, butter and sea salt, roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli and baby sweetcorn, peas and green beans coated in pesto...a new discovery and really delicious.... rice, gremolata breadcrumbs (toasted breadcrumbs with parsely, lemon rind and garlic), gravy made with the juices from the pan with a glass of champagne added and reduced.   A lovely home cooked meal.

Crepes stuffed with Nutella and banana, topped with icing sugar and ice cream from the local Italian cafe.    Mmmmmmm.

And now I try and redeem myself for the rest of the week; roasted tomatoes drizzled with pesto on Ryvita.

 Today, I make Whoopees for the first time; they're just out of the oven, the first batch going to Val's house this space for results.   They have been cooked in the USA for some time now and have come to these shores, looking to dethrone the cupcakes crown.   A cross between a cake and a cookie, sandwiched between a layer of vanilla buttercream, they may just do that very thing.


5thsister said...

I love Whoopee pies! Can't wait to see what you do with them.

It appears you've had a lovely holiday. I so enjoyed the photos of your family. But I must say: Welcome back!

Helen McGinn said...

Hi 5thsister! Thank you! I'm REALLY back this time; school holidays and we've had our vacation so lots more time. xx

Charles Gramlich said...

Looks good. Great family fun and good food. We had Eggs and sausage ourselves this morning.

aladdinsane12 said...

sounds like you've been having a great time! don't you love the summer? :) i didn't know how much i was craving a roast until i saw the photo of yours. mmmmmm!

Helen McGinn said...

Thanks Charles. :O)

aladinnsane...LOVE the summer! Stopping by yours today, put the kettle on... ;O)

Grannymar said...

I hope you kept me a slice of that Chicken, it looked scrummy. Now count me in for some woopie!

Sumandebray said...

What a Tasty post.....
I wonder if the salmon is dip fried .... I was staring at it like a greedy :)

mise said...

Ah, you're back, and busy! I never know what to cook when you're not around so I've been living on tomatoes on toast. Bet that makes you feel bad about having all that fun with your lovely children while we've been wasting away...

Brittany said...

Looks like you've been having a lovely summer! So much fun! As always, your food photos are gorgeous... every time I visit your blog, I leave with a growling tummy :)

Helen McGinn said...

Grannymar, I knew you'd be up for some whoopee! ;O)

Sumandebray....pan-fried; mighty tasty too. :O)

mise, as long as there was some pesto atop that tomato and toast, i'll forgive you if you can forgive me? ;O)

Brittany, one of these days, blogs will come with actual tasting powers! Now wouldn't THAT be fun?

Laura said...

You had me at Asparagus and Artichoke salad. I wish you were my wife Helen.

I was wondering if you could give some hints/tip on how you got started with the weekly budget. I really need/want to do something similar. I am sure that we bleed money into our food budget constantly with our disorganized shopping.
What are Auntie Helen's tricks for getting started on the road to food planning, food budgeting and food loving?

Helen McGinn said...

Laura...*L* The best thing to do is to fill up your stock cupboard with the basics...I'll do a post on it this week for you....and then to write down what you would like to eat for approx. 5-7 days and take it from there. You have to be able to be a little flexible as you look out for those special offers though. Watch this space! :O)