Twice-Baked Honeycakes

Twice-Baked Honeycakes

I just imagine sitting in Beorn’s log-house, safe and warm, nibbling on these tasty Honeycakes telling stories to the host.

This recipe had me puzzled for a little while when it came to put the dough onto the baking sheet. The dough was so soft and I did not quite understand the “lined” baking sheet part. Turns out I was overthinking it all and it was simply using parchment paper to divide the really soft mass into 3 large logs and bake them the first time inside the paper. They rose splendidly and after cooling where perfect for cutting into the final shape you see on the picture.

But once again I amazed my friends with a wonderful dessert, not least for the delicate hint of rosehips and lavender that blended with the honey and nuts beautifully. But also for the home made caramel drizzled across. I am quite regaining my old cooking prowess by going thru this booklet. And that makes this little Hobbit very happy.

So, next time a horde of dwarfs knocks on your door looking for supper, make sure you have some of these honey cakes to fill them with sweetness and strength to continue on their quest…

 

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Stewed Coney

Stewed Coney2

Sam Gamgee would be proud of this dish.

I just don’t know why I keep being surprised at the simplicity of all these dishes and how tasty they turn out to be??? Hobbits really do know good homely food. I bet even Smeagol would have liked this one…

Fresh winter vegetables, herbs and my first ever rabbit, add bacon and a feast is born. For this recipe I invited over some good friends to share in the plenty. My only note for this recipe is that the amount for the dumplings is a lot, even for four servings. You could half the amount and still be full. I only made eight big dumplings for our dish, one would have been enough, and I still had half the amount of dough left over, so I made breakfast the next day with them.

I used butter beans and they fit perfectly.  Also I used unfiltered natural apple cider pressed from real apples not from concentrate, that in itself was a challenge to look at all the choices on the shelf and read the labels and finally apple cider or apple juice? Is it the same or not? Who knows… Lucky for me this one said all the right things on the bottle and voila. A great flavor pick for sure, the apple cider sweetness and the earthiness of the veggies and herbs.

The best thing though was that after simmering everything in the pot, the meat just fell off the bones. Those coneys where absolutely fabulous.

Stewed Coney

 

Gaffer’s Blackberry Tart

Gaffer's Blackberry Tart

Gaffer Gamgee himself could not have been more pleased with this Blackberry Tart.

A lovely tribute to summer berries, light and fresh, no muss no fuss but full of sweetness and fruitiness. I did not even make any whipped cream for it, as I had planned, and it sure did not need any. My only addition was a garnish of lemon balm and as my friend dished out this one to us all she added a few leafs of the lemon balm to each slice of tart. It was the perfect finish and added a bit of extra oomph to the dessert.

I know you are going to get bored of me telling you how easy this recipe was, as I keep saying so every time, but what is true is true and for all those who need a leg up to try new things, this is the book to start with for sure.

I can’t believe I’m almost thru the book already. Only a few recipes left and then some miscellaneous and very interesting concoctions I can’t wait to experiment with. Thank goodness Chelsea also wrote the Game of Thrones official cookbook and that will be waiting for me after my adventures in Middle-Earth.

For now though I am off to another voyage of my own, back to my hometown to see family and friends. Namarie

 

Beer marinated Chicken

Beer marinated Chicken copy

This recipe is my own invention and contribution to Hobbit cuisine.

The need arose when I had to remake my roast ‘taters that I had not taken pictures of last time. So I needed a dish to go with the ‘taters and I had an inspiration for the chicken breast sitting in my fridge. I marinated the chicken with herbs and covered it in beer overnight. The next day I sauteed some onion and added the chicken and beer into the pan and slow cooked everything while the ‘taters where roasting in the oven. I added some mushrooms, because Hobbits love mushrooms, especially Hobbits that sometimes go off on unexpected adventures, and also some fresh asparagus that Sam most likely would have found down near the river in Hobbiton.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast                                                                      1 Tbs. bacon grease or butter

salt and pepper                                                                      1/2 onion chopped

1tsp rosemary and thyme each                                           3-4oz. mushrooms

12oz. beer ( IPA gives more flavor, but any works)         3oz. asparagus

Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper and herbs on both sides and put into a deep dish, pour the beer over it and let marinade for at least one hour, best if left overnight to soak up flavors.

Melt the bacon grease in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute until onion is soft and golden brown. Add the chicken and beer marinade, cover and let simmer on low heat for 20 min. turn the chicken breast a few times to soak up the beer evenly.

Chop the mushrooms and asparagus and add to simmer in the beer marinade, season to taste with more pepper and salt if needed. Simmer covered for 10 min then uncover and continue to simmer for 15 min, until the beer is mostly absorbed. There should be just enough sauce left to coat the chicken and veggies without it being a soup.

Serves 2                                               Prep: 1 hour                                        Cooking: 45 min

If you decide to serve this dish as I have with roast ‘taters, the chicken should be ready to dish up when the ‘taters come out of the oven.

Go and enjoy a Hobbit dinner with a friend or two…

DSCF2349
Beer marinated Chicken and Roast ‘Taters

 

Roast ‘Taters

Roast 'Taters

Roasted ‘Taters, the gaffer’s delight and sure true.

Last time I made the ‘taters with the roast chicken, I did not take pictures of the ‘taters by themselves. So I had to remake the dish to be presented in its own right. This time they came out even better than before, just perfectly crisp and tasty.

I chose a different kind of potatoes this time and they held up the boiling much better. I added some thyme and rosemary for extra flavor. The only thing I might try next time is to use lard instead of olive oil to shake and roast the ‘taters in. I think that would be much closer to Hobbit cooking than olive oil.

All in all a super easy recipe and enormous return in yummy-ness.

To complete the meal I invented my own version of Hobbit food this time, the Beer marinated Chicken. I will accord it its own blog post as it came out really nice and deserves to be added in it’s own category ; ” Inspired by Hobbit Cuisine”.

So stay tuned…

 

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

In this busy world of 24/7 sitting down to enjoy a calming cup of tea is almost a luxury these days.

Lucky for me I have been forced to do so in my quest to follow every recipe in my Shire Cookbook. To do it full justice I went on a quest to find the most pure and full leaf, or should I say full flower, Chamomile Tea. I wish I had a big garden to plant chamomile and other herbs and flowers for my kitchen, but my small landing is all I have.

I did find some great chamomile and I already had the lavender as I use that for my other ventures in kitchen and bath and magic…

The apple was a new ingredient and I have to say it was a very tasty addition. To find the right balance of chamomile and lavender following this recipe was easy and the subtle hint of lavender really made a simple cup of chamomile more sumptuous. I did put in some raw flower honey to sweeten the draft, but it hardly needed it. As with everything else, good and wholesome ingredients make all the difference in the world in bringing out real flavor. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to just prepackaged teabags, I have quite the notion to start making my own.

So all in all, easy peasy, lemon squeezy…

Sweet Biscuits

Sweet Biscuits

These crumbly sweet biscuits are a great snack for busy potterers like me.

My biggest frustration though is the measurements in cups for non liquid ingredients. My whole life I have been measuring in grams and kilos to be very precise, so this approximating cups of flour and fruits is driving me nuts.

In fact the only complaint I am having this time  is that the dough came out quite crumbly and I had to add one more spoon of milk and one of whiskey.  Yes I did add whisky instead of brandy, cause I did not have any brandy in the house. And to keep the shape for the biscuits even I used my muffin tin to back them.

I am also very proud of my home made orange candy peel, I made it a few days ago. Well I had to as it is nowhere to be found to buy. But I imagine our dear Bilbo would have made it himself as well.

So now we will need a great cup of tea to go with these biscuits and then I’m off to potter around some more on this busy busy day. I am developing a few yummy recipes of my own and will unveil those at some time in the future, when I have perfected the lot.

So stay tuned…

 

 

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

This was my first ever roast chicken made by me; and it was delicious.

What a simple and easy recipe with lots of flavor and taste… I keep getting surprised by all these recipes turning out so satisfying to make and eat. You’d think I should have gotten used to it now.

Anyhow, I decided to use this recipe to have a little dinner party for a friend I had not seen in ages.  So I basically cooked for two chef’s, both enjoyed the food. Phew… My friend really liked the stuffing and kept asking for more. It was very tasty, I have to admit.

As you can see from the picture I did add roast ‘taters using the next recipe, but in the excitement of getting the food to the table and not taking forever to take pictures and then cut the chicken and letting it all go cold; I forgot to picture the ‘taters on their own.

So I guess its back to the kitchen for another batch soon…

Tea Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches

Tea sandwiches are the best when you are hungry and need something yummy right away.

I made cucumber sandwiches just as the recipe in The Shire Cookbook demands and then I tried a variation that was suggested. The ham and brie with mustard sandwich. Both turned out very delicious and where promptly devoured right after taking these pictures.

I added a few slices of my own homegrown Serrano pepper from my garden. It was the first one I have cut from my plant, and it was spicy and gave the sandwich a little zing.

The cucumber sandwich was a delight, I have actually never had one while living in England, I always deemed it too simple and boring, but what a mistake that was. With the right type of cheddar this little gem was salty and sweet and creamy and refreshing all at the same time.

Now I feel full but light, ready to carry on my day without feeling like I need a nap.

Summer Cake with Strawberries

Summer Cake with Strawberries

What a wonderful light and summery cake this is.

Super easy to make and huge, I had to invite my friends over to eat it… All that fresh cream can’t stay in the fridge too long. Lucky I have friends that come on short notice.

The pastry was fluffy and not too sweet, just right and the strawberries added the sugar and juice. This is definitely going to be made again and I might try different fresh fruit for the summer. I’m thinking peaches maybe, yum…

The perfect addition to any serious summer party where Hobbits are concerned. Now I just need a big picnic basket to fit and a great big meadow to put my blanket down. This lovely cake will bring the faeries out by day I recon.