Quick Tomato Salad

Recipes, Uncategorized

Tomato Salad.jpgUse the best of the summer’s tomatoes in this delicious, herby tomato salad. I served mine with lamb fillet marinated in garlic, rosemary & lemon & some buttered new potatoes. But it’s perfect on it’s own, served with some crusty fresh bread to mop up the juices. The perfect simple supper.

Ingredients

  • One or two large tomatoes
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes ( I used red & yellow from my mum’s garden)
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 2-3 basil leaves (I used purple basil from the garden)
  • A few chives
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Chop your tomatoes how ever you please, I sliced mine in big thin slices & halved my cherry tomatoes.
  2. Roughly chop your herbs, and add these to a bowl with the tomatoes
  3. In a cup, lightly whisk your vinegar and olive oil, and season to taste. You can add more oil/vinegar to suit your taste. I like mine quite sharp.
  4. Add this to your tomatoes & herbs and mix together. Add more seasoning if it needs it.
  5. Place into your serving dish & enjoy!

 

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

 

Happy Birthday Doris

Baking, Photography, Uncategorized

A cake I made for a friend’s grandmas 99th birthday.¬†Happy Birthday Doris.

Vanilla sponge filled with butter cream & summer berry jam. Topped with fresh berries, macarons & fresh flowers.

If you’d like me to make you a cake, please get in touch.

DSC_2574

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Gin, Tonic & Elderflower Sorbet

Food, Photography, Recipes

Hi Everyone,

So like every graduate I have been thrown out of the education system, into the big wide world, and am now on the search for a job. With job applications come rejections and me feeling like I need a drink. So what better way than combining the job application process with alcohol. No really, this recipe was actually thought up for a job application, promise!

It was for a job application for an award winning, London based company called Sipsmith who make gin and other spirits. I had to create something for a designer role that showed why I am perfect for the job. I wanted to think a little out the box, and decided to do what I do best and create a recipe card. So instead of me typing out the recipe, I am going to show you all my design. Of course you can use any gin you have and for the elderflower I used Belvoir Elderflower Cordial. Fingers crossed I get the job, and if not I had a fun time making the recipe, and the design so it was worth it regardless. (I say this as I’m trying to be positive, but lets face it, nobody likes rejection).

Let me know if you like this idea, as I will continue to design recipe cards that you can all print and add to your collections!

Recipe Card

The perfect recipe for all the adults to enjoy, on a hot summers day – perfect for this heatwave that is meant to be coming our way! Let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas that you want me to try out then send them my way!

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Dips. Dips. Dips.

Food, Photography, Recipes

As promised a recipe or three that I’ve had stored in my mind (and notes on my phone) for a while now. I really should get a recipe book to write down all these things. There’s something about paper and handwriting I like, seeing as all is digital these days. How old do I sound, like my mum. Sorry mum. But it’s true, nothing beats a piece of paper and a pen.

These recipes are perfect for the summer days which we all long for. Great accompaniments to our love of BBQ’s. A pineapple Salsa – inspired by a dish from my favourite Thai restaurant, an aubergine dip – made by my mother, and beetroot hummus – which to tell you the truth was a bit of an experiment. They are quick, require little skill, equipments and ingredients but will jazz up your barbecues a treat.

Pineapple Salsa

This salsa reminds me of one of my favourite dishes from a local thai restaurant. It is a pineapple, chicken and prawn salad served in the pineapple. This was my take on this, so would be perfect with chicken, or prawns or served over a simple salad.

Ingredients

1/2 Ripe & Juicy Pineapple

1 Red Chilli

Small Handful of Mint Leaves

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

1tbsp caster sugar (or to taste)

Handful of Cashew Nuts, chopped and toasted

Method

1. Simple peel, and chop the pineapple into small chunks. Finely chop the mint leaves. Finely dice the chilli.

2. Add the pineapple, mint, lime and cashew nuts into a bowl. Add chilli to taste depending on how hot you like it and add the sugar to taste. The sugar removes the sharpness. It helps to leave the salsa to marinate for around half an hour or more to let the flavours infuse.

3. Place in your serving dish, and sprinkle with more nuts, chilli and mint.

Beetroot Hummus

This was a bit of an experiment to tell the truth, I love beetroot, and love hummus but was bored of the plain hummus I tend to have quite often. This dip has quite an earthy taste, one which not everyone may like. It is perfect with fish such as mackerel, or simply served with some seedy crisp breads.

Ingredients

380g Tin/Carton of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2tbsp Lemon Juice

1tbsp Horseradish sauce

2 Large beetroots cooked and peeled and roughly chopped

Method

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as you like it. Season to taste, and add more lemon/horseradish dependent on how you like it! Simple!

Aubergine Dip

This was something my mum whipped up with a left over aubergine knocking about in the fridge. Super tasty and perfect served with warm flatbreads as a little appetiser.

Ingredients

1 Aubergine

Tbsp cream cheese or total greek yoghurt

Juice and Zest of a small Lemon

Method

1. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, and drizzle with a little oil, roast in the oven at 200c for about 40 minutes until soft. Turn off the oven and leave to cool.

2. Scoop out the flesh and blend in a processor with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve with some warm flatbreads, and some other chargrilled vegetables.

Coming soon… another summer inspired post!

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Rhubarb & Custard Ice Cream

Baking, Food, Recipes

My mum receives an organic fruit and veggie box every week packed full of seasonal goodies from the wonderful people at Abel & Cole, who like me are lovers of collaboration. We received some organic rhubarb and some strawberries in our box and I thought to my self that summer is finally upon us, despite the weather taking a bit of a turn at the start of June. What better way to kick off the season than with some homemade ice cream, indulgent and luxurious. This flavour is a classic combination that some may remember from childhood boiled sweets.

How about serving it with some mini meringue kisses, (a great way of using up the egg whites) and some strawberries marinated in Amaretto liquor, a twist on the classic Eton mess or why not add some jelly, to make an adult version of a child’s favourite – knicker bocker glory.

There are a few different stages to this recipe, and a fair few ingredients, but please don’t be put off as the stages can be made in advance and refrigerated, ready for assembly the next day.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Ice Cream Base

300ml Milk

100g Granulated Sugar

3 Egg Yolks

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste/Extract or 1 Vanilla Pod

500g tub Mascarpone Cheese

140ml Double Cream

Rhubarb Compote – Adapted from a Waitrose Recipe

Aprox. 400g Rhubarb (about 1 pack/bunch)

1 Vanilla pod, split / Vanilla Bean Paste/Extract

2tbsp Maple Syrup

60g Light Brown Sugar

2 Clementines, or a Splash of Orange Juice

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon, or 1 Cinnamon Stick

Meringues – Meringue Girls Recipe

Marinated Strawberries

400g Punnet of British Strawberries

1tbsp Maple Syrup or Caster Sugar

1tbsp Amaretto Liquor

Method

Start by making the Rhubarb Compote

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and chop the rhubarb into sticks roughly 6-7cm long.

2. Place the rhubarb, vanilla, spices, sugar and clementines (peeled and sliced/or the juice) in an oven proof dish.

3. Cover with foil and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and baste with the maple syrup and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the rhubarb in tender.

4. Leave to cool, then remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick before blending to a smooth puree. Set aside in the fridge.

Next, prepare the Ice Cream Base

1. Combine the milk, vanilla and half the sugar in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside for about 15 minutes to infuse the vanilla into the milk.

2. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar and beat until thick and pale. It’s best to use an electric whisk for this, but if you don’t have one just use a little elbow grease – think of all the calories you’ll save, ha!

3. Bring the milk back to the boil, then slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, ensuring to whisk steadily as the milk is added – we don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs.

4. This bowl can either be placed over a bowl of simmering water, or you can return the custard to the saucepan. If you are going to use the second option, ensure the pan is on a heat diffuser and use a thermometer to ensure you do not overheat the custard. Use a wooden spoon, or spatula to continually stir the custard untill it reaches 85 degrees c, or is thicker in consistency. It should coat the back of the spoon, and hold its shape when you run your finger through it.

5. Pour into a bowl and cover directly with cling film to stop a film forming, and then once cool refrigerate.

6. Once cool, beat the mascarpone, to loosen it and then beat in the custard mixture, along with the double cream. The mascarpone gives the ice cream a luxuriously thick and creamy texture, but you can substitute this for a 300ml carton of double cream instead if you want to (instead of the mascarpone and additional double cream).

7. This is ready to be poured into an ice cream maker, until it is thick and luxurious. If you do not have an ice cream maker you could try pouring it into a tub, freezing and churn it by hand every half hour/to an hour to break up the ice crystals. However, for best results use an ice cream maker, as the hand method will result in a less smooth result.

8. Once the ice cream is set, marble through 3/4 of the rhubarb puree. We will use the other 1/4 to drizzle over the ice cream later. Pour in a tub, and leave to firm up in the freezer.

Marinated Strawberries

1. Hull and quarter the strawberries, and add to a bowl.

2. Spoon over the maple syrup or sugar and add the liquor, mix together and set aside in the fridge, until ready to serve. If you are making this for children, you can leave the liquor out.

Assemble 2-3 scoops of ice cream, a spoonful of strawberries, a few meringues and jelly if you so wish and top with a little of the left over compote, and enjoy.

Rhubarb &Custard

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Summer Fruits, with a mint, lime and vanilla syrup.

Food, Photography

Here is the second image in a growing series to accompany the Lentil Curry I posted about at the end of January. This image was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, which I adapted slightly. I plan on creating my own version, and serving it with a homemade vanilla ice-cream, and a pecan praline. Again, I will test this and post up the results for you to try soon.

I will continue to post these images as I create them. I am currently trying to juggle keeping this blog, applying for graduate jobs and producing my university work.

Fruit Salad

My photography work and more information on this series will be updated on my new website http://www.mariablackstone.co.uk and please get in touch if you would like to purchase prints.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,
Maria x