11 August 2010

Elsewhere In The Blogosphere - July 2010 (Part 1)

Elsewhere In The Blogosphere - July 2010 (Part 1)

With the summer fruit rolling in, Raspberry Jam is being made at A Slice of Cherry Pie, while at Cannelle et Vanille Aran is inspired by a simple bowl of frozen raspberries and bakes delicious Gluten Free Raspberry Scones and a fancy Heirloom Tomato, Rice and Almond Tart - I am a sucker for these types of simple tarts that use beautiful in-season vegetables and I like the idea of trying the unusual base for this tart.  And what could be simpler and more inspiring than the Purple Corn Muffins and Poached Salmon Salad which are gorgeously colourful, full of bright harvest-time colours.

It's been a weird summer here in North Yorkshire, with temperatures never really rising above 15C, so I have not really felt inspired by classic summertime foods like salads and cold fish etc, sticking more to warm salads and barbecued chicken and other meats.  But Aran's salad and the Tomato and Einkorn Wheat (or Spelt) Salad at Chocolate & Zucchini makes me feel as though I am missing something important this year.  I have already mentioned the recipe for Almond Cake With Blueberry Coulis which seems a great alternative to my own Almond Cake recipe that took inspiration from many sources, but mainly David Lebovitz.

David Lebovitz's recipe for Caramelized White Chocolate Cakes are my kind of pudding and would go down a storm with any guests, especially amongst children.  Or returning to the summer fruits theme, Vegan Strawberry Ice cream looks and sounds to die for and on the salads line, a recipe for Classic Salad Nicoise, which is something I have always loved being a sucker for anchovies and their deep, umami and salty taste.  Then David Lebovitz has an intriguing recipe for Cornmeal Cookies that has a photo of the dough being chopped with an evil looking slice that reminds me that I must try some of the sablé recipes that I keep seeing posted on various sites; they're just something I have never baked and I feel left out and a rural country bumpkin and so "1980s" as my daughter keeps on telling me - her current insult of choice for us out-of-date adults.

At Cooksister, there's a posted version of South African Milktart that uses cardamom, as well as cinnamon, infused into the milk, which must be one of my favourite combinations of sweet spices.  I love cardamom and for me it is one of those misunderstood and unloved spices that should be used much more in British sweet foods, rather than being consigned to the savoury, curry-style end of cuisine.  She also cooks a whole leg of lamb on a braai with an intriguing rub all over the lamb before cooking, which is similar-but-different in concept to my less sophisticated recipe for Barbecued Lamb at Steenbergs web site.  But I do love the idea of her Coconut Tart as I am always struggling with how to imaginatively use coconut, so this sounds great with flavours that hint back to the almond cake recipes in this round up.

Now at Helen's wonderful blog - Fuss Free Flavours - I have been inspired by her recipe and photos for Whole Wheat Walnut Bread and Matcha Muffins, which are exquisitely green in colour.  I am inspired not only to think about using matcha in sweet bakery - perhaps fudge or sablé biscuits - but I will look to adding organic matcha tea to our tea range at Steenbergs.  I know where to get it, just have been cautious about buying it as it is damn expensive.  While never having been a fan of tofu, finding the texture just too weird to take, I am inspired by Helen's rendition of Ottolenghi's Black pepper Tofu recipe.

There seems a lot to write about this month, so this will follow on in next couple of days...