I’ve joined a monthly cooking club challenge, and managed to be late with my first ever post! Better late than never I guess? This month’s challenge was to cook something from your current favourite recipe book.
I have to admit, I’m actually not the biggest cookbook person. Yes we do have half a bookshelf dedicated to recipe books, but these are mostly purchased by The Boy who can’t seem to stop collecting them. I really enjoy flicking through the recipes and photos for ideas, but rarely cook a complete dish from one without changing things here and there or mashing it up with another recipe.
For last weekend’s winter feast I took on the vegetarian dishes and dessert, whilst The Boy handled the roast meat and veggies. I decided to make vegetable tarts, and found a few interesting recipes in the only cookbook that I’ve actually bought, which is Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide. I’ve found this book really useful for coming up with meatless meal ideas (which we try to do once or twice a week), and for catering for vegetarian friends. For my tarts I used a cream cheese pastry recipe from the Mini Pumpkin and Curry Quiches recipe, a bit of inspiration from the Pumpkin and Feta Pie and a few ideas here and there from other photos in the book. Unfortunately the pastry recipe that I chose produced a soft, flaky pastry which whilst delicious shrank away from the sides of my mini tart tins and left me with very rustic, almost flat shells to try and work with. Oh well – I topped the shells with caramalised red onion, herbed mushrooms and roasted pumpkin with a bit of goats cheese, then popped them back into the oven to warm up. They were certainly not the prettiest of dishes but they did taste alright!
For dessert I made sticky date puddings from one of our newer recipe books (which I think I’ll have to try out more things from): Margaret Fulton’s Kitchen. I doubled the recipe which was supposed to cater for 6 – 8 and we had 11 guests coming… I don’t know how much dessert Margaret Fulton likes to eat, but I think it’s much more than what my guests managed!
I’m not the best baker in the world and they ended up with more of a light, muffin-like texture than a pudding – but warmed up and drizzled with sauce it doesn’t seem to matter so much. Instead of Margaret’s caramel sauce I opted for this Easy Butterscotch Sauce, which I think will be making more appearances in my kitchen from now on.
I’m really looking forward to doing more of these monthly challenges, and hopefully not being so late with my entry next month!
Don’t forget to check out what the others have cooked up this month: