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Cover: A dish for all seasons

16Oct 12

Raspberry Mousse

Who doesn’t love a cool chocolate or fruit mousse for dessert? Well, now that raspberries are in season (traditionally throughout July and August), what better dessert to make with those freshly picked, or freshly bought, pink, furry, juicy fruits than a delicious raspberry mousse? It makes a real summertime treat for adults and kids alike. Everyone in my family loves it, and we can never get enough! The best thing about it is that it can be made all year round because frozen raspberries make for an equally great mousse. Fun fact: I found out the other day that almost all the raspberries sold in the UK are grown in Scotland, and that their production forms an important part of the Scottish economy, particularly in the Tayside area where raspberry farmers earn about £12m a year! I’d always thought mousses were hard to make, but it’s actually not that difficult, […]

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17Sep 12

Rabbit in Almond and Liver Sauce

My mother-in-law sent me this rabbit in almond and liver sauce recipe to try because I mentioned that we don’t often cook rabbit at home. It’s not as popular and easy to get hold of here in the UK as it is in the rest of Europe, probably because it was so cheap and plentiful during WWII that it was later associated with food rationing. I think it’s making a comeback though, as I’ve seen it in some restaurants and “gastropubs”. And with the economic downturn, it makes a cheap and lower fat alternative to other meats. Also, it’s in season all year round, but my butcher tells me that the best sized rabbits are available from July to December. I suggest buying wild rabbit; it’s free range and has a natural diet, which means it’s tastier and better for you. Most butchers should have it – just check that […]

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31Jul 12

Courgette Carpaccio

Courgettes are great versatile summer vegetables, and right now they are at the height of their season in the UK. They are a good source of potassium, folate and vitamins A and C and, as we all know, the best way to get the most vitamins and nutrients from vegetables is to eat them uncooked. I had always cooked courgettes until I discovered that they are also quite nice raw, in salads and even in juices! Sliced very thinly, drizzled with a basil, olive oil and lemon juice dressing and topped off with Parmesan cheese and roasted pine nuts, this courgette carpaccio is a light and appetizing starter that’s really easy to make. (Also try these courgette and leek fritters!) Print Courgette Carpaccio Author: Toni Simpson Recipe type: Starter Prep time:  30 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 4   Ingredients 4 small courgettes, washed and dried 100g walnuts Juice of half a […]

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27Jul 12

Salmorejo (Spanish cold tomato cream)

Salmorejo is a wonderful Spanish dish, from the region of Cordoba, usually served as a starter and garnished with Serrano ham and hard boiled egg. Basically, it’s a cold tomato cream, and its main ingredients are tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic and vinegar. It’s one of my favourite summer dishes, so easy to make and really delicious and refreshing on a hot summer’s day! But don’t confuse it with gazpacho, the Spanish cold soup made with tomatoes. Gazpacho is thinner, contains less bread, more water and additional ingredients like cucumber and red or green pepper. I would say you drink gazpacho, but you eat salmorejo. You can also spread it on toast, with some Serrano ham on top, so if you want to do this you could make it a little thicker – by adding a bit more bread and a little less water. (For a hot treat, try this cream […]

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25Jul 12

Gooseberry and Almond Cupcakes

I remember warm summers when I was a little girl, helping my grandmother make jams, cakes and pies with the gooseberries from her garden. I used to love their tangy taste, but was oblivious to the fact that they are a good source of fibre and vitamins A and C! (Also try these lemon blueberry muffins.) We don’t have gooseberries in our garden, unfortunately. But when I saw them in a farm shop the other day, they brought back such nice memories that I had to buy some. They are in the peak of their season right now (June and July), so they may even be sweet enough to be eaten raw. However, I’ve baked some gooseberry and almond cupcakes, based on my grandmother’s “cherry financiers” recipe, changing some of the ingredients. I was quite chuffed with how they turned out actually! Print Gooseberry and Almond Cupcakes Author: Toni Simpson Recipe […]

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21Jul 12

Asparagus and Cream Cheese Ravioli

Pasta – a soft and sensual art in creation and consummation… Home-made pasta offers a world of discovery.  Try making this asparagus and cream cheese ravioli.  Asparagus is in full season from April to June. So why not take advantage of the season and also try this asparagus and cheese pudding? What you need: 500g strong pasta flour 5 large eggs Semolina flour for dusting 2 bunches of asparagus 2 cloves of garlic, minced A little olive oil 80g butter Salt and fresh ground pepper to season 425g ricotta cheese 1 large handful of fresh tarragon, finely shredded 90g parmesan cheese, finely grated, and some to sprinkle when you serve What to do: Whizz the pasta flour and eggs for about 30 seconds in a food processor.  Let it rest for a couple of minutes and whizz again for a short time, forming dough.  Remove and knead by hand for […]

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18Jul 12

Rich Shepherd’s Pie with Red Wine Stock

Have a go at this rich shepherd’s pie with red wine stock, using the best of the season’s lamb. (For a a more vegetarian-friendly aubergine bake, try this baked aubergine parmesan with tofu pesto. What you need: 450g minced lamb 1 medium onion, finely sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed 90ml extra virgin olive oil 2 carrots, cut into small cubes 2 aubergines, cut into small cubes A generous splash of Worcester sauce 2.5 tbsp tomato purée 100ml red wine 90ml lamb, beef or chicken stock Pinch of sugar 4 medium tomatoes, diced 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 3-4 floury potatoes, King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled and cut 2 tbsp butter Splash of milk Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season What to do: Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for around […]

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16Jul 12

Butter Bean and Chorizo Stew

Butter beans tend to have a fairly limited growing season in the UK – late spring to early summer.  They tend to do a little better in warmer climates, but you can grow them successfully in the UK.  Try planting them after the last frost and harvesting them 80-90 days later. My butter bean and chorizo stew recipe uses large butter beans, which incidentally are low in fat and a great source of iron.  As we all know, we are fortunate enough to be able to buy butter beans pretty much year-round, either dried or with salty water in jars.  I usually buy them ready-to-use in jars, which avoids the overnight soaking and cooking stages. I love to make this stew on those spring evenings that still have a chill in the air, on April shower days or crisp early May nights to warm and comfort the family. (Another great […]

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12Jul 12

Kiwi Fruit Smoothies Collection

Time to raise a glass to your health! Kiwi fruit is readily available in the UK from January to August.  This visually stunning fruit is so good for you.  It packs a punch in vitamin C and also contains potassium, vitamin E, vitamin A and plenty of dietary fibre, amongst other nutrients. It has an intense, and some would say sharp, flavour when scooped straight out of its furry greenish-brown skin.  I love it just like that, or mixed in with strawberries and other fruits to make a colourful fruit salad.  But today, I’m going to share a few smoothie recipes with you: kiwi and strawberry smoothie, creamy kiwi smoothie (pictured) and sherbet zest kiwi smoothie. These smoothies will make a wonderful dessert or a healthy mid-afternoon filler.  So let’s toast your health together in celebration of the wonderful kiwi fruit! (For a different type of fruit smoothie, try this […]

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10Jul 12

Spinach with bacon and pine nuts

A starter that brings four flavours and textures together:  It’s soft, salty, crunchy and sweet.  Go on, try it… Spinach with bacon and pine nuts uses soft and subtle spinach, brought to life by the saltiness of the bacon, the crunch of the pine nuts, and the sweetness of the raisins.  If you can find a good cured Parma ham, or Spanish Serrano ham to cut into chunks to replace the bacon, they also work really well in this dish.  We often make this dish as a starter, or as a side dish to accompany lamb, beef or pork.  Spinach is in season in the spring. If you like this combination, I would also recommend these mini-pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts. What you need: 1 kg freshly washed baby spinach leaves 100g small bacon cubes 3 tbsp pine nuts 3 tbsp raisins 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil […]

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