Sunday, 29 December 2013

             Veggieschmooze Ho Ho Ho, A Baked Snowman and all that!!!

Firstly sorry folks for being so remiss about our blogs

We have been cooking rather than blogging and the time has just whooshed by. But we have thought of you and hope you all had a wonderful festival.

As we are both vegetarian and Jewish, Christmas day is always a challenge. Yes we all get together sharing fun and laughter – it’s a good day to see family and enjoy each other’s company.

And for years we have discussed what to serve but this year after much serious discussion with Sarah’s lovely girls now nearly 10 and 12 we came to a wonderful decision. Merv my husband always makes chips, proper chips, cooked very poshly in olive oil. But chips do not make a meal. In the past I have created a veggie chilli, a veggie tagine even a veggie sausage roll dinosaur but this year the girls decided we would make a snowman!

The day before I combined Granose sausage mix and burger mix and formed a large ball for the base and another for the mid-torso. The head was a stuffing mix enriched with ground almonds. The hat – a vast field mushroom baked on the day with a few of its fellows with a little olive oil spray and a goodly offering of salt and pepper was tender and unctuous.

But oh dear when it was given its black olive eyes and carrot nose, it turned into a cute creature and I couldn’t just couldn’t cut into it. Amidst howls of laughter from both the children it was left to Joe my son, to stab the snowman and it was eaten with great gusto.

To accompany we ate a homemade dhal, and large dish of Alo Gobi – a lovely Indian combo of cauliflower, potatoes, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and lemon rice which always goes well.

Desert never seems to happen. I always used to make a ‘proper pudding but it was always left so this year we enjoyed some homemade Florentines and some little lemon pastries left over from winning the Zesty Challenge. Plus tinned lychees and mandarins. With a huge cheese board to follow.

And now we discovered we have won the Guardian Hang-over challenge which is pretty amazing since I have never suffered from a hangover in my life. Just know what I would want if it should happen.

Try the Shakshuka recipe also in Warm Bagels and Apple Strudelpublished by Kyle Books
Its great

Thank you for keeping in touch and we promise to write more next year

Fondest wishes to you all for the New Year
Ruth and Sarah


Veggischmooze Strikes Again with a Zesty Winning Recipe and our Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies 

Hi lovely followers.
So sorry we’ve been a bit lax lately with our blogs. Ruth has been short-listed for a children’s book prize and is madly writing her novel which she prays will tempt the judges. And Sarah is working hard on her University Photography homework so you will have better pics on this page.
But we are still enjoying sharing our tastes and trials with you and this week we are celebrating as we won the Zesty Challenge in the Guardian.
We are soo thrilled as this was one of the recipes we enjoyed making the most. Ruth says
‘Recently I went to Marrakech with my lovely husband, and we were lured by the glorious buttery smells of tiny pastry shops nestling in tiny dusty alleyways. These pastry shops sold the most wonderful array of delicacies – tiny finger sized pastries that begged to be tasted. Of course I had to taste and investigate the recipes.  And certainly this zesty baby was one of the best. Please try it but make double one amount is never enough!’

 And Hey ho we were also mentioned the following week in the Guardian Cook Melted Challenge
Mind you we knew that was a good one – a family special that always works and double moorish.  So here’s the recipe and please try it
Its fab xxx

 Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies are made by melting the best chocolate we can get fair trade of course and combining it with loads of luscious ingredients
And because it’s that time of year and the first mandarins are out we thought we’d add a little grated mandarin zest to the bitter chocolate. Mmm. The sauce, Rich Chocolate Sauce  – do we need one? is made by melting more bitter chocolate with butter, soft brown sugar and a little  cream. OHH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS
 Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies – makes one large cakes which cut into 18 glorious chunks – but we always double and freeze one  - the perfect heat-up pud.
 Preheat oven to 180C, Gas mark 4
Prepare one square tins by lining with paper  
275g 70% fair-trade plain chocolate
275g butter or margarine
250g fair-trade soft brown sugar
50g vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 teaspoons espresso coffee or 2 teaspoons hot water to 1 tablespoon good instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g spelt flour
75g plain flour
170g top quality choc chips
Zest 1 mandarin or Satsuma
4 large free range organic eggs

 Place the plain chocolate, the butter, soft brown sugar, the vanilla sugar and the golden syrup in a glass bowl above a saucepan of boiling water and melt the lovely ingredients together.  When completely melted remove and leave to cool. Now sieve the baking powder with the two flours into a large mixing bowl. Crack and whisk the eggs into another bowl. Then add the instant coffee plus the mandarin zest and beat them into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the sifted flour mixture with the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes when you should have a delicious crust on the top but the inside should still seem slightly soft to the touch but not runny.
Prepare the optional Rich Chocolate Sauce
 By melting 75g dark chocolate over the same double boiler with 25g butter or margarine, plus 25g Golden Syrup and 25g whipping cream together and stirring until the most luscious sauce comes together. Perfect!
Enjoy the results of a wonderful double melting dessert. xxx

 Squills of love Ruth and Sarah xxxxx

Thursday, 26 September 2013

 Veggischmooze Goes Guardian Ripe Challenge


Hi lovely followers. Wow not only did we come up with some stupendous recipes but also we made the Guardian Cook page with the Chilli Cheese Beignets. Please try them they are glorious.

But also try the simplest recipe in the world and Ruth invented it after a glut of brown turkey figs – clever green fingered husband!

So the first is

Boozy Baked Ripe Turkey Figs with Blackberries

But other figs will substitute easily.

And rather than offering banana bread to use up ripe bananas and seemed maybe a little wintry, I created,

2) Banana, Blueberry and Lemon Curd Muffins which tasted of summer flavours but still used a couple of lovely ripe bananas and turned out soo moist and luscious..

3) Chilli Cheese Beignets        

This recipe was inspired by a luscious piece of runny ripe Brie sitting in the fridge which I combined with the gentle heat from a ripe chilli in the garden. The beignets were fluffy and light and my husband so enjoyed them. Please try them.  

I do hope I can tempt you to one of these recipes. Monday now is Guardian Monday and a lovely cooking day.

Love and hugs

             Boozy Baked Ripe Turkey Figs with Blackberries
Serves 4 people

Please try this recipe. The figs taste lusciously decadent with their winey baking and the blackberries meld to make a rich dark juice.


Heat the oven 180C, Gas Mark 4

8 plump ripe figs

200g ripe blackberries

50ml fortified wine or port

Grated zest ½ orange

1 tablespoon of dark strong marmalade – preferably homemade

1 tablespoon agave syrup.


Cut the figs in half and lay in an oven to table dish. Sprinkle over the blackberries. Mix the wine with the grated zest and the marmalade and pour over the figs. Drizzle the agave syrup over the lot and bake for 1- ½ hours or until the figs are really tender and succulent. 

Serve hot with custard or ice cream or freeze for later.   



 Banana, Blueberry and Lemon Curd Muffins Makes 12 moist, lemony muffins

I was loath to make a banana loaf which sounded so wintry when we are still blessed with summer sunshine. So I invented this muffin with a hint of summer but still uses two lovely ripe bananas and it worked a dream. The processor makes a creamier mixture which mixes in really well.


Set the oven on 180 C, Gas mark 4 and line 12 muffin tins( whoops or fairy cake tins like me) with paper cases


250g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt    

2 medium bananas

150g punnet of ripe blueberries

Zest of 1 organic lemon and the juice of ½

140g fair-trade light muscovado sugar

10g vanilla sugar

70g melted butter or margarine

1 medium free-range organic egg

12 teaspoons or 85g lemon curd


Into a large bowl, sieve the flour with the salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. If you have a processor process the bananas with the egg, lemon zest, the two sugars and the melted butter or margarine. When this mixture is smooth add the blueberries and fold into the flour mixture, quickly adding the lemon juice at the very end as this will increase the chemical reaction and start the cakes bubbling in the cases. Quickly drop teaspoons of lemon curd onto the top of the muffins and place them in the centre of the pre-warmed oven.

Bake for 30minutes and enjoy hot or cold with a hot cuppa and plenty of good chat.            


Chilli Cheese Beignets

Makes 24 approximately and luscious with salad or doubled up to serve at a party

I was thrilled to combine the inspiration of a ripe brie sitting in the fridge with half a ripe chilli from the garden. I am so chuffed with these. Please enjoy. Xx


225ml water

110g butter

140g plain flour

Pinch salt

4 free range organic eggs

½ red chilli medium heat de-seeded and finely chopped or 1/8th teaspoon cayenne pepper

100g grated brie – the soft skin is fine grated (mozzarella is also delicious) 

100g grated parmesan or another strong cheese


Oil for deep frying


Place the water in a saucepan with the butter and bring them to the boil. Remove from the heat and add all the flour in one go, stirring continuously until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Place the pan back on the heat and keep stirring for another five minutes.

Leave to cool – I spread it out in a tin to cool quicker. Then either transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer or easier, place in the processor. When the mixture is cool add the beaten eggs one at a time. Then add or wiz in the cheese and the chopped chillies.

In a deep pan or chip pan heat the oil until it is quite hot 190C and carefully drop teaspoons of the cheesy chilli mixture into the pot. Turn them over with a slotted spoon so they brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen roll and serve hot as a snack or with salad as a light lunch.   





25g chopped basil added to the processor add a little freshness to the mix



Tuesday, 24 September 2013


                             Veggischmooze are smokin’ good



This lovely idea brought back such incredible memories of childhood with family members long gone; now locked in sepia frames.

So the first and luscious recipe is Liptauer Cheese made by Hungarians, Austrians, and certainly our family. Goodness when Ruth made it, the taste was childhood. Pure nostalgia!!

Then she looked at the Sephardi branch of the family and made Nahit – oven baked chickpeas cooked until slightly crisp and flavoured with a smoky, spicy, and totally irresistible coating. They have that once you start you can’t stop thing ahh.

And to make them even more irresistible she added some mixed nuts to the mixture. Utterly moorish with that hint of smoke.

Please try them we are so delighted with the recipes      


Love and hugs


Ruth and Sarah xxxx


As usual Sarah is my wonderful photographer – please enjoy



                        Ruth’s Liptauer Cheese – an old family recipe


Serves 3-4 for a delicious snack or starter


200g full fat cheese

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1½ tablespoons sesame seeds

1 fat clove garlic finely crushed

½ tablespoon paprika

½ teaspoon smoked sweet pimenton

30g dill pickle finely grated

½ teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

Black pepper to taste if needed


Process the caraway seeds and sesame seeds in a spice mill. Pour into a bowl. Crush the garlic as finely as possible so that it is a smooth fluffy paste. Add the remaining spices. Grate the pickle and combine all the flavours with a spoon or fork.


Serve with slices of pumpernickel bread, crudités, more pickles and lemon tea. Delicious

Next time I’ll make double!


Nahit  - Spicy Smoky Chickpeas

Serves 2-3  


The Sephardi branch of my family or at least my husband’s family love to serve this


economical treat at Jewish festivals as a nash or nosh. To make it even more special I


have added a bag of mixed nuts to give it a luxurious flavour – enjoy folks.


1 x 400g can chickpeas in salt rinsed

1 tablespoon corn or light olive oil

½ teaspoon smoked paprika – sweet pimenton

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground paprika

2 teaspoons golden syrup or honey

1 teaspoon dried thyme

125g mixed nuts


Heat the oven to 170 C gas mark 3


Rinse the chickpeas. Combine the oil with the spices, syrup or honey. Add the chickpeas and the nuts and shake or stir well until all the surfaces are covered with the sweet, spicy, smoky flavouring. Bake for ¾ hour which seems a long time and ovens may vary, but stir after 20 minutes and check – the chickpeas should be slightly crisp and the nuts brown and luscious. Taste and see if you can stop!  





Sunday, 22 September 2013

        Veggischmooze Goodness can it be September?          


Dear lovely followers. Firstly huge apologies for the gap in submissions recently. Ahh our Sarah, the clever technical one that mixes the copy and the photos and subs to the internet has been frolicking at festivals with wellies and garlands of flowers and enjoying other lovely holidays. But we’ll put it all right now with wonderful entries. But Ruth has still been submitting to the Guardian with brilliant results. So please keep watching our pages   

Now our news, our lovely girls, Jasmine age 12 and Phoebe age 9, were thrilled when their delicious Choc Chip biscuits made it to the Kids’ Pages and we all celebrated. Try the recipe it works and that’s always a bonus.

And then although we didn’t achieve page fame in the Sticky section, all these recipes are tried and tested and work like a dream.

We wanted to offer something a little different so try our   


                             Posh Lemon and Coconut Syrup Tart –oooh!!


We’ve called it posh as we’ve bothered to make Paté Sucrée instead of shortcrust as we wanted a super crispy pastry with a buttery finish. We think it’s worth the ‘potch’ as they say in Wales and we have added masses of lemon juice and rind, plus vanilla seeds to counteract the sweetness of the syrup.    

Grease and flour a swiss roll tin 18cms x 28cms

Set oven on 170C, Gas mark 3    


 90g butter or margarine 

60g soft brown sugar – we prefer the taste

10g vanilla sugar

3 free range organic egg yolks

200g plain flour + a little for rolling out

Grated zest ½ lemon

Cream the butter and the sugars in the processor. Slowly incorporate the egg yolks, and wiz the flour just until a soft ball of dough is formed. Flatten into a long rectangular shape, cover with cling film on both sides and chill for at least ½ hour.


300g golden syrup

150g desiccated coconut

100g homemade breadcrumbs made from a white loaf and processed

zest of 2 lemons+ juice of 1½

flaked coconut for topping as decoration

3 free-range- organic eggs


Roll out pastry and line tin pricking the mixture with a fork to prevent it rising. Line the tin with crumpled paper and baking beans. Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes or until it starts to look slightly gilded.

Remove the paper and beans. Mix the filling ingredients together and pour into the pastry case topping with a little flaked coconut for texture.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until gloriously golden and fragrant. Becomes sticky as it cools. And the inside is gorgeously gooey and sticky. Serve with masses of thick custard and lovely chats.



Then try our glorious Powerhouse Flapjacks – makes 24 delicious squares


These delicious flapjacks are made in an instant and will satisfy the hungriest child coming out from school or indeed a starving adult with a need for a healthier snack .With their toasted oat-rich contents and luscious nutty flavour, they will beat any so-called healthy granola bar. We found that these fabulous easy-to-make squares were brilliant fun to make with my grandchildren, as they are all mixed in one saucepan and have to be pressed or squidged into a lined tin and then sticky fingers licked. Enjoy.

Set the oven on 180C, Gas 4. Line a rectangle tin 29x19cms with baking parchment

Powerhouse Flapjacks – makes 24 delicious squares


350g jumbo or quick oats – not the ground variety

50g plain flour

175g luxury mixed dried fruit

70g pistachios

30g walnuts

150g light olive oil

160g golden syrup or honey

grated zest 1 orange

zest and juice ½ lemon

3 medium free range eggs

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200g glace cherries roughly chopped

55g desiccated coconut


Toast oats in a large roasting tin for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Leave to cool slightly. Measure oil and golden syrup or honey in a large saucepan and heat slightly or until syrup or honey melts. Remove from heat. Leave to cool. Roughly chop nuts and cherries. Add to cooled pan with remaining ingredients and spread onto tin. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until slightly golden. Cut into 5 cm squares approximately when warm. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.               




Finally our

Sticky Toffee Honey Nectarine and Apple Pudding

is a true winner and keeps like a dream. Warm and delectable this recipe was originally created by Ruth to serve on the Jewish New Year as its original contained apples and honey. But for the sticky challenge she decided to add one nectarine and half a cooking apple for tartness plus extra gooey stem ginger and half a tablespoon of black molasses.

 And ooh what a combo – soo chuffed – please try it. It’s sweet, spicy and ultra sticky and the stickiness grows if it’s left! Ha            

Serves 8-10


225g plain flour

¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon mixed spice

3 cardamom seeds ground and husks discarded

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

120g fair-trade dark muscovado sugar

120g margarine or butter

150ml honey or golden syrup

1 scant tablespoon black molasses or treacle

2 organic free-range eggs

4 tablespoons soya or whole milk

1 nectarine

½ cooking apple with skin

Juice and grated zest ½ lemon

100g dates stoned and finely chopped

2 pieces stem ginger finely sliced plus 1 tablespoon syrup for topping


Preheat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3 and line a 22cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with parchment paper.

Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice, ground ginger and allspice into a bowl. Melt the margarine /butter with the muscovado sugar, and honey or golden syrup and molasses in a pan. Set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs with the milk in a large mixing bowl. Grate the nectarine and apple and mix with the lemon juice and zest. Combine with the egg mixture and stir in the dates. Pour in the melted golden syrup/honey mixture and combine thoroughly. Quickly fold in the flour and spices and spoon into the prepared tin.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the pudding is gloriously fragrant, golden brown and risen. It will feel firm on top. In a small dish combine 1 tablespoon golden syrup + 1 tablespoon syrup from a jar of stem ginger. Glaze the top of the warm pudding. It is rather gilding the lily but goodness it’s luscious.  

 Serve hot or cold with ice cream and enjoy

Please keep following for another lovely chat next week. Cheers folks.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

                                   Veggischmooze Gets Barbecuing

 So it’s really hot at last and maybe your summer food seems a little bland and boring. We have the answer – a fabulous mildly spiced veganburger with a hint of coconut which is high in flavour, high in protein and will cook either in the oven or on the barbecue. It freezes well and can be eaten hot or cold. Make it early in the day when it’s still cool and those spicy flavours will sing. Serve in Yossi’s pitta recipe excuse us for repeating it but it will save you a little time scrolling back and it is the best. Then add the Wicked Chilli Sauce as accompaniment – you’ll be delighted, we promise.    
The Ultimate Vegan Burger with Kerala Spices

 Ruth says,’ This may seem like a huge number of ingredients but I’ve reduced the processes and the results are fabulous. I made them once as a tryout for the blog and they were so successful with the whole family that everyone was delighted when I had an excuse to make them again so soon. They are as filling as non-vegan burger and choc-full of magical foods such as sunflower seeds, oats and carrots. What a wonderful way to persuade the family to eat veggies.’

Make 12 generous burgers – probably serves 6 adults        

Grease two baking sheets with a little oil

Set oven on 190 C gas mark 5

150g TVP mince

600ml hot water

4 teaspoons Marigold bouillon soup powder

250g fresh carrots finely grated

150 g chopped onions – frozen are fab

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon turmeric

2 heaped teaspoons chopped chillies - approximately 1 medium heat  

1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic – approximately 2 cloves

1 thumb of fresh ginger finely grated

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon authentic Modena Balsamic Vinegar – check as this is vegan    

1 tablespoon tomato puree

100g sunflower seeds

30g porridge oats

15g pumpkin seeds

200 g cooked rice

2 teaspoons salt

150 desiccated coconut

25 g fresh coriander finely chopped

25g fresh parsley finely chopped


Place the TVP in a large jug and top with the water and stock powder. Leave to stand and to swell. Finely grate the carrots and leave in a large bowl. Take the sunflower seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds and place on an oven tray and toast for ten minutes on approximately 150 C, gas mark 2 just to colour a little. Pour the oil into a large saucepan and add the whole spices – the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and cook over a medium heat until they begin to pop. Add the onions, garlic, chopped chilli, and ginger and fry gently until the onions soften slightly and the fragrance is glorious. Add the garam masala, paprika and turmeric. Remove the seed/oat mixture from the oven and process until reasonably smooth with half the rice, the tomato puree, the balsamic vinegar and salt. Add this mixture to the grated carrot with the remaining rice, the coconut, chopped coriander and parsley and combine into a smooth mixture.

Form into large patties approximately 10cm in diameter and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until tops are firm and brown .Turn with a spatula and bake on the other side for approximately 10 minutes until golden.


Enjoy hot or cold – can be frozen and reheated in the oven or the microwave 


Seedy Pitta Bread

 This recipe is based on a lovely recipe given to us by Yossi who runs a falafel stall in Netanya, Israel. The locals visit every day and stop to buy his luscious falafel stuffed into his own extra fluffy pitta. We were thrilled when he offered to give us his recipe and chuffed he was being blogged. But we wanted to go even further and make these pitta even more special so we have added sesame and nigella seeds for extra flavour. We are so thrilled with the results and surely a decent flat bread recipe that suits vegans and carnivores alike has to be a bonus? 

Makes 25 – 30 

1 kilo plain flour

2 tablespoons dried yeast

700ml warm water

120ml oil

3 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoons sugar

100g sesame seeds

100g nigella seeds


Mix the sugar, 100gms flour, yeast and water in a small bowl and leave to prove in a warm place. When the mixture is frothy and bubbling, whisk in the oil. In a large bowl place the remaining flour, the seeds plus the salt then the yeast/ oil mixture and knead well until a satin-smooth dough is obtained. It is quite wet to begin so don’t panic. Leave to double in bulk in a warm place covered with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. When it has doubled in size remove and form into cricket ball sized dough lumps – or daintier if you prefer. Divide the dough into 25-30 balls. Roll them out to approximately 2 ½ cms thick and place on a floured board.           

 If you have a baking stone in your oven this is ideal as the hotter the oven the better. Heat the oven to maximum and lay 3 on the baking stone, taking great care.

Bake for approximately 5- 7 minutes or until the pitas are puffed and golden. Serve and enjoy.



                Wicked Homemade Chilli Sauce – You’ll Never Buy It Again!

Along with dozens of shop-bought sauces lie the lurid coloured chilli sauces. They can seem pleasant but often there’s a slight after-taste, maybe MSG within the mixtures, and there’s no doubt that many contain e numbers and chemicals. But I have the answer. At last you can make your own chilli sauce in minutes which is probably the best and easiest chilli sauce you have ever tasted and trust us it’s so worth doing. Use frozen ready chopped ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander for speed and ease.  

It’s the perfect accompaniment to a veggie burger or mix with a veggie stir-fry for a delicious tasty supper. Finally combine with a can of low-fat coconut milk for a luscious creamy sauce.

 Because of the vinegar content, this sauce will keep in the fridge for weeks. 

 Makes 400ml

.225ml rice or white wine vinegar

225ml water

170g Fair trade soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons finely chopped frozen ginger

2½ teaspoons finely chopped frozen chilli

1 teaspoon finely chopped frozen garlic

1 tablespoon frozen chopped coriander

2 teaspoon brown sauce

5 teaspoons corn-flour slaked with a little water


 Place the ingredients, except the corn flour in a sauce-pan and simmer gently for five minutes. Remove from heat. Then slake the corn flour with a little water and stir so that it is a little like cream. Add to corn-flour mixture to the slightly cooled sauce and stir well. Return to the heat and keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. Taste and be proud!

 soo fab!      

 Enjoy folks, keep cool and enjoy this lovely weather – it won’t last forever.

 And thank you all for your wonderful continuous support. Please let us know when

 you enjoy our blog. We love your feedback.

     Love Ruth and Sarah xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

                                   Guardian Wrapped Challenge


Sarah and I were beside ourselves with joy when our luscious Gazelles Horns were published in the Guardian today.

They are adapted from a traditional Moroccan recipe and have an intriguing type of pastry which rolls out really thin and this crisp pastry is wrapped around a type of marzipan with a delicate hint of orange flower fragrance. They are exotically unusual and even more delicious served with hot mint tea for good friends who deserve a little more effort.      
Please try them xx

Ruth and Sarah

                                       Gazelles’ Horns – Moroccan Pastries

These fabulous pastries are offered all over Morocco and after tasting one in a restaurant I had to make them. Malika my lovely Moroccan friend gave me clues but there were many blanks as the recipe was discussed with pursed fingers, tea glasses and pigeon French. Nevertheless it was a huge privilege to talk food and laugh.


Please note the one egg should be beaten and a tablespoon goes into the pastry and filling. Although not traditional you could glaze the pastries with the remaining egg.


Makes 26 Gazelles horns

Line 2 baking sheets.  Set oven on 180C, gas mark 4  


250g flour

1 pinch salt

1 tablespoon icing sugar 

1 tablespoon free-range organic egg

25 ml melted butter or marg

1 tablespoon non flavoured oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated zest 1 orange

60ml water



250g ground almonds

125g icing sugar

30ml non-flavoured oil

1 tablespoon egg

25 ml melted butter or margarine

1¼ teaspoons orange flower water

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

  Icing sugar to dust when warm



Beat the one egg in a glass. Sieve the flour, salt and icing sugar in a large bowl, then add the liquid ingredients work together until a soft pastry is obtained. Wrap in cling film and chill it while you make the filling.



Combine all the ingredients and make a soft fragrant dough. Work it for a minute to bring out the flavourings. Form into small sausage shapes approximately 5cms centimetres by 2 cms making a slight curve and tapering the ends as if they are horn-shaped. Take the chilled pasty and form into walnut-sized balls. Roll out each ball quite thinly and wet with a little water.  Lay the sausage shape on the front of the shape and wrap the remaining pastry around the filling curving it to fit the filling in a gazelle’s horn. Cut around with a pastry cutter and place the finished horns on the baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes or until deliciously light brown. Serve warm or cold with mint tea or strong coffee.     


Thursday, 6 June 2013

 Pearled Spelt Tabbouleh

Hi Lovely followers
Thank you for your ongoing support and here’s an easy luscious savoury dish that sits in the fridge and satisfies veggies and carnivores alike.        
 Sarah and I had a serious conflab on this one. We knew we had to make a savoury to keep our lovely followers happy. It had to be some thing substantial, summery and of course tasty but maybe vegan. Then her lovely little rescue Heinz dog, Luna came in from a walk and breathed wild garlic in her face and the inspiration arrived.

We had already decided to make a Pearled Spelt Tabbouleh dressing it with lemon juice and olive oil while it was warm. But after our chat we added a handful of finely chopped garlic leaves, fresh peas, plus the posh element of a bunch of asparagus chopped so that they mixed in beautifully plus the first fresh sprigs of freshly chopped mint and parsley from the garden. A grating of fine lemon zest with a handful of toasted nuts on the top to add crunch – (I always want to add walnut oil and walnuts but Sarah goes with mixed seeds and that’s no hardship) and our tabbouleh was complete. Totally sustainable, summery, substantial and fab veggie food.

If the seasons had been kinder we should have had our first broad beans by now but never mind we could use frozen to add another texture if wanted.
Hope you like the recipe we enjoyed the eating!!!
Love and hugs
Ruth  and Sarah

                                         Pearled Spelt Tabbouleh serves 4

125 g pearled spelt
Vegetable stock made with marigold bouillon 
150g fresh or frozen peas defrosted 
1 bunch fresh asparagus
Zest of a whole and juice ½ lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
15 g fresh wild garlic leaves finely chopped
25 g fresh mint finely chopped
25 g fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
100g toasted seeds or walnuts
Freshly milled black pepper and salt

Add 10 black olives stoned and chopped
1 tablespoon capers finely chopped
The simple way is to use a microwave or pressure cooker for cooking the spelt. But obviously the pressure cooker is more sustainable. In both instances cover the spelt with double the stock. Cook for 1 hour until really tender. Some prefer their spelt to be firmer so then cook for 45 minutes. You may need to add a little more stock as it might dry out. So check after 30 minutes and stir to ensure the middle and sides are all cooked and there are no uncooked grains.
Leave to cool. While the spelt is cooking, break off the woody bases of the asparagus and save for soup etc and pop the delicate tops into a pan of boiling salted water. Have another bowl with iced water ready.

Chop all the herbs and leave on the side. After 3 minutes check the asparagus which should be ready at this time of the year. Drop into the bowl of iced water to preserve the colour and also the peas if using frozen.

When cool, remove the asparagus and peas, if frozen, from the iced water and when the spelt is cold combine with the lemon- juice and zest, olive oil, the chopped herbs with the spelt. Season well with freshly milled black pepper and salt and top with the seeds.

.Serve as a luscious lunch and enjoy.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Bank Holiday End of May and the Summer Seems to have Forgotten to Arrive.

Hello lovely followers of our blog. Thank you first of all for your continued support. We are so thrilled to see that you are visiting us and some are trying our recipes. Please continue and let us know what you enjoyed. 
Well the summer was promised and the bright floaty summer clothes sit in the wardrobe waiting for their big moment, while we huddle into our comfy jumpers and boost the central heating. But we thought about the lovely things that still happen even though it is so chilly.
We live opposite a man-made lake and at this time of the year the geese are producing young ones – so we thought it would be lovely to celebrate that moment with their debut on our blog.

And also a photograph which pays homage to my husband and Sarah’s Dad – our patient gardener Merv, who plants and watches over his green fingered produce. In the first few years of our marriage he planted some tree peonies. Every time we moved he asked, in the conditions of the sale, whether he could take his plants with him and while others removed light fittings or curtains, we moved plants – his treasures. This year the tree peonies late of course, like all the plants in the garden, have emerged, like oriental paintings and blessed us with blooms the size of cauliflowers. Absolutely glorious.

And how about our food you ask – well it’s been veggie week and we have been honoured to have features about our veggie lifestyle in Lynn Albutt’s lovely page in the Western Mail Magazine, Abbie Whitewick’s superb feature about us – the Three Generations of Veggies, the Jewish Chronicle who have published Ruth’s Vegetarian Friday Night feature – thank you Victoria Prever, and a wonderful chat with Louise on Radio Wales on making bagels for the folks in New York and enjoying a veggie lifestyle.
And so to our cooking.
We looked at Guardian Felicity Cloak’s challenge for Sugar on Top and although we didn’t win this time we felt we had two magnificent winners. Sorry it’s baking again. We promise after the holidays to create some veggie main meals. They are there but just need the photos. In the meantime these two recipes are stunners. Savoury next time we promise.                         
But how’s about a
                                               Margarita Drizzle Cake
This fabulous cake turned out soo moist and has a touch of naughtiness as well. You could up the Tequila and Grand Marnier for a very grown up dessert. But this is a lighter version and still delicious. Perfect served with lashings of custard or the rather posh fromage frais mixed with the seeds from a vanilla bean
And our other favourite idea that we’ve been dying to try was A Sugary Tear and Share Bread – a sweet yeast dough layered in slices with a little butter or margarine, grated lemon rind, mixed dried fruit, plus optional chopped dates soaked in orange juice and mixed spice  for extra moisture and pulls away like slices of fanciable Chelsea Bun             
   So here they are and we so hope we can tempt you to try them
Warmest wishes and huge veggie hugs

                                      Margarita Drizzle Cake

Serves 8 luscious sugary portions

175g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
175g margarine or butter
175g fair-trade light brown muscovado sugar
10g vanilla sugar
zest of 1 orange 
3 large organic free-range eggs

For the icing

130g fair-trade granulated sugar
10ml tequila
10ml Cointreau
40ml lime juice + coarsely grated zest 
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a loaf tin 23cm x 7½ cms.
Using the all in method 
Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the salt. Then add the remaining ingredients and whisk to a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 45–50 minutes. To check it is cooked, insert a skewer – it should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the fantastic sugary Margarita drizzle topping, combine the sugar with the tequila, Cointreau, lime zest and juice and the salt. Using a skewer make holes in the top of the cake and pour over the drizzle topping.

Sensational, we are soo chuffed!!!

                                    A Sugary Tear and Share Bread

This is a little trouble – there’s the yeast dough to make and then the layers to roll, butter and shape but the result is soo extraordinary and so different from a standard fruit loaf that we felt it was well worth the effort.

As it was our first time to invent and test our own recipe. But we didn’t fill the tin fully, so the photographs show some extras that didn’t make it into the tin.

Next time we create this baby and there will be a next time, we would stuff the tin full.

OHH enjoy!! It’s like the best sugary buttery Chelsea bun you have ever tasted.  

Serves 8 hungry portions

For the rich yeast dough

150ml lukewarm milk
2 level teaspoons dried yeast
350g organic strong white bread flour
a pinch of salt
60g margarine or butter
60g caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
10g vanilla sugar
grated zest of 1⁄2 orange
grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
2 organic free-range eggs

40g Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
30 butter or margarine
50g mixed dried fruit

For a shiny top, use one beaten egg yolk
Or a little extra Golden Syrup

Soak the dried fruit with the juice of ½ orange
Substitute mixed spice with cinnamon
Exchange the dried fruit for the equivalent in chopped dates or chopped stem ginger

Line a Line a loaf tin 23cm x 7½ cms

Heat oven to 200C, Gas mark 6 

Make up the yeast dough by heating the milk slightly until just gently warm. Add the yeast and a generously heaped tablespoon of flour. Whisk the mixture together and leave in a warm place for roughly 20 minutes until the mixture is bubbling. In the meantime, in a large bowl, sieve the flour with the sugar in case of lumps and rub in the butter or margarine. Beat the eggs and add with the zests to the yeast mixture. Work them well together and knead until you have a soft pliable dough – depending on the type of flour and the size of the eggs you may have to add another 50g of flour.
Leave to rise in a greased bowl covered with a cloth.

When the dough has doubled in size – this takes approximately 1 hour, remove from the bowl and roughly shape the mixture into a long rectangle. Divide the mixture firstly into half, then quarters, then eights, then sixteenths and roll each into its separate length so they are roughly the same size.

Melt the butter or margarine from the filling and brush the layers. Combine the Demerara sugar and the spice and sprinkle each layer generously. Now sprinkle with the dried fruit. Place each rectangle on top of each other like a long sandwich. Cut them in half down the middle of the sandwich and placed them, cut side down, into the lined tin.

Leave the tin in a warm place for the dough to double in size
Either brush with the little amount of butter/margarine that is left and sprinkle with remaining spiced sugar.
 Then when the bread comes out of the oven drizzle golden syrup over the warm layers. To make a shiny top. Ha Sugar on Sugar!!!
Or glaze with one beaten egg yolk for a shiny top and then sprinkle with more sugar and spice.
Freeze the remaining white for another time
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top is golden and crusty and the base well cooked    

Fabulous warm with more butter, a decent cuppa and lovely chats!