June Blog 2019

Thursday 30th May 2019

 June Blog

At last summer appears to have arrived and the garden is starting to look very pretty with the trees full of leaves, and the roses starting to bloom.  I am very happy with my new rose bed.  I started to plant it two years ago and have been adding a new rose bush now and again and at last it is beginning to look quite full. Hopefully, it should be at its peak for my birthday party in the garden, in July.

My French course is going well and I am really enjoying attempting to speak French every other Tuesday morning. There are now 4 of us in the group, all at about the same level and all determined not to allow the new French course to turn into an English coffee morning!

I am doing another fund raising event for the local Pilgrim’s hospice this year.  On July 20th we are organising a Ploughman’s lunch in the garden.  Tickets are now available from me.  £10.00 per person to include a Ploughman’s lunch with a glass of wine.  I am delighted to report that Waitrose are on board to support the event and Malcolm has donated a new wheel barrow which I intend filling with booze and a few other treats, as the main raffle prize.  Please come if you are able?

As far as cooking goes, I am busy doing some food shots for my new book Super Foods for Super Agers.  My agent Helen is taking the book to the New York book Fair, so fingers crossed that she will be able to find a publisher.

Yesterday I prepared a delicious chicken liver pate and the Avocado Bacon and Black Grape Bruschetta, so I thought you might like to have the recipes?  A sneaky pre-view of what is to come in this exciting new book of tasty, healthy recipes for Golden Oldies!  Both the following recipes are super easy to prepare so I hope you will try them really soon?

Chicken Liver Pate

Serves: 2-3

I first made this recipe during my years at Cookery College, in Croydon. Popular and nutritious, this simply delicious pate keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days. Butter is used in this recipe for its amazing flavour.

Try other herbs as an alternative to the thyme.  Sometimes I use some freshly chopped dill and a few snipped chives which also gives a lovely fresh flavour to the chicken livers.

Serve with fingers of freshly made wholemeal toast, and salad.  For a mega healthy version, omit the butter topping and serve the pate with vegetable crudities!

You could chop the bacon and onion together briefly, in the food processor before you start the recipe.  You are going to use the machine later and there is no need to wash it up twice!

Protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate and fat.

50g butter

2 rashers lean streaky bacon, de-rinded and chopped

250g chicken livers, picked over and roughly chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

2 Tbsps. water

Salt and pepper

Sprig thyme leaves

1-2 Tsps. brandy, optional but nice

To Serve: freshly made wholemeal toast and a salad garnish

  •  Melt half the butter in a large frying pan until foaming.
  • Add bacon, chicken livers and onion.
  • Fry, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add thyme leaves and water.  Season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Cover pan with a lid.  Simmer gently for 8 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside for 10 minutes or so.
  • Turn into a food processor and process until smooth.  Add brandy and process just to combine.
  • Divide between 2 -3 small ramekin dishes.
  • Melt remaining butter in a small pan. Pour over tops of the pates, dividing butter evenly, to seal.
  • Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge, for up to 3 days. Serve with freshly made toast and a salad garnish.

Smashed Avocado, Bacon and Black Grape Bruschetta

Serves: 2

I can eat this delicious and filling starter at any time of the day!

To turn the recipe into a main meal, top each bruschetta with an egg, either poached, or fried in a little olive oil. Serve with a salad of mixed leaves plus 2 roughly chopped ripe, red tomatoes, sliced fennel tops and chopped cucumber, plus a few seedless black grapes.

Avocados are healthy and nutritious. They are especially good for the brain, and full of vitamins and minerals, plus healthy fibre.   A real “super food.”

Carbohydrate, fibre, fat, protein and vitamins are all present.

2 rashers finest lean back bacon

2 thick slices sour dough bread

1 large, ripe avocado

Juice ½ lime or lemon

1 medium ripe tomato, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve: chopped coriander leaves, seedless black grapes

  •  Grill or dry-fry the bacon in a heated frying pan, until crispy on both sides. At the same time toast the bread, either in a toaster or under the grill.
  • Scoop the avocado flesh into a small bowl.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Add the lime or lemon juice
  • Using a fork, mash well. Divide between the slices of toast and spread over evenly.
  • Top with the tomato slices and the crispy bacon.
  • Season with black pepper and serve, garnished with the coriander leaves and accompanied with a few black grapes on the side.


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