In Search of Brunch and Beyond Part II

There has never been a better time to get into the kitchen.

This is the second post on home cooking ideas in the hope that it will give you some inspiration and shake off some of the gloom.

If your regular pastime was trawling through online menus, it’s time to adapt and trawl through online recipes instead.

On my recent get thee in the kitchen long weekend, this is what we ate on Sunday.

Homemade Crumpets

I love a bit of crumpet but those shop bought items always seemed a little…um..plastic?

Why not make you’re own? They take a little time but that’s one thing some of us have right now.

This was my second foray into crumpet territory and it worked a treat. You do really need crumpet rings though. I have made them in egg rings previously but it takes a lot looonnngggeeerr. The benefit of crumpet rings are that they’re bigger and deeper than egg rings which is exactly what you need. I bought one set (2 rings) from Minimax. The shop assistant suggested two packs exactly because they take awhile to cook. I was too cheap. It’s up to you. I suggest that you make the other components of your brunch while they’re cooking, then give them a blast in the toaster when you’re ready to plate up. These ones won’t melt.

I made brunch of crumpets, whipped honey, poached pears and mascarpone, but use what you have on hand: jam, maple syrup, butter etc.

This is what I did:

  • I used a crumpet recipe from Gourmet Traveller. They have a few, but the one I use gives some cooking tips and it worked well so I suggest you give this a go – Gourmet Traveller.
  • We have #Blissfarm honey which I whipped. Simple as that. Whack a jar of honey in a bowl and beat for 15 minutes. It made the honey creamy, that’s about it, just thought I’d try something different. The jar has been sitting on the counter a couple of weeks now and I’ve noticed it’s started to settle. It still seems AOK.
  • For the poached pears, I made a poaching syrup of brown sugar and added Prosecco. Try this recipe from Taste and add your plonk of choice. I did try to freeze the leftovers in a drink bottle and it did have a little sugary explosion throughout the freezer. Good times.
  • I peeled, cored and halved the pears and placed them in the syrup, lid on and cooked gently for 20 minutes. Gently. Gently. You don’t want pear mush.
  • I added a little fresh thyme and mint leaves to decorate but it also helped cut through and balance the sweetness. I also had some shortbread crumbs in the cupboard, leftover from Christmas no less, I threw over the top to add an extra dimension.

I was going to use lemon verbena but forgot. That would work well too. I can give that a whirl next time.

This felt like a special cafe-esque meal. Perfect when we need to find our abundance (rather than scarcity) mentality. And it was D-lishous!

Roast Vegetable Lasagne

I love lasagne but I don’t love how long it takes to construct.

I have no good news for you here. I’ve made meat, veg and lentil versions in my time and there’s no silver bullet.

I wanted to use some of the veggies lying around, so I went for a roast vegetable lasagne and green salad.

The great thing about vegetable lasagne is you can pick the veggies you like the most. I used vegetables available in our garden which included potatoes, carrots, spinach and zucchini, and added mushrooms and a little pumpkin for flavour.

Lasagne makes big meals and also freezes well. I package leftovers up for mid-week dinners. Recipes using the ricotta mixture areĀ  quicker than making bechamel which is a small concession in this kitchen epic. I used too much cheese though, diverting from the recipe in the sense that I didn’t actually follow the recommendation.

Word to the wise – follow the recipe. I used Recipe Tin Eats which is an awesome site.

The green salad was just a mash up of what was in the fridge. I ate left overs during the week with some toast but the green salad does help cut through all the cheese. You can decide if you want to carb to the max or get some extra vitamins. Those vitamins will come in handy in these trying times.

Good luck cooking folks!

Let us know your success stories or cautionary tales!

Here’s the first post – In Search of Brunch and Beyond.



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