Georgia O’Keeffe’s chocolate brownies

These really are the best brownies I have ever tasted because they are not too sweet and are really chocolatey and nutty. My friends all ask me to bake them for them after they saw the shots on Instagram and started dribbling at the sight of them, and they really are dribble-worthy. The story about these amazing chocolate brownies is as follows. This recipe was found amongst the painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s collection of recipes in her cookbooks. She was a passionate cook and this recipe was hand written by her on Waldorf Astoria note paper. She was was staying there on April 30th 1963 to collect an award for the creative arts from Brandeis University, so they think she must have asked the hotel for the recipe because she loved them so much. O’Keeffe was a passionate foodie and collected recipes wherever she went, and a bit like me she dipped into healthy food and dipped into more indulgent food depending on her whim. Try them, they are beyond.

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heavenly nut loaf

I know a nut loaf sounds retro, but this nut loaf is a bit more sophisticated than the nut loaves of old, it’s really scrumptious and hasn’t got a single lentil in it. It’s packed with the amazing flavours of porcini mushrooms, parmesan and cashew nuts and it’s got a great texture which comes from the shiitake mushrooms. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans at Thanksgiving and Christmas or any time there is a roast (It’s even delicious sliced cold from the fridge and put in a sandwich, with cranberry sauce and mayo)

Jo Fairly kindly wrote to me to say she has made a vegan version by replacing the eggs with 250ml of Bonsoy soya milk, instead of the eggs and the 150ml of milk, btw not ordinary plant based milk as it won’t work as well, and she swapped the parmesan for vegan parmesan which is now available in supermarkets or health food stores. I can’t wait to try it.

Serve it with my vegetarian gravy, which is also vegan, my cranberry sauce and the rest of the trimmings.

Recipe

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:
150g of dryish white bread crumbs
150ml of milk (or dairy free milk)
2 large eggs
30g of butter or olive oil plus a bit more for greasing the loaf tin
20g of dried porcini mushrooms (I get the cheaper porcini pieces in the supermarket) steeped in boiling water for 15 mins, drained and chopped
100g mushrooms chopped into small pieces (I use shiitake)
1 teaspoon of English mustard
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
2-3 teaspoons of Tabasco
1 egg white
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh thyme
1 medium onion very finely chopped
2 medium celery sticks very finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
200g of chopped raw cashew nuts
100g chopped raw walnuts
1 large carrot finely grated
75g of Parmesan or vegan parmesan
A handful of polenta
Salt and pepper
1 large loaf tin, mine is approx for a one and a half pound loaf

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classic waldorf salad

Created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in 1896, this salad doesn’t need changing. The sweet tartness of the apples make it perfect on its own or with meat.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
2 red apples
2 celery sticks
75g chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lettuce or any leaf you like or a mixture of leaves
1/2 cup of good quality mayonnaise (vegan mayo works really well too)

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beetroot and halloumi salad

A delicious starter or light main course the walnuts add a bit of crunchiness and the mint makes it delicious. It’s lovely on its own or with crusty bread and other salads.

Serves 2 as a starter. 1 as a main.

Ingredients:
1 packet of pre-cooked beetroot in natural juices, sliced or chopped into cubes
1 packet of halloumi cheese, cut into six slices
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons of olive oil
a handful of chopped walnuts
salad leaves
salt and pepper

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