Spiced lentils with roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts and goats Cheese – Serves 4

This is based on a recipe I’d torn out of a magazine ages ago.  I thought it looked unusual and if I’m totally honest I really liked the photograph!
It was enjoyable to make, particularly as I love lentils and I thought that the ingredients made a really great combination, and the kitchen smelt great while it was cooking it.
It would be perfect for a vegetarian dinner party or could be served as part of a party buffet if you increase the quantity of the ingredients, or as a side dish, or for lunch………

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Smooze Ice Lollies

Summer seems to up and left England all of a sudden and thoughts are now turning to warm Autumnal dishes rather than crisp fresh salads.
There’s never a bad time for an ice-lolly though they are guaranteed to get your mind back to those sunny summer days.
The Smooze Fruit Ices, in my opinion are quite special. They are made from freshly pressed coconuts, real fruit juices and purees, and are dairy, gluten and soy free, and they contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and they certainly give other fruit flavoured lollies a run for their money.
There are 4 different Smooze flavours to try: Real Coconut and Mango, Real Coconut and Pink Guava, Real Coconut and Pineapple and Simply Coconut. They are so creamy and my favourite is Simply Coconut, which tastes really good.
They come in a small packet, but are very satisfying. The really great thing about is that they can be found on the ambient shelf, so you only need to freeze as much as you need. They can be used in all sorts of ways and there are a few ideas on their really cute website.

www.smooze.co.uk

Puddings by Pudology

I was really excited when these little gluten and dairy free puddings arrived; they looked really good and came in some great flavours.  I tried all 4 flavours; Chocolate Orange, Chocolate, which are like a mousse and Banoffee Pie and Strawberry, which had a biscuity base, similar to a cheesecake.
My favourite flavour was the Chocolate Pud, although they all tasted fantastic, and were not too sweet and rich. I really like the packaging, it’s really simple and the main pot isn’t covered with labels and stickers, so you could serve them as part of a smart picnic, and even at the table. Yum!
(I did ‘share’ them by the way- I didnt eat them all myself- honest!)

Chia Seed and Nut Bread- Ugg Foods

I don’t use packet mixes as a rule, preferring to cook from scratch, but this bread mix from Ugg intrigued me.
The bread mix can be used as a base for pizza bases, pastry, dumplings amongst others and there are some recipes on their website.  
I chose to make the Olive oil bread, as sometimes gluten free foods can be a bit dry and crumbly, and I thought that adding oil would make the loaf more moist.
The instructions are very quick and easy to follow; the only lengthy process was baking it in the oven, which takes 50 minutes.
The resulting loaf was delicious and had a cake-like texture; if you were expecting it to be similar to regular bread you would be disappointed, but I really enjoyed it.  It was neither dry nor crumbly and went perfectly with soup.  It also made nice toast.

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” -Mae West

One of the things I really enjoy about our trip to the South of France is rising to the challenge of producing delicious food in such a combined area.  Our fridge is tiny and storage quite limited, but I have all of the utensils I need and even a few gadgets, to help.  Don’t all campers have a blender to make smoothies?
Sometimes I have to use up the contents of our fridge before I go shopping for more.
This is a salad I made with what I found.

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“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.” – Laurie Colwin

One of my favourite salads to make with tomatoes is Panzanella.  Their is something special about the mixture of textures, although traditionally made with stale wheat bread, I have adapted it by using a gluten free bread roll. This recipe has been inspired by a salad in Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute cookbook. I have added avocado because, well, I love them, which is justification in itself.
I only make Panzanella when I’m on holiday, when I have time to relax with a glass of wine and eat a leisurely lunch in the
sunshine.

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Nant Market

Nant is a pretty little village with a population of 920.
It holds a market once a once a week, which is popular with both locals and holidaymakers, and a great place to shop for fresh local produce.
There is always and abundance of tomatoes and this weeks market was no exception, they taste so much better when the have been ripened in the sunshine.

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My Outdoor Paella (serves 4 hungry people)

I cook outside as much as possible in the summer, particularly when we are away from home. A real family favourite, is my version of Paella, a recipe I’ve adapted over time. I often change the ingredients around, depending what is available, and purists might not approve of some of my ingredients! When I cook this outside, I use a paella pan on top of a barbecue called a CADAC.  The only downside to this dish is the amount of preparation needed. There’s a lot of chopping involved. Not a meal to make in a hurry!
You could, of course, measure and prepare all of the ingredients earlier in the day or find yourself a sous chef who could be chopping as you are cooking! I’m yet to find a willing participant! Continue reading