Monday, August 26, 2013

So long, farewell...

You may have noticed my posts have been few and far between in recent months. You may also be aware that I recently qualified as a Nutritional Therapist, a consequence of which is that I have struggled to find the time to write here. Therefore, I'm sad to say I am winding this up, and it's time to say so long, farewell.

If you fear you are going to miss me (ahem), fear not, you can find me in the usual places (Twitter, Facebook) and also my website www.rebeccarenahan.co.uk

Thanks to you all for joining me, it's been a great ride.

I'll leave you with this final thought...



with love x.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrations

Ok, so following yesterday's amaaaazing news (in case you missed it, I don't mind saying it again... it's official, I am now a qualified Nutritional Therapist), celebrations were in order.

A delicious lunch was had at The Buffet Shop, Helensburgh.


Smoked trout open sandwich
 
Followed by a massive slab of carrot cake



More like carrot gateaux, yum.

Followed (a fair few hours later) by the classic, fish supper. I had to take a photo of the box to share with you...
 


I don't know about you but, "Delicious & Nutritious" and "Good Food Naturally" aren't the first phrases to spring to mind when I think of fish & chips.

I know what you're thinking, not exactly the celebratory feasts you would expect from a Nutritional Therapist, but hey, it was a special occasion and I do believe in (nearly) everything in moderation.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rebecca Renahan - Nutritional Therapist

After four years of blood, sweat and tears (and hush hush- emergency caffeine, late night munchies and therapeutic wine drinking), I have finally had confirmation that I am a qualified Nutritional Therapist.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

The relief is immense, I can't wait to get out there and put into practice what I have learnt.

Time to celebrate...



 
No, surely a nice healthy salad would be more apt, maybe...(ahem!)



I feel the need to sign off for the first time with my new fancy letters.

Rebecca Renahan DipION

If you need any nutritional advice please contact me. Further information and website to follow.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Glasgow Foragers - Saturday 27th July @ Clean Plates Cafe

Foraging -  a skill we have been masters at from the beginning of mankind, key to our survival.

Nowadays, with food readily available on every corner and some children not knowing broccoli from cauliflower, how far removed have we become from the food we eat and our basic survival skills?

If you would like to re-discover your inner forager, here at Clean Plates Café we are hosting a foraging event on Saturday 27th July (http://urbanforagingglasgow.eventbrite.co.uk/). Expert forager Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods will lead a 2 hour gentle walk during which he will explain how to safely recognise and harvest over 50 different wild foods. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed 3 course meal based on foods that can be foraged. Highlights include a main course of "Top hat wild spinach ravioli with poached quails egg and chanterelles". All for a bargain price of £40.00.

 "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."  Michael Pollan.

What might you find on your doorstep? (Besides Bambi!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer Eatin'

Sat outside in the sunshine eating a panini and sipping a cappuccino, close your eyes and you could almost convince yourself you are on the streets of Rome rather than Glasgow.

Is it wrong to roll with the holiday fantasy and eat like you would in Rome?

Surely not. Enjoy it whilst it is here, after all it wont last long. At least that's what I told myself as I then mooched up the street to Nardini's for the biggest "2 scoop" ice-cream cone ever. It was such a feat, that walking along whilst eating it was nigh impossible. "I need to sit down and concentrate on my ice-cream", I stated, finding another table outside in the sunshine.

Nardini , 215 Byres Road, Glasgow
It's not all naughtiness in the sunshine, this salad was delicious.


Smoked salmon, fennel and strawberry salad
Variety and moderation is the key, that's what I keep telling myself.

Stay with us sunshine, I want to go back to Nardini's.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Place your votes please...

I think I may have already mentioned (once or twice) that someone kindly nominated me for Best Food Blog in the Observer Food Monthly Awards. Well, the deadline to vote is midnight tonight, soooooo lovely people, if you haven't voted already and feel that you would like to then that would be just grand.

Please follow the link

http://www.easyanswer.net/observer/

Maybe I can bribe you with some chocolate cheesecake brownies...


Or maybe just a big thank you from them and from me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Food - you can't even give it away

Throwing food away is one of my biggest pet hates, but do you know how hard it is to give food away?
At work, by the end of the day we often have plenty of leftovers, especially after catering for an event. After one event recently, it was decided that we should give the food away rather than throw it away. Good idea. However, this proved more difficult than you would think. Several calls were made to local charities and the like, but the offer was turned down apparently due to concerns over food hygiene/law. Thankfully and eventually the Salvation Army came up trumps and accepted our offerings.


Who would refuse free apple pie?
It's shame that it's so hard to give food away, especially in a time when we bin literally billions of pounds worth every year.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recipe - Chocolate Heaven Birthday Cake

When David (a.k.a. Bear) revealed his birthday had come and gone, and at the grand old age of 29 he wasn't bothered about celebrating anymore.....ummm well we couldn't have that could we? I insisted on at least baking him a cake, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate was his only request.

Recipe - Chocolate Heaven Birthday Cake


Ingredients (makes 7inch small sponge cake)

Sponge:
100g soft margarine
100g light soft brown sugar
2 medium free-range eggs
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp (Bourneville) cocoa powder

Icing:
30g butter
50g (Bournville) dark chocolate
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
Approx. 125g icing sugar
1 tbsp (Bournville) cocoa powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (Gas mark 4). Squish some margarine in your hands and grease up a 7 inch cake tin.
 
Place the margarine, sugar and eggs into a bowl with the sieved flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add 2 tbsp of hot (not boiling) water and beat thoroughly for 1-2 minutes.
 
Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the tin and leave to cool.
 
 
Meanwhile melt the butter and chocolate with the milk in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
 
 
Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl and using a wooden spoon, beat into the melted chocolate mixture along with 1 tbsp hot water.
 
The mixture should be thick enough to spread onto the cake (if not, leave to cool a little).
 
 
 
Once iced, decorate with whatever takes your fancy, I went for chocolate fingers, sprinkles etc...

 
We even sang him Happy Birthday and it put a smile on his face (thanks to the cake, not the singing).
 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Recipe - Mama's Breakfast Muffins

Mum has been on a baking bender, featuring chocolate cheesecake brownies, muffins, muffins and more muffins...This recipe is for savoury muffins which are great as a breakfast-to-go.

Recipe -  Mama's Breakfast Muffins

Mama's Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients (for approximately 12 muffins)

2 eggs
300g plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
100ml milk
100ml plain yoghurt
125g feta cheese (crumbled)
100g sun-blushed tomatoes (chopped)
10g melted butter

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (Gas mark 6).

Line a muffin baking tray with muffin cases.

Pop the spinach in a large saucepan, cover with the lid and steam in its own juices for 5 minutes.

Drain the spinach, getting rid of any excess moisture otherwise this will drag the bake down.

In a large bowl beat the eggs then sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and yoghurt and beat until well combined.

Fold in the feta, tomatoes, spinach and melted butter.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until they are golden.

More Mum recipes to follow, the chocolate cheesecake brownies are ridiculously good.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cakes, Bakes and Clean Plates

Yesterday was the big bake off at work.
Leanne ready for action
Leanne worked her magic, whipping up strawberry and banana cupcakes, cookies and flapjack.
Meanwhile I made a ridiculously rich Rocky Road (recipe to follow) and of course my favourite, the classic plain scone and a dark chocolate and orange version.


Rocky Road
Dark Chocolate and Orange Scone
 
Our delicious cakes and bakes can be found at Clean Plates Café, Maryhill Burgh Halls, Glasgow.


Say it with food


Porridge for breakfast, made for me. I think someone loves me...



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pigs in Mud

Leanne made this fantastic cake and very kindly donated it to charity,  not the Rebecca Renahan one I'm afraid, something much more worthy. Although, if I could have got away with it, there would have been a pig's head missing or maybe a more discreet KitKat finger.
Leanne's Pigs in Mud cake
The boss (a.k.a Dr Chef)  has given permission for Leanne & I to have a "Baking Day" next Tuesday. I hope he knows what he's let himself in for. Mess, mess and more mess no doubt, but with lots of yummy creations at the end of it.

We'll be as happy as pigs in mud.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tarts and Votes

I walk into work and the first task I'm given is to eat a chocolate brownie tart, not a bad start to the working day, eh?


Home-baked by Leanne, who admitted that she started off making the Chocolate Brownie and Pear Tart from last weekend's Observer Food Monthly. However, something went a bit awry and she ended up with a mini albeit pear version and blooming delicious they were too.

Leanne
Talking of the Observer, some lovely person has nominated me for "Best Food Blog" in the Food Monthly awards, soooooooo if you have a spare few seconds and want to make me very happy, please follow the link vote to for my blog - http://www.easyanswer.net/observer/




 
Today it's my turn, hence why I was up at 6am making Amaretti biscuits... all for the love of baking.


 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Recipe - Tattie Scones


I was a tad vexed the first time I ordered a tattie scone as the name is slightly misleading, more like a potato pancake, but nonetheless they are goooood.  In fact,  I developed a bit of a tattie scone habit when I first moved up here. Here is my recipe...



Recipe -Tattie Scones

Ingredients

250g potatoes peeled and chopped (I suggest Maris Piper)
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g butter (slighty melted)
3 tablespoons milk
2 free-range eggs beaten
A little oil for cooking
Salt and pepper


Method

Boil the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes until soft enough to mash easily.

Mash the potatoes with the butter until smooth.

Sift the flour, baking powder and a large pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the mash, milk and beaten eggs.

Mix until it forms a sticky dough.

 
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll until approximately 1/4inch thick and then cut into whatever shapes you fancy.

Heat some oil in a large heavy frying pan.

Fry the tattie scones for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.

Easy peasy.  Pop a runny egg on top and tuck in.
 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Recipe - Bursting Blueberry Cake

This recipe is for a delicious, fresh, celebratory cake packed full of bursting blueberries and finished with a scrummy cheesecake-type topping. Made for a certain someone (you know who you are...) on what turned out to be a very special day, for more than one reason.

Recipe - Bursting Blueberry Cake

Bursting Blueberry Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:
225g self-raising flour
4 medium free-range eggs
175g soft butter
175g golden caster sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
75ml soured cream
400g of blueberries

Topping:
200g soft cream cheese (Philadelphia Light)
125g sifted caster sugar
75ml soured cream


Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180C (gas mark 4).

Pop the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla essence into a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes, or go for the easy option and use electric beater/mixer for 1-2 minutes.


Beat in half the soured cream, then gently stir in half the blueberries.


Pour the cake mixture into a greased cake tin and spread it evenly.



Bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes until it is golden, risen and bounces back when lightly pressed on top.



Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.


For the topping, beat the soft cheese with the icing sugar and soured cream in a bowl until smooth and creamy.

Wait until the cake has completely cooled and then spread on the topping (otherwise it will melt and drip off).

Sprinkle & surround with the remaining blueberries.

It will keep in the fridge for a few days, although I'd be quite disappointed if you managed to make it last that long.

 
 
 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Identity crisis? The Cookie Cupcake

Making a dash for a train and desperate for a cuppa, I paused at the nearest place, a well-known cookie chain. Whilst waiting for my cuppa and eyeing up the display, the "Cookie Cupcake" caught my attention. I asked, "What is it? How is it a cookie and a cupcake?". The girl behind the counter looked at me as if I was some kind of idiot and handed me my cuppa. In the name of research I had to try one, it was basically cookie dough in the shape of a cupcake, with mini eggs on top. I want to say that it was an awful, confused hybrid of sugary badness...and yes it was, but also really rather yummy.
Slightly bashed cookie cupcake.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Perfect Poached Egg

How do you cook the perfect poached egg? The many gismos and gadgets out there are enough to make you believe that poaching an egg is some kind of near impossible feat. It isn't, in fact it's pretty darn easy, here's how I do it.

The Perfect Poached Egg


Ingredients

An egg of course, plus a glug (about 1 tablespoon) of white wine vinegar and seasoning.

Vinegar helps to make the whites firm faster and keep their shape.

Method

Boil a kettle and pour the water into a saucepan (about 2/3 full).

Bring the water to a gentle simmer and add the vinegar.

Using a wooden spoon stir to create a whirlpool in the water.


Gently break the egg on the side of the pan and slide quickly into the water. You may find it easier to break the egg first and have it ready in a small dish or ramekin.

The water should not be boiling rapidly just simmering.

Allow the egg to cook for 3-5 minutes, allow 3 for a lovely runny yolk. This gives you roughly enough time to toast your bread and slather on some butter.

Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, allowing any excess water to drain away.

Place the egg on the buttered toast, season with sea salt and ground black pepper.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Recipe - Fabulous Fluffy Eggs

Fluffy eggs - an easy, eye-catching way to serve eggs and great for children.

 
Here is how to do it...

Recipe - Fabulous Fluffy Eggs

Ingredients (for one):

One large free-range egg (if the egg is not large, you may need the whites of two)
1 slice of toast (optional)
One dessertspoon of grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and ground black pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 190C (gas mark 5)
 
Separate the egg, be careful to keep the yolk in tact.


Place the yolk in a ramekin dish and the whites in a mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks.




Lightly toast the bread and place on a baking tray.

Spread two thirds of the whisked egg white on to the toast.

 
 
Make a small well in the egg white and slide in the yolk.



Season, then cover with the rest of the egg white. Ensure the yolk is sealed in.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.


Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the top is slightly golden.



This should give you a lovely oozing, runny yolk. Ta dah....


 
I like mine with a big dash of Lea & Perrins.