Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Winter Colours December 30, 2009

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Preparing, making, out and about

 

Firstly I would like to apologise for my distinct lack of posts throughout December. My life seemed to catch up with me a bit, and I’m not sure where all the time was going but I didn’t have hardly any to spare. I just about managed to squeeze in a gingerbread house for my first Daring Bakers challenge and I am so looking forward to seeing what is asked of me next month!

 

Rather than a recipe, this time I would like to share with you some images from the last few weeks of Christmas preparation and cookery.

By the way, my wonderful and talented sous chef/photographer Dan can take credit for this post! (Say hello Dan…)

 

 

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Daring Bakers Challenge December 2009: Home for the Holidays December 27, 2009

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Recipe: Gingerbread House

 

So I decided to join the Daring Bakers. Basically, it’s a food blog baking ring, which coaxes people into baking complex and challenging confections once a month.

It being December and all, my inaugral challenge was to bake a festive gingerbread house. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am one of the clumsiest people alive, so a 3-D baked structure definitely wasn’t going to be my strong point. But anyway. I took a deep breath, and set about making the dough.

 

The recipe I chose was Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga) from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. We were given a choice of two, and I chose this one because the other recipe contained cream which I didn’t have any of!

 

I blended up the ingredients in the magimix to give a stiff dough which I left in the refrigerator for a couple of days while I visited my parents for Christmas (which was lovely, by the way).

 

Upon my return I rolled and baked the pieces, using this template. They shrunk quite a bit in the oven, and were much much thicker than they should have been. I will know for next time I make a gingerbread house (it may be some time…!) that the dough should be rolled very thinly. The pieces for the chimney came out very misshapen so I decided that the house would have electric heating rather than a wood-burning fire…

 

Anyway, this is how it turned out, I don’t think I did a bad job overall, but I look forward to my next daring bakers’ challenge which will hopefully be something more delicious than disastrous!

 

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Dinner party part 2… December 9, 2009

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…Main course!

Roasted herb rack of lamb with roasted radicchio and flageolet gratin

 

This is the second course taken from (an admittedly different menu to the starter in) Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table.

 

As the lamb racks in the local supermarket looked decidedly lacklustre, I decided to treat my friends to lamb from The Ginger Pig, an amazing butcher in Borough Market.

 

Gratuitous Meat Shot


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Best. Salad. Ever. December 1, 2009

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Recipe:  Sweet Potato  Salad With Rocket, Bacon, Cheese and Pecans

 

Hello! I had a dinner party this weekend. I cooked all day, the food was delicious, and I couldn’t think of any people I’d rather have around my (coffee) table. Thanks for coming guys!

 

(Dan not pictured)

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