Tuesday 26 July 2011

Food from Friends...

On Sunday...which was a beautiful day...my parents came for lunch. We normally all meet at their beautiful farm, so this was a rare occurrence! I decided to cook two recipes that friends had given me. I don't usually do this for some reason...I trawl through my hundreds of cookbooks until I find the perfect dish for the occasion. But I really wanted to use these ideas, as I knew that my Dad in particular would love them. He has a very dear aunt (now in her 90's but spry and active as a little bird) who is Portuguese...and he cherishes the memories of the meals she has cooked for him. So when my lovely friend Rosinda - who is also Portuguese - posted the recipe for Caldeirada (Fish Stew) on her beautiful blog With Love from the Kitchen XO I knew that it had to be cooked for him!
Rosinda has posted the full recipe...so I won't do that here. But it's a very simple yet delicious meal...layers of red pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, paprika...

white wine, fresh coriander, olive oil..

and finally fish (I used haddock as it was fresh and good from the market) Rosinda also adds seafood..and Dad would have loved that too, but unfortunately Mum doesn't really like it, so I stuck to the white fish. It looked absolutely delicious...and Dad posed for this quick picture before he couldn't resist tucking in!
I didn't know what to serve with it...I'd made some bread in the morning (warm spelt & white rolls) but wanted an interesting salad. And then a gorgeous one that my other darling friend, Susan Branch, had posted a few days ago on her blog (isn't the internet wonderful??) popped into my head. Her original was a White Bean Salad...but as I had some dried chickpeas that were nearing the end of their shelf life, I soaked and used them instead!

Red onion, sage, tiny cauliflower florets (blanched), garlic, flat parsley,...I added fragrant tomatoes too. It was the perfect side dish.

Gooseberry & Greengage Crumble with creme fraiche followed, before we all went into the garden to soak up the last of the sun and chat...a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Also baked during the last week for The Coffee Tree...

Fresh Raspberry & Redcurrant Bars...

Carrot Cake...this was on a chilly day, one when I wanted to give them something spiced and warming...

Bluberry Almond Cake...

I love the way blueberries burst when baked...spilling their beautiful purple juice into the cake...

This was originally a bundt cake...but the Coffee Tree customers seem to prefer a 'whole' slice! So it's Vanilla Cake with a maple walnut streusel filling baked through the middle and a maple glaze...mmmm
and finally, on Saturday morning, some 'healthy' muffins! there wasn't actually much sugar in these...the sweetness came from the earl grey tea-soaked prunes, which went beautifully with the rye flakes, the pumpkin seeds, the orange zest...

I kept one back...and I can report that it was perfect with a cup of steaming black coffee and the Saturday papers!
I hope your week has been good so far...I'm just home from the Farmer's Market again...time for a rest and a drink of something lovely!


  1. Lovely! So you had Susan and Rosinda there, too! I love that.

  2. Rachel, it must have been lovely to have your parents over for Sunday lunch. And that recipe for the fish dish - yum! The crumble must have been amazing, too... Gooseberries and greengages - what a fantastic combination. Have you got hold of greengages already?? mm..
    And that muffin on the picture - ooh, I want one, please!

  3. Lovely luncheon Rachel, I would eat that anytime. xoxo The sweets look fabulous as usual.

  4. Dearest Rachel, I just finished reading your beautiful post. I have to say my favourite photo is the one of your dad getting ready to eat. He looks so content and ready to dig in. The caldeirada looks beautiful and so does Sue's inspired salad! Your table, flower arrangement and desserts all look so wonderful. I am so happy it turned out well. Love you sweetie! Thanks for sharing your beautiful Sunday lunch with us. xoxo

  5. Do you ever sit down and just stop? Am coming down to London on Friday for a couple of days Meeting up with brother in law for Sunday lunch with friends. Where do you come up with all your cake ideas. You seem to have a never ending supply of yummy recipes! Take care x

  6. How wonderful to host your parents and look at your dad's beaming smile!! I bet he just loved every minute of the whole time with you! Looks like he is doing so much better these days!! So fun to use Rosinda's and Sue's recipes...yay for sharing and friendship! I've been away and am just now trying to get caught up on your blog!! Have a lovely evening! Hugs, Sherry xx

  7. This post was heartwarming in so many ways...first to see your dad looking so well...then to read about your menu selection, loving recipes from friends...what a joyous occasion for all..xo Laura Jenkins

  8. Ahhhhh gosh! This is the first pic of your dad I've ever seen. He does look sweet and so lovable--and not at all old I might add. I always forget you're still a kid and your dad is more my generation than my parents'--way more. Your food of course looks beautiful too. Much orgasmic moaning going on at the moment. You're my vicarious thrillster!

  9. So so good Rachel to see your father smiling and enjoying his meal that you so lovingly and thoughtfully prepared for him!!! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing bakefest---I just KNOW that Rosinda as proud as a pickle that you chose to replicate her wonderful recipe!!!!
    A charming post!!

  10. Lovely to see Dad enjoying your wonderful cooking! Beautiful cakes and baking delights as usual. Will soon be able to taste it myself! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  11. Another scrumptious post Rachel :) Lovely to see your Dad and your lunch looks delicious.
    Your Coffee Tree orders look beautiful, I would especially love a slice of blueberry almond cake!
    Love Morwenna

  12. I am finally commenting on this one. Everything looks so delicious. As I am typing this I am suffering from last night's Subway meal and I feel like a Philistine commenting on this post: I enjoyed it but it was properly disgusting. The meal you cooked seem so sinfully delicious and so... healthy? And I love warming desserts on a chilly day.

  13. your dad is adorable rachel...everything looks so lovely...

    what a wonderful day !!!

    happy to stop by today
    hugs to alice and sending love,
    kary and teddy


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