March was quite a busy month on Annes Kitchen, I managed to do twelve blog posts, possibly a record for me! Annes Kitchen also celebrated its 4th birthday, and I did my first blog giveaway to win a gorgeous Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg, which was won by the lovely Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes!
Somehow I also found the time to take part in a few blogging events, including making some Mocha Coconut clusters for Random Recipes, Olive and Herb bread for Fresh From the Oven, and last but not least a batch of fabulously minty Mingle muffins for Sweets for a Saturday.
Whilst not everything I made during March found its way on to my blog (poor lighting playing its part too!), I must share with you my little Mushroom, spinach and feta tarts, which are ideal for a starter (or two for a main course!). They also meant I finally got to play with the new mini fluted, loose bottomed tins I bought myself for Christmas! I did think they would be quite fiddly but they took no time at all to line with pastry, and due to the size didn’t require blind baking! A great result!
The tart filling consisted of cooked spinach, crumbled feta cheese and lightly browned field mushrooms, bound together with egg and a splash of milk, plus a small handful of grated mature cheddar, then baked for around 30 minutes. Nothing got weighed or measured, hence no recipe but I will be definitely making again as they were so tasty and I will try to write the full recipe down next time!
During March, I also took part in the Forever Nigella #3 ‘Ciao Italia’ blogging challenge held by Maison Cupcake, and whilst I entered the deliciously addictive Baci Di Ricotta, I had also made Nigella’s Pasta alla Genovese, a deliciously vibrant green pasta dish consisting of linguine, potatoes, green beans and an easy pesto sauce. Part of me was a bit hmm about having potatoes and pasta in the same meal but it actually worked really well and even D begrudgingly enjoyed it, despite it being meatless! The recipe is in Nigella’s latest book Kitchen (and is still one of my favourite cookery books!). and also appears on BBC Food
I adore aubergines, they are one of my favourite vegetables to eat, providing they are cooked right, which can be tricky and I admittedly have not always got it right! They can go from being sponge like to charred or stringy, in a relatively short space of time and I am sure people have been deterred from them for life! A thorough shame though as when cooked well, they are heavenly! Unfortunately I’ve not managed to convince D of this yet but I am working on it!
Whilst I have a few favourite ways to cook aubergines, I found this great little side / mezze style dish from BBC Good Food this month for ‘Aubergines with Garlic and Herb dressing’, which despite the name has an unusual but delicious, almost sweet and sour taste. It is an ideal dish to prepare ahead of time and serve at room temperature.
Despite buying various books and kit, I am not what you would call gifted when it comes to cake decorating and I accept that, the cake itself tasted great so can't have everything! Though I did try hard this month when making two birthday cakes; the first one did not quite go to plan and the icing colour is somewhat unusual..
But the second birthday cake I am rather proud of the finished result:
And lastly I must share with you the fabulous fudge cheesecake that my brother made this week! I will be definitely exercising this week!
So whilst March was quite a busy month, I am now finally back at work this week, so please bear with me if the blog tails off a little! **Edited: no such luck, am off sick again already :( **