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Happy New Year From ‘Ome Made!

So 2014 has been an interesting year…

‘Ome Made went from being a blog to a business. After many years of thinking about it, talking about it… we went and did it!

Happy New Year!

‘Ome Made products are now in some shops and we have a couple of markets under our belts. We are now looking forward to building on the successes we’ve had in 2014 and have some fantastic ideas for 2015! And I can guarantee this time that there will be products to buy online through the site.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Leia

We acquired another chicken… Leia! The other chickens and ducks don’t seem to be laying quite so well at the moment. If they don’t buck their ideas up soon their numbers could be depleting early 2015!

 

We also decided to get a puppy… yes, we know… yes we are mad!

 

Withnail

 

Withnail

Withnail is now 7 months old and definitely part of the family. She fits in just fine, yes, she’s mad too!

 

 

 

 

It’s been a really challenging year on the whole, the whys and wherefores we don’t really want to go into. Our firm beliefs and our strong sense of family values has seen us all pull through together ….

 

So here’s to 2015!

We would like to wish all our readers and people who have supported us over the past year a happy, healthy and prosperous new year…

Happy New Year!

God Bless

‘Ome, Kit, MissT, Dj, CurlyE, Lil’MrM, Withnail and all the rest of the menagerie!

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Gnocchi-Wocky-Doo-Dah!

 

Every now and then when we ask the kids what they want for tea they answer with something that strikes fear into me!

Gnocchi is one of them!

They love potato gnocchi and indeed so do I, however, making gnocchi for six hungry people, it’s one of the more… shall we say… time consuming dishes!

However sometimes you just have to and for all the time it takes and mess it causes the end result is always worth it.

Of course you can always cheat and get your gnocchi ready made from the supermarket!

I have to say that I’m not keen on gnocchi when it’s boiled and served in a sauce… it just doesn’t do it for me. However we do love it when it’s gently poached and then fried in butter so it’s nicely caramelised and slightly crispy. It makes an Epic! (Kids description!) side dish when served like this.

 

I had bought some nice Tuna steaks that had been on special offer and as we don’t have Tuna very often I thought they deserved something a bit special. It was decided that we have them with gnocchi and some chick peas tossed in a nice lemon, butter sauce flavoured with just a touch of cumin.

When I make gnocchi I have to say I normally just wing it! I add flour, egg and a touch of baking powder to some mash potato (usually leftovers!) and hope for the best!

However here is a recipe for those that don’t want to take the risk!

 

Ingredients;

 

6 large potatoes peeled and cut into four

1 medium egg

3 handfuls plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method;

 

Place the potatoes in a pan and just cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Drain the potatoes well and put back in the pan, leave for a couple of minutes for the potatoes to dry out a little then mash or put through a potato ricer.

In a large bowl whisk the egg and add the seasoning and a splash of water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together until you have a soft dough. If it’s too wet add a little more flour, if it’s too dry add a splash more water.

Divide the dough into four. Take one piece of dough and on a floured board roll into a long sausage shape. Use a blunt knife to cut the dough making  little pillow shapes. place the dough pieces on a floured tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Once all the dough has been used up, place the tray with the cut dough on it in the fridge for ten minutes or so to firm up.

To cook the gnocchi bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi in and bring back to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for a couple minutes or until the gnocchi floats on the surface of the water.

Once cooked the gnocchi can be drained and either tossed in a sauce or coated in a little oil to either serve later (just drop into boiling water to warm up or heat in a sauce) or be fried. To fry the gnocchi melt some butter in a frying pan and when sizzling drop in the gnocchi, keep turning until the gnocchi are nicely coloured and golden.

We had our gnocchi this time with a nice seared tuna steak and a simple sauce consisting of a little onion and garlic sautéed in butter with chicken stock, a splash of white wine, zest and juice of a lemon, cooked chick peas, ground cumin and finished with yet more butter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A simple salad of chunky tomato, cucumber and onion drizzled with a little vinegar and a pinch of sugar and seasoning is all that was needed for a superb tasting, Mediterranean style dish.

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Get Sconed!

 We don’t do many desserts or puddings in the ‘Ome Made home but one of the things that always goes down well when we do is a nice scone (pronounced “scon”… of course!).

 

Scones are so easy to make and with a little jam of your choosing and a big fat dollop of clotted or whipped cream they have to be one of my favourite treats. I could eat them forever and a day, which is probably why we don’t have them too often!

 

Before I give you my recipe, lets just get something straight, OK? It’s jam spread on the scone and then your dollop of cream on the jam. Any other way is just wrong… got it!

 

This is a basic recipe for scones. You could add a handful of sultanas or glace cherries if you want. If you want to make your scones with buttermilk just use the same amount as you would milk.

 

 

You will need;

 

 

450g (1lb) self-raising flour

2 rounded teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

75g (3oz) butter

50g (2oz) caster sugar

2 medium eggs

About 225 ml (8 fl oz) milk & a splash of lemon juice (optional)

 

 

Method

 

 

Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and give a light mix.

Roughly dice the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Lightly mix in the sugar (now is the time to add any fruit if you are doing).

 

Beat the eggs in a measuring jug add the milk to make the volume up to 300ml mix together with a splash of lemon juice if you have it.

 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually add your milk and egg mixture, bringing the whole lot together until you have a slightly sticky dough (if it’s too sticky add a little more flour).

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and give a quick knead.

 

Split the dough in half and roll one lot out to a thickness of about 2cm. Cut out the scones with whatever shaped/size cutter you want and place (turn over so the bottom of the scone becomes the top) on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the second lot of dough. Bring any leftover dough back together, roll out and cut again.

 

Using a dry pastry brush, brush off any excess flour on the tops of your scones and then egg wash them.

 

Place the scones in a preheated oven at 220°C/gas mark 7 for 10 – 15 minutes.

 

Once cooked remove from the oven and baking tray onto a wire rack to cool.

 

 

Eat as fresh as possible and freeze any leftover (yeah right!) for another time.

 

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Cup of Chai?

We started drinking Chai a good year ago now. Not proper Indian Chai but the well known brand, tea bag variety.

 

Recently however the well known brand that we used decided to re-brand their packaging, putting less tea bags in and charging more. Meaning our bag of Chai cost more than twice as much!

 

Now we like Chai but paying 25p a bag seemed a bit much! Sod it I thought I’ll make my own!

 

D’ya know what? It’s dead easy. The only downside is you have to strain the tea before drinking but to be fair thats not that much of a hardship!

 

 

 

You can also customise your blend to your own taste.

 

I roughly ground some cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamoms which I then add to some loose black tea in a teapot and let infuse for 5 minutes. That’s it done, all you have to do is strain the Chai as you pour it out and add milk and sugar to taste.

 

 

If I had had any to hand I would have added a little dried ginger (not ground though as that would be too powdery).

 

If you want to give it a go here are the amounts I used;

 

4 sticks of cinnamon, 6 star anise, 8 cloves and 5 cardamom pods

Pulse the above in a coffee or spice grinder so they are roughly ground, you don’t want a fine powder.

 

 

 

 

Use roughly 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture with one teaspoon of tea per mug of Chai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At some point I will have a go at brewing a proper Indian Masala Chai. For this the whole spices are simmered in the water with the tea before milk and probably a little too much sugar is added.

 

Here is how Rick Stein recommends doing it in his excellent book Rick Stein’s India.

 

 

 

Ingredients;

 

 

1 black cardamom pod, bruised with a rolling pin

15 green cardamom pods, bruised with a rolling pin

6 cloves

4 black peppercorns

8cm piece of cinnamon stick, broken in 1/2

500ml water

4 tsp black tea leaves (equivalent to about two bags if using bags)

2tsp sugar, plus extra to taste

200ml milk

 

 

Method

 

 

Put the spices into a saucepan with the water. Bring back to the boil, add the tea and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in the sugar and milk, bring back to a simmer for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer and serve, adding more sugar to taste.

 

You could try making the delicious Indian sweet Jalebi to go with your Chai. Mr Stein has a recipe from the same book the above recipe is from.

 

Right… think I’ll go and make myself a nice cup of Chai!

 

Cheers!

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‘Ome ‘n’ Onion Bread…

OK, It’s actually Roman Onion Bread but that’s just not as catchy!

This is one of my favourite flavoured breads to make and it’s so simple. This bread is great for a lunch or supper or when your entertaining as a tear and share bread. We quite often have it as an accompaniment to antipasti or as our Kids call it ‘Picky tea!’

Fresh rosemary really does taste the best for this. If you haven’t got any growing in your own garden, ask a neighbour as I’m sure someone will have some. Rosemary has to be one of the most common herbs that people have growing in their garden, the sad thing is probably about 90% of those people never use it!

 

 

 

‘Ome ‘n’ Onion Bread.



  • 500g strong white bread flour
    A good pinch of salt
    1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil or olive oil plus extra for drizzling
    2 heaped teaspoons dried yeast
    1 teaspoon sugar
    2 large white onions, peeled and finely sliced
    1 large sprig of Rosemary leaves removed and roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp dried rosemary)
    Salt & Pepper

Dissolve the sugar in roughly 50ml of warm water. Add the yeast and leave to activate for 10 – 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the middle. Add the oil and the activated yeast mixture. Combine the mixture, adding a little more water if necessary, to form a slightly sticky dough.

On a floured surface work the dough, stretching it away from you to make a pliable, springy dough then knead back to a ball.

Place the dough in an oiled bowel and leave to rise, covered, for an hour. After an hour knock the dough back and leave to rise for another hour (although if you are short of time the dough could be used straight away).

Pre-heat your oven to 230°C gas mark 8.

Oil a heavy baking sheet or shallow, ovenproof tin, it wants to be at least 30 x 40 cm.

Take the dough out of the bowel and give a quick knead. Flatten out the dough with your hands then place on your baking sheet/tin. Flatten, stretch and pull your bread to the shape you want it, It wants to be roughly a couple of cm thick.

Give the dough a little drizzle of oil rub over the surface. Lay the onions on top of the bread leaving a little space around the edge. Drizzle more oil over the onions then sprinkle your rosemary and seasoning over the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes, resisting the urge to pick at the sweet, soft onion. Slice, serve and enjoy!