Bandeja Paisa (Colombian Mountain Platter)

This week the group had to decide on what food they wanted to cook. One member suggested that as one of our members is Colombian that we should cook something from Columbia.

After going through lots of different recipes everyone agreed that the Bandeja Paisa looked the most interesting and included a good mix of different food to try.
Bandeja Paisa is a platter made up of carne picada(spicy beef), beans, avacado, plaintain, chorizo and rice. Some people put a fried egg with it but the group decided to leave this out.
To make the Carne Picada:
All you need is Minced beef, Diced onion, Jalapeno Chilli peppers (finely chopped), Fresh tomatoes (chopped), Crushed Garlic, Beef Stock and salt and pepper. Put all the ingredients in a pot like we have above and cook until all the beef is cooked through. Then let it simmer.
To make the beans:

For the beans you will need Diced Onion, Chopped Green Peppers, Crushed Garlic, Red Kidney Beans, Oregano, A Teaspoon of Sugar, chicken stock, A splash of Cider Vinegar and a Cup of Water. Put all these ingredients into a pan like the one above and cook down until all the ingredients are soft and the water has gone.
Then cut the Chorizo into thick slices and fry in a pan. The group found that we did not need to add oil to fry the Chorizo as it has fat in it which comes out as oil when you cook it.
With the Avocado just cut them in half, remove the stone and skin and cut the Avocado into slices: 

Preparing the Avocado.

 With the Plantain cut into slices and either fry in some oil or bake until golden brown. We chose to bake our plantain as none of us had ever tried baking it, plus its the healthier option.

We also boiled some plain white rice to have with the dish.
Then put a bit of everything on a plate and there you have Bandeja Paisa!

The group said they really enjoyed all the flavours of this dish. They liked that there were lots of different things to try on one plate.

Morocan Lamb Meatballs with a Yoghurt and cucumber dip

Come Dine With Us are trying to explore the foods from different cultures to experience different flavours from around the world. The group think this is good as we have a lot of diversity within our group.

The group decided to try these Moroccan meatballs as an alternative to the Italian style meatballs we have made before.
The group were impressed by the recipe as it includes lots of different ingredients and flavours that they were excited to try.
The recipe for Meatballs:
Lamb Mince
Fresh Chilli
Cumin seeds
Coriander Seeds
Feta Cheese
Lemon Juice
Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper
One Egg
First crush the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar and very finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli and put in a bowl.
Crumble the feta cheese into the bowl.
Add in all the other ingredients and using your hands thoroughly mix up the ingredients.
Then roll a small amount of the mixture between the palms of your hands until they make a rough ball. Then place on baking trays and bake in the oven.
The yoghurt and cucumber dip recipe:
Low fat yoghurt
Fresh Mint
Fresh Coriander
Lime juice
Salt and pepper

Chop parsley, mint and cucumber and mix all the ingredients in a bowl and that’s it! A very simple dip which compliments the spices in the meatballs perfectly.
We served the meatballs with the yoghurt dip and some boiled rice rice with vegetables.
Everyone enjoyed the flavours of the dish! 
The group liked that we baked the meatballs instead of frying them, as this made it a healthier dish. The yoghurt dip was fresh and was really nice with the meatballs.

Thursday 20th June 2013 – weeding! creating! watering!

Happy solstice to you!

The group were up on the allotment today even though it threatened rain and was muggy warm for the whole day, we fought off our fears and stayed it out…

Before the weeding….
….after the weeding!
We found some insects… like this spider
Earthed up the potatoes…
… and liberally watered… on arrival and departure…

 We have constructed a raised bed from the ‘heap’ that was at the top of the allotment, photos next week…

Leeks – young plants to fully grown and seeding to the pan!

These leeks were given to the garden group by a very good friend of one the members in August 2012, and planted the same month. They were left to grow over winter, and harvested today to be used for the Rathbone ‘Come Dine With Us’ project which some of the Gardening Project members also attend…

Here’s the process in photo form 🙂

Young leek plants…
…planted in holes on the allotment…
Growing to full size > and begin seeding…
…dug up…

… washed, chopped up and cooked for the plate 🙂

Rock and roll speed

At the start we were copying  Jo and Andrea copying the rainbow dance with stretches as our warm up.

We then started practising our rock and roll dance routine which uses this music:

We are getting faster at our routine and everyone has improved their dance routine.

We finished our lesson with everyone practicing the rainbow dance

I  enjoyed  the rock and roll dance the most this evening.

April 2013 – Ground preparation, manure delivery, herb and potato planting… and we are 1 year old!!

 A busy April, lots to do; and the project is now 1 year old!!

Our one year old pizza lunch in the Rosendale Allotments Community Building

The main jobs were;

Prepare the ground for planting, digging over to let air and water in and to break up the soil where it had become compacted.

The eternal enemy… couch grass!

This job at times was hard work – mostly due to a majority of the site being clay, which hardens in the sun and becomes compacted and slippery in the rain, but seeing the result after the dig and a good rake was worth the effort…

We also had a manure delivery! So we spread that on the dug ground in order for the worms to drag it down and to dig it in in a few weeks…

We also built some shelves for some newly planted seeds;

Shelves in use with plants!

We also planted our potato crop...

And lastly, planting some herbs to enhance our herb garden, we purchased some sage to go with a rescued thyme plant abandoned last year by the former plot holders…

The sage plant, roots watered ready for planting…
It’s in! Sage is planted with the other herbs…

Rescued thyme plant, going to ground…
Herb garden as of April 2013

Now the warmer weather comes our way, lots to do in May…

Vegetable soup, spaghetti bolognese, Apple Strudel….

Starter – Vegetable soup
Today, we went for a mega healthy starter, with cabbage, carrots, sweetcorn, leek, aubergine >
Most members enjoyed the soup and its mix of vegetables; although, one member of the group would have liked to add swede next time, another mentioning they would like to take out the aubergine…

Preparing the vegetables for the soup…

Soup stirring and boiling

Main Meal – Spaghetti bolognese

The members enjoyed the spaghetti bolognese top, the dessert of apple strudel / crumble second, and the vegetable soup came third in the enjoyment of the food.
All members agreed they really enjoyed this meal and would not change anything about the bolognese!

Stirring the bolognese

Preparing to serve the spaghetti

A full plate of spaghetti bolognese with parmesan cheese
Empty plate! A good sign!

Dessert… Apple Strudel!

We had a lot of apples left over, so we made apple crumble also! This was preferred by some members of the group.
Some members thought the strudel was a bit dry, but this was helped by the creme fraiche!
We had a healthier version of cream; creme fraiche >

Preparing the strudel…

Thats it for this week!

1st May 2013 chilli corn carne & 8th May 2013 spring rolls

1stMay 2013

Today we followed the choices from the week before, and we cooked the following;
For starter, we had swede and parsnip soup, 

followed by a main course of chilli con carne with rice.

Finally, for desert we cooked and ate upside down pineapple cake with custard.

The soup proved to be very popular, as did the pineapple upside down cake which some members hadn’t had before, others last having it as a desert in school!
8thMay 2013

Today we cooked some oriental style food, quite Chinese based…
For starter, we had vegetable spring rolls which had beansprouts, chilli, red pepper and onion inside wrapped in filo pastry.

Our main  course was a chicken and cashew nut stir-fry with vegetables and rice. 

To finish, we had ‘apple snow’ which is egg white whisked with sugar, served with blueberries and strawberries.

With the main course one of the members would like to cook lamb with mint instead of chicken with cashew nut stir-fry.
One of the members really liked the apple snow because it tasted nice, most of the members would like to cook apple snow again.

There is a prize in it!!!!

This term we have been focusing on sports community access and finding out what is in our local area in terms of sports facilities and we found another real gem at the Black Prince Community Hub. The Rathbone group went to check out the amazing Basketball Courts, we hired the Jordon Court which is very impressive, check out their Blog which features a video.
The young people got involved straight away and were teaching the youth workers some of their tricks, spins and defending skills and certainly put them through their paces. We then had a competition of who could put the ball in the back of the net  facing backwards and two prizes were won!!!!

The group were really impressed by the facilities and all enjoyed being out in the community and exploring new sports as a group.