Pen-y-lan Pantry  

I have so much love for this lovely café, deli, shop, meeting place and community hub. It’s like a little slice of home and like you’ve just walked into a mate’s café, as the staff are so friendly and passionate about what they have achieved. It has a real community feel, with partnerships with other independent shops such as the Bottle Shop in Penarth, plus a whole other Facebook page dedicated to their events. There is a real buzz about the place and there is always something going on. They also deliver veg boxes to the local area, by bicycle, this place has it all right?

This cafe, pantry and all round dynamite of a place earns a full stamp of approval and place in my heart as one of the best cafes in Cardiff. It is nestled at the end of Kimberley Road in Roath, and you can’t help but be drawn into it it by the flowers outside, lanterns and various signs. 


As followers of my blog will know, I am partial to a sausage roll, and this place fulfills my sausage roll dreams, as they serve a variety of posh sausage rolls, including my favourite pulled pork. As well as a wide variety of specials that are updated and an ever changing menu, depending on the season. I balance out the sausage roll with one of their super salad bowls, so that order is restored. Their menu is a bit fancy, but actually just relies on good wholesome ingredients, I love the roasted tomatoes on toast. AND oh my god their cakes, they are baked in store, or by local producers, and again are seasonal. I love the nature of this place, that it is ever changing and evolving, so that there is always something new to taste and feast on.

The delicious deli section/ come corner shop / come pantry boasts all local producers, and supports the community and the environment. All items have been lovingly chosen to fit in with the ethos of the place. You can pick up some basics like eggs and Welsh milk, to yummy chutneys, jams and chocolate. Their seasonal icecream is a real treat, and not to be missed, unless it’s winter (sad face). Try the roasted peach and lavender, it’s amazing! Fear not those reading this that don’t live in Cardiff, as they do deliver and have an online shop, the bicycle can make it to you across the oceans. 

Events include pop up Supper Clubs, Master Classes and meet the producer days, one recently being where Coffi Bank took over for the day, where they set up a cool little bar and served their coffee all day. This place really shouts out loudly and proudly about independent businesses working together. 

Check out this beaut of a place at 72 Kimberley Road, Cardiff, Cf23 5DN

 www.penylanpantry.com 

There’s Not Mushroom for Brunch

As I’ve mentioned, I like brunch to be relaxing, this to me, means minimal dishes and effort. This brunch of dreams ticks all the boxes, healthish, tasty and easy. 

All the fats and juices intertwine and make everything even tastier than it would be.

The haloumi ontop of a portebello mushroom means that it absorbs the taste and moisture from the mushroom, on the bottom, but still stays crispy ontop. 

You can change the sausages for thick cut, good quality bacon, or veggie sausages. There is something about baked sausages rather than fried or grilled, that makes them all gooey and succulent. Also crack an egg into a spare corner 3-4 minutes before serving, basically you can add and experiment with this dreamboat of a brunch. 

If you’re making this for a group of people just up the portions and use a bigger pan. 

The vase in the background is from the equally delicious Carpanini’s in Abergavenny:

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

6 chipolata sausages

6 asparagus, ends cut off

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 portebello mushrooms

4 slices of haloumi 

Handful of fresh basil, or any soft herbs you have 

Sprinkle of pine nuts

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Get a baking tin and place the sausages in a row, then add the portobello mushrooms with the haloumi cheese on top. 

Bake for 10 minutes, then add the asparagus, tomatoes and randomly sprinkle the pine nuts over. Add some sea salt to the veg.

There is no need to add oil as there will be enough from the meat and mushroom.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

When you serve rip and put basil all over.

Sausages

I couldn’t think of a pun that wasn’t really rude, so I’ve kept the name for this week simple. I’m happy to change it if anyone can think of a clean version. I have tossed salad week to the side for now in replacement of lovely comfort food. So, this week I’ll be sharing lots of twists on traditional sausage dishes. Including a healthy take on sausage rolls, as my life conundrum is that I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle but my favourite food is a sausage roll. I’ve had to delete a lot from this post as whatever you write sounds like an innuendo. Onto the recipes…

Leftover Lovliness

I always like the challenge of looking into the fridge and seeing what I can muster up. This recipe was created by roasting the contents of my fridge. It can be used as a side dish with a big hunk of meat or as a lovely warm salad. It does take an hour to cook but it’s worth it. The beetroot colour oozes into the cheese and bacon and makes it a feast for the eyes too.


Cooking time: 50 minutes

Oven: Gas mark 220 deg C

Ingredients:

1 Beetroot

1 Pepper

2 Sweet Potato

2 Carrots

Haloumi cheese 4-5 thick slices

3 strips of bacon

Few teaspoons of rosemary (thyme, sage etc work just as well)

2 cloves of garlic, don’t bother pealing or anything, just hide it under the veggies

Dollop of coconut oil

Method:

Preheat the oven, add the dollop of coconut oil, Rosemary and garlic to a roasting tin, put in the oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop all of the vegetable into chunky shapes. Add to the pan of hot oil and coat the oil though all of the uncooked vegetables.  Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

Add the ripped up haloumi bacon and give a quick shake.

Take out when all the vegetables are cooked, bacon crispy and haloumi golden.

Side Kicks

This week I thought I’d pay homage to side dishes. Our meals would be very boring without these little extras and additions to our daily meals. I’ll show you this week how to rev up your rice, spice up your spuds and va-va-voom your veg. It was sunny when I was writing this, so try any of these next to your humble pasta salad at a BBQ. I also, nervously, give you the secret recipe to the best roast potatoes on the planet, I’m sure you guys won’t tell anyone, will you? 

Hummus Be Crazy

I love hummus. I love the texture, taste and how you can eat it plain or add lots of different ingredients. Including paprika, cumin, sundried tomato, caramelised onions, roasted garlic, drizzle of honey and beetroot. You can use a potato masher instead of getting the food processor out.

Makes a large bowl full.

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas

Zest and juice from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves of crushed garlic

Method:

Drain the chickpeas and simmer in a pan of water for 5 minutes to soften, and make easier to mash. Drain the chickpeas again and save a bit of the water.

Add all the ingredients with the chickpeas, to the that you used to soften the chickpeas, along with a few tablespoons of the water you saved. 

Mix well then mash with a fork or a potato masher until a texture that you like, chunky or smooth. 

Add your extra ingredient or leave plain.

This keeps in the fridge for 2 days.

 

 

Minty Ha-pea-ness

This is so simple and it can make your fish and chips very posh. You can crumble over some feta cheese for a side dish at a BBQ, or give a dollop of sour cream, or serve as a bruschetta. It’s so good that I’m salivating writing this. Simple peas made mighty and minty. 

Ingredients

Frozen peas

Fresh mint

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil

Sea salt

Method:

Simmer the peas for 5 minutes, drain and put back into pan. Add the mint and put the lid back on for 2 minutes.

Squeeze half a lemon and drizzle on olive oil, mix well.

Add sea salt.

Add the topping of your choice if you wish.