Technically, these burgers are another blogger's dish, although I actually saw them in Niamh's book, Comfort and Spice, not on her blog. She has blogged about them though, and indeed published the recipe in the Evening Standard! I am a bit of a burger purist, usually using only beef, salt and pepper in mine, but she is absolutely right that the earthy, sweet beetroot and clean, firey horseradish are brilliant additions. They are also a great way of using up the beetroot in the veg box! It's very Australian to put a slice of vinegary beetroot in a burger, so I knew that the flavours would work well. I confess that I didn't have fresh horseradish so I used a spoonful of jarred. Not ideal, but it gave a pretty good indication of what these burgers could be like. And the colour is fantastic.
These chipotle-garlic edamame from Esi at Dishing Up Delights are indeed a delight. Somehow I couldn't spot the ground cumin in the cupboard, so I made it with a spoonful of seeds and it was none the worse for that! It's such a good idea to take advantage of the way you scrape the beans from the pod with your teeth, and pile on spicy seasonings. They made a perfect little savoury snack for a weekend afternoon, alongside a beer.
Somewhat unusually, this bacon and egg pie looks very little like the bacon and egg pie that inspired it on Charlie's blog, Hotly Spiced. I thought her addition of a tomato-rich custard to the classic dish was absolutely brilliant, but I didn't have any tomatoes. Then I thought about how good spinach and eggs are together, and how much I love spinach and bacon together, and the fact that I had a bag of washed spinach leaves in the fridge. I scaled it up a bit, because I wanted 8 tidy portions, and I added a sprinkle of pil-pil mix and nutmeg to the spinach, and I used (bought) puff pastry instead of filo. But aside from that it is exactly the same dish! Anyway, it is really delicious. The mineral-y spinach undercuts the richness of the bacon and eggs and the whole thing is just wonderful. I can imagine the horror from my friend Penny who doesn't eat either bacon or eggs...
If you haven't read Hotly Spiced, I thoroughly recommend it. She's very, very funny. I am certainly going to try this pie using the tomato base too - it's a very good dish.
These hot wings from Emma's blog Souperior aren't precisely as written - Paul doesn't really care for chicken wings so I used drumsticks, and I used my home made smoked chilli sauce, cut with a little tomato ketchup to tone down the heat. It was a gorgeous, messy meal, although strangely my fiercely hot chilli sauce was possibly toned down too much. Next time (and there will be a next time!) I will use straight chilli sauce, I think. I added a big pile of carrot and celery sticks to make it a more balanced meal and we sat with the platter between us and a goodly supply of paper towels. Finger-licking is compulsory.